2023 Senior Living Guide

One of the most significant decisions in life is how we’ll be cared for when we can no longer care for ourselves. Explore some of our area’s top communities for senior living.

Aging is a natural part of life, and it eventually comes with day-to-day challenges. So, why do we often feel unprepared to tackle the challenges and necessary choices in our later years?

Many families work together to carefully select what’s best for their loved ones well in advance, but it’s not something most are eager to discuss or even think about. Some people plan ahead to create a smooth transition into their retirement years; others may be forced into quick decisions after an unexpected hospital stay or diagnosis.

With careful research and consideration, it’s possible to find the highest level of comfort and care in our region.

Whether you face health complications or just need a little extra help with daily living, there are many excellent options that meet the housing and health care needs of seniors. The senior communities profiled in this guide provide state-of-the-art amenities and individualized plans to cater to your specific needs.

Each has its own unique amenities, but all focus on providing an experience that will continue to keep your loved ones happy and engaged throughout their later years.

This guide can assist your family in navigating the many options available in senior housing. Our area’s experts stand ready to help when the time comes for this often challenging, but important, conversation.

The Garlands of Barrington

1000 Garlands Lane, Barrington, (847) 304-1996, thegarlands.com

The Garlands of Barrington, 1000 Garlands Lane in Barrington, is more than a world-class, resort-style retirement community. And it’s much more than the unprecedented amenities, award-winning design and spectrum of care options that are found here.

The Garlands is a place for you to be you.

The independent living one-, two- and two-plus bedroom homes at The Garlands offer large open floor plans, spacious rooms and gourmet kitchens, but they’re also a canvas, waiting for your personal touch. What colors will you choose? What kind of tile or fixtures do you prefer? Do you want to live in an apartment? A penthouses or a villa? The choice is up to you.

Dining at The Garlands of Barrington is also a personal experience, with four exquisite restaurants and dining options to choose from. Garlands executive chef Glenn Zamet and his team offer a flexible and engaging dining experience, filled with delectable options. Are you hungry for comfort food, or do you want to try something new? You decide.

At The Garlands of Barrington, every day offers new opportunities to discover new passions, re-ignite old ones, or enjoy the tried and true. Invigorating walking paths meander through the community’s acreage. A spa, salon, health and aquatic center help you feel and look your best. The Garlands Center for the Performing Arts gets you ready for your closeup, allowing you to share and encounter music, theater, art and dance. Lifelong learning classes give you a chance to dabble, pursue hobbies, learn new skills and enjoy the talents of others. Do you want to while away the afternoon with a favorite book? Or hold court in one of the many elegant common areas? It’s up to you.

As a Life Plan community, The Garlands also offers on-site assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care services at Prairieview at The Garlands, which was recently ranked “Best of” by U.S News & World Report. One of the most elite short-term rehabilitation providers in the country is right on site. Because that’s what you deserve.

The Garlands of Barrington gives you the new beginning you have earned. A new chapter is waiting for you, filled with adventure and promise. Great neighbors, convenient services and quality care are all right here.

For more information or to schedule a tour, please call (847) 304-1996 or visit online at thegarlands.com.

Heritage Woods

4609 W. Crystal Lake Road, McHenry, (815) 344-2690, gardant.com/heritagewoodsmchenry

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this August, Heritage Woods of McHenry stands as a vibrant and nurturing supportive living community for seniors.

From housekeeping and laundry services to meals and health monitoring, Heritage Woods provides a comprehensive range of amenities designed to assist residents in their daily lives. The community’s holistic approach ensures that residents’ physical, emotional and social well-being are all considered.

With an emphasis on the importance of overall happiness, Heritage Woods focuses on seven dimensions of wellness: intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, vocational, emotional and environmental. Residents have access to a wide array of activities and programs that cater to each dimension, lead to a more enriching life, and include games, educational and volunteering opportunities.

“You could live in an apartment somewhere, but you don’t have those connections to your peers,” says Susan McCoy, director of marketing and sales at Heritage Woods. “Here, there are opportunities every day to build friendships and make connections with people.”

Residents actively participate in the decision-making process through a resident council that ensures their voices are heard and their concerns are addressed.

Managed by Gardant Management Solutions, Heritage Woods offers 100 private apartments in studio and one-bedroom units. Each apartment, which can be personally furnished, features a kitchenette and a bathroom.

Health monitoring and nursing assessments cater to residents’ specific needs, while assistance with daily activities, medication management, scheduled transportation and access to communal spaces like activity rooms, gardens and lounges further enrich the living experience.

From chair exercises to therapy dog visits, entertainment is always close by. Heritage Woods’ Life is a Journey program offers cultural experiences and allows residents to explore different countries through food and traditions. Live entertainment, guest speakers, outings to parks and shopping centers, and regular events like bingo and happy hours help contribute to the vibrant atmosphere.

Heritage Woods exudes a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, with country-style decor that helps to create a homey ambiance.

“You walk in and it looks like a house,” says McCoy. “However, it’s the people inside that make us like home. The people who live here are happy and the employees are happy.”

Among the notable amenities at Heritage Woods are the resident-managed library, garden and country store. These spaces offer residents even more opportunities to actively participate in the community and connect with others.

“Our residents aren’t just a part of our community because they live here,” says McCoy. “They’re a part of our community because they’re participating in the actual function of day-to-day, and that makes it special. Whether it’s the library, country store or resident garden, it feels like family.”

For more information or to schedule a tour, call (815) 344-2690 or visit gardant.com/heritagewoodsmchenry.

Encore Memory Care

215 Bartlett Road, South Barrington, (847) 844-1205, encore-memorycare.com/southbarrington
495 Alexandra Blvd., Crystal Lake, (815) 459-7800, encore-memorycare.com/crystallake

Encore Memory Care’s residences in South Barrington and Crystal Lake are dedicated to memory care for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s-related conditions.

Residents receive comprehensive care and assistance with daily activities including meals, medication management and bathing. Each community offers apartment-style living within a secure environment that ensures residents’ safety and comfort.

What sets Encore Memory Care apart is its all-inclusive lifestyle. The pricing covers a wide range of services, including meals, housekeeping, laundry, partially furnished apartments and access to 24/7 care staff. Moreover, the community provides personalized programming for each resident.

“Our programming is tailored toward helping preserve the memory of our residents by meeting them in whatever stage they are,” says Kelsey Burback, director of sales and marketing at Encore Memory Care. “We want to make sure we’re meeting their engagement needs and providing meaningful experiences throughout the day.”

From pet therapy to music therapy and festive celebrations of holidays and seasons, memory care staff ensure a diverse range of engaging experiences. The goal is to adapt to residents’ changing abilities and interests and enable them to do what they can while maintaining a sense of comfort and familiarity.

With elegant brick exteriors, the design of these residences provides a welcoming, homelike environment. Inside, a single-level layout creates an intimate setting with living rooms, game rooms, and an atrium that feel just like home. Residents stay in either a private studio apartment or a companion apartment.

The culture and atmosphere at Encore Memory Care revolve around a strong sense of family and love. The staff and residents forge close bonds, which creates a warm and welcoming environment.

“It’s very family-oriented. Everyone’s very close from what I’ve seen,” says Becky Pergande, regional director of sales and marketing. “All the staff are very respectful and go above and beyond to make sure our residents get what they need.”

Encore Memory Care also boasts three courtyards with walking paths, gazebos and gardens where programming encourages residents to tend raised garden beds, nurture plants and cultivate a sense of purpose.

Encore Memory Care additionally organizes monthly support groups for families who face challenges with their loved one’s dementia.

“If there’s anything they need to talk through with other families going through similar situations, they can come here,” says Pergande. “They’re also welcome to attend if they have someone with dementia and have questions through the process. We’ll happily provide that for them.”