Many senior living communities exist today, making it difficult to decide which option is right for your loved one.
As you explore communities in the area, there are a few key considerations to think about, including an often overlooked consideration, a community’s philosophy or culture.
Each Assisted Living community has its benefits, culture, and unique amenities. We can't speak for other communities, but we know that our Montessori Way, resident-centered approach, and family of team members all add up to make the Birches a special place for our residents who call it home.
In fact, the Birches is the only certified Montessori Lifestyle senior living community in Illinois. It's not simply a certification. The Montessori Way guides our every move, from our interactions with other team members to our work with our residents to our communication with families.
You may not have heard of the Montessori Way, and that's okay. You only need to know that it has been around for years and has been successful.
The term Montessori is most often thought of in the context of teaching children. But more senior living communities are embracing the Montessori Way when it comes to older adult care.
In our community, we never dictate what our residents can, can't, should, or shouldn't do. We treat them with respect and dignity because they are individuals with unique thoughts, dreams, hopes, and feelings.
Every resident has different abilities, and our focus is empowering them to be as independent as they can be. We believe each resident has the right not just to simply live but to flourish and thrive.
We don't automatically take an "everything is done for you" approach with our residents. Some communities advertise this way, saying that they include laundry and housekeeping services for every single resident.
When we give tours to families considering Birches for their loved ones, they are often surprised to learn that the TV in our common room isn't always on. Residents are welcome to watch TV anytime, but we don't simply leave the TV on as a "caregiving" tool to keep residents busy. We make sure there's a purpose behind it, like getting together to watch the Olympics or a baseball game.
We don't believe in simply offering "busy work," where residents are actively doing something but are not engaged or don't find fulfillment in it.
Busy work tends to encompass simple activities that don't take residents' interests or abilities into account—such as watching TV for hours per day. It fills up the day without offering any real purpose to the residents.
We want residents to take an active role in their care, such as deciding whether or not they wish to participate in activities or outings. That may also allow residents to wash their laundry or make their beds. These daily "chores" are what we all do in our homes, giving residents more purpose throughout the day as they make decisions and actively care for themselves.
Our team members respect the individuality and dignity of every single resident. That's why we never tell residents what they can or can't do. It's also why we have various programs and activities available. Plus, our actions are driven by resident input, which is part of the Montessori Way. If residents request more watercolor classes, we put more of those classes on the calendar.
Offering multiple activities means residents can choose to partake in whatever sounds attractive to them on any particular day. This minimizes the chance that residents will feel bored and keeps them active and engaged within the community. For newer residents, having many activities means more opportunities to make new friends in their new home.
Finding the Right Senior Living Community
As you explore communities for your loved one, there are many things to to be aware of. You'll want to tour the community to see how staff interact with residents and what the building is like.
Be sure to ask about staffing policies and whether the community is locally owned or managed by a corporation. Each community is unique, and finding one that fits well with your loved one will ensure they thrive in their new home.
Please call us at (630) 789-1135 or schedule a tour if you want additional information about Assisted Living or Memory Care. We're always happy to answer questions, even if you choose another community that feels the best fit for your loved one.