Friendship knows no boundary

We love having Catherine, Max, Evie and Nora visit us! They were recently featured in the Waukesha Freeman for giving back to the community. Thanks for all the time you spend with us! The article is below or can also be found here in PDF format.

Waukesha family learns the importance of giving back

Last November, Catherine Obermann of Waukesha was thinking about how she could donate her time to help others and teach her three children why it’s important give back. She’s starting them off young. Max is 5, Evie is 3 and Nora is one year old.

“At the time, Nora was four months old so I wanted to figure out what to do with a newborn in the winter. There was a life care community close to my home in Waukesha, so I put in an application to see if they wanted volunteers. I got a phone call back from Grand Hills Castle in New Berlin, and they put me in contact with the activities coordinator. It was only 12 miles away.”

The distance is not exactly a quick trip to help a next-door neighbor. Still, Catherine says the weekly drive with her kids to visit residents every Wednesday is worth it.

“Life Enrichment Coordinator Jessica Haase introduced us to residents. All of us played with balloons and we talked that first day.

“It’s fun to bring the kids and residents together and watch them interact. No matter what age, people want the same thing. They want your attention and someone to love them,” she said.

Grand Hills Castle New Berlin opened in September 2018. The facility specializes in senior care for residents needing assisted living or memory care.

“Catherine and her kids add an intergenerational aspect to Grand Hills Castle,” says Jessica Haase. “Her children have developed really good relationships with the residents. It helps bring back memories of their own families when they were parents. The Obermanns add so much to our community.”

Catherine says the volunteer experience benefits the residents just as she hoped. Her kids are also learning by example. “There was a resident named Anita who has since passed away. We were with her every week for almost a year. One time, we were at the library and found a book and the person’s name was Anita. Evie would say, ‘At the nursing home.’ They know who and where they are going. That is great.”

Waukesha and New Berlin may only be a dozen miles apart, but friendship knows no boundary lines for the Obermanns. They are finding their friends from Grand Hills Castle all around the area.

“We were at the Milwaukee County Zoo before school started and it was Senior Day,” recalls Catherine. “All of a sudden, we spotted a couple of Grand Hills Castle residents there with one of their daughters and she recognized us.

“It’s such a small world that we can see each other outside their facility. We made a connection that day, too. It always puts a smile on their face and ours.”

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