Meet The Staff
Meet The Staff
MANDI AND GRAHAM WILLOUGHBY
Owners, Commonwealth House
Mandi and Graham are transplants to the East Coast from Northern California, having moved to Rhode Island in 2012 for Graham to serve in a position at Brown University. Mandi had long been in the business of helping people and caring for their loved ones. Inspired by her own grandmother’s situation as an elderly person who did not want to leave her home, Mandi brought the concept of Home-Like Assisted Living to Rhode Island. She noticed that the predominant model of care here was large scale, and as a firm believer in the benefits of small scale home-like care, decided to start Commonwealth House! In 2015, Graham and Mandi began the search for the perfect residence to convert to assisted living. In early 2016, they purchased 655 Commonwealth Ave and began the conversion process. In October of 2016, Commonwealth House officially opened its doors. Mandi and Graham were joined in this adventure by their dog, Turtle, who is a frequent visitor to Commonwealth House. In March of 2017, the family grew by one with the arrival of Ian Kenneth Willoughby, their son. He too loves to come to Commonwealth House and visit with the residents. Mandi, Graham, Ian and Turtle reside in Riverside, Rhode Island.
MS. GINA LEE D'AMORE-BROWN
Gina Brown is our Executive Director and the first point of contact for our professional partners at area nursing homes, hospitals and rehab centers. Fostering these relationships helps Gina better understand and serve the community’s needs. Ms. Brown’s career began in hospitality in the late 80’s, working for hotels, country clubs and restaurants. Gina also spent 4 years working for the the ALS Association, Lou Gehrigs disease. Gina began her career in assisted living 6 years ago as the Director of Sales and Marketing, moving to a Care Management position and recently as an Administrator. Gina truly loves what she does and says a big part of her job is listening—really hearing what someone else has to say to understand who they are, where they’re coming from and what they need. Gina learned the importance of listening at a very young age while spending time at her mom’s deli counter; it gave her the opportunity to get to know many different people and learn about their families, their interests and what was going on in their city. Since then, she has loved learning other people’s stories. Gina says, “This is the best part of my job, meeting people; interesting people; people who just want to be listened to.” She also developed an appreciation for the elderly at a young age; coming from an Italian household, Gina was raised to revere the senior members of her family. This early appreciation led to her work with seniors, whose honesty she admires. “They tell you how it is. They are very comfortable in their body and mind to let you know where they stand,” she says. “I also enjoy the fact that they just want people to acknowledge them. They want to know that you are there to help them regardless of care.” And this is exactly what Gina has always tried to do—really listen to what these seniors need, even if it’s just a welcoming ear. One of the most important things to Gina about her work is helping families restore their relationships so they can simply enjoy their time together. “When I sit with families and they are truly overwhelmed and beating themselves up, I strive to help them understand that they no longer need to be the caregiver. They can go back to be the son, daughter, husband, wife. People lose that perspective as they take care of their loved one."
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My mom stayed here for a month when I was traveling. She loved it and they took wonderful care of her. She made friends with other residents. I would completely recommend this facility, because it is more like a home than a facility. This is what assisted living should be not a building that you could mistake for a cruise ship.
Only 5 stars? I would say at least 10! Our Mom is a resident at Commonwealth House, and we couldn't be happier with the level of individual care, compassion and attention given to each and every resident. The staff are very professional, yet treat the residents like family members. The personal chef prepares gourmet meals worthy of a five star restaurant. Mealtime is always a special treat. We are grateful to have found such a wonderful living situation for Mom, where she is so happy. We can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing she is getting the most personal care available.
Great staff. Very caring. Beautiful home with great inside and outdoor spaces. Attentive owners and top quality health care professionals. Excellent food as well.
A Loving, Caring Choice
Having listened to adult-children trying to help their aging folks decide on a place to call home, after their home can no longer be safe or manageable, I know what a conflict of emotions this raises in every one concerned. As a psychotherapist, for 40 years, I've seen lots of families trying to sort this out, and personally, I also know this chapter. I've seen many very well-run, mid-to-top dollar assisted living facilities in 5 states. While attractive, with competent, caring staff, lovely facilities, and many amenities, my bias is definitely with small, family-owned, professionally run assisted &living residences. The key word here is SMALL. Commonwealth House is definitely a small community with a house/home residence , in an ordinary nice neighborhood in Warwick, Rhode Island. A young couple from California, who came East for career advancement began to imagine a business they could run together, while starting a family, and that would nourish their hearts and souls, not just pay bills. They are bright, educated, hard-working pair who left family and friends in their coast-to-coast move. What better new endeavor than to open their special version of a small ,independent living residence? CommonwealthHouse is the result of their values and vision in creating a home that they care for much as , and in much the same ways as for their very own house. In the vast majority of Independent Living places , the residents never know who "the owners," even are, be they corporations, church affiliations, public housing, etc. At Commonwealth House you can see the owners, the staff, almost any time, and your concerns will become theirs, and find resolution expediently, as there are no layers of employees to muddle through when something breaks, or you need a ride, or you just want to chat a bit about how your day is going. Commonwealth House is a family, a family of creation, and the owners /operators are a family of origin, and together this Independent Living concept has it all over any, ANY large facility. Home, for most people, has been a place to live with a few, to a few more individuals, not 100 or 600 people. Who grew up, or lived their adult life having breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a cafeteria, or dining room, with hundreds of others? When you wanted to go to the grocery store, did you take a bus with 50+ other shoppers, or did you get in your SUV and maybe take a family member along? Large group facilities, regardless of whether they are condo style, apartment building style, or cottages on park-like grounds, are still.....facilities. Good, caring staff, services, sure , but friendly employees in numbers like 35 or 55, or 150 are not able to form the depth of, or kind of relationships with residents . The numbers are just too great. CommonwealthHouse's owners/operators, administrator, and staff know every single person who is fortunate enough to be living there....and knows them well. You may enter this independent living experience solo, but you will have a small collection of folks, that live there also, or work there, who will soon be your new home's new "family." Many research studies have shown, conclusively, that loneliness destroys health and even leads to death. Depression in Seniors is often much more than biological factors of growing older. We need each other. We also need privacy, and "our own space," room(s) of our own, and "We get by with a little help" ("from our friends," or whom ever is able to help us!") My vote is for Commonwealth House, in Warwick, Rhode Island. Check it out....you'll see what I mean when I say that it truly is a wonderful home.
Outstanding service, attention to detail and family feel
My dad is currently a resident at the Commonwealth House. He has been at 3 other assisted living facilities and finally we found this one. At the standard facilities he is one person in a very large population. He was not getting proper attention and care. The food was also very poor as everything was prepared in large quantities. At the Commonwealth house it feels as though he is part of a family. They make sure to talk to him and include him in conversations and activities. They also have the ability to prepare a specialized menu for the residents as they have a much smaller population which is easier to give more one on one attention too. the staff, management and owners are all very caring and easily approachable. They are very accommodating and will go out of their way to help the residents and visiting family. The house is beautifully renovated and well laid out. They have a fantastic backyard with a very nice fenced in pool, full service cabana and a fenced in kennel if you would like to bring your furry family member with you. The part that means the most to me while my dad has been here is when he broke his hip he was visited several times in the hospital and during a month long rehab by the management, staff and owners. They really went out of their way to continue to treat him like family and keep him motivated to get better and get back to the Commonwealth House. If you don't have the ability to keep a loved one at home with you, then the Commonwealth House is the next best thing!
I would definitely recommend this facility for anyone interested in Assisted Living. My step-father is thriving here because it is not a "Warehouse" as he would put it. He has his own personal space; set up just the way he likes it. He also has access to the rest of the facility. He receives hot meals 3 times a day cooked by the staff chef and served at the dining table shared with the other residents. He has access to the large patio and pool area. He enjoys the ability to go out to the senior center during the week for lunch and bingo. His health is improving by the day due to the healthy meals and medication supervision that he receives at Commonwealth House. I very much enjoy visiting him here as the staff are very welcoming and friendly. Any concerns are immediately communicated and dealt with. I hope that I have access to a place such as this if the time comes that I would need it.
I am very fortunate to have found The Commonwealth House. Everything about this "home" is exceptional. My father has done amazing here. The meals are amazing and the "chef" prepares fresh food for the residents daily. There is always fresh baked goods as well. The staff is amazing they treat the residents like family. I can't say enough positive things about The Commonwealth house. I would recommend anyone looking for assisted living accommodations to look no further than the Commonwealth house because you are home when you walk though the door. M.Fernandes
- Chamber of Commerce Member
- East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Member
- RALA Certified Home
- LGBTQ Friendly!
- Rhode Island Assisted Living Facility ALR 1493
- RALA Certification Certified Home