State of Summit: How a Keystone legend led to legendary senior care 

Today on the STATE OF SUMMIT we talk with Lenka Lesmerises, founder of Lenka’s Loving Care, on the fifth anniversary of a local legend’s passing.  

“I saw the big need it was,” says Lesmerises, a native of the Czech Republic. “There was no one to take care of elderly people up in the county, and there is no one else to this day. My goal was to help people pass peacefully in their homes and we’ve helped so many people to either recover, or have that last wish fulfilled.” 

Lanka’s Loving Care started with a Summit County legend, Ina Gillis. She was a resident here since 1971 and the namesake of Ina’s Bridge in Keystone. 

“It’s just amazing to hear the history of Summit County and sitting around with people that came here when there was nothing here,” Lesmerises says.  

Gillis died in March 2019. In the five years since, Lanka’s loving care has grown from two employees to more than 25. 

And the need for her service is growing. In the past decade, Summit’s population over 65 years old has more than doubled. That’s faster than any other age group. 

“You imagine being a caregiver, where you might be feeding people and holding their hand at the end of the life,” Lesmerises says. “But the local seniors are amazing. We have one-on-one time with them. We take them skiing and to concerts… they are just awesome.”