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Douglasville Woman’s Health Experiences Remarkable Turnaround after Engaging in a Caring, Social Community

Told She ‘Will Never Walk Again,’ Mary Dickens Is Now Active at Grace Senior Living of Douglasville

mothers day dickens resizedDOUGLASVILLE, Ga. (June 25, 2014) – “Your mother will never walk again,” words that haunted Pam Grier, as she sat with her mother in an Atlanta-area rehabilitation facility.

Just two months ago, after seeing her mother’s health continue to worsen, Grier decided it was time to find a different type of care.

Mary Dickens, 86, was in a state of decline due to a serious illness and surgery she experience in late 2013. “She had no appetite, she was weak, had no motivation and seemed very depressed,” says Grier. “It was even suggested that we move her to a skilled nursing facility, because her prospects of improvement looked slim.”

That was in April.

Today, after two months of settling into life among caring neighbors and social activity at Grace Senior Living of Douglasville, Dickens’ health and outlook have experienced a remarkable turnaround. To her family’s amazement, she is an active and engaged member of her community.

“Mom always wanted to go back home when she was in the other facility, but in less than two months, mom’s quality of life has completely changed. She is so much better and she is happy here at Grace Senior Living,” says Grier.

“Mrs. Dickens came to Grace Senior Living after traveling a rough road of physical, mental and emotional setbacks,” said Jan Williams, administrator of Grace Senior Living. “Rehabilitation takes on many forms and in some cases the social and emotional connections can be just as important as the physical aspects of recovering from severe setbacks. Today, Mrs. Dickens enjoys assisting with the garden, participating in ‘sit and be fit’ exercise classes and singing in the Grace Senior Living Choir as well as the other daily social activities.”

Dickens’ improved health and new upbeat outlook would tend to verify that seniors who are engaged in regular social activity, feel connected to a community, and have the appropriate level of monitoring can return from the brink to lead a joyful and productive life.

On Mother’s Day, Grier told her mother that her friends were waiting on her to return home, to which Dickens reportedly replied “I have a lot of friends right here.” Words that now reassure Grier she made the right decision to find a community offering strong social connections and activities.

Ninety percent of seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible, according to a 2011 survey by AARP, but a decades long study by the University College London indicates living alone may do more harm than initially thought. In 2010, the Administration on Aging reported that approximated 29 percent of people 65 and older were living alone, with the percentage increasing with age, while 12 percent of those seniors need help with daily life activities, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report.