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New house for the elderly opens its doors near Batavia

Audrey's House provides vacation getaway

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 9:43 p.m. CDT

BATAVIA – A seven-bedroom house near Batavia has a new lease on life as a vacation home for the elderly.

The 6,800-square-foot house on Seavey Road was purchased by the Chicago nonprofit group Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, which has the mission of relieving isolation and loneliness among men and woman age 70 and older who live in Chicago.

Audrey’s House is named for the late Audrey Chesner, one of the group’s elders, who left a bequest after her death in 2011 to encourage the group to find a new vacation home after its previous home in Rochelle was damaged beyond repair during the winter of 2009.

Chicago resident Connie Solano, 87, is one of the seniors who has been vacationing in the home this week. Solano also is a member of Little Brothers’ Elder Advisory Committee.

“I didn’t expect such an enormous place,” Solano said. “I love gardening, and I want to start an herb garden. There is so much space back there.”

Since June, groups of seniors have been vacationing at the house and going on different outings, such as to Kane County Cougars games. Programs and activities are offered free of charge to seniors.

Simone Mitchell-Peterson, chief executive officer of Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, said there were several reasons why the house on Seavey Road was appealing to the group.

“There were many Americans with Disabilities Act modifications already made to the house,” Mitchell-Peterson said. “And you feel like you are in the country. It had a homey, but real getaway feeling to it.”

Cornfields surround the 5-acre sprawling property. At the same time, she noted the house is conveniently near shopping centers and other amenities.

Eventually, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly hopes to provide similar services to seniors in this area, Mitchell-Peterson said. She said she believes the elderly should have the same opportunities to participate in activities as everyone else.

“Just because you are in the eighth decade of your life doesn’t mean those passions go away,” she said.

Information about Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly is available at its website, www.littlebrotherschicago.org.

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