One year ago this month, St. Francis Park embarked on a new journey that has made a world of difference for local families.

The Catholic Health independent living senior community opened its enriched housing program on November 2, 2020, giving individuals the ability continue enjoying the flexibility of living at home, but with the extra help they need in their activities of daily living.

Finding a Home at St. Francis Park

Joan Bloom of West Seneca was the first enriched housing resident at the Hamburg facility.  Her daughter Sherrie, the second of Joan’s three daughters, recalls when they knew it was time to make the move out of their family home. Visits to her mother had become more administrative than social and consisted of more housekeeping, medication management and appointment scheduling than time to talk and enjoy each other’s company.

Finding that perfect fit for her 82-year-old mother took some time and research. And, as Sherrie noted, “The decision to move a loved one out of their home and into a senior housing community is difficult and emotional one for everyone involved.”

After a brief time at a different facility, Sherrie and Joan decided to make the change to Catholic Health’s St. Francis Park. They wanted to find a location where Joan would have more help and organized activities. While she was worried about her mother fitting in at a new location, it didn’t take long for St. Francis Park to feel like home.

Joan was able to participate in various activities, attend community trips, make new friends, participate in group exercise classes, and develop a healthy routine.

“St. Francis Park offered my mother a sense of community,” said Sherrie. Structured activities, daily homemade meals, a large pool and a chapel onsite are just a few of the amenities that Sherrie points out.  She joked, “I would live there!”

Benefits of Enriched Living

At first an independent living resident, Joan’s health declined in the last year, but St. Francis Park remained the right choice for her with the availability the enriched housing program.  She was able to stay in the community that she had become so fond of, while also getting assistance with medication management, light dressing and bathing, 24-hour staff availability, free transportation to and from doctor appointments, and help managing her care needs.  These services help residents like Joan remain living independently for as long as possible.

“She really is thriving with the help of the aides at St. Francis Park,” said Sherrie. “And I can be a daughter again. Now my sisters and I are able to just visit. We know that our mother is safe and happy at St. Francis Park.”