7 Questions with Tara Holmes from Journey Senior Living of Merrillville in Merrillville, IN. | Senior Living Link

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Donna Mae Scheib

7 Questions with Tara Holmes from Journey Senior Living of Merrillville in Merrillville, IN.

Posted by Donna Mae Scheib on June 01, 2018

7 Questions with Tara Holmes from Journey Senior Living of Merrillville in Merrillville, IN.


Hello Senior Living Link Family and welcome to my very first 7 Questions Interview blog!  This is so exciting and near and dear to me because I am big fans of our community members!  This community member who I present to you now is the BEST of the BEST!  Journey Senior Living of Merrillville in Merrillville, IN is an award-winning assisted living community devoted exclusively to seniors with dementia.

I had a chance to interview Tara Holmes who is the executive director of memory care.  She has been with the community since its grand opening just two years ago in 2016.  Believe it or not, Tara began her career as a chemist! In time, she realized what was really important to her was helping older generations.  She earned a Master’s degree in gerontology and now dedicates her time to caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.  It is an honor to be able to share her thoughts with you.  Let's get started...

What one thing do you wish for people to already know or keep in mind when they start touring senior housing communities?

Tara:  There is no one-size-fits-all solution.  The community that’s just right for Mrs. A., may not appeal to Mr. B.  Or perhaps that community can’t accommodate Mr. B’s medical needs.  There are a lot of factors to balance and consider.  We want you to make the choice that’s best for you.  Please ask questions.  Lots of questions.

Based on your experience, what is one thing residents, or their adult children, or families wish to achieve by moving into your community?

Tara:  Families have a peace of mind.  By the time residents move to Journey Senior Living, families have done their best.  We continue the quality of care that they expect—realizing that it takes a village to care for someone with dementia.

What is one common myth you can think of that people have about communities that they find not to be true once they move in?

Tara:  People want to believe that there’s a mythical gizmo or game or surroundings that will keep people with dementias occupied and happy. The fact is that they don’t want things.  They want people.  They want attention.  They want to be loved. 

Give a nickname for your favorite resident and why is he/she your fave?

Tara:  Come on!  They’re all my favorites! 

Donna Mae:  How amazing is she!?!

What challenges do you foresee in senior housing and how is your community preparing for it?

Tara:  Until people move into senior housing, many of them have lived in communities with amenities like dog parks and bike trails.  They don’t want to leave those pleasures behind.  Senior housing communities need to understand what their target residents value, and they need to offer it, whether it’s art galleries, churches or mini golf courses.

What one golden advice can you give adult children who transition their loved once into senior housing?

Tara:  Give it time.  Your dad may take days or a few weeks to adjust to the rhythm of a new home.  He’ll do it sooner if you step back and let the staff ease him into the community.

What is your favorite time of the day for yourself and why?

Tara:  Well, I am getting married in a few weeks, so, for now, my favorite time of day is gym time.  After the wedding…

Is there anything else you would like to add about your community, yourself, additional advice to share with the readers. 

Tara:  We are thankful for the dedication of all our staff as well as families who have entrusted us with their loved ones.

Shameless Plug Time:  What 3 things do you love most about your community? 

Journey Senior Living of Merrillville memory care really is a community where residents, staff, and family members get to know and appreciate one another.  We’re fortunate to attract and keep experienced and caring professionals who make life pleasant for seniors with dementia.  And, families have peace of mind, knowing that their relatives with dementia are in patient and skillful hands.

That concludes our 7 questions with Tara Holmes, executive director of Journey Senior Living Memory Care in Merrillville, IN.  What an honor it is and a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Tara and her family for the upcoming anticipated wedding!

Meet Tara in person along with her dedicated staff in the award-winning Journey Senior Living of Merrillville by calling her at (219) 525-4123 or through email at tara@jsl-m.com.  Want to learn more about their community, check out their profile with us at http://www.seniorlivinglink.org/directory/memory-care/journey-senior-living-of-merrillville-83349

I hope this was helpful to you and that it gave you additional insight and clarity with what you are facing with yourself and your family.

See you at our next 7 questions session.

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