Granite Hill Estates: Past, Present, Future

Hallowell, Maine

 

Granite Hill Estates has never met a stranger. Tucked discreetly into the rolling hills of Hallowell, this 135 acre retirement community bustles with history, personality and hearty doses of humor.

Planning for Granite Hill Estates (GHE) began well before the doors opened in 2000, when it welcomed 23 Pioneer residents, eight of whom still call this community home today. The early investment of these Pioneers enabled MaineGeneral to move forward in establishing a now vibrant retirement community. Their vision of what life could be at GHE has become real over the past 15 years as they’ve seen the community grow, both in size and services and with new neighbors and adventures adding to the joy of the post-work world.

Granite Hill began with independent living cottages and a Maine Lodge featuring 60 independent living apartments. It wasn’t long before MaineGeneral invested in the addition of the Martha Ballard Assisted Living Wing in 2005 with an additional 24 apartments, eight of which are a designated, secure early memory loss unit; cottage construction was completed in 2008 with a total of 46.

As anyone who has visited GHE can attest, this collection of buildings is more than housing — it is the vibrant community the Pioneers pictured where residents engage in physical activity, educational classes and day and evening outings. Community members bring their individual interests and the story of their lives with them when they move in expanding the experience for all. There are photographers, world travelers, entrepreneurs, military Veterans who proudly served our country; there are decades-long love stories that give us all something to strive for. There is love, kindness, wisdom of the ages and company you’re hard pressed to improve upon!

In addition to residing inside the MaineGeneral system, many GHE residents also invest in the health of the community at large by supporting our philanthropic efforts. Some contribute to our annual campaign, supporting local caregiver education through scholarships, or by giving toward services they’ve needed or know they may need in years to come, such as cardiology or women’s health. Many made significant investments through support of the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care which consolidated and enhanced outpatient cancer treatment in our area.

A few short years after that, many took caring for community a step further by contributing to the Alfond and Thayer Centers for Health capital campaign. The Alfond Center for Health celebrated its second year of being open Nov. 9 and it has truly transformed the way we deliver care here in the Kennebec Valley.

Still others at GHE have very thoughtfully included MaineGeneral in their estate plans, ensuring that their commitment to community caring will continue in perpetuity. These gifts demonstrate all the steadfastness of the greatest generation — the mindfulness, intention and ability to take the long view — and we are ever grateful.

Since August of 2015, new Maine Lodge apartment residents and four Cottage residents have joined GHE or committed to coming. Current occupancy is 97 percent, or 147 individuals, and there is a 10-person waiting list for independent apartments and five for cottages — all of which are testaments to this wonderful community that many aspire to join. And GHE residents are certainly proof that the golden years can indeed be golden — less yard work, snow removal, cooking and cleaning; more indulgent education, adventures and humor. These folks are no strangers to leading by example and we can all only hope to live out our retirement with as much vitality and joie de vive.

Given Maine’s penchant for leading the way on everything, including an aging population, MaineGeneral has a careful eye on how to accommodate the coming boom of retirees who have their health, varied interests and a continued desire for social stimulation, all of which help us age graciously and maintain well-being. GHE is one piece of a much larger puzzle that will keep members of the Greater Kennebec Valley community age in place with the support of an entire health care system behind them every step of the way.

Pioneers Residents - standing: Bob Bond, Gladys McLeary; seated: Ginny Dogherty, Ginny Hersom. Not picturedGrace Bolstridge, Frank and Isabel MacKenzie and Connie Merriam.

Paul and Mary Foster, GHE residents and long-time MaineGeneral supporters, recently became Sustaining Members of our annual fund by making their gift through convenient monthly payments. Making smaller gifts each month made their desired leadership contribution of $1,000 possible while providing valuable, consistent support for MGH throughout the year. Thank you, Paul and Mary, for joining our President’s Club and caring for our communities! Are you interested in the convenience of monthly giving? It only takes a moment and your gift can be designated according to your preference. Call Linda Allen at 626-7237 for more information or visit our giving page to make a gift.

Cynthia Bean has supported caregiver education for nearly a decade with annual gifts to a scholarship fund established by her late husband, Ralph Bean, in 1992. Funded by annual contributions as well as through an estate gift made upon Ralph’s passing, the Mary Grace Bean scholarship helps local students pursue educational opportunities in health care professions.

MaineGeneral Health
Office of Philanthropy

Physical location
35 Medical Center Parkway
Augusta, ME  04330-8067
Phone: (207) 626-1809
philanthropy@mainegeneral.org

Mail only
PO Box 828
Waterville, ME  04903

Copyright 2019 MaineGeneral Health Office of Philanthropy