St. John to be home for aging-in-place community

2013-07-29T20:30:00Z 2013-07-29T23:48:12Z St. John to be home for aging-in-place communityLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent
July 29, 2013 8:30 pm  • 

ST. JOHN | The concept of aging in place continues to gain momentum as the country’s population lives longer.

To address those needs, Providence Life Services of Palos Heights, Ill. plans to establish a multiple building campus at the intersection of U.S. 41 and 231 that will combine independent living, assisted living, short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing care.

The St. John Town Council recently approved a zoning change that permits this type of facility to be developed at that location.

“The whole campus will be built in phases. We’re looking at a total of seven buildings, some one-story and some two stories,” said Ray Hemphill, executive vice president of project development for Providence Life Services, a Christian 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Construction of the first building, Providence Skilled Nursing, is expected to begin this fall, with completion in spring 2014, Hemphill said.

Six of the buildings will provide skilled care, and there will be a memory support unit for those with dementia.

Plans call for 103 independent living and 53 assisted living units in one building. Another single-story building will have 30 short-term rehabilitation rooms.

“The independent living will be available on a month-to-month rental basis,” Hemphill said. “There will be continuum of care on one campus.”

Providence Life Services’ history traces to the 1950s when the deacons of Second Christian Reformed Church of Chicago’s Englewood community and surrounding churches saw that aging church members needed help and more care than a typical “home for the aged” would provide.

In 1960, the dedication of the first 50 beds of Rest Haven, the area’s first Christian nursing home, took place in Chicago. By 1962, Providence was raising funds to double the home’s capacity. In 1967, the facility was serving 195 seniors.

Today, Providence Life Services has rehabilitation and skilled care facilities, memory support services and retirement and assisted living communities in Illinois and Michigan.

The St. John community would be the first in Indiana.

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