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Family ties: Unique connection between staff, residents at Eagle’s Trace

November 7, 2018

Houston, Texas--It's been a busy year for Pam Burgeson, sales director at Eagle's Trace, as more than 120 people have moved to the Erickson Living community in West Houston in 2018.

Among the new residents, there's one couple with a special connection to Pam.  Her parents, Jim and Peggy Fredericksen, moved to the community in June.

"I love having my parents at Eagle's Trace," says Pam.  "It's wonderful to see them several times a week."

Pam and her parents are part of a nationwide trend – employees with family members who live at an Erickson Living community.

"There's a great sense of pride when you see employees like Pam with their loved ones right here at Eagle's Trace," says Executive Director Stephen Aigner. "Those family connections are unique."

Pam's journey to Eagle's Trace began in 2005, while the community was still under construction.

"I was working in the senior living industry in Houston when I learned that Erickson Living was planning a new community on the city's west side," says Pam.  "The more I learned about the community's physical footprint, its amenities, and the culture of a resident-driven lifestyle, I realized Eagle's Trace was going to be unlike anything we'd ever seen in Houston." 

Pam joined the Eagle's Trace executive team as sales director in June 2005.  The community hosted its grand opening celebration later that year. 

"We had an incredible celebration with longhorns grazing on the lawn, a Mariachi band, and beautiful ice sculptures," says Pam.  "My dad attended, more as a supportive father than as a prospective resident.  My parents were both working at the time, and I was busy opening a community.  Who could have seen that they'd be living here down the road?"

Jim, a retired naval officer, spent the latter part of his career working as an international business development and project manager for Kellogg Brown & Root [now KBR].  His work took the couple overseas to Curaçao, Venezuela, Thailand and South Africa.

"We kept our house in Dickinson [Texas] through all those moves," says Peggy, a retired nurse. "It was the same house where Pam and her brother grew up, and it was nice to have an anchor when we were bouncing back and forth between assignments."

As years passed, Jim and Peggy began picturing their future at Eagle's Trace.  They joined the priority list in 2012, putting down a fully refundable $1,000 deposit to reserve the apartment home of their choice. 

"I was excited about the possibility of my parents moving to Eagle's Trace," says Pam.  "I knew they'd have so many social opportunities here, and they'd be free from all the chores of keeping up their home and yard."

"We didn't set any specific deadlines, but we started doing things around the house to get it ready to sell," says Jim.  "Then [Hurricane] Harvey gave us a kick."

Jim and Peggy's home in Dickinson, Texas, flooded in August 2017.  They leased a small apartment while the home went through the mediation process and then sold it as-is to neighbors who wanted more space for their growing family.

"I was so thankful my parents joined the priority list when they did," says Pam.  "Their status ensured they got the floor plan they wanted when one become available."

In June 2018, Jim and Peggy moved into a two-bedroom San Jacinto-style apartment at Eagle's Trace.  In the months since their move, the couple has jumped into life at the West Houston community.

"We love the Curious People discussion group, the Great Courses lecture series, the Shuffleboard league and the Wine Club," says Jim. 

Pam is seeing the experience with fresh eyes as the daughter of residents. 

"I love hearing about their new friends and all the activities they're enjoying," says Pam.  "It gives me peace of mind to know they don't have to worry about anything except making the most of each day."

About Eagle's Trace:  Eagle's Trace, one of 19 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 71-acre campus in West Houston, Texas. The community is located in Harris County and is home to 900 residents. Additional information about Eagle's Trace can be found at EaglesTraceCommunity.com.

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