2017 Bi-annual 100th-PLUS Birthday Party Celebrates 13 Korean Residents Ages 100 to 106
On Wednesday, May 10th, Niles Nursing & Rehabilitation Center made its final preparations for an exciting birthday celebration set to kick-off at 3 PM that day for more than 100 attendees in their activity room. This event would also be widely covered by the Korean press - one newspaper and three cable TV stations.
Balloons and streamers soon festooned the walls and ceiling. The long banquet table was carefully draped in crisp white linen and each place setting was decked out with an individual birthday cake marked by candle numbers showing the person's age who would be seated there, along with a fresh bouquet of colorful flowers and assorted gifts. This birthday celebration only happens every other year and is eagerly anticipated by both residents and families alike.
RESPECTED KOREAN ELDER CARE
Niles Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is well known for its outstanding Korean program. The facility cares for 140-plus elderly Koreans - more than any other long-term facility in the area. Licensed for 304 skilled beds, this service niche fills more than one-third of the building.
Soon the birthday celebrants arrived with the women dressed in beautiful ceremonial Korean dresses, and one man who wore a ceremonial hat, along with his Korean dress robes. Additionally, all the women were treated to professional make-up application to look their best in pictures and on TV!
The formal ceremony also included prayers, hymn singing, live music, and more. Next, family members were invited to step forward as a group to light their loved one's candles and later to comment about the important contributions that person made to their family.
Mrs. Hyun Cho is the director of the Korean program and her husband, the Reverend Won Cho, volunteers as a pastor. The facility provides Korean caregivers, appropriate dietary choices, and other cultural needs to help create a home-like Korean community.
KOREAN SECRETS TO LONGEVITY
Mrs. Cho translated what the birthday celebrants' secrets were to a long life:
- Eat small portion meals frequently throughout the day.
- Eat lots of vegetables and healthy/lean meat.
- Have strong faith in God for contentment and peace.
- Always have a thankful heart.
- And, of course, they acknowledged the good care they have received at the facility.
MEET OUR ADMINISTRATOR
John Marc Sianghio
John Marc is a man of faith. It has served him well as he recounts his life and the many serendipitous events that led him from his life in the Philippines to his current position in Niles.
"Several years ago, my wife, Sharon Rose, and I had finished vacationing at Disneyland in California," he recalls. "But, when it was time for her to return home to the Philippines, she wasn't allowed to board the plane because she was seven months pregnant. She had to stay with family here, and two months later, our daughter, Grace, was born which made her a U.S. citizen, and the rest is history, so to speak."
After many career steps that eventually led him to be an administrator in Illinois, what does he enjoy best about his current role?
"I've always enjoyed being of service to others," he says with a smile. "As an administrator, you're not just in service to your residents and families, but also the staff. If your staff is happy so are your residents."
He is especially proud of his facility's service niche as a resource for Asian/Korean senior citizens.
"I consider this a unique ministry where these residents feel the many blessings that arise from meeting their cultural needs."
John Marc and Sharon Rose recently celebrated 31 years of marriage and have four children ranging in age from 11 to 30. In their leisure time, they enjoy family activities especially traveling around the U.S. together.