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SENIOR LIVING AMONG FRIENDS
What are the two most important factors to consider when selecting a care facility? My answer is the timing of the move and the humane quality of the care provided.
My wife Gwen and I watched each of our mothers when they had to choose a nursing home. They both received reasonably good quality in the care they were given, but it was provided by strangers. We thought that was very sad, particularly at that time in their lives.
We decided to make that all-important decision relatively early in our retirement and settle into a Continuing Care Community like Franke Tobey Jones while we were still fully active.
We chose a lovely duplex cottage and lived for eleven wonderful years as independently as we would have on our own anywhere in the city—except we didn’t have to worry about the physical maintenance of the cottage!
Then, as my wife’s health deteriorated rapidly, we needed care and assistance to meet the challenges of her condition so we moved across the street into an apartment in Tobey Jones’ Assisted Living program. Any move, late in life, is complicated. Such a move, when it is complicated further by both memory loss and a pandemic, would normally be a nightmare.
Ours was not. It was not easy, but it was manageable for two reasons. Our wonderful family plunged in without reservation, but so did our wonderful friends, the staff at Franke Tobey Jones!
Therein lies the importance of timing. Friends matter. They matter significantly when you are not feeling well. We had lived with the staff at Tobey Jones for eleven years. They knew us and we knew them. We thought of them as our helpful friends and we always hoped that they thought of us similarly (they certainly treated us as if they did).
Now, we are fully in their hands and we feel comfortable, cared for, and at ease in what we know already are good hands. We know that we will have the highest quality of personal care because that is what we have been enjoying for eleven years. Moreover, we still live with our other friends for the last 11 years, the other residents of Franke Tobey Jones who still live across the street.
Our parents chose to live at Franke Tobey Jones (FTJ). It always felt like home to them and home to their family when we came to visit.
Initially, they joined the Wellness Program and attended exercise classes along with residents and community members. They enjoyed the classes and the comradery, and always looked forward to participating. The beautifully equipped Wellness Center and professional and encouraging staff remained the center of their FTJ experience for years to come.
When one of their “selected” Duplex residences (Independent Living) became available, they moved in immediately. They had become familiar with FTJ, the beautiful campus, the engaged residents, and friendly staff, and were pleased to become residents. As they moved in future years to Assisted Living, and our Mother to Memory Care and Skilled Nursing, they always felt comfortable and welcomed. The dining room was a highlight of everyday – delicious food choices, lots of Vanilla ice cream, and visits with the waitstaff and other residents. All the FTJ divisions contributed to a wonderful campus life – Reception, Wellness, Food Service, Personal Concierge, Housekeeping, Building Services, Transportation, Accommodations, Enrichment, Nursing, and Administration.
We are full of gratitude for the attentiveness, professionalism, care, fun, and dignity the FTJ staff gave to our parents over the years. It was their home.
I moved to Franke Tobey Jones in 2017 and I always felt good about it. My husband needed extra care, and he received excellent care in the Health Care Center. I felt at home in my duplex from the moment I moved in with all my favorite things. I was warmly welcomed during my first days here, and have enjoyed the social events ever since. Being single in a duplex has never felt lonely as there are regular gatherings, although they have been virtual lately. The weekly newsletter, Tobey Topics, lists a schedule of events for that week, as well as other campus news. One can be as busy or relaxed as wished. It is a lovely place to live.
I toured the Duplexes here at FTJ and fell in love with the units right away! I no longer wanted the maintenance and other burdens and issues that go with owning my own home, but I wanted the feel of living in one. So, I put my name on the waiting list and waited for the call to come that one had become available. It took awhile but I didn’t want to go anywhere else, so I waited patiently. That was the best decision I’ve ever made in my adult life!!! I have now been here just over a year, and I have never felt more grateful that I got this dream of a perfect size home, with wonderful neighbors, help when I need it from a great maintenance team, a wellness center for exercise just a building away, a voice that is heard over community issues, and so much more! My adult children are thrilled to know I am in such a safe place, and with a spare bedroom ready when they can visit. I feel I have given them the gift of not having to worry about me by being in such an ideal place where my needs are met in such an awesome way!!!
Mom started out in skilled nursing in November 2017 as she really needed the attention from Drs. and nurses. They did an amazing job of taking care of her and getting her in right away after Shirley gave us a tour of the entire campus. My sister and I chose a room for Mom that was cozy and bright. After Mom got better my sister and brothers with the help of staff chose a room for Mom in assisted living as Mom was ready to live independently with the help of nurses and aids to dispense meds etc. and dine with new friends in the beautiful dining room. We shared meals with Mom in the dining room and met new friends ourselves. Mom enjoyed watching her new home being built from her great window view in Assisted Living as she is now in the new Memory Care building. Once again we helped find her a beautiful place in the new building with a private bathroom and window view of the landscaping. She has been in her 3rd stage on campus for almost a year and with COVID we have done virtual visits and window visits. Staff has done as amazing job with Mom and we consider FTJ employees FAMILY . Mom could not have gotten better without their professional, skilled, loving employees. I can’t say enough good about FTJ. THANKYOU for taking care of our precious Mom.
In the midst of missing family visits, attending usual events and visiting with other residents, I’m so glad to be at FTJ. While in the outside larger community so many are dealing with this illness, having their lives turned completely upside down, I need not worry, and am grateful knowing caring staff will provide whatever I need.
The staff is very friendly and extremely competent. They take very good care of their residents and provide high level of stimulation in the form of classes and lectures. The caregivers are qualified and engaged. The best facility for a wide range of needs.
We have been at FTJ (in independent living) for just over a year and are very happy with our choice to move here. Our location adjacent to Point Defiance Park is a big plus, offering a variety of gardens, trails, waterfront, park, zoo, aquarium and bike routes. That is particularly welcome in this time of social distancing. FTJ is quiet, feel secure and takes excellent care of us – as demonstrated by their excellent record thus far dealing with COVID! Many qualities will be noticed in the facilities, in the skilled and thoughtful staff, the experienced administration, as well as the company of the other residents. Now everyone is looking forward to the eventual resumption of numerous well planned activities which are currently “on hold.”
My wife and I have been at Franke Tobey Jones since 2018. The staff is absolutely the best! The meals are outstanding and the facility beautiful. During the recent COVID 19, the staff has shown itself to be resourceful and innovative in keeping all of their residents safe. We highly recommend Franke Tobey Jones to others like us who want great surrounding, great food and to be treated what our age deserves.
In 2018, Sally and I moved to Franke Tobey Jones for support for her life challenges. After her death, I thought about moving out into the community or back to the ocean. While we loved living at the ocean, all medical and support services were at least 85 miles away. FJT is at the center of my medical needs and community involvement.
I now live in the Garden Apartments, and while the current virus has changed much of our social contact, the apartments provide me with a sense of belonging to the community as we have the freedom to travel throughout the Tacoma area. When we moved from our home in Ocean Shores, we jettisoned most of our kitchen supplies. I have a beautiful kitchen now and I am now beginning to use it for my benefit.
If I have a concern, there are wonderful people on staff who will help you at a moment’s notice. They become our extended family. I continue to use our Wellness/Fitness Center six days a week and walk in the adjacent Pt. Defiance Park several times each week.
A Real Gem in Tacoma, WA
My husband and I have been ”happy campers” since we moved to Franke Tobey Jones last year, settling in in one of the apartments in the newly opened Bristol View building. We love the location – its proximity to Pt. Defiance Park, the zoo and the aquarium, as well as the award-winning Dune Peninsula. Enjoying the outdoors is just a few steps away. Our bird feeders attract goldfinches, siskins, nuthatches and hummingbirds – they are our entertainment at meal times. Having lived in Germany, we welcome and appreciate the half-timbered architecture of the buildings around the campus. It sets FTJ apart from the other CCRC communities in the area. Landscaping is neat and well maintained throughout, with outdoor common patios which are a motivation to explore the campus. Friends have been complimentary on the attractive greenhouse and the raised beds around. There are enough activities to choose from and keep the residents busy. I work out at the gym as much as possible and I find Colin and Sarah most helpful in giving me individual attention. We feel cozy and comfy in Bristol View – the furnishings are well appointed and tastefully selected. Before the pandemic, we hosted friends in the game room. The library is a handy place to find a good book – no library card needed!
Best of all, FTJ is efficiently and professionally managed and run as an effective and caring team. From top to bottom, the staff is attentive to the needs of the residents. We give them 10 stars!!
Tobey Jones is a beautiful and safe place to live. Staff took immediate steps, clearly communicate to protect us from the pandemic. Six month later, no resident infections. Can’t beat that for care.
Franke Tobey Jones has a fabulous staff, every one of them! They are a very special team. They help all of us in many ways. The campus here is beautiful. We love to walk through it frequently seeing all the trees, shrubs and many colorful plants. We are so fortunate to live here and know we couldn’t have chosen a better senior community than Franke Tobey Jones.
FTJ is a wonderful place to live. I feel safe, cared about and happy. There is a always something to learn or do if you want, but there is freedom to do nothing, it that’s what you choose. It is a very compassionate, caring place to be. I am grateful.
Beautiful location near Point Defiance Park, good maintenance, caring staff responsive to concerns. The new Care Center (skilled nursing and memory care) is state of the art, designed with consideration or ideas considered by physician/author Atul Gawande in Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. Wonderful range of activities available before COVID-19 restrictions and anticipated to resume when pandemic is over. Independent living here is great.
ER staff were on their toes and worked to diagnose the internal bleeding. The overnight observation lasted four night to make sure all was OK. Well taken care of by RNs and CNAs. Meals were ok, but wouldn’t recommend as gourmet. Good place to go when hurting!
It is not an easy task to make plans for one’s future retirement years. It often means giving up a home you love, changing neighborhoods you know, downsizing in ways that seem unthinkable a few years before. Two years ago we made those hard choices when we decided to move to Franke Tobey Jones Retirement Community. We are so happily settled here in our independent living cottage. We have made new friends and enjoy an array of programs and social gatherings. We love the informality and friendliness of this community. And we do not miss anything about caring for a large home with upkeep, maintenance, gardening, etc. We know that as our needs change we are in a place where they will be met by a professional, caring staff who know us. We are excited about the beautiful new Health Care/Memory Care facility now being built right here on our campus. We are looking to the future with confidence. Now in our mid eighties, it doesn’t get any better than that.
We moved into the brand new Franke Tobey Jones independent living Bristol View building in the fall of 2019. We had been considering senior options and were extremely impressed when touring the new Memory Care and Assisted Living buildings. We are currently independent, but feel we want to spare our children from health care related problems. And happily they and their families are close by. We are in the brand new Bristol View Independent Living Building, although there are other options. The main common area floor is spacious with downstairs reception room with small kitchen, a restroom, mail boxes and parking garage. Flor one has apartments and a game room with fireplace. Floor two is identical but has garbage receptacles and a well stocked library also with fireplace. There are various floor plans for apartments. The views on one side are the beautiful gardens and Tudor buildings of FTJ. Floor 2 is next to Pt Defiance Park with views of Commencement Bay, Port of Tacoma and Mt Rainier! Most important we have been enormously impressed by the staff! They go out of their way to be helpful and keep everyone smiling! Fabulous exercise classes and machines, option for meals or not, Senior University is open to all and even small gardens for gardeners who have left their own gardens behind. Everyone at FTJ seems to want to be helpful and during COVID they have been super vigilant! We highly recommend Franke Tobey Jones.
Caring staff who are trying to keep us safe in this time of COVID-19. They are keeping everything as near to normal as may be. Great place to “social distance.”
Franke Tobey Jones is an excellent facility. The staff is friendly, well qualified, attentive and they care about their residents. The response to COVID has been stellar. It’s such a comfort knowing my mother is in such good hands, especially during thee difficult times. The campus is beautiful and the the skilled nursing facility is top notch. I highly recommend!
We are enjoying a quality retirement in a friendly environment. The employees are the very best making our live easy and carefree. Knowing again needs can be met in the complex eases peace of mind. We would recommend FTJ highly to anyone.
Franke Tobey Jones is a great community. I have visited it two times and stayed in one of their guest houses in November 2019. The people who work there are caring, enjoy their work and have worked at FTJ for many, many years. They have an excellent staff. Because the staff of FTJ is so well taken care of, they are able to better care for the resident; the staff is happy and so are the residents. I enjoyed my visit. I ate in their dining rooms. The food is excellent, everyone remarks positively about it. There are exercise classes, a gym with a physical trainer able to provide good instruction. The classes were fun, and the gym had a wide variety of equipment. In another area there is a physical therapist. The residents get together and create book clubs and play card games. There are lots of things to do with nice people. There is even a wood working room The grounds of FTJ are beautiful. Great areas for walking and Point Defiance and the Sound is nearby. Some of the apartments in the newer apartment building actually have views of the Sound. All the apartments are beautiful, spacious and well designed. The building has many additional amenities. The duplex cottages are equally wonderful and are an excellent choice for independent living. I also looked at the assisted living units and found them cozy with relaxing vistas from balconies or patio areas. I highly recommend FTJ to anyone interested in living in a senior living community. This is a safe, loving community of caring people. It’s because of the people who work there that it is such a great place. The physical qualities of the apartments, duplexes and the grounds are an extra plus. I look forward to moving there in 3 – 5 years.
Franke Tobey Jones provides an energetic community-home, safe living and plenty of support for my father for nearly 2 years. The FTJ staff know my father by name and provide excellent care day after day. He enjoys living in the Franke Tobey setting, has made many friends and feels welcome in the community. The staff is always willing, able and available for conversation by phone, email or in person. The facilities are clean, bright and well appointed. The nurses and staff work diligently to attend to the residents’ needs and are committed to top quality care. My family and I feel blessed we found a loving home for my father and the best is knowing he is enjoying the lifestyle at Franke Tobey Jones.
I give Franke Tobey Jones a five-star rating every day I’m here! My husband Ron and I moved here in 2016. We’ve been grateful every day since then. Ron’s numerous health conditions required more help than I could give him alone, so an assisted living facility was right for him. I, on the other hand, am healthy. I was surprised and delighted to discover that Franke Tobey Jones is the right place for both of us!
Franke Tobey Jones has something for everyone! With nurses and CNAs on staff 24 hours; we can get much of our health care services here without having to make a trip elsewhere.
FTJ, in fact, has everything we need and more: We use the beauty salon regularly, the libraries (four of them on campus!), the podiatrists, the lab tech. I indulge in the exercise classes, Thai chi, yoga and the gym whenever I can. There are numerous discussions available, a foreign policy discussion monthly, book discussion;’ lectures; socials; classes from flower arranging to wood-working, art, dancing; frequent field trips like the trip to Canon Beach, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Boeing, even to a chocolate shop.
Importantly to us, we can be as active and social as we want and also as private and also as we want. The food is prepared by a master chef. It’s like living in a luxury hotel! The best part of all is the compassionate and competent staff – in EVERY area and the many friends we’ve made among the residents.
We are happy here.
Franke Tobey Jones Continuing Care gives us the support we need today and as we age. We even got to bring our spoiled cat Rusty!
Franke Tobey Jones is a first-class retirement community without outrageous fees. The grounds are like a college campus. The old English architecture is charming. The staff is fabulous; they care deeply about the residents – our health and welfare. The staff always smiles and when asked will tell you they love working here. It’s possible to make new friends, enjoy events and outings, engage in Senior University offerings, and have good food too! I highly recommend FTJ without reservation. Take a tour, you’ll see what I mean.
Carol Moore recommends Franke Tobey Jones: ”My parents have been residents at FTJ for many happy years. My sisters and I are very glad they live there. When any of us visit, we are always impressed with the quality and variety of the food, the smiles and friendliness of the staff, and the cleanliness and appearance of the facility. There are many activities-physical and mental- the residents can be involved in by choice. The staff has always been extra helpful, friendly, and great to work with. Any problems or questions my sisters or I have are responded to and worked out. When we were touring retirement living options years ago, my sisters and I were totally sold on Tobey Jones and delighted that our parents felt the same way. Definitely the best decision we made! Thanks to everyone for the good care, nice job!”
This is just a note to thank all of the FTJ family for the regular updates, and most importantly for the extra effort you are making to make my mother and the other residents as comfortable as possible during this difficult time. My mom is lucky enough to have basic computer skills (drilled into her by her three sons when we moved her there 13 years ago!) and we talk by Skype at least once a week. She never fails to mention the loving care she is receiving from the staff there. I think I have heard about the ice cream delivery at least three times! In a time of such fear and confusion, there are no words to express my gratitude for the work your staff is doing to provide what comfort you can to my mom in her life there.
Franke Tobey Jones is a beautiful retirement community: the grounds are lovely and well maintained, and the range of living accommodations from independent to health care support gives one peace of mind for future needs. My husband received excellent care when he was in the Health Care Center, and I am very happy living in one of the spacious, well-designed duplexes.
We research a variety of retirement living options before ultimately settling upon Franke Tobey Jones. Our decision met or exceeded our expectations in every positive way!
My wife and I wanted independent living arrangements and enjoy our spacious duplex. It provides everything a private residence would offer without the worries of any maintenance issues. The available campus amenities will satisfy many intellectual and hobby interests. The Wellness Center offers highly qualified instructors that tailor exercise routines and classes to fit individual needs. Neighbors and staff are very congenial. Franke Tobey Jones (FJT) management has kept all of our residents safe and well during the COVID pandemic. We are more than pleased with our decision to move here and strongly recommend FTJ as you evaluate continuing care facilities.
I feel that FTJ has bent over backward to help us survive the COVID crisis; from preparing and delivering meals to Hallway Happy Hours and to running errands for us, the staff has been wonderful and has done it all cheerfully.
I have lived here 12 years, and it is home to me. All staff, including high school students working in the kitchen, are respectful to us, and polite at all times. It is also fun – there are many activities even now during the time we must wear our masks and keep apart. I particularly enjoy my garden. We are helped to communicate with our families by a concierge in our buildings.
Altogether, the warmth of friendships, fun activities, and personal help make this a delightful home
I have really appreciated the connection FTJ has been able to maintain with our family during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s been great having someone onsite who can assist Mom. The recent help she got from the Facilities Team was just one great example. They were so nice and Mom was so happy to have items she needed brought up from her basement storage locker.
The little extras are a nice touch. Mom really enjoyed the ice cream treats; flowers for Mother’s Day was special too. 🙂
Our whole family appreciates the entire staff at FTJ for all you do for Mom.
Stay the course… Stay safe.
This is just a note to thank you and all of the FTJ family for the regular updates, and most importantly for the extra effort you are making to make my mother and the other residents as comfortable as possible during this difficult time.
My mom lives in the Garden Apartments. She is lucky enough to have basic computer skills (drilled into her by her three sons when we moved her there 13 years ago!) and we talk by Skype at least once a week. She never fails to mention the loving care she is receiving from the staff there. I think I have heard about the ice cream delivery at least three times!
In a time of such fear and confusion, there are no words to express my gratitude for the work your staff is doing to provide what comfort you can to my mom in her life there. I wish I could be there to take part in the Springtime Parade. What a beautiful idea!
I know that you and your staff are reporting to work in the midst of your own world of fear and uncertainty for yourselves and your loved ones. Please leave some energy to take care of yourselves too. I look forward to seeing everyone in person when it is safe to visit again.
God bless you, and best wishes for your health and safety.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the AMAZING job you ALL are doing. I am SO grateful every single day that we were able to move my Mother in Law, Dee Havlina, into FTJ last October after she broke her hip. She never wanted to move out of her home. But she is SO completely happy there. And our family has complete peace of mind knowing that she is getting the very best care on the planet. I’ve been impressed from Day One, and every single day since then, that FTJ is the most professional, compassionate, engaging, supportive retirement community I’ve ever seen. Every single staff member earns an A+ every day. I just can’t thank you enough.
My decision to move to FTJ has proved to be a wise one. I expected a full range of care available. I hadn’t anticipated the warmth of new friendships with residents and caring staff. It’s an atmosphere if community and family.
Franke Tobey Jones is local and not-for-profit. Management is forward thinking. Staff is caring and competent. Friendship among its residents abounds. Its campus is beautiful and its location cannot be surpassed: adjacent to Point Defiance Park and within eyesight of Puget Sound. If the Pacific Northwest has captured your heart, Franke Tobey Jones will also.
My parents, now both in their nineties and still living independently, moved to the Garden Apartments of Franke Tobey Jones in 2009/ Eight years later, my husband and I moved into one of the duplexes. We’ve been so impressed with Franke Tobey Jones over the past years that we moved nearly 3,000 miles to be here! It’s a blessing to be near my parents and it’s a blessing to have us all so well cared for and thought of.
My grandparents received loving care under difficult circumstance, and FTJ made every effort to let them live together during their last days, which was an extraordinary gift.
When my mother moved in, again, special consideration was given to meet her needs and communicate well with her family. The concierge, who makes it her business to smooth the way and solve problems, is a model of patience and people skills, and makes all sorts of things happen in an apparently effortless way. As residents find it more difficult to articulate the finer details of their experience, they are feeling the presence of such kind and effortlessly patient people throughout the facility.
The chef and servers in the dining room the room, cleaners and so many others are extraordinarily gracious, flexible and personal, and it is a strong healing influence which helps the residents reset each day from the impatience they may feel from their families or even express with themselves regarding their disabilities.
At times, the residents may not really be able to tell these caring staff how much it means, or even be polite, but that is the supreme art of their accomplishment to be beautiful lights of humanity who sincerely show everyone they are wonderful, important and liked.
All our business dealings are clearly handled, and the overriding atmosphere is that this is a family support enterprise. Everything is low key and oriented to helping the residents enjoy their time.
The transportation support, fitness classes and education and cultural programs are far superior to anything we have found. My uncle and aunt are moving in too, and when the times comes, I expect we will too.
I think the same comments apply to the chef – lively with short thinning blond hair and a roundish face. His good humor and perfect willingness, coupled with an energy and delight in his work cooking for them, have the same effect.
Moms says every day now how it is a good place, and she feels especially safe because Shirley (concierge) looks after her, and the dining room calls, and JJ stop to ask her about classes, and the woman who started Toastmasters invited her, etc. Jean said at dinner “I can’t believe how lucky we are to be in a place this this.”
Our mother resided at Franke Tobey Jones for nearly 9 years. Form the dining staff to the nurses and aides to the administrative, maintenance and cleing crew who saw her on a daily basis, she was always treated wit respect, kindness and affection. They were like family to her. We were confident that she was safe, hapy and caerd for. And we were amazed by the close attention she received. Her comfort and medical needs in her later years were a top priority. This gave her peace of mind and did the same for her family. We are so thankful we chose Franke Tobey Jones.