Memories of World War II

Veterans Day is an appropriate time to honor the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces and fought for liberty. But to get a sense of what liberty can mean, it’s also helpful to hear from civilians who lived through times when liberty was threatened. Rose Tieman is a resident at Royal Park Place, a Providence Life Services community in Zeeland. Here she shares her memories of the World War II invasion of the Netherlands. We post them this month to honor our seniors who are part of the World War II generation, and to honor the history they represent. Hunger Winter: the Dutch famine of 1944 In the fall of 1944, the Hongerwinter started. The Germans were planning to starve the Dutch to death — slowly though, so there wouldn’t be any rioting. We got coupons for a half a loaf of bread per person per week — which is one slice a day. We could not live on one slice of bread and had to find other food. Once we bought some sausage made from cat meat. It didn’t taste very good. And my sister went begging at the big slaughterhouse for animal by-product. And sometimes […]

Researching Options for Your Parents

The ministry of Providence Life Services begins even before people move into our buildings. We consider it a ministry to help families sift through difficult decisions in order to find the best solutions to meet their needs. If you have started noticing that your parents need more help than they used to (and more help than they will admit to), it may be time to help them begin researching some options. You will probably want to take the lead in the research process, though you should reassure your parents that final decisions will be theirs. Participating in the process together can be meaningful for all of you. Starting online If this is your first foray into the world of healthcare and senior services, you might be overwhelmed by the jargon, which consists largely of acronyms. But as you become more and more familiar with the terminology, you’ll be able to narrow your searches using phrases like “Assisted Living in Downers Grove IL” or “Christian Retirement Community in West Michigan.” Of course, thousands of results will come up, and as you click on a few of the top sites, you might find it difficult to organize the information in a way […]

Providence Newsletter:
Torchlight 2012

SEPTEMBER 2012 — “Rejoice!” is the theme of this year’s Torchlight celebration, and you can read all about it in the September 2012 issue of the Providence Newsletter. What are some of the reasons we are rejoicing? Park Place of Elmhurst celebrated its grand opening this year Providence Memory Support is making a difference for families dealing with Alzheimer’s Chaplain Jim Kirkland is bringing the joy of the Lord to Providence communities in Zeeland, Michigan All these reasons to rejoice — and more! — are in the latest issue of the newsletter. Click to view and download the PDF today! Newsletter PDF

Providence Memory Care training enhances quality of life

As part of our commitment to creating Dementia Friendly Communities, all Providence staff receive special training to better serve our residents. For 12 hours over 2 days, Providence caregivers, housekeepers, dining staff, and Life Enrichment staff receive specialized training in understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and other memory impairments. The first four hours of Providence Memory Care training are designed for all Providence staff, whether they are in a direct caregiving role or not. Creative care Nurses, CNAs, and other direct caregivers receive an additional eight hours of Memory Care training. They learn to design creative programs that improve quality of life. They learn special strategies for communicating with people who are unable to express themselves. They learn to keep people safe without treating them like children. “Safety is an important concern,” says one caregiver, “because the disease has robbed clients of their sense of judgment and their physical senses. We need flexibility and creativity to meet their needs successfully.” The training itself is creative as well. In one exercise, participants wear stiff gloves to simulate the effects of arthritis. Dark glasses limit their vision. And headphones fill their ears with static or unintelligible voices, similar to the problems many seniors report about using hearing […]

Celebrating Grandparents

Grandparents Day, which falls in September each year, was originally founded not only to recognize grandparents, but also to bring awareness of the needs of people living in nursing homes. Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade was a West Virginia housewife who had worked with senior citizens for many years. In 1970 she began a campaign to honor them. In 1979 her efforts were fulfilled when President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation creating a National Grandparents Day. Mrs. McQuade passed away in 2008 at the age of 91. The Grandparents Day Proclamation includes text that resonates with Providence caregivers, many of whom care for our residents like family. In part, the Proclamation reads: Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our mobile society, our senior generation also provides our society a link to our national heritage and traditions. We all know grandparents whose values transcend passing fads and pressures, and who possess the wisdom of distilled pain and joy. Because they are usually free to love and guide […]