SENECA — At the age of 95, Wanda Gilbert has called Seneca House home for almost a decade.

SENECA — At the age of 95, Wanda Gilbert has called Seneca House home for almost a decade.

She's one of the residents recognized last week with a special appreciation day hosted by three area hospice companies, Avalon Hospice, Compassus Hospice and Palliative Care and Three Rivers Hospice.

The three hospice providers brought in cookies and drinks to show their appreciation.

Gilbert applauded the effort, linking it back to the teachings of her childhood.

"Mom taught us to be nice to older people," Gilbert said. "She said they need consideration because they can't do what you can."

Gilbert says it wasn't her idea to leave her own home and she still owns her farm.

"The reason I came here," she said. "I told you, I lived in the country and my son said 'Mom, you can't stay here alone."

Initially, she disagreed and thought she and her German Shepherd could get along fine but one of her sons thought otherwise.

After making the move, however, she's come to enjoy her life at Seneca House.

"If you have to live here," she said with a smile. "You couldn't find a better place. They are so good to me."

Gilbert has a private room with furniture from her home. She also has some of the figurines she collects and other personal items, all of which create a homey space. Her window overlooks a courtyard space where residents can spend time outdoors. The facility also has a spacious front porch with flowers in season and comfortable lawn furniture. When she first arrived, Gilbert shared a room with other residents but when the room she now has became available, she said her daughter made the arrangements so she could have it.

Gilbert is the mother of five, four sons and one daughter. She also has numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She and her husband raised their children on a 40-acre farm although at one time, they had two properties with a total of 80 acres.

"We grew pigs, cows, sheep, and horses to sell," Gilbert remembered. "Mostly, though, it was cows and hogs."

Gilbert lived in the Neosho area, south of the city between Neosho and Goodman.

"It's pretty country," she said.

One of the activities Gilbert enjoys is playing cards with several other ladies including Hedy Niavarani and Brenda Woods.

"I am not a young chicken anymore," Gilbert said with a smile. "At 95, God has truly blessed me with a good life."
Seneca House is located at 914 Chickasaw Street in Seneca. For more information about the facility, phone 776-8041.