Positive Rehab Experience Leads to Independent Living

For two years while her husband was receiving memory support services for Alzheimer’s at Judson Park, Paula Ockner spent six days a week on campus. “I got to know many of the people here and participated in some of the programs with him,” she says. 

The couple had considered independent living several years prior but never made the move from their Shaker Heights home. “My husband and I were collectors,” Paula says, relating that an estate sale would precede any downsizing. Meanwhile, three of their four sons live out of town. The family was encouraging a move—especially following the passing of their father, and the year after that when Paula broke a hip. 

“Of course, where was I going to go?” Paula asks matter-of-factly. “To Judson for rehabilitation.” 

Paula spent two-and-a-half months at the Judson Health Center until she was ready to return home. “The staff was sensitive, warm, attentive—caring,” she says. “This is the twelfth place we lived all over the country and abroad, and I have to tell you that virtually everyone who works here knows your name. It’s rather astounding.” 

During her time at the Judson Health Center, Paula says, “I met everyone I hadn’t met when my husband was there! So, I felt very comfortable.” She planned to put her house on the market, but a friend of her daughter-in-law inquired about purchasing the home. She had a buyer. It was time to hold the estate sale—and secure a two-bedroom apartment home at Judson Park. 

Within six months, Paula had transitioned from her home in Shaker Heights to Judson. She appreciates the diversity, proximity to arts and culture, and most of all the people. “I wanted to live in a diverse community because that is the way we lived our entire married life, and that was 57 years,” Paula says. “Judson is truly a microcosm of the rest of the world.”

Paula is fully rehabilitated from her hip injury. She is active and enjoying life at Judson Park, where she serves on the welcome and program committees. She compares the breadth of activities to living in New York City. “There’s something to keep you busy every single hour of the day and evening, if you choose,” she says. Paula says music filling the halls several nights a week “is amazing.” 

About her rehabilitation experience, and Judson Park, Paula says, “I have nothing but superlatives for it.”

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