The Nest | Vol. 1, Iss. 2

MMUNITY ment Community

properties operated by Jaybird Senior Living, then Senior Housing Management, at the operator’s inception. Since the early, congregate living days, Garnett Place’s accommodations and amenities have grown exponentially. The Community now boasts a three- story licensed Assisted Living and Memory Care building and 10 single- story townhome units, in addition to the Independent Living apartments located in the original, cedar-sided building. Residents enjoy ample outdoor space, and beautiful views from every picture window and alcove. These views are quite familiar to Jaybird Senior Living Senior Portfolio Leader and Garnett Place Director, Lyla Erwin. The senior living veteran managed the property beginning in June of 2010 before joining the corporate operations team in 2014. “Walking these halls is like a trip down memory lane. I remember bringing my family to the events we held at Garnett Place when I was first the Director,” shares Lyla. In November 2020, Lyla returned home to Garnett Place where she is excited to again provide some TLC to her residents, staff, and the building. “I always loved sharing Garnett Place’s welcoming atmosphere with my kids, and now I am honored that my son has chosen to expand his career in the senior living industry as well,” continued Lyla. Tanner, Lyla’s oldest child, is the Assistant Director at Garnett Place where he shares his mother’s passion for working with seniors and providing red carpet service. When asked about how he enjoys working with his mother, Tanner said, “I immediately felt at home when I started working at Garnett Place, and I knew this was where I belonged. The residents and staff have been amazing,

and it is great to be able to share this with my mom. I remember coming here when I was younger and I always enjoyed listening to residents’ stories and gaining wisdom from their experiences. I never imagined I would be working here one day but now that I am, I feel very lucky to have found my ‘home.’” The idyllic views are not the only things Lyla is well-acquainted with. Many of the residents and staff she served during her first stint at the Community still call Garnett Place “home,” most notably the Community’s long-time Health Care Coordinator, Lee Thoma, RN. Lee has been a thread in the Garnett Place fabric for over 12 years. “My mother was a resident of Garnett Place and I have always aimed to treat each of our residents as I would my own parent,” Lee states. “That’s not just something I believe, but also something I try to instill in my team.” At the 2019 Iowa Assisted Living Association Annual Conference, Lee was recognized as Nurse of the Year by the state organization. His nomination spoke of his dedication to the Community, treating staff like family members and acting as a guest in his residents’ home. Through the years, Garnett Place has withstood the test of time and continues to set the standard for hospitality and comfort, consistently demonstrating that a brand-new building may be appealing, but experienced, compassionate caregivers are what hold the highest priority. Residents, families, and teammembers choose the Community because of its familiarity; like a warm blanket and a hot cup of cocoa on a chilly day, mom’s famous snickerdoodle cookies, or the smell of dad’s aftershave. At Garnett Place, it’s about coming home.

Independent Living Assisted Living

Memory Care Respite Care

Left to Right:Tanner Erwin, Assistant Director; Lee Thoma, RN, Health Care Coordinator; and Lyla Erwin, Senior Portfolo Leader & Community Director


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