CANANDAIGUA — Gloria Harrington always keeps in mind the mission of Quail Summit.
“We’re in the business of caring,” said the executive director of the Canandaigua senior living community, which is in its 18th year of operation.
Harrington and Community Outreach Director Alice Berry said Quail Summit prides itself on providing its residents with quality housing and a range of offerings tailored to their needs.
They range from The Estates, which offer independent living for seniors who may no longer want the responsibilities of home ownership, to The Harbor, for those who may need additional supports, to The Village, for those suffering memory loss who may need a helping hand.
Quail Summit is not, they stressed, a nursing home.
“We’re here to promote independence,” Harrington said.
A nursing facility, Berry and Harrington added, is the step to take when the supports Quail Summit provides — such as assisting with medications and other daily living needs — are no longer sufficient.
Having the three offerings in one facility allows residents the opportunity to stay at Quail Summit as their needs change.
“We have what is called a continuance of care,” said Harrington.
“There is an advantage to coming into a community that’s going to keep you happy and healthy and in the same place,” Berry added.
The emergence of at-home care services has provided some competition for facilities such as Quail Summit.
“People want to stay at home,” said Harrington. “Those services didn’t exist five or 10 years ago.”
However, Berry noted, those agencies provide living assistance within a specified number of hours — and maybe not at the times seniors really need it.
“Those hours could happen anytime of the night,” said Berry. “We’re there 24 hours to meet their needs.”
That 24-hour coverage provides peace of mind for both residents and their families, said Berry and Harrington.
The Quail Summit director said she came out of retirement two and a half years ago to serve as Quail Summit’s “interim” director for 90 days. She never left, and the interim title is gone.
Assisted-living facilities such as Quail Summit are generally private-pay, and Harrington thinks that’s “a shame,” because they provide a bridge between home living and a nursing facility, generally the most costly form of care.
With fewer people with defined pension plans, Harrington said, “my generation is not going to have the money” for private-pay assisted living.
Quail Summit has capacity for 108 people, and Harrington said it averages about 103. While 62 is the minimum age people can become residents of Quail Summit, most are in their 80s or older, she noted.
Two of them are Ginny Crowley, 89, and Joe Bader, who is 101. The two, who both served in World War II, are good friends and enjoy life at Quail Summit.
Crowley said she loves the people who work at the facility, and that if she does have issues, they are quickly resolved.
Bader, who repairs old aluminum chairs for fun, loves his home.
“It’s very nice, and there are nice people running it,” he said.
His daughter, Peg Brady, said Quail Summit is a great setting for her centenarian father.
“We love having him here,” she said. “They take great care of him. He has lots of friends here. They treat him nice.”
Berry and Harrington said Quail Summit’s residents don’t just spend all their time on the campus; they are part of the Canandaigua community — from lunch and dinner outings at area restaurants to a chorus that cut an album at Finger Lakes Community College. They perform at the Continuing Care Center at UR-Thompson Health, which is just down the street from Quail Summit and whose location is convenient for the facility’s residents.
“We’re so connected to the world,” said Berry.
One of the offerings Berry and Harrington are most proud of is the Second Wind Dreams program, which fulfills wishes residents might have. It could be an Honor Flight trip, a trip to see far-off family or even a balloon ride.
“We had one lady who wanted to have her fortune told,” Berry said.
Harrington said she is proud of the Quail Summit staff, noting that such work — and the hours that go along with a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year operation — is not for everyone.
“They choose to be here,” she said. “They want to help. They’re caring people.”
Berry said she wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
“I go to work and feel like this is what I am supposed do,” she said. “This is who I am.”