Meet Your Neighbor
Latrice (Leah) Kushlefsky
A Lifetime Journey of Service Rewarded with Peaceful Living at Geer Lodge
Leah’s journey to Geer Lodge is unique.
A resident of Geer Lodge Assisted Living for 3 1⁄2 years, Leah enthusiastically proclaims “This is not an institution, it’s my home. I love it here and my two-bedroom apartment is peaceful and quiet. I socialize when I choose to and have the most wonderful view of the trees and the mountains. After years of service to others, I am blessed to enjoy a peaceful, full life here at Geer”.
Born in Brooklyn and educated as a Social Worker in Florida, Leah tells the story of her life with excitement and vivid detail that showcases a life committed to family and service.
While in school in Florida, Leah met her husband while he was on vacation. Together they created a strong family, governed by her motto ‘I can, and I will.’
I fell in love with Geer that very day and decided to settle in Connecticut for good and come back to my roots…I fell in love with the big picture windows and the amazing views.
“I fell in love with the big picture windows and the amazing views” says new resident, Karen Phalen, from the comfort of her apartment at The Lodge.
Having worked at the New York Public Library since 1992, Karen suddenly found herself thrust into retirement in March of 2020 as the COVID outbreak hit New Rochelle. It was a big, unexpected change to her life and routine which sadly also refused her an opportunity to say goodbye to her colleagues and friends or to celebrate her new retirement.
Karen eventually decided to move to her mother’s apartment in Southbury, Connecticut. “My mother’s eyesight had deteriorated, so I became her eyes.”
She took her mother to appointments and assisted with her daily needs and was happy to help in any way she could. After a few months, her sister Patty suggested she tour Geer Lodge. And that was all it took! “I fell in love with Geer that very day and decided to settle in Connecticut for good and come back to my roots.”
My advice to anyone living with chronic pain would be, don’t put off the therapy
—just do it. You’ll only wish you did it sooner!
They don’t tell you how tough aging can be on your body! Over the years I’ve experienced increased muscle weakness that finally reached a point that made it difficult to reach for items in my pantry or dress myself in the morning. I couldn’t even hold a cane in my left hand because of my joint pain in that arm. I knew I needed to do something about this so I could live a more comfortable and fulfilled life. I visited my doctor and they referred me to Chrissy and her team at The Lodge.
She and her students were patient with me as we worked together on stretches and stabilization exercises to get me back to my old self. After our treatment I was able to use my arm in all directions. The best part though was it was pain-free for the first time in years.
Not being able to drive could make it difficult for someone like me to receive the care they need. But not when you are at The Lodge. Having access to compassionate and knowledgeable therapy teams here at The Lodge improved my life tenfold. My only wish is that I did it sooner.
My advice to anyone living with chronic pain would be, don’t put off the therapy—just do it. You’ll only wish you did it sooner!
I would absolutely recommend the therapy program to anyone and everyone. My advice is to define your own goals and work hard to achieve them.
Over the last few years, I’ve unfortunately sustained several falls which led to painful injuries with broken bones. As a result of my most recent fall I had to learn how to use a back brace after surgery, and knew I needed help getting back on my feet—literally and figuratively. So, I participated in therapy at The Lodge to re-learn how to dress myself, shower myself, use the bathroom safely, and get in and out of my chair, even walk solo again!
I was helped by my OT Chrissy and her phenomenal and intelligent students. While some may not have been thrilled about the idea of students helping them regain mobility, they were incredible. They were so intent on finding out what was important to me and truly cared about what my goals were—listening attentively all the way.
Together, we came up with safe methods to perform my daily routine. The changes that we practiced made everything easier and safer, so that I could return to my life with confidence.
Currently, I’ve maintained all my mobility and all that we worked on—thanks to their patience, support, and care. I can now get into my closet and reach for what I need. I can use the shower on my own. I use the walker to get outside, sit in the courtyard, go to the dining room, and get my mail. But beyond that, I have not had any falls since completing my therapy program!
I would absolutely recommend the therapy program to anyone and everyone. My advice is to define your own goals and work hard to achieve them. But, as you work towards those goals, understand the importance of knowing when to ask for help. There were times when I needed support and I reached out to ask for it which made all the difference in my recovery. That’s the benefit of living at The Lodge.
So many things I had taken for granted were stripped away from me, but Chrissy and her OT students were able to help me regain my strength, and perhaps more importantly, my independence. Thank you, The Lodge Team!