Two Decades Later and Still Happy
Deep in Portland, Maine’s, historic Lunts Corner neighborhood, just beyond the lighthouses of Casco Bay, lies Holiday Retirement’s The Woods at Canco. The community opened its doors 20 years ago and one of its first residents, Alice Allen, still lives there.
For Alice, the decision to move into The Woods at Canco was an easy one. She had been living alone for more than 20 years and was facing hip-replacement surgery. A brand-new place with housekeeping and home-cooked meals seemed like the perfect solution.
And it was the perfect solution. Alice came to enjoy the beautifully maintained grounds, the wide variety of activities available and, of course, the people. She has made many good friends over the years, though some have come and gone, and she remains an active member of the community.
In fact, Alice recently was honored as “Female Resident of the Week” after being nominated a whopping 17 times for the award by residents and staff. And it’s no wonder. Neighbors describe Alice as comforting, nice and helpful.
“She’s just so special, so goodhearted about everything,” said Judy, a close friend of Alice’s. “We watch ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy’ on the phone together every night.”
“She has been here longer than anyone, but she is still open to trying new things and letting change happen,” said Molly Donlon, resident experience coordinator at The Woods at Canco.
Prior to coming to Holiday, Alice was a secretary to the controller and treasurer of Maine Central Railroad. She worked next to Union Station in Portland, a historic gem in the city until its unfortunate demolition in 1961 — an event that is still the source of controversy around Portland.
“I was sad to see it go,” Alice said.
These days, Alice finds the most joy in reading books and hearing other people’s opinions. She is a member of the resident-run book club and the first to join when it’s time to play “You Be the Judge,” a popular game in the community.
If you ask Alice what has kept her here for 20 years, she’ll tell you it’s her home.
So much can happen in 20 years. We get older and, hopefully, wiser. Bouncing babies turn into adult children and grandchildren who have their own points of view. Trends and fashions change and then, inevitably, return. But for Alice, The Woods at Canco has remained mostly the same. Sure, her neighbors have gotten a little older, but the level of support and assistance available to residents remains unchanged.
“Holiday offers everything I need,” said Alice, who turns 99 in November. “I love the atmosphere and the friendly people.”
If you’re considering a move to senior living, Alice recommends Holiday, which she describes as “clean and secure.”
“There’s a variety of people here, but I can be by myself when I want to be,” she said.