Our residents lead active, fulfilling lives, and each unique journey shows the beauty and joy of living life on purpose. Here are some of their stories.
Michael moved into New Perspective Silvis on February 1, 2009. Among the items he brought in the move were 50 gladiola blooms. When spring came, Michael inquired if there was some place on the grounds that had room for them. He was delighted to learn there was a kidney shaped garden plot near the flag pole. Michael had moved in during the winter months when everything was covered in snow, so he had never seen the plot, but when he did, he realized it would be a good spot. He planted those gladiolas and watched them flourish.
But, he didn’t stop there. He adopted that little plot of land and filled it with color. Fast forward to the fall of 2014. New Perspective management gave him access to another garden spot which he, again, has filled with lovely, abundant color. He has become the resident gardener in Silvis, so if you see him out tending his plots, stop by and ask him “what’s new this year?”
Before moving to New Perspective, Arlene had been living in a very nice home. However, after deciding not to drive any longer, she realized that she missed being around other people. When she and her children visited New Perspective Senior Living, they were impressed. Arlene says, “It was so homey! I fell in love with the whole place! The people here are so friendly and kind, the food is wonderful, and I can get my hair and nails done right here in the building. It’s just like being at home—except BETTER! I couldn’t be happier that I’ve chosen New Perspective Senior Living!”
Bernice grew up and raised her family in South Dakota, and she moved to New Perspective | Waconia in September 2013. Bernice exemplifies Living Life on Purpose. If there is a club to join, she’s there. If there’s music, she’s gathering a group to go. You will find Bernice in the pool two to three days a week with her best friend, doing crafts, or holding court in the dining room over lunch. But what is most important to Bernice is starting her day with the computer memory system. Bernice says; “If I don’t do the computer, my day is off, it’s like something is missing, it has kept my mind sharp.” Bernice has made many friends and grown close to her grandchildren. She is happy she lives at NPSL.
Following the 1982 cancer death of a close friend, John became a hospice volunteer. For ten years he was engaged in caring for people with terminal illnesses. It was then that he decided to pursue a third career, as a nurse. He returned to the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and graduated in 1994, at age sixty, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. After graduation, he joined the staff of Unity Hospice in Green Bay, Wisconsin and took a second, full-time position as a cardiac nurse at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
John’s spark for health and happiness is the first thing you notice when you meet him. He has a fun sense of humor and is consistently animated. When he’s not touring the country speaking, you can find him actively participating at New Perspective in Howard, working out in the fitness center, interacting with residents and inspiring everyone he meets. John and his lovely wife Rosalie had a 55th anniversary party with the residents and team members, complete with caviar and champagne. John said it was a wonderful event and he was happy to share it with his new friends. John and Rosalie are completely overjoyed that they chose to make New Perspective Senior Living their new home. They immediately felt comfortable and have been encouraging their friends to come visit and live there too.
What inspires John each day after the loss of his best friend is to “choose today, live tomorrow.”
Arnie and Richard’s Story
Arnie and Richard have found a wonderful friendship at New Perspective Mankato. You can either find them sitting in the lobby greeting everyone who walks in with a warm smile and nice conversation or on their daily walks together. Both gentlemen enjoy walking. Whether it be outside when the weather permits, or indoors you can find them hip to hip and grinning from ear to ear.
Richard and his wife Ione moved to the community 7 years ago and have enjoyed all of the wonderful people they have met over the years. They both welcome new residents with open arms and have enjoyed showing them around the community.
Arnie has lived at New Perspective for 4 years. He also enjoys welcoming new residents into the community and we even see many times residents wanting to be able to sit next to Arnie at meal times because of his wonderful conversations and welcoming manner. Arnie has been found many times checking on his neighbors to be sure they are ok and frequently checking in to see if he can help with anything.
Richard and Arnie share so many of the same qualities it’s no wonder they enjoy each other’s company while walking.
Irene and Walter came to New Perspective in 2015 as Walter’s health was failing. They moved into Independent Living. It was the perfect solution for Walter to get the care he needed and for Irene to continue to Live Life on Purpose. Since Walter’s passing, Irene has felt the love and support of the community she has come to call home. She swims three times a week; the pool is her favorite activity. Irene appreciates the church services provided at the community along with a bus to take her to her outside church. She loves music, Women’s Breakfast, Walking Club, and anything that keeps her active and moving. Irene says the field trips are great, and going to Target, Kohl’s or the Dollar Store is fun. What Irene really appreciates is being able to participate when she wants to, or if she needs alone time, her apartment is right upstairs. She is truly happy and aging successfully.
Bernice and Fred’s Story
Bernice Strauch has lived here at the New Perspective since 2012. She moved here from Central Wisconsin so she had never lived in West Bend, but she immediately involved herself in the New Perspective life. She participates in water fitness classes every day, attends the Travel Series (she is a world traveler herself), and takes daily walks around the building and to Walmart.
When the opportunity to be a volunteer at the local elementary school was offered to our residents, Bernice was the first to sign up. She has been a dedicated volunteer every week for over 3 years.
Not long after she moved in here, she met another one of our wonderful residents, Fred Rogers. They soon became a “couple” and share many adventures together. They travel around the state and beyond, visiting friends and family. Their two families have grown very close and they spend holidays and special occasions with both families. Last winter, Fred and Bernice even went off on a vacation by themselves to Aruba! She is quite an amazing lady and still going strong at 90!
Team Member Stories
Our caring team members also bring their unique experiences and passions with them to the communities everyday. Here are some of their stories.
“Twelve years ago I was driving down the road and I saw a sign on the side of the road, I called the phone number and spoke with Todd Novaczyk. He told me to call back in a few months but I couldn’t wait, I wanted to know where I could apply. I found the trailer Todd was working out of and filled out an application. I was hired on June 16, 2005. We opened The Lighthouse of Waconia on July 1st and I remember the first residents to come through our doors like it was yesterday. Gertrude and Myrtle came in with smiles on their faces. Imagine the dining room at that time, two residents, then three and the number kept growing from there.
There were good times and down times but we persevered always putting the resident first in everything we did. We got through the down times especially when the resident passed away. That was sad. I have so many good memories, it was a pleasure to work with the Lighthouse team over the last 11 ½ years. I had many wonderful experiences working with Team Betty staff members. But most of all, I treasure being a part of the residents lives.
My favorite Moment of Joy: I was helping a resident take a package to her apartment, she asked me to help her open it for her. Inside was a box of the most beautiful chocolates. The resident told me I must have one, they looked so delicious. I told her I couldn’t, they were hers. She insisted I take one. I told her we would share it. I cut off a piece for myself, put it in my mouth. I took one bite and shouted…STOP, don’t eat any, it’s soap. We laughed and have shared this story with each other over the years.”
Team Member Tammy has called New Perspective Senior Living | Mahtomedi her second home for almost 3 years. She says it’s so much fun it doesn’t even feel like a job. Read below about her Moments of Joy.
I like working for New Perspective Senior Living because it truly is fun. Working here and with the residents gives this job a very homey feel to it and is the reason I call it my 2nd home. Everything about this job makes it feel like it isn’t even a job. New Perspective lets me be involved whole heartedly with the residents in every aspect, either watching a show with them, playing cards, or even eat a bowl of ice cream because the resident wants to.
My experience of working with the residents is knowing that every day is a new day! That being said, some days are more challenging than others, but your moment of joys with the residents helps balance it out. The residents do truly appreciate a lot of what you do for them, and you start to notice that sometimes we do take little things for granted, for example putting on a sweater or reading the newspaper.
I have worked here for almost 3 years and have had many moments of joy. One that comes to mind is within my first year here there was a married couple who would always have coffee with each other in the morning. One morning the wife comes up to me and nudges my elbow, smiles, and says “That’s my husband,” and walks away. Little moments like that is such a blessing to experience.
It doesn’t take long to see that Rachel is one of the best storytellers around. As Food & Beverage Director for New Perspective Senior Living | Faribault, you will find her in the dining room telling engaging stories to the residents or sharing pictures from her family vacations. Rachel has been a team member with New Perspective since 2003, dazzling everyone with her culinary skills and adding a unique touch to every dish that lets the residents know they’re special. She is also involved in activities with the residents, planning and participating in events. It’s become a family affair, having her two children and husband volunteer right along side her. Rachel has a passion and dedication to the residents that has made them feel like a part of her family. She makes everyone around her feel special
When you have a team member like Joe, you have to brag a little…
Joe has been with NPSL | Columbia Heights since 2012. He started in our dining room as a server but discovered that being 6’ 8” tall, made it difficult to have “face to face” contact with the residents when taking their orders. With his personality and love of people, Joe became the Concierge, greeting people as they came through the door. Joe has gone on to many roles since then, Betty’s Harbor Coordinator, Business Office Coordinator and his current role as Vivid Living Coordinator. You will often find Joe doing what he loves most, interacting with the residents, playing his guitar and singing.