Jim and Lori Peake have been LifeChoices members since the beginning as they are the original two members of the program. Having been a part of LifeChoices since its conception, the Peake’s have gotten front row seats to watch the program grow and blossom into what it is today. “I think LifeChoices just keeps getting better. They keep getting more members, more activities, just more things to do,” said Lori.
Jim grew up in Phoenix and moved to Ames, Iowa to become a mathematics professor at Iowa State University, where he would go on to meet Lori. Lori is originally from Hamburg, Iowa and came to Ames in the summer of 1959 to attend Iowa State. The two met through mutual friends during a dinner at the Memorial Union. “The first day I was in Ames, a friend of mine who had been one of my professors at New Mexico State who was now working at Iowa State took me to the Union to have supper with him and some of his friends,” Jim explained. “She was one of his friends and the rest is history.” Even Lori acknowledges “he never even gave any of the other ladies at the table a chance.” The Peake’s have two children, Rick and Kathy, and several grandchildren.
As Jim and Lori began to age, they came to the realization that they needed to have a plan for the future, and that’s where LifeChoices came into play. “It sounded like a good deal,” Jim said. “We knew that nursing homes are very expensive and it is very likely that it is going to be a large expense in the latter years of your life.” So, Jim and Lori took the leap of faith and joined a program that just a short time earlier was nothing more than a good idea.
Roughly eight years after they joined, Jim began to need more extensive, around the clock care. So, the two decided that it was best for Jim to make the transition from their home to The Households of Bethany, where he currently resides. It might not have been an easy decision, but both Jim and Lori believe that it was the right decision to make. “I knew he was safe,” Lori expressed. “Before we got him up here and he started falling, I couldn’t get him up.” Throughout the transition, the LifeChoices staff was right by the Peake’s side every step of the way. When asked if there was something that could have made the time easier, Lori responded, “Bethany in general, the whole staff here, just made things smooth. You didn’t have to fight over obstacles. They had it under control.”
Despite living separately, both Jim and Lori put effort into making time for one another. “We still talk on the phone three or four times a day,” Lori explained. “I live on the north side of Ames up by the mall and it’s a 14 minute drive from my driveway to the parking lot. I can’t get across Ames in 14 minutes so it’s almost like he is in town.”