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Live More


Enjoy, explore and embrace your best life!

P roviding generations of care

Generations of families working and living at Cedar Community

Live More Live More is published for the neighbors of Cedar Community. If you would like to add a neighbor’s name to our mailing list, please contact us at 262.338.2819. To view Live More online, visit cedarcommunity.org/ news-events/publications. EXECUTIVE EDITOR Nicole Pretre MANAGING EDITOR Carrie Sturn ART DIRECTOR Cyndi Frohmader ON THE COVER Rachel Wolfe and Thea Liebelt have created a family-like bond working together at Cedar Community.


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INSIDE th A change of plans Caring for aging parents | 4 GI Generation. Traditionalists. Boomers. Gen X. Millennials. Gen Z. Generational characteristics | 5 Hidden Talents Meet Ed Hoffmann | 6 – 7 Providing generations of care Generations of families working and living at Cedar Community | 8 – 21

his ISSUE Celebrating outstanding team members Meet Casey Schwister | 23 Earth Day celebration Alternate energy sources | 24 Cedar Community named among best nursing homes Awarded by U.S. News and World Report | 25 Out & About Events, classes and seminars you don’t want to miss | 25 – 27

OUR MISSION To model Christ’s love for humanity by creating lifeenhancing relationships, services and environments.

OUR VISION To be a community where individuals live with purpose and dignity.

OUR VALUES Love We fulfill our mission by “loving our neighbor as ourselves” (Matthew 22:39). The golden rule, to “do to others as you would have them do to you,” (Matthew 7:12) guides what we say and do.

Integrity “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely” (Proverbs 10:9). We hold each other accountable to high ethical and moral standards. We are honest, open and respectful.

Vitality Cedar Community is a place to “live more.” Our natural setting reminds us of the beauty and diversity of creation. We share Jesus’s hope “that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Excellence “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). We strive for excellence in all things. SPRING 2019 |


A CHANGE OF PLANS The desperate text came on February 19, three days before my wife and I were scheduled to leave for vacation: “Just sent Mom to the hospital with heart issues, can’t drive due to shoulder surgery last week, Neil’s (Mom’s husband) dementia worsening, need help!” Lynn W. Olson

CEO, “Coach of an Excellent Organization” The text was from my younger sister in Boston, who two and a half years ago, assumed full-time care for our mother and stepdad. They had aged out of their home in Arizona, no longer able to safely live on their own. My mom is 87 and my stepdad is 94. I called my sister later that evening to get the details on what had happened and told her I would be on a flight out as soon as I could change my travel plans. Two days later I arrived in Boston, took an Uber to her house, then drove both of us to the hospital to see Mom. A couple of days after that, my older sister, who recently retired, arrived from Arizona. My younger sister is a registered nurse with significant experience in home health care and facility-based senior care, having once run her own nurse staffing agency. If anyone is qualified to manage our parents’ care, it is her. But a couple of weeks earlier she had been in a bad accident that, looking at the pictures of her totaled car, she was lucky to survive. She hadn’t escaped unscathed however—her right shoulder suffered significant damage


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that required surgery. Suddenly she was unable to do the routine things of life, much less care for an elderly couple. When my mom and stepdad moved to Boston about two years ago, it was because they had vacationed there every summer (escaping the Arizona heat) for the past several years and they were comfortable there. Neither is able to drive any more. Given my sister’s experience, and the fact she worked part-time, she could help them and keep them safe. She remodeled her home to make it accessible, and provided them with a private living area. It was a good plan, albeit without much of a safety net, relying on her alone. I recently returned home after 12 days in Boston, having encouraged my sisters to talk with long-term services providers in the area, just in case. A few days after I got home, this became a necessity after my stepdad fell and had to be taken to the hospital. He is currently undergoing rehab at a long-term care facility, after which he will have to be evaluated as to his ability to return to my sister’s home. Mom is home and

in good spirits, but is still weak from her hospital experience and has had several follow up visits to specialists for a variety of issues. As of this writing, my older sister is still in Boston helping out. Our story is not unique, and it serves as testimony to the fragile world in which family caregivers operate. With our mobile society, it is increasingly common for families to live far apart. When the primary caregiver is incapacitated, or simply is burned out from the daily challenges of caring for elderly parents, the situation can quickly turn desperate. Situations like what my family just experienced make me appreciate even more the services we provide at Cedar Community. From providing rehab or home care services to people just out of the hospital, providing respite care for families who need a break from caregiving, or being the next home for people; be it in an independent or supported living apartment. I am proud to be part of a place like Cedar Community, an extended family that is there to support residents and their families whenever we are needed.


Julie Jennings


Vice President of Ministry Much attention is being given to generational characteristics in workplaces like Cedar Community where as many as six different generations can be represented. Generations – defined in large part by when a certain group of people were born and how and where the same people were raised – are often shaped by different things, resulting in different values and understandings of the world around them. Biblically speaking, generations are often enumerated in genealogical fashion. They appear in the Hebrew texts, most notably identifying the lineal male descent to Abraham and also the male descendants of Noah. They also appear in the Greek texts, primarily concerning the genealogy of Jesus. Interestingly, there are some holes in the genealogies of Abraham, and the genealogies of Jesus differ from one another. Regardless of the accuracies (or lack thereof ) in current generational characteristics and biblical genealogies, part of the reason both exist is to try and articulate who people are, where people come from (or, what led up to people being who they are), and what has been or is being fulfilled through people. So, what about Cedar Community? While we have three generations represented in our residents, we do have five generations within our workforce. We also have successive generations within the same families represented in both resident and workforce populations. From the initial donation of the William Koehl farm to the United Church of Christ for a place to serve the elderly in 1953, we come from a generous act of giving and faithful stewardship of that gift that continues to bring innovative services to meet an everchanging landscape of aging and healthcare requirements. Through life-enhancing relationships, services and environments created at Cedar Community, we strive to fulfill our vision to be a community where individuals live (and work) with purpose and dignity. With the grace and guidance of the God who inspires our work, we will be living out our values and manifesting our mission for generations to come!

If you would like to receive Cedar Community’s monthly ministry e-newsletter, Cedar Branches, please email info@cedarcommunity.org to join the list.


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HIDDEN TALENTS Resident life ... everyone has a story to tell Ed Hoffman was born in Shorewood 91 years ago, and grew up with one brother, helping at his grandparent’s farm near Sturtevant, Wis. He played ice hockey in his youth, and went on to referee in the Illinois State Hockey League while his children were growing up, to earn extra money. He held summer jobs at cottages Up North. His first job, while a freshman at Shorewood High School was at Canada Dry Beverages loading and unloading trucks. After graduation he worked for a year at West Bend Aluminum Co. He then began his job of forty-two years as a distributor, selling new release 78 rpm records for RCA Victor. His territory was the southern half of Wisconsin, not including Milwaukee and Madison, extending into part of Minnesota and Iowa. He says he put 40,000 miles on his car each year. Ed always took great pride in his work, and doing it well. He claims he was a “working fool.” While working for RCA and traveling, he had many great experiences. He met Dinah Shore, Eddie Fisher, Homer and Jethro to name a few. He had lunch and golfed with Perry Como. As fate would have it, while calling on a record store in downtown West Bend, when downtown was one block long, he met a gentleman named David Lumens. He described him as a great guy, and a hard worker with so much talent. He could build or


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repair almost anything. David had a close affiliation working with Rev. Louis Riesch, the founder of Cedar Community. In conversation, David asked Ed if he would like to see a new retirement nursing home by Cedar Lake, outside of West Bend, then called Cedar Lake Home. At that time, there were 19 residents. He met Rev. Riesch as he was busy caring for residents. “The Rev”as Ed called him, helped serve meals and did chores. The local community and farmers cooked all the meals, baked the bread and donated much of the food. Rev. Riesch and volunteers helped to transport the residents to the dining room on the lower level. There was a nurse and receptionist who were employed there. While observing Cedar Lake Home and its operation, Ed was so impressed; he knew that he would like to become involved and someday move here. From Shorewood, he came almost every Saturday or Sunday to volunteer. Rev. Riesch planned picnics, lunches and other events to bring families together to come visit their relatives. Ed and other volunteers offered their help in any way they could. He was willing to do whatever tasks were asked of him.


Janet was the only girl he ever dated— he knew her since seventh grade. In high school he asked her to a football game, but she was not interested. He persisted and eventually she agreed to go out with him. When she was 21, they were married. Ed and Janet have three children, two daughters and a son, with three grandchildren. He is so proud of each of them and their accomplishments. He shared the story of the years he spent taking care of their youngest granddaughter. Every day they went on long walks and enjoyed life’s simple adventures. Ed and Janet traveled to Spain twice and visited many places in the United States. Janet accompanied him at many RCA conventions. As Janet’s health deteriorated, he brought her to Cedar Community’s skilled nursing care, and the weeks of care she received was excellent. Janet passed away 12 years ago. Ed sold their home in Shorewood and moved into an apartment at Cedar Ridge. Ed enjoys singing with the Choristers and other choirs at Cedar Community. In his apartment, there are several beautiful pictures he has painted of flowers and mountain scenes. He enjoyed woodworking; he displays several lovely pieces of furniture that he built including a dresser, cornice shelf and small table. Ed says, “Here at Cedar Community we are like close family, always ready to help each other. This is the best place to live in retirement.” He takes great satisfaction in being able to use his hands and his mind. Belief and trust in God give him peace of mind. Ed is happy and content, and he says he’s lived a beautiful life. He is looking forward to moving soon into Cedar Community’s assisted living. Gladys Sachse

Resident, Cedar Community Independent Living cedarcommunity.org

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P roviding generations of care Generations of families working and living at Cedar Community

Cedar Community’s 60-plus year history has seen multiple generations of families living and working together. The stories shared by family members who have worked at Cedar Community sparked the interest of future generations looking for careers. The longevity of many team members is staggering. In 2018, 99 employees reached over 2,275,000 hours of service. Generations of families have also lived at Cedar Community, many since the original campuses first opened their doors to the community.





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Resident-centered focus is important Angie Eisen Kottwitz was interested in a career at Cedar Community based on the many positive stories her ex motherin-law shared. She was a registered nurse and Angie enjoyed listening to her talk about her care for the residents, and what a good feeling she had for being able to help others, especially older adults. Angie participated in Cedar Community’s certified nursing assistant training program in 2003. Shortly after completing the program, she moved with her husband out of state where she continued her education. She became a licensed practical nurse, and then

she and her husband returned to Wisconsin, and she returned to Cedar Community. She worked both in skilled nursing and outpatient rehabilitation. In March of 2018, Angie joined the home health and hospice department, in quality assurance. Her role includes reviewing all the clinical documentation and maintaining compliance with state and federal regulations. “I feel like I have been able to grow as a team member. Cedar Community is the most resident-centered organization I have worked for; others do not compare. My positive experiences at Cedar Community led me to refer my husband, Aaron, when a maintenance position became available at the independent living apartments.” Aaron’s

background includes being of service to others— Marine Corps., the secret service and as a policeman, so it was a natural fit for him. “His current work helping residents helps him to still be of service to others,” says Angie. Angie’s two daughters, one a junior in high school and the other a senior in high school both plan to attend Moraine Park Technical College’s certified nursing assistant training class in fall of 2019. Angie’s oldest daughter will be taking classes to become a registered nurse and hopes to work at Cedar Community, while her younger daughter wants to earn her nursing degree, and then continue her education to become a doctor. Angie enjoys working with the elderly and attributes her work with being close to her grandparents. “I really enjoy my career at Cedar Community, especially the resident-centered focus,” says Angie.

Aaron and Angie Kottwitz


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Daily visits were definitely a perk

Cedar Community’s Deb Meinert works in the human resources department, specializing in safety and workers compensation, and she has worked at Cedar Community for 35 years. Her sister-in-law, Barb Miller, has worked in the Cedar Community pharmacy for 29 years. Barb’s daughters have both worked for Cedar Community. Sarah spent three summers cutting grass on the Cedar Community campuses while she was in school, and Jessie worked as a certified nursing assistant for a year and a half. The family ties don’t stop there—Katie Miller, Deb and Barb’s niece recently donated 20 handtied blankets to Cedar Community’s memory care as part of her advanced placement class at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School, and Deb’s brother does all the engraving for Cedar Community’s Memorial Garden.


In 2011, Deb’s mom moved into Cedar Community’s memory care household at Cedar Community’s, Cedar Lake Campus and lived there almost four years. “I moved my mom to Cedar Community because of my positive experiences as a team member. I believe in the wonderful care our team members provide residents,” says Deb. While her mom lived at Cedar Community, Deb had the wonderful opportunity of being able to visit her daily. It was a good choice for Deb’s family to move her mom to Cedar Community. “Everyone was familiar with the facilities because of Barb and me working here,” says Deb. Her mom was also comfortable with Cedar Community, often visiting friends before she was a resident. “My mom thrived here for four years because of the team members,” says Deb.


Deb Meinert

Deb enjoyed daily visits with her mom.

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Residents treat each other like family Gladys Sachse was living in a four-bedroom home in West Allis, and after a hip surgery, life was getting a little harder. She had been a widow for 18 years, and wondered how much longer she would be able to take care of the maintenance and upkeep associated with owning a home. When she began to wonder why she was taking care of a big house by herself, she decided it was time to make a move. Gladys toured several retirement communities in the Milwaukee area, but they just weren’t the right fit. She was familiar with Cedar Community and the beauty of the

Irene Seybold and Gladys Sachse

natural surroundings after spending time on the campus when her mother had been a patient in short-term rehabilitation. Gladys also had two sisters who worked at Cedar Community; one as a nurse and the other as a physical therapist. Her sister, Irene, and brother-in-law were living at Cedar Community and insisted she check it out. Gladys made a down payment for an independent living home and was on the waiting list for one year. She moved to Cedar Community in July of 2014. “Detaching from our home of 38 years wasn’t as bad as

I thought it would be, knowing an easier, simple life was ahead in a very nice place. I just love my little house in the woods,” says Gladys. At Cedar Community, she enjoys the security she feels and the support of everyone around her, from residents to team members. “I always say, ‘how can so many nice people live in the same place?’” says Gladys. She appreciates the maintenance team members, who are oftentimes at her home within minutes if something needs repair. Gladys is a people person and likes having others around her. “If I want to do something, or attend an event on campus, there is always someone to join me,” says Gladys. She is involved in several activities, and she also volunteers. Gladys appreciates having her sister living so close by, but she also appreciates the fact that they have their own separate lives. Gladys grew up near West Bend and her move to Cedar Community was like coming home, she says. “I enjoy the serenity and peacefulness,” says Gladys. In September of 2018, Gladys underwent a knee replacement. When


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her neighbors told her they would be there for her she thought, that’s what people usually say. What she didn’t expect is how much her Cedar Community neighbors really did help. One neighbor organized a meal schedule, providing her with breakfast, lunch and dinner. “They made sure I had everything, and visited with me so I wasn’t sitting home alone all day. They even brought my mail in and took my garbage out,” says Gladys. Gladys also had her first experience with Cedar Community’s home health team, who came in three days a week, including nurses and occupational and physical therapists. Gladys credits the fitness equipment at Cedar Community’s Cedar Lodge fitness room, and the exercise classes offered with making her stronger and in better shape prior to her surgery. “The care I received from everyone involved was so comforting and supportive. Everyone from residents to team members checked in on me. I don’t know how I could have gone through this surgery without the support system I had living at Cedar Community,” says Gladys.


A perfect place for mom

When Julie Windler was looking for a retirement community for her mom, the search began in Illinois, where her mom and sister lived. They were originally looking for an assisted living, but later her mom’s doctor and social worker determined she would need skilled nursing care. Julie and her sister toured facilities in Illinois, but they were not impressed. “There was no way I was putting my mom in a nursing home in Illinois. They were horrible and I even cried when I walked into one of them,” says Julie. That’s when Julie decided she would check around Wisconsin, near the Kewaskum area, where she lived. Cedar Community was on her list of tours. “When I walked into Cedar Community I was so impressed and thought if my mom could be here, this is where I wanted her,” says Julie. Julie’s mom moved into Cedar Community in 2008, first in short-term rehabilitation, then to skilled nursing care. At the time, Julie was working in Milwaukee and commuting 100 miles each day. Her


company was downsizing and she needed to find new employment. Julie was so enamored with the care her mom was receiving that she thought Cedar Community would be a wonderful place to work. While visiting her mom, a nurse supervisor, Laurie Erdmann, suggested Julie should apply for a job at Cedar Community. At the time there were not any openings that fit Julie’s experience, but she applied anyway. Within a short time she received a call about working as a parttime receptionist at Cedar Community’s independent living apartments. She needed full-time work, but took the position, hoping a full-time opportunity would become available. Julie started her career at Cedar Community in 2009. The position eventually evolved into full time, and today Julie is the Customer Relations Supervisor overseeing the reception desks at the independent living apartments and assisted living locations. “I really think what helped me get the job at Cedar Community was the letter I submitted with my application. I loved this place so much for my mom, I knew I would love working here too,” says Julie.


Julie Windler In 2012, Julie was asked if she would be interested in an on-call position at Cedar Community’s independent living apartments which meant she would need to move into an apartment. She jumped at the chance and now oversees all of the oncall team members. “Living at Cedar Community’s independent living apartments, I don’t have to worry about anything. After a long day at work, if I don’t want to cook, I order something from the restaurant. Although I live at the independent living apartments, I can still separate work from my home life and have made many new friends. Everyone is so friendly, why wouldn’t I want to live here?” says Julie.

For Julie, one of the most important things about working at Cedar Community was being able to visit her mom during lunch breaks. One visit, Julie remembers her mom thanking her for everything she’s done for her, and Julie’s sure that included bringing her to Cedar Community. Julie’s mom passed away in 2015. “I, in return, thank my mom every day for bringing me to Cedar Community. My mom needed a place to care for her, and I found a new, rewarding career and a beautiful, friendly home,” says Julie.

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Grounded in their roots

great aunt Ellie and grandmother Kate are both credited for creating the Registered Nurse original health information Manager Lindsay Sauer management department and her family have a at Cedar Community. When long history at Cedar Ellie retired, Kate took over Community. Her great full time and stayed on in aunt Ellie Ihlenfeld, who lived across the street from that capacity until she went part time, working one Cedar Community’s main campus on County Road Z day a week, and retiring in in the Town of West Bend, the mid 2000’s. Lindsay’s grandfather, Jack, worked was asked by then CEO as a Cedar Community Rev. Riesch in the early certified nursing assistant 1970s if she would be from 1977 to 1980 on third interested in some parttime paperwork duties for shift, and Lindsay’s mother also worked at Cedar the nursing home. Ellie Community. worked 10 hours each week developing a filing Lindsay’s own career with and recording system to Cedar Community began in maintain medical records. high school. She received As duties and the number her certification as a of residents grew, Ellie nursing assistant when she recruited her sister Kate turned 16. Lindsay worked Weninger, Lindsay’s in skilled nursing care and grandmother, in 1976 to then left Cedar Community help part time. Lindsay’s to work for a time in home care and hospice. In 2007, she returned to Cedar Community while in nursing school, and after graduating, became a charge nurse for assisted living before her promotion to nurse manager of assisted living. Lindsay also has two cousins tied to Cedar Community. One cousin worked as a nursing assistant, but she has

Kate Weninger, Holly Konrath and Lindsay Sauer


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since left to work as a surgical nurse, and her cousin Holly Konrath, a medication tech in assisted living, has worked at Cedar Community for more than eight years. Lindsay always knew Cedar Community would be a great place to work because of the many years her grandmother and mother worked for the organization. “It always felt like home. I knew the reputation Cedar Community has and the pride that team members have when caring for residents. I just always felt confident about having a career here,” says Lindsay. She also noted how rare it can be to have that kind of longevity in caregiving. “These are my roots. My grandparents, when they were able to drive, would make their rounds here, visiting friends and family, and always stopping by my office to say hello and check in. I have had family members use services throughout our continuum of care, for short-term rehabilitation, long-term care, assisted living and home care. My grandpa is always proud to share with people that he has granddaughters working at Cedar Community,” says Lindsay.


From volunteer, to team member, to family member, to resident

More than 20 years ago, Mary Ann McKinnon retired from her full-time career, but she knew she would need something to do to fill her days. New to the West Bend community, she saw a posting at the local volunteer center for help with the Catholic Rosary service at Cedar Community. While volunteering at Cedar Community, she thought it would also be a great place to work. At that time, there was a part-time position available in the marketing department. She interviewed and was immediately hired. Mary Ann worked in that position for 17 years until she finally retired for good. In 1999, while working at Cedar Community, Mary Ann’s mother was living in Florida, but she was no longer able to manage living on her own. Mary Ann and her two sisters decided Cedar Community’s assisted living would be a great place for their mother. She


lived there for one year before moving to skilled nursing care. “Working at Cedar Community, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to visit my mother every day,” says Mary Ann. Mary Ann experienced firsthand the care provided by Cedar Community when she broke her hip in 2008 and spent two weeks in short-term rehabilitation. She made a full recovery and was impressed by the care she received. In 2011, when the condo she and her husband Jim were renting was being sold, they needed to find a place to live. Mary Ann made an urgent call to the independent living sales manager and they made the move to Cedar Community’s Cedar Ridge Campus shortly after. “We immediately met new and dear friends, and our kids were thrilled we were in a safe and wonderful environment,” says Mary Ann.


Mary Ann McKinnon Mary Ann has experienced the many services available from Shortly after their move, Cedar Community Jim’s health declined, and including as a team Mary Ann took on the role member, family member of a resident and as a resident as his caregiver. Jim had herself. “I am so fortunate several hospitalizations, to have been a part of a followed by help from Cedar Community’s Home wonderful team at Cedar Health team. He also spent Community, and now I am deeply grateful for the several weeks in shortterm rehabilitation. When relationships I have formed as a resident. I don’t know it was decided that Mary what I ever would have Ann could no longer take done if I was alone on my care of Jim at home, he moved into skilled nursing own,” says Mary Ann. care. “As difficult as it was, I could be his wife again, instead of his caregiver,” says Mary Ann. Jim passed away in March of 2017.

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Cedar Community, it’s like coming home

Joyce and George Schowalter, Norah Koskovich and Audrey Schowalter


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Norah Koskovich, Cedar Community Home Health and Hospice Social Worker, has many fond memories of “growing up” at Cedar Community. One of her dad’s cousins was a member of the original board of directors; another was the sales manager when the independent living apartments were under construction; and several were ministers who served as volunteer chaplains. Other family members were also residents of Cedar Community. Today, Norah’s second cousin George Schowalter lives at the independent apartments with his wife Joyce. She also has a second cousin by marriage, Audrey Schowalter, living at Cedar

Community. Audrey’s late husband, Phillip, was the original sales manager at the Cedar Ridge Campus. Norah reminisces about going to church every Sunday and then spending the afternoons at Cedar Community visiting relatives. They also ate at the Top of the Ridge Restaurant, which her grandma loved. Norah even had her confirmation celebration at the restaurant. She also recalls attending summer camp at Cedar Ridge. “I hated the thought of camp, but absolutely loved my time at Cedar Community’s camp. We interacted with the residents, who took us to the woodworking shop, stained glass studio and introduced us to gardening,” says Norah. One day, after her grandpa returned from a presentation at church, she remembers seeing a brochure on his desk about Cedar Community’s independent living apartments, which were under construction at the time. He commented to her about this type of community being the way of the future and how everything was going to be in one place, under one roof, and you would never have to leave if you didn’t want to. He wanted

to put a deposit down that day. “My grandpa was so impressed by Cedar Community. He rehabbed here and my grandma eventually moved to the Cottages, Cedar Community’s memory care, where she lived for over three years before she passed away,” says Norah. When an opportunity for a career at Cedar Community opened up that fit Norah’s credentials, she was thrilled. She had always wanted to serve people within the community where she lived and grew up. “When I drove onto the campus for my interview, I felt like I was coming home,” says Norah. Norah’s family has always appreciated the deep community roots of Cedar Community and the religious connection of being a faith-based organization. “I love the campus and the fond memories from my childhood. I also feel that strong family connection being able to work with residents and patients, and their families. My goal as a social worker is to take care of the community that took such good care of me growing up,” says Norah.


From Cedar Lake to Elkhart Lake

Rachel Wolfe, a registered nurse, began her career at Cedar Community in 2006 as a floor nurse in skilled nursing care. She worked full time on the night shift for one year. She was promoted to night supervisor for six months before she became a nurse manager and moved to the day shift on the memory care household. In 2014, Rachel moved to Cedar Community’s outpatient rehabilitation as a nurse manager until January of 2018, when she made the transfer to Cedar Community’s Elkhart Lake location as the campus director. The move was a good one for Rachel because she was getting married and it was closer to her home. “The position opened up a better worklife balance for me,” says Rachel, who now had a blended family. As the campus director, Rachel manages and oversees the assisted and independent living. The one thing she does miss about her days of nursing


is the hands on resident care, but is grateful for the connections she has made with Elkhart Lake residents and family members. “I enjoy the challenges and adventures of my new job, learning the sales and marketing, and working within a budget,” says Rachel. She is also working to create a team environment and becoming a presence within the greater Elkhart Lake community.

Rachel created a bond as nurse manager with her team members, which included nurses and certified nursing assistants. Thea Liebelt, originally Rachel’s direct supervisor, and then her peer once Rachel became Rachel has always felt a supervisor, became a Cedar Community was like second mom to Rachel. her second family from “She always told me I was the day she started. She going to do great things learned, while working at Cedar Community,” says here, that one of the Rachel. Thea serves as administrator’s husbands Rachel’s sounding board is a cousin to her family. when she doesn’t want to run things past her mom, since she knows what her mom will say, Rachel laughs. Together, Rachel, Thea and Rachel’s parents enjoy dinners out and family gatherings. Rachel threw Thea a surprise 70th birthday party, and Thea threw Rachel a wedding


Thea Liebelt and Rachel Wolfe

shower. Thea even bought Rachel some new corporate attire when she received her promotion as the campus director in Elkhart Lake, since all she had were nursing scrubs. That feeling of family is also very present at Cedar Community’s Elkhart Lake Campus. “Residents and team members rally around each other and come together when others are in need or going through a major life event,” says Rachel.

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An amazing family connection

“We have been connected to Cedar Community in some manner ever since arriving in 1977,” says Don. Their and chaplain at Cedar familiarity with the Community. Milt knew organization prompted that Don was looking for a job change in 1977, and several family members to make the move to Cedar encouraged him to apply at Cedar Community. Don Community. In 1980, Julia’s parents, Arno and Doris was hired by Rev. Louis Riesch, Cedar Community’s Schueffner, moved into an independent living then CEO, as director of education, working at the home, and Doris worked Julia and Don Stettler, Pat Maisa and Paulette Nelson in the business office at main campus on County Road Z in the Town of West Cedar Community. Doris Bend. Later, Don accepted later made her home with Don and Julia after Arno an additional position as The story begins with moved to skilled nursing director of programming George Schowalter, care. In 1984, Julia’s uncle current Cedar Community at the Cedar Valley and aunt, Raymond and Retreat Center Campus, independent living Iva Schueffner, moved resident and retired United when construction was to an independent living completed there in 1986. Church of Christ Pastor, home, and later to an In 1990, Don returned to who was Don Stettler’s independent living teaching music, taking pastor in Fountain City, apartment. Raymond and a position in the West Wis., back when Don was Bend School District. Julia Iva’s son, Glenn also came in high school. George to Cedar Community and encouraged Don to attend also worked at Cedar worked as the director Community from 1979 Lakeland College, where of purchasing from 1986 Don met and married Julia to 1981 as the reality to 1997. In 1986, when Schueffner. They were both orientation coordinator, the independent living education majors, and they a position working with apartments opened, volunteers and memory eventually settled in New Don’s aunt, Hulda Stettler, care residents. London, Wisconsin. was one of the original residents. She lived there There, Don and Julia for over 12 years before met Rev. Milt Staskal, who moving to assisted living. was their United Church of Christ pastor. Milt eventually left his position in New London to become the personnel director


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As Don and Julia neared retirement, they realized that Cedar Community would be the best place for them. Independent apartment living at Cedar Ridge appealed to them, with all the amenities and services available in one building. The continuum of care and the opportunities for purposeful living in a faith-based setting were also central to their needs. Cedar Community would also be a place for them to continue their music ministry, which has always been an important part of their lives. They retired in 2007 and moved to the Cedar Ridge Campus soon after in 2010. They are very happy that they made the move sooner rather than later.


Then, the unexpected happened. Julia, who was adopted and raised as an only child, learned in November of 2014 that she had four half-sisters. The sisters had contacted a social worker, who then located Julia. The social worker shared with Julia that after she was born, her birth mother had eventually married, and had four more daughters! Julia then reached out to her newly-found sisters, and met with each of them individually. “I was an only child growing up, and now I have a wonderful, new extended family,� says Julia. Although they have very different backgrounds and interests, they email, talk on the phone, and get together to celebrate special occasions, like sisters do.

When one of the sisters, Paulette Nelson along with her friend Pat Maisa, came for their first visit with Don and Julia in their apartment at Cedar Ridge, they took a tour of the campus. They were so impressed with Cedar Community they called the very next day to make an appointment to see an independent living home, and moved in just seven months later, in July of 2015. Today, Don, Julia, Paulette and Pat, plus the other sisters, spouses and children, enjoy family reunions held at Cedar Community.

The Stettlers have quite a history with Cedar Community, spanning 42 years and counting! From the early days as employees, to being current residents, they have lived the Cedar Community mission by enjoying, exploring and embracing their best life, and they are actively involved in many activities, especially the arts, both musically and artistically.

To learn more about Cedar Community’s independent living, call 262.338.4615 or visit our website, cedarcommunity.org.

SPRING 2019 |



Following in the family’s footsteps Sue Schickert’s story begins with her grandmother, Hilda Peters Boden, who was born and raised on the southeast corner of Cedar Community’s Cedar Lake Campus property in a big farmhouse, which is no longer there. In the 1970s and 80s, the farmhouse was used to house the music interns. She also lived at Cedar Community for a few years before she passed away at the age of 93.

Sue Schickert and Nancy Metternich


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School, the former oneButz. George Schickert, room schoolhouse located Sue’s father-in-law, lived on the Cedar Lake Campus. at Cedar Community on hospice care for three Sue followed in her months. “My family has a mom and aunt’s footsteps, long history here. I could joining Cedar Community go on and on. My Grama in 1976 as a certified Hilda married and raised nursing assistant, and her family a mile down the Hilda had two daughters, advancing to licensed road to the south and her practical nurse in Arleen, who was Sue’s two daughters married and 1980. Sue’s sister Cathy mom, and Shirley. Arleen raised their families in the Ley worked at Cedar worked as a certified same area,” says Sue. nursing assistant at Cedar Community for over 20 years, also as a certified The family connections Community for 15 years. nursing assistant, a don’t stop there! Sue’s Shirley also worked at front desk receptionist brother John cut grass for Cedar Community as a and as former CEO Rev. several summers before certified nursing assistant. Louis Riesch’s secretary. he was hired to help Hilda, Arleen and Shirley Cathy met her husband, with the construction of even attended Ye Olde who was managing the the independent living original memory care homes. Her aunt, Joannie unit, while working at Butz, worked as a nurse Cedar Community. Even supervisor in the early 80s. Sue’s cousin, Nancy “Cedar Community Metternich, worked at has always been in our Cedar Community for over backyard, close for a job, 40 years in housekeeping and laundry, and retired a and probably the number one reason my mom few years ago. and aunt worked here. Several of Sue’s family They encouraged my members have also generation, saying it was a been residents of Cedar good place to work,  good Community. Her dad benefits,  steady work and Roy Butz lived at Cedar a good starting point for a Community for 12 years, as young person,” says Sue. well as her grandma Katie


Couple celebrates with generations of family and friends

Tom and Carol Hanson moved to Cedar Community’s independent living apartments eight years ago. They were originally from West Bend, moved to Florida, and then back to West Bend to enjoy their retirement years. They even brought friends from Florida back with them to live at Cedar Community; one couple at the independent apartments in West Bend and one couple in Elkhart Lake’s independent living. Those friends joined Tom and Carol at their surprise 60th wedding anniversary organized by the Hanson’s daughter, granddaughter and son and family living in Ohio. The entire family participated in the planning and their daughter’s best friend even designed the invitations. Guests came from all over to celebrate their special day; all a surprise to them. About 119 guests attended the joyous event held in the Grand Hall at Cedar Community’s Cedar Ridge Campus.

gifts they received. The money they received as anniversary gifts was donated to Cedar Community’s Partners In Caring® annual fundraising campaign. Carol’s dad lived in skilled nursing care at Cedar Community for four years. Carol is appreciative of the care from team members her father received while he was living at Cedar Community. “We knew someday we would be here too,” says Carol. The Hansons have been regular donors to Partners In Caring, and they understand the value of giving back. “We don’t need it. My dad was in skilled nursing care for four years on private pay and never earned more than $7,000 per year, in all his working years. My parents were very frugal and invested what they earned. When he lived at the skilled nursing care, you never knew who was full pay and who was on Medicaid. The couple was amazed I thought that was just tremendous. When you by the number of guests see the amount of money in attendance, and the generosity of the monetary lost by Cedar Community


when caring for people on Medicaid, it’s important to give back and help those in need. Partners In Caring is a worthwhile cause to both of us,” says Carol. Tom and Carol also recall the days when their daughter, Bonnie, worked in the pharmacy at Cedar Community, until she decided to go back to school for a degree in the medical field. While working at Cedar Community, Bonnie took horsemanship lessons with Rev. Louis Riesch, Cedar Community’s first CEO. Bonnie and her first husband were even married by Rev. Riesch in the Living Sanctuary on Cedar Community’s Cedar Lake Campus. “We go way back with Cedar Community,” laughs Carol.


Tom and Carol Hanson

To learn more about Cedar Community’s Partner In Caring® Campaign, call 262.338.2819 or visit our website, cedarcommunity.org. SPRING 2019 |


Be the difference!

Cedar Community offers many rewarding career choices, flexible scheduling, training, competitive pay, and the ability to grow and advance your career are some of the excellent benefits offered to team members, as well as medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401K plan, beautiful walking trails to enjoy during breaks, and much more. Cedar Community also works closely with Moraine Park Technical College and Concordia University to offer hands-on learning experiences. Cedar Community knows a healthy team is important and has recently contracted with Sensia Wellness to provide occupational medicine as well as urgent care and basic primary care services for team members and any family members who are covered under the Cedar Community health plan. The clinic is located right on our Cedar Lake Campus, and is offered at no cost to team members. This is another great benefit offered by one of the area’s top employers.

Some of our current opportunities include:

When I started at Cedar Community I was only 16 and still in high school. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do yet career wise. After working in the kitchen for four years and closely with residents, I decided I wanted to give CNA a try. Turns out I really enjoy it. I feel like I am making a difference in residents’ lives. I personally created a ‘family’ here with staff and residents. Kim Ehardt, Nursing

Registered Nurse/ Licensed Practical Nurse $6,000 hiring bonus


$2,000 hiring bonus

Resident Assistant $2,000 hiring bonus


$500 hiring bonus

Dining Assistant $500 hiring bonus

Visit cedarcommunity.org for a complete list of current career openings and apply online today! 22

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When Casey Schwister graduated from high school several years ago, he worked in construction for a few months, and then decided to go to college. Since he really didn’t know what he wanted to study, and didn’t want to continue to spend money on tuition not knowing what his path would be; he did not return to school and instead, went to work in a factory and then as an electrician apprentice. In spring of 2018, he saw an ad for the nursing assistant training program at Cedar Community and enrolled. He completed the six-week program, earning his certification and becoming a certified nursing assistant. “I knew, since I was a kid, I always wanted to go into healthcare and maybe be a doctor. By taking the nursing assistant training course, I could get into the field of nursing without having to take college courses right away,” says Casey. He chose to take the course at Cedar Community because it was paid training and he didn’t have to pay for the class if he committed to working


at Cedar Community for one year. “I would be doing my clinicals here as well, so it was an easy transition since I was trained where I would be working,” says Casey. Casey plans to go back to college for his registered nursing degree in the near future. He enjoys working at Cedar Community and considers many of the residents like family and his team members have become good friends. “Working at Cedar Community feels like the best fit for me out of any of the jobs I have worked at because at the end of the day I can go home knowing I made a difference in someone else’s life,” says Casey. He enjoys getting to know residents and their families, and has learned from their years of experience what really matters in life. Casey was nominated by fellow team members for the Employee of the Quarter who said he is always willing to help residents. He has received many compliments from the residents and is a value to the team.

SPRING 2019 |


EARTH DAY CELEBRATION Chief Seattle is reputed to have said, “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together – all things connect.” Cedar Community residents have experienced immense technological changes in their lifetimes, especially in the areas of energy creation, consumption and conservation. These topics are among those recognized during the Cedar Community Earth Day Celebration on April 22 – 24. Exhibits will be available from 10 a.m. to noon on Monday and Tuesday in the Grand Hall at Cedar Community’s Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend, with a speaker and wrap-up discussion on Wednesday, April 24 at 10 a.m. in the same location. This year’s exhibits and demonstrations will emphasize the topics of alternative energy sources and distribution, especially as they relate to reducing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the production and distribution of energy created from fossil fuels. Our hope for the future is to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that lead to global climate change. While some of the increasing energy usage has been offset by technological advances – such as higher vehicle miles per gallon of gasoline, alternative fuels, and more efficient manufacturing processes – energy needs continue to increase. These, among other factors, have led to the search for viable alternatives for fossil-based energy production.

The following list includes only some of the possibilities that are currently being explored: Wind – including wind farms on land and in the sea. Example: Great Britain may supply 30 percent of their electricity needs from off-shore wind farms by 2030. Solar – including solar panel farms as well as very local applications such as those on individual homes and at Cedar Community. Digitizing manufacturing facilities – including new ways to optimize production to reduce energy consumption. Diffused energy sources – including small power-generating operations on farms and other spaces to augment power distribution. Creative ways to generate additional energy – including highway materials that produce electricity from passing traffic and using algae farms and methane from landfills to create new sources of power. Exploration of ways to harness nature – including electrical generation from tides and waves. There are other areas being explored as well. Storage facilities that would save energy from solar panels during the day’s sunshine to be used as needed during the night. Ultimately, this may reduce the need for increased power generation during high-usage times. Power from the storage facilities could be used to temporarily provide the electricity needed. These endeavors by scientists and researchers have affected several generations of the world’s people, with more change arriving every day. We hope that our continuing efforts will benefit the generations to come.


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Third Monday of every month | 1 p.m.

Second Wednesday of every month | 1 p.m.

Cedar Community, Cedar Ridge Campus | 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend

Cedar Community, Cedar Run Campus, The Cottages Meeting Room | 6090 Scenic Drive, West Bend

For more information, contact Jeremy Ott, 1.800.972.5455.

For more information, contact Melissa Bright, 262.306.4230.


First Wednesday of every month | 1 p.m. Cedar Community, Cedar Ridge Campus, First Floor South Conference Room | 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend This is an informational discussion followed by a question and answer period for anyone close to a loved one needing support, whether physically or emotionally.

TOP OF THE RIDGE RESTAURANT The restaurant will be under renovation until the middle of June. Restaurant operations will move temporarily to the Grand Hall at Cedar Ridge.

CEDAR COMMUNITY NAMED AMONG THE BEST NURSING HOMES BY U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT Cedar Community is proud to announce they have been identified as one the Best Nursing Homes for 2018-19 by U.S. News & World Report, a global authority in health care rankings. Cedar Community was evaluated by U.S. News & World Report along with 15,000 nursing homes nationwide, in every state. The rating is based on performance in long-term care or rehabilitation services, evaluating medical quality, nurse staffing, health inspections and rehabilitation therapy. Cedar Community’s short-term rehabilitation received a high performing rating, with many categories rating much higher than the national average. Cedar Community’s long-term care is rated better than average with an overall nurse staffing as better than average, while medical care quality measures is high performing. “Cedar Community’s level of care exemplifies the quality of team members who provide a high-level of resident care and live by our mission of ‘creating life-enhancing relationships, services and environments’ for our residents and patients,” says Kelli DeRuyter, Administrator. U.S. News & World Report’s findings are shared on their Nursing Home Finder webpage, health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes. Cedar Community is also a Medicare five-star rated nursing home through the medicare.gov website. These ratings provide valuable information for potential residents and their families who are navigating retirement facilities, allowing them to make informed decisions about the quality of care provided.


SPRING 2019 |



Cedar Valley Campus | 5349 County Road D, West Bend

Introduction to Oil Painting May 17, 18 & 19 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.       Join Beki Borman for this workshop covering the basics of materials such as how to mix, apply and clean them. Discuss different painting methods and techniques such as underpainting, direct painting and more. Work from photos and learn different ways of building an image in oil. Supply list provided at time of registration. $120 commuters, includes lunch all three days.  $290 overnighters, includes two nights lodging and all meals.

Acrylic Paints and French Modeling Paste

Observational Drawing with Eriks Johnson June 28, 29 and 30 | 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. There are many styles of art, but they all begin with the fundamentals of drawing. In this workshop you will learn to draw what you see, not what you think you see! Train your eyes to see shapes and values and how to draw them, and learn to use perspective to create beautiful works of art. Supply list provided at time of registration. $120 commuters, includes lunch all three days. $290 overnighters, includes two nights lodging and all meals.

Saturday, June 15 | 1 – 5 p.m. Join Camille Walters using acrylics and French modeling paste to create a beautiful floral bouquet. She offers step-by-step instruction anyone can do. No experience required. $35 includes instruction and all supplies.

All classes are open to everyone. For more information or to register for any of the above classes, call 262.629.9202 or visit cedarcommunity.org. Advance registration is required.

BOOK YOUR EVENT AT THE RETREAT CENTER AT CEDAR VALLEY! Planning an event, business meeting, anniversary, birthday party, family reunion, baby shower, graduation party, etc.? The Retreat Center at Cedar Valley would be happy to help. Our team of experts will partner with you to creatively plan and execute your event, ensuring you and your guests have a memorable occasion. Whether you are a group of one, or 100, our staff will be happy to personalize a menu to fit your every need. Guest rooms are available for those wishing to stay overnight, plus we offer a menu of spa services by appointment.


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Every Step

with Cedar Community Cedar Community is committed to being a leader by helping others navigate the landscape of senior living and senior health care. Each seminar will provide valuable information to help you and your loved ones plan for the future.

Thursday, April 18

Thursday, July 18

Eight Keys to Living and Dying in Joy, Peace, Love and Dignity

A Working Professionals Transition into Retirement

Erik Swenson, Dreams Founder and Director, Author

Mary Paul, Mary Paul LLC

As challenging as life may seem at times, many people are unaware just how directly our thoughts, beliefs and the choices we make in our lives, directly impact the joy, peace, love and dignity we experience. This engaging, interactive program will identify a series of eight key insights capable of empowering each person to shift and change aspects of their lives in manners that will bring them ever greater joy, peace, love and dignity throughout the remainder of their life journey. Erik will be referencing exerts from his recent book, “It is I, Jesus: A Book of My Life, the Creator, Healing, Creating and Truths of Eternal Existence.� Those interested in reading more about the topic can purchase the book at the seminar for a discounted rate of $12.

Are you contemplating retirement? Do you have questions and concerns? Are you retired and bored? Retirement is just as much an emotional, as it is physical readjustment for lifelong career professionals. Mary is ready to pass along her 25-year wisdom about the physical, emotional and psychological transitions that working professionals encounter after they retire. She has also written acclaimed books that counsel emotional peace, cultivating hobbies and identity rediscovery for fostering a healthy retirement.

10 a.m. Cedar Community, Cedar Lake Campus | Cedar Lodge 5595 County Road Z, West Bend Please RSVP for each seminar, 262.306.7685 or at RSVP@cedarcommunity.org. cedarcommunity.org

SPRING 2017 2019 | SUMMER


Non-profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID West Bend, WI Permit No. 24 5595 County Road Z | West Bend, WI 53095


Outpatient Rehabilitation

Resale Shops

Home Health & Hospice

· Cedar Resale at Cedar Ridge 262.338.8377

· Cedar Lake Village Homes


· Elkhart Lake Village Homes

· Home Health

· Cedar Closet 262.306.2100, ext. 4119

Assisted Living

· Hospice



· Cedar Ridge Apartments



Restaurant and Catering

· Cedar Bay East


· Cedar Bay West

· Top of the Ridge Restaurant and Catering

· Cedar Bay Elkhart Lake · The Cottages (memory care)

Short-term Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing 262.306.4240

Retreat Center at Cedar Valley 262.629.9202


Philanthropy 262.338.2819

Cedar Community Main Number 262.306.2100



· Cedar Lake Heath and Rehabilitation Center

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