What to do with Mom and Dad now?

Melinda Smith and Erin Blair

You grew up in Glen Ellyn, went away for a few years and are now back perhaps raising children in a town you love.    Jobs, kids, travel, life.   You’re busy and you can’t keep a close eye on your aging parents like you want to. Now what?  That’s where these Glen Ellyn moms come in.
Erin Blair and Melinda Smith are two Glen Ellyn moms with parallel lives who had never met before connecting at Belmont Village Geneva Road. Both have newly minted 8th graders at Hadley, their eldest teens are Glenbard West students, both have banker husbands trekking to the city via Metra, and both have cheered on their sons at Glen Ellyn Rebels games.  Daily, these ladies can find funny parallels that have them believe their partnership was meant to be.
Erin grew up visiting her aunt, uncle and cousins in Glen Ellyn and knew this is where she wanted to raise a family.  After marrying her Scottish-raised husband, Kevin, they moved to Glen Ellyn 19 years ago.  Erin is mom to Grace, a Hadley 8th grader and Ryan, a Glenbard West grad (now attending Indiana University) along with her beloved shelter-rescue pup, Buster!  Erin and her family love to travel!  Costa Rica, London, Cancun, Paris, Door County & Belize will have all been ticked off the bucket list by the end of the year.  Erin and Kevin are known to throw a raging party every January to honor the Scottish legendary poet, Robert Burns!
In 2015, Melinda and her husband Matt couldn’t deny the village charm after visiting her college roommate, who moved to Glen Ellyn first.  Melinda is mom to Peyton, a senior at Glenbard West and Sawyer, also a Hadley 8th grader.  She is starting to wind down her Irish dance mom duties as she and Peyton are enjoying college shopping together.  Sawyer’s baseball practices and games keep the family busy along with Maizy, her cherished rescue pup, tagging along much of the time.  When not at Belmont Village or at baseball, you can find her at Drip Yoga in Glen Ellyn.
Erin was a former pharmaceutical sales manager for most of her career until she decided to stay home for 13 years with her children.  In 2018, she chose to return to the workforce for another Glen Ellyn magazine, but she knew her true calling was in healthcare.  After stints in a small senior home care and hospice company, she settled into Belmont Village in 2019 and has never looked back!  Erin leads the admissions process and loves knowing that it is a senior living company she truly believes in.  So much so, she’ll even move her own parents in when the time is right.      
Melinda’s career started with 18 years at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, in addition to roles with  Montage Deer Valley and the San Diego Tourism Board.  The pandemic led her down a different path where she connected with other hotelier friends who had moved over to senior living pre-pandemic, and the rest is history!  “I loved being in the luxury hotel business but I knew I needed something else.   Less travel, more local, more meaning, more purpose.” She knew too of Belmont Village’s incredible reputation for being a great place to work.  “No airplane travel and 9 minutes from home?  Sign me up!”  Melinda now collaborates with Erin but works with the Community’s outside partners.  “I love working with our outside referral sources, but then working with the families is especially rewarding since I’ve been through this process with my own Mom”, she says.
Belmont Village’s solid reputation stems from being in business on Geneva Road for 22 years.   Always the same owners, always the same management company and uniquely, an Executive Director of 22 years, which is entirely unheard of in the senior living industry!  The longevity of the Geneva Road team both in leadership and care staff sets records in the industry.  Forbes Magazine has even named Belmont Village Senior Living as a “Great Place to Work”.     
Belmont Village is both Assisted Living and Memory Care.  It offers a unique and award-winning program called Circle of Friends, which is assisted living but for those with mild cognitive impairment.  Circle of Friends residents may need more support but not a secure setting. The community underwent a full renovation in 2022 and the ladies note, “It’s clean, it’s fresh, and it’s beautiful!  Yet, it’s the quality of care for the residents and partnerships with the families that make the difference”.    
The Geneva Road location is committed to partnering with neighboring businesses and causes.  For example, their weekly florals, special event flower arrangements, event cookie orders are all from Glen Ellyn small businesses.  The residents themselves are passionate about giving back to the community.    Each year, several fundraisers such as the Alzheimer’s Walk in September and Ladies Night Out (hosting several Glen Ellyn businesses at the event) have allowed residents to contribute to the Alzheimer’s Association, American Heart Association, and a variety of veteran’s organizations including The Honor Flight Network.
What advice do the ladies have for us?  “The residents enjoy the engagement, the activity options and each other’s company while in-residence at Belmont Village.  Now is the time to take advantage and enjoy that beautiful chapter of life!  Think about senior living options now and don’t wait for a crisis to consider a change.”       
Melinda shares, “It’s funny.   As the entertainment coordinator at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago 25 years ago, I was ordering Madonna an incumbent bike for her hotel room or hustling Mick Jagger out of his suite so the team could get it ready for the guest waiting to check in. Now here I sit with Erin and the Belmont Village team and life couldn’t be sweeter”.

"When it was time for my parents to move out of their Glen Ellyn home of 50 years it was very important that I find a place that was close by and had a homey feel to it. After talking to several people in the area Belmont Village of Geneva Road was the top choice by all. I toured it after a few others and there was no question it was perfect for my parents. Belmont Village is set up like a home with many common places for the residents to gather for visits or do activities, which there are many. The staff and residents are very friendly and treat everyone like family. As my parents primary caregiver, along with my brother, we love how close they are to us in Glen Ellyn and love how many familiar faces there are from Glen Ellyn working there and as residents. We all feel lucky to have such a nice and trusted place for our parents and basically in our backyard." -Amy Mueller Hasso

For more information about Belmont Village Geneva Road, contact Ms. Erin Blair at 630-510-1515 or eblair@belmontvillage.com
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