Tag Archives: Retirement Living

A sport that’s right up their alley: Victorian Village residents compete in Wii bowling league

HOMER GLEN, Ill. (March 2015) — Shirley Dyke stepped up, eyed the pins, and opened Week Six of the Victorian Village Wii bowling league with a perfect strike. In this bowling league, chairs and wheelchairs are positioned around the TV as if around a lane, and each bowler moves front and center to take his or her turn. What started as part of the fitness program has turned into a well-attended and competitive league, complete with team names and league t-shirts. The league is made up of seven teams of four bowlers each, and four subs fill in when needed. Members come from each part of campus: the townhomes, independent living, assisted living, and even memory care. Next year, Life Enrichment Director Connie Jaros is hoping to include residents from the newly opened Small Houses, which serves people in need of skilled nursing care. Everyone is welcome; each bowler is coached by teammates and assisted by life enrichment staff as needed. The eight-week season started at the end of January, and games are played on Mondays and Tuesdays. The end-of-season banquet and awards night will be March 31. Standings are kept throughout the season; Jaros tracks not only the standings, but also […]

Ivan Van Essen first on staff at Park Place St. John

ST. JOHN, Ind. (February 2015) — Construction crews have started work on Park Place of St. John, the first Providence Life Services community in Indiana, and the first employee for the campus has been hired: Ivan Van Essen has been named Community Relations Director, and his goal is to share information about the complex that will eventually stand on the land. In his new role, Van Essen will be building relationships in St. John and surrounding Northwest Indiana communities, providing information about and generating interest in the new senior living complex. “I like to be of some benefit to other people, to help people,” Van Essen said. “I’m excited to be helping others realize there’s a place for them, a place to make their lives more enjoyable. I certainly think it will meet a big need in St. John.” Van Essen and his wife, Barbara, currently live in St. John, and they have three children and 11 grandchildren who also reside in the St. John area. He comes to Providence Life Services from Crown Point Christian School, where he served 10 years as the development director. His main function was to secure funds for the new and growing school, which […]

Students, residents benefit from intergenerational classes

ELMHURST, Ill. (February 2015) — When Timothy Christian High School added an interim term, called “Renew,” it was an opportunity for students to experience new things. For some students, that meant intergenerational learning. Timothy teachers created classes for the school’s new nine-day term, and five of them included interaction with residents at next-door senior living community Park Place of Elmhurst. Timothy and Park Place have worked together many times in the past, as part of their intergenerational program, Bridges. The program includes a Park Place booster club that supports Timothy soccer, and Timothy “technical advisers,” who help Park Place residents program their remote or hook up their printer. Student artists can show their work in the Park Place Gallery, and Park Place residents host Ping-Pong games against students every other week. Some students volunteer regularly with the program, but for others, the Renew classes gave them their first experience with intergenerational learning. In some of the Renew classes, Park Place residents were teaching their young visitors: “Beyond Texting” was advertised to teenagers who could learn a few things about interpersonal communication. At the end of the course, they went down the road to try out their communication skills with the resident […]

Dutch genealogy expert shares her knowledge at Park Place of Elmhurst

ELMHURST, Ill. (OCTOBER 2014) — If you are of Dutch American heritage, Ginger Bilthuis may be able to help you fill in your family tree. She may even be able to tell you if your great-great-grandfather was a brewer in Groningen or a farmer in Friesland. You see, Dutch genealogy is her passion. She specializes in those of Dutch descent who live in, or whose families have passed through, Chicagoland —and she has a database of about 300,000 names to prove it. Recently, she brought her wealth of knowledge to Park Place of Elmhurst, where she volunteered to help residents trace their family lines. Ginger (née Evenhouse) went to Timothy Christian Schools, and was part of the first class to graduate from the high school in Elmhurst. So Park Place —right next door to Timothy —seemed like a good place to offer her services, which were completely free of charge. She met with 10 people over nine hours, talking to residents and searching her database to show them information about generations they never knew. She showed them birth and marriage records, census reports, and family trees. She then spent time over the next few days digging up more details and offering printed […]

Providence breaks ground in St. John

ST. JOHN, Ind. (October 2014) – Providence Life Services broke ground Thursday, Oct. 16, on its newest development, Park Place of St. John, celebrating the next step toward building its first community in Indiana. Cloudy skies and a little mud did nothing to dampen the excitement surrounding the groundbreaking for the full-spectrum senior living community. Park Place of St. John will feature innovative services and offer retirement living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and memory care on the campus at The Gates of St. John. “By God’s providence, we come to the Gates of St. John,” said Providence Life Services CEO Richard Schutt at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Today marks the beginning of many years of service to the St. John community.” Sixty apartments will make up the first phase of retirement living on the new campus, which is expected to open for residents in the spring of 2016. One- and two-bedroom apartments will be available in five different floor plans, with options for one or two bathrooms, a patio, balcony and enclosed garages. Laundry facilities will be included in each unit. Community space in the building will be plentiful, and Park Place of St. John will also be connected with the surrounding […]