‘It’s like a family here’ at Village Woods

CRETE, IL (November 2015) — Kellie Karstensen, a Village Woods employee for more than two decades, has seen firsthand the challenges of caregiving – not only from her work as a CNA at the senior living community in Crete, Ill., but also as a family member. In honor of National Family Caregivers Month*, she shared her experience: “It’s in a caregiver’s soul, to want to be there for the person who raised you,” Kellie said. “My mom was one of 16 kids. They tried so hard to care for my grandpa, who had Alzheimer’s, and my grandma, who had cancer at the same time. But it takes a lot.” Seeing her family’s struggle and losing her grandparents at a young age played into Kellie’s career choice. “It’s like a family here at Village Woods,” she said. “I lost three grandparents when I was fairly young, so I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with them. Everyone here is like a grandma or grandpa to me.” Kellie started in dietary department at Village Woods, while she was still in high school. In 21 years there, she has worked at the front desk, at the pool, and as a resident […]

Life at Royal Park Place

ZEELAND, Mich. (October 2015) — Residents at Royal Park Place have plenty of options for how to spend their time. Here’s an idea of what some of our residents have been up to: Assisting “Kids’ Food Basket” Royal Park Place is lending a hand to Kids’ Food Basket. Every Wednesday morning, at 10 a.m. in the Queen’s Room, residents pack snacks for the local not-for-profit organization to give away. Kids’ Food Basket helps complete over 7,000 meals for local children.  The organization was named the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 EPIC Nonprofit of the Year for it’s work in providing necessary nutrients for growing minds and bodies. Click here for more information or ways to contribute. Hosting a support group Royal Park Place hosts an Association for the Blind support group on the first Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. in the Queen’s Room. The public is invited to join us, and welcome to share their challenges with others who understand. Continuing their competitive Wii bowling league “Wii have it going on at Royal Park Place,” says Life Enrichment Director Paula St. Amant. In the photo at right are the Wii bowling teams for the winter season. Back row, from left: Nelia Shoemaker, Calvin Niewenhuis, Lefty […]

Ribbon cutting celebrates opening of Arbor Place

LISLE, Ill. (September 2015) — Providence Life Services, Ryan Companies US, Inc. and the Village of Lisle celebrated the official opening of Arbor Place of Lisle with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 15. “Our mission is to enhance the lives of those we serve in the name of Jesus Christ, and at Arbor Place, we intend to do that,” Rich Schutt said at the ceremony. “Jesus said, ‘I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.’ We hope that the residents at Arbor Place can have that abundant life.” Arbor Place is already 40 percent leased, and seniors are currently moving in. One new resident spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, thanking the Village, the builders, and each person involved in bringing this new community to Lisle. “Everyone here who has something to do with Arbor Place, consider yourself hugged,” he said. The beautiful new building is comprised of 60 one-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom apartments. Each apartment includes a full-sized kitchen with modern cabinetry and appliances, window treatments and walk-in closets. Many include balconies. Residents also have a living room and common kitchen, a multi-purpose room, a TV/library room, on-site laundry facilities, a private courtyard with gazebo, a fitness center, […]

Trinity volleyball serves at Providence of Palos Heights

PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 2015) — The Trinity Christian College women’s volleyball team took an afternoon off the court last week, and instead spent time cleaning and playing BINGO with residents at Providence of Palos Heights. Karliegh Krchmery, a marketing major from Merrionette Park, Ill., and the Trolls’ lone senior, said that the pre-season volunteer works allows the team to have fun and bond while giving back to the community. “As a Christian-based program, we want to get out and do what we can,” she said. “This year, we decided to come here, because it’s also a Christian place and seemed like a good fit.” The women organized books and movies, washed walls and tables in the kitchen, cleaned the patio for an upcoming barbecue, cleaned wheelchairs, and assisted residents for BINGO. “We got in some team bonding, too,” Krchmery said. “We had a lot of fun, and we’ll definitely do it again.” The team has already made plans with Providence Life Enrichment Director Diane Giglio to spend another afternoon volunteering next semester. “They certainly make our job a little easier, with their effort from start to finish,” Giglio said. “I’d like to thank them for the excellent job they […]

Arts in Mission:
Park Place artists give back

ELMHURST, Ill. (August 2015) — Oil and water don’t usually mix — but at Park Place of Elmhurst, oil paintings and watercolors have been brought together for a good cause. Four residents at the retirement community have offered their original artwork for Park Place’s new “Arts in Mission” program. The paintings are different media and different styles, but they have been collected for a common goal: they will be sold for the benefit of other seniors in need of care. The artists who contributed to the program — Hadley Pihl, Joyce Knuepfer, Jan Covey, and Walter Martin — have donated more than 50 paintings so far, some of which have been created right in the art studio at Park Place. “Park Place has given us residents a marvelous studio,” Hadley said — and now he wants to give back. It was his idea to deposit each dollar made from the sale of Arts in Mission paintings into the resident assistance fund, which covers the cost of care for Providence Life Services residents who have outlived their resources. “One day, Hadley stopped me in the hallway and said that he would like to sell his paintings, and donate 100 percent of […]