Antioch transfers operation of senior services, programs to township

The Antioch Senior Center will close Monday, May 2, 2022, until June 6 for repairs an upgrades. The village will own and maintain the building but responsibility for senior programs and services is being transferred to Antioch Township.

Antioch is transferring the responsibility for senior programming to Antioch Township in an arrangement both parties say will provide better services at lesser cost.

The township and village have operated senior services separately for years. Consolidating with a single focus is a way to provide seniors with more resources, programs and opportunities, officials said.

It also made sense, according to an FAQ regarding the shift, considering the township already offers extensive senior services.

Antioch Township has been working on a revised schedule that combines and includes long-standing programs from the village senior center with programs, trips and events the township created and expanded in the past three years, officials said.

Events and programs will be held at both locations, but they’ll be funded and run by the township.

“All those things that have been happening will continue to happen plus more,” said Courtney Kotloski, senior services director for Antioch Township and now the village. “We’re just putting everything under one umbrella.”

Mayor Scott Gartner said it was time to reevaluate services the village provides for seniors. The new arrangement is more cost-effective and collaboration will eliminate redundant expenses and provide more robust programming opportunities for seniors, he said.

Antioch Township will assume responsibility for Antioch's senior programs and services. Officials say the move will provide more offerings at lesser cost.

The shift coincides with the retirement Friday of longtime village senior center director Paul Howard.

The village building at 817 Holbek Drive will close Monday for repairs and upgrades, including painting and deep cleaning. It’s scheduled to reopen June 6. The last event before the temporary shut down will be the Antioch Traveling Closet spring giveaway Sunday.

Seniors are offered a number of trips, travel, theater outings and special events through the township facility, which is about four miles away at 1625 N. Deep Lake Road.

Magicians, murder mystery programs and special guest speakers, for example, have been part of the township’s senior programming.

For decades, the village building has served as a multipurpose drop-in center for seniors and a meeting/event space for community groups and organizations. The village will continue to own and maintain the building, and its parks department will run any non-senior services or programming there.

Kotloski said 20 to 30 seniors visit the village center on a given day for bingo or other activities, but there isn’t programming that extends beyond that space.

Demand for services is growing, with four senior living facilities in the area and aging baby boomers joining the senior circuit, she said.

Kotloski said the intent is to collect feedback from seniors throughout the 60002 ZIP code and tailor activities and programming to what they want.

“There’s a vision behind it,” she said of the new arrangement.

Case worker Merry Ladewig helps with “the other side” of senior services, such as emergency assistance, Kotloski said.

“She is an invaluable resource and a person who deeply cares for our seniors, as I do, too,” she said. “We all work as a team and have truly built up our programs and offerings to be able to support the growing need and population of seniors.”