Active Senior

If you’ve ever asked a resident of The Chateau what their favorite part of living there is, the odds are pretty good that “the food” was on their list. With every option from casual meals to upscale dining, everyone has wonderful things to say.

One of the minds (and stomachs) behind this great, healthy food is Laura Vollink. As Assistant Dining Director, it’s Laura’s job to make sure that dining operations run smoothly--in other words, to make sure everybody eats well!

Laura’s work includes meal planning for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “We try to make food we think our particular residents will like. We pay attention to what they prefer, and also work to make it a healthy balance.” Laura works with Chef Walter to make a 4-week menu plan that’s nutritious, not boring, and that makes sense. She says, “You know, like not to have a hot, heavy soup in the middle of summer.”

Even if she didn’t know the word dietitian as a little girl, Laura knew she wanted to work with food. “I love to eat,” says Laura. “I want to be healthy and active. My mom experimented with making exciting and healthy foods, and we had great meals.” She shared a story of her mom using soy instead of beef in Hamburger Helper--but she promises she would never pull a trick like that over on The Chateau residents.

Eating is a social occasion, Laura shared. She loves getting to know the residents, and watching them get to know one another. Her favorite part about what she does is learning what people like, what they have done, what they have seen, their history, and their insights to life. So next time you see her, say hello! She’d love to meet you.

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The Chateau is home to many people from all walks of life. Various backgrounds, stories, and experiences make up our residents. Perhaps one of our most “famous” residents is none other than Mr. Harry Rediger himself. Out in the Cape community, you may know him as Mayor Rediger. But here, we just know him as Harry--our friend and fellow resident.


Harry joined The Chateau community in August of 2015. Before settling in Cape Girardeau 40 years ago, he lived in 8 different cities throughout the Midwest, and even down in Texas for a spell. No place, however, was as perfect for him and his family as Cape Girardeau. He and his late wife fell in love with the city, the people and the proximity to big metro areas without having to be in the hustle and bustle of it all. They raised their 4 children here, and even though they were not native to the area, they always considered Cape Girardeau their hometown.


“Cape Girardeau is a regional hub,” Harry says, citing the University. “The school has grown up so much that you can hardly tell it’s the same place!” His favorite part of the University's role in the city is the shows they put on at the River Campus. The one show he could see over and over is Mamma Mia--and as a matter of fact, he did! The year it was at the River Campus, he saw it locally and a St. Louis production of it.


He holds The Chateau Girardeau in high esteem, calling it state of the art. “My advice,” he says, “is this. I recommend that people who are thinking of changing to independent living, do it sooner rather than later.” During his first months living at The Chateau, there was a snowstorm that warded many residents from leaving. But not to be discouraged, Harry was still able to go to the gym, the bank, eat breakfast, and get his paper--all without leaving the building!


Harry loves the community within a community. “You can be as active as you love--or not. Whatever it is, you can find it here. Chateau is alive.” After his term is up in April 2018, he plans to get even more involved in all that’s offered. “There’s far more here to do than most people could even set out to do,” he laughed. He’s got some other things up his sleeve, too--but you’ll just have to wait until 2018 to find out.


After reflecting on his time so far as a member of The Chateau, he concluded by sharing this piece of profound insight. “One of the great things [about The Chateau] is that we are family here; [I] don't mean just residents--we we have a great staff and we all take care of each other .  Residents take care of staff, staff takes care of residents and we all take care of each other.  We are a family.”


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Originally from Boston, Mr. John Dragoni has called a lot of places “home” in his life—most recently, The Chateau Girardeau.

His travels have taken him to the highest skies and under the depths of the seas. He’s tasted bear, alligator, and every kind of lobster—but contests that New England lobster takes the cake over all of them. The only thing he hasn’t tried is reindeer. “I couldn’t eat Rudolph!” he said.

His favorite places to travel were Norway and Finland. They were sweet and wonderful people, and blonde! He explained that as an Italian American, he and his jet black hair stuck out like a sore thumb in this time there. Which didn’t stop him from making himself at home in the foreign countries he visited.

He served the country in WWII. He was sent through various types of training before finally being assigned to the B29. During his time in the service, he saw many parts of the world, like India, Burma, and Guam. His time serving inspired him to stay involved in organizations like The Marine Corps League, the Disabled American Veterans, and the VFW throughout his life.

After his time in the service, his life led him to Cape Girardeau. Coming from the northeast, it was a bit of a culture shock. “I thought everything was broken,” he said, “because everyone was always fixin to do something!”

A self-named “newcomer,” however, John was not deterred from getting involved. He quickly became invested in the Cape Girardeau community and began to put roots here and take on projects he felt close to, like the American Legion, the VFW, and even working to repaint the miniature Statue of Liberty on the corner of Broadway and West End downtown. When he arrived to town, the statue was a dull red, not at all like the real Lady Liberty. He saw to it that the color was changed to the more familiar shade of aged copper.

One of his greatest accomplishments in the Cape Girardeau community was the VFW wall. To raise funds for the organization, he started the Legacy Wall. For a donation, contributors could get their names engraved on a regular 8x8 brick that became a part of the wall. “You can see the evolution now,” he said, noting that people began to request bigger bricks. The 8x8 bricks soon became 12x12 bricks and eventually people requested large red bricks with white crosses.

During his early years in Cape Girardeau, he lived in what he affectionately referred to as a “fine and beautiful home.” When his wife took ill, they sought attention for her at various facilities but they were drawn to the hospitality of The Chateau. “Here,” he says, gesturing to The Chateau around him, “they were very nice.” Now, 12 years later, Mr. Dragoni has happily permanently relocated to The Chateau and has called it home sweet home for 2 years.

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Healthy Summer Tips

 

5 Tips for Healthy Living

As soon as summertime hits, there are suddenly dozens of different magazine and online articles claiming to have the newest “healthy” tips. To help us stay on track and stick to the most effective healthy habits, The Chateau’s Assistant Dining Director and Registered Dietician Laura Vollink shares her 5 tips for covering the bases of a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle.

1. Healthy Hearts

To keep your heart healthy, eat a variety of colors and lean meats. Fill your plate with things that are low in salt, sodium and saturated fat. Stick to foods like apples and leafy greens.

2. Healthy Digestion

Healthy digestion starts with fiber. Some great sources of fiber are fresh fruit and veggies, whole grain, brown rice and quinoa. Be sure that when you increase your fiber, you also increase your water intake!

3. Healthy Bones

Calcium is the ticket to healthy bones. Choose foods that are high in calcium and Vitamin D, like dark leafy greens, low fat milk and yogurt. Regular activity is also essential for maintaining good bone health.

4. Healthy Hydration

Staying hydrated is even more important in the summer months. Even if you don’t feel overheated or thirsty, be sure to continually drink water. And, when given the choice, always opt for water over sugary beverages.

5. Healthy Life

A good rule of thumb is to make your plate look like the one on Choose My Plate. Incorporate balance into your life. Eat healthy as often as you possibly can—but don’t forget to allow yourself a treat every once in awhile, too. Balance is everything.

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 When it comes to planning out the years of retirement, everyone’s journey is different. That’s why we offer continuing care so that our residents can spend their retirement enjoying their lives--not constantly worrying about what’s next. But how can you decide what level of housing and care is right for you? Here are some of the major differences between Assisted and Independent Living.

Independent Living

Life in The Chateau Estate homes has all the benefits of living on your own with the one giant added benefit of maintenance-free living. As a resident of the Estates, you’ll have the freedom to decorate, cook, relax and do all the things you’ve always done--but with a community of people just up the hill for culinary services and social outings.

The Chateau Suites offers 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for active seniors looking to downsize. The “suite” life includes restaurant-style dining, social events and daily activities, exercise classes and more. And all of our amenities are available right in your building! Like in the Estates, you have the freedom to customize your apartment and live your life your way.

Assisted Living

Assisted Living offers residents services to make life a little easier--like housekeeping, medication management, transportation, and emergency response available 24-7. Assisted Living at The Chateau Terraces is designed for individuals who need additional care and assistance with activities of daily living. Residents of Assisted Living enjoy a wide variety of community amenities including: restaurant style dining, access to a beautiful landscaped courtyard, and daily events and activities.

The Right Choice for You

As a resident of a continuing care retirement community, you have the benefit of knowledgeable staff at every level of care. Should you start life in Independent Living at The Chateau and need Assisted Living in the future, our staff is available to help navigate you through that transition. Our staff is also available to help you determine which level of living best suits your or your loved one’s current needs.

Independent living benefits those retirees who want to have their own space and the power to run their home, but who want to be a part of community, or live worry-free from the less glamorous parts of homeownership--like housekeeping, lawn care, or shoveling snow.

Assisted living is intended for older adults who need help on a day-to-day basis, with things like cooking, cleaning, bathing, or remembering to take their medication. If you’ve found that yourself or a loved one is no longer able to safely or effectively live alone, assisted living is a wonderful solution. It’s the independence of your own space with the peace of mind knowing that someone is always just around the corner if you should ever need help.

Making the right decision for your needs is one that you shouldn’t make alone. Talk it over with your family, your doctor, or one of our staff members at The Chateau. For a tour of each facility, call today!

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If Dr. Mary Frances Luckey looks familiar to you, it’s because you’ve probably seen her around in her navy polo teaching Tai Chi at The Chateau. As a resident of The Chateau, Dr. Luckey is very invested in her community, bringing Tai Chi to her fellow residents once a week.

Dr. Luckey was certified to teach Tai Chi in 2008; she found that it was helpful for both her body and soul, and she wanted to share the art with others. When she first introduced Tai Chi to The Chateau community, she laughed when a resident said to her, “I didn’t come to The Chateau to go to school!” but Dr. Luckey is dedicated to making her class as involved as it can be. After months of going through the motions with her, her students are each talented enough to probably teach, according to Dr. Luckey. She admits that to be involved in Tai Chi at The Chateau is a tremendous investment of time, but assures everyone that it’s very worth it to keep your mind, body, and soul happy and healthy.

Besides Tai Chi, Dr. Luckey loves being a part of book club, taking care of her irises, and acting as a caregiver to her late mother’s best friend. But the thing she loves doing most of all is playing Bridge. Her mother and all her friends had been playing every Tuesday since the 50s, but “I never learned to play!” she laughed. When her mother arrived at The Chateau, a few years before Dr. Luckey, she knew no one. Starting from the ground up, she used Bridge as a way to get into the community. And Dr. Luckey followed in her footsteps. Dr. Luckey plays Bridge with a regular group weekly, and once a month she plays Duplicate Bridge, which is much more serious. “There is no talking during the hand,” she emphasized. “But we spend the whole day playing and we talk in between hands and at lunch,” she smiled.

Dr. Luckey’s favorite thing about The Chateau is being surrounded by friends. She says, gesturing to the lobby, “Oh, I’m down here all the time, talking to people.” The Chateau gave her the safety and the security she needed, as well as the opportunity to socialize. Because of her arthritis, getting around to places and going to events was more difficult when she was alone. But she credits the community to greater health all around. “Something binds us together but I don’t know what that something is,” she said. “We never have to miss out, even if we’ve been gone. We all give each other a lot more energy!”

Dr. Mary Frances Luckey has been a resident of The Chateau for 8 years.

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Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year again! Time to come out of the hibernation of winter and say hello to beautiful, green days. The fresh air in our lungs inspires people to start their spring cleaning, so open your windows, grab your rubber gloves, and check out these tips on the most effective way to get your home in tip-top shape this season.

Make a plan.

The easiest way to attack a big job is by breaking it down. Like the old saying goes, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So pick one room to focus on first. Once you’re in that room, decide what your main goal for the room is. Is it to declutter, reorganize, redecorate, or deep clean? Different rooms will need different levels of attention.

For instance, a bathroom may need a deep clean but depending on the size, there may not be much reorganizing or redecorating to be done!

Set the stage.

Before you jump into cleaning, you need to get prepared so you have nothing else to focus on but the task at hand. Grab three baskets or bins--one for things to put away, one for things to give away, and one for things to throw away. This set-up eliminates the need to run about from room to room. It’s easy to get off track when you return an item to another room and suddenly see 10 other items that need attending in the second room!

After you have three baskets ready to go, get your cleaning supplies. Some good basics are gloves, a vacuum, some rags, and some multi-purpose cleaner. What else does focus mean for you? For some people, it means turning on loud music to drown out distractions; and for others, loud music IS the distraction. Whatever works for you, set your stage and get ready to start.

Follow the Rule of Thumb.

If you’re on the fence about what to with an item, ask yourself, “Does this have sentimental value?” If the answer is yes, keep it for now. If the answer is no, ask this follow-up, “Have I used this in the last year?” If the answer is no to this question, too, then it’s time to get rid of it. And of course, if you have a sock with no pair, a screw that has no home, or a lid that fits nothing--throw them out!

Remember, if things don’t bring you joy or use, then they’re just taking up space in your home and your head.

Finish the job.

After the baskets are full and the room is clean, don’t just move the baskets around to another room. Take the “giveaway” basket to your church, or a local charity; toss everything in the trash basket into the garbage bin; and finally, walk around and put everything in the remaining basket back in its rightful home.

After you’re all done cleaning, give yourself a break--you’ve earned it! Kick back with a cool glass of lemonade and enjoy the clean spring breeze.

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