by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
Carriage House Homes has been in business for almost 4 years. It is owned and operated by Angie Crawford, RN who has over 25 years’ experience in nursing and caring for the elderly. She personally dealt with Alzheimer’s’ Disease when her grandmother became ill. She spent over 5 years caring for her in and out of different facilities.
Now, Angie is the proprietor of Carriage House Homes. She operates her own 5-bed memory care facility specializing in Alzheimer’s care. They are located in Yukon, Oklahoma in the tranquil neighborhood of Surrey Hills. Carriage House Homes is a local independent company that started as a passion to care for the elderly as family would care for their loved one.
The house itself is beautiful. A 4 bedroom, 2 baths, each room suited to the resident’s decor. There is a sunroom and garden area for the residents to enjoy the fresh air and surrounding flowers. With an open policy, family members can come by anytime to see their loved ones. Walks in the quiet neighborhood are taken and precious memories are made.
Angie grew up in Davenport, Iowa, moving several times over the years and ended up in Oklahoma. She got her bachelor’s degree from UCO. Through the years, she served as director of nursing at several facilities, along with traveling all over Oklahoma to do infusions for different health facilities.
“We have 24/7 care here and each resident is taken care of in the way that is specific for each individual. Memory care residents need more one-on-one care. I wanted to find a way to take care of 4 or 5 residents so they would have that,” Angie commented.
“On the business side, there are a lot of things that go on before a long- term-care home with residents can be approved. There are a lot of legal matters. We are an LLC and everything is up to state code. Even though I had years of experience in nursing, I had to go back to school for long- term- care certification. After a long process of remodeling and all of the legal matters taken care of, I am happy to own Carriage House Homes, giving the residents that at-home- feeling,” Angie said.
“We actually have the same rules as a 100-bed facility. The physical therapists, social workers, chaplains, depending on religion and hospice come out to see the residents if needed. We all eat our meals together and we go to some senior events together. In fact, the ladies are going to help me hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters. They like to get involved in things like that,” Angie said.
There is a slow turnover at Carriage House Homes. “Two of my ladies have been here 4 years and the other two have been here 2 years. There is a waiting list and the people have to be assessed before they come here. I am allowed to care for up to five residents,” Angie said. “The average age of our residents is 70 and up,” she added.
There are 4 other corporations in Oklahoma that have long-term-care residents. “I would like to see more homes like this, seeing the residents be cared for on a one-on- one basis,” Angie stated.
I asked Angie to describe herself to me. “Well, I am the proprietor of Carriage House Homes. I am compassionate, understanding and a problem solver. I have good nurse ethics, and feel like I am doing my work for a greater purpose, she said. “Now, on the other side, I have a type-A personality. I am headstrong and stubborn, and I don’t like to be told no. That just pushes me forward a little more,” she laughed.
What is the favorite part about your job? “My favorite part of my job is getting to know the residents and their families. There is a real bond that develops between us, forming wonderful relationships,” Angie stated.
Angie’s hobbies include spending time with her husband and daughter who is 15, gardening, taking care of the many animals on their acreage and spending time at their lake house and kayaking on Cedar Lake in Hinton, OK. Angie is also a public speaker, going around to different functions, telling about Alzheimer’s. She also works with Animal Rescue, caring for animals in any way that she can help.
Wise words from Angie “Don’t worry about anything. Let God steer the ship. Let Him take care of everything. He can handle it.”