When we married 47 years ago, Mike and I looked forward to someday having a family to nurture and love. God blessed us with three wonderful children, two daughters and one son. Our middle child was born with Down Syndrome.
Raising our special needs daughter was always a mix of enjoying her loving, open, out-going personality, and meeting the extra challenges of physical, learning, and behavioral needs which were all part of the person God had created her to be. Always assisted by caring professionals and a loving family and actively involved friends, things were generally smooth-sailing through the school years. However, when the security of a daily class routine to fulfill her life was suddenly interrupted at the age of 21, we all began a journey with her that was truly one of the most daunting challenges we had ever faced as a family. She developed an emotional and mental condition in which we witnessed her spiraling down into a depression which would affect her for many years. Finally things reached a point at which we were no longer able to keep her in our family home and care for her needs adequately. So it was, in 2016, she was hospitalized for a short time. Facing her discharge, a very difficult decision was looming over us.
Gently nestled in the middle of rich farmlands on the far western side of Scott County lies the welcoming town of Durant, Iowa. It had just the pleasant kind of atmosphere we were searching for about four years ago when we were charged with finding a new home for our daughter. We could not bring her back home with us. Through prayer and the guidance of others, we found Durant’s Senior Residence home, Hein Manor, and the warm acceptance of its owner, Dawn Smith.
Daily life at the manor was a new kind of life for our young adult daughter to adjust to. She was physically able to care for her own personal needs such as daily hygiene and shower. She was responsible to come to the dining area for her three meals each day. Her individual apartment was on the second floor, so she got some exercise going up and down the stairs several times each day, with the option of riding the elevator if she chose to. Initially, staff assisted in getting her to each meal. She needed the encouragement to leave her private hide-away room and join the other residents. However, over time and with the gentle prodding of many compassionate care-givers, she began to come out more and more, to eventually become a part of her new family life at the home. She began to enjoy the home-cooked meals and to play games and make crafts with the staff and residents, activities which had always been part of her life. As the weeks and months passed, we were blessed to observe aspects of her character and independence returning in small increments, fostered by her new ability to make her own choices in a safe environment.
Two years later, our child had made progress under the continual loving care she had received there, but now we faced another challenge. The Manor might be closing and the residents would need to find a new place to live. Sadly, we could not find a place affordable for her which would accept her funding. Down on our knees again, we soon felt the Lord leading us to invest in the Hein Manor, thus allowing us to keep it open, meeting the needs of our residents. Truly walking by faith, we combined my husband’s skills in electrical, carpentry, and business understanding with my nursing and household “engineering” background. We purchased the senior residence in June, 2017.
We welcome you to please come over and visit us. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Arrange for a visit by contacting Mike Buescher at (309) 236-0021. We will be happy to give you a tour and converse about your family’s needs of care for yourself or loved one.