Ageless Love

On Valentine’s Day 2012 Providence Life Services received news that four of our residents have been included in a special collection of love stories. Double the Love Larry and Lorraine Bultema lived at Holland Home in 2010, which is when their story was originally submitted. Their story, “Double the Love,” appears on page 10 of the book. It’s the story of two brothers who married twin sisters in a double wedding. Larry and Lorraine enjoyed more than 60 years of wedded bliss. That day in 2010, Larry smiled at his bride and said, “We don’t know how long we’ll still be around. We’re not as healthy as we used to be. But if we’re both around, I’m sure we’ll be together.” Love Rekindled Henry and Christine VandeKerk lived at Emerald Meadows. Their story, “Love Rekindled,” appears on page 21 of the book. It is a story of friendship, faithfulness, and coming full circle. After a lifetime apart, Henry and Christine were reunited in 1991. In December of that year, at the age of 78, they were married. When it came time to receive additional care, they chose Emerald Meadows, the Providence community in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Both stories are tender, sweet, and […]

2011 Annual Report

Life Abundant! Providence has always been about enhancing life. Each year’s Annual Report gives us an opportunity to look back and remember the lives we’ve touched, the relationships we’ve enriched, and the joys we’ve shared. Download a PDF of the 2011 Annual Report to read this year’s highlights. 2011 Annual Report

Christmas 2011 – Providence Style!

The holiday season has a way of bringing people together, and it’s a time for Providence people to shine. In the Christmas video below, you’ll hear about some of the special activities going on at various Providence communities. Most important, you’ll get a sense of the genuine joy Providence people have in serving others. Music, food, friends, family, health, safety, joy, and Jesus — these Christmas blessings and more are mentioned by staff and residents alike. As you watch and listen, please know that our Christmas prayer is that throughout the year you will remember the song of the angels: “…a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” If you are interested in the life-enhancing services from the Providence Life Services communities featured in the Christmas video above, you can use the links below to learn more: Providence of Palos Heights, Palos Heights, Illinois, (708) 597-1000 Village Woods Retirement & Assisted Living, Crete, Illinois, (708) 672-6111 Royal Atrium Inn Assisted Living and Royal Park Place Retirement Living, Zeeland, Michigan, (616) 772-2224 Saratoga Grove Retirement & Assisted Living, Downers Grove, Illinois, (630) 971-1995 If you are interested in life-enhancing services from Providence communities not featured in the video, […]

Caregivers: Avoid Emotional Eating

While food’s main purpose is to serve as fuel for our bodies, most of us are also aware of emotional associations that get tangled up in our eating decisions. Some of these associations are positive and self-affirming; others introduce feelings of regret or frustration; and sometimes a mix of positive and negative emotions is possible. If you are caring for an aging parent, you may be particularly susceptible to emotional triggers. Recognizing the dynamics at play can help you make intentional choices about the foods you fuel your body with. Emotional dynamics Grief. Sometimes, caregivers may be grieving the decline they see in a parent’s health, and they turn to certain foods as a source of comfort. Homemade macaroni and cheese, rich beef stew, warm apple pie — comfort foods like this are reminders of “simpler” times, when Mom was healthy and the family gathered around the table each night. Indulging in comfort food is often more about feeding our emotions than feeding our bodies. Guilt. Guilt is another emotional trigger that is difficult to stand up to. Switching roles with a parent is emotionally complicated, and guilt has a way of twisting our best intentions and making it difficult […]

Grief, Loss, and the Holidays

Grief is a difficult burden to bear, and it becomes even heavier during the holidays. The weight of traditions, expectations, and memories can seem immense and impossible. The following suggestions are intended to help offload some of the burden of grief: 1. Anticipate pain. Pretending that holiday joy can erase your grief is unrealistic. Instead, go into the season with reasonable expectations. Don’t be afraid to cry, or get angry, or feel depressed. These are normal feelings associated with loss, and they do not need to be avoided. 2. Rethink routines. For some people, holiday traditions may be a source of comfort — because they provide a sense of familiarity in the face of dramatic change. For others, traditions may actually intensify the sense of loss. It can be helpful to (1) think of traditions as “containers” that carry deeper intangibles, and then (2) realize you can change the container without damaging the contents. For example, Judy and her mother Helen had a tradition of baking Christmas cookies every December. They would invite the grandchildren to Helen’s house, where they spent a full day singing along with Christmas music, talking about school, flipping through old recipe cards, sipping coffee and […]