LSS Blog

3 Things to Know This Week: August 31st

1. Moving Mountains

Continent’s highest peak to be renamed from Mount McKinley To Denali. Efforts to change the mountain’s name back to Denali date back to 1975. The White House says changing the name back “recognizes the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska Natives.”  Read More…

2. Erika to Unleash Flooding Downpours Across Florida

While Erika has weakened to a tropical rainstorm, Florida will still become the target of potentially flooding downpours this week. Due to Erika weakening, widespread damaging winds are not expected to accompany the downpours. Isolated wind gusts may still accompany showers and storms as they move across Florida and a quick spin-up of a tornado or waterspout is not out of the question either. Read More…

3. Oliver Sacks, renowned neurologist who wrote about his cancer, dies at 82

Acclaimed author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, who wrote about his battle with cancer, died early Sunday, his longtime collaborator, Kate Edgar, confirmed. He was 82. Read More…

Coming Soon: The Lutheran Prayer Breakfast

Join us on October 14th at the Orlando Events & Conference Center in Maryland Heights MO for the Lutheran Prayer Breakfast. We are honored to welcome Rev. Greg Seltz, Speaker of “The Lutheran Hour”. Join us in discovering how the most radical prayer of all time is really an invitation for getting to know God better. Everyone attending will receive a FREE signed copy of “The Lord’s Prayer” by Rev. Seltz. Click to learn more.

Volunteer Profile: Linda Lewis

Volunteer - Lewis, Linda

Linda Lewis had a heart for Senior Connections ever since she heard the startling fact that many seniors in communities receive few or no visitors. “I was blessed with parents who were still very independent and active, and found it so sad. I knew I had to act!” says Linda.

As a friendly visitor for Senior Connections, Linda was connected with Margaret. They would visit with one another weekly, sharing stories and experiences, while building a friendship. Linda also offered her talents to help behind the scenes on the administrative side with Sandra Roeder-Singer, Volunteer Coordinator for Senior Connections, and to be a presenter in the community encouraging others to volunteer with Senior Connections.

Thank you Linda for being such a great volunteer at Lutheran Senior Services. Your willing attitude, heart, and positive outlook have helped to make Senior Connections a blessing to others!

Welcome REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation – West County

Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) welcomed REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation – West County to the LSS family with a service of new beginnings on Thursday, August 20, 2015.

“We see this as a partnership,” said Mercy Hospital St. Louis President, Jeff Johnston. “Both Mercy and LSS have a tradition of mission, faith, and quality care which made the decision to choose LSS easy.” Others, including Sister Mary Roch Rocklage, Mercy Health Ministry Liaison, and John Kotovsky, President and CEO of LSS, echoed his sentiments.

Unveiled at the service was a legacy gift presented by Mercy to LSS depicting the life of the Sisters of Mercy founder, Catherine McAuley, through a series of scenes. The images highlight Catherine’s compassion and her legacy of serving. The artwork will serve as a reminder of the tradition of caring that lives on through REACH West County.

Rachel Little, the new Executive Director, was officially installed during the service. Rachel had served for 15 years as the Director of Nursing for Mercy Skilled Nursing Center. Both entities gave resounding support as she stepped into the role, continuing a legacy of quality and care.

Lutheran Senior Services is forging forward, strategically looking for ways that the mission of Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest can serve many more. “The best is yet to come!” were John Kotovsky’s parting thoughts on the future of REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation – West County, its leadership, and this new chapter.

3 Things to Know This Week


1. It Is the Season for Cons in Home Repairs

“Woodchucks” as they’re known, search for older adults and people with diminished capacity. They usually start with a knock on the door and an offer to trim trees (hence, the name). Once they find a good victim, they hit repeatedly, doing the same unnecessary repairs multiple times. Read More…

2. A space first — astronauts eat ‘home-grown’ food

A special treat is on the menu for NASA astronauts on the International Space Station on Monday — lettuce. But this isn’t just any lettuce. It’s part of a crop of “Outredgeous” red romaine lettuce grown on the space station. Read More…

3. Back to School? Parents, Be on Guard for Student ID Theft

From elementary through high school, students are 51 times more likely than their parents to be victims of identity theft. College students are ideal (and common) targets — and when hit, they lose more money and take longer to discover their identity theft than any other age group. And with forms, dorms and other threats, a new school year is especially risky. Read More…

Coming Soon: An Evening at the Winery

Be sure to join Meridian Village, a Lutheran Senior Services Community, on August 30th for an Evening at the Winery – a Benevolent Care fundraising event that will feature a fun-filled evening at the winery which includes wine tasting, a silent auction, dinner, music, desserts and much, much more. Contact Becky Zimmer for information, 618.205.4224

A Splash with River Kayaking

The serene water, cool weather, and a bright sun made the perfect backdrop for a day of kayaking. Meridian Village residents joined 209 kayakers (and four dogs!) for a kayaking event sponsored by the Maryville Parks and Rec Department.

web-AFollowing a safety course and lifejacket fitting, the Meridian Village residents went to the lake, gathering their sea legs as they paddled around the water. “We had a great time,” said Dawn Determan, Recreation Center Coordinator. “We had some who had never been in a kayak before and were a bit nervous to begin with.”

Amongst the group from Meridian Village, and one that counts herself as being a bit nervous beforehand, was Rita Hackethal. Although being legally blind, she wanted to get out on the lake, despite her nerves. “I had never been in a kayak and didn’t know if I would like it but I said to myself that I would never know unless I tried it,” said Rita. “And I loved it! I am so grateful to Dawn. She was in the kayak with me and helped to guide me – she didn’t steer me wrong!”

Legally blind since 2002, it doesn’t stop Rita from joining her walking group, taking trips to museums, or enjoying life. Like her kayak adventure, Rita has a zest for life and isn’t slowing down. “I will definitely be going next year!” she said.

“A picture of the two of us was in the local paper,” said Dawn. “Many residents came to me later to tell me they were inspired by how she was able to go kayaking. I heard quite a few, ‘I bet I could do that too!’ from people who may have doubted themselves.”

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.

Burning the Midnight Oil – Trip to the Chinese Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Strolling through the garden lanes, 46 residents from Meramec Bluffs enjoyed the stunning visual installations at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Lantern Festival. Crafted of silk, steel, porcelain, and recyclable materials – these large artistic pieces are scattered all over the Garden, lighting up the summer nights.

Web-ChineseLanterns“We went in the early evening so that we could see the Lantern Festival as the lights came on,” said Sharon Kruse, Lifestyle Enrichment Director. “All our residents loved the experience, seeing the different pieces and how they were constructed. We needed more time to see all the installations, it was that beautiful,”

The Missouri Botanical Garden last featured the Lantern Festival in 2012. This year included 22 new installations celebrating the Garden’s ongoing botanical research. Some favorites included:

Soaring Dragon Horse. Depicting the dragon horse, a well-known symbol in Chinese culture. Considered a spirit of heaven and earth, it’s thought the dragon horse will bring good fortune.

Porcelain Stupas Pagoda. Using more than 300,000 porcelain pieces including plates, bowls, spoons, teacups, ladles and wine cups, Porcelain Stupas Pagoda is a replica of the Stupas Pagoda built during the Qing Dynasty in China.

Giant Dandelion and Panda. Made using recycled water bottles, this installation highlights the Missouri Botanical Garden’s commitment to the earth and sustainability.

“It was spectacular,” said Sharon. “There was so much to see and it’s just an example of some of the great things there are in St. Louis.”

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

Book Lovers Rejoice – Lenoir Woods Holds Successful Book Sale

Avid readers, bibliophiles, book worms, book-a-holics, and book lovers were delighted to find the Lenoir Woods book sale packed with works of fiction, non-fiction, bibliographies, science fiction, religion, and mystery.

web-books“The Lenoir Woods library receives 98% of our books through donations,” said Priscilla Farrall, Chair of the Lenoir Woods Library Committee. “They’ve trickled in from residents at Lenoir Woods, employees, and members of the Columbia community. We’ve been very blessed to have a library for 50 years here but all the donations we were getting couldn’t fit in our library!”

With all the surplus of books, it was suggested to hold a book sale so money could be raised to buy large print books. Large print books are sorely needed yet are rarely donated. “My husband was such a huge help,” said Pricilla. “Luckily we were able to do most of the manual labor, we had great friends and library committee members were there to help out as well.”

Running all day, the book sale was open to the public and had over 300 people pass through, taking time to wander along the tomes and novels. With a suggested donation of $1.00 for hardcovers and $0.50 for paperbacks over $650 was raised for large print books.

“It was a great success. Most definitely!” said Pricilla. “It helped in many ways – alerting people in the Columbia area to Lenoir Woods, as well as raising much needed funds. A big thank you to all those who helped – both Lenoir Woods residents and staff.”

We'd love to hear from you! Located in Columbia, MO 65201, Lenoir Woods senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Who Done It? Mystery Murder at Sea


It started out as a lovely evening. Captain Michael Von Ammon had invited numerous people for a pleasure cruise, including Laclede Groves and a number of the captain’s friends, family members, and business associates, as well as the crew of the captain’s 60-foot yacht, the Elizabeth May.

But oh no! A tropical storm rolled in, casting a somewhat ominous pall over the festivities. As the hour grew late, lightning struck the ship, the lights went out in the cabin, and the partygoers heard a thud and a scream. Someone had taken advantage of the momentary darkness to kill the Ccaptain, bludgeoning him in the head with a candlestick. The mystery hosted at Laclede Groves was afoot!

The room was abuzz as the mystery unfolded, with everyone trying to figure out who could have killed the captain. Residents, family, and friends of Laclede Groves interviewed invitees of the pleasure cruise – using keen powers of observation and deduction to unveil the killer.

“It was an awesome evening. Everyone was so into it,” said Kristina Wille, Director of Resident Services. “We wanted to do something completely different at Laclede Groves and with the 16 staff members who volunteered to be a part of the murder mystery, who would have known we had so many actors amongst us?!”

Only five out of the 19 tables were able to correctly identify the killer – the captain’s wife! But all had a great time. “This will definitely be an annual event,” said Kristina. “People were talking about it for days afterwards.”

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.

Summertime Shrimp Boil


It’s simple. Throw red potatoes, shrimp, sausage, and corn in one pot, gather a bunch of friends together, and you have yourself a memorable summer evening. Shrimp Boils are southern in origin, but made their way up to Springfield, Illinois, for a special gathering of future residents in the newest addition of Concordia Village.

PatriotBuilding“We love gathering those who will be living in the Patriot Building,” said Kari Pranger, Senior Living Counselor. “It’s an opportunity for them to get to meet new friends and neighbors, as well as to get an update on the construction. Chef Stephane Perrin and his team prepared a great southern feast for us which not only included the shrimp boil but also crab cakes, grilled zucchini and squash, and strawberry shortcake for dessert.”

With new independent living apartments, patio homes, a fitness room, indoor and outdoor dining areas, and an arts and craft room, many are looking forward to the grand opening in October of the Patriot Building.

Georgiann and her husband J.D. are already living at Concordia Village, but are counting down the days until they can move to their new apartment. “We signed up for the new building almost as soon as we heard about it,” said Georgiann. “We decided to first move to Concordia Village while the Patriot Building was being built so we could see the progress for ourselves. It has been absolutely wonderful, especially getting to meet our new neighbors at events like the Summertime Shrimp Boil.”

As construction nears completion, the Summertime Shrimp Boil was a taste of the home and community already being established for new neighbors at Concordia Village. “We have enjoyed every moment here and are looking forward to many more great moments to come,” said Georgiann.

Want to see how the Patriot Building is progressing? See a live view of the construction here.

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.

Cheers to A Toast for Seniors

Supporters of LSS Benevolent Care at Richmond Terrace packed Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, Missouri on July 27 to help those older adults who have outlived their financial means.

“It’s a good event for increasing awareness about Benevolent Care,” said Katrie Spink, Senior Living Counselor at Richmond Terrace and event organizer. “Benevolent Care helps pay for the care needs of residents at Lutheran Senior Services communities, like Richmond Terrace, who have outlived their income. The need is tremendous.”

Which is where the idea for A Toast for Seniors came from. In partnership with Schlafly Bottleworks, 25% of all the beer sales that evening went to support Benevolent Care. “Schlafly is extremely active in the community and are huge supports of Richmond Terrace as a member of the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce,” said Katrie. “It is an honor to work with them on an event like this.”

Making the night even more memorable was the music of One More Round, a Johnny Cash tribute band featuring the vocals of Bill Forness. They rocked the house with Johnny Cash favorites including “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Cry, Cry, Cry”, of which Katrie also attributed their success to.

“I look forward to next year being even bigger and better with great music again from One More Round, great beer, great conversation, and a great benefit to Benevolent Care.”