Resident & Family Member Testimonials
This past summer we had a float in the Racine 4th of July parade. Here is what the two fantastic volunteers told us after we thanked them: The narrator is Kathi, part of our caregiving team.
“Loren and I really enjoyed this venture, and we are definitely looking forward to next year! I have always enjoyed working with the seniors. It was something Loren has never done until I asked him to help me with bingo on Wednesday nights. He really loves being there, listening to their stories, and learning all the different personalities! Bingo really brings that out!!! Lol. So, when I brought up the idea of the float for the parade he jumped right on that one. Growing up with a dad who was a cabinetmaker, he had the skills to make it a reality! He has said so many times to me that if it weren’t for me he would have never thought of volunteering at a senior facility. It just isn’t something he thought he would want to do much less enjoy. But he has found how rewarding it can be and how fun it really is. Now when he goes on the road and we have to cancel bingo he is all sad and wants to have a makeup night!!! It just goes to show how some of the most unlikely people become volunteers and love it! Thanks again for supporting us in this venture and believing it could work. We really did have a blast doing it and working with everyone to make it possible.”
Before Alzheimer’s disease struck Bill Irvine, he led a full life – devoted to his wife Shirley and three sons, who (like their father) all attended UW-Madison and earned engineering degrees. He loved the Green Bay Packers, won awards at antique car shows with his 1960 red Austin-Healy, played golf, fished, refinished antique furniture and studied the Civil War, especially General Gant.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease gradually eroded his full life. Increasing confusion caused him to wander into neighbors’ homes, not knowing where he was. To keep Bill safe, his family placed him at a facility in Racine but were soon concerned when he was so medicated that he slept most of the time. A fall causing a broken hip required Bill’s transfer to a nursing home where once again medication made him sleepy, and he seemed to be giving up on life.
When his son’s wife Dolly drove by St. Monica’s one day, she wondered if this could be the solution. The moment she walked in the door, she saw the loving, home-like atmosphere and asked if Bill could live here. His acceptance at St. Monica’s required an assessment so Shalene Monty (RN) St. Monica’s Assistant Administrator visited him at the nursing home, returning close to tears at his condition. Shalene met with Loretta Baxter, Administrator, and Sr. Angelica, Pastoral Care Director, and they brainstormed a plan so St. Monica’s could care for Bill.
The plan required a collaborative effort between St. Monica’s, another agency and Bill’s family. The family agreed and St. Monica’s contacted Home Instead, who typically go into people’s homes to provide home health aides. In this case, St. Monica’s was Bill’s home. Between Home Instead, St. Monica’s, and outside therapy providers, St. Monica’s was able to give Bill the care he needed to recover to his full potential. Daily visits from his wife Shirley and her interaction with all members of the team further enhanced Bill’s recovery, along with an occasional ride in his 1960 red Austin-Healy.
Bill is now awake, alert and able to walk short distances. Although he still needs assistance getting in and out of his wheelchair and still has memory loss, the quality and dignity of his life has been restored. Bill’s son Jeff sums up the family’s relief saying, “We got our dad back!”
We’re very pleased with the care, just with everybody. The staff, the office, my
parents just love the activities. It’s very clean here, and I’m very happy we chose
St. Monica’s. My parents also love the chapel. Gosh, I can think of a million nice
things to say about St. Monica’s.
–Sandy Domanik, Resident Family Member
St. Monica’s is not only microcosm of the diversity of the Racine community, but a microcosm of a true life living community. Between the residents, the professional and Para-professional staff, you find folks from diverse ethnic, socio-economic and personality types. Each and every person expresses a strong sense of respect for each other as well as the place they call home or work.
Care is Heartfelt Care. There is a sense of warmth and heart that starts at the top, flows down and around all the residents and staff. A name is not a tag here; its recognition, a smile and a care. The environment is one of safety and sustainability; rather you are speaking about the physical facilities or the landscape. St. Monica’s sits on the Root River which affords the residents and ever changing scene of the seasons. Many of the residents enjoy the outdoors, be it the Rosary walk, their own garden, putting, or just walking the paths.
As a family, we researched many facilities before choosing St. Monica for my brother and his wife. We were drawn by the personal attention, the sense of security and respect for the residents. My brother’s only comment was he wished he moved here sooner!
–Dr. Sam Mikaelian, Resident Family Member
St. Monica’s is without a doubt the finest senior facility in Racine. The entire staff has a positive attitude that can be felt each and every day. God bless all those who care for the residents who call St. Monica’s their home.
-Rick Wiegel, Resident Family Member
St. Monica’s provides personalized, compassionate, quality care. Residents feel very much at home being allowed to personalize their rooms, attend resident meetings where their opinions count, and do a variety of activities and outings. They have beautiful grounds and continually update the facility. I would happily live there myself.
-Barbara Noel, Resident Family Member
Yes, I received your newsletter and calendar. It looks like it’s going to be a fun month! Thanks, too, for the update on Mom. We spoke with the Wheaton therapist this weekend and she strongly encouraged Mom to attend your exercise classes to try to regain her strength and endurance. We saw Mom this weekend and she had so much to talk about. She was happier and healthier than we have seen her in a very long time. Thank you so much for your good work. You are really making a difference in people’s lives. Not just the resident’s, but family’s, too.
Are you looking for a place to stay in your Golden Years? A place where there is more to do than watch TV, read and take pills.
St. Monica’s is the place for you. We have a wonderful Activity Department. Three to four activities are offered to you five days a week. Exercise classes, bowling, painting, beading, current events, bingo, cards, dances, dining out and so much more. Weekends we have movies in our large living room.
Friends are easily made at meal time, coffee hour and during activities. The staff is friendly and treats you with respect.
Come and take a tour and see why you will want to make St. Monica’s your new home.
–Marilyn Groghan, Resident
Hi, I’m Beverly Zerawski and I’ve lived at St. Monica’s since October of 2010. I can’t say I really thought an Assisted Living home would be best for me, but it certainly has! I had some serious health issues back in 2008 and 2009. After rehab, I lived with a friend for almost a year before returning to my home. Once home, my health began to deteriorate quickly and it was at the urging of my 5 children that I came to St. Monica’s. The staff is great. Everyone knows your name. The activities keep me active and busy. I’ve great friends here. It was at a community health screening here that one of the providers made me aware that I might have a health issue and they helped the staff make sure I had it looked at. The results; the Doctors found I did have a problem and they’ve helped me take care of it! Did I say how much I appreciate the staff? I can’t say it enough. They are like family and I’m like family to them.
–Beverly Zerawski, Resident
Our family would like to thank the entire staff at St. Monica’s for the exceptional care given to our mother. Everyone from housekeeping, dietary, nursing and the Sisters treated her and us with attentiveness, cheerfulness and respect. This is not the case at other settings. At St. Monica’s not only did Mom get heartfelt care but also a sense of belonging. Everyone knew her name! As her family, we felt welcomed and were so at ease knowing she was well cared for. St. Monica’s is truly a shining star in providing care for the aging members of our community.
After our Mother passed, we were very touched by the staff members that came to her room to pay their respects and to offer comfort to us. This really showed their connection to the resident’s and their commitment to providing great care and compassion.
We would like to give a special thanks to Sr. Jana for involving our Mother in the crocheting circle and other activities and to Terry, Drew and Wendy for their kindness and care. Again, thanks to all for the work you do.
– Sincerely, the family of Marie Guard
For our Mom, leaving her beloved home of 60 years was a very difficult decision, but the St. Monica’s experience exceeded our expectations and, most importantly, hers.
Above all, she and we were constantly impressed by the genuine caring expressed and demonstrated by all of the St. Monica’s staff, from Loretta and Sister Angelica to the housekeepers and maintenance men. There aren’t many organizations in which everyone seems dedicated to providing thoughtful and personal care, but St. Monica’s is one of them.
There were many things about life at St. Monica’s that made Mom feel at home and part of the St. Monica’s community.
There were two things that Mom unquestionably liked better than living at home. The first was being able to attend Mass every morning. Mom’s faith was at the core of her being, and taking part in Mass every day with the St. Monica’s community meant a great deal to her. The second was being able to sit down to three tasty and nutritious meals every day — that she didn’t have to make. The kitchen team does a great job putting three made-from-scratch meals on the table every day and Mom liked the friendly, attentive service provided by the servers.
After starting the day with a satisfying breakfast followed by Mass, Mom loved the natural beauty of the St. Monica’s grounds in all seasons, which she enjoyed from her favorite chair by the living room window. Another every-day benefit Mom liked was letting the nursing team keep track of her medications, which freed her from that daily headache. Mom also appreciated the offerings provided by the St. Monica’s activities team. She enjoyed drawing, the current-events talks, andre, but St. Monica’s is one of them.
As Mom’s condition progressed, the care provided by the nursing team made an immeasurable difference in Mom’s quality of life and in our peace of mind. The nursing team cared for Mom with the utmost professionalism, compassion and humanity on Mom’s best days, her worst days and every day in between. It meant a great deal to us that the nursing team monitored Mom’s health multiple times a day and was always happy to take time to update us when we called or stopped by. When Mom was hospitalized with pneumonia, you came to the hospital to help plan her return to St. Monica’s. You helped Mom make the decision to enroll in hospice care and you worked closely with Compassionate Care to make the end of her life as peaceful and comfortable as possible.
She was even learning to play Sheepshead!
There were many things about life at St. Monica’s that made Mom feel at home and part of the St. Monica’s community. Mom unquestionably liked being able to attend Mass every morning. Mom’s faith was at the core of her being, and taking part in Mass every day with the St. Monica’s community meant a great deal to her.
We thank you for the spiritual care that you provided to Mom in her last days. You attended not only to her physical well-being but also to her spiritual well-being, which we’re sure helped her make the transition from this world to the next and once again gave us peace of mind.
Leaving her beloved home of 60 years was a very difficult decision for Mom, but the St. Monica’s experience exceeded our expectations and, most importantly, hers. Above all, she and we were constantly impressed by the genuine caring expressed and demonstrated by all of the St. Monica’s staff, from Loretta and Sister Angelica to the housekeepers and maintenance men. There aren’t many organizations in which everyone seems dedicated to providing thoughtful and personal care like St. Monica’s.
–Tom Foley, Resident Family Member