Meridian Health Care and Charter Senior Living of Vernon Hills have been on the road a lot together lately in order to engage the community in ways that are “outside of the box” considering the climate we are all in (COVID restrictions). So far, it has been a whopping success. When Charter reached out and asked if we would like to participate in an event to benefit the senior community of the Village of Vernon Hills, the answer was of course “yes”.

On Friday January 8th, we accompanied Charter to the Village of Vernon Hills town hall, in which we met with the Assistant Village Manager, Jonathan Petrillo. Also involved (and the reason we were there) was the Vernon Hills Senior group (run by David and Lily Beckman), which works directly with the village in order to provide senior citizen engagement. We provided the group with dozens of “goodie bags” that were filled with crossword puzzles, scratch-off lotto tickets, and other small gifts.


Pictured from left to right: Steve Rainsford (Meridian), David and Lily Beckman (VH Senior Group), Kristin Meyer-Cason and Jennifer Mallo (Charter Senior Living of VH)


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Meridian’s Steve Rainsford and Vernon Hills Senior Group leaders Pictured with Village of Vernon Hills Assistant Village Manager, Jonathan Petrillo


Charter Senior Living of Vernon Hills leadership pictured with Jonathan Petrillo and also David & Lily Beckman of the VH Senior Group


Goodie bags ready to be distributed to the seniors in the community


During our engagement at the village hall, ideas started flowing between all involved parties on how we can all work together to not only engage the senior community (Meridian’s well known pet therapy is an option down the road), but how we can promote new programs that benefit the wellness of seniors and bring some “normalcy” back in a safe manner.  Jonathan mentioned that the village has set up a booth at the local indoor mall, and one of the ideas is that it will be the responsibility of the area seniors involved with the senior group to maintain it and possibly even decorate it monthly with a new theme. This alone is a way for seniors to be involved in a community based project that is important not only for the village, but for any and all residents in the area.


Village booth at the mall as it sits now


One thing that was also discussed was the fact that the mall has been empty. All of this indoor space is going to waste:

According to, it is recommended that seniors “aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intense aerobic activities”, which involves walking. All of that space at the mall would be a perfect location for socially distanced senior walking groups conducted on a weekly basis, don’t you think?…..


It was an honor partnering again with Charter Senior Living of Vernon Hills and making new friends with the Village of Vernon Hills and also David and Lily Beckman of the Vernon Hills Senior Group. We look forward to working with them all in the future on providing community engagement and outreach.