Category Archives: Providence Profiles

A lot of special people live in our communities. When we get the chance to hear their stories, we like to share them with the Providence family. Subscribe to have these delivered right to your email inbox.

A Father’s Legacy

MAY 2013 – Several weeks ago, just before his 101st birthday, Lewis Seifert allowed us to video some of his thoughts about life and legacy. As we approach another Fathers Day, it seems appropriate to share that video with the larger Providence family.

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a good day to spend expressing gratitude to God — but I also want to make sure I express my gratitude to you. There are three thank-yous in particular I want to say, and the Providence Blog gives me a good forum for doing that: 1. Thank you, Providence staff. In all Providence communities, we are blessed with staff who genuinely care about the work they do. And it’s not only the direct care staff — it’s maintenance workers, receptionists, servers in the dining rooms, people in the business office, everyone. In fact, we had a special day last week to celebrate our frontline workers, and I was impressed again with the genuine dedication of all these staff. That means a lot to me. Thank you, Providence staff. 2. Thank you, Providence residents. The opportunities I have to interact with our communities make me mindful of the really wonderful clients and residents we serve. I am often impressed by how much they care for each other, transforming each building into a genuine community. And I benefit from their wisdom, their humor, their Christian example. Thank you, Providence residents. 3. Thank you, Providence community. More than 50 years ago, […]

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 […]

New Life in Assisted Living — one resident’s experience

Many people find that moving to a retirement or assisted living community gives them new opportunities, new freedoms. They expected “less,” and found more. The transformation can be amazing. What follows is the story of one woman’s experience when she moved in to Royal Atrium Inn, our assisted living community in Zeeland, Michigan: I didn’t know who I was. I had started life as an only daughter. Then I was a sister. Then I was a student, and after high school I became a wife (for 70 years!). Motherhood followed, and grandmother-hood, and great grandmother-hood! For most of my life, my only title was “Mrs.” Then my husband died, and I had to rediscover myself. What was my purpose for living? What are my likes and dislikes? What skills do I have? What activities do I enjoy? My journey of self-discovery began with the road trip from South Carolina to Michigan. I felt like a five-year-old again! The winding road, uphill and down, felt like a roller coaster, and I was delighted. I hadn’t seen a cow or a horse for almost 15 years, but in Michigan they dotted the landscape. The good, black dirt and the beautiful farmland made me […]

The Food is Good

This is not your father’s healthcare food. Or maybe it is — if your father lives at Village Woods, the Providence Life Services community in Crete, Illinois. Kevin Risner is the Executive Chef there, and he won the gold medal at the AHF Chicago-Midwest Chapter’s Culinary Challenge. The Challenge took place last fall, but March is National Nutrition Month, so it’s a good time to mention it again. AHF (Association for Healthcare Foodservice) is on a mission to eliminate the stigma of “hospital food.” Member organizations like Providence use self-operated foodservice, as opposed to contracting or outsourcing dining services to an outside management group. “Keeping dining in-house,” says Mark Trnka, “allows greater creativity and flexibility, which leads to higher customer satisfaction.” Mark is the Vice President of Support Services at Providence Life Services. He supervises Kevin as well as chefs at eight other Providence communities in Illinois and Michigan. “In the end, we want our residents to get the nutrition they need, and we want them to look forward to mealtimes!” Making dining enjoyable When the Chicago-Midwest Chapter of AHF invited member organizations to participate in a culinary competition, Mark forwarded the invitation to his chefs and asked who would be interested […]