Providence Health Care at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods: a place I would want to be
As a twenty-something year old, choosing a retirement health care facility was about the furthest thing from my mind. Yet I found myself excited about it when the Sisters of Providence renovated and built on to their health care facility at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and established Providence Health Care, Inc. in 2002 with the intention that it would someday open to non-sisters as well. I went straight home from work in the SP Mission Advancement office and announced to my husband that if ever I needed to go to a nursing home, I wanted to go to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Why was I excited about a health care facility?
My previous experience of nursing homes came from childhood memories of my grandmother. After she suffered a stroke in her 70s I watched her spend the remainder of her life mostly in bed in a lonely, cold, sterile room. It felt like she was basically waiting around to die.
That was nothing like what I saw at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Homey and holistic
At Providence Health Care I saw caring staff and a warm homey environment. There was a beautiful dining area that served freshly made food on real plates and not on institutional sectioned trays. It was a well-thought-out facility where people came to continue to live, not just to wait around to die.
It was a holistic environment, caring not just for the physical person but the mind and spirit as well. As a spiritual person, I loved the easy access to many chapels and even to daily mass if one so desired. I loved watching the activities: from therapy pets to visits with small children from nearby Woods Day Care.
Now, these 10+ years later I am thrilled to not only be witnessing but to be sharing the news with others about the wonderful health care facility at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, now open to the public. In the past few months an assisted living area has opened up to non-sisters, as well as a short-term stay “rehab to home” unit. Outpatient therapy is also available. At some point in the future, the long-term health care unit will also be opening to the public.
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the first non-sister patients in the short-term care facility, Maxine Sotak of Terre Haute.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best place to be. Everyone here is super nice. I’ve never had anyone here get grouchy with me or anything. They take real good care of me, and I love it,” Maxine said.
Maxine’s experience with the state-of-the-art therapy offered at Providence Health Care helped her to regain her ability to walk.
Her son Jay Sotak, also of Terre Haute, was very pleased with the facility he chose for his mother.
“When I first walked in it did not feel like a nursing home. It felt very comfortable, kind of like walking into somebody’s home,” Jay said. He knew almost at once this was the place he wanted his mother to be.
Staff member speaks
I’m also energized by listening to the Providence Health Care staff, such as Therapy Program Manager Christy Taylor.
“I have worked in several facilities in the area, and PHC provides a different set of amenities to the community: a newly renovated, well-maintained facility; private suites near a large nurse’s station; 24-hour nursing on the unit; a beautiful and peaceful campus with many opportunities for the patients, family and visitors; home-cooked food; spiritual support; and a well-lit, convenient parking lot,” Christy said.
God-willing it will be many years away if ever I need it, but I’m just as convinced now as when it was built that Providence Health Care at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is the place I would want to be. The idea of needing extra care no longer seems dismal like the memories of my grandma’s experience. With Providence Health Care now available, aging feels more like a continued stage of life to embrace and relish, just as the years before it are.
For more information about Providence Health Care at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, call 812-535-4001 or visit their website at PHCWoods.org
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