You are much more than where you live or the number of candles on your birthday cake. That idea is central to the mission of Parc Provence, which incorporates its residents’ passions and hobbies into an individualized care model to help seniors live at their highest potential, says administrator Tracy Cecil. Resident Lori Sarner moved into the memory care community less than a year ago, but it didn’t take long for the staff and her fellow residents to learn about her interests. She came from a career in equestrian therapy, where she helped people with disabilities of all ages increase body strength through riding. The staff is planning to help her create an exercise program to lead for residents of Parc Provence, so she can utilize her expertise to enrich her life and those of the other residents.

This opparc-provence-cover-1118portunity didn’t happen by accident. Upon moving to Parc Provence, each resident is given a cognitive and functional assessment to identify their unique abilities, strengths and interests. It’s this individualized attention, as well as a singular focus on memory care, that sets Parc Provence apart, Cecil says. “Specializing in memory care is what we do and all we do,” she notes, adding that the community offers all levels of nursing care, as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy. “We look at the whole person, not just their cognitive well-being but also their physical and emotional well-being.”

Knowing about resident interests also helps Parc Provence schedule a suite of activities specifically designed to appeal to residents and match their cognitive abilities. “Our whole philosophy is that we engage them in purposeful, meaningful activity,” Cecil says. “We adapt the activities to their cognitive level so they can truly understand and engage in the activity. Incorporating their interests ignites positive memories of their past and helps them create moments of joy.” Residents also get to enjoy outings around St. Louis, from the art museum and the Muny to a Cardinals game and a fall ride through the park.

To help everyone feel at home, Parc Provence offers suites set within a homelike environment, where residents are grouped according to cognitive level. “This increases their socialization and makes it easier for them to develop friendships,” Cecil explains. Decorating their rooms with personal items goes a long way toward making them feel at home, too. Lori, for example, is an antiques collector, and has outfitted her room with special pieces she’s purchased in St. Louis. “I loved making my room my very own,” she says. “I enjoy giving tours and sharing the story behind each picture and antique.”

Lori’s former work with older adults in skilled care communities helped her select Parc Provence for her new home, she says. “It’s a beautiful building with excellent and friendly staff. No one is ever grumpy or too busy to help me and my dog Bozo. I’m happy here.”

Pictured: Parc Provence resident Lori Sarner
Photo: Bill Barrett

[Parc Provence, a memory care community offering all levels of care, nurtures the physical and cognitive abilities of senior adults. For more information, call 314.542.2500 or visit]