Breath of New Life

By Alexander Germanis

 

When purchasing a new house, some families put significant energy into molding their new domicile into one that feels custom made for their preferences and needs. Sometimes these changes involve a simple new coat of paint in a room. Sometimes it means making expensive updates to a kitchen or finishing a basement.

Regardless of the change, effort must be put in to make a house feel like a home, especially when the family occupying it has diverse tastes and differing personalities.

There are few families more diverse and more deserving of the right place to live than the senior community at Saxony Court Senior Living in East Peoria. There, the staff who keep it running are always putting in the effort to make Saxony Court not only feel like home, but also to breathe new life into that home.

 

Something Intangible

Whether one hails from a small town or big city, grew up in an apartment or a mansion, there is something indefinable about what makes a place feel like home. No one thing can be declared to be the reason; no single object can be pointed to as the answer.

For the seniors living at Saxony Court, the quality of “home” has always been an intangible one but, more importantly, it has been an omnipresent quality. “We have always been known for a homey feel and that has not changed over the years,” declares Saxony Court Assistant Executive Director Bailey Kemp.

Saxony Court’s ownership might also contribute to the hominess of its community. “We are a small company,” Bailey says. “This is our only assisted living/independent living community, but it has always been a place to call home for active seniors, and also offers surgery recovery and respite services.”

Standing near the banks of the Peoria Lake section of the Peoria River, Saxony Court’s sixth floor view is nothing short of picturesque. The courtyard views are equally breathtaking. “We love that our courtyard is featured on the backside of the facility so you really can’t go wrong. It’s spacious with a lot of wildlife including deer, hawks, and wild turkey!” Bailey states.

Of course, Saxony Court offers more than just views to cater to the varying tastes and needs of its residents. It provides a variety of layouts from which to choose, including studio apartments, one- and two-bedroom apartments, and spacious two-bedroom suites.

To give the community even more of that homey quality, Saxony Court also offers a library, beauty salon, barber shop, café, exercise room, and theater.

Bailey insists those looking for a senior living community need not simply take her at her word. “Saxony Court’s Google reviews echo that families feel at home here,” she says, “and the dedicated staff make our community a top location.”

 

New Look

To earn such high praise as the home Saxony Court is to so many, a great deal of work had to be done first. Since 2021, it has undergone a steady stream of facelifts and improvements, with the largest projects finally nearing completion.

Its refreshing new look can be attributed to new flooring, new paint, and new wallpaper on every floor. New, accessible furniture has also been added to the common area, dining rooms, and alcoves throughout the building. Some apartments have even seen some renovation, including updated cabinetry, new flooring, and walk-in showers. Some first-floor apartments also have private patio access.

While the living environment has been tweaked in recent years to better accommodate the residents, they are far from the only upgrade meant to enhance their overall quality of life. Ease of admission to Saxony Court has also been improved. “We have worked with many families to be flexible, like accepting direct admits from local hospitals, out-of-state transfers, assisting with veteran benefits, and short-term or re-occurring stays for caregiver burnout or surgery recovery,” Bailey explains.

 

New Connections

“Getting non-residents and the community involved is very important as we are still trying to get our name out there as Saxony Court (formerly known as Riverview),” Bailey shares. “I am out in the community calling bingo at senior centers and doing vendor events.”

Partnering with other caregiver entities in the Peoria area has also taken priority. “We are a contracted site for the Central Illinois Area on Aging for respite admissions and the newly launched OSF PACE Program,” shares Bailey. “We work closely with senior centers and extend invitations to join our activities and community events.”

These events include cruise-in car shows, community bingo, live entertainment several times a month, vendor/craft fairs, and more. “We are also proud sponsors of Pedal for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s Walk, and the MS walk,” Bailey adds. “By following us on Facebook you will see other noteworthy updates like our new, accredited CNA School that opened in 2024, or you will be able to catch the next live music event in our courtyard. It is so beneficial for non-residents to check out our community so they know what senior living can be like. We like to keep everyone involved.”

 

Staying Social

Social events like live music events are not just a few and far between occurrence either. “Staying active and engaged is always top of the mind at Saxony Court Senior Living,” Bailey assures. “Our Activity Director Melissa knew that the same cookie-cutter activities would not work for everyone. She has been able to share many of her talents with our residents, which has been amazing to watch.”

The staff and residents of Saxony Court believe, wholeheartedly, that you’re never too old to learn new things or enjoy the little things in life. Several classes are offered, giving residents a spectrum of activities – the favorites being Flower Arranging 101, Paint & Sip nights, and Aqua Aerobics.

“We travel too,” Bailey puts in, “visiting fairs, lakes for fishing, zoos, museums, and more. We love a good party with live music and drinks, and Chef Don cooking up something amazing for our friends and family.”

The social room at Saxony also features the “Telly” – a viewing wall comprised of nine 55-inch televisions. Here seniors can enjoy on-demand activities like trivia, educational tours, digestible current events, and music. “Our theatre room is always playing new release movies and you can find many socialites at the weekly bingo game, which can get a little heated,” Bailey says.

Regardless of the activity, many residents are gaining or regaining independence at Saxony Court that they may have missed having while living with family members or in a long-term care facility. The interaction and daily events have given new life to many. Bailey confirms: “We find people that may have been self-isolating at home come here and are out and about participating in all of our events!”

 

Recharge

Aside from being a place to hang one’s hat, a home has always been a place to recharge. This does not mean it is simply a place to eat and sleep. A home should recharge one’s physical batteries, yes, but it should invigorate one’s mind and spirit as well.

As Saxony Court Senior Living continues to be updated and improved and its staff members continue to dedicate themselves to the care of the residents, it will continue to be a place where seniors can get that recharge.

After all, breathing new life into a home is a worthwhile effort, but the new life a good place like Saxony Court can breathe into the people who call it home is nothing short of miraculous.

 

Saxony Court Senior Living is located at 500 Centennial Drive in East Peoria, Illinois.  If you would like to take a tour of our home, please give us a call at (309) 694-0022 or visit us on the web at www.saxonycourtsl.com.

 

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