Your HomeBlock Number: 54
By Nora Worthen
Rose Hill, the assisted living facility located on Fleming Avenue, is host to a 6x6 quilt block created by the McDowell Quilt Trail volunteers. On September 7, Mike Lucas, with the assistance of Jack Raker and Marilyn Reynolds, spent the morning installing the block affectionately named “Your Home.”
The installation of “Your Home” on the east-facing wall of the brick structure was completed under the watchful eye of one resident of Rose Hill, Mr. Dewey Arrowood, 90, formerly of the Brackett Town community, who recalled the building when it was the former Marion General Hospital from 1952 until 1983.
In 1983 the building was vacated and remained vacant for several years, eventually becoming an assisted living facility. In about 2002, Nancy Wheeler and Tracy Makela, living in Charlotte, each with a background of 30 years of in-home health care, including critical care, long-term care, and pharmacy, were hired as consultants to train, hire, and place policies into effect, which would bring the facility up to operational standards.
Wheeler and Makela made the commute every day for a year and a half, sometimes working 15 to 16-hour days to accomplish this task. Nancy says, “We fell in love with the residents, the area, and the people in Marion. By this time, we had decided that this was our calling. We wondered: Why are we doing this for someone else?”
In 2004 they bought the business and formed a corporation under the name of Your H.O.M.E., Inc., which stands for “Your Home Options in a Managed Environment.” In order to eliminate the daily commute, Wheeler and Makela rented an apartment on James Street in the old Marion General Hospital building (1930-1952). Both families eventually bought homes in the Marion area, and Tracy’s husband Don, who is also an RN, began working for the corporation in 2007.
At the present time Rose Hill is filled to capacity with 85 residents and a waiting list, employing three RNs and 50 support staff. Nancy explains, “We assist the residents with daily living tasks, such as dressing, bathing, taking medicines, providing meals, and activities.” Nancy or Tracy personally take each resident to all doctor’s appointments in order to get correct orders and assure proper follow-up care. Nancy says, “Our philosophy is if you treat people right, you don’t have to worry about other things.”
When asked about their interest in the quilt trail, Nancy explains, “the quilt blocks are so unique and express community spirit. We wanted to be a part of that. We have been blessed by the people of McDowell County.” The design of the block called “Your Home” was chosen to express the name of the facility and the name of the corporation. The block depicts a rose in lovely shades of pink, unfolding to reveal at its center a home in a rural setting.
When deciding on what they would call their new business, the name Rose Hill seemed to express a place of loving and calming serenity. The pink azaleas that bloom in the springtime, the roses that Tracy has planted in honor of her mother, who is a resident, and the gardens out back where the residents gather for picnics, eat watermelon, and/or plant and tend their own tomato plants, or just to rest under the shade tree, speaks to just that.