LSS Blog

Lutheran Senior Services Purchases The Cedars of Town and Country

We’re excited to announce our newest acquisition! Here is the official press release. Welcome, Cedars!

 

Lutheran Senior Services has purchased the Cedars of Town and Country from the Cedars Properties, LLC, effective February 1, 2016 and LSS has renamed the senior living community Mason Pointe. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

LSS will move its REACH West County rehabilitation services operated currently on the campus of Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur to the Cedars, with the anticipated date of the move May 1. Residents, families and employees at both locations have been notified of the Cedars purchase and pending move date.

The location of the Cedars, on the South Outer Road of I-64 between Mason Road and Maryville Centre Drive in Town and Country, is about three miles from Mercy and will allow LSS to continue to serve the hospital’s post-acute patients in need of rehabilitation services, as well as residents living in surrounding communities.

John Kotovsky, LSS president and CEO, said “we look forward to serving the Cedars residents and continuing to serve our residents currently on the Mercy campus at our new location. The consolidation of services at Mason Pointe brings together both organizations’ traditions and heritages of service to residents and the community.”

Makhlouf (Mark) Suissa, owner of the Cedars, said LSS was chosen to continue the work of the senior living provider “because of the shared faith-based approach to care and its excellent reputation in senior living.”

Meridian Village nets 2015 ICAA Innovators Green Award

Award recognizes organization’s environmental wellness efforts

[Vancouver, BC. December 18, 2015]—The International Council on Active Aging® announces that Meridian Village, a Lutheran Senior Services community in Glen Carbon, Illinois, has won the 2015 Innovators Green Award. A professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, ICAA presents its annual Innovators Awards to those in the industry who are leading the way, setting new standards, and making a difference in the lives of older adults. The Green Award category honors organizations for innovative environmental-wellness efforts. Meridian Village garnered the award for recycling initiatives that include a table-to-garden approach.

Innovator Award logo-2015 According to Meridian Village’s executive director, Colleen Bottens, the community has implemented three recycling initiatives since September 2014. First, single-stream recycling reduces sorting efforts by residents, who place recyclables in one bin. This initiative has increased participation in recycling and led to more items being recycled—a full 56,854 lbs. of recyclables between September 2014 and September 2015. Efforts to replace Styrofoam with reusable and biodegradable containers are succeeding. Bottens notes that residents continually bring reusable containers to meals to use for leftovers, which helps to minimize the number of biodegradable containers that dining services uses for food take-away and delivery. Finally, a table-to-garden recycling process completes the table-to-food waste-to-compost-to-garden-to-table circle. The community’s garden plan includes organic composting and a worm farm. The restaurant kitchen provides vegetable waste for the worm farm and garden composting, while the garden in turn provides herbs, fruits and vegetables for the kitchen and residents. Food grown in the garden is used in residents’ meals. Various efforts to implement and continue recycling initiatives have involved Meridian Village’s residents, Recycling Committee, recreation coordinator, and dining services director and staff.

“Many residents at Meridian Village are passionate about reducing our carbon footprint,” comments Bottens. She attributes the success of the community’s recycling initiatives to making programs high priority and easy to do or use. “We have a resident-led Recycling Committee leading our efforts. The residents selected a single-stream recycling method as well as chose easy and convenient drop-off locations within our building for recyclable items,” she says. “It has been really amazing to watch the momentum build and new ideas on how to get even ‘greener’ grow.”

“The environments in which people live are among the main determinants of health and well-being,” says ICAA Founder and CEO Colin Milner “The environmental dimension—one of seven wellness dimensions that ICAA promotes—encompasses both built and natural environments. Support for environmental wellness includes everything from using eco-friendly products/processes or ‘green’ building materials/practices, which protect the natural world and create healthier living spaces; to participating in nature-based programs and activities; to spending time in outdoor settings.”

Milner continues, “Meridian Village embraces environmental wellness with a trio of initiatives that engage residents and staff in the ‘3 Rs’ of conservation: reduce, reuse, recycle. Residents not only participate in these efforts,” he states, “but they also instigated community initiatives with requests to reduce the use of Styrofoam and create a garden for composting waste.” On behalf of ICAA, Milner congratulates Meridian Village for winning this year’s Innovators Green Award and applauds everyone’s efforts.

As the Green Award recipient, Meridian Village received a crystal award of recognition, along with a free pass to the ICAA Conference, held November 19-21 in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition, ICAA’s Journal on Active Aging® will publish a profile on the organization and its recycling initiatives in a special developer’s issue next year.

Read the full press release.

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We'd love to hear from you! Located in Glen Carbon, IL 62034, Meridian Village 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.

Volunteer Profile: John Arenberg

John Arenberg VMMJohn Arenberg is a generous volunteer on a mission to promote financial literacy by sharing the financial wisdom given to him many years ago. In doing so, he hopes those he helps can gain some relief and order to their lives. One of the ways he meets this personal commitment is by serving as a volunteer in the Lutheran Senior Services’ Volunteer Money Management Program. He has served Delores since 2012 and she has been his one and only client – so far! It was at her urging and message full of accolades that we put John in the Volunteer Spotlight this month.

Delores’ situation is a common one. Her eyesight has diminished to the point where she is unable to accurately read and “digest” the details of the mail and many documents that are delivered to her mailbox. John spends time each month reviewing each document and helping her ascertain what is important and what is not, ensuring she doesn’t overlook important notices or deadlines. “This dedication and professional effort has moved my credit score from the 500’s to 712”, she explains, “and accolades to this young man are certainly due!”

We most certainly agree, Delores! John’s story will be one that motivates us to keep talking about Volunteer Money Management and putting time into recruiting more wonderful volunteers like John Arenberg. If you are interested in learning more about Volunteer Money Management and how you can make a difference for someone like Delores, please call Laural or Melissa at 314.446.2474.

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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.

A Christmas Message from John Kotovsky

angelstar“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah the Lord.’ ”

Jesus was born into a world of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices. And God sent into the world a baby – not to be a philosopher or a general or an earthy king – but to be a Savior with the power to cast out fear with love.

Love lies at the heart of Lutheran Senior Services. Our mission is made possible through the love of so many – our residents and patients, their families, our employees, and community partners.

As you celebrate and reflect on the birth of our Savior this Christmas, it is my prayer that the message of the angels and the love of God fill your hearts.

Merry Christmas,
John Kotovsky, President of Lutheran Senior Services

Easter Seals Volunteers Support Recycling Effort

Easter Seals pic 1Visit the Home Office of Lutheran Senior Services mid-morning on a Tuesday and you will have the pleasure of being in the company of 4-5 volunteers from Easter Seals Midwest. They arrive on a mission – to make certain our employees keep the recycling loop closed by recycling everything we can! With tubs and carts in tow, the team follows a path around the 150 + person office emptying recycling bins placed out in the halls or offered as they pass. Ultimately they make 2 trips to our larger recycling receptacle outside. “While the team’s obvious purpose is to help us keep up with recycling, they bring so much more to our organization with each visit”, explains Pam Gordon, Director of Volunteers. “We love seeing their familiar faces and taking a moment away from our tasks to share a greeting and hear about what is on their mind for the day. We do all we can to make our office a welcoming place because on Tuesdays, our workplace is their workplace.”

Whatever did we do before being blessed by these volunteers? Certainly, we were able to handle our own recycling but it was never as consistent, enjoyable or exciting! Many thanks to our friends at Easter Seals Midwest for your dedication to your Tuesday assignment.

Sharing Who They Were…So We Can Understand Who They Are

For all of the residents we serve at LSS, and especially for those living with dementia, knowing their life story is a key to providing a home where they can live a life full of meaning and purpose. Andrea Hudson, Care Companion on Mississippi Landing, a household at Meramec Bluffs for residents living with dementia, really gets that!

AndreaHudsonAndrea was inspired to pursue her CNA after an experience at the Emergency Room with a nurse who was less than caring. She knew that it could be better – and since she joined the team on Mississippi Landing, she has been proving just that!

Each month, Andrea has been creating an individualized board in the living room of the household sharing the story and personality of a different resident. This month, the board features a resident who Andrea has identified as a “star” because of her past experience as the 1947 Anheuser Busch Queen! When that resident becomes anxious, now all staff can help her overcome her anxiety by starting up a conversation with her centered around the stories and memories of her time as the Queen of AB.

Andrea has enlisted the help of fellow staff and resident’s families to help gather information about their loved one. Families are enjoying seeing their family member’s past shared as well as learning about other residents living in the household. The board has been a great way for staff from all over the household and the community to connect with residents.

Like Andrea, everyone one of us has the ability to make a difference in the lives of our residents. It starts with getting to know them and it continues by finding ways to share their stories so that relationships can spread. Thanks, Andrea, for shining your light and showing us how a simple thing can be so meaningful!

BOWLING FOR WELLNESS – BIGGER AND BETTER!!!

The 2016 Affordable Housing “Bowling for Wellness” event is going to be something that you do NOT want to miss!! The entire bowling alley (52 lanes) has been reserved and we are looking to fill each and every one of them with those teams that are looking for revenge from the 2015 event or just to come out and have some fun and raise some $$ for a GREAT cause! ​

 

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Here are the important details:

  • Sunday, February 28, 2016 –– 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Teams will o​nly be 4 persons this year.
  • Register your team by December 31 and cost is only $150.00 – After December 31 the cost jumps to $200 per team.
  • All registrations include a Bowling for Wellness t-shirt!​
  • New findraising tiers
  • ​Bigger and better prizes
  • A photo booth for team pics!​

To register or to find more information, click here.​

#GivingTuesday and 157 years in ministry!

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On December 1, Lutheran Senior Services celebrates its 157th year in ministry! That’s 157 years of living out our faith-based mission – Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest.

The mission of LSS has expanded to include 11 Affordable Housing Communities, 8 Continuing Care Retirement Communities, 1 Assisted Living Community, Home and Community Based Services and several outreach and volunteer programs. Many dedicated employees, residents, and community partners make it possible.

Lutheran Senior Services has been incredibly blessed and the best is yet to come!

Help Us Help Others

On our birthday, we’d love to ask you to consider helping us as we help others.

Benevolent Care is a special program at Lutheran Senior Services to help those older adults who have outlived their financial resources. We believe our mission calls us to support them in a time of hopelessness and uncertainty.

Please consider making a life-changing gift.

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Help LSS for free with Amazon Smile!

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Who doesn’t love Amazon, especially when it comes to holiday shopping? Now when you shop, you can help the causes you care about, like Lutheran Senior Services Benevolent Care! It’s easy!

  • Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com​.​

Follow these easy steps to get started.

  1. Visit smile.amazon.com.
    • Is this your first visit to AmazonSmile? If so, you’ll need to select a charitable organization to receive donations. Amazon will walk you through this process.
    • If you’ve been to smile.amazon.com before and would like to change your charity, see “Can I change my charity” below.
  2. Type “Lutheran Senior Services Saint Louis” in the search box and select us as your charity. That’s it!

 

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Search…

 

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And select!

Can I change my charity?

Yes, you can change your charity any time. Your AmazonSmile purchases after the change count towards your newly selected charity. To change your charity, sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser and simply select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.” It can be found in the “settings” section.

 

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Volunteer Profile: John Cook, Richmond Terrace Men’s Group

John Cook RT2It’s no mystery that male residents are outnumbered in our senior communities and we have to be intentional about keeping our activities appealing for both men and women. It can be challenging, but not impossible if you keep working at it. Chanta Scott, Director of Lifestyle Enrichment at Richmond Terrace did just this and put the call out for someone to lead a Men’s Group at Richmond Terrace. Volunteer John Cook came to the rescue when he offered to host the group.

John was a recent stay-at-home dad with a newborn and preschooler. While he was enjoying his new role for his family, he looked forward to carving out some time for service and adult interaction. The Men’s group fit the bill. Since that time, he has faithfully hosted the men’s group and offered more than 14 different activities, including outings just for the guys. The men know they are welcome to participate as their schedule allows. John credits some of the success of the group to one of the very first residents he met. “I guess you could say I have an unofficial recruiter in the group who makes certain every guy in the building is reminded and new ones are invited to join in.” The men enjoy playing cards (Crazy 8’s is a favorite), reminiscing, talking about current events, sharing hobbies and more. Plans are made week-to-week to keep the group available to new opportunities that residents might offer up.

If you are near Richmond Terrace on a Monday afternoon at 2:30, stop in and say hi. There’s always room for one more friend around the table!