Personal & Financial Strategies

2015 Guide to Senior Living Communities

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Perhaps one of our most significant decisions in life is how we’ll be cared for when we can no longer care for ourselves. This guide will help you to navigate those important questions, and will introduce you to some of the excellent care available within our region.

The Garlands of Barrington

The Garlands of Barrington

The Garlands of Barrington

1000 Garlands Lane, Barrington

The Garlands of Barrington makes it easier than ever to select the ideal retirement home.

“We’ve listened to our customers, who tell us that they want more choice and that one size does not fit all,” says Dawn L. Kempf, vice president of sales and marketing at the new Garlands Club at The Garlands of Barrington. “In response, we’re now offering more options for customization to make it easier and smarter to make the move to senior living sooner, rather than later.”

The Barrington area’s premier retirement community offers a continuum of care that ranges from independent living and rehabilitation services to skilled nursing, memory care and assisted living. Residents at each level of care have access to a variety of home models, floor plans and dedicated services aimed at their particular needs.

The Garlands’ main residential center is filled with a wide variety of amenities. From multiple dining rooms (including a private dining area), to fitness and aquatics centers, a performing arts center, and a surround-sound theater, The Garlands has something for everyone. Active seniors will also find quiet walking paths, an art studio, a woodworking studio, a bank, raised garden beds and a spa.

In addition, a full complement of amenities is readily available, including four on-site restaurants, recreational options and venues that cater to different hobbies and interests.

The Garlands Club
Those who want to take advantage of the new Garlands Club can access new pricing plans that allow them to opt in or out of housekeeping and dining services. Also, health care costs aren’t embedded in these fees, so there’s no need to pay in advance for skilled nursing care that may or may not be needed.

The Garlands Club private homes feature open floor plans that are spacious, elegant and suitable for relaxing and entertaining. One-, two- and three-bedroom homes, which range from 1,000 to 3,000 square feet, offer plenty of configurations, locations, floor plans and views, as well as cabinetry, countertop and appliance options that allow residents to create a space that reflects their personal taste and suits their lifestyle.

Most potential residents get a cursory overview when they tour a senior community, but few are given the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the day-to-day lifestyle. With the new Garlands Club Day Pass, potential residents can experience the community firsthand.

“At The Garlands Club, your Day Pass will be planned around your personal preferences, with access to all of The Garlands amenities, including the fitness and aquatic center and spa,” says Kempf, who invites guests to enjoy a formal chef-prepared meal in the dining room or a casual bite to eat in the cafe.

Kempf also encourages Day Pass guests to attend any programs or classes that are scheduled that day. On the other hand, they’re also welcome to relax in a cozy spot and soak up the ambiance. “It’s up to the individual,” Kempf says. “Our hope is that throughout your Day Pass stay, you’ll encounter and interact with Garlands members and staff, who can help you to decide if this is where you can picture yourself living and aging well.”

The Fountains of Crystal Lake, Crystal Lake

The Fountains of Crystal Lake, Crystal Lake

The Fountains at Crystal Lake

965 N. Brighton Circle West, Crystal Lake

Responding to what people need is the impetus for growth and success at the Fountains at Crystal Lake, a Watermark Retirement Community.

The Watermark philosophy is all about helping individuals thrive in the communities where they live, and meeting their individual wants and needs in every area of life, explains Michael Gamache, executive director.

“One-size-fits-all is not our philosophy and never has been,” he says. “We look at each person and create an environment that is comfortable for them. Our mission is to create communities where all people thrive, and that includes families and staff. We learn about what people need through our contacts in the community and by what people are asking us to provide.”

The Fountains maintains 223 apartments that provide continuous care for its residents on a picturesque 11 acres of wooded land and rolling prairie. It opened in 1989 as an independent living facility, and 12 years ago became licensed for memory care. More changes are on the way.

Soon, The Fountains plans to offer adult day care, to provide a home away from home for those who can’t stay alone during the day, most commonly while a caretaking spouse or family member goes to work or takes a break. The Fountains will provide transportation, meals, activities, supervision and care for seniors in the program.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” says Gamache. “It’s less expensive, and gives a new and refreshing experience for the patient, caregiver and staff.

“Caregivers are under such a great deal of stress,” he adds. “Adult day care helps to reduce the stress of the caregiver and actually improves the relationship between caregiver and patient. For the patients, it gives them a non-threatening introduction to a community they may need full-time at some point in their lives.”

What’s involved with adult day care will look different for each family, because services are determined by the family’s needs. Some seniors will visit daily, while others will visit once or twice a week. Schedules are tailored to each senior’s needs, interests, and abilities.

As part of the Watermark community, The Fountains and its sister communities are connected to Watermark University, a program that generates courses and programs led by residents, community members and family members. These educational opportunities cover a wide range of subjects, from history and literature to yoga, watercolor and bird watching.

In the spring, the half-mile Blue Bird Trail around The Fountains becomes nature’s playground and research project. Watering holes, nesting boxes and bird feeders attract wildlife, while an active group of residents collects data about bird activity around the building. The information they collect is shared with other residents as well as Cornell University’s ornithological department in New York. The Fountains hopes to expand its research to include bird counts for the Audubon Society.

Gamache, who has a career background in hotel management, made the switch to senior care when he learned how much people were benefiting from retirement communities. Although the move to a senior community can be a daunting experience, he says, residents typically regret that they didn’t make the move sooner.

“It’s still about caring for people and providing quality food and services, as well as activities and events,” he says. “We try to offer the best of what people remember and love about home, even though the meaning of home has changed.”

Delnor Glen Senior Living, St. Charles

Delnor Glen Senior Living, St. Charles

Delnor Glen Senior Living

975 N. Fifth Ave., St. Charles

Delnor Glen Senior Living’s mission is to help residents and their families to feel comfortable and at home in a community. It does so with attractive and up-to-date decor, kind and caring staff, and a picturesque setting with tree-lined streets, walkways, flower and vegetable gardens, and open spaces. This community also takes an atypical approach to senior care.

“It’s called person-centered care, and it’s all about the trusting relationships you make with each person you meet along the way,” says executive director Peggy Faught, RN, C.

Faught, a nurse for 33 years, was first introduced to person-centered care about 15 years ago at a conference.

“It immediately made sense to me,” she says. “I couldn’t wait to return to share this philosophy with my staff. It was first brought to the memory care community, and we saw great results. Residents were on their own schedules, not ours. Not only was it successful for our residents, but it also empowered the staff to be able to make decisions in the care they were providing.”

The value of this different approach was quickly recognized.

“It’s all about how you treat residents, their families and each other,” says Faught. “We all have the same vision – everything we do is about offering choice, including residents in their care, and celebrating even the smallest of successes. It’s not about what someone can no longer do, it’s about what they can do and helping them to recognize that. Everyone wants to feel respected. What better way to maintain someone’s dignity than to include them in the choices they are still able to make?”

Two years ago, Delnor Glen received national recognition through Planetree Designation, a nonprofit organization that advances person-centered care among health care communities worldwide. Delnor Glen is the only senior community in the United States to receive such recognition.

“I attribute our success to the dedicated staff of Delnor Glen,” says Faught. “They realize that residents don’t live in our community, we work in their homes. It makes a difference in how you deliver care.”

Delnor Glen encompasses 28 townhomes and 77 assisted living apartments, including a secured Memory Care Community of 15 apartments.

This past January, the community opened an adult day care program for those families who care for a senior at home, but are unable to provide care and supervision during the day. For an hourly rate, seniors become a part of the community during the day, getting meals, snacks, outings, activities and medical care.

Families always have the opportunity for Respite Care through a Short-Term Stay program, if they are planning a vacation or need a break. Short-term residents can stay overnight for up to two months.
“Delnor Glen is a very special place to live and work,” says Faught. “I am very proud of all of the wonderful things that we can offer to enhance the lives of our seniors.”

The Holmstad, Batavia

The Holmstad, Batavia

The Holmstad

700 W. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia

Kathy Viney remembers living in a four-generation household for part of her childhood, sitting by her great-grandmother’s side, learning to make potholders on small red looms and playing Chinese checkers. As a teenager, she entertained seniors by singing and playing the accordion.

Today, as sales director of The Holmstad, a Covenant retirement community in Batavia, she has worked and studied her way through the ranks of nursing assistant, volunteer coordinator, activity director, transportation, programming and more while devoting her life to making life better for seniors. A pastor’s wife for 20 years, Viney maintains a passion for helping people. It’s the driving force behind her desire to make a difference.

“I have always loved seniors, whether it’s hearing their stories or doing something to help them,” she says. “I enjoy affirming them in every way, because they deserve it.”

The Holmstad is a faith-based continuous care retirement community on 38 acres in the scenic Fox River Valley. Maintained by Covenant Retirement Communities, a ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church, The Holmstad is part of a network of 15 communities that serve a combined 5,000 residents.

The Holmstad offers the charm of a quiet wooded area and the excitement of an active community, with many activities happening at the Town Center. There, residents can access two swimming pools, a fitness center, formal and informal dining rooms, a creative arts center and more. There also are musical concerts, a game center, a computer lab, spiritual and life enrichment activities, individualized gardening spaces and a woodworking shop. Its convenient location makes it easy to access Batavia’s lively community, as well as downtown Chicago.

As a continuous care community, The Holmstad provides everything from independent living to skilled nursing and memory care, but it also provides a unique service called Catered Living. Only available at The Holmstad, this service gives independent residents help with their growing needs, at a stage when they’re not yet ready for assisted living.

Senior care has evolved rapidly in recent decades and will continue to change with the demands of retiring baby boomers, says Viney. Today, there is more of a wellness approach to senior care, which means paying just as much attention – or more – to intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs.

“Things have changed so much. Respecting people’s independence and dignity is everything and at the forefront of all we do,” says Viney. “Education has made a big difference in understanding the needs of seniors and how to show them respect. We all need to feel important, dignified and respected.”

Accordingly, residents at The Holmstad can find an improved quality of life that they might not experience on their own.

“Most people I talk to are so lonely,” says Viney. “They are alone in their homes, and family and friends have passed away. Their neighborhoods are changing, and they don’t have a lot of interaction with people. That place they call ‘home’ isn’t so comfortable any longer and has become more of a burden because they can’t do the things they used to do. They need a more carefree lifestyle to really live and thrive.

Growing up around seniors gave Viney a respect and understanding for people as they age, and she believes it’s her job to enlighten the younger generations and cultivate the same values in them.

“We need to respect and love our seniors for who they are. We can’t take credit for anything in the present time, without thanking the generation before us,” she says.

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