My mother-in-law was admitted to the Rehabilitation Unit at Wauconda Health Center after a stroke. When she had regained as much strength and range of motion as possible, she was transferred to the Assisted Living Area, eventually the Nursing Area, and lastly, to the specialized hospice unit in the facility. The rehab and assisted living areas were decorated in a way that was upbeat and modern without being artificially cheery or too edgy to be comfortable to the eldest residents. The large aviary is a birder's heaven, with nesting pairs of several species and plenty of room for them all. There were no unpleasant odors anywhere in the building, even around the birds. In fact, the staff sometimes baked cookies for the residents in a kitchen well-supervised and accessible to competent residents. When she moved to the nursing area, Mom remained happy and active, and her fears of being restricted rapidly vanished. She certainly made it to her favorite bookstore frequently and developed strong bonds with the Wauconda receptionist, another voracious reader who often traded books with her. Mom's mind stayed sharp because of the staff's willingness to speak to her respectfully on an adult level. When she moved to the Hospice Unit, the hospice nurses and chaplain were in nearly daily contact with us- we live several states away- and went out of their way to meet her emotional, physical and spiritual needs. They arranged for a volunteer to read to her when she could not hold a book, and for her preferred music to play through headphones as her hearing deteriorated. The medical and nursing staff remained receptive to our thoughts although we were only a telephone presence most of the time, even accepting our request that she be given a trial of anti-depressant medication. Moreover, they were willing to share their pleased surprise when her overall status improved on the anti-depressant. As she made her last transition, the hospice nurses stayed in contact with us several times a day and two were with her until she died, speaking to her, praying for this long-time deacon until her time here ended. There were even chaplains who came from outside the facility who took her outside as long as she could be wheeled outside comfortably. We are very grateful for the care Mom received at Wauconda, from the first day to the last.