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Margie Stuart

A daughter recalls the comfort of her mom's stay at The Commons

Margie Stuart’s mother, Frances Scollan, was a resident at The Commons on St. Anthony until she passed away in November 2016. Before Frances was admitted, Margie and her family conducted a search for a facility where they’d feel comfortable having their mother live.

It was a big decision for Margie and her family, many of whom live in the Auburn area.

“My sister Jean and I did the research and we sent the information out to all the siblings,” Margie says. “Everyone agreed that The Commons was the best fit. My sister and sister-in-law are nurses, and their input was an important deciding factor. They agreed The Commons is top-notch.”

On their checklist: attentive, kind staff who had lots of contact with residents, family-oriented commons areas, physical therapy, and a facility close to home.

The sisters looked for a place where staff paid attention to residents like what they were watching on TV. Were they parked in front of a television with no consideration for the program? Those kinds of details mattered.

“We wanted to know if a resident was calling a nurse, they were tended to quickly,” she says. “When a resident is neglected, it’s unprofessional and disturbing to the other residents. This is never the case at The Commons. My mom didn’t need a lot of assistance, but we appreciated the urgency when she did. Sometimes I would bring up a concern I had, and they were already on it and working to make it better.”

In short, compassion mattered.

“The attitude of the staff is very important. They were very good with my mom and interacted in fun ways with the residents to liven things up. Kindness is important. And the staff is kind.”

Comfortable spaces and bright lighting mattered, too.

“A room that has natural light and space for visiting is important,” Margie says. “We looked at another facility that had very cramped, dark rooms. We walked through and just knew: no way.”

Her mother’s dementia had complications that required physical therapy.

“Her hands would tighten up and cramp and we wanted help keeping her hands flexible. The Commons offered great physical therapists who did a wonderful job,” Margie says.

Staying in the Auburn area was the last, but not least, item on the checklist.

“We were very interested in a facility that was close to our family. The Commons is a mile from my house.”

Margie has a message for adults choosing a home for their aging parents:

“If you’re looking for a place for your mom or dad, I definitely recommend the Commons. Here there’s a very professional staff that cares about the residents. They’re very happy to interact with families.”

Margaret Stuart, of Auburn, N.Y.
Daughter of Frances Scollan, former long-term care resident of The Commons



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