LSS Blog

Ahoy Matey Open House

Question: Why does it take pirates so long to learn the alphabet?

Answer: Because they spend years at C!

Pirate humor rang out across from the port to the starboard side of Lutheran Hillside Village as current residents and potential future residents gathered together for an Ahoy Matey Open House

ahoyThe Mates and Maidens were treated to cookies, mini cheesecakes, éclairs, and drinks (also known as grub and grog). All then received scrolls that led them across Lutheran Hillside Village to view available apartments while learning more about all that Lutheran Hillside Village offers.

And with construction almost complete featuring REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation and additional private apartments for Assisted Living and Memory Care Assisted Living, there’s a lot to know about Lutheran Hillside Village.


Did You Know:

  • 24 Lutheran congregations in Peoria worked together on the beginnings of Lutheran Hillside Village, which broke ground in 1961.
  • In January 1963 residents moved in but the ground breaking ceremony was delayed because of the winter weather … brrrr.
  • Mark Shoopman, LHV executive chef, has a weekly cooking segment on WEEK-TV and every day he, and his team, prepare 657 meals.
  • The Water of Life Chapel was a gift from the Lutheran Women of Greater Peoria. The first service held in the chapel was on Reformation Sunday.
  • The latest groundbreaking features the latest technology from the kitchen to therapy room!

Look for more information coming soon about our upcoming groundbreaking!

Meridian Village Strawberry Festival

A hot Sunday afternoon didn’t deter the celebrations of the Meridian Village Strawberry Festival. Even with temperatures reaching 97 degrees and activities moved indoors, 60 pounds of strawberries were consumed to celebrate one of America’s favorite fruits.

“We were looking for a great activity and what speaks to summer more than fresh strawberries?” said Tammy Williams, Lifestyle Enrichment Director at Meridian Village. “It was very festive and such a joyous way to spend the afternoon.”

Residents and their families, including grandchildren and great-grandchildren, were entertained by musician Paul Jarvis and Wally Davis, nearby a balloon artist fascinated those of any age with his ability to create angel wings, puppies, and flowers.

“We had a strawberry bar with whipped cream, nuts, and sprinkles; everybody enjoyed it. There was so much laughing and picture taking and games. We had such a good time that we’ll definitely do something of the same – but maybe move our festival to the fall so that we can enjoy the outdoors!”

Thank you to all who attended and for all those who helped in creating this great event. Rain, shine, or extreme heat, it’s always a joy to host opportunities for families to gather and celebrate at Meridian Village.

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.

Handy Or Want To Be? Meramec Bluffs Reopens Workshop

There is something to be said for having the knowledge to fix a broken chair leg or knowing how to construct something out of nothing. For Independent Living residents at Meramec Bluffs, the reopening of the workshop was the opportunity to continue to hone or begin their handy skills.

“I had a workbench in my house before, like many others who tinkered in their garage or basement,” said Larry Kamberg. “When my wife and I moved to Meramec Bluffs we loved everything about it, especially the maintenance-free living it provides. But I was also looking for a space where residents could continue to create things.”

Working with the Meramec Bluffs, Larry and a number of other residents took the existing workshop and redesigned the space with new workbenches. Residents and the Meramec Bluffs Resident Association donated tools and equipment. It’s available for crafts, metal work, and woodwork. “Really whatever anyone wants!” said Larry.

The workshop officially reopened on July 15 with residents treated to lemonade and cookies. For those who are looking to increase their handiness, the workshop committee is available to give personal demonstrations on how to use equipment and tools.

“The workshop is designed for people who like to tinker,” said Larry. “Maybe you want to put together a sailboat, or sand a table, or make a stool shorter. It’s a place where you can go and use your skills (or learn new ones)!”

We'd love to hear from you! Located in Ballwin, Missouri 63021, Meramec Bluffs 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

Groundbreaking Ceremony at Lenoir Woods

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.

Kent Kirkwood, Executive Director, 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 573.876.5800.

The Lake Pointe Summer Party

While Lake Pointe Senior Living Community awaits groundbreaking, it’s never too early to start celebrating together. Interested future residents gathered together at the Old Hickory Golf Club for a summer party.

“We wanted to create a fun opportunity for those who are interested in Lake Pointe to visit with potential future neighbors, enjoy each other’s company, and have a good time,” said Senior Living Counselor, Julie Jones.

Over 100 people enjoyed a wide variety of hot appetizers and summer time favorites including – grilled shrimp, Maryland style crab cakes, stuffed mushrooms, grilled chicken and beef tenderloin cocktail sandwiches, cheese and fruit platters, etc. Dessert included an iced sugar cookie decorated like a flip-flop from a local bakery, Susie G’s.

“This was also an opportunity for us to reveal four exterior architectural renderings of Lake Pointe, depicting the beauty of what Lake Pointe will look like,” said Julie. I think all our guests were impressed and loved having a visual of the exterior apartment balconies, courtyards, and main entrance to the community center.”

Bump, Set, Spike, Splash — Laclede Groves Brings Home the Gold!

Laclede Groves hosted the 2016 Senior Olympics Water Volleyball games with 12 teams participating from various senior living communities. This intense competition has teams practicing throughout the year culminating in one day-long tournament.

“It’s in conjunction with the St. Louis Senior Olympics,” said Marilyn Coplin, Recreation Director at Laclede Groves. “Over 90 events occur every year on Memorial Day weekend and Laclede Groves is proud to have hosted water volleyball since 2008.”

Over 200 participants and spectators gathered to play and cheer on their favorite teams. “Everybody loves it. It bring a huge group of people together and it is so much fun to see the camaraderie and the competition that occurs.”

Laclede Groves got close to a podium sweep, which of course does lead to bragging right for the year as well.

The Laclede Groves Silver Sharks (75+ Age Division, Bracket 2) — Gold
The Laclede Groves Sharks (75+ Age Division, Bracket 1) — Silver
The Laclede Groves Shark Bites (65-75 Age Division) — Gold
The Laclede Groves Junior Team (50-65 Age Division comprised of staff, resident family members, and friends) — Gold




We'd love to hear from you! Located in Webster Groves, MO 63119, Laclede Groves senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, residential care, memory care assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Get your Kicks on Route 66: Destination Walk

Rt66During the month of May, reisdents and staff members of Heisinger Bluffs were walking the historic Route 66 … well not literally. “We wanted to encourage people to get up and move no matter how little they think they do move,” said Ashley Drewel, Helath Services Counselor.

Promoting the benefits of walking, the theme helped motivated residents and staff members to use pedometers to capture the number of steps taken per day. Included also was a Route 66 Trivia Scavenger Hunt which challenged the brain as well while getting steps in. Also included was special speakers, acitvities, and and trips that all encouraged healthy living.

And of course there has to be parties to celebrate. The Kick-off event had Chicago style pizza and the final destination celebration party (Winslow, AZ) featured an oasis themed party with Mexican style foods such as tacos, quesadillas, chips & salsa as well as margaritas, blue punch and beer.

See the Stats from the HB Movement Matters Month:

  • An 84% participation rate during the month of May.
  • 30 people joined us for our Wednesday Walking Group.
  • 32 people competed in the walking challenge with the pedometers.
  • Our top walker in our community walked 388,805 steps or 194 miles.
  • Our residents as a whole walked 1,597,922 steps or 757 miles while our staff walked 1,873,534 or 887 miles for a grand total of 3,471,456 steps and 1,644 miles.
  • Our final destination along Route 66 was Winslow, AZ.

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.

Carla Baum wins Healthcare Accomplishment Recognition Award

CarlaBaum2Carla Baum, Regional Vice President for Lutheran Senior Services (LSS), has received the 2016 Health Care Accomplishment Recognition Award – Healthcare Senior Services from the St. Louis chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. Carla is among twelve women from 11 organizations across the St. Louis region to be selected for recognition based on their contributions to the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare.

Carla oversees four LSS senior living communities in the St. Louis area and leads the organization’s post-acute care strategy, including its participation in the Center for Medicare Services’ Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) Model 3 program. Under Carla’s leadership, the average length of stay in LSS’s REACH short stay rehab services program has been reduced by over 7 days – from 25-27 days to 18-20 days, while the hospital readmission rate has dropped from the 20-25+% range to the low teens and even single digits. At the same time, REACH guest satisfaction rate is in the 95+ percent range.

“Carla is a master visionary who, after 30 plus years in health care, can still re-imagine new ways of care delivery that improve quality and reduce cost,” said Jake Bell, Chief Operating Officer for LSS. “She also has a tremendous ability to identify to grow talented young healthcare business professionals into tomorrow’s leaders in our organization.”

“Carla is a role model for other women in healthcare, and she has forged a path that other healthcare organizations may want to consider as they groom women for leadership,” said chapter president Katherine Joslin, SVP Human Resources & Marketing, Bethesda Health Group, Inc.

Women in healthcare were nominated by peers and the honorees were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Making an extraordinary contribution in healthcare that has addressed a pertinent need, problem or issue, or who has made a difference that improves the quality of life for others in the metro St. Louis area;
  • Setting an example to other women through her dedication and passion in the field of healthcare;
  • Demonstrating a desire to contribute to her organization, the industry, or to the local healthcare community as a volunteer; and
  • Showing a commitment to mentoring other women, providing guidance to learn the necessary skills to become an empowered leader.

All winners will be honored on Sept. 27, 2016 at a luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton St. Louis.
The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) was founded to further the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare. The St. Louis chapter was founded in 2006.

Welcome Home – Concordia Village Hosts Patio Home Event

Courtney Page, Concordia Village Senior Living Associate, considers it the highest compliment to Concordia Village when she hears guests exclaim, “Everything has been thought of!” And that was no exception when it came to the Concordia Tour of Patio Homes event on June 29.

Prospective residents, Future Residency Program members and current Patio home residents gathered not only for tours of Patio Homes at Concordia Village, but also for some delicious food. Smoked Brisket, Smoked Pork Butt, BBQ Ribs, Napa Cabbage Salad, Red Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Grilled Vegetable Kabobs, Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction, and Ice Cream Sundae Bar, to name a few. Hungry yet?


“We have great meals here and of course, that evening it was no exception,” said Chuck Krell, Concordia Village resident for the past 5 years. “A chance to visit with some of our future neighbors over great food is always delightful. And we always tell them not to wait to come here and enjoy living life to the fullest.”

Having recently added a new Wellness Center, an Independent Living Apartment building, and patio homes, Concordia Village residents are experiencing the best in senior living. “My wife and I love it here, so anytime that we can share how much we love it with others, is amazing.”

We'd love to hear from you! Located in Springfield, IL 62711, Concordia Village senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Around LSS: Progress and Renovation

You might have noticed that there’s a lot of construction and renovation occurring across Lutheran Senior Services. We’re investing in the future and the needs of seniors by preparing today. Take a peak at some of the projects that are occurring and a deeper explanation of why they’re so important.




A Conversation with Jacque Bogner, Executive Director of Concordia Village, and Donna Roetker, Concordia Village Resident

LSS: Lutheran Senior Services is a not-for-profit. That means any surplus money doesn’t go into the pockets of shareholders, but is reinvested in our communities. In 2015, many LSS communities saw renovations and expansions. Jacque, as an Executive Director, what does that reinvestment do for your community and other LSS communities?

Jacque: For current and future residents it means that they can enjoy places and spaces that fit their needs. This is home and we want it to be a place where people are proud to say they live. Plus through reinvesting in our communities, we are extending our services to more seniors and providing a larger variety of services.

LSS: Which is needed.

Jacque: Exactly. Everyone knows that we have a large generation population that has reached, or is close to reaching, retirement age. And Lutheran Senior Services is preparing for that with both renovating existing spaces and creating brand new ones. Wellness centers, fitness and art studios, pool spaces — all these are a part of investing back in our communities and I believe it’s a part of our mission.

LSS: Donna, you are a recent new resident to Lutheran Senior Services. How has your life changed since moving in?

Donna: My life has changed tremendously since moving in. I had both a house and a condo and I knew it was time to downsize. Now I have a lovely apartment with a great view, friends surrounding me, and on top of that we have a new wellness center that I use every day. I had concerns and was nervous when making the decision to move, but everyone here is wonderful and it’s home. I haven’t missed my old place once.

Jacque: Donna has a story similar to many others. One of the best parts of my job is
that my team and I get to show them what life is like here.

Donna: I really have nothing to worry about here. The building is so very beautiful but I have to say that it’s the people that really make it special. People like Jacque are what make this place a home.


The ever-changing needs of a rapidly aging population leads change throughout LSS. Being responsible stewards means finding new ways of delivering value without sacrificing quality. Remaining viable in an increasingly competitive market calls for consistent evaluation of existing product and constant renewal through renovation and, at times, new construction. Multiple projects remain in the works at all times with an eye toward meeting the needs of both today and tomorrow.

2015 Projects included:

Concordia Village, Springfield, IL: 
  • Completed construction of new apartments and patio homes for independent living, as well as a Wellness Center featuring pool, art studio, game room, and clinic.
Lake Pointe, Lake Saint Louis, MO: 
  • Began pre-sales and continue developing phased construction of this new continuing care retirement community.
Lenoir Woods, Columbia, MO: 
  • Continued pre-sales of a new independent living wing and a master plan for construction of a new care center.
Lutheran Hillside Village, Peoria, IL: 
  • Began construction on a new care center and continue developing master plan for additional renovations.