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 Royal Park Place Testimonial: “I made the right move.”

Jerry Groters has always led a full, active life. From 35 years of teaching, coaching, and counseling students, to his own recreational pursuits, he has always lived life to the fullest. Now in his early 90s, Jerry reflects on his choice to move to Royal Park Place. “My wife died about nine years ago, and I didn’t care to live alone,” he says. “I like people and I like camaraderie. I liked the idea of finding that here.” Jerry has been a bright spot for those at Royal Park Place since his move here a few years ago, and he continues to stay physically fit with exercise. While he may not feel ready to bike across the country, as he had done at ages 60 and 70, he still enjoys exploring nature and the surrounding Zeeland area that has been his home. “I have some great people to spend the sunset years of my life,” he says. “I enjoy the opportunity to enjoy life with others.” You may see Jerry taking part in everything from puzzles, to live entertainment, to fitness classes, but you probably won’t see him sitting idle. “I looked at five different places before choosing Royal Park […]

A Royal Park Place Testimonial: “I walked in and knew this was the place for me.”

Jane TenHarmsel has lived a life filled with adventures and challenges, but throughout everything, her strong faith in God has been her constant. So when she walked in for her tour of Royal Park Place and saw the scripture posted, she said, “I walked in and knew this was the place for me.” Jane grew up in the Netherlands. “We always heard our parents talk about coming to America, so we grew up with that idea, that one day we would be here.” And at age 21, she made her journey to the United States with her parents and three brothers. “I remember coming into New York Harbor,” she says of her arrival. “I can still see the sun coming up behind the Statue of Liberty.” Jane had been a lifelong resident of Michigan, and eventually moved to a condo.“The condo was quite large, and it was just me,” she says. “Besides that, it was hard for friends to get around and get together at our age, so the days were long and lonely.” She had a friend who lived at Royal Park Place, so she thought she’d take a tour to see if it might be the right fit […]

A Royal Park Place Testimonial: “There’s a feeling of real hospitality and warmth.”

Shirley is 80 years old, but that doesn’t stop her from getting her steps in every day at Royal Park Place. If you visit her at the Zeeland retirement community, you’re unlikely to find her in her room. “My doctor said to keep walking and keep moving, so I do,” she says. “I enjoy walking the grounds and around the ponds when the weather is nice, and I walk around the building when the weather isn’t so great.” Shirley moved to Royal Park Place because her big 6-bedroom, 6-bathroom house was just too big for one person. “It was great for raising a family and for hosting visitors, but it was more than what I needed.” One visit to Royal Park Place was all she and her family needed to know it would be a great fit for her. “There’s a feeling of real hospitality and warmth that really impressed us,” Shirley says. “I felt it everywhere, from the staff to the residents.” She said the move from her house to her one-bedroom apartment wasn’t too difficult. “My kids helped me decide what I wanted to keep. I have what I need and more here in the apartment, but I’m […]

A Providence Testimonial: “Finding you was divine providence.”

Angeline Vogel has known about Providence for a while; her grandmother lived in one of Providence’s communities years ago. But she didn’t know about Providence Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Downers Grove. When it was time to make decisions for her mom Roelina Koenes Senesse’s healthcare, she wanted only the best. “As a nurse, I know a lot about healthcare, and I pick up on things,” Angeline says. “I wanted her somewhere where they would be attentive to her. I was having trouble finding it, and I wasn’t willing to settle when it comes to my mom’s care.” Then she heard about Providence in Downers Grove, and she was immediately struck by the kindness of the staff. Once Roelina moved in, the kindness continued, and she discovered so many areas that made Providence special. “The staff really knows her here,” she says. “They know what she likes and doesn’t like. They have activities she can be a part of, and they have special events. And Angeline and Roelina both appreciated all the little things that make the residents feel comfortable. “They have a brand-new salon, and a hairdresser does my mom’s hair every week,” Angeline says. “I like the coffee […]

A Park Place of St. John Testimonial: “I’m surrounded by friends.”

My husband was very protective of me,” Grace Haan says. Her husband was in the hospital and didn’t want her to stay at their home alone, so she moved to the guest room at Park Place of St. John last year while they waited for an open apartment. They had looked at Park Place of St. John and knew that they wanted to move here eventually, most likely when Phase II was completed. But when Grace’s husband died, she and her children decided that an early move to Park Place was a good idea. “They’d looked at several places,” Grace says, “and they said, ‘Park Place is the only place.’” Since moving to Park Place of St. John (where her best friend also lives), she realized there were several people living there that she already knew, and she’s made plenty of new friends, too. “There’s so much to do here. Dominoes. Hymn Sing. Just spending time at breakfast in the morning with my neighbors. I’m never alone unless I want to be.” While Grace wishes her husband was sharing Park Place with her, she is also grateful for the loving, supportive community that has welcomed her. “I know that he […]