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Seniors Got Talent

Five Friends Share their Journey into Assisted Living

photo of The five Red Bank Baptist friends at Morning Pointe of Hixson

A Testimonial

By Heidi Pino

Five members of the Faith Sunday school class at Red Bank Baptist Church are now residents at Morning Pointe of Hixson, Tennessee. Their friendship went beyond Sunday morning class as they used to go out to eat together and host class potlucks. I recently spoke to them about their friendship and their journey – what assisted living looks like from their point of view.


The ladies

Marlene Eberhart, Inez Parson, Pat Arnold, Helen Neville, and Ann Bell


Pat was the first to move into Morning Pointe. She moved in about six years ago.

Pat: I was living at my home, but I had fallen and broken a hip. I realized I could not take care of myself at home. I came here from rehab to stay a month. And one month went to two months. After about three months, I decided, “I just need to stay.”

Heidi: What were your impressions when you first moved here?

Pat: I thought it was a great place. I have the highest praise for this place. I had a stroke since I’ve been here and didn’t realize I’d had it, and they found me, took the action that I needed, got me to the hospital. I couldn’t talk. I slurred my words. And listen to me now. I’m very grateful to the nurses and the RAs who were on duty at that time. They saved my life.

Inez moved in second.

Inez: I came Nov. 1, 2020.

Heidi: So, what led to your decision to come here?

Inez: I lived by myself in my home, and I fell down the basement steps and broke my hip, and I couldn’t go back and go up and down all those steps, so my son and his wife made arrangements for me to come here, and it’s been real good. Everyone is real nice.

Heidi: What did you think about Morning Pointe when you first moved in?

Inez: Everyone was helpful, and they’ve been very nice to me during the whole time, and I appreciate that.

Heidi: Were you glad to see Pat here when you came?

Inez: Oh, yes, Pat and I had known each other for years.

Marlene was the next to move in. She has been at Morning Pointe for about a year and a half.

Heidi: What led to your decision to move here?

Marlene: We talked to some lady who took us around and everything, and she was very, very nice and informative.

Pat: Marlene had fallen and broke her neck.

Marlene: It’s nice here. If you want something, you’ve got it before you can tell anybody you want it. The RAs are good.

Helen was the next to move in, in September 2021.

Heidi: So, what led you to move in here?

Helen: I had fallen two or three times. So, I decided I would move since I lived alone in a condo. I decided that I would just sell my house and move over here.

Heidi: What were your thoughts when you first moved in?

Helen: This is my decision, so I’ll have to make the best of it because I wasn’t jumping up and down to move, but I knew I had to do something.

Marlene: That’s a big shock, too, isn’t it? When we realize it.

Helen: Yes, it really is.

Pat: My closest relatives are nieces and nephews. They love me. We have a very good relationship. I love them. But I am not their responsibility. I want to be where they don’t have to worry about me. They know I’m being taken care of, and they can go on with their lives like they want to. Someone asked me one day if I love this place. No, I don’t love it. I like it a lot. I don’t get up in the morning and say, “I hate this place. I wish I weren’t here. I wish I were still at home.” I have to get up in the morning and say, “Thank you, Lord, for a place like this.” And most of the time, I’m happy. I’m happy with my friends and new friends. When I was home, I was by myself. Here I’m with people. I enjoy that – I’m a people person.

Heidi: And, Ann, when did you move in?

Ann: I think it’s been about four weeks.

Ann stayed for about a month at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga at Shallowford with her husband, Buddy, before they moved to the Hixson location.

Ann: I did not want to leave my home. It took a long time for me to almost agree to do it.

Pat: And she called me.

Ann: Yes, I called Pat, and I soon began to like it. I wanted to be here [in Hixson] because I wanted to be closer to my friends and to my neighbors and my daughter. It was just the thing to do to help them out. That’s how we came to be here. We knew we had to do something eventually, so with the help of both our girls and their husbands, we did a lot of checking these places out, and they felt very comfortable with coming to here.

Heidi: Would you ladies say that your friendship has grown since you’ve come here and are living close together as neighbors?

Pat: Probably.

Heidi: What sort of things do you all like to do together?

Pat: We play cards in a group, and we do crafts and art projects.

Inez: And we eat.

Pat: We like the activities. We like the game shows. We play things like Jeopardy! and Joggin’ Your Noggin’ and bingo. A lot of people like bingo.

Heidi: What would you all say to someone who might be considering assisted living but isn’t sure about it?

Marlene: I’d tell the women, if you want a vacation, go for it! Go over there and stay for at least a week. You’ll be waited on and spoiled! I have not done a thing since I’ve been here. I’d also tell them, you need to check into it. And I don’t care how prepared you are, it’s a hard decision to make.

Pat: I like that we frequently go out to lunch. That’s nice for somebody to drive you to a restaurant and have lunch out.

Heidi: And what advice would you give to someone who has decided to move in for getting ready to move in?

Pat: Look forward. Don’t look back.

Ann: Come and look around and talk with them and see what they’ve got to say about it, and ask your friends.

Helen: Make your own decision.

Heidi: What would you say is the best part about living here?

Pat: The people.

Helen: Having somebody to talk to.

Marlene: When we have people come out here to sing. I enjoy them.

Inez: It’s so good to be with all of these people. When you live by yourself, you really don’t understand it until you move into a place like this, and the people are all very good.

Ann: When we were looking for a place, we considered the fact that so many people from Red Bank Baptist were here that it must not be bad. That was a comfort to us.

Friendships can continue and grow in assisted living.

Contact your local Morning Pointe community to learn more about living options or to schedule a tour.

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