Se­nior Liv­ing

Tran­si­tions are hard. Th­ese ser­vices and com­mu­ni­ties make them eas­ier.


Ev­ery stage of life presents a unique set of chal­lenges. Whether you’re ready to move to a re­tire­ment com­mu­nity, or notic­ing changes in your eye­sight, use this guide to find the help you need.


This cou­ple have been serv­ing the real es­tate needs of se­nior cit­i­zens for some 30 years, and have de­vel­oped a prac­tice that spe­cial­izes in the some­times trau­matic move from long­time homes to re­tire­ment com­mu­ni­ties.

The cou­ple, both se­nior real es­tate spe­cial­ists at Realty Ex­ec­u­tives In­tegrity, work with a num­ber of other busi­nesses to han­dle all the tasks – and feel­ings – that go with such a move.

“We have de­vel­oped part­ners that as­sist us,” says Bruce Nemovitz, “so that we can be sort of a one-stop shop, and have all the ser­vices the fam­ily would need to not only emo­tion­ally plan for the tran­si­tion, but also to help pre­pare the home for sale and down­size from years of be­long­ings, or, as we call them, trea­sures.”

They co­or­di­nate with se­nior com­mu­ni­ties into which their clients are mov­ing, and hire con­trac­tors who can do any re­pairs on a house be­fore a sale, or help sort through be­long­ings and stage es­tate sales with un­needed items.

“The words that we hear al­most uni­ver­sally are ‘over­whelmed,’ and ‘don’t know where to start,’” says Nemovitz, who’s writ­ten two books on the process – one (Mov­ing in the Right Di­rec­tion) for se­niors and the sec­ond (Guid­ing Our Par­ents in the Right Di­rec­tion) aimed at their adult chil­dren.

“It’s never too early to start pre­par­ing for a fu­ture move,” says Nemovitz.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to se­nior real­


An­other firm that deals with this crit­i­cal tran­si­tion is Univer­sal Ser­vices mov­ing com­pany. Started 22 years ago by Richard J. Zanon and his wife, Mig­dalia, Univer­sal Ser­vices ad­dresses needs of se­niors in all phases of mov­ing. Its mis­sion is to pro­vide the el­derly af­ford­able, di­rect, un­com­pli­cated and com­pre­hen­sive mov­ing ser­vices. In ad­di­tion, its store in Sus­sex, Con­sign w/ US, pro­vides a place for se­niors to con­sign house­hold items that don’t fit in their new home. This some­times can pay for the en­tire move.

To­day Mig­dalia Zanon (who has a mas­ter’s in health ad­min­is­tra­tion) man­ages the firm’s day-to-day op­er­a­tions. Zanon says that Univer­sal Ser­vices un­der­stands that right­siz­ing and mov­ing are a huge un­der­tak­ing for se­niors, and that a sys­tem­atic plan for down­siz­ing and mov­ing is cru­cial. The firm of­fers th­ese ser­vices:

Or­ga­niz­ing and de-clut­ter­ing: A move man­ager does an in-home sur­vey to de­ter­mine if there’s enough in­ven­tory for an es­tate sale – or if not, which items are consignable and can go to the store.

Pack­ing: The firm can do par­tial pack­ing (only frag­ile china and spe­cial items) or full pack­ing.

Mov­ing ser­vices: The firm can tell the cus­tomers how many movers they’ll need and how many hours the move will take.

Un­pack­ing ser­vices: Univer­sal Ser­vices puts all the house­hold items in place and gets rid of pa­per and boxes.

Clean-out ser­vice: The firm will get the old home ready for sale. It will help de­cide which fur­ni­ture is go­ing on your move, to fam­ily and friends, for con­sign­ment or es­tate sale, for do­na­tion or to throw away in the dump­ster.


Next to arthri­tis and heart dis­ease, low vi­sion is the most com­mon hand­i­cap among Amer­i­cans age 65 and older. “As we see in our clin­ics each day,” says Dr. Michael Rac­iti of Eye Care Spe­cial­ists, “low vi­sion can have a va­ri­ety of causes and con­se­quences. For­tu­nately, there is usu­ally a med­i­cal, sur­gi­cal or laser treat­ment that can ad­dress each con­cern.”

For ex­am­ple, says Rac­iti, a part­ner at the oph­thal­mol­ogy prac­tice that has

over­seen the care of more than 130,000 Wis­con­sinites since 1985, a cataract is the cloud­ing of the nat­u­ral lens in the eye, which typ­i­cally oc­curs as part of the ag­ing process. Six out of 10 peo­ple over age 60 ex­pe­ri­ence symp­toms, in­clud­ing blur­ri­ness, glare sensitivity and ha­los around lights. Treat­ment in­volves sur­gi­cally re­mov­ing the cloudy lens and re­plac­ing it with a lens im­plant to re­fo­cus light rays onto the retina for crisp vi­sion. Pa­tients can re­sume ac­tiv­i­ties within hours.

Glau­coma is a con­di­tion (of­ten re­lated to in­creased eye fluid pres­sure) that causes pro­gres­sive dam­age to the op­tic nerve. Glau­coma usu­ally does not present symp­toms and, left un­treated, can cause per­ma­nent tun­nel­ing (loss) of side vi­sion and even­tu­ally all sight. Treat­ment in­volves pre­scrip­tion eye drops and/or laser or sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures.

Age-re­lated mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion is a break­down of the spe­cial­ized part of the retina needed for cen­tral vi­sion to read, drive, see faces or clocks, do close work, etc. “Dry” AMD may be pre­vented or slowed with vi­ta­min sup­ple­ments, sun pro­tec­tion and not smok­ing. Pro­gres­sion of the more se­ri­ous “wet” form can of­ten be halted with reg­u­lar in-eye med­i­ca­tion in­jec­tions.

“Poor vi­sion doesn’t have to be a fact of life with ag­ing,” Rac­iti says. “Take ac­tion. See an eye-care spe­cial­ist to de­ter­mine whether it’s sim­ply the need for a new lens pre­scrip­tion or the start of a vi­sion-threat­en­ing con­di­tion that is most likely treat­able as well as cov­ered by Medi­care and in­sur­ance.”


The Villa at Bradley Es­tates em­braces the con­cept that if you fo­cus ef­fort on tak­ing care of your em­ploy­ees, so that peo­ple en­joy com­ing to work, the place will achieve bet­ter pa­tient care and out­comes.

“Our work en­vi­ron­ment is get­ting bet­ter ev­ery day,” says Tom Henschel, ad­min­is­tra­tor of the skilled nurs­ing and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ter at 6735 W. Bradley Road.

“We also be­lieve that we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to meet the needs of our com­mu­nity,” Henschel says. “We have met with our com­mu­ni­ties’ med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als as well as as­sess­ing our com­peti­tors, so that we avoid un­nec­es­sary over­lap of ser­vices.”

Bradley Es­tates, which pro­vides both short-term and long-term care to its pa­tients, is cur­rently in the process of de­vel­op­ing and ex­e­cut­ing what Villa calls “as­set def­i­ni­tion.”

“We are as­sess­ing and chang­ing pro­cesses to im­prove our out­comes,” Henschel says. There are some ex­cit­ing changes com­ing, in­clud­ing in-house dial­y­sis, im­prove­ments of clin­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties, fo­cused ser­vices spe­cific to vet­er­ans, and ser­vices geared to­wards al­co­hol and drug de­pen­dency.

“We would love to share more specifics and would wel­come any­one to tour and learn more about our plans to meet the needs of our com­mu­nity,” Henschel says.


A new steel and glass tower ris­ing along North Prospect Av­enue will sig­nif­i­cantly ex­pand one of the city’s premier re­tire­ment homes – but more im­por­tantly im­prove its health care op­er­a­tion.

“Our project’s goal is to recre­ate health care at Saint John’s in a way that re­spects our res­i­dents’ needs and de­sires and in­cor­po­rates best prac­tices, sup­ports on­go­ing in­no­va­tion and re­sponds to the de­sire to pro­vide em­ploy­ees an op­por­tu­nity to de­liver ex­cel­lence,” says Re­nee An­der­son, pres­i­dent and CEO of Saint John’s Com­mu­ni­ties Inc., 1840 N. Prospect Ave.

The new tower, along East Kane Place, will be the com­plex’s third – join­ing the orig­i­nal build­ing, con­structed in 1979, and one com­pleted in 2011. The home, founded in 1868, was pre­vi­ously at other lo­ca­tions.

“The im­pe­tus of this project was around recre­at­ing our health cen­ter and not nec­es­sar­ily about ex­pan­sion,” An­der­son says. “How­ever, the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand pro­vides the fi­nan­cial where­withal to re­place health care.”

Saint John’s now has 50 skilled-nurs­ing rooms and 24 as­sisted-liv­ing suites; the project will re­place those with im­proved units and add 16 suites that are hy­brids of as­sisted- and in­de­pen­dent-liv­ing apart­ments. All the new as­sisted-liv­ing and skilled-care units will have full bath­rooms – not cur­rently the case – and there will be more space, more nat­u­ral light and more gen­er­ous com­mon ar­eas. In ad­di­tion, the new con­struc­tion is re­plac­ing Saint John’s health clinic, ther­apy rooms and sa­lon and adding ad­di­tional as­sets.

The up­per floors of the new 22-story tower will con­sist of 79 new apart­ments. Many of the prospec­tive res­i­dents come from the com­mu­nity’s lengthy wait­ing list, An­der­son says. The $123 mil­lion project is ex­pected to be fin­ished in 2020, with phased move-ins start­ing in Jan­uary. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to sain­tjohns­


St. Camil­lus, too, is ex­cited about the fu­ture of its new In­de­pen­dent Liv­ing ex­pan­sion plans. The East Res­i­dence In­de­pen­dent Liv­ing ex­pan­sion in­cludes a 15-story build­ing with 168 lux­ury apart­ments with large, open liv­ing spa­ces, gran­ite coun­ter­tops and floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows. The ex­pan­sion of the cam­pus at 10200 W. Blue­mound Rd. of­fers 12 floor plans and lets res­i­dents per­son­al­ize their dream re­tire­ment home dur­ing pre-con­struc­tion.

The East Res­i­dence will fea­ture mul­ti­ple culi­nary op­tions in­clud­ing a bistro, sports pub, for­mal din­ing room and a deli. Res­i­dents will also en­joy so­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties in­clud­ing daily Mass, a ro­tat­ing art gallery, the­ater and a brand-new well­ness cen­ter with a pool.

“We are ex­cited for what the fu­ture holds for St. Camil­lus Life Plan Com­mu­nity,” says CEO Kevin Sch­wab. “St. Camil­lus is eager to con­tinue to pro­vide the best qual­ity care and ser­vices for years to come. ”

St. Camil­lus’ vi­sion for the fu­ture fo­cuses on three key el­e­ments: tra­di­tion, com­pas­sion and in­no­va­tion. This fall, St. Camil­lus is rolling out a mul­ti­di­men­sional res­i­dent pro­gram called Re­vi­tal­ize Well­ness which en­com­passes the whole-per­son well­ness con­cept and sup­ports suc­cess­ful ag­ing in In­de­pen­dent Liv­ing. It pro­motes six di­men­sions of well­ness to sup­port the jour­ney to op­ti­mal health in­clud­ing phys­i­cal, com­mu­nity, so­cial, in­tel­lec­tual, spir­i­tual, and emo­tional as­pects.

“We are ded­i­cated to of­fer­ing the most com­pre­hen­sive and in­no­va­tive pro­grams to our res­i­dents to in­crease strength, re­silience, stamina and over­all health,” says well­ness nav­i­ga­tor Mag­gie VerBrugge, an RN.

A faith-based not-for-profit, St. Camil­lus Life Plan Com­mu­nity has been proudly serv­ing south­east­ern Wis­con­sin for over 90 years. ◆

Saint John’s on the Lake’s new tower, now un­der con­struc­tion, is at right in this ren­der­ing.

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