Our Stories

15 years of Cully care

On Aug. 15, 2011, Providence ElderPlace in Cully threw a party to celebrate 15 years of service.

Since 1996, those who have called Cully home include published poets; professional artists; a female wrestler; military veterans; immigrants from England, Cuba and Uruguay; former models; an actress; a Department of Justice employee who oversaw bingo parlors; several piano teachers; a Food and Drug Administration expert; a professional roller skater; many dancers; an adult foster home provider and hundreds of other unique individuals.

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.

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.

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.”

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.