Scott Farrar caring for the community since 1909

  • Peterborough Marble and Granite Works. Staff photo by Walker John

  • Peterborough Marble and Granite Works. Staff photo by Walker John

  • Scott-Farrar of Peterborough has been around since 1909. Staff photo by Walker John

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/18/2019 10:14:14 AM

For the past 110 years, Scott-Farrar has been a symbol of community, care and compassion in Peterborough. Established in 1909 as the Peterborough Home for the Aged, the foundation of their mission has never changed: to provide a healthy, safe, home-like environment for the Monadnock Region’s older citizens at an affordable cost.

“Our community is a nonprofit charity. That’s unique in senior housing,” CEO Lara Shea said. “The number one way we give back is with our presence. We provide an affordable option, then help seniors who outlive their assets.”

Over the last century, the senior living facility grown from a cape on High Street, to a Victorian on Elm Street. Then, first official Scott-Farrar Home, completed in 1957 (the brick building), served the areas elderly for over 50 years until it was closed, torn down and replaced in 2016 by the building that stands today.

Now, the different opportunities in the Scott-Farrar community represent the three different neighborhoods that they cater to: independent living, assisted living and memory care assisted living. Each neighborhood provides its residents not only with the services they require, but with a strong sense of community involvement.

“Being a part of this community gives our residents the social aspect that they might miss out on,” Sales and Community Relations Director Toby Cummings said. “All day there is positive interaction. I love seeing their friendships.”

Interaction comes easy at Scott-Farrar. Throughout the building there are several rooms and spaces dedicated to different programs and activities. In one room, paintings are displayed on easels with paint brushes and palettes beside them. Residents art work, in progress, waiting for next weeks art class. In another, a group of residents sit facing an instructor, mirroring the exercises she demonstrates to them.

This group involvement plays an integral role in the livelihoods of the residents, especially those facing declining health. “As residents transition to from one neighborhood to another, or need more help from the staff, they don’t feel ostracized or embarrassed, even if their health is diminishing. It’s touching to see how supportive residents are of one another,” Shea said. “They’ll even carpool to visit each other at the hospital, concerned for their fellow residents wellbeing.”

With their revitalization in 2016, Scott-Farrar put an emphasis on the small details that can improve the lives of their residents. Located in a center courtyard, the Memory Garden gives the residents in the memory care assisted living neighborhood, typically those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, a safe place to spend time outside. Designed by landscape designer Rob Hoover, the garden features intentional features such as light-colored pathways to reduce glare and long, flat slabs of stone to prevent depth-perception issues.

The staff at Scott-Farrar maintain a specific vocabulary that supports the sense of community and comfort, such as their use of the term “neighborhoods” when describing the three different living opportunities. “We use more home like language because it is their home,” Shea said. “We don’t want our community to feel like an institution. We want Scott-Farrar to be a place where residents want to be.”

Just as they have done for the past century, Scott-Farrar hopes to continue its legacy of care, compassion and community for generations to come.


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