Ivan and Ida Donnell of Little Acre stopped by Seymour Place assisted living community last Thursday for a couple of reasons: To attend the open house and to see Becky Schepman of Radio 96.3 do her live broadcast from the facility.
Ida said she and her husband go to all of the live remote locations when the Cool Bus is out and about town, and they haven’t missed one yet this year, Ida said.
“I’m a veteran and served in the United States Navy four years, from 1969 to 1972,” Ivan said. “With my health issues, every morning I wake up, I thank the Lord.”
The Donnells will be celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary Nov. 9.
They enjoyed snacks prepared for the Seymour Place open house while a group gathered outside for the ribbon cutting to acknowledge the newly remodeled facility at 2288 Nicholas Court on Seymour’s east side.
Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Director Dan Robison, Mayor Matt Nicholson and staff members of Seymour Place and Enlivant gathered by the Seymour Place sign for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Melissa Conrad is regional director of sales and marketing for Enlivant in southern Indiana, where the company has buildings in 14 locations.
“We got all new flooring here at Seymour Place, some new furniture, new pictures and some updates to the heating/air and cooling system,” Conrad said. “The thing we’re most proud of is we have longevity in staff, so we’re celebrating them, too, and we’ve also got some amazing residents who have been here a long time, and now, we’ve got some openings for some new residents.”
She said the remodeling is to make the building have a comfier feel for those who live there.
“We’re an assisted living community with about 20 to 25 staff members and offer care for people, assisting in their daily active living, administering medication and being here in case they’re not feeling well,” Conrad said. “We can have people in the building that are completely independent and are free to come and go and have the freedom of knowing they have 24-hour staff to help.”
She said they are located off the beaten path, kind of secluded and not on the main road, so residents can go outside and really enjoy it.
“We may not be right downtown, but we’re not so far your family can’t pick you up and take you to lunch,” Conrad said. “This is a nice little hidden gem.”
The staff at Seymour Place is available 24/7 to help with safety, care and support. All of the staff are trained to deal with dementia and are able to help the seniors at their lowest level of independence and have a great life, she said.
Conrad said as far as activities go, they tailor to what the residents want.
“We ask them when they come here what they like to do, and if we don’t have it, we’ll create a platform for that activity,” she said.
Taylor Estep, life enrichment coordinator at the center, leads residents in a variety of activities.
“I’ve done virtual factory tours, candy making and then one time, we watched how Fig Newtons are made,” Estep said. “Then I gave them some Fig Newtons to eat, so that was pretty cool.”
She said the Jackson County Public Library visits there twice a month to teach a craft and read to the residents.
“We also have Flash the therapy pony that comes here, and we sometimes go on outings, do fitness activities and have social interaction,” Estep said. “We do play all varieties of bingo twice a week, and that’s probably their favorite activity here.”
Kimberly Watson is an executive director for Enlivant, the company that owns Seymour Place.
“My main building is in Bedford, but I’m helping out in Seymour right now,” she said. “I like to help and branch out and to visit communities and learn what’s going on there.”
Watson said something good to know about Seymour Place is it is a licensed community and has 24-hour nursing care here.
Maintenance technician Shane Shubert said he is in charge of facility maintenance at Seymour Place, and his main objective is to keep the residents safe.
Resident Selma Mellenbruch said she thinks the remodeling looks really nice with all of the new carpet and flooring.
Covering the southern region of Indiana and Illinois with about 25 properties, regional director of facility management Kevin Brooks said over the past couple of years, this remodeling project at Seymour Place has been a labor of love for him.
“Seymour Place hadn’t been updated too much but well taken care of, so over the past couple of years, we’ve updated the lighting and flooring,” Brooks said. “We’ve been taking down some of the old borders trying to make it more vibrant.”
He said the residents there have really been excited about it, especially the lighting because it adds more illumination.
“Some of our residents have trouble seeing, and they’ve been thankful for the new lights,” Brooks said. “Some of the furniture and rooms have also been updated and the courtyard renovated.”
He said it’s kind of like renovating your own home, and Seymour Place really is home for the residents.