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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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