Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), like those operated by United Church Homes, are an ideal option for seniors who may need multiple care levels on the same campus—ranging from skilled nursing care to assisted living to independent living to residential living accommodations.
Those who work in healthcare get to meet interesting people all the time, each with a unique life story to tell. Residents who choose CCRC communities are typically looking for a specific level of care, delivered at the right level of intensity, when it’s needed. This is particularly true of couples, when one spouse’s health is more, or less, compromised than his or her partner. While some look for independence and fulfillment, others seek community and a sense of belonging. Everyone wants respectful and dependable caregivers.
Betty and Harry Wagers weren’t exactly looking to move to Chapel Hill Community, a United Church Homes community in Canal Fulton, Ohio. They were simply trying to find a place suitable for retirement living. Their children, however, had other ideas. The children wanted to find somewhere that would put Betty and Harry’s health as the top priority—a place where the couple could live independently, while having healthcare services nearby.
Betty and Harry weren’t candidates for assisted living. While walking through Kroft Commons, the residential living cottages available on the Chapel Hill campus, they discovered what they were looking for. Kroft offered beautiful residential living accommodations—literally steps away from Chapel Hill’s skilled nursing services, which provides a personal focus on health and enrichment if and when they need more personalized care. This combination gave the Wagers and their children the peace of mind they were seeking.
Shortly after moving into their new residence at Kroft , Betty took a bad spill and ultimately needed short-term rehab therapy following a brief hospital stay. Chapel Hill’s Fast Track Rehab therapy program was just what the doctor ordered. While Betty recovered in the rehab unit, she was also close to home. Not a couple used to being separated, Harry was anxious to be near her frequently. His eyes lit up every time Harry joined her. Every day he was there for lunch and dinner, and was able to keep a close eye on her progress just by walking across the parking lot. Soon, Betty was on the mend and returned home, much to Harry’s delight.
“I thought I might never get on my feet again after the accident. I couldn’t walk or stand. I was afraid I would lose my independence and my confidence. I am stronger every day thanks to therapists at Chapel Hill. They never let me give up,” Betty says of her experience.
They aren’t the only ones who have found Chapel Hill’s CCRC campus a perfect place to live.
The Count of Chapel Hill
Basile Denissoff, who’s also a resident of Kroft Commons, enjoys his home and the flexibility it affords him and his wife, Ilona. Basile is well-known at Chapel Hill.
Basile brings to Chapel Hill a rich personal history, the product of being born into an aristocratic family in 1931. His full and proper title is Count Basile Denissoff. As someone who can trace his family’s genealogical history back to the 17th century (the 1600s), Basile is a fascinating individual, comfortably conversant in English, French and Russian, and positively brimming with exquisite details of an interesting, well-lived life of 83 years. A man with eclectic interests—breeding rare guppies, an appreciation for fine art, and showing dogs at the Westminster Classic in New York City—Basile can engage and entertain visitors for hours.
World War II was spreading across Europe, and Germany had recently invaded Belgium, where Basile lived with his mother and father under German occupation. There was still great uncertainty about whether Europe would survive against an occupying army. The family made a heart-wrenching decision. They moved from Belgium to Bordeaux, France, where they operated family-owned hotels. After a time, Germans had taken over the remainder of Europe and the family was forced to close their various businesses and live the best they could. They moved a total of eight times during the invasion by Germany. It was only after World War II that Elias Denissoff, father of Basile, completed his degree in philosophy and sought out a teaching position in a university. Accepting an offer from the University of Notre Dame in the United States, the family traveled to the U.S. to live.
But none of that explains why Basile lives at Chapel Hill.
For the past 70 years he and his Hungarian wife, Ilona, lived in various locations in the United States —New York, California, North Carolina and Illinois—as Basile pursued his career in the industrial glass product sector. As you might imagine, their six children live all over the country, and are not always able to be available. Their granddaughter lives near Canal Fulton and frequently helps them with everyday living. When Basile needed a place that gave him fulfillment in his own home, and the level of care he needed for Ilona, he turned to Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill gives them the best of both worlds, allowing him to live independently in Kroft Commons and confident that his wife is getting the excellent skilled nursing care she requires. Every day he spends hours with Ilona, eating meals with her and just visiting. Basile enjoys the community too, whether sitting on his outdoor patio or performing magic shows for the other residents. He credits the staff at Chapel Hill for making his experience one of contentment and having compassion for his needs.
When we look into the heart of what we do at United Church Homes, we treat every day with the mission with which we are entrusted: putting people first, committing to innovation and excellence, and focusing on the connectivity of family.
It is moments like these that enable us to proclaim—mission accomplished!