Accolades for Lutheran Social Services programs

by Barbara Lewis 26. July 2012 15:14

Hats off to our West Michigan Home Care program, based in Grand Rapids, which received the Best of Home Care 2012 award from Home Care Pulse, a company that surveys our home care clients and staff. And the Lansing office our our Children and Family Services program is a winner of the 2012 Best of Lansing Awards in the Human Services Organizations category. The Lansing Awards program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the area for enhancing the positive image of small business through service to customers and the community.    

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Welcome, Ken Ulrich!

by Barbara Lewis 11. July 2012 13:34

Ken Ulrich has joined Lutheran Social Services as vice president, Human Resources. He has more than 25 years of experience in the human resources field, serving in various roles with General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) -- now called Ally Financial, Inc. His work includes postings to GMAC offices in Frankfort, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland. He most recently served as director of human resources for Ally Financial. Ken graduated from Michigan State University and has an MBA from the University of Michigan. He lives in Novi with his wife and three sons. Welcome, Ken!



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Mobile dental clinic helps refugee kids

by Barbara Lewis 5. July 2012 16:04

Busy worrying about keeping a roof over their heads and food in their bellies, most refugees don't have the luxury of taking care of their dental health. Lutheran Social Services' Refugee Services program in Grand Rapids hosts a mobile dental clinic twice a year to serve refugee children. A few weeks ago, the dentist took care of 37 kids, with the help of interpreters for Burmese, Bhutanese and Congolese families. Medicaid pays for the dental exams. Families also got to visit the "store," a room where the staff keep items donated for the refugees. Everyone went home with linens, clothing, kitchen or bathroom supplies or toys and games for the kids. (In the photo, Sobit Parsai, 11, from Bhutan, waits for his dental X-ray.)



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Happy birthday, B.J.!

by Barbara Lewis 29. June 2012 13:07

B.J. Walters celebrated his 103rd birthday with a party at Hope Village in Williamsburg on June 13. Residents enjoyed some of B.J.’s favorite foods for dinner, along with a birthday cake. Tables were decorated with highlights of 1909, the year he was born. B.J. was one of the first residents to move into Hope Village, a senior living community. “It was a great day to celebrate a very special man, who is a wonderful example of how to age well,” said Cathy Stathkis, Hope Village administrator.



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The Lakeview shows off its beautiful remodel job

by Barbara Lewis 31. May 2012 13:24

Here's a photo of our president and CEO, Mark Stutrud, cutting the ribbon at the open house on May 30 at The Lakeview in Cadillac. The event showcased the beautiful rebuilding and remodeling efforts at the center, which provides rehabilitation, skilled nursing and memory care. The Rehabilitation unit is completely finished. It features a large new therapy gym with an adjacent kitchen and bathroom where residents can practice daily living skills. All but two of the resident rooms are spacious private rooms, with newly tiled bathrooms. The Rehabilitation unit has its own entrance and a separate dining room.

"I really enjoy this facility," said Shirley Benson, 80, of Cadillac. "It's very clean and the people are very nice. I like going to the dining room. The atmosphere is really pleasant. It's much better than eating in your room like in the hospital. The bathrooms are especially nice; you can move around really easily in a wheelchair."

The long-term care unit and The Pearl, for residents with Alzheimer's and other memory problems, are still being remodeled. Work is expected to be completed by fall.



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Lutheran Social Services now offers licensed home health care

by Barbara Lewis 11. May 2012 14:14

By acquiring a 50 percent share of Christian Home Health, a licensed, Medicare-certified home health provider based in Clinton Township, Lutheran Social Services is now able to provide Medicare-paid licensed, professional health services such as nursing, physical therapy and respiratory therapy to clients recuperating at home after a hospital stay. The agreement closed on April 30. Lutheran Social Services is partnering in this effort with POBLO (People of the Book Lutheran Outreach), a ministry of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, which established Christian Home Health in 2008. For many years, Lutheran Social Services has provided non-medical home care services, such as housekeeping, cooking, help with bathing and dressing, and help with errands, for low-income seniors through the Medicaid Waiver program and for people with disabilities through Community Mental Health. Last fall, Lutheran Social Services acquired the Michigan franchise of Home Care Assistance, a nationally branded private duty home care provider. The addition of home health services means the organization is now able to provide the full range of home care services for just about anyone who needs them. Sue Lemon, vice president of Services for Senior Adults, is the administrator responsible for the Christian Home Health program.



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Alison House receives grant to install kickplates

by Barbara Lewis 4. May 2012 14:55

Alison House in Delta Township, an apartment community managed by Lutheran Social Services of Michigan  for adults with physical disabilities, has received a $1,000 grant from the Eaton County Community Foundation, a sub-fund of the Capital Region Community Foundation, to install steel kick plates. “Most of our residents at Alison House use some type of mobility assistance, such as wheelchairs, scooters or walkers,” said Manager Jessica Cage. “Since the building opened in 2007, the apartment walls and doors have sustained significant damage from wheelchairs and other mobility aids. The steel plates will help us protect the building and keep the apartments looking good.” The grant was approved on March 29. The plates will be installed in June. Schneider Sheet Metal Supply is custom making the plates to fit the doors and walls at Alison House.

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Hope Village becomes a senior center

by Barbara Lewis 1. May 2012 15:58

Hope Village will serve as a gathering place seniors as part of an expansion of the Grand Traverse County Senior Center Network. The network has provided programs for adults 50 and over throughout the county, with active sites in Interlochen and Kingsley. This spring the Network expanded into Fife Lake and Acme. By providing space and staff support, Hope Village will enhance the offerings provided to seniors on the east side of Grand Traverse County.

“We are delighted to partner with the Network in providing this wonderful programming to not only our residents, but to other area seniors,” said Cathy Stathakis, Hope Village manager.

Starting next week, Sharon Neumann of the Senior Center staff will be at Hope Village every Monday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. to answer questions and recruit interested volunteers. Programming has started with a painting class by renowned watercolor artist and teacher Charles Murphy. An open house will be held at Hope Village on Monday, May 21, at 2 p.m. to introduce staff, programs, and future plans. For reservations, call the Network at (231) 922-4911.

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Home Care Assistance to Host a Free Webinar for Family Caregivers

by Barbara Lewis 11. April 2012 15:11

As part of an ongoing commitment to family caregivers, Home Care Assistance is hosting a free, online seminar, Caregiver Burnout and How to Protect Your Health, on May 1 at 2 p.m. Eastern to discuss the warning signs of burnout and helpful everyday tips for family caregivers to protect their health .


Home Care Assistance, North America’s leading provider of in-home care for seniors, is committed to providing family caregivers with the resources they need to manage their stress and prevent caregiver burnout. Home Care Assistance is excited to host a free, informational webinar, Caregiver Burnout and How to Protect Your Health, which will explore the challenges that family caregivers face and provide practical tips that individuals can apply to improve their own health and quality of life.

 The webinar will be held on Tuesday, May 1 at 2 p.m. Eastern. It will be led by Dr. Jennifer Hoblyn, professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and chief medical officer of eTherapi, an online therapy provider that connects adults seeking to improve their mental and emotional wellbeing to licensed therapists who provide counseling online via live video conferencing. To register for the Caregiver Burnout webinar, please visit and reserve your spot today.


Caregiving has rapidly become a second profession for many individuals; nearly one in three adults provides ongoing care to an elderly or chronically frail loved one. The typical family caregiver is a 50-year-old female, often married and employed, providing care for an elderly parent. Family caregivers often juggle commitments to their work, their children, their family and friends and their communities alongside their caregiving responsibilities. They often lack or do not know where to seek the resources and supports they need to manage the stress associated with their responsibilities; it’s no wonder then that 46 percent of family caregivers suffer from clinically significant symptoms of depression and other forms of caregiver burnout. In addition to causing depression, caregiver burnout can lead to changes in energy, mood and diet. Full-time caregiving can reduce an individual’s life expectancy by up to eight years. Education and awareness about caregiver burnout are important steps in prevention and control of this insidious and all too common problem.


Individuals currently providing care for a family member or loved one can use Home Care Assistance’s Caregiver Burnout Checklist to evaluate the impact of caregiving on their life. For more information about Home Care Assistance, visit For additional resources for family caregivers, call a local Home Care Assistance office at 1-866-454-8346 and speak to one of the care managers today.



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LSSM | News | Supporting Our Mission

All smiles at the Special Olympics

by Barbara Lewis 5. April 2012 10:19

On March 23 and 24 Rita Livingstone, In-Home Support Specialist in the Monroe Home Care Services office, took her client, Melina King,to Grand Rapids for the special Olympics. It was the first time the Monroe group attended the Special Olympics“Melina was so excited that she laughed on and off the whole time,” said Rita. “There were many activities including dancing, arts and crafts, a dental checkup, a smile class (to teach people to smile no matter how bad things are), souvenirs, and a meeting with state beauty contestants. We all enjoyed our time there.” It’s obvious from the photo that Melina enjoyed the outing! Lutheran Social Services’ Monroe team won a medal for basketball.



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