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Grandmother and grandson are neighbors at a long term care facility in Milwaukee

Now, when one of them gets a visitor, they both get a visitor!
Posted at 9:39 AM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 10:39:52-04

MILWAUKEE — Erna Mejic and her grandson Nick are a lot closer than many other grandparents and grandkids. Nick’s mom, Dana, had to return to work about a week after he was born with cerebral palsy.

“So I took care of him for 8 ½ years,” Erna says.

“Mom took him to physical and occupational and speech therapies. They watched him, took him on outings,” Dana recalls. “My mom and dad, they were like second mom and dad.”

So when Erna needed to move into a long-term care facility, Dana suggested she move into the Bay at Saint Ann – where Nick is staying.

“I think it’s good for both! I see them attending Bingo together, going to activities, movies,” Dana says. “It’s good that they have someone there for them. And adjusting – I think it’s made it easier for her.”

“Especially with some of the isolation we’ve seen with COVID, it doesn’t apply for them!” adds St. Ann administrator Erin Johnston. “It’s just so great that they can just stay together all the time.”

Erin says having family members in the same facility is already pretty rare – Erna and Nick’s situation is basically unheard of.

“I’ve been doing this eight years and I have never had multi-generational in the same building,” she says.

Another perk of the pair being neighbors – they both get more visitors. If family comes to see Nick, they’ll visit with Erna, and vice versa. And it certainly makes things easier for Dana, who can come visit two of her favorite people at once.

“Sometimes there’s a room full of people here,” she says.

In fact, Erna wouldn’t mind a bigger room to make space for all that love.

“They have bigger ones, but I don’t have the inside connection, you know!?”

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