This is the next chapter in my life, and I made the choice to stay as independent as possible for as long as possible.


When you see Barry these days it’s hard to imagine his journey over the past couple of years. Now, Barry enjoys driving his new Mini Cooper to the beach, taking long walks throughout O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village’s campus, and working on challenging puzzles with other residents.

Barry’s story begins two years ago when he accidently stepped off a three-step stool in his basement and landed on his head. He recalls lying on the ground knowing he had suffered a concussion but was not aware of the extent of his injuries. What he did immediately know was that he was having a difficult time getting up, and soon realized that he had lost his ability to walk. Barry found himself in Parma Hospital where they ran numerous tests. Thankfully, there was no damage to his brain or memory, but there were, however, complications in his ability to walk.

A decision was made with his daughter’s support to go to O’Neill Healthcare North Olmsted to receive rehabilitative therapy. While there, Barry learned about O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village’s veteran’s contract and how this could assist in covering some of his stay. A move was made, and Barry continued his rehabilitative care at Bay Village.

His therapy team: Dana, Lauren, and Melinda were instrumental in his progress. Barry’s rehab was a slow process where he was eventually able to use the walker and then move to a cane, and in the end walk on his own.

After two years in the nursing center, Barry decided to transition to the new Independent Living Plus suites that are a part of Bay Village’s Assisted Living area. As Barry puts it, “this is the next chapter of my life and I made the choice to stay as independent as possible for as long as possible.”

One of the biggest motivators for Barry was to drive again, and that took time. When he asked when he could drive again, it was advised that he go through stages of driving with supervision and was over time cleared to drive by himself. Barry had always wanted a Cooper JWC, of which only 1,000 are made each year. Excitedly, he received one in July (see pictured below). Barry says that one of his greatest joys is driving to Huntington Beach and parking in the secluded special handicap space and taking full advantage of his private beach.

Barry remains active in day-to-day life at O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village by participating in exercise programs, resident council, food committee, and spending time at the puzzle table. Next to the puzzles, there is a bulletin board displaying the dozens of completed puzzles by Barry and other residents. As Barry puts it, “in some ways the puzzle is a metaphor for life here at O’Neill where we just need a little assistance to stay as independent as possible.” Barry cruises the hallways each day while taking at least 10,000 steps while enjoying conversations with staff, residents, and visitors. Barry says, “the staff are all my friends and I know most every staff member by name, and I care about them and know they go the extra mile here in their work.”

Barry sums it up well by saying he came here for rehab care and has chosen to stay here because of the lifestyle that allows him to be independent. When asked if O’Neill Healthcare offers anything special, he says that being a family-owned community goes a long way to having high standards and a personalized approach that he appreciates.

Best success to you Barry as your journey continues!

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