Dining in style at Saratoga Grove

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (May 2015) — Have you seen the new dining room at Saratoga Grove yet? It is serving some very happy residents. Renovations at the community, completed earlier this year, centered on the completely redesigned, reinstalled, and repositioned buffet line. Saratoga Grove staff sought input from residents — whose recommendations resulted in the new and highly anticipated Panini grill — before custom-building the line with a team of architects and designers. It was expanded to allow for a wider variety of food options, and the serving trays were downsized to keep fresh food available. The layout of the room was also changed to provide for more seating and more space for entertainers. Residents can still walk through the buffet line or choose to be served at their table, but they’ll have new options to choose from – not only Panini sandwiches, but also different pastas, made-to-order omelets, and waffles. And now there’s an ice cream freezer built right in to the buffet. The new location of the buffet is also conveniently close to the kitchen for Chef Victor and his staff. The old buffet line had been there since the building opened 25 years ago, and remodeling it […]

Rehab opens at Victorian Village

HOMER GLEN, Ill. (May 2015) — On Monday, May 11, Victorian Village Health & Wellness Center officially opened its rehab building — the largest of the three “Small House” buildings. The Center recently received Medicare certification, and administration expects to see both the number of rehab clients and the number of new staff members steadily increase until the Homer Glen campus is able to serve residents at full capacity. At the rehab building, therapists and staff work together to help people return to their highest level of independence after an injury or illness. Clients work with therapists for about an hour a day — they can do their rehab in the therapy gym, or they can practice the skills they need in a real home setting. “From an OT standpoint, we want to give people the skills they need to be independent at home — like eating, bathing, dressing,” said Swati Patel, one of the licensed Marianjoy occupational therapists at Victorian Village. Monday, she was working with a client to take out and put away dishes. “This (Small House) setting is nice — some places try to simulate home, but here I have real plates in real cabinets,” she said. […]

Victorian Village resident: volunteering ‘keeps me young’

HOMER GLEN, Ill. (April 2015) — A lion roars in the distance, while birds squawk and monkeys chatter from the trees. For some, that might sound like an exciting adventure — or at least a field trip. For Pat Reynders, 77, it sounds like a typical Tuesday. Each week, Reynders travels from her home at Victorian Village to Brookfield Zoo, where she serves as a docent (a volunteer educator). Reynders became a docent when she retired from her position at the Orland Park school district, and she will receive her 15-year pin this year. She talks to visitors, explaining information about the animals and exhibits at the zoo. “It’s a whole lot of fun — I’ve met some amazing people and some really fun kids,” she said. “I love every exhibit; I’ve seen a lot of new things come in, and some old things go out.” To be a docent requires training for three months and spending three months after that with a mentor. It attracts all kinds of people – former teachers are common, but her training class also included a retired rabbi, superintendent and nurses. “The volunteer corps is very diverse and very fun,” she said. Next week (April […]

National Siblings Day: Village Woods residents share stories

CRETE, Ill. (April 2015) — Today (April 10, 2015) is National Siblings Day!  Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Grandparents Day, Siblings Day is a time to celebrate family members who mean so much to us. According to the Siblings Day Foundation, today is “a celebration for all ages.” In honor of the day, we’d like to share stories of the sibling relationships between some of our residents at Village Woods. Herm Doorn and Eva Tanis: Herm and Eva grew up on a farm on Stoney Island Avenue, between Lansing and Lynwood.  They are seven years apart, and of seven children in the family, they are the only surviving siblings. Herm says that of his four sisters, he got along best with Eva, who he calls Babe (her nickname, because their mother was also named Eva). “She was always nice and she never had anything bad to say about anyone,“ Herm said. Eva says that Herm was a quiet, good boy who always listened, helped out, and was not hard to get along with.  “We all liked him, and I still like him,” she said.  She remembers playing house up in the barn, and Herm was always the “baby” because he was the […]

Chaplains provide “church away from church” for residents

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (April 2015) — Providence’s chaplaincy program is a key element and component of our Christian mission. Pastors are on campus to provide spiritual support and lead worship, serving residents as well as families and staff. Six chaplains serve 10 Providence communities, as well as Providence Hospice. Read more about Providence’s Christian mission here. Rev. Phil Tjoelker serves as the chaplain for three Providence communities: Providence of Palos Heights, Thomas Place of Orland Park, and Victorian Village in Homer Glen. Below, he shares his thoughts on his work, and what the chaplaincy program means to him and to the residents he serves. Church away from church A major priority of mine as a Providence chaplain is to enable our residents to worship the Lord “in spirit and in truth.” The worship of the Lord is the highest calling Christians have.  This calling does not end when one enters a Providence community. It must continue. There are several clients I work with who are able to continue worshipping weekly in their home churches.  This should be encouraged.  Many clients, however, are not able to worship in their home churches because of health challenges and because they have had to move far from their home churches. Eleanor, […]