By Angel Chi
As the world adjusts to the new normal, many people may still be struggling to feel safe and grounded. Seniors in particular have had to be extra cautious of their health and wellbeing.
Ever since the first nursing home COVID-19 case in Kirkland in March of 2020, Washington state has taken measures to protect residents living in long-term care facilities by requiring strict safety precautions. Seniors were recommended to stay put and many felt isolated.
The significant fear and hardship that seniors face daily can be such a burden already, yet the pandemic further isolated them from their family, friends, and each other, forcing many to deal with their challenges quietly and alone.
At International Community Health Services Legacy House Assisted Living, the residents know that no matter what they are going through, they are not alone. And each of them deserves to feel safe and cared for.
For the seniors who have made their way to Legacy House, the supportive, family-like community honors and reflects their cultural values. Legacy House staff promote healthy aging under attentive care by dedicated and knowledgeable staff who also speak multiple Asian languages and dialects.
Legacy House has become a safe haven for its residents, protecting them from the alarming impact of the pandemic and providing them with the best of care within an amazingly supportive community.
Legacy House resident Joseph Tso was born in China and moved to Taiwan at a young age.
He was a district judge in Taiwan for 9 years before moving to California. He moved again and settled in Washington, where he owned a small coffee shop for 31 years. Then, he started having heart problems and trouble sleeping. That was when he recognized that he needed help, and why he began looking for an assisted living facility to move to. He feels grateful his wife found Legacy House.
In Tso’s heart, Legacy House has never only been just a location where he resides.
“Legacy House is beautiful not because of the facility,” Tso said. “It’s the heart!”
Ever since he moved in, Tso said he has been well cared for. He sleeps well, stays physically active, and eats more than he used to. Other residents were shocked when they saw that he was able to finish all of his food and even ask for seconds. Although he admits his sense of taste has decreased, he has felt an increasing sense of contentment and appreciation for what he has in life.
“Here, we are all receiving special treatment,” Tso said, “and the benefit is us!”
Long ago, Legacy House resident Shaoxin Hu lived in Guangzhou as a housewife. She said life used to be much harder for her back then. After moving to the United States, she experienced cultural and language barriers that kept her mostly at home. Little did she know how much her life would change after moving into Legacy House.
“At Legacy House, it’s like a completely different world,” said Hu.
In her bright, sun-lit room, you could see potted plants lined up against the window sill and hand crafted decorations hanging in every corner. Although the residents don’t have a kitchen or stove in their room, they get to have their own rice cookers. And Hu would often use it to make chicken soup with hers.
Here, she has everything she needs and more. Her favorite thing about living at Legacy House is the number of activities it offers. Hu feels as if she has become a student once again, learning to do everything from modified Tai Chi, mahjong, and making all kinds of arts and crafts. When asked about her proudest accomplishment, she shared how happily surprised she was when she learned to play the piano.
Now, she said she is the happiest she has ever been.
Legacy House resident Martha Chan immigrated to America with her family when she was around 5 years old. She grew up in California and became a hairdresser before moving to Washington.
Having most of her family in Washington, she wanted to stay here as well. However, rent was expensive at her previous senior housing facility, so she was happy when she found Legacy House.
Chan said that she appreciates the helpful staff and personalized care. Legacy House has helped her make friends in the community and enjoy her own time and space watching TV and resting. On days that her sisters visit, she gets to go out with them. On other special occasions, she enjoys the cozy celebrations hosted by Legacy House staff.
“Legacy House is great,” said Chan. “Here, I feel safe.”
Legacy House resident Hoa Vo was born in Vietnam. He came to America as a refugee in 1992.
He and his wife worked and lived in Washington state for years before they retired. Then, when the pandemic hit, both he and his wife got sick, and unfortunately, his wife succumbed to COVID-19.
Grief made it hard for him to return to his previous housing facility, so he asked his healthcare provider to help him find a new home. That’s when he found Legacy House.
He tells himself that he has to forget the sadness and move on, and living at Legacy House has helped with his journey towards a new found peace.
“One of my most joyful memories since the pandemic was Christmas at Legacy House,” said Vo, “where the staff came together and celebrated with us.”
Legacy House also provides him with activities to do every day, and his most routine exercise is Tai Chi. Vo looks like a pro when he does it: slow and swift movements that are grounded with his feet. He said he really enjoys it a lot.
Although most of the residents in Legacy House are Chinese, he also has Vietnamese friends in the building. Sometimes, he would go out on nice days to visit his favorite Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants in the Chinatown-International District.
“I am very satisfied with everything that Legacy House has given me,” said Vo.
At ICHS Legacy House Assisted Living, residents have opportunities for enriching and healthy aging. Activities and social interactions help elders connect with each other and continue to grow with age.
Even when they face new challenges, Legacy House can provide them with the care and support that they need. Because here—“我們在乎.” “Chúng tôi quan tâm.” “We care.”
Legacy House is currently accepting applications today. Legacy House is a non-profit that accepts Medicaid. To learn more visit ICHS Legacy House webpage or call 206-292-5184.