Tag Archives: Retirement Living

Loneliness ends for widower after moving to Village Woods

Loneliness ends for a widower after he moved to Village Woods. This is Ben’s story: Ben Dykstra, 90, uses every opportunity to talk about how much he loves his life at Village Woods since moving here in the fall. “My kids tell me I’m a great salesman for this place,” he says. Ben looked at another community, but Village Woods was the clear choice for several reasons. One reason he chose Village Woods was for the scenic setting ­— the wide open spaces are just his style. “I get up in the morning, the sun comes over the horizon, and it’s just so beautiful. The view I get with all the trees — and I can see for miles out there. Everything I see is just so wonderful.” Another reason he chose Village Woods was for the social life. Socialization is important to Ben, because he had been missing that for a while. “When I was at home, after my wife died three years ago, I kind of dropped out of society. Many of my friends had died. Most of the time I was so lonesome.” Now, he doesn’t have time for loneliness. “There’s so much to do here. Twice […]

Active at Any Age at Victorian Village

HOMER GLEN, Ill. (October 2016) — Active Aging Week at Victorian Village wrapped up recently, but residents at the senior living community will still have plenty of opportunities for an active lifestyle. The community’s Active Aging Week included a “Balance Boot Camp” as part of the on-going Senior Fitness program. Exercise opportunities provided by Senior Fitness all year long are helping residents maintain their health and strength, so they can enjoy a more active retirement. Not all the activities at Victorian Village require a regimen of cardio or weight training. There are classes — like the new American Sign Language class attended by several residents – and clubs, like the Knit & Stitch group that recently raised funds to support the Alzheimer’s Walk for the Cure. The Life Enrichment Department at Victorian Village also gives residents a chance to get off campus, whether or not they have a car in the parking lot. They take trips to grocery and department stores, as well as field trips to places like the theater, the planetarium, or a forest preserve — all on their brand new bus. One new opportunity coming up for residents is the chance to travel to a local school […]

Rep. Breen visits Saratoga Grove, Providence of Downers Grove

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (June 2016) – Illinois State Representative Peter Breen recently stopped by Saratoga Grove and Providence of Downers Grove, speaking with residents and taking a tour of the senior living communities. The tour included Providence’s rehab department, where Breen expressed his amazement that clients were able to recover and return home so quickly. Executive Director Deji Adegoye took the opportunity to explain the close relationships that Providence is building with the area hospitals – a relationship that benefits both Providence and the hospitals, but most importantly, the clients. “It’s important to us that our clients successfully rehab – we work with the managed care organization and with our therapy partner, Marianjoy, to help our clients get back home as soon as possible,” Deji said. After the tour of next-door Saratoga Grove, residents and staff gathered in the library for a reception with the representative. More than 25 residents and staff attended the address, along with the Leading Age Illinois Director of Communications, Jason Speaks, and the representative’s wife, Margie Breen. Rep. Breen spoke about his first year and a half in office, including both his triumphs – such as having several bills submitted – and his struggles with state […]

Not slowing down

One resident’s active life at Village Woods CRETE, ILL. (December 2015) — Betty Kuipers has never spent her days sitting around, and she wasn’t about to start in retirement. The 66-year-old maintains an active lifestyle at Village Woods, where she has lived for the last year and a half. “I worked my whole life, so not working was a big adjustment,” Betty said, “I don’t have to be going 24/7, but if it interests me, I’ll do it.” Betty has to check the monthly activity calendar to remember everything she participates in — it’s too much to keep track of. She makes the weekly trips for grocery shopping or a Target run, and makes monthly trips to restaurants, the movie theatre, and the library. She goes on all the scenic bus rides. She gets her nails done, attends musical performances, calls BINGO, and plays trivia. She’s part of the craft club, the kitchen club, and the food committee, and she’s president of the resident council. She also makes time to see her family members, who live in the area. She enjoys days out shopping with her daughter. Her brother and sister visit her for dinner, or take her out to […]

A Close-Knit Group

Every week at Victorian Village, a small group of women turns donated yarn into a lovingly crafted gift, and creates close-knit friendships in the process. They call themselves the Knit & Stitch Group. The group started at Victorian Village more than 10 years ago, and its current members meet on Thursday afternoons in the Fireside Lounge of the Grand Victorian. They’re not an exclusive club; some residents attend casually, stopping by to work on their own projects, or just to sit and chat. But a few women are faithful knitters. “We’re the die-hards,” said Annette Hulford. “We come every week.” As a group, they create blankets, booties, and hats for babies in the NICU at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, and they knit chemo hats for women and children there as well. They have also knitted prayer shawls for the Ronald McDonald House. This fall, the Life Enrichment staff asked if the group would make purple scarves to raise money for The Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The women knitted about a dozen to be sold in the Victorian Village gift shop — and they sold out. “Next year, we’ll have to start earlier!” Annette said. The yarn they use […]