Home Is Where The Heart Is

(Photo Google Street View)

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Upon entering this simple brick ranch home in Monroe, NC, you feel like you are walking into the warm and welcoming surroundings of your Grandmother’s house. A small framed sign sitting on a beautiful built-in shelf reads “Our Resident’s Do Not Live in Our Workplace:  We Work in Their Home”. That statement encompasses the compassionate and nurturing family care environment at McLean Manor.

McLean Manor is a family care home and licensed assistive living facility for senior adults located at 4115 Rocky River Road South in Monroe.  Pam Smith, a licensed RN and facility administrator, took ownership of the home in 2018. With the extensive help of Thomas McLean Jr., and his sister, Julia (McLean) Tsitouris, Ms. Smith was able to renovate the home to be used as a family care home. It is now licensed as an assistive living facility for seniors.

Inside the decor is warm and welcoming. The rooms are filled with beautiful pictures and hand-crafted wooden signs depicting bible verses, following in the Christian tradition of the late Reverend Thomas McLean and his wife Doris “Dobby” McLean. Together, the couple served over ten churches across the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Also, there are pianos in both the sunroom and activity room, a nod to Mrs. McLean and her beautiful singing voice. The rooms are clean and tidy, with comfortable furniture and plenty of natural light from the many windows. There is a formal dining room where residents enjoy family style home-cooked meals made with southern flare and approved by a registered dietician.  Ms. Smith and Ms. Enrica Moore, house manager, were both complimented on being fantastic cooks, as was Ms. Dobby McLean. There are regular visits to the home by a physician through Advanced Care House Calls. Residents also enjoy a variety of enriching activities like painting, games, bible verses, gentle exercises, and ice cream socials at least three times per week with Terry Moore, a certified activities director.  An incredible team of staff and CNA/Certified Medication Technicians provide personalized care around the clock for residents. There is also an adorable on-site therapy dog named Carmella.

McLean Manor was the family home of the Reverend and Mrs. Thomas McLean, Sr. Mrs. Doris “Dobby” McLean, suffered from end-stage dementia and was being cared for in the home by a full-time staff of around the clock nurses hired by the family.  It was the family’s wish that Mrs. McLean was able to remain at home as her condition progressed. As the required medical care and supervision for Ms. Dobby became more difficult to maintain, the family found that they needed to pursue an assisted living facility situation.  They knew that they wanted a family-centered environment for the matriarch of their family. Mrs. McLean then became a resident at Fairfield Manor in Marshville NC.

Adult family care homes (AFCHs) are family-style assisted living arrangements. Housed in private residential home settings, AFCHs provide elderly residents with around the clock care from licensed and certified home health care and medical staff.  Room, board, personal and medical care are provided for a maximum of six residents, usually up to two residents per household bedroom. The staff to patient ratio is significantly lower than that of a large care facility, making compassionate personalized care a practical option.

While Doris McLean was living as a resident at Fairfield Manor, the McLean family became acquainted with Pam Smith, a registered nurse.  Ms. Smith had extensive hospital and home health experience and had worked in family care homes in the past. Warm and caring with a bubbly personality, she enjoyed the low staff to patient ratio, which allowed for more personalized direct care and a close relationship with the patient and their family.  The family was so impressed with the care that Mrs. McLean was receiving, that they approached Ms. Smith with the idea of opening a family home care establishment back in Monroe.

Becoming the owner and administrator of what would become McLean Manor, seemed daunting at first, stated Ms. Smith, but “it came looking for me”, almost like a calling.  The family worked very closely with Ms. Smith and offered the McLean family home up for purchase as the property for the establishment. As Pam Smith took on the roles of lead RN, owner, and administrator for McLean Manor, the family helped to renovate the building to meet all necessary standards.  The McLean children, Julia (McLean) Tsitouris and Thomas McLean, Jr., were central in helping to bring the establishment into existence.

The home opened its doors to residents in 2018.  Mrs. Doris McLean was a resident from September of 2018 until she passed away in November of 2018.  Two additional residents, Ms. Betty Jones, and Ms. Harriet Barr, also joined the McLean Manor family in the fall of 2018.  

Onsite staff consist of Ms. Pam Smith (RN, administrator, owner);  Ms Enrica Moore (house manager, resident care, ADLs, cooking, and medication);  Refain Monroe, Cheryl Medley, Amy Jenkins, Vicki Youst, and Janice Aycoth (CNAs and certified medication technicians); and Terry Moore (certified activity director).

I was able to meet Ms. Enrica Moore, who also provides exemplary care to the residents of McLean Manor.  The daughter of a nurse herself, Ms. Moore discovered her love for nursing care while caring for her ailing grandmother.  She is both a CNA and certified medication technician. She spoke of how difficult it is to provide quality, loving care at a larger facility. Ms. Moore found that the environment at a family care home was more conducive to her benevolent nature. She came to McLean via word of mouth and has been happy ever since.

McLean Manor is currently able to welcome four more senior adults into their family of residents.  Prospective patients and their families participate in an extensive interview process to ensure that each finds the best fit for their needs and personality.  McLean is a private pay facility for quality long term care and does participate in VA benefits. They are licensed and inspected regularly.

For more information about McLean Manor, please email them at FCH@gmail.com, or visit their FaceBook page “Olive Branch Family Care Home” or their website olivebranchseniorcare.org

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