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The best part about getting older is the freedom you achieve in retirement. You can do whatever you want, go wherever you want, however, in order to maintain this freedom, you have to remain well. At The Chateau, we want to make sure our residents are living healthy and fulfilled lives. Today, we’re going to focus on physical wellness, how it can benefit you, and how The Chateau can help you get in tip-top shape.

Benefits of Physical Activity

One of the first steps to achieving an overall state of wellness is focusing on your physical health. It is recommended seniors do approximately 150 minutes of physical activity per week; that’s about 20 minutes per day, every day.

Regular physical activity has a number of important health benefits such as:

  • Reducing blood pressure in some people
  • Maintaining or building muscle strength
  • Increasing bone density
  • Strengthening your immune system
  • Preventing common diseases such as diabetes and heart disease
  • Decreasing the risk of stroke
  • Controlling joint swelling associated with arthritis
  • Reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression

All these benefits of physical activity help you stay mentally well and live your best independent lives.

How to Begin A Physical Wellness Journey

Physical wellness isn’t achieved with one workout—it’s a journey. If you’re not sure where to start, our wellness coordinators Meghan Mills and Kacie Livesay have a few tips

  • Know your limitations. When participating in physical activity, it’s crucial you listen to your body. If you’re not sure what your limitations are, speak with your doctor. It’s important you respect your body and not push yourself too hard in order to prevent injury.
  • Study your own routine. While you’re going about your day, think about what you do every day, how much free time you have, and especially how much time you spend sitting. With these notes, see where you can pencil physical activity into your routine, especially if you can replace a sitting activity with more exercise.
  • Find a buddy. Exercising with a good friend can make the experience more fun, but can also help you stay on track. By holding each other accountable, you have a better chance of being successful.
  • Just give it a try. The hardest part of the journey is starting. With a variety of different ways to remain active, you have so many things to try. Whether it’s a fitness class offered at The Chateau, going for a walk, or exercising at home, you have plenty of opportunities to find an activity that you enjoy.

Like any lifestyle change, adding physical activity to your daily life looks different to everyone. What works for one person may not work for another. For this reason, The Chateau offers many ways to maintain physical wellness. From group classes of varying levels of activity to more informal activities like walking the Wildflower Trails, The Chateau makes sure each resident has an option that suits their style.

Classes

The Chateau’s Health & Wellness Department hosts a number of classes focusing on different types of wellness taught by our health and wellness coordinators Meghan and Kacie. If you’re wanting to stay active and make friends while doing so, these classes are great. Meghan and Kacie work with each resident attending classes to personalize their workout by offering different modifications to address any limitations you may have.

Exercise: This hour-long total body workout focuses on increasing strength and flexibility by utilizing equipment such as dumbbells, Resista-bands, Thera-bands, and exercise balls.

Stretch it Out: Designed to improve flexibility and range of motion, increase blood flow to your muscles, and help reduce stress and back pain, this 30-minute class offers a full-body stretch in a relaxing environment.

Rotating 6-week class: Every 6 weeks, we add a new and exciting class with focus ranging from arthritis exercises to a stepping class.

Balance: Having good balance can help improve your ability to react to sudden changes and reduce your risk of falls so we offer a 30-minute class with the goal to strengthen the core and major muscle groups needed to maintain overall balance and coordination.

Exercises in your home

If you’re under the weather or just interested in adding some casual physical activity to your daily tasks, we have provided a few videos hosted by Wellness Coordinator, Meghan, to show you some simple stretches and exercises you can start doing in your home today.






Remaining active is one of the key steps in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The Chateau encourages residents to live an active lifestyle as part of living their best lives. Whether you choose a group fitness class or a casual stroll on the Wildflowers Trail, you can choose how to start your wellness journey with help from our health and wellness coordinators. For more information about daily classes, check out the Chateau Connection televisions around our facility.

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Why Independent Living?

You’ve spent your whole life working and serving others, now it’s time for us to take care of you while you relax. When you choose Independent Living at The Chateau, you get to live life your way—without the maintenance—while also enjoying the comforts of home and so much more.


Worry-Free Living

One of the best parts about The Chateau is the fact you can live your life how you want without having to do the daily chores like cooking, cleaning, snow removal, and everyday maintenance. Use those hours in the day to take on a new hobby, sleep in a little bit, travel, or whatever it is you’ve always wanted to do. With The Chateau, you have the freedom to do what you want when you want.


You Make The Chateau Your Home

When you move into The Chateau, you don’t have to leave your favorite things behind. Whether it’s a hutch that’s been passed down through your family or your perfect mattress, you can bring it with you.

At The Chateau, we want you to feel at home, so our suites and homes are entirely customizable. You pick the flooring, paint colors, kitchen finishes, everything. You bring your own unique style to make your new home as comfortable as it can be. We work with you every step of the way, even visiting your home (if you want us to) to help truly capture your design style and sort the essential items. Whether you’re wanting to recreate your current home at The Chateau or you want to try something new, you have a team of Chateau staff on your side to help you from the day you sign your contract to the day you move in and every day after.

 


Peace of Mind

Once you’re settled at The Chateau, it’s the last move you’ll ever have to make. You have the opportunity to settle into your new home, establish a community, set a routine, value your retirement stress-free, and you and your family can rest easy knowing you will always be cared for.

As a continuing care community, we offer different levels of care based on the needs of our residents. We offer three levels of care—independent living, assisted living, and skilled care—so that if you need extra help with daily tasks, you can stay in a place that is familiar and comfortable. We are staffed 24/7 by skilled professionals who can help at any time.

You’re Always With Friends

At The Chateau, you are surrounded by a community of people who care for you. With social clubs, weekly socials, and a calendar packed full of events, the biggest decision you have to make at The Chateau is what to do that day. The Chateau offers a plethora of activities for you to participate giving you plenty of opportunities to make friends and establish a community of friends you’ll have for a long time.


 

Making the Move is Easy

We know moving from one place to another can be a huge decision, but once you make the move, you’ll wish you’d done it sooner. If you aren’t ready, that’s ok; we’ll be here when you are.

Until then, it’s a good idea to make a transition plan for the future. Start thinking about what you want from your retirement, what you want in a place to live, what you’ll keep and what you’ll do when you’re ready to make the move. If you’re interested in The Chateau Estates, it’s good to plan ahead because they can go fast, but with a plan in place, yours can be ready when you are.


We’re Here For You

When you make the move from your home to The Chateau, we are with you every step of the way to make the transition as easy as possible. Make your new home your own with customized design and decor, bring the things that matter to you, and take full advantage of the worry-free lifestyle we offer our residents. The Chateau is really is more than a retirement home, it’s a loving community of friends.

If you’re interested in learning more about Independent Living options at The Chateau, visit our website or give us a call at 573-335-1281.

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When you think about your dream retirement, does “eat delicious meals I don’t have to cook” ever come to your mind? If you ask our residents, many will say that the fantastic food is their absolute favorite part about life at The Chateau. We recently chatted with Director of Dining Services, Laura Vollink, about what makes dining at The Chateau so special and about some fun upcoming events.

Delicious Choices for Every Palate

The high-quality menu at The Chateau is put together by our Executive Chef, Walter Lents, who has been with us for the last six years. After so many years, Walter has a really great idea of what our residents like, so he curates the menu based off those tastes and a few dashes of his own creativity. Along with Laura’s insights as a Registered Dietitian, the two put together a menu that’s not only delicious but healthy and balanced.

With a standard menu as well as a rotating menu that switches up every four weeks, there’s something for everyone’s preferences available. From home-style comfort foods to ribs and grilled chicken to crisp salads and warm soups, you’ll have an option for every mood and there is always something new to give a try.

Fantastic, Friendly Service

Serving three delicious meals a day to all of our residents across four dining rooms is a big task, but our wonderful staff make it look easy. Laura says the dining services staff is dedicated to outstanding service and making every resident feel comfortable and at home. Our staff takes the time to get to really know our residents and their story. And of course, they can name many a favorite drink and entree order! Just this month our very own “dynamic duo” of dining services, Aubrey and Jan, won employee of the month for February.

For Laura and her staff, providing such great meals to our residents is a gratifying experience. Laura says, “It’s very rewarding to know that you’re taking care of people” and that their work leads to happy and satisfied residents. 

Special Theme Events

If serving wonderful food wasn’t enough, dining services also hosts several popular events throughout the year. In addition to special holiday-themed events, Sunday Brunches have been met with raving reviews—crispy fried chicken anyone? But perhaps the most popular event thus far has been farm-to-table meals. During the spring and summer, Chef Walter picks up locally grown, seasonal ingredients from the farmers market for the menu, which is complete with recommended wine pairings. Be sure to keep an ear out for the next farm-to-table dinner and check it out for yourself! 

Earlier this month, Dining Services hosted another edition of Chateau Chef Wars. Similar to the popular show Iron Chef, two chefs went head-to-head to prepare a dish using secret ingredients unknown prior to the competition. This time the secret ingredients were mint, pistachio, and dark chocolate. Up against a timer, they prepared a dish in front of an audience of residents, who then sampled each dish and voted on the winner. Chef Walter and our Hospitality Manager Katherine reigned supreme over Sous Chef Mike and Laura, but Laura and Mike are ready to retake their title next time! 

Enjoy a Meal Together

As Laura says, the act of eating a meal is a special one, where you can gather with the important people in your life, get the fuel your body needs, and enjoy each other's company in the process. So grab a friend, bring a family member (or a few!), and relish in some quality time over a meal together.

And stay tuned for more fun events—you can keep up with us on Facebook by giving our page a like!

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Once the holiday dust has settled, the beginning of a new year ushers in many hopes and renewed energy towards bettering ourselves. If you’re nearing retirement age or if feel like you just haven’t gotten the most out of retirement so far, choosing The Chateau can help you live your best life yet.

Free Yourself From Maintenance

When you live at The Chateau, you’ll get to embrace a maintenance-free lifestyle, and we can promise that it’s going to feel great. All of our residences are maintenance free, so gone are the days of worrying about mopping, vacuuming, mowing the grass, or tending to repairs around the house. Your vehicle is welcome at The Chateau, but if you’d like to cross car maintenance off your list as well, we have a shuttle that can take you to the store and your appointments. Let us take care of all the “boring” stuff so your time can be spent doing the things you love.

Many of our residences include a kitchen area, but if you don’t feel like cooking, no problem. Our residents rave about our restaurant-style dining and the impeccable dishes put together by our in-house Chef Walter Lents. Our Director of Dining Services, Laura Vollink, is a Registered Dietician, and she ensures that our residents are eating not only delicious meals but also getting all the nutrition they need. Come down to the dining room to eat among friends or order take out to enjoy during a relaxing evening at home.

Get Active, Stay Active

Without work and household maintenance taking up your time, you’ll be free to explore what you really want to do. From a variety of clubs sure to pique at least one of your interests to a full calendar of activities and events every day, there’s always something new to jump into. Is there a passion project you've been putting off for years? Now is the time to put yourself first and do what makes you happy!

More free time also leads to more opportunities to socialize. You’ll have plenty of new neighbors at The Chateau to get to know, and maybe even some old friends to reconnect with. Plus, your family and friends are always welcome to visit anytime. If you have out of town guests, they can even stay in your residence or we have options to rent a room for a night. 

If your New Year’s Resolution involves keeping more physically active, we have workout classes and equipment available for all our residents. If an injury or illness has you sidelined, our highly rated Rehabilitation team is here to help. Our fantastic staff will get you on the mend and back to your active lifestyle. (Learn more about our Rehab services here.)

Enjoy Peace of Mind

The Chateau is a CARF-accredited Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), which means no matter the level of care you may need down the road, you’ll be taken care of. There are no worries of transfers or needing to make stressful decisions—you’ll always be at home at The Chateau. We are the only accredited CCRCs in Missouri, so you and your family can rest easy knowing you’re in great hands. (You can read more about the many benefits of a CCRC here.)

Live Your Best Life at The Chateau

Over and over again, we hear our residents say, “We should have done this years ago!” So what’s holding you back? It’s time to put yourself first in 2019 and choose The Chateau. Give us a call at 573-335-1281 and we’ll take you through your first steps to the path of retirement freedom.

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Cape Girardeau summers have a lot going for them—sunshine, ice cream cones by the riverfront, going for walks, grandkids free from school enjoying outdoor sports, and more. But the high heat and humidity can also be difficult to endure, even for Missouri weather veterans. As the warm trends continue into August and September (and, let’s face it, sometimes October), it’s important to keep heat safety in mind so you can keep enjoying the good things summer has to offer.

As we age, it gets harder for our bodies to adapt to sudden or extreme fluctuations in temperature. Older adults are also more likely to have health conditions or take prescription medications that affect temperature regulation and even hydration levels.For example, if you have high blood pressure or heart problems, you might be prescribed a diuretic, aka water pills, which can make you more susceptible to dehydration.

Here are five tips to keep in mind when it heats up outside.

Stay hydrated

Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day is always a good idea, but it’s especially important during the heat. You should drink more water than usual as a rule of thumb, even if you aren’t thirsty. Dehydration can sneak up on you, and you don’t have to feel thirsty to become depleted.

Stay away from sugary drinks like soda or lemonade when in the heat. The high sugar content can actually cause you to lose more fluids. Sports drinks like Gatorade can help replenish salt levels if you’ve been sweating, but be careful if you’re watching your sodium levels. Talk to your doctor about sports drinks if you’re on a salt-restricted diet.

Dress for the occasion

Taking in some sun is fun and great for you. However, as good as the sun can be, you still need to protect yourself while enjoying catching those rays. When spending time outside, you should wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, sunglasses, and hats that shade your face. Wide-brim hats are ideal, but any hat with a brim is better than none.

Always remember to apply sunscreen, even if you won’t be outside for hours—sunburns can start to occur in as little as ten to fifteen minutes for pale-skinned individuals. And just because it’s overcast doesn’t mean you can skip the sunscreen; harmful UV rays are still able to penetrate cloud cover. Sunburns can be more severe in older adults, so preventing them in the first place is your best bet.

Plan fun indoor activities

Summertime isn’t just about the outdoors! Since grandkids are out of school, there are plenty of indoor activities you can enjoy together. Going to the movie theater to see a film and eat popcorn, checking out books at the library, putting together crafts, or visiting a museum are just a few great options for summer memory making. And let’s be honest—eating ice cream in the air conditioning is still a pretty great deal.

Check on one another

This one is good advice just in general, but especially during excessive heat, it's a good habit to check in with your friends and neighbors to make sure they’re staying cool and feeling well. And then they can return the favor for you!

Know the symptoms

Heat exhaustion can creep up on a person, so it’s important to know the symptoms so you can notice them in yourself and others around you. Some of the most common symptoms are excessive sweating, a flushed face or redness on lighter skin tones, headache, nausea, dizziness, and confusion. If these symptoms are present, get into the shade or preferably air conditioning as quickly as possible and rehydrate. Here is a complete reference from the CDC of symptoms and actions to take.

Keep these tips in mind, and stay safe out there while you enjoy this time of year. It’ll be snowing again before we know it!

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Christmas Traditions

For many of us, the best part about the holidays are the traditions. An important part of life at The Chateau is the preservation of all your favorite parts of the holidays. You don’t have to give up any Christmas traditions, but you sure can make a bunch of new ones! Here are just a few of our holiday favorites. Family Together This is especially important at The Chateau. We love seeing all of the family and friends come to visit. They’re invited to become a part of our community for a few days; visit with us, dine with us, and celebrate with us!

Baking

There’s something extra magical about sweets at Christmas time. Chocolate chip cookies, gingersnaps, peppermint bark, fudge--some with special secret recipes that are only allowed during Christmas.

Christmas Movies

Did you know that Christmas movie favorites vary by state? If you guessed Christmas Vacation for Missouri, you’d be right! Of course, there’s always the classics like White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, and Holiday Inn. But we’re not opposed to the new kids on the block like The Grinch or Christmas with the Kranks. See the other states here.

Christmas Carols

Speaking of Christmas movies, perhaps no one says it better than Buddy from Elf, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” There are hundreds of great holiday tunes that can instantly liven up any get together.

Holiday Church Services

Sunday service is great, but we love holiday church services because amidst all of the other bustling and traveling and tradition, we can remember the real reason for the season.

How does your family celebrate the holidays? Share your traditions in the comments!

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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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