Audrey’s Story

I am writing to you today to share my hospice story with the hope you will consider making a gift to Ionia Area Hospice this holiday season.

My mother, Audrey Irish, was living a very independent and active life at an assisted living facility. She participated in the social activities at the “house” which she had come to consider her home. She had made many friends at the facility and loved her apartment. It overlooked a wetland and large pond that prompted all types of wildlife to visit her window and partake of the food overflowing from the birdfeeder she helped to build.
My mother still enjoyed traveling and spending time up north with family and friends. She loved the Great Lakes and said she always felt better after a walk on the beach.

Audrey's Story 1

And then, life took an unexpected turn.

At age 92, my mom broke her hip due to osteoporosis. She was a good candidate for hip replacement and underwent a successful surgery. But at her age and with some underlying conditions, she experienced a “delayed and improbable ability to rehabilitate”. This is when my mother chose hospice care.

After visiting a few residential hospice facilities in the area, we selected Stoneleigh Residence.

Once again, my mother found herself located in the natural world. She enjoyed a “wall of windows” from which she observed the beautiful grounds, a koi pond and many bird feeders. The deer, turkeys, groundhogs and a great variety of birds visited daily.

More important than the beautiful grounds, was the dedicated, warm, personal and professional caregivers and loving volunteers from Ionia Area Hospice.

My mom had found yet another “family” with whom she could share life stories and impart wisdom from her 90+ years of living. She shared her knowledge of the birds with fellow residents and staff. Soon they discovered my mother’s penchant for fun and MSU Spartan spirit and she often had her face painted for game day.

Audrey's Story 2

The Stoneleigh Residence staff and volunteers “adopted” my mom, and she had the good fortune to be allowed to “adopt” Leigh, a stray kitten, who, when nursed back to health, became a permanent fixture in her room.

We never expected to have 11 months of time with my mom to create new memories and to enjoy the present. It was truly a blessing.

Your generous support of the non-profit Ionia Area Hospice makes life-enhancing stories like my mother’s possible.

As members of the “hospice family” I hope you will be as generous as you are able this year and make a gift to Ionia Area Hospice & Stoneleigh Residence so others have the opportunity for the blessings of hospice to be bestowed upon them.

With much appreciation and thanks,
Jill Irish Lapham