Heidi Freas

Six or seven years after doing more than 50 oral history interviews, ohoberlin is being repurposed to serve as a public journal for my Spring 2021 internship toward my Public Administration degree at Lorain County Community College. Thanks to the Oberlin Recreation Department (for which I also sit on the city’s commission), I am interning with the purpose of finding out the social and recreational needs of seniors in the city for their purpose of identifying how the city might engage those needs.

Heidi Freas is the third generation in her family to own and operate Welcome Nursing Home. The average age among the residents in the 99-bed facility has dropped in her 22 years of helping to run the operation as there is a developing split between a more typical elderly population and a younger, 50s age group dealing with the affect of chronic health conditions. Home healthcare is an expensive choice to fill the gaps, she explains, even as it introduces a more socially active population to the nursing home.

With the closure of the Neighborhood Alliance building in town and the social restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic, places and events to foster educational events are in short supply.

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