Resident Testimonial: Mary and Frank Wright

Barbara Whalen

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we take care of one another here. The community at Grand Oaks is just marvelous.

“When my husband Frank and I first came to Grand Oaks, I didn’t expect to stay permanently. We had lived in the home where I was reared in Chevy Chase, MD, surrounded by all of Frank’s art. He’s a world-renowned painter and print maker and taught at George Washington University for more than 45 years.

When we were first married, we lived in Italy and Paris, before coming back to the Washington, DC, area. When we returned to the United States, Frank began his academic career and I started work at the Department of the Interior, and we’ve been married for 62 years!

Frank suffers from dementia, and I had been his caretaker. Running down the stairs of our four-story home, I fell and broke my ankle. We first came to Grand Oaks under respite care for two months. As I was healing from my broken ankle and receiving physical therapy, Frank became quite the celebrity! Everyone knew him, and he was very comfortable here. His condition worsened, and I knew that staying permanently at Grand Oaks beyond respite care was the best for him.

The staff at Grand Oaks is simply magnificent! They know Frank and his needs. They’re available every moment of the day, too. They have been so responsive and accessible to anything we need.

I’ve found that most of the relationships – friendships, really – that I’ve built at Grand Oaks have been over the dinner table. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have some lively conversation and spend time with one another. That’s where we meet other people, and it’s been very helpful for us. We really look out for one another here at Grand Oaks.

There’s something happening here every day. We have entertainment and happy hour every Friday night. My days are very full here, and the sense of community is very real. I still act as Frank’s caretaker, but it’s still very reassuring to know that help is so close by when it’s needed. Caring for him is very much a full-time job, and I’m always thankful for the help the staff at Grand Oaks provides.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we take care of one another here. The community at Grand Oaks is just marvelous.”

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