two Springhill residents stand in the aquatic center pool
Mary Stewart, left, and Valvet Uboldi are two Springhill Aquatic Center enthusiasts.

Stepping into Springhill: Embracing New Beginnings

From her first step inside Springhill, Mary Stewart felt at home. “I could not have found a better spot,” she says. Along with friendly people who support and uplift each other, Mary loves the pool, the beautiful, spacious campus and the many amenities that enrich her life each day.

A lover of the outdoors, Mary has hiked in state parks near the various cities she has called home and as far afield as England, Scotland, and Spain.

Staying fit is easier than ever

Now, she works out a little closer to home. Mary is thrilled to be able to log a 2-mile hike without leaving the Springhill campus. She’s also a regular at the pool where she not only swims but is a regular in the water aerobics classes. Due to a serious of surgeries for joint issues, a pool workout is just what the doctor ordered. “I’m in deep, warm water, so I don’t stress those joints,” says Mary. And she’s still amazed at the ease of it all.

“You just go downstairs and there’s the pool,” says a delighted Mary, who points out that “winter in Erie can be pretty rough.” She’s also made a new friend, Valvet Uboldi, with whom she shares a love of the water.

Senior health services were key to move

While lifestyle considerations put Springhill at the top of Mary’s senior living list, the Erie-based continuing care retirement community’s continuum of health services played an equally strong role in her decision-making process.

Poor joint structure meant that by her 70s, Mary had already had two knee replacements and was facing a second hip replacement.

The decision to move to an apartment at Springhill, where she enjoys a “lovely view” from her balcony, also brought what she calls the most important step to preparing well for that surgery – an experienced advocate.

Elective surgery support

Upon her move, Mary began a series of pre-surgery exercises for hip replacement surgery under the supervision of Springhill’s physical therapy team. (See 3 Keys to Joint Replacement Surgery Success blog post.)

Having spent her career in hospitals, both on the clinical and administrative sides, Mary knew how important that was. “You need to have a plan in place for when you are discharged, but you also need to have an advocate who understands what your goals are and what it takes to get you there,” she says. “You’re really not in shape to advocate for yourself coming out of surgery.”

Springhill’s Care Navigation and rehabilitation therapy teams worked with Mary to determine goals, help prepare her pre- and post-op, and ensure a smooth transition back to her apartment.

With Springhill’s new Aquatic Center, Mary now has one more reason to love Springhill – a great new way to exercise and stay strong in joint-friendly way.