Former nurses create group at Fairwinds Brighton Court
by Luke Putvin | Lynnwood Times

Fairwinds Brighton Court, located in the heart of Lynnwood, is an amenity-filled, senior-living community. Offering things such as activity rooms, regularly scheduled shuttle service, private chauffer service, a full-service salon, a health and wellness center, an emergency pendant for each resident and more, Brighton Court is a great choice for anyone looking for a senior living community.

Among the residents is an informal group started by Susan Netherton. She’s a former nurse who learned of several residents at Brighton court that had also previously been nurses, so she set out to leave invitation notes at all of their doors. The group of former nurses has seven people in it, and they have been meeting monthly for five months now.

“I just thought about it, that there were nurses living here, and it would be nice to get to know who we are. So I just found everyone’s apartment numbers and put notes in their boxes to see who would show up,” Netherton said. She is originally from Seattle, but others in the group come from all around the country.

Sonya Stevenson is from San Francisco and worked as a nurse from 1964 until 2000. “This group is good problem solving for us because people stop and ask us questions. And sometimes it’s not our area of expertise, nor do we want to be answering medical questions for people. Our job is to head them off in the right direction, if we can do that.”

Barbara Tebow is from Eastern Canada and was a nurse from 1958 until 1996. Her favorite part of meeting with the group is the comradery that comes with it. She also recalled the most rewarding part of being a nurse simply being the people she helped. “I didn’t care for administration much,” she said with a slight chuckle. “I preferred to be with the people.”

Mary Walters was an operating room nurse for 40 years and is from Fargo. “I really think that caregivers have it in their genes; I think they’re born to know what they’re supposed to do. Once a caregiver, always a caregiver.”

Barbara Scott, from Eugene, was a nurse briefly from 1951 until 1952  and recalled people not wanting her in the hospitals during the polio epidemic, so she spent her time elsewhere.

When met with the note originally inviting people to the group, everyone was really excited about the idea. “I thought this was cool,” Stevenson said. “I thought it would be good to talk about problems that come up, dealing with those problems and chatting about our ‘former life’ with others.”

“It’s been great getting to know everyone better,” added Tebow. “And we have this commonality; we’ve all been bonding.”

One common difficulty the group addressed was residents at Brighton Court asking each of them for medical advice. They all said they deal with this by offering a sympathetic ear, but they ultimately refer people to their doctor.

“We don’t want to give out medical advice when we all have different areas of expertise,” Stevenson said. “It’s a matter of redirecting.”

In a way that called back to Walters’ statement of “once a caregiver, always a caregiver,” Tebow said, “We cannot be responsible, but we all feel a sense of responsibility, through caring. But we can’t give out any medical advice.”

For more information about Brighton Court including prices and a list of amenities, visit www.leisurecare.com/our-communities/fairwinds-brighton-court.

Luke Putvin

I graduated from the University of Washington in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts, and I majored in Creative Writing. I began working at the Lynnwood Times in April of 2019 when we released our first issue. To me, community newspapers help highlight things that don’t typically get highlighted by larger news sources. For me, I find this especially true about the arts, and I have a strong passion for the arts community and bringing information about it to the public.

Luke Putvin has 155 posts and counting. See all posts by Luke Putvin

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