Eva Schweitzer and Elizabeth Blum have only been residents of Sedgebrook, a senior living community in Lincolnshire, IL, for a few months, but they're already known as "The Sisters." "Everyone who sees us says 'Here come the sisters'," said Elizabeth. Eva, 75 years old and two years younger than Elizabeth, relays an encounter with a Sedgebrook couple shortly after they moved into the community: "Elizabeth and I were at dinner with a man and his wife, and we told them we were sisters. The woman said to us, 'You know there's a priest here at Sedgebrook?' I told her we're not that kind of sisters," said Eva. "They thought we were nuns! We still laugh about that when we see them!" When asked if the two could be identified as siblings by their looks alone, Eva was quick to respond: "No, by all means."
Eva and Elizabeth (who live four floors apart at Sedgebrook) are seen together everywhere they go, whether dining, exercising, playing games, knitting, crocheting, or going to Sedgebrook's worship services on Sundays. However, they were not always so amicable. "We have a younger sister who would get in trouble with our mother, and I would cry," said Eva. "But if Elizabeth got in trouble, I didn't care; I would laugh."
Eva and Elizabeth traveled together from Germany to New York with their family on March 12, 1956. Eva met and married a fellow German immigrant within a year of living in the U.S., had two children, and lived happily with him until his death in 1998. Never married, Elizabeth lived with her mother until her death in 2002. "It was after my mother and Eva's husband died that we began doing more together," said Elizabeth. "Elizabeth was always crazy about my children," Eva chimed in. "She was like their second mom, so that brought us closer, too."
Before deciding to move to Sedgebrook eight years after an initial visit when the community opened in 2005, Eva and Elizabeth lived in condos in Prospect Heights and Mt. Prospect, IL, respectively.
Burdened by living quarters that were too big with too many stairs, the sisters considered a move to a smaller condo. On the advice of Eva's adult children, however, they bypassed that option and moved directly into Sedgebrook. "Both of our condos sold within a week of each other. Oh, my gosh, can you believe that?" said Eva, her German accent still intact.
"We are still learning the ropes at Sedgebrook, but we have already made so many friends, and we love it here so much; that's all that matters," said Eva. "We don't have to go out of the building for anything if we don't want to--everything is right here!" Added Elizabeth, "It was important to us to know where we'll be for the rest of our lives, and there's a lot of comfort in knowing that Radford Green [Sedgebrook's Health Care and Rehabilitation Center] is right next door. We'll be taken care of for the rest of our lives."
Sedgebrook is a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) offering a diverse lifestyle, maintenance-free living and outstanding amenities. Five-star rated Radford Green Health Care and Rehabilitation is located on the 92-acre Sedgebrook campus in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Sedgebrook is owned by Senior Care Development LLC and managed by Life Care Services LLC. For additional information visit www.welcometosedgebrook.com or call 847-901-3319.