Although it has been said that life itself is a journey, life actually takes us on many journeys—most of which take us down paths and in directions we could not have possibly anticipated or planned. There is perhaps no greater feeling than finding one’s way back to familiar shores to be surrounded by loved ones and the comfort of home. For many seniors whose life journeys have taken them far afield, Proctor Place in Peoria has been and continues to be that home.
Proctor Is the Place
Among those who call Proctor Place home are Nancy Watts, her husband, Dean, and Louise Krick and her husband, Bob. Of the many retirement communities and homes in Central Illinois, after seeing a lot of what the world has to offer, they had key reasons for choosing Proctor Place.
Married 60 years ago in Peoria, Nancy and Dean left Illinois to work in nine other states around the country, thanks to Dean’s career with Mobil Oil. After 29 years, they returned to the land that first nurtured them.
Louise and Bob—while originally from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—also called a myriad of places home in their many journeys. Between Bob’s service in the Air Force and his subsequent job at Caterpillar, he and Louise have laid their heads in many other states and countries.
No matter how far they roamed, however, both couples decided on Peoria as their city of choice and Proctor Place as their home.
For Nancy, you could say Proctor Place is in some ways a family tradition. “My mother lived at Proctor Place for six years before she passed away. We were very pleased with the way they took care of her and handled everything for her,” she recalls.
“We talked to everybody else too—the other retirement places—but we came back here and just thought this was the best place for us based on the good care they gave to my mother.”
Louise and Bob also felt drawn to their current home. “We toured three places several times. We had lunch at other retirement communities and listened to their presentations, but we always came back to Proctor,” Louise says. “It just seemed to keep coming back into our minds that Proctor was the best place for us and we’ve never regretted it.”
Peace of mind is an invaluable gift and few things can bring it better than knowing you will be taken care of not only at the worst of times, but at all times. One of the main things that beckoned the Kricks and Watts to Proctor Place was Life Care.
The Life Care program, simply put, is Proctor Place’s way of taking care of all the necessary day to day chores so you can enjoy life. Everything from the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning to taking care of your home maintenance and providing 24/7 nursing and healthcare services are amenities included in the Life Care program.
Although someone may not need the healthcare aspect of Life Care now , its very inclusion in the plan brings that priceless peace of mind. “Bob and I have both used the healthcare part of the plan when we each had knee replacements,” Louise said. She went on to explain that in addition to situations like their knee surgeries, they experienced a more critical situation when her husband had to have brain surgery about six weeks ago. Louise said, “After leaving the hospital, he was in the health center at that time too. It eases your mind to know you don’t have to be concerned about those serious situations.”
Even though Nancy hasn’t needed to use the health center yet, she knows it’s there for her and Dean when needed “I know it’s there and that’s very comforting,” she admits. “Because so many of our friends end up in nursing homes or their spouses need to take care of them, it’s a huge asset. Even though I’ve never used it, I know it’s there.”
More Than Just Healthcare
Whether a resident is enrolled in the Life Care program or chooses one of the other programs available, Proctor Place provides many amenities to all its residents.
“There are a lot of good things,” Nancy says. “There’s a variety of food because we have three different places we can choose to have a meal or snack. I belong to the Proctor Place book club. There’s exercise and all kinds of entertainment with musical groups and speakers coming in.
They also have what they call My Stories.
“My Stories is something I took attraction to right away,” Louise continues. “It’s a group of people who write their life stories to share with each other. I started to do that shortly after I got here. Then I got my husband interested in it, too. We have both printed albums with our stories and given them to our children and grandchildren. It’s been very rewarding with the comments we’ve received from our family on how much they appreciate them. It’s a very good feeling for us to know we’ve accomplished something to pass on to them.”
Proctor Place also has a service league, which participates in things like summer trips. There’s a climate-controlled garage for the residents’ cars, a gift shop with some great items to choose from, and a library that carries books from the Peoria Public Library.
Family, Friends, and People Who Care
Just as it’s family that makes a house a home, it is the people of Proctor Place who make it home for Louise, Nancy, their husbands, and many others.
“Everybody is very friendly and enjoyable to be with,” Nancy says. “You sit with different people in the dining room and the cafes so you get to chitchat with different people.”
“We like the other residents here,” Louise adds. “We’ve made some good friendships with people we didn’t know before.”
And the staff adds to the friendly atmosphere. Much of the staff has been working at Proctor Place since before Nancy arrived five years ago and even prior to Louise’s arrival two years before that. With that longevity comes a familiarity reminiscent of a truly homey environment.
“The wait staff calls you by name,” Nancy points out. “They anticipate what you need and remember what we like. I always speak very highly of the dining staff and wait staff. We have a wonderful housekeeper, and the administrative people are very nice and helpful.”
“The staff is fantastic,” Louise agrees. “The maintenance people are wonderful guys. The dining service people are super, super nice. The staff is just great. Our CEO has really done a fantastic job with protecting us from COVID-19. We appreciate every day how she has guided us through this and kept us safe. I think she did the right things at the right times.”
The Journey Continues
Just as retirement is the beginning of the journey you’ve been looking forward to your whole life, settling into a retirement community should also be the beginning of one of life’s greatest journeys. Nancy and Louise will be the first to share that at Proctor Place new friends are still being made and new experiences are creating cherished memories as they embark on this new journey in life.
Come back home to Proctor Place. Please call 309-566-4205 and we will be happy to schedule a time that is convenient for you to have a tour. Our senior living options offer something for everyone.
Check out more informative and inspirational articles at 50 Plus News and Views Greater Peoria Area.