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These Arizona Sisters Explain Why They Now Love Going to The Doctor

    • June 21, 2023
    • Community
    • 3 minute read
  • ArchWell Health

Mariann Brown and Linda Downs are sisters, both Chicago natives, who moved to Peoria about five years ago. Neighbors may know Mariann from her mural paintings on cinder block walls in the neighborhood. Each of the sisters has individual but long-term health needs, including care for Mariann’s back which she broke diving into a shallow swimming pool at the age of 19, leaving her temporarily paralyzed. As the sisters’ health needs increased, they became more disenfranchised with the primary care physicians they had been seeing. Typical of many seniors, long wait times coupled with short visits with the doctor motivated them to find a better solution for addressing their healthcare and overall wellness needs.

An ArchWell Health center soon opened on Peoria Avenue, coincidentally right around the corner from Mariann’s and Linda’s homes. They attended the grand opening last November, and during the festivities, Linda unexpectedly fainted in the restroom and broke her foot in two places. Every person on staff instantly came to her aid with comfort and concern. Since the incident, Mariann and Linda vowed to never go elsewhere for their healthcare needs given the kindness and quality of care they were shown.

Mariann says her primary care physician at ArchWell Health spends time with her and Linda far beyond caring for their health.

“After spending more than an hour with us, he asks what else I have on my mind. We talk about my family, his family, my hobbies, and he will even visit with us in the waiting room while we have coffee. He knows more about me in just a few months than my other doctor did in six years,” she said.

Beyond healthcare needs that are often ignored or misunderstood, seniors all throughout the country suffer from isolation, depression, and the negative effects that come from a lack of mobility. ArchWell Health has created a complete solution for individuals who similarly seek a social outlet like Mariann and Linda.

While Mariann’s and Linda’s physical health is important, they say they benefit even more so from the activity center at ArchWell Health. Last month, they attended a class where they painted birdhouses, and in May they have signed up for yoga and additional painting classes. This especially appeals to Mariann since she has been painting cinder block walls around her community at the request of neighbors and family – a hobby she took up when she moved to Arizona just five years ago.

“These classes get us out of the house and we’re able to learn new things and meet new people in a calm and welcoming place. Everyone knows us by name, and even if I hate going to the doctor, I look forward to my appointments at this bright, clean, friendly place," Linda said. "More people our age need to know about ArchWell Health. They take time to get to know us on a personal level and they just really care.”

Staying engaged in community can help prevent the social isolation many seniors feel. Talking with a neighbor, calling a friend, or attending an ArchWell Health in-center activity are just a few of the ways seniors can improve their happiness and physical health. The care team at ArchWell Health in Peoria welcomes seniors and their loved ones to experience a community of caring.

A version of this column was previously published in the Peoria Independent.

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ArchWell Health, Senior Primary Care

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