Posted: November 18, 2019
Being thankful during the holiday season can seem simple when everyone’s together. It becomes much harder when a loved one is missing.
Earlier this month Dennis Baldwin sat across the table in the newly renovated Bistro at Holly Creek Life Plan Community and shared about his past few years.
“I moved here in May 2015 with my wife, who had dementia,” he explained. “After a while the staff suggested that she move into memory care.”
The Baldwins specifically chose Holly Creek because it offered various levels of care all in one place. This enabled Dennis to continue living in the independent wing of the community (where he still lives today), only a couple hundred feet away from his wife’s room in the community’s memory care neighborhood. When his wife also eventually needed hospice, Holly Creek staff arranged for this care to be provided on-site as well.
“They made her last days so comfortable,” Baldwin recalled. “Physically and emotionally they provided excellent care. They meet every expectation—That is the story of Holly Creek as I know it.”
This will be Baldwin’s first Thanksgiving without his wife. But he isn’t letting that loss dampen his gratitude. Now he is especially thankful for the opportunities and connections that his Holly Creek community continues to provide.
“I moved to Denver in 1956, and I’ve lived in neighborhoods such as Denver North, Cheeseman Park and Belcaro Park,” Baldwin shared. “They were all fine neighborhoods, but this is different. This is more cohesive—we dine together, play games together, share life together. The people who come here are interesting and interested, with life stories that are truly amazing.”
Baldwin himself has a pretty impressive background. He served on numerous boards across Denver including the Iliff School of Theology Board of Trustees, Planned Parenthood Colorado, the Colorado chapter of the American Heart Association and Four Mile Historic Park. He can reminisce about skiing, bird hunting and fly fishing across the state. At ninety, he has retired most of these past times. But, to his delight, Baldwin now actually has the opportunity both to take up a few new activities and draw on a few favorites at Holly Creek.
“I’ve always wanted to read through historic Western American Literature, but I couldn’t before,” he shared. “Now I’m part of a book club here, and I’m also on a committee and the resident board.”
Baldwin’s work on Holly Creek’s resident board has been particularly helpful. His role, along with that of many other members, has been instrumental in keeping the community pointed in a direction that supports staff as well as residents.
It is the work of these neighbors, and the support and participation of the entire community, that enables Holly Creek to “care for the whole person, physically and emotionally,” and makes it, in Baldwin’s own words “the best community I have ever lived in.”
And that’s just one more excellent reason to be thankful this season.