Bonnie Matthews

Natchitoches Assisted Living Resident

For the past three and a half years, Bonnie Matthews has made Natchitoches Assisted Living (NAL) her home. For several years, she visited friends there and liked what she saw. When her children retired and began travelling, she wanted to downsize and felt NAL would be a good place to live.

“I knew from the start that I was going to enjoy the dining room — breakfast, lunch and dinner. No more hauling or storing groceries or cooking for me! In fact, I requested an apartment without a stove,” Bonnie said.  “I enjoy the balanced meals I receive every day. The food is wonderful. I love the hot breakfasts like bacon and eggs, grits, oatmeal and coffee. There are also plenty of fruits and vegetables. On days when I want to eat in my apartment, I get my food to go. And if I am sick, they will bring it to my apartment. If my children and grandchildren come for a visit, they can join me in the dining room and eat for a very reasonable price. It works really well for us,” she noted.

As for a routine, Bonnie likes the schedule she’s created of waking about the same time each morning, dressing and then meeting friends for breakfast in the dining room. “I still drive, so I run my own errands and come and go as I please. I like to go to my church services and Sunday school, and go visit with friends,” she said.

“I read news online, crochet and sew, and watch TV in my apartment, and I enjoy my time in my own space. Yet, I also do a lot with my friends and neighbors in the lobby area and TV room,” Bonnie said. “Many people get together to play dominoes and black out bingo, and we always celebrate birthdays. After dinner, several of us walk the corridor for exercise — 5 times is a mile.”

Bonnie explains she was ready for a change when she decided to move. “Keeping up with a big house was just not what I wanted to do anymore,” she said. “Everything is easier here, and I find I am just as independent as I was in my house, but I have the peace-of-mind knowing that if I have a problem, there are people right here for me. Once I had a dizzy spell, and I fell, breaking several ribs. I used the medical alert button, and two women I know well were at my side immediately and called for an ambulance.”

“At night, I sleep well knowing the doors are all locked and people are nearby. Staff members are on duty at all times,” she said. “I know I’m safe here and that I have friends here. We all have a lot in common and want to live independently. This is not a nursing home, but it does offer assistance and different levels of services depending on what people want and need.”

Bonnie added, “I enjoy my friendships here, my apartment, and my routine, and I really cannot think of anywhere I’d rather be.”

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