Chippewa Place supports seniors and their desire for safe, secure independence

Chippewa Cover
At Chippewa Place in Brecksville, seniors receive support and engagement——from staff members like (L-R): Alli Bugno, Alison Schillero and Penny Obhof——while living independently. Find out why this community might be the right fit for you or your loved one. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Patricia Nugent

Most senior care facilities have been on strict lockdown since Covid-19 hit in March, with restricted visitations and solitary conditions.

However, since Chippewa Place in Brecksville offers independent living accommodations for seniors, they never shut down or restricted visitors during the pandemic.

“We feel blessed to have not had a single case of the virus,” says Alison Schillero, who oversees the local retirement community. “From the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been vigilant about masking, sterilization and social distancing. Our residents have meals delivered to their apartment, but we continue to offer a host of activities so they can stay active. We like to think outside the box to come up with engaging pursuits for them.”

She reports the staff has risen to the occasion, acting as a family-like support system to residents.

Many residents—like Helen and Marty—enjoy gardening in Chippewa Place’s vegetable and flower patch

“We always have time to sit and talk to people to reassure them and calm anxiety,” says Alison. “Some of our residents who experienced WWII say living through a pandemic leaves them with similar emotions and feelings.”

As part of the outreach, the staff started publishing a monthly newsletter to offer inspiration and update people about Covid-19.

Another smart effort is Alison and her staff put together furnished suites, so they don’t have to worry about outside moving companies coming into the building.

“They’ve become so popular,” she says. “We’ve already rented nine units since spring. It makes the move easier and more convenient for people.”

At Chippewa Place, furnished suites are now an offering. They ease the transition and eliminate the need for an outside moving company to come in.

A Constant Cleaning Team
“Our team has been dedicated to sterilizing every surface, every elevator button, railing, door and more—from the main lobby and entrance to the laundry rooms and commons areas—on a constant rotating basis,” says Penny Obhof, who is supervisor of housekeeping. “We’re bulldogs, always on the lookout for people without masks on or standing too close to each other. We also take temperatures of people coming into the building.”

If someone has a fall and has to go to rehab, when they return, they self-quarantine for the required 14 days.

Providing A Homey Place for Families to Visit

One of the many perks at Chippewa Place is that they welcome residents’ families with a clean bill of health to come for a visit and stay in one of their guest suites, which are homey and charming, with all the amenities of an apartment.

“Our residents love it and they get to spend more time with their loved ones since they can stay in the building,” she says.

All summer, Alison and her creative crew have been renovating different parts of the building, from a Library to the Zen Tranquility Room and Mirror Lounge (pictured).

Renovating Lounges
All summer, Alison and her creative crew have been renovating different parts of the building, from a Library to the Zen Tranquility Room and Mirror Lounge.

The welcoming and distinguished library on the second floor features wall-to-wall bookshelves and stately decor.

For a peaceful and mindful oasis, the Zen Tranquility Room on the third floor provides a soothing retreat, with a collection of succulent plants and relaxing sitting space.

On the fourth floor, in the stately Mirror Lounge, Alison’s vision of covering one wall with a variety of more than 20 mirrors comes to life.

The space currently undergoing a transformation is the Dining Room, with new paint and pizzazz for a fresh and inviting look.

And next on tap is decorating another lounge called the Chippewa Room, with interesting American Indian-themed décor, original maps and artifacts.

Chippewa Place is located at 7005 Stadium Drive in Brecksville. There are 100 one- and two-bedroom apartments. Continental breakfast, dinner and housekeeping are included in the monthly rent. Call 440-526-6060 or for more information.

Categories: Westside Smart Living