Theresa Trentadue says that while her sister Ottavia died this past October at the age of 91, she’s really been gone for much longer than that. Ottavia spent her last 13 years at the Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence, gradually withdrawing, and becoming more and more helpless, as dementia robbed her of her memories, awareness and ability to communicate. As Theresa says, dementia took away who she was as a person.
“It got to the point where when she died, I felt relief for her because it was time,” she says. “The last few years, she was just a body, but she still needed care. And every day she was here, she got such good care.”
Theresa marvels at how well the nurses and other staff at Providence looked after Ottavia. They kept her clean, kept her room tidy, engaged with her as much as possible and always made her comfort a priority. Even when her sister died, they arranged her body with love, dignity and respect.
“It’s true that for the people who live here, this place is not like the home they had to leave behind; nothing can replace that,” Theresa says. “But boy, do they come as close as possible to making it home. Providence is a community, and in so many ways, they are like a family.”
And Theresa isn’t leaving that family behind. As she has done for the past few years, she volunteers a day or two each week at Providence–working a desk, managing the cafeteria and doing whatever is needed. Additionally, after Ottavia died, she decided that instead of leaving a gift to Providence in her will, she would make the donation immediately. That way, it can start making a difference as soon as possible.
“I really can’t say enough about Providence and the people here. I tell everyone that for me, if the time should come when I need somewhere really nice to live, while receiving true care, in every sense of the word, Providence is where I want to be.”
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