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Creating a Refuge for Older Adults In Need #SeasonOfSmiles

At age 82, Donnie (pictured above) is a pretty snappy dresser (always wearing a jacket and tie), a friendly guy, and active in the church. You tend to like him immediately but his charm and outward appearance hid the fact that only six months ago Donnie was living in squalor. His home was ridden with bed bugs and rodents, trash was everywhere, and random people were sleeping in his home. Strangers were asking him for money and he was handing it over. Under his clothes, a rash had spread to completely cover both of his legs. Somewhere along the way, dementia had crept up in Donnie’s life and it was crushing his hope of aging well in his own home.

Only when members of Donnie’s church dropped by after receiving a sizeable donation from him was the extent of his situation realized. Immediately, church members contacted Adult Protective Services and the court appointed a conservator. Donnie needed a home and the conservator found Seabury at Springvale Terrace. There was no where else he could go.

It was not an easy transition as Donnie was confused and angry. He had lived in his apartment for more than five decades, had worked nearly as long, and was a veteran. He didn’t understand why he had to move, where his personal stuff was, and he felt that people were trying to take advantage of him. At first he wouldn’t even walk into the apartment. Staff banded together to make sure that Donnie would become comfortable in his new home at Springvale Terrace. Zorita, Springvale Terrace’s Service Coordinator, sat with him almost every day for a month to listen to his concerns and help Donnie understand why the move was a positive change. All of his possessions had to be destroyed due to the extent of the infestation at his house so Zorita got him new clothes, bedding, and basic necessities. She even managed to arrange a caregiver to help him three days a week. For every meal, a staff member would drop by and walk with Donnie to the dining room, introducing him to his neighbors and making sure he had a friendly face to rely on. Victor, the activities coordinator, would drop by every day and urge Donnie to join in for the day's events.

Today the rash on his legs is almost gone, he has friends that he shares meals with, and when asked about Springvale Terrace Donnie explains “I like it, it’s beautiful, it's my home.”

Through the generous support of others, Seabury is able to provide homes for older adults that are desperately in need just like Donnie. One way that you can support our work is through AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile donates to Seabury every time you make a qualified purchase. With AmazonSmile, your everyday shopping is transformed into a safe place to live, transportation, hot meals, and more for local older adults and people with disabilities. Sign-up for AmazonSmile today: and share this story with the hashtag #SeasonOfSmiles.

Above, Seabury at Springvale Terrace residents enjoy an exercise class.

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