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Reflecting on Life at
Willow Brook – 25 Years and Counting

We recently had the privilege of talking with Willow Brook Christian Village resident Anna Frances, age 102, who just entered her 25th year of living with us – what incredible milestones! Anna Frances’s journey is a perfect example of the benefit of living in a life plan community like Willow Brook: you can start out independently and as your needs change, you stay within the Willow Brook family for care. Moving and change is so much more pleasant and comforting when you already know the staff and environment!

Her razor-sharp memory on full display, Anna Frances vividly recalled the day she and her husband, Tom, moved into their twin single home. It was March 26, 1998, and it was hot – so hot that the movers had to turn on the air conditioning! Her husband had not wanted to move when it was cold out, so they had waited until spring. Anna Frances and Tom lived together in that home, #41, until Tom passed in 2008.

Our Willow Brook Community Relations team met with Anna, in her apartment, the other day. She shared several stories of her 25 years at Willow Brook, and expressed her love for the staff, who have become family to her. 

Anna Frances continued living there for nearly 10 more years, until 2017. She was preparing for surgery and decided to move into the independent living apartments, the Village Commons, for the ease of services: the restaurant, activities, meals, and 24-hour staff were onsite, which was convenient and reassuring.

After her surgery, she recovered nicely and realized that she needed additional help. In September 2018, Anna Frances relocated to her current apartment in The Centrum, where staff can assist her with her daily needs. What she loves best about her home in The Centrum is that her fellow residents come out of their apartments to do things, eat together, and socialize. And, she adds, showing us her button, “I just push this button if I need anything, and someone comes to help!”

“The staff is a part of my life, they are an extension of my family, and everybody is so kind…”

Over the years, what has stood out and continues to stand out to Anna Frances, are the relationships she has forged with staff, some who have been present since she first moved in, in 1998. “The staff is a part of my life,” she says, “they are an extension of my family, and everybody is so kind.” Her life at Willow Brook is also a relief to her adult children, Anna Frances tells us. “They don’t have to worry about mom,” she says.

For Anna Frances, Willow Brook is home. The people, she says, make the difference. “There is something so comforting about being able to get to know the people who help you, and having a consistent staff,” she says. “It’s wonderful to live in a place where you are not wishing you lived somewhere else.”

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