Active Senior

Blog Home > Author > Stephanie Holland
Stephanie Holland

For more than 40 years, The Chateau has been committed to three things: helping seniors live their best lives, providing the premier care, and continued communication with our residents, their loved ones, and our community.

As we uphold our commitment to thorough communication with The Chateau family, we have never been afraid to explore new and different ways of doing so. With our social media, email, website, and resident portal, we have been able to interact with our family and keep them informed of all the fun stuff happening on our campus. We have also been able to use these methods to keep the family updated on things that aren’t so fun.

Communication Today

Over the years, The Chateau has put forth technology initiatives that would enhance our community and care experience.

We started with more bandwidth for our internet system, giving each resident virtually unlimited access to reliable high-speed internet. With enhanced internet access, we launched our Chateau Connection portal. This portal gives residents easy access to The Chateau’s calendar, community alerts, and local news and weather all at their fingertips. Quick information from the portal is displayed on screens around the campus to help keep residents and guests up-to-date.

Keeping Residents Connected

Today, the need for communication is greater than ever before and The Chateau staff has been dedicated to providing as much communication with our residents and their families as possible.,

As our world changes, it’s important we do what we can to keep up. Telehealth or telemedicine has grown in popularity this year, and is expected to continue to grow. Telehealth allows people to meet with a healthcare provider for check-ups or discussing uncritical medical concerns over a secure internet platform from the comfort of home. While their offices remain open for those who prefer in-person appointments, many healthcare practitioners in our area have added telehealth services to their repertoire and that number is likely to increase in the coming years.

For some of our not-so-tech-savvy residents, telemedicine provides a few obstacles but our staff is there to help. To ensure our residents can receive the best care possible, our IT department has tablets available for resident use allowing those who don’t have access to these devices new opportunities to receive quality care, with help from staff if needed.

Technology also allows families and loved ones to connect in new ways. Video platforms like Google Duo, Skype, and Zoom, allow our residents face-to-face connection with their friends and family. Our staff is always ready to assist in the set-up of these accounts and help residents learn how to use them properly.

Stay Up-to-Date

As technology continues to advance, The Chateau is ready to implement new opportunities to keep residents connected to their community, loved ones, and care providers.

You can stay up-to-date with all of the fun things happening at The Chateau—and stay updated when situations like COVID-19 arise—on social media, our website, and our email newsletter.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

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.


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.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

When you’re looking for a retirement community for your loved one or planning your future retirement, there are a few things you should be looking for–trained staff, stability, and a safe and supportive community. With an accredited Continuing Care Retirement Community like The Chateau Girardeau, you get all of these benefits and more.

What is a CCRC?

Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer different levels of care on one campus. With these levels of care in one place, CCRCs cater to the needs of all of our residents regardless of the standard of care they may require.

By consolidating these services to one campus, CCRCs are able to provide residents with smooth transitions between care levels without a major move. Instead of moving across town, residents can simply move down the hall if they need additional care. This allows retirees to create a group of friends, maintain a routine that works for them, and enjoy a stable place to call home. At The Chateau we offer three levels of care:

Independent Living: Enjoy your independence your way with maintenance-free living in The Chateau’s Estates or Suites.

Assisted Living: Continue your independence with personalized assistance and the added security of 24/7 care.

Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation: Offering both long-term nursing care and short-term rehabilitation, our residents receive individualized care and attention from our compassionate staff.

Benefits of The Chateau

Besides offering multiple levels of care under one roof, The Chateau also offers residents a variety of amenities to help them live their best lives:>/p>

Maintenance-Free Living: The Chateau staff takes on all the chores you don’t want to do. We offer housekeeping, formal and casual dining experience, groundskeeping services, and so much more. Allowing you the time to do the things you love like your favorite community activities, a day out with family or friends, or the chance to travel the world. With maintenance-free living, you can live life on your own terms.

Customizable spaces: When you move into The Chateau’s Suites or Estates for independent living or The Terraces for assisted living, you get to make your space your own. You can bring your favorite furnishings from home, decorate how you please, and make your new home truly yours.

Activities galore: We have a schedule packed with activities and a selection of clubs and groups to join based on your interests. From fitness classes to a plethora of interest-based clubs to trips to the Southeast Missouri River Campus, your days will be filled with things to do with your friends.

Transportation services: Whether you have a doctor’s appointment to get to or you need to make a trip to the supermarket, we can get you there. The Chateau offers transportation services that can get you wherever you need to be, whenever you need to be there.

Round the clock nursing staff: At The Chateau, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you or your loved one are under our constant care. Our trained nursing staff is available 24/7 to assist with any potential medical emergencies.

Everything you need and more: Besides our dining services offering delicious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, The Chateau has everything you could need. Our “Main Street” has a bank, fitness center, library, beauty parlor, and art hall to enjoy beautiful locally made pieces. So, even when the weather is drab, you can get all of the things you need done and still have a great time.

Learn more about The Chateau

If a CCRC sounds like the right fit for you or your loved one’s lifestyle, look no further than The Chateau. We are Missouri’s only CCRC accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), and we’ve held this accreditation since 1992. We are proud to offer our residents a comfortable place to call home and the opportunity to receive the premier care.

If you’re interested in learning more about what The Chateau has to offer, please give us a call at 573-335-1281.

Comments 0 Rating: Rated 4.5 star by 1 people.
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.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

When it comes to planning for retirement, there are a lot of things to consider. How do you want to spend your time? Where would you like to live? Luckily, the Chateau is here to make that decision easy by providing residents at all levels of care the freedom to decide how they live their best life.

Continuing Care at Chateau

As a Continuing Care Retirement Community (and the only accredited one in the state of Missouri), we offer three levels of care—independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing. This means once you’ve made your home at The Chateau, you’re truly home. You have the opportunity to establish a routine, create valuable relationships with The Chateau's community, and rest easy knowing you’ll always be at home here.

The Chateau’s goal is to provide a community where you can take full advantage of your retirement and keep your independence, no matter what level of care you need. Whether you’re in independent or assisted living, you have the freedom to come and go as you please, live in a private residence, stay with your spouse, and live your life the way you want. Our residents in assisted living may require a little extra help with day to day tasks, but they still maintain their overall independence.

Our staff is available 24 hours a day to all of our residents and stand ready to help if an emergency arises.

Worry-Free Living at Chateau

At The Chateau, we want you to get the most out of your retirement. We offer our residents a community where they have the freedom to come and go as they please, pursue new hobbies and passions, and fully embrace their new life.

When you move into The Chateau, you’ll have a private residence that you are encouraged to furnish and decorate to fit your taste. The best part is you don’t even have to clean it. Housekeeping and maintenance services give you even more freedom and time to do the things you want. After all, that’s what retirement living is all about.

Love cooking? You’ll love the fully-equipped kitchens available in the Estates, Suites, and Terraces residences. Rather eat out or take the night off? Dine in our restaurant-style dining room. Our exceptional Chef Walter and Registered Dietitian Laura curate menu options that are delicious, satisfying, and good for you. Plus you’ll love the friendly staff.

The Chateau also offers a variety of amenities such as a library, exercise classes, a fitness center, chapel, bank, beauty parlor, craft room, and a variety of classes for continued education. These services are available to every resident regardless of level of care.

Is The Chateau Right For You?

Your retirement is your reward for years of hard work, so it’s time to rest easy with a maintenance-free life in a community dedicated to serving you. Whether you’re in independent or assisted living, you retain the ability to live your best life on your terms.

If you’re interested in learning more about The Chateau’s services and residences, call us today at 573-335-1281.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

The idea of "wellness" includes more than just having a healthy body—it's about well-being in mind, body, and soul. At The Chateau Girardeau, our highest priority is helping each resident live their very best life. Our strategy is to encourage wellness by focusing on six different pillars—physical, mental, spiritual, environmental, social, and emotional.


Maintaining physical health is the first step in achieving a state of overall wellness, and perhaps the best place to start is with exercise. The Chateau has a fitness center for residents, which provides cardio, strength training, and yoga classes to help residents stay active. Residents can also take walks on our Wildflower Trail for a more relaxed dose of physical activity.

Another big component of physical wellness is healthy eating. Our Dining Services staff provides meals that are healthy and delicious. The superb Chef Walter and Laura, our Registered Dietitian, work together to create menus with a variety of delicious options so our residents can have their pick at meal times. Plus we also have special events throughout the year for our residents to enjoy! 

Dishes from a recent Farm-to-Table special dinner event 

Even with proper diet and exercise, physical injuries and illnesses can still happen. If our residents need help recovering from an injury or illness, we have a state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility right on our campus. Our Rehab staff is highly qualified to help residents and local seniors get back on the mend. 


It's equally important for seniors to keep their brains active. Learning new things, engaging in activities that require thinking, and socializing with others (more on this later in the blog!) are great ways to exercise the brain. 

The Chateau offers a variety of education courses such as cooking classes, art classes, iPad use, and other technology classes. These classes encourage our residents to take on new challenges and learn new things. We also offer residents the opportunity to attend lectures on-site, and we have a library so they can continue their education however they choose.


After a lifetime of hard work and dedication to a career or raising a family, retirement provides the opportunity for seniors to redefine how they spend their day. By exploring new hobbies or other activities there wasn't time for before, Chateau residents can truly embrace everything retirement has to offer.

The Chateau offers many ways for residents to focus on their spiritual health. By offering a private chapel, church services, Bible studies, art classes for self-expression, and plenty of quiet outdoor space, our residents have plenty of opportunities to reflect and focus on their spiritual health.


Retirement living shouldn't have to mean giving up personal style or expression. Residents at the Chateau are encouraged to customize their space to make it their own by decorating with their own furniture, artwork, and more. 

In addition, all residences at The Chateau feature maintenance-free living, which means no cleaning, no dishes, no yard work, and cooking only when you want to. 

The Chateau also decorates all common areas for holidays so everyone can enjoy the cheer of Christmas, New Year’s, and other special occasions throughout the year. 

Not sure if you're ready to make the move? Once you start spending time doing things you want to do instead of things you have to do, you'll wonder why you didn't come to The Chateau sooner! 


At The Chateau, our residents have many opportunities to build new friendships (and of course keep the old). We want our residents to feel part of a community, so we do our best to provide plenty of ways they can stay social. We have a very popular weekly social hour every Friday, and residents are also encouraged to try the fitness and education classes we’ve previously mentioned, join or start a club based off of their interests, or attend themed events, socials, movie nights, and more put on by Chateau staff.


All of the pillars of wellness work together to create a happier and healthier life for our residents. Everything we do at The Chateau, from continued learning opportunities to specially crafted meals, is aimed at helping our residents be as emotionally healthy as possible.


For 40 years, we have encouraged our residents to live their best lives and have provided amenities that help them do so. We are proud to be the premier continuing care retirement community in the region, and will continue to strive to hit even greater heights over the next 40 years.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

Recently The Chateau received the People’s Choice Award for #1 Nursing Home in Cape Girardeau County, as well as #1 Retirement Community. This is fifth year in a row we’ve received these honors, and we are so grateful for the community’s continued support. This year also marks our 40th anniversary. Since our start in 1979, we’ve grown our services, facilities, and amenities by leaps and bounds, and our second-to-none staff has helped us grow into the premiere retirement community we are today.

As a continuing care retirement community, we offer the full continuum of care to our residents, including top-of-the-line skilled care. What goes into being the #1 skilled care provider for seniors in Cape County? Here’s the rundown on how our Health Center made it to the top of the list.

Health Center at The Gardens

The Health Center at Chateau has received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and offers flexible options for skilled care. The Health Center provides restorative nursing options as well as long-term care plans for our residents in The Gardens.

The Health Center serves many needs for our residents and senior community. Seniors working through a long rehab plan can get additional inpatient care at the Health Center before being discharged. Those who are already residents at The Chateau can transition to the Health Center for temporary or long-term care needs. However, seniors don’t need to be a Chateau resident already if their circumstances would be best suited by skilled care—they can begin their stay at Chateau directly in The Gardens. 

Rehabilitation at The Chateau

Additionally, our Health Center provides award-winning inpatient and outpatient rehab services for Chateau residents and area seniors in our Rehab Center. Our staff includes Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Therapists, as well as Physical Therapy Assistants and Occupational Therapy Assistants. Continuity of Care is one of our core philosophies, meaning patients will work with the same therapists and assistants throughout their rehab journey. This ensures staff will truly get to know each patient, their needs, their goals, and better help them through a successful rehab.

Through our partnership with Infinity Rehab, we’ve been able to expand our treatment and service options. All of our rehab patients are set-up on individualized, objective-based treatment plans. With easily measurable milestones, rehab patients are able to work in steps towards concrete goals and better track and celebrate their improvements. Plus these milestones allow both staff and loved ones to rally around the patient’s progress and help cheer them on.

You can read much more about what makes Rehab at Chateau so special here!

What Sets Chateau’s Care Apart Overall

At The Chateau, our core treatment philosophy is patient centered and goal oriented. All of our residents are unique, so our staff works with our residents’ doctors and our own Medical Director to create a treatment plan that meets individual needs and sets realistic goals to strive towards. We focus on non-medication interventions first and whenever possible, and our treatment plans are also collaborative—we want our residents to be actively involved in their care and setting their own goals. Plus, we love when family wants to be involved in their loved ones’ care. We like to meet with families each quarter at a minimum, but are happy to be in touch as often as you like! 

While our Gardens residents receive extra care for their health needs, that doesn’t mean they lose their independence. Our staff works hard to ensure our residents have choices and can safely maintain their individual freedoms. From menu-style dining to tons of opportunities for activities and outings, our fantastic staff facilitates our residents’ individual routines and preferences.

We also believe in an open-door communication policy, for staff, for residents, and for family. As our Administrator and COO Amy Keistler says, “You can’t fix problems if you aren’t aware of them. We aren’t perfect, but if there’s a problem we will fix it.” We have administrative staff offices located among our residences in The Gardens as well as The Terraces, and we’re always open to hear feedback about how things are going, or if you just want to pop in and say hi!

Dedicated and Passionate Staff

Everything at The Chateau starts with our fantastic staff. We’ve been blessed with many long-time employees in our Health Center, who view their work with our residents as more of a calling than a job. That dedication definitely shows as they go about their daily business. Our staff is highly trained, but they also know our residents’ stories, know their preferences, and go above and beyond to make the atmosphere just like home. Attentive and caring, our staff helps facilitate our residents' independence and ensures they get only the best care. 

Looking to the Future

We’re so thankful to our amazing staff, fantastic residents, and the Cape Girardeau community who have made the last 40 years so special. As we work on our strategic planning for the next 40 years, we’ll keep the same philosophies in mind that have made us the People’s Choice five years running. Our Administrator Amy Keistler sums up what we’re all about best—“We are here to serve our residents, and we love what we do!”

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

We officially rang in The Chateau's 40th anniversary this month with wonderful celebrations, full of many memories, laughs, community, and even some fireworks. We're so grateful to everyone who had a chance to join us in person. Check out some of the highlights from our celebration below! 

Our Anniversary Video


KC Video Productions put together this fantastic retrospective video, which was a huge hit with our guests at our anniversary ceremony. A big thank you to our staff members who participated in sharing memories for this special video. How many people do you know featured in this video? 

Highlights From Our Anniversary Ceremony 

CEO Keith Boeller shared highlights from The Chateau's great history, with help from Barbara Calvin, former Administrator of The Chateau and current resident. Barbara has been involved with The Chateau since the very beginning. She started out doing secretarial work for the original The Cape Retirement Community Inc. organization and even drew our original logo. Then she moved up to Assistant Administrator, and then Administrator, where she oversaw us receiving our first national accreditation as a CCRC. We're so glad Barbara joined us for this special evening. 

Chairman of our Board of Directors, Paul Cairns, and Mayor Emertis and resident Harry Rediger presented Rev. Ellen Gurnon of the First Presbyterian Church with a plaque. The First Presbyterian Church had the original idea for building a retirement community in Cape Girardeau. They kicked off the initial feasibility study, and as they say, the rest was history from there. The Chateau has never forgotten the contributions the church has made to our success. 

We were so excited that Carl Wilkins, our very first Administrator,  attended our celebration and shared a few words with the crowd. Many of our longtime residents and staff remember Carl well and enjoyed having him back under our roof! 

A wonderful display of old photos, newspaper articles, and internal flyers sent us all down memory lane. We found tons of fun facts when digging through our archives—did you know that residents' favorite activities at The Chateau during the early days were billiards and our woodworking shop?  

Mabel Weaver was our very first resident at The Chateau, a feat for which she was received this plaque.  We owe a huge thank you to Mabel and her family for starting us off on such a great foot! 

Our staff truly outdid themselves with the pre-ceremony meal, and the cocktails served by The Southerner were a huge hit. It was a wonderful turnout for our celebration—thank you to everyone who had the opportunity to join us! 

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Chateau Girardeau this summer, and what better way to celebrate a milestone like this than to take a moment to remember how it all started. When you look out across our beautiful 40-acre property, it’s hard to imagine that it used to be just an empty lot. Our story starts with a simple idea—that the people of the Cape Girardeau region deserve a retirement community that provides a worry-free, respectful, and active environment so they can fully enjoy all that their best years have to offer.

An Idea Takes Shape

In the early 1970s, members of the First Presbyterian Church in Cape Girardeau noticed that many families were leaving the region when they reached retirement age due to a lack of high-quality local options. The church decided to conduct a feasibility study to see if opening a retirement community was possible. Reverend Joseph Ledford, the president of the Westminster Gerontology Foundation and a Presbyterian minister in Kansas City, served as a consultant during the process. Rev. Ledford helped open several similar retirement communities throughout Missouri, each with a focus on better serving retired individuals. 

The First Presbyterian group mailed out questionnaires to people  aged 62 or older in nearby counties to gauge interest in Cape opening a retirement community of its own. The results showed that there was not only great interest but also a great need for better retirement options. Since it seemed like the region was primed and ready, the First Presbyterian Church passed the baton to a new organization to help carry the idea of Chateau Girardeau over the finish line. The Cape Retirement Community Inc. was formed as a non-profit, non-denominational organization with the goal of providing a high-quality retirement community for the Southeast Missouri region.

During the 1970s, most people thought of retirement communities only as nursing homes, and many felt like nursing homes provided little in the way of amenities, enjoyment, or freedoms. The Cape organization wanted to provide a better alternative for the area, one with a philosophy built on getting the most enjoyment possible out of the retirement that residents earned with a lifetime of hard work.

Breaking Ground and Moving In

In October 1975, the organization purchased the ground at the intersection of Mount Auburn and Independence in Cape Girardeau, where Chateau Girardeau would soon come to stand. By November of that year, a model apartment was already available for potential residents to tour, and an official marketing campaign began.

In October 1977, construction on The Chateau Girardeau officially commenced after a festive ground-breaking ceremony. Phase one of construction included independent living apartments as well as a health center, which would provide medical access and peace of mind for residents. During construction, many retirees began to sign up to live in the brand new facility once it was ready. And just under two years later, on July 2, 1979, the first residents excitedly moved into their beautiful new apartments.

Long-Term Planning

With a full-house and waiting lists forming by the early 80s, administrators of The Chateau realized it was time to start thinking about expansion. In 1983, official long-range planning began, which included additions to the health center and independent living apartments, plus two new initiatives—an assisted living wing, which would provide extra care for those who needed it without sacrificing overall independence, and a cottage program for independent living residents who wanted a little more space than an apartment.

In May 1988, the new Assisted Living Center (now known as The Chateau Terraces) officially opened, and the very first cottage home (called The Estates) opened in September of 1993. Both new initiatives were successful, and more residents moved in—by 1992, The Chateau was home to over 175 residents from 64 different locations across the country.

CCRC Accreditation

Administrator of The Chateau, Barbara Calvin, oversaw The Chateau’s process of receiving national accreditation as a Continuing Care Retirement Community. In December 1991, The Chateau applied for accreditation from the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. The Chateau administration, staff, and residents teamed up to do whatever they could to make sure The Chateau qualified for the honor, and in October 1992, the accreditation was official. The Chateau became one of only 121 retirement communities to receive the honor nationwide, and one of only two at that time in Missouri. (Today The Chateau is the only CARF-accredited CCRC in the state.)

The Chateau’s commitment of always striving for the best for our residents was clear during the accreditation process—Barbara Calvin told the Southeast Missourian that the efforts were all for “the continuing dedication to make Chateau Girardeau the best community possible for its residents.”

Celebrating 40 Years with the Cape Girardeau Community

Today, the original dreams of The Chateau’s long-term planning efforts have come to fruition. New construction in recent years include our state-of-the-art Rehabilitation Center, which serves our residents as well as seniors in the region on an outpatient basis. Many other upgrades and expansions are visible as you walk our grounds, from our beautiful courtyard fountain to our recently renovated dining rooms to our brand new televisions throughout the property, providing schedules of meals, activities, and more.

As we celebrate 40 years of service to the Cape Girardeau region, we look back at our past with fondness, but we also look to the future and the amazing things still to come for The Chateau in the next 40 years!

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

The Chateau is celebrating 40 wonderful years of serving the Cape Girardeau community. Our longevity wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing and dedicated staff, many of whom can count their service to The Chateau in decades! One of our longest-serving staff members is our head groundskeeper, Raymond.

Raymond has kept The Chateau looking beautiful since he first joined our team on November 19, 1985. Originally, Raymond began in maintenance, where he helped take care of residents’ apartments as well as the main building. Back in the mid-80s, The Chateau was a much smaller place. It was just one building when Raymond started—the Gardens opened in 1988 and the first Estates home opened in 1993. Raymond recalls mowing the grounds where the Estates homes would eventually be built, “It used to take me a whole week to mow it.”

Pretty quickly after meeting him, you'll realize that Raymond has a fantastic memory—he can tell you the month and year of special events or when new features came to be across The Chateau’s 40 acres. As we passed the Wildflower Trail, he shared that a resident, Marge Bauerle, donated the funds to build the popular pathway, as well as plant gorgeous Missouri flowers around it. Raymond and the grounds crew keep the Wildflower trail looking great so that residents can spend peaceful time in nature whenever they wish.

One especially memorable event happened in September of 2017, when the whole property received the “Yard of the Month” honor from the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce. Raymond remembers going downtown to City Hall to receive the honor with the rest of the grounds crew, which just happened to be on his 62nd birthday!

Throughout the years, it’s the residents who really keep Raymond motivated and loving his work. He likes keeping the grounds looking sharp so residents can feel at home, plus enjoy comfort and nice views while spending time outside. He said he's always liked stopping by Monday morning coffee and hearing some amazing stories from people who have lived all over the world. “You get to meet a lot of really interesting people,” he said, from university professors to doctors to world travelers. "I have heard a lot of stories." 

When we stopped by the courtyard next to the main lobby, Raymond shared some fond memories of Mary Snow, who donated the funds to build the courtyard and its beautiful stone fountain, which Raymond helped bring to life. Before she settled in Cape Girardeau, Mary’s husband worked as a lawyer for the St. Louis Browns, back when the city was home to two Major League Baseball teams. After the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles, the couple adopted the Cardinals as their favorite team—and Mary was one of their ultimate super fans. The Cardinals always remembered the Snow family's contributions to St. Louis baseball, so they’d often provide Mary with tickets, and Mary frequently shared those tickets with her Chateau family. “She was a really special lady,” Raymond said with a smile.

Another resident, Florence Rossiter, commissioned the sculpture of the Great Horned Owl that greets visitors and residents alike in The Chateau’s main parking lot. If you haven’t seen the sculpture, take a look next time you’re in the lot!

We’re so grateful to Raymond and all of our staff for always going above and beyond for our residents. Next time you see Raymond making his rounds around The Chateau, be sure to say hi, and if you enjoy all of the beautiful green views around the property, give him a thank you! 

Stay tuned for more fun memories of the last 40 years and celebrations of all the great things yet to come at The Chateau!

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.
Page 1 of 4
First Previous
Next Last
Pages :

Want to learn more?

Note: zeros and O's are clearly marked.