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    January 23, 2020
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ClareOaks SENIOR LIVING Adding a master's to help serve seniors Lauren Mills doesn't have much free time these days. Since graduating from Western Illinois Úniversity in Macomb last summer, the 23-year-old has held down a full-time job as admissions coordinator at Clare Oaks, a continuing care retirement community in Bartlett, where she represents the first point of contact for patients entering short-term rehab and long-term care. A 40-hour work week is usually enough of a challenge for someone right out of college. But in the fall, Mills began classes at Aurora University to carn her master's degree in social work, with a healthcare specialization. Now add in her required internship-which started this month and involves another 18 to 20 hours a week - and the idea of a carefree post-college social life can entirely disappear. "I's kind of a big adjustment," Mills admitted one recent Friday afternoon. "But I have a lot of friends who are doing the same thing right now. And my family has been so supportive." Plus, she pointed out, "It's only for 32 weeks." Only! Mills does have one advantage in meeting the demands of her schedule: her internship takes place where she works, at Clare Oaks. So she has some flexibility as she balances her responsibilities in admissions with hands-on experience in other areas of service to residents, education. "So I would find out what activity Her first rotation is in the community life department, where she already has dived into the "Vial of Life" project. According to Nicole Carroll, resident coordinator for independent living at Clare Oaks, "Each year we update all pertinent health and contact info for our independent living residents. That's Lauren's main assignment right now," Carroll added. "She's just started, but I can tell that she'll do fine." Clare Ouks colleagwes Lauren Mils and Nicole Carroll It was during her undergraduate internship at Western Illinois that Mills first worked with older adults. She found that their personal narratives took the place of the storytelling that had earlier drawn her to theater and literature, and helped fuel her desire to work with older residents in a hospital or retirement community. "A couple residents had a tough time opening up." Mills recalled about that period in her they preferred. If they liked cards, I'd strike up a casual conversation with them while playing their favorite card game. A setting like that gave them the ability to speak freely and not feel as though I was pressuring or interrogating them. Secing them continue to open up week after week, and actually allowing me to help them, was when I knew I had gone into the right profession." About Clare Oaks Since 2008, Clare Oaks provides independent living apartments and cottages as well as a continuum of care for nearly 300 residents on its 41-acre campus. Lifestyle and healthcare programs include independent living, assisted living, memory support, short-term Mills will later move to the social services and assisted living departments to complete her internship. One requirement of the graduate studies program is that candidates work alongside licensed staff members with a master's degree; fortunately, many of Mills colleagues at Clare Oaks boast such credentials It's all designed to round out her studies at Aurora, where her classes include oncology. psychopathology and advanced social policy. Flexible or not, the schedule still adds up to roughly 60 hours each week, spread out over six days - not counting the two-hour daily commute from Plainfield, where she lives with her parents and brother. Mills has found an upside, though: "That time in the car helps me make the transition from my job before I get home and start doing homework." rehabilitation and long-term care. Clare Oaks boasts an overall five-star rating. the highest for skilled nursing and short-term rehab, as well as a rare five-star rating in all categories-health inspection, quality measures and staffing-from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In both 2018/19 and 2019/20, US News & World Report awarded Clare Oaks a high performance ranking for Short-Term Stay Rehab. For more information about Clare Oaks, 825 Carillon Drive, Bartlett, Ill., call 630.372.1983 or visit ClareOaks.org. ClareOaks SENIOR LIVING Adding a master's to help serve seniors Lauren Mills doesn't have much free time these days. Since graduating from Western Illinois Úniversity in Macomb last summer, the 23-year-old has held down a full-time job as admissions coordinator at Clare Oaks, a continuing care retirement community in Bartlett, where she represents the first point of contact for patients entering short-term rehab and long-term care. A 40-hour work week is usually enough of a challenge for someone right out of college. But in the fall, Mills began classes at Aurora University to carn her master's degree in social work, with a healthcare specialization. Now add in her required internship-which started this month and involves another 18 to 20 hours a week - and the idea of a carefree post-college social life can entirely disappear. "I's kind of a big adjustment," Mills admitted one recent Friday afternoon. "But I have a lot of friends who are doing the same thing right now. And my family has been so supportive." Plus, she pointed out, "It's only for 32 weeks." Only! Mills does have one advantage in meeting the demands of her schedule: her internship takes place where she works, at Clare Oaks. So she has some flexibility as she balances her responsibilities in admissions with hands-on experience in other areas of service to residents, education. "So I would find out what activity Her first rotation is in the community life department, where she already has dived into the "Vial of Life" project. According to Nicole Carroll, resident coordinator for independent living at Clare Oaks, "Each year we update all pertinent health and contact info for our independent living residents. That's Lauren's main assignment right now," Carroll added. "She's just started, but I can tell that she'll do fine." Clare Ouks colleagwes Lauren Mils and Nicole Carroll It was during her undergraduate internship at Western Illinois that Mills first worked with older adults. She found that their personal narratives took the place of the storytelling that had earlier drawn her to theater and literature, and helped fuel her desire to work with older residents in a hospital or retirement community. "A couple residents had a tough time opening up." Mills recalled about that period in her they preferred. If they liked cards, I'd strike up a casual conversation with them while playing their favorite card game. A setting like that gave them the ability to speak freely and not feel as though I was pressuring or interrogating them. Secing them continue to open up week after week, and actually allowing me to help them, was when I knew I had gone into the right profession." About Clare Oaks Since 2008, Clare Oaks provides independent living apartments and cottages as well as a continuum of care for nearly 300 residents on its 41-acre campus. Lifestyle and healthcare programs include independent living, assisted living, memory support, short-term Mills will later move to the social services and assisted living departments to complete her internship. One requirement of the graduate studies program is that candidates work alongside licensed staff members with a master's degree; fortunately, many of Mills colleagues at Clare Oaks boast such credentials It's all designed to round out her studies at Aurora, where her classes include oncology. psychopathology and advanced social policy. Flexible or not, the schedule still adds up to roughly 60 hours each week, spread out over six days - not counting the two-hour daily commute from Plainfield, where she lives with her parents and brother. Mills has found an upside, though: "That time in the car helps me make the transition from my job before I get home and start doing homework." rehabilitation and long-term care. Clare Oaks boasts an overall five-star rating. the highest for skilled nursing and short-term rehab, as well as a rare five-star rating in all categories-health inspection, quality measures and staffing-from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In both 2018/19 and 2019/20, US News & World Report awarded Clare Oaks a high performance ranking for Short-Term Stay Rehab. For more information about Clare Oaks, 825 Carillon Drive, Bartlett, Ill., call 630.372.1983 or visit ClareOaks.org.