60/20 Tour: Honoring Long-Time Friends, a Last-Minute Stop and My Favorite Yodeler

Western Home Communities and Edencrest at Green Meadows

The 60/20 circus rolls along, making its way to Iowa for the first time.  Appropriately, our first stop is Western Home, where I get to visit with a long-time friend and partner of iN2L for many years.  Kris Hansen, CEO, and all-around good guy is one of those super-smart visionaries who likes to hide behind a bit of an “aw shucks” attitude.  He’ll act like he’s talking slow, pretend he’s just a soft-hearted Midwestern guy, and then he’ll out-negotiate you in a heartbeat and you don’t even know it happened!  Western Home is a remarkable community – they have seamlessly integrated the community at large into their new developments,  it’s what the future of aging services will look like. Kris’s son Josh has been the driving force over the years when it comes to implementing iN2L at Western. He also worked for iN2L for a couple of years and has now branched off on his own with a phenomenal business idea that will bring joy to people living with dementia and their caregivers.  Email me (info@in2L.com) if you want to learn more about it; I’m his screener!

I had a great time Cruising and Crooning with some of their feistier residents. It was all kinds of fun to hop in the van with Beth Hines,  another in the long line of life enrichment folks we meet on the tour who simply make the world a better place and make iN2L sing as part of the resident experience.  I was also fortunate to have some cruising time with Shannon Strickler, who runs LeadingAge Iowa and seamlessly cranked out some tunes with the staff from Western.  The LeadingAge gang has some pretty good singers!

In the afternoon I made an impromptu visit to Edencrest at Green Meadows. Susan Babcock made a plea a week or so to get me to make a pretty significant detour and I’m glad I did!  I walked into a group of people completely engaged with iN2L, and they treated me like I was a celebrity. You never know what’s going to happen every time I climb behind the wheel and load a few folks up, and this visit did not disappoint.  We had a pair of women named Mary Ann in the van, along with our first Elvis impersonator, Russ, with Katie McGriff from the staff keeping us in check.  As I’ve said in previous posts, I get such a kick out of cruising with residents from memory care communities, and today’s highlight was Mary Ann Smock, a local girl who out of nowhere on the drive started yodeling!!  To heck with the pre-programmed music,  she had her own show tunes.  You go, girl!  She was awesome and I can’t wait to see that clip come to life.  Another fun day with residents and so wonderful to see stereotypes of what people living with dementia can (or can’t) do getting shattered just like the glasses on the floor at Vetter last week!

Let’s roll! I’m excited to go to my first veterans home on the tour tomorrow.

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