Providence of Zeeland attains Gold Seal

ZEELAND, Mich. (June 2015) — Providence Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Zeeland has earned its first Gold Seal of Approval® for accreditation from The Joint Commission, demonstrating a commitment to excellence in care. “The Joint Commission is all about quality — quality care and quality outcomes,” said Rick VandenBerg, Providence of Zeeland administrator. “The residents and their families can have an extra level of comfort knowing that the building has gone through extra steps to ensure quality.” An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission holds health facilities to a high standard, going far beyond what is required by the state in all areas of care. The Joint Commission’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Accreditation program was established in 1966 and today accredits nearly 1,000 organizations offering nursing and rehabilitation services. Providence of Zeeland underwent a rigorous, and completely voluntary, on-site survey to obtain the Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Accreditation. The survey included evaluations for compliance with standards of care related to advanced rehabilitation services, health care quality, patient and resident safety, infection prevention and control, leadership, and medication management. “This isn’t something that a lot of facilities take on, but I see it as another thing that sets us apart,” VandenBerg […]

One big, happy family

CRETE, Ill. (June 2015) — Every day in the orphanage, George Stilwell dreamed of having a big, happy family. George was just a child when his mother passed away and his father disappeared, leaving him and his three sisters — all four of them under 10 years old — alone in their apartment. They begged for food until a neighbor noticed and brought them to the police, who sent them to the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School in Normal, Illinois. The home there wasn’t cruel, but it was lonely. George was separated from his sisters, who were sent to the girls’ side of the large building. He had to sneak through weeds and crawl through tunnels to see them. He tried to run away, and inevitably, he got caught. Each time, he got through his punishment by imagining the family he’d one day have. Flash forward a few years: George, a navy sailor, meets outgoing club singer Margeau. That night, he tells her they will get married — and not long after, they do. “She was a beautiful woman,” he said. “I only married beautiful women.” George and Margeau got started on the big family George had always dreamed of. They had twins, […]

Royal Park Place, their pen pals, and pizza

ZEELAND, Mich. (June 2015) – Royal Park Place and Vanderbilt Charter Academy celebrated the fifth year of their Pen Pal program this spring, marking the occasion with a pizza party. In the program, Royal Park Place residents pair up with third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students from the Holland school for an academic year of old-school letter-writing and life-sharing. The pen pals create remarkable memories, utilize penmanship skills, and form special relationships between generations. To celebrate another year of the program, Jenny Rutkauskas, K-4 Dean at Vanderbilt, and Paula St.Amant, Royal Park Place Life Enrichment Director, put their heads together to create an end-of-year pizza party for the group. This year’s event took the cake as the most fun thus far. Pizza, Wii bowling, and golf cart rides were enjoyed by all! You can find more photos of the pen pals on the Royal Park Place Facebook page.   More intergenerational stories: Victorian Village hosts Senior Prom Park Place of Elmhurst teams up with Timothy

Older Americans Month celebrates seniors’ contributions

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (May 2015) — Older adults are a vital part of our society. Since 1963, communities across the country have shown their gratitude by celebrating Older Americans Month each May. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Get into the Act,” to focus on how older adults are taking charge of their health, getting engaged in their communities, and making a positive impact in the lives of others. The theme also reflects on the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Older Americans Act into law in July 1965. Since that time, the Act has provided a nationwide aging services network and funding that helps older adults live with dignity in the communities of their choice for as long as possible. While Providence Life Services provides a full continuum of care to older adults year-round, Older Americans Month offers an opportunity to emphasize how older adults can access services they need to live as independently as possible. It is also an occasion to highlight how older adults are engaging with and making a difference in their communities. Click below to read stories about some of the Providence residents who are engaged and making […]

Reading through history

Saratoga Grove resident named Downers Grove Historian of the Year DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (May 2015) — After spending more than three quarters of a century in Downers Grove, John Breen knows a thing or two about his town. The Saratoga Grove resident was named the 2015 Historian of the Year by the Downers Grove Historical Society, in honor of the volunteer work he has been doing at the Downers Grove Museum for nearly 20 years. Breen was a pharmacist for much of his life, making him more a scientist than a historian. But he’s always been interested in the past. “I’ve read quite a bit of history,” he said. In his work at the Downers Grove Museum, Breen has been doing a lot of reading. The museum has to file information on each object donated, and over the last few years, Breen has taken on the arduous task of filing a large collection of letters — which means that he reads through each of them and records the content. Breen received a crystal plaque bearing his Historian of the Year title, and he was celebrated with a ceremony at the Downers Grove Library earlier this month. He’s a little embarrassed […]