Finding the Right Type of Care: Assisted Living

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happy grandmother in retirement communityGrowing up in North Central Illinois, Mrs. Emily Kerchner was no stranger to farm work. When she married in 1931, the couple rented land until they could save up the money to buy Emily’s old home place. With that purchase they established a home for themselves and their two children.

In addition to farming, gardening, and canning, Mrs. Kerchner remained active in her church group and spent time quilting and doing needlepoint with community women’s groups. After her husband passed away, her children, who had both moved to the DC Metro area, were concerned about her being alone. However, as her son Orval relates, “She kept busy with women’s groups, church groups, traveling, and visiting family. She was always chipper and happy.”

Mrs. Kerchner had lived alone for many years when her children began to hear from her neighbors and friends who were concerned about their mother. Emily was becoming lost in her home town more and more frequently and repeating everyday tasks. Her children soon discovered that their mother had dementia, and they decided to move her closer to them.

Mrs. Kerchner moved into an assisted living facility near her children, but they weren’t satisfied with the level of individualized service offered at the community. Margie, Mrs. Kerchner’s daughter, began looking for a new home for her mom. She discovered Heart and Home, a small assisted living community in Fairfax, Va.

Since the move both Orval and Margie have been impressed by the level of care their mother receives. “I visit once a week and my sister visits twice a week, and we have always been very pleased with the care mom is getting,” says Orval. “All of the patients in the home are clean and nicely dressed. The caregivers are very careful with the patients and very attentive. The staff always talks with the patients whenever they are interacting with them.”

The individualized attention Mrs. Kerchner needed is certainly provided at Heart & Home. The attentive staff is led by the owners of the home, Kristi Good and Susan Black, who are always available to assist the residents. Orval states, “The women who own the home are both generally there to monitor everything and make sure that there is plenty of help available. They also ensure that the house is clean and well kept.” It is this type of hands-on service that keeps Mrs. Kerchner happy and comfortable and her children’s mind at ease.

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