Barb City Manor in DeKalb to celebrate turning 45

DeKalb retirement community to host open house Saturday, public invited

DeKALB – Barb City Manor, DeKalb’s nonprofit retirement home, is preparing to celebrate its 45th anniversary this weekend.

Established in 1979, the four-story residence on Haish Boulevard in DeKalb is home to about 55 older adults. Although some residents may reside in an apartment independently, others may opt to live with another individual.

As the city’s independent retirement living community, Barb City Manor is able to provide an alternative for older adults with a low-to-moderate income who no longer want the responsibility of homeownership but would like the safety and comfort that comes with living in a community with the residential feel of a home.

Barb City Manor Associate Director Ann Cheladyn said it means a great deal to her and her team to be embarking on a significant milestone.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Cheladyn said. “It’s a huge accomplishment for anyone to be around for 45 years. We have helped hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of senior citizens have a warm, safe place to stay with good nutrition and activities. [We] help them out with their rent when they need it. It’s good to be able to say that we’ve been doing that for 45 years.”

In commemoration of this milestone, Barb City Manor plans to host a community open house from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the retirement home, 680 Haish Boulevard, DeKalb. It will feature games, live music, a silent auction and a raffle, among other things.

Cheladyn said she credits the manor’s staff with its longevity. The past two directors of Barb City Manor worked there for 28 years, she said.

Cheladyn and Sarah Davis, the current director, have called the manor their place of employment for a decade. The manor’s food service director and cooks also can count multiple decades on their resume.

“When people come to work here, they stay,” Cheladyn said. “They genuinely care about the people that live here, and making sure that everything is good with them and that they’re being well taken care of, and it shows because our residents stay once they move in. They stay. It’s a very tight-knit community with staff and with residents.”

Cheladyn described the atmosphere that’s been established at Barb City Manor as “very friendly.”

She credited Barb City Manor’s past and present leadership for leading by example.

In charting the future at Barb City Manor, Cheladyn said the retirement community already is eyeing a few projects to help steer the next 45 years.

“Our parking lot is going to be redone,” she said. “But one of the big ones that we’re working on is our Wi-Fi right now. We have free Wi-Fi on our ground floor, but all of our residents do not have that. We’re trying to keep our building updated and give everybody access to technology that is out there.

“We have more and more residents coming in that are computer savvy and good with their phones and their iPads, and they want to have Wi-Fi up in their rooms, so we are working on bringing free Wi-Fi to everybody in the building.”

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