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Luxury for Seniors

By NED HAGGARD AND MARILYN SOLTIS
Retirement communities are changing. Odds are, no matter your senior lifestyle preference, you can find a community to suit your needs just about anywhere you wish to live. In California, some senior housing is catering to specific demographics within the over 55 group. The Senior Arts Colony in Burbank attracts retired television and film industry professionals with a built-in film studio on the premises where residents can continue their craft and make independent films. The NOHO Senior Arts Colony in North Hollywood appeals to the artist in everyone with a large visual arts studio and theater.
   
An alternative lifestyle retirement community called Rocinante (named after Don Quixote’s horse), in Summertown, Tennessee offers residents the opportunity to build or buy a one-bedroom cabin for around $30,000 as long as they have the means to support themselves.   ....Spiritual midwives help end-of-life seniors with their “transition to the other side,” summoning “good spirits” for their journey into the after life.
   
In short, seniors of every penchant, persuasion and preference, whether skiers, RV aficionados, teachers, wellness stalwarts, all
have retirement options from which to choose. There is even a retirement community called Nalcrest, east of Tampa, Florida that is for retired mail carriers; to ease any lingering wariness of risk from working days, it doesn’t allow dogs.
   
Metropolitan Chicago offers some of the most upscale retirement communities in the country; among the  most notable are The Mather in Evanston, Belmont Village, Presbyterian Homes, and The Admiral on the Lake.

Mather Lifeways, founded in 1941 is a non-denominational, not-for-profit organization based in Evanston. The Mather in Evanston is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in a serene north shore neighborhood that encourages seniors to do the things they enjoy, not those dictated by an imposed regimen. Among their amenities are gourmet dining and nightly films. Mather Pavilion is a nearby support residence for those requiring the specialized memory support service and/or rehabilitation. Mather Place in beautiful north shore Wilmette is a boutique residence for those more independently animated and able.
  
Belmont Village, L.P. owns, develops and operates senior housing marketed as Belmont Village Senior Living. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, they provide independent and assisted-care living, memory-care services, and dementia care for seniors. With gorgeous senior communities in some of the best neighborhoods in the country (they are renowned for their distinctive architecture and standards of life safety), they encourage health and independence among their residents, as possible. Within the Chicagoland area, they have facilities in Buffalo Grove, Carol Stream, Glenview and Oak Park. Situated close to shopping and medical centers, they present a range of life-enhancing activities ranging from transportation for excursions and art classes to Circle of Friends® memory enrichment and Mind Body Awareness (MBA) programs.
   
A not-for-profit, faith-based organization, Presbyterian Homes has five, garden pathway, fountain-adorned, gracious residences locally: Arlington Heights, three in Evanston and another in Lake Forest, all well-groomed, leafy-pleasant communities. Fully accredited by CARF, the nation’s only accrediting organization for retirement communities, the senior-resident is the devoted focus of all that Presbyterian Homes offers. The facilities range from fitness centers with up-to-date strength training equipment and swimming pools, stimulating discussions and lectures, activities and events of every color and stripe. Full-service health care centers are on-campus, as well.
   
Their Guarantee of Continued Residence provides for estate preservation and a lifetime of worry-free health and associated costs protection; covered by a one-time entrance fee and a monthly service fee established by the size of the residence selected. Access to care services, assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing care is available without restriction as per the presenting need. Financial assistance, if warranted, is also available through The Geneva Foundation of Presbyterian Homes.
   
Originally established in 1858, The Admiral on the Lake, newly re-opened, is an affiliate of Kendal, a nonprofit organization. It is the oldest nonprofit organization in Chicagoland dedicated to senior living employing innovative solutions to their needs.
   
On the far north side, The Admiral on the Lake provides a lakefront location with an extensive plan for senior living named Lifecare. It provides for independent senior living, assisted living, memory support and licensed, skilled care services. The benefit is that the senior residents receive care in surroundings with which they are familiar with professionals they know with confidence.
   
While there are other such communities, these are among the very finest. Many retired baby-boomers love to learn and most senior communities have some affiliation with a college or university. A vast range of topics and offerings are available to interested seniors including art, history, sports and travel among others.   
   
For example, Bob Rickert, a resident at Monarch Landing in Naperville coordinates continuing education programs for interested senior residents.
    
The first project was with North Central College’s Fine Arts Program. Rickert said, “Over the past four years, students from the college have come to Monarch Landing and presented previews of their performances. Additionally, we purchase 250-300 tickets each year to attend performances on North Central Campus. It’s a nice relationship.” There have been expert lecturer series, as well. The first series in March drew a huge audience. “We packed people in,” said Rickert. “Turnout was excellent.”


Published: September 03, 2013
Issue: Fall 2013 Issue