Providing More than an Apartment: One Resident’s Journey at Redwood

People rent at Redwood Neighborhoods for all sorts of reasons. Some are looking to downsize, some need a single-story home but don’t want to take care of a house, some just want a place that feels like home while still being a rental.

For one of our North Ridgeville, Ohio residents, the decision to move her mother to a Redwood Neighborhood became about providing a home where her mother could get the experience of home while still receiving the care she needed at the end of her life.

Read Kelly Walkden Gulick’s story of how Redwood helped her give her mother, Helen, the home she deserved for the rest of her life.

From Local Care Center to Redwood

My mother was dying for a loving touch. She was living in a local care center that during the pandemic had a policy of no in-person visitation. For 10 months residents were confined to their rooms.

At 86 years old, Mom was legally blind, unable to walk, and needed daily care, but her condition was stable. During the pandemic she had service touching to meet basic needs, but no one sat and held her hand or lovingly brushed her hair as we had previously on our daily visits. The phone was her lifeline, but staff often forgot to place it within her reach. For Mom, a retired teacher and a social butterfly, the isolation was like solitary confinement. 

One day in late December 2020 I called my cousin and kindred spirit, Georgia Awig. She is a registered nurse, a Kent State graduate with a BSN, and a good listener with experience as a patient advocate. I complained to her about not being able to provide Mom the care she deserved. That discussion started us down a path—taking Mom out of the care center and into a Redwood apartment—with me as primary caregiver and Georgia as local resource.

Why We Chose Redwood

I knew about Redwood Apartments in Newark because my son lives there and loves his place. The layout works well for him with the second bedroom turned into a home office and the large windows providing a spacious feeling.  

We needed a place with handicapped access that was easy for friends and family to find. Georgia toured Redwood Apartments North Ridgeville complex on Bagley Road. There was an apartment that met our requirements! The open floor plan and hardwood floors allowed me to easily move Mom’s wheelchair. The living room was large enough to accommodate the necessary medical equipment and a large chair for my brother to be comfortable during his daily visits. It had two bedrooms; one for me, and one for overnight guests or hospice aides. The Redwood staff was so welcoming that we immediately felt comfortable putting the rest of the steps into action. 

Our Experience at Redwood North Ridgeville Bagley Road

Moving a family member from an institution to home-based care is a big commitment, and not every family can make this transition. My husband and sons supported this venture. I quit my job as a teacher and put on hold my fledgling sewing business. Family and friends helped me move and set up furniture, and called often to offer help and support. Georgia was a regular visitor; Mom told us details of our family history and about our mothers’ lives as sisters growing up. My brother adjusted his schedule to visit every day and held Mom’s hand as they shared memories or napped. A local hospice organization managed Mom’s medicines and provided guidance for her care.  

Our Redwood neighbors were friendly and helpful. On nice-weather days I moved Mom in her wheelchair to the edge of the garage and folks driving by smiled and waved. Neighbors out for a stroll or on their way to the mailbox stopped to greet us and held their dogs up for Mom to pet. Everyone offered to help if I needed anything.  

Kelly's mother, Helen, enjoying her afternoon snack while watching the outdoors at Redwood North Ridgeville Bagley Road.
Kelly’s mother, Helen, enjoying her afternoon snack while watching the outdoors at Redwood North Ridgeville Bagley Road.

Mom relished living in Redwood Apartments; she loved when I moved her wheelchair into the kitchen so she could watch me prepare our next meal as we chatted about our adventures together. She liked having an audience for her stories and basked in receiving loving touches again. She said the arrangement was like a marvelous dream. We only had two months together, but Mom died knowing she was greatly loved.

Redwood is an equal housing provider. For more information about Redwood, its rental criteria, and how you can find a Redwood apartment home near you, head to byRedwood.com.

Read more stories about Redwood here.

12 Comments

  1. Erick Amthor on May 23, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    That is a wonderful story and I am always happy to hear that our “seasoned’ citizens are receiving the care and companionship they need.
    My name is Erick and I recently moved into the same complex. I have three years experience in elder care/ companionship. Two of which were caring for my 85 year old Father who had the early stage of Alzheimer’s.
    I was employed for two years as a companion and caregiver with three different gentlemen providing companionship, transportation, medicine reminders, light meal preparation and light housekeeping.
    I would like to give the same care to someone locally for up to four to five hours a day, weekdays and possibly occasional weekends. I have references, a clean driving record and a good vehicle. I am a retired law enforcement Officer and enjoy being around older folks who need companionship and non-medical assistance. I will discuss care plan and compensation with anyone interested in my services. Reach me at (845) 866-7745 Thanks and God bless.

  2. Linda Tuttle on May 28, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    What a lovely story

  3. Marge Rocheck on June 11, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    Beautiful story
    It is so nice to know that one can spend their final days in the luxury of a Redwood Apartment as opposed to the cold nursing homes

  4. Bev Kubat on June 12, 2021 at 4:11 am

    What a precious & loving way to care for their loved one, in spite of COVID; thank you for sharing this uplifting experience.

  5. Yvonne on June 12, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    I was not expecting this story to end how it did. Such a loving family.

  6. Bryan & Delphine Coupland on June 15, 2021 at 10:08 am

    We loved hearing this story
    Thanks for sharing it. We have been happy residents at our Redwood Bayberry Chase community in Grand Rapids Michigan and were the first family to move in there, site unseen. Our daughter picked the apartment out for us.. We are seniors and love the single story living. The only thing lacking is the 5% senior discount on rent that we enjoyed at our last apartment in Jackson Michigan. Otherwise this has been a perfect location for us.

  7. Virginia (Ginger) Riley on June 22, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Had we known about Redwood sooner, we too, would have moved my Dad into one of these apartments as it would have been perfect for him. Now, its been perfect for me as I have issues that refrains me from stairs. I would recommend these for everyone approaching retirement, or having health issues.

  8. Srini on August 22, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    Great story for all. Two things to learn. 1) Redwood cares family/tenants needs. 2) Responsibility of kids on caring their senior parents.

    Kudos to Kelly Walkden Gulick’s and family efforts on keeping her mother Helen Happy.

  9. Robert coon on August 23, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    👍 story

  10. Lisa Kirk on August 23, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    Yes I could see this being a much better option. The price is better than a care facility. What a touching story.

  11. Brenda on August 24, 2021 at 12:02 am

    Beautiful story

  12. Bessie Snyder on August 28, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing. What a great time you had together, sorry for your loss.

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