Memory Support neighborhood officially opens at Saratoga Grove

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (March 2012) – Approximately 75 people stopped by Saratoga Grove Retirement and Assisted Living Community Thursday afternoon to see the new Willow Woods neighborhood that takes up the entire second floor. The Open House ran from 4:00pm to 6:30pm, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30pm.

Community Manager Tammy Virgili’s excitement was infectious, and she toured people around the remodeled Family Room, the Cypress Café, the Respite Room, and more with the delight of a new homeowner at a housewarming party. In her remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, she called her staff up to the podium and introduced them as “the team that is making it happen.” From caregiving staff who are developing new therapeutic programming designed to stimulate memories; to maintenance workers who quickly cleaned, painted, and prepared rooms for residents who were relocated during the transition; to dining staff who have created a mealtime experience that feeds body and spirit — Tammy is thrilled to be working with such committed people. “I never have to worry about whether or not we’ll be able to deliver the care we promise to our residents,” she says. “I have total confidence in this team; they are that dedicated, that committed to our residents.”

Laura Crawford, President of the Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce, led the ribbon-cutting ceremony and began by thanking Saratoga Grove “for all that you do for our community.” Other chamber members referred to Saratoga Grove as “a hidden jewel” because its residential location is not highly visible from highly trafficked thoroughfares.

Kevin Casey, a real estate agent from Coldwell Banker, attended the open house as a way to do some research for his clients. “We serve a lot of senior home owners,” he explained, “and some of them are looking for services like this. I wouldn’t feel right recommending a place I didn’t know anything about, but this is wonderful. I’m very impressed.”

The fresh paint, signage, and decorative touches make a great first impression, but what really sets Saratoga Grove apart is the programming that is part of their Memory Support package. Caregiving staff learn as much as possible about each resident, so they can make meaningful connections through relevant activities. “Studies have shown that involving multiple senses can activate memories in different ways,” says Megan Rich, Director of Programming, “so we make a variety of activities available — creative arts, dancing, baking, Bible studies, and more.” One of the first structured activities in the Willow Woods neighborhood was a painting class, and samples of the residents’ artwork was displayed throughout Willow Square during the Open House.

To schedule a tour of Saratoga Grove and the Willow Woods neighborhood, call (630) 971-1995.

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