Meridian Acres provides a safe home for seniors, served by smiling staff

Lori Draves-Reynaert, 53, and Shelly Maynard, 49, own Meridian Acres, a 40-bed residential facility on Meridian Road (M-30), a half-mile north of U.S. Highway 10 in Sanford .

Meridian Acres helps seniors with the activities of daily living and they provide memory care as a specialty. Each resident has his own private apartment. All privately funded. They have 35 employees.

Lori and Shelly are both graduates of Sanford-Meridian High School, RNs and educated at Ferris State University. Lori also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from CMU.

Lowry is married to Marty. He is an electrician. They have a son, Parker.

Shirley married Bill. He is a sales engineer. They have a son Zachary and a daughter Hayley.

How long have you owned your own business?

Shirley: We opened in November 2018.

What inspired you to own this business?

Shirley: We are both home care visiting nurses. Lori is still there. We’re going to go into all of these types of facilities and treat patients. Then, we had an opportunity, so we bought Olson Manor (sold in July) on Olson Road, south of Sanford. We’ve made a waiting list, so we’ve decided to build here. We are both RNs and have caring personalities from the start. We just got the right opportunity at the right time.

Lori: Rich Campau is the owner of Olson Manor (named Hillcrest). He encouraged us to buy it for several years and offered to sell it to us on a land contract.

What makes Sanford a great place to own a business?

Lowry: The need is there, especially in memory care.

Shirley: We were both born and raised here, as was our husband, so it felt natural for us to do this here.

In what ways is your business active in the local community?

Shelly: We participate in the Sanford Shines Parade, where we put a tree every year. Contributed to the sports facilities at Meridian School. We are part of the Sanford community and get involved in every way we can. Donate to Sanford Youth Baseball Diamonds. We are members of the Sanford Chamber of Commerce and we donate to the Sanford Historical Society.

What are your hobbies?

Lori: We paddled and downhill skied.

Shirley: My husband and I love doing everything outdoors. We ride Harleys in the summer, we row boats, we ride side by side.

What about the local businesses you work with that will help your business succeed?

Lori: We work with Arnold Sales on cleaning supplies. Try to keep it as local as possible. Buy groceries from the Sanford Food Center and local farmers.

Any final thoughts to share?

Lowry: We thank our employees every day. Without them, this would not be possible.

Shirley: I want to thank the family for trusting us to be with their loved ones. If you’re looking for a facility, make sure you visit it and make sure you’re happy with it.

Lowry: Go take a tour, don’t make an appointment. The staff should be ready to greet you whenever you show up. If you see smiling staff and many smiling residents, you’re probably in the right place. Check social media for different events for residents. Ask family members for references. Happy families talk to other families.

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