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a word from

OU R L E A DE R SH I P Autumn is upon us, which for many is the most comfortable and colorful time of the year. We especially enjoy the first chill in the air, as the leaves change color and thoughts turn to harvest and Halloween. And we look forward to treating our residents to the best activities and programs that celebrate the season. The convenience, amenities, and activities of our wonderful community continuously makes Vista Grande Villa a beautiful and safe residence for all seasons. Our second issue of “Grande Living at Vista Grande Villa” magazine showcases why this is a community as unique as its residents. As you read all about our campus, you will be reminded that as we travel and enjoy fall and its magnificent colors, it is always great to come home to Vista Grande Villa!


Ron Markowski President

Chelsea Eisele Executive Director

Grande Living in Jackson, Michigan............................... 3 Our Mission/The Growing Senior Population .................. 4 What’s Happening and Autumn Tips ............................... 5 Extraordinary Employee, Rob Wright .............................. 6 Life Plan .................................................................. 7 Independent Living Apartments..................................... 8 Memory Care............................................................. 9 Rehab & Wellness, Restore Your Spirit ...........................10 Faith Focus/Intergenerational Garden Grant/Tax Advice .... 11 Our Staff, Our Board ................................................. 12

mor e t h a n or di na r y.

2251 Springport Rd. Jackson, MI 49202 (517) 787-0222


Managed by Presbyterian Villages of Michigan


Grande Living


For close to five decades, Vista Grande Villa has provided extraordinary senior living in Jackson County. The community and the location are a very special combination. Some of our residents have lived in others parts of the country, yet chose to retire at Vista Grande Villa. They tell us that the Midwest values, friendly people, caring staff, and relaxing pace make for ideal living! As one long-time resident says, “This must be the friendliest place on earth!” Consumers looking toward retirement have lots of options. They are overwhelmed with advice about “the 100 best places to retire,” and more. Cost of living, climate, ease of transportation, resources in the community, and opportunities for physical activity and social engagement are key features to consider. Vista Grande Villa “checks the boxes” on all these points. Residents enjoy the easy-going lifestyle of a smaller town, and the resources of a larger city. It’s exciting and convenient to be minutes away from downtown Jackson development, and less than an hour away from events and activities in many vibrant communities across the state.

A Life Plan community for all lifestyles Independent Living—A home you love, but without the upkeep! Assisted Living—Your own apartment with a helping hand when you need it. Memory Care—Security, dignity, and meaningful moments. Health & Rehabilitation—Round-the-clock care, physical/occupation/speech therapy following an injury or illness. Skilled Nursing—Competent, compassionate, long-term care.

Located within 60 minutes of many of Michigan’s most interesting cities, we are definitely close enough to stay in touch with your treasured family and friends.









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OU R M I S SION Vista Grande Villa, a non-profit senior living community, exists for the purpose of providing a quality continuum of care to enrich the lives of those we serve in a family environment.

THE GROW ING SENIOR POPUL ATION D I D YOU K NOW ? ONLINE TECHNOLOGY ISN’T JUST FOR MILLENNIALS. More than 60% of seniors age 65 and over are regularly online, and the number keeps growing. Access to family happenings, world and local news, and brain-stimulating games like “Words With Friends” ensure that people stay engaged and thinking. Apps of all kinds help overcome some of the challenges of aging and chronic health issues. We’re in the age of “Not, Not Knowing” and many seniors will be the first to use their tablet or cell phone to look something up or settle a discussion. We’ve made sure that all residences and common areas at Vista Grande Villa offer Wi-Fi service so residents can be online and connected, wherever they are!

to participation in the Village Victory Cup, there are opportunities for everyone, whatever their health and current fitness situation, to keep moving and having fun with others while doing it.

FEEL LIKE DANCING? OR WORKING OUT WITH A GROUP OF FRIENDS? That’s great – it’s good for your physical and mental health to keep moving – however you do it! Studies repeatedly show that seniors who keep moving live longer and healthier, happier lives. At Vista Grande Villa, we embrace Wellness as a key part of senior living. From the walking paths and trails on campus to Walking Club; from Cardio and Gentle Movement classes

TAKE A TRIP! A British study shows seniors who take several short trips each week benefit from better physical fitness, stamina, and an improved outlook on life. Vista Grande Villa residents have lots to do on campus and plenty of opportunities for trips off campus, too. Theatre, shopping, country drives, festivals and food events are all regular options at Vista Grande Villa. The transport van makes it easy to spend time with friends while you leave the driving to us.

FAITH IS IMPORTANT. 83 percent of seniors consider themselves aligned to a specific church or religion, and two-thirds attend regular religious services. Vista Grande Villa has a chaplain on staff. We have a Sunday non-denominational service on campus, Bible study, and weekly services for Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists. And the transport bus takes residents to their church of choice in the community on Sundays, too.

Chili Cook-off 23 5-7 RD





Monday, October 21, 2019 from 12-1:30PM | Clergy Appreciation Luncheon Vista Grande Villa, in the Grande Room

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 from 5-7PM | What better way to celebrate fall than our annual chili cookoff? Learn more by checking the events page of our website. Vista Grande Villa, in the Grande Room

IN & AROUND JACKSON October 19-20, 2019 | Apple Butter Festival at Fenner Nature Center, Lansing Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 5-8PM | Ladies Night. Various merchants, Downtown Adrian October 25-26, 2019 from 6:30-8:30PM | Goblin Walks 2019 at Dahlem Environmental Education Center, Jackson Friday, November 1, 2019 from 10AM-3PM | Jax Naz Women’s Expo and Craft Show, First Church of the Nazarene, Jackson Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 9AM-3PM | Jackson Collectible Toy Show. Jackson County Fairgrounds, Jackson Saturday, November 2-3, 2019 from 9AM-8PM | Indoor Jumper School Shows (equestrian). Albion College, Albion Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 10AM-8PM | Wine, Women and Shopping. Various merchants, Chelsea Saturday, November 16, 2019 from 9AM-4PM | A Day of Solitude and Meditation Practice. Michigan Friends Center, Chelsea November 21 through December 29, 2019 from 5-8PM Thursdays through Sundays | Wonderland of Lights. Potter Park Zoo, Lansing Friday, November 22, 2019 7PM | Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s ‘A Christmas Carol,’ George E. Potter Center, Jackson

Vista Grande Villa residents are always on the go, with complimentary transportation to the best the region has to offer.

5 awesome

Autumn tips


1. How ‘bout them apples? Picking some apples is a great seasonal activity. But what are the best apples to pick? Golden Delicious is super for baking, while McIntosh, Gala and Fuji great for snacks. It’s always a good idea to call ahead to your favorite orchard to see how handicapaccessible it is. 2. Get your steps in! Going for a walk with the autumn leaves under your feet sounds relaxing; be ready for it with comfortable shoes, a small bottle of water and a jacket (in case it’s a little colder than you think). Make sure you charge up your cell phone and bring it with you, should you experience a fall or lose your way. 3. Prepare for flu season. As flu becomes more prevalent heading into winter, don’t wait to get your flu shot. The best way to avoid the flu (along with washing your hands regularly) is to get your flu shot early in the fall. 4. Prepare yourself for winter. While you are at your doctor, it’s a perfect opportunity to make sure all your prescriptions are up to date. You don’t want to worry about that once winter weather sets in. 5. Prepare your car for winter. Take a look at your car, too. When is the worst time to realize you aren’t ready for winter driving? When you have a winter emergency. While the weather is still favorable, take the time to fill a dedicated box in your trunk with hand warmers, heavy blankets, non-perishable food (high-protein snack mix, perhaps) and a couple bottles of water.

www.vistagrandevilla.com | 5

mor e t h a n or dina ry


Rob Wright

Pl ant Oper ations Employee

How would you describe your job?

“I’m sort of an all-around kind of guy. Actually, I consider myself the light king. I can replace the hall lights without a ladder.” Whether it’s with coworkers or residents, Rob Wright’s goodnatured attitude allows him to laugh at a joke, even if the joke is on him. “Rob really fits into any group well,” said Stephen Benkovsky, Director of Plant Operations and Environmental Services. “But his dedication is another thing.” Entering his 30th year of employment with Vista Grande Villa, Wright does much more than his Maintenance/Plant role calls for. “He steps up to the plate and helps,” Benkovsky said. “Everyone enjoys working with Rob.” We asked Rob about his work and his home life, too.

As is the case with the other Vista Grande Villa staff members, Rob says everyone does not only the standard work, such as preparing rooms for meetings and parties in addition to performing general maintenance, but also handles extra tasks. “He helps out residents,” Benkovsky said. “If they forget their keys, he unlocks the door. He’s a part of a group that fixes

their TV, does chores they might need, you name it.”

How about your free time? “I like playing golf and going to the movies. And playing with my wife (Wendy) and whoever will play, whether its euchre or ‘Ticket to Ride’,” a favorite board game.

Tell us about your family life. “I’ve been married for 25 years. We went to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary. I’m very involved in my wife’s ministry, called “Together We Can Make a Difference.” It’s an inner-city ministry in Jackson, which has been in operation for 15-16 years.”

He helps out residents. If they forget their keys, he unlocks the door. He’s a part of a group that fixes their TV, does chores they might need, you name it. – Stephen Benkovsky, Director of Plant Operations

What do you enjoy about working at Vista Grande Villa? “I’m always doing something different, but I also really enjoy the residents. I have known a lot of people with some incredible stories…You can learn some incredible stuff from these residents.”

22 members of our staff have served for 5 years or more; 18 have more than 10 years of service; 12 have been at Vista Grande Villa for 20 years or more; and 3 for over 40 years! The youngest member of the team is 16 years old and the oldest, over 70. At Vista Grande Villa neighbors and staff become friends and family!



ycles repeat. A new phase in life, decisions about which path to follow, second thoughts about the path untraveled. It comes full circle when making decisions and picking a pathway for the retirement years. Even after careful planning, it’s natural to have second thoughts. “Did we get it right? Things are good now, but what if something happens?” No matter where your personal journey leads, you can be confident that you packed well for the trip if you chose a Life Plan community. Vista Grande Villa is the only true Life Plan community in the Jackson area, with every lifestyle option right on the same campus. With a Life Plan Residency Package, a substantial portion of the cost associated with future long-term care is included.


If a health challenge should arise, you have secured a lifetime of care at a significant savings in a familiar place, surrounded by people you trust. That’s real peace of mind for you. And that peace of mind extends to your loved ones. “We have four sons,” said Joyce Oberst, who has enjoyed living at Vista Grande Villa since 1991 with her husband, Bob. “Everyone was kind of surprised when we decided to move here, but actually, we gave them a wonderful gift by moving here.” “Any decisions that were going to come up, we already took care of it. And they don’t have to make the tougher decisions. It’s already been covered.”

While Joyce remains in their independent living residence, health concerns have prompted a transition for Bob to the Health Center, where he receives roundthe-clock care and support. The Life Plan offers lifestyle choices ranging from independent living and assisted living to memory care, short-term rehab and longterm skilled nursing. “It means a lot when we’re still under one roof,” Joyce said. “And when he feels like it, he can come to the apartment for a while. So really, it has worked out very well for us to have that option.”

In fact, moving in and taking advantage of the Life Plan option has worked well for the Obersts.

You can have predictable, secure, and comfortable living for a lifetime. Watch our video to see how you can secure your future and your nest egg by moving to Vista Grande Villa!


www.vistagrandevilla.com | 7



11’ x 13’

10.5’ x 14.5’

Apartments LIVING/DINING 14’ x 15’








5’ x 6’

7’ x 5’


5.5‘ x 7’

BATH 1 4’ x 6’


Pick from a variety of layouts, and personalize your apartment home at Vista Grande Village.


avid and Lynette Wells spent their winters in Las Vegas for 25 years. In fact, they considered the City of Lights for a full-time retirement home. But after some careful research, the Jackson natives – who lived and worked locally for many years with friends and family nearby – realized with Vista Grande Villa, there’s no place like home and chose to settle here. “We knew a number of people that lived here,” David said. “We did a lot of investigating around Jackson County, even down in Las Vegas. But we came here because this is home.” The all-season convenience of living at Vista Grande Villa means no chores or seasonal tasks, such as shoveling snow. The choice of carriage homes and independent


living apartments – which offers One Bedroom with Den “so many things we both enjoy,” Lynette said – has something for everyone. The Wells, who have lived at Vista Grande Villa for four years, enjoy art classes, on-site entertainment and activities around town. These, plus a great variety of apartment layouts and an impressive list of amenities make it easy to feel comfortable at Vista Grande Villa.




Health, safety and convenience are a natural way of life. “You push that little white button and they’re here,” Lynette said. “There’s a peace of mind for both of us, and our family, too. And I don’t miss cooking and cleaning. I love all those features here. “I can always find a bridge game. That’s the big social thing here, for both of us.”







SO HAPPY TOGETHER! Bryce and Catherine are secure and happy to enjoy each other’s company in Memory Care.


aving one parent in need of attentive, compassionate memory care is always a big concern for any family. But having two parents in need of memory care? It takes very careful thought to decide upon the right community to provide the right care.

“She’s one of the nurses upstairs,” Amy said. “She’s able to come through pretty regularly to check on them, which is nice.”

Although Bryce and Christine have different needs at this point, they are able to live in the same apartment. It turns out, Vista Grande Villa was the best option over several other facilities.

It’s nice, they have friends from a golf league who come and have breakfast or do exercises with my mom.

Vista Grande Villa checked all the boxes for Amy Russell and her family. Not only are they comforted in knowing for sure they have the right residence for her parents, Bryce and Christine, but there’s an added level of security. Amy’s daughter Brittany works in Sandhill Sanctuary, the memory care neighborhood at Vista Grande Villa.

awful lot. And that they are happy, too,” Amy said. “They are happy together and we’re pleased.”

What is especially comforting for not only Amy and her family, but for all other families with someone receiving attentive Memory Care support, is that the staff already feels like family. With three wellbalanced meals, housekeeping and all other needs covered, it provides real peace of mind. “Just knowing they have staff that is there for them 24/7 and they are getting good care means an

“They definitely felt the most comfortable here,” Amy said. “They have a lot of friends who are actually living there in different levels of care. It’s nice, they have friends from a golf league who come and have breakfast or do exercises with my mom.”

To learn more about assisted living and memory care options, please contact Vista Grande Villa at (517) 787-0222. www.vistagrandevilla.com | 9


Restore your Spirit If you have a special situation where you need to recover from your hospital stay, an accident, injury, or a surgical procedure (such as a hip replacement), count on Vista Grande Villa to provide a convenient, comfortable stay while you are on the mend. Call our 24-hour admissions helpline at (517) 745-2125 to learn about the special care we will provide.

Rehabilitation is not a ‘one-size fits all’ proposition with Therapy Services Director Kyle George.


yle George, the Therapy Services Director for Vista Grande Villa, offers individualized programs for all who use his services. He offers a variety of plans and methods for restoring independence. “There are different levels of care in this building, everything from memory care to independent living,” he said. “And as it turns out, certain people may go to see their regular primary doctor. Or, they may stop by and ask, ‘Is there anything you can do to help?’ So we offer different services for different residents, as they need it.” Some of the services provided by George are common to residents; some are unique. “They don’t need an order to come here,” he explained. “For instance, on the skilled side, there’s not one most-common thing, but just a variety of things. But when you talk about outpatient or independent living, it’s usually strengthening and dealing with deconditioning. Sometimes they need help getting in and out of the shower, or need help getting out of their chair. “General deconditioning, basically, is when you have lost the strength and ability to do any of those things.

Deconditioning, it’s the inability to do what you could formerly do.” In offering inpatient and outpatient therapy, George ensures his patients not only regain strength and the ability to perform some daily tasks, but he also helps facilitate whatever is needed to help both residents and rehab patients looking to return to their outside homes.

Vista Grande Villa Therapy Services Director Kyle George works with a resident on strengthening and conditioning.

An interesting insight? “I really have learned so much from the people I work with,” George said. “I’m just amazed by the work ethic I see every day. You hear their stories and you just know there are some really special people. I enjoy working with them.”




one-year planning grant of $148,592 from the Michigan Health Endowment fund has been awarded to Vista Grande Villa for its planned Village Garden Venture program. The grant helps support a 14-member partnership of community stakeholders, creating an intergenerational community garden and produce a distribution system serving economically disadvantaged seniors and disenfranchised youth in Jackson County.

Chaplain Cedric Lowe provides spiritual guidance for all residents who want it. He is there when needed to listen to problems and celebrates joys.


s Vista Grande Villa’s spiritual wellness coordinator, Cedric Lowe goes where he’s needed. He leads Bible study and teaches devotionals throughout the week; for those unable to come to him, he seeks out all needing spiritual relief.

DOG GONE GOOD TAX ADVICE FOR YOU! Did you know an IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution (QDC) may be a tax-savvy strategy for you? A donation made with a QDC may reduce your federal, state and local income tax burdens while enhancing Vista Grande Villa’s capacity to provide extraordinary living experiences. Hot diggity dog!

Want to learn more? Please contact Tim Swope at 517-962-7716 or visit www.vistagrandevilla.com/giving

“During my free time, I’ll hit the eating areas and interact with the residents and hear their stories,” Lowe said. “I get joy out of interacting with these residents and people in general. “Our responsibility is to let them know it’s not an easy road, but God still called you for a purpose.”

“This generous gift will help us tackle the community challenges in food and nutrition security, as well as those related to social isolation,” says Vista Grande Villa Executive Director Chelsea Eisele. There is also an obvious health benefit. “The Village Garden Venture initiative will serve as a comprehensive program utilizing food as a medicine approach, increasing nutritional knowledge and consumption of fresh produce,” says Tim Swope, Director of Fund Development for Vista Grande Villa. Learn more about the Health Fund at www.mihealthfund.org. www.vistagrandevilla.com | 11


2251 Springport Rd. Jackson, MI 49202 (517) 787-0222 www.vistagrandevilla.com

OU R STA F F Our senior leadership team shares a commitment to staff, residents and their families. They bring professional credentials and industry experience to Vista Grande Villa. Each staff member strives to create an authentic and enriching community and home for residents, and for the people who serve them. Chelsea Eisele Executive Director Julie Babcock Administrator

SENIOR LEADERSHIP Stephen Benkovsky Director of Environmental Services/ Plant Operations Annie Bartig Director of Lifestyle Activities

Kim Braun Director of Administrative Services Kathryn Colligan Director of Assisted Living Jennifer Hudson Director of Dining Services Kellie Jo Johncox Director of Nursing Kim Kampf Director of Campus Care

Jacob Moffitt Resident Services Manager Newton Mulama Director of Finance Stacey Olson Director of Sales & Marketing Tim Swope Director of Fund Development

VOLU N T E E R BOA R D OF DI R EC TOR S Ron Markowski, President CPA, Markowski and Company Jennifer Kelly, Vice President Attorney, Kelly, Kelly & Kelly Greg Putra, Treasurer Retired, Henry Ford Allegiance Health, Cardio Pulmonary Diagnostics Ellen Keatley, Secretary Retired, Administration & Education

Karen Annable Retired, Church Organist Joe Dunigan Retired, President for Dunigan Corporation Dennis Hill Retired, Commercial Banking Chuck Medlar, M.D. Retired, Orthopedic Surgeon

John Nally Retired, Dawn Food Products Larry Wetherby Real Estate Agent, RE/MAX Mid-Michigan

CONSIDER A WINTER STAY OR GRANDE GETAWAY! Vista Grande Villa is a beautiful place year-round with warm inviting spaces. Be sure to ask us about “Winter Respite Stays” or our try-before-you-buy “Grande Getaway!” Visit VistaGrandeVilla.com/short-stay-options to learn more. © September, 2019 by Vista Grande Villa. All rights reserved.

Profile for Presbyterian Villages of Michigan

Vista Grande Villa Grande Living - Fall 2019  

Vista Grande Villa Grande Living - Fall 2019