Tag Archives: Village Woods

Hallmark of Caring honors Providence employees

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (March 2016) — Each year, we honor outstanding employees in an event called “Hallmark of Caring.” Providence people in various jobs are nominated by their co-workers, our residents, or residents’ families for their efforts throughout the year. This year’s 74 honorees live out our mission to “enhance the lives of those we serve in the name of Jesus Christ,” and demonstrate excellence in skill, work ethic, and compassion. Employees will be added to the list below until the event on March 11 — look for updates here and on our Facebook pages. Join us in congratulating the honorees!   Honorees from Park Place of Elmhurst:   Stephanie James, CNA – Skilled Stephanie is extremely compassionate and always has a positive attitude. She makes an extra effort, like coming in early to shampoo a resident’s hair because they cannot extend their head in the shampoo bowl in the salon. She also shows initiative by leading restorative exercises with our residents.     Angela Bianchi, CNA – Skilled “When Angela’s here, you know it’s going to be a good day.” This was said by a client who has a great appreciation for her. That’s because Angela is always cheerful, takes pride in […]

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 […]

‘It’s like a family here’ at Village Woods

CRETE, IL (November 2015) — Kellie Karstensen, a Village Woods employee for more than two decades, has seen firsthand the challenges of caregiving – not only from her work as a CNA at the senior living community in Crete, Ill., but also as a family member. In honor of National Family Caregivers Month*, she shared her experience: “It’s in a caregiver’s soul, to want to be there for the person who raised you,” Kellie said. “My mom was one of 16 kids. They tried so hard to care for my grandpa, who had Alzheimer’s, and my grandma, who had cancer at the same time. But it takes a lot.” Seeing her family’s struggle and losing her grandparents at a young age played into Kellie’s career choice. “It’s like a family here at Village Woods,” she said. “I lost three grandparents when I was fairly young, so I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with them. Everyone here is like a grandma or grandpa to me.” Kellie started in dietary department at Village Woods, while she was still in high school. In 21 years there, she has worked at the front desk, at the pool, and as a resident […]

One big, happy family

CRETE, Ill. (June 2015) — Every day in the orphanage, George Stilwell dreamed of having a big, happy family. George was just a child when his mother passed away and his father disappeared, leaving him and his three sisters — all four of them under 10 years old — alone in their apartment. They begged for food until a neighbor noticed and brought them to the police, who sent them to the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School in Normal, Illinois. The home there wasn’t cruel, but it was lonely. George was separated from his sisters, who were sent to the girls’ side of the large building. He had to sneak through weeds and crawl through tunnels to see them. He tried to run away, and inevitably, he got caught. Each time, he got through his punishment by imagining the family he’d one day have. Flash forward a few years: George, a navy sailor, meets outgoing club singer Margeau. That night, he tells her they will get married — and not long after, they do. “She was a beautiful woman,” he said. “I only married beautiful women.” George and Margeau got started on the big family George had always dreamed of. They had twins, […]

National Siblings Day: Village Woods residents share stories

CRETE, Ill. (April 2015) — Today (April 10, 2015) is National Siblings Day!  Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Grandparents Day, Siblings Day is a time to celebrate family members who mean so much to us. According to the Siblings Day Foundation, today is “a celebration for all ages.” In honor of the day, we’d like to share stories of the sibling relationships between some of our residents at Village Woods. Herm Doorn and Eva Tanis: Herm and Eva grew up on a farm on Stoney Island Avenue, between Lansing and Lynwood.  They are seven years apart, and of seven children in the family, they are the only surviving siblings. Herm says that of his four sisters, he got along best with Eva, who he calls Babe (her nickname, because their mother was also named Eva). “She was always nice and she never had anything bad to say about anyone,“ Herm said. Eva says that Herm was a quiet, good boy who always listened, helped out, and was not hard to get along with.  “We all liked him, and I still like him,” she said.  She remembers playing house up in the barn, and Herm was always the “baby” because he was the […]