Tag Archives: Retirement Living

Veterans honored on trip to capital

ZEELAND, Mich., and HOMER GLEN, Ill. (July 2015) — Two Providence Life Services residents recently traveled on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization that flies veterans to see the war memorials built in their honor. Read about the veterans’ experiences below. Elmer Witte Elmer Witte, a 92-year old resident of Victorian Village in Homer Glen, Ill., was a B-29 bomber in World War II. His daughter first mentioned the honor flight to him, and encouraged him to go on the one-day visit to the nation’s capital. But for Elmer, the highlight of the trip didn’t come in Washington, D.C., — it was in nearby Chantilly, Virginia. That’s where he saw the Enola Gay, which is on display at the World War II Aviation exhibition station at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Elmer had seen the aircraft before — on Tinian in August of 1945. He was driving a gunner around the island in a Jeep when they came upon the Enola Gay — and something mysterious near it, covered and guarded by military police. “I joked to the gunner that they must have gotten a shipment of booze,” Elmer said. “I had no idea they had the atom bomb — it was the day before they dropped it.” […]

Royal Park Place, their pen pals, and pizza

ZEELAND, Mich. (June 2015) – Royal Park Place and Vanderbilt Charter Academy celebrated the fifth year of their Pen Pal program this spring, marking the occasion with a pizza party. In the program, Royal Park Place residents pair up with third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students from the Holland school for an academic year of old-school letter-writing and life-sharing. The pen pals create remarkable memories, utilize penmanship skills, and form special relationships between generations. To celebrate another year of the program, Jenny Rutkauskas, K-4 Dean at Vanderbilt, and Paula St.Amant, Royal Park Place Life Enrichment Director, put their heads together to create an end-of-year pizza party for the group. This year’s event took the cake as the most fun thus far. Pizza, Wii bowling, and golf cart rides were enjoyed by all! You can find more photos of the pen pals on the Royal Park Place Facebook page.   More intergenerational stories: Victorian Village hosts Senior Prom Park Place of Elmhurst teams up with Timothy

Older Americans Month celebrates seniors’ contributions

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (May 2015) — Older adults are a vital part of our society. Since 1963, communities across the country have shown their gratitude by celebrating Older Americans Month each May. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Get into the Act,” to focus on how older adults are taking charge of their health, getting engaged in their communities, and making a positive impact in the lives of others. The theme also reflects on the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Older Americans Act into law in July 1965. Since that time, the Act has provided a nationwide aging services network and funding that helps older adults live with dignity in the communities of their choice for as long as possible. While Providence Life Services provides a full continuum of care to older adults year-round, Older Americans Month offers an opportunity to emphasize how older adults can access services they need to live as independently as possible. It is also an occasion to highlight how older adults are engaging with and making a difference in their communities. Click below to read stories about some of the Providence residents who are engaged and making […]

Dining in style at Saratoga Grove

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (May 2015) — Have you seen the new dining room at Saratoga Grove yet? It is serving some very happy residents. Renovations at the community, completed earlier this year, centered on the completely redesigned, reinstalled, and repositioned buffet line. Saratoga Grove staff sought input from residents — whose recommendations resulted in the new and highly anticipated Panini grill — before custom-building the line with a team of architects and designers. It was expanded to allow for a wider variety of food options, and the serving trays were downsized to keep fresh food available. The layout of the room was also changed to provide for more seating and more space for entertainers. Residents can still walk through the buffet line or choose to be served at their table, but they’ll have new options to choose from – not only Panini sandwiches, but also different pastas, made-to-order omelets, and waffles. And now there’s an ice cream freezer built right in to the buffet. The new location of the buffet is also conveniently close to the kitchen for Chef Victor and his staff. The old buffet line had been there since the building opened 25 years ago, and remodeling it […]

Victorian Village resident: volunteering ‘keeps me young’

HOMER GLEN, Ill. (April 2015) — A lion roars in the distance, while birds squawk and monkeys chatter from the trees. For some, that might sound like an exciting adventure — or at least a field trip. For Pat Reynders, 77, it sounds like a typical Tuesday. Each week, Reynders travels from her home at Victorian Village to Brookfield Zoo, where she serves as a docent (a volunteer educator). Reynders became a docent when she retired from her position at the Orland Park school district, and she will receive her 15-year pin this year. She talks to visitors, explaining information about the animals and exhibits at the zoo. “It’s a whole lot of fun — I’ve met some amazing people and some really fun kids,” she said. “I love every exhibit; I’ve seen a lot of new things come in, and some old things go out.” To be a docent requires training for three months and spending three months after that with a mentor. It attracts all kinds of people – former teachers are common, but her training class also included a retired rabbi, superintendent and nurses. “The volunteer corps is very diverse and very fun,” she said. Next week (April […]