Feeling like home at Heritage Homes

Dad at Heritage HomesWhen Don Kagerbauer decided to move into a senior community, he took his time deciding which one felt the most like home.

“With my dad and sister Dionne, we toured several communities around the area. My dad decided that he liked Heritage Homes the best,” explained Dirk, Don’s son. 

To ensure the feeling of home, the Kagerbauer family brought furniture from his current home. It was important he didn’t feel like he was leaving his old life behind. Don moved in several pieces of furniture that he and his wife purchased throughout their lives.

Don resided in independent living at Heritage Homes for close to seven years and recently made the transition to assisted living.

“I’ve been enjoying my time in assisted living. My health was pretty good but now it’s even better,” said Don.

Getting to know a resident new to Heritage Homes also includes meeting their family.

“Family engagement in a resident’s care is vital for optimal care of both health and spiritual needs. Family relationships tether the person we know as ‘resident’ to the person who is a father, grandfather, matriarch or beloved aunt,” explained Kelly Hildebrand, Director of Nursing at Heritage Homes. “The glimpse into a resident’s identity outside of our community helps us to foster their future here by respecting who they are, their wishes and directives with the meanings behind them.”

From the perspective of an adult child, there are many things Dirk appreciates about his father finding a home and be cared for at Heritage Homes.

“Number one is how team members welcome family involvement.  They keep us apprised as to how he's doing health wise, both physical and emotionally,” said Dirk, who lives a little more than an hour away and typically visits his father around twice a week.

“They recently hosted a Friday fish fry where families were invited,” explained Dirk. “This is the second dinner type event that we attended in the last six months at Heritage Homes. We like when events are held in the evenings or on Saturdays, when more family can be involved.”

Also important to both men is the spiritual care at Heritage Homes. Don is able to maintain ties with his local church and hear God’s word from Pastor Mark Bartsch, Chaplain at Heritage Homes.

“The activities that address the spiritual needs are very important to my Dad. In addition to the Wednesday and Sunday church services, they do a Sing to Jesus event and a Bible study,” Dirk said.

Heritage Homes offers independent living, assisted living and memory care. By providing a full continuum of care for every stage of the aging process, residents are able to stay independent, active and fully supported as long as possible. For more information about Heritage Homes and TLHA care communities, visit tlha.org.