LSS Blog

LSS Named Finalist in Masterpiece Living Contest

Lutheran Senior Services was listed as a finalist for a video contest hosted by Masterpiece Living called Valuing Gray. The goal of the contest was to create a video that showed how together, residents and staff at LSS had identified and leveraged the strengths of older adults within our communities for the greater good of society.



You can help us win!

Click on the link below which will take you to the LSS Facebook page. From there click on the post about Valuing Gray and vote for the LSS video! You can vote every day until April 5.

Vote here.

NOTE – The way Masterpiece Living has set up voting is they only allow one vote per IP address – which keeps one person from voting multiple times in one day and rigging the vote. If you click on the post and it already shows that you’ve voted, it means someone on your IP address has beat you to it. If that’s the case you can also vote from your smartphone to make your vote count.

Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Recipes from Jacob Risk, LSS Senior Regional Dietician.

Join Lutheran Senior Services in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with these great recipes compiled by our own Regional Dietician, Jacob Risk. No luck of the Irish needed for these easy-to-make recipes!

Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread




  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 T unsalted cold butter
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 T caraway seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) buttermilk




1. Preheat oven to 375˚ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Sift all dry ingredients, flour through salt, into a large bowl.

3. Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

4. Add sugar, raisins, and caraway seeds, and stir to coat.

5. Whisk together egg and buttermilk. Stir into flour mixture, and mix everything together to form dough. Gather the dough with your hands working it as little as possible. It will be crumbly. Place the round of dough on prepared baking sheet. Cut an “X” into the top and place in preheated oven.

6. Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Remove from oven. Allow to cool before slicing.

Nutrient Analysis per serving:
Calories: 218; Protein: 4 g; Carbohydrate: 38 g; Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol:
32 mg; Sodium: 399 mg; Dietary fiber: 3 g; Calcium: 57 mg; Iron: 1 mg

Slow-Cooker Stout & Chicken Stew




  • 6 tablespoons plus ½ cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 pieces bacon, chopped
  • 1⅔ cups Guinness beer or other stout (14-ounce can)
  • 1 pound whole baby carrots or large carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 8-ounce package cremini or button mushrooms, halved if large
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed

1. Combine 6 tablespoons flour with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge chicken thighs in the mixture to coat completely; transfer to a plate.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook until well browned, 2 to 4 minutes per side; transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Reduce heat to medium and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and chicken thighs. Arrange the
chicken in an even layer in the slow cooker.

3. Add bacon to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup flour over the bacon and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Add stout and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Add carrots, mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme, spreading in an even layer over the chicken. Pour broth over the top.

4. Cover and cook until the chicken is falling-apart tender, 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.

5. Stir in peas, cover and cook until the peas are heated through, 5 to 10 minutes more. Season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.

Serving size: about 1⅓ cups. Nutrient Analysis per serving:
Per serving: 366 calories; 13 g fat(3 g sat); 4 g fiber; 28 g
carbohydrates; 30 g protein; 91 mcg folate; 88 mg cholesterol; 7 g
sugars; 0 g added sugars; 10,230 IU vitamin A; 13 mg vitamin C; 60 mg
calcium; 3 mg iron; 552 mg sodium; 650 mg potassium

Laclede Groves Residents Take Honor Flight!

Thirteen United States military veterans of the Korean War, all of whom live at the Laclede Groves senior living community in Webster Groves, traveled together to Washington, DC on a special one-day trip organized by Greater St. Louis Honor Flight (GSLHF). On March 4 they visited the Korean War Memorial and seven other memorials. This is the largest group of veterans residing in the same senior living community in the St. Louis area to ever participate on the same Honor Flight since the St. Louis hub of the program began in 2008. A total of 22 St. Louis area veterans were a part of the March 4 trip.

“We feel very fortunate for these 13 veterans to be able to have made this trip together,” said Bill Sei, the organizer for GSLHF who recruited the Laclede Groves contingent. “It took a great deal of planning to get this particular group all on the same flight, and we are pleased to have been able to make this happen given the popularity of this trip among World War II and Korean War veterans in St. Louis and around the country.”

“We have a Veterans Club at Laclede Groves that meets monthly and participates in activities together,” said Naomi Smith, Director of Lifestyle Enrichment at Laclede Groves. “In 2014 we had nine World War II veterans from Laclede Groves that participated on Honor Flights, and it was very meaningful to them. We are thrilled that so many of our Korean War veterans, all of whom are in their late 70s and early 80s, were so fortunate to experience what other veterans are talking about.”

America’s World War II veterans are passing at the rate of 430 per day. GSLHF is committed to safely transporting America’s most senior military veterans to Washington DC, to experience the memorials built in their honor. Since its launch in 2008, GSLHF has safely traveled with more than 1500 local veterans. This experience is provided at zero cost to veterans. Each travels with a Guardian, who insures not only their safety but also that their experience is profound and fulfilling.

Laclede Groves is a Life Plan Community serving Webster Groves and surrounding areas and operated by Lutheran Senior Services. It offers older adults five levels of living including independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care and post-acute short stay rehabilitation services. Lutheran Senior Services is a mission-driven, not-for-profit network that specializes in providing housing, care, and supportive services for adults age 62 and older.

Watch on Fox2:

Check out the full Facebook photo album below:

Lutheran Senior Services: Growing Their Mission

Photo by Sarah Conroy at Ladue News

What a way to cap off a week of welcoming Gary Anderson into his new role as Chief Operating Officer here at Lutheran Senior Services! Read below an excerpt from the most recent Ladue News issue, then click the link for the full article. We are very blessed to have such talent and passion here!

“Lutheran Senior Services (LSS), a nonprofit senior living and services network, is committed to its Christian mission of older adults living life to the fullest. Furthering this 158-year St. Louis-based organization is the new chief operating officer (COO), Gary Anderson.

“Gary’s forward and innovative thinking has already impacted LSS greatly,” John Kotovsky, president and chief executive officer of LSS, says. “In his time here, he has led the delivery and navigation of clinical and post-acute care services. This has helped us establish an industry-leading system of measuring quality metrics for increased success in our care centers and assisted living communities.””

Read the full article on Ladue News.

Call for Volunteers: Opening Minds Through Art

Dear Mary,
You have brightened every one of my Fridays with your smile, your singing, your dancing, and your stories. I have learned so much from you! You have taught me to always stay joyous in life. Thank you for being the person you are and thank you for teaching me so much about life and love.
Love, Justine

Through art, Justine met Mary. Two people who would not have had the opportunity if it weren’t for an art program at Laclede Grove Senior Living Community called Opening Minds Through Art.

A Scripps intergenerational art program for people with dementia, Opening Minds Through Art is grounded in person-centered ethics and founded on the fact that people with dementia are capable of expressing themselves creatively.

Kristina Wille is one of the two instructors at Laclede Groves trained to offer Opening Minds through Art. “We are very excited about this program and the impact it has on Laclede Groves residents,” said Kristina. “With the help of volunteers, like Justine, we promote social engagement, autonomy, and dignity of people with dementia, culminating in a gallery exhibition celebrating the artists’ accomplishments while educating the public about the creative capacities of people with dementia.”

Laclede Groves is the only senior living retirement community to feature this unique program and is looking for volunteers to join! “The best part is you do not have to be an artist,” says Kristina. “We will teach you all you need to know. All we ask is that you have a servant heart with a love for our residents.”

Volunteers should be high school age and older and available one hour a week for 8-10 weeks. Please contact Kristina Wille for more information at or at 314.446.2308.

Gary Anderson Promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Lutheran Senior Services

St. Louis, Mo., February 13, 2017 – Gary Anderson has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer for Lutheran Senior Services (LSS), the largest nonprofit organization in the St. Louis area and the 14th largest nonprofit multisite senior housing provider in the United States. He will be responsible for the operations of nine senior living communities, one assisted living community, eleven affordable housing locations, and a comprehensive range of home and community-based services spanning two states and serving more than 11,000 older adults annually. Previously, Gary had been Vice President of Clinical Effectiveness and Chief Nursing Officer since joining Lutheran Senior Services in November 2014.

Photo credit: Ladue News.

“Gary’s forward and innovative thinking in the delivery and navigation of clinical and post-acute care services has helped us establish an industry-leading system of measuring quality metrics for our Care Centers and Assisted Living services through the development of the Lutheran Senior Services Practice and Operations Index,” said John Kotovsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Senior Services. “This has improved the quality of our care for our residents while reducing lengths of stay and hospital readmission rates for our short stay rehabilitation guests, all of which we can now communicate to our healthcare partners. In addition, Gary’s efforts have helped reduce Medicare spending by more than $1.7 million over the past year in the Model 3 Post-Acute Care bundled payments program.”

Gary has over 30 years of experience in healthcare, starting as a Staff Nurse, before holding senior leadership and operational positions for several prominent organizations such as Sutter Health in California, St. Anthony’s Medical Center, and SSM DePaul Health Center in St. Louis. Prior to joining LSS, he was the Senior Vice President for Advanced ICU Care, a national telemedicine service. He has a Master’s Degree of Health Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Webster University. Gary began his professional nursing education at the Lutheran School of Nursing in St. Louis.

Gary is a member of the Leadership Council for the University of Missouri – St. Louis School of Nursing.

Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) is a mission-driven, not-for-profit network that specializes in housing, care, and supportive services for older adults age 62+. With 21 locations in Missouri and Illinois, LSS serves more than 11,000 seniors annually through options that include Senior Living Communities offering all levels of care, Affordable Housing for those with limited incomes, and Home & Community Based Services. LSS builds upon 155+ years of excellence in living out its Christian mission of Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest.

Share the Love with a Love Week Challenge!

At Lutheran Senior Services, we are always looking for ways to engage the community in our mission of “Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest.” We want others to see our passion for serving older adults and the outreach we are doing to give back to seniors in our area. We want that passion to become contagious, spreading love to seniors all around!

That’s why LSS is gearing up for Valentine’s Day by kicking off a “Love Week Challenge!” Every day next week, our Facebook followers will be challenged to “show love” to seniors that they know in a different way for five days in a row. The challenges are simple yet meaningful. Sometimes the smallest act of kindness can make a very large impact! Follow us on Facebook to take part in the Love Week Challenge and to share how you’re showering love on seniors in your community. 

At LSS, we are blessed by thousands of volunteers and donors who are engaged in our mission and give us their time, talents, and treasures to further our mission. If you would like more information on how you could get engaged in our mission, please contact Kristy Bull, Director of Volunteers and Community Engagement at or visit us online at

Psst .. while we’ll be posting a new challenge every day on Facebook, we’re giving you a sneak preview here if you want to get prepared early for the Love Week Challenge. Make sure though to share on Facebook how you’re sharing the love!

  • Monday, February 13th: Send a note to an older adult that you love.
  • Tuesday, February 14th: Deliver a sweet treat to an older adult.
  • Wednesday, February 15th: Help an older adult with a random act of kindness.
  • Thursday, February 16th: Spend some time with an older adult.
  • Friday, February 17th: Give an older adult a big hug.


Bowling for Wellness

We hope that you are ready to join us once again this year as we raise money for Project Wellness. This program helps low-income residents and members of our community take control of their health. Together we can make an impact in the lives of older adults! Registration deadline is February 3rd.




  • ​​When: Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
    Happy Hour & Check-in 1-2 p.m.
    Bowling 2-4 p.m.
  • Location: Tropicana Lanes 7960 Clayton Rd. St. Louis, MO 63117
  • Cost: $200/team.​

Contact Angie Sutton (314-262-8217,​​) or
Nikki Clayton (314.884.7901,​) to register or learn more.

Have You Seen This Car?

Specialized REACH mobile ready for service.

Question: What has four wheels and offers free transportation from hospitals to REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation locations within the Metro St. Louis Area?

Answer: The REACH Mobile!

REACH Short Stay from Lutheran Senior Services debuted its specialized REACH mobile. Used to safely and easily transport guests from the hospital to any of the 3 St. Louis locations (Laclede Groves, Meramec Bluffs, and Mason Pointe), this complimentary car services makes it easy to make the transition to REACH.

REACH Short Stay is the optimal setting for REACHing your potential in an environment where you can work hard and rest well, actively progressing toward increasing capability and strength. Our experienced team will work with you and your family to define your goals and prepare a plan personalized to fit your needs.

Recently awarded the Senator Paul Simon Award for quality and excellence, REACH Short Stay offers physical, speech, occupational, and respiratory therapy.




5 Legal Documents You Need Right Now: Expert Advice from Lutheran Senior Services

001 5 Legal Docs


Planning for your future is always a good idea. The basics of estate planning include five documents that will assist both you and your loved ones in managing your property and medical care.

1. Release of Information: The Release of Information form allows your healthcare provider to discuss your medical care and medical bills with those you designate. This document does not allow those designees to make any decisions on your behalf. Your treating healthcare provider generally provides this document.

2. Durable Power of Attorney: A power of attorney grants a designated person the legal authority to act on your behalf. Depending on how they are written, these document may be effective when they are signed, when you have become incapacitated or upon some other triggering event. An attorney or other legal services may prepare this document on your behalf.

3. Advance Directive: An Advance Directive is a document that describes the type(s) of medical care you want and don’t want when you are unable to express those wishes yourself. This document is available on the Missouri Bar website at

4. Healthcare Power of Attorney: A healthcare power of attorney grants a designated person the legal authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. An Advance Directive provides some guidance but a healthcare power of attorney gives your designee the ability to make decisions for you that are not directly addressed in the Advance Directive. Generally, the healthcare power of attorney cannot violate your Advance Directive. This document is available on the Missouri Bar website at

5. Will/Trust: A will/trust describes how you wish your property to be distributed after death and designates who will oversee that distribution. Proper estate planning can reduce administrative costs and taxes as well as relieving your loved ones of the burden of figuring out how you wished your property to be distributed. An attorney or other legal services may prepare this document on your behalf.

Download Advance Directive & Healthcare Power of Attorney



Brian Reinhold is an attorney with a background in medical negligence litigation, having represented both plaintiffs and healthcare providers. Brian manages all claims and litigation for Lutheran Senior Services, St. Louis’ largest not-for-profit, as well as oversees investigations and responses to regulatory matters. In addition, Brian develops and provides training on preparing for and responding to adverse events.