Woodland Hill, located in Hudson, WI, opened the doors in April 2016 and welcomed its first residents. Eighteen months later, Woodland Hill has become an active and welcoming community for over 300 older adults.
“The residents are so proud to call Woodland Hill their home,” said Dianna Weum, Woodland Hill Housing Advisor. “The rhythm of daily life that has emerged through the collaboration of residents, volunteers and staff is terrific.” Weum said that apartments are available in The Commons assisted living with studio, one and one bedroom-plus floor plan options. Assisted living at Woodland hill is designed to allow residents to choose what assistance may be needed and adjust as needs change. All apartments at The Commons feature thoughtfully designed floor plans and are equipped with urgent call systems.
David Richardson was one of the first residents who moved to The Commons assisted living. Originally from nearby Spring Valley and River Falls, David moved to Madison, WI, over 34 years ago. When his daughter, Jennifer O’Neill, recognized that he needed more support and desired to live closer to his family, she chose Woodland Hill on his behalf. “I’ve always admired the Presbyterian Homes & Services model of housing with services and amenities all in one building. As soon as I learned that PHS was building in Hudson, we decided that’s where he’s going to move,’” she said. By the time Woodland Hill started construction in the winter of 2015, she had placed her father’s name on the waitlist.
In late spring of 2016, Richardson moved into a 1-bedroom, 1-bath assisted living apartment at Woodland Hill. His new apartment shares many similarities with his former condo in Madison. “The rooms are in the same configuration and it feels familiar to him,” O’Neill said, noting how helpful this is for someone with memory loss. “He was able to move in with his own furniture and has enough space to welcome visitors. He’s just comfortable,” she said.
Since his move to The Commons, O’Neill has witnessed her father regaining a higher level of independence and a renewed ability to lead his own life at Woodland Hill. She credits the proximity of amenities, supportive staff and his friendly neighbors. “Because my dad is so social, I wanted him in a community where he could engage with many different people and had a lot of space in his apartment with all the amenities in one building.” O’Neill recognizes that he has more autonomy in his daily life compared to when he lived alone in Madison. “A home caregiver came to help but he had to wait for a ride to his barber or bank,” she remembers. “Now he can take care of these things for himself, walking through [Woodland Hill’s Town Center] to the dining room or bank or hair salon,” she said. O’Neill shared that her father especially enjoys circulating around the community to socialize with neighbors and get the good exercise that walking affords.
O’Neill smiles when she meets the new friends her father has made at Woodland Hill. “I used to go over and eat lunch with him at least once a week,” she said. “Now he has a little group he eats lunch and dinner with and there’s no room for me.” She laughed. In addition to his robust social life at Woodland Hill, Richardson can visit more often with his family members who live in the area, including his siblings and grandchildren. “It’s been nice to have him close by so he can join family events,” said O’Neill.
O’Neill appreciates the professional and conscientious staff members who uphold the standard of excellence that is the signature of Presbyterian Homes & Services. “Woodland Hill staff members communicate well with Dad and with me,” O’Neill said. She remembers how ready and helpful they were when her dad moved in. “He had a lot of attention right away as one of the first residents and he really benefitted from that,” she said. She notices how the staff have gotten to know her dad and when they tell him how much they enjoy seeing him every day, it makes him smile.
O’Neill smiles too because her family rests easier, knowing that Richardson is at Woodland Hill where support is readily available, especially when she thinks about the years to come. ““I know that he will be able to stay at Woodland Hill, even as he needs more services or a higher level of care. I don’t have to worry about him.”” she said.
These days, Richardson enjoys looking out his apartment window to the surrounding forest and even the parking lot below. When O’Neill and her family visit, he likes to watch out the window as they drive away. “As I leave Woodland Hill,” said O’Neil, “I can look up at his window and wave.” Seeing her father wave back, she knows he’s happy and in good hands.
Unique to Woodland Hill is the DaVita Dialysis clinic located on the campus, bringing comprehensive kidney care close to home for those living in the Hudson area. Woodland Hill is conveniently located east of Hudson Hospital & Clinic. PHS, DaVita Dialysis, and Hudson Hospital & Clinic collaborate to offer consistent and complementary care services, including transportation between the campuses, special nutrition and dietary support for dialysis patients and others, wellness education and more.
For information about Woodland Hill, contact Dianna Weum, Housing Advisor at (715) 716-5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.woodlandhillphs.org