Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

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

Right at Home at Maple Lawn


By Sara Browning

Harboring a strong spiritual foundation that forms the basis for professional, compassionate caregiving, the Communities of Maple Lawn provides exceptional services delivered through a ministry of Christian love.

Founded in 1922 and sponsored by the Mennonite Church, the Communities of Maple Lawn, a nonsectarian, nonprofit retirement community, has since developed into a modern-day sanctuary of love and support for residents.

Residents claim the community’s faith-based mission has played a significant role in their decision to call the Communities of Maple Lawn home. “I lived in Morton for 20 years and came to Maple Lawn in May 2012 after my husband passed away,” says Marilyn Grogan, a resident in the Maple Lawn apartment complexes. “The fact that Maple Lawn is a faith-based community means a great deal. Everyone told me the move here would be a big adjustment for me. But this hasn’t been a big adjustment at all. Everyone here has been so kind and welcoming. It just feels like home.”

Elmo Springer, a Maple Lawn resident for seven years, chose the community because of its support from the Mennonite Church. “The spiritual emphasis that guides the mission and the care here is very important to me,” he says. “My mother lived here for seven years. My wife lived in Maple Lawn’s Health Center for three years. It’s a very good place to call home.”

Located in the heart of the small town of Eureka, Illinois, the Communities of Maple Lawn provides retirement housing, apartments, nursing care, shelter care, hospice services and children’s daycare on a breathtaking 100-acre campus. As a continuum of care community, the retirement facility allows senior citizens to remain at the same retirement community as their health care needs change.

Retirement Perks
Maple Lawn residents who wish to maintain an active lifestyle will enjoy independent living in one of the 120 retirement cottages and duplexes. The Maple Lawn campus also features 100 senior-subsidized one-bedroom HUD apartment complexes, which are funded under the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Rental Assistance Program. Apartments come equipped with modern conveniences, including a refrigerator, stove, handicapped accessibility, indoor and outdoor maintenance, and a free onsite laundromat. Maple Lawn’s ministry of love also extends to residents in need of skilled nursing care. The community’s 118-bed Health Center has 89 skilled care beds and 18 shelter care beds.

Cottage and apartment complex residents are free to decorate their homes any way they choose. Colorfully adorned in a cheerful theme of yellow and navy blue, Marilyn’s apartment is tastefully decorated with candles, plush furniture, and a handsome blue rug near the sofa. A bouquet of yellow daisies springs from a vase beside a high back chair, and a tall display of sunflowers lights up a corner near the dining table.

“When I first moved to my new apartment,” says Marilyn, “this was the only one they had available. But I’ve always said I have the best view in the whole place! My window looks out over the cottages and the beautiful campus. I just love it here.”
Living Free and Independent

From the moment they move into their new home, seniors experience a great deal of freedom and independence. Residents may choose the activities and events in which they wish to participate, some of which include birthday parties for residents, shopping in Washington, bingo, choir, music concerts, and quilting.

“I go to most spiritual worship activities,” says Elmo. “I like to shop for antiques. They also have game nights. I like playing card games and bingo. I also enjoy special holiday meals and activities.”

Still able to drive himself about town, Elmo looks forward to dining out and socializing with farmers and friends at the Busy Corner in Goodfield. “I was a farmer my whole life, so my children always encourage me to get out and socialize with the farmers in town.”

Gardening in one of the private plots of land near the apartment complexes is an enjoyable way for Elmo to pass the time. “I like to plant both flowers and vegetables… tomatoes and ornamental peppers.”

An avid reader, Marilyn loves volunteering in the community library. In addition to Mary Higgins Clark mysteries, she loves reading books on the Amish communities. Cooking is also a favorite pastime. “I recently baked 66 loaves of bread in my kitchen for a fundraiser my parish was holding to raise money for Washington tornado victims. We raised $4,000.”

Amenities are also included for hospice patients. The Maple Lawn community includes an inpatient suite where residents receive compassionate, patient-centered care in a home-like setting.

Meeting residents’ spiritual needs is of high importance. Maple Lawn employs a full-time chaplain who visits with residents and leads Sunday morning worship service and Wednesday afternoon Bible studies.

Learning Through Love
Maple Lawn’s daycare program, the Noah’s Ark Children’s Center, is designed to foster security and love for children ages 6 weeks through school age. Maple Lawn’s intergenerational program allows children to spend time with residents one-on-one, sharing, laughing, and enjoying one another, creating experiences that are truly memorable!

“Before moving to this community, I was an elder in the church and visited here,” Elmo says. “As a child, I remember they kept milk cows here and grew vegetables to help with mealtime. I’ve had a lifelong connection with Maple Lawn. They follow the guidelines of scripture in caring for the elderly.”

“I feel very blessed to have been able to come here,” says Marilyn. “There’s no other place quite like it!”

For more information on Maple Lawn Apartments, please call 309-467-9071. This property is one of several managed by the Robert Cottingham Property Management Company. Their contact information is 215 W. Sam J. Stone Ave., Peoria, IL, or call 309-673-2252.

Photo credit: Maple Lawn Apartments