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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 12/20/2018

Full Circle

Full Circle

It’s not often that life truly comes full circle, unless of course, you’re Joyce Trebing.

Joyce’s parents came to Washington, D.C. in 1925, and moved into an apartment on New York Avenue. Ironically, they moved to D.C. from New York.

Joyce remembers her mother telling her that when they moved to D.C., it was in the middle of January and bitterly cold. Her mother was apprehensive about the move, but they stayed in D.C. and created a very comfortable life in their new apartment.

A few years after the move, Joyce was born at Sibley Memorial Hospital in August of 1927, roughly one year after Sibley was built. While digging through old documents and photo albums, David Trebing, Joyce’s son, came across a certificate from the Sibley Memorial Hospital Baby Guild. The Baby Guild is a club that celebrates the children born at Sibley Memorial Hospital. The certificate was signed by the president of the Baby Guild at the time and stated that his mother was charter member number 270, which meant she was the 270th person to be born at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

David, a history aficionado, was thrilled with his discovery and talked to his parents about Sibley and his mother’s upbringing in D.C. He found it fascinating that Sibley has been such a long-standing institution in the community, and his mother literally grew up with the hospital.

“It’s incredible to see how the hospital has changed over the years, but I appreciate that it’s still focused on family and community,” said David.

David was born and raised in Nebraska after his father accepted a professorship at the University of Nebraska. Until he moved to the nation’s capital, he only experienced his family’s D.C. roots through stories and photos. Eventually, the Trebing family made their way back to the city to settle into the place Joyce called home.

After leaving Nebraska and before moving back to D.C., Joyce began suffering from signs of dementia and was living in a senior living community in Michigan. David wasn’t a fan of the hospital being so far away from the senior living community. With Joyce’s dementia, the trip in the ambulance often confused and frightened her. Compounding this problem was the fact that her family usually wasn’t notified of her condition until she had already arrived at the hospital.

After moving back to D.C., Joyce needed a place that could provide her with a higher level of care. David and his brother were looking for communities for their mother when they came across Grand Oaks Assisted Living. Grand Oaks is located on the campus of Sibley Hospital, which is an affiliate of Johns Hopkins Medicine and enjoys a world class reputation for delivering quality healthcare.

Recently, Grand Oaks was awarded the American Health Care Association’s Bronze Quality Award for its commitment to improving the lives of residents through excellent care. The program honors association members across the country that demonstrate their dedication to improving the quality of care for seniors and persons with disabilities.

“We’re honored to receive such a prestigious award,” said Laurie Henley, Executive Director of Grand
Oaks. “Everything we do here at Grand Oaks, from our dining options to our care programs, focuses on improving the well being of each resident. We take our commitment to quality very seriously and each team member, regardless of their position, embraces this commitment.”

The staff of Grand Oaks believes in improving the quality of life for all residents through physical, social, and spiritual activities; premier care services and programs; and a dedicated nursing staff. Grand Oaks has an on-site Nurse Practitioner who is at the community full time and is a member of the management team. The community also offers onsite occupational, physical and speech therapy.

Beyond the world-class care, Grand Oaks offers a full schedule of activities ranging from book clubs to resident socials, and from exercise classes to theater and concert outings. Operated by an acclaimed local chef, the dining program features locally grown and sourced organic items. Residents enjoy delicious foods to nourish their bodies and enriching activities to feed their minds and souls.

For the Trebing family, Grand Oaks offered the best of all worlds. They wanted a place with a hospital close by that was convenient to where they were living in D.C., so they could visit frequently. They also wanted a community that would provide the level of care and attention their mother needed to feel comfortable. It didn’t take long for them to realize Grand Oaks was a perfect fit.

When David found out that Grand Oaks was literally connected to Sibley Memorial Hospital by way of an underground tunnel, he immediately had a smile on his face. “It is perfect that the place we thought stood out from the rest happened to be connected to the hospital my mother grew up with,” said David.

“When we started this search, we wondered why there weren’t communities physically connected to a hospital,” said David. “Grand Oaks was the only one we found.” The Trebing family visited Grand Oaks twice and knew it was the place for mom. It wasn’t long after the move-in that the amenity that they liked most was put to the test.

Early one Sunday morning, Joyce needed to go to the hospital. The staff at Grand Oaks notified the family and transferred Joyce to Sibley through the underground tunnel. She made it to the hospital and was in her room before her family got to her. It’s important to note that they only live a few blocks from Sibley. This was the superior level of care that the Trebing family had so desperately desired.

“The close proximity of Sibley to Grand Oaks is extremely comforting. When you need the care, it’s there and it’s a lifesaver, literally,” said David.

Joyce has been living at Grand Oaks for a little over a year now, and the Trebing family has noticed her improved quality of life, as well as her perpetual happy mood. They attribute her well being to the high-quality, hands-on care at Grand Oaks.

“With mom being at Grand Oaks, it’s like she came home,” said David. “She was born at Sibley, raised near Sibley, and the next chapter of her life includes Sibley. This hospital has been a part of her life since day one.”

Today, Joyce is spending the next chapter of her life where it all began, and that sentiment isn’t lost on her. “Dementia has presented some real issues for mom, but she always remembers that she was born at Sibley and that she grew up not too far from the hospital,” said David.

Her short-term memory may be affected, but Joyce will always know that she came home. She came full circle and is living a full life at Grand Oaks.

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