Redefining Home


Making the decision for your loved one to enter a care facility is never easy.  It helps, however, knowing they are going to receive quality care.  Oakwood Care Center does just that.  Located along Hwy 18 in Clear Lake, they strive to give their residents the best quality of life.

One of the ways they do so is by keeping their social calendar active!

Oakwood used to host a slew of events throughout the years.  They feel social engagement and involvement is key to resident happiness.  It makes the residents feel “right at home” and gives them something fun to look forward to.

When the covid-19 pandemic began, nursing homes and care facilities seemed to be hit the hardest.  Not only were their residents the most susceptible to become ill from the virus, but their loved ones were not allowed inside the facility.

It took a toll on everyone.  The residents.  Families.  Even the workers.

They weren’t allowed to continue their social activities until it was safe for everyone involved.

But now, Oakwood is finally able to bring their social events back!  They held their first event around the Christmas holiday.

On Monday, February 13th, I was invited to attend a special Valentine’s Day celebration at their facility.  Residents invited family and friends to attend the event from 3-5pm for a happy hour.  Delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks were served and enjoyed in common areas throughout the building.  The excitement to have things “back to normal” was evident from the residents’ faces.

As guests began to arrive, they were given a sheet to vote for a Valentine’s King and Queen.  The tallies were counted the following day.  We’d like to extend our Congratulations to Galen Pitken and Rose Wilson as they were crowned the Valentine’s King and Queen of Oakwood.

I wandered from one social gathering place to another, visiting with a few residents and their guests.  It was all smiles as everyone enjoyed an afternoon socializing with their loved ones.  I asked a few to share their favorite part of the day.

“Well, there’s beer!” was an emphatic answer from one gentleman.

A table of ladies all raved about the delicious food as they feasted on meat & cheese skewers, breads, mini cheesecakes, and chocolate covered strawberries.

Another lady looked up with a wide smile and answered, “My daughter came to see me.”

Oakwood strives to make their residents feel comfortable; like they’re still in their own homes.

These events help make that happen.  Carmen Ostrem in Human Resources agrees.  “We try to make their life as normal as possible,” she said as she manned the food table inside the Bayside room.  “Our events are always evolving to fit the needs of the residents.”

In past years, Oakwood has held Taste of Italy events, celebrated during Nursing Home Week, and hosted Mother’s & Father’s Day gatherings.  On Easter, there is a community egg hunt open to the public.  For Halloween they invite kids to “trick or treat” through the halls so residents can see their costumes and hand out goodies.

Social interaction is proven to be a contributing factor of both psychological and physical wellness in elderly individuals.  The administration and staff at Oakwood understand the importance of holding these events for their residents, and plan for many more in the years to come!

If you are considering rehabilitative or long-term care for a loved one, Oakwood Care Center can help.  Email Krystal Thoe at or call (641) 357- 5244 to discuss your loved ones’ care, or to set up a site visit.