LSS Blog

Help LSS for free with Amazon Smile!


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​.​

Follow these easy steps to get started.

  1. Visit
    • 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 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!






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 on your desktop or mobile phone browser and simply select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.” It can be found in the “settings” section.



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!

Lutheran Senior Services Celebrates Veterans


“Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.”
– Michel de Montaigne

Lutheran Senior Services thanks all those who are a part of our armed forces. Their sacrifice, commitment, and courage are an example and we have much to be thankful for because of them. Throughout the week of Veteran’s Day, LSS communities and programs put together events to give honor to those who made a lasting difference.

Larry Kamberg, a veteran at Meramec Bluffs in Ballwin, MO worked with the Meramec Bluff’s Veteran Committee and staff to organize an event for veterans and the community. “Serving in the military is a opportunity and responsibility of our citizens,” said Larry. “However not everyone has the opportunity or the ability to serve. For those individuals who chose to serve, Veterans Day provides a time to remember the commitment they made to our country and to their comrades.”

Across LSS, events similar to the one at Meramec Bluff’s not only reflected on the contribution of veterans in the past, but also how they continue to impact our communities and live life to the fullest. “LSS communities provided our veterans with an opportunity to live out their remaining years with dignity and support of friends and family who share a common goal,” said Larry. “Older Adults Living Life to Fullest is lived out in the lives of each veteran resident.”

Check out some of the special events and ceremonies that occurred.


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.

Lutheran Women Missionary League “Gifts from the Heart”

blog_IMG_2609A gift from the heart can be deeply impactful, sometimes creating a ripple effect of love and generosity. For the Lutheran Women Missionary League (LWML), their recent “Gifts from the Heart” to Affordable Housing residents at Lutheran Senior Services was especially touching.

The Lutheran Women Missionary League supports mission projects and missionaries all over the world. “We pull donations together so that more people can hear about Jesus and the love he has for them,” said Linda Fees, Chairman of LWML Mission Servants Committee. “And every time we get together for a national meeting we select one local organization from that community to receive needed supplies – it’s our “Gifts from the Heart” – a way of supporting the community around us.”

For Affordable Housing residents that included much-needed personal hygiene items like shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and soap, as well as nail polish, books, and crossword puzzles.

blog_FullSizeRender“At LSS we’re able to provide subsidized housing for lower income older adults,” said Nikki Clayton, Community Director at the LSS Affordable Housing community Mackenzie Place. It’s a part of our mission in how we help ‘Older Adults Live Life to the Fullest’. But to receive additional gifts that help with some of the daily needs of our residents – it’s very much appreciated.”

Linda says the gift of giving impacts everyone – those who receive and those who give. “God has given us so much and we want to share that with others – it warms everyone’s heart. We pray that God will use LWML and these gifts to brighten the lives of others.”

Thank you LWML!




Volunteer Profile: Kathy Ryan

Volunteer - KathyRyan-01

KRNearly two years ago, Kathy Ryan offered her experience in customer service to make reminder calls to Living Safe Technologies clients who have our fall alert system or Button. “The calls are an important aspect of our program and set us apart from others. Through them, we stay informed about changing needs and are able to respond quickly”, explains Kevin Murphy, coordinator of the program.

Kathy makes 120 calls each month and takes time on each to catch up a little on life and provide re-assurance that help is just a phone call away. “This was my first adventure in volunteering and it has been so fulfilling,” she admits. “I know that the seniors I call are often lonesome and look forward to my call as much as I enjoy calling. That is a really good feeling.”

Kathy also serves in our Senior Connections program with her sister Pat. They visit with Viola an hour or more each week, sharing stories, enjoying treats, and talking about family events. In the future, they hope to bring their beloved dog Kenny along on their visits.

Kathy shows us how volunteerism can enrich the life of both the giver and receiver in unexpected ways.

Boeing Employees Community Fund Awards Grant to Senior Connections Program

Boeing-Employees-Community-Fund-1024x423St. Louis, Missouri – October 12, 2015 – The Employees Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis (ECF) recently awarded Senior Connections, a program of Lutheran Senior Services, with a sizable program expansion grant. The Senior Connections program connects friendly visiting volunteers with seniors for consistent, weekly visits of one hour or more. Sometimes, those volunteers have pet friends who tag along. The program aims to reduce feelings of isolation and increase connections for the senior; enhance the life of the volunteer and the work life of the employees caring for the senior. In its 16-year history, the program has traditionally served residents of senior living communities or senior apartment complexes. This particular grant will expand the program to recruit, train and supervise volunteers who will serve seniors served by programs brought to independent homes or adult day settings.
“We are thrilled to be chosen by the employees of Boeing St. Louis for support for this program. We know there is a great need for visitors for people who wish to remain in their homes or receive services in an adult day setting. In addition to companionship, our volunteers can be further support for family and employed caregivers. This funding will allow us to put time and energy into recruiting and training as many as 50 additional volunteers and further develop relationships with partners serving this audience,” said Pam Gordon, Director of Volunteers for Lutheran Senior Services.

Lollipop and Flo ChristmasFlorence “Flo” Pankiewicz and her dog Lollipop are especially excited about the grant from ECF because Flo is also an employee of Boeing St. Louis and a contributor to the ECF Fund. “I started volunteering with Senior Connections in 2009 after grieving the loss of my aunt and surrogate parent. I knew how much my visits to New York with my pet meant to her and how they lifted her spirits. I called it the “Power of Pup”, she explains. “Lollipop and I bring the Power of Pup to our friend when we visit. Our elders are a valuable resource in our society. Our visits through Senior Connections help preserve our friend’s humanity, give the respect she deserves, and have led to a lasting family-like relationship in a situation where there is no one who biologically fills that role.”

The ECF is one of the largest employee-owned and managed charitable funds in the world, with 100 percent of every donation used to help strengthen local communities. While the Senior Connections program has received grants in the past, this is the largest award provided to the program by the Fund and the first for Lutheran Senior Services, the host of the program since January 2014.

As the 9th largest not-for-profit senior care network in the nation, Lutheran Senior Services offers continuing care retirement communities and low-income housing, as well as medical and nonmedical home- and community-based services. Led by President John Kotovsky, LSS is on target to serve more than 10,000 older adults in 2015.

Volunteer Profile: Mike Mulholland – Spreading Joy Through Music!

Volunteer Mike Mulholland-01

When Mike retired from Anheuser Busch he had a goal of staying healthy and active. He knew that to accomplish that goal, he should find a meaningful volunteer activity. As luck would have it, he was introduced to the Senior Connections program while at an Ethical Society event and thought he would attend training to see how he might spend time with an older adult. He enjoyed the conversation and friendship of many older adults who knew his sole purpose was to be there just for them.

One of his retirement gifts from his family was a digital piano. His new life afforded more opportunity to find time to relax at the keyboard. This extra attention to the piano also meant he was more aware of pianos available in the in the senior living communities he visited. He noticed that so many times, they were sitting idle rather than used for the enjoyment of the residents. Being a problem solver, Mike decided he would ask permission to share his budding musical talent to reach even more seniors. In no time at all, he found a new volunteer role in Senior Connections playing the piano during meal times or for special events hosted by the activities departments.

Mike’s important work with Senior Connections began nearly 15 years ago. Since that time, he has remained steadfast in his commitment to his many friends who eagerly listen for his music to play. Mike, too, continues to enjoy his role, “Through, my service, my piano skills have increased and my musical repertoire has expanded greatly. More importantly,” he shares, “I have made so many more friends by sharing what I love to do!”

3 Things To Know This Week: October 19th


No 2016 Social Security Benefits Increase; Medicare Premium Spikes for Some

It’s official: Not only will almost 65 million Social Security recipients not get a cost-of-living increase next year, millions of Medicare beneficiaries will see their premiums for doctor visits and outpatient care go up by more than 50 percent unless the government intervenes. Read more.

Dietary Supplements Send 23,000 to ER Yearly

Popular over-the-counter supplements, including multivitamins, energy boosters and diet pills, send 23,000 Americans to the emergency room yearly with chest pain, heart palpitations, choking and other problems, according to the first large study to look at the products’ adverse effects. Read more.

Therapy Dogs Improve Quality of Life for Seniors and Family Caregivers

Therapy dogs are used by many different types of facilities and organizations including senior living facilities. They bring our senior loved ones companionship, fun and even health benefits. There have been several studies that show the multitude of benefits that therapy dogs can have on seniors they visit. Read more.

Partner Profile: St. Louis County CORE

Partner - StLCORE-01

A community is stronger when we come together — sharing expertise, passion, and a commitment to helping those around us. St. Louis County CORE (County Older Resident Program) has provided quality service to Saint Louis County residents age 60 and over since 1975. Targeting the primary needs of older adults through programs and opportunities such as home visits, home care and repair, help with tax preparation, basic computer classes, and more, CORE is an active part of supporting older adults. Thank you St. Louis County CORE for your partnership in making our communities stronger.

3 Things to Know This Week: October 12



Tripped Up By A Bug: Infection May Cause Falls

A new study reported at IDWeek, the meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and related groups, found that unsuspected infections may be the cause of falls, rather than tripping or fainting. Read more …

Weather Cuts Into Pumpkin Crop

It’s pumpkin-selling season, and crowds are flocking to farms to pick out their own jack-o-lanterns. But this year, challenging weather conditions have cut the supply of pumpkins — both for carving and canning. Heavy summer rains in parts of the Midwest and elsewhere have left many farmers short on pumpkins. And in California, drought has squeezed the crop. Read more …

OG Pollard: Don’t Stop Dancing

Every night for the past two years, Roger Pollard’s phone starts pinging at around 3am California time as people comment on his Instagram feed. The 62 year-old can’t read many of the notifications because they are coming in too fast and they are in Russian, German, even Arabic. The reason for this avalanche of late-night notifications? As they get their days started, Roger’s fans need to see what he posted the night before. Read more …