By David Ammons, chief executive officer of Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community
When I was a boy, “Mr. Smith” was already using a cane. He was funny and odd—a popular guy at church—and we admired him for his devotion to his faith, and to his wife and family. When I was a teenager, he remained a fixture of our community, staying involved in Boy Scouts, and attending every North Carolina State University football game. When I was a young man—and the executive director of Springmoor Life Care RetirementCommunity—“Mr. Smith” walked determinedly through my office door. The usually chipper man looked determined, took a seat and demanded my attention.
He said, “Well—I just left my doctor’s appointment and it looks like the cancer that I haven’t treated for the past couple of years—and haven’t told my wife about—is going to kill me. I wanted to come here and make sure you take care of her.”
I said, “Sir—I’ve got that. I don’t mean this lightly. I promise you that I don’t take this lightly. We will do everything you would expect of us.”
The cancer got my friend, and we took care of his bride of about 60 years—as I promised. We took that charge very seriously—as promised. And we take care of every person who walks into our community with that same promise. A Springmoor resident is a member of our family—it’s the way my family wanted Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community to operate, and it’s the way our community continues to operate today.
It was a different story that sparked the founding of Springmoor: My grandfather, who was a Baptist minister and toured many western N.C. counties, preaching–even into his golden years–had become too frail, and was seeking a place to live that had people who would take care of him. Naturally, he sought out a Baptist retirement community, but—instead of welcoming him into their home, and acknowledging the years of service he gave to the faith—they had reasons they could not meet his needs and they denied him a place to stay.
My father—when deciding to get involved with Springmoor—said, “We can do better than that.” And we do. We have a responsibility to honor our elders, and we honor them by providing them with a community that goes beyond bricks and mortar.
The greatest compliment to this lies in the stories shared with me lately while my mother struggles with illness. She has always been a key player at Springmoor, and her illness has led a lot of residents and staff to talk with me. She attended almost every event, and rarely missed a resident’s funeral. Someone recently told me, “I shared with your mother that she goes to more resident funerals than anyone else I know. I asked her, ‘Why does she do that?” They went on to share with me that her answer was if they trust us and Springmoor enough to move here, then the least we can do is honor their memory at their funeral.
It is an honor, and it is an obligation, to serve the seniors of Raleigh and the surrounding area. We are privileged to have the trust of our residents, and we are committed to honor the promises we make to their families—from our family and the Springmoor family to theirs.