At SouthWest Commons Assisted Living, staff members make it their mission to simply be there for residents who need them

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Jim and Joanne Uszynski (right) moved to SouthWest Commons in May after life at home became difficult due to Jim’s Parkinson’s disease. As two of the youngest residents, they enjoy the social aspects of the Community. Pictured form left to right: Community Director Katie Delligatti, R.N., Jean O. (Lower left), Barbara H., Alice S., and Jim and Joanne. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Mary Malik

Fall in Northeast Ohio is a season of change. And with change comes opportunity. The staff at SouthWest Commons Assisted Living in Strongsville understands that change can be difficult, especially when it involves leaving your home for a new one. Residents of SouthWest Commons are thriving in their new home, embracing change and the new opportunities that come along with it.

“I came to SouthWest Commons after a stay at a rehab facility,” says Eleanor Loos. “When I saw my apartment, I felt like it was welcoming me home. Everyone is so nice and helpful. I feel safe here.”

Eleanor enjoys the activities at SouthWest Commons and is a daily participant in the morning exercises and even the Zumba classes.

“I’m always trying something new here,” says Eleanor. “I’ve made wonderful friends and we enjoy meeting for meals and activities, or just visiting in our apartments. It’s a much easier lifestyle and I couldn’t be happier.”

The staff at SouthWest Commons likes to say they emphasize the assist part of assisted living.

“We have no intention of taking over your life,” Katie Delligatti, RN Community Director. “Our residents live by their own clock, not ours. Our goal is to be here when you need us.”

The residents of SouthWest Commons live in their own studio and one bedroom apartments, complete with kitchenettes, and are encouraged to bring furniture and decor from their homes. Even pets are welcome.

Jim and Joanne Uszynski moved to SouthWest Commons in May after life at home became difficult due to Jim’s Parkinson’s disease.

SouthWest Commons’ dining area has recently been updated with beautiful wood-style flooring.

“We looked at some different places, prayed about this decision, and knew we needed to make a move,” says Joanne. “We walked in and it was like a five-star hotel. We’ve adjusted well.”

The challenges that seniors face were at the forefront of the design of SouthWest Commons. The building design is circular, so residents will never get lost, and as the health of a resident with dementia declines, additional safety procedures and increased monitoring are added if necessary.

“We are a community with people of different needs at different times and we meet those needs as respectfully as possible,” says Katie. “‘Aging in place’ isn’t just a phrase here. Our residents don’t need to change apartment homes if they experience declining health or memory issues. We bring the care to them.”

As an athlete and former coach, Jim has found his Parkinson’s diagnosis frustrating, but life at SouthWest Commons has alleviated the stress of trying to manage at home.

“We feel safe,” says Jim. “We take advantage of the activities like bingo and the Bible studies. We know this is the right place for us.”

As some of the youngest residents of SouthWest Commons, Jim and Joanne enjoy talking with other residents and hearing their stories.

“At home we were struggling to get out for entertainment,” says Joanne. “Here the entertainment comes to us. We love taking advantage of concerts and all the things going on. And we really enjoy getting to know the other residents. Sometimes just listening to people is the best gift we can give.”

The staff at SouthWest Commons believes that listening is one thing that sets them apart.

“Independence, privacy, dignity and choice,” says Katie. “That’s what we offer our residents here each and every day, by really listening to them and addressing each individual’s needs with a dignified, caring approach.”

SouthWest Commons is located at 18090 Pearl Road in Strongsville. For more information or to schedule a personal visit, call 440-238-3777, check the website, or find them on Facebook.

Categories: Westside Smart Living