Provider celebrates 130th anniversary by introducing new

Arlington Heights, IL-based Lutheran Life Communities is celebrating its 130th anniversary by introducing new lifestyle programming for residents of its four retirement communities across Illinois and Indiana.

The company is divestesting its fifth location in Florida, so that retirement community is not included in the new effort.

“We’re in the process right now of rolling out a lot of different programming. The first of the rollouts is underway right now, and that is for all of our residential living residents as well as some of it will carry over to assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing, Maia Bonner, senior vice president of marketing and sales,” told the McKnight’s Business Daily.

She said the initiative is being driven by the philosophy or methodology of Masterpiece  (formerly Masterpiece Living) programming.

“There is a lot of focus on the spiritual, physical, mental, emotional — all of the different components of wellness,” Bonner said. 

Some of the specific lifestyle programs include “Pawsitive Connection,” which involves bringing animals into the community for visits and possible adoption; “Fellowship Force,” which will connect residents with volunteer opportunities based on monthly themes; and the “Bucket List,” in partnership with Wish of a Lifetime, to help elderly residents make their dreams come true.

Lutheran Life is also partnering with David Troxel’s Best Friends Approach on a memory care program called My Tapestry, designed to help staff members better assist residents living with dementia. 

Those efforts complement other initiatives launched earlier this year at Lutheran Life, according to a press release distributed Tuesday. In May, the organization debuted Reclaiming MyJoy, a program designed to address the emotional toll of COVID-19 on its residents and team members. In January, the organization announced a partnership with Thomas Cuisine Management to enhance the resident dining experience with new menu options and dining choices across each community. 

130 years ago when Lutheran Life began, long-term care mainly was focused on a medical model and taking care of residents’ physical needs, Bonner noted, but much has changed since then, including the launch of assisted living.

“We really want residents to be at the center of their decision-making on where they want to live, and providing more opportunities for education, mental well-being, really having purpose, and really the benefit of living within a community as opposed to living at the house that they’ve lived in for 50 years and become more and more isolated, Bonner said. “The support of humanity and the opportunity to live and grow with purpose — to me, that’s transformative in senior living.”