Roy joins the Henry Clay

Rev. Darian Duckworth leads a Bible Study at the Henry Clay, which was attended by residents, Andrew Clidy, Herbie Pearson, Dot Wray and Allison Roy, director of Senior Services.
Staff Writer

Allison Roy has some pretty big shoes to fill at the Henry Clay.

After Dee Mathis retired at the end of April as director of Resident Services, Roy has taken over at the helm.

Roy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Mississippi State and had done an internship at Dugan Memorial Home. The Henry Clay and Dugan are both under the umbrella of Methodist Senior Services.

"I had heard Dee was retiring," Roy said. "And Shelly Tuggle, the executive director at Dugan, suggested I apply for the job at the Henry Clay."

A degree in social work can take a person in a lot of different directions, but at this time, Roy feels her calling is with the elders in the community.

"I came here straight out of college," Roy said. "I feel working with older people is my calling and the Henry Clay is wonderful."

She hopes to change the perception that the Henry Clay is a skilled nursing facility. Nothing could be further from the truth. She admits she often receives calls from adult children hoping to place their elderly parents who need 24-hour skilled nursing at the Henry Clay.

"This is independent living," Roy said. "Our residents range from age 21 - 95. They come and go as they please. They cook for themselves. We have several who are often seen walking or riding a scooter downtown. This is a place to continue living."

Roy wants the Henry Clay to be known as an active place for seniors. She will continue to have Senior Gatherings on Wednesdays and has plans for more activities in the future.

"I want the residents to be happy," Roy said. "That is my goal for being here. We offer a great environment for people who no longer want the responsibility and upkeep of a house and a yard. All they have to do here is keep their apartment clean. We have maintenance people who keep everything running smoothly. It's an ideal living situation."

Roy said Methodist Senior Services strives to keep the three plagues of the elderly at bay.

"Boredom, loneliness and helplessness," Roy said. "I encourage the residents to come out of their rooms and visit with each other. I want them to get to know one another."

A former resident, Harriet Gaskin, had given the residents of the Henry Clay a name. She said they were a “family of friends.”

"I've already heard a lot of wonderful things about Miss Harriet, I wish I had known her," Roy said. "But I want to carry on that tradition. I can't think of any better way to describe the Henry Clay."