Mary Ruth is part of the sandwich generation. Each weekday, she babysits her granddaughter. Then, almost every evening, she drives from Valparaiso to St. John, where she spends time with her mother, Dorothy Hoover, who lives at Park Place Health & Wellness Center.
At 68, Mary is a caregiver for two different generations, a labor of love that can take a toll.
“You do what you need to do at the time you need to do it,” Mary explains. “You don’t have a choice, except to keep going.”
That’s why she’s so grateful that, when she can’t help her mom by herself, she can partner with Park Place. Dorothy is a strong and independent woman, having raised three kids alone. But as she aged, she began to need more help. At first, she lived at Park Place in a Retirement Living apartment. But after a stroke and a hospital stay, Dorothy needed post-acute rehabilitation to help her get back to her life.
“I’m an occupational therapist myself,” Mary says. “so I have high standards for therapy. The staff at Park Place is very, very good.”
Mary says it was hard to watch her independent mother rely on people for every little aspect of life, but she was glad she was at Park Place, where it was clear how much the staff truly cared. Everyone worked together to help Dorothy.
“They did a good job helping mom get stronger,” Mary says. “There are so many wonderful staff there.”
After enjoying the retirement living lifestyle at Park Place, and then receiving such effective rehabilitation therapy there, Dorothy made a permanent move to the Health & Wellness Center at Park Place, where she receives all the assistance she needs. Mary’s Essential Caregiver status gives her the ability to visit often, and she continues to be both an attentive daughter and grandmother for everyone in the family who depends on her.