Our Story

Erik BerkeyAs a young boy growing up outside of Hubbard, Oregon, I used to pick berries, sell lemonade and mow lawns to earn pocket money. One of my regular weekly mowing jobs was for Mrs. Quinby, a longtime friend and neighbor of my parents. She had known me since I was brought home from the hospital as an infant and was always so appreciative of my work.

One day in early fall, this sweet, fragile woman suffered a massive stroke while out in her yard and was not discovered for several hours. As a result, she was taken to a nursing home and never returned home. Over the next seven to eight years, Mrs. Quinby was in the nursing home, I visited frequently. I came to know the two ladies who were her roommates, as well as many other residents. I remember one resident Win Moyer, he taught me about World War II. Roberta would arm wrestle me (and win!) and Sheila would talk to me about trains.

At Mrs. Quinby’s nursing home, care aides were always frantic, running up and down the halls, never having much time for understanding or sincere interest in these wonderful people. They were under staffed! Many residents were left to just holler or lie in bed all day. There was little interest in quality of care. Because I was an eight or nine year old at the time, I found this to be very frightening. Although I was only a young boy at the time, I knew that if I ever had an opportunity to do so, I would build a good home for the elderly.

Twenty years later, including three years of research, hard work, easements, licensing, construction and loan processing, that boyhood vision is a reality. Country Side Living, a residential care facility specializing in Alzheimer and Dementia care opened in August 1999. While the process of opening Country Side Living was a challenge, my efforts have been returned tenfold through the process of helping people live for the moment. The reward of just a few of our past residents will never be forgotten.

Grace, Palmer, Nita, and their families are the people who gave me back the appreciation of my vision and the beauty around us and who have showed me more love than I have experienced. Sharing in someone’s life at this time is a gift. It is the motivation for my drive to continually improve understanding and communication and create meaningful activities. My quest will never end. Country Side Living is not just a job or a business. From love, patience and laughter to grief, peace, belief and more it is the embodiment of all that is life. Visit our beautiful facility for a tour and free lunch on us.

-Erik Berkey
Founder, Country Side Living