The residents of SouthWest Commons share how they feel about living in one of Strongsville’s most respected assisted living communities

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Chuck and June N. have called SouthWest Commons home for over two years. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio)

By Mary Malik

Independence, privacy, dignity and choice. Are there four better words to describe what people look for in a senior living community? 

Well, these are some of the words the residents use to describe their lives at SouthWest Commons in Strongsville, a LifeServices Assisted Living owned/operated Community, which opened its doors to the Strongsville area in 2005. 

“We like to say that we emphasize the ‘assist’ part of assisted living,” says Diann Jurcago, community director at SouthWest Commons. “We have no intention of taking over your life. Our residents live by their own clock, not ours. Our goal is to be here when you need us.”

The residents of SouthWest Commons live in their own studio and various one-bedroom style apartments complete with kitchenettes and are encouraged to bring furniture and decor from their homes. Even pets are welcome. 

“This is a true community,” says Diann. 

“We want our residents to be comfortable here. That’s why ‘aging in place’ isn’t just a phrase here. Our residents don’t have to leave their apartments and move to another area of the building if they experience declining health or memory issues. We bring them the care they need when they need it.”

It really is as simple as that. Just ask the residents. Residents June and Chuck N. describe it with one word.

“It’s home,” says June. “We have lived here for two-and-half years and could not be happier. Our lives here are filled with activities, friends and even the food is wonderful.”

Doris B. has been a resident of SouthWest Commons for just a few months and uses another word to describe her experience. 

“I feel safe here,” says Doris. “I came from another assisted living where I had no privacy and was very unhappy. My daughter-in-law found SouthWest Commons and knew that this was the place for me. I love my apartment. I have my furniture here with me and I have no worries at all. And I love to see the deer right outside my window every day.”

Those activities include everything from trivia and card games, that can get pretty competitive according to June, to happy hours and performances by retired members of the Cleveland orchestra.

“We also offer transportation to just about any place our residents would like to go,” says Diann. “Lunch outings, shopping and various trips, or a visit to your doctor are all provided by our courtesy van.”

In fact, Chuck M. was running late for this Mimi Magazine interview because he had been to lunch at a local Italian restaurant with several other residents. 

“They keep us very busy,” says Chuck. “God is in control, and he couldn’t have found a better place for me.”

Resident Patsy B. wholeheartedly agreed, and added “I love it here.”

Diann, a licensed social worker with a master’s degree in education is also a certified dementia practitioner and understands the unique challenges of that disease.

“Our building design is circular so our residents will more easily find their way,” says Diann. “As the health of a resident with dementia declines, we introduce additional safety procedures and increase monitoring as necessary. We are a community with people of different needs at different times and we meet those needs as respectfully as possible.”

And according to June, the staff at SouthWest Commons is doing its job very well.

“The staff and caregivers are wonderful,” says June. “My husband struggles with his vision but I always feel comfortable leaving him because I know he will be cared for when I go out with friends.”

SouthWest Commons is located at 18090 Pearl Road in Strongsville. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 440-238-3777, check the website, or find them on Facebook. 

Categories: Westside Smart Living