Family Testimonial : Lana Henderson

I'm so excited from the bottom of my heart that I was able to find this place, this staff, these people that are on this long journey with dad and me.

My dad lived in West Virginia. At that time, my stepmother needed to be placed into a nursing home. We started the process of looking for living arrangements for dad and step-mother. During this time, we did find an assisted living facility that was connected with a nursing home. At that time, I felt that would be perfect for Dad and Haddie. As time progressed, I realized how this didn't really work for my dad. There were so many things going on with me living in Illinois that I was not able to control or handle with being out of state.

I started the process of looking in Effingham; I was going to bring my dad back here to give him the quality care I wanted. I made the trip over to see Kaye and Willowbrook. At the time, their facility was full; however, they were opening a new facility next door that would be opened soon. I made arrangements in another assisted living place; things just weren't right there either. After speaking with Kaye, even though my dad wasn't a resident of Willowbrook at the time, they helped us deal with things going on. We knew we would get here; it was just going to be a period of time.

In the meantime, they let my dad come in a few hours at a time to get use to their facilities. When you first walk into this building, this building is such a welcoming home situation for the residents. I like coming into the living area and kitchen area; in any home, this is where everyone gathers. There are 12 residents in each building. The ratio of staff to individuals is just great; I just can't talk enough about the staff and what they do for their people.

Along with his dementia problems, my dad had a lot of medical issues. I had a hard time other assisted living areas because we needed a nurse to be with my dad. A nurse is in between the buildings and can be called at any time. They were able to monitor his diabetes. They were able to be there when he needed someone else looking at him.

Willowbrook is such a safe environment. I never hesitate when I leave. My husband and I have been able to travel without worrying about dad. There's so much love and concern; the staff love dad just like I love dad. There's not the turnover here like there is at other facilities; I truly appreciate that. Plus, I am always to talk to Kaye and the staff if there is a problem or issue. While we are discussing the issue, they always have a plan to help address the situation.

I know my dad loves it here. He feels the love that people give to him. Not only do they take care of dad and know his wants and his needs, they know each individual and know what each of those individuals need. Not every person is the same; not every person needs the same thing. Each individual is in different stages of their journey. Willowbrook knows where they are at; they help you as the family. They help us know how to handle, how to cope, what to be upset about, and what not to be upset about.

I'm sure every person that walks through the door has a lot of laughs with individuals and staff. I think we all cry together too. I'm also blessed because Willowbrook catered to the special needs that I requested including the upkeep and hygiene. Other facilities did not keep up; Willowbrook takes care of those concerns and needs. I wanted Dad to have that quality of life here.

While dad doesn't like to participate much in the activities, he does like to come out when it's quiet. He really likes the 1-on-1. There have been some medical emergencies where dad has gone to the hospital. When he returns, they baby my dad; if he gets sick, the first thing they do is give him deviled eggs (his favorite!). I don't care what time of day, if dad won't eat, they fix him deviled eggs. He sometimes comes out in the middle of the night and wants a bologna sandwich with mustard; there's no sign that the kitchen is closed.

I'm so thankful that Kaye and the staff are here to go with this journey that I have with my dad. I can't tell enough how much love, concern, and compassion there is within Willowbrook.

- Lana