Friendship Village's Georgene Fiorillo

At any given moment, she may be hosting a streamed trivia game (sometimes in costume), helping with craft projects, posing as Mrs. Claus for a Christmas display, helping residents garden, running rosary and chapel services, escorting residents to programming, honing her comedic skills in the Laff A Minute Improv program, and more.

Friendship Village's own jack-of-all-trades (or, in this case, Georgene-of-all-trades), Georgene Fiorillo, is the go-to resident for just about anything the senior living community in Schaumburg needs.

"Georgene helps with so much. She helps with specific projects and will step in and help teach, create, share and do one-on-one visits. She's always helping out and giving back. Georgene is one of our special gifts," said Joshlyn Johnson, lifestyles coordinator.

Fiorillo received a master's degree in special education and taught while also raising her three children. She also had a younger sister, "Lovey," who had special needs and for whom Fiorillo always cared, eventually becoming her guardian. Lovey enjoyed her monthly visits to Friendship Village until her recent death.

"I'm a born caregiver and helper," Fiorello said.

Fiorillo, who moved to the senior living community seven years ago, exclaims, "I'm in love with this place." She has a beautiful apartment with a full-sized kitchen, washer and dryer, and sunset view. "I love my apartment, but I also love I can step out of my apartment, and there's a puzzle room, a library, a fitness center and pool, several restaurants and always lots of activities," she said. "There are always programs with which to be involved. I go and experiment new things and keep involved with my favorite hobbies."

Fiorillo explained, "I'm not sedentary, so I'm glad to be able to record on TV because things are going on here early morning until late at night." She added, "I'm free to live my life the way I want it."

Living at Friendship Village, she concluded, "You can really find out who you are and the inner part of you that needs to be explored. When you're here, opportunities to develop skills, interests, your mind, your soul and your heart. There are immense opportunities to develop the person you are at your age and be happy with yourself. I am happy with myself."

Click here to read the story as it appears in the Daily Herald.

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