The North Shore is filled with quality living options for seniors looking to live out their retirement in style.
From luxury apartments and homes with hardwood floors, granite countertops, and stainless-steel appliances, to amenities such as full-service restaurants, workout rooms and yoga classes, happy hours, and planned social activities, retirees may be surprised by the quality of life available.
Many retirement communities offer a “continuum of care,” which means retirees take advantage of the Independent Living area of a property where they have the freedom to get out and about and even travel. As they age, they may need additional care in an Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, or Memory Care section of the property. The continuum provides continuity throughout the aging process.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, retirement communities in the area were smart and proactive about protecting the health of their residents, and added services and activities to make sure residents stayed connected with their families and had much-needed social interaction.
Sheridan Road’s Senior Living Guide highlights some of the most luxurious and unparalleled retirement communities that the North Shore has to offer.
VIBRANT SENIOR LIVING IN THE GLEN
Location, location, location. The old adage that applies to commercial and residential real estate is also relevant when it comes to retirement communities.
Take Chestnut Square at The Glen in Glenview. Not only do residents benefit from high-quality services and amenities, the community is walking distance from The Glen Town Center and its restaurants and movie theater.
Chestnut Square at The Glen opened its doors in 2003, and is a nonprofit, non-sectarian affiliate of Bethany Methodist Corporation. Located in the heart of The Glen, the community features spacious 1- and 2-bedroom floor plans, a flexible dining program, diverse cultural and recreational events, scheduled transportation, and on-site housekeeping and maintenance.
The community is all about tailoring living experiences based on the preferences of individual residents. Chestnut Square also offers transportation options for residents who desire to take a trip to the Art Institute, Ravinia, or a Chicago Architecture tour.
“During these uncertain times, I found everything I was looking for at Chestnut Square at The Glen. When I toured, I knew I had found the right place,” says Jeanne Even, a new resident of the community. “The staff are wonderful, the residents are welcoming, and every floor plan comes with its own kitchen and washer/dryer. I could also see that everyone there was very proactive with the pandemic safety protocols. I’m glad I didn’t put off my move. This May, I became an official Chestnut Square resident.”
Leadership and staff of Chestnut Square at The Glen were able to successfully navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by being proactive in implementing safety protocols, swiftly closing its dining room and common areas, some of which have reopened under the guidance of Illinois and CDC safety protocols. The community has also altered its activity schedule to comply with safety guidelines, moving many of its activities outdoors to its gazebo courtyard. Chestnut Square has had zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its community to date.
“Now more than ever, seniors are looking for independent living options that keep them socially engaged and stress-free. Chestnut Square’s modest size of 163 apartments creates a true sense of community while avoiding the risks of larger facilities that provide more care than might be needed,” says Renee Bellew, Director of Sales and Marketing. “When and if additional care is needed, our homecare and home health agencies are on-site to provide care in the comfort of the apartment.”
Chestnut Square at The Glen is located at 2601 Chestnut Avenue in Glenview, 847-998-1118, chestnutsquare.info.
CONTINUUM OF LIFE
As far as where seniors are in their continuum of life, one may be hard-pressed to find a more diverse offering of activities and services than Lake Forest Place in Lake Forest.
Lake Forest Place is one of four retirement communities on the North Shore and in the north suburbs that are part of Presbyterian Homes, each of which offers independent living plus the peace of mind of having access to a full range of health care services.
“It’s kind of like a condo attached to a high-end, full-service hotel. We have beautiful dining rooms, a fitness center, swimming pools, and personal trainers at no extra charge,” says Bob Werdan, VP for Marketing and Public Relations at Presbyterian Homes. “Housekeeping comes in once a week and maintenance repairs everything. If your refrigerator breaks, you’ll have a new replacement within hours.”
Homes—apartments or cottages as the community refers to them—range from 700- to 4,000-square feet, and some include a lower level.
“These homes are very spacious and luxurious, independent living for those who want to come and go,” Werdan says. “Residents still travel, and they enjoy the services of our communities, including housekeeping services and programs and activities.
“Some of our residents live independently for many, many years and if at some point they need assistance or assisted living, they have the option and priority to move into our assisted living or skilled nursing areas,” Werdan says. “That full continuum of care is guaranteed to them.”
Like other retirement communities, Lake Forest Place had to adjust swiftly in order to help residents deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. It was able to tap the resources of Presbyterian Homes to secure PPE for staff and residents, helping it contain the COVID-19 cases to a very few early on in the spread of the virus.
“We had a very positive outcome to COVID-19 because, as a nonprofit, our mission is to take care of older adults,” Werdan says.
When all is said and done it was the community itself that helped residents stay positive during the pandemic.
“Our residents aren’t inhibited at all by their age. They’re very confident and they just like to have fun,” Werdan says. “We have a virtual happy hour and everyone’s just laughing and having a good time.”
Lake Forest Place is located at 1100 Pembridge Drive in Lake Forest and is now open for limited in-person tours. Call 847-604-8800 or visit presbyterianhomes.org for more information.
CONNECTED and ENGAGED
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many senior living residences have done an excellent job of protecting residents from the virus, while meeting daily needs from meal delivery to opportunities for virtual exercise and entertainment. Residents of Mather Place in Wilmette have certainly found that to be true, having spent the better part of the year staying engaged, safe, fit, and connected with others in their community despite the coronavirus pandemic, due to the quick actions of employees.
When the pandemic hit the US, Mather Place—a boutique independent rental community—pivoted to provide personal delivery of meals, mail, and packages, and staff created an on-site market for essential purchases.
Mather Place resident Joy Dordick says, “I moved in just before the pandemic. My experience here has been very good. My children and I are so appreciative of the support and care since I first walked through the front door … I’m so very lucky to have made the choice to come here.”
In addition to meeting residents’ everyday needs, Mather Place also provides information, education, and entertainment programming directly to residents via computer and even hard-copy handouts.
“Our community took action early on in the pandemic,” says Katrina O’Neill, Executive Director at Mather Place. “And, as always, we’ve remained focused on the well-being of residents and employees.” In a survey conducted during the pandemic, Mather Place has earned very high scores from residents who say Mather has taken all steps needed to keep the community clean and sanitized, and that they believed their health and safety are the top priority for Mather Place.
Now, more than ever, Mather Place is taking care of the “little things,” with an enhanced level of concierge-type services, and customizing activities and engagement to maximize well-being, so that residents can focus on the good life—even during challenging times.
Mather Place has one- and two-bedroom modern apartment homes surrounded by an array of amenities including an indoor pool, art studio, fitness center, and two restaurants. Residents enjoy independent living with access to convenient on-site care choices if ever needed. The Wellness Resource Center is available for routine medical screenings, such as blood pressure readings. And à la carte home care services are available, if ever needed, through Custom Home Care, which provides services ranging from medication reminders to escort services, and more.
Resident Calvin Saravis sums it up best, saying, “If I were still living in my house in Glencoe during the pandemic, it would be difficult—no, really, maybe even impossible—to do, to shelter-in-place alone without going out. Here, everything we need is being provided by the staff already.”
To view floor plans, download a brochure, or learn more, visit matherplacewilmette.com. Their team is offering in-person appointments using appropriate safety measures, as well as virtual appointments. To talk with a team member, and to learn about move-in offers for those who act before December 31, please call 847-999-4596.
Seniors and their families looking for retirement options that include Assisted Living and Memory Care will find a home, a community, and quality, compassionate care at North Shore Place in Northbrook.
North Shore Place was renovated in 2019, a renovation that was acknowledged by Senior Housing News for its architecture and design. The community is part of the family of retirement communities throughout the Midwest owned and operated by Senior Lifestyle.
The community has 188 apartments, 44 of which are dedicated to memory care. As a luxury community, the apartment homes are large, and the amenities are plentiful. North Shore Place has three dining areas and maintains two outdoor patio areas where residents can relax outside.
Amenities also include a large multipurpose room where residents can engage with staff and each other, movie theater, game room, fitness center, beauty salon, and rooms where residents can receive therapy.
“We really try to do everything right here onsite, so residents have to leave as little as possible,” says Joshua Anderson, Executive Director of North Shore Place.
In the Assisted Living community at North Shore Place, residents continue to live active and healthy lifestyles with added assistance when needed. Services include personal care plans, housekeeping, and 24- hour resident staff availability. Apartment homes include full kitchens with granite countertops, washer/dryer, and resident storage.
Residents in North Shore Place’s Assisted Living community have a full calendar of events and activities to choose from, including daily exercise classes, card and trivia games, and more.
Memory Care residents benefit from the community’s embrace Memory Care Program, personalized care that supports the mind, body, and soul of each resident dealing with memory loss. The goal is to create experiences that spark the imagination while keeping residents safe.
Given the wide array of needs of residents in its Assisted Living and Memory Care communities, attending to their individual needs and providing personal care is paramount.
“You can’t treat everybody the same. You have to know them by their individual needs,” Anderson says. “It’s a broad spectrum, and we’re a large community, so we have to make sure we’re doing everything possible to meet their needs.”
North Shore Place is located at 1000 Sunset Ridge Rd. in Northbrook, 224-326-2600, seniorlifestyle.com.
EXPERIENCED CARE, BRAND-NEW COMMUNITY
CJE SeniorLife has been providing Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing services for seniors in the Chicago area for nearly 50 years. With the grand opening of Tamarisk North Shore in August, it has added Independent Living to its portfolio of properties and services.
“The mission of CJE SeniorLife is to enhance the quality of life and facilitate the independence of older adults,” says Paisley Valentincic, Director of Sales and Marketing at Tamarisk North Shore. “We strive for excellence through respect, advocacy, compassion, intention, invention, and accountability, so our goal with Tamarisk is to be the destination of choice for older adults.”
The new community in Deerfield offers 240 rental apartments with a wide array of floor plans. Units feature full kitchens and stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, hardwood floors in the living room, in-unit washers and dryers, walk-in closets, and views of beautiful landscaping and terraces.
Among its amenities Tamarisk offers three restaurants and a bistro, a library and large-screen theater, a fitness center with pool and a studio for workout classes, outdoor patios with seating and barbecue grills, and a Creative Arts Studio.
“The community is designed to complement our residents’ lifestyles and free them up to do the things they want to do,” Valentincic says.
Tamarisk was scheduled to open in late spring/early summer, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced a delay until August. Staff are now conducting tours of the property for prospective residents while following all of the social distancing recommendations from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Business so far has been brisk given the difficult circumstances.
“I think people really resonate to it being brand-new,” says Valentincic. “It’s being the first renters vs. something that’s been lived in already.”
Valentincic has spent decades working in the senior living industry and was drawn to Tamarisk NorthShore for a number of reasons.
“It’s always exciting to be part of something new and creating a community together. Not only is Tamarisk NorthShore beautiful and welcoming, but it offers our residents flexibility, outstanding life enrichment opportunities, and top-notch customer service,” she says. “Further, because we are managed by CJE SeniorLife, our residents and their families have confidence knowing that they have chosen an organization that is driven by their mission and values, while providing invaluable services and guidance to older adults.”
THE LIFE YOU EXPECT
Seniors looking to move into a newer retirement community need look no further than The Lodge of Northbrook. The entrance-fee community, which opened its doors in 2013, is managed by Essex Communities, an Omaha, Nebraska-based development and management company with more than 40 years of experience designing, building, and managing active retirement communities throughout the Midwest.
The Lodge of Northbrook includes 156 custom residences ranging in size from 716- to 2,258-square feet and featuring granite countertops, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and full-size washer/dryers. Residents also enjoy a variety of community life spaces, optional dining, and transportation services.
Lydia Morris, the Marketing Director for The Lodge of Northbrook, also has a background in social work, which comes in handy as she explains the value of the community to potential new residents.
“Statistically, when people move into senior housing, they live longer and are happier because their social, emotional, and nutritional needs are better met,” Morris says. “There is a link between social connection and longevity.”
Typically, The Lodge features 40-plus rotating monthly events that keep community members engaged. Residents partake in special interest groups such as book clubs and card groups, culturally focused outings, and current events. The library offers a wide variety of books and movies, and residents can take classes in the Creative Arts Studio or Woodshop. A variety of fitness classes supplement the equipment available in the LiveWell Pavillion, which also houses medical offices for outside providers to support the ongoing health needs of residents.
Morris says that being part of a larger community during the COVID-19 outbreak was particularly helpful for residents who would have otherwise been isolated at home.
“Because I like to understand people’s deeper experiences as it relates to housing, I asked a resident, ‘How do you think the past several months would have been if you were in your former home?” says Morris. “The resident said it would have been awful because she wouldn’t have been able to see anybody. At least here she can see other people walking around the community and say ‘hi’ even if it was at a distance.”
During the outbreak, The Lodge staff provided residents with surprise care package deliveries, virtual events and virtual tours of museums from around the world that they could view from their personal devices via a community app in addition to their televisions, so even while isolated they were able to see parts of the world that they might not otherwise have thought to see.
“I think when people are having their needs met, it energizes them,” Morris says. “Our Resident Lifestyles Director, Angela Toribio, organizes a robust calendar of events based on the expressed interests of the residents, so their lives are more exciting.”
The Lodge of Northbrook is located at 2150 – 2220 Founders Drive in Northbrook, 847-772-9100, lodgeofnorthbrook.com.