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10204 Granger Road
Garfield Heights, OH 44125

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Dave: More to life than being in a wheelchair

“Being here, there is more to life than being in a wheelchair.”

By his own account, Dave has built a life with many blessings. He and his wife raised their family in Lorain. He held a successful career in pharmaceutical sales and is grateful for his accomplishments. His children live nearby and he is proud to watch as his grandchildren grow and discover their potential. Now a resident at Jennings at Brecksville, he says he is “comfortable that I am in the right place at the right time.”

A few years ago, Dave was living alone in his home. He had lost his wife to Alzheimer’s Disease after caring for her for much of her journey. One day he came home and began to walk up the steps when his leg gave out and he landed on his back. Though lucky he didn’t hit his head he was immobile. “I saw the sun and just looked up a while,” Dave remembers. “I was finally able to grab my phone and call for help.”

Dave was somewhat despondent while regaining his strength in rehab, and his children helped him to discover Jennings at Brecksville so he could move closer to them. During the transition he tried to seek out a normal day and over time developed a routine. “Being here, there is more to life than being in a wheelchair,” Dave explains. “There is freedom to do the things you like to do. This is a place that enables me to still do so much, and I take advantage of programs that will help me go anywhere I want to go.”

Dave enjoys activities as well as technology. He uses community resources like Instacart and Paratransit to support his independence. He enjoys speakers, happy hour, and group trips to go out to lunch or even just for ice cream. In spite of – or perhaps because of – his Parkinson’s Disease, dance and music are what Dave is best known for…and they are two ways he enjoys giving back to his neighbors. “I saw dance lessons for people with Parkinson’s to learn all the dance steps,” he describes while noting that he and his wife had taken dance lessons earlier in their life together. “I invited the dance instructors to come to Jennings, and now I have a friend who goes to dance with me.”

Dave also entertains his neighbors by playing their favorite music on his Bluetooth speaker. He loves the way music can bring back memories, but more importantly it gives him the opportunity to do something for others. “People like to hear music, and I have my system to play favorite songs,” he says. “I look forward to looking up requests. It gives me something to do and it brings people enjoyment.”

Dave attributes his positive attitude and motivation to reflecting on all the times in his life when he was shown a kindness and the desire to pay it forward. He feels it is important for him to keep living life to the fullest despite the Parkinson’s: “Am I going to do something about it or wait for the end?”

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Barbara stays active and enjoys walking among the serene Jennings at Notre Dame Village landscape. She finds purpose these days in welcoming new residents and learning what is unique about each person to make them feel special. “You say ‘not me’ when you’re younger,” Barbara explains. “We’re all getting older, and we’re not the same as we were a few years ago."

Barbara M

Resident, Jennings at Notre Dame Village

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