Like so many families, Carol Hiskes was faced with a tough decision to make in the middle of the pandemic. Her mother Lorraine Swart had been residing in an Assisted Living community, but after fighting an illness, she now needed a higher level of care. The unexpected decline in health was complicated further because nursing homes were not allowing in-person tours of their communities.
“There was only one place I could trust, sight unseen,” Carol says, “and that was Park Place.”
Carol was already familiar with the Park Place mission: “to enhance the lives of those we serve in the name of Jesus Christ.” While the building was new, she knew that Providence Life Services, their parent company, had over a century of experience in providing senior living in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, and she felt confident in the care her mom would receive.
“I wished that I could be in her room to visit her, but no one at any building was allowing that, due to state guidelines to protect people from COVID-19,” Carol explains. “I knew that if I couldn’t be there myself, the only place I was ever going to count on would be with Providence.”
Beyond the Call of Duty
While Lorraine was at Park Place, Carol was impressed by the compassion and the attention the staff paid to her mom’s individual needs. She recounts one instance of this: “My mom was uncomfortable in her room, and the only place she would sleep was the den,” she says. “Her care partner brought the comforter from Mom’s bedroom and wrapped it around her to keep her comfortable. That was just beyond the call of duty.”
Carol thinks the Small House design helped the staff focus on all the residents’ needs better, but it also made the change of living arrangements easier. “Mom had memory issues, and I feel like there, there weren’t as many people to confuse my mom.”
"The Kindness was Real"
During Lorraine’s time at the Small House, the family enjoyed visits on the screen porch, outside on the patio, and even a couple indoor visits. “Park Place did everything they could to make this difficult time in the world safe for everyone, but also, there was so much compassion,” Carol says. “When you love a family member with dementia, it is still really difficult to be patient, but the care they showed to my mom—it was more than just someone going through the motions of doing a job. The kindness was real.”
If Carol had to choose again, she’d still choose Park Place for her mother. “It really comes down to the question of, ‘Who can I trust when I can’t be there?’” she says. “And the only place I would trust in a situation like that is a Providence community like Park Place.”