News

Memory Care HERstory


My name is Grace Striker, and I’m the memory care director here at Vitalia Senior Living – Westlake. In honor of Women’s History Month, I want to take a moment to celebrate Mary, one of our neighborhood residents! 

Mary Lou J. has a degree in education and music, and played both harp and piano in her college orchestra. After college, Mary Lou taught in primary schools for several years. Along with a partner, she had her own PR company. One of her clients was the Cleveland Science Museum.

Mary Lou was the Cuyahoga County President of the League of Women Voters, and was later elected the state of Ohio President of the League of Women Voters. She became an accomplished public speaker, and was featured on television programs on behalf of the League, stressing the importance of voting. The most important accomplishment for Mary Lou was being the mother of three, the grandmother of two, and the great grandmother of two!

Just because people have this horrible brain disease does not mean their lives are any less important. Their stories need to be shared. Their legacy and memories are in our hands to keep alive and keep sharing. They lived valuable and important lives, and we need to treat them as such. That is why it is so important to honor their stories and history.

Here at Westlake we like to sit and talk…a lot. Staff will often share stories of their lives with residents, who then chime in with their memories and similar experience. Our MCSP Carol enjoys leading a discussion where she asks residents questions about their lives and then will also have them come up with questions for each other. They can range from “Did you grow up in a city or country?” “Do you have siblings?” ” How far did you live from your church?” to “Have you ever been divorced?” Anything and everything is on the table, and it leads to fun discussions!

For more HERstories, check out these recent episodes of Arrow Nicely News!