“The services that Aurora provides to Keith are simply wonderful. The house is set up for persons with disabilities The bathrooms are just great and the whole place is a beautiful home. His care is magnificent and the staff is very observant, kind and very very patient. People who live with Aurora couldn’t be in a better place. We could not do what they do at our home. The staff has been working on Keith’s diet and his diabetes is finally under control. The transportation is wonderful and we so appreciate it. The staffs are so on top of things and keep us well informed. We would recommend Aurora to anyone."
"The staff at my house are always willing to help me. They give me rides to the fitness center when the weather is bad. I like that the staff are nice and friendly. They help me with my puzzles when I get stuck and they watch wheel of fortune with me. The meals are always hot and one time. I like that I am able to feel safe and taken care of."
"I am guardian for Betty Lou and one other client. I've always been so impressed with the ability of the workers and their dedication to the clients. They function so well as a team and go above and beyond their call of duty in maintaining a clean and healthy environment, as well as wonderful communication with me as the guardian. I always am welcomed with a smile and never feel I am bothering them when I visit. My kudos to them."
“People are friendly here and they do anything you ask…..that they can do. Sometimes you don’t even need to ask….they know me well. I can do most things myself, though. I want to say that I trust everyone here. We go out a lot and do things. We go shopping, to movies, out to eat and even window shopping or go for a ride when I don’t have much money. Meals are real good here too. They ask what I like and they always manage to get the things I like, even the hot peppers!”
“The biggest share of the staff who work with my son Steven are so special. We always feel welcome when we come to visit weekly. We feel that Steven is taken good care of”.
Arlene McClelland, Mother
"Aurora is the best provider I have ever seen. They provide a very home like atmosphere and whenever I take Paul on an outing and return, as soon as he sees the house he begins to clap his hands. He just beams. He loves his room and he is always smiling at his home. And it is his home, he thinks it belongs to him and it is HIS. When I visit and he thinks it is time for me to leave, he will take me by the hand and lead me to the door. It’s his house. He is in and out of his room; he goes into the refrigerator when he wants something. The whole house is very nice and Paul’s room is always nice and neat. His clothes are folded so nicely and hung up in his closet; his bed is always made with clean linens and the staff do good home cooking. This home is as good as the one Paul came from, our home. I always felt that no one could take care of Paul’s needs as good as me, but Aurora can. There is not one single staff that I don’t feel takes excellent care of him and I feel he is always safe. The staff are all so pleasant and make me feel secure that they are taking good care of Paul. You are all doing something right."
Theresa Sundeen, Mother and Guardian
"The staff working with me does everything that I could possibly need. One of the staff takes care of my pills and my appointments. She helps me to be respectable when I forget my manners. Another staff comes and helps me do my grocery shopping and then assists me with the cooking. She is a lot of fun! They also take me to the gym to help me get in shape. My two brothers were concerned about my health and my checkbook - they got me the help I needed with Aurora.”
“If it weren’t for Aurora, we would have never been able to handle Rob - we feel he is in the best place he could be. Every time we go visit, Rob is happy and doesn’t want for anything. His home is always clean and the staff are so nice. They treat him—and us—like family. It feels like home and we are very thankful.”
Bob DeMarre, Parent
"Our family has been assocatied with Aurora for several years. Always we have been very satisfied with the facilities, the service and especially the caretakers.
My daugther has lived in three different locations. Each place has been roomy and attractively decorated. Personal furnishings are fitted in to make it her home. She is helped and encouraged to maintain it in a clean and neat way. Care is taken to match her with compatible friends for house sharing.
I live some distance away, my visits are irregular in both day and time but I have always felt welcome at any time. The staff is very helpful in dealing with my schedule and needs.
Staff-wise I feel especially blessed. Each person who has been in charge of my daughter's daily welfare has been a caring and responsible person. They create a loving home atmosphere for her and see to her needs. I can't thank them enough.
Aurora is an answer to the greatest concern of the parents of handicapped individuals; the extended care of their children."
Lorraine Keister, Parent
“My daughter, Kelsey (who has Rett's Syndrome), has attended the Aurora Day Program since the program was started. She has loved it from the beginning. The staff has taken the time to get to know her needs, to respect her needs, and continues to offer her ongoing activities to help her become the best she can be. I appreciate the fact that they don't force her to participate in activites that she can't handle well, but yet encourage her to try new things. This program has been a blessing for Kelsey. It is a part of her daily life that she continues to enjoy. Kelsey also lives in an Aurora group home. She has four women housemates, all of various ages and abilities. We appreciate that the women have different needs, as they can complement each other. I think Kelsey now feels that this home is her home, even though she comes to visit us whenever we wish. She has her onw room, with her own furniture, and has her daily routine, which is important to her. The staff is very accommodating with our agenda, and always tries to be flexible so that between the staff and us, Kelsey's needs are met. We, as parents, always wanted her to have as normal a life as possible, and to try new things. Her house staff takes care of her, her personal needs, as well as making sure she goes on social outings, such as shopping, eating out, the YMCA, and other local activities. She is doing well in her house, which is very important to us.”
Kandy Nyberg, Parent
“My son, Brad, has been in four different facilities since the age of seven. He has never been this happy, nor has he ever made as much progress as he has since he's been at Aurora. He feels it's "his home" and seems to love all the caregivers.
It is my hope that he is able to remain in this setting for the remainder of his life!”
Mary Bohlman-Sandquist, Mother
“We often hear from guardians and family members that we are angels for doing this work. I think the consumers are the angels here to teach us lessons! I really hope that I make a difference in someone’s life and make their life a little bit better.”
Kathleen Vaughan, Community Living Assistant
As a parent, I struggled tremendously when my son Luke was diagnosed with a mental illness that would change our lives forever. He had been a perfectly normal boy growing up until he was about 14. Little by little I lost the Luke I knew and loved. In my desperation, I vowed never to give up trying to help him, even though for the next several years, he was in and out of hospitals and group homes that served only as temporary respite. Fortunately, Luke had made a connection with Holly Hakes as a juvenile in trouble back when she worked for the county. Now as Director of Aurora Services, she approached us and the team of county people involved in Luke’s care, and she was determined to develop a successful plan for Luke. Thanks to Holly and Aurora, a program was developed around Luke’s needs with his input, including wonderful people who not only care for him but care about him. The Aurora people have embraced him and made a house into his home. He’s been there for a year and one-half and is content to be there. I will be forever grateful to Holly and the Aurora staff that have made such a difference in Luke’s life.
Vicki Dowell, Mother
My name is Sandy Kahl. My son Derrek has been a resident with Aurora for over 14 years. Derrek is a multi-handicapped individual who requires a lot of care. Aurora has been a true lifesaver for Derrek and our entire family. The staff, directors, and every member of the Aurora family are fantastic. These individuals are truly caring, giving people who dedicate their entire lives for their residents. The quality of life that my son enjoys is exceptional thanks to the Aurora staff. The home is always well kept, the outings are great and the entire atmosphere in the home if that of a home, it is not a restricted hospital for a handicapped individual, their home is their home. The staff at Aurora are educated in the individual needs of their residents and great care is taken in appearance and daily living. In the beginning when it was apparent that my son required more care than I was able to give, I felt like a failure, a quitter, why can't I do it all. But I couldn't, and placing my son in an Aurora home was the very best thing that happened to not only him but us. We know that he is so happy, healthy and well taken care of that all fears were instantly gone leaving him in the most capable hands in the world. Everyone of the people at Aurora are exceptional individuals who I can honestly say are not only my sons caretakers but our friends.
Sandy Kahl, Mother
My daughter has been a consumer of Aurora for nine years, and I am also guardian for two clients who were moved from Northern Center in Chippewa Falls to Aurora Residential living situations.
Eileen Eggen, Parent and Guardian
The move in December 2004 went without any problems. Everyone from the county and staff was excellent. In cooperation with the county and Aurora, Renee had a great move and the year 2006 has been great with Renee improving in behavior and health.
Francis E. Nelson, Parent
It is with heart-felt emotion that as of May 20th 2006 I will no longer be able to continue my position for Aurora Community Services. I am moving to Milwaukee and I am currently in search of a position in television broadcasting and journalism. With any luck I will have that job set up before I get back to my hometown.
Adam Williams, Community Living Assistant 2001-2006
ON VOCATIONAL SERVICES: "I felt confident working with Aurora, they really know the employees and where they fit according to their abilities. Aurora has also been great with follow up support for us and our employees."
Will Raymie, Store Manager, Farm & Fleet, Rice Lake, WI
"The employee we hired through Aurora is outstanding and the support we received from Aurora is second to none."
Heidi Colbert, Manager, Hardee's, Eau Claire, WI
My daughter is a 43 year old young lady. She has cerebral palsy, is non-verbal and is completely dependent on a care giver for all her needs. After I turned 65 it was getting too much for my husband and I to care for her 24/7. We knew in time she would need more than we were able to give her. Four and a half years ago we built an apartment onto our home for her, and contracted with Aurora for staff. Ii know Aurora has worked very hard to hire staff that will work to understand Nancy and give her a good life. Beside taking good care of her, the staff takes her on many outings and have a very happy outlook on life that helps Nancy stay happy.
Alice Scalzo, Mother
My son Richie has lived with Aurora for 4 years. Aurora provides fantastic care for him. I have never had a problem. Richie is always happy, clean, well fed and taken care of. Everything is excellent; I have never had a problem with any of the services provided for Richie. All the staff are Richie’s buddies. Richie can be very behavioral and staff works so well through it. They manage with all the issues that come up with Richie. It’s the best thing I could have given him. I have always wanted him to have his own life. My life’s wish for him has come true. I did not want him in institutions for the rest of his life.
Nelda Smith-Jaroki, Mother
As Corporate Guardian's, we are pleased to be working with Sue, DeeDee and their staff at Aurora/Black River Falls. They are a caring, compassionate and dedicated staff. We are pleased with the open communication between staff and ourselves. They are very knowledgeable of our Ward's and their needs. It is clear that they take a personal interest on behalf of our Ward's and provide a quality service.
Cindy and Denice - Mississippi Valley Guardian's, Inc.
I have highly valued the experiences with Aurora and the "ladies" of operations #035 and #060. Even though I went on to other professional career duties (five years ago) I maintained employment with Aurora working weekends and summers because of the personal connections with staff and consumers. That is probably one of the most rewarding factors of a job. I have greatly appreciated your flexibility in my work schedule (another reason I have been around so long). Keep up all the great things you do for the consumers of Aurora Community Services. I will truly miss you all!!
Kristi M. Teed, Community Living Assistant 2000-2007
I have survived a very busy 2006. Watching a long time consumer pass away, which was very hard on the whole house team. Comforting new consumers and saying goodbye to long time staff that moved to other opportunities in Aurora and welcoming several new staff. I’ve experienced nature’s edge with a special consumer and traveled trough a bumpy road with a consumer whom had to have surgery and had a rocky recovery. He seems to be doing great now. 2006 had lots of great times and several hard times, Aurora’s family of directors, staff and consumers helped me through 2006 and will continue on through the years to come.
Shelly Lieberg, Program Manager II
“My sister, Pat, became a resident around 1998 at Aurora when my mother’s health began to fail. This was a huge step for my mother, but she became greatly relieved to see Pat’s positive adjustment and to know that she would be in a loving and comfortable home. In fact, Pat was delighted to make friends with the other consumers and to find a place where she had social and work stimulation. In retrospect, perhaps this placement should have been made long before.
After my mother passed and I became Pat’s guardian, I experienced first hand Aurora’s professional and caring approach to providing a life for the residents. Each of the staff is kind and knowledgeable, and the Program Manager (Amy Peterson) is superb in every way. She knows Pat’s individual needs, knows my concerns, she communicates openly with me and coordinates services for Pat with the devotion of an Advocate. Amy is an amazing combination of very professional and very caring. She helps to monitor Pat’s needs and advise me, and always makes me feel comfortable when I call or visit. I think it is helpful to work with people who are expert in what they do, and the staff at Aurora are experts in caring for the needs of the consumers in their care. Their experience and familiarity with the needs of the individuals, the service providers in the community, and the requirements of regulation are far beyond what I could ever have acquired to help my sister. And did I mention that Pat is simply happy there? It is clear that she is very comfortable and secure in her home, which is as it should be.
I cannot imagine a better place, and I am delighted that my sister is well-placed in her Aurora home.”
Alice Armstrong Ph.D, guardian and sister of Patty