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2022 Governor's Engaging Aging Award

Memorial Care Center Activity Department

Nominated by AgeSmart Community Resources

The activity staff at Memorial Care Center, owned and operated by Bethesda Health Care, demonstrate on ongoing commitment to supporting residents’ spiritual well-being as part of a holistic approach to rehabilitation and recovery. During the height of the pandemic when visitors and outings were restricted, they found creative ways to incorporate spirituality into the healing process for those residents who identify with a faith tradition. Activity staff offered Zoom prayer services, and activities assistant Juanita Smith, who is an ordained minister, would visit residents room to room for prayer and spiritual support.  

Southern Illinois University School of Law legal Clinic for Older Adults

Nominated by the Egyptian Area Agency on Aging

Southern Illinois University School of Law’s elder law clinic provides free legal services to persons aged 60 and older who live in Illinois’ 13 southernmost counties. Managed by one attorney, an office manager, and a small team of law students, the clinic’s typical cases include drafting wills, powers of attorney for health care and property, and representing clients in guardianship proceedings. SIU usually performs all of the work for their funding in the first month of the fiscal year. The legal provider continues to take as many cases as possible for the entire year, even without full reimbursement for the work performed. Even when the school is technically closed during summer and holidays, SIU has assisted older adults on numerous occasions to ensure older persons would be safe with emergency guardianship assistance and with guardianship for grandchildren when there was concern over the care of the children.

White Crane Wellness Center

Nominated by AgeGuide

Founded in 1985, White Crane Wellness Center is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to empower older adults to improve and sustain their health, while serving as a local and national model to achieve healthy aging. White Crane Wellness Center brings their services into the community through an ever-expanding network of partnerships, serving more than 5,000 older adults throughout diverse communities in Lake and DuPage counties for AgeGuide. White Crane operates an Adult Day Wellness Program and facilitates a portfolio of nationally recognized evidence-based health programs, health education workshops, screenings, assessments, fitness programming and support services.