Hello and thank you for stopping by our website! My name is Ivy Sudjati and my husband Michael and I are the team behind Grace Living.
As you may already know, most owners/administrators of a residential care facility for the elderly come from a nursing or healthcare background. For Michael and I, that’s not really the case. I come from a litigation paralegal background and he is in accounting and finance. While our career paths may not have pointed clearly towards running an RCFE, our hearts and our desire to make a difference in people’s lives certainly made us top contenders to thrive in this field.
Michael and I are proud practicing Catholics and in addition to our family, our faith is the foundation stone of our lives. It is that faith that drives us to want to serve others — to show compassion for those often neglected or forgotten — to be able to share God’s Love and Light to all those we encounter. Additionally, it is a wonderful opportunity for us to teach our two daughters, Zoe and Kya what faith in action truly looks like. We want nothing more than for them to learn at an early age the importance of compassion and the beauty of service.
We first stepped into the world of RCFE’s when my father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. For the first time, we experienced long hospital stays, having to be discharged into a skilled rehabilitation facility and then having to figure out how to care for him once he finally was able to come home. It was no longer safe for him to be alone all day long and having a caregiver 24 hours a day at his side was also very costly. Separately, it was also becoming increasingly more difficult for my mom and aunt to go to work every day and leave my 87- year-old grandmother at home all day long. While they ultimately made the decision to bring her back home to the Philippines where a 24-hour caregiver was more affordable, my family and I really started thinking more about the challenges the elderly and their families face on a daily basis.
Basically, the options most people had were: hire a caregiver, a nursing home, a retirement community / assisted living / RCFE, or do nothing and hope their loved ones don’t experience a fall or anything too serious while they are living alone. As I delved further and started doing more research and visiting other RCFE’s, I realized there was a lot of room for improvement. Out of all the RCFE’s I visited, I was disappointed to find just a couple of them were places that seemed “OK enough” for me to send my dad or my grandmother to if and when there was a need to do so. After a lot of discernment and prayer, my husband and I decided to use this revelation as an opportunity to start a new venture for our family. We have always longed for and looked for opportunities to find fulfillment in serving others the right way and to truly be vessels of God’s love for others. With the aging population and a great need for good, quality care homes, we felt we could truly bring not only our skill sets, but most importantly, our hearts into this field.
While the application and inspection process to open up a care home for the elderly took a lot longer than we had anticipated, through God’s grace, we were finally able to open our home to the community in March of 2016.
During the two and a half years it took to open Grace Living, we certainly learned a lot. My father lost his battle with cancer in February 2015 and as I cared for him during his fight, I experienced a “crash course” in healthcare. From having to deal with doctors and nurses and all the medication lingo and intricacies, to the feeling of hopelessness, worry and fear during each hospital stay, to experiencing first-hand the flurry of emotions that one experiences when seeing their loved one’s health deteriorate, to even going through the highs and lows of hospice – I truly feel God prepared me to step into this field of caring for the elderly and understanding how to best serve not only them, but also their loved ones during this chapter of their lives. While it was an emotionally difficult time for me, it certainly taught me so much about the different situations I would have to navigate through while operating an RCFE.
After losing my father in February, I also ended up losing my maternal grandmother two months later and then my paternal grandmother just a few weeks after that. While it certainly was one heartbreak after another, my faith reminded me that they are in a much better place, are at peace and are finally healthy and whole once again.
It is through our experiences of God’s love and mercy that we open our home to the elderly and their families. The end of one’s life is inevitable and to be able to care for someone during the later chapter(s) of their life is truly an honor. To fill someone’s day with laughter, joy, dignity and LOVE is what we are all called to do and we at Grace Living are so blessed to be given the chance to make a difference in a person’s life.
So thank you for your interest in our home. Rest assured we will treat your loved one as our own and will do our very best to provide them with the highest level of care and companionship.