Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Experiencing the Joys of Retirement Home Living


By Sara Browning

Residents of Apostolic Christian Home of
Eureka benefit from all the comforts of home while taking the time to
enjoy their life.

It is much more than one would expect from a
retirement home. From the moment residents walk through the doors, warm,
smiling staff lead them into the newest renovation to the Apostolic
Christian Home: an open community room at the front entrance elegantly
furnished with high back leather chairs, soft sofas, tables, and plenty
of space to visit, host a family celebration, or unscramble a puzzle
with the grandchildren.

A large fireplace in the center of the
room draws residents and their families together during chilly
afternoons to chat over a cup of hot chocolate. On clear days, radiant
sunshine beams through several large windows bringing a smile to
residents’ faces.

The aroma of freshly baked cookies lingers in
the air from the kitchen. Residents and their families are welcome to
help themselves to coffee or an assortment of fruit or taste some chewy
oatmeal-cranberry cookies fresh from the oven.

“Our families and
residents can visit away from the ‘care area’ of the building and enjoy
one another’s company,” says Tom Hoffman, Administrator at the
Apostolic Christian Home. “The new community room and kitchen provide
the ideal place for the elderly and their loved ones to host a Bridge
club or celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or special occasions. One
resident and her husband celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in
the community room.”

Since 1966 the Apostolic Christian Home has
ministered compassion and understanding to the elderly in a manner that
enhances each person’s dignity and self-respect. “Here, it’s not as if
our residents are ‘stuck’ in a nursing home,” says Hoffman. “They are
proud of their facility and want to share it with their family.”

Enjoying Independence
The nurses and staff of Apostolic Christian Home have striven to
fulfill the mission of ministering Loving Care in the Spirit of Christ.
“Over the past 10 years, we have made a constant effort to make our home
a place for residents to live and, more importantly, to enjoy their
latter years,” says Hoffman. “We want our residents to achieve their
greatest potential by enjoying the freedoms and the independence they
have been accustomed to all their lives.”

In August 2002, two
dining rooms with attached satellite kitchens were added to the Home’s
Health Center. “Residents now have their choice of several nutritious
meals featuring restaurant-style dining so they can choose the type of
food they want and how much they want to eat,” says Hoffman.

Apostolic Christian Home also worked with the Department of Public
Health to extend meal times for residents. Hoffman says: “We now serve
breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., so residents can get up early or
sleep in and still have a hot, continental breakfast. Also, our staff is
specially trained to administer foods with the proper nutrients to our
diabetic residents. Our focus is on giving residents as much freedom and
as many choices as possible.”

A Place to Call Home 
Virginia Blunier, 85, has lived at Apostolic Christian Home for one
year. “I fell last October and was in the hospital for a little over
four months,” she says. “This was a wonderful place to recover! Our
Activities Director is so sweet and plans so many nice things for us to
do; we never get bored. I’m also allowed to bring my own computer in my
room, so I keep busy emailing my friends and family. Sometimes I Skype
my children.”

Aside from working on her computer, Virginia is
involved with typing the resident council minutes. “I enjoy doing
secretary and treasury work.” And, like most residents, Virginia cannot
get enough of the variety of delicious foods served at each meal. “I
like the chicken. The desserts are very good. Peach cobbler and the
éclair are my favorites!”

Virginia’s favorite activities are the
holiday programs held in the newly renovated community room. “They have
so many nice decorations. The place looks beautiful. I love to invite
my family and friends for the holidays.”
Dee Thomas, 81, has been a
resident for three years. “My daughter was a nurse here for 37 years
before she retired,” says Dee. “She always told me so many good things
about this place, I had to come here!”

Dee, who loves to eat
pancakes with peanut butter, walnuts, and syrup in the dining room, has a
long list of activities she enjoys, including Bingo, working with
puzzles, Lessons in History and Stories with Eliot. Dee also keeps busy
learning to make cards on the computer with Anna, a high school student
involved with the Home’s Junior Volunteer Program.

The newly
renovated front entrance has made quite the impression on Dee. “We’ve
celebrated family birthdays in the community room,” she says. “It’s
always so pretty when the fireplace is lit and so comfortable to visit
with family. It’s perfect!”

Madeline Cawley, who will be 89 in
June, has lived at the Apostolic Christian Home for nearly five months. A
sewing machine with pieces of fabric sits in one corner of her room.
Old black and white photographs—one for each of her nine children—hang
above her bed. A large family photo is positioned above her dresser. The
room is bright and airy, and soft music plays in the background.

“After my husband retired,” she says, “he had difficulty with his
legs. He was in and out of hospitals, and he really wanted to come here
and recuperate. The care he received here was wonderful—unlike anything
he had ever received anywhere else.”

Breakfast is Madeline’s
favorite meal. Oatmeal with raisins as well as scrambled eggs and toast
with two strips of crispy bacon is something she looks forward to each
morning. “It’s so-o-o good!” she says. “I can choose any type of juice I
want: grape juice, orange juice, prune juice. And they have good
dinners, too. They have Japanese Honeymoon soup and loaded baked potato
soup. I’m always so full, I can’t order desert. I think next time I’ll
have my desert before my meal.”

Madeline says she never runs out
of things to do during the day. “I like to play the Brain Games at 4:30
p.m.” Sewing is her favorite hobby. “I sew hundreds of bedcovers for
the Veteran’s Association in Danville, Illinois,” she says, proudly
holding up a beautiful red, black and white bedcover. “I even belong to a
club here called the Over Forty Sewing Club. My friends live in the
duplexes, and we meet right here at the Home. It’s so much fun to be
able to visit with people and laugh and really have a good time. I don’t
even think I have to recommend this place. When people come here to
visit, they can see for themselves how wonderful it is!”

Heiterland: “Land of Happiness”
Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias can
benefit from the compassion ministered to them at Heiterland, meaning
“land of calmness, serenity and happiness.” At Heiterland, located in
the Home’s Health Center, individuals can visit with family and friends
on an outdoor, enclosed walking path or relax in one of several outdoor
seating areas. “We also encourage individuals to bring family photos for
their room, pictures to hang, books, a favorite quilt, a lamp, or any
decorations that make them feel more at home,” says Hoffman. “We want
this place to feel like home, and we will do whatever it takes to keep
residents happy and enjoying their life.”

For more information on Apostolic Christian Home of Eureka visit or call 309-467-2311. Apostolic Christian Home of Eureka is located at 610 West Cruger Avenue, Eureka, IL 61530.