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Opportunities Abound for Seniors at Elmhurst

Decades of life may have added dozens more candles to the birthday cake, but at Wheeling’s Elmhurst, The House of Friendship senior assisted living residence, enjoying every bite of life continues to be as satisfying and delicious as a slice of that cake for the residents.

“At Elmhurst, we kind of like to think of life as that proverbial box of chocolates, that new dawn when everything is fresh. We challenge our residents daily to do what makes them happiest and brings them joy. Whether that’s participating in chair yoga, Wii bowling, gardening, a game of cards, painting, enjoying a visit from our St. Mike’s preschoolers, or learning something new from our monthly speakers — life is full and fun at Elmhurst,” says Jamie Crow, veteran executive director.

Elmhurst, located at 1228 National Road near Wheeling Jesuit University, has been offering area seniors a place to call home for nearly 128 years. The non-profit has been calling the former Samuel S. Bloch estate its campus since 1940. The Victorian-like mansion is a showpiece on the historic National Road. A huge, modern four-story addition is hidden in the rear of the garden campus yet evokes the architecture of the mansion.

“Elmhurst is a gem in senior assisted living in the community” Crow said. She notes that the organization, founded in 1890 to provide housing for women in the community without a place to call home, was embraced by the citizenry. Support was received each year through an annual tea that featured musical performances and was spearheaded by community leaders, allowing it to expand and grow. The formal tea events eventually were disbanded as a more formal annual appeal was begun, Crow pointed out. Today, Elmhurst invites giving at the annual Thanksgiving Appeal to help further its mission and to maintain the historic site.

“The support of friends far and wide has allowed Elmhurst to expand its services to men and couples, as well as women,” Crow noted, also pointing out that accommodations start at $1,750.

“Although our beautiful campus may give the impression that we are an expensive prospect for a retiree’s budget, that is a huge misconception,” Crow explained, noting, “Our one monthly fee is all-inclusive with the same amenities no matter what size apartment you select, and we are a private-pay residence. However, residents who qualify may be eligible for Aid & Attendance funds from the Veterans’ Administration because Elmhurst is an assisted living residence.”

“We are here to meet the needs of our seniors, whether it is time to move from a big house with all the responsibilities attached, or because you are looking for some extra care and socialization.”

Residents of Elmhurst enjoy meals in the beautiful Bloch mansion dining room, housekeeping and laundry services, basic cable, transportation, activities, free parking, an in-house salon, and more, Crow notes.

Round-the-clock care is provided resident assistants and licensed practical nurses. Two registered nurses also are on staff.

The newest service offered at Elmhurst is Blue Sky Therapy on-site physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Blue Sky staff provide therapies three days a week when prescribed by a resident’s physician. Wellness programs will be offered by Blue Sky, as well.

“Blue Sky has been a welcome addition to our services. The residents love having the convenience of therapy right at home,” Crow said.

Reflecting on the upcoming new year, Crow said she looks forward to the new year as one in which more seniors and their families discover the opportunities offered at Elmhurst.

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