by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer
Walking into Willowood you’re bound to see someone sitting at the piano playing a tune or relaxing on one of the couches in the grand entryway reading a book.
There’s a feeling of home inside Willowood that Executive Director Nancy Klepac, LPN, Certified Dementia Practitioner, and her staff work hard to foster.
Care and comfort combine at Willowood, which will undergo a facelift this year thanks to a new owner.
Klepac is excited about the plans guided by Heart Living Centers for the community that has enjoyed a long history in the wonderful and quaint city of Mustang.
“In the next few months I know Heart Living Centers will be diligently working to get our permits and reconstruction underway and I’m looking forward to the residents seeing the new construction and feeling the new construction,” Klepac said. “It will give everyone a breath of fresh air and give Willowood the distinction it deserves.”
Situated along State Highway 152 Willowood’s stately columns hint at what waits inside.
Details have been carefully thought out to meet resident needs.
Klepac has spent a quarter century caring for seniors and their details.
“We offer a variety of services and we have a very high bar of care that is exemplary for our residents that are living here,” said Klepac, whose innate calling has always been caring for elderly people.
Heart Living Centers represents new beginnings for Willowood with renovations and many updates to come.
Meeting with new ownership was a satisfying feeling for Klepac.
“It was very exciting,” Klepac said of partnering with Heart Living Centers. “This home has a long history and has been in need of a few things. It’s ready for its updates so it’s exciting to see what Heart Living Centers with their resources and progressive experience in the industry can do.”
Klepac’s experience with senior living runs the gamut from nursing to leadership.
From a very young age, Klepac began caring for family. She became a nurse aide at 14. “This is a calling for me,” Klepac said. “I knew that when I was six years old and so did my family that my innate calling was for the caring of elderly people. When I became a nurse I didn’t work in any other field other than long term care.”
She was eventually drawn to Willowood, starting as the director of wellness.
“I believe our care is something we do very well,” Klepac said. “We are also very respectful of residents and allowing our residents to do what they would like to do as long as it is same for them.”
“I’m very strong on residents making their own decisions about their care.”
That’s near and dear to Klepac’s nurse heart.
You’ll see her in scrubs on some days helping out where she is needed.
“Scrubs wash easily,” Klepac laughs, recounting the times she’s pitched in to help wherever a resident might need her.
“My nursing foundation is probably the most important thing to me in serving as the executive director,” she said. “And I do believe it’s a service. It allows me to look at things clinically as well as from the business aspect in the community.”
It’s also why she’s looking to help Willowood expand its reach to potential residents with chronic illnesses that are often underserved by traditional senior living communities.
In the coming months Klepac said you’ll see Willowood offer services for chronic disease management not typically seen.
And she won’t do it alone.
Her staff is her extension throughout the building.
“I have a very strong team here at Willowood. They care for our residents. They put our residents first, which in this day and time is a hard thing to find in our industry,” Klepac said. “They are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week without exceptions to all of our residents and their families.”
“All of of our residents have our personal telephone numbers, myself and all my department heads.”
That means availability for Willowood residents. Whether it’s something that doesn’t work in the middle of the night or the middle of the day, residents have the ability to reach out.
And even if they don’t need anything, Klepac and her staff are their to love on them.
“The care I see them provide to the residents and their families is just exemplary,” Klepac continued. “In this industry it can be draining to give all day long and then go home to their families, yet my team never seems to be short on the ability to give.”