Carl Rowland was at Regina Health Center (RHC) for a little more than a year, but made a lasting impression. When he died in October 2011, the assisted-living residents had a request—they wanted to hold a special memorial service for Carl. Many residents, staff and family members gathered to remember Carl, taking turns telling stories about how Carl had touched their lives with his kindness or just by sharing a walk in RHC’s gardens.
Carl came to RHC in 2010. Following intensive therapy, he moved to the assisted living area. He enjoyed visits from his family and quickly became immersed in many of the daily activities at RHC. He especially enjoyed arts and crafts activities, where he made Christmas trees, necklaces and ornaments, which he gave as gifts to family members and his RHC friends.
One special friend, Leonard Zmijewski, and Carl would team up during local shopping trips, each creating two shopping lists and then picking up items from each other’s list to speed up the process. The two also shared meals and enjoyed participating in arts and crafts activities together. “We had such good conversations. He loved the holidays and for Halloween, he hung masks and Halloween lights from his window. We enjoyed looking at the lights in the evening from outside,” said Leonard.
At the memorial service, Leonard fondly remembered Carl’s sense of humor. When Leonard was named the assisted living council president, Carl would say, “There goes the mayor,” recalled Leonard. “Carl also called me a garden farmer because of my involvement with RHC’s Garden Club.”
When Carl’s health began to decline and he was no longer able to participate in the usual daily activities, Leonard would visit his room to tell him that he was going on another shopping trip with the residents, and asked if he could pick up anything. “All Carl could do was look up and smile,” said Leonard.
Carl’s daughter, Terri McDermott, said she appreciates the care her father received at RHC and the friends he made while there. “I don’t know what we would have done without the loving and compassionate care my father received at RHC,” she added. “It gave us all so much peace of mind knowing that dad was receiving the best care at the best place.”