Nurturing Life's Ageless Spirit.

John Gillespie Found Friends at Wyndris When He Needed Them Most

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John Gillespie Found Friends at Wyndris When He Needed Them Most 

When John Gillespie’s wife, Jackie, was no longer able to live at home due to Lewy Body dementia, John brought her to the memory care floor of the Albert J. Hofstede Care Center at Catholic Eldercare. After the move, John felt lonesome living alone in his Golden Valley condominium, and winter was on its way. “My daughter suggested independent living at Catholic Eldercare, and when I visited Wyndris, I knew it was where I wanted to live,” he says confidently. 

John moved into Wyndris, just a short walk from the memory care unit where Jackie was living, and quickly found welcoming friends. “A month after I moved in, I had a gall bladder attack and had to go into the hospital,” John explains. “I was in the hospital for a week, and I got a card signed by a bunch of people from Wyndris, and when I got back, the people were supportive, even though I had only lived there for three weeks. Everyone was so great, and that just sealed it for me.” 

The love and support of John’s Wyndris friends also carried him through the deep grief he felt when Jackie passed away. “My wife died at Catholic Eldercare. Lewy Body is progressive, and she couldn’t go on any longer. We had been married 54 years, so it was a big change. Even though I wasn’t living with her anymore, I was seeing her every day, so when she died, it was difficult.” 

After Jackie’s death, John says he found himself in a totally different world. “I didn’t feel like seeing anyone at first, but after a few days, I went down to breakfast at Wyndris and talked with people, and it really helped me through my grief. The people here were extremely loving and kind to me and they gave me a lot of attention. Catholic Eldercare is a very special place to me.” 

Life for John at Wyndris is filled with a flow of activities, from playing cards to happy hours with friends. “I lived at home and commuted to college, so I never experienced dorm life, so I wasn’t sure if I would like it here, but I love it. I joined everything. It’s been fun! And my personality has come out. I’m much more outgoing now because of all the nice people here. I found a new dimension of myself here.”