BY VON LOZON
After opening Claudia’s Cottage, an adult foster care home, in Wyandotte in mid-2014, owner Claudia Pallchek and house manager Aaron Stotts knew they would want to expand the business one day. Three and a half years later, that objective is finally a reality.
Pallchek and Stotts are opening Ruth’s Retreat, a new adult foster care home, on Grosse Ile in early February. The home is located at 20308 HCL Jackson Drive. The home, which was closed on in September, features new flooring, paint, electrical and lighting, walk-in showers and new bathrooms, among other things, Pallchek said. It is a ranch-style one-floor home, making it user-friendly for residents, Pallchek said.
The home has enough room for six residents, much like Claudia’s Cottage. And also much like Claudia’s Cottage, Stotts said Ruth’s Retreat isn’t like an ordinary adult foster care home.
“We don’t want to sound like a typical place,” Stotts said. “We try to portray a bed and breakfast style place where it’s a little retreat or vacation for people.”
Each resident will have their own room with all their own things, Stotts said. The room is fully furnished, but residents are given an option to bring in any type of furniture or pictures on the wall they want so they can relate to their new place of living. They can also decorate their room any way they please.
Claudia’s Cottage is named after Pallchek herself, but Ruth’s Retreat is named after Pallchek’s late mother, who died in 2009.
“My mom had an open-door policy,” Pallchek said. “I come from a large family and there was always an open revolving door in our house, and guests and everyone was always welcome. I was brought up that way and that’s how I run my business, too. A lot of our old families come back when their loved ones pass away, and their families are always welcome back in. Everyone is welcome and that’s how we run it. She was so wonderful and in her honor I definitely wanted to name it after her.”
By day, Pallchek is a business development manager for a homecare company and has been working in the business for 27 years. Before opening Claudia’s Cottage, she developed and maintained relationships with a lot of nursing homes in the Downriver area. And because of that, people would call her for referral homes weekly.
With people knowing about Claudia’s Cottage, Stotts and Pallchek have received calls about taking in more people in need. Because the home can only shelter six residents at a time, the expansion to Ruth’s Retreat began to take shape.
The area did not matter for Ruth’s Retreat, according to Stotts. They looked around Trenton, Riverview, Wyandotte and Southgate, before settling on the home in Grosse Ile.
“We really wanted a home that would accommodate what we are looking to do, and large enough to where we could have six people,” Stotts said. “Grosse Ile was always high on our list because there’s only one facility over there, and with a population of 10,000-plus people, a lot of people may not want to leave the island. So we found a house large enough to accommodate six residents comfortably and there are not a lot of options over there for senior care.”
The thing Pallchek wants families to know is that the residents that will eventually live at Ruth’s Retreat, as well as the current residents at Claudia’s Cottage, are all treated like family.
“I know a lot of times there is a bad feeling putting a loved one in a nursing home, but they are family in our house,” Pallchek said. “It’s a wonderful way to care for people who need help.”
People have already inquired about Ruth’s Retreat, and others interested in hearing more about the adult foster care home can contact Pallchek at (734) 925-0868 or Stotts at (248) 343-4145.