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A woman on the go takes a pause

Concussion on the road makes this traveler appreciate home

Created date

April 23rd, 2014
Elise Murphy Rowe
Elise Murphy Rowe

When Elise Murphy Rowe travels, she really travels. She’s been to Amsterdam more than 50 times, visited Japan in April, and plans to see Banff and Lake Louise this fall.

But one trip to Buffalo, N.Y., caused her to pause. While at the 94th Annual Theodore Roosevelt Conference—one of her many hobbies—someone accidentally pushed her, and she hit her head.

“Nothing appeared as a symptom until I got home four or five days later,” she says. For Elise, home is , an Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., where she has lived since August 2007.

Upon returning to Wind Crest, a few strange things happened.

“I was making mistakes in my emails, which my son noticed. I immediately went to see my doctor here at Wind Crest, who sent me to the emergency room,” Elise says.

She had suffered a concussion. After surgery to release pressure from the head trauma, Elise didn’t return straight home; she took a detour—a “marvelous” one, at that.

Outstanding care

Elise spent about one week at Mill Vista Lodge, Wind Crest’s continuing care neighborhood with outpatient and short-term rehabilitation. There, she received occupational and physical therapy to get her ship-shape for her next adventure. 

“My experience there was outstanding,” Elise responds immediately when asked about Mill Vista Lodge. “I thought I was the Queen of England who had just stopped by.”

Elise’s stay occurred shortly after the neighborhood opened in September 2013. Despite new beginnings, the service, care, and environment left nearly nothing to be desired. “Everyone, from housekeepers to dining to the therapists, was marvelous,” Elise says.

Of the therapy, she adds, “They were very thorough. I was able to be independent, but they were there if I needed them.” Toward the end of her stay, she performed a series of tests to ensure she was ready to return home. “I passed all my tests with flying colors thanks to the thorough care I received.”

Her primary care physician from Wind Crest’s medical center visited her every evening, coordinating care with the therapists at Mill Vista Lodge.

An added perk: friends from home easily visited her with just a short walk from their own apartments on campus. She even entertained two friends for dinner one evening in her room. Dining provided dinner and cards. “It was so nice,” Elise says.

Full service, full speed ahead

When Elise moved to Wind Crest in 2007, no continuing care neighborhood existed, but the promise of one did. And that played a significant role in her decision to move there. “I wanted a full-service retirement community,” she says. 

She has used the on-site medical center since day one and is now thankful for the continuing care neighborhood.

A skilled researcher with a doctorate in education, Elise did her homework before choosing Wind Crest. “I researched all other retirement communities in the Denver area, and Wind Crest far surpassed the others,” she says.

Additionally, she had her attorney and CPA consider the legal and financial aspects of Wind Crest. “They met together and agreed this was the best choice for me,” Elise says.

Have her cake and eat it too

There seven years, Elise is as active as ever, even though some of her activities have changed. 

When she moved from Summit County, she gave up her season tickets to the opera but gained membership in organizations and community efforts both within and outside of Wind Crest. 

“I thought I’d have my cake and eat it too—I can live here and avoid the weather but stay active,” she says of her decision to leave Summit County.

She stays both mentally and physically fit, visiting the on-site fitness center daily, meeting with a personal trainer three times a week, and frequently hiking the Highline Canal that parallels Wind Crest’s campus. “I feel that is an investment that is important to me,” she says of staying physically healthy. 

Whether you catch her at Wind Crest or on the road, Elise has proven there’s no stopping her, especially with such excellent care right outside her doorstep.