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.
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.
Prairie Hills at Tipton
Neal, Maintenance Coordinator, and Lou are good friends. With Lou’s apartment being close to Neal’s office, Lou always knows what Neal is up to! For Lou’s Dare to Dream, Neal asked him to help run some errands. Their first stop was the lumber store to pick out paint colors for our hospitality room. Next was Wal-Mart for odds and ends. The new Hawkeye hat wasn’t planned, but once the hat went on Lou’s head, it wasn’t coming off! They even made a wish-list in the sporting goods aisle for their spring/summer plans! Neal then took Lou to Neal’s parent’s house to visit the coon dogs per Lou’s request. Their last planned stop was DQ for an ice cream cone! On their way back, Lou pointed down the street where his mom and dad’s jewelry store used to be. Cook’s Jewelry is currently operated in Iowa City by Lou’s brother and nephew but the original Cook’s jewelry started in Tipton in 1951. Lou returned to the community with the biggest smile on his face while performing the Elvis Presley dance move, “Thank you very much!”
Kenneth & Helen
In February, Kenneth and Helen were celebrating their 67th wedding anniversary. We knew we had to do something special to celebrate this momentous occasion so we planned a vow renewal ceremony. Family, friends and church members gathered to watch Kenneth and Helen renew their vows with their pastor from Kenwood Methodist Church. The couple have been members of Kenwood since returning to the Cedar Rapids area, so it was extra special for them to renew their vows with a church that means so much to them. Afterwards, everyone was treated to a small reception. There, Kenneth and Helen got to enjoy a wedding cake and treats, while sharing in the company of those who love them!
Brown Deer Place
Sue has been blind her whole life, but one of her passions has always been music. She was in many choirs in her life and often went to operas and musicals for entertainment. Our Life Enrichment Coordinator, Sky, got tickets for The Sound of the Music at the Coralville Center for Performing Arts and took Sue for her Dare to Dream. Sue lit up when we told her we had gotten her tickets and smiled throughout the entire performance. She even sang along when she knew the words! After the performance was over, we took Sue out to her favorite restaurant, Olive Garden. On our way back, Sue said this was a great day and couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it when we got home!
Country Meadow Place
JoAnn’s dream was always to sing on stage. To make her dream a reality, we arranged to have her and her family tour the famous Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. The Surf staff made arrangements to allow JoAnn to belt out a tune under the lights. It was a sight to behold as JoAnn marched up on stage and sang her heart out. She LOVES lipstick so we got her some new lipstick for her performance, and her children sat in the front row and applauded. They were so excited that their mother was living out her dream. We made JoAnn’s longtime dream a reality and she was so happy.
Arlington Place of Grundy Center
JP moved to Arlington Place last fall and settled in wonderfully, although he has occasionally struggled to communicate with other residents due to hearing impairment. We sat down with his family to make sure we were offering JP the things he enjoys and learned that he absolutely loves the casino! He specifically likes a certain poker machine and could hang out there all day. To make JP’s dream come true, we rounded up a few guys and tested our luck. We gave JP some playing money and enjoyed seeing him in his element!
Carl has always enjoyed shooting pool and has quite the shot! Sarah Zimmerman, Community Relations Coordinator, knew how much Carl enjoyed pool and organized for him to bring his pool table to Emery Place! Carl is settling into his new home and enjoys sharing his love of pool with other residents at Emery Place. He has turned his living room into a pool room and can often be found with a cue in his hand! Carl says, “You never forget how to shoot pool, it comes right back to you.” Carl has a group of friends that join him every Tuesday afternoon for an afternoon of pool! Cindy Lynch, Life Enrichment Coordinator, recently sat down with Carl to arrange an Emery Place Pool League that meets on Thursday afternoons. Carl is excited to have the Emery Place Men’s Club over for pizza and pool every week! It’s a Dream come True!
Frieda enjoys being active and living life to the fullest. Her daughter, Judy, recently moved back to Iowa from Texas and the pair have been spending a lot of time catching up. Sarah Zimmerman, Community Relations Coordinator, thought it would be nice to send them for a night on the town. When Frieda shared the news with her daughter about the chance to see the Sound of Music at the Paramount, they both shared the same joyous response. There was only one thing left to do… invite Judy’s childhood best friend, Anna, along as well. Frieda had an amazing time with the “girls,” and it was just like when the kids were little and they would get together. Drinks, a show and good company made this dream special for the trio!