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My father and I had a lovely Sunday morning visiting on his front porch. He lives at Traditions of Spring Hill for almost two years now. He talked about the Michigan game (Go Blue.) I showed him video clips of his grandson, my nephew, completing four touchdowns during his high school game Friday night. He listened to my daughter sing the National Anthem at her high school football game. We took a short walk. He was eager to get to lunch. He doesn’t like to miss a meal. He was also researching words for the week’s mental challenge. The engagement director, Sandy, knows my dad is smart and has tasked him with this, which he enjoys.

When I first approached my dad about moving to assisted living, he told me I was ruining his life.

Truthfully, my dad can be difficult. When he finally agreed to move, the journey was a challenge – in every way. The first months were an adjustment and true to his nature, he found reasons to complain. Almost two years later he is a changed man. He is content, pleasant, happy, complementary and positive. Recently a team member said, “Your dad is the nicest resident. He’s so sweet and funny.” It truly warmed my heart.

The team at Traditions got to know my dad. Sandy engaging him to research words is a perfect example. He’s not a social person by nature. He didn’t want to join in at first, and still isn’t a group person. With encouragement and caring, he will now partake in exercise class and the mind-games, and loves to go on every scheduled outing.

My husband and daughter visited him on Fair Day last month and I was texted a photo of he and Ava. He’s drinking a beer and she’s petting a goat. He later told me he loves the “wildlife” they bring to the community. He grew up on a farm and so appreciates these times to be outside, to be with animals, to be with family, to drink a beer. And yes, this is assisted living. Even today the perception of “old age home” persists. Trust me, this isn’t your grandmother’s nursing home.

My husband and I took him out on Labor Day. As we were driving down a beautiful country road my dad looked out the window and said, “It’s glorious here. I just love it. I’m so glad I live in Tennessee.”

Moving to Traditions of Spring Hill was the best decision for him, hands down. It’s changed his life. I’ve been told that it’s a testament that my father lives in one of our communities. Honestly, when it comes to my dad, I’m just the daughter. I’m glad I chose the best. I’m glad he lives at Traditions.

One of his friends says it best,

“My friend lives there and he has said he’s never been happier. Wonderful staff. He has made friends and is participating in activities he never did before. Best thing ever happened to him. His family is over the top. Thanks to everyone who has made his life so rich.”

Julie Podewitz, CSO
Vitality Living,
Traditions of Spring Hill


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