When I started this journey in 1982, there weren't many communities like Harmony. I don't claim to have invented much. Whenever I saw a best-in-class community doing something right, I modeled Harmony on their example. More important than my own observations, I spoke with the residents of these communities, to hear for myself what the residents did and didn't like. In this way, Harmony has become a best-of-the-best-in-class community. I'm extremely proud of that.
If there's a difference between Harmony and our competitors, it's family. My family has been intimately involved in the creation and operation of Harmony from the beginning and remains so to this day. If you look at our competitors, many of them are run from the corporate boardroom, managed by investors who've never been in a senior living community - people who, despite having good intentions, have no idea what life is really like for the residents inside.
That's just not the case with Harmony. When we say "Family Serving Families," it's not hyperbole. Harmony is truly a family business inside and out. In fact, four of my own family members have been Harmony residents, including both of my parents. Believe me when I tell you I understand the responsibility that comes with being the person entrusted with the care decisions for a family member.
My father, especially, was not easy to convince. Independent and still living on a farm, if anybody would be unhappy with group living, it was my Dad. But within the first week of experiencing life at Harmony, a life free of burdensome house maintenance, daily meal preparation, frequent trips to town, and the other challenges of later life, my parents were relieved. More so, my Mom was actually angry that we'd taken so long to get them into Harmony.
Harmony not only improved the quality of life for my parents, it actually may have extended their lives. Dad lived to be 95 and Mom lived to be over 100. I honestly believe without the stress of maintaining their home, as well as the improved socialization, nutrition, exercise, care, and support they received, my parents lived longer lives, with a higher quality of life.
Since our founding in 1982, we've grown to 34 communities and over 2,500 associates serving seniors and their families with Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care services in 12 states along the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern US. While I'm exceedingly proud of our growth, our goal is never to get too big. Much like with any close family, we don't want to be too spread out.
My family created Harmony to serve families like yours. We built it. We have lived in it. We believe in it. We truly are family, serving families. And we look forward to welcoming and serving your family.
-Jim Smith, Founder