Roques said that Keswick, located across the street from the Rotunda mall, has been there for 86 years, and in some ways is refocusing on its original mission to help its clients live "comfortable, happy, useful lives," as envisioned by Keswick's founders.

"We will be a resource for our neighborhood as people age and hopefully age well," she said. "There's never going to be a shortage of elders and there's never going to be a shortage of what they need."

Keswick is also planning to do focus groups this summer for the first time in at least five years, to find out what services seniors want and need, regardless of income level, Roque said.

Keswick officials already know that seniors want to stay close to home.


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"They want to live in their communities, not necessarily at home, but in their communities," she said.

Roques also hopes to expand memory care to include psychological services. And she said Keswick is working with Sheppard Pratt to provide diagnostic services in the community.

Overall, Keswick's goal is to provide "a continuum" of health care that so far includes memory care, adult day care, rehab and long-term care.

Making peace

Unlike Roland Park Place next door, Keswick is not a continuing care retirement center and has no immediate plans to offer assisted living, Roques said.

But like her predecessor, Roques is interested in someday offering retirement living. Keswick tried to buy 17 acres of Baltimore Country Club green space in Roland Park in 2008 for use as a 323-bed retirement community.

But Roland Park community leaders, anxious to stave off development and preserve the parcel as open space, fought the sale bitterly until Bowerman and the board gave up in 2009.

"I've heard a lot about the dustup," Roques said. And she said she understands what Kewsick officials were thinking at the time, because, "That would have helped fill in that piece of (Keswick's) continuum."

Now, the idea of building a retirement center somewhere in the Baltimore area is "not in our immediate plans," Roques said. "But it's not off the table," she added.

She is more concerned for now with making sure Keswick has a good relationship with Roland Park and other area communities. She said she has reached out of the presidents of several area community groups, including Phil Spevak, president of the influential Roland Park Civic League.

She said she asked him, "How can we do more with our neighbors?"

"She reached out to me and we had a nice conversation," Spevak said. "I've always thought Keswick was an important resource in the community."

Spevak said they talked about Keswick's desire for a retirement community and that he told Roques he regretted the issue was so contentious.

The civic league will honor Bowerman at its annual meeting May 22.

Keswick co-sponsored Ciclovia V earlier this month and hopes to co-sponsor the next one, Roques said. She said Keswick is also sponsoring other area events, including a summer picnic at the St. Mary's Outreach Center in Hampden.

"We are a part of this community and will be for a very long time," Roques said.