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Discover the latest community news, events and senior living trends at Montgomery Place

what is a senior care assistant or associate
Jun 1, 2022 |

What is the Role of a Senior Care Assistant?

Providing care to other people is one of the noblest things anyone can do. Seniors often need round-the-clock care to go about their daily lives. This is where a senior care assistant comes into the picture.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of what a senior care assistant does and what it takes to become one. It also offers insights into the care of friendly senior care assistants at Montgomery Place in Hyde Park.

What is a Senior Care Assistant?

A senior care assistant is a professional caregiver who specializes in caring for people in all aspects of daily living. The caregiver must meet certain qualifications and is expected to play many varying roles and responsibilities, as discussed below.

What Does a Senior Care Assistant Do?

Seniors can sometimes require help with their daily tasks. A senior care assistant’s role and responsibilities can be many and tend to vary depending on the senior’s needs.

Their duties usually include:

  • Grooming tasks, such as bathing and dressing

  • Grocery shopping

  • Doing laundry, washing dishes, and doing other everyday chores

  • Cooking and feeding

  • Taking medicine

  • Help with exercising and physical therapy

  • Observing and reporting to the senior’s doctors and other caregivers

A senior care assistant also serves as a companion to the seniors under their care – this is important because social interaction helps seniors overcome feelings of loneliness. Some care assistants are also tasked with providing specialized care for seniors with certain medical needs.

What Qualities Do You Need to Become a Senior Care Assistant?

Caring for seniors is a sensitive job that may demand a lot of time and work. Ideally, senior care assistants should meet the following qualifications to keep up with the job’s demands:


Seniors usually have various healthcare and medical needs. As mentioned earlier, senior care assistants may be tasked with ensuring that seniors under their care take their prescription medications on time. As such, a background in health education is required – most care assistants have at least an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).


Caring for seniors isn’t just another ordinary occupation – it involves caring for vulnerable people to improve their quality of life. The willingness to do so is usually driven by virtues such as compassion and empathy.

Communication Skills

Communication is essential in every social setting, especially between seniors and senior care workers. Communication skills are critical when dealing with seniors who are hard of hearing.

Emotional Strength

Empathy is one of the values required to become a senior care assistant. Caregivers often develop emotional attachments to the seniors under their care. Understandably, they may experience profound emotional and mental pain if something terrible happens to them. It is advisable to master emotional strength and learn how to balance work and personal ties.

These are only some of the core qualities for becoming a senior care assistant. Other requirements include possessing essential skills such as cooking, cleaning, and driving. Last but not least, the caregiver should be dependable and flexible enough to accommodate the long working hours.

What Experience is Required to Become a Senior Care Assistant?

At the very least, a senior care assistant needs experience working in a healthcare community. This can be any type of healthcare community and working at any capacity – most senior care assistants start as nurse associates. Having worked at an assisted living community is also an added advantage.

Why Choose Montgomery Place at Hyde Park

Montgomery Place has some of the most skilled and compassionate senior care assistants in Hyde Park. These caregivers have the residents’ best interests at heart, and we like to think of ourselves as one big family.

We also offer dozens more reasons to spend your time here, including:

  • Enticing outdoor activities such as swimming and gardening

  • Flexible living options, including independent and assisted living

  • Spacious living arrangement spaces with appealing décor and comfortable furniture

  • A serene environment with spectacular views of the lake

  • Flexible financial plans

Contact us today or call us at 773-753-4100 for virtual tours if you are 65 and above and would like a great place to live. Since we are located at Hyde Park near the University of Chicago and the medical center, residents have access to world-class health. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

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active senior living community
Mar 4, 2022 |

What is an Active Senior Living Community?

An active senior living community provides a wonderful place for seniors to live, relax, and have a stress-free lifestyle. The community offers a maintenance-free lifestyle for seniors from age 65 and above.

Montgomery Place at Hyde Park welcomes everyone interested in a comfortable and fulfilling place to call home. Active senior living communities are a type of retirement community designed for seniors who are active, healthy, and still able to live independently.

Active senior living communities allow seniors to enjoy an active, independent lifestyle with others who share the same interest. The communities provide private accommodation, which includes:

  • Condominium

  • Townhouse

  • Apartment

Each of these comes with a small, fully serviced kitchenette and living and dining space for entertainment purposes if they choose to. 

All of the amenities in active living communities are designed with seniors in mind, and they are similar to those you would find in any small home or townhouse.

Montgomery Place at Hyde Park has all these features, including moving options and more, to help you transition. We understand that choosing a senior care community is an important decision. Before starting the process, you should know what an active senior living community offers.

Benefits of Active Senior Living Communities

The homes provide an opportunity for residents to enjoy life. Before deciding where you should live, here are some of the benefits provided by active senior living communities:

  • They don’t require much maintenance. Residents don’t have to deal with lawn mowing, painting, snow blowing, or other home care activities.

  • Residents are always near their peers who share the same interest. The neighborhood is always quiet and friendly for everyone.

  • Residents get the right size of living space. You don’t have to worry about cleaning or managing different rooms in your home.

  • Residents get access to all types of amenities. If you enjoy sports, keeping fit, or any other extracurricular activities, the communities have them at your disposal.

  • One of the biggest worries of seniors and their loved ones is whether they will be safe. In an active senior living community, safety and security are top priorities. Montgomery Place has a support team ready to help and provide peace of mind to both the seniors and their loved ones.

How to Choose an Active Senior Living Community

Even though there are several active senior living communities, seniors should focus on their comfort and what they want before selecting a home.

Some of the things to focus on include:

  • Focus on the right location. If you want to live in a neighborhood packed with adventure or stay near your children and grandchildren, the choice is yours..

  • Choose a place you can afford to pay for. Review all the fees and monthly rents before finally making a decision.

  • Check the transportation options available. If you don’t plan to drive around, Montgomery Place provides alternative transportation to meet your needs.

  • Review the financial status to see whether it is sound.

What if You Need Help?

Most seniors worry that they could lose their independence after transitioning from their homes to senior living. Another common fear is that since they will be away from their loved ones, they won’t get help or transportation services in case of emergencies.

While this is understandable, it isn’t true. Active senior living ensures that residents have access to support, medical emergencies, and continued care when they need it. At Montgomery Place at Hyde Park, we ensure that residents have access to top amenities.

Why Choose Montgomery Place at Hyde Park

We understand that an active senior living community is something that scares you. However, we plan to offer residents a new, welcoming, and comfortable home. Montgomery Place at the heart of Hyde Park is among the best active communities you will find in Chicago. We offer a conducive environment for residents to enjoy. 

We provide residents with multiple opportunities for enrichment and social interaction to encourage a productive lifestyle.

Contact us today or reach us at 773-753-4100 for virtual tours if you are 65 and above and would like a great place to live. Since we are located at Hyde Park near the University of Chicago and the medical center, residents have access to world-class health. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

Image Source: / Shutterstock

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quality of life in senior independent living facility or community
Mar 3, 2022 |

What is the Quality of Life in an Independent Living Community?

As we age, our life’s focus shifts from raising children to chasing and choosing career paths to create an ideal quality of life of comfort after years of endless commitments and responsibilities. An independent living community provides the perfect environment – tranquil but dynamic.

Initially, the choice of moving into an independent living community was mainly due to a need such as a health crisis. However, this trend is changing, and lately, more active adults aged 65 and above are deliberately opting to stay in a community that guarantees their well-being. The community setting allows the residents to take advantage of the amenities available in a center and services offered, including medical care.

Life at Montgomery Place is calm with an urban setting that lifts your mind and captivates your heart. The independent living community has activities guaranteed to meet the resident’s preferences. Montgomery Place has earned itself a reputation as the cultural center of East Hyde Park in Downtown Chicago because of the residents’ ability to organize their activities.


Quality of Life in an Independent Living Community

Quality of life (QOL) is the state of how a resident in an independent living community integrates with the staff and other residents while functioning and existing in a controlled environment.

Life in an independent living community is not marshal. Apart from scheduled meal times and activities, you can control what you do with your time as a resident. However, all independent living provides 24-hour supervision–providing help when needed.

The Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA) conducted a survey that examined the quality of life in most independent living communities. JAMDA concluded that 11 domains determine the quality of life for the residents in these communities. They include:

  • Dignity

  • Privacy

  • Spiritual well-being

  • Meaningful activities

  • Physical comfort

  • Functional completeness

  • Food enjoyment

  • Individuality

  • Security

  • Relationships

  • Autonomy –  the ability to make willful decisions

Suppose a living community lacks any of the 11 characteristics, JAMDA lays out suggestions to improve the center’s quality of life. For instance, the quality of life can be enhanced by encouraging social participation, creating a social environment, and involving the resident’s family members.


What are the Benefits of Independent Living Communities?

Senior living is ideal for those above 65 years. The community’s setting provides several benefits, such as peace of mind, a maintenance-free life, and even greater and more frequent social interactions.

Below are some of the benefits of being in an independent living community.


1. All-inclusive Rent

While residing independently, all bills – rent, cable, utilities, water, and electricity – are rolled into monthly payments. The setting makes it easy to track and keep a record of your finances.

The overall cost of living in a community is financially beneficial as independent living helps you minimize your spending.


2. A Balanced and Proper Nutrition

For aging people, good nutrition is their most significant source of energy. Unfortunately, older adults often have to worry about the proper nutrients in the food served and its quality. While in an independent living community, the institution is well-equipped with ingredients, skills, and expertise to provide a balanced diet.

If cooking isn’t an option, the residents in the community can add meal services to their daily requirements. Montgomery Place is staffed with top executives and qualified chefs who prepare fresh meals using quality ingredients to meet the resident’s dietary needs.


3. A Maintenance-Free Life

The freedom of independent living is staying away from chores associated with owning a home. For example, you are no longer responsible for mowing the lawn or preparing a faulty electrical cable. Other perks include:

  • Around the clock maintenance team

  • No costly maintenance bill

  • The exterior and interior of the community are well-maintained regularly.


4. A Private But Community-like Living Setting

Being in an independent living community allows you to balance your social life by being part of an active senior living community while enjoying your own private space.

Depending on your schedule, you can join other residents during meal times or while participating in other activities around the community.


5. Social Interactions

Each stage of life has its share of challenges. Unfortunately, the more we age, the more challenging it becomes to make friends, tending to make most older adults isolated and lonely.

One of the biggest perks of living in an independent living community is that it allows you to socialize with people in a similar stage of life.


Why You Should Choose Us

At Montgomery Place, we are committed to enhancing the quality of life for the residents. We are inspired by our values of engagement, dignity, and integrity. Our community offers different lifestyle plans to suit your needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment to live in a safe space.

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woman with a mask
Feb 9, 2022 |
covid 19

Visitor/Vendor Guidelines

Montgomery Place follows the guidelines and recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and both the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Public Health.

All Resident, Staff, Guests and Vendors, must be fully vaccinated to enter Montgomery Place.

On September 23, 2021, The Resident Council of Montgomery Place adopted the following policy:

“The highest standard of protection from communicable diseases in this congregate living environment requires that all Residents be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and Influenza on schedules recommended by the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Chicago Department of Public Health. The Montgomery Place Residents’ Association hereby adopts this standard for all Independent Living Residents of Montgomery Place.”

To provide continuity to this policy, the Administration of Montgomery Place and Board of Directors have enacted a policy that all Staff, Guests, Visitors, and Vendors must be fully-vaccinated.

Requirements while visiting Montgomery Place:

  • Stay Home if you don’t feel well in any manner, are experiencing any symptoms associated with Covid-19, or have been exposed to any symptomatic person or confirmed case of Covid-19. Additionally, be aware and abide by Chicago’s travel advisories, if applicable

  • Mask-wearing is strictly enforced. Cloth masks are not allowed. Please wear a fitted mask covering both your mouth and nose at all times. *Unless eating or drinking

  • Sanitize your hands upon entry to Montgomery Place, and wash your hands with soap and water, as often as possible, while visiting

  • Registration with Reception is required, as well as providing your vaccination card and completing the screening

Montgomery Place is fully open to all Guests, Visitors and Vendors on all levels of living, including Independent, Assisted, Long Term Care and Rehabilitation.

Currently, guest dining is NOT being allowed in Assisted Living (Floor 3) or Skilled Nursing, Long Term Care, and Rehabilitation (Floor 2).

As always, thank you for your cooperation and diligence in supporting the health, wellness, and welfare of our Residents and Staff.

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact Paul Zappoli, Chief Operations Officer, at or at 773.358.7042.

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four vials of Coronavirus vaccine
Jan 26, 2022 |
covid 19

A Letter from Michael M. McGarry, President and CEO

A Letter from Michael M. McGarry, President and CEO:

Dear Friends,

When I became the President and CEO of Montgomery Place in December 2021, after serving on the Board of Directors for almost 20 years, I knew I had hills ahead of me to climb, however I barely began to ascend when the Omnicron surge descended upon us in late December.

My immediate thought was protecting the health and welfare of the Residents and Staff at Montgomery Place. The fact that all Residents and Staff are 100% fully-vaccinated provided me with peace of mind. I’ll share with you that the decision to institute a vaccine-mandate at Montgomery Place was a tough decision, as we assumed that we would lose dedicated staff, who made the personal decision to remain unvaccinated. However, we believed that following the scientific guidance and recommendations would help Montgomery Place weather the pandemic storm. The fact remains that those decisions helped us find great success in mitigating the virus and managing its effects.

My secondary thoughts were guided towards maintaining everyday life and services at Montgomery Place. How were we going to address meals and events, visiting guests and cleaning residences? The truth is…we didn’t need to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Our Teams sought guidance and reflection from their history of serving our Residents in 2020, and they activated those plans seamlessly. While the Omnicron Surge presented new and different obstacles, the servant leadership of our Team soared and I couldn’t be more proud to lead this Team. The sheer gratitude I have for their commitment to our Residents and Montgomery Place is boundless. I take comfort knowing that our Residents are in good hands each and every day, and you should also.

What’s next? We remain vigilant in enforcing proper mask wearing and vaccinations for all who enter or live at Montgomery Place, we enforce mandatory twice weekly testing for all Staff, and we recommend and encourage frequent hand-washing. I often tell our Team that we are unaware of what tomorrow will bring, however tomorrow is not promised. So, know that we are making the very best decisions, with the most current data, for our Residents, Families and Staff for today. Yes, changes may be needed, but we are prepared to pivot in our vigilance.

Finally, I want to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for our Residents, Families and Friends. Your words of encouragement, whether through phone calls or e-mails, to myself and other Team members, have provided us with so much strength and inspiration.

Change is inevitable and Montgomery Place, our greater community, and even the world have seen their share of change since 2020. Fact is, Montgomery Place has seen plenty of change in the last 30 years. Yet, we remain Chicago’s most inclusive and diverse Senior Living community, nestled within one the city’s cultural and social enclaves, along the shore of Lake Michigan. That fact is unmatched. However, equally unmatched is the fact that at Montgomery Place, we are a forever family of Residents, Families, Staff and Volunteers. Let’s continue to enjoy life together at Montgomery Place!

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independent senior living communities explained
Nov 3, 2021 |

What is Independent Living For Seniors? Benefits & Features

As you get older, you want to be able to enjoy those years, but you also need to face the reality that you may need a little assistance performing daily tasks. A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) may be a great solution. CCRC provides a continuum of care, beginning with independent living and providing tailored support all the way through end-of-life care. Many people assume that independent living communities are too expensive, but you may be surprised because you don’t know how much independent senior living costs. You may also be surprised by how affordable some facilities such as Montgomery Place can be.

What Is Independent Living?

Independent living communities are senior living communities that provide residents the flexibility of a healthy social and recreational life, with the convenience of services such as housekeeping and cooked meals. Admission to an independent living community is limited to only those older than 55 or 65 who require limited assistance.

Members of the independent living community are afforded the delicate balance of autonomy and convenience, unlike other types of senior living. For instance, nursing homes mainly focus on providing medical care or help with daily living activities such as bathing and dressing.

Types of Independent Living

As you search for your perfect retirement community, you will come across various independent living communities. These communities offer different levels of independence and convenience.

Senior Apartments

Of all independent living arrangements, senior apartments offer the most autonomy and some services. In senior apartments, you get an apartment with a serviced kitchen and bathroom, allowing you to maintain your privacy.

Residents of senior apartments share a common dining room, which encourages healthy socialization.

Retirement Homes

Although they are a type of independent living community, retirement homes offer varied living options for older adults, ranging from townhomes and apartments to stand-alone houses.

Retirement communities offer seniors independence while also providing convenient onsite services, such as:

  • Meals

  • Laundry

  • Recreation

  • Transportation, etc.

These additional services make retirement communities more expensive than senior apartments.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

These offer various senior living options, ranging from nursing home care to independent living, all within one community.

In these communities, you enjoy the flexibility of an active and social lifestyle with the comfort of readily available healthcare. Since continuing care retirement communities have nursing home care services, independent seniors have the convenience of having a permanent residence even when they become more dependent on caregivers.

Who Is a Good Fit for Independent Living?

With so many options, it can be challenging to determine which senior living arrangement is a good fit for you or your loved one.

The following seniors find independent living suitable for them:

  • Adults who don’t need assistance with daily living activities like bathing, dressing, and management of medication

  • Adults who enjoy their independent lifestyle and only want help with home maintenance and meal preparation

  • Seniors who live alone and would like to interact with other peers through cordial social and recreational activities

  • Retired adults who are ready to embrace a more laid-back and convenient lifestyle

Average Cost of Independent Living

Independent living facilities are all-inclusive, so instead of paying separate fees for different expenses, you can pay one lump sum every month. Costs vary widely depending upon how many services and amenities the community offers. While many independent living communities, like Montgomery Place, offer daily meals, housekeeping and laundry service, a wide variety of social activities, and staff members available 24/7, some offer even more amenities so you will pay more to live at those facilities.

If you’re wondering, “how much is senior living per month?” the answer may surprise you. Many communities offer base packages as low as $500 per month, and because these facilities are all-inclusive, the annual cost could be much cheaper than living on your own. However, you often have to pay an entrance fee to reserve your spot. This one-time cost varies drastically among senior living communities. If you choose to become a resident of a continuing care retirement community that will offer you different services as your needs become more extensive, this fee could be as much as $600,000. However, most facilities are more reasonably priced and have entrance started at as little as $1,800.

The Cost of Staying at Home or Moving to a Senior Community

At first, you may think that remaining in your traditional, family home throughout your retirement may be much more cost-efficient than moving to an independent living community like Montgomery Place. Many senior living facilities require a significant entrance fee, and staying at home allows you to avoid this cost. Montgomery Place offers leasing options, as well as partially refundable entrance fee-based leasing agreements. If you add up the costs of living on your own, you’ll find that the cost of senior living is comparable. Expenses from the following categories add up quickly.

  • Housing: Rent or mortgage is one of the most significant expenses of living on your own. The average cost of rent or mortgage payment varies widely across the nation, but you can expect to pay approximately $1,200 per month just to keep a roof over your head. If you’ve owned your home for many years, you may not have a mortgage payment, but you’ll still have to pay property and HOA fees.

  • Transportation: If you own a vehicle, you may have monthly payments that could be expensive. Even if the vehicle is already paid off, you’ll still have to pay for gas, maintenance, and repairs as needed.

  • Groceries: You have to eat. Cooking for yourself is more cost-efficient than eating out every day, but the cost of feeding yourself can be expensive. On average, it takes $250 per month to feed one person three meals a day. If you want to consume a healthy, nutritious diet full of whole foods and organic fruits and vegetables, you could end up spending even more.

  • Utilities: It costs money to keep the water running in your house and keep the lights on. You may also have to pay for trash removal or lawn care services each month.

What To Consider When Choosing an Independent Living Community

Before you settle for an independent living community, assess your options based on the following factors.

Social and Recreational Opportunities

Older adults who settle for an independent living want increased independence coupled with abundant social and recreational activities. They want to take part in hobbies and games with their peers.

Before choosing an independent living community, discover the social and recreational opportunities available. Ensure that the community offers a healthy combination of onsite and offsite activities to keep you or your loved one satisfactorily occupied.

Convenience Services and Amenities

The quality of services and amenities offered at an independent living community is a factor you should seriously consider. Find out how often the community conducts apartment cleaning, laundry, and other convenience services.

Before making a choice, you should also explore the entertainment and lifestyle amenities available. You should ensure your chosen community is appropriately serviced if you cannot live without a TV or theater room.

Dining Services

Few things are as important as food. Your dining experience contributes to your comfort and health. Find out whether your chosen option offers flexible meal plans suitable to your needs. Verify the number of meals offered and the expected mealtimes to know if your choice is a good fit.

Compare Actual Costs Before Deciding, Talk to Montgomery Place: Senior Living Community in Chicago Today

Whether you are looking into senior living options for yourself or a loved one, the independent living community at Montgomery Place is a great option for people looking for a place in Chicago, Illinois. We offer a wide variety of support services to help you live your best life while living as independently as possible.

If you would like more information on all Montgomery Place has to offer to see if our community is right for you, contact us today to schedule a tour.

Featured Image: Shutterstock /Yakobchuk Viacheslav

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