Ohio Living Breckenridge Village offers an elevated level of senior living, and for one member of the team, it’s personal

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At Ohio Living Breckenridge Village, residents are supported with a robust menu of engaging activities, thoughtful services and quality care. Find out if living here could be a best fit for someone you love—like Bari Pinto’s mom— (Photography: Felicia Vargo)

By Patricia Nugent

The 700-plus residents at Ohio Living Breckenridge Village are living life to its fullest, through a robust host of engaging programming, activities, excursions and amenities that allow the opportunity for physical, mental and spiritual growth, along with the security of knowing quality care and services are close at hand.

One Family’s Journey
Bari Pinto and her family are emotionally and physically attached to Ohio Living Breckenridge Village. After a career in pharmaceutical sales, Bari came to work here for 12 years in marketing, then retired, then returned as a consultant this year when her help was needed. Her relationship with the facility began when her mother, Dr. Mary Thomas, moved to the village.

“My brother and I toured Breckenridge with our mom to understand what a life plan community entailed and the benefits for mom’s future. It was important for us to know that she was moving to a not-for-profit community.”

Both of Bari’s parents were doctors. Mary took care of her husband until he passed. She had been a widow for 10 years when she realized it was time to move on from the big house.

“We all joked Mom had a better social life than we did,” says Bari. “She was involved in everything, participating in the spiritual life committee and prayer chain, enjoying exercise classes at the pool and singing in the chapel choir. She took numerous courses that she loved.”

Mary moved into her ranch home in October and started a tradition of a Halloween costume party for all of her neighbors.

After the ranch home, she moved into the North Apartments, where she could have meals and housekeeping. She moved to Memory Care Assisted Living and finally lived the remainder of her life at Breckenridge, in long-term care at Fairmont Health Center.

For Mary’s 95th birthday, Bari decided to have a celebration of Mary’s life in the chapel. Everyone wore something red, Mary’s favorite color. The chapel was decorated with 95 red roses—her favorite. The acapella choir sang. Her great-grandchildren sang her favorite “kid song,” “You are My Sunshine.” There was much music, Mary’s passion, and many wonderful stories told.

Options at Ohio Living Breckenridge Village range from active retirement living in two- and three-bedroom ranch homes, condos and apartments, to assisted living, short-term rehabilitation and long-term care facilities.
The list of amenities at Ohio Living Breckenridge Village is long. The goal is to enhance residents’ physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

“My mom was able to hear and feel her impact on many lives,” says Bari. “What a day!”

Bari says the care was extraordinary. “One of the many amazing things is the ceremony after passing—when you come in the front door, you leave through the front door. When Mom passed, she was escorted through the front door, properly shrouded with the staff and family ceremoniously following, ringing a bell. It was touching.”

While Mary lived at Ohio Living Breckenridge Village, four generations of her family were here. Mary was the resident, Bari an employee, her granddaughter a volunteer and great grandson was in daycare.

How to Make a Senior Living Plan
Bari Pinto works with potential residents and families who tour Ohio Living Breckenridge Village. Her first piece of advice is for people to proactively put in place a realistic plan.

“This is truly a gift you can give your children and yourself,” she says. “People who want to stay in their homes instead of moving into senior living should be realistic about what it would take to make it safe and livable for them and to understand how to put necessary services in place at home.”

Here are a few tips to consider:

• Write your plan down and let your kids know your plan.
• Ask yourself what kind of activities are important to you on a daily basis.
• How near do you want to live to family and friends?
• Include finances in the plan.
• Make sure your legal documents are up to date, including a will, a living will, healthcare power of attorney and power of attorney.

“Make your plan while you’re still in control,” she says. “You never know when a health scare or fall might force a change.”

The Wreaths of Grace Woods
Art Fabian has a passion for photography. He also enjoys community-building projects his fellow residents can partake in.

According to Ohio Living Breckenridge Director of Business Development Lynn Coletto, “With the Wreaths of Grace Woods, Art’s concept was to take photos of the doors with wreaths on them and then put them together to create a 1,000-piece puzzle. When it was made, he designated baggies with puzzle pieces for each resident whose door is displayed in the puzzle and encouraged them to put it together at a craft table the buildings share. It’s neat to see our people working together on fun things like this.”

Art has lived in Grace Woods with his wife Louise for over two years. He explains his thinking behind the project as this: “I found it so fascinating that people wanted to share a little bit of their lives outside their doors with other people. It seemed to be a joy they had in hanging their wreathes or flower displays for other people to see.”

Since he started taking the wreath photos mid-February, the eclectic variety includes everything from Christmas wreaths to Valentine’s and Mardi Gras styles. Once the dazzling puzzle was finished, he brought it home. The puzzle is going to be mounted, framed and hung with pride in the lobby.

Situated on 53 acres of rolling parkland with scenic views and meandering walking paths, Ohio Living Breckenridge Village is located at 36851 Ridge Road in Willoughby. Options range from active retirement living in two- and three-bedroom ranch homes, brownstones and apartments, to assisted living, short-term rehabilitation, and long-term care facilities. Call 440-942-4342 or visit OhioLiving.org for more information. Accommodations within the village are pet friendly.