LSS Blog

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.

Lutheran Senior Services Purchases The Cedars of Town and Country

We’re excited to announce our newest affiliation! 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!