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What Does “Level of Care” Mean at Assisted Living?

October 31, 2022

Each individual who resides at an assisted living community has distinct personal preferences and clinical needs. Addressing them all requires the right community, staff, and resources to care for a wide range of conditions and needs. While anticipating every unique set of needs would be impossible, assisted living communities typically categorize care packages by a range of how much care is required to maintain the person’s well-being.

This is the idea behind “levels of care”, a concept that plays a big role in assisted living. Health practitioners use levels of care to define what time and resources a person will need to function and live their best, most fulfilling life while remaining as independent as possible.

Once needs are identified, the community can then create or match the person with the right living environment and care plans to suit them. Often, they’re able to group these into various tiers, which range from low assistance to full assistance. This helps the community offer the just-right blend of support to the resident while properly assigning resources at the community.

Using levels of care also makes it easier for families and residents to understand the care being given, breaking down needs into well-defined groupings without neglecting the individual needs of each resident. This can also help find the right community for each family’s needs, as most will be able to clearly state what levels of care they can serve. Levels of care can also be used to quickly adjust care if a resident’s needs become more advanced, and on the flip side, if any needs lessen as the person becomes stronger or healthier.

Residents happily waving at Three Pillars  memory care community
 At Three Pillars, we use a points-based scale to help determine which level of care is best for the resident.


Making the Move to Senior Living as a Couple

October 19, 2022

We’re often asked if it’s possible for a couple to move to a senior living community together and, if so, how that process works. Our response is a resounding “yes!” and that we’re here to help explain the many options on what that could look like. 

Many partners share a similar view of what they want life to look like as they age, so making the decision together to move to an independent living community before any care needs necessitate assistance allows them to enjoy the easy, breezy benefits of maintenance-free living. We see countless couples enjoy fulfilling years together at our independent communities.

For other couples, they decide to move when a health concern for one or both of them makes it apparent that living where they can receive care is critical for their continued wellbeing and the health of the relationship. In other cases, an unexpected event causes a more sudden need for a move and a partner seeks options for living closeby although they don’t need the care the other does. These types of situations present a bit more complexity, but are more common than you’d think. 

couple holding hands
There are several benefits for a couple moving to a senior living community together.


The Story Behind the “Drink Wisconsinbly” Auction Item That Was a Hit at Three Pillars’ Annual Gala

September 8, 2022

Our Annual Gala is a tradition that started in 2019. Each Gala features an auction of several unique packages. The story behind this one item made us smile so big that we knew we had to share it.

Enjoy this excerpt from our Development Department's Foundations donor newsletter.

Our Drink Wisconsinbly package generated a whopping 36 bids—more than any other auction item at our gala. 

The package featured a variety of Leinenkugel’s beers, along with a vintage Leinenkugel’s Classic Canoe Paddle donated by Village on the Square resident Dawn Bachmann. The paddle was presented to Dawn’s late husband, Clyde, by Bill Leinenkugel and Paul Mayer, former president of Leinenkugel’s Brewing Company.

bid items
The Drink Wisconsinbly package.


Common Challenges for a Person Who Experiences Dementia

August 29, 2022

Caring for a loved one who has dementia is a full-time job. It can also feel like a thankless one, since they might seem to resent the care you’re trying to provide. Even if you’re not the caregiver, but someone who loves and spends time with a person with dementia - there can also be frustrations and a feeling that your love is not well-received. This can be an incredibly difficult situation to navigate while still taking care of your own needs.

At Three Pillars, we’ve cared for people who experience dementia for many decades. Among many things we’ve learned, we find that considering things from the perspective of the person with memory loss can help things run smoother. 

Here are some things to keep in mind as a caretaker or companion to someone who experiences dementia. Consider these feelings from their perspective as you devise your plan for offering care or formulating responses. 

black and white photos with pink rose
Caring for someone with dementia can often be a thankless job.


They’re Golden - In More Ways Than One

August 25, 2022

At Three Pillars Senior Living Communities, what started a few years ago as a simple dream by our incredible Lifestyles team members has turned into a dazzling event. 

Compass Point residents toasting with their golden mugs
Compass Point residents, Isobel, Gladys, Annette, Trudy, Bob, and Lucille, toast to being a part of the Golden Group.


Signs It May Be Time to Explore a Move to Assisted Living

July 29, 2022

It can be difficult to determine when a move to Assisted Living may be the best choice for a loved one. Below you will find a guide to help you recognize the signs it may be time to explore Assisted Living options.

hands posed in heart shape



How to Cope with All the Feelings

June 30, 2022

When Your Parent Moves to a Skilled Nursing or Assisted Living Community

For many people, it can be a difficult realization that a skilled nursing or assisted living setting is where their parent would receive the best care. It can be confusing to navigate and recognize the needs initially, understand their complexities, and identify the level of care to best meet those needs. Once assisted living or skilled nursing (often called a “nursing home,”) is considered, many adult children feel guilt, worry, or overall negativity. 

While it’s completely respectable to have your parent’s best interest in mind and be hesitant to trust a care facility with their wellbeing, for so many older adults, these types of supportive living environments present the best path forward for them and their relationships with their family. Yes; they come along with change and an adjustment period, but they also bring new opportunities, optimal health, thriving new and old friendships, and a peace of mind that is unmatched. 

Even so, these facts alone may not be enough to cope with the emotions that come along with a parent’s move to a senior community. There are active steps you can take to turn a challenging transition into a brighter tomorrow for both you and your family.

Older adult woman and caregiver
You’re not alone in pursuing skilled nursing or assisted living care for a parent. 


Comparing Common Levels of Senior Living Options

May 24, 2022

Located in Wisconsin’s beautiful Lake Country, Three Pillars Senior Living Communities is a Life Plan Community offering a full continuum of care for older adults. Our wooded, 300-acre campus features beautiful winding paths and gorgeous views of the Bark River, which allows residents the ability to enjoy the beauty of nature.

The care levels provided at Three Pillars range from independent living options all the way to 24/7 skilled nursing care. An older adult’s needs can change at a moment’s notice, but at Three Pillars, we can meet most needs right here on one campus, even as they change. This versatility means the resident, families, and friends enjoy assurance of future care, familiarity, and consistency. The benefit of a full continuum is that it allows us to meet resident needs now and in the future.

Every older adult exploring senior living has unique needs, so understanding the differences between care levels is critical. From cost to levels of hands-on care, the four common levels of senior living cater to different audiences.

Our experienced team members will guide you to find the perfect option. At Three Pillars, we are renowned for the quality of our specialized care and the personal relationships our staff builds with residents.

Village on the Square residents smiling
Village on the Square Independent Living residents, Mickey, Bill, and Dint. 


Safety in Senior Living Communities

May 17, 2022

6 Ways You’re Safer at a Senior Community Than in Your Own Home

No matter your age or where you are in life, personal safety is always paramount. With age, safety needs or concerns can change. Many older adults worry about falls, forgetfulness, or even abuse, but a quality senior living community will help mitigate these risks and keep residents safe.

When evaluating a senior living community, it is important to note the safety features and programs that will help keep you or your loved one safe. This list will help you know what to look for so you can do any additional research and ensure top safety. 

safety photo
At Three Pillars Safety is a top priority. 


What Are All Those Plants in Three Pillars’ Field off Highway 67?

April 28, 2022

Reforestation underway with a vision for the future

If you’re local to Three Pillars in the Dousman area of Lake Country, you may have noticed an eye-catching transformation on our campus in beautiful fields along the west side of Highway 67, just south of Highway 18. What used to be farm fields were recently filled with little tubes that hint at some sort of new plant.

tree tubes along highway 67
Tree tubes along Highway 67.


Improve Your Nutrition in a Senior Living Community

March 21, 2022

We know that finding time and energy to prepare a meal three times per day every day can seem overwhelming. This can be especially true if you have recently engaged in a major life change, such as moving. 

If your move is to a senior living community, you likely have a full kitchen in your new unit and access to fabulous onsite restaurants, so you’re in luck – you’re set up for success. Managing your nutrition can be easy. We break down how to better understand your nutrition, the options you have in a senior living community, and how you can take hold of your nutrition today. 

chef prepared meals at Three Pillars
Our Executive Chef prepares meals for Three Pillars and special events. 


Art at Three Pillars Connects, Unifies, and Engages

February 28, 2022

If you spend one day at Three Pillars’ Village on the Square Independent Living community, you’ll encounter creativity. You’ll meet an artistically gifted person, encounter beautiful artwork in one medium or another, or experience the way unique creativity overflows from just about every nook and cranny of the place. You’ll see two resident-led art classes each week that cover a broad range of skills, you’ll admire rotating artwork on display in common areas, and you’ll interact with the kindest, most diverse, talented, residents you’d ever hope to meet. 

residents smiling at art class
Lark, Verne, and Dint at art class.


How Senior Living Communities Combat Depression and Loneliness in Older Adults

February 18, 2022

A major life change is never easy, especially when it comes to your living situation. Moving to a senior living community can feel daunting. For some, they fear they’ll lose independence, a long-time home, routines, or friendships.
However, quite the opposite is true! 

At Three Pillars in particular, we take great pride in easing the transition pain points and creating a community that allows you to live life just as you wish. Our Life Plan Community is an all-encompassing living environment that not only offers well-rounded programs, services, and lifestyle offerings, but combats depression and loneliness, as well. 

Residents sitting together enjoying ice crea,
Village on the Square residents enjoying an ice cream social together. 


How Sleep Affects Heart Health & 4 Ways to Get Quality Zzzzzs

January 26, 2022

Want to know the short answer to all things regarding sleep? Establish a consistent length of nightly sleep and you’ll be better off. It’s true - a few extra zzzzzs a night can do worlds of good when it comes to your health, and this is particularly true for your heart health.

cat covered in blanket sleeping
Get those extra zzzzs in with a cat nap. 


Whatever Catches Your Eye by Verne Thieme

January 21, 2022
Special Edition Resident Blog


Throughout the many years of working with art teachers and mentors, when I would ask the question, "What should I paint?" the answer was aways, "Whatever catches your eye." This story is a classic example of that.

painting of construction traffic lady by Verne
Painting by Verne. 


The Benefits of Pets for Older Adults

December 13, 2021

Get yourself a pet today! Ok, we don’t have to rush into things, but the benefits of animal companionship for older adults are astonishing.

Whether it’s a dog or other pet, many studies have shown the numerous health benefits they can provide for their humans, in addition to the guaranteed smile at least once a day. Whether it’s chasing those little rascals around to lowering stress levels with a sweet snuggle, pets can make a real difference in your quality and longevity of life. 

happy older adult senior woman with a dog outdoors
Something as simple as reading with a pet on your lap can spark health and wellness benefits. 


Handmade from the Heart of Three Pillars' Residents

Resident Group Donates 1,002 Knit and Crocheted Items to Local Nonprofit Organizations

December 7, 2021


The resident-organized Crocheting & Knitting Group at Three Pillars has kept very busy this year creating hats, mittens, scarves, and other winter apparel all year round. During the cozy winter months, the sweltering days of summer, and the weeks in between, they kept knitting and crocheting.

Why? So they could spread warmth to those in need during the holiday season!


Apartment couch with tons of knit and crocheted hats, mittens, scarves, and more - ready to donate to local nonprofits
Warmth and love (in the form of knit and crocheted hats, mittens, scarves, and more) was organized and ready to be delived to local nonprofits. 


Feeling Anxious About Medicare Open Enrollment?

Let us help with 10 tips!

November 26, 2021

That time of year has come again. Medicare open enrollment runs October 15 through December 7, 2021, so there’s still time in this window.

medicare open enrollment form
Understanding the facts about Medicare open enrollment will help make it a smooth process.


Career Longevity: A Tradition at Three Pillars

November 4, 2021

At Three Pillars, our mission and company values are central to everything we do. Every decision, action, program, and service revolves around meeting the physical, social, and spiritual needs of the older adults we serve.

We work hard to create an environment where residents and staff all know we’re here for the same reason, and we’re proud of our culture. It’s driven by our values and modeled by our staff. The respect and commitment we demonstrate to our residents and each other leads our employees to a fulfilled life with a mindset of fun as a habit and empathy as a decision.

Three pillars employees embody core values and mission-focused attitude
Employment at Three Pillars means you're part of a family.


5 Amazing Mobile Apps for Older Adults

October 23, 2021

You don’t have to be a technology expert or 20-something gamer to enjoy the benefits of a fun, helpful, or beneficial mobile app. If you have a smartphone or tablet, you have access to apps.

older adult couple man and woman using tablet and computer for apps
People of all ages have mobile apps available at their fingertips on a variety of devices.


Buddy Walks at Three Pillars: More Than Just a Walk in the Park

September 30, 2021

On a crisp, sunshine-filled early autumn day, the sounds of gentle chatter and gleeful laughs float through the treetops at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities' 295-acre park-like campus.

Nestled in a park-like, wooded setting in Dousman, Wisconsin, with the Bark River running through the heart of it, the footsteps of 36 employees are accompanied by the smooth roll of wheelchair and walker wheels gliding along the paved path that meanders through the trees and ponds. Smiles can be seen across the faces of the young and the young-at-heart as they stroll together and fill their lungs with fresh air.

Staff and resident duo Michelle and Sophie, a social worker and skilled nursing long term care resident, enjoy their fall buddy walk together
Three Pillars' social worker, Michelle, and resident, Sophie, enjoy their fall buddy walk together.


What Assisted Living Means at Three Pillars

September 28, 2021

The concept of assisted living means different things to different people, depending on their life experiences, perceptions, and knowledge levels. There are many types of assisted living communities, and they can offer different services. One common thread is that they all offer help in activities of daily living where it’s needed, foster independence where possible, and are there 24/7 in case of an emergency.

Compass Point Catered Assisted Living Lobby at Three Pillars, Dousman, Wisconsin
The entry of Three Pillars' Compass Point Catered Assisted Living


Pius Class of 1959 Reunites at Three Pillars

September 8, 2021

Coletta & John Kopp, Kay Zimmer, Pat Kowalczyk, Suzanne Diesness, and Tom McElwee all have a couple things in common. For starters, they all live at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities in Dousman. They all have children, enjoy the Lake Country area, and Kay and Pat’s children even married each other!

But beyond that, they share one major common thread of life: they were all at Pius XI Catholic High School for the 1958-59 school year. Five of these six were members of the very large (over 600), well-revered class of 1959, and the sixth, Suzanne, was at Pius fresh out of college for her first year teaching job.

Three Pillars residents who live in independent living now and attended or worked at Pius High School
Back row L to R: John & Coletta Kopp, Tom McElwee. Front row L to R: Suzanne Diesness and Kay Zimmer.


Moving to a Senior Living Community On Your Own Terms

What does it mean, why it's the best, and how to do it

August 16, 2021


“I’m moving.” 

The statement can come with mixed emotions, depending on the circumstances. It can be said with a huge, contagious smile, or with downcast eyes and a shudder of anxiety. 

For some, it’s exciting. For others, it’s worrisome. A move is a big deal, no matter who you are, where you are moving to or from, or what the situation is. It can mean an upgrade in amenities, more or less space to meet a changing lifestyle, a new geographic location, and more.

Keys to a brand new senior living apartment
Moving to a senior community or assisted living can be an exciting, empowering time.


Planning to Live Alone as a Senior?

Do These Five Health and Safety Tips

August 5, 2021


For many older adults, living alone is important for their independence, whether they choose to live solo or adjust to it after the loss of a spouse or roommate. While many seniors choose to move to a community-based option like 55+ apartments or a senior living community where they’re surrounded by peers and neighbors, others prefer to live on their own and engage in social activities in other ways.

Older adult senior's home - big front porch outdoor living space
Older adults can live safely and independently in a variety of settings, whether their own home or a senior apartment.


What is the Difference Between Assisted Living & Memory Care?

July 29, 2021

Deciding to move from your home to a new residence can be overwhelming. When the move is necessary due to a need for care and assistance, it can make the whole experience even more confusing. What type of care is needed? How much? Are there memory deficits, physical concerns, or both? Who and where can offer the right care?

comfortable, home-like spaces is memory care assisted living community at three pillars in dousman, wi
Assisted living and memory care communities offer care and services in a comfortable, homelike environment.

When it comes to assisted living and specialized memory care services, below you’ll find some guidance for your consideration. Our campus offers a full continuum of care, with assisted living and memory care being two of the levels we offer.


What’s the Difference Between Skilled Nursing, Short-Term Rehabilitation at Skilled Nursing, and Inpatient Rehab?

July 19, 2021

You’ve heard of skilled nursing and you’ve heard of rehab, but is it true the two are related or can even be synonymous? It’s true, they’re closely related. Let us explain.

After a hospitalizationwhether for a planned event like elective surgery or a surprise occurrence like a fallyour doctor may recommend rehabilitation (rehab) services. If you need this kind of nursing care, your physician and care team will help you decide if it’s best to receive it in an inpatient rehab facility or a skilled nursing facility. Many hospitals offer their own inpatient rehab program within the building, or other standalone facilities exist.

older adult woman lifting weights dumbells at rehabilitation
Rehabilitation programs help people heal, recover, regain strength, and get back home.


Finding Fulfilling Work During Retirement

What to Consider, Questions to Ask Yourself, and 7 Job Ideas

June 30, 2021


When you retire, you may have a list of projects to get done, aspirations for leisure and relaxation, and perhaps some travel or hobbies to spend your newfound time on. Eventually, these things get done and many retirees ask themselves, “Now what do I do all day?”

Retired three pillars residents working in woodshop
Retirement is the perfect time to pursue hobbies - and possibly turn them into fulfilling work that earns income!


New Life and Wildlife at Three Pillars

25 Must-See Photos | A Gallery of 2021's Baby Animals and Critters

June 26, 2021

Love baby animals and Wisconsin wildlife of all kinds? Our residents and employees do, too!

Baby whitetail deer fawns at Three Pillars in Dousman
When these two Whitetail deer cuties' mother decided Three Pillars was a good place to spend their first few days of life, we were swooning.


Nutritional Foods for Seniors

May 5, 2021

As people age, their bodies benefit from a shift in their everyday diet. Being smart about what and how they eat can provide a huge health boost to seniors, while strengthening their body and mind.

Grocery or farmer's market basket filled with healthy, nutritious food and produce, fruits and vegetables for seniors
Take a close look at your diet to make sure you're getting the nutrition you need, no matter your age.


5 Crucial Mistakes to Avoid During Your Search for a Senior Community

Updated April 29, 2021
Previously published on our blog April 11, 2015
This article originally appeared as an Angie’s List Experts Article on what is now


If you are beginning your search for a senior living or independent living community, hats off to you for starting your research! 

The choice to choose a senior living facility can seem like a daunting one. Whether you are the one looking for your new home or you are the adult child of a senior citizen that wants to make the most informed choice for your mom or dad – it’s a big deal!

There is a lot to consider when searching for the right senior living community - avoid these five common mistakes.


5 Things You Need to Know About Memory Care

Updated April 15, 2021
Originally posted November 29, 2015


If you love or care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you understand the need for a special kind of supportive care. Memory loss can alter personality and/or abilities to perform basic everyday tasks, making supportive care necessary. If you’re the one providing that care it can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Yet, considering a move to a supportive assisted living community poses its own set of challenges, as your loved one deserves the very best quality of life possible.

Memory care community at Three Pillars Senior Living
Memory Care communities provide a special type of supportive care in a home-like environment.


When is the Right Time to Move to Assisted Living?

March 12, 2021

Moving to an assisted living community can be difficult and emotional not only for those moving, but also for those around them. It can also be a fulfilling change that brings peace of mind and new opportunities for the next chapter of life.

For some older adults, it’s easy to accept that they need additional support and services. Others may be resistant or unwilling to admit that assisted living is the best option to get the help they need.

Older adult senior woman reading on her couch
A move to assisted living can bring peace of mind in many ways.


Social Support & Wellbeing for Older Adults

February 10, 2021

Research has shown that the need for social support is crucial for older adults. For retired people especially, “social capital or enriching social networks can often be in short supply. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, you could think of social capital as, “the links, shared values and understandings in society that enable individuals and groups to trust each other and so work together.”

Older adults socially supporting each other, arm around each other
Social support is an important element of wellbeing for everyone, especially for older adults. 


Treasured Wisconsin Holiday Traditions

December 24, 2020

The holidays are a time of celebrations, large and small. Many of us are familiar with the ornateness of our town’s main street around Christmas, lit brightly with dazzling lights, every shop window aglow with silver snowflakes, velvet bows, and wreaths lush with pine and holly.

Happy older adult senior resident celebrates christmas
Christmas is a special time for celebrations and holiday cheer --- especially at Three Pillars Senior Living Commuinities!


10 Creative Ways to Make Money In Retirement Without a 9-5 Job

December 16, 2020

Continuing to work as a retiree may be a joyful way you connect with others socially and emotionally, a vital way you contribute your expertise, or a necessary means of bringing in income. Even though you may not want to work a typical 9-5 job, there are many options for retirees to choose from that do not require going into the office eight hours a day, Monday through Friday.

Female independent living resident with hand painted artwork
There are many ways you can generate income into retirement without a classic 9-5 job! Selling hand-painted artwork could be one way.


Tips for Making and Maintaining Friendships in Retirement

December 2, 2020

Maintaining friendships in retirement is great for mental health, social skills, and giving you a sense of purpose. Although it is common to socialize less later in life, friendship becomes even more important as you get older. The bond between friends provides many benefits that go well beyond filling up your calendar with fun activities.

female resident friends
Building and maintaining friendships during retirement - like Barbara and Nettie - can offer many benefits.


How to Identify and Avoid COVID-19 Scams

Top Four Types of Scams to Be Aware Of

November 19, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the world in many ways. From hospitalizations to closures, to medical and treatment scams - it is important to identify these scams so you can avoid cybercriminals who are trying to take advantage of the worldwide fear.

To protect yourself and your family from these cybercriminals, we have identified their tactics so you and your family can avoid COVID-19 scams.

Cyber security and online internet scams with personal information
It's crucial you know common types of scams related to COVID-19 so you can protect yourself.


How to Sneak More Fruits and Veggies Into Your Diet

October 5, 2020

Eating fruits and vegetables is important for everyone, but it is particularly good for older adults. This is because older adults have a higher risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other geriatric conditions. Maintaining a healthy diet, including ample fruits and vegetables, can help lower the risk of those conditions.

Female older adult independent living resident with produce at a farmer's market stand
A balanced diet is important for people of all ages, especially older adults. 


Gardening: a Universal Language and a Powerhouse of Benefits for Older Adults

September 29, 2020

Last month, two of our Facebook and Instagram posts featured residents with green thumbs. One pictured Clarence, a resident at our Masonic Health Care Center, tending to the raised bed resident garden, giving it a healthy shower. The other showed Lois with some ginormous cucumbers she grew herself in another of our campus gardens.

Between the two posts, their likes, comments, and shares helped these photos reach over 1,000 peoples’ news feeds, undoubtedly spreading smiles along the way. They were popular posts!

What is it about gardening that’s special, nourishing for the soul, and a universal language to so many?

Older adult male watering a garden at skilled nursing senior living community.
Clarence knows how to tend to the garden at our Masonic Health Care Center - here, he gives it a drink of water! 


Therapy Dolls for Older Adults with Memory Loss: Loving, Nurturing, and Taking Care With Purpose

September 17, 2020

One of our most popular social media posts this summer was this one. It featured this endearing photo of Richard, a resident at our Riverside Lodge Memory Care community, tenderly enjoying some relaxing time with a realistic therapy doll.

At first, one may not think an older adult man who experiences memory loss would be interested in having a caring moment with a therapy doll. But think again.

Richard, male resident at memory care, holding a therapy doll
Individuals with memory loss often benefit from providing nurturing care to a therapy doll.


Is It Time For My Spouse to Move to a Senior Living Community?

August 31, 2020

It can be painful to realize that your spouse’s physical and emotional health may require more care than you can provide. The thought of living apart is difficult, and many people feel torn about what’s best for both of them.

As you consider the variety of options, it’s important to be honest and realistic with yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for additional perspective from loved ones. Above all, the health and wellbeing of both you and your spouse is what’s most important, and overextending yourself to care for your spouse puts both of you at risk.

older adult couple support each other at a senior living community
No two people age the same way, and a senior living community can offer much needed support.


A Note About Appreciation

August 18, 2020

Do you know what a wise person once said? They said that, “Everyone likes feeling appreciated.”

Well, we’re not exactly sure if someone said that or not, but if they didn’t, consider it said by us!

A global pandemic doesn’t change that appreciation is a universal language.

female staff member serving Kona Ice as appreciation to healthcare workers and senior living community residents
Feeling appreciated is important no matter who you are, whether it's expressed by Janet bringing you a shaved ice or a simple word of thanks!


Everything You Need to Know About Moving to a Senior Living Community During COVID-19

July 27, 2020

Life during a global pandemic isn’t easy. Many of the things we used to do have been canceled or modified. We’re learning, adapting, and growing as we carry on in the safest, healthiest ways we can.

Female senior living community staff member and resident arranging flowers
Being resilient and adaptable is key as we adjust to life during a pandemic, whether we're safely delivering flowers to a neighbor or proceeding with a move to a senior living community. 


12 Ways for Older Adults to Stay Safe from Summertime Safety Hazards

July 13, 2020

The warmer months provide a perfect opportunity for outdoor fun and leisure, whether it’s fishing, exercising, bird watching, attending outdoor events, taking a stroll, or enjoying the weather with family. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, people of all ages find themselves enjoying the great outdoors even more, making the most of any environment outside of their own home while implementing safe practices like wearing masks and maintaining physical distance.

Older adult female outdoors gardening in the summer with a sunhat and face mask on
Summertime means it's outdoor time, and gardening is one great way to enjoy the weather while staying active and keeping healthy practices in mind.


9 Tips for Staying Healthy in Retirement

June 9, 2020

Most people look forward to the extra time and relaxation that comes with retirement - the time to explore the world, spend with grandchildren, and pursue the hobbies and passions they enjoy.

However, let’s not forget that staying healthy throughout retirement is a crucial component of living out that vibrant, fulfilling lifestyle you envision. Perhaps now during the COVID-19 pandemic more than ever, a renewed focus on our health is an important perspective.

Female senior living community resident happy to be walking outdoors
Older adults who prioritize their mental, physical, and spiritual health stay well!


Four Silver Linings from the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 21, 2020

When things are tough, we rise up. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When a pandemic sweeps the world… what can you do but make the most of it?

Walls at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities have been decorated with uplifting phrases throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
Bulletin boards, windows, and walls at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities are decorated with inspirational phrases and artwork.


Common Fears About Moving to a Senior Living Community

February 12, 2020

The decision to move to a Senior Living Community – like any major life decision – raises certain fears. Let’s confront the most common.

Female resident at senior living community with male staff member
A move to a senior living community brings many positive changes for an older adult.


Senior Driving Checklist for Aging Parents: Safety Tips for Older Drivers

January 6, 2020

An older driver behind the wheel of a car has their share of strengths and some potential weaknesses when it comes to skill and safety. On the positive side, they can draw on hundreds of thousands of miles of experience from throughout their years. If they encounter it on the road, it’s likely not their first time experiencing it, so in a way, they’re ready for anything.

But when considering how age can negatively affect one’s ability to drive safely, there are some undeniable factors that can degrade driving skills. Vision inevitably dims with the years. Pupils and peripheral vision shrink as we age. Hearing loss in the high pitch range can make it easier to miss an emergency vehicle’s siren. Reaction time lengthens with age, and muscle and joint pain can make an older driver hesitate in emergency situations.

Female older adult driver with vintage car
An older adult driver can bring strong skills to the road from their years of experience, but they must also be aware of any factors that may begin to degrade driving abilities. 


15 Gift Ideas for a Loved One at a Senior Living Community

Last updated December 12, 2019
Originally posted December 16, 2015

The season of giving is upon us, and while many of us find joy in giving gifts, sometimes the task of figuring out the perfect item can be a stressor. For that special loved one who lives in a senior living community, perhaps it seems that they already have everything they could possibly want, or maybe they’ve downsized and the last thing they need is more “stuff.” This can make the conundrum of what to give particularly puzzling.



Recognizing Depression in Older Adults

November 29, 2019

Depression is one of the most common mental health ailments in older adults. Recognizing depression in this population is often difficult because it’s easy to assume that their symptoms are a normal part of aging and overlook them. However, depression is a real illness that can interfere with the way your loved one feels and thinks.

Older adult woman with soft smile
It's important to recognize the symptoms and risk factors of depression in older adults so you can be an advocate.


Reflections from Three Pillars’ Veterans: Three Recount Their Time in the Service and on a Stars & Stripes Honor Flight

November 11, 2019

Three resident veterans from our independent living community recently had the experience of a lifetime on a September Stars & Stripes Honor Flight. Wayne Pinnow, Jim Schuyler, and Gene Slobodianuk. All of them said it was beyond any of their expectations and an unforgettable day. In the spirit of Veterans Day, when they sat down to recount the trip, they also agreed it was not only a great honor to travel on an Honor Flight, but also to serve our country.

Resident veterans who traveled on an Honor Flight.
Three Pillars resident veterans Wayne Pinnow, Jim Schuyler, and Gene Slobodianuk.


How Can I Pay for Assisted Living?

November 1, 2019

When moving to an assisted living community, older adults and their families may begin to wonder how they will be able to afford the transition. Assisted living fees can be expensive, putting additional stress on those considering the move.

There are many options to consider for funding assisted living costs. Depending on your insurance plans and other benefits, there may be several possibilities available.

Senior female assisted living resident smiling
A move to assisted living brings peace of mind and many comforts - but plan ahead to ensure how you'll pay for it.


43 Years Later, An Encore for Three Pillars’ Resident Kitchen Band

October 23, 2019

We all know history has a way of repeating itself, and this year, Three Pillars saw it with the reprise of their resident Kitchen Band.

Earlier this year, Three Pillars’ resident choir, the Singing Ambassadors, found themselves brainstorming what fun, unique twist they could pull off for their annual float in the Dousman Derby Days parade - a beloved tradition. Before long, they were crafting their own slide whistle, stumpf fiddle, spoon percussion, and more, and - unbeknownst to them at the time - the 2nd edition of the Three Pillars Kitchen Band was born.


Three Pillars kitchen band in Dousman Derby Days 2019
The group formed a Kitchen Band and performed in the 2019 Dousman Derby Days parade.


Shawn's Special - Beer Batter Fried Catfish

October 3, 2019

Our Executive Chef, Shawn Kolo, presents a five-star catfish recipe


Senior Living Community Options Include Dining - Independent Living
Beer Batter Fried Catfish

This recipe offers the perfect combination of seasoning, deep fried goodness, and fresh seafood that will have you craving more! 


Choosing the Best Memory Care Facility

September 24, 2019

It is difficult to watch a family member struggle with memory loss due to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Those experiencing memory loss often eventually require 24-hour care in order to remain safe and healthy. This can be overwhelming for an at-home caregiver.

A memory care community is equipped to handle the needs of those with memory loss while keeping them active and engaged as their disease progresses. Sometimes, memory care is offered as a specialized service or wing within an assisted living facility. Other times, they are separate communities that only provide services to those whose primary need is memory support.

Residents happily waving at Three Pillars  memory care community
Specialized memory care communities offer people with memory loss support and monitoring while keeping them actively engaged. 


Talking to Parents About Moving to Assisted Living

September 12, 2019

There are many reasons why you may consider talking to a parent about moving to assisted living, including:

  • Declining health
  • Falls at home
  • Limited availability of family members to help
  • Difficulty managing the household or doing everyday activities

Regardless of the reason, this discussion can be difficult. Your parent may be resistant or refuse the idea altogether. It may also be challenging to calm your own emotions while dealing with the emotions of your parent.

While the conversation may be challenging, it is often necessary to make sure your parent is receiving the care they need.

Female talking to an older adult about moving to assisted living
Plan a thoughtful conversation with your loved one about moving to assisted living.


Jodie Unke’s Caring Spans All Ages in Dousman

September 2, 2019

Jodie Unke, a Wisconsin native, grew up in Waukesha and currently resides in Dousman, where she raised her family. Wife of 35 years to Mark and mother to Peter & Michelle, she’s an all-around family woman who works hard in her community.

Jodi Unke is a Dining Services Assistant at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities in Dousman, WI
Jodi Unke works at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities as well as Dousman Transport Company.


Five Sneaky Ways to Hydrate

August 27, 2019

It’s no secret that staying hydrated is an essential part of wellness, and it’s crucial during all seasons, whether we’re battling muggy summer heat or frigid, dry winter air.

Senior women socialize over coffee and tea at Three Pillars' Wellness Connection
Each person has unique hydration needs, and it's an essential part of wellness.


Why Do I Volunteer?

August 12, 2019

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, more Americans than ever are volunteering. A report released in late 2018 revealed that 77.34 million adults volunteered through an organization in the year prior. Altogether, American volunteer hours captured in the report totaled nearly 6.9 billion, worth an estimated $167 billion in economic value.


Volunteers at a Life Plan community help guests on the shuttle
Volunteering fuels the soul while engaging the mind and body to help others.


Elder Abuse: Warning Signs, Reporting, and More

Last updated July 3, 2019
Originally posted September 10, 2016 

A version of this article originally appeared on Angie's List.

Older adults are the unfortunate victim of abuse more often than most people realize. Many individuals are in tune to some of the more well-known categories of abuse including physical, sexual, or emotional, and could likely associate the possibility of abuse with an unexplained bruise on an older adult or unusual withdrawal from their normal hobbies, for example.


Older adult with hands on knee
It's important to recognize warning signs for different types of elder abuse so we can report it and be advocates. 


Brent's Special - Meat Lasagna

July 18, 2019

Our Director of Dining Services, Brent Russell, CSC, CDM, CFPP, presents a five-star Italian recipe


Senior Living Community Options Include Dining - Independent Living
Meat Lasagna

This fan-favorite meat lasagna recipe will have you feeling like a five-star Italian restaurant chef. Lasagna noodles layered with delicious cheeses, meats, and spices are sure to make your dinner guests happy! 


10 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Short-Term Rehab Center

Last updated July 2, 2019
Now with a printable checklist download!
Originally posted May 24, 2014

Skilled nursing or short-term subacute rehabilitation facilities are environments where people can carefully build up their strength after a surgery, illness, or medical episode. They're a place to work with physical, occupational, and/or speech therapies until a person is ready to return home and resume normal life. Perhaps you’ve heard about a friend or neighbor going for a short rehab stay, or maybe you have a personal experience with it.


Therapy gym at Three Pillars Hickory Suites Rehabilitation
Short-term rehabilitation facilities allow a person to heal, recover, and regain strength through physical, occupational, and speech therapies.


Life at Independent Living

June 26, 2019

Living life to the fullest at a life plan senior living community

Ever wonder what a day-in-the-life in independent living at a senior community is like? Come along with us as we fill you in on a typical day for a resident at a community like our Village on the Square for those aged 55+!


Senior Living Community Options Include Dining - Independent Living
Days are full, fun, and fulfilling at an independent senior living community.


Brent's Special - Chicken Cavatappi

June 13, 2019

Our Director of Dining Services, Brent Russell, CSC, CDM, CFPP, presents one of his specialties


Senior Living Community Options Include Dining - Independent Living
Chicken Cavatappi

This simple, 30-minute meal is sure to become a family favorite and a staple in your meal rotation! Brent Russell, our Director of Dining Services, chose this comfort food as “Brent’s Special” for June because it's sure to make your taste buds want more. Check out the simple step-by-step recipe below to recreate this mouthwatering meal!


Monica Humphrey, RN, Earns Elite Certification in Geriatrics

May 29, 2019

Three Pillars' nurse advances her education with sponsorship from Three Pillars

Monica Humphrey, Nurse at Three Pillars Compass Point Catered Assisted Living in Dousman, Wisconsin
Monica Humphrey, BS RN-BC, is Three Pillars' first and only Geriatric Board Certified Registered Nurse.


Martin Murk’s Artistic Gift

April 11, 2019

Martin Murk, a native of Wisconsin and current resident at Three Pillars’ Village on the Square independent living, has a creative gift meant to be shared.

Martin Murk's artwork above the fireplace in the entrance of Three Pillars Senior Living Communities' Village on the Square Independent Living senior apartments
Martin Murk's artwork sits atop the Village on the Square fireplace to welcome all who enter the building.


What You Need to Know About Financial Elder Fraud in 2019

March 20, 2019

With reports of financial elder fraud on the rise, now is a critical time for older adults and their advocates to be aware, stay informed, and be proactive. New numbers in a February 2019 report by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) show that reports of financial fraud against older adults have quadrupled since 2013, with 63,500 reports of suspicious activity filed in 2017.

Other key takeaways from the report show staggering statistics:

Recent statistics on senior financial fraud are staggering
The new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows staggering statistics.



Senior Apartment Living: Downsizing Tips for Beautiful Small Space Living

March 11, 2019

Beauty. Comfort. Simplicity. Coziness.

Senior apartment living means less home maintenance and more time. It brings added security and decreased isolation. Sometimes it means smaller square footage, but also the opportunity to surround yourself with those pieces that are most significant to you.

Senior Living Community Options Include Dining - Independent Living Apartment Den - Furniture and decor tips for small spaces
There are many brilliant ways to maximize your apartment space at a senior community.


Assisted Living vs. Independent Living: Comparing 4 Common Levels of Care at Senior Living Communities

February 15, 2019

Independent Living, Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing Care? Oh my!

If you know a bit about senior living communities, you know that options abound. There are options for floor plans, meals and food, recreational groups, and housekeeping services.

Senior Living Community Options Include Dining - Independent Living
Options abound at senior living communities, from food to recreation to apartment floor plans.


5 Ways to Fall In Love All Over Again at a Life Plan Community

February 12, 2019

Ah, the golden years. What could be better than kicking back with your partner and enjoying the things you love most together?

Enjoying them together in a Life Plan senior living community, that’s what.

Couples enjoy life to the fullest at a Life Plan Community
A Life Plan senior community is a wonderful environment to kick back and enjoy the golden years with the one you love.


Senior Medication Management Tips 101

January 30, 2019

Medication management for seniors can be overwhelming. Receiving a medication prescription involves more than taking a pill. Along with it come the logistics of coordinating with your pharmacy, understanding the drug, experiencing its effects on your body, and getting into a routine of taking it, to name a few. On top of it, for many people who take prescription medication, there are multiple medications to juggle.

Nurse Jodi Cigelske from Three Pillars helps residents with medication management tips
A few pointers from a nurse can help make medication management simpler.



Seeing Quadruple: The Story of Four Jondle Ladies at Three Pillars

January 27, 2019

The women of the Jondle family, (pronounced “Yon-dle”), are all happily employed. Mom, Dawn, works in housekeeping. Ashley, oldest daughter, works as a Service Associate caregiver. Dana, middle daughter, recently stepped out of a culinary assistant role and began in housekeeping. Erin, the youngest, works in laundry.

What you wouldn’t expect? They all work at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities in Dousman!

The Jondle ladies all work at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities in Dousman.
(left to right) Dana, Erin, Dawn, and Ashely Jondle all work at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities.



Three Pillars Residents Turn Plastic Shopping Bags into Mats for Those in Need

January 21, 2019

For years, knitting was just another hobby for Lois Bergmann, resident at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities in Dousman. She enjoyed the challenge of bringing her ideas and patterns to life, but she never knew just how much her skill could impact the communities around her for the better.

Residents at Three Pillars, smiling while making sleeping mats out of plastic shopping bags
Through teamwork and dedication, the Three Pillars group led by Lois Bergmann (left) and Judi Wright (right) has donated more than 95 mats to people in need. 


5 Reasons You Want a Continuing Care Retirement Community

January 10, 2019

If you’ve ever visited a senior living community, you may have noticed that some offer only independent senior apartments or assisted living options, while others offer a combination of options.

Continuum of care sign at senior living community
A senior living community that offers a full continuum of care brings many benefits.


12 Ways We Get Hygge at Three Pillars

January 1, 2019

If you ask us, it’s still the most wonderful time of the year. Sure, there may not be any more mistletoeing but hearts are still glowing around here. At Three Pillars, we’re getting our hygge on, and it’s the perfect time of year for it!

Cozy blanket and hot coffee showing hygge at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities
The Danish term "hygge" encompasses a feeling of coziness.


Five Simple Steps for Seniors to Combat Holiday Depression

Happier holidays await you!

December 20, 2018


“Happy holidays!” The sentiment seems to stream effortlessly from the mouths of friends, store cashiers, and neighbors this time of year. For many, it certainly is just that – a happy time of year. For some, however, the holiday season can bring mixed emotions. This can be particularly true for seniors, where, depending on their emotional and physical condition, the holidays can be hectic, bewildering, and even depressing. For many people, decade-old traditions can bring sadness for a variety of reasons, and especially if special loved ones are no longer by their side.

Happy resident at Three Pillars, smiling in the Christmas spirit
The holidays are a happy time for most, but not for all.


Five Strategies for Talking to Senior Parents About Money

November 20, 2018

Money and financial planning are sensitive topics. You don’t discuss money at work, you don’t talk about your mortgage with friends, and you certainly don’t ask your aging parents what’s in their savings account. They likely grew up in a family where money wasn’t openly discussed. Their pride, privacy, and sense of independence may also be strong factors.

Older couple talking about finances with family
Money can be a sensitive topic, but one that's worth discussing with parents prior to a move to a senior community.


8 Activities for Grandparents and Grandchildren: Grandkid Tested, Senior Approved

November 1, 2018

A guest post by Lori Thomas of

Every grandparent understandably loves the opportunity to spend time with their grandchildren. However, sometimes inter-generational activities can be a challenge as seniors and little ones may not be able to do all of the same activities. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of fun things that both grandparents and their grandchildren can do together that will actually be fun for everyone involved.

Grandmother and Grandchild Walking Outdoors Smiling
There are countless fun things that grandparents and grandchildren can do together while both enjoying themselves.


The Sky’s the Limit for Three Pillars Resident Chuck Hocking

October 22, 2018

Constantly smiling, known for helping a friend, and most often seen flying a radio controlled plane; that’s Chuck Hocking. With a variety of interests, skills, and qualities, his #1 hobby is building and flying radio controlled (RC) model airplanes. At age 91, he’s found that his golden years are the perfect time to fuel his passion.

Chuck Hocking with Radio Controlled Airplane
Just weeks from turning 92, Chuck Hocking continues fueling his passion for flying radio-controlled airplanes.


28 Wow-Worthy Must-Do’s for Lake Country Area Boomers - Summer Edition

June 18, 2018

Make the most of the beautiful warm months in Wisconsin!
Plus a free printable checklist download  -


If you know the Lake Country area, you know it’s one of the best places to live, work, relax, and enjoy retirement. With nature, the arts, sports, community happenings, opportunities for learning, and more surrounding the area, it’s easy for the 55+ crowd to find something enriching to do – especially in our warmer months.

Perhaps you read our post about
wow-worthy must-do’s for the autumn season, and now, after a frigid winter, we bet you’re ready to enjoy what summer has to offer!


“Engage at Every Age:” Fulfilling a Commitment to Wellness Through Physical Fitness

May 24, 2018

Spotlight on Three Pillars’ HUR USA Fitness Equipment

Wellness Connection Three Pillars; Fitness Studio; HUR USA Equipment

Our mission at Three Pillars is to meet the social, physical, and spiritual needs of older adults through high quality housing and services. But, it’s not enough to just say the words. As a community, that mission must have legs. It must be demonstrated daily in ways that impact the lives of everyone who lives here. Since physical fitness and holistic wellness are foundational to living a long, full, vibrant life, our goal is to provide the best possible options in programming, training, and equipment for our residents and adult community members.

This month being Older Americans Month, we want to celebrate the national theme of “Engage at Every Age,” highlighting ways our residents and staff are taking control of their physical fitness through regular training at the Wellness Connection.



Healthy Aging Tips for Older Adults

April 18, 2018

3 Ways Aging Adults Can Improve Mental and Physical Well-Being

Active adult tennies, feetk, exercise, stairs


This guest post was contributed by Julie Morris*, life and career coach.

Staying active is a great way to improve one’s mental and physical capabilities. Whether you choose to go to a gym or work out in the great outdoors, improved stamina and focus, decreased depression, and enhanced memory are all factors that can improve someone’s life, especially after reaching your later years. Here are some ways to incorporate hobbies into everyday life that will also assist in maintaining an active lifestyle.


Creativity Knows No Age

January 28, 2018

Collaborative art endeavor at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities fosters inspiration
creative ukrainian egg project

What do you get when an accomplished multi-media artist, an acclaimed National Duck Stamp painter, and an expert Ukrainian egg creator collaborate on a one-of-kind art endeavor? With 265 years of artistic experience and tons of pizazz between the three, you get a creative eruption resulting in two incredible, masterpiece Ukrainian eggs, that’s what!


Goal: In 2018, I will do more good

January 12, 2018

36 year-round ideas for timely acts of kindness
-With a bonus FREE printable list!-

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill Quote


I wish I could do something to help. What would brighten their day? How can I show I care?”

We’ve all been there: feeling compelled to help, do good, and make a difference. Sometimes, offering to help – or the opposite, asking for help – can be difficult. Whether it’s for a neighbor, friend, acquaintance, or stranger, no matter if they’re young, old, or anywhere in between, insecurities and hesitation can flood the desire to offer or ask for help.

In 2018, make it a point to prioritize doing good with an open, generous, humble, and grateful heart. If you’re ready to offer an act of kindness, suggest specific ways you could help, rather than making a general offer. If you’re in a tough spot and could use assistance in an area of your life, identify the value and benefit it would have in your life. Allow yourself to focus on that, set your pride aside, and start by asking one person for help with one specific need.



6 Travel Tips for an Easy Breezy Holiday Trip

December 5, 2017

Christmas Holiday Travel_Winter_Seniors_Older Adults

The holidays are here, and nothing says “celebrate” quite like gathering with friends and family. If you’re like many, chances are your holiday plans include a bit of travel to attend festivities with those loved ones. Perhaps you’re catching a flight or hopping onto a train, bus, or car at some point between now and year-end. While holiday travel can be full of excitement, the planning, preparing, and going can also be stressful and even hazardous, particularly if you live in the frosty Midwest. (Image credit: Freepik)

To cut down on some potentially avoidable hassle, we suggest incorporating these six simple tips into your planning process:


5 Undeniable Reasons to Make a Will

October 11, 2017

Living Will, Last Will, Legal Documents, Older Adults, Seniors



This guest post was contributed by Troy Diffenderfer, content writer at

Let’s face it, nobody wants to talk about death, especially the older we get. However, having your affairs in order before the time comes can help save a lot of stress and confusion. Many use the old vice of procrastination to put off creating a will, citing “I’ll get to it later” or “I have plenty of time.” Unfortunately, we just don’t know how much time we have on the clock, and that’s exactly why it’s important to create a will. Not only can a will legally protect your spouse, children, and assets, but it can also spell out exactly how you would like things handled after you have passed on. While your situation will always vary, here are some of the top reasons to make a will.


7 Things You Never Knew About Your Cup of Joe

September 25, 2017

More coffee, please!

Coffee cup on table, national coffee day

With International Coffee Day fast approaching on October 1st, we’ve got that magical caffeinated bean on our mind. Perhaps it’s the soothing aroma of a freshly brewed carafe wafting through the hallways at our senior community that has us in the java mood, or maybe it’s the familiar murmur of the staff Keurig machine, humming away as it gets its morning workout. To appease our coffee-focused thoughts, we dug up 7 fun facts to share so you can wow your friends this International Coffee Day weekend.


28 Wow-Worthy Must-Do’s for Lake Country Area Boomers – Autumn Edition

September 12, 2017

Plus a free printable list download - get out and make the most of autumn in Lake Country!

older adults enjoy shalom wildlife

You heard it here first: the Lake Country area is one of the best places to live, work, relax, and enjoy retirement. Okay – maybe we’re not the first to say it, because you’ve undoubtedly heard it before today from the hundreds of happy people who live in the area and can attest to it, but allow us to reiterate.

Dousman, Wisconsin, located in the southeastern corner of the state in Waukesha County, is home to the 60-acre Three Pillars Senior Living Communities campus, where more than 300 happy residents age 55 and better reside. The impressive variety of amenities offered on the property make it an attractive place to live, but the abundant offerings just a day trip away in the greater surrounding community add the icing on the cake.


12 Questions to Ask When Researching a Senior Living Community - BONUS Checklist and Infographic!

Updated August 5, 2020

get a free printable copy of the tour checklist

Back in 2014, we published a blog article about the top questions to ask when researching a senior living community. It was popular! The article was accessed often, we were invited as guest speakers on the topic, and our list was published externally to be used as a handout. In 2017, we brought it back from the archives with a fresh new style, including this catchy infographic to make the information easy to digest, and a free downloadable version of the questions to take on-the-go during a tour.

Today, the free downloadable version of the checklist is still available to click, save, and print, and there are a few updates to it for 2020. Take it with you and make notes during your tour of a senior community!

Each day, scores of people begin the search for a senior living community for themselves or a loved one, and for each of those people, questions are abundant. Here's our take on the dozen you can't forget to ask.


5 Hidden Perks You Never Knew About Senior Living Communities

April 27, 2017

Why you wish you’d taken advantage of living at a senior community years ago

Architecture, aesthetics, updated senior living community apartment


Senior living communities are everywhere and, when evaluating whether to make a move or not, today’s generation of older adults want abundant benefits that outweigh their hesitations. Senior communities know that, so they’re answering by continually evolving to deliver high-quality amenities, top-notch services, and bundled inclusions.

They’re not what you may picture if you ever visited Grandma at a nursing home years ago. They could be communities that offer a full continuum of care, a standalone service such as independent senior apartments, or assisted living. They are innovative, comfortable facilities with state-of-the-art architectural details and smart features.


Maria’s Story

April 10, 2017

Staff Member, Volunteer, and Community Participant

Maria Torres, Three Pillars' employee and volunteer


---- April marks the time to celebrate National Volunteer Month in the United States, and we’re so humbled to have over one hundred dedicated volunteers who give of their time and talents to enhance the lives of our residents. One of those selfless volunteers is Maria, who also happens to be a past employee. Enjoy Maria’s story for a glimpse at her heartfelt ties to the organization she truly loves. ----


4 Ways Cold Weather Can Affect Our Bodies

February 28, 2017

Plus 35 meaningful cold weather activities
Cold weather, winter, freezing, snow

We Wisconsinites are no strangers to cold weather, and we know it’s more than just a season. Winter, fall, and even spring can sometimes come with a chill in the air, which means extra layers of clothing, hot comfort food, and, surprisingly, even some curious effects on our health and wellbeing. 


Meal Plans at Assisted Living

February 22, 2017

7 fundamentals you need to know

Dining, Tables, Flowers, Senior Living Community, Three Pillars

A version of this article originally appeared on Angie's List.

In the world of senior living, where many processes can be new and unfamiliar, meals don’t have to be one of them. Dining options are one of many amenities offered in nearly every assisted living community across the country, and while each one likely runs thing a bit differently, you’ll find some common threads. Here’s the scoop on what’s worth inquiring about and what you can expect.


7 Ways for Older Adults to Stay Active in Retirement

January 26, 2017

Older couple in retirement on beach

This guest post was contributed by
Julie Morris*, life and career coach.

Most people dream of the freedom that comes with retirement - the time to explore the world, spend with grandchildren, and pursue hobbies and passions that they enjoy. Staying active throughout retirement is one of the best ways to ensure your well-being as you age. If you want to live a vibrant, fulfilling lifestyle, here are a few ways to remain active long into your golden years.



One-Up Your New Year's Resolutions

December 29, 2016

Set golden year goals you can crush
goals, target, achieve

As New Year’s Eve approaches, many circle back to their customary tradition of making resolutions for the year ahead. Eat healthier, achieve something extraordinary at work, take up a new hobby, travel somewhere exciting; you know the usuals.

While New Year’s resolutions sometimes get a bad rap for being shallow aspirations that are deserted a few weeks in, there’s quite a bit of science that backs the benefits of a resolution’s charming and more detailed counterpart: a goal. Among the documented benefits of setting goals is that the practice can make us happier, more organized, and more focused. One study even uncovered that our brains use the neurotransmitter dopamine as an internal motivational system to continually guide us toward attaining goals. It’s been noted that the dopamine signal in the brain gets stronger as the goal becomes closer to achievement. How fascinating is that?


Medicare at Independent or Assisted Living

December 9, 2016

Does it help cover the costs?

card, statement, bill, credit, insurance

A version of this article originally appeared on Angie's List.

Medicare can be a complex thing, particularly when trying to sort out what it will and will not cover. Will it pay for that? Will it partially cover that? What is it not applicable for? 

While the Center for Medicare and Medicaid does a great job of providing resources to explain coverage as well as communicating annual changes, there’s one question people seem to ask often: “Does my Medicare pay for assisted living or an independent senior apartment complex?” 


Preparing Your Home For a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease

November 21, 2016

4 simple solutions to enhance comfort and wellbeing

alzheimer's, older adult, preparing home, safety, wellness, wellbeing, loved one

This guest post was contributed by Jim Vogel* of Elder Action

Alzheimer’s disease affects over 5 million Americans and their families, and for those loved ones, it can be difficult to figure out the best ways to be of help. Many families make the decision to take their loved one into their home to help them and make sure they’re well cared for, but this can be overwhelming for some. Difficulties and stressors can add up, and many soon realize they need to make repairs or renovations to their home to make it safe and comfortable for the individual.


Everything You Need to Know About Senior Living Advisors

November 10, 2016

apartment, assisted living, moving, senior living, senior advisor

A version of this article originally appeared on Angie's List.

A senior living advisor, also sometimes referred to as a senior care consultant, senior living care professional, or elder care advisor, is someone who guides individuals and their families through the process of finding the best housing option for their needs and budget when they’re looking towards the next step. These professionals work for an advisor company which has established ties and a network of communities in the area that they know inside and out, as well as a firm familiarity with the world of senior living and elder care. Since senior living advisors are paid by the senior communities when someone moves in, they work at no cost to the individual and their family.



Buying a Walker or Rollator?

October 20, 2016

10 Points to consider prior to your purchase

Walkers and rollators lined up in hallway of senior living community

Making a big purchase is never a simple task, particularly when it applies to one’s wellbeing and the ability to maintain regular daily activities. The task of purchasing the right walker can seem daunting, as there is much to consider. Do you opt for the version with wheels or slides? What height is best? Is it worth it to pay for extra features?

We’ve compiled some of the best advice our therapy department has given regarding walkers over the many decades we’ve been providing service to seniors. Take it from them – they’ve seen a walker or two in their day!


What is a Life Plan Community?

October 5, 2016

The new name for continuing care senior living communities

A version of this article originally appeared on Angie's List.

Senior communities across the country are beginning to increase their service offerings, providing more care and amenities than ever before. This trend has been driven largely by today’s generation of older adults, go-getters looking to make the most of retirement. Many link retirement with reinvention, looking forward to maximizing every moment, uncovering new possibilities for their future, and maintaining excellent health. They have high expectations and are not thinking the least bit about retreating during retirement. 


School’s back in session; what are you learning?

September 30, 2016

Education is indispensable, no matter your age

education, lifelong learning, senior citizens, adulthood

                Quote via the New York Times

With school back in session, the little ones up to college-agers are hitting the books again. They’re brushing off the cobwebs of the summer and opening up their brains to absorbing new information.


Older Adults Who Rock

August 29, 2016

12 inspirational individuals highlighted in Three Pillars publications over the last 12 months

As we wrap up our fiscal year, it’s a time we often reflect on the accomplishments and happenings of our organization. This also gets us thinking about the many amazing older adults we’ve featured in various publications such as our blog, press releases in newspapers, newsletters, the Wisconsin Masonic Journal, and others. It’s clear that each of these unique stories have encompassed wonderful lives filled with remarkable experiences and incredible accomplishments. So, in case you missed any of these captivating stories, here’s an annual summary.


Waiting Lists at Senior Living Communities

August 18, 2016

Understanding the ins and outs

A version of this article originally appeared on Angie's List.

You’ve made the decision to downsize. You find the perfect senior community with all the amenities you have your heart set on, in an idyllic location. You put your house on the market. You’re set full speed ahead for fabulous retirement living! You’re ready to move --- but when you call, your community of choice is at capacity and has a one-year waiting list. Well if that doesn’t put a wrench in your plans, we don’t know what does.

It’s a tough reality in the process of moving to a senior living community, but with adequate planning, it’s one you can use to your advantage. To better understand the ins and outs of the process at many senior communities, and to learn how it can apply to you, here’s a detailed look at some things to think about when considering retirement living waiting lists.


How To Find an Eco-Friendly Senior Living Community

July 8, 2016

15 Earth-friendly steps in the right direction and 2 solid indicators to look for
Green, nature, senior living

A version of this article originally appeared on Angie's List.

With our nation declaring a growing commitment to caring for our planet, organizations everywhere are opting for Earth-friendly decisions when it comes to designing, building, and operating on a daily basis. Senior living communities are no exception, with a growing number of “green” versions popping up across the country. (Not to be confused with communities who are part of the “Green House Project,” which is a different revolution entirely, addressing the de-institutionalization of long-term care environments through innovative redesigns.)

Today’s generation of older adults is paying more and more attention to green practices, and thus seeking those out during their search for a senior community. When it comes down to it, though, one challenge in identifying what qualifies a senior community as green is that the dictating standards are actually a bit gray. Terms like “eco-friendly,” for example, are becoming increasingly popular, often tossed around with little evidence to back them up. 


Preparing to Downsize

June 27, 2016

5 Tips for a Smooth Transition


After spending years in your home, the mere thought of a move to a smaller place can be intimidating. The term “downsizing” is often tossed around casually, either with a sentiment of relief in not having to take care of so much house and yard, or with a more melancholy connotation, referring to a gloomy process of parting with precious mementos and spaces that have held years of happy memories.

Regardless of the reason provoking a mission to downsize, the end result certainly has its perks. Picture yourself juggling fewer physical possessions and becoming free of a large property to maintain – both realities that would allow you to focus more on yourself, your family, your relationships, and valuable life experiences.

If you’re one of many people each day who begin to venture down the path of downsizing, here are some tips that we think you’ll find useful along the way. After helping hundreds of people settle into their new home here at Three Pillars, we’ve been lucky enough to glean some wise nuggets of wisdom from their experiences, and they’d be pleased to know they may help someone else in the same boat.


Is it Time for a Loved One to Move to a Senior Community?

June 17, 2016

4 indicators that are easy to overlook

senior citizen, hands, assisted living

A version of this article originally appeared on Angie's List.

There’s no doubt about it: as we age, things change. Time can certainly bring wisdom, healing, and a sense of fulfillment; yet, at the same time, many older adults experience increasing difficulty in completing daily tasks, a gradual dwindling of friendships, and a fizzling zest for life. If you’re lucky enough to have a close relationship with an older adult, you may be familiar with these experiences, and may have even had opportunities to help them adapt and ease the transitions.

For many people, the choice to move to a senior living community provides an exciting new array of accessible recreational offerings, facilitates enhanced peer relationships, and brings a renewed sense of purpose. These offerings often fill in areas that were previously becoming bleak, empty holes in their lives, and may have otherwise taken several interventions to achieve.

So what if a loved one is no longer participating in their beloved monthly bridge group? What if they’ve neglected some housekeeping tasks that have become too strenuous lately? If you’re noticing any of the following seldom-talked-about, seemingly trivial experiences in the life of someone you love, it may be the right time to consider suggesting a move to a senior living community.



Top 5 Ways Older Adults Use a Tablet

May 25, 2016

“What would I even do with a tablet, anyways?”
tablet, ipad, seniors, technology


You want to learn about it, you can look it up. You want to share it, there’s a way. You want to locate someone or something, it’s possible. Technology makes many things possible, bringing information and resources to our fingertips in various ways. Today’s generation of tablets and iPads are no exception, and they actually do so in a quite literal sense, allowing us to simply tap our way to viewing a family photo, locating a phone number, or learning a new grilling recipe.

tablet, touchscreen, seniors, technologyWe recently held a “Technology Tips” learning session for residents, offering to answer questions and provide tips, tools, and resources for making the most of their technological devices. To our surprise, almost all who came to the program had an iPad or tablet in hand. The neat, compact package of a tablet is portable, efficient, and alluring to many, and it’s impressive to see so many older adults learning about and incorporating them into their daily life.

We answered a few questions, like how to decide which web browser to use, how to close running apps, and how to share something on Facebook. We also had an enlightening opportunity to learn more than a few things from them, one of which was how innovative our seniors are with using and adapting to the wonderful high-tech offerings at their disposal. Out of the many things we learned that they use their tablets for, we’re superfans of the following five, which pinpoint the very essence of maximizing technology for personal enjoyment, efficiency, and productivity. 


What to Look for in Activities at Senior Living Communities

April 28, 2016

7 dimensions of wellness through recreational offerings

Bag toss at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities






A version of our article originally appeared on Angie's List.

Among the many perks of living at a senior community are the abundant opportunities for recreation and leisure endeavors. While age can sometimes alter a person’s physical abilities for recreational activities, the need for leisure and socialization does not waver. In fact, some would argue that these needs become more profound in the golden years, where isolation can be detrimental to physical and mental health.

If you took a peek into a senior living community today, chances are you’d find a packed calendar of recreational offerings for residents to choose from, and a warm neighborly attitude encouraging participation. While touring a community or seeking to learn more about it, be sure to take a look at their activity calendar and ask about opportunities of particular importance to you or your loved one. To verify a well-rounded slate of events, you should see offerings that fit into each of the following dimensions of wellness:


Go Green Like Grandma

April 18, 2016

Earth-friendly habits to adopt

Blog Earth Day

With Earth Day prominently celebrated in the month of April, it’s a fitting time to remind ourselves the importance of taking care of Mother Earth. And what better way to focus on green practices than calling to mind what Grandma would’ve wanted us to do?

It’s no secret that previous generations seem to have taken better care of the planet than we maybe do today. Who among us hasn’t opened a container of Cool Whip in Grandma’s fridge, only to find that she’s re-using it for leftover pasta salad storage? Who’s inadvertently tossed a plastic spoon into the trash only to see her snatch it out to salvage and use it a second time around? She’s been on to something there, effortlessly doing her part to save the planet, one small action at a time. 


6 Tips to Boost Your Energy Levels Today

March 31, 2016

Simple ways to restore vitality and motivation to power through your day

The winter months in Wisconsin can find many of us feeling tired of the chilly weather and sporadic remaining patches of snow, wishing winter would end, as sunshine and birdsongs seem so far away. All this can equate to a serious case of the “blahs,” zapping the energy we need to pertly get through the day.

To help preserve our sparkle and stay strong against the potential quicksand of energy drains, we’ve gathered a list of six simple methods we all can focus on to restore our liveliness, this month and always!


Fashion Over 50 | 7 sensible ways to channel the trends from fashion weeks around the world

February 29, 2016

With February coming to a close, we’ve enjoyed the holiday of love and even some warmer to send the snow on its merry way. Did you also know that this month saw three very popular fashion weeks, too? That’s right – New York Women, London, and Milan all took to the runway in full force this month.

One of our most popular boards on Pinterest is our “Fifty and Better Style” board, which goes to show that a sense of style is important no matter someone’s age. So, maybe you’re thinking, “Of course I knew about the fashion weeks that took place this month,” because you were riveted to the runway and watched with bated breath to see each of this season’s fashions being unveiled. Or, maybe not?


Boosting the Immune System in the Golden Years | 8 no-nonsense tips

February 1, 2016

Like it or not, cold, flu, and just-about-everything-else season is upon us. While we’d all like the sniffles (or worse) to leave us alone, we can’t just cross our fingers and hope for the best. Particularly so for older adults, when the immune system can begin to decline, taking extra steps to support your system takes effort. Luckily, there are several things we can do to give our bodies a healthy boost that aren’t difficult at all. In fact, we think you’ll like these 8 tips way better than you’d like sniffling and sneezing, so give them a try!


Fall Prevention | Tips from Three Pillars experts for keeping falls at bay

October 3, 2015

Each year, countless Americans go to the emergency room with fall-related injuries. Falls are not fun, and we could definitely do without any this fall.


Questions About Short Term Rehab? We’ve got answers.

September 28, 2015

A version of this article originally appeared on Angie’s List.

Have you heard of short-term rehab, subacute rehab, or skilled nursing rehab, and wondered what that’s all about?
Read on for the answers to 4 of your biggest rehab conundrums!


It’s Back to School Time (For You Too!)

September 10, 2015 

Summer has wrapped up and it’s time to hit the books again. Kids are in their first weeks back at school, and you could be too! Consider volunteering with children.

Why? Volunteering with children is an excellent intergenerational experience. You’ll be sure to learn a lot from them and they will undoubtedly learn a lot from you. Whether it’s a couple days or a couple hours, there are many ways you can contribute. No matter the age – daycare, preschool, elementary, middle, or high school aged – the benefits you’ll experience from volunteering with kids are boundless


Not Your Grandmother’s Senior Living Community | 7 amenities that today’s communities boast

August 13, 2015

This article originally appeared on Angie’s List

Senior living communities are not nursing homes. They’re not places where older adults are sitting around in front of a TV all day. They’re not old buildings with tiny rooms and ancient furnishings. In short, they’re just not what you may remember if you are still carrying memories of visiting your grandmother back in the day.



Frank Burany Turns 100 – “It’s just another day”

August 15, 2015

When your life experiences have included driving the Indianapolis 500 Speedway at 120 mph, flying a helicopter as one of your home town’s first traffic reporters, and munching on hot Hungarian peppers as a snack, few things will faze you. For Frank Burany, even his hundredth birthday was “just another day.”

Frank, who turned 100 on August 16th, is baffled that so many people “made such a big thing of it.” His son, Dick, put on a fantastic party at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities, Frank’s home since January of 2013. After enjoying a perfect afternoon with about 100 guests, he admitted with a grin, “I guess I kind of got warmed up about the whole turning 100 thing.”


Dealing with the Dollars | 6 simple tips for navigating the cost of living at a senior community

June 4, 2015

This article originally appeared on Angie’s List

You’re familiar with a senior living community in your town, know people who currently reside there, and maybe have been onsite for a program or meal with a friend. Have you found yourself considering a move but wonder about the costs?

For most people, cost is one of the biggest uncertainties when making the decision. What does it cost? Will senior communities divulge that information or will I have to dig for it? Can I afford it?



10 Reasons Why Wisconsin Is Best For An Active & Well-Rounded Retirement

July 12, 2015

If you’ve been to Wisconsin, you know it’s a grand place full of cheeseheads, beer, and cows. Guess what? There’s even more to it than that! We’ve compiled a list of 10 reasons that make it not only a fantastic state in general, but a perfect one for retired adults who want to remain active and engaged in their community.


Senior Scams | 6 ways to ensure you’re not the next target

June 20, 2015

Scams are slimy no matter what, but they’re even worse when they specifically target seniors. According to the FBI, older adults tend to be an “easy target” for scammers for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  1. They’re likely to have great credit and be in a good financial position
  2. They were likely raised to be polite and trusting
  3. They’re least likely to report a fraud or feel confident in reporting what happened

So consider yourself informed! Here are 6 ways to protect yourself and loved ones from being a victim of a scam.


6 Anti-Aging Foods That Make a Perfect Snack

May 28, 2015

We’ll give it to you straight: there’s not a magical food that will instantly extend your lifespan and make you look 10 years younger. This Older Americans Month, we’re all about embracing age and all the beauty that comes with it, but there are some aspects of aging that we could do without, like diseases or pain. Combating those ailments entails taking care of your body in many ways, so forget the fancy creams, supplements, procedures, or fad diets.  Sara Zimmerman, Registered Dietitian for our campus since 1992, encourages adopting a number of healthy habits to nourish your body, but she also suggests regularly snacking on these six foods to contribute to a healthier – and younger-feeling – you.

Sara Zimmerman, Three Pillars’ Campus Dietitian


3 Tips for Making the Most of Family Dynamics during a Move to a Senior Living Community

May 3, 2015

This article originally appeared on Angie’s List

Every family has their quirks – good and bad. There’s the one family member who never ceases to voice their opinion. There’s the one who keeps quiet and lets the others dominate decisions. There’s one who just doesn’t seem to understand where you’re coming from. And then there’s you, feeling completely overwhelmed by it all.


Spotless AND Safe

April 22, 2015

7 spring cleaning tips for seniors

Dare we say it out loud? Spring has sprung!

So are you ready to clean that house? If you’re like us, a good spring cleaning brings about that renewed sense of accomplishment and puts a little spring in your step (pun intended!). For the 55 and better crowd, a clean living space can not only instill a spring-like fresh feeling, but it can also bolster optimal health and safety.


How Coffee Hour Makes a Happy Senior Citizen

March 22, 2015

10 easy ways to combat senior isolation

Depending where you live, the late winter months can be frigid, dreary, and seemingly endless. The snow is not quite as white and sparkling as when it was freshly fallen in December. It’s rare to see the sun peeking out through the gray abyss of a sky. The sound of birds singing and children running around outside seem like distant memories – it’s just quiet, frozen, and gray.

For many senior citizens, inability or uneasiness about going outdoors in the cold and snow constricts them to their home, magnifying the lackluster feel of the season. Additionally, at this stage of life, they are likely living alone or with just one other person, often lacking the simplest day-to-day chatter.

Socialization is an impactful factor that can turn that desolation into delight.



Happy Pi Day!

March 12, 2015

5 facts you never knew and 3 outside-the-box recipes

Does the term “pi” ring any bells from high school geometry? Let us review: Pi represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

Each year, Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 (3/14) by science and math lovers everywhere. This year’s Pi Day is a super-extra-special big deal, and here’s why: Not only is it 3/14, but it’s 3/14/15, which perfectly continues the decimals of that beloved irrational number. To boot, if you take a moment to revel at 9:26:53 AM, you’ll be celebrating the first 10 digits!

We’re all for lifelong learning, so get ready to dig into a few facts about pi to broaden your horizons (read: impress your friends). Then, continue on to find three unique pie recipes to satisfy your hankerings.


Make Your Heart Happy This Month

February 12, 2015

1 Easy Meal, 5 Heart-Healthy Superfoods

photo credit:

Your heart. Your ticker. The hub of your cardiovascular system. It’s pretty important, right? So important, in fact, that it has its own month. ‘American Heart Month’ is sponsored by the American Heart Association and observed annually in the United States during the month of February. You need to take care of that precious organ, and here’s why: The CDC reports that heart disease is the #1 cause of death for both men and women. Approximately 600,000 people die of heart disease in the US every year, which comes out to 1 in every 4 deaths.


A Chat with a Centenarian

February 20, 2015

Margaret Balkman on living through 100 years

If you want to know the keys to a healthy, happy, long life, Margaret Balkman can tell you in three words: faith, family, and humor. She also notes that her zest for life has always been fueled by fostering creativity, doing good for others, loving children, and being physically active, as well. Looking upon her 100th birthday, she declares that she has absolutely nothing to complain about. “Well, unless you want me to start, I could think of a few things…” she chuckles. She feels honored to have experienced all these years.



Seniors Who Google

January 31, 2015

5 Ways Technology Can Enhance the Lives of Seniors

Seniors can utilize technology to enhance their lives.

There’s no avoiding it; technology is everywhere. Many golden agers steer clear of it, but we would argue that there are several applications of technology that they should not only stop avoiding, but embrace. Sure, the boom in technology may have people these days more likely to type an email than send a heartfelt handwritten note, but it’s not all bad. Take a look at these five ways in which seniors can utilize technology to enhance their life:


The Scoop on Healthcare Advance Directives

June 25, 2014

Healthcare, senior, advance directives, family, healthcare agent







What exactly are Healthcare Advance Directives and what is their importance? If we consult Merriam-Webster, they’re defined as: “legal document(s) signed by a competent person to provide guidance for medical and healthcare decisions in the event the person becomes incompetent to make such decisions.”

Our campus social workers are regarded as experts on the topic of advance directives, and they point out that the law does not require you to complete advance directives. The law also does not require you to have an attorney to complete an advance directive. It’s your choice, and it’s a choice that we highly encourage.  


Eight Tips for Healthy Eyes

May 2, 2014

May is Healthy Vision Month, so what better time to brush up on a few easy things you can do to protect your vision this month and year-round. As we start to enjoy the colorful full bloom of our gardens and the sights of friends and family enjoying time outdoors, remember how precious your vision is. These sights remind us how worthwhile it is to incorporate these tips into your daily life so you can keep enjoying them for years to come.


12 Questions to Ask When Researching a Senior Living Community

April 29, 2014
Note: See our updated article on this topic here - it has a new infographic and free downloadable list of the questions!

Each day, scores of people begin the search for a senior living community for themselves or a loved one. For each of those people, questions are abundant. They may talk to friends and family for advice or suggestions on where to look and what to look for. Even then, there are so many things to ask and it can be hard to know if you’ve covered all the important bases.
While we probably can’t easily sum up every single question that will be important for you personally to ask, here are a dozen that we think are the biggies not to be forgotten:


Becoming a Registered Nurse at Three Pillars

February 28, 2014

We love to hear heart-warming stories of people achieving their goals. We especially love it when those people achieving their goals are a mother-daughter team at Three Pillars.

Barb Carstens of Fort Atkinson and Jes Lindemann of Waukesha, both Registered Nurses, are a mother and daughter who work at our Masonic Center for Health and Rehab. Jes, our Restorative Coordinator, started working at Three Pillars in 2005 as an LPN fresh out of college while Barb, our MDS Coordinator, started shortly after as an LPN in 2006. Both worked full time while in school at MATC and now both have proudly achieved that marvelous credential after their name – RN. Want to know the really cool part? They became RNs this month within a day of each other. In fact, they’ve had a bet going for many years about who would achieve their RN credentials first. Jes beat her mom to the punch with graduating from nursing school, but Barb passed her boards and clinched the RN title a mere day before Jes. We say they can call it even.

Barb and Jes were two of four LPNs who passed their state boards and became RNs in one week, and those were four of seven who became RNs in the past year. Later this year, at least two more are on track to do the same. According to Kitty Koloske, RN, Director of Nursing, the support from Three Pillars plays a large part in this.

Koloske commented, “These are staff members who have come up through the ranks here, from CNA to LPN to RN. Our four newest RNs bring a combined total of 25 years of service in the Three Pillars’ nursing department. They are a testament to Three Pillars’ commitment to nursing education.”

Above all, we are honored and humbled that these nurses choose to work here. How are we so fortunate to attract and retain these stellar nurses? We think it is because of our commitment to education, staff enrichment, and quality nursing care.


Am I Ready For a Senior Living Community?

February 14, 2014

5 points to ponder

When is the right time? Am I ready for a move to a senior living community? How will I know? It’s one of those big questions that only you know the answer to. Yes, there are many aspects to consider, and you bet – we’re here to help point those out. Take it from us, we’ve seen a few – er, a few thousand – people move into our community over the past 100 years.

Senior living communities offer more than just a place to live; they offer a whole lifestyle.