My name is Thayer Baird and I’d like to share my personal journey with Petersburg Home for Ladies.
I was invited to serve on the Board of Directors of the Petersburg Home for Ladies shortly after my mother died in 2006. She suffered a stroke in 1996 that left her partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair. My father cared for her until he died in 1998.
Taking Care of My Mother
After my father’s passing, my husband and I immediately converted our garage into a small apartment and moved mom in. She did not want to go into a nursing home at that time, so we hired a wonderful lady to come in and care for her on a daily basis.
We graciously dealt with the pros and cons of home health care for six years, until I finally decided that it was time to contact a local nursing home.
Our First Nursing Home
After months of due diligence, I arranged for her to go directly into the nursing home that we had chosen. (She was not a candidate for the Petersburg Home for Ladies at that time). I was totally relieved; I felt as if a weight had been removed from my shoulders, and the tears freely fell.
I visited my mother almost every day, making sure that she was being cared for with the same love and tenderness that I had given her at home.
When she died at ninety-two, I knew that I had done everything possible to make her comfortable and happy, and I had no regrets.
This experience changed and enriched our family in a way that I could never have imagined.Thayer Baird – Board of Directors at Petersburg Home for Ladies
Joining Petersburg Home for Ladies
In addition to my experience with and compassion for the elderly, I have extensive business experience. I earned a degree in Business and for thirty-two years have been self-employed. These credentials have qualified me to sit on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Southside Virginia for twenty-three years. My background in retail and business management has prepared me for the many decisions that were made and continue to be made concerning the growth and daily operations of the home.
The transformation of the screened porch to the beautiful and functional Garden Room was a vision of mine simply because my mother enjoyed the one in our home so much, each day asking her caregiver to “roll” her there so she could sit in the sun, watch the birds and enjoy the flowers.
I have also been able to contribute to the planning and execution of the Memory Care Unit which added a much needed addition to the Home and the community.
We also converted several of the single rooms into suites, remodeled the remainder of the rooms and the recreation room, and recently transformed the courtyard into a wonderful place for our ladies to entertain their families.
Looking to the Future
I am proud and thankful to be able to bring all of my experiences, personal and business, to the Petersburg Home for Ladies and to incorporate those experiences into the decisions made by the board.
Our non-profit status makes it easy to retain the best, most qualified employees and to structurally improve and beautify the Home.
It is my goal, as well as that of the board, to oversee the perfect place for our ladies by providing the special care needed to give families the assurance and peace of mind that are so important when faced with decisions concerning long-term care.
Thank you for reading my story. And many more thanks to the families that have entrusted the care of your loved ones with us.