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News & Events

Lakeview Village Residents Enjoy Peace of Mind

By James K. Frazier,
Lakeview Village president and CEO

James K. Frazier

James K. Frazier

Peace of mind is a state of mind enjoyed by most Lakeview Village residents, and the reason why is Life Care. For 50 years, our community has prided itself in taking the worry out of aging by offering Life Care contracts in a continuing care retirement community setting centered around wellness and affordability.

When someone moves into our community, they are signing off a laundry list of worries that afflict most seniors: What happens if I have a medical crisis? Do my kids or spouse have the resources to find quality care for me? Do I have enough money should I need skilled nursing? What will I do to stay in shape? Who will take care of my house if I need to go to the hospital? Will I have enough money to leave my children, and my favorite charities?

Seniors moving to Lakeview answer all of those questions when they sign their Life Care contract, and remove much of their worry and stress, which can often lead to health issues.

One of the compliments I get most often about our services, and a compliment I can’t hear often enough comes from adult children: “Lakeview is the best gift our parents could have given us.” When I hear that, I know that those children are sleeping at night—and that their parents are, too. Lakeview Village is happy to provide families with that security and comfort—it’s how senior living should be.

As a community that is celebrating 50 years in business this year, we have encountered countless success stories that strike a similar chord. The residents who have lived here as long as 25 or 30 years are benefitting tremendously from entering into a Life Care contract when they moved here in the 1980s or ‘90s, as are residents who have had to spend several years in skilled nursing (provided under the Life Care umbrella). By entering into a Life Care contract, those skilled nursing residents have peace of mind knowing that they and their children won’t be billed $80,000 a year or more for mounting health care; their monthly fee doesn’t spike and drain their remaining assets. And I’m sure many residents would attest to the great tax benefits Lakeview provides on an on-going basis.

All you have to do is look at the smiling faces of our residents to know that they are enjoying our more than 90 clubs and regular activities that give them the opportunity to have fun, be engaged and stay active and healthy. We have three employees dedicated to spearheading our wellness program, and a state-of-the-art fitness center and aquatics center that rival many area gyms (except you don’t have to pay a gym membership—that’s also included in the monthly fee).

What are the top two worries for seniors? Finances and staying healthy. At Lakeview Village, we work to wash those worries away. And I fall asleep knowing that, too.

Learn more about Lakeview Village–the senior neighborhood of choice–by visiting our website, or checking us out on Facebook

A Celebration of Life

By Ken Smith, Lakeview Village resident

Several long-time friends in my old neighborhood have asked me how I’m doing. Sometimes that phrase is just a polite greeting with no meaning beyond the greeting. On the other hand, it could express a real interest in my home at Lakeview Village. My former next-door neighbors may suspect that I really miss my old place, but maybe they would be interested in Lakeview as a future home. I know them very well; and now that a year has passed, this might be a good time to give them an update. I am even surprised myself as to how I really am doing where I live now.

The beginning was not so good, by which I mean the decision period was difficult. I was having my own problems making decisions of any kind, and my son wanted me to move to West Virginia, to be with my family and five grandchildren. He felt that strongly, and I respected his reasonable persistence, even though it added some guilt to my consideration.

My wife Dorothy and I had visited senior living centers about 10 years earlier as I watched the change in her health; but with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, our plans changed. It was now my plan to hunker down and give full attention to her needs in her familiar setting. I have never regretted that, but after her passing in 2010 there was just too much of being alone, and even a bit of feeling sorry for myself. The idea of a community with events and social life might add something to get me out of my funk. I went back to look at some of the same senior communities, but with a different perspective.

I am frugal to a fault. How much will this decision really cost? What are the real benefits? Sometimes I am quietly skeptical even when the lawyer and financial planner are trying to represent my own best interests. It’s hard to make sense of selling a seven-room house, in a bad market, to move to a one-bedroom apartment!

Now that I have lived here more than a year, I must say that while my decision was based on rather practical issues, those factors have little to do with my life right now. Life has everything to do with the people here, that something called “community.” This is what comes to me as a surprise. The word “community” is everywhere–on the logos, the buses, the maintenance trucks. The Lakeview Village Statement of Values says, “We are responsible for each other.” Of course, any place can use the word “community,” but is it the “ding an sich” (the thing in itself)?

Over the months of living here, I have been surprised by what I have witnessed: people who push wheelchairs so that the physically restricted can come and go to events; visits by residents to old friends now in health care units; the camaraderie of shared transportation, and the personal relationships between student-servers and residents who can no longer read the menu or recall what they ordered. It’s a remarkably happy place to be: well- fed, well- served, and no tipping. There’s a courtesy and kindness that seems infectious. Sometimes I wonder if there exists some mysterious self-selection by which gentle people decide to live here, or do regular people begin some transformation by a form of osmosis in this environment? Maybe I’m actually changing myself; but then it takes time, and I’m just a newcomer.

One of the best things about this community is communication. The leadership wants you to be happy, if possible. Posters are everywhere, where you pick up your mail and where you go to dinner. In the elevators you can read going up or down. There are opportunities to play bridge, go to classes, exercise, hear music or lectures, go to church or vespers and volunteer for almost anything. Back in our own rooms we have our own Lakeview TV channels to get the latest updates. Community and communication hold much in common.

Among the posters we note the “Celebration of Life,” and we know what that means. Living here is a benefit of adequate age, and the passage of one of us will not go unnoticed. The community of residents will join the family of the life we celebrate, and we will say goodbye together.

I have seen all these things of which I speak. They have very little to do with a contract that I signed.  Some call it the “buy-in,” as though you could set a price for community. The truth is that I wasn’t aware of what I was getting into at the time. I wasn’t so smart, after all.

You probably get the idea. I’m pretty much happy in this life-care community called Lakeview Village, “the place I now call home.”

Learn more about Lakeview Village–the senior neighborhood of choice–by visiting our website, or checking us out on Facebook

Lakeview Village Makes Way for New Patio Homes

By Colette Panchot
Lakeview Village Director of Sales and Marketing

Garden cottage demolition makes way for patio homes

Garden cottage demolition makes way for patio homes

Proactive organizations constantly look for ways to grow and improve. As we prepare to celebrate Lakeview Village’s 50th anniversary of service to the greater community, what better time to announce some exciting plans for the future?

Starting later this month, you will notice bulldozers tearing down the garden cottage at 9017 Salem Circle to make room for a brand-new home style called the Patio Home.

This 1,565 sq. ft. duplex will fill a gap between our largest original cottages–measuring 1,300-1,400 sq. ft.–and the villas, which start at 1,860 sq. ft. Over the years, we have enlarged existing four-plexes into beautiful and spacious duplexes, but this is the first time since the villas that Lakeview has started with an empty lot for new homes.

This Patio Home represents the best practices in “green” construction and design, as well as being a size home that fills an underserved niche in retirement community housing.

The new style features a modern exterior with siding and brick, as well as lots of windows to maximize the angle of the sun. This fully accessible home offers a two-car garage, two bedrooms and a den/office, a spacious rear patio, and an optional basement finish. The open floor plan includes vaulted ceilings in the living and dining rooms, hardwood floors, and a gourmet eat-in kitchen with solid quartz countertops.

We will be launching the Patio Homes at several Marketing events beginning this month. If you have friends who might be interested in learning more, please call us at 913-744-2449.

In addition, you are invited to attend an Open House of our furnished model homes of all sizes on Thursday, March 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Lakeview residents and staff. These newly renovated apartments and cottages are in Heritage Place, Gardenview, Northpointe, and the Garden Cottages. A bus will be available starting at Heritage Place at 11 a.m. and traveling to all eight models. Or you may wish to walk to selected homes within each building or make the trip by car. A list of the homes will be posted in the elevators and on Channel 4 in advance. We hope to see you there!

Learn more about Lakeview Village–the senior neighborhood of choice–by visiting our website, or checking us out on Facebook.

Leaving a Legacy

By Emerson Hartzler

Emerson Hartzler

In one way or another I think each of us wants to leave some mark on the world: leaving the planet in better shape, making things better for the next generation, or at least not having to rent our pallbearers. The part of that equation I get to deal with on a regular basis is the question clients often ask: “What should I do with the money I will leave behind when I go to my eternal reward?”

My ancestors were pretty much agrarian, and so the legacy of the family farm was almost a sacred trust. Had that small patch of Ohio farmland not been passed down to my father, the Great Depression might have wiped out my parents and my six older siblings, and mom and dad might have had some second thoughts about my conception in 1941! Luckily there were animals in the barnyard (milk and meat), vegetables in the garden and fruit hanging from the trees. My sisters wore dresses fashioned from chicken feed bags (true story – you can’t make this stuff up!), but the patterns were carefully chosen.

So for today’s seniors, the natural assumption is that the estate must go to the children, and of course they all have to be treated equally. I would suggest you ask yourself two questions before coming to those conclusions:

  1. Is it possible to love your children equally, but treat them uniquely?
  2. Will your child’s receipt of a large inheritance be a blessing or a curse?

With the Hartzler family, this (necessary) tradition of handing down the family farm, which was started soon after our arrival in this country in 1750, ended with my parents. Only one of the seven children in our household was ever engaged in farming, and by that time the small acreage we still had was no longer economically viable. So our two children (who seem to be doing better financially than we had ever imagined when they were teenagers – the jury was out for quite some time!) have been advised to expect token amounts at our demise. I’ve met a few “trust fund babies,” and I try to keep my distance! Of course, if any of my family had special needs, they would get every penny of my estate.

My model for treating children uniquely comes out of my faith, believing there is a God who loves each human creature equally. But this same creator has certainly treated us uniquely. Every time I hear an operatic tenor soar gracefully to that signature high C, I know the world is not fair! Following that model, I would not have any crisis of conscience in treating my children differently in distributing my legacy, doing so according to their unique needs.

Now once you have carefully considered the needs of your heirs, you may have other causes about which you care deeply, and there is real joy in giving to those causes. Like many other not-for-profit organizations, Lakeview Village has a Foundation, and every day I enjoy some benefit provided by a generous fellow resident through that Foundation.

Some would strongly advocate “giving when you’re living, so you’re knowing where it’s going,” but I think legacy giving is also a viable option. In any case, such generosity can be a most satisfying part of your legacy. Just maybe, you really can make a difference!

Emerson Hartzler, MBA, is a Lakeview Village resident, and, though he lives in a retirement community, he continues working as a financial advisor for Triune Financial Partners, LLC, at Lighton Plaza, 7300 College Blvd., in Overland Park, Kan. Reach Triune at 913-825-6100.

Learn more about Lakeview Village—the senior neighborhood of choice, and the largest retirement community in Kansas—by visiting our website at, or checking us out on Facebook.

Stormy Weather—Never Fear: Lakeview Village Staff Spend the Night and Deliver Meals to Residents

By Stacey Axler, intern

The Lakeview Village grounds crew stays on top of the snow

The Lakeview Village grounds crew stays on top of the snow

Lakeview Village in Lenexa, Kan. plans ahead for upcoming winter weather by preparing the sidewalks and delivering meals to make sure its residents are safe.

“In a community where our entire population is made up of seniors—many of whom lead very busy lives–staying ahead of storms like the one we’ve experienced is paramount. Our entire community comes together to make sure that all our residents are safe and secure,” said Jamie Frazier, Lakeview Village president and CEO.

Lakeview Village staff members take pride in preparing the senior living community for snow. Before snow even begins to fall, managers set up schedules for staffing, and implement plans to ensure that service is continuously provided.

“The staff here is very careful about getting our walkways and our paths clear. Lakeview is a big campus, but the staff makes sure we can access everything we need,” said Lakeview resident Helen Anderson, who has lived at the community for seven years.

Many essential staff members spend the night at the community; Lakeview staff uses empty guest rooms, offices and extra mattresses in empty apartments to keep staff at the community, helping all residents including those in nursing care, in-patient rehab and assisted living.

As early as possible, the grounds manager applies salt to the sidewalks and roads to stop the formation of ice. If snow is already on the paths, the staff will use snow blowers to clear walkways.

“The staff really goes the extra mile here to keep us safe, and they seem happy to do it. They want to help [residents] with anything they can,” Anderson said.

Dining services prepares to-go meals for cottage and villa residents, which servers then hand-deliver.

Dining services prepares to-go meals for cottage and villa residents, which servers then hand-deliver.

Residents do not need to worry about getting meals during a snowstorm, either. Meals are delivered to more than 200 cottage and villa residents: The director of dining services, senior food and beverage manager, volunteer coordinator and community life manager will drive, and servers—along with our human resources coordinator, catering manager and other staff—run meals to every resident’s door.

In her seven years at Lakeview, Anderson remarked that this winter storm is unusually heavy. Even so, she says that the staff at Lakeview strives to put comfort and safety first when residents “prepare to be out of doors.”

Throughout the winter weather, the community keeps residents up to date about the weather and affected activities through updates on the community’s television channel.

Lakeview Village prepares to continue operations as normal despite winter weather.

“Lakeview is a very caring place to be,” Anderson said. Lakeview Village is a nonprofit, continuing care retirement community in Lenexa, Kan. To find out more about Lakeview Village, check out our website and find us on Facebook.

Lakeview Village Reveals Renovations to Centerpointe Care Center

By Stacey Axler

Residents and staff members of Lakeview Village welcomed new renovations and technological advances after months of fundraising and remodeling resulted in a major facelift for the community’s Centerpointe Care Center.

The revitalized look of the first-floor common areas and hallways shows that Lakeview Village strives to reflect a resident-centered approach and philosophy.

These restorations were primarily funded by the “I Care Campaign,” which is a fundraising effort of the Lakeview Village Foundation.


Renovations to Centerpointe Care Center

“The goal of the I Care Campaign was to bring the dated look of the center’s public areas up to the standards of care we provide,” Jan Pearson, director of Health Services at Lakeview said. “Since it first opened in 1991, the 24-hour skilled nursing center has served literally thousands of senior adults and their families. And with a capacity of 120 residents, there has never been a comprehensive overhaul of the center until now.”

The total renovations included the addition of new furniture, signage and art,ceiling grids and tiles, two-way hall lighting, hallway paint and trim, wheelchair-accessible handrails, and plank flooring.

Along with the new additions, many other aspects of the community have also been upgraded, such as four specialized bathrooms, a dining room, and three resident rooms. The renovations also included the purchase of eight sets of chests and dressers, 15 electric hi-lo beds and 109 specialty mattresses.

“We used a lot of creativity and teamwork during the project,” Pearson said. “For example, while work was under way, we used field trips and special events as a means to move residents and clear the way for the renovation. When residents were unable to use the dining room, staff from all over the campus helped transport residents to the dining room in another building. “

The residents are not the only people at Lakeview who enjoy the renovations, as each caregiver was given a laptop computer to access the new system of electronic records.

“Lakeview Village is one of the first long-term care centers in Kansas to convert to electronic medical records,” Pearson said.

According to Jamie Frazier, Lakeview president and CEO, the I Care Campaign has raised nearly $800,000 to date.


A renovated corridor

Much of the money raised by the campaign comes from families and residents associated with Lakeview Village.

A Lakeview couple, Roger and Jeanne Blessing, donated to the current CenterPointe renovation project. They also allocated an additional $100,000 gift for the future renovation of the second floor of the care center.

“Jeanne and I have chosen to live out our lives at Lakeview and consider the residents our friends, neighbors and family, for whom we want the best,” Roger Blessing said. “I am convinced the new appearance will enhance marketing efforts, which ultimately helps all residents.”

Donations are still flowing into the I Care Campaign, ranging from a small donations to thousands of dollars. Those interested in donating can contact the Executive Director of the Lakeview Village Foundation, Nelson Rumore at 913-744-2430.

The residents of Lakeview are excited to see the continued enhancement of the center.

“Lakeview residents are an optimistic group, and they are concerned with improving not only their homes, but our home for future residents,” Frazier said. “They are supportive and determined, and they’re willing to step up to the plate when the need arises. There’s no better example of that love than the dedication and commitment they’ve shown for the Care Center effort.”

Lakeview Village is a continuing care retirement community in Lenexa, Kan. To find out more about Lakeview, check out our website and find us on Facebook.

Ready, Set, Lose! Lakeview Village Staff Begin Biggest Loser Challenge This Week

By Stacey Axler, intern

Lakeview Village staff members recently began participating in The Biggest Loser Challenge, a weight-loss competition inspired by “The Biggest Loser” television show that will yield $600 for the winners.

The challenge, which began on Jan. 17, is amongst teams, each team comprised of four Lakeview staff members. The teams weigh-in every week, and participate in numerous exercise and nutrition challenges throughout the competition.

In order to encourage and motivate the staff members participating in The Biggest Loser Challenge, Lakeview Village added weekly group exercise classes at 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“After New Years, everyone talks about diets,” Michael “Mike” Bernard, housekeeping manager at Lakeview Village, said. Since the competition began “everyone is enthusiastic about that goal because you are working with a team.”

Bernard is a member of the team “The Clean Sweeps.” He wanted to participate in The Biggest Loser Challenge because he “never competed in a competition this big before.”

More than 15 teams are participating in The Biggest Loser Challenge. The goal of the competition is to help people lose weight and learn healthy lifestyle options that will continue after the challenge ends in three months.

“The competition shows people how to be more conscientious in order to improve your diet and your health,” Bernard said.

The Biggest Loser Challenge is based on the television show “The Biggest Loser,” which debuted on NBC in 2004. The show has spanned 15 seasons, and encourages viewers to form Biggest Loser Challenges in their communities.

At Lakeview, The Biggest Loser Challenge will end on April 25.

The winners will be determined based on the highest percentage of body weight lost overall for a team.

Even though The Biggest Loser Challenge started one week ago, Bernard said the competition is already fierce, especially among the team called “Pigs in a Blanket,”comprised of four Lakeview Village chefs.

“Because they cook the food, the rest of us are at their mercy,” Bernard joked.

Not only will the winning team receive the cash prize, but also the title of “The Biggest Loser.”

Lakeview Village is a continuing care retirement community in Lenexa, Kan. To find out more about Lakeview Village, check out our website, and find us on Facebook.

Lakeview Village’s Child Development Center Gets a Makeover
CDC1Children attending Lakeview Village’s Child Development Center were treated to newly configured, colorfully painted rooms in December during a kids-only ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling renovations to the unique learning center at the Lenexa, Kan., continuing care retirement community.
Julie Jegen, CDC director, said that the center started out with three rooms for children ranging in age from infant to pre-kindergarten, but thanks to the renovations, the center now has four rooms and an added play area that helps center teachers better group children for age-appropriate activities.CDC2
“I think it’s awesome. You look at the kids, and you can tell that it affects them immensely,” Jegen said. Walls were painted a happy yellow color with purple, aqua and green highlighting trim and doors, each accent color designating different age groupings.
The CDC, which currently has 35 children enrolled in its programs, has the capacity to take 50 children. A majority of the children come from families in the greater Lenexa community, but some Lakeview Village staff and Lakeview Village residents take advantage of the program, which helps prepare children for elementary school.
There are four grandchildren of Lakeview Village residents enrolled at the center; those grandparents take time to stop by the CDC and give their grandchildren hugs, or just to stop by to say hello. One Lakeview Village resident who has a grandchild in the pre-kindergarten program volunteers in the infant room.
Regardless of whose grandma is whose, all of the children call residents at Lakeview Village “grandma or grandpa,” she said.
“I remember one grandma came down and a little boy said, ‘That’s my grandma.’ Then the actual grandson said, ‘No, that’s my grandma,’” Jegen said.
Aside from gaining the tools to enter kindergarten, children attending the CDC get a real advantage by having exposure to seniors at the community. A small child whose grandparent was placed in an out-of-state nursing center reportedly had no issues visiting his grandmother at the senior center (as some children do), and was apparently known to be a friendly and welcome visitor to residents of that community, Jegen said.
Lakeview Village is a continuing care retirement community in Lenexa, Kan. To learn more about the community, visit our website, and find us on Facebook.
Where Do You Hide

Emerson HartzlerBy Emerson Hartzler

“Where do you hide?” This was a question I got from a friend soon after the beginning of 2014, and he was referring to our investments. Well, I don’t “hide” from anything when I invest, but I understand the concern about what might happen to investments in these times of uncertainty. If you–like me–are retired, and counting on your investments to cover a measurable portion of your living expenses, the thought of losses in the stock and bond markets is a bit scary. Of course you could always “hide” in C D’s and Money Market accounts, but then the rates of return on these types of investments are basically nil, so inflation is going to eventually destroy the purchasing power of the money that remains.

In the world of investments, knowing the future would be a significant advantage, so I will make some predictions about 2014: Cash (CD’s, Money Market and savings accounts) will be stable, the price of high quality bonds (with short maturities) should be less volatile than stocks, and the price of stocks will once again be the most volatile of the three.

OK, so that’s not a very bold prediction, but that’s the good news…it’s absolutely what I expect. It’s also why I place no credence in all the experts’ forecasts for 2014. The point is this: What happens to the stock market in 2014 (or for the next several years, for that matter) is of little interest to me. What happens to stocks and bonds over the long term (five years or more) is very important. Let me explain the logic of that statement a bit.

The Certified Financial Planners (CFP) with whom I work structure their clients investments into three “buckets” of money. The first bucket consists of dollars that are going to be needed in the next few years, and that money is put into stable investments (the aforementioned CDs, Money Market accounts etc.) that may not earn much. But then you are not taking a huge risk that the money won’t be there when you need it. In other words, you are much more interested in the return of your money than the return on your money.

With dollars you might need in, say, four or five years, you might take a bit more risk and invest in high quality, short-term bonds. These “bucket two” investments should earn a bit more than the “cash” you have in the first bucket, but the risk of decline is also minimal.

For people like me, that leaves the vast majority of their money in the third bucket, and the key here is you can afford to be patient with your “bucket three” investments. To paraphrase Warren Buffet: “The stock market is very effective in taking money from impatient people and giving it to patient people”. In my lifetime, the longest time it has taken the stock market to “recover” its former value is about 4 ½ years, so if you don’t need the money (or very much of it) for five years or more, you can probably wait to sell until stock prices are again high. So all of my “bucket three” money is in stocks (I own more than 12,000 companies; I like my diversification to be on steroids!), so quite frankly, I don’t care what happens to the stock market in 2014! But over the long term, stocks typically provide returns superior to bonds or cash, and are the investor’s primary antidote to inflation.

One of the CFPs in my office has already received 48 emails from various financial publications and money managers with their guesses/predictions for 2014 (Do that many people really get paid to guess for a living?). As you can imagine, they completely run the gamut from “explosive” economic growth to “a stalling economy.” The point is that this is the nature of investing: it’s unpredictable in the short run.

Read this column if you’d like to see how far off some of the “experts” were in their predictions at this time last year. There is an old saying that goes “better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Emerson Hartzler, MBA, is a Lakeview Village resident, and, though he lives in a retirement community, he continues working as a financial advisor for Triune Financial Partners, LLC, at Lighton Plaza, 7300 College Blvd., in Overland Park, Kan. Reach Triune at 913-825-6100.

Learn more about Lakeview Village–the senior neighborhood of choice, and the largest retirement community in Kansas–by visiting our website at, or checking us out on Facebook.