Residents and Presidents

FEBRUARY 16, 2011 – “There is little doubt that older Americans are highly engaged in political participation,” begins Robert H. Binstock’s article, “Older People and Political Engagement.” Binstock goes on to cite evidence that shows seniors (people age 65 and older) in the past seven presidential elections voted at a substantially higher rate than people 44 and younger. And it’s not just presidents and potential presidents that inspire political involvement by seniors. They are involved at state and local levels as well. Providence Life Services makes it a goal every year to host a Legislative Reception at each of our Retirement Living and Assisted Living communities, featuring state-level politicians. These events are always well-attended by our residents. Not only do they listen attentively to the guest legislator, but they also come prepared with questions to ask. These citizens are engaged! In 2010, for the first time in five years, every Providence community hosted a Legislative Reception — and some hosted more than one! The communities showed great variety in the types of events they got their state politicians to participate in: Emerald Meadows (Grand Rapids, Michigan) partnered with a local law office in April to do a presentation on Veterans’ […]

A Blizzard of Teamwork

ILLINOIS (February 2011) – While many people will talk about the Blizzard of 2011 in terms of inches of snow or degrees of cold or number of hours stranded on Lake Shore Drive, people at Providence Life Services communities are more likely to share stories of warm fellowship, bright smiles, and going the extra mile. For example, at Providence Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of South Holland, Administrator Richard Nolden stayed on duty more than 24 hours. His primary responsibility during the February 1–2 blizzard was to drive his four-wheel-drive truck to employees’ homes and transport them safely to work. “Our people were willing to come in,” he says, “but in many cases they just didn’t have a means of getting here. That was one way I could help.” The Wednesday morning shift was short on kitchen help, so the Social Worker and Activity Director (who had stayed overnight) donned hairnets, gloves, and aprons to make breakfast. Kitchen worker Janet Kooy walked from her home a mile away and arrived in time to serve. Staff from the corporate office in Tinley Park, which was closed due to the weather, showed up at the community to pitch in wherever they could — serving trays, […]

Preventing Bedsores

What is a bedsore? A pressure ulcer, sometimes called a “bedsore,” is an injury caused by unrelieved pressure on a specific area of the skin. Pressure ulcers begin as reddened areas, and without proper circulation and nutrition they can develop into damaged skin and tissue. Pressure ulcers most commonly occur on bony parts of the body that sustain pressure when a person sits or lies for long periods of time. When pressure squeezes the blood vessels that deliver nutrients and oxygen to the skin, the skin begins “starving” to death. What factors increase the risk for pressure ulcers? – Inability to change positions – Loss of bowel or bladder control – Poor nutrition or dehydration – Lowered mental awareness How can I prevent pressure ulcers? Limit Pressure If you are in bed, change your position at least every two hours. If you are in a chair or wheelchair, change your position frequently. If you are able to shift your own weight, do so every 15 minutes while sitting. Reduce Friction When shifting position or moving in your bed, lift yourself across the sheets. Avoid repetitive movements such as rubbing your foot on the sheets to scratch an itchy spot. Avoid […]

Providence Newsletters: 2010
(50th anniversary series)

In 2010, Providence Life Services celebrates the 50th anniversary of our first skilled nursing center in the Chicagoland area. Our five newsletters celebrate this anniversary decade by decade. Click to download and print the PDFs: The 1960s The 1970s The 1980s The 1990s The 2000s

Saratoga Grove Residents take Aging in Stride

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (August 2010) – For some athletes, pushing through that extra mile can mean the difference between a great workout and an average one. For residents at a Downers Grove retirement community, just strapping on the sneakers takes will power and drive. But step by step, their walking regimen has provided motivation, inspiration and purpose. Residents of Saratoga Grove retirement community formed a Walking Club last July. In one year, together they have walked nearly 3 million steps. Community relations director Francine Myers said the 16 members have walked 505 miles in a year – which is like walking from Downers Grove to Charleston, W.Va. Jim Ulrich, 85, walked the farthest in the group at 75 miles in one year. Ulrich has been a resident for two years after having a massive stroke. “In one split second everything changed,” Ulrich said. “I was almost dead. When I am walking, I am not thinking about it too much then. It takes my mind off (the pain).” Ulrich said he walks at least 1,000 steps a day and keeps track of his steps with a pedometer. At the end of the day, he writes his total number of steps on a calendar. Myers said […]