Our Stories

An unwavering commitment to care

She hasn’t cooked them dinner in a long time. Or told them what to wear. Or said the words, “I love you.”

But she is still their loving mother, and that’s why, now that the tables have turned, they take care of her the way she once took care of them.

David and Maureen’s story

What do you do when your husband of 35 years, who had been fading over the years, suddenly “falls off a cliff” and you find yourself checking him in and out of hospitals and nursing facilities? You hope you meet an angel — in this case a social worker at Village Healthcare nursing facility, who tells you about Providence ElderPlace.

That’s exactly where Maureen Whitman found herself in September 2012.

Don's story

Don is 91 years old and a retired military veteran of WWII. He loves classical and organ music, which has been the center of his life from a very early age. After retiring from the military, he studied music at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. He then became very active with the American Guild of Organists, where he helped design and install a number of organs in the Portland area. He worked as a music teacher and organist until late in life, up until he could no longer climb the stairs to the organ loft.

Finding his place at Irvington Village

Steve Merritt is a longtime Oregonian. He grew up in Astoria with his dad, who served in the Coast Guard; his mom, who worked for the city; and his two brothers. He played football, wrestled in high school and marched all over the state as part of a drum and bugle corps.

Maintaining dignity. Emphasizing independence.

Emma lives in a downtown apartment and values her independence. A stroke nearly ended all of that.

New executive director

Hello, my name is Ellen Garcia and I’m so thrilled to be called to serve as the Director of Providence ElderPlace Portland! I started on September 27th and have already been truly impressed by the dedication and compassion of our teams.

Pete's story

Pete was a brilliant man. He had a keen sense of humor, loved schooling, and spent many years as a student, but he’d had some rough times. A long history of abusing drugs and alcohol was taking a toll on his body. He had completed many addiction recovery programs, only to relapse and start drinking again.

Once while drinking, he fell, hit his head and suffered a concussion and bleeding on the brain. He ended up at Gateway Rehabilitation Center where he was referred to a psychologist and diagnosed as manic depressive.

“The diagnosis changed his life,” said his sister Paige Giberson. “For the first time his depression was being addressed as a link to his excessive drinking.”

Providence Elderplace in Irvington Village welcomes new physician.

"Their trust is my greatest reward," says Chester North, M.D. "My philosophy of care is that care is a partnership between the patient and the physician. The physician advises and educates; the patient decides."