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Wild About Our Residents

Char Derousseau is a window into the minds of Memory Care residents for Vista Prairie at Brentwood in Rice Lake, WI. Char was already a memory care veteran when she joined the Brentwood staff more than eight years ago.

Her big heart has helped family members cope with and better understand the challenges their loved ones bear but, because of dementia, can’t readily talk about. “They can’t come to our world, so we have to go to theirs,” Char says, as she describes the challenges of caring for this special group of people.

Asked why she wanted to keep caring for residents in memory care, Char quickly responds, “Because they’re fun -- they are. We laugh together. They need help and I can give it.”

Char’s perspective also is a valuable asset when training new staff members. While caring is a start, she says it goes beyond that. “You’re just here for this one reason,” she says, “to do your best. I always tell everyone that.”

Char’s two adult children and four grandchildren also are a source of her joy. It’s one of the reasons she enjoys being off the night shift, so she can spend more time with them.

Bottom line, to do this work requires both calling and a commitment. And as Char also points out, a dependence on your team. “Your crew is everything,” she says. “You know each other, and you know when someone’s having a little bad moment, you go over there and rescue them. You need that too.”

The Brentwood community serves seniors on all sides of the care spectrum, with 19 memory care suites that provide a long-term option for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. We also offer 28 one and two-bedroom apartments for those who want options for personal care along with their freedom of movement.


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