HDC communities can be an important part of a resident’s plans for the future. Edna Dehaven, who is lovingly known as Cookie by her friends and neighbors, moved into Franklin Street Apartments in Ephrata 10 years ago at the urging of her adult children who were worried about her health and safety in her second-floor apartment. At the time, she was working as a caregiver and nursing assistant, and wasn’t sure she needed to move. Her daughter encouraged her to think about the future, and they decided that Franklin Street Apartments would be the right place for her health conditions down the line. Today, a decade later, Cookie has built a community and is very involved with her neighbors, helping them advocate for themselves with her medical and caregiver background.
“My daughter had read about Franklin Street Apartments in the newspaper. She thought it would be ideal. She said, ‘You can’t only think about right now,’” she says. “At this point, I’m happy to be here. With my medical issues, I appreciate being here.”
Read more about Cookie’s story in her own words below.
I have been here for 10 years. I was living in a second-floor apartment. It was a house that had been converted into apartments. It was really nice. I was there a long time. I liked the apartment. I had flowers, and a grill, and a picnic table. The lady downstairs went to a nursing home. When a new tenant moved in, my kids were concerned about me. They had safety concerns because I lived alone, even though there were neighbors around.
The kids started looking for a new place. I wasn’t as concerned.
My daughter had read about Franklin Street Apartments in the newspaper. She thought it would be ideal. She said, “You can’t only think about right now.” I have arthritis and fibromyalgia. I had been a caregiver and a nursing assistant. She called and said you have an interview with the manager of an apartment in Ephrata. They pretty much took me right away. They told me we have two apartments, and it would be nice because of your credentials. We have elderly people here. They need a spokesperson to help them. I said that’s good.
My biggest concern was the downsizing. It took me a good six months or longer to really adjust I was still working, and that got me out of here often, but I did have to adjust. I had to get rid of a lot of my stuff.
This apartment was convenient. I really saw God’s hand in my life with this. It took the worry from my children, and as a caregiver myself, I was always preaching this. You have to make a decision when you can no longer live by yourself. But this is independent living. I can do what I please within reason.
I still help out here. When they asked me if I would be willing to help people, I said of course. I would take people in to get a check-up. People still call me.
Shortly after I moved in, the residents here did not get along with one manager. We set up a meeting and the residents asked me to come. I heard what the residents were saying and what the manager was saying. Eventually, I raised my hand and spoke up. I would stick up for all these people. I was terrified, but someone had to do something.
I tell people, we are all different. We have different backgrounds, upbringings, colors. We have to respect people regardless of if we agree or not. I try to encourage that.
Janet is great. We all love her. We know that she listens to where we’re at. If we have a complaint, we call, and she comes right down. If there’s anything I can do to make her job easier, I tell her I’m here.
I have retired. I’m 74, and I retired four years ago. I miss my job. I loved my job. I still visit with some of my patients. I was a people person. At this point, I’m happy to be here. With my medical issues, I appreciate being here.