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Meet Deb Dworak, Daughter of Resident Betty Corcoran

Meet Deb Dworak, Daughter of Resident Betty Corcoran

Deborah Dworak’s mother, Betty Corcoran, may be 100 years old, but she is still an extremely independent woman. That’s why both Deb and her mother appreciate the balance of independence and safety she feels at Harvest Hill.

Deb said her mother worked almost full-time into her 80s and isn’t ready to slow down yet. A resident of Harvest Hill since 2014, Betty enjoys staying active, taking exercise classes, attending special events and eating with friends in the dining room.

“Harvest Hill allows my mother to have her independence, but at the same time, my sisters and I like knowing that if she ever needs assistance there is always somebody there to help,” said Deb, who previously worked at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital as the practice director for the women’s care center and general surgery.

“It’s also good for her to have her own space. She can be in her own world, or she can go out and interact with people, but there’s no pressure to do anything. It’s a good balance.”

But, she said, while her mother doesn’t have any major medical conditions or need help with daily tasks, at this point in her life, the smallest incident can change a lot, said Deb. Even a small fall could change the course of things.

With that in mind, one major reason her family initially chose Harvest Hill was her mother’s strong connection with her doctor at APD, geriatrics specialist Dr. Lisa Furmanski. With her doctor close by and clinical staff available on campus, Deb said her mother has a “cushion” around her.

“She can be really independent and at the same time there is this cushion of safety,” said Deb. “I have three sisters and for the four of us, it just feels like we can relax. When we think about her, we can feel comfortable that she is happy and safe.”

For Deb and her family, how staff dealt with the pandemic’s difficulties highlighted Harvest Hill’s value more than ever. During this time, Deb said they felt immense gratitude toward the Harvest Hill staff for not only keeping every resident safe and COVID-free, but helping families stay connected with their loved ones while in-person visits were on pause.

“The staff set up Zoom meetings once a week with my mother and the four of us,” said Deb, whose sisters live in Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida. “They would schedule the call and bring the iPad up to her room. So, that has been perfect. All this past year, my sisters and I kept saying to each other, thank God for Harvest Hill.”

While Deb and her sisters had a big party planned for their mother’s 100th birthday last June, Harvest Hill helped them organize a drive-by parade instead, starring a local fire truck and police car. This year, though, the family hopes to mark, Betty’s 101st a little differently — with an in-person birthday celebration.