Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Since ancient times, when the days finally begin to lengthen again, around the beginning of the new year, people have been celebrating the return of the light, and with it, the return of hope. That hope inspires us, and we make resolutions to discard what no longer serves us and set new and better goals for the new year.

We probably saw our Mom and Dad make resolutions. That’s where we first learned that every year is new, and we can always start again.

It’s a testament to our perseverance that regardless of how successful we are at keeping last year’s resolutions, we still make them, every new year. And if they stick, we just might gain a productive new habit or help us learn something new that sticks with us for life.

But what I love the most about new Year’s resolutions as Executive Director of The Willows is how enduring this tradition is. I am surrounded by residents who make a new set of resolutions, every year of their lives. And that is inspiring. They stop me in the hall to share them with me, just as excited about them as the first ones they made.

That’s why New Year’s Resolutions are so charming. They reinvigorate us. They restore hope, they remind us that even after a long and full life, we have the energy and enthusiasm for new goals. Every single year.

Resolutions are not just for the young. They are timeless. They are for all of us. They unite us and keep us learning and growing and working towards a better life together. And that is a wonderful thing.

I’d love to hear your resolutions. Give me a call sometime at 485-6172. Let’s make this New Year better than the last.

Love,

Jennifer Stanley
The Willows of Marshalltown

 

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

We hear this all the time from residents who have recently joined us here at The Willows. “At last, my kids can be kids again…” Let me explain.

As parents we fully enjoy the years of watching our kids grow up and become adults. In fact, even after they grow up they are still “kids” to us. They’ll always be our kids.

But…life is long. It has many cycles.

One of those cycles is where the parents begin to need the help of their kids in daily life. It’s a natural cycle. It usually starts as the kids making sure to stop by every week to visit, and call several times per week, maybe run a few errands now and then.

But as parents age, those check-ins and calls, can tun into a full time job of cooking for them, taking them to the bathroom…all the things they did for us when we were very young. Let’s face it, this is all part of the cycle of life.

But when that balance gets upset, it can put a tremendous strain on relationships, on families. That is when you need to look for help. It can be overwhelming for anyone and the stress on caregivers can
bring a tidal wave of stress in all areas of life.

But help is out there. Maybe The Willows is the right place for your parents, here they have their own apartment, nutritious meals every day, friends, activities, a theater – and 24/7 assistance at the press of a button. And when you visit, your parents can truly see you as kids again. We see it as bringing that part of life full circle and back into balance.

And if it isn’t the right fit, I can help you find options that might fit better. Call me and let’s chat, I am at 485-1672.

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

“Home” is such a wonderful word, isn’t it?

There is so much that comes to mind: the people, the place, the feeling of home.

In life there is “home,” and then there is just, well, pretty much everything else.

“Home” is that sigh at the end of a long day, that sense of place, our foundation of familiarity and comfort. Home is the place we hold our memories, the place we feel loved, the place we feel like we belong.

When our owners Ben and Mira Daniels opened The Willows back in 2018, that feeling of home was at its core, they even crafted our slogan with that in mind, “When you’re here you’re home.”

But how do you create “home” for so many folks, all with a different experience of it?

The key is what is always at the heart of a home, the people.

And the people at the heart of The Willows are our residents and our staff. Together we build home here every day. And we talk together often about how to make it better. So the home we build is one full of joy, of memories, of shared meals with visiting family, with friends and neighbors. Home is filled with tailgating parties and card games, of shopping trips and ice cream socials, games and bingo and long talks about life.

And caring, always caring.

For our team members, for our residents. When they need a helping hand, home is here for our Willows Family.

So as life evolves, and find you need a retirement community for yourself or for Mom or Dad, the advice I always give folks is this: Find a place that feels like home. And if you need any help with that, give me a call anytime, my number is 4851672. I’d love to share our home with you.

Love,

Jennifer Stanley

Executive Director

The Willows of Marshalltown

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

I mean, what would we do without doctors?

I think almost all of us have seen the invaluable impact doctors have in our lives. From running in to your primary doc to check on a cold or cough to the on-call surgeon saving the life of a loved one. These dedicated and caring folks are holding our hand and supporting us through some of the most transformational and important experiences of our lives.

That is why every single doctor deserves to be honored on National Doctor’s Day which is every year on March 30th

National Doctor’s Day has been officially celebrated since 1933. It was organized by the proud wife of a prominent doctor in Georgia. And it even has a flower, the red carnation associated with it.

In my job at The Willows I have the honor of interacting with many local doctors. They help us to manage the health and wellbeing of our residents and work to preserve their independence and improve their quality of life. They are such important partners in caring for the elderly in our community. They care so deeply about their work and they work tirelessly to help their patients to thrive and stay healthy.

And doctors really understand the aging process. They understand that there is a lot of life to be lived, and why should it not be comfortable, social, and happy all the way through?

So on March 30th, pick up the phone and call your doctor’s office to wish them a “Happy Doctor’s Day.”

If we all do that, we can flood Marshalltown’s doctors with calls of love and good wishes make a wonderful and powerful impact.

Let’s show them how much we appreciate them and the support they have given us over the years.

Love.

Jennifer Stanley

Executive Director The Willows

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

One of the best parts of my job is meeting with families who are considering The Willows as a future home for a loved one.

People call me regularly to arrange a tour, with time for lots of questions and answers. Now mind you, I have been doing this for almost 5 years now so you can imagine all the different questions I have received. I thought I had gotten most of them down.

Until just recently.

I was on a tour I received a unique “first time” question. It really brought my Iowa pride to the surface, so I thought I’d share it with you.

After a relaxed and enjoyable tour of The Willows, the daughter of a prospective resident asked me “if it was OK for her dad to move into The Willows and still wear his bib overalls.”

That caught me by surprise, but the answer was easy. “Of course he can wear bib overalls.” We have no dress code, and we want our residents to always feel at home and comfortable.

But you know, it got me thinking about how much I love Iowa. We are proud of our agricultural heritage here, and the kind, hardworking folks who make this place home. Our farming families put the heart in “Heartland” so you should wear your bibs with pride.

At The Willows we have beautiful gardens, a small corn field and room for more. It’s a part of who we are and so many of our residents share a love of planting things and watching them grow. It’s also one of the reasons we love our location on the west side of Marshalltown. Our spot is peaceful, with views of the Iowa countryside and wildlife but still just a few minutes from downtown. Something for everyone.

Give me a call sometime and come out for a visit. I’d love to show you around and answer any questions you have. My number is 4851672.

Love,

Jennifer Stanley

Executive Director

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Lets face it, there is a lot of hard work in a lifetime. Going to school, a career, raising a family, then helping with grandkids. It can be happy work, and if you’re lucky, much of it is. But it always seems like that rest and relaxation part is always over just one more hill.

I’ll let you in on a secret, when someone moves in with us at The Willows, it’s like a little bell goes off and our residents realize they’ve finally managed to find the valley on the other side of that hill.

It marks a wonderful new phase of life, and we see it every day.

For some seniors having fun means being independent, reading books in our library or a TV marathon in our movie theater. The definition of relaxation looks different for everyone.

Many seniors look at this as the time to finally get in some fitness activity. Who cares how old you are…it still makes a big difference in how you feel. Is there a hobby you have been ignoring or always wanting to try? Writing short stories, painting, crafts, playing cards, doing puzzles, even shooting pool…these are all things we see our residents enjoying every day.

I hear it all the time from residents “I’m so much happier now. I’ve come out of my shell. I’ve made new friends and taken up new hobbies. I never thought this would happen.”

When a place like The Willows takes the hard work off your shoulders, what would life look like for you?

Honestly, I want to know! Call me anytime at 485-1672 and tell about the new phase of life you’ve been dreaming of for yourself, or for Mom or Dad. I can’t wait to hear about it.

Love,

Jennifer Stanley

Executive Director

The Willows of Marshalltown

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Did you know that on average we spend a third of our lives at work? When you think about it that way, where we choose to spend those working hours takes on a whole new meaning doesn’t it?

As an employer, it’s not enough to just issue a paycheck every week. It’s not enough to just fill a job.

Because we work with real people.

And people are complex and special. They have purpose and drive and heart. And you aren’t just employing them, you’re with them through many of the highs and lows of their lives. So if you’re doing it right, you are like their second family. And you need to give them the compassion, support and guidance that a family would.

Working in a place like The Willows, this becomes doubly important because our employees are also an important part of the lives of the seniors we care for.

That’s why we have more staff per resident than you usually see in other assisted livings. We want our employees to have the time to form real connections with the people they serve with compassion and empathy. They can spend an hour holding a resident’s hand while they fall asleep, or reading the paper to them in the morning, or perfecting their mother’s meatloaf recipe.

It’s our job to support them, to build them up so they can do the same for the residents in their care.

So that when they come to work each day, it isn’t just a workplace, it’s home, it’s family, it’s a place where you know your friends have your back, it’s a place where you can feel every day, the difference you’re making in the lives of others.

We strive to create this environment every day at The Willows. If you want to hear more, I’d love to talk with you some time. Give me a call at 485-1672.

Love,

Jennifer Stanley

Executive Director

The Willows of Marshalltown

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Remember when you were young and something scary happened?

Maybe it was a tornado, or a huge rainstorm, or a big windstorm. And always at night.

Remember that? I know I do. And remember how you woke up and were scared?

How can we forget?

But what I also remember is that at times like those, Mom or Dad came down the hall and reassured me that everything would be OK.

When I called, they were there, and the next thing I knew, I was back to sleeping peacefully.

Because I knew, no matter how scary the world got, I always had someone looking out for me, making sure I was okay.

And no matter what age you are, having the safety net of knowing someone who cares about you is looking out for you, is so vital. It gives us peace of mind and deep ease so we can thrive in our lives.

As Executive Director of The Willows my staff and I get to be that for all our residents, bringing them that comfort and reassurance every day. We are the ones down the hall who are always there if they need us. We are the ones who are always at home for them.

I can’t tell you how many times a staff member has told me about an experience where a resident needed them, and they were so proud to show up for them. Anything, from a health scare to holding their hand for a while on a blue afternoon. We all take such pride in being here for them, however small the task. Even if the need never comes up, they always know, we’ll be here just in case.

It is one of the many reasons I love my job. I feel so lucky to answer the call for our residents, and for you.

So call me anytime, we’re here for you at The Willows at 485-1672.
Love,
Jennifer Stanley
Executive Director
The Willows of Marshalltown

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

It creeps in. Cloaked in a desire not to change.

It’s the thing that can cause aging to accelerate faster than anything else.

And yet it goes on and on, every day, month and year.

It is loneliness.

When I say it creeps in, that’s just what I mean. It does not ring the doorbell, it does not announce itself, it just enters the lives of seniors. And loneliness is a destructive force.

It also has a way of staying hidden to seniors. They only know things don’t feel quite the same. And they can’t quite put their finger on it. And its ability to hide is what makes it so destructive. “Oh well, I must be ageing” is what folks often say. But it is loneliness, pure and simple.

It shows up as an eroding force in daily life. Like poor eating habits, poor sleep, self-care slipping further and further to the back burner…all of which are so harmful to health and wellbeing.

Fortunately, there is a wonderful solution to loneliness: Community.

If loneliness as the thing that eats away at life, then community, friendship and love are the things that build it back up.

So here are a few ideas: Take up a new hobby that involves meeting up with others, plan outings every week, even if its just to a regular place for coffee or to the library, take a class, start a club. Find ways to surround yourself with community.

And if you think it might be time, consider moving to a place like The Willows. With a private apartment, chef prepared meals, a 24/7 team of caregivers, and a community of people to share hobbies, conversation, and friendships, loneliness doesn’t stand a chance.

Give me a call at 485-1672. I know just how important it can be to have someone guide you through this change and I am an expert at it. I look forward to your call.

Love,
Jennifer Stanley
Executive Director
The Willows of Marshalltown

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Thank you for your service to our great country.

We honor you all day, every day.

We would not have the freedoms we have without you.

Our nation, our way of life, our future, would not be as bright without you.

Your service is always remembered with honor and respect here at The Willows.

We are so proud of you.

We also know Military Service is not easy, which is just one more reason we think so highly of you. The
sacrifices you have given are both mighty and countless. Our every day lives are possible because you
stood up and fought to preserve them when the call came.

Fortunately, in this busy world, there is at least one special day reserved to honor our Veterans, but
truly, to us Veteran’s Day is every day.

And that is the way it should be.

God Bless America.

God Bless our Veterans.