Parker Memorial Home breaks ground in Monroe

Story by Stella Morrison, Sentinel on
MONROE — The Francis E. Parker Memorial Home will soon bring its longterm care services to Monroe.

The Piscataway-based company broke ground June 12 on Parker at Monroe, a 96-bed nursing-care facility to be located on 28 acres at Schoolhouse Road and Route 522. The facility is expected to open in approximately 18 months.

“This is a very special day for Parker and for Monroe,” said Clifford E. Holland, chairman of the board at Parker Memorial Home. “It makes perfect sense to have a Parker at Monroe to offer residents superb, long-term care.”

Parker Memorial Home, which currently operates nursing care and assisted-living facilities in Piscataway, New Brunswick and Highland Park, broke ground after conducting significant research into the need for a nursing home in Monroe, according to Parker Memorial Home President and CEO Roberto Muñiz.

“We are going to take what works best and bring it to Monroe,” Muñiz said. “Monroe Township is an area that is desirable for us. Monroe has a significant population that would benefit from long-term nursing care services.”

Parker Memorial Home holds a philosophy that views aging as a “natural stage of life.”

“We provide a very unique style of nursing home that hasn’t been seen before, that I can think of,” Muñiz said. “The village-style setting will provide a homelike setting for the community.”

Parker at Monroe’s 96 beds will be subdivided into three 32-bed homes, united by a common clubhouse building that has casual and formal dining, a chapel, and the services that a nursing home typically provides.

“One very special feature is that each of the houses will have its own designated entrance,” Muñiz said. “At Parker, you don’t come to an institution. You come to a big house.”

That approach to senior care has led to a lengthy wait list — 700 seniors have signed up thus far for Parker at Monroe’s services.

“We have a philosophy of caring for the person in a setting that embraces the residents in a natural stage of life,” Muñiz said. “It’s a way to empower the residents to make decisions and be a part of the care they receive. We are not there to provide for them; we are there to help them provide for themselves as well.”

Muñiz said Parker at Monroe will ensure that the seniors there are given a sense of purpose, with tasks such as watering plants or caring for an animal. This helps aid the healing process if a senior falls ill, he said.

“If a resident has to go to the hospital, statistics show that that resident will be anxious to come home because they have a task to do when they return,” Muñiz said. “Whether it’s to water plants or feed the car, it’s part of what the residents look forward to.”

The facility also allows for personalization of space in order to create a homier feel, as opposed to an institutionalized feel.

“Those are some of the tools that we utilize in our alternative environment,” Muñiz said.

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