Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

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Welcome Home to Country Comfort Retirement Homes


By Sara Browning

     Country Comfort Retirement Homes, Inc.
combines professional assistance and support with a home-like touch to
create an environment where residents can relax, smile, and excel at
daily living.
There’s no place like home…unless you’ve lived at
Country Comfort Retirement Homes, Inc. (CCRH). From the fresh smell of
home-cooked meals from the kitchen to the laughter of residents, family,
and friends gathered near a warm fireplace, this senior retirement
facility delivers the highest quality of personal care in a loving,
close-knit country setting.

Experiencing the Difference
   Country Comfort Retirement Homes, Inc. opened its first home in 1993
in Henry. CCRH presently consists of two assisted living and
Alzheimer’s special care units in Henry and Princeton, Illinois, as well
as a senior apartment building in Princeton that offers limited
services to area seniors.
     “Country Comfort Retirement Homes,
Inc. really lives up to its name because that’s what we are—a home,”
says Sherry Pettett, LPN and owner of CCRH. A Geriatric Rehab Nurse,
Sherry, her business manager, Brandon Pettett, and her staff of
certified nursing assistants understand that providing real senior care
means creating a home-like environment where residents feel loved, safe,
and happy.
     Activities Director Mary Oltman, CNA, plans weekly
and monthly activities for residents according to their skill level. The
activities reflect those that residents performed while living at their
home. “We play trivia. We put puzzles together. At Christmas we drive
to see the holiday lights. Summer months usually include a stop at the
Dairy Queen,” she says with a smile.
     Because activities reflect
those that residents were engaged in for years at their own homes,
residents and their loved ones recognize CCRH as a one-of-a-kind senior
living facility. From the moment seniors step through the door,
professional staff welcomes them into a country kitchen and dining room
area where some residents may be involved in a baking class while others
may be setting the table. In the living room, intimately decorated with
antique furniture and warm colors, some residents may be engaging in
activities with staff.
     One resident even carries around a baby
doll she has named Rebecca. The staff at CCRH uses Rebecca to help
encourage the love and support this resident needs. The staff knows
their residents so well, in fact, and treats them so much like family,
that at times one would almost forget that CCRH is a dementia care home.
“When everyone comes together for activities, it’s like we are one big happy family,” says resident Evelyn Bade from Varna.
   Corporate care, unlike CCRH, Sherry says, is a revolving door of
changing staff with large numbers of residents that is becoming less
desirable. “We’re not a typical senior institution. We only house 14
residents at our Henry location and 13 residents at Princeton. We have
22 staff members total which allows us to provide a staffing ratio that
is unheard of in senior care settings.”
     The staffing ratio
enables residents to receive quality one-on-one time with staff members.
Care Plan Coordinator & Marketing Director Julie Lipsey, CNA, says:
“When I leave CCRH, I know that I have been able to give 110 percent
for my residents, and I know the same is done after I leave. We have the
time to make every resident at CCRH feel like part of the family.”
   CCRH is a great place for residents to show off their talents. From
resident Helen Quimby’s knitting and crocheting to resident Wilma
Doyles’ embroidery projects, one of which won a red ribbon at the County
Fair, the opportunities to share talents with the CCRH family are
endless. And let’s not forget resident Evelyn Bade’s weekly music hour
during which she plays piano for her CCRH family.
     The staff also
encourages a close-knit environment with residents’ families and
friends. When new residents arrive, someone the resident knows
personally may welcome them at the door and put them at ease. “We place a
personal, intimate spin on the care we provide. We want our residents’
families to be involved in their loved one’s care and decision making,”
says Sherry.

Empowering Employees
     CCRH’s Employee
Empowerment Program (EEP) also sets the senior home apart. The EEP
consists of select CNAs that exemplify the meaning of a good team
player. These employees are given titles such as General Manager,
Assistant Manager, Care Plan Coordinator, Marketing Director, Activities
Director and Second Shift Supervisor. Sherry believes she has “captured
the best qualities in my CNA staff and at the same time given those
CNAs the feeling of pride and self-worth they deserve.”
member Julie Lipsey says: “Sherry truly values the opinions of the EEP
members and staff and listens to our input to make CCRH the best home it
can be. A home is only as good as its staff.”

Giving “a Greater Sense of Well-Being”
   All the services CCRH offers work together to give residents a
greater sense of well-being, according to Sherry. “We assist our
residents with the expected and unexpected changes that occur with
     Staff provides residents with three nutritious meals a
day, personal care, medication reminders, daily activities, and
housekeeping services. Choice area providers offer regularly scheduled
in-home doctor visits and physical therapy services as well as hospice
     Every six months, Sherry and her Care Plan Coordinators
hold Care Plan sessions with families to discuss residents’ individual
care, behavior and special needs. They also encourage family members to
provide history and the most up-to-date information on their loved ones.

Making Our Home Their Home
   Seniors in need of Alzheimer’s and memory loss care receive expert
care at CCRH. “We offer a person-centered approach to dementia care at
our Safe Haven Alzheimer’s Special Care Unit,” says Sherry. “At Safe
Haven, we focus on making our world their world.”
     Safe Haven
reflects the home environment special needs seniors were most accustomed
to in the past. Cozy common areas, sunrooms, softly lit hallways and a
fenced courtyard help memory loss individuals feel safe and at home
while receiving the 24-hour structured support they require.
 CCRH encourages families to bring personal items for their loved-ones
to create a more home-like atmosphere. “We’re close and attentive to our
residents. We join their world so they feel at home,” says Sherry.

Reaching Out
have shown such an interest in CCRH that the senior retirement home is
expanding with a new location in Elmwood set to open next fall. Country
Comfort of Elmwood will house sixteen residents with one wing of the
building designed for assisted living care and the other for dementia
care. Twenty-four hour nursing care will be available.
staff and I are so excited that the public sees the need for the
person-centered dementia care we offer here,” says Sherry. “Our new
facility will be upgraded with more private rooms, a suite for married
couples and a fireplace in each wing. It will be located in a
residential neighborhood with other new homes.”
Sherry says she is
hopeful Elmwood’s new facility will encourage other small communities to
contact CCRH. “We are the most intimate and personal care available in
Central Illinois. For us, everything we do is for our residents because
they are our family and this is their home.”

     For more information on Country Comfort Retirement Homes, Inc., visit or call 815-866-0607.