Employees at Irene Menier’s assisted living community, Amber Park in Cincinnati call her the "New Orleans Queen" because she talks so often about the city. Irene Menier’s Wish of a Lifetime was to visit New Orleans to formally bid farewell to her home place of 40 years, which she abruptly left shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Thanks to Brookdale Senior Living and Wish of a Lifetime, Menier’s dream recently came true. While there, Menier visited her old home and church, spent time with her best friend Diane, enjoyed music on Bourbon Street, and ate in the French Quarter.
Menier has fond memories of her life in New Orleans. Recalling her home right on the river and the relationships she had with everyone in her neighborhood Menier said, "The people there were so friendly. Everybody knew everybody."
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Menier was evacuated to Texas, where she stayed for three weeks. She eventually returned to New Orleans to find her home severely damaged. She lived in the house for a couple weeks until she fell ill. Her daughter quickly made arrangements for Menier to be moved to Cincinnati to be closer to immediate family. Because of this, Menier did not have the opportunity to say goodbye to her friends in New Orleans.
Her eyes still light up when she talks about New Orleans. When asked the top three reasons she loves New Orleans, she quickly answers with, “the food, the music, but especially the people,” referring to her close friends and the 400,000 friendly locals who make the city what it is.
During her visit, Menier, who is 86 years old, made stops at Ralph & Kacoo’s, Café du Monde, The Court of Two Sisters and Bourbon Street.
In 2010, Brookdale Senior Living and Wish of a Lifetime formed a partnership to provide a helping hand in making some of the dreams of Brookdale’s residents come true. To request a wish, residents fill out a wish application explaining an experience they would like to have fulfilled and how that experience relates to one or more dimensions of Brookdale’s Optimum Life® platform. Optimum Life cultivates whole-person wellness through fulfillment in the six key dimensions: purposeful, emotional, physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. Residents at Brookdale Senior Living communities nationwide are invited to share and submit their wishes at www.seniorwish.org. Since the partnership’s inception, more than 250 seniors have had their wish granted.