Is Bridge Haven right for my loved one?
For families with aging or elderly parents, the trigger that parents are struggling to care for themselves is often a crisis. Reaching out to help vulnerable elders before difficulties occur may prevent future falls, fractures, accidents or seasonal illness that could mean a trip to the emergency room.
Families typically discuss alternate care options when parents are no longer safe at home and would benefit from full-time care. Why wait until a crisis? At that point, families have little time to research their best options. In some cases families are forced to take what services are available, and not what is ideal for their parent.
To be proactive, families should ask the question now: Can mom or dad still live alone?
“We never forget the person within.”
J. Robert Wilson, Jr., CEO and Owner
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Robert Wilson, Jr. is the founder and CEO of Bridge Haven Memory Care LLC in Lawrence Kansas. For twelve years, Bridge Haven has specialized in the personal care of residents living with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and Parkinson’s in a home-like setting. He is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and licensed as an Adult Care Home Operator by the Kansas Department of Aging and Disabilities. Bridge Haven has shown constant growth and has seventy-three full and part-time employees. In addition, Robert holds a Class “A” Commercial Building License, owns and operates Beckmeister’s LLC, a construction and real estate holding company which specializes in building and managing the real estate associated with Bridge Haven. He has opened and sold successful business ventures and owns other commercial and residential investments.
Raised in Vienna, Austria, Robert moved back to the US and received his B.A. degree in Business Administration from Westminster College. He is very proud of his adult daughter, Becky, and in his free time, he loves to travel, ski and mentor young adults in personal finance.
Sarah Randolph, Executive Director
Sarah Randolph is the Executive Director of Bridge Haven Memory Care in Lawrence, Kansas. She has been with Bridge Haven for more than six years, having previously worked for Visiting Nurses of Douglas County and Midland Care. She is an Adult Care Home Operator, a Certified Dementia Practitioner and has been trained in the Dementia Beyond Drugs curriculum. She has served as the President of the Lawrence Area Partners in Aging, as a member of the Senior Resource Center for Douglas County Board of Directors, Lawrence Arts Center Drama Advisory Board, is a member of Women United in Healthcare Philanthropy and a current Rotary member. She is a Douglas County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence graduate. She has started two support groups and the Action Committee to Protect those with Dementia. Sarah grew up in Lawrence and has volunteered for the Lawrence Community Shelter, the Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County and the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association. She is married to Mike Randolph, also a Lawrencian, and they have two daughters who are in college: Olivia at Rutgers and Julia at University of Florida. In her spare time, she likes to walk, read and go with Mike to their cabin at Lone Star Lake. Sarah’s wish in life is to “do amazing things” for those with dementia.
Our Stories and History
Opa’s House is named in honor of owner Robert Wilson’s father, Joseph Robert Wilson. Joe, and his wife, Sue, were affectionately known as “Oma” and “Opa” – which is German for Grandma and Grandpa – reflecting the many years the family lived abroad in Vienna, Austria.
A man of high moral standing, Opa received his commission at Annapolis and served his country in the US Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He earned his B.S. and Master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at K.U. and had a long and notable career, culminating in his diplomatic work with nuclear safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. He was the Section Head of Procedures for the Far East Division, the highest ranking American in Safeguards Operations, where he received the Distinguished Service Award, and was recognized for his contributions resulting in the Agency earning the Nobel Peace Prize. He served for seven years as the Chairman of the American International School Board, and the moderator of the Vienna Community Church.
Opa was active in Masonry, and was the first American Master of the Lodge in Vienna, and was awarded Mason of The Year in Kansas. Following his official retirement, he continued to work on numerous community projects, helped establish and run a much needed daycare, and worked as a volunteer tax preparer for AARP. He was honored with the Lenexa Community Service Award in 1992 and inducted into the Volunteer Hall of Fame.
Opa taught his children strength of character, the importance of integrity, and love of one’s God and country by practicing all of these things in every aspect of his own daily living. He encouraged his children to strive for their dreams through hard work and dedication, provided constant and unwavering emotional support, and served as the bedrock upon which his family thrived. He was a pillar of the community, but more importantly, he was a hero to his children in every sense of the word.
“Madel”, a German endearment for “little girl”, is the name given to this house to honor the owner’s daughter, Becky Munsterman, who even as a “little girl”, displayed a kind and caring spirit, a strong desire to serve others and the special gifts of empathy and compassion.
During the serious illness of a close family member, Becky was moved to grow out her hair and donate it to Locks of Love for chemotherapy patients, and continued the practice for several years thereafter. She volunteered her summer vacations for 5 years as a youth counselor at the United Church of Christ’s Camp MoVal in Missouri and loved being with the children. As an avid traveler, she carried her passion for learning and teaching with her, and while visiting friends in Berlin for an extended period, she served as a student teacher at the Berlin Brandenburg International School .
An industrious and eager student during all of her school years herself, Becky graduated Suma Cum Laude from Northwest Missouri State University and went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Library Science. Her love of books and reading (especially Harry Potter), coupled with her joy in working with children led her to her dream job as Head Librarian in a charter elementary school, where she continues sharing herself and her love of learning with others, and brightening her corner of the world with her ready smile and positive nature.
We at Bridge Haven are extremely proud to have such an accomplished young woman serving as the role model for our continued commitment to caring and sharing with our beloved residents and their families.
Named in honor of owner Robert Wilson’s mother, Oma’s House at The Village is a living memorial to an amazing woman. Margaret “Sue” Wilson was born July 6th, 1927 in Omaha Nebraska, and spent all of her life caring for others before herself. She and her husband, Joseph, were affectionately known as “Oma” and “Opa” – which is German for Grandma and Grandpa – reflecting the many years the family lived abroad in Vienna, Austria.
She was a quiet, unassuming lady who always placed the comfort and needs of her family ahead of her own, yet she was the shining light that taught her children compassion for others, courtesy to all and the importance of strong family values and the unconditional love it provides. She was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, and active for many years working with the Crosslines Christmas Toy Store for underprivileged children. She was active in civic work as well, volunteered for many years at the Lenexa Historical Society, and in 1994 was inducted into the Lenexa Hall of Fame in recognition of her community service.
Oma was well known for her hospitality, especially her baking, and she gifted everyone who moved out of her sphere with her famous sour-cream coffee cake recipe. We now pass it along to you, in recognition of her open heart and hands.
The example she set epitomized all that a good mother should be, and her children are eternally grateful to have been raised under her gentle guidance and to have shared in her life story.