Meet Kerry and Winnie: a daughter and mother story.January 25, 2024
Family is a value that we hold close at Oaks Senior Living. Being a family run organization, we take pride in creating a family-like atmosphere at our communities that encourages loving and empathetic relationships amongst residents and team members. However, it is not often that both a child and their aging loved can share in the day-to-day experience at a community. But that’s exactly happened when Kerry Long became Assisted Living Lifestyle Director of Oaks at Towne Lake; the same community that her mother, Winnie, has been a Horizon’s memory care resident at since November of 2023.
Kerry has held corporate business and marketing positions for a majority of her working life. When Kerry’s mother Winnie, was diagnosed with dementia and placed in a memory care community, Kerry found herself spending any free time she had visiting the community to see mom. With each visit, Kerry’s love for engaging and interacting with seniors grew. When the lifestyle position became available at Oaks at Towne Lake, she knew that the many times visiting mom were reassuring moments of her calling to serve seniors.
Now, Kerry and Winnie share a “home” at the Towne Lake community, seeing each other almost every day. Kerry has described her and her mother’s experience of the community culture as “homey, family oriented, and resident first.” Being able to witness Winnie receive care and engage with team members and fellow residents is a gift to Kerry. “We have the opportunity to spend key moments together each day.,” Kerry said, “I don’t have to worry about her care or how she is doing while I’m at work because I know and can attest firsthand that she is receiving what she needs.”
In the time Winnie has called Oaks at Towne Lake home, she has experienced increased cognitive levels, hygiene, appetite, and quality of life as a product of the holistic care approach she receives from her care partners and community team members. Some of Kerry’s favorite parts of her working day is watching her mother singing with an external entertainer, dining with a resident friend, or having a simple conversation with a care partner. “It is a gift to witness her spend days as an active and valuable member of the community.” shared Kerry.
The family-like experience for both Kerry and Winnie doesn’t stop with them, however. Kerry’s Daughter is a frequent visitor of the community, entertaining the assisted living and memory care residents with her dance studio members. Even Kerry’s husband leads a bible study every other week with residents at the community.
Now, more than ever, Kerry has immense gratitude for the opportunity to spend so much time with her mother. She looks forward to the future moments to come between her and Winnie that will be treasured for a lifetime.