When Nan Kleinlein moved her father, Frank, to Assisted Living at Mason Pointe Senior Living Community in Town and Country, Missouri, she never imagined she would not only find great care for him she would also gain a new family.
“The family community here at Mason Pointe is like no other anyone has ever seen,” said Nan.
While visiting Frank nearly every day, Nan noticed that another resident’s daughters brought in meals to share with all the residents on Monday nights. “I asked the daughters if I could join in as well. They said sure!”
Those daughters were Kathy Rock, Margaret Koebbe, and Sarah Gould, whose mom, Joy, also lives at Mason Pointe. Kathy, Margaret, and Sarah started “Family Dinner” nights in January 2022. On Monday nights, they would bring enough food to share with any of the other residents who lived around Joy. “We just really wanted to encourage mom to get acquainted with other people and have a family meal atmosphere,” said Margaret.
As Nan got involved, family members of other residents noticed and joined in as well. Everyone enjoyed it so much that they added Friday nights to the rotation. “We decided we better start a group text and a calendar to coordinate it all,” said Nan.
Today the group text represents 17 families of Mason Pointe Assisted Living residents. They keep in touch about meals and much more.
“We support each other,” said Nan. “We talk with each other. I know their stories and they know mine.”
Nan said that some residents’ children live out of town, but are able to stay in the loop with the group text and calendar and can plan ahead and provide dinners when they are in town.
“I used to have to travel all the time for work. I knew that if I left town, one of these people would be over there at least once a day to visit him,” Nan said. “The staff knows we all look out for each other’s loved ones. That sense of community is like nothing else!”
Dinners are festive affairs that often includes wine and dessert. “We have a party!” said Nan.
“There is always dessert,” said Kathy. They celebrate birthdays and take photos and videos to share. To make each person feel special, everyone gets to choose their birthday treat. Next time will be chocolate cake with white icing!
Mason Pointe team members have welcomed the familial relationship of the group and provide support for the events.
“They have really become a family, celebrating together and supporting each other,” said Julia Buchler, Administrator of Care Center and Assisted Living at Mason Pointe. “We enjoy seeing that kind of camaraderie develop.”
The group makes sure to always bring enough to share with Mason Pointe team members working on Monday and Friday nights. “We want to make sure to include everyone, especially the people who take care of our family members,” said Terry Koebbe, Joy’s son-in-law.
“Mason Pointe is great, and this new family we’ve gained is a real bonus. It’s been amazing,” said Nan. “I really enjoy the camaraderie,” added her father Frank.