If there’s one thing 75-year-old Patricia Hanner has already loved, it’s her sense of fashion. From days spent as the head majorette at her high school to her work in a clothing store, she knows her stuff.
And it was Rittenhouse Village at Valparaiso’s commitment to that passion that was one of the things that sealed the deal for Hanner to move there just about a year ago.
“I have my own bedroom and a partial living room and a bathroom, and a huge closet to put all my clothes in,” she says with a note of satisfaction.
Originally from St. Joseph, MIchigan, Hanner has had some ups and downs in her life. The former baton twirler and concert band clarinet player met and married her husband in 1961, but lost him early in their marriage. The couple had three children, but one passed away, with Hanner the one to find him after his death.
“There have been ups and downs but that’s just life,” she says. “You have to be able to adjust to what comes your way.”
She worked for a clothing store for several years and still has some of her favorite items, admiring a nightgown and other garments as she speaks.
The extra perks like overly large closets that can house the wardrobe of a woman who has spent decades in her own home is part of what sets a facility like Rittenhouse Village at Valparaiso apart from the rest.
For assisted living residents like Hanner, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to the care required. And so each resident makes their needs known during an assessment phase of their move-in so that whatever they need, be it showering or bathing assistance, personal laundry services, or medication management, is provided. More importantly, the things that aren’t necessary for each resident are not part of the care package, thus allowing each individual to remain as independent as possible.
For Hanner, that means taking her daily walks around the building, giving her time to greet friends and neighbors, get exercise, and escape into her own thoughts.
“It’s a huge building and it allows me to get my exercise,” she says. “I am always seeing a familiar face or meeting someone new or seeing something new.”
The daily walks might be the highlight of her day, but they are far from her lone activity.
“We have lots of entertainers who come in and play music, and we have a gal that has us doing a game called Wii Bowling,” she says. “You’re not actually at a bowling alley, but you hold this little controller and do the motion and see how many strikes and spares you get.”
The updated technology to include games like the Wii are part of Rittenhouse Village’s commitment to keep its residents stimulated both physically and mentally.
Hanner said the commitment of the kitchen staff also goes above and beyond.
“We have great food to eat,” she says. “We have a lot to do here and a lot of caring people. The chefs are great and the waitresses are really special people. I can’t say enough about the way we are treated. It’s a lovely place to be.”