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Living with Dementia

“ There is just something about this place. As soon as we walked in,
we felt it. Like finding the perfect house, you know it right away.”

Shirley and Tom Jewell relocated from Wexford to Phoenix for a life of partial retirement. For nine years, Shirley continued to work at a job she loved while Tom ardently golfed, enjoying the sport nearly year-round in sunny Arizona.

Then in 2016, Tom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and possibly Lewy Body dementia. The disease, they were told, would not only affect him physically but he would also experience increasing dementia as well.

They hated to leave Phoenix, but their son and daughter wanted them close so they could help with Tom’s care. They found a patio-style house in Canonsburg with a walk-in shower and one-floor living to accommodate Tom as his mobility decreased.

Then, when Covid hit, they found themselves isolated. To mitigate the feeling of being on their own, Shirley enrolled Tom in the Woodside Place of Washington Adult Day Services.

The warmth of the team members, the clean, new, and bright space, and the programming—movement exercises, interactive large screens, and a sensory room with stimulating lights, textures, and sounds—all made choosing Woodside Place an easy decision.

Adult Day has provided Tom with socialization that has helped him cognitively and emotionally. When he comes home in the evening, he shares news from Adult Day with Shirley via a calendar the staff prepares that outlines everything he did during the day.

“The kindness, compassion, and caring of (team members) Tara, Tina, and Linda made Woodside a beautiful place,” Shirley said. “Adult Day has been very good for Tom.”

And for her, too. Now she doesn’t feel guilty or hesitate to take a day to just read her book, have lunch with somebody, or visit with her new granddaughter.

Shirley’s goal is to keep Tom with her for as long as possible. For now, it all works, and though she knows it’s not always going to be that way, she’s grateful for today and for Tom, the love of her life.

Want to learn more? Select an option below:

Oakmont Adult Day

Washington Adult Day

Presbyterian Senior Care Network