Marie Klika fondly recalls the active life her mother lived at Altenheim Senior Living’s Shurmer Place. – by Ken McEntee

“My mom went on more trips while she lived at Shurmer Place than she ever took when she lived alone in her Strongsville condominium,” shares Marie Klika.

Her mom, Rita Wells, who recently passed away at the age of 95, happily called Shurmer Place at Altenheim home for the last three years of her life.

“Mom was a very independent lady, but she quickly took to Shurmer Place and so did I and the rest of the family,” Marie shares. “She loved all of the activities, and the level of care was amazing—not just for Mom but for the whole family.”

In 2013, Rita fell, breaking her hip, and went to Altenheim Skilled Nursing for post-surgical rehab.

“We were all so impressed with the care that we moved her into assisted living there when her rehab was finished,” Marie recalls. “It was a wonderful transition, and she was able to stay in assisted living until she passed away. They have so many things for residents to do there. Mom especially loved the off-site activities. They would go on the Goodtime II once a year, and a boat on the Vermilion River. They went to Amish Country, the Cleveland Museum of Art, movies and plays. As a family member I was able to volunteer, so I was able to go on many of those trips with her.”

In-house activities, ranging from fun to informative, are ongoing at Shurmer Place and Altenheim. Next month, for example, guest speakers will discuss “Understanding VA Benefits” and “Understanding your Medications,” and actress Carol Starre-Kmiecik will deliver a one-woman show portraying Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

“You always worry about your parents as they get older, but our family was so happy that Mom was at Shurmer Place,” Marie says. “Mom is no longer with us, but I still stop over there to say hi to the staff and to visit residents that I got to know over the years. The nurses and other attendants there were just like a part of our family.”

Altenheim Senior Living and Shurmer Place are located at 18627 Shurmer Road, in Strongsville. You can call 440-238-9001 for more information, or visit

Written by Ken McEntee