Two Roads, One Destination: A Senior Living Community

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senior living community resident coupleNorman Levin and Jan Coppoolse may have taken different paths in life, but like many of their peers, they had found themselves in a situation where living in an environment that could offer care and assistance was essential. Thanks to their supportive families, however, these two individuals have found exactly that at Sunrise at Fox Hill, a senior living community in Bethesda, Md.

Perhaps Jan said it best as he stated with a smile, “I don’t live here…I’m on vacation here.”

That means a great deal coming from this world-rounded individual who was born in Indonesia and speaks Dutch, German and Malaysian. After serving in the Army, Jan eventually became a bank president and active stock investor.

With three children, Jan was married for 50 years before his wife’s passing. When he suffered a stroke, it was his son Elmer who helped move him from Florida to the nearby community.

Elmer’s wife, Mary Jo, said, “I set out on this mission to go to five assisted living facilities having never been to one. I stopped in Sunrise at Fox Hill first and immediately thought ‘I found it!'”

Although they did not look anywhere else, Mary Jo and Elmer are reminded of why it was the perfect decision as they have watched Jan thrive. The community’s focus on “life enrichment” consists of great programs, social connections and a well-trained staff that learns about each resident and what is best for him/her. This support has proven to have a positive effect on residents and is certainly evident in Jan’s situation.

“The people are the big difference with the level of attention and care they give,” said Elmer. “They actually thought they couldn’t have him here, but with the care he received, they got him back within weeks from a wheelchair to walking.”

Norman and Shirley Levin’s daughter, Faye, would have to agree saying her parents look the best they have in the past few years. Both Connecticut natives, the Levins moved to Brooklyn after Norman received his PhD and was offered a position at The City University of New York.

They eventually retired to Florida, but at their granddaughter’s graduation, Norman became ill and was hospitalized with his condition only worsening in a local nursing home.

“We knew then that I was no longer able to take care of him and that we had to make some choices for the future,” said Shirley.

In stepped Faye, who lived only two miles from Sunrise at Fox Hill. As a lawyer, she knew what details she needed to hear regarding the care of her father, so she proceeded to speak with staff, residents and families.

“This place is beautiful, but you don’t want to be taken in by that because it’s really only as good as the people who take care of you,” said Faye. “I sat here many days and watched the aides with the residents, and they were patient and sweet and answered my questions.”

As the community accommodated a quick move for Norman, Faye successfully moved her dad into Sunrise at Fox Hill and her mom into a nearby apartment over an eight-week period with the help of Transitional Assistance & Design, and it has all been uphill from there.

With the community’s comfortable atmosphere, Faye and her family are able to constantly visit as are Elmer and Mary Jo whose children will often come by with friends or to study. Though the roads that led Norman and Jan to Sunrise at Fox Hill are unique, their families can say with the excellent care and amenities of the community that it is exactly the right home for each of these men.

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