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The Birches Assisted Living

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The Birches Assisted Living Challenges the Stigma of Aging Through "Living It!"

Clarendon Hills, IL, February 04, 2017 --( The Birches Assisted Living in Clarendon Hills, Ill. is challenging the idea that your older years are only a time for mental and physical decline by participating in a successful aging campaign called “Living It!” throughout the month of February.

The four-week “Living It!” campaign encourages members of The Birches’ community to engage in new physical, intellectual, social and spiritual pursuits, with each week of the month focused on a different type of pursuit. The first week of February, for example, focuses on new social pursuits, and the weeks following focus on intellectual, physical and spiritual pursuits.

The idea behind “Living It!” is that getting older shouldn’t prevent you from living a full, well-rounded and fulfilling life. But in order to do so, you need to continue to try new endeavors and challenge yourself in new ways.

“Life doesn’t stop once you reach a certain age. You can keep learning and growing in all areas of your life. We want to encourage this growth in any way we can,” said The Birches’ Executive Director Jackie Sander.

The Birches’ February calendar is filled with activities, projects and events that provide residents and associates with the opportunity to try something new, like arm knitting, creating beeswax candles, journaling, learning about technology or letting loose at a dance party.

These events help residents broaden their horizons, but they also allow the community to slowly chip away at stereotypes about aging - mainly that older people aren’t capable of learning, growing and changing in the same ways younger people are.

“Our society is filled with negative ideas about aging. These ideas do a disservice to all of us because they trick us into thinking that we can only really thrive during the first half of our life. This simply isn’t true, and “Living It!” is our way of demonstrating that,” said Sander.

Even though “Living It!” offers a special platform for The Birches to challenge the stigma of aging, it is far from the only time during the year the community does that. In fact, The Birches partners with Masterpiece Living, an organization that helps assisted living communities and senior organizations across the country implement a wellness program based on aging research conducted by the MacArthur Foundation, to redefine aging year-round.

“The Masterpiece Living organization provides us with the backbone to our philosophy on aging, which is centered around the MacArthur Foundation study that proves 70% of the way we age is based on lifestyle choices, and that you have to nurture more than just your physical health. You have to nurture your mind and spirit too,” said Sander.

Although The Birches’ “Living It!” programs and events are only open to members of the Birches’ community, participation in the “Living It!” campaign isn’t limited to people at The Birches, or even seniors for that matter. Anyone can take part in their own version of “Living It! by planning a month full of new and unique pursuits that encourage them to grow in different areas of their life.

“'Living It!’ extends far beyond what we’re doing at The Birches. It’s a philosophy that anyone can adopt, any time of year,” said Sander. “It’s really just a way to motivate yourself to live your life more fully and to not let your age become a barrier to what you believe you can do.”

The Birches Assisted Living in Clarendon Hills, Ill. 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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