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, […]

A prom for the ages

HOMER GLEN, Ill. (March 2015) – People were laughing, talking, and sipping punch. A conga line formed as the DJ blared music. A king and queen were announced, and everyone posed for photos. It looked like a typical prom, aside from one thing — there was a 70-year age gap among participants. The annual Intergenerational Prom, hosted by the Lockport Township High School Interact Club and Victorian Village, was held at Victorian Village earlier this month. Residents and students alike dressed up, danced, ate, talked, and played games as they got to know each other, and the party lasted until 8 p.m. — a half hour later than it was scheduled to end. Each year, the high school club comes up with the theme for the event — this year, it was Roaring 20s — and students bring decorations and desserts. Staff at Victorian Village provided a photo backdrop, as well as coffee and punch, and moved a whole lot of furniture to make way for all the attendees. The entire VV campus — from retirement living, to memory care, to skilled nursing —was invited to the dance. Life Enrichment Director Connie Jaros estimates that 60 residents attended, along with […]

‘Reflections of Grace’

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (March 2015) — Providence Life Services hosts the Hallmark of Caring event each year in March to celebrate outstanding employees whose skill and heart make them essential to the ministry. Staff, residents, and families at each location and involved with each division of Providence nominated people who make a difference, and those who were selected were invited to a celebration on March 20. This year, the theme of the event was “Reflections of Grace,” expressing how each honoree is a picture of God’s grace to those they serve. Nancy Laurinaitis, an activities assistant at Park Place of Elmhurst, was one of 70 honorees this year. “It’s a great group of people here,” she said. Nancy was one of 11 recipients representing Park Place, but she wished she could have taken her whole activities team along as well. “I’m very proud to be part of the group at Park Place of Elmhurst,” she said. “I see every day what kind of care we have, and I think that the staff should be recognized for what they do.” Honorees were treated to breakfast and lunch at the corporate office in Tinley Park, and in between, they attended three speaker sessions. […]

Park Place depositor: ‘It feels like I just won the million dollars’

ST. JOHN, Ind. (March 2015) — Park Place of St. John is expected to be complete in early fall of 2016, but Dolores Kubal is already looking forward to moving into the senior living community. Kubal, 85, of Calumet City, Ill., was the first to put down a deposit for the newest Providence Life Services community, reserving first pick of the retirement living apartments when the choice becomes available later this year. When asked how it feels to be the first depositor on the list, Kubal struggled to sum up her feelings. “It feels … fantastic. Exhilarating. Empowering, overwhelming — I don’t know, there’s no adjective I can think of,” she said. “It feels like the best adjective you can find.” Minutes later, however, she found the perfect words. “I know what it feels like! I watch Wheel of Fortune, and it feels like I just won the million dollars.” Seven floor plans will be available for Kubal to choose from, with options for one or two bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, and a garage, patio or balcony. The building will also have plenty of community space, including a lounge with a fireplace, dining rooms, a library, clubroom, fitness area, beauty […]