advantages, when it comes to Elder Care

This past week has been a big one for us at Prairie Elder Care. We have our first confirmed resident and are working on sealing the deal with our second as well. It’s an amazing feeling as we are still in the middle of putting everything we have into opening this home. This coming week brings installation of doors, trim work and finally flooring. Needless to say, it’s an emotional roller coaster, and the most humbling experience both Michala and I have ever been through. But it was all worth it when the daughter of our first resident told me that she trusted us. That is where this is going to get mushy……




This weekend we spent Saturday with our extended families doing some yard beautification at our new memory care home at Morse Village. Michala’s parents came from Washington, KS to help and my parents were on hand as well. The day was filled with yard work, soccer games, baseball games, planting shrubs, moving mulch, and would end with a great dinner for 14 at my parents’ house. As I pulled away from the house after packing up for the day, I got a little teary eyed. This is not normal for me…..I’m not a huge crier. But I was overcome with how lucky we are to be in this together and the importance of family owned businesses. Until now, I have considered family owned businesses as the opposite of corporate owned businesses…….but today I realized I was wrong.
Family owned businesses have a number of advantages, particularly when it comes to Elder Care. Here are a few:

Our family name is on the line: Every interaction we have….yes every, reflects on our family, business, values and service. We take this very seriously because it is not just a job for us. With a family owned business you can’t just quit and get another job, so those interactions we have and the relationships we build mean everything. And we build it for ourselves and our clients…not for a corporation that relies on large scale profits.

We built it with love, hard work and support from our family: Like on Saturday, it takes our support network to make this work. I hesitated to post the picture with this because Michala and her oldest daughter Ellie aren’t in the picture. They had to leave for Ellie’s last soccer game of the season. But the rest of her family is in the picture…..us! When I realized that is one of the benefits of being family owned I knew it was the right picture! Our family is important, so we have the built in flexibility to support each other in our efforts to raise our families.

We are creating an extended family: When someone comes to live or work in a Prairie Elder Home, they step into our family environment. They are treated and cared for as a valued member of our family team. We are only as strong as our weakest link, so we must keep all aspects of our family healthy and strong.
Some things might not be perfect, but the things that matter might even be better than perfect: I cannot guarantee that the 1.6 acre yard at The Prairie 

Elder Home in Morse Village will always be perfect. We love the fact that we have over 30 beautiful trees, and all this land to make something really cool for our residents. But honestly, we can’t afford to have someone else take care of the yard right now and there is no way we can make it perfect. Just to mow it once a week takes a huge time commitment and we are all participating including my 70 year old dad and my 10 year old son. Everyday Michala and I look at our budget and weigh the importance of each thing that we are working on. A huge decision for us was to create a quiet room (Snoezelen Room) that will help calm our residents and keep them engaged with their senses even if that is all they have left to enjoy. This was a big decision because not making this space into a bedroom was certainly not cost effective. There hasn’t been a day since we made that decision that we have regretted it for a minute. This may be an element that makes our Prairie Elder Home even better than perfect for some residents. Our decisions will never be based on corporate anything. They will always be based on what is good for our residents. This goes back to my last blog, that described how even in the most perfect and aesthetically pleasing facilities, there can be inadequate care provided to residents.
So family owned is something I will look for in the people we do business with. There is a commitment there that can be found nowhere else. Family owned means that this family has put it all on the line to own this business, and they have the power to make the decisions to impact their clients.

We look forward to growing our family, as we welcome your loved ones as residents in our Prairie Elder Homes!
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