Otterbein SeniorLife: A Place to Call Home

Otterbein SeniorLife communities help seniors experience life the way it's meant to be: full of opportunities and freedom, connected to family, faith and community. In fact, Otterbein SeniorLife's commitment to serving older adults is at the heart of its mission, which - in keeping with our United Methodist tradition - is to "enhance the quality of life and holistic growth of older persons."

With locations throughout Ohio (and one in Indiana), Otterbein SeniorLife offers a choice of different living options and levels of care at each community. These choices include:

  • Six SeniorLife continuing care retirement communities, for people age 55 and older who are looking for an active lifestyle, social opportunities and independent living accommodations. Each is located on a spacious campus and offers a wide choice of patio and ranch homes, apartments, amenities, and services, and the full range of care, from assisted living to long-term skilled nursing care.

  • Nine SeniorLife Neighborhoods, which bring a new concept in short- and long-term skilled nursing care. Each Otterbein "small house" includes 10 private suites, a large communal living room, and a dining and kitchen area. Residents enjoy home-cooked meals and receive care from the same nursing staff day after day.

  • Compassionate "SeniorLife in the Home" services, including specialized home health services and a hospice ministry.

Like many people who live in an Otterbein SeniorLife community, Herman Emmert has been wowed by the experience. Herman, 88, and his wife, Mary, moved into an independent living neighborhood at Otterbein SeniorLife in Lebanon, Ohio, in 2006. About three years ago, Mary suffered a stroke, and now lives in a nearby SeniorLife Neighborhood.

"When I was still serving as a clergyman, I was on the Otterbein SeniorLife corporate board for several years, and through that experience learned that the people who work at Otterbein genuinely care about residents," says Herman, who was a United Methodist minister in Indianapolis and in the West Ohio Conference for 45 years. "Moving to our home in Lebanon, Mary and I knew we could be independent and yet cared for if the need arose, since skilled nursing and rehabilitation therapy is available on campus."

With no home maintenance responsibilities, Herman says he and Mary were free to pursue activities they enjoyed. Herman frequented the on-campus YMCA wellness center and participated in Bible studies and sports, including golf at a nearby course. Since Mary's stroke, he has cut back but remains active in the men's chorus. "Activities abound here -all you have to do is pick and choose," Herman says.

These days, Herman remains in the home he and Mary shared and visits Mary every day. "The care Mary gets is absolutely superb-she has a private room, and she is so comfortable," he says. "I've visited a lot of hospitals and nursing homes in my lifetime, and I've never seen anything like this. Her health has improved since she's been there, no question about it. It's the place she calls home. "

As a faith-based, not-for-profit ministry, Otterbein SeniorLife exists to improve the lives of the people it serves.