At some point, we all need help. Pete, 67, has this advice for people who, like him, are experiencing health issues:
“Check into the next step soon. Get it set up before you absolutely have to. Because, if you plan early, you get to make the choices. Do you want someone else choosing for you?”
Location was key in selecting Crest View Senior Community at Blaine. During Pete’s six-week stay last summer at the St. Cloud VA Healthcare System, he asked his son to make arrangements for assisted living at Crest View, the nonprofit, faith-based campus that had opened a few months earlier.
Pete had watched Crest View rise from the ground just down the street from his apartment. Another plus was his son lived a few miles away, along with Pete’s adorable granddaughters, ages 3 and 8.
Talking about the granddaughters makes his eyes sparkle. They’re dancers. “Point a camera at them and they go into a dance pose,” Pete said. He attends their dance recitals and enjoys frequent visits.
Pete didn’t want to look anywhere else. Crest View Senior Community at Blaine was brand new, yet owned and managed by a nonprofit with 65 years of experience, and in his neighborhood close to family.
How did he decide to move into assisted living? He saw the writing on the wall. How many times can you call 911 after a fall in your apartment before someone else makes decisions for you? Pete wondered, and worried.
Since moving to Crest View in July, Pete has used the emergency call button on a chain around his neck four times. “It works great!” Pete said. His family no longer worries about him lying on the floor, unable to get up on his own.
Pete spent 37 years working for the same company in Minneapolis, after doing four years in the Navy. He was a tool and die maker. He made parts that went in missiles, planes, Leatherman tools, BMX bikes, and even cowboy spurs, for example. So what does a man with such a keen eye for small detail notice about Crest View Senior Community at Blaine?
“The hallways are angled,” Pete said. “You don’t have long hallways, like in a hospital. It seems more private.”
“Here, things are always happening,” Pete said. While living in his old apartment, there were days he didn’t get out, didn’t have any contact. Now, he enjoys chair exercises and Tai Chi. His apartment on the third floor has friendly neighbors he sees all the time. When the band, The Panic, played in October, Pete loved it. “I used to know a sax player and when I saw they had a sax I thought, ‘Ok, this is gonna be good.’”He watches with amazement when the firefighters do their drills next door. He drives his motorized wheelchair down the sidewalk to the nearby stores, too. The facility is secure, but he has easy in and out access. His neighbors say it isn’t unusual to see Pete outside late on a warm summer night.
An aide does laundry for him. “Makes it easier on me,” he says with a smile.
Corned beef hash is his favorite breakfast. He has a stove in the apartment, but he’s not using it, at least not yet. Pete used to make and give away 15 jelly roll pans of pumpkin bars every fall. His baking secret? Use applesauce instead of oil.
That makes two life lessons from Pete: Plan ahead for your care and use applesauce when baking.
Crest View Senior Community at Blaine offers assisted living, memory care, care suites and independent senior housing. The Columbia Heights campus, ten miles south, offers the full continuum of services, including short and long term care.
The caring staff at Crest View Senior Communities are ready to help you plan ahead, for yourself or a loved one. For more information, call 763-762-8430 in Blaine or 763-782-1601 in Columbia Heights.