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Brookdale Hoffman Estates seniors bring comfort and joy all year round

Hospitalization can be an isolating and sometimes disorienting experience for seniors who find themselves cut off from normal routines and social support. Brookdale Hoffman Estates nursing staff make weekly visits to all residents who are hospitalized or in rehab facilities. More than a social call, these visits constitute an important coordination of care when the residents are transitioned back into their home in the community.

Out of these weekly visits was born a volunteer opportunity that combines many different talents and interests of Brookdale Hoffman Estates residents. The Road to Wellness group has become a labor of love where friends and neighbors come together to bring cheer and support to their own who are hospitalized or in rehab.

Residents Lois Semon and Lucille Donegian are long time crafters who guide the group in creating the homemade cards.

Showing off some of the The Road to Wellness craft work are: Left to right, Resident Maria Tisch,Director of Wellness Laurel Sorensen, LPN, resident Lucille Donegian and Director of Resident Services, Noreen McAvoy. Foto: Rose Doherty

Anyone who feels they are ‚not creative‘ are quickly reassured and overcome any feelings of intimidation they may have.

Overwhelmingly the response from participants is that they come to the group because they feel they are making a genuine contribution.

Residents Maria Tisch and Kathy Greene coordinate items for the regular visits to nearby St. Alexius Medical Center and Alden Poplar Creek Rehab, as well as the return home. Residents receive a get well card and a small goody bag containing items such as lip balm, word games, magnifiers and chocolate kisses. When they arrive home they are greeted at their front door with balloons and a ‚welcome back‘ door hanger (also crafted by the group.

The group even produced their own book with stories and jokes which were submitted by residents. The book cover was painted by resident Joan Novak. The book recently went to press and will be among items presented to residents to cheer them up while they recuperate.

The Road to Wellness group meets every Thursday morning and all residents are welcome to participate. They are now expanding their many talents into making birthday cards!

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