Story submitted by:
Mary Doerter, LSW, AAA 3 Care Manager
Elsie was born in 1929 in Lima and is looking forward to her 90th birthday this summer. She had one sister, 4 years older than Elsie, who is deceased. Elsie’s mother died when Elsie was only 8 years old and Elsie remembers her grandmother being very instrumental in raising her and her sister. Elsie graduated from South High School. Before she married, she cared for people in their homes and babysat.
Elsie married her beloved husband, Roger and they had one son. They were married for 45 years and he worked at the Lima Post Office. They enjoyed traveling “in the south”, driving and seeing interesting sights. Elsie played the organ and piano at First Nazarene Church for 25 years and taught Sunday School. She also sang with her sister for weddings, funerals and also on a local religious radio station. Elsie had a piano and organ in her own home, making music a vital part of Elsie’s life. Her strong faith serves her well.
Elsie says “I wouldn’t want to wake up if I didn’t know God. He’s helped me through a lot of hard times.” She enjoys watching Christian TV stations and listens to music “like I used to play” as she goes to sleep at night. Family is extremely important to Elsie, as evidenced by her joy and sparkle in her eye when she talks about her son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and 3 darling great-granddaughters. She is blessed that they live in the area and can come to visit. Many family photos hang on her walls and set on tabletops at her room at Liberty Villas Assisted Living Facility.
Elsie says she has lived at Liberty Villas (and what was formerly Baton Rouge nursing facility) since 2007. She has arthritis, which causes pain and limits movement, and doesn’t allow her to play the piano or organ any longer. Elsie paid privately for an extended time, then was assisted by Medicaid while in the nursing facility. In 2017, Elsie was enrolled in the Assisted Living Waiver and was able to remain in her “home” at Liberty Villas where she is happy with her care and caregivers. She receives assistance with bathing, dressing, transfers and medication administration. She has a good friend across the hall and they eat many meals together.
Elsie also enjoys attending church and music programs that are part of the activities at Liberty Retirement Center. Elsie says she has been told by one of her aides/caregivers that “Elsie, you are my angel”. And Elsie feels the same way about her caregivers. She also states “Dr. Bowlus (the medical director at Liberty Retirement Center) sees me often and takes good care of me.” When asked what her favorite song is, Elsie says, without any hesitation, “Amazing Grace”.
Elsie is also one amazing lady!