Chinese delegation visits Park Place of Elmhurst

ELMHURST, Ill. (August 2014) — A delegation of high-ranking Chinese officials snapped photos, took notes, and asked questions, gathering all the information they could on a tour at Park Place of Elmhurst Monday. The visitors studied everything closely —from the layout and the amenities to the artwork on the walls — hoping to bring new and helpful knowledge back to China, where the government is very interested in senior living.

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Park Place of Elmhurst resident Hadley Pihl talks with the Chinese delegates during their tour.

The 22 members of the delegation were high-level officials from different departments and bureaus of the Zhejiang Province, selected and sponsored by the central government of China. The group came to the United States because aging issues are becoming more and more severe in their wealthy province of nearly 55 million people — not only because of the larger and larger aging population, but also because of social security issues.

The delegation stayed in the Chicago area for a week and showed a great interest in visiting Park Place of Elmhurst during their trip to the Midwest. From Chicago, they went on to visit Boston and New York.

“We’re thrilled to think that Park Place has such a quality reputation that people from as far away as China would be anxious to come and look at it,” said Don Engelsman, Executive Director at Park Place of Elmhurst.

Engelsman welcomed the delegation Monday afternoon, and, over refreshments, explained the amenities and activities offered at Park Place before opening up the floor for questions.

Through a translator, the delegates inquired about operation, management, staff, and funding for the facility.  Engelsman explained Park Place’s not-for-profit status and the government’s involvement in regulating senior care. He gave numbers on a year’s budget, rent for the apartments, and staff employed, as well as the current occupancy of Park Place of Elmhurst.

The group then went on a tour of the facility, stopping to see the pool and salon, as well as one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. They played table tennis in the community room and chatted with a resident who was painting in the art studio.

Before they left, the delegates presented Engelsman with a gift: a scarf made of silk from the province.

Monday’s visit marked the third time that Park Place hosted a Chinese delegation, but this was the first group from the Zhejiang Province — and they seemed impressed. In fact, though he didn’t elaborate on the reason for his question, one delegate asked if the facility accepted foreign residents.

Park Place of Elmhurst is owned and operated by Providence Life Services, and offers retirement living, assisted living, memory care, and rehabilitation services. For more information on retirement living, call 1-800-707-9924. Contact Park Place Health & Wellness Center at 630-936-4100 for more information on assisted living, memory care, and rehabilitation.

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