Chicago Suburban Family

Senior Focus

Solutions for Seniors

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Solutions for Senior Living


  • Caring for a Family Member with Dementia
  • Long-Term Care
  • Senior Resource Guide:

Alvernia Manor Senior Living
North West Housing Partnership
Villa St. Benedict
Seniors Helping Seniors
Franciscan Village
Lexington Square Senior Living
Lemont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
The Law Offices of Cindy K. Campbell
Terra Vista of Oakbrook Terrace

  • Talking Finances With Aging Parents
  • Move It or Lose It: 5 Ways to Put Seniors Back in the Game
  • Reduce Risk of Fall
  • The Healthy Holiday Host


Caring for a Family Member with Dementia

Not every person struggling with dementia lives in a nursing home or assisted-living facility.

In fact, more than 15 million Americans – usually family members or friends – provide unpaid caregiving to people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, according to a 2015 report by the Alzheimer’s Association.

Although it’s wonderful so many are willing to assume that responsibility, it’s also important they take steps to make sure the home is a safe place, says Kerry Mills, co-author with Jennifer Brush of the book “I Care: A Handbook for Care Partners of People With Dementia.” (

Part of that is to focus on potential hazards. The concept is not unlike new parents making a house “childproof.” Many of the concerns are similar, such as stairs, electrical sockets, sharp objects and swimming pools.

At the same time, it’s easy to go too far, Mills said. Ideally, the environment for the person with dementia should be as unrestricted as possible.

“For example, if your loved one enjoys cooking for a hobby and can safely cut and peel vegetables, then by all means, encourage it,” Mills says.

Mills suggests several ways to make a home safer for someone with dementia.

  • For the front and back doors. Use bells on the doors, motion sensors that turn on lights or alerts, or other notifications that make the care partner aware when someone has gone out. Add lamps or motion-activated lighting so people can see where they are going when they are entering or leaving the house.“

Another way to discourage someone from wanting to leave the house is to make sure that he or she gets plenty of outside exercise whenever possible,” Mills says.

  • For stairways and hallways. Add reflective tape strips to stair edges to make stairs more visible. Remove obstacles, such as mats and flowerpots, to minimize risks of falls on or by the stairs.

Also, install handrails in hallways and stairways to provide stability, and install a gate on the stairway to prevent falls. Improve the lighting around hallways and stairs by installing more ceiling fixtures or wall sconces.

  • For the bathroom. Install grab bars and a raised toilet seat to help both the individual with dementia and the care partners so they don’t have to lift the person on and off the toilet.

Add grab bars inside and outside the tub, and a non-skid surface in the tub to reduce risks of falls. You can also add colored tape on the edge of the tub or shower curb to increase contrast and make the tub edge more visible.

Lower the water temperature or install an anti-scald valve to prevent burns, and remove drain plugs from sinks or tubs to avoid flooding.

  • For the possibility the person becomes lost. Provide your loved one with an identification or GPS bracelet in case he or she wanders. Label clothes with the person’s name, and place an identification card in his or her wallet with a description of the person’s condition. Notify police and neighbors of the person’s dementia and tendency to wander.

Long-Term Care

Research suggests that most Americans turning age 65 will need some form of assistance with everyday activities, known as long-term care, as they grow older. The amount of care needed will depend on many variables, including overall health, cognitive functioning and home environment.

Age is a strong predictor of the need for help, and because women live longer on average, they are more likely than men to require long-term care. Factors such as a disability, injury or chronic illness also increase the chance that long-term care will be needed.

Three simple steps can help you start planning for care you may need as you age.

  1. Know what to expect

Most people know they should save for retirement, but many don’t know exactly what expenses to expect. An often overlooked area is long-term care, a broad set of supports for everyday tasks like dressing or eating. While most of this care is provided by family members and friends, sometimes older adults and their families get these services from providers like home health aides, area agencies on aging or residential providers such as assisted living or nursing homes.

Understanding long-term care is the first step in creating a plan. Key things to know include:

  • A person who lives alone is more likely to require long-term care than one who can rely on a spouse or partner for help with daily tasks.
  • Long-term care is expensive and represents a major uncovered risk to your retirement savings.
  • Medicare does not pay for long-term care services or supports with some minor exceptions. Neither does your employer-based health insurance or Medigap.
  • Most people prefer to receive long-term care at home; their odds of doing so may be improved by making home modifications to reduce the risk of falls.
  • Many Americans say they do not want to rely on their children for care, but a lack of planning for paid care often leads to exactly that result.
  1. It’s not just about you

A choice to plan or not plan will likely have a big impact on family and friends who may also be informal caregivers. Statistics show that most long-term care is provided by family members or other loved ones.

Take the time to make clear your preferences for what kind of help you value most and where you want to receive it. Family and friends will feel better knowing that you are thinking about your needs – and theirs – by planning for long-term care.

  1. Better active than reactive

Be proactive. Staying at home is great, especially if it has been modified to help you avoid an injury and continue to care for yourself. However, it won’t happen without taking steps to ensure you can get the supports you need at home. Start thinking about ways to maintain your independence, safety and care needs.

For more information and resources to develop a care plan, visit


 Senior Resource Guide:


Cedarhurst of Naperville/Woodridge will be more than just a place to live – it will be a place to thrive!  Bordering the Forest Preserve, this three-story community will boast scenic and calming views.  A senior living community with 85 assisted living apartments and 24 residences equipped for memory care services, Cedarhurst of Naperville/Woodridge is specifically designed with the best interests of each person in mind.  Individualized care plans are created for each resident based on his or her needs, preferences and desires.

Assisted Living apartment styles include studios, one and two bedrooms with twelve-foot ceilings, large picture windows, spacious closets and bathrooms.  Each apartment is well-appointed with kitchenettes, and emergency call response systems.   Common areas include an onsite wellness center featuring a rehab gym, movie theatre, game/recreation room, library and much more.

In Memory Care, our personalized approach to care ensures a unique and individualized experience for those dealing with memory loss. From daily individual therapy and support to group activities and exercises, our specially trained staff offer compassionate care and attention.  Our cozy neighborhood includes a family style dining room, fireplaces, outdoor veranda and comfortable private studios and companion suites with spacious bathrooms.

At Cedarhurst of Naperville/Woodridge in both Assisted Living and Memory Care all our meals are chef-prepared with flexible dining hours to meet the needs of our residents and included in the base rate.  Housekeeping, maintenance and a robust activity and outing schedule are also included to help create a worry-free lifestyle for our residents.

In keeping with our core values, Cedarhurst’s passionate care from a trustworthy team of trained and empathetic caregivers, offers peace of mind to families and residents in a positive, approachable and respectful environment.  Learn more how you can be part of this vibrant and caring community by visiting or calling 630-835-0787.

Alvernia Manor Senior Living

Alvernia Manor Senior Living is the “Hidden Gem” that can ease your family’s concerns.  The Mission of this unique senior living community is to provide seniors a loving, safe and caring home.  For over 45 years the School Sisters of St. Francis of Christ the King and their dedicated staff have cared for seniors as their own family with respect, love and concern.  Family and friends refer Alvernia Manor as their “Hidden Gem”.

Alvernia Manor is located on a hilltop in Lemont, IL.  With its beautiful bluff location, the vivid colors of the four seasons are played out annually in panoramic view.  Residents can relax in the privacy of their room or spend spiritual time in the Chapel.  Keeping a resident’s body and mind healthy and active is the goal the Sisters and staff strive for.  Games, exercise, movies, bingo, shopping trips and entertainment are among the many activities on its monthly activity calendar.

Alvernia Manor’s healthcare staff ensures resident’s medications are dispensed, vitals taken and daily health monitored.  Fresh meals are prepared daily and all housekeeping needs attended to.  All this adds up to no more worries for you.

In addition, Adult Day Services or Short Term Stay are other available option.  Loved ones receive the care and recreation they need in a safe environment while caregivers go to work or get a much needed break.Come see for yourself all Alvernia Manor offers.  To find out more about this “Hidden Gem” call 630.257.7721.

North West Housing Partnership

NWHP has offered a senior handyman program since 2014 in several northwest suburban communities. Recently all towns in Palatine and Wheeling township have been added. The program is offered to seniors 60 years and older.  The repairs are done by an experienced and licensed handyman who has been vetted by NWHP. This service is for repairs that take one or two hours to complete and are simple in nature.

Materials needed to make the repairs are the responsibility of the resident (some exceptions may apply). The fee for the service is $10, $20 or $30 an hour depending on household income. In some cases there may not be a fee for service.  The types of repairs typically done are: grab bars, door locks, ceiling fans, light fixtures, screen or door repairs, disposal, faucet, drain or toilet repairs, shower doors, hanging curtains or pictures, shelving and so forth.  No emergency repairs are provided.

To learn more about this program and to sign up for this service call NWHP at 847-969-0561, Mon-Fri- 9am-5pm.  Other NWHP home repair programs for seniors or the disabled are available, check .

Villa St. Benedict

Villa St. Benedict is a boutique senior living community in Lisle, IL. Their history and spirit make it one of a kind, and a hidden gem in the western Chicago suburbs. Residents and staff consider each other family at Villa St. Benedict. The staff turn-over is very low, and their open-door policy leads to beautiful friendships between residents and staff.  “It’s a very special privilege to have our resident’s trust,” says Lori D’Auben, Director of Nursing. “Every day is different. There is happiness… there is sadness… but having those close relationships with residents is what keeps me going every day.” The campus has 47 lush acres. The heart of the community is the glorious Sacred Heart Chapel

Villa St. Benedict’s spirit of love and care that affects the daily tasks, communication, and attitude of all their staff. The Benedictine Core Values of hospitality, respect, stewardship and justice are the foundation of the community’s mission.

Villa St. Benedict offers 2-bedroom Villa Homes, a variety of independent living and assisted living apartments, and a memory care unit. Residents also enjoy many fine amenities including three dining venues, an exercise center, salon, library, outdoor walking paths and seating for enjoying beautiful vistas, and much more.

Please contact a sales counselor for information by calling 630-852-0345.

Seniors Helping Seniors

Senior citizens can sometimes feel that they are a burden when they ask family or friends for help, but often have no trouble reaching out to someone their own age.

This idea led Seniors Helping Seniors,, to launch  in-home care services over a decade ago, and established them as the only national caregiver and companionship organization that matches seniors who need help with engaging, local seniors who can provide the assistance.

The care providers help with things like hygiene and personal care, companionship, transportation, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and medication reminders, just about anything non-medical that might help someone to thrive in their home.

“Seniors Helping Seniors provides seniors with the ability to live an independent lifestyle at home, with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said Dan Rattary, Client Relations Director.

The organization provides a wonderful, flexible income opportunity for active adults who wish to help others in their community.

“Our senior caregivers are fantastic at helping clients with things that slow them down, plus we provide a trustworthy, positive companion who brightens their day!”

If you know someone who needs a little help or a lot, or if you are interested in becoming a caregiver and you are over the age of 50, please contact Seniors Helping Seniors at (630) 324-6086 (Dupage County),  (815)710-0005 (Will County).

Franciscan Village

You can simplify your life and amplify it when you choose Franciscan Village. It doesn’t matter if you’re active and seeking easy, comfortable living where you can spend more time with friends and family, enjoy favorite pastimes or try new things while eliminating the task of maintaining a home, or if you need assistance with activities of daily living or more advanced nursing care, Franciscan Village is a wonderful place to call home. Blessed with a beautiful location on a picturesque campus that’s less than 30 miles from downtown Chicago, Franciscan Village in Lemont offers an enriching and inspiring lifestyle where residents receive the support and care they need regardless if their health care needs change.

There are many options in senior living, which makes it difficult to decide what’s the right place for you. There isn’t a retirement community like Franciscan Village though and that’s why many families are blessed to call it their home.

Sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, which has a history that dates to 1894, Franciscan Village offers something for all seniors – independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care and short-term rehabilitation.

Isn’t it time to make a move? Call 630-243-3479.

Lexington Square Senior Living

Lexington Square of Elmhurst and Lombard have been providing seniors with health and wealth protection for the past 30 years. Designed with seniors in mind, our living options meet a wide variety of needs.  Lexington Square is a local, family-owned company, and a sense of family is part of our everyday culture.

For independent living residents, we feature some of the largest apartment homes in the area, with competitive entrance fees.  Our vertical design allows for easy walking access to all activity rooms. Short hallways help make getting to know your friendly neighbors a breeze. A single building houses the conveniences of senior living, including underground parking and robust transportation services. Our dining rooms feature three meals a day and a wide variety of menu selections.

Lexington Square recognizes that needs change over time.  Licensed assisted living is an option for those who cannot or do not wish to live at home any longer.  Services include individualized care with three meals and activities daily including medication services and incontinence management. Our memory care neighborhood provides specialized programs and customized activities based on the Best Friends Approach.

Visit our website at, or call us at 630-576-4800

Lemont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

Recognized as a leader of rehabilitation and nursing services in the quiet residential area of historical Lemont, Illinois, Lemont Nursing & Rehabilitation Center offers highly individualized skilled care in a caring and comfortable environment. Our comprehensive, post-acute rehabilitation program helps individuals return home following illness or injury. At Lemont Center you’ll receive one-on-one therapy designed to help improve function, restore mobility, regain balance, strengthen muscles and recover both quickly and thoroughly. The Alter-G Anti-Gravity Treadmill enables our therapists to help individuals recover faster, allowing guests to rehabilitate with less pain and reduces the risk of further injury. 12450 Walker Road, Lemont, IL 60439. 630-243-0400.

The Law Offices of Cindy K. Campbell

Still Need to Create Your Will? The Law Offices of Cindy K. Campbell offers flat fee estate planning.  We aim to make the process easy and convenient.  We have offices in Chicago, Naperville, and Schaumburg. Mention our ad to receive 10% off of estate planning services now until December 15, 2017.

Contact 866-566-9494/ or send an inquiry through our website: today to schedule a time to meet and review your estate planning needs.

Terra Vista of Oakbrook Terrace

Ask the Expert: Advice on Alzheimer’s and dementia care from Natalie McFarland, Executive Director of Terra Vista of Oakbrook Terrace

  1. “Mom and I have always been close. But since she’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, there are times when I feel I am the mother and she is the child. How do I best embrace my new role and help her without feeling too sad or resentful?”
  2. No matter how old you are, it is unsettling when you become the parent to your parent. Caregivers experience a wide array of emotions – anxiety, depression, complete exhaustion, irritability, lack of concentration and perhaps even their own health problems – as they struggle to embrace their new role.

Doing it successfully takes time, patience and self-forgiveness. Here are some tips and insights that might help:

  •  Make some “me” time.
  • Watch your diet, exercise and get plenty of rest.
  • Reach out to family and friends.
  • Take advantage of respite programs.

You can be a loving caregiver to your mother while being a “best friend” to yourself. With the right resources and planning combined with a strong support system, you can and will feel more in control. Call 630.473.9545 today to speak with Natalie and learn about the support that is waiting for you!


Talking Finances With Aging Parents

One benefit of the increasing life expectancies for Americans is that more people have bonus years for enjoying the company of their aging parents.

But all is not rosy. Those extended years also boost the odds that parents could go broke or suffer from dementia and be unable to make financial decisions for themselves.

That can leave adult children perplexed about when and whether they should step in and find out what’s happening with their parents’ money, says Carolyn Rosenblatt, a registered nurse and elder law attorney.

“Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to have those conversations,” says Rosenblatt, co-author with her husband, Dr. Mikol Davis, of The Family Guide to Aging Parents ( and Succeed With Senior Clients: A Financial Advisors Guide To Best Practices.

“Some stubborn parents just refuse to talk about their money. No matter what their adult children say to them, they put it off, change the subject or tell their children it’s none of their business.”

Of course, many adult children aren’t in any particular hurry to broach the subject either, says Davis, a clinical psychologist and gerontologist.

“They have their own discomfort about it and procrastinate,” he says. “Then a crisis comes up and no one has any idea what the parents have or where to find important documents.”

But Rosenblatt and Davis say it’s critical that these conversations take place so that the offspring can gather information about such subjects as the parent’s income and expenses, where legal documents are kept, and what kind of medical or long-term-care insurance the parent might have.

The success of these conversations often comes down to how you approach the subject, Rosenblatt and Davis say. They offer a few tips:

  • End the procrastination by picking a date for the talk. Make an appointment with yourself to bring up the subject at a specific time. An opportune time to schedule this is after a birthday, a family event or a holiday where other family members are together who may share in the responsibility for the aging parents in the future.
  • Show respect. Tell your parents you understand and respect their reluctance to discuss their finances. You can even make the conversation about yourself rather than about them. Say that you’re concerned that if something went wrong, you would be completely lost as to how to help them.
  • Address their fears head-on. Let them know you understand they are worried that if they talk about their finances their independence might be taken away. You might add that you want them to maintain their independence as long as possible and you’re willing to help accomplish that, but you can’t do it without the correct information.

“Getting past an aging parent’s fear about talking about finances can be daunting,” Rosenblatt says. “But a well-planned strategy for approaching the subject will give you your best chance.”


Move It or Lose It

5 Moves to Put Seniors Back in the Game

For Americans 65 and older, falling down can be the worst thing to happen to them, according to statistics from the National Council on Aging:

  • One in three seniors experiences a significant fall each year
  • Every 18 seconds, a senior is admitted into an emergency room after losing balance and hitting the ground
  • Every 35 minutes, an elderly person dies from a fall — the leading cause of death for seniors

“The projected cost in health-care expenses for 2020 due to fall-related injuries in the United States is $55 billion,” says Karen Peterson, a therapist with multiple certifications, and author of “Move With Balance: Healthy Aging Activities for Brain and Body,” ( “It’s important for seniors to keep moving and learning, that’s what helps improve balance and coordination, and even helps build new neural pathways,” says Peterson, who emphasizes the cognitive importance to her workout programs. “But if you’re rather frail, or just very fearful of falling, you’re less likely to get up and move around.” Peterson says a fun, social program of games and activities that include exercises specifically designed for seniors helps them address multiple issues, including those that tend to keep seniors sedentary – which only lessens their strength and balance.

Last year, her program was independently evaluated from Hawaii’s Department of Heath, which found a statistically significant reduction in falls from seniors – 38 percent.

“Seniors of all ages need to continually work on improving their balance, coordination, strength, vision and cognitive skills. When they do, they’re less likely to fall – and more able to enjoy life.”

Peterson suggests these moves, which address many different areas of the body:

  • The cross-crawl: After various light warm-ups, begin with the basic cross-crawl, which focuses on the fundamentals of balance. March in place, lifting the knees high. At the same time, reach across and touch the lifted knee with the opposite hand or elbow; alternate and keep going. This can be done sitting, standing or lying down. Once any of these exercises are mastered, Peterson says, participants should continue to challenge themselves. For even greater balance work, and to exercise the vestibular system, close your eyes and count backwards from 100 by threes. “It’s not fun if you’re not conquering a challenge,” she says. Her book includes several challenges for each exercise.
  • Forward toe-touch dancer: To improve motor skills, physical coordination and cognition, there are many dance exercises that are appropriate for seniors. If needed, use a chair for assistance. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Now, simultaneously extend your left foot and your right arm forward. Keep your left toes pointed down, touching the floor; or for more difficulty, maintain the toes a few inches off the floor. Repeat this move with your left arm and right foot. Hold each pose for several seconds, and increase holding time.
  • Sensory integration – the arrow chart: Look at an arrow chart and call out the direction indicated by each individual symbol. Then, thrust your arms in that direction; in other words, say and do what the arrow indicates. For an additional challenge, do the opposite of what the arrow indicates.
  • Side-step walk: Walk sidestepping – bring your right foot across the left and step down three to five inches away from the left foot, ankles crossed. The closer the feet, the harder it is to balance. Alternate crossing the foot in front and then behind the other foot as you move along; repeat several times, then do the same with opposite feet.
  • The cat jump: This activity is practice in case of a fall; the muscle memory of the movement will be etched in your body. Bend your knees in a squat. Jump a little off the ground with both feet, and land softly, like a cat, without jarring your body. Repeat until you are confident in your ability to prevent a spill.

“Research shows that most falls are preventable,” Peterson says. “These and other exercises, performed regularly, are a great way to achieve safety and a revitalized lifestyle.”


Reduce Risk of Falls

Falls are the leading cause of injury and accidental death in adults over the age of 65. According to the National Council on Aging, every 13 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for an injury related to a fall and every 20 seconds, an older adult dies from a fall.

Falls and the fear of falling can cause decreased independence and disability. Clutter, inappropriate footwear, poor balance, distractions, and tripping hazards can all contribute to a stumble or fall leading to serious injury and even death. Occupational therapy practitioners play an essential role in reducing fall risk by addressing the physical, cognitive, and environmental factors that can lead to a fall.

“Occupational therapists are experts in daily activities. When it comes to falls or fear of falling, they can provide an assessment and offer recommendations to make clients’ home and environment safer,” says Scott A. Trudeau, PhD, OTR/L, Program Manager for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

AOTA offers the following strategies to reduce your risk of falls:

  • Identify and eliminate fall hazards in the home.
  • Arrange furniture so that there is plenty of room to maneuver and to create sturdy balance-catching points throughout the home.
  • Remove or firmly secure throw rugs.
  • Add railings and grab bars in trouble areas.
  • Install nonslip strips or rubber mats in tubs and showers and in areas that pose a tripping or slipping risk.
  • Add light to dimly lit areas.
  • Keep frequently-used items in easily accessible areas. Create a plan for accessing seasonal items stored in hard-to-reach places.
  • Consider environmental modifications, assistive technology, or adaptive equipment.
  • Consult an occupational therapist for an individualized fall risk assessment.
  • Talk to your physician and pharmacist about how medications can affect balance, strength, vision, and fall risk.
  • Get an annual eye exam.
  • Stay active and participate in regular exercise.
  • Maintain a healthy sleep schedule.

To view the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) webinars and videos on how to prevent falls, visit https://www.ncoa. org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention/falls-prevention-awareness-day/


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