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The Birches Assisted Living

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The Birches Assisted Living Celebrates International Week

Clarendon Hills, IL, April 10, 2016 --( Residents and associates of The Birches Assisted Living took a trip around the world this week without ever leaving their community in Clarendon Hills, Ill. thanks to The Birches’ third annual International Week celebration.

International Week, which ran from April 3- 9, was The Birches way of recognizing cultural diversity— something that is very prevalent in The Birches community, especially among associates. Birches associates come from a long list of countries, including Egypt, Lithuania, Greece, Mexico, Nigeria, Ghana, India and the Philippines.

During International Week, Birches’ receptionist Henny Huizinga gave a presentation on her Dutch heritage and shared family memorabilia like the wooden shoe she wore as a child that was made by her grandfather. Associate Monica Heidkamp gave a presentation on her Italian heritage, which included a hands-on lesson on how to make the Italian cookies pizzelles.

Birches residents participated in an international-themed “Show and Share” where they shared personal items and keepsakes related to their own heritage. This year’s international-themed “Show and Share” included a food tasting where residents sampled cuisine from Greece, Egypt and India.

Residents also participated in a travel story sharing session led by fellow resident Byron Murgatroy, who has amassed quite a collection of stamps in his passport. The day before his travel story sharing session, Murgatroy teamed up with Birches’ Art Teacher and Egypt-native Janet Salama to deliver a special presentation on Egypt, one of the countries he’s frequented in his world travels.

Additionally, The Birches received a visit from Aqsa School, a Muslim girl’s school in Bridgeview that comes to The Birches every year for International Week. Aqsa students come to The Birches as part of the school’s community service day, embracing the opportunity to bond with Birches residents and share different aspects of Middle Eastern culture.

Birches’ Activities Director Katie Klitchman says that International Week is the perfect opportunity for Birches community members to get to know one another better by learning about each person’s unique cultural roots.

“I think everyone is eager to share information about their own heritage and to learn about the heritage of others,” said Klitchman. “It’s always a fascinating experience learning about different cultures and recognizing what makes each culture unique and what we all have in common.”

The Birches Assisted Living in Clarendon Hills offers professional services to support the physical, social, intellectual and spiritual growth of the older adults who make it their home. The Birches offers purposeful programming and activities designed to promote a healthy aging lifestyle and a strong sense of community. For more information about The Birches, call 630-789-1135 or visit:
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The Birches Assisted Living
Jenny Smiechowski

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