Touching Lives Stories
Polly’s Story: The Chance of a Lifetime
Polly, a retired school teacher, received a letter from one of her former students last year that sent her on a quest to scratch off one of her bucket list items: getting the best possible view of the 2017 total solar eclipse. The student told her that if she had a chance to travel to Carbondale, she should. She would be witnessing something that only happens once in a lifetime.
At this point, Polly was determined to see the eclipse. She shared her letter with staff and residents because she knew Heritage Woods of Centralia would make her dream come true.
And we did.
Our team planned a day trip to another Gardant community: Prairie Living at Chautauqua in Carbondale. It was there that she would have the greatest view of totality in the world. The experience was even more special because Polly was able to fulfill her dream with the friends she has grown close to after living at Heritage Woods of Centralia for many years. Polly described the eclipse trip as the most memorable experience of her life, and it would not have happened without Heritage Woods.
Zed’s Story: A Friend in Need
Zed is one of the most outgoing residents at Heritage Woods of Centralia. He has never met a stranger.
Looking at Zed, you would never know that his wife was sick. The stress of her worsening health in a nearby nursing home began to wear on him. He isn’t the type of man who wants to burden anyone with his troubles.
When our team learned that his wife was in the hospital, and her prognosis was not good, our directors went with Zed as he sat by her side. The time spent with Zed was comforting for him and reinforced the compassion that we show each and every day.
Even now, Zed tells us that he has not forgotten the kindness that our staff showed to him during this difficult time in his life. He says that Heritage Woods is not just a home, but his home, and we are his family.
Rita’s Story: Life Changes Bring New Possibilities
When Rita moved into Heritage Woods, she knew she would finally have the assistance she needed. What she didn’t know is that she would also form new friendships.
Shirley and Rita became instant friends because they had a lot in common and enjoyed the same hobbies.
Today, it’s not uncommon to see the two of them together, playing bingo or enjoying lunch in the dining room.
Our community helps Rita maintain her independence, and our staff treats her with the dignity that she deserves.
Through her friendship with Shirley, both women have also realized that even with the changes of life, they can still have a life full of possibilities.
Marthann’s Story: Finding Her Strength
When Marthann moved into Heritage Woods of Centralia, she wanted to try Wii Bowling but she wasn’t sure if she could do it. Her confidence wavered until another resident showed her that she was capable of anything, if she just believed in herself. With the help of her new friend, Marthann’s confidence grew more and more as she practiced with him. With a positive outlook and help from her new coach, Marthann started a new Wii Bowling team. She says she is thankful for the friendships she has found at Heritage Woods. Moving to our community has helped her realize that even with life changes, she can still find new experiences, achieve goals and maintain her dignity.