Elternhaus is an extension of our family, and we would love for you to become a part of our story.
A LIFETIME SERVING SENIORS
My family jokes that I have been working with seniors since I was in diapers. They are not far from the truth. My parents owned and operated Laurel Nursing Home in Hamburg, Pennsylvania from the time that I was 1 year old until I was 16. We lived in an apartment above one end of the building, but to me, I lived in a big house with 45 bedrooms and lots of grandmas and grandpas. I ate with them, I played games with them and one of my favorite memories was pumping the old player piano pedals while they sang along to old familiar songs. I was very well nurtured with all the lap time and hard candy a little fella could want.
When my family sold the nursing home and my parents retired, I thought that would be the end of my career with seniors, but I was wrong. While I was in college, a friend of mine, knowing I had a background in nursing homes, told me about a job where I would be working for a retired senator in Washington DC as a personal aid and caregiver. I happily accepted the job offer and consequently restarted my career with seniors. This experience also introduced me to the world of assisted living. Shortly after I started working for the senator, he moved into an assisted living facility that was near Dupont Circle, not far from his house. This experience opened my eyes and rekindled my interest in senior living in a whole new way. I spent the next 20 years with Holladay Corporation learning from the ground up. First, I started driving the limo on the church circuit every Sunday morning. Next, I learned the business office and began managing the property as a director. Then, I was promoted to a corporate position and had the opportunity to manage two of the companies’ assisted living facilities, one in Georgetown and the other in Chevy Chase. I truly enjoyed my time there. I met many retired senators, lawyers, and business owners that had played an important role in our nation’s capital. I enjoyed my interactions with the residents as well as tending to the corporate obligations. However, as I was finishing my second decade working at this location I started thinking about how wonderful it would be to work in a place similar to what my parents had in Pennsylvania. God definitely knew my heart because it was at this time that Don and Diane Crane reached out to me. They gave me a tour of Elternhaus and I knew, then and there, that this was where God wanted me to be.
I was very impressed with what the Cranes were doing at Elternhaus and knew that I had found something special. The Cranes shared many stories with me about the early days of Elternhaus and how they got started. In one of those stories, Diane explained where her and Don’s inspiration for Elternhaus came from and how God blessed their project. During Diane’s time working as a registered nurse, she found that many of her patients wanted an alternative for their housing situation. So, she asked her husband Don if he thought they would be able to take care of these patients. Don said yes and he loved the idea. Together, they drew up the plans for Elternhaus and bought a 4-acres lot in Howard County. However, before purchasing the lot, Don and Diane saw how expensive it was and were about to give up on their project when the farmer selling them the property made them a deal. He said, “I have made so much money this year that if you can give me $20,000 I’ll let you pay the rest later.” Don and Diane were thrilled and they both knew that this miracle was heaven sent. This was not the only time God provided for the development of Elternhaus. Since the lot had no water, Don and Diane made plans to dig a well. When Don put down a stake for the drillers, he hoped that he had chosen a promising location, not knowing whether or not they would find water. The next week the drillers came and Don and Diane struck water! But, the story does not end there. One day the old farmer came to the lot and told Don, “I saw where you had staked out for the well and I knew that it wasn’t a good spot. So, I moved your stake 10 feet over.” Years later, when the addition was built on the property, there would not have been enough room if the stake had not been moved! God knew all along what Don and Diane needed and He continued to provide for and bless Elternhaus over the years.
I can still see God working at Elternhaus today. From the unique and beautiful residents and their families to the compassionate work of my staff. God is truly a part of our assisted living family. Ultimately, I think my favorite part of my job is the time that I get to spend with our residents. I enjoy our meals together discussing “this day in history,” our vespers on Friday evenings when everyone is singing hymns, and I always look forward to our annual events such as the Mother’s & Father’s Day potlucks, the Frederick County Fair, and our Thanksgiving buffet. I feel very privileged to know each member of our Elternhaus family, and I fondly treasure the time that I have with them.
If you would like to know more about Elternhaus, feel free to send me a message and I would love to speak with you.