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Residents find care at every level

Nancy and Clay Thompson have experienced a number of changes in their lives since arriving at Salina Presbyterian Manor in September of 2020.

Initially they dealt with the complexities of moving during the height of COVID-19, yet found a comfortable home at their Independent Living apartment.

“We didn’t really want to make the move then, but I knew Clay would need more care,” Nancy said. “We were in Independent Living for a year, and I was able to keep him with me. After that first year, he had to move to Healthcare due to Alzheimer’s. But I can be with him every day and still have my independent apartment.”

Despite COVID limitations, Nancy was glad they made the decision to move when they did - and it didn’t take long for the couple to make friends in their new home.

“We couldn’t go to the dining room, but we could mingle with the people on our floor,” Nancy said. “Clay enjoyed that. We’d meet every day at 3:30 to drink coffee or tea. Clay and I knew so many people from church, so we already knew a lot of people here.”

When Nancy and Clay started looking for a community to call home, they had a good idea what they’d need over the next several years.

“There are a lot of nice retirement areas, but we knew Clay would need care really quickly,” Nancy said. “We knew that Presbyterian Manor was a place where we could move from one level of care to another. And everyone has been wonderful. I am happy to be where I am, and glad I live here.”

Throughout the past two years, Nancy has found many ways to keep herself engaged, and use her talents, around the community.

“I play piano at the memory care wing,” Nancy said. “The activities department asked if I’d start coming over and play. I also play in healthcare and they love to sing the old songs as I play."

Despite some of the challenges with Clay’s health, Nancy has been thankful to live in a community that offers all the care they need, and to be surrounded by people who make life fun.

“Once we could get back to the dining room, you just get to know everybody in there,” Nancy said. “I’m very lucky to sit at a table where we laugh at each other and our lack of memory sometimes. I tell them it’s good medicine for all of us.”

Both Nancy and Clay had careers in education - Clay as a school administrator and Nancy as a 1st grade teacher. They have four sons, with two still living in the Salina area.

“They blessed us with 15 grandchildren, and they’ve given us 27 great-grandchildren,” Nancy said. “Keeping up with family is a big ordeal.”

Nancy and Clay also loved to travel - and have visited all 50 states, and most of the country’s national parks.

“We loved road trips and preferred to drive,” Nancy said. “Seeing the United States is as pretty as any place in the world. I’m happy we did all the traveling we did. We met lots of dear friends and family.”

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