Assisted living center gets resident’s OK

Posted June 27, 2010, at 10:12 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Dorothy Kennedy spent the vast majority of her 94 years in Milbridge. She was born and raised there, married and raised a family there, and taught elementary and junior high school for decades in the coastal Washington County community.

Now she lives at the Winterberry Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care Community. Kennedy in November moved to the Ohio Street facility from an assisted living facility in Brewer. She likes her new home so much she agreed Sunday to be interviewed by reporters during Winterberry Heights’ open house.

The facility held the event to celebrate its new name. Previously, it was called Acadia Assisted Living and Memory Care Community. Being called Acadia caused confusion because what is now Winterberry Heights is located a few miles from Acadia Hospital, the region’s mental health facility, Kris Long, administrator for the assisted living home, said Sunday.

“I like it here very much,” Kennedy said as she sat in a recliner in her studio apartment. “It’s a very nice place. All the people are very nice.

“We’re on our own more or less,” she added. “We can do what we want to do. I’d recommend it to anyone who needs it.”

Kennedy has a refrigerator, sink and microwave but no stove in her apartment. She also has a large handicapped-accessible bathroom. The facility provides three meals a day, which she can eat in the community dining area or in her room.

The amount, not the quality, of the food is Kennedy’s only complaint about Winterberry Heights — the portions are too generous.

About 40 percent of the apartments at Winterberry Heights now are occupied, Long said. The facility has 74 apartments in its assisted living area and 14 in its memory loss wing.

Winterberry Heights is owned by the Hawthorn Retirement Group based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The firm owns and operates about 40 facilities, including 11 that offer assisted living and three with memory care wings, in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

The facility does not yet accept MaineCare, the director said.

Winterberry Heights sponsors on-site events, which raise money for and raise awareness about issues important to its residents, she said.

Maine first lady Karen Baldacci is scheduled to attend a luncheon Tuesday to talk about the health benefits of local food. The meal will feature locally grown foods, and the $10 suggested donation will go to support Eastern Area Agency on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program.

A strawberry festival on July 17 will raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

For information on Winterberry Heights, visit www.seniorlivinginstyle.com

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