Touching Lives Stories
Karen’s Story: Feel Like I’m On Vacation
I lived in a garden apartment that had a few stairs. I helped with daycare for parents who could not afford to pay a daycare. The stairs were getting hard for me, and the kids were starting school. I needed to find somewhere else to live. I prayed to God to guide me. My sisters lived in Belvidere and looked into Heritage Woods for me. They told me it would be a good place for me.
From the day I moved here, I saw all the freedom I would have. I could go to the doctor, shopping and out into the world on my own without bothering anyone.
I also feel like I am on vacation. All my meals are prepared for me. There are housekeeping services, a hair salon and entertainment. I have a lot of friends here,
I thank God everyday for guiding me here. Life is good.
Estill’s Story: A Wonderful Place to Live
“A wonderful place to live.”
Estill shares how much he loves the access to activities at Heritage Woods.
He has friends in the community and enjoys going out to the stores and places that are easily accessible in our area. He stays quite active.
Estill has family in the area and enjoys their visits. He has a beautiful great-granddaughter that he is so very proud of showing off when she visits.
Heritage Woods is home and offers everything he needs. He simply states, “You can’t ask for a better place to live.”
Estelle’s Story: Staying Busy with Friends, Activities and New Experiences
After Estelle’s husband passed away, she moved back to Illinois to live with her son.
She kept as busy as she could, but often found herself lonely because her son and his wife worked during the day.
Being bored is not an issue for her anymore.
Since she moved here, Estelle has made a lot of friends and is very active at our community. If there is an activity going on, especially a craft, that is where you will find Estelle.
She also has a best friend, Coralynn, who lives here. They are two peas in a pod. When you find one, you can be sure the other is not far behind.
In addition to her busy social calendar, Estelle has experienced many firsts while living here at Heritage Woods of Belvidere.
Her son took her on her first Harley motorcycle ride when she was 84 years old!
Last August, she got a birds eye view of the area while riding a Ferris wheel with her family during the county fair.
Estelle is a true testament to new beginnings, and a reminder that when a chapter in life ends, another on begins.
We hope that Estelle can experience many more firsts while living here at our community.
Anita’s Story: Finding “Heaven” at Heritage Woods
Eight years ago, Anita fell at her apartment. She went to the hospital and went through two surgeries for a brain bleed. She was in a coma for 7 weeks. She couldn’t walk and had to re-learn a number of daily tasks. She struggled through therapy for five months.
During this time, she lost her apartment and a family member used or got rid of most of her belongings to avoid paying storage fees. She was very unhappy living at a nursing home, but she had no other options. There was not a lot of support from her family. She was in Wisconsin, and had no major assets, just living off of her Social Security. As she was completing therapy, the social services worker called Heritage Woods in Belvidere. She had heard about the Illinois Supportive Living Program and knew Anita was too independent and social to stay where she was living.
When Anita moved to Heritage Woods, we were able to offer her donated furniture to replace what she’d lost.
Once again, she has her own apartment and can be independent, but also receives the necessary assistance to make her feel safe.
Anita takes advantage of every social activity that she can, and she is a very busy woman.
When asked to use one word to describe life here, Anita said, “Heaven!”
When her sister drove her up the driveway, Anita said couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. She says our community reminds her of an Embassy Suites, and she never she could live in a place like this because she is not financially well off.
Anita has made many friends here and is always telling everyone how much she loves living here. She has become a member of our family and helps make our community as friendly and warm as it is. Her optimism and spirit can brighten anyone’s day, not to mention her contagious laugh and bright smile.
Heritage Woods of Belvidere may have been a blessing for Anita, but we’ve come to realize, she is the real blessing.
Darlene’s Story: Maintaining Her Independence and Making a Home for Herself
Darlene has always been an active person. She was the vice president of a chemical company and had the opportunity to travel around the world.
She moved to Heritage Woods of Belvidere from a nearby independent living community after a couple surgeries left her with less mobility than she’d had in the past.
One thing that Darlene appreciates about our community is how we help her maintain her independence.
A frequent contributor to our newsletter, she interviews residents and writes articles about them.
Darlene is well-liked and has a large group of friends that she enjoys spending time with at our community.
These days, Darlene loves being able to “do what she wants to do”- whether it be participating in activities or relaxing and watching television in her apartment. She makes her own choices and continues to live her life the way she wants to live it.
For anyone who has doubts about whether an assisted living community can feel like home, Darlene says, “I consider this my home because my home is where I am.”
And we are so glad Darlene chose Heritage Woods as her home!