SOMERS, N.Y. - Ask anyone who works at Somers Manor and they will boast about the personal care they provide to their nearly 300 senior residents.
Nobody knows this better than Sheila Mannix, who has had the rare opportunity to experience both sides of the rehabilitation and nursing center.
Mannix worked at Somers Manor as a nurse for about two decades, retiring in 2010. She lived with her sister in Mount Kisco, but health issues brought her back to Somers Manor a few years later—this time as a resident.
As a nurse, Mannix earned praise from her former colleagues for working tirelessly for her patients. She was a nurse for more than 50 years, 33 of them spent at Saint Clare’s in New York City. After the hospital closed, Mannix moved north to Bedford and began working at Somers Manor. She worked the night shifts, taking a cab every day to and from her home.
“I’ve been here 15 years, and I remember so many times walking by and just seeing Sheila sitting down in the lobby waiting for her cab or waiting to do another shift,” said Alda Gomes, recreation coordinator at Somers Manor. “As tired as she looked, she just forged on all the time. She’s so dedicated.”
While many anticipate retirement, Gomes said, Mannix never slowed down, working hard at Somers Manor into her 70s. Richard Shaeffer, recreation director at Somers Manor, said Mannix “worked until she couldn’t work anymore.”
“She was, let me tell you, a nurse who showed up,” Mannix said. “She never took off. She’s such a hard worker. She knew her stuff.”
Always an independent person, when Mannix’s health issues began to slow her down, she knew that living at Somers Manor would allow her to continue her independent lifestyle without having to worry about other responsibilities.
“It’s convenient,” Mannix said. “I never cooked or any of that sort of stuff, so it’s nice not to have to worry about that.”
While Somers Manor provides plenty of entertainment, Mannix said her “favorite occupation” is watching television in her room (especially soap operas). She also enjoys checking books out of the library.
“Independent socialization is something that we really stress,” Schaeffer said. “If you want, you can just sit and talk to a few people and wander around and check out the library. We have everything available if you want to sit quietly and contemplate or meditate. A lot of residents can do that independently, and she’s one who can. She’s very independent.”