Joy – that’s the clear purpose Hazel has chosen for this chapter of her 92-year-old life, living at Vista Prairie at Garnette Gardens in Redwood Falls, MN. Joy has not come easy for Hazel. Eleven years ago, she lost her husband Bob. Since then, one of her four sons died, and she’s also recently lost two brothers and a sister. She’s the longest surviving of 13 siblings.
And still, she expresses lots of joy. “I love it here. I love the people. I take part in anything that I can to stay busy. That’s the reason I like it here.”
Activities Manager Catie Helgeson plans and provides many of the options that keep residents busy and Hazel is often by her side, helping out. “She wakes up with a purpose every day, bringing joy to others,” Catie reflects. “When we have entertainment, she’s right down there dancin’ with the other residents and just having a ball.”
The community was even more dependent on each other during this past COVID year when outside visitors were limited.
“We talked back and forth a lot and that kept me going,” Hazel remembers. “I knew – this is what it is -- and I’ve gotta deal with it. So, I’ve tried to keep busy and just go with the flow.”
That’s been a theme for Hazel ever since she took a bus from her home state of Alabama back in the 50s, to visit her future husband’s family in Minnesota. They had gone together in Alabama while Bob was there on an engineering job. This was in December. They were married that New Year’s Eve.
“She’s a gift to all of us here,” Catie concluded.
The Garnette Gardens community offers 61 one and two-bedroom apartments for seniors who value their independence but want options for personal care and the supportive services they need. We also offer 16 memory care suites. Nine care suites round out the options, offering enhanced care for people recovering from surgery or illness.