Lincolnwood Place: Regina Umanskiy, Executive Director

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America has a continually expanding elderly population that is evaluating its future living arrangements. Continuum of Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) offers a great opportunity for the elderly population. They have choices of independent-living apartments that often have added security measures over regular apartments and options for increased assistance and medical care as needed.

Lincolnwood Place in Lincolnwood, Ill., is a 299-bed CCRC, offering independent-living apartments, assisted-living apartments, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and therapy services. The community places a great emphasis on hospitality and community service. With 234 independent-living apartments, Lincolnwood is geared toward the newer population of elderly adults looking for a stable environment that feels like their own home.

“Lincolnwood is a place for people to thrive and enjoy their golden years,” said Regina Umanskiy, executive director. “We have all levels of care, activities, transportation, and the best rehabilitation center in the area.”

Growing slowly but surely

Lincolnwood is growing and offering added services to its residents, but, as with all industries related to the housing market, Lincolnwood is seeing a slowed growth rate in the independent- living side of the business.

“The market for independent living is not picking up as fast as we would like to see,” Umanskiy said. “A lot of customers are unable to sell their homes, which prevents them from moving into our community.”

Despite the slowed growth, Lincolnwood is remodeling their dining room, auditoriums, arts and crafts room, several apartments, and adding amenities throughout the community. The company installed an emergency-call system and distributed pendants to residents free of charge. Using these, independent-living residents can notify staff if there is anything unusual going on. The pendants work throughout the Lincolnwood campus.

Investing in comfort and health

In addition to independent living, Lincolnwood also has 25 assisted-living apartments and a five-star rated rehabilitation facility. Umanskiy said the rehabilitation center was recently redone with flat-screen televisions, an expanded therapy room, and added windows to increase natural light and promote healing while people receive therapy services.

Lincolnwood has made a large investment in added security measures for assisted-living residents with the addition of GE QuietCare. QuietCare has motion sensors throughout the apartments that monitor residents’ behavior for about two weeks. After obtaining a baseline, the system will notify nurses through pagers if anything out of the ordinary happens in a resident’s room. Nurses will also get a page if someone stays in the bathroom for more than 15 minutes or other signs that there may be a problem.

“The QuietCare system adds peace of mind for family members,” Umanskiy said. “By notifying us early of issues, the system helps prevent hospitalizations and maintain residents’ health.”

Another feature for all residents that makes Lincolnwood a unique community is dining options. The community has a culinary team designing menus and creating fresh, healthy food choices. In addition, the community offers a Dining for Wellness program that provides nutritional information and educational programs focused on a particular age-related disease such as diabetes, arthritis, or hypertension.

The program focuses on one disease for a month, bringing in physicians to give lectures and offering cooking demonstrations. It culminates in a gala dinner with specially prepared meals. The program also teaches residents how to prepare the meals themselves.

Lincolnwood also offers a range of entertainment programs for residents including a Wii bowling team that competes with other local communities, an acting/film troupe, and intergenerational programs where local elementary school children visit to do projects with the residents.

For family members, seeing their loved ones in a dynamic environment is reassuring.

“They feel that we create a true family environment for our residents,” Umanskiy said. “We take time to learn about our residents’ interests and needs and then design programs and menus, for example, based on what the residents would like to see.”

Part of the greater whole

Lincolnwood is part of the Senior Lifestyle Corporation that has facilities throughout the nation. The corporation’s mission statement is “We create opportunities to nurture the spirit of America’s elders and celebrate the rhythm of each life through open communication, innovative leadership, personal growth and a commitment to excel.”

Lincolnwood exhibits this mission through its amenities, programs for residents, and devotion to customer service and hospitality.

The community continues to attract new residents and is a place of choice for the city of Lincolnwood. Umanskiy said the community partners with local hospitals to help them work on Medicare initiatives and implemented protocols to reduce readmission rates. It also serves as a resource to senior centers, hospitals, and even condominiums.

“We share our expertise and give advice to help people stay healthy,” she said. “These activities keep the community and its residents thriving.”

-by Patricia Chaney

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