Words of Wisdom from a Pine Run Lakeview Resident
When Edmond Corini first entered Pine Run Lakeview, several years ago, it was to visit his wife Mary, who had moved to the personal care home in Bucks County PA, when she needed support and assistance with her daily tasks and activities. Over the months that Mary lived at Lakeview, Ed got to know the home and its staff members well and saw first-hand the attentive, compassionate care they delivered to every resident.
After Mary passed away in September 2017, Ed continued living in the cottage they had shared in The Village, Pine Run Retirement Community’s independent living neighborhood in Doylestown Township. They had moved to Pine Run in 2008, after Ed retired from life as a “corporate gypsy,” moving up and down the East Coast.
He enjoyed the company of his neighbors and the activities at The Hub, Pine Run’s sparkling new community center. But by 2021, Ed had suffered a stroke, and although he recovered fairly well, he did lose peripheral vision in one eye – and that changed everything.
“That was a precursor of what might come,” Ed said. “With the loss of peripheral vision, I started developing a balance problem, so I have to be very careful how I walk. I gave up driving. I knew I needed more help on a daily basis.”
In the fall of 2021, Ed consulted his primary care doctor, who validated his feeling that it was time to make the move to a personal care home. Ed knew what his next step was. He called Kate Gilbert, Senior Director for Personal Care, at Pine Run Lakeview, a personal care home in Bucks County PA.
“I was extremely pleased with the care my wife had received when she was at Lakeview,” Ed said. “I knew that was where I wanted to be, and I wanted to move in while I could still plan and oversee the move.”
Ed’s initiative is rather unusual in the world of personal care, said Juliet Kozak, Director of Social Services and Admissions at Lakeview. It isn’t typically the person who is moving into a personal care home who makes the call, sets up the tour, and fills out the paperwork, Juliet said. It’s usually a family member.
“Nobody walks through my doors and says, ‘Yes! I get to move into assisted living,’” said Juliet. “Ed was so unique in the manner that he went about this. The choice was supported by his family, but it was driven by him. So it was a wonderful experience; it made downsizing and moving easier to accept because he was in the driver’s seat.”
Corini, who will turn 92 years old in April 2022, said he discussed the move with his five children, who are spread out along the East Coast. They all supported his decision, he said.
“I talk to them every week, and we discussed the fact that moving earlier than I strictly had to would let me take advantage of my ability to take control and to plan,” Ed said. “So there was no forcing and no lamenting of anything.”
An engineer by training and by temperament, Ed obtained a detailed plan of his Bucks County PA room at Lakeview. Knowing the dimensions of the room gave him the opportunity to sketch out a floor plan with his own furniture, to see what would fit. After he identified the belongings he wanted to take with him, movers were able to move the furniture in and set up the room so it was mostly ready for him on move-in day.
On Nov. 15, 2021, Ed officially moved into Pine Run Lakeview. Even on his first trip down the hall, people were calling him by name. “From the day I moved in, the staff knew me, so that was a nice welcoming feature that helped me feel at home pretty quickly,” he recalled. “When I went to my breakfast this morning, they brought out my orange juice and coffee without me even asking. That makes you feel like you’re an accepted part of the community. “I’m very pleased with my life here at Lakeview,” Ed said. “The move has worked out well for me, and I’m glad I moved when I did.”
Ed’s words of advice for others who are considering a move to a personal care home:
“Don’t wait for circumstances to force you into a rushed decision. Doing as much planning as you can beforehand is very beneficial.”
“Start with a plan but then be prepared for some changes, and be accommodating to those changes.”
Get a floor layout ahead of time
“I did a drawing with my furniture laid out, so I knew what would fit and what wouldn’t. That was a big help.”
Be ruthless in downsizing
“No matter what you think you’ve gotten rid of, you haven’t gotten rid of enough. I still have stuff I brought with me that I know I’ll never use – suit jackets and dress shirts that I don’t need any more. So I’ve got more stuff to get rid of. And I don’t miss the stuff at all.”
“You’ve got to be prepared to accept the changes. The sooner you accept them, the sooner you settle into your new life.”