By Becky Wiese
With a rich 92-year history in senior living, Meadows represents an ongoing change in how older adults want to live their lives. Most seniors want to stay active, continue to make their own decisions, and live in a beautiful, comfortable environment with a full-range of services available as needed. All of these things and more are available at both Meadows communities: the well-established Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community campus in Chenoa and the new Meadows at Mercy Creek campus in Normal.
“The public perception of Meadows is often that of quality skilled care and memory care,” says Holly Hall, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for the Meadows organization. “While Meadows maintains a reputation for providing exceptional care, our communities have so much more to offer. Meadows is very resident-focused, and we are listening to what residents want in the community they choose to call home.” Meadows is unique in that the organization offers both a strong history and reputation, as well as a desire to meet the ever-changing expectations of its residents. This unique position has helped Meadows remain at the forefront of serving today’s seniors.
“There has been a change in philosophy over the years regarding living options for seniors,” Hall goes on to say. “The ‘nursing home’ from years ago has been replaced with new programs and environments that engage residents, and provide accommodations to help them remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible. Today, our communities are offering more lifestyle options, community amenities, services, and opportunities to enhance resident’s lives, with care available when (and if) it’s needed.”
Meadows Lifestyle Options
Meadows is proud to offer a full-continuum of lifestyle options through its two campuses — including Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing Care, and Respite Care. In addition to these “standard” options, Meadows offers several exclusive lifestyle options designed to meet more specific needs — including Independent Living—Plus!, Achieve! Wellness & Rehab Therapy, and a comprehensive Memory Care program.
Just this year, Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community in Chenoa introduced an exclusive new program called “Independent Living —Plus!” The Independent Living—Plus! program is designed to meet the needs of Independent Living residents who need or desire just a little extra support. These specialized services are brought to residents in the comforts of their Independent Living villa home at Meadows. Independent Living—Plus! services may include meals, housekeeping, transportation, safety and wellness checks, medication assistance, or personal care services.
With Independent Living—Plus!, Meadows residents can continue to enjoy independence and quality of life with a sense of security. Independent Living—Plus! is an example of how Meadows strives to provide options that meet both the desires of residents themselves, as well as the expectations of the resident’s family, who want to know that their loved one’s needs are being met.
For residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, Meadows Memory Care is recognized as one of the most comprehensive programs in the Central Illinois area. Memory Care has long been an area of expertise at Meadows, and the community remains the only Memory Care provider in the area where an individual with memory loss can receive certified care through all stages of progression of the disease.
At Meadows, Memory Care is offered in two areas, or “neighborhoods,” within the community. One neighborhood is most appropriate for mid-stage residents, while the other offers skilled programming most appropriate for residents in the later stages of the disease. Staff in each of these areas are highly trained and experienced in providing specialized care in a manner of dignity and respect for each individual.
For those in need of short-term rehab, Meadows offers an innovative rehabilitation program called Meadows Achieve! “The Achieve! Wellness & Rehab Therapy program is offered at both Meadows communities, but in different capacities,” explains Hall.
In Chenoa, the focus of the Achieve! program is on “rehab to home” for people who need physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy after an illness, surgery, or other incident. “We’ve seen exceptional results with the Meadows Achieve! program,” says Hall. “Through Meadows Achieve!, we’re able to partner with seniors to help them return to their optimum level of function to be able to return home successfully.” At Meadows, individuals are assisted in their goals for recovery in a home-like environment by a team of caring and highly qualified rehabilitation professionals.
In Normal, the Achieve! program provides opportunities for independent and assisted living residents to build and maintain strength, balance, and wellness through daily exercise programs, on-site therapy, healthy learning lectures, walking clubs, and more.
The Achieve! program has been very successful, largely due to a strong commitment to quality outcomes. “There is a very intentional focus on helping individuals meet their goals, and a strong dedication on the part of the individual to get back to the highest level of function possible,” Hall says. She also credits RehabCare, the therapy group partnered with Meadows, to provide the Achieve! program. “Meadows feels a strong commitment to each person’s success. We want to help residents be as healthy and active as they want to be.”
The focus on wellness, and making many different healthy opportunities available, represents the overall philosophy of Meadows, to provide services that will allow residents to be as independent as possible for as long as possible, in safety and comfort.
Life Enriching Services and Opportunities
Life Enrichment opportunities at Meadows include options that residents themselves have requested. “Our Life Enrichment program is individually focused in the sense that we take the time to get to know our residents, and we ask them what types of programs they’d like us to offer,” says Hall. Some residents have shared their talents and interests with others, such as scrapbooking or card making, and others contribute to the community through playing the piano, or sharing their books through the on-site library.
Meadows at Mercy Creek residents have had input from the beginning, helping to decide how areas of the community could best be utilized. “We asked our residents what they’d like to see, and they chose to open a gift shop,” says Hall. The gift shop provides an on-site place to purchase cards, small gifts, snacks, and necessity items, and also provides an opportunity for residents to volunteer — stocking merchandise and assisting shoppers, if they wish to do so. The Meadows gift shop has partnered with businesses such as BeerNuts, Ropp Jersey Cheese, and Minonk Chocolate Company (formerly Cunningham’s Candies) to offer their products, adding a “local” flavor to the store.
The Life Enrichment program also includes technology. Residents can participate in virtual bowling and golf activities, watch movies in the theater room, and utilize free WiFi throughout the communities. A new program called IN2L (“It’s Never Too Late”) offers games, trivia, music, and other options. The IN2L program is also used in conjunction with the Achieve! Wellness & Rehab Therapy program and in memory care therapy.
Of course, one of the most important aspects of life is food, and Meadows knows the culinary experience can have a huge effect on resident satisfaction. Jackie Pope-Ganser, Culinary Director at Meadows at Mercy Creek, helped start The Garlic Press Café in uptown Normal prior to coming to Meadows. Her sense of creativity and use of high-quality ingredients has added many favorite items to the menus at Meadows.
Incorporating feedback from the community culinary committee regarding the dining experience, Jackie works diligently to provide meal options that contribute to wellness, and are also enjoyable to eat. Residents partake in a quality dining experience up to three times a day, with delicious meals served restaurant-style. Residents are also welcome to invite guests to join them.
Throughout their 92 years of experience providing living options for area seniors, Meadows has remained very resident-focused. “Not only do we want to meet our current residents’ needs and desires, but we want to help future residents feel prepared for when they are ready to make a move,” says Hall. To that end, Hall encourages people to plan ahead, and research their options early to determine the communities they are most interested in. “It could be five or more years out, but decisions that are made in advance are beneficial to everyone.”
Whether it’s the near future or several years away, Meadows makes every effort to be ready when people are ready to move. They offer a “Future Residency Program” to help organize their efforts, and to help people put a plan in place for their future. It’s all about quality of life and helping people thrive — the goal at Meadows is to provide communities that enable residents to have opportunities for both.
Meadows offers a full range of senior living options — Independent Living, Independent Living—Plus!, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing Care, Respite Care, and Achieve! Wellness & Rehab Therapy — with two locations: Meadows Mennonite Retirement
Community in Chenoa, and Meadows at Mercy Creek in Normal.
For more information about Meadows senior living, you may contact Meadows Senior Director of Marketing, Holly Hall, at 309-268-1501 or visit them online at www.MeadowsCommunities.org.
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