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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.

CenterpointeNEW1

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.

LakeviewCenterpointe2

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 lakeviewvillage.org, or checking us out on Facebook.

Holiday Stress? Stay Cheerful with Jackie’s Easy Tips
By Jackie Halbinjackiehalbin
Lakeview Village Wellness Manager
The Holiday Season is upon us with so much to do and so little time. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed or feel your stress level rising, here are a few tips that will help keep your holiday merry:
Simplify: Cut that to-do list in half! Will it really mattter if you didn’t get a chance to hand-pick that holly, or make an elaborate present?
Be flexible: Be open to last-minute changes; breathe, let go and figure out a Plan B.
Mindful breathing: Breathing deeply into the lungs, expanding the diaphragm (known as belly breathing), increases your lung capacity and oxygenation–and helps reduce stress. Practice inhaling to the count of four and exhaling for a count of six.
Say Ha! Laughter can reduce stress in every part of your body and boost your immune system.
Sleep: Maintain your normal routine and number of hours of rest.
Smile: Even if you don’t feel like it, you’ll be surprised at the response you get when you flash your teeth!
Keep Hydrated: Yes–this is very important, even in winter. Your body loses much needed water through breathing, through the skin, by the medications you take, or if you have a fever. Consume fluids in small amounts throughout the day. Don’t wait to feel thirsty.
And most of all: Stay in the moment, and enjoy yourself!
To learn more about Lakeview Village, check out our website and find us on Facebook.
Lakeview Village Residents Donate $75,000 for Employee Christmas Bonuses
A Lakeview Village employee receives her envelope Monday during a special Christmas party

A Lakeview Village employee receives her envelope Monday during a special Christmas party

While some businesses throw Christmas parties, and some businesses hand out bonuses, Lakeview Village does something a little different: The residents roll out the Christmas cheer, and give employees a year’s worth of donations; this year, raising nearly $75,000 that they split among the community’s more than 550 full- and part-time employees during a unique employee Christmas party this week.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at the Lenexa, Kansas, continuing care retirement community.

Jamie Frazier, Lakeview Village president and CEO, said that the tradition spans many years, and began because the community institutes a no-tipping policy, urging residents to refrain from tipping employees. Residents wanted to find a way to give back to the employees since all provide some type of service to them, whether it’s maintaining their lawns, preparing and serving them food or fixing their appliances.

“It is very, very generous, and the employees really do appreciate it, especially at this time of the year” Frazier said.

Bill Leach, Lakeview Village Resident Council treasurer, said that the Resident Council begins collecting donations from the community’s approximately 750 residents in the spring, and ends up collecting about $5,000 by late summer, at which time donations start filtering in more rapidly.

Leach says he doesn’t look at who writes a check for what amount, but as treasurer, he does tally the donations: Some people donate thousands of dollars in one chunk, others transfer money from their bank account every month toward the fund, and others just donate here and there, as they are able, or as they think about it. One resident wrote a check for $365—tipping $1 for every day of the year.

Employees are likely busy writing their thank you notes in response to their gift from residents (the notes are displayed on easels for residents to read). A full-time employee (about 60 percent of the employees) received $220 in an envelope. Part-time employees and as-needed workers also received a share. Even an employee who started work last week got a small donation.

To find out more about Lakeview Village, check out our website, and find us on Facebook.

Resident Appreciation Night is a Big Winner at Lakeview Village
Lakeview Village COO Mary Schworer deals Black Jack

Lakeview Village COO Mary Schworer deals Black Jack

Lakeview Village Chief Operating Officer Mary Schworer doesn’t have any formal training on how to deal Black Jack, but on Tuesday night, she rolled up her sleeves, shuffled some decks, and dealt some big winners.

“I’m a good dealer; I was losing so they could win,” she said, laughing.

On Tuesday night, Lakeview Village residents turned out in droves for the Lenexa, Kan., senior living community’s annual “Resident Appreciation Night,” aka “Casino Night,” a fun evening of friendly gambling—Black Jack, roulette, mice races—thrown by the community, and served up by staff—all volunteering—so residents can have a good time.

Schworer and her husband, Bruce Schworer (a chemist) both dealt Black Jack. Other staff ferried cocktails, ran the raffle, the roulette tables, dealt poker and other card games, and monitored the mice races.

Resident Appreciation Night began four years ago after the community decided to extend its Volunteer Appreciation Night for residents to every resident in the community.

“All of our residents are very important to us, and we wouldn’t be here without them,” Schworer said. “We wanted to be able to tell all of our residents that we appreciate them.”

Since the night was in the spirit of fun, many residents helped each other out—giving away chips, or offering advice—and seemed to have a good time doing it. Mice—named by the residents—raced through mazes and residents placed bets on which furry creatures would outsmart the others.

“We had one lady who was betting ‘$500’ on Black Jack every time, and was winning every hand. Another woman sat down and doubled her money within 20 minutes,” she said.

The catering staff made an array of hors d’oeuvres—crab rangoons, meatballs and desserts. At the end of the night, everyone turned in their winnings (chips) for raffle tickets. Themed gift baskets were handed out to the winners of the raffle.

“Every retirement community has its own culture and takes on its own personality and interests of the people who live there,” said Schworer. “To have a good retirement community, you want to make sure that you understand what they want, and you work in concert with the residents to support their wants and needs. If your residents are supportive of your community, you can do anything.”

To find out more about Lakeview Village, check out our website, and find us on Facebook.

Lakeview Village Adopts New Wellness Slogan: AgeStrong!

By Jackie Halbinjackiehalbin
Lakeview Village Wellness Manager

Lakeview Village’s unique wellness philosophy—long a cornerstone of the lifestyle and culture here—now has an official name: AgeStrong!

AgeStrong! represents a lot of wellness elements familiar to Lakeview residents, and the “picture” of Lakeview’s whole-person wellness philosophy now has a “frame” that highlights its intrinsic value and raises its visibility, both for long-time residents and newer arrivals.

Our wellness philosophy has always been based on whole-person wellness. We hear buzzwords about health and wellness in the news all the time, but the volume can be overwhelming and confusing. I think it’s important that we explain and clarify whole-person wellness, and why it’s unique at Lakeview.

Lakeview stands out because our culture considers the ‘whole’ person of every individual, and concentrates on his or her strengths. Our culture is a critical piece of the Lakeview picture, and it’s something that affects every resident, no matter the age. It’s a holistic approach that breathes positive energy into our environment; it lives with a strong sense of optimism, not despair. Wellness engenders purpose in one’s life, and we all know these are factors leading to a full and happy life.

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 4.58.18 PMMost residents are familiar with the six dimensions of whole-person wellness: Intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical, vocational and social—these dimensions create and promote a balance in life. In addition to these dimensions, there are certain “drivers” toward achieving personal wellness: Self-responsibility, optimism, self-direction, self-efficacy and choices. These drivers help guide us and help us assume responsibility for staying well, being optimistic and avoiding negativity. We do have a say in our lives, and we do have the self-confidence and ‘can-do’ attitude to make the choices that keep us healthy, alert and well.

As residents explore and take part in each dimension, they experience learning and growth in many, if not all, of the others. Does that mean everyone has to run out and do six different activities every day? No—whole-person wellness isn’t a specific program, class or activity—it’s within each and every one of you! You create your own path, and when you do, you’ll find that the dimensions often overlap all of your activities. That’s a good example of whole-person wellness working at its best.

Ken Higdon (Ken and Mary moved to Lakeview in September 2006), is a good example of whole-person wellness in action.Ken thinks bringing Lakeview’s wellness philosophy is a great idea.

“It’s interesting how it all works,” Ken said. “For example, so many of our activities start in our minds. Exercise enlivens the mind, and when your mind is fresh, your sense of well-being improves . . . your attitude is better, you’re more adventuresome and ready for new experiences – socially, intellectually, spiritually, and so on. An even bigger benefit is that a better attitude helps us do a better job of dealing with physical ailments, or issues that might come up and need solving. Like Jackie says, it’s all connected. And with her great charm and wonderful sense of humor, she adds an especially key element to the program: she makes it fun!”

Ken exercises regularly, at least three times a week, and tries to walk for 20 minutes about once a week. In good weather, he likes to take a bike ride. All that may be what keeps Ken mentally sharp and involved in the Lakeview lifestyle. He serves on the Lakeview Foundation Board, and conducts a prayer group once a week.

TWO KEY FINDINGS

Jamie Frazier, Lakeview Village president and CEO, points out that several years ago a study was conducted by the Macarthur Foundation, with the results published in a book, “Successful Aging: How The Lifestyle Choices You Make Now–More Than Heredity–Determine Your Health and Vitality”.

“The key findings boiled down to two things more than anything else, both over which we have control,” Jamie said. “They are social interaction or connectedness, and reduction of stress.  Getting adequate sleep and eating a good nutritious diet are extremely important, but the best way to reduce stress is through exercise and having control over your daily choices, both of which promote a positive attitude and extended life.

“The thing about both connectedness and reduction of stress is that no matter when you begin to improve these in your life, the benefits can be immediate and life-sustaining,” he continued. “AgeStrong! is the perfect expression for the opportunities Lakeview Village presents our residents. There are daily, numerous opportunities to develop meaningful relationships in our community through programs, socials, outings, meals, recreation, worship, hobbies, volunteering, philanthropy, etc.  And the independent lifestyle affords choice at every turn, without the stress or concern of future financial or healthcare worries because of the LifeCare we provide. Our community is replete with options to exercise our minds and bodies in all dimensions. There is virtually no better place to AgeStrong! and live better and longer!”

THE LAKEVIEW WELLNESS BRAND

This philosophy has led to a sort of ‘branding’ to our culture; that’s why we’re introducing the new logo. The logo was inspired by the whole-person wellness concept. Each dimension has its own color, and we plan to use the colors to tie dimensions to our various events, programs and activities in the coming new year.

AgeStrong! is unique to Lakeview and helps point our community toward new experiences, growth, challenge, purpose and comfort. It’s your time to engage, become your best self, and live well!

To find out more about Lakeview Village, check out our website, and find us on Facebook.