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.
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!
Arlington Place of Grundy Center
Dorothy loves books! She especially loves being read to. Lenah, Life Enrichment Coordinator, has been reading to her every day and Dorothy acts like a kid going to Disney land when they meet to read. Recently, Dorothy and Lenah have been reading a book by an Iowa native, Melissa Tagg. For her Dare to Dream, Lenah took Dorothy to a presentation by the author and she loved it! She insisted on getting her own copy of the book and was overjoyed when the author signed it. She then did a parade lap all throughout Arlington Place as she made everyone see her new autographed book.
Courtyard Estates of Bondurant
It doesn’t take long to recognize that Larry has a love for motorcycles and Courtyard Estates knew right away where they needed to go to make his Dare to Dream come true. Unfortunately, the National Motorcycle Museum happens to be 134 miles away! After overcoming logistical hurdles, Larry and Janet, Life Enrichment Coordinator headed toward Anamosa. While Larry’s memory lapses on certain details of his life, he can recall the details of the motorcycles he used to own and ride. At the museum, Larry had a personal tour guide named Karla. She took Larry through and showed him everything in the museum with great kindness. We continued on with the tour and when we finished Larry was presented with a t-shirt that had one of his motorcycles on it. Janet asked Karla if she could take her picture with Larry and noticed she was fighting back tears. The museum refused to take any money for the visit and they left with very full hearts! The afternoon’s experience was rewarding for all involved!
The Lakeside Village
Marcia had been talking about making, and more importantly eating, her spicy chili recipe all winter. We figured if her dream is to eat her spicy chili, we could make a special event out of it! Manager, Amanda, entered Marcia in the Casey Iowa Chili Cook-Off hosted by the Casey Service Club. With Amanda’s assistance, Marcia prepared a pot of her Spicy Chili and entered the competition. Marcia sampled several chili recipes from the other 13 entrants, but she expressed that chili is something that is unique to a person’s taste and she really only LOVES hers. At the end of the evening, the judges agree! Marcia was awarded Spiciest Chili of 2018. She was presented an award certificate and a medal!