CNS Women’s Month Series: Young 60 Plus Club Keeps  Seniors Active and Connected to Their Chicago Community

This article is a part of the Carvd N Stone 2024 Women’s Month Series. We are highlighting a woman-owned business from Milwaukee, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles.

A Love for the Elderly

Brittney Jeter has always had a passion for the elderly. She was raised by her grandmother and was taken care of by “Community Grannies” as a child, forming her early love for society’s elders. Jeter said that growing up one of her most trusted figures was a Community Grannie who kept the neighborhood children out of trouble, gave her advice, and taught her about being a woman.

Jeter is now the owner of Young 60 Plus Club (Y60+), an adult day care center that provides preventative care to seniors in her community. The business offers an alternative for seniors to get out of their house and engage in social activities.

Unexplored Territory

The idea was developed in 2020, shortly after the pandemic, from Jeter’s experience working for the COVID response teams formed by the Illinois Department of Public Health. She evaluated the illness inside assisted living homes, long-term care facilities, and services for the elderly. Jeter saw practices across the state and self-evaluated how they met the needs and safety requirements of seniors. Her conclusion was the need for more proactive care instead of preventative care.

“I feel like it’s better to be proactive than reactive. This program is meant for working-class families who want to drop their parents off or if their parents are home alone and need a place to be active,” said Jeter. “We are going to help within those eight hours to keep people as active as possible. They still get to go home and they still get to be a part of the community.”

The development of Y60+ took over three years of networking and securing funding to be able to create the programs and amenities provided to the attending seniors. Jeter relied heavily on the support of family, friends, and her community for donations; the business’s main funding still comes from donations.

Brittney Jeter (Center), at the opening celebration for Young 60 Plus Club. (Picture by Young 60 Plus Club)
Brittney Jeter (Center), at the opening celebration for Young 60 Plus Club. (Picture by Young 60 Plus Club)

Maintaining a Community Connection

The business’s mission is centered on keeping seniors active, and independent, and serving as an outlet for community activities for seniors. 

Participating seniors are provided breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Each senior is fitted with an individualized plan to make sure that their needs are met with activities that enrich their lives.

Y60+ also has a series of programs that spur intergenerational participation. A key program is the pen pal program where seniors are matched with students from surrounding schools to exchange letters about their days, and current community events, and to give pieces of knowledge to one another. Through the program, students learn life tips, get advice, and about the lives of the seniors. In exchange, the students teach seniors everyday technology skills such as how to navigate their smartphones and how to set up online appointments.

“I feel it’s important for youth to have a relationship with seniors. When they say it takes a village to raise a child, well where is that village to take care of those grandmothers? I kinda wanted to go in reverse because everyone says we as adults need to pour into the children, but these children need to pour back into these seniors, it can’t just be a take we also have to give.”

– Brittney Jeter

Other programs include music sessions, bingo nights, and special guests from the children’s choirs from the surrounding area. The company is currently working with local fraternities and sororities to set up a sponsor program as a way to help seniors on a fixed income pay for the day programs.

For more information click here.

Maria Peralta-Arellano is a Milwaukee-native journalist who focuses on sharing news from her local communities. She dedicates her work to accessibility and producing bilingual coverage focused on arts, culture, and politics. She looks to explore her community through a journalistic and creative lens.

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