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Dr. Philip Heilpern: Memoirs and Memories

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Dr.-Philip-Heilpern

Dr. Philip Heilpern

After Dr. Philip Heilpern and Laury, his wife of more than five decades, moved into one of the spacious cottages on the Park Springs campus in April 2013, it soon became apparent that Laury’s Alzheimer’s disease was progressing faster than they had expected.

By December of that year, it was necessary for Mrs. Heilpern’s safety and well-being to move her to Julia’s Suites, the Memory Care unit within Park Springs’ Cobblestone Health Center, though she was and is in excellent physical health.

“Having this type of professional, kind care available within minutes from my home is invaluable,” says Dr. Heilpern, who fondly remembers how he and Laury used to travel all over the world, and played tennis together until just a few years ago.

It was during this time, when he became single while still married, that Dr. Heilpern began to reflect on the things he ‘used to do:’ “Where I had gone to school; what did old friends look like, what was my family like; how did I wind up in Holland, studying to be a doctor, or in France with the Air Force.”

Dr.-Philip-Heilpern--Memoirs-and-Memories

Dr. Philip Heilpern’s Book of Memoirs and Memories

As the aloneness increased, he began to write down his memories, “almost to relive them,” and with the help of an editor, Dr. Heilpern’s stories were recently published in a delightful book, “Doc of Aged: Memoirs of a Traveling Psychiatrist.”

The vivid stories collected in this memoir include his experiences when he and his team of ‘cynical idealists’ traveled all over the eastern part of Suffolk County in Long Island (NY). They responded to community requests to visit aged folks where they lived, in order to realistically evaluate their mental functioning.

Dr. Heilpern was born in New York City in 1932. He attended City College of New York and got his MD degree at Leiden University in the Netherlands, where he met and married Laury, a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines stewardess at the time.

In 1962, Dr. Heilpern joined the U.S. Air Force and served four years in France at a NATO base. Upon his return to the U.S., he took a psychiatry residency in New York. He taught psychiatry for twenty years at Stony Brook University, and developed and worked with the Geriatric Mobile Team for fifteen years. He and Laury have three children, one in New York, one in Georgia and one in Nice, France, and six grandchildren.

Dr. Heilpern, who writes just as easy and relaxed as he talks, is comfortable getting along with many different people, and has felt at home living in a variety of locations during his career. The move to Park Springs, from Niantic (CT) via Decatur (GA), did not faze him, especially since toward the end of his career he had also served as a Locum Tenens (a substitute or “one holding the place”) physician in a number of locations throughout the USA.

He appreciates the wide range of activities available to the Members who live at the Park Springs retirement community, and continues to enjoy Atlanta’s cultural events, including season tickets to the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra and elegant dinners at some of Atlanta’s top restaurants.

Meeting friends for a cocktail or dinner at the Park Springs Pub or in one of the four dining establishments on the Park Springs campus are frequent and fun. “You know, I have a full kitchen in our home, and I use it at least once a month – when I dust it,” he smiles.

To order a copy of Dr. Heilpern’s book, please click here.

To learn more about living at Park Springs by Isakson Living year-round, or if you’d like to schedule a personal tour of Park Springs, please contact one of Park Springs’ Residency Counselors at 678-684-3300 or visit www.parksprings.com.

 

Comments

  1. Phil, you surprise us all. I thought surely once you left the Pub you were on your way to cook a nice steak on your grill, but you were on your way to the Springhouse GRILL. Well, you can have a lobster or steak there too.

  2. Len Tulman on June 14, 2016 at 10:19 pm said:

    Phil, I hope to hear from you

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