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A Guide to Downsizing for Seniors and Their Loved Ones

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Most older adults in the Chicago area want to make the move to senior living before the snow flies. Here’s a great article to help with downsizing.

Hear What Our Family Member Has To Say

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

YELP 5-Star Review 1/31/17

My mother has been a resident at Central Baptist Village (CBV) almost five years. When it became apparent that it would not be safe for her to live at home any more we began a search for a facility with a continuum of care knowing that because of her diagnosis of dementia eventually she would require skilled nursing.  Initially she lived in The Terrace, the memory care wing where each resident has their own apartment in addition to the common areas like lounges and the dining room. Residents receive assistance as needed. The Certified Nursing Assistants help the residents with daily skills. Nurses are available around the clock to administer medication and monitor residents as needed.  Activities staff provide a variety of daily activities that engage all residents no matter their level of functioning. CBV has a Retirement Area for residents who are still independent where Resident Assistants are available to help as needed.   Finally, there is the skilled nursing area called Nursing Pavilion where mom is now.  The residents here require assistance with most or all activities of daily living.   My personal experience is that there must be a very careful employee selection process because the staff here are exceptionally professional, competent, compassionate and friendly. They are very receptive to family feedback and truly work as a team to provide individualized care.  On the Pavilion the residents have an Individual Care Plan which is revised as needed with a formal Care Plan meeting every three months. Finding a place to care for mom or dad is a stressful process. My mother actually preselected Central Baptist Village because her own mother had lived there fifteen years before. (Grandma chose CBV because it was near mom’s house and she wanted it to be convenient.) Mom was impressed with the staff and the care they gave her mother.  Her mom was happy at CBV so mom said that if ever the day came where she could no longer live at home she wanted to live at CBV.  Even so, when the time came we wanted to make sure that Mom received the very best of care. We did our research and picked the five top rated retirement homes with a continuum of services in the Chicago area.  We visited the other 4 but determined CBV to be the number 1 choice.  We were a little concerned that given the name there would be an emphasis on that religion but that is not the case at all. In fact, the residents here represent many religions and the services seem to be non denominational.  In addition, visiting priests from local Catholic Churches administer mass once a week and communion on Sundays. In 2016 CBV was named by the Chicago Tribune as one of the top workplaces for the third year in a row.  That tells me that the employees are happy working here and if they are happy, they are going to stay. Continuity is so important in the care of residents with dementia.   Be sure you visit several facilities but make sure CBV is one of them.  If you happen to see a family member ask them what they like or don’t like about CBV. I find other family members to be friendly and open too.

Donna S., Daughter




I Work in an Extraordinary Environment

Friday, January 20th, 2017

I work in an extraordinary environment. I work where people live and I work where people die. I work at Central Baptist Village, a community where I become friends with people much older than myself, I become close with their families; we become family. We build deep relationships and then after a time, we have to say goodbye. When a resident passes away, we employees feel the loss of that resident and the loss of their family (I am tearing up as I write this).

We are a Life Plan Community, offering Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing, and I’m the Director of Sales and Marketing. In sales we are not supposed to talk about dying. We are supposed to talk about the wonderfully social and enriching environment, and the delicious food. We talk about the award winning care. We talk about our award winning employees. We don’t talk about dying, but people die here.

I want to talk about it; because it is a beautiful privilege to be with people at the end of life (did I mention that I am tearing up as I write this?).

Here is our little secret: (in a whisper) we celebrate death. When someone is at the end of life, everyone is told about it. Our resident is moved to the Chrysalis Room where they begin their end of life journey. When someone moves to the Chrysalis Room we all know it is okay to go in and say goodbye. The family is there, too. We honor the act of sitting vigil, this is a sacred time.

The journey continues. When the chimes ring we know the time has come. We stop whatever we are doing and we gather. We line the hallway, a kind of honor guard to escort our resident to the next part of the journey. We planted a special garden where our resident can pass through with us and their family at their side; The Memory Garden, a sacred place for a sacred time.

I work in an extraordinary environment. I work where people live and I work where people die, and I am grateful.

Julie Stevens, Director of Sales and Marketing

A Day in Your Shoes

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Bringing excellent care and customer service to our residents every day requires skill, commitment, empathy, and hard work! To fully understand the experience of our employees, and to learn the joys and challenges of every department, the management team will be spending a full shift in each department. The first to experience A Day in Your Shoes was our Executive Director Dawn Mondschein, who spent a day in culinary.

10 Lessons Learned from
Dawn’s Day in the Culinary Department

Fish fry (2)

Dawn 1

1. Dining room set-up and service is no simple task. The Culinary Aides are responsible for dining room set-up and that means knowing where each and every Resident is seated and their special preferences and needs. This means everything from who likes frosted flakes, who prefers rice crispies, to who needs thickened juice, who prefers chocolate milk to who requires skim. My trainer Matt Nawrot knew every single detail by heart. I’m convinced that Matt could tell you every Resident by name, where they sit and precisely what and how they prefer to eat. He even took care to cut the sweet rolls into bite size pieces when needed. That’s a set up for success!

2. CBV goes above and beyond to bring quality to pureed meals. Teresa Anderson has been a CBV cook for over 25 years and she is the Queen of Purees. Teresa explains that most other communities serve frozen pureed products, but that’s just not good enough for OUR Residents. The Culinary department is committed to providing fresh, quality meals to everyone regardless of dietary restrictions. I learned that our pureed foods start with the same freshly cooked ingredients, seasoned to taste and then Teresa works her magic. She finishes the meals by pureeing each item to an exact consistency and then takes extra special care with presentation. That meant piping mashed potatoes into an oblong shape, hand forming the seafood entrée into a patty and piping the bright green vegetable right into the center to add a pop of color and appeal because according to Teresa, the food “should always look as good as it tastes”.

3. The kitchen is no place for a klutz. Hands down, the kitchen is the most dangerous place to be at CBV. Wet floors, sharp knives, blenders, blades, and mixers – hot pans and griddles, broilers and ovens, steamers and fryers to name a few. Fortunately, the Culinary crew takes nothing for granted and makes safety a daily priority. And with CBV’s current safety record, the proof is truly in the pudding.

4. The Culinary crew thrives on teamwork. Our Culinary department is a well-oiled machine! In a job where every minute counts, staff members constantly lend each other a hand to get the job done. I was most impressed by the way the kitchen crew works together in tight quarters, skillfully pivoting and swaying around one another in perfect harmony.

5. There is ALWAYS something cooking in our kitchen. I never thought about the sheer quantity of food that goes into serving 3 meals a day to over 200 Residents. Because most of our meals are homemade from scratch, that means nearly round the clock food delivery, chopping, marinating, cooling, cooking etc… Did you know the cooks are already preparing the next day’s meal before today’s lunch hits the dining room? Sal Caguioa, our Salad and Dessert Chef, just finished slicing his French Silk pie and he was already talking about the cupcakes he’ll begin baking for tomorrow’s main dessert. Immediately following lunch service, Chef Rob began par-cooking and prepping Saturday’s main courses. The kitchen lights go out at 8:00 p.m. each night and re-open again at 5:00 a.m. every morning. Time to make the doughnuts!

6. Time is of the essence. If you’ve ever hosted a dinner party you understand the challenge of bringing everything together at once. This challenge is no different in CBV’s kitchen only it happens THREE times each and every day. The early morning starts off at a fairly quiet but brisk pace. By 9:30 a.m. the rhythm is rising and things start moving at a much quicker rate. At 10:30 a.m. Chef Rob ricochets around and Chef TJ has his hand in every pot at once. The tempo reaches high velocity – but that’s what it takes to pull each meal together, particularly when serving such a wide variety of choices.

7. Presentation is essential. If there was one lesson learned across the board, it was to take care in the plating and presentation of each meal. From our supervisors, chefs to servers, everyone has great respect for food and each plate is handled with care. TJ advises “stay within the border and make it ‘high and wide’ to fill the plate for appeal”. And don’t forget the garnish!!!

8. Showtime. Possibly the greatest secret to success is the daily Showtime ritual. Just before lunch service the Culinary team, including all the Aides from the entire community, gathers around in the Commons kitchen. The supervisor shares customer service, safety and diversity tips of the day, and then reviews the daily menu in detail. Finally, each server grabs a fork to taste test the menu items. Chef TJ is on standby to make final modifications if needed.

9. I LOVE to Fry Fish! It’s no secret that I was fascinated by the deep fryer and enjoyed making Chef Rob’s famous batter fried cod. There was something simply gratifying about slipping freshly dredged pieces of cod into the fryer and minutes later lining the pan with perfectly browned and crispy planks of fish. I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

10. The dish room was the biggest surprise of the day. I admit I was not looking forward to working in the dish room but found it refreshingly rejuvenating. First of all, there’s the dish machine that works like a mini automatic car wash – so bring on all the dishes you want – Baniesa says it’s actually quite easy! The staff agrees there’s a mechanical yet meditative quality about running the dish machine. It’s a quiet time to reflect upon the day and your own personal thoughts. It’s a little steamy but by the time the dishes are clean, dry and neatly stacked, you have a real sense of peace and accomplishment. Job well done!

A Special Note to the Culinary Department:
I was telling a Resident about the day, gushing about all the passion and teamwork, and she said “the Resident’s are doing our part too” then with a smile she added, “We are blessing the food and the hands that made it”.
Thank you to the entire Culinary Department for nurturing our Residents in your very special ways. And thank you to all my teammates and trainers. I’ll never forget my Day in Culinary.

Bon Appetite!
Dawn Mondschein

Connections between Music and Memory

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Extensive neuroscience research has shown that music can have a profound effect on memory and health. The simple experience of listening to music can revitalize individuals with dementia and other brain disorders, and can be used to improve one’s quality of life.
As part of our commitment to delivering award-winning care at Central Baptist Village, we offer an engaging music therapy program led by Virginia Caldwell, our board certified music therapist with a special credential in neurologic music therapy. Recently, Virginia and Julie Stevens, Director of Sales and Marketing, were featured on Aging Info Radio.
Hear what Virginia and Julie shared about the connections between music and memory on the Music and Memory Show here:

To learn more about how Central Baptist Village uses music to address physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs, or how health and well-being can be achieved through the use of music, please call us at 708-583-8500.

Early signs of Alzheimer’s and what to do if you see them

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

According to experts, as many as five million Americans age 65 and over suffer from Alzheimer’s. The early signs of Alzheimer’s may not be obvious, or they may be confused with the forgetfulness that sometimes comes with aging. If you have concerns about a loved one, the Alzheimer’s Association provides this checklist of signs to look for. The checklist also includes helpful examples of typical changes that are related to age, not Alzheimer’s. For example, occasionally forgetting a name or an appointment but remembering it later happens to many of us as we grow older. Consistent difficulty with recall, however, may be an issue.

If you are concerned about someone you know, make a note of:

• The specific changes you are seeing, for example, if a loved one who has always taken pride in cleanliness is starting to show a lack of attention to housekeeping and personal hygiene.
• When you first started noticing the signs.
• How often you notice the signs.
• Other health issues that you may be aware of. For example, difficulties with spatial relations may be a sign of Alzheimer’s, but they can also be a symptom of a vision disease.
• How any changes may be affecting your loved one’s quality of life or safety.

It’s important that you share this information with your loved one’s doctor. Be specific. Keep in mind that your loved one’s doctor gets to see Mom mainly for the limited time of an office visit, during which she may seem perfectly normal. By tracking trends and changes in behaviors, you’re providing invaluable details that can help the doctor determine what may be going on and what the next steps should be.

For a geriatric specialist’s point of view, see “8 Behaviors to Track If You Think A Parent Is Getting Alzheimer’s” at A Place for Mom.

Remember, if your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, a community like Central Baptist Village offers the appropriate setting, support, care, and engaging activities to meet her physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual needs. To learn more, please call us at 708-583-8500.

How to shop for an older adult

Monday, December 15th, 2014

How to shop for an older adult

It’s easy to shop for children — books, toys, games and other products geared for the young abound. But how do you shop for your favorite young-at-heart senior, who may be trying to downsize or who simply doesn’t want more stuff lying around to dust?

• Pay attention to the older adult’s needs. For example, if she’s always cold — a common result of some medications — get her a soft, comfy sweater in her favorite bright color. She’ll wear it every day and tell everyone how great it is. Just make sure you know her size!

• Look for products that may help with everyday tasks. If he has arthritis in his hands, a jar-opening gadget may do the trick. If she likes to write, she’ll appreciate an ergonomic pen designed for stiff fingers. You may not have to buy something expensive or big, just something that’s well designed, useful and attractive.

• For the frugal older adult, help out with a luxury. Get him or her something they’ll appreciate and use but may not buy for themselves. If your older adult friend or relative likes to be pampered, pay for a trip to her favorite salon for a style and a manicure. (If she lives at a retirement community, most likely you can get a gift certificate to the in-house salon.) If he’s a tea drinker, buy him a nice sampler of his favorite teas.

• If you live nearby, offer your services. You can design and print coupons that offer your handyman, housekeeping or chauffeur services for an hour once a week, once a month, or in whatever form works for you. An hour of your time here and there could mean the world to an older adult living on his or her own.

• Take the older adult’s abilities into account. For the older adult with cognitive limitations, the Alzheimer’s Association offers this helpful shopping guide, broken out by Alzheimer’s stage. Remember to pick up a little something for the older adult’s caregivers.

These are just a few ideas. You’re limited only by your imagination and creativity. Happy holidays to you and to the older adults in your life!

Top 5 reasons you should make the move to senior living now

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Most of us put off doing the things that we don’t think we’ll like (making a date with the dentist comes to mind). When it comes to big changes, it’s even harder to take the first step. One of those big changes for older adults is moving to a retirement community. At Central Baptist Village, we hear everything from “The timing isn’t right” and “The house isn’t sold yet” to “I’m not sure I can afford it” and “I’m just not ready yet.”

Right now, however, the timing is perfect. Halloween is here, and Chicago’s brutal winter is on its heels. And you know what that means: High heating bills. Snow and ice. Shoveling or finding someone to shovel for you. Fear of falling on icy sidewalks or sliding on slippery roads. Calls from the kids asking if you’re all right with the snow and plummeting temperatures. Fewer trips to the store or your favorite coffee shop. Rescheduled doctor’s appointments. The list goes on and on.

Here are the top five reasons you should consider moving now, before winter sets in for the next several months:

  1.  No need to shovel. Our maintenance staff takes care of shoveling and keeping our sidewalks free from ice, not to mention the other helpful tasks they perform in your home and around the community.


  1. No need to drive to stores or doctor’s appointments, or to stock up just in case. Our scheduled transportation can whisk you to local grocers, pharmacies, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, and more. Of course, we offer dining services, so you don’t even have to cook.


  1. No need to look at your heating bill with fear — heat is included in your fee at Central Baptist Village.


  1. No need for your family and friends far and near to worry about you and how you’re managing. If you like, you may want to check on them via Skype video chat using our computers or your own. If you need help setting up your computer, our staff can have you up and running in no time.


  1. No need to be alone. No matter how frightful the weather or the forecast, you can sip hot coffee or tea in the company of some of the warmest, most interesting people we know — our residents. And you can get as involved in our many activities as you like — from fitness classes, special interest groups, and music therapy and programs to spiritual and intellectual pursuits. It’s all here at Central Baptist Village — come rain, sleet, hail, or snow.


Don’t struggle through another winter and don’t wait for peace of mind. We invite you to join the Central Baptist Village residents who tell us, “I wish I hadn’t waited so long to move!”

Tips to stay safe this summer

Monday, July 14th, 2014

After the coldest winter in years and a cool start to spring and summer in Chicago, sun and summer safety may not be at the top of your list. As you know, though, the weather in Chicago changes often, so get ready as we head into the dog days of summer.


  • Stay cool. Older adults and people with chronic health problems are more likely to get heat exhaustion or even heat stroke, which can be deadly. If you don’t have air conditioning, why not visit your local library and check out a bestseller? Another option is a trip to your favorite mall. Window-shopping is free, and most malls have places to sit. Even better, invite a friend and get in a mall-walking workout in the cool air. If you can’t get out of the house, drink lots of water and take cool baths.If you know an older person without air conditioning, check in during hot spells. Learn more about heat exhaustion and heat stroke, including the warning signs and what to do.


  • Get the water your body needs. You may not feel thirsty, but your body needs water to stay healthy. Always carry a full water bottle with you when you go out. Health conditions and prescription drugs may affect how much you need, so ask your doctor for a recommended amount of water each day. Be sure to eat your fruits and vegetables too.


  • Protect your skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher. If you’re going to be outdoors for long periods of time, say, at a family picnic, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Wear sunscreen even on cloudy days and in shady areas — you can still get burned. Follow the directions about how often to apply in different conditions (for example, while swimming). Protect your head and face with a hat (some hats even have SPF ratings!) and your eyes with sunglasses. The sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so keep that in mind while planning your activities. Remember, protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays can help you stay younger looking!


  • Avoid bug bites. Mosquitoes are known for passing along West Nile virus, and deer ticks transmit Lyme disease. Both can carry other diseases as well. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a tool that can help you choose a safe and effective insect repellent based on your activity, your time outdoors, your preferences and “how attractive you are to insects.” Once you choose an insect repellent, follow the label instructions.


  •  Practice food safety. Summertime family picnics are a great way to get together, but eating outdoors is no reason to slack in the food safety department. Food should be kept at appropriate temperatures and cooked thoroughly. Check meats with a thermometer to be sure. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) offers these tips and recommended cooking temperatures. Bon appétit!

When you take the right precautions, you can enjoy a fun, rewarding and safe summer — year after year.

To Be An American

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

In celebration of Independence Day and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, we have asked many of our residents what it means To Be an American. Here’s what they told us:

“It’s a blessing and a privilege given to us by the Lord for which I am grateful. Our many freedoms come to mind. What a blessing is ours to be able to worship God without fear. Also as a woman to be respected—not regarded as unimportant. Then to have a government that’s of the people, by the people and for the people.”
~ Hazel Gunderson

‘President Lincoln said, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Down the line I came, into the picture and I take it for granted. I can speak out, vote out. Not many countries give that privilege. It’s not easy to be free but we have done it.’
~ Donald E. Marcoux

“I feel blessed, thankful and lucky to be an American. A place where I am not afraid to express my thoughts and beliefs.”
~ Mildred Marcoux

“To live in a country with the most
freedom in the world.”
~ Walter Depa

“For me, I have the assurance that despite the turbulence in our world and unrest in our country, I can enjoy serenity and comfort.”
~ Herb Grunde

“As the Declaration of Independence states, ‘All men are created equal,’ thus suggesting the sacred dignity of the individual. This profound statement, guaranteeing equal rights for ALL, is something for which we have been striving since those Revolutionary days. With the grace of God and effort on the part of us all, (voting and working for the common good) this will come to fruition.”
~ Jack Kernan

“To live in a free country and have free choices, to help one another and be there when needed.”
~ Marilyn Ellefsen

“Both of my parents were Polish immigrants; they came over as teenagers. I was fortunate to be born in this country with all the opportunities it had to offer.”
Robert P. Prorok

“Being an American is a Big Honor. I have served in the U.S. Army and helped raise a family in freedom.”
~ John Martin

“I have the privilege of serving God, our Heavenly Father, without fear of my life and Bible taken from me.”
~ Alice Powell

“1.The privilege of living our life and choice of employment in any style we choose,
2.Living in this country with people who guide us along the way being proud to be Americans.”
~ Jody Movrich

central baptist village

Welcoming Seniors
of All Faiths Since 1896

Central Baptist Village is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community with more than a century of dedicated service in caring for older adults.

Why choose
Central Baptist Village?

Our team approach supports residents and their families through the transitions of aging. We offer on-site independent living, assisted living, memory support care, skilled nursing care and short-term rehabilitation. Residents enjoy enhanced independence and greater peace of mind knowing health care needs are based on a personalized plan and delivered within a community of friendship, faith, and family.

award-winning care

Central Baptist Village is fully focused on the safety of our community. For our complete COVID-19 response, please click here.