Editor’s note: In honor of Celebrating Seniors Week, several residents of The Oaks, a residence, a rehabbed building at 114 S. Humphrey that serves the elderly and people with disabilities, submitted testimonials about living there. The Oaks is owned and operated by the Oak Park Housing Authority and the Oak Park Residence Corporation.

I have been living at The Oaks for over 13 years. I moved in with my husband Vern in 1999. We found very quickly that The Oaks was our forever home. We made friends quickly and enjoyed the many activities that The Oaks offered. Over the years, there have been many changes and I love Oak Park. The Oaks offers a clinic, computer lab and a visiting physical therapist. We have a real sense of community. Our staff are good people who genuinely care for everyone, which make us feel safe and secure. Come and visit; you will like what you see.

Nancy Taylor

I have been a tenant at The Oaks for well over eight years. I wanted to become a tenant after seeing the building’s atrium and his one-bedroom apartment on the sixth floor. I love my independence and especially like having a parking lot. I have made many friends and have become familiar with all of Oak Park and its cool history.

Carl Cirillo

The Oaks is one of this community’s hidden treasures. Entering this independent-living residence, visitors encounter the prize-winning atrium. All year long, trees, plants and shrubs provide a place for relaxation and conversation. The benches reflect the influence of early 20th-century garden preserves.

Just as our senses are nurtured by the natural beauty of the atrium, our minds and spirits are sustained by wellness and exercise classes, computer access and our on-site library: the Book Nook. Amidst all our daily activities, we are sustained by our enjoyment of, and friendship with, one another. We come from varying backgrounds and belief systems; however, we share a commitment to this, our chosen home. Like the greenery in the atrium, we are nurtured and sustained by The Oaks of Oak Park.

Mary Young

My name is Early Dawson and I have resided at The Oaks building for two years.

The Oaks, located at 114 S. Humphrey, is for seniors. We also have people with physical disabilities who live here as well.

The staff at The Oaks has been supportive and caring. They have helped me live independently in a safe, secure community. I have cable, a kitchen, and peace of mind.

We also have Oak Park Senior Services come to our building too. They provide transportation (which is the best) case management and homemaker services. The staff is very helpful and patient. I personally would like to thank Steve Smith, Ashley Jasinowski and Dana Ferdinand for all their dedication. These people have gone above and beyond. I highly recommend Oak Park Senior Services.

We also have a clinic at The Oaks. The nursing staff make sure we take our medication properly, check our blood pressure and offer physical therapy. We are fortunate to have these professionals in our home.

As for The Oaks, I would also say thank you to Bob Serritella, our maintenance person who does a great job all the time; Rosemary Serio, who is my go-to person; and Deidra Patterson who runs a wonderful place to live. The Oaks: Try it, you’ll like it.

Early Dawson

I have lived at The Oaks building for over six years. I love our atrium and feel it’s a breath of fresh air. The management is great and I have made many friends. The Oaks is a great place to have community. We have different activities in and out of the building. We have daily coffee time with our friends and neighbors. I believe “we are family.” Thanks.

James Wasniewski

The Oaks has had an active computer lab for the past two years. A company by the name of Connected Living was awarded a grant to set up computer labs in senior buildings. The Oaks was selected to be one of the lucky recipients.

A tenant here, I am the computer lab instructor and have taught lessons to over half of the tenants.

Sixty percent of the tenants have successfully completed computer training, which includes Skype, setting up emails and using search engines. Upon completion of the 12-week sessions each participant is given a new laptop to use in their apartments.

There are five regular computers and one touch screen. We also have a copier and printer. Both make life easier, especially when you need a copy.

The grant ended in 2012, but the lab is open for business. Every day, you will find people communicating with family or friends via our computers.

The computer lab is located on the first floor, adjacent to our TV room. It is open to all tenants and their families and is accessible.

Janet Anderson

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