First and Oldest Non-Profit in Illinois, the Chicago Scots, Will Transform Elder Care with Huge $14m Gift
Consistently innovative in their approach, Chicago Scots will use the donation to fund an extensive campaign to realign its mission to meet future needs of seniors
Chicago, IL –The Chicago Scots, Illinois’ first and oldest non-profit organization, has received a foundational $14 million gift from The Negaunee Foundation to launch a program to meet the future unmet needs of Chicago’s senior population.
The largest donation in the organization’s 178-year history, it enables the Chicago Scots to begin a campaign to boldly transform its legacy building, the Scottish Home at Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care, in North Riverside into a model of living that relieves the social distress of aging.
“In just a few years there will be many millions of older Americans without the wealth to pay for long-term care as it is currently configured but with too much to qualify for government support,” said Gus Noble, President and CEO.
“They are the ‘forgotten middle.’ They will want to live collaboratively in community with others, to be connected and not isolated, to be social and not lonely. The Negaunee Foundation’s incredible gift will empower us to relieve distress caused by aging – medical, cognitive, and social.”
The baby-boomer generation, now estimated to number 73 million, is rapidly aging and by 2030 all will have turned 65. Many are likely to face the human and financial costs of social isolation, which are already massive and set to increase.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine report that social isolation poses a health risk to seniors equivalent to high blood pressure, smoking or obesity. A November 2023 study by Glasgow University reported that seniors who lack social connection with family and friends have a 39% increased risk of dying early.
“Chicago Scots will realign its mission to provide for future unmet needs of seniors in Chicago,” said Charles Gonzalez, Chair of the Chicago Scots Board of Governors. “Our mission will be made manifest in a model of living designed to connect people through comprehensive, high-touch care based on community and companionship.”
Chicago Scots own and operate the five-acre Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care community as its principal charitable purpose based around the 114-year-old Scottish Home and seven-year- old MacLean House just 15 minutes from downtown Chicago.
Chicago Scots will collaborate with the Alford Group on its transformation plans. “Time and again throughout their long history, Chicago Scots have positioned and repositioned themselves to be relevant in the field of care. I am honored to bring the expertise of the Alford Group to support Gus and the Board as they bring this innovative realignment of purpose to reality,” said the Alford Group’s Don Cooke.
The Negaunee Foundation is a Chicago non-profit foundation that supports cultural, historical, educational institutions and museums, along with performing arts organizations in Chicagoland.
“The Negaunee Foundation enables and encourages all of us in the Scottish community, the field of senior care, throughout Chicagoland, and across the country – kith and kin – to dream together,” said Gus Noble.
About Chicago Scots
Founded as the Illinois Saint Andrew Society in 1845, when Chicago was a small frontier town, population 12,000, the Chicago Scots is the first and longest running charitable organization in Illinois. Chicago Scots is the only non-profit of its kind in the world, authentically rooted in Scottish traditions, values and community, while providing excellent senior care across a full continuum of service. In addition to preserving and strengthening the enduring bonds of friendship between Scotland and North America by hosting events that educate, entertain, and promote Scottish culture, the Chicago Scots support one of the finest senior living and memory care campuses in greater Chicagoland – Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care in North Riverside, IL. Purposeful and proactive in the approach, the Chicago Scots are consistently on the cutting-edge of care for the residents of Caledonia Senior Living, where there was not a single resident COVID fatality during the pandemic. For more information, visit www.chicagoscots.org.