Kay's Home was inspired by the search for a home for my Aunt Kay, a fiercely independent woman who lived on her own for many years, maintaining her home and garden beautifully into her 70's. As she got older, her sons worried about her living alone, and convinced her to move into a large assisted living facility. She did not thrive; she spent most of her time alone in her room at the end of a long hallway.
Then her sons found a small home nearby that had only six residents. The aides were kind and attentive, and prepared meals that everyone ate family style in the dining room. When I visited Kay at this facility, the difference was striking. Her eyes had their old sparkle, her fingernails were freshly manicured in her favorite shade of pink, and she and another patient were watching one of her favorite John Wayne movies.
As I sat chatting with Kay that day, a dream was born in my own heart. I would start such a "home away from home” where community was the watchword. A place where attention to patients' needs and desires came first, a place where creativity was fostered, where patients did not languish in boredom, but were invited to participate in creative, stimulating activities to nourish their souls.
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