By Sandra Dempsey Post
Independence Village of Peoria, at 1201 West Northmoor Road, recently celebrated their “Grand Reopening.” Walking through the front door on that fourth Thursday in June immediately announced through music, laughter, conversation, and the aroma of food that a party was going on and welcome to all. Visitors could tour, enjoy a beverage, request a packet explaining information about the amenities and activities, or leisurely stroll through the large, comfortable areas.
Serving residents since 1990, the facility now includes an expanded exercise room, full resident kitchen, and other upgrades to help make residents feel “right at home.” Executive Director Juliana Jordan, a 14-year employee, talks proudly about the staff members and how caring they are, and how residents say they appreciate and feel wanted and important. “They feel they have purpose,” she says. While there is diversity in ages, backgrounds, hobbies, and certain preferences, sometimes it simply takes a resident asking a question or making a request to the staff for things to happen.
Among many options offered are serving on the Resident Council, being involved with the Women’s Auxiliary, participating in cooking classes or music, or art. “We have had the same group of leaders for a long time,” says Juliana, “and we will be there for them.” She has heard on various occasions, “Your residents look happy.” And she knows from residents and others that visitors want to see that enthusiasm in the people who live there.”
A variety of activities are available for residents. If you want to be involved, there are many options. Several musicians, an artist, and others with unique talents contribute to the activities. From 55 years and up, all ages if appropriate, are welcome. “Juliana explains that three meals a day are served, housekeeping is provided, and people sometimes move in with health concerns, but their health often improves because of exercise therapy and the socialization ‘that takes worry off the worry chart.'”
Independence Village has a chef on site to prepare meals, and there are alternative selections for those with a sensitive palate. There are different sizes of apartments, equipped with complimentary weekly housekeeping. An activities calendar is provided and a variety of entertainment is scheduled. A library serviced by the Peoria Public Library System and a computer with Internet access also provides additional choices.
On the front of the folder provided at the Open House with more detailed information enclosed, was the expression, “Love the way you live.” Judging by the smiles and enthusiasm, the information continues to be well accepted and practiced. A visit, even after the Grand Reopening, shows how that is possible and pleasing. Independence Village looks forward to welcoming returning guests or residents, and those curious to see the inside for the first time. Questions are encouraged and answered, and tours are free. It’s hospitality at its finest served up with enthusiasm, pride, and best wishes!
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