Health Information Kit (grab it on your way to the doctor)

The Health Information Kit is a Word document you can type your information into and then print for your records. This kit has forms for emergency contact information, current medications, doctor and pharmacy contact information, health history, and more. If you’re late for a doctor appointment (or if you’re dealing with an emergency), you don’t want to be searching all over the house for health information, insurance details, and lists of prescriptions. With a little work ahead of time, you can have all that information at your fingertips, ready to grab on your way out the door. The Health Information Kit is essentially a convenient, organized, digital “container” for the medical information you might need before, during, or after a doctor visit. Click the title below to download it, fill in your information (your own or your parents’), and then store it in a binder or folder that you can grab on your way to the doctor. To download a copy of the Health Information Kit, click here, or go to!

Woman loves 24-hour care she gets at Providence Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Zeeland

After multiple short term stays at nursing homes, Vivian Dunn, 73, became a long term resident this year at Providence Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Zeeland. “There’s a lot of care that comes through this place, and that doesn’t happen everywhere,” she says. About 20 years ago, Vivian found out she has hereditary lymphedema, which causes swelling, pain, and loss of mobility. She has battled those symptoms ever since, and has to elevate her legs a lot, and be cautious of bruising. Over the past few years, she checked into Providence repeatedly to recover from various related conditions: a surgery, a hurt leg, a back issue. After “bad experiences” at other nursing homes, she knew that she would choose Providence when it came time to move in. “They’re fantastic,” she says of the nursing staff. “I’m telling you the CNAs are terrific!” Recently, Providence personnel installed a floor to ceiling pole with gripping material by her bedside, making a “world of difference” and enabling her to get in and out of bed without calling for assistance. “They see a need, they get right to it and take care of it,” she says. “From the administration down, I tell you, they’re […]

Daughter brings mom from Florida for respite stays at Saratoga Grove

Anamae Sinka lives with her daughter Michelle’s family in Florida, but Michelle still brings her mom for respite stays at Saratoga Grove. A few years ago, when Anamae and Michelle still lived in nearby Lombard, Anamae came to Providence Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Downer’s Grove for rehabilitation. That was when Michelle first learned of respite care. “I didn’t even know what that was,” Michelle says. Michelle learned that respite care meant that Anamae could stay at Saratoga Grove while Michelle was traveling, and that Anamae would receive a private room, three meals a day, and all the assistance she needs, in addition to being offered all the social opportunities Saratoga Grove residents enjoy on a daily basis. “The first time, right away, I felt so comfortable here,” Michelle says. Since January of 2014, Anamae has stayed at Saratoga Grove for short respite visits 3-4 times a year. And now that they live in Florida, Michelle and Anamae fly here every time they need respite care—just for Saratoga Grove. “People ask, ‘You can’t find a place closer to home?’ and I tell them that I’ve tried,” Michelle says. “But it’s a place where I don’t have to worry. When she’s here, it’s the only time I’m not with her that […]

Downsizing may actually be “rightsizing” when moving to retirement communities

When seniors move into retirement communities, they are often coming from a house they’ve lived in many years. The move can mean parting with possessions that have meaning and history, and making other tough decisions about what to keep. Making the decision to move can be tough, and so can the move itself. Having an organized approach to this process is key to making it manageable. Most people call this big move to smaller space “downsizing.” Author Ciji Ware prefers to call it “rightsizing” — fitting your possessions into the space that’s right for you at that time in your life. We tend to get weighed down by the things we accumulate: more stuff means more to clean and care for.  But rightsizing isn’t just for seniors who are moving to a retirement community. It is for anyone in a major transition — moving for a job, or adjusting your lifestyle after the kids move out — or anyone who is ready to declutter their home. It’s for people with two unused bedrooms and an extra thousand square feet, who want to exchange a busy city lifestyle for a peaceful country option (or vice versa), who have countless knick knacks gathering dust, or who […]

Woman chooses worry-free retirement living at Park Place of St. John

Carol Zandstra chose worry-free retirement living at Park Place of St. John. Here is her story: Carol and her husband had lived in their home in Highland for many years. “I call it a ‘kid house’ because it was just a fun place to raise a family. We had a two-story on a lake, with all our bedrooms upstairs. We had a lot of get-togethers and holidays there. It was a fun place to have kids.” Then Carol’s husband had open heart surgery, and later was diagnosed with leukemia. “It got hard to live there,” Carol says. “Bedrooms upstairs meant we had to install a chair to help him up the stairs. The bathtub was too difficult for him to safely step into. One day he said, ‘We can’t keep fixing this house for me.’ That’s why we came to see Park Place.” They both loved the model apartment they saw during construction. Her husband chose the particular apartment because of the two-bedroom, two-bathroom layout, and their garage being right across the hallway. They planned to move in when Park Place opened, but Carol’s husband passed away before they could move in. She decided to keep the same apartment, and […]