– Linda Lockshin, Daughter of Irene Miller, The Sterling Aventura resident
Before Linda Lockshin’s mother moved to The Sterling, she lived in an independent living community and it was perfect for her. “She was very independent until a year ago,” Linda said. “That’s when everything changed. Mom was diagnosed with a brain leak, and the fact that she was dealing with cognitive decline, including memory loss, became obvious.”
Linda recognized that her mom was suffering from the same time type of cognitive issues often observed in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. “Independent, and even assisted living, was no longer going to be an option for her,” she said. “I knew she was going to need a lot of specialized support. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it because it was the first time she had needed care. I was anxious and feeling overwhelmed. Then I reached out and spoke with Mark at The Sterling. He told me my mom could be in their memory care community, and they would take care of everything.”
She added that she was not rushed into making a decision and, after having all the time she needed to think everything over, moving her mom into her new home went smoothly. “They were great, and even assisted me with financial resources I wouldn’t know about — but they did — that they thought might be helpful,” Linda said. “It was all good, and then, only weeks later, COVID-19 hit!”
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, things remained good because the staff was prepared to go above and beyond for her mom, and they did. “Just a few weeks after she moved in, Mom celebrated her 100th birthday. They had a beautiful party for her with balloons, decorations, birthday cake and singing,” Linda said. “And before the party, they made her feel beautiful, too. They colored her hair, did her nails and put together a special outfit for her. Looking nice was always important to Mom. They realized that and I could tell, even though I could only be there virtually, that she was happy — laughing, clapping her hands and dancing with the aides — and really enjoyed her birthday. It was wonderful!” Linda believes the reason the party was such a success is because every staff member takes the time to really get to know each resident, including what they like, what they dislike and the socialization activities that will suit them best as an individual and help make them happy.