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Speech Pathologist Enjoys Challenges of Career
Speech Pathology is a Calling

Speech Pathology is a true calling for Michelle Hilger.

Michelle Hilger is one of Lakeview Village’s on-site speech pathologists. In honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month, we sat down with Michelle to learn more about speech pathology and how it helps enrich lives.  

Searching for a Career

When Michelle Hilger arrived at Kansas State University, she was searching for the next, right step. Accordingly, she enrolled in a career and life planning class, where she completed an assessment that, through a series of questions, would point her (she hoped) to a worthwhile career path. Speech Pathologist was at the top of the list.

Armed with this new information, Michelle had a conversation with her father. In his youth, her father had a stutter and worked with a speech therapist. He told Michelle that his therapist was an inspiration. After a little more soul-searching (and job shadowing), Michelle decided to pursue speech pathology.

Finding a Calling as a Speech Pathologist

Now working as a speech pathologist, Michelle hasn’t looked back.

Recently, she met a patient who couldn’t swallow. His dysphasia was so pronounced, that he was getting all of his nutrition from a feeding tube.

“Food was important to him; when he couldn’t eat, he lost pleasure (from eating) and his social life suffered,” Michelle said. “His spirits were low.”

The pair worked and worked and worked. One day, the patient walked in waving a paper in the air exclaiming, “I passed, I passed!”

One the piece of paper was a note saying that he had passed his video swallow and would be able to eat again.

Speech pathology isn’t just for people who need to re-learn to swallow. Michelle assists with all aspects of communication – including teaching patients how to adapt their environments to help cope with memory loss. Michelle has created cards for patients to carry listing their address, so when they ride the Lakeview Village bus, they always remember where to get off. She also makes signs to hang on the back of doors, prompting patients to make sure they have their glasses and keys before they leave their homes.

While some memory loss is normal with aging, Michelle cautions that dementia is not. Thankfully, Michelle has a lot of tips and tricks to keep communication going, even as patients encounter new challenges.

“I worked with a woman who was very emotional about losing her independence,” Michelle said. “She had such a drive to be involved in social activities, but she would get embarrassed if she couldn’t remember a word and had started to withdrawal.”

Michelle told her to just describe the word she was searching for, instead of pausing while she tried to recall it. At her next appointment, the patient told Michelle that the new strategy was working wonderfully.

“She gave me a hug and said, ‘I’ll always remember you.’”

Innovations in Speech Pathology

Like most occupations today, Speech Pathology is getting a boost from mobile technology. There are smart phone apps that work as memory aids, and some that will even track your volume levels. This new technology is helping people to communicate longer, even in the face of neurological factors, which fascinate Michelle who is certified in LSVT Loud, a program that helps combat the effects of Parkinson ’s disease.

While technology and adaptive tips and tricks will help older adults communicate better, the motivation of the patient plays a critical role in the success of therapy.

“I like to find out their story, what motivates them and what (the patient’s) goal is, so that I can help them achieve that goal in some form,” Michelle said.

Michelle reports that work as a speech pathologist is never boring. She is constantly learning and is given a variety of challenges to tackle. While she initially thought she would work with children, perhaps in honor of her father’s therapist, Michelle says she is much more comfortable working with adults.

“(Adults) intrigue me more, and I connect better with adults,” Michelle said. “Working with adults felt more like home.”


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.

Occupational Therapy Offers Solutions to Daily Challenges

Tools help seniors with personal careApril is national Occupational Therapy month, and the outpatient therapy department at Lakeview Village has planned activities throughout the month to educate our community on occupational therapy and its role in helping seniors live active lives.

What is Occupational Therapy?

When we hear the word ‘occupation,’ many of us immediately think of a job. If you’re retired, why would you need “job” therapy? Occupational therapy refers to any meaningful everyday activity you perform, including those that help you manage your home and personal care. If pain, injury, disease or any other factor are keeping you from your goals, activities or independence, consider occupational therapy.

Do you or a loved one have:

• Trouble reaching into closets or cabinets?
• Numbness/pain in your hands – especially after sleeping?
• Difficulty writing or eating?
• Tremors that interfere with daily tasks?
• History of a stroke and haven’t gotten back full use of your arm or hand?
• Arthritis?
• Macular degeneration?
• Decreased or low vision?
• Trouble with fasteners on clothing or objects?

Lakeview Village occupational therapists can work with you to help you reach your maximum potential. The outpatient therapy team practices person-centered care. That means our occupational therapist will work to help you reach the goals that are important to you.

Help managing Parkinson’s Disease

Lakeview Village occupational therapists are trained in the LSVT BIG® treatment program for those with Parkinson’s Disease. This innovative program has increased amplitude (bigness) of limb and body movement that translated to improved speed and balance for those who received therapy. Participants also enjoy increased independence and a better quality of life.

Occupational Therapy is available to Lakeview Village residents and to the Kansas City community at large. Once you are referred by your physician or have requested therapy services, your appointment will be scheduled within 48 hours. Your therapist will complete an evaluation and develop an individualized plan of care. We accept Medicare, private insurance, Worker’s Compensation, and private pay. Prior to your first visit, our staff will assist you with insurance verification and coverage questions.

New Memory Garden Coming Soon
Overhead View of Memory Garden

Overhead view of proposed Memory Garden.

Perennial Garden

Drawings by Kim Lukowski for JMP.
Close up of the perennial garden.








By Jennifer Manthey

Over the years, we have received numerous requests from residents, employees, families and friends wanting to do something in memory or honor of a loved one. As these requests have been coming more frequently, we searched for ideas on what we could do to accommodate them in a central location. With that said, Lakeview Village is pleased to announce the creation of a Memory Garden. The Memory Garden, which will be located in the courtyard between Heritage Place and Gardenview, will provide multiple opportunities to remember loved ones and honor individuals. The conceptual drawing (shown above) is what the Memory Garden, which will include a perennial and an annual bed, could look like as donations are made to add to it.

The Memory Garden will provide numerous options (all tax deductible, as donations are made through the Lakeview Village Foundation) to memorialize or honor someone: engraved pavers, benches, statuary, bird baths, bushes, trees and other plants can all be purchased in memory or honor of your loved one.  The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Memory Garden will be held on Wednesday, May 18th, at 2 p.m. We would love to be able to add to the Garden prior to the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony so, if you would like to purchase something to be included in the Memory Garden in memory or honor of someone, you may do so beginning April 1st. Please contact Jen Manthey, Director of Community Services, if you are interested or would like more information, at (913) 744-2416 or

In conjunction with the Memory Garden Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, we will also be celebrating the rededication of a George Washington Memorial monument, from Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). Originally placed behind Northpointe, along with a Tulip Poplar that was one of the seedlings from the historic Maryland Liberty Tree, they were purchased by the local Sons of the American Revolution chapter in 1999.

According to, the Sons of the American Revolution is a “lineage” society, which means that each member has traced their family tree back to a point of having an ancestor who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1774-1783. Almost 165,000 descendants of the men and women Patriots of the American Revolution have been admitted to their membership since their founding. The memorial and tulip poplar were placed in honor of Kess Kessler, a former Lakeview Village resident and member of SAR, who died earlier this year. The tulip poplar, also known as a Liberty Tree, was placed with the plaque to pay homage of those who supported the cause during the American Revolution.

Google Fiber Speeds into Johnson County Retirement Community

Google Fiber signups take place on the Lakeview Village campus.

Beginning February 1, residents at Lakeview Village can switch Internet service providers and access ultra-high-speed Internet from Google Fiber. Lakeview Village began the process of bringing Google Fiber to the campus in late 2014, and construction on the project began in September 2015.

“As the largest and most innovative retirement community in Kansas, it was important for Lakeview Village to assist Google Fiber in getting access to our entire 100-acre campus,” said Jamie Frazier Lakeview Village CEO. “Google Fiber’s basic Internet plan, which is free for 10 years, will meet the Internet needs of most of our residents.”

Residents who choose to take advantage of the service that is free for ten years, will pay an initial fee of $10. In most cases, this option will provide enough bandwidth for Lakeview Village residents. Additionally, Google offers dedicated bandwidth to each client, rather than the shared bandwidth offered by other Internet Service Providers, increasing Internet speed and Page Load times.

The average broadband speed in America is 11.9 Megabits per second; Google Fiber offers Lakeview Village residents access to “Gigabit” Internet connections up to 1,000 Megabits per second.

“The contractors working on the external and internal infrastructure for Google Fiber were great to work with and very accommodating and responsive to our requests,” said Jennifer Manthey, Community Services Director at Lakeview Village.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google and Google Fiber, chose the Kansas City area as the first market for its Internet service in 2012. It expanded to Lenexa in 2015.

Google Fiber is an Internet and TV service that provides ultra-high-speed Internet along with hundreds of HD TV channels, including access to premium channels, like HBO, for an additional fee.

Lakeview Village residents sign up for Google Fiber.

Lakeview Village Partners with KU Med on Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention


Lakeview Village is proud to be partnering with the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in bringing an Alzheimer’s Disease prevention program to campus. Started in 2012, LEAP! (Lifestyle Enrichment for Alzheimer’s Prevention) seeks to close the gap between Alzheimer’s Disease research findings and action taken by at-risk adults. Namely, preliminary research indicates aerobic exercise may slow the progression of the disease; however, these findings have not previously resulted in increased exercise among seniors.

In order to reach this demographic, LEAP! organizers seek partnerships with Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) like Lakeview Village. Through educational classes and one-on-one coaching, LEAP! hopes to initiate and sustain behavior changes to ultimately delay or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s among participants.

The program lasts 6 months, with hourly educational sessions twice a month.

Each LEAP! class contains five elements:

  1. Cognitive: science lesson and quiz
  2. Fitness: options and group activity
  3. Nutrition: recipes and group taste testing
  4. Spirit: mindfulness, humor and social activity
  5. LEAP! Forward: personal goal for the month (review of previous goals)

Another aspect of the LEAP! program at Lakeview Village includes training for our staff. LEAP! facilitators provide education about fitness programs and nutrition. Dietitians are working with Lakeview Village dining services to determine ways Lakeview Village can serve foods that contribute to brain health. In the future, Mediterranean Diet choices will be available at all Lakeview Village restaurants.

Alzheimer’s Facts1

  • 2 million Americans have Alzheimer ’s Disease in 2008
  • One in eight (13%) over 65 have Alzheimer ’s Disease
  • Every 71 seconds someone develops Alzheimer ’s Disease
  • $148 billion in direct and indirect costs to Medicare, Medicaid and businesses are attributable to Alzheimer’s Disease.

1. KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center

5-Star ranked skilled nursing facility
Lakeview Village’s Skilled Nursing Facility Updated

Learn more about our skilled nursing facilityAccording to the AARP, 68% of seniors will spend at least some time in a skilled nursing facility. As part of our Lakeview LifeCare, should a resident need skilled nursing and/or assisted living care, they will be able to remain on campus, with access to all of Lakeview Village’s amenities.

Centerpointe Care Center serves 120 residents with physical and cognitive deficits. The second floor specializes in caring for residents with memory impairment, and those who are likely to wander.

Updates to Centerpointe Care Center, our on-site skilled nursing facility

In 2014, Lakeview Village remodeled the two neighborhoods on the first floor of Centerpointe including the front room, dining room and living room. Updates included new paint, lighting, flooring, and furniture and a redesign of the space to provide more community areas. We also added a backyard for residents to enjoy, including a water feature, patio, walking path and garden area.

In 2015, Lakeview Village remodeled the two neighborhoods on the second floor of Centerpointe, along with expanding the front room, creating a small Sun Room, relocating and remodeling the beauty shop, and relocating and remodeling of the second floor therapy space.

Promoting Active Lifestyles

The Lakeview Village Life Enhancement team works closely with the nursing staff to assist residents who wish to visit the backyard or the Lakeview Village Community Garden. The team also helps residents take walks inside the community and attend events on the campus.

For the past three years, Lakeview Village has planned and hosted a larger-scale, off campus outing in May. Previous events have included a picnic and games and walking around a small zoo. This outing is popular will the residents; typically, 80 to 90 of our 120 residents participated. All residents are accompanied by a volunteer.

Centerpointe staff has also established Men’s and Women’s groups. These groups are resident-driven and participate in a variety of activities on and off campus. In 2015, residents took trips to the movies, shopping, museums, and restaurants, to name a few. Centerpointe residents also attend on-campus events like our annual Flag Day BBQ and Trunk or Treat on Halloween.

Centerpointe residents visit many other areas of our campus daily from the Bistro in Eastside Terrace to Fountain Lake at Northpointe.

The Best Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services continues to give Lakeview Village a 5-star ranking for the high quality of care and staffing provided. You can see how Centerpointe Care Center compares to other skilled nursing facilities at the CMS website.

Lakeview Village is constantly reviewing, developing, and updating programs on the campus to ensure we are meeting the healthcare needs of all residents on the campus.

We encourage all prospective residents of Lakeview Village to tour the entire campus when they visit, including Centerpointe and Eastside Terrace. More information on our Assisted Living services will be available in a future blog post.

The Crude Oil/U.S. Stock Market Relationship

As oil prices continue to tumble, many investors are seeing their investments take a hit.

Chris Butler, investment manager and host of KCMO Talk Radio 710’s Saturday morning show, ‘Capitalist Pigs’ will be at Lakeview Village Tuesday, January 26 at 10 a.m. to discuss the correlation between crude oil and the US stock market.He will also answer questions about “oil proofing” your portfolio and discuss how oil affects the economy at large.

Chris Butler Investment Manager

Chris Butler

The Crude Oil/U.S. Stock Market Relationship

Tuesday, January 26

10 a.m.

Southridge Treetop Activity Room

Hosted by the Lakeview Village Resident Investor Education Group and the Lakeview Village Foundation.

Chris Butler, an Olathe native, co-manages both the BLW Growth and BLW Fixed-income portfolios for his firm, Butler, Lanz & Wagler. Chris is considered a local authority on alternative investment strategies, the management of bonds, and the business cycle. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Kansas, an MBA from Baker University and an MA in Economics from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He is currently seeking a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

5 Things Lakeview Village Learned from Active Aging Week

If you were anywhere near Lakeview Village during the week of September 27, you may have noticed a variety of events occurring around campus. Led by the International Council on Active Aging, Active Aging Week is a celebration for aging and active living where residents participant in wellness activities in a safe, friendly and fun atmosphere. In case you weren’t able to join in, here are 5 things our retirement community learned during the Active Aging Week activities!

1) You don’t need dumbbells to exercise

residents at Drums Alive activityTwo sessions of “Drums Alive!” were held in our Heritage Activity Center. Residents of Lakeview Village retirement community used chairs, exercise balls and drumsticks to experience a whole, body, whole brain exercise class. Drums Alive helps foster a healthy balance physically, emotionally and socially – the residents had a blast!

2) Taking time to reflect can allow for a healthier mind and body

Lakeview Village lake and groundsOn Tuesday, the residents gathered outside of Fox Trail Lake in the Lenexa neighborhood on a beautiful fall morning to take time and pay tribute to neighbors, friends and family who have passed away. After some inspirational thoughts from Quentin Jones, residents took a walk around the lake to reflect and remember their legacies. Many residents left inspired and were motivated to continue living their life to the fullest.

3) Your body can’t differentiate between real and fake laughter

residents and children from the Development CenterA simple and profound idea brought many residents and children together from the Child Development Center. Laughter yoga is based on the scientific fact that your body cannot differentiate between real and fake laughter, so if laughter reduces stress and lowers blood pressure we thought we should try it more often!

4) You can find love at any age

poster from The Age of Love filmLakeview Village hosted a screening of The Age of Love for residents of the retirement community and the general public. A story of speed dating for older adults, the documentary shares the message that it’s never too late to find that special someone. Encouraging people to talk about love and the desires of older adults, the documentary was a hit with the residents! Lakeview hopes to hold our own speed-dating event in the coming weeks – stay tuned!

5) You’re never too old to learn new habits

residents at 2015 Wellness FairThe 2nd annual Wellness fair offered residents insight and tips on staying healthy as you age. Sessions were offered on a variety of topics from legal matters to stress relief. Member of the Lakeview Village retirement community walked away learning new tips and habits to help them live a healthier, more active lifestyle.

What did you learn from Active Aging Week? Share in a comment below!

A Reflection by Joan Davies on the Before I Die Wall
A Reflection by Joan Davies on the “Before I Die” Wall

Before I Die WallAlways having been a person who liked accepting challenges, I was intrigued by Lakeview’s Director of Marketing, Colette Panchot’s, unique presentation in August entitled “Before I Die.” Her remarks and shared video challenged us to think carefully about those who are most important to us and to live each day to our fullest potential. In order for each of us to focus on these important people and things, we were asked to finish the statement, “Before I Die”. At first I thought well that’s interesting! Then, after further introspection, I decided to get serious about expanding the “bucket list” in my head and write things down. Some may think my list “quirky” but it’s the way I think and write!

My eclectic and “quirky” Before I Die list follows with items listed in no particular order of importance:

  1. Write a best-selling nonfiction novel about our lives. In retrospect, there are two problems with this…first no one would believe it was nonfiction. Second, I would end up hurting Jim very badly, since we argue over editing each other’s writing, OR I would gain lots of tonnage since I tend to “graze” while writing.
  2. Get a face lift to remove lots of wrinkles from years and years in the sun with baby oil instead of sun screen. (We 50’s girls believed baby oil would help us tan faster. I just became more and more lobster like!) I don’t think I’m being vane…I just want to look more like Lakeview’s beautiful women in their 80’s and 90’s who I see every day with their amazing smooth skin. I’m also tired of giving Thanksgiving’s Tom Turkey a run for the money in November for whom has the most chins.
  3. Achieve and maintain a normal weight. Now, being honest, I know this is NOT possible at Lakeview with the amazing, delicious food we are served every night. With me cooking…maybe.
  4. Organize the boxes and boxes of photographs and get into albums for our sons and relatives. Again…not very likely since right now I have months of excuses to use as we wait for our villa to be built and I have to finally unload all of the rest of the moving boxes that are now taking over our garage and basement on Mullen Road.
  5. Get Jim into the Kremlin to show him the hidden door in the Children’s Minister of Education’s library. Her office was right next to Yeltsin’s and she really did exit through the bookshelves after our meeting. Jim still believes I made up this story!
  6. Cruise the western coast of Norway all the way north past the Arctic Circle. I think this is going to happen in 2016. Yeah!
  7. Visit and walk ALL the U.S. National Parks including the Grand Canyon and Sedona. This better happen or we are in danger of losing some good friends from Sedona, because for several years we have promised to visit and stay with them.
  8. Enjoy playing rounds of golf with Jim. Notice the operative word here is “enjoy”. I’ll work on this since he loves the game so much. (My real thoughts about the game will remain private.)
  9. Participate in the Iditarod Dog Sled Race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. This would involve the start in Anchorage, restart in Wasilla, musher stations’ visits across the state, and the finish line in Nome. Most musher stations are only accessible via “bush” plane so I need to conquer my fear of those itty bitty planes. Dogs, dog sleds, ice, snow and cold I can handle. Those planes are an entirely different matter.
  10. Most importantly, before I die, I will work to live a loving, happy, healthy, and productive life for at least another 25 years.

Thank you Colette for providing us with an opportunity to reflect upon that which is really important in life.