By Alexander Germanis
Perry Como’s song “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” is a classic tune of the Christmas season because it hits upon something nearly everyone feels to be true: The holidays are a time to be with family while enjoying comforting surroundings.
Although being surrounded by family may seem like a difficult goal for some to achieve this year, those who live at Independence Village in Peoria can rest easy. Not only are they already home for the holidays they always have family and friends right outside the door.
Whether visiting a favorite restaurant, seeing a primary care physician, or attending a place of worship, seeing familiar, friendly faces helps put one at ease. Conversely, when a place has a high turnover rate, it is difficult to feel at home.
Executive Director of Independence Village, Juliana Jordan, says that is not a concern for the residents there. “There are a few things that set us apart,” she shares. “The most important part is the longevity of our team members and leadership. This is so important for the relationships that we build with our residents and their families. It has enabled us to offer continuity of care and a true feeling of friendship, family, and home. We also have the experience to offer the best care and services to those who join our family.”
That dedication and care is never absent, even in trying times like those experienced this past year. Particularly for those in retirement communities, government-mandated lockdowns were extremely challenging. But those at Independence Village not only persevered, they excelled.
“When group activities weren’t possible, we went door to door,” Juliana says. “When group dining wasn’t possible, their meals were delivered daily with a smile. We helped them with Zoom calls to family, outside visits, and whatever it took to keep them connected. We try to post as much as we can on Facebook too, so families can see that their loved ones are safe and usually having fun!”
While this year has certainly tested and continues to test everyone’s mettle, Juliana is proud to say their community has remained one of the safest places for seniors to be. Through proper use of personal protective equipment, early precautionary interventions, and steady communication, Independence Village has remained COVID-free through the pandemic. “As challenging as it was and still is,” Juliana adds, “we have made every effort to make our residents’ health and safety a priority.”
One of the nicest things about going on vacation is being waited on. To know hotel staff will make your bed and clean your room, a cook will prepare your meals, and entertainers will amuse you is part of what makes getting away so exciting. Nevertheless, even the greatest vacation experiences don’t compare with that indescribable feeling of comfort that comes from returning home.
Imagine experiencing the excitement of vacation and the serenity of home at the same time! Living at Independence Village combines the best of both worlds.
Entertainment runs the gamut from bands and musical groups to comedians and even petting zoos. “We are always striving to outdo ourselves in the entertainment department,” Juliana says, “and always on the hunt for new and exciting things to bring into our community to put a smile on our residents’ faces. Our lifestyle director is solely devoted to keeping activities going all day long, so there’s never a reason to be bored.”
Of course, delicious meals are also prepared on a regular basis and residents’ homes and the village are kept spotless by the tireless staff. Also, a full renovation is currently underway, adding more amenities and upgrading the spaces within the village.
Simply put, life at Independence Village is an extended stay-cation, Juliana confirms. “Just walk out your door when you want to be around others, take part in activities, enjoy dining with friends, and not have to clean up…ever! Who wouldn’t love that?”
According to Your Needs
Just as every person is different, so too are their circumstances. At Independence Village, varying preferences and necessities are equally accommodated.
“We can cater to many people—those who are very independent and active, and those who may need more support now or down the road,” Juliana says. “Even though we are an independent living community, our residents have access to an on-site home health agency should their needs change. The agency has experience, has been with us for quite a while, and are an extension of the services we provide.”
If a resident is no longer able to live as independently as they once did, they need not worry about looking for a new place to settle. “Ideally, should a person choose to do so, they can age in place in the comfort of their home here with us,” assures Juliana. “Even during the most fragile times—during end of life—our residents may choose to remain in their home here with hospice services. We only want what is best for them, especially during difficult times.”
On the flipside are those who do not want to feel tied down to any one location. For them, Independence Village offers flexible leases. There is no need to buy in or spend thousands of dollars up front. The leases can be broken with as little as a 30-day notice.
Home Is Where You Make It
Sometimes life takes unexpected turns. Even for those who have reached retirement and have decided to settle in one place, unforeseen circumstances can change one’s plans. Whether due to health concerns or to be closer to a distant family member, residents of Independence Village have the freedom to re-settle in a new location.
As a member of the Dial Senior Living retirement communities, Independence Village has 17 sister communities in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, and Kansas.
Whatever the reason, should one choose to move locations within the network of communities, Juliana assures their geographic location is the only thing that would change. “They would feel right at home as our mission, vision, and values are the same across the board,” she insists. “We are family serving family no matter where they move within our company. And the mission is easy: ‘Love the Way You Live.’”
For more information or to arrange your personalized tour, call 309-691-1888.
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