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Jennings and the Sisters of Notre Dame are collaborating on an exciting new development. Notre Dame Village will be a community of living and learning on the Sisters of Notre Dame campus in western Geauga County, Ohio.  The expansion will offer independent and supportive residences for adults 65 years of age and older. Residences will include cottage homes, independent living apartments with services and memory care assisted living. Notre Dame Village will be open to people of all faiths. Residences are expected to open in summer 2018.

Rendering of Notre Dame Village Site

Rendering of Notre Dame Village Site

Notre Dame Village answers a vital need for available senior housing and services for both the Sisters of Notre Dame and an aging local community. According to Sister Margaret Gorman, SND, Chardon Provincial Superior, the median age of a Sister of Notre Dame in the Chardon province is 74. Likewise, Geauga County has an aging population that currently lacks attractive, faith-based, senior housing options. When fully occupied, Notre Dame Village can provide housing for 180 individuals.

Allison Q. Salopeck, President and CEO of Jennings, feels the collaboration is an ideal fit with complementary organizational values. “Our desire at Jennings is to give people purpose and meaning to get out of bed in the morning. When you talk to residents and staff, people tell us they feel a difference in our method of care. I believe it is the Holy Spirit. It is the smile you see on people’s faces – residents and staff. Our desire is to individually meet people’s needs as much as possible. We ask them to tell us about themselves – what makes them smile? We try our best to tap into who someone is and wants to be. In hiring, we consider the joy they will bring to their job. I look forward to waking up every morning and coming to work. It’s a matter of ‘your soul meeting your role’.”

Though the collaboration is unique, both the Sisters of Notre Dame and the Sisters of the Holy Spirit have a shared piece of history. “Monsignor Jennings (Jennings’ namesake) originally left his estate and will to the Sisters of Notre Dame,” explains Martha M. Kutik, former Jennings President and CEO who is currently the Executive Advisor to help bring this development to fruition.  “They were not able to carry out a mission for the elderly at that time; however, our sponsors, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, were in a position to begin that ministry in his name. Working with Sisters of Notre Dame now is like coming full circle. We were talking to the Office of Aging in Geauga and Lake Counties looking for development opportunities. Jim Clements, Director of Catholic Charities Community Services of Geauga and Lake Counties, took us on a drive to Auburn Road in Munson Township to see the SND campus. He planted the seed.”

The idyllic charm of Notre Dame Village will be captured in acres of pastoral landscape and in its architecture and lifestyles. From natural serenity to customizable home features, Notre Dame Village will also offer locally sourced foods and services, intergenerational programs, lifelong learning and spiritual programs.

Sister Margaret Gorman, SND feels Notre Dame Village answers a vital need for available housing and health care services for both the Sisters of Notre Dame and the local community. “I see this as a win-win for all of us,” states Sister Margaret. “There is a great need for senior housing in Geauga County, where 30% of the population will be age 60 and older by 2020. While this property is owned by the Sisters of Notre Dame, we want to share it with the community. We want to respond to the needs of this community, which include understanding the need for housing for healthy seniors as well as those with health care concerns.”

Apartments with services
Notre Dame Village will offer an apartment building with various floor plans, including studios, one-bedroom, one-bedroom with den, and two-bedroom styles. Residents may live independently or receive services such as an elegant dining room, housekeeping, and other supportive services. They will also enjoy the amenities of the campus, such as covered parking, balcony options, lifelong learning and other programs.

Cottage homes
Charming cottage homes will be available on cul-de-sacs throughout the idyllic landscape. These two-bedroom, two-bathroom single story homes will feature an open floor plan and two-car garage as an option for individuals to downsize from larger homes. Residents have many choices in features and upgrades to make it ideal for their lifestyles. These individuals will also have access to the many amenities of the development, as well as receive services in their homes if needed.

Memory care assisted living
Notre Dame Village will feature three memory care homes for individuals who require assisted living with memory care. Twelve residents will live in each home, where each individual will have a private bedroom. Residents will live in a natural home setting while receiving the assistance, cueing and specialty services unique to this type of residence. It will be one of the first small house models in northeast Ohio.

Ms. Salopeck expresses the excitement for both organizations as construction gets underway. “This is a very special development that is underway for all the right reasons, and there is already an incredible positive energy toward it,” she said. “I can’t think of a better way to begin.”

Visit www.notredamevillage.org for more information, or to join the mailing list for updates.

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