At the age of just 15, Janet Maher developed a crippling case of rheumatoid arthritis. Thirty-eight years later, she has endured 36 surgeries, an infection that threatened to take her leg, harrowing skin grafts, and a year on bed rest. She is confined to a wheelchair all of the time and can no longer drive. Because of her condition, Janet has lived with her sister and brother-in-law in their Glen Ellyn home for nearly three years.
Through all of this, her attitude remains remarkably upbeat. “You have to make the best of it; there are little children suffering from far worse,” said Janet. “I’m 53 years old with a debilitating disability, but I’m alive and doing okay.”
Contributing to Janet’s outlook is the short term respite care she has received at The Springs at Monarch Landing in Naperville three times in less than a year. Providing memory support assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, the newly constructed Springs also offers caregivers peace of mind when they cannot attend to their loved ones.
In Janet’s case, the community connected to independent living Monarch Landing gives her a sense of sanctuary, too. “My sister doesn’t have to feel worried or guilty about me being here when she’s away, and I know I’m getting great care,” said Janet, whose most recent stay at The Springs lasted 17 days, when her sister and brother-in-law took their first vacation by themselves in over 30 years.
“The staff treats me like family. When I come here, they all remember me and are excited to see me.” In addition to attentive, caring staff who are there to tend to her every need, Janet loves her surroundings at The Springs. “It’s fresh, clean, carpeted…the dining room is cozy, with big windows overlooking beautiful gardens, and the living areas have fireplaces and comfy couches and chairs.”
Respite guests also have their own private rooms with a TV, refrigerator, a kitchen stocked with food and desserts, a walk-in shower and a spa tub. “The only thing missing is my own private pool!” Janet quipped. Not a morning person, she appreciates the culture of flexibility at The Springs. If she wants to sleep in and skip breakfast or have a meal in her room instead of the dining area, she has the freedom to do so. “The staff knows I need my coffee, so they make sure I have it. And if I don’t like what’s on the menu, the chef will customize a meal for me.”
Not one to shy from conversation and engagement, Janet has made fast friends with residents and other respite guests at The Springs and taken advantage of the many activities available. “I have met some very interesting people here with fascinating life stories,” she said. She has also made friends with the resident therapy dog, who has given her plenty of love and kisses.
“Respite care is not just for the elderly. It’s for anyone who needs help while caregivers need a break or are not available,” said Janet. “My sister and I knew just by looking at The Springs website that this was the place for me. It looks and feels like home.”
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. Monarch Landing is owned by Senior Care Development and managed by Life Care Services.