FAIRBORN — The Summit assisted living apartments were built 15 years ago with 58 units and memory care with 28 units added seven years ago.
“[Assisted living] means a person who needs assistance with activities [in relation to] daily living, medication management, food and socialization are [helped in doing so],” Executive Director John Hamilton of The Summit said. “We have an assisted living license through the Ohio Department of Health. We have rules and regulations, [including those for] checking our medical records, medication administration, food, maintenance, water temperature for seniors, just to name a few.”
It includes a staff of 50 individuals; four nurses and a doctor, but assisted living seniors can use their own doctor if they choose. Employees make sure all of the medical needs are met with their seniors, some on a daily basis, others on an as-needed basis.
The Summit is currently working on its dream project, which is pouring sidewalks all around the building as seniors love to walk and business leaders feel it would be nice to grant them that wish.
“We like to entertain outside, so we are expanding our patio to have more benches, chairs and places for entertainment to come in,” Community Relations Director Cheryl Shaver said. “Raised vegetable gardens are in the future plans so seniors can taste their fresh food they have helped to grow.”
It includes restaurant-style dining meals and can be provided straight to residents’ rooms on a tray if they choose. The apartments include kitchenettes with kitchen cabinets, microwave, pantry, sink, refrigerator and fire safety equipment. The Summit additionally permits seniors to keep their pet as it may serve as a therapeutic effect keep their spirits up.
“I love working with the seniors, doing activities and outings — it’s so rewarding.” Shaver said, “Krista Harding, our activities director, helps plan our outings, live entertainment, lunch and a variety of activities; keeping them busy and helping them with socialization. Many have been in their home and haven’t been able to be with people their age and coming there helps couples and singles to make friends and feel safe.”
Krista also provides a “Make A Wish” list for new residents when residents first come to the Summit, in which she asks,” if there is a wish or a dream she could fulfill what would it be?” Some of the dreams are simple as wishing to see old friends. A 90-year-old resident who had never been in a plane and wanted to go up for a ride, so Summit employees found a small airport and made her dream come true.
Their community involvement includes helping the veterans with the Honor Flight event, serving as a Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce member, supporting the Fairborn Senior center in activities and with 25 turkeys at thanksgiving and the Christmas in July activities. Shaver and Hamilton said they would love to get on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to show more support for the military and organizations with military ties.
“We live next to [WPPAFB] and veterans help provide service and support for us, so it’s our duty and privilege to provide service and support for our vets,” he said. “We love our veterans, we are so close to Wright-Patt; if you walk around our community, you will see the little plaques with name, branch and emblem of their military service outside their doors we placed to honor them.”
Cost for staying at The Summit is handled privately on a personal basis, veterans may be eligible for help from the government.
“We have monthly fee schedule and depending on how much help or assistance you need would determine the cost,” Hamilton said. “In our community, each resident is provided an apartment to furnish with your furniture and cherish items. All meals, weekly housekeeping with linen service, around the clock nursing staff, three daily meals and activities are all included, as well as bus service to doctor appointments, social events, shopping and outings. Supportive staff in medical services therapy agencies, health or hospice if needed — we are here for you.”
Hamilton said usually children who are interested in signing up their parents first drop by and check the place out, adding that The Summit welcomes surprise visits as officials want children to know their parents will be safe and happy there.
Anyone is welcome to make an appointment to take a tour and talk with officials calling 937-754-9820.
“I feel blessed and have been my whole life both personally and professionally, so I want to give back,” Hamilton said. “Our motto is: ‘we want to create an environment here where people are loved, inspired and thriving. We give out laughter, hugs and happiness and want ours to be the best place ever as we are just like family.”
JoAnn Collins is a longtime resident of Fairborn and guest writer for the Fairborn Daily Herald.