Spirituality is not something Parc Provence addresses only around the holidays. While religious gatherings of various faiths are scheduled on a weekly basis and special services are held on holidays, the spiritual well-being of residents is a daily focus, says administrator Tracy Cecil. “Spirituality is more than just a religious experience. It’s about bringing peace, comfort and inspiration to our residents,” she says.
With 120 residents in the memory care community, the opportunities are as diverse as those living there. Art therapy and music therapy are available. Jewish, Catholic and other services for a host of faiths are held. Even nature plays a key role in providing a sense of peace. With nine courtyards and a beautiful walking path, residents have many inviting opportunities to spend time outdoors. The diverse options allow new community members to acclimate more easily and to become involved more quickly in Parc Provence life.
“When joining a new church, starting a new job or moving to a new school, there’s always a transition period,” Cecil says. “I think the staff does a great job of holding people’s hands and helping them get to know Parc to make the transition smooth.” A big favorite among residents is Molly, a golden retriever who often socializes with community members. Residents also are allowed to bring their pets with them to Parc Provence, and staffers help care for the cats and dogs. “I think pets provide a stress relief for residents,” Cecil says. “It allows them to express themselves. And it’s a chance for them to give love and receive love. Just the smiles alone are awesome to see.”
The art therapy program, too, is of special significance. Each October, a corridor about 200 feet long is filled with artwork created the previous year. The gallery brings a sense of pride to those who created the pieces. “We had a resident celebrate her 100th birthday a few weeks ago,” says activities director Lauren Heaney. “She had a party with friends, family and staff. She is a huge part of the art program, and we left all her art displayed during the party. She was so proud, and so were her friends.”
Music is another key component in the daily schedule at Parc. Musical performances are incorporated into the schedule, and residents play instruments like piano, chimes, bells and the ukulele. Music also is part of the church services at the onsite chapel. Rabbis, priests and pastors all hold scheduled services and meet with residents one-on-one when needed. “We have some residents who are unable to speak well, but we find they still sing hymns and recite verses they learned in childhood,” Heaney says. “We may not get to have conversations with them, but when they attend services, they are singing. It’s really neat to see.”
Staffers aren’t the only ones impressed. “We have loved ones who visit and say their family member has blossomed here,” Heaney says. “At home, they might not have had this much social interaction, but we keep them busy. Those of us who are part of Parc Provence are not just employees; we are family. We provide care, but also love.”
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 parcprovence.com.
Cover design courtesy of Parc Provence | Photos courtesy of Parc Provence