Freedom of Choice

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Though the word ‘choice’ is a simple term heard in everyday conversation, its meaning is everything to individuals like Betty Coppertithe, also fondly referred to as “Phoenix”. When it came to finding an assisted living home that met her needs, Phoenix was extremely grateful to have come across an ElderChoice, LLC community, where her individuality has continued to flourish.

Given Phoenix’s ever-changing lifestyle as exemplified by her past, it was only appropriate that she spend her future years in a home where she could make her own choices.

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1930, she attended college to receive a BS in Biology and was part of the Delta Gamma sorority. After marrying Harry Copperthite, she spent many years as a housewife with their three children. Since Harry was in the military, Phoenix became used to the idea of never staying in one place for a long period of time as they traveled to various destinations. When her children were grown, however, Phoenix joined the workforce becoming an office manager for a contractor.

Eventually, she knew she had reached the point where living alone was too difficult to manage and she moved into an assisted living facility. Though what she found was that it was just as difficult adjusting to the scheduled routine, programs and rules often found in such communities.

As a ‘nighthawk’ and late riser, Phoenix had a hard time waking up for breakfast, which was always served promptly at 8 a.m. When it came to taking her medication, she would ask the staff what she was taking and due to time constraints, the staff could not fully explain. For Phoenix, it was a place in which she felt very limited and unable to make decisions for herself.

It was then she came in contact with Gloria Brock and Steve Gaylor, founders of ElderChoice, LLC, which includes Springfield Residences in Wyndmoor, Pa.

With ElderChoice, Phoenix learned she could follow her own routine and be fully informed as to what medications she was taking. Since Gloria and Steve pride themselves on independence and trains staff to offer assistance while ultimately letting residents decide what is best for them, she knew this would be the best home for her.

After three weeks in her new residence, Phoenix approached Gloria with tears in her eyes.

“When you have the choice to do all these things and have those choices taken away from you for three years, see what happens when you get those basic rights back,” she said. “You have no idea what it means to me to know that I have my own life back again.”

Though the grandmother of seven cannot express her gratitude enough, Phoenix’s wonderful transformation and her continuance to thrive has said it all. Not only does she eat, sleep and engage in the community’s activities on her own terms, but she can be seen chatting with her fellow residents about her favorite subjects – politics and history.

ElderChoice and Phoenix are proving on a daily basis just how valuable it is to make one’s own decisions.

As Gloria said, “Your life doesn’t stop when you move into a community and you should ask for a choice wherever you live. You can live the life you want. We believe that independence is the opportunity to choose and the assistance required to take advantage of those choices.”

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