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The Cottages at Mill Creek – Testimonials

Charlton Place

At The Cottages at Mill Creek, we take great pride in the care and services provided to our residents and hearing from those we serve is our greatest reward.

My mother was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia and Primary Progressive Aphasia in April 2018.

We noticed some peculiarities in our mother’s behavior and speech for several months, but attributed these changes to her eccentric personality and aging. Although her diagnosis was not favorable, it was a relief to know what we were dealing with.

She continued to live independently for another 8 months after her diagnosis, but not without daily assistance from my sister and myself. As her disease progressed, we struggled with putting her in an environment where there would at least be some minimal care and supervision. Was she ready for that? Would she even go if we made that change? I doubt the decision is easy for anyone. Guilt and fear about making the right decision was a constant companion, accompanied with the gradual acceptance of losing our mother as we knew her and learning to accept the person she’s become.

The eventuality of her inability to care for herself and our inability to maintain her care on our own lead us to our decision to move her to a memory care facility in January 2019.

We spent months looking for the right fit. Initially, we considered adult family homes and assisted living facilities, but she was and still is a constant flight risk and we knew her new home needed to be somewhere we knew she would be safe and cared for at all times.

We visited several memory care facilities, but The Cottages stood out. When we had our initial meeting with the director, nurse and Jill Martinez, they instantly put us at ease. They were sympathetic to our plight, down to earth and listened to what we had to say. It felt more like a home than any of the others that we looked at. In addition, the residents had the ability to go outside within a secure environment, which was important to us since our mother is very mobile and active.

Once we made the decision to move her, our next concern was for her transition to living in this new space. The staff recommended that we bring her for a visit a few times before her official move in order to orient and familiarize her with her surroundings. The first visit was tense and stressful, but with each visit her anxiety lessened.

The day of the move was better than expected. They suggested we not linger and give her time to assimilate to her new surroundings. Initially, we thought we wouldn’t be able to see her for a couple weeks while she became accustomed to her new home, but in less than a week, they informed us that she was doing great and we were welcome to visit.

Of course, the journey is so much more complex, but I tried to simplify our story thus far in order to prevent writing a novel.

It’s getting close to a year that she has been in memory care. It isn’t easy watching our mom slip away, but the comfort we have knowing she is in the right place, with the right people, gives us some peace.


Since Mom’s diagnosis with dementia in 2006, it has been our honor to care for her at her apartment in Bellevue. Unfortunately her needs have reached a point where 24/7 care, physical security and social support are essential. We are thrilled that we seem to have found an ideal memory care community for Mom. The Cottages is a cluster of four group homes, with up to 10 residents each, and 24 hour awake staff. The staff has deep professional experience with memory care, and is dedicated to knowing and serving the individualized, immediate needs of each resident.

Mom moved into The Cottages last Friday, July 24th, and so far has adjusted beautifully. She is smiling and laughing constantly, and eating and sleeping well. She seems to feel secure and is enjoying the availability of 24/7 social stimulation as desired.

Visitors are welcome. Mom may not recall names and relationship details, but she loves seeing familiar and loving faces. Mom has a private room with a bed and two guest chairs (one of which is kept in her closet). There is also space for visiting in the living room / dining room area, on an attached fenced patio, and outside the cottage, on an open patio with a table and chairs.

Reese family 8/2015

My mother, Evelyn, is 89 years old.  After my Dad passed away she lived on her own: some of it in the family home in Seattle, followed by a move to an independent living duplex at the Dallas Retirement Village in Oregon.  Over time we started to notice symptoms of memory loss that eventually resulted in a move to an Assisted Living facility (Vineyard Parks) in Bothell, WA. Over time her memory declined further and the level of assistance needed exceeded that available to her at Vineyard Parks. There were no concerns for her safety, as she had not been a wanderer during this time.  Our concerns dealt more with her happiness and well-being, emotions that fluctuated a great deal. We were pleased to learn that the same parent company that owns Vineyard Parks also manages the Cottages of Mill Creek, WA. The assistance provided by the staff at both Vineyard Park and the Cottages resulted in an extremely non-disruptive move.  They allowed for a period of reflection and decision making, and were extremely patient with us as we visited the facility a number of times. We found the facility to be less like a nursing home and much more warm and friendly.  The staff have always been courteous and professional, and my perception is that they do care for the residents over which they provide a more homelike environment.   I would recommend this organization to anyone with a parent or relative suffering from dementia/Alzheimer’s.

My 85-year-old mom, who suffers from dementia, is technically blind, has failing hearing, and other disabilities associated with advanced age, has been a resident at The Cottages for about a year. She has received great care by the truly outstanding staff from the first day of her residency. Recently, she was unexpectedly stricken by a batch of medical complications all at the same time. These were detected immediately by Diane, the staff RN, and she notified me right away and quickly made arrangements for mom to be transported to a hospital by ambulance. Upon arrival, mom was taken to the Emergency Room where she remained for hours before being transferred to a patient’s hospital room where she remained for several days. The doctors and nurses at the hospital, as well as the nurse at The Cottages, advised me that my mother, in all probability, would not ever regain anywhere near the level of health and awareness she had before the sudden problem arose. They didn’t want me to entertain unrealistic expectations. But contrary to all expectations, my mother made a remarkable, perhaps miraculous, recovery once she got back to The
Cottages. I attribute the fabulous recovery to the care mom received from the staff at The Cottages once she returned. They got her up and walking with a walker every day as recommended by a physical therapist, helped her gain back some of the ten pounds she lost at the hospital by paying close attention to her eating, and spent a lot of time just being with her and conveying their love. She has had what looks like a full recovery and, today, she is like her former self to the amazement of everybody connected with her situation. It wouldn’t have happened without the care and attention recieved from the staff at The Cottages, and mom’s extended family, and I will never forget it. We thank you from our hearts.

John F. Biehl

Our mother is content and comfortable any time we visit and the staff is her extended family. Mom gets activities and entertainment and lots of interaction with other residents. Schedules are kept and we are notified immediately of anything unusual they see in moms daily routine. Staff is very helpful when we take mom out for an appointment or visit and she is never uncomfortable about returning to her new home at Cottages. She enjoys the family friendly atmosphere, and sense of humor staff has, since mom has a great sense of humor too.  I always feel good when I have to say goodbye to mom after a visit, and tell her “see ya soon” she never is upset when I leave. The activities and meals together seem to give her a “family friendly” outlook. We are welcome anytime we go there to visit and family visits are encouraged for all the residents and residents get to know each other’s families.  Thank you Cottages for the love and care you are giving my mother in the last years of her life.

Marilyn Gray

The Cottages are “Special”. So warm and homey, with such a loving/caring staff. My mother, Flo Fredrickson, has been there for a year now and she is so happy. She says she feels like they are her friends. I’ve watched her personality change from grouchy and lonely to kinder and smiling. My family and I are grateful for the warmth and care provided by this fine staff (you feel their hearts)
Thank you,

Sylvia Niemi l

My Protégée has been under your care for better than three years. She has received from one and all: more love, patience and care than anyone could possibly expect. ALL of your staff makes a special attempt to say hello to her and greet her with “I love you” which brings a smile from her.  The food is exceptional and special care and protien is given to those in special need.
My protégée was in another care unit for 10 days and I had to remove her, she had bruises on both arms. The difference is between the two care units is like night and day.
I thank you all at the Cottages,

Larry Hadley

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