Our Story

Mack and Gwen Willis President and Vice President

The Story of Our Nursing Home, Summerset

“The Story Behind Summerset Assisted Living”

One of the good things about family is that they are always there when you need them. The notion of responding to the needs of family is the foundation and genesis of Summerset Assisted Living Community. We take pride in knowing that each member of our staff is a caring, dedicated and professional. 

Elder care communities should have staff that will treat elder residents like they are family members. Whether someone is coming to Summerset for our retirement community, adult day healthcare, memory care services, assisted living program, or respite care, we want everyone to know that we are excited to have them join our family-like community. Long-term care should not be a sacrifice—people should want to join a retirement home and care community where they don’t lose anything but gain so much.

Read the story behind our retirement community, Summerset Assisted Living, below.

Built on the Support of a Family

In mid 1980, Mack Willis, Sr. was promoted to his IBM division HQ in Princeton, NJ. This meant moving from his home state of Georgia to unfamiliar territory. The move from Atlanta happened when Mack and Gwen were expecting their second child James, when Mack, Jr. was just three years old.

Shortly after arriving in Princeton, following weeks of house hunting (up and down the stairs, in and out of the car)James was born one month ahead of schedule. 90% of the family’s household goods were still in moving boxes when Gwen was rushed to the hospital. Luckily, they had contacted their aunt, Lois Wright, who lived in White Plains, NY upon their arrival to New Jersey. White Plains was less than two hours away. Aunt Lois, a retired nurse and hospital administratorwas perfectly suited to jump in and help with this “surprise” situation. A desperate call to Lois from Mack got very quick results.

A Helping Hand

Aunt Lois and her husband, Uncle James, came to the rescue“Mack, you go to IBM and take care of your new job,” she said. “James and I will look after Gwen, Little Mackand the new baby.” This was a life saver for the Willises. Gwen and the new baby went home from the hospital to White Plains, NY with Uncle James and Aunt Lois.

What was supposed to be a two-year assignment turned out to be a ten-year assignment: three years in Princeton and seven years in Chappaqua, NY. Since Chappaqua is 15 minutes from White Plains, the Willises joined Aunt Lois’ and Uncle James’ church in White Plains. The families grew very close during this ten year period in the Northeast.

Returning to Atlanta

In 1989, Mack got an opportunity to move back to Atlanta, GA. About six months after their move, Uncle James passed away. Aunt Lois decided to come live in Atlanta to be near the Willis family. Upon Aunt Lois’ arrival, Mack and Gwen helped her find a home in College Park, near several retired friends from NY. After about five years, Aunt Lois was in her mid 80s and required more attention. Mack and Gwen wound up going to College Park to check on her, sometimes three to four times per week. Something had to be done. They tried getting her a live-in caregiver but that did not work out. They went through five caregivers in one year.

Assisted Living: A Caring Solution

It was about this time that Mack and Gwen noticed new facilities being built near their home in East Cobb called “ASSISTED LIVING HOMES.” They realized that the services offered would be ideal for Aunt Lois. She was not seriously ill physicallbut needed watchful oversight. She needed three hot meals a daytimely snacks, assistance with laundry and cleaningand help with other activities of daily living (ADL’s). These services would be a game changer for Lois and her family

At that time, there were no such communities available in Southwest Atlanta. This was when Mack and Gwen realized that someone needed to build a community for elders in this area…and that was the beginning of Summerset.

In responding to the needs of a family member, just as this family member had responded to their needs, Mack and Gwen set out to develop an assisted living community in Southwest Atlanta. They felt this would serve the needs of Aunt Lois, and others like her, on the south side of Atlanta. And they were right. Summerset has become a community where elder adults can go to live their lives in safety. Elders can receive the services they need in a beautiful place, such as memory care services, rehabilitation services, assisted living services, personal care services, medical care, meal services, and skilled nursing care.

Care and Community

Clients are now coming to Summerset Assisted Living Community from all around the Metro Atlanta areas. Summerset has become central to the Willises’ lives. It is a business, but more importantly, it is their ministry. They feel like they were called to care for seniors who need some assistance in their elderly years. We all need the help of family now and then, and Summerset is all about providing the family-like community and support that people need later in life. It has beenand continues to bea real joy to provide assisted living and adult day care services to residents of the Atlanta and Vinings areas.

Contact the Senior Care Community of Summerset Today

When you get older, your body and mind are not always as functional as they once were. This is a natural part of aging, though it’s not easy for anyone to admit. We all need help from others sometimes in life, and helping people is what Summerset is all about. We want to provide the services that seniors need to live an enjoyable life.

Just because someone needs assistance with daily tasks doesn’t mean they can’t live a full and happy life. You can make friends at Summerset, savor the company of family, have fun on outings, engage in daily activities that bring meaning to your life, and take pleasure in the delicious meals offered at this retirement and assisted living community.

In addition, we offer dementia care, human services, disease control services, and so much more. The professionalism of our caring staff is a marvel to see, yet they still manage to treat residents like family. We care about the health and happiness of each member of our community, and we are dedicated to remaining one of the top senior care homes in the Atlanta area. 

Worried about the coronavirus outbreak? Our staffers are doing everything possible to prevent infections, and we respond to symptoms quickly to ensure everyone gets the treatment they need. Learn more about our retirement and assisted living community by calling us today!