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SPOTLIGHT: THE HEART OF SENIOR LIVING


Serving and Being Served


When he began caring for his own mother, HRA’s Tim Smick experienced the other side of senior living. By Angela Hickman


F


ew senior living executives have the good fortune to be both a customer and a provider. “It’s an incredible


vantage point,” says Tim Smick. “You get to see both sides. You get to see what’s im- portant to you as a family member.” The founder of Harbor Retirement As-


sociates (HRA), which is celebrating its 15th year in business, served his mother, Terry, at HRA’s Regency Park for independent living and HarborChase of Vero Beach, an HRA assisted living and memory care communi- ty. “I was visiting her in Delaware and my dad had passed away,” Smick recalls. “She was living in a townhouse and I could sense she was really cooped up.” Smick asked if she’d consider moving down to Vero Beach, Fla., where HRA is headquartered, and she “jumped on it.”


A new perspective While Smick has enjoyed a long and suc- cessful history in senior living and has a heart for caring for seniors, his perspective was further changed by serving his mom. “I got to see our folks not only caring for her but about her. They didn’t just care about her because she was the CEO’s mom,” he says. He also got to see how his family compared


to other families he has served. “I got to see all the dynamics that come from caring for a parent—even the family dynamic with my siblings,” Smick says. His mom succumbed to Parkinson’s last February, but her time in Vero Beach was fi lled with joy, and Smick takes great comfort in that. “My mom had lots of friends. She was a magnet,” he says. “It was hard to get on her schedule sometimes. She was very busy here and loved it. She thanked me profusely for giving the invitation.”


58 SENIOR LIVING EXECUTIVE / ISSUE 6 2017


Tim Smick, his wife Bobbi, and his mother Terry Smick.


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