Memory Care America - March 2020

D ementia was never part of Ruth Heitkamp’s plan. As a mother of three, devoted wife, and lively socialite, Ruth refused to let dementia define her when she was diagnosed five years ago at the age of 95. “She has her ups and downs,” Ruth’s daughter Linda Gabbard says. “She talks about being ready to go, and I once said, ‘Mom, you’re so healthy … You’re going to live to be 101.’ And she said, ‘Well, I might as well!’” Sharing Your Stories 100-Year-Old Ruth Heitkamp

Leads a Full Life at Memory Care of New Braunfels

get involved; Ruth’s lineage can be traced back to the forefathers of New Braunfels, Texas. Ruth joined the historical commission, the conservation society, the parent teacher association, and a local mothers club. In the 1940s, Ruth even joined a social group that hosted a party every month, and there wasn’t an event Ruth would miss. When her husband passed 15 years ago, Ruth lived alone and remained active by cycling on her antique bike or walking her trash cans up and down the driveway. In 2016, Ruth was discovered on her bathroom floor and was transferred to live at a rehab facility. Soon after, Linda and her husband discovered Memory Care of New Braunfels just two miles from their home. Ruth was the 19th resident to join Memory Care of New Braunfels and has become a mainstay in our community. Immediately, Linda said she noticed an improvement in her mom’s diet and social interactions. “The family always feels welcomed by the staff members,” Linda adds. When Ruth celebrated her 100th birthday in August 2019, Memory Care of New Braunfels pulled out all the stops. The party even honored her late husband, a Texas A&M University Aggie. It was a party fit for the woman who has never viewed life as anything but a celebration. “She did not agree to the fact that she was 100 years old,” Linda says. “She was totally amazed by that. They really made her feel like a queen. I am so thankful for everybody up there. They just show her so much love.” If you know someone who could benefit from our services, don’t keep our work a secret! Referrals are the best compliment you can give us. Direct them to our communities at or find us on Facebook. “It was better than anything we had looked at,” Linda recalls. “The rooms were so nice … It turned the whole thing around.”

“She just always has a sassy answer,” Linda says with a laugh.

Ruth married her high school sweetheart, CW, and throughout their life, Ruth refused to live quietly. It’s in her blood to


Do Not Keep Our Work a Secret!

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