600 N. Hudson
Silver City NM 88061
84-year-old Margaret “Peg” Aker was in difficult straits after her husband died in 2004: grieving and coping with diabetes, she was increasingly unable to take care of herself, had no children, and her only nearby relatives were an older sister and a niece.
Fortunately, Peg was referred to Millie’s Center, an assisted living facility in Silver City. Owned by retired Arizona attorney and judge Carley Preusch, Millie’s was named for the generous and charitable Madame of a brothel who - ironically - had once been married to Peg’s husband!
Carley had moved to the picturesque mining town to be near her son. A complex set of circumstances led her to purchase an assisted living facility that was going out of business.
Carley knew nothing about the field initially, but has made Millie’s a success. Beginning with a handful of clients, she built a second, handicapped-accessible bathroom to accommodate 16 residents; and now accepts Medicaid patients and “respite” clients who come for the day.
People are attracted by the warm environment where the residents eat all their meals together, celebrate holidays and birthdays as a group (along with their families), and keep busy with a broad range of activities both inside the home and out in the community.
Peg Aker’s life has certainly turned around. “Carley’s great,” says Peg. “She’s good to everybody here. I wouldn’t want to be anyplace else.”
Carley has obtained two loans from us. The first was for $177,000 to pay off an interest-only mortgage on the property. “We had exhausted all local resources. The Loan Fund provided invaluable help.” Our second loan for $56,000 allowed Carley to purchase half a city block next to Millie’s. “We were already using it as a garden and walkway. I want to make a nice park for our residents.”
Carley’s future plans include creating both a new assisted living facility on the property and an independent living facility nearby, “so that people can age in place.” We have no doubt that she will realize her vision.