Dreams Come True
Being a part of the Senior Housing family of communities means adhering to a very special set of values. One of these values is ensuring that our team members get to know each and every one of our residents not only in regards to health care, but also as a unique and vibrant person.
Our goal is to make at least one resident dream come true each month in every one of our assisted living and memory care communities. These dreams can range from modest to elaborate based on the unique experiences and backstories of each individual resident. The stories shared below only offer a glimpse into the vast collection of dreams come true throughout Senior Housing’s history of fulfilling hundreds of resident dreams.
To date, Senior Housing Companies have made over 1,000 Dreams come true.
Margret & Lois
Edencrest at Green Meadows
Margret and Lois became very good friends and they decided they wanted to go to Hawaii. While an actual trip to Hawaii wasn’t an option, we decided to bring Hawaii to them! This trip was complete with luau dancers, Hawaiian food and traditional music. The ‘stay-cation’ brought a smile to Margaret and Lois’s faces!
Prairie Hills at Tipton
Jen’s dream has been to go to Ireland for many years. To make this dream come true, Life Enrichment Coordinator, Hannah, did a little research to bring the Irish culture closer to home. She found that Paramount Theater in Cedar Rapids was presenting a show called the ‘Rockin’ Road to Dublin.’ Jen’s mother, Jan, joined the two as a guest and the ladies left for Cedar Rapids. The trio found their seats and were so pleased at how close they were to the stage! The Rockin’ Road to Dublin is a combination of Irish Dance Performance and a Rock Concert. After the first song was over, Jen turned to Hannah while wiping a tear from her eye and said, “Thank you so much, this is so amazing!” Everyone that knows Jen knows how much she loves music and to sing, so when they performed a rock medley of songs like “Anyway You Want It” and “Eye of the Tiger,” Jen belted out the lyrics as if she were on stage. She clapped the entire time with the biggest smile on her face! After the show, Jen was able to meet the singers and performers. She told them this was her “special night” and thanked them for such a great show.
Emery Place celebrate Norma’s Dare to Dream at The Farmer’s Daughter Market in Hiawatha, Iowa. Norma moved to Emery Place from Arizona almost a year ago to be near her family. She has always loved crafts, decorating and creating memorable pieces from natural elements. We felt that The Farmer’s Daughter would give her an opportunity to see a huge variety of just that. She was amazed at the array of crafts and we were made to feel very welcome by Jennifer and her staff. Norma was treated to a beautiful gift basket and enjoyed a delicious lunch of chicken salad and noodle soup as well as one of their famous cinnamon rolls to go. Norma was extremely grateful and thanked Cindy, Life Enrichment Coordinator, with an emotional hug. A special thanks to The Farmer’s Daughter Market for having us!
Marjorie enjoyed sports growing up, and loved watching her children play. When we asked her what sports she played, she told us volleyball and fencing, then jokingly lamented that “pick-up games of fencing just don’t happen for some reason.” To fulfill this active resident’s dream, we teamed up with the Smithsonian Museum and Mount Vernon Tourism. Mount Vernon was hosting a special exhibit from the Smithsonian titled “Hometown Teams.” Joe from Mount Vernon Tourism met us to open the museum on a day it was closed for private tour. Marjorie was particularly interested in the pieces from Dan Gable’s personal collection, and how women’s sports have changed. We also learned the history of how Jack Trice Stadium got its name, and learned about athletes today. Finally, Marjorie took photos in their giant photo booth to become her own baseball card. Since it was a beautiful day, we ended the trip with a stop to get ice-cream and talk about all the wonderful treasures we saw.
Edencrest at Beaverdale
Bernadine a strong woman, and very well-liked by her peers and the staff at Edencrest at Beaverdale. When we found out that the five-year anniversary of her husband’s passing was nearing, we knew we needed to help her recognize this milestone. She had not been back to the grave site since that day. We set out to visit her husband’s final resting place and paid tribute to him and his memory while sharing hugs. After leaving the cemetery, we visited their former neighborhood, and she pointed out the home they husband used to share. It was a good day, filled with good memories and friendship.
The Lakeside Village
Dorothy shared that one of her dreams was to visit the Veteran’s Museum in Des Moines. As her care team, we know that traveling can be difficult for Dorothy, so we partnered with the Veteran’s Museum to bring the exhibits to her. Representatives of the Guthrie County VFW and American Legion performed a flag ceremony presenting the flag to Dorothy to honor her service. Members of the Kindred Hospice Staff then pinned Dorothy, thanking her for all she did to protect our freedom. Then Mike Boight from The Gold Star Military Museum gave a virtual tour of the exhibits and brought memorabilia specific to Dorothy’s service. It was a wonderful day for veterans to come together to honor one of their own.
Sunset Park Place
A resident at Sunset Park Place overheard Shelly Gessner, Life Enrichment Coordinator, playing the piano and wanted to keep one of the sing-a-long lyrics books handed to everyone. She told Shelly she used to play the piano. Later, on Pi Day, Sunset Park Place hosted Free Pie Day in the afternoon. Shelly played background music, and this resident and her family came to enjoy a piece of pie. Once again they discussed how she used to play the piano… She just needed her music! The resident’s husband brought in a book of duets the following morning. Shelly invited her to the activity room to play the piano, for her Dare to Dream. The pair played several duets together. She would flip through the pages, find her favorite pieces and played until she was tired out! She was delighted to play again and would like to keep practicing so she could play as well as she once did. As part 2 of this Dare to Dream, Sunset Park Place proposed the idea of performing at their annual Talent Show in the fall. This Dare to Dream is really a kick-off for her to revive an old hobby that she is very passionate about.
Sunset Park Place
Doris has lived in Dubuque all her life. She raised 9 children, volunteered at the Arboretum, continues to Sing with Sinsinawa Singers every Wednesday, but had never been on a real farm. Cindy Lynch, Hair Stylist at Sunset Park Place, and her husband Kevin have a farm just outside Cascade, and we planned a trip to make this dream come true for Doris. The Lynch Farm is home to 6 ducks, 25 chickens, a couple of feisty roosters, a few cats, 3 pigs, 160 beef cattle, a dog, and a horse. We enjoyed driving around the farm and learning about what a day in the life of a farmer is all about. We also had the opportunity to visit the Lynch organic dairy farm across the highway that belongs to Kevin’s brother and family. Everyone had a wonderful time visiting the Lynch farm. Some of the residents enjoyed reminiscing about living on or visiting family farms. Doris was delighted to be on a real farm. “It was really neat!”
Arlington Place of Oelwein
Merna is one of our very active residents; she keeps busy whether enjoying dinner with her great grandchildren or enjoying a trip to the river. Merna’s 90th birthday was approaching quickly, so with the help of her granddaughter, we were able to pull off a birthday party open house at Arlington Place. The day was filled with laughs, cake and of course… beer! Merna had over 100 guests stop by to celebrate her birthday!
Arlington Place of Red Oak
Lois is a former “Happy Warbler,” and sang with them for years. The Happy Warblers are a group of senior citizens that go to local retirement communities and nursing homes to sing hymns and holiday songs. However, since Lois moved to Arlington Place she was worried been able to keep up with the Warblers. Arlington Place invited the Happy Warblers to come and sing with Lois to make her dream come true! Lois and her former gang came together to put on one heck of a show for her friends and neighbors.