Senior Services Guide – Fall 2014

| November 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

Senior volunteers make a difference in the lives of other seniors

Mary Cox (left), a resident of Carondelet Village in St. Paul, talks with Linda Crosby in the dining area. The two meet regularly through a program called Carondelet Companions, in which Crosby serves as a volunteer. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Mary Cox (left), a resident of Carondelet Village in St. Paul, talks with Linda Crosby in the dining area. The two meet regularly through a program called Carondelet Companions, in which Crosby serves as a volunteer. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Linda Crosby knows Mary Cox’s life story. That’s because she compiled, proofed and bound it into a finished memoir for her 93-year-old friend.

“It’s really a lovely story of blending, and cultures blending,” said Crosby, a volunteer who visits Cox as a Carondelet Companion with the Dementia Pathways initiative at the Carondelet Village senior living community in
St. Paul.

Crosby, 69, a Lumen Christi parishioner, is one of many seniors who develop rewarding friendships as they help other seniors in care centers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013 about 24 percent of people 65 and older volunteered in some way. Volunteer coordinators, volunteers and residents describe how those who help other seniors make a difference in numerous ways.

Seniors offer their friends something unique from other volunteers because of their maturity and perspective, said Caroline Kennedy, a licensed social worker with the Dementia Pathways initiative. Six of the 11 Carondelet Companions volunteers are older than 65, she said.

“I think they can bring that life enrichment experience and share that with their elder, with their resident,” she said. “The residents feel validated, although they love younger volunteers, too. They might feel understood a little more with someone there in their same sort of age bracket.”

Often, senior volunteers and the residents they serve, who might be peers, share commonalities, said Jackie Bruns, volunteer coordinator at Cerenity Senior Care – Marian of St. Paul. Among the center’s 200 volunteers are spouses of residents who sometimes continue volunteering after their spouse dies, she said.

“They can experience similar things of aging, or they can be lonely,” she said. “I think it’s helpful when senior volunteers that are still able to drive and maybe still are able to get out and experience life outside these walls. They bring it back to some of these residents that aren’t able to do that.”

For volunteers, Bruns said, “It’s that they want to give back, but it’s something personal for them, too. I remember one guy saying your life is not complete unless you’re trying to do good for someone else.”

In addition to giving back, Dementia Pathways Carondelet Companions want to find enrichment and be useful to others, Kennedy said.

“Some of the volunteers themselves are older and retired, but yet still find the time and the desire to come here,” she said.

Crosby began volunteering with seniors when she was in high school.

“I learned from that two things about myself: First, that I really liked [the elderly], and second, that I found it really meaningful to be part of a group that was doing something good rather than just kind of hanging out by myself,” she said.

While Crosby and Cox had a specific task in creating the memoir, volunteers often meet residents for conversation or to work on a computer, Kennedy said. If they drive, they sometimes take residents out. And they can alert staff to changes in their friend’s health.

Patricia Gillis, 83, a member of St. Pascal Baylon in St. Paul, comes to Marian Center three days a week to participate in a day program for seniors. While she’s there, she looks out for people who need help and also visits residents. Companionship is something Gillis gives and receives.

One friend especially appreciates Gillis’ visits.

“I’ll comb her hair,” Gillis said. “I’ll hold her hand even. That’s what I do. Just the feel of human companionship, I think, is a big thing. You just talk to them and tell them what you’ve been doing, what the weather is and whatever.”

Now that Cox’s memoir is finished, she and Crosby get together to chat.

“Just knowing she’s there is comforting,” Cox said.

When her baby great-granddaughter had a health crisis recently, she said, “It was kind of nice to talk to her about it. She was just like a real true friend.”

Said Crosby, “I think the best part for me is that Mary is very open, and she has welcomed me certainly as a part of her life. I feel like I can tell her things about my life. It’s become a little bit more of a friendship.”

To our readers, the descriptions of senior housing and other services in this section were provided by the facilities and service agencies, which are responsible for the accuracy of the content. – The Catholic Spirit


The Catholic Cemeteries

When we are baptized into the body of Christ, we enter a sacred place, a community in the Catholic Church. When we or one of our loved ones die, life is changed and forever altered. But our faith tells us it is not the end but a new beginning — a transition to what comes next.
While awaiting the promise of eternal life, our Catholic tradition provides for the burial of our human remains in a Catholic Cemetery. The five Catholic Cemeteries in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis are sacred places of prayer and remembrance, offering a resting place until the resurrection.
The Catholic Cemeteries are here to help you make a thoughtful and meaningful decision — one that can be built into your budget and truly reflect your wishes.
For more information about Resurrection, Calvary, Gethsemane, St. Mary’s or St Anthony’s cemeteries, call (651) 228-9991 or visit

Benedictine Health Center at Innsbruck

Benedictine Health Center at Innsbruck offers post-acute care with specially trained therapists, long-term and secure memory care neighborhoods with consistent caregivers, and a therapy center serving outpatients and inpatients.   We offer a Mobility Courtyard & Rehab Challenge Course and labyrinth for outdoor therapy.  We have more than 60 private rooms and baths, delicious food and award-winning Integrative Health and Healing Services to reduce pain and nausea, ease sleep and increase appetites.   Shared rooms are available for those who flourish with a roommate.  Weekly Mass is offered in the Holy Spirit Chapel.  Spiritual support is woven throughout our programs.  As a part of the Benedictine Health System (BHS) sponsored by the Sisters of St. Benedict of Duluth, we take pride in sharing the BHS values of hospitality, respect, stewardship and justice!  Stop by for a tour, call (651) 633-1686 or visit for more information.

Cerenity Senior Care — Marian of St. Paul

Cerenity Senior Care is a leader in elder care services in the Twin Cities metro area.

On our three unique campuses, we offer different levels of care and housing options for aging adults, including: assisted and independent living, memory care, transitional care and therapy services, skilled nursing and adult day services.

We strive to provide a welcoming, respectful and warm atmosphere for our residents, tenants and patients, as well as their families. We also create a wide variety of programs and services that fit their physical, social and spiritual needs.

For more information and to schedule a tour, visit or call:

Cerenity Marian – (651) 793-2100
Cerenity Humboldt – (651) 220-1700
Cerenity White Bear Lake – (651) 232-1818

St. Therese Southwest and the The Glenn by St. Therese Southwest — Two Communities, One Home

TheGlenn_Logo_7495USt. Therese Southwest and the The Glenn by St. Therese Southwest — Two Communities, One Home.

Offering the best in senior living in the Southwest Metro area. Whether its 14 acres of breathtaking scenery in Hopkins or the quaint small town feel of Glenn Lake, you’re sure to find your ideal retirement lifestyle. Our senior communities provide a spiritual environment in which people of all faiths are welcome. Mass, Interfaith Service, Rosary, Bible Study and beautifully designed chapels for quiet reflection and prayer are a few of the amenities supporting your spiritual journey. Gracious retirement living at its best is there for you with scheduled bus outings and numerous recreational activities such as book club, baking group, craft class, card clubs and exercise class to name a few!

For more information or to schedule your personal tour please call:

St Therese Southwest

The Glenn by St Therese Southwest

Episcopal Homes

Episcopal HomesEpiscopal Homes has a variety of senior housing available in St. Paul. Following is a brief description of senior living residences.

Episcopal Church Home

Nursing and short-term rehab care in a faith-based, not-for-profit.

Medicare/Medicaid certified. Our mission is to support each individual’s physical, social and spiritual needs. One of our chaplains is from the Roman Catholic tradition.

Weekly Catholic Communion and rosary, plus monthly Catholic Mass.

Visit or call (651) 646-4061 for a tour.

Iris Park Commons

“A Community of Heart” with 59 one/two bedroom and studio apartments and a flexible menu of Assisted Living services for age 62-plus. Catholic Communion every Sunday, plus weekly Communion, rosary and monthly Mass next door at Episcopal Church Home. Scheduled transportation for shopping and social outings.

Visit or call (651) 646-1026 for a tour.

Cornelia House

Gracious living for independent adults age 62-plus. Residents enjoy the peace of mind that comes from living on a continuing care campus with all the long and short-term care they may ever need. We offer 47 one or two-bedroom apartments, community spaces and a lively resident council that organizes social events.

Visit or call (651) 288-3931 for a tour.


Affordable independent living, age 62-plus. Recognized as one of the finest HUD-subsidized senior housing facilities in the nation. Forty-nine one-bedroom apartments with central air conditioning. Episcopal Homes believes that limited income need not mean limited quality of life.

Visit or call (651) 379-5102 for a tour.

Carty Heights

Affordable independent living for age 62-plus at University and Lexington.

Although located away from the Episcopal Homes campus, Carty Heights residents enjoy the same priority access to our programs and services as campus residents.

Forty-nine one-bedroom air-conditioned apartments.

Visit or call (651) 288-1142 for a tour.

Kings Crossing

Affordable independent living for age 62-plus. Kings Crossing apartments opened March 1, 2011. They’re located above the shops of Frogtown Square at University & Dale.

Residents enjoy the same priority access to our programs and services as residents of our home campus. Forty-nine one-bedroom air-conditioned apartments.

Visit or call (651) 493-4606 for a tour.

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Category: Senior Services