hances are that you have some sort of personal connection with the senior living industry. Either a grandparent, parent, aunt, or someone you know is either in a senior living community, or really should be. The industry has been around for a long time. But the quality of care has been stuck in the 1960s and has not kept up with times. Even though we call them communities, they are still run like institutions. No wonder our elders do not want to join any of them. After visiting more than 100 assisted living and memory care communities, Nader Kameli became convinced that a completely new approach was desperately needed— a more human approach. Kameli is CEO of Bright Oaks Group, an innovative assisted living company based in Illinois. “People do not want to lose control of their lives and become part of a pre-programmed life that is decided for them by strangers. I do not blame them. Would you want this for yourself?” Kameli said. To create Bright Oaks’ new concept of senior living, Nader and his colleagues went straight to the source, talking with hundreds of older adults and observing their way of life. From those who were happy, excited and energetic, learning what made them that way; and from those who were lonely and unengaged in life, learning what pushed them in that state of living. What emerged from the study was that social contact, purpose to wake-up in the morning, going to bed feeling good about the choices they made that day, and experiences they gathered as a result of those choices, gave life its meaning. This learning resulted in creation of a new way of living together at Bright Oaks. “What truly sets us apart is our new concept of Purposeful Family Living, in which we bring people together as members of one family—not as residents, care providers, or employees—and give them control to live life the way it should be,” he said. Bright Oaks family members live a life rich with social interaction, mental stimulation and personal growth in a community of people who have similar interests. Living at Bright Oaks means becoming a member of a multi-generational family living
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in a household with others who feel that life is good and living is exciting. Bright Oaks leadership is certain that Purposeful Family Living can slow age-related decline and sometimes even reverse some of its effects, based on scientific evidence that shows higher quality of life comes from social stimulation and engagement, not medication and isolation. Bright Oaks is not a hotel, nor is it a holding place for the elderly. It is literally a community of neighborhoods, home to exceptional people of all ages. Bright Oaks families live together, work together and play together every day, sharing history and experiences with others, enriching everyone’s lives in the process. That’s why Bright Oaks communities are called Assisted Independence— because they provide independence at all times, with assistance on demand. Living as family at Bright Oaks comes with certain social responsibilities, just as within one’s own family. Younger, extended family members help their elders with physical challenges; older, wiser members offer the next generation the benefit of their wisdom and experience. “Most of all, everyone must respect others and appreciate the value they bring to the family,” Kameli said. All Bright Oaks communities offer the very latest in design, home-style architecture and lush landscaping, with meals served family-style, and amenities and luxuries to meet each family member’s needs and expectations. But what is truly unique at Bright Oaks is the way people live together, having control of their lives, and being there for each other as family members would. At Bright Oaks, memory challenges are addressed with the latest understanding that comes from the body of knowledge in this industry and the field of neuropsychology, and services that are designed to make life more comfortable and still rewarding. It is not enough to offer safety and security to residents. As a place to live life, Bright Oaks brings continued life enrichment to residents of our New Journeys, that excites their day, calms their senses and exercises their mind. Visit www.brightoaksgroup.com or www.brightoaksofaurora.com for more information.