Retirement Archives - Lakeview Village

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Don’t move to Lakeview Village too late!


When considering a move to Lakeview Village, the question of timing often arises. Lakeview Village is designed for residents to move in when they are still independent, before there is any need for assistance. Lakeview LifeCare™, the hallmark of life at Lakeview Village, requires residents to pass a medical and financial screening. Because of this, the greater risk to potential residents is moving too late.

Resident Story: Jane & Ed Hitzelberger

My husband was tired of the G’s: The grind of cleaning gutters, mowing grass, taking out the garbage and buying groceries. We put our name on the waiting list for Lakeview Village, the place we knew we wanted to be…eventually. We had heard, “sooner rather than later,” and “don’t wait too long.” It made sense, but excuses kept interfering with our plan. The economy didn’t seem quite right, the thought of a move sounded overwhelming, and/or the children would be upset if we sold the home they grew up in.

We procrastinated, and gambled on our health holding steady. Unfortunately, a sudden stroke changed everything. We had waited too long. Now what?

The problem was that now only one of us qualified for unlimited Lakeview LifeCare™. We were still able to move to Lakeview Village, but the security of LifeCare – for both of us– had always been part of our plan, and it was no longer available.

Our children jumped right in to help with everything. The house sold, the move went smoothly and the responsibility of taking care of a home was off our shoulders.

Today, we urge prospective residents to decide to move in time to enjoy the activities and friendships of an active community. Being a part of a nurturing community helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle, and our children are relieved that we are settled where we want to be, and they didn’t have to make decisions on our behalf.

Be aware, there is a point where you have waited too long to decide. We were guilty of not following our own advice, but now we are moved in and settled. We are just glad.

They Shall Still Bear Fruit in Old Age (Psalm 92:14a)

The food pantry at New Haven Seventh Day Adventist Church started by Lakeview Village resident Faye Martin.

A quiet, unassuming woman lives among us, yet she lives an extraordinary-ordinary life as a champion of serving others. She is 81 years young and resides on the third floor in Heritage at Lakeview Village. Despite her recent hip surgery, she embodies God’s mission to lovingly promote human flourishing since 1962. How is that possible, you may ask? Let me tell you a story about the life of Faye Martin.

By Paula Holmgren-Silvey

Traveling back in history a bit, Faye is called upon to serve during the formative years of a new Johnson County hospital, located at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Interstate 35. In 1962, an opportunity opens up for Faye to assume the position of development of the OB Department at the newly formed hospital. Within three months, Faye is promoted to Director of Nursing. She stays in this position for nine months, organizing the department before leaving to pursue other career goals. Later Faye returns to the hospital, now renamed the Shawnee Mission Medical Center, where she serves the folks of Johnson County for 37 consecutive years from 1967-2004.

In 2004, Faye retires from the hospital to care fulltime for her husband, who contracts bone cancer. It is a precious time for Faye as she serves her husband until his eventual passing in 2011.

After the death of her husband, Faye continues to serve others. While driving to church one morning in 2013, she is struck with a deep thought. Faye believes that God is speaking into her mind and telling her to start a food pantry at her local church.

When she reaches her church, the New Haven Seventh Day Adventist Church, Faye relates her desire to start a food pantry for needy residents in Johnson County. Indeed, she already knows about the many needs right in her own community because of her years serving at the Shawnee Mission Medical Center.

This outreach to the needy within her community should be a holistic ministry, Faye explains, to not only their physical needs but also to their spiritual needs. Pastor Nunes confirms Faye’s desire and tells her that she was already planning to call Faye on the telephone that very week to discuss this possibility!

Ministry to Physical Needs

Thus, the food pantry begins in a small closet at the church and initially ministers to 7-8 needy folks. In the beginning days, the church pastor purchases food across the street at the local Price Chopper on 87th Street. Under Faye’s leadership, others within the congregation also help.

Since those beginning days, the New Haven Church’s food pantry has grown to currently serve over 100 families in the local Johnson County area. Faye encourages the folks coming to the pantry from other areas to find food resources within their own communities. However, nobody will be refused.

New Haven Church ministers to a varied group of guests. There is a community of Hispanics as well as a community of Russian immigrants who regularly visit the pantry. A Russian volunteer helps to translate. The church receives food from Harvesters, Walmart, Natural Grocers, and Panera Bread. In addition, some of the gardeners at Lakeview Village donate their fresh garden vegetables. Twice each month, Harvesters brings a large pallet of boxed food for drive-thru. At Christmas, children receive a bag of toys, with color books or a reading book as a gift from the church.

Ministry to Spiritual Needs

As an outgrowth of Faye’s leadership, a group of prayer intercessors begin meeting together on a weekly basis to pray for incoming individuals and families that regularly visit the pantry. Since those beginning days, the church develops a website that lists the prayer requests of these needy individuals. For example, some ask for prayer to be healed of physical afflictions, or for healing of relational issues among family members, or requests to be baptized.

As a result of these prayer requests, the church for the past two years has been offering clothing, shoes, and toys for the children free of charge through their small clothes closet. Faye thoughtfully smiles and says, “it is the hope of New Haven Church that these folks will wear the clothing to job interviews.”

Maintaining Dignity and Self-Respect

Faye believes it is important for these guests of New Haven Church to retain their self-respect and dignity as they accept these gifts of food and loving care of the church. Faye explains that “this ministry has NOT been designed as simply a grocery store, but rather a place of healing for families.”

One of the many ways that New Haven Church carries this theme of dignity and respect for their guests is to allow the family members to pick what foods they like. Faye notes that “our guests shouldn’t be mandated to accept something that their family members may be allergic to or simply not enjoy eating.”

In addition, Faye continues to be physically present each Tuesday when the church opens its doors for the weekly food distribution. She has cultivated many new friendships among these people groups. Faye relates that “we receive thoughtful expressions of thankfulness for the church’s ministry.” Faye also notes that she derives personal satisfaction from helping the guests that arrive each week at the church.

As a thoughtful apprentice of Jesus Christ, Faye maintains her core calling to promote human flourishing. She practices the biblical mandate to care for the poor and needy among us. She is spunky and determines to be a trail-blazer. She reminds one of the Old Testament prophet, Zechariah, who inspires a small group of discouraged Israelites who return to Israel from captivity in Babylon. They are returning to rebuild the temple and to rededicate their lives to the LORD. Zechariah declares, “For who despises the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10 NKJV).

Faye certainly trail-blazes through the days of small beginnings of a Johnson County hospital based on the Adventist Health System philosophy of the “Whole Person Health,” known today as the Shawnee Mission Medical Center. She trail-blazes though the small beginnings of a food-closet at New Haven Church that initially ministers to 7-8 needy folks but now serves over 100 families in the Johnson County area today. Truly, Faye Martin lives an extraordinary-ordinary life as a poster-child for Psalms 92:14-15:
“They shall still bear fruit in old age: they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the LORD is upright…” (Psalm 92:14 NKJV).

Would you like to help the downtrodden and the disenfranchised that live among us in Johnson County? Consider donating a portion of your produce from the Lakeview Village gardens or perhaps canned goods or a clothing donation. Please contact Faye Martin at 913-909-7977 or email her at fayemartin@everestkc.net.

Lakeview Village Resident Honored for Contributions to her Church

Lakeview Village resident Margaret Dalke will be honored as an Honorary Life Member of the Village Presbyterian Church Presbyterian Women’s organization at a celebration on Saturday, March 24. Honorees are nominated and selected based on their significant contributions to Village Church and Presbyterian Women.

Margaret has a heart for volunteering.

“’Do unto others’ is one of God’s commandments, and I would like to think it [volunteering] will help me get into Heaven when I leave this Earth,” Margaret said.

Lakeview Village Resident Margaret Dalke Recognized for Volunteerism

Margaret Dalke

Margaret and her husband Dutch moved to Lakeview Village in 2006. Today, Margaret remains an active member of the Lakeview Village community. She participates in Presbyterian Women at Lakeview and provides transportation on campus as needed. After taking the Lakeview lay chaplain class, she visits people in the Care Center and Rehab regularly. She also organizes the wheelchair pushers to take residents to church every Sunday.

“This days I am mostly organizing the wheelchair pushing and telling other people what to do instead of doing the pushing myself, because my legs and back are deteriorating as my age goes up. But I still have a connection and talk to all those people,” Margaret said. “I’m also hoping there will be somebody around to push ME when I get to the Care Center.”

For more than 10 years, she has been editor of the Lakeview Journal, which includes stories written by Lakeview residents. “Editing the Lakeview Journal has given me the opportunity to meet so many people that I would probably never get to know otherwise,” Margaret said. “Printing and publishing has been my field for 58 years so I know how to do it!”

 

Family discusses move to a retirement community.
Moving to a Retirement Community: A Family Discussion

A free e-book with tips on how to discuss a retirement community with your children.

If your children are at least 40 years old and you are at least 70, it’s time to start talking to your loved ones about your next move. If you are anxious about broaching the topic, consider that according to the AARP, more than 75% of children with parents reaching retirement age have already considered their parents’ independent living options, even if they’ve never talked about it before. If you find yourself struggling with finding the right way to begin the conversation, download our free e-book. It contains helpful tips for initiating conversations about the big move as well as ways to help children feel comfortable with the decision.

You’ll learn:

  • Tricks for getting the conversation started
  • Phrases you can use in your conversation
  • How family traditions continue after your move to Lakeview VIllage
Complete the form below to download your free e-book.
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Choosing the Right Retirement Community

Finding the perfect fit among available retirement lifestyles isn’t easy. From 55+ homes associations to senior living apartments and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) like Lakeview Village, it is important to make the right choice, for you.

Lakeview Village President and CEO Jamie Frazier offers three tips for active adults trying to narrow down their retirement choices.

  1. Get to know the reputation of the communities.

    Online reviews on Google+, Yelp and other online review sites are helpful in hearing what other people are saying about the community you are investigating. Many communities will also arrange for you to dine with residents in a community dining room. This not only gives you an opportunity to ask residents about their personal experiences, but is a way for you to observe resident and staff interactions, resident interactions with each other, and, of course, sample the food!

  1. Make sure the community is financially secure.

    Ask questions so that you understand the community’s financial position as well as what aspects of the community are priorities. Non-profit communities may be able to reinvest residents’ services fees right back into the community, while communities run by for-profit corporations or venture capitalists may be more beholden to shareholders than the residents they serve. Many for-profit companies in senior living own multiple communities, so more-profitable neighborhoods may see money leaving their community to help support struggling communities or to build new communities.

  1. Ask yourself: “Is the community the right fit for you?”

    There is a big variety among senior living neighborhoods. Most offer some services and amenities, but they will vary in scope considerably. Some communities will offer health care on site, through all levels of care, while others may require residents to move outside of the community if they need skilled nursing or assisted living. Some communities are exclusively for apartment living, while others include cottages or high end villa homes in addition to apartments. It is important to visit communities until you are comfortable that the one you choose will satisfy your needs.

Retirement community living can be very rewarding and fulfilling. Doing your research before you make a final decision will find you in a senior neighborhood where you can thrive for many, many, many years to come.

International Residents add Flair to Lakeview Village

Austrian Brigitte Roschitz experienced a tumultuous journey to the United States

By Shellie Sullivan

Austrian Brigitte Roschitz now lives at Lakeview Village in Lenexa

Lakeview Village resident Brigitte Roschitz at 18 in Austria.

A retirement community in Lenexa, Kansas may not sound like a place with much international flair. Perceptions can be deceiving. Lakeview Village is home to residents from three different continents, including Brigitte Roschitz who was born in Austria.

Austria is a land-locked European country bordering the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. Brigitte was 11th out of 12 children in her family. Her father was a master tailor and ran his own business in their home, where her mother helped, as she was a seamstress. Brigitte remembers being happy growing up, that is until 1945.

Post-WWII Austria was a tough place for German Austrians

After WWII, Austria was divided into American, British, French and Soviet zones. Brigitte’s family, the Steins, lived in the Soviet zone. In the Soviet zone, Yugoslavian Partisans gathered up all the German Austrians, and put them in concentration camps. Brigitte was 10 years old in the spring of 1945 when soldiers came to her home in the middle of the night and took her father and oldest brother. The family didn’t know what had happened to them or where they were taken. A week later, more soldiers returned for the rest of the family.

When the soldiers started to come into the house, Brigitte said her mother had the children layer their clothing and wear their coats, since they were not able to pack a bag or take anything but what they had on their bodies. Her mother had the children roll money up in their sleeves and hide some small jewelry in their clothes. She told them they would need it along the way. The soldiers checked everyone for money and jewelry, but because of how smart Brigitte’s mother was, they missed their hidden treasures.

Everyone from her town, minus the able bodied males, was moved to town churches or schools. The soldiers then released all the non-German people, of which Brigitte’s family was not included. The people who remained, which Brigitte estimated to be around 8,000 or so, marched to the next town. Once they arrived, they were moved into the town church. A woman, who was a friend of the family, arrived in town looking for the Steins. She brought Brigitte’s family to her house where she cared for them until the Partisans came a week later and took everyone in the house to the train station. They were loaded on the train and rode for two hours. When they arrived at the other end, there were more Partisan soldiers waiting to shuffle them to their new residences.

Their new residences were homes that belonged to other Germans. Brigitte explained that most homes at that time had two sections.  One was larger and designed for a growing family with children, while the other was smaller and typically housed grandparents. When Brigitte’s family arrived, the current owners were moved to the smaller part of the house, and several other families were put in the main house to share. Essentially, they were imprisoned in this house and town. The town was heavily guarded and referred to as “camp.”

Young and old started to die in the camp. Throughout these moves, the Stein family still didn’t know what had happened to their father and brother. As it turned out, they had been working in a lumber prison camp not too far from the rest of the family. The prisoner “grapevine” allowed Brigitte’s father to learn where his family was being held, and he and her brother were able to sneak into the home and stay there with the family.

“Oh that was a happy day!” said Brigitte with smiling, misty eyes.

Sister Engelfriada smuggled Lakeview VIllage resident Brigitte Roschitz out of an Austrian camp.

Brigitte’s sister, Sister Engelfriada, smuggled her out of an Austrian internment camp.

Brigitte’s older sister smuggles Brigitte and her little sister out of the camp

After a few months, Brigitte’s older sister, a nun who had not been living with the family, Sister Engelfriada ( meaning angel of peace), was permitted to visit her family inside the camp. She had heard about all the prisoners in the camp being sick and dying, so she talked her way in with a suitcase full of medicine and food to give her family. Little did she know how perfect her timing was as her family was suffering from Typhus and very, very sick. Brigitte says that within three days of eating and taking the medicine, the entire family recovered.

Sister Engelfriada was able to return again, and this time Brigitte’s father told the older sister that she was to take Brigitte and her youngest sister Agnus with her when she left. He wanted to save them, and he told Engelfriada that they would die if she didn’t get them out, because they were too young to survive at the camp. Sister Engelfriada smuggled Brigitte and her sister out of the camp and onto the train. Once on the train, they sat on a bench and were not allowed to make a sound for fear someone would hear the girls speak German and put them in danger. Her sister took them to the house of someone she knew, where another sibling, Sister Evelina and their brother, who was a priest, met them. Brigitte’s brother took her to Zagreb, Croatia and Sister Evelina took little Agnus to her home. They were separated for a year,  then were reunited in Croatia  and stayed with Engelfriada in her “Mother House” where they lived for four or five years. While in Croatia, Brigitte attended school. Brigitte said it was difficult because they did not know the language. “It was not fun,” she said. “But we had to learn because it was not good to be a German during this time.”

Several years later, the rest of her family finally succeeded in escaping the camp by crawling on their bellies in the snow under fences in the middle of winter. They were able to make it to the border into Austria and to one of the refugee camps where the Red Cross helped them.

Brigitte is reunited with her family and meets her future husband

Eventually Brigitte and her little sister were reunited with the rest of family in the Austrian refugee camp. It was there that she met her husband, although she didn’t know he would be her husband until years later. The Steins lived in the same barracks as his family and were in youth group together. Brigitte continued to go to school, eventually attending seamstress school where she learned sewing and business. She took a bus every day and finished when she was 18.

It was hard to find a job, but a priest friend told her that the children’s surgical hospital needed nurse aids. She was able to get a job there and, even though she had to move away from home, she really liked it!  Brigitte worked for three years, and then heard about a seamstress job for a hospital in her family’s town. She took that job for better pay!

Brigitte and her future husband had stayed in touch over the years, but then his family moved to America. He didn’t want to leave Brigitte, but he went with his family and came to visit her. He missed her so much that on one of his trips in 1964 he asked her to marry him, and he stayed so they could be married.

It took a while to get the approved paperwork for her to leave the country and move to Kansas City. Her husband Ernest was a home builder. They lived with his family in Strawberry Hill until they could afford an apartment on their own. She loved Strawberry Hill, which she described as ethnic and community-oriented. It was so different starting a new life and only knowing German and a little Croatian. She learned English from evening classes, citizenship classes and everyday living. She liked that she had to learn about the United States. Even though it was to pass her test, she thought it was so interesting. Brigitte was happy to come to this country because, “the U.S. had so much opportunity for jobs,” she said. Eventually Ernest and Brigitte were able to buy a house, fix it up and raise two daughters, who still live in the area.

Ernest has been gone for 17 years. Brigitte moved to Lakeview in 2014, and said she loves her apartment and being served, loves that her church is across the street and she can hear the bells, and loves that her grandchildren go to school across the street. Once you meet Brigitte, you will see that she is full of love and joy!  She told me that it comes from the great gift her parents gave her – faith. “I thank the Lord every day for living here at Lakeview,” she said.

Brigitte and Agnus were smuggled out of a camp in Austria

Ernest, Brigitte, Agnus and Agnus’ husband

The Gentlefolk is a barbershop quartet.
Dynamic Duo: Fred and Grace Holmes Live Their Passions
The Gentlefolk is a barbershop quartet.

Fred and Grace Holmes, with Arlene and Rex Raudenbush, perform in a barbershop quartet – The Gentlefolk.

Next time there is an open seat beside Fred and Grace Holmes in the dining room at Southridge, I’d suggest you take it. The Holmes’s have certainly led fascinating lives, including long stints abroad doing medical missions in developing countries. Grace was one of only three women in her medical school class; certainly she broke down barriers for those that came after her. Fred researched cancer epidemiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. They raised six children, five of whom were adopted.

What is most engaging about Fred and Grace, though, is their energy. They carry with them the aura that follows people who are living out their passions; it draws you in, inspires you, and, with luck, you can take a little bit of that energy with you to pursue your own passions.

In 2012, the pair published their first book, Tumbili, under the pen name Anne Miller Johnson, M.D. It is a medical mystery set in Africa, combining two things the Holmes’s know well: medicine and life in Africa. Fred has since gone on to write three more books, a series, about a doctor in the Pacific Northwest, where the Holmes attended medical school.

In addition to his medical degrees and designations, Fred earned his MA in British History from the University of Kansas. For his thesis, he researched medical problems of the Stuart monarchs of England; it was published in the UK as “The Sickly Stuarts.”

The couples’ interest in medical history isn’t limited to the British. They have also done extensive research into medicine during the First World War. The pair teamed with other medical historians to delve into the archives at the WWI museum, pouring through medical records from Base Hospital #28 in Limoges, France. Essays they wrote as part of this research, and more information about Base Hospital #28 are available online.

Spurred by this research, Grace decided to write a book about the role female nurses played in WWI. So the pair took to research across the country, trying to dig up whatever they could on WWI nurses. During their research they stumbled across the name of a nurse in North Dakota. They called a library in the state looking for information about her. After affirming that there were two pages on the nurse in question, the voice on the other end of the phone said, “Would you like the others?”

A one-time president of an American Legion Auxiliary in North Dakota had many years before collected information on 270 women from the state who had served in some capacity during WWI. Fred and Grace quickly took to digitizing the microfilm and sorting through the interviews. When it was over, there were interviews with 225 North Dakota WWI nurses.

“There were a lot of tender stories,” Fred explained. “They (nurses) made a huge impact. They were the last face someone saw as they were dying.”

For French and British soldiers, there was always the possibility of visits from family who lived near enough to get to travel to the hospital. For U.S. servicemen, the nurses filled the role of family.

Grace recently signed a contract with a publisher for “North Dakota Nurses Over There” which will be available in April 2017, on the 100th Anniversary of America’s declaration of war on Germany.

When not writing or researching, Fred and Grace sing in a barbershop quartet with Arlene and Rex Raudenbush called the Gentlefolk. They both have had a life-long interest in music and have been singing in various choirs and groups for most of their lives.

Whether researching, singing, writing or entertaining, Fred and Grace Holmes live full, rich lives. They are a delightful couple and a wonderful addition to Lakeview Village.

Lakeview Manager’s Fun Events Encourage Community, Vanquish Boredom

Chinese New YearSince Shellie Sullivan came on board as community life manager about seven years ago, residents at Lakeview Village have come to expect a full schedule of fun, even fantastic events. Armed with a hospitality background, the former teacher and Lakeview volunteer puts her experience and energy to work orchestrating events that range from wine tasting to casino parties.

 “Anything that goes on here, Shellie helps with and you know it will be fun,” said resident Barbara Joiner. “You can’t be bored at Lakeview unless you want to!” read more

Why Lakeview LifeCare? Peace of Mind, Fun Times

It might be an understatement to say Lakeview Village resident Ken Smith has a full dance card. He’s part of a book club, volunteers for various organizations and is admittedly coming to the realization that he must pass on events more often because he has more social options than time to do them all. It’s a nice problem to have and quite different from his situation a little more than two years ago, when Smith was spending the lion’s share of his time alone, reading or performing tedious maintenance on an aging and oversized home. Still, all the rediscovered fun and fulfillment is not the primary reason Smith is happy with his decision to move into the Kansas community two years ago—at best, it is a distant second best to the peace of mind he gets from the community’s LifeCare contract. 

“What I feel best about is the lifelong healthcare,” Smith said. “I don’t have to worry about healthcare if I can’t be independent anymore at some point. My son and my family don’t have to worry about it. I’m so happy to be able to tell him he doesn’t have to worry about taking care of my health if I ever have a fall or become ill. I’m going to be OK.”

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Not Your Cookie Cutter Grandma
Eunice Litchfield

Eunice Litchfield

During her days as an elementary school teacher, Eunice Litchfield maintained control of her classroom. Now in her retirement years, Eunice continues to take charge of her life.

In 1998, Eunice made one of her best decisions. She packed her belongings and moved to Lakeview Village.

“I didn’t want my kids to worry about me and I didn’t want the troubles of maintaining a home,” says Eunice. “I’m glad I made the decision on my own.”

Eunice also made a decision to be a participant in everything available to her.

“I involve myself in as much as I can,” says Eunice. “I feel if you’re bored, it’s your own fault.” read more