Pennybyrn at Maryfield

As a subcontractor for Allen MAC, I wrote a campaign case statement for Pennyburn at Maryfield continuing care retirement community in High Point, North Carolina.

Capital Campaign Case Statement

‘Doing Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways’

Maryfield is committed to doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways.

—from the Maryfield Mission Statement

Maryfield is embarking on an exciting, ambitious project that will add extraordinary breadth and depth to the range and variety of services it offers and to the number of people Maryfield can serve. Based on demographers’ projections, Maryfield’s sisters and directors have created comprehensive plans for a number of interrelated projects that will respond directly to the emerging needs of our aging population. With the completion of Pennybyrn at Maryfield, the Maryfield community will be a home senior adults and their families can count on for life, no matter how their needs change.

In 1927, when businessman George T. Penny built a mansion on 14 acres between Jamestown and High Point, he likely intended to live out his years in the stately yellow brick home he called Pennybyrn. Within five years, however, Penny had abandoned his dreams of life as a country gentleman and moved back to Greensboro. His wife Lena had been unhappy living in what was then such a rural setting.

In 1947, when five sisters of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God, a Congregation of Catholic Sisters made their way across the Atlantic to move into Pennybyrn, they were filled with ambitious plans to build a new hospital for High Point. With permission from their motherhouse—Maryfield, in Roehampton—the sisters renamed their rented mansion Maryfield. While seeking funding for the hospital, the sisters opened a convalescent home in the mansion and began caring for patients.

As their reputation for providing exceptional nursing care grew, the sisters recognized a growing need for skilled and intermediate nursing care well beyond what they could offer in their 22-bed convalescent home, purchased from George Penny in 1950. In summer 1963, the sisters set aside their plans for a hospital and decided to build a nursing home.

During the 18 years the sisters cared for patients in the Maryfield mansion, the community’s appreciation for their skillful, loving care took root and grew. Doctors learned they could send patients to Maryfield—even those unable to pay—and the sisters would provide nursing care of extraordinary quality. Patients and their families saw Christ’s healing spirit transcend differences in religious orientation, as Protestant recovered alongside Catholic and Jew.

The new Maryfield Nursing Home, with room for 60 patients, opened in 1965. By 1975, a new wing provided 55 more beds. Through gifts and purchases over the years, the sisters expanded the original 14-acre estate to 66 acres. In the mid- to late-1970s, the sisters oversaw construction on the property of 28 cottages for residential living.

Looking backward 75 years after George Penny built his mansion and 55 years after the sisters of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God arrived in High Point to build a hospital, God’s plan for Pennybyrn and the sisters seems clear. Under His loving guidance, the sisters of Maryfield have created a most exceptional community for Maryfield Nursing Home patients and for residents of Maryfield’s residential living cottages. Through the years, the care and service they have provided have earned Maryfield the respect, admiration, and love of thousands throughout the medical community and its governing and accrediting bodies as well as countless employees, patients, residents, families, and friends.

Now, the sisters of Maryfield are called to extend their extraordinary care and service to a much broader constituency of Piedmont Triad citizens. After two years of earnest prayer and careful planning, the sisters and the Maryfield Board of Directors are ready to transform Maryfield into a truly comprehensive continuing care retirement community. Very much in keeping with their tradition of “doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways,” the sisters and directors of Maryfield present their plans for Pennybyrn at Maryfield.

Pennybyrn at Maryfield

People do not come to Maryfield to die. They come here to live.

—Sister Maria Campion, S.M.G

In its 1999-2003 State Aging Services Plan, the North Carolina Division of Aging describes an urgent “demographic imperative” facing the citizens of our state. In the coming years, older adults will make up increasingly larger proportions of North Carolina’s total population and will, ultimately, comprise a larger demographic segment than at any other time in history. By 2025, more than two million North Carolinians—nearly one of every four state residents—will be at least 65 years old.

The fastest-growing group of all will be adults 85 years old and older. In 1999, 1.4 percent of North Carolina’s population was 85 or older. By 2020, demographers expect 2.1 percent of North Carolinians will be at least 85 years old.

Most older adults will remain reasonably healthy and able to live independently well into their advancing years. As they age, however, their risk of chronic illness and disability will rise. As they grow older, the percentage of people who need help getting around the house, bathing, dressing, eating, or using the toilet grows dramatically, from only 1.59 percent of adults aged 65 to 74 to 36.6 percent of adults 75 years old and older.

The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is also directly proportional to the number of older adults in the population. For North Carolina’s aging population, the state Division of Aging projects an increase in the number of moderate and severe cases of Alzheimer’s from 31,171 in 1998 to 54,168 in 2020. The division expects all incidences of Alzheimer’s disease, including mild, moderate, and severe cases, to total 94,499 by 2020, including 4,828 cases in Guilford County alone. By definition, people whose Alzheimer’s disease has reached the moderate level need specialized services and care. As the disease advances, Alzheimer’s patients require around-the-clock care. Unless researchers find ways to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, people showing mild symptoms today represent future need for specialized services.

With their deep, abiding reverence for the intrinsic dignity and value of life, the sisters of Maryfield have always dedicated themselves to helping those in their care to enjoy the best possible quality of life. Clearly supporting their stated core purpose “to demonstrate God’s love for seniors,” the sisters’ and directors’ plans for Pennybyrn at Maryfield reflect their thoughtful consideration of how they can best add breadth and depth to their longstanding tradition of providing extraordinary service to older adults.

Pennybyrn at Maryfield is designed to promote and support secure, successful aging for people of wide-ranging ages and abilities. The Pennybyrn at Maryfield Capital Campaign projects effectively complete Maryfield’s circle of care, creating a comprehensive continuing care community where people will come to live and enjoy the best possible quality of life no matter how their needs change with the passing years.

The Pennybyrn at Maryfield Capital Campaign additions will occupy approximately 20 of Maryfield’s 66 acres. Central to the project is a new three-story complex overlooking High Point Lake, with 131 apartments for independent living and 48 assisted living units, spacious common areas for dining and socializing, and a fully-equipped Wellness Center. The new building will also have its own “Main Street” shops, a business center, space for arts and crafts at the terrace level, and underground parking for 60 to 70 vehicles. Eight new cottages for residential living will also be built. An addition to the Maryfield Nursing Home will house Maryfield’s new Memory Support Community and the Intergenerational Care Center.

Pre-registration for Pennybyrn at Maryfield has already begun. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2004, and construction will conclude in 2006. Total costs are projected at $64 million, which will be funded by tax-exempt bonds, entrance fees, and fundraising. The Pennybyrn at Maryfield Capital Campaign will contribute $7 million to the overall project.

The Pennybyrn at Maryfield Campaign

Co-chaired by Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Greene, the Pennybyrn at Maryfield Campaign addresses three key priorities of the Pennybyrn at Maryfield project—The Memory Support Community, the Intergenerational Care Center, and the Wellness Center. To supplement funding provided by tax-free bonds, the Board has approved a campaign of $7 million.

The Memory Support Community

The Congregation is dedicated to serving the poorest members of society, and the focus is upon recognizing the value and dignity of all human life.

—Maryfield’s World Wide Web site

More than half the Pennybyrn at Maryfield Campaign’s proceeds are earmarked for the Memory Support Community. Dr. Uriel Cohen, an award-winning architect whose career focus is on environments for older persons—in particular, for those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias—has helped Pennybyrn at Maryfield’s architects incorporate his vision of what a memory support community should accomplish for its residents. The Memory Support Community will serve both Alzheimer’s residents and those suffering other types of dementia as well.

In every aspect of its design, the Maryfield Memory Support Community reflects Uriel Cohen’s advanced understanding of the profound impact of environment on residents’ quality of life. Conventional nursing facility designs are usually based on medical models, making them more like hospitals than homes. Dr. Cohen, whose books Holding on to Home: Designing Environments for People with Dementia and Contemporary Environments for People with Dementia received Progressive Architecture Applied Research awards, believes a social model is the more appropriate basis for residential care facility design. After all, he asks, “Who wants to live in a hospital?”

Instead of long, isolating corridors of patient rooms, Dr. Cohen recommends clustering bedrooms for no more than a dozen or so patient-residents around a common living room, an open “country kitchen,” an informal dining room, and an activity area with direct access to a patio or garden. Maryfield’s Memory Support Community will have three such “neighborhoods” of 12 residents each.

Each neighborhood cluster has all the amenities Dr. Cohen suggests, as well as its own spa-bathing room. Virtually every aspect of the Memory Support Community design is linked to specific therapeutic goals. Residents’ rooms, each with a private bath, will be relatively small and simply arranged to encourage social interaction outside of their rooms.

Strategic application of various flooring materials and textures will help residents stay oriented as they move from their rooms into common areas. Interior lighting will be designed to reduce confusion and restlessness at night. Shadow-box frames containing personal photographs and other mementoes will help each resident identify his or her room by tapping into intact long-term memories. These “memory boxes” also give caregivers and visitors a vivid sense of each resident’s personal history.

Each neighborhood’s “universal caregivers” will get to know residents well, and residents will feel more at ease in a relatively intimate, home-like setting staffed by familiar friends. Living as part of a small, well-defined group, residents will encounter many opportunities for performing meaningful tasks throughout the day. Such simple acts as folding laundry or shelling peas can give residents a satisfying sense of purpose and accomplishment. Gathering around the table while the staff prepares dinner in the open kitchen imparts a familiar, home-like “normalcy” typical of any kitchen table at suppertime.

Although specific symptoms vary among Alzheimer’s residents, the disease typically causes behaviors associated with agitation. A central strategy in caring for agitated patients involves redirecting their attention. Maryfield’s Memory Support Community will be filled with vintage art and accessories to capture residents’ interest and evoke comforting memories of times past. Since Alzheimer’s residents’ chronic restlessness can often be alleviated by going outdoors, the community will have a fully-landscaped outdoor wandering garden for use by residents of all three neighborhoods.

Based on Dr. Cohen’s recommended design strategies to minimize residents’ frustration and agitation, the wandering path will have a central gazebo to serve as a destination point from either entrance to the path. Residents may sit in the sun or shade, socialize, or cultivate waist-level garden planters. The wandering garden will be completely enclosed between the two wings of the existing nursing home and the building addition. A dividing wall of three artfully offset panels will separate the garden from the nursing home courtyard, keeping residents safe and secure.

The plans for Maryfield’s Memory Support Community represent the most progressive, contemporary thinking on Alzheimer’s resident care. Believing as they do in the intrinsic value of all God-given life, the sisters and staff of Maryfield will dedicate themselves to providing the extra measures of humane, respectful treatment of each Memory support Community resident, enabling the highest level of functioning and preserving the best possible quality of life.

The Intergenerational Care Center

Intentionally connecting generations improves the quality of life for all participants.

—Sandy F. Kraemer, Intergeneration Day founder

Many of Maryfield’s residents and staff grew up during a time when extended families lived and worked together. Interactions and interdependencies among children, adults, and seniors were integral to the daily routine. Parents earned a living and did their chores while grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins pitched in to look after the children. Older adults had ample opportunity to tell stories and share wisdom with youngsters. Children were familiar with the aging process and accepted it as a normal, natural part of life.

As our society has evolved, generations have become increasingly segregated. Working adults most often spend their days with other working adults, while their children join other children in day care and their parents either live alone or in long-term care with others their age. For the “sandwich generation,” child care and elder care often compete head-on with career and personal concerns.

Working parents frequently worry about leaving their children to the care of others. In one study, “Parents express wide-ranging concerns about turning the care of their children over to people whom they do not know, and who may not be well-trained, well-paid, or well-motivated. Moreover, they voice almost paralyzing fears about the possibility of neglect or abuse.”

Adults whose aging parents develop a physical or mental disability find care-giving an increasingly demanding, heartbreaking job. The Alzheimer’s Association notes more than 80 percent of Alzheimer caregivers report frequent, severe stress, adding, “Too much stress can be damaging to caregivers and the person with Alzheimer’s.” Many Alzheimer’s residents move from home to institutional care prematurely, not because their condition warrants it, but because their families are unable to cope with the relentless demands of care-giving.

By bringing progressive child care for employees under the same roof as high-quality day care for adults who need memory support, Maryfield’s Intergenerational Care Center will effectively address critical needs for dozens of families in most ingenious, insightful ways.

As part of the nursing home addition, the center will have two large, adjacent areas for the child development and adult day care programs. The Child Development Center will have four rooms where children can be grouped by age for activities and care. The Adult Day Care Center will have a large activity room, a health suite for medical treatment, and a quiet room for relaxation. Between the Child Development Center and the Adult Day Care Center, children and adults can gather and interact in the spacious intergenerational room.

Adults will enter and leave the center through the main lobby, while children will use a door next to the Adult Day Care Center. Both centers will have direct access to a secure outdoor area with rugged play equipment and comfortable, covered porches where adults can observe children at play.

Each day, the Child Development Center and the Adult Day Care Center will offer both age-segregated and joint activities. The child development program will provide children with enriching, age-appropriate opportunities to promote intellectual, spiritual, physical, and social growth. The adult program will offer therapeutic group and individual activities designed to satisfy each participant’s particular needs for intellectual stimulation, physical rehabilitation, pleasant recreation, and meaningful social encounters.

Staff members from the two centers will collaborate on planning ongoing intergenerational activities to unite the two groups. Whether structured or informal, all joint activities will be goal-oriented and mutually beneficial for all participants.

For Maryfield employees, the Child Development Center will offer an ideal solution to the child-care dilemma. Working parents will be comfortable entrusting their children to the care of trained coworkers, knowing the high standards of quality and professionalism that have always applied to Maryfield’s resident and patient care will apply as well to the care their children receive. Instead of spending countless hours coordinating carpools and family schedules, Maryfield’s employee-parents can simply bring their children with them to work, drop them off at the center, and get on with their duties for the day. They can concentrate fully on their work, knowing their children are close by and being expertly cared for by fellow members of the Maryfield family.

For families of Alzheimer’s patients, the Adult Day Care Center will offer respite from the often overwhelming challenges of caring for their loved ones. The Alzheimer’s Association is a strong advocate of adult day care, noting, “It is common to see that a successful adult day care placement is rewarded by an improvement in the patient’s behavior at home as well as a significant decreases in the caregiver’s sense of burden.” Caregivers will benefit from the expertise of the center staff who can offer objective assessments of their loved one’s condition, keep family members informed of the patient’s progress toward therapeutic goals, and help them determine when home care is no longer appropriate.

For the children who “go to work” there, Maryfield’s Child Development Center will be a happy place to learn and grow. For adult participants, the Adult Day Care Center program will enhance abilities to think and function, improve symptomatic behavior, and postpone the move from home to residential care. Children and older adults have much in common. In bringing them together, Maryfield’s Intergenerational Care Center will be a vibrant community of youngsters, staff caregivers, and seniors where connections can be made, understanding and mutual respect can be nurtured, and friendships can grow.

The Wellness Center

You should spend at least two hours a day on bodily exercise. However, if you should decide not to, you will someday spend two hours a day taking care of your disease.

—Thomas Jefferson

At any age, the ability to enjoy a superior quality of life is inextricably tied to physical health or “wellness.” For employees, regular exercise can enhance job performance, reduce absenteeism, and relieve stress. For older adults, staying physically fit can make the difference between living independently and needing daily care.

In study after study, researchers affirm the many benefits of physical exercise and its positive impact on quality of life for older adults. In one study of 100 frail men and women in their 80s and 90s, researchers compared outcomes for those who participated in 45-minute resistance training sessions three times a week and those who did not. After 10 weeks, study participants who exercised more than doubled their muscle strength. They could walk faster, climb stairs more easily, and were more active than control group subjects.

In addition to building strength, regular physical activity increases stamina, improves balance, controls body weight, and effectively extends years of active, independent life. Seniors who exercise regularly are less likely to fall. Their bones are stronger and less likely to break. Exercise can prevent, delay onset, or relieve symptoms of many chronic diseases and disabilities common among older adults. Intellectual and psychological benefits of exercise include better memory and concentration, reduced anxiety, and improved self-esteem.

Since the mid- to late-1970s, pioneering researchers in psychoneuroimmunology have been examining the interrelationships between body and mind. So far, their research has supported a mind-body connection, demonstrating physical health can be influenced by thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Progressive fitness experts now address not only on physical health, but mental and spiritual concerns as well.

This new, more comprehensive view of fitness makes trips to the gym much more meaningful and beneficial. Along with improvements in resting heart rates and cholesterol levels, practitioners of a holistic approach to health and wellness typically experience growth in awareness, understanding, and inner peace.

Since admitting the first patient to Maryfield, the sisters and staff have consistently provided extraordinary levels of care and service, helping hundreds of patients and residents at all ages and abilities achieve the highest possible degree of health and well-being. In their plans for Pennybyrn at Maryfield, the sisters and directors have shown their continuing commitment to promoting optimum health and quality of life by placing at the heart of their community a Wellness Center for residents and staff.

Part of the new independent and assisted living complex, Maryfield’s Wellness Center will offer many amenities and programs to strengthen seniors’ spirit, body, and mind. Near a well-equipped fitness room and exercise area, a meditation chapel will adjoin a tranquil outdoor meditation garden. The center will have its own doctor’s office, with a reception and waiting area, examination rooms, and offices for health care providers. The indoor pool will be especially popular among those with bone, muscle, or joint troubles.

The Wellness Center’s programs will be developed and supervised by qualified staff members who understand and believe in the mind-body-spirit connection and its direct influence on overall wellness. Drawing on ancient wisdom as well as contemporary scientific research, center activities will address the needs of the whole person, fostering comprehensive personal growth and development of both breadth and depth.

Campaign Priorities

The three priorities addressed by the Pennybyrn at Maryfield Campaign are crucial to Maryfield’s future as a continuing care retirement community capable of serving our growing population of senior adults. Integral to the plans for Pennybyrn at Maryfield, the campaign projects will serve all residents and effectively support them in their pursuit of the best quality of life for as long as possible.

The Pennybyrn at Maryfield Campaign

Memory Support Community$4,500,000
Intergenerational Care Center1,000,000
Wellness Center1,500,000
Total$ 7,000,000

Your Response

Throughout its first 55 years of service, Maryfield has been blessed with generous support from benefactors who understand and value the extraordinary service Maryfield provides. Maryfield historian Joe Exum Brown suggests George T. Penny forgave the sisters their debt shortly after they purchased his country estate. Year after year, supporters of Maryfield have contributed money, real estate, furnishings, professional services, and time. Each year, friends and employees give generously to the Maryfield Annual Fund. Maryfield has consistently proved worthy of support, using each gift to advance toward a higher level of service to God and to those of his people in their care.

With its $7 million goal, the Pennybyrn at Maryfield Campaign represents a significant financial undertaking. As integral components of Maryfield’s plans to become a truly comprehensive continuing care community, the campaign’s Memory Support Community, Intergenerational Care Center, and Wellness Center are unquestionably worthy of your generous support.

The Pennybyrn at Maryfield Campaign offers you and others who are part of the greater Maryfield community an opportunity to make a sound investment in the future of Maryfield and in the best possible quality of life for its residents and employees and their families. Maryfield’s sisters, board members, and campaign volunteers believe wholeheartedly in the importance of the Pennybyrn at Maryfield Campaign and are committed to seeing it through to a successful conclusion. Only with your help can they realize the campaign goal.

You may wish to designate your pledge or gift for a specific use. Regardless of your interests and priorities, the campaign will permit you to support those aspects of Maryfield closest to your heart. Named giving opportunities will be available, and the campaign staff will be happy to help you evaluate these opportunities and decide which one will be most meaningful for your and your family.


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