Although a natural part of life, aging ultimately comes with everyday challenges. Our NWQ Senior Guide to Healthy Living is here to help.
Aging is a natural part of life, and it eventually comes with day-to-day challenges. So why do we often feel unprepared to tackle the challenges and necessary choices in our later years?
Many families work together to carefully select what’s best for their loved ones well in advance, but it’s not something most are eager to discuss or even think about. Some people plan ahead to create a smooth transition into their retirement years; others may be forced into quick decisions after an unexpected hospital stay or diagnosis.
With careful research and consideration, it’s possible to find the highest level of comfort and care in our region.
Whether you face health complications or just need a little extra help with daily living, there are many excellent options that meet the housing and health care needs of seniors. The senior residences and health care organizations profiled in this guide provide state-of-the-art amenities and individualized plans to cater to your specific needs.
It’s why Rockford was named one of the best mid-sized cities to retire in 2019, according to SeniorAdvice.com, which helps families and caregivers to find senior housing.
This guide can assist you and your loved ones in navigating the many options available in senior health care and housing. Our area’s experts describe the most common age-related challenges facing their patients and customers, and some of the solutions available.
Medical Pain Management
1235 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 397-8400, medicalpain.com
Living with pain can be a reality that every age group faces.
Medical Pain Management physicians, who are highly trained and nationally awarded, specialize in interventional techniques that manage many forms of acute, chronic and debilitating cancer pain. The latest treatment modalities are available for lumbar pain disorders, spinal decompression, regenerative medicine and implantable devices that control pain without opioid addiction.
MPMS nurses are experienced in the field and understand the unique medical and emotional needs of pain patients.
Acute pain signals that there is a problem in your body; the perception of pain is highly individualized. When pain is not resolved after medical treatment lasting a duration of six months or more, the pain then is considered to be chronic in nature.
Chronic pain often causes dramatic changes in a person’s ability to function and lead a normal life. Early intervention is the key in evaluation and treatment. This can reduce the impact of pain and restore a patient’s quality of life.
A referral from your physician is the first step. Call (815) 397-8400 or visit medicalpain.com for more information.
Highview in the Woodlands
1000 Falcon Point Place, Rockton, (815) 624-6700
In the deepest part of our hearts, we have an innate desire to help others. Driven by this desire, people can be moved to do things that change lives. In 1904, two dynamic and determined women began a movement that resulted in Highview as it’s known today.
Highview in the Woodlands is nestled in a park-like, natural setting. Residents can enjoy spring blossoms, summer roses, changing leaves and snow on the pines. They’re able to view all the seasons in their colorful display. Nature abounds at Highview.
Highview’s interior is eclectic with antiques that enrich the environment and were given as gifts over the years to be enjoyed by all. The residents have a social life with each other and take excursions to various plays, parks, sporting events, the conservatory and great restaurants.
Although individualized care is central to what is provided in both Assisted Living and the Alzheimer’s unit at Highview, it’s the overall culture that energizes everyone. Members of a trained, professional staff are there for each resident, quietly fulfilling their needs. The staff strive to make any transition a smooth and pleasant experience as each resident enters new phases of life at Highview.
The staff at Highview believe the secret to a happy life is where you are, who you’re with and what you’re doing. And while a sense of place goes far, it’s the people and experiences that truly make our happy times. Highview strives to achieve this dynamic for each resident, making them feel at home, making them feel loved, and making sure they are loving what they’re doing.
The staff believe residents should continue to live with dignity and enjoy their special interests. Residents are encouraged to make new friends, go on new adventures and explore new surroundings. They should thrive at Highview.
With more than a century of experience providing for seniors, Highview in the Woodlands continues to refine its legacy of care. The experienced leadership, dedicated staff and fully licensed facility ensures that residents will enjoy an optimum quality of life.
The facility offers 36 one- or two-bedroom private apartments on the Assisted Living side and 26 private suites in the secure Alzheimer’s unit. The staff takes great care in creating a traditional and safe environment that feels like home for all residents.
Conveniently located in Rockton, Ill., Highview is just a short drive for family members traveling from Rockford, Belvidere or Beloit.
The Highview staff encourage you to browse highviewseniorliving.com in its entirety and to call when you are ready to learn more. It would be their pleasure to answer your questions and give you a tour of the facility.
Rockford Nephrology Associates
• RNA Sycamore: 2127 Midlands Ct., Ste. 102, Sycamore, Ill.
• Beloit Dialysis Center: Beloit Memorial Hospital, 1969 W. Hart Road, Beloit, Wis.
• RNA Dixon: KSB Hospital Commerce Towers, 215 E. First St., Dixon, Ill.
• Rochelle Specialty Center: 900 N. Second St., Rochelle, Ill.
Nephrology is the medical specialty that diagnoses and treats diseases of the kidneys.
Kidney disease affects 1 in 7 people (approximately 37 million) in the United States and may result from causes such as diabetes, hypertension, polycystic kidney disease, glomerulonephritis or obstructions of the urinary tract.
The most well-known function of the kidneys is to act as filters to form urine containing waste products from the body. However, the kidneys are also responsible for certain hormone secretion, which can affect the production of red blood cells and promote absorption of calcium.
The kidneys also help with fluid and acid-base balance, blood pressure control and glucose production. Therefore, anemia, high blood pressure, Vitamin D deficiency, and fluid and electrolyte imbalances are also monitored and treated by the nephrology team.
At Rockford Nephrology Associates, 10 board-certified nephrologists and six nurse practitioners provide consultative services and follow-up visits, which along with lab and radiology testing help to diagnose kidney disease and determine the best quality treatment options.
Education is key to understanding the disease and preparing to make treatment choices at each stage.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (815) 227-8300.
Liberty Estates Retirement Apartments
2170 W. Navajo Dr., Freeport, (815) 297-9902, libertyvillageoffreeport.com
Simplify your life and enjoy the lifestyle you prefer when you reside at Liberty Estates Retirement Apartments, a unique living setting located at Liberty Village of Freeport.
This intimate, elegant community is for adults age 55 or older who want freedom, comfort, convenience and affordability without all of the hassles of building and grounds maintenance. It’s a lifestyle free from utility bills, property taxes and ongoing repairs. Residents in these studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments pay only an affordable monthly rent.
What they get in return is a safe, comfortable accommodation equipped with smoke alarms, a complete sprinkler system and many safety features that make the daily routine easier. The spacious bathrooms in these units are also furnished with special features that accommodate you as you age.
Other unique features include:
• A comfortable environment with many safety features;
• Membership to AJ’s Fitness Center;
• Two buffet-style meals per day;
• Scheduled transportation;
• An in-house barber shop and beauty salon;
• Weekly housekeeping and linen services;
• Utilities are paid for (except telephone);
• Satellite or cable TV;
• Attentive staff members, always at residents’ service.
Liberty Estates has a rich social environment that encourages residents to maintain an active lifestyle as they interact with each other. A busy calendar with recreational, social and educational events provides enrichment for residents’ lives.
Liberty Estates residences have a variety of apartment styles that are rented on a month-to-month basis with no endowment fees.
Find out for yourself how care-free living looks at Liberty Estates in Liberty Village of Freeport. Call now to schedule a tour and to learn more.
Stewart Family Dental
1393 S. Alpine Road, Rockford, (815) 397-5615, stewartfamilydental.com
Since 1984, Stewart Family Dental has been serving the Rockford region as a local, family-owned dental office. A full range of dental services is available, including denture fabrication, cosmetic dentistry and oral surgery. The office also provides convenient care with same-day and emergency services. Staff members are licensed and insured for your protection.
Stewart Family Dental provides personalized care to patients in a family-friendly environment. Patients can keep gum disease at bay and maintain good oral health by scheduling regular checkups. The compassionate and caring staff can treat the whole family to maintain healthy gums and teeth with regular dental exams and teeth cleanings.
Patients can also make their smile unforgettable with teeth whitening services, tooth-colored fillings, crowns/bridges and other affordable cosmetic dentistry services. The staff can also correct dental issues such as gaps, chips, irregular shaping and more.
Stewart Family Dental provides quality dentures to enhance a patient’s appearance and improve their ability to eat while eliminating nagging issues like discomfort and sore spots caused by a poor fit. The dentures are natural looking, durable and custom made for a patient’s mouth. These dentures can also help prevent sagging facial muscles.
To accommodate patients, Stewart Family Dental accepts most dental insurance plans. The office is a Delta Dental Premier provider and accepts CareCredit. To schedule an appointment or a free denture consultation, call (815) 397-5615.
Elite Spine & Wellness Center
6833 Stalter Dr., Ste. 203, Rockford, (815) 904-6650
Dr. Brittany Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree from Rockford College, now known as Rockford University, before attending Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida. She then moved back home to begin her career.
After working as an independent chiropractor for 10 years, Sullivan has branched out on her own. She opened her new Elite Spine & Wellness Center location in January 2021 at 6833 Stalter Dr., Ste. 203 in Rockford.
Sullivan works with patients who suffer from any type of pain in the neck, back and extremities, including muscle strains, misalignments, arthritis and lifting injuries. She also specializes in Cox Flexion/Distraction, a technique that helps to decompress the spine, especially when treating disc injuries.
Among her various approaches to chiropractic care, Sullivan performs manual adjustments, though she also uses the Activator method, where a unique hand-held tool allows her to do adjustments with low force.
After taking a full medical history and completing a thorough examination, Sullivan works with her patients to tailor the treatment plan to each individual’s needs.
“We start with acute care,” she says. “We’ll do adjustments and passive therapies like muscle stimulation, ultrasound and massage just to keep their pain down. Once their pain improves, we’ll do rehabilitative treatment.”
When she’s not practicing, Sullivan spends her time with her son, Declan, and her husband, Matt.
4100 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 965-8090, rockfordmobility.com
Mobility Connection Inc. has been committed to providing personal freedom and independence to its clients for 30 years. Through a large selection of mobility products and equipment, they work on an individual basis to find the perfect solution to specific mobility needs.
Mobility Connection sells new and used wheelchair-accessible vans. If it’s not on the lot, staff members can help you find what you need. Other driver and passenger aids include transfer seats, hand controls and tie-down systems. All staff members will try to work within set budgets.
The showroom has a large display of products that can aid all aspects of mobility, and helpful staff can answer your questions about making your or your loved one’s life easier and fulfilled. Many hard-to-find, small items for simple solutions to daily living challenges can be found there. Mobility scooters, power wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs can help clients “on the go,” while lift chairs assist with the extra boost one may need. Portable, threshold and modular ramps are also available. Stairlifts are another product that can help inside the home. Most modular ramp systems and stairlifts can be installed within 10 business days.
This locally owned small business has been serving the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin area for more than 30 years. The Assisted Technology Professional (ATP) and staff are prepared to help with all of your mobility needs. Call for an appointment or drop in to visit the showroom.
4855 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 229-9100, comfortkeepers.com
It’s a difficult decision when a loved one needs more care and support than family members can offer.
Comfort Keepers, 4855 E. State St., Ste. 22, in Rockford, offers an alternative option. Part of a national organization, Comfort Keepers specializes in nonmedical care, with an emphasis on support and companionship. Services include household duties like cleaning, laundry and cooking, but it can also include travel to medical appointments or social interaction with a favorite game or activity. At the same time, caregivers can offer 24/7 care and help with bathing, cleaning, dressing or hospice support.
“We facilitate seniors to be able to stay in their homes,” says Lucretia Ristin, who co-owns Comfort Keepers with her partner, Mark Podemski. “It’s hard to stay home when you’re ill or all alone and need a little help. So, that’s what we do.”
While Comfort Keepers is uniquely positioned to help seniors, its caregivers can support people of almost any age or need, from special needs adults to homebound seniors and people who need only temporary assistance.
It’s hard to know when a loved one needs help, and it’s often difficult to have that conversation, so Ristin and her team provide numerous resources as families explore their options.
It takes a special kind of person to offer care, and safety is top of mind for many families. Ristin and Podemski take extra steps to ensure the right people end up in a client’s home. Before being hired, each caregiver undergoes an extensive background check, fingerprinting, drug tests and rigorous training, all to standards that exceed state mandates.
Caregivers undergo several days of training and practice before entering their first homes, and they receive regular additional updates in their training. Many go even farther in studying additional aspects of care that help them to better serve clients.
“Our caregivers are truly angels,” says Ristin.
Stateline Mass Transit District
Stateline Mass Transit District (SMTD) provides demand response public transit for anyone in Rockton, Roscoe and South Beloit, as well as Rockton and Roscoe townships. Registered users need to contact SMTD at least 24 hours in advance for curb-to-curb bus service to and from anywhere in the service area.
In addition to standard transit service, riders can also request a special service that transports them to and from medical appointments in Rockford, Loves Park, Machesney Park, Beloit and Town of Beloit. Riders can also travel to connection points for Rockford Mass Transit, Beloit Transit and the Janesville Transit System. Veterans can ride free on SMTD by providing proof of military service upon registration.
Rides are provided Monday through Friday from 5:15 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Service is not provided on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. Reservations can be made Monday through Saturday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. New riders can register online, over the phone or by mail.
No matter where you need to go, SMTD is here to get you there.
• 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 studio and one-bedroom apartments, each with a kitchenette, spacious bathroom and shower, 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. It’s very special, and you feel it the minute you walk in the door.”
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, Freeport Public Library, golf, churches, 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.”