Lillie Little is grateful for the support she has received from New Community over the years. She was a longtime resident of Commons Senior before an illness sent her to the hospital and then to New Community Extended Care Facility. She lived at Extended Care for two years before being discharged in November.
Over the course of her time at Extended Care, Little said she made great progress, going from being in a wheelchair to using a walker.
“I got excellent care from the nurses and the whole staff,” she said.
Extended Care was able to provide physical therapy and other services that helped Little’s health improve.
“Lillie Little was an exceptional resident who understood that when God gives a second chance, you use it to praise and glorify Him through acts of kindness and showing gratitude to those who contributed to your recovery,” said Extended Care Administrator Veronica Onwunaka. “For Ms. Little to be home today in her own living quarters, cooking for herself and making informed decisions unassisted is more of a miracle and we believe she will continue to thrive and enjoy her recovery. We here at New Community Extended Care wish her well.”
Little is now living with close friend Barbara Maybanks in Newark. She is very thankful for Maybanks’ kindness.
“The average person is not going to take you into their home like she did,” Little said. “She’s truly a friend.”
Little was born in Georgia but moved to Newark as a young child and has been a city resident ever since. She went to school in the city and had several different jobs as an adult, including in the nursing and cosmetology fields. Her favorite job was in nursing because she got to help people.
Community service was a large part of Little’s life. She served as a district leader, worked for the Board of Elections and helped get people out to vote. When she lived at Commons Senior, she helped gather donations for various causes.
While living at Extended Care, Little participated in building activities like bingo, board games and arts and crafts. Unfortunately, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, those gatherings became unsafe and had to be stopped.
The pandemic also ended some other practices Little had become accustomed to, but she understood the changes were necessary to reduce the risk of virus transmission. She encourages everyone to follow recommendations like wearing a mask and washing hands.
“Do anything there is to extend life, not only for yourself but other people also,” she said.
Little knows Extended Care staff members risked their own health to provide essential services to the residents, including laundry, maintenance and food services.
“The love and care that they gave me there, I really appreciate every one of them,” she said.