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Paul Jacques’ 23 Favorite Things About Solheim

Paul Jacques is over-the-moon thrilled to be an active member of the Solheim Lutheran Home family.

He’s thrilled that his mom, Rita, is a two-year resident of Solheim, where she’s never been happier.

He’s proud to sit on Solheim’s Board of Directors (In October he was elected as Chair of the Board).

And because Paul walks his gratitude talk, he’s happy to be a regular donor, ensuring Solheim will thrive for years to come.

Paul exclaims, “I drank the Solheim kool-aid—I love it here!”

Here’s why.

1. Complete peace of mind. 

For Paul, “The number one reason I chose Solheim (for my mom) is peace of mind. Solheim is a five minute drive from my house, but even if Solheim were five hours away by plane, I’d feel the same peace of mind.” Paul takes great comfort in knowing his mom is well cared for—and happy—24/7. 

2.  Solheim is a non-profit community.

At Solheim Lutheran Home, profit is not a motive. Instead, Solheim’s management, staff and Board of Directors are motivated by faith, caring, community and love.

3. Solheim is a faith-based community.

Paul’s mom, Rita, is a faithful Catholic. Faith is equally important to Paul. In 1984 he enrolled in the University of Southern California’s guitar program, sight unseen, “completely on faith.” He’s been a happy Southern Californian ever since, and is even happier now his mom is close by.

4. Solheim is inclusive.

Paul loves that Solheim Lutheran Home welcomes seniors of all races, creeds, cultures and social backgrounds. “Solheim is a real community,” Paul says. “That’s exactly why I like it.”

5. Solheim is a single-site, independently-operated community.

There’s nothing cookie-cutter corporate about Solheim Lutheran Home. “It’s its own eco-system,” says Paul. “I love that it’s single-site, not part of a network.”

In his professional capacity as Vice President, Infrastructure at LA’s renowned American Film Institute, Paul knows exactly what it takes to run a single-site, independently-operated, non-profit organization—and Solheim passes his rigorous standards with flying colors.

6. The Solheim campus is constantly upgraded and modernized.

Part of Paul Jacques’ job at the American Film Institute is to oversee a seven million dollar campus-wide renovation. Paul notes, “If I’m doing my job right, the operations should be seamless.” He applies that same standard to Solheim Lutheran Home and awards it high marks.

7. Solheim offers 4 levels on care on the same campus: Residential Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Memory Care.

For the past two years, Paul’s mom, Rita, has lived in her own one-bedroom apartment in Solheim’s Assisted Living level. Paul appreciates that Solheim offers “the flexibility of having all four levels of care in one place. Change is disruptive, and stress is not good for any of us, especially when we get older.”

Should Rita ever need the services of Skilled Nursing, it’s right there on campus. Once recovered, she could move right back into her own apartment, which would be ready and waiting for her. Less disruption equals more peace of mind—for everyone!

Rita has early Alzheimer’s and at some point may need to avail herself of Solheim’s Memory Care level. If and when that happens, Paul knows that Rita won’t be lonely or isolated—she’ll be able to visit with the Solheim friends she knows and loves.

8. The standard of care at each level is impeccable.

Paul and his wife visit Rita at Solheim Lutheran Home at least three times a week. “I pop in on my way home from work and see what nurses do when no one is watching,” says Paul, and what he’s seen is uniform excellence. “I have never, ever seen a resident in distress,” Paul declares. Solheim’s staff is truly professional, deeply caring and glad to be there. No one’s watching the clock.

9. The entire Solheim campus is spotlessly clean.

Spotless, minus that institutional disinfectant smell! Solheim looks, smells and feels like a meticulously clean home—because it is!

10. The food is great.

“Consistently really great,” Paul enthuses.

11. Solheim’s monthly residence fee is comparable to other continuing care retirement communities.

Solheim’s fees are consistent with other continuing care retirement communities in the area. But that’s where the comparison stops! Across the board, Paul says, Solheim is far and away a better value.

12. The monthly fee is all-inclusive.

Solheim Lutheran Home residents pay a flat monthly fee, with no surprise add-ons. This is a huge point for Paul, who spends his work days administering budgets. “We had a set budget for Mom’s care and we could not exceed it. Apart from the occasional beauty parlor visit, our Solheim bill is exactly the same each and every month.” Financial predictability is a big stress reliever and a huge point in Solheim’s favor.

13. Solheim helps provides an easy transition.

Paul’s mom, Rita, had been determined to stay in her large Ohio condominium, even after her husband passed away. For years Paul honored her wish, frequently flying from Los Angeles to Ohio to visit her. But when the Ohio police called to say his mom had fallen and was semi-conscious in the hospital, Paul knew it was time for a safer living environment, close to him in California.

Paul and his wife had just one week to find the perfect retirement community. Solheim Lutheran Home was the second place Paul toured and right away he knew he’d hit home. “This was it—there was no other choice for me.”

Within the week, Solheim management and staff helped Paul transport his mom from the Ohio hospital to California and into her new apartment in Assisted Living. Rita’s transition was safe, smoothly and amazingly easy.  

14. No hard sell.

In his short but intensive search for the perfect retirement community, Paul appreciated that Solheim provided all the information and assistance he needed in a caring, pressure-free manner. No daily, high-pressure sales pitches here! The Solheim Feeling sells itself.

15. Low staff turnover.

Paul Jacques notes that, unlike many multi-site retirement communities, the staff turnover at Solheim is super low. “The people who work at Solheim are incredibly dedicated,” he says. “The nurses have been there 10-20 years!” Solheim Lutheran Home truly is a family, staff included.

16. Low resident-to-staff ratio.

The current resident-to-staff ratio at Solheim Lutheran Home, counting management, is a phenomenal one to one! Enough said!

17. Home-like apartment size.

Though Paul’s mom, Rita, was reluctant to leave her large 3-bedroom condominium in Hudson, Ohio, she loves her spacious one-bedroom apartment in Solheim’s Assisted Living. Paul reports, “She loves having a regular apartment with a living room, separate bedroom and kitchen space. It gives her great peace of mind, plus a feeling of freedom, to have her own fridge and microwave. There’s a great value in that, psychologically.” Rita is not only comfortable, she’s home.

18. A wide range of interesting, engaging activities, on and off campus.

As a musician who plays “anything with strings,” Paul enjoys a rocking good time. He appreciates the importance that fun plays in our lives, whatever our age. He loves that Solheim offers a wide range of activities to keep seniors stimulated, engaged and fully alive.

19. Community!

When Paul’s mom, Rita, lived on her own, she wasn’t very social. She didn’t even drive a car! In Rita’s two years living at Solheim, Paul reports, “She’s far more social than she ever was in Ohio! In fact, she’s the happiest I’ve ever seen her!” Rita has friends, she’s active, and she belongs to a welcoming, loving community.

20. Residents don’t just live at Solheim—they thrive!

In Rita’s last years living alone, she was housebound and isolated. Suffering from mild dementia, she wasn’t eating properly or taking her meds as directed.

Paul is thrilled to report that, since moving to Solheim, his mom’s not just living, she’s THRIVING—physically, emotionally and spiritually.

“At Solheim, my mom has a much higher standard of living than she had in Ohio. In fact, my mom is a far happier person now. It’s a great blessing to see her truly enjoying her life for the first time. Her happiness is as transforming for me as it is for her. I thank God for this blessing every day.”

21. Solheim’s Board of Directors is fully engaged and deeply committed.

Paul Jacques has always been civically involved, and when he was asked to join the Solheim Board of Directors he instantly said Yes. “It was a no brainer.” Paul knew Solheim needed professional guidance regarding infrastructure upgrades and technology, and both are his specialty. Plus, he said, “I have a vested financial and personal interest in the well-being of this community.”

Paul describes the Board as “an active, active Board” that brings professional experience in health care, marketing, information technology and infrastructure. “Experience that would cost a lot on the open market, but which the Board supplies for free.” (Solheim’s Board of Directors is not financially compensated.)

At October’s Annual Meeting of the Corporation, Paul was elected as Chair of the Board.

22. Financial transparency.

Not only is Solheim’s cost of care reasonable, says Paul, but “the organization is incredibly financially transparent.” At Solheim Lutheran Home, financial records are an open book.

23. The Famous Solheim Feeling.

For Paul Jacques, the Solheim Feeling is “Absolute peace of mind. Without a doubt I know my mom is getting the very best care in an environment where she can experience happiness to her highest capacity. That’s huge, beyond what money can buy.”

Thank you, Paul Jacques, for your service, support and infectious enthusiasm. Thank you for spreading the Solheim Feeling!

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