Golden Age started as a family owned establishment in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1970’s. In 1985, we opened our first facility in Illinois. While it might come as somewhat of a surprise, the term “assisted living” had not yet been implemented or designated by the State of Illinois, and due to a lack of viable alternatives, many elderly individuals with even just minor physical limitations, were placed in nursing homes.
Realizing that this was a tremendous dis-service to such seniors, we decided to offer assisted living type services in facilities that were not nursing homes. In fact, while we used the description of “Retirement Home,” our facilities then mirrored what assisted living facilities are like today.
By the year 2000, we were providing our type care for our residents in several facilities throughout the Chicagoland area. We felt very good about the means we employed in order to provide a needed service not available to the public. There were numerous senior living communities around at this time, but none of them offered any support services. If a person living in such community reached a point in their life that they could no longer live independently, then they either had to hire their own private duty nurse, or move from the community.
Managing and operating these large facilities for 30 years, we quickly realized a significant aspect. While the physical needs were tended to, often the psychological needs often were not. We learned that a large living environment was not always the best for everyone. With higher age, a person becomes more reserved, less certain and often confused. They act, think and move at a lower pace. Large crowds, ever-changing personnel, complicated buildings that require road-maps, and the overall rush to get from one place to another, do not help. In fact, they do the opposite. To use an overly simplistic, visual example, think of an ant colony. The environment in a large, institutional facility is not a far deviation from that visual image.
Taking this to heart, by 2015 we made the decision to focus on, and pursue a more personalized approach to providing this type of care. By this time, licensing had become a requirement, and Golden Age Assisted Living has been fully licensed, bonded and insured ever since.
Once the category of assisted living has been defined and mandated in the mid 1990’s, it has quickly been embraced by many institutions. The result has been the rapid development of facilities which promote an institutional environment generally housing in excess of 100 patients per location. They had not yet realized what we have known for some time. Seniors prefer a small and comfortable environment in which they live, rather than a campus-style environment of a commercial building.
For those who could not provide the assistance themselves, or do not have the financial means to hire a home-care agency, this was the only option available at the time (please refer to our page on OPTIONS).
Because we listened, we have embarked on providing this alternative to seniors desiring to live in the type of home in which they had spent most of their lives. At the risk of repeating ourselves, and based on the many decades of serving the senior market, we know of no better way of caring for a loved one. There is no substitute in genuine, personalized and effective care at a time when needing assistance has become a way of life.
Moving is always a bit of a traumatic and intimidating experience for anyone. More so for senior citizen. Especially moving to a place that they might never have seen before. With people they have never met before…in numbers too large to even remember names. Worst of all, they know that this might be their home for the rest of their lives. But what if they don’t like it?
We make a move a lot easier. Our place looks more like home, smells more like home and especially feels more like home. With just a handful of other people, rather than entire crowds, it’s a lot easier getting used to. A lot less daunting and intimidating. A place where you use first names rather than rely on name tags. Where meals are made to your taste and schedules are made according to your convenience.
To make it as easy of a transition as possible, we do not require long term commitments or unwarranted obligations. A simple month-to-month agreement is all we require. Hence, if staying at our home is not working out for any reason, we will not require any justification for vacating our home. In fact, we will do anything possible to facilitate and assist in the process.