Aging successfully

Homes: Aging successfully


Aging successfully

Clark-Lindsey residents Becky Hanson and Waynona Brown were chatting on “cookie day” in the facility’s common area.

Story: Bridget Broihahn

Photos: Bridget Broihahn

Clark-Lindsey residents Becky Hanson and Waynona Brown were chatting on “cookie day” in the facility’s common area. They were there for the freshly baked cookies, coffee, conversation and companionship. Both have been at Clark-Lindsey for upwards to 20 years.

“All these years and never once was I ever mistreated,” Hanson said, adding that she has always been treated with kindness and compassion at Clark-Lindsey.

With the baby boomers ascending into their golden years, it’s a concern for many families that their loved ones live life with great care. The group is one of the largest ever born in the United States. Many may have noticed the recent surge of senior living arrangements in the greater Champaign County area. Clark-Lindsey has been around since 1977 when the first ground was broken thanks to a trust fund from Ethel Clark and Maud Lindsey that made the senior living village possible.

There are 132 apartments in the village. There are 102 beds in Meadowbrook Health Center, including 19 assisted-living, 58 skilled nursing and 25 Medicare-certified beds in Renewal Therapy Center. Recently, 16 villas were added so that residents can have independence with support.

The last villa recently sold. Carter’s Furniture staged the villa with beautiful furnishings. The home has all of the regular amenities of any other house: kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, laundry room, garage and an added finished basement. Wider hallways, doorways, showers and other handicapped-accessible accommodations have already been made.

“The closet is hardwired for an elevator that can go to the finished basement,” said Karen Blatzer, director of marketing for the village. “The home has 4,000 square feet including the basement.”

Blatzer said the village is excited for the development of two Greenhouse Project homes that will benefit Alzheimer patients. One will house patients that need assisted living and the other will focus on residents needing skilled nursing care. Each home will have space for 12 residents. They will have their own bedrooms and bathrooms, but they will share common areas like the kitchen, dining and living areas.

“They will be patient-centered, real homes,” Blatzer said.

The Greenhouse trademark means keeping the home quality like that of a real home. The small size of the home, the home layout, a small staff ratio and advanced staff training are but a few of the criteria to be certified. Only two other cities in Illinois have Greenhouse Project homes: Danville and Chicago.

Ron Wilcox, vice president of residential services. was with board members breaking ground on the Greenhouse Project’s 27 acres.

“It will be a nice example of what we hope will be emulated by others,” he said, donning his hard hat and holding his shovel.

Residents were busy getting ready for dinner.

“People get really dressed up for dinner,” Blatzer said. “We hand them menus and they are seated. The staff is dressed head-to-toe in black and white, and there is a pianist playing during dinner.”

Executive chef Kyle Thompson, a 15-year culinary veteran, said his recent entry into the Clark-Lindsey staff has been wonderful. He took a moment from creating his latest culinary art.

“These people are genuine. To me that is the key. This administration, the residents, they are the best,” he said.

Along with the Greenhouse Project and the villas, Clark-Lindsey will be adding a fitness center complete with indoor swimming pool, therapy center and gym. For more information on Clark-Lindsey, call 217-344-2144 or visit