The story of Mary Maske, a 76-year old retired social worker struggling with the emotional stress and physical pain of being evicted from Silver Oaks Place, a retirement community in Kent, OH.
Maske is still adjusting to her new life in Streetsboro, OH, and often longs to return to her old life at Silver Oaks. Within the 90 days following their eviction notices, 5 Silver Oaks residents died.
Maske walked the halls of the Silver Center, the community building at Silver Oaks, for the last time after collecting a pile of old library books. Maske loved the sense of community and togetherness she felt living at Silver Oaks.
Mary comforted a friend and neighbor before her move in the Silver Center library.
Maske and a group of her neighbors formed a coalition to fight Capstone Development Corps., the Alabama-based housing company that bought Silver Oaks in order to transform it into student housing.
In late July of 2011, over 200 seniors were devastated to learn that they were being evicted from their homes at Silver Oaks Place, a retirement community in Kent, OH, within 60 days. Mary Maske, 76, is one of those seniors.
Maske discussed their fight against Capstone with a friend at the Respect Your Elders Rally in Kent, OH, on Friday September 2, 2011. Townspeople, retirees and prominent community figures gathered together to rally support for the Silver Oaks cause.
Maske lowered her head in sadness while movers packed her life into boxes on the day before her move. Eventually, Maske was able to find an apartment to suit her disabilities, although it was much more expensive than her home at Silver Oaks.
The stress of being forced to move at the age of 76 took a toll on Maske’s emotional well-being. “It’s like I’m always on the verge of tears,” Maske said.
Movers hauled Maske’s life away in boxes on her moving day. The stress of packing and moving to a new place was emotionally and physically painful for her.
Since suffering from polio as a child, Maske has been diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome. Neurological damage caused by her fight against polio as a child makes many simple tasks difficult to perform.
Maske signed documents to take ownership of her new apartment in Streetsboro, OH, a town 7 miles north of Kent. Although her new residence is closer to her only son, David, Maske was reluctant to leave her friends and sense of belonging she felt at her home in Silver Oaks.
The stress of moving day and her new environment broke Maske down after an hour in her new apartment. The neurological damage caused by Post-Polio makes her feel stress and worry more deeply than most.
Maske was one of the last seniors to leave Silver Oaks Place.