Catholic Charities Expands Services to Meet Seniors’ Needs
Saturday, March 01, 2014 by Monsignor Michael M. Boland

Gracefully, joyfully, safely:  that is how Catholic Charities wants seniors to live each and every day.   Our Catholic tradition compels us to ensure that the needs of our senior brothers and sisters are met in ways that reflect God’s mercy and enhance seniors’ essential human dignity.

Services for seniors are more critical now than ever.  Between 8,000 and 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day and will continue to do so until 2030.  By 2030, 20 percent of the U.S. population will be at least 65.  In that same period, the number of 85 year olds will increase more than 50 percent, and the number of 100 year olds is expected to triple!  

As one of the top providers of services to seniors in the Chicago area, Catholic Charities is continually adapting our services to meet changing needs.  The latest addition to Catholic Charities’ vast array of senior services is the expansion of our skilled nursing home, Holy Family Villa, in Palos Park.   Opening for business this month, this state-of-the-art building will offer 30 beds focusing on short-term care to seniors making the transition from a hospital stay back to their own homes.  This expansion is a tremendous and much needed addition to Holy Family Villa’s current 99 bed facility that typically has a waiting list of 100 people.  

As hospital stays become increasingly shorter, and with one in five older adults ending up back in the hospital within 30 days following common operations, the need for quality, transitional care is great.  With the Holy Family Villa Expansion, seniors who have experienced heart problems, a stroke, joint replacement, or other illnesses will benefit from caring, highly trained staff that will provide comprehensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy to rehabilitate them as best as possible, and teach them how to live safely with new physical limitations when necessary.  Wonderful new therapy spaces will provide patients with re-training on all aspects of safe self-care such as cooking, showering or bathing, dressing, and laundry.  Round-the-clock nursing care, delicious and nutritious meals, and pastoral care will help participants recover to the best of their abilities.

The Expansion continues Holy Family Villa’s tradition of a Christian atmosphere where the philosophy of the “wholly family” is embraced.   We minister to the needs of the whole person, respecting and nurturing the dignity and self-worth of each individual.  Each resident, whether they are there for short-term rehab or a long-term stay, becomes a member of the Holy Family Villa family.

Every detail of Holy Family Villa’s Expansion has been carefully considered right down to the warm-toned furnishings, paint colors and window treatments that give the space the feeling of “home.”   A stunning Pavilion has been added, providing plenty of room for the bimonthly Mass and Brunch gatherings, as well as fun-filled parties such as the Valentine’s Day Candlelight Dinner, Superbowl Bash, and Summer Luau.  Because a goal of ours is to bring in family members as much as possible, the Pavilion will also be open to families of residents, providing an optimum space for anniversary parties, weddings, and luncheons.  And what family story or fond memory doesn’t sound better over ice cream?  The newly created Ice Cream Parlor is a place where residents and family members can enjoy sharing special memories in a relaxed environment.  

As our nation’s population ages over the next decades, let us remember to keep the needs of seniors not only in our minds, but also in our hearts.  From offering residents state-of-the-art highly skilled care, to the simple joy of ice cream, Holy Family Villa’s new Expansion truly embraces Catholic Charities’ goal to help seniors live safely, gracefully, and joyfully.  

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