Pull the Weeds When There are Few

 Dear Friends: My late dad would be happy. After a lifetime of caring for his Mother and then our family, he was able to retire. One of his favorite post-retirement hobbies was maintaining a good-size vegetable garden in his yard. Some days, he could be found sitting on a small cement bench near his garden, the morning sun warming his back, a glass of tomato juice in hand, and a statue of the Blessed Mother before him. It was his meditation place. He told me: "Tommy, if you don't pray today, you never will...". When we bought the new Hylane Home, the front garden needed a lot of attention, but it echoed the setting of my father's yard. And when the moms and daughters of Orchard Lake St. Mary's offered the proceeds from their brunch to the residents of Angels' Place, a Marian garden seemed to be a providential investment.  As contractors configured the interior, volunteers weeded, and trimmed, and mulched, and watered. Old shrubs were removed, bricks were stack

God bless us in our Holy Work

Hello Everybody. Yesterday, we held our service for Robert at the Maxwell Home -- you may know, Robert is currently under hospice care.  Program Director Tony Dickerson, led the service.  His words were so beautiful, we thought you might like to read them here. My Dear Friends in Christ, Today we gather together at the Maxwell Home to support and pray for our brother and friend Robert Grant.  Robert has been a resident of the Maxwell home for the 30 years Angels’ Place has been in operation.  In regards to the Maxwell home, it was the first home of the Angels’ Place organization.  For me as a program director, it’s an honor to serve this home because of the legacy surrounding it.  I like to call it the “flagship” of the organization.  It’s not the most modern or fancy of our 21 homes, but it is our first and has stood the test of time.  For example, the United States Navy has advanced ships powered by nuclear power, but the flagship of the fleet is the U.S.S Constitution. Despite havin

Caregivers Dedicate their Lives to Service

 A few weeks ago, we celebrated our team with an Employee Appreciation Day.  The gifts we shared – a sweatshirt, a gift card -- were modest in comparison to the gifts they share with us every day. On Facebook, we often post pictures of our residents smiling; engaging in fun activities – and thanks to our caregivers, they do have good, fulfilling lives. Of course, It wouldn’t be appropriate to share the more challenging moments – but that is the reality of assisting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Understanding complex emotional states -- sometimes, when the people you’re trying to help don’t have the words to describe what they need. Managing the complexities of a household with 3, 4, 5, 6 adults -- sometimes arbitrating compromises across those residents and their families. Assisting with personal hygiene and nutrition -- sometimes when the caregiver has their own needs. Our caregivers chose to dedicate their lives in service.  And they do a great job. That’s

An (interim) Pine Center Home

Today is a good day at Angels’ Place.  We hope you will celebrate with us. Over the last year, the good people at Blessed Assurance Home Inspections have (at no charge) examined each of the homes Angels’ Place owns – the kind of physical inspection you might contract when you buy a home.  With this information, we have prioritized our maintenance workload and investment. One home needed several major repairs – Pine Center. As we engaged various vendors to estimate the work, it also became apparent that even with a significant investment, the setup of the home would not be ideal to accommodate aging-in-place.  The home has narrow hallways, small bathrooms and bedrooms, etc. This property was donated to Angels’ Place by the Miller Family twenty-eight years ago.  It has served us well.  The neighbors have been kind and helpful.  The ladies love the location and its short walk to the beach on Pine Lake. And so, armed with this information, the board chose to build a new home on the propert

Sharing Moments of Joy and Grief

Dear Friends: On April 1, the newest Angels’ Place home opened.  Imagine the joy for Andy, Carl, Lenny, and Stephen, their families, and everyone associated with Angels’ Place.  We are grateful for the many miracles over the last dozen-plus years that brought us to that day. A month later, on May 2, we were still feeling the glow of this special day. It’s rarely good news when the phone rings on a Monday after 11pm. But that night, in the few seconds it took me to get from the bed to the phone, a thousand things raced through my mind. The call was to share the sad news that Jack Palmer, a resident at our Mahon Home, had died. By the time I arrived at the home in Troy, Jack’s brother Hugh was there.  Through his grief, he shared the important role that Angels’ Place played in his brother’s life for over twenty-five years.  The next day, his sister Sue shared similar sentiments. The caregivers, filled with sorrow themselves, shared stories of the impact the “Chief” had on their lives.  S