By Sara Browning
Committed to creating an environment with high regard for residents’ dignity, comfort, and respect, The Villas of Holly Brook strives to fulfill its mission of meeting the unique needs of residents — mind, body, and spirit.
Family owned and operated in Washington, Illinois, the Villas of Holly Brook Assisted Living Community allows seniors to experience the finest amenities and services that retirement living has to offer.
Founded by owners Reggie and Martha Phillips, the Villas of Holly Brook in Washington, Illinois, officially opened on Dec. 6, 2013. Dedicated to providing residents a relaxed atmosphere that complements seniors’ sense of style and individual needs, the Villas of Holly Brook makes certain each senior housing community offers the comfort and privacy that residents desire. “Our campus is made up of an attractive 50-unit apartment community,” says Dawn Deeb, executive director.
Residents 55 years of age and over may choose among a variety of spacious floor plan options, including one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and two-bedroom deluxe living areas. Each apartment comes equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, living room, safety-equipped bathroom, comfortable bedroom with a walk-in closet, cable access, and individual heating and cooling units. Rates are all-inclusive with all utilities paid except phone service.
Residents also have access to a personal response system, a pendant worn around their neck. “I tell residents to use this pendant for everything, not just for emergencies,” explains Dawn.
Apartments are unfurnished to allow residents the freedom to decorate their living space any way they choose. According to Dawn, “Every apartment has its own patio space that residents can use for grilling or pulling out the lawn chairs and enjoying the sun. This truly is home for our residents.”
At Your Service
As an assisted living community, well-trained, professional staff at the Villas of Holly Brook can assist seniors with activities of daily living (ADL), such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and medication. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are on staff day and night.
The Villas offer a full range of services 24 hours a day, seven days a week and oversee all indoor and outdoor maintenance. They also provide weekly housekeeping service and personal laundry and linen service as well as free scheduled local transportation.
But the staff provides more than just service, according to Dawn. “The staff here try very hard to get to know our residents on a personal level so they can easily engage residents in conversation and help them feel comfortable.”
Some residents with walking difficulty may require a staff escort to the Central Dining Room to enjoy three healthy meals per day, which are supervised by a registered dietician. And with foods like pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, bacon, sausage, apple pie, and lemon bars residents are never late to the dinner table.
“Most of our meals are comfort foods served buffet style. We try to cook as much from scratch as we can. We also have sugar-free options for residents with special dietary needs,” Dawn explains.
With so many amenities, there’s never a dull moment at the Villas of Holly Brook! An on-site beauty and barbershop gives seniors a great way to spend an afternoon while unrestricted access to multiple common areas throughout the Villas ensures seniors a chance to spend some quiet time engaged in a hobby or catching up on the latest news with a friend.
The beautiful Four Seasons room, the “central hub of activity” within the Villas of Holly Brook, is a gorgeous, open space with large windows offering an exquisite view of a courtyard where residents are welcome to entertain family, indulge their green thumb by tilling the soil of a raised garden, or chat with friends around an open fireplace while cooking out dinner. Inside, plush couches and chairs invite seniors to visit around a warm fireplace during the cooler months. The Four Seasons room has also been the site for family pictures and a surprise birthday party.
Other areas for social activity are the Theatre Room, where movies are shown every night; the on-site Fitness Center, where residents who wish to stay active will love spending time working up a sweat in; and when family and friends come to visit, a private dining room is the perfect place to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
Acts of Kindness
The severe storm that ravaged parts of Washington, Illinois gave everyone on staff at the Villas of Holly Brook an opportunity to assist those in need.
Says Dawn, “We had our grand opening of the Villas of Holly Brook on Nov. 16, 2013. On Nov. 17, the tornado hit. By Nov. 19 we were functioning as an emergency shelter.”
For the next several days, teams of rescue workers and volunteers set up base at the retirement community. Members of Operation Barbecue Relief, a nonprofit group of competitive barbecue lovers who feed people in need, called the Villas home for a week, while Team Rubicon, a disaster response retired veterans service organization, showered and ate at the Villas. Volunteers from statewide park districts also lent a hand. Neighborhood and community members showered, did laundry, charged their cell phones, and hooked up their Wi-Fi.
“We staffed overnight,” explains Dawn. “My husband and I took turns living here. Several staff members volunteered their personal time to be in the building. We were cooking three meals a day for everyone who came in.”
On Dec. 6, 2014, IDPH licensed The Villas as an assisted living community. Two days later there were 23 people residing at The Villas. Says Dawn, “One of our current residents was buried under her home; another of our residents was buried beneath a golf course. Several were at church when the tornado hit. The strength and resilience of our residents and all of Washington truly inspires me.”
Because of the efforts displayed by Dawn and her staff following the tornado, the Senior Care Network gave Dawn the 2013 Member of the Year Award. But Dawn says the award belongs to the employees who helped with relief assistance. “This award should go to the Villas of Holly Brook team. It should go to our owners, Reggie & Martha Phillips, and their sons, Chad and Hadley, who gave us the green light to do whatever was necessary to help as many as we could. I only did what anyone else would have done given the circumstances.”
For more information on the Villas of Holly Brook, contact Dawn Deeb at 309-241-2004 or visit www.villasofhollybrook.com. The Villas of Holly Brook is located at 1285 Independence Court, Washington, IL, 61571 as well as various locations throughout downstate Illinois.