Grace Morgan House Assisted Living

Why Grace Morgan House? - A Personal Letter from Scott and Suzanne Erickson

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Why Grace Morgan House? - A Personal Letter from Scott Erickson
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Dear Prospective Resident,

We believe that senior care is best delivered in a small residence versus a large, corporate, resort-style facility.  A smaller size leads naturally to more personalized relationships between everyone involved. In smaller settings, care and attention can be given at a level that is difficult, if not impossible to achieve in a large, corporate facility. The last ten years owning and operating the Grace Morgan House has convinced us that this is true.   We are not the only ones to think so: 

From Newsweek, Aug.1, 2005

“From upscale residences in California to family-sized nursing homes in Mississippi, living facilities for the elderly are undergoing an architectural and cultural makeover: big, sterile institutions are out, small homey environments are in. The advantages: cozy living, privacy (individual bedrooms and baths) and time for caregivers to get to know residents – not just their medical needs, but their life stories too.”

Many seniors, particularly those who are confused, find large, resort style facilities confusing and intimidating.  Our size provides a manageable setting, one in which residents can easily become familiar with their surroundings.

For residents who have difficulty walking, the short distances between apartments and common areas at the Grace Morgan House, versus the long corridors of corporate facilities, are a godsend. Our smaller size increases opportunities for socialization and makes it easier and more likely that a resident will participate in activities and conversation in our common areas. Most importantly, our size allows us to develop highly personal and individualized relationships with our families. This helps to insure that communication is at a high level and allows us to work closely with our families as their loved one’s needs change.


From Consumer Reports 2012 Survey of Senior Care Residences:

“For the fifth time since 2007, Consumer Reports is out with a list of facilities that rank as either the best or worst, going by its investigators' criteria for quality. They analyzed state inspection reports on 16,000 senior care facilities across the country.”


“Consumer Reports' analysis found that not-for-profit homes generally provide better care than for-profit homes, and that independently run homes appear to provide better care than those that are owned by chains.”

 “One reason the independently owned and not-for-profit facilities might do a better job is that they tend to have more staff, which experts agree is crucial to good care.” 

“While our investigation suggests that you or a family member might receive better care at a not-for-profit or independently owned facility, they make up a small portion of the industry. Since the establishment of Medicaid, the state and federal program for the poor and the elderly, in the 1960s, for-profit homes have come to dominate the field."

Some other things to consider: 


Meal times are one of the most important times of the day for seniors.  We place a high importance on food and the socialization around meal time.  Almost all of our meals are made from scratch, and feature a wide variety of “comfort” foods.  We only use fresh fruit and vegetables.  Our cook comes from a restaurant background rather than an institutional food services background. 


When considering an assisted living residence, the key question should always be about the staff.  We are especially proud of ours; not only our certified nursing assistants (CNAs), but also our registered nurse, social worker, activities director, cooks and housekeeper.  Over time, the Grace Morgan House has been especially rigorous in identifying and hiring the finest staff in the region.  Simply delivering care has never been enough. In order for patience, love and kindness to be sincere, they must spring from the CNA naturally. Not all CNAs are naturally patient and kind. Our small size means that the same CNA that helps you with your care, also serves you meals, helps with your meds, and does your laundry.

In addition:

  • We have a very low CNA staff turnover – this allows our CNAs to develop close relationships and detailed knowledge of each resident’s health and care issues, idiosyncrasies, likes/dislikes and daily routines over an extended period of time.
  • We have the highest CNA to Resident ratio in the Merrimack Valley – during most times of the day and night, we have a 13 to 1 resident to caregiver ratio (versus 25 to 1 in some facilities). 


Again, because of our small size, we are able to offer an activities program that has the unique ability to adjust to the very personal needs and interests of our residents.  Rather than have a one large activity for everyone, we are able to create activities for small groups or individuals with a particular interest. 

Thank you for considering Grace Morgan House.  We invite you to come by for a visit.  A phone call to arrange a time and day is appreciated, but drop in visits are usually not a problem.  Suzanne and I are almost always here.


Scott and Suzanne Erickson



Grace Morgan House  489 Prospect Street  Methuen Massachusetts  01844     978 682 4324