Monthly Archives: June 2016

Living Life Well in Your Retirement Years

There are many factors that go into choosing a retirement community.  Everything from financial planning to healthcare, apartment preferences, staff personalities, dining options, amenities – the list goes on and on.  While these are all important factors in making a final decision, one vital piece of the overall puzzle can often go overlooked:

_K0C8110Will my loved one have opportunities to get to know other residents?

It is not until after your loved one moves into a retirement community that they can truly take advantage of the fellowship opportunities available to them in their new home.  At Primrose, the Life Enrichment Coordinator will spend time getting to know your loved one after they move in.  The LEC works to provide opportunities for residents to participate in a variety of activities together.  As residents participate in these activities, they get to know one another better and great friendships develop.  There are many things to do and places to go at Primrose and there are lots of people to share the experience with.  It is these collective shared experiences that will help ensure that residents have a wonderful time living and learning at Primrose.

Being physically and socially healthy

Being in good health is about more than just eating right and exercising.  It is about the entire spectrum of our wellbeing and the overall enrichment of our lives.  Investing in our social wellness is just as important as being physically fit – especially since we are naturally wired to connect with people socially.  When we heed that physical instinct to be with others, our bodies benefit.

“We are profoundly shaped by our social environment and we suffer greatly when our social bonds are severed,” said Matthew Lieberman, Scientist and author of the book, Social: Why our Brains Are Wired to Connect, in an interview with Scientific American“The fact is that our well-being depends on our connections with others,” he added.

As you research senior living options, look for a community that encourages residents to do things together and to maintain friendships and contacts outside the retirement community as well.  Take advantage of opportunities to attend events and to enjoy a meal or two with residents before making a final decision.  These kinds of experiences will give you a better glimpse into what everyday life will be like in a community.  You may also want to ask what programs the Life Enrichment Coordinator has in place to encourage residents to continue pursuing lifelong skills and interests after they have moved in.

If you have any questions about what Primrose has to offer, feel free to contact us at We would be honored to assist you in your journey.

The Importance of Memory Care

_K0C6989According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 39.6% of residential care community residents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or other types of dementia.  The same is true for approximately 20% of current Primrose assisted living residents, and the need for memory care support continues to grow rapidly.

Improving Resident Care

In keeping with one of its core values, Relentless Improvement, Primrose is working to better support its current and future residents’ needs by providing person-centered memory care services.  Primrose Executive Director of Nursing, Kathy Gerdes, explains: “After surveying our communities and learning that we had a need for dementia support among our assisted living residents, we began researching how we could improve their care,” said Gerdes.  “It was during this period of research that Primrose made the decision to move forward in providing memory care services,” she added.

Primrose sought assistance from Jayne Clairmont and Nancy Schier Anzelmo – consultants and national leaders in the care of those with dementia.  This marked the start of a year-long journey in the development of a signature memory care program for Primrose.  “With the help of our consultants and architectural group, we were able to design a contemporary memory care community that will facilitate a person-centered care approach,” Gerdes said.  “It will allow both small and large group activities, quiet spaces, an outdoor courtyard, and apartments designed to calm and relax our residents.  What will truly set us apart, though, is getting to know each resident and developing a unique plan of care built around their individual needs.  In the end, it is all about comfort, safety, well-being, and quality care,” Gerdes added.

Now is the Time

“It is a natural progression for Primrose to provide memory care services,” said BJ Schaefbauer, Primrose President.  “Moving into the future, we plan to add memory care in all of our new markets.  It is a good fit for us since we already offer independent living and assisted living services,” he added.  In certain markets, like Newburgh, Indiana, Primrose includes stand-alone memory care communities alongside their combined assisted/independent living counterparts.  In other locations, like Rogers, Arkansas, assisted living and memory care are combined in one community.

“Primrose has established a reputation for excellent care,” Gerdes said.  “We look forward to carrying out this standard of quality in our memory care services well,” she added.

If you are researching memory care options for a loved one, Primrose would be honored to assist you in your journey.  Just visit for more information.

Decatur Primrose: Creating a Welcoming Environment – Part 1

Primrose residents extend warm welcome to newcomers

New resident Archie Beals extends a warm gesture of welcome to fellow newcomers Sue Waeltz and Adair Huss at the New Resident Welcome Reception. All three new residents decided to move to Primrose during the summer months.

Have you ever stopped to think what it means to be welcomed? “Welcome” is a verb that means: to accept gladly, bid welcome to; greet upon arrival or receive someone, as into one’s house. Let’s pause for a moment to consider the ways in which we welcome company into our homes. Do you treat them as visitors or honored guests? Do you have expressions of welcome; greetings, rituals or gestures which are used to communicate hospitality?

In many European traditions, bread and salt are a welcome greeting. When important, admired or respected guests arrive, they are given a loaf of bread placed on an embroidered towel with salt. Many times this is delivered by a young woman in traditional costume.

In the Japanese culture, the word Omotenashi means “to entertain guests wholeheartedly.” You will notice this form of hospitality being expressed in all aspects of Japanese life. When you enter a department store, every staff member bows as you enter and taxi drivers make sure to open and close doors for passengers. At the core of Omotenashi is to anticipate the needs of your guests, and to take pride in doing so. This concept is based on a proverb similar to the idea of “the customer is always right,” and the translation in Japanese is “the customer is god.”

At Primrose, we take pride in welcoming new residents into our family. We have the honor and privilege to care for them as our loved ones. We know that creating a welcoming atmosphere is crucial to helping a resident ease into their new lifestyle. Each month, we mark this transition with a welcome reception, which provides an opportunity for residents and staff to officially welcome our newest residents. Cookies are dipped in conversation, similar to the tradition of bread and salt. An exchange of welcome begins, and residents feel a sense of belonging to their new community.

We welcome you to our Primrose community and are glad that you are here. To experience our hospitality first hand, please contact our Sales Director, Kate Stankovic at 217-619-0290. We would love to have you as our honored guest.

Life at Primrose Retirement Community in Grand Island, Nebraska

Bettie and Dennis Akerson, Primrose residents

Bettie and Dennis Akerson

On New Year’s Day, 2016, our lives changed by moving to Primrose after spending almost 61 years of our marriage in Holdrege, NE.  Our daughter and son thought we would like living closer to them, enjoying our grandchildren more often, and protecting ourselves against any future physical needs.

They had our names on the Primrose waiting list for quite some time due to an injury which took a long time to rehab. Since the injury, we had several opportunities to move but didn’t think we were ready.  Recently, we were called and informed of an apartment available and we made a quick decision to have a look.

After a tour of Primrose, we immediately fell in love with what we saw and heard.  We are so grateful for the move.  After two months here, we have met many new friends, both men & women, and the staff members are the best!  Everyone has made us feel so welcome.  The amenities are great and too numerous to mention.  The activities can keep one busy all day with games, entertainment, bus trips, valet service and more!  In summary, Primrose Retirement Community in Grand Island, NE, is indeed the golden place to enjoy staying young!

This is Living

Loneliness and Isolation – Enemies of Good Health

As seniors age, they inevitably begin seeing friends and loved ones they have known for decades decline in health and, in some cases, pass away.  It can be difficult to adjust to this new reality, and can have a negative impact on a person’s health.

The n_K0C7717egative effects of isolation

In fact, Brigham Young University recently conducted a study on loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality.  What they found is that the overall life expectancy of people dealing with these issues is impacted in the same way as it is for those struggling with substance abuse and obesity.  The data, taken from over 3 million participants who took part in 35-years of published studies, found that loneliness, isolation and living on your own can increase the risk of premature death by an average of 29%.

Additionally, a University of Chicago study points out that loneliness is associated with elevated levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.  It also has a negative impact on sleep patterns, resulting in less rest, which can compromise the immune system and make people more susceptible to sickness.

Enjoy fellowship with new friends

The simple truth is that healthy relationships make for healthier and happier lives.  For many, their fondest memories have been built around experiences that they shared with other people.  As we age, it becomes more important than ever to continue developing relationships and sharing in new experiences together.

If you have a loved one currently suffering from the effects of loneliness and isolation, they may benefit from living in a community like Primrose – enjoying fellowship with other seniors in a safe, supportive environment.  Many of our residents come from the same situation as your loved ones, and understand the emotions that they may be feeling.

Primrose is a beautiful, vibrant community where people come and go as they please.  There is always something to do – whether it be a pool tournament in our pub, a group outing to a local restaurant or an impromptu gathering of friends in your apartment.  We hope that you will consider stopping by for a visit with your loved one so that you can get to know our residents and staff.  Come see what Primrose can do for you!

For more information, feel free to visit any time.  If you still have additional questions, we would be honored to help you – contact info for each of our communities can be found on the website.

Wine Tasting Party at Mankato Primrose Retirement Community

Senior living residents enjoying friends, wine and laughter

Residents of Primrose of Mankato enjoying friends, wine and laughter

As wine gets better with age, so do our friendships here at Primrose of Mankato! We held a wine and cheese tasting party this past month and it was a hit. During this event the residents were able to sit back and enjoy a glass of wine with a variety of cheese, crackers and other appetizers. The residents looked forward to this event and it gave them the opportunity to let loose, enjoy friends, share memories, enjoy an afternoon wine, some snacks, and join in on good conversation. Staying connected is very important for our residents and activities like this allow for everyone’s social wellness to continue to improve and it gives our community a sense of togetherness and a feeling of family!

Our residents are grateful to have one another in each others’ lives. Many friendships have been built here at Primrose and these friendships are relationships we will never replace or forget.

5 of the Biggest Senior Living Fears

For many seniors, the idea of a retirement community conjures up negative thoughts.  Cold, sterile environments, a disturbing lack of privacy, deep loneliness, fear of not being accepted, loss of independence – all misconceptions of what modern senior living is really all about.  In fact, most of the fears surrounding the world of senior living are inaccurate.

Se_K0C6174nior Living Redefined:

In recent years, baby boomers have helped to re-shape the definition of senior living, and have been largely responsible for the destruction of these negative stereotypes.  In their place, what we have is an array of modern options in independent living, assisted living and memory care that offer seniors a lifestyle tailored to their unique emotional and physical needs as well as their personal hobbies and interests.

If you or a loved one are dealing with fear or anxiety over making a move to senior living, read on and get some answers to some of the most common senior living fears.

  1. I Will Lose My Independence

Those in need of some help with the activities of daily living often equate making a move to an assisted living community with giving up independence.  It is true that you will have help with some activities, like cleaning or managing medications.  But, because our nursing staff can take some of these responsibilities off your shoulders, you will be healthier and have more time to do the things you want to do – resulting in a greater level of independence.

  1. I Will Run Out of Money

Senior living can seem financially overwhelming.  With some solid financial planning, however, and a little help from Social Security or Veterans Administration benefits, senior living can often times cost the same as living at home.  In fact, if you figure in things like lawn care, home repair, mortgage payments, insurance, utilities, cable TV etc…it may cost less!  Rest assured, though, if there does come a time where a move becomes a necessity – either for financial or physical reasons – Primrose will work with you proactively to help you find an alternative and make the transition smooth and hassle-free.

  1. I’m Afraid I Won’t be Accepted

It can be hard to move away from what is familiar.  We all develop a sense of comfort that comes with living in the same home, on the same street, with the same neighbors, for so many years.  The thought of changing your surroundings and getting comfortable living in a community full of people you may not know, can be intimidating.  One thing to remember, though, is that most of our residents experienced that same fear when they first moved to Primrose.  What they quickly discovered, and what you will discover as well, is that there are so many opportunities to socialize and engage in activities with people who share your interests in common, you’ll begin to develop friendships almost immediately.  Whether it be worship, group outings, travel clubs, community service opportunities, book clubs, gardening groups etc…there truly is something for everyone at Primrose.

  1. My Family Will Forget About Me

It is perfectly normal to worry about being alone, especially if regular time with your family and friends has traditionally been a big part of your life.  Moving into senior living, though, does not mean that you have to lose those relationships.  Primrose makes it easy for family and friends to come visit any time.  In fact, as a Primrose resident, you may find that you spend more quality time together with loved ones than ever before – especially if they played the role of caregiver when you were at home.  Primrose fills that role for them, allowing you to truly enjoy your time together, distraction-free.

  1. I am not Old Enough, or Sick Enough to Come to Primrose

As we age, and as our friends pass away or relocate, we can tend to stay at home and become increasingly isolated from others.  Loneliness often creeps in, followed by depression and a decline in health.  By contrast the supportive, community-oriented atmosphere of Primrose provides greater social contact and an outlet for creative energy.  Our residents often say that they wish they had moved here sooner because they have so much fun living a worry-free lifestyle where they can do as they please, when they please without the responsibility of home-ownership.  They chose Primrose to begin a new chapter in their lives – one full of new friends, new experiences and new opportunity – and we hope you will to!

If you are interested in learning more about Primrose, you’re welcome to visit for more information.   If you have questions, or if you’d like to set up a tour of our community, feel free to reach out to us from the website and we would be honored to help you.

Dorene Greg Performs at Rapid City Primrose

Dorene Greg performing for residents at Primrose in Rapid City

Dorene Greg performing for residents at Primrose in Rapid City

Dorene Greg has been in the entertainment industry for 50 years and she recently came to perform at Primrose Retirement Community of Rapid City. Dorene Greg performed on the Porter Wagner show, sang with Ernest Tubbs, Skeeter Davis, Bill Anderson, Tom Pall, Archie Campbell, Eddy Arnold and more. She also sang back-up for Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn.

Dorene was known as the “Little Girl with the Big Voice.” Gene Autry, President of Republic Records, was the first to sign and record Dorene Greg. She has been performing in Tahoe, Carson City and Las Vegas. She moved to California and performed on television shows and made tours of military bases.

In the last 30 years, Dorene has devoted her music to retirement communities in 20 states. Primrose residents enjoyed her entertaining music and her funny performance. She was a very pleasant breath of fresh air. She sang love songs to married couples and residents loved her sweet voice.

Flower Planting Season at Sioux Falls Primrose

Residents and friends enjoying the beautiful flowers

Residents and friends enjoying the beautiful flowers

Our patio area recently came to life with some beautiful flowers that were planted by our amazing residents. It was a bright, windy, fun afternoon and some of the flowers that we planted were daisies, petunias, and marigolds. We also planted tomatoes in buckets for the patio.

Our residents remembered the goods times they had taking care of the gardens and flower beds they use to have. They told stories of the good old days when hard work paid off for the food you had for the winter season. One resident even told me there is a weed he used to have in his garden and they would use it in salads. I know this resident very well and he may have been kidding about the weed – have any of you ever eaten a weed out of your garden? We hope you all have wonderful summer season!

Mankato Primrose has ‘Bake and Take’ Cookies

Mankato residents enjoying baking some cookies together

Mankato residents enjoying baking some cookies together

Every month Primrose in Mankato has a “Bake and Take Cookie” activity with our Sales Director, Karen. Each month we decide on something new to bake, sometimes we coordinate the recipe with the nearest holiday or event happening, some months we use recipes from residents and their recipe books. This month the residents made lemon sugar cookies and they were delicious! Each resident makes about a dozen cookies, and then they are able to take them home. The residents love to be able to take them home, one resident said, “Now I have some cookies for when my Grandkids come!” This activity allows those who love to bake the opportunity to do so! It also is a great opportunity for our residents to swap and exchange recipes. The residents love baking, the smells bring back memories and they can share those memories with others. Every month the residents look forward to this activity, it is definitely a tradition we will keep.