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Elaine Thoreson has outlived professional expectations and is actually flourishing in her new home.

In and of itself, a 98th birthday celebration is an auspicious occasion. Elaine Thoreson’s party this week, was even more impressive as not only has she outlived any expectations, but also she is actually flourishing at her new home at The Springs of Monarch Landing.

Elaine had been living with her daughter and son-in-law Joan and Bill Harrison in Naperville for the past eight years. With advanced Alzheimer’s and other health issues, her family had been told late last year that she should be put on hospice because she was not likely to survive more than three months or so. Nine months later, she’s celebrating her birthday and going strong! “Since she moved to The Springs in January to receive more care, she’s absolutely thriving,” said Joan. “She’s gained weight, she’s stronger and she’s doing great.”

Joan attributes her mother’s dramatic rally to the great care and stimulation she receives at The Springs. “We were doing a good job with her at home; the best that we could. But we couldn’t spend as much time with her as they do at The Springs. It’s incredible,” said Joan.

Joan and Bill had started investigating skilled nursing sites when it became too difficult for them to keep Elaine at home. “The hospice nurse who came to our house weekly gave us three recommendations to check out. We went to one other and then to The Springs. We didn’t even go to the third place. When we walked into The Springs we couldn’t believe it. It feels like home. It’s beautiful and comfortable and everyone here is so wonderful. No contest!” said Joan. “And surprisingly the first place was priced very similarly to The Springs, even though there were only double and triple rooms compared to the private suites here. The nurse who suggested we look at The Springs said that it’s highly recommended, and we see why!”

Elaine relishes observing the hustle and bustle going on around her at The Springs. “She loves sitting and watching. There are always things going on and she loves it,” said Joan. “She doesn’t spend any time in her room other than sleeping. She’s always out.”

Elaine enjoys the food at The Springs. “She gained ten pounds in just a couple of months. She eats well. She might take three hours to eat, but she loves it,” Joan said.

“The staff people at The Springs do her nails. When I’m there, she’ll show me her manicure. It’s so sweet,” said Joan. “She looks at her nails and shows them to me. She never had manicures when she was younger but now she always has her nails done and her hair done.”

Joan said she knew from the very start that they’d made the right decision to have Elaine move to The Springs. When it was time for Joan to leave on Elaine’s first day there, she recalls being nervous. But Elaine, who was busy with the activities coordinator, looked up, smiled and waved good-bye. “I felt so good. And that’s still true. Every time I leave, I feel good. We’re just so lucky,” Joan said.

Monarch Landing is a Life Plan Community located on a scenic campus in Naperville, Illinois-named “one of America’s best places to live and retire” by Modern Maturity, and “the best city for early retirement” by Kiplinger. Monarch Landing offers independent living, promoting a vibrant life style for active seniors. The Springs at Monarch Landing offers assisted living memory support, rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, thus providing complete continuing care for seniors.