Dozens of families poured in through the front doors of Journey Senior Living’s new Valparaiso location on Sunday afternoon, exploring the open rooms and meeting enthusiastic staff members at the assisted living and memory care center’s Open House event.
The afternoon, complete with sandwiches and refreshments alongside live acoustic music, acted as a follow-up to the Ribbon Cutting ceremony the previous Thursday.
“Today’s event is a little more casual, and it’s for families and seniors in the community to come in, take a tour and see what we have” said Melissa Green, the Executive Director at the new location. Like many other staff members at the Journey Senior Living locations, Green has a personal connection to providing residents with quality care on every level.
“My grandmother had Alzheimer’s, and we took care of her at home until we couldn’t anymore,” said Green.
Green said that she unfortunately did not have the best experience in watching her grandmother live in a nursing home back then.
“It’s different here,” said Green, fueled by the prospect of offering residents a more all-encompassing kind of care, one that her grandmother never had the chance to experience.
“We all want our patients to feel the comfort and the care of our staff, and the warmth and love the residents feel is very important to us,” she continued.
When Green spoke of her staff's abundance of care and compassion, her words echoed in their actions. As each family was introduced to staff and taken through guided tours of the residence, Green's words rang more and more undeniably true for those experiencing the center firsthand.
Siblings Karen Gates and David Eggenberger from Chesterton and North Augustus, South Carolina, respectively, were one of the many families who were simply blown away by the intentionality and genuineness from the staff at Journey. In the case of this brother-sister duo, Gates and Eggenberger were on the hunt for a new memory care facility to move their mother into.
“I'll be honest, the people here appear to have a better heart than what we’ve seen elsewhere, and the show of compassion I’ve seen makes me think it will be a much better fit,” said Eggenberger. “My sister here’s been saying that she wants the people who look after our mother to treat the residents like they were their own parents, and from we’ve seen here today, I think that this is going to be a great place for exactly that.”
Gates and Eggenberger’s praise for the facility wasn’t a one-off testominal, as the constant accolades from one family after another seemed to tie the afternoon together with all of the positive aspects of the center.
“It’s beautiful, very open with a lot of windows, and I love the color on the walls because you can put just about any color with it,” said Yolinda Tyse, who was visiting the home with her husband, Dean Tyse.
The couple, currently live in Crown Point, aren’t hesitant to admit that they are slowly approaching the age when they might not be able to adequately take care of themselves or each other.
“Someday we’re going to need a place, and you might not want to look forward to that, but it’s inevitable and so we just thought we’d start looking,” said Dean Tyse.
With no children or nearby family, the couple decided to take a peek into what Journey has to offer, and were pleasantly surprised with what they found.
Besides their delight in the open rooms, alongside the floorpan’s inclusion of large spaces for residents to socialize and enjoy the day, both Dean and Yolinda Tyse were also impressed with the balance that the facility offered in giving the residents both care and a sense of independence.
“What’s most important for us, though, is that it’s the people who make the facility what it is, and the people here are just very nice and very helpful,” said Dean Tyse.
He also mentioned that he wouldn’t mind living in a place where the amenities were just so-so, as long as the people were kind and caring. Lucky for the couple, they won’t have to make the choice between one or the other, as Journey’s team of caregivers and staff has been complemented with state-of-the-art facilities and services - down to every single meal.
“We’re doing everything form basic southern comfort food to Italian food,” said Christian Martinez, the Dietary Director at Journey, who will be cooking meals for the residents day in and day out. “We’re doing scratch cooking, scratch pastries; I don’t like to get stuck on a certain thing, and so the more I can cook from scratch the better.”
Don't wait to sign up! Journey Senior Living of Valparaiso is now taking applications for 2018, and is located at the intersection of US-6 and IN-49 in Valparaiso, Indiana. They open March of 2018.