LSS Blog

Groundbreaking ceremony at Lenoir Woods

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Lenoir Woods Senior Living Community in Columbia, Missouri held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, celebrating the construction of the Edgewood Apartments. Current residents, future residents, and guests attended to witness the continuation of the history and vision of Lenoir Woods.

“History is all about honoring those who come before us. Vision is about those who will come after us. Today is about both of those things,” said Jake Bell, Chief Operating Officer of Lutheran Senior Services. “As we look to the future and the groundbreaking that’s occurring today, it all fits perfectly into our Christian mission of Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest.”

The $22 million new construction of the Edgewood Apartments over the estimated 15 months of construction will result in 79 new independent living apartments and underground parking.

Executive Director, Kurt Kentwood summed up the aspirations of the Edgewood Apartments. “As the building grows, it will be easy to see progress. Plumbing put in, walls and windows placed, balconies and a roof constructed. But there is so much more to this building then what you’ll physically see. Underneath it all will be the energy in conversation about the future of Lenoir Woods, the new friends made as future residents extend the scope of our family here; the promise of spaces created specifically created for the needs of older adults set against a beautiful woods backdrop. It’s the very spirit of what it means to live life to the fullest at Lenoir Woods that will make the greatest impact.”

To speak to someone on Living Life to the Fullest at Lenoir Woods, call 309.692.4600.

Breeze Park Resident Elsie Fruend Wins Senior Service Award

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder has named Elsie Fruend, a resident of Breeze Park Senior Living in St. Charles, as a winner of the 2016 Lieutenant Governor’s Senior Service Award. Lt. Governor Kinder presented the award on May 4 at a ceremony in the House Lounge of the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.

Fruend is a member of the Breeze Park Crafters at Breeze Park Senior Living in St. Charles, where she and about six other women make quilts that are presented as gifts to children receiving care at the Ronald McDonald House. She was nominated by the crafters’ group, which noted the young patients quickly become attached to the quilts.

“They become so attached to this ‘security blanket’ that they want to take it home with them,” the nomination said. “Elsie makes this possible. Some of the little ones with big problems are there for years. They know their blanket by the feel of it.”

Kinder said Freund also makes crib quilts that she sells and uses the proceeds to help pay for supplies to make the quilts for the Ronald McDonald House kids.

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“Over the past seven years, Elsie has been instrumental in producing more than 1,500 of these special quilts, which have become beloved security blankets for scared children facing dire health issues,” he said. “You have had a positive impact, and your unselfishness has touched countless people in your community.

“You embody the spirit of the ‘good and faithful servant’ taught by our Lord in the parable of the talents – using your energy and talents and devotion to make a difference in your communities,” Kinder added. “This award is one small way our state can join them in saying, ‘thank you!’”

Breeze Park is a senior living community operated by Lutheran Senior Services. Lutheran Senior Services is a mission-driven, not-for-profit network that specializes in housing, care, and supportive services for older adults 62+. With 21 locations in Missouri and Illinois, LSS serves more than 9,000 seniors a year 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.

Paul Ogier Named Health Care CFO of the Year

Congratulations to Paul Ogier, LSS Chief Financial Officer. The St. Louis Business Journal recognized him for his significant contribution to the lives of older adults, naming him Health Care CFO of the Year. “Paul has an incredible heart for our ministry and serving older adults,” said John Kotovsky, president and CEO of LSS. “A lot of CFOs are good numbers people, but Paul is able to balance the numbers with the human needs.” Thank you Paul for all that you do on behalf of Lutheran Senior Services and the older adults it serves.

Read the article here.

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That 80s Concert

Thank you to all those who were a part of the Don’t Stop Believing’ 80s Concert benefiting Project Wellness. Through the rocking’ and rad event featuring That 80s Band, we were able to raise funds to help low-income adults take control of their health. See some of the great picture below from the event and find them all at http://lutheranseniorservices.shutterfly.com. Thank you for your support! We’ll see you again next year!

What is Project Wellness? A combination of health and exercise programs combined with telehealth kiosks, Project Wellness seeks to use several methods to help older adults take control of their health at minimal to no cost. Since its implementation, over 117 serious health concerns have been caught before they escalated out of control. And 80% of Affordable Housing residents have taken advantage of Project Wellness programs and the telehealth kiosks. Overshooting all goals, Project Wellness has given residents’ blood pressure, weight, pulse, and glucose data that they can then bring to their doctor, creating a larger record of health to base further visits off of.

Beginning in July of 2015, Project Wellness has been expanded to include community members! Learn more by calling Michelle Wamser at 314.884.7941.

As population ages, planners say St. Louis region needs more services for seniors

From the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Officials say a demographic wave, a surge of older people, has already started to hit shore in St. Louis and the region needs to prepare.

Until 2030, the number of people 65 years or older in St. Louis is projected to increase by 15,000 every year. In the next three decades, the number of people in that senior set will jump 77 percent.

Census figures from 2014 show the St. Louis area had the eighth highest percentage of older people in the country, at 14.9 percent. But by 2045, a quarter of the region’s population will be 65 or older.

“I don’t think people are very much aware of that,” said Mary Schaefer, executive director of the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging. “It’s like we’re in denial that we’re aging, and I think that’s a pretty common situation. People do not like to admit that we’re growing old.”

The staggering shift prompted the regional planning group East-West Gateway to host a panel discussion on the potential needs of the aging population Wednesday night at the Central Library downtown. But the issues have long been on the minds of those in the region who work with seniors.

The remaining life expectancy for the average 65-year-old was 19.1 years in 2010, almost four years more than what it was in 1972, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2050, the U.S. is expected to almost double the number of people age 65 and older it had in 2012, from 43.1 million to 83.7 million.

“Never in human history have we had so many people living so long, and so many of them, and we’re just not ready,” said Jamie Opsal, program manager for the St. Louis senior advocacy group Seniors Count.

Read the rest of the article here.

David Knocke Named Executive Director at Heisinger Bluffs

DAVID KNOCKE, FACHE, NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE HEISINGER BLUFFS AND ST. JOSEPH BLUFFS SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITIES IN JEFFERSON CITY

St. Louis, Mo., May 3, 2016 – Lutheran Senior Services has named David Knocke, FACHE, as Executive Director of the Heisinger Bluffs and St. Joseph Bluffs senior living communities in Jefferson City effective May 23, 2016. He will lead a team of (# of employees) caregivers and support staff at these Continuing Care Retirement Communities dedicated to providing more than 240 residents with high quality independent living, short stay rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care assisted living and skilled nursing services.

Knocke joined Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) earlier this year to assist on special projects in St. Louis. He has 30 years of experience in acute hospital operations and physician services management.

Prior to joining LSS, Knocke was President of BJC Medical Group, which employed 280 physicians in a variety of medical specialties including internal medicine, family medicine, cardiology, rheumatology and oncology. In addition, he served as the chief administrative officer of the BJC Accountable Care Organization. Knocke came to BJC in 2008 from Stormont-Vail Healthcare in Topeka, Kansas, where he served as senior vice president and chief operations officer. He also served in several leadership positions at Charlton Methodist Hospital in Dallas and at SSM Healthcare in St. Louis.

Knocke earned his master’s degree in health administration from Washington University in St. Louis and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Missouri. He and his wife, Catherine, have three children.

Heisinger Bluffs & St. Joseph’s Bluffs is part of a 150-year tradition of compassionate service.

Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) is a mission-driven, not-for-profit network that specializes in housing, care, and supportive services for older adults 62+. With 21 locations in Missouri and Illinois, LSS serves more than 9,000 seniors a year 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.

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We'd love to hear from you! Located in St. Louis, MO 63138, Heisinger Bluffs & St. Joseph's Bluffs senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

2015 Annual Report — Elevating Mission

On April 26, the 2015 Annual Report for Lutheran Senior Services was unveiled. Featuring ways in which the LSS mission has been elevated to new heights — the introduction of QAPI, a new partnership with the APA of Missouri, Benevolent Care, and more — the Annual Report was made possible by many.

“We are blessed to stand on the shoulders of men and women who have gone before us in this mission,” said President and CEO, John Kotovsky. “And we continue to elevate our mission. Not for our benefit, but for the benefit of those we serve.”

Thank you to all those who partner with us in our mission — Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest. We are humbled and grateful for the ways in which God continues to use us.

View the 2015 Annual Report below.

Breeze Park celebrates 20 years!

Breeze Park, the senior living community in St. Charles operated by Lutheran Senior Services, will celebrate 20 years of service to the community at a special reception for local leaders on April 15. Since purchasing Breeze Park from Lutheran Altenheim Society in 1996, the community at 600 Breeze Park Drive off Highway 94 has undergone significant expansion in both its physical property and in the range of programs and services offered to residents. Today there are 310 residents and 217 employees at Breeze Park, making the community a major employer in St. Charles County.

“We’ve evolved from traditional nursing services to a resident-centered care approach offering a full range of independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and short stay rehabilitation services,” said Tammy Hempen, Executive Director of Breeze Park. “Last year we added our REACH Short Stay post acute care rehabilitation service, and this year we are introducing Masterpiece Living, a program designed to help older adults live longer by combining spiritual, intellectual, physical and social activities. But through it all, our mission and our community involvement remain at the heart of what we do.”

Breeze Park is a member of Partners For Progress of Greater St. Charles. In addition, each year the employees of Breeze Park participate in the St. Charles Walk To End Alzheimers, and they also provide hot dogs for all participants in the event.

Lutheran Senior Services is a mission-driven, not-for-profit network that specializes in housing, care, and supportive services for older adults 62+. With 21 locations in Missouri and Illinois, LSS serves more than 9,000 seniors a year 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.

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We'd love to hear from you! Located in St. Charles, MO 63304, Breeze Park senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care assisted living, and skilled nursing.  For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Thank You LSS Volunteers!

Since its inception in 1974, National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing, and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. On April 10 – 16, we at Lutheran Senior Services pause with many other organizations around the world to say “Thank You” to the volunteers who serve in our midst.

In 2015, LSS hosted approximately 6,000 volunteers that donated over 70,000 hours of service. We are eager and ready to welcome volunteers in roles where they can interact with residents, clients, employees, and families. About three-fourths of our volunteers come in the form of one-time volunteers (church groups, youth groups, etc.), while about one-fourth of our volunteer force visit on a regular basis. We also include volunteers with disabilities and volunteers from other non-profits. We have arrangements with Easter Seals, St. Louis Arc, Special School District, Giant Steps School, United Cerebral Palsy, and MERS Goodwill.

LSS dedicates a lot of time and resources to making certain we are following best practices with our volunteers. Our volunteer program is recognized by the United Way as a Certified Volunteer Program – think of it as a stamp of approval! About 40 different volunteer coordinators, from Lifestyle Enrichment Directors to chaplains to program managers, help supervise the volunteers around LSS.

Each LSS community or program recognizes their volunteers throughout the year with thank you notes and inclusion in events. For National Volunteer Week, many host special events or provide treats for volunteers. Other programs have their formal recognition event at other times in the year and often include some enrichment training as part of the event program.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion.” At LSS, we are so very blessed to have thousands of volunteers step up to show that very kindness and compassion to our organization and those we serve. Their contribution enables our organization to further our mission of “Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest.” If you see a volunteer, don’t forget to say, “Thanks!”

-Kristy Bull, Director of Volunteers

 

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If you’re thinking about your future plans, Lutheran Senior Services communities are great places to start. Offering independent living apartments and patio homes, our warm, welcoming campuses offer easy access to assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing should your needs change. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Spares, strikes, splits, or in the gutter … it all helped to benefit Project Wellness

Spares, strikes, splits, or in the gutter … it all helped to benefit Project Wellness for Lutheran Senior Services Affordable Housing.

“This is such a fun event,” said Susan Hutchison, Executive Director of Affordable Housing. “There’s a healthy bit of competition and trash talking, but overall it makes a huge difference in the health of low-income older adults.”

That huge difference is telehealth kiosks that give immediate readings of blood pressure, blood glucose, and other biometric readings. Along with an on-site registered nurse and wellness programs, older adults are able to take control of their health. Bowling for Wellness is an annual event that directly raises funds to continue these necessary programs.

Forty-four teams comprised of 176 individual bowlers, rolled their way to Tropicana Lanes in Clayton, Missouri. And when all the pins were down, team Mason Pointe claimed victory, winning handedly by 200 pins.

Comprised of Antoine Moore, Scott Young, Cheryl Grubbermen, and Glenn Reinneck, they’re glad to have joined the LSS family and claim victory for its newest community. “We had an excellent time and we can’t wait for next year,” said Team Captain Glenn. “Get used to Mason Pointe winning because we’ll be back.”

With donations still coming in, Susan guestimates they’ll raise over $13,500, which means continuation of life-saving technologies for low-income adults like the telehealth kiosks and wellness programs.

“We want to say thank you to all those who participated, donated, and volunteered,” Susan said. “It was a blast!” Bowling for Wellness will be back on February 26, 2017 and they hope to fill all 52 lanes next year!

It’s not too late to help the cause. Donations for Project Wellness are still being accepted. Contact Sharon Anderson at 314.966.0747.