By Amber Ellis of BMA senior and assisted living management
|Helen Olson enjoyed a special
birthday celebration last week.
When reflecting on her life, she
said, “100 years. Wow. It’s a real
blessing that most people don’t
get to realize and enjoy, and
let me say, what a ride!”
Helen Olson is a youthful 100.
She celebrated her centenarian status in style last week, sporting a colorful lei and taking center stage as she tickled the ivories for guests at her birthday party. She played for more than an hour, taking requests and sharing a few of her favorite songs.
It’s a scene that’s not uncommon at her new home: Heritage Woods of Freeport. Helen can often be found in the corner of the dining room, peeking over the piano as the beautiful sounds she creates fill the halls.
“This is what I enjoy, what I love,” she said. “And it’s a wonderful thing to be able to share it with everyone here. This is my release.”
Helen, who worked for decades caring for others as a nurse, lived on her own until she was 99 ½. She was one of the first people to move in when the community opened last summer. Living at Heritage Woods has allowed her to maintain her independence, meet new friends and share her passion for music with others.
One of Helen’s daughters became emotional as she shared how touched she was that so many people – the residents and staff—had come out for her Mom’s birthday celebration.
“Mom is so, so lucky, and we are, too, that she could celebrate her birthday with all of you,” she said. “You have made this day very, very special for us, for her to have a whole gallery of friends here who love her as much as we do.”
The beauty about moving into a community like Heritage Woods of Freeport is that people come together for each other. Residents have a support system, a small army of people, who celebrate things – big and small – and help them thrive in their new homes.
Supportive living communities, such as Heritage Woods of Freeport, have improved the lives of thousands of people across the state of Illinois. Each April, we celebrate all of the wonderful things that make supportive living a blessing for the individuals who live in these communities. Helen is just one example of a resident who continues to enjoy an independent lifestyle because of the love, dignity and compassion provided at BMA communities.
Below is a video of Helen sharing her life story with her new friends. Feel free to leave a birthday wish for Helen in the comments, too, and we’ll share each of them with her.
All affordable assisted living communities managed by BMA Management, Ltd. are certified and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. All assisted living communities are licensed and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“BMA Management, Ltd. is the leading provider of assisted living in Illinois
and one of the 20 largest providers of assisted living in the United States.”
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.