Annual Guide to Senior Living Communities, 2022

One of our most significant decisions in life is how we’ll be cared for when we can no longer care for ourselves. This guide introduces you to some of the excellent care available within our region.

Decades ago, “retirement home” was synonymous with “nursing home.” Thankfully, that’s no longer true. Today’s retirement communities offer an array of living options that accommodate all senior lifestyles and phases of senior life, such as independent living, personal care, home care and skilled nursing care.

Reasons to move into a senior living community can include a desire to gain freedom to travel, to eliminate the day-to-day challenges of keeping up a home, the social need to live near people the same age, or sometimes an inability to manage on one’s own. Luckily, seniors and their families have numerous resources to consult for information and advice.

Many retirement communities cater specifically to independent, active retirees, some as young as 55. By taking advantage of the convenience and carefree lifestyle that senior living communities offer, retirees are better able to do things they enjoy.

Other retirement facilities offer assisted living for those who need help with certain day-to-day activities or skilled nursing care for those who require round-the-clock medical care.

Still others offer all three options within one community, providing housing, social activities and increasing levels of care.

Now, more than ever, quality care for your aging loved ones is top of mind. Their safety and comfort are paramount as you seek the best choice possible to address their needs.

In the following pages, our annual guide introduces you to some of the top destinations for making the most of your retirement years. These are residences that pride themselves on quality and responsible care now, and always.

Comfort Keepers

Serving Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, (815) 229-9100, comfortkeepers.com

Comfort Keepers provides in-home care that helps seniors and others who are home-bound to live safe, happy and independent lives in the comfort of their own homes. The organization provides essential care to seniors with services such as personal care, companionship, housekeeping, dementia and Alzheimer’s care, respite care and safety solutions.

Every in-home service brings connection, purpose and joy to clients by elevating their spirits each day. Caregivers are carefully screened and trained to provide quality care with empathy.
Comfort Keepers calls its approach Interactive Caregiving, and it’s designed to keep clients mentally and physically engaged while focusing on daily needs such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, grocery shopping and personal hygiene.

The client’s well-being is not the company’s only focus, because safety and quality of life for caregivers is a top priority. Comfort Keepers has protocols and support in place to keep caregivers safe while they continue to do the job they love.

When Comfort Keepers caregivers were asked to describe their job in one word, “rewarding” was the top answer. They also tell the organization they are proud to work at Comfort Keepers because they get to spend their time helping others.

Greencastle of Bienterra

250 Bienterra Trail, Rockford, (815) 227-1400, gcbienterra@embraceliving.org

Residents who call Greencastle of Bienterra home enjoy affordable housing for seniors 62 and older. This community has 59 one-bedroom apartments conveniently located near the Forest Plaza Shopping Center, popular restaurants, banks and medical facilities.

In addition, residents have access to on-site laundry facilities, a beauty salon, a computer lab, a library, exercise equipment, a fenced-in patio area with raised garden beds, and a large community room with a full kitchen for resident activities and parties.

Services include on-site 24/7 maintenance, an on-site manager and social service coordinator, and weekly bus trips to the grocery store and pharmacy. Regular opportunities for physical and social engagement are offered to encourage active aging and healthy living.

Greencastle of Bienterra is owned and managed by Embrace Living Communities, whose mission is to support seniors and people with disabilities by helping them age with dignity in affordable and welcoming communities that embrace living. Our team embodies this every day in all that they do.

Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center

3470 N. Alpine Road, Rockford,, (815) 877-1441, www.fairhaven.cc

The residents who call Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center home are able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in a fun and relaxing environment.

This private, faith-based facility includes more than 100 duplexes and nearly 90 independent living apartments. The campus also includes a supportive memory care area and nursing care in the health center.

Affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church, Fairhaven has been offering a lifetime of care for people 62 and up, no matter their faith.

Inside the main building, residents enjoy an engaging atmosphere that includes a family room with computers, restaurant-style dining, a gift shop and a fitness center with classes guided by a fitness instructor.

Residents can also participate in special activities including choirs, bell choirs, educational sessions and musical performances, among other events.

Pets are also welcome to visit their loved ones, and they may live with duplex residents.

First Free of Rockford provides a worship service at Fairhaven on Sunday mornings.

“The Christian focus outlined by our mission statement is shown through scheduled Bible studies, chapel services and chaplains who help keep our residents connected with their home church,” says Chris Hintzsche, assistant administrator.

Heritage Woods

4730 Squaw Prairie Road, Belvidere,, (815) 544-9495, gardant.com
202 N. Show Place Dr., Rockford, (815) 332-3700, gardant.com

Heritage Woods is more than just a community. It’s a home where residents of all incomes can enjoy the privacy of their own apartments with the benefits of a caring staff around the clock, restaurant-style meals, and plenty of social and volunteer opportunities that give meaning and fullness to their lives.

The affordable, assisted lifestyle community is designed for seniors 65 and over who want to exercise their independence while enjoying safety and security. Licensed as supportive living, this community can serve seniors of all income levels, including those on Medicaid.

Both Heritage Woods locations offer a variety of layouts in studio and one-bedroom apartments. Each unit has a kitchenette, a spacious bathroom and shower, an emergency response system and independent climate control.

You’ll also find plenty of common spaces to enjoy, including an activity room, country store, library and lounges with fireplaces, patios and a gazebo.

“You’ll rarely find a place with so much heart,” says Yvonne Peterson, director of marketing. “I’ve been here for over 12 years and I stay because of the wonderful people who live and work here.”

Highview in the Woodlands

1000 Falcon Point Place, Rockton, Ill., (815) 624-6700, highviewseniorliving.com

Nestled in a natural and beautiful setting, residents at Highview in the Woodlands can enjoy year-round serenity with spring blossoms, summer roses, changing leaves and snow on the pines. Highview has 36 one- or two-bedroom private apartments in the assisted living unit and 26 private bedroom and bath suites in the secure, licensed Alzheimer’s unit.

Services include nurses on site 24/7, CNAs to assist, call lights, therapeutic diets, available therapies, and weekly housekeeping and laundry. All services are directed under a dedicated staff with extensive experience in both geriatric and Alzheimer’s care. Staff is committed to making transitions for new residents a smooth and pleasant experience as they enter their new phase of life at Highview.

Highview in the Woodlands is centrally located in Rockton, Ill., a short drive for family members coming from Rockford, Belvidere or Beloit. Walk-ins are welcome on weekdays, and visits are by appointment on weekends at this private, nondenominational, nonprofit facility.

“Highview has a unique legacy of ‘Caring since 1904.’ It goes beyond the limits of our walls,” says Carol Cox, CEO of Highview Retirement Home Association. “Our caring includes the whole person’s health and joy of life.”

Parkview Home

1234 S. Park Blvd., Freeport, (815) 232-8612, parkviewhome.org

As its name suggests, Parkview Home in Freeport is steps away from beautiful Krape Park and is conveniently located near Highland Community College, the YMCA, a hospital and medical clinics, a country club, dining and shopping.

But that’s just the beginning of a community that provides a continuum of care through maintenance-free homes, individual apartments, assisted living, a health care center, memory care and rehabilitation services.

This cozy community boasts plenty of home-like amenities including a library, barber and beauty shops, outdoor terraces, sun porches, activities, transportation and delicious meals, all within a lovely, landscaped neighborhood.

Other types of on-site care include restorative care, 24-hour monitoring by licensed nursing staff, and licensed therapy services.

“What makes Parkview unique is our continuum of care, which allows residents to move from one level of care to another within the same community without leaving the facility,” says Dee Kuhlemeier, manager of marketing and human resources. “As the resident’s needs increase and more care is required, the cost of that care increases. The lifetime care plan guarantees if a resident loses their ability to pay for their stay, they do not have to leave, and they’ll be taken care of for the rest of their life.”