Villa Guadalupe Senior Community

June 7, 2024— Addressing health and housing needs of older adults

Did you know 14.5% of adults 50 years and older struggle with mental health, according to National Institute of Mental Health? Concerns about mental health are growing among seniors, who have been negatively impacted by social isolation and loneliness. St. Jude League supports programs that specifically attacks mental health issues specifically for seniors.

Villa Guadalupe was founded in 1991 to meet the unique needs of seniors in housing and care. Located adjacent to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, home of the National Shrine of St. Jude, it has been setting the standard for senior living for over two decades. Villa offers seniors in South Chicago a wide range of life-enriching amenities, such as affordable housing, bilingual social and health services, and other stimulating programs. Social assistance, health care, and case management are all free of cost for seniors.

Residence Service Coordinator, Wendy Steward recently shared the example of an 81 year old Villa resident who needs minimal health assistance which is a blessing at that age. While living independently through the senior years becomes a luxury, it can also bring loneliness and depression, Villa Guadalupe staff address these issues by hosting engaging programs such as exercise and dance classes, jewelry-making, holiday events and day trips.

Food security is also an important factor when living alone as a senior. At Villa Guadalupe, Chief Program Officer, Tevonne Ellis says food boxes are available to be delivered every month for residents who sign up. Residents also have access to the Mobile Urban Growers Collective Van which comes to Villa every Tuesday and they can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at a much lower price than the grocery store. These are a few of the methods to help residents supplement their needs living on a fixed income.

Health is always a priority but for these residents that are 55 and older, maintaining good health can be a crucial daily battle. That’s why the staff host events like the diabetic education class to help them live healthier lives. Program staff share success stories of a number of participating residents have improved health and lost weight due to the program. They partner with different organizations and partners to offer their residents the best possible choices in self care.

Senior living communities like Villa Guadalupe play a crucial role in promoting mental well-being among older adults by fostering social connections, providing specialized care, and creating a supportive environment where seniors can thrive. Villa is currently raising money to make renovations and improvements to the facility and programs. In addition to costly elevator upgrades, Villa is in need of a bus to offer more outside events and activities for the residents.

St. Jude League welcomes your support in helping Villa Guadalupe continue their vital senior programming and facility improvements. As both home and community center, Villa ensures the wellbeing, happiness and safety of about sixty residents. With your support, Villa Guadalupe will continue to lead their senior residents into healthier, happier lives. And keep watch for the Claretian Associates have an annual block party in August, a chance for the whole family to celebrate Villa Guadalupe, getting back to school event, health screening, and all kinds of fun activities.


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