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Prime Times

Senior Expo
July 22
A Resource Guide for Older Adults see page 2-PT

Seniors & Their Special Canines

Area seniors and their
lovable dogs bring cheer
to patients at SSM St. Clare
Hospital through Touch
by Marty Harris
Some area retirees and their four-legged compan-
ions are bringing smiles to the faces of patients at
SSM St. Clare Hospital in Fenton through The
Support Dogs Touch (Therapy of Unique Canine
Helpers) Program.
Touch got off the ground at St. Clare shortly after
the hospital opened in March 2009 in large part due
to the efforts of Wes Neu of Glendale, according to
Diane McKillip, public relations manager at St.
“He was passionate about bringing the Touch pro-
gram here and we were happy to make this happen,”
McKillip said regarding the 82-year-old Neu.
Neu and Sophie, his 9-1/2-year-old standard
poodle, have been visiting nursing homes and hospi-
tals since April 2005 through Touch.
The duo seem to enjoy their hospital visits as
much as the patients do.
From left, Dee Dickinson with Clark; Linda Boyer with Molly; Ron Drainer, supervisor of Therapy Services at
On a recent Thursday afternoon, Neu – who says
SSM St. Clare; Wes Neu with Sophie; Kay Schmidt with Lily; and Laura Engelage with Louie.
he’s been in sales all his life – easily chats with
photos by Colin Dabbs
patients including Don Kreutzer of Owensville.
Kreutzer pets Sophie on the head and under her
neck as she stands happily beside his bed, while he
and Neu discuss a myriad of topics from hunting to
Of course, talk also turns to Sophie: “I think
you’re a pretty good dog,” Kreutzer said. “Thank you
for stopping by.”
Between patient visits, Sophie also attracted the
attention of staff members who took a moment from
their duties to pet her. Charge Nurse Linda Stemmler
kneeled down to Sophie’s level as she doted on the
dog. Stemmler is a proponent of the program.
“People become alert,” Stemmler said when a Molly at times provides a special
Touch dog visits. “Those depressed become alert and experience for patients that only a
reach to touch the dog.” small dog can.
To patient Linda Dickey of Arnold, Neu said
Sophie was “magic.” Dogs Make The Rounds
“You touch her and you get well quicker,” Neu Seven dogs and their owners,
said. including Neu, make their rounds on
Ron Drainer, supervisor of Therapy Services at Tuesday and/or Thursday afternoons
St. Clare, would likely agree. on every floor of the hospital except
“It’s not just the patients who benefit from Touch, the Family Birthplace. Before the
but the family members as well. It’s a nice break for Touch visits, patients are contacted Hospital visitor Terry Chapman and his daughters Madilyn, left,
them. They are under a lot of stress,” Drainer said. to see if they want to see the dogs. and Mikali, stop to pet Sophie, as her owner Wes Neu watches.
He said the staff, too, loves having a little break. For medical reasons, some patients
cont. p. 4-PT
are not allowed dog visits.

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4-PT Webster-Kirkwood Times & South County Times July 16 - 22, 2010

Touch Volunteers & Their Lovable Dogs from page 1-PT

Most of the volunteers are retired, According to McKillip, it’s helpful
During their
or close to it, according to Kay Schmidt. to have dogs of varying sizes. She said rounds, Wes
She visits the hospital twice a week family members of a bedridden patient Neu and his
with her four-year-old golden retriever with multiple sclerosis invited Molly dog Sophie,
Lily. Schmidt retired as a teacher with into the patient’s room and up onto a 9-1/2-year-
Special School District six years ago her bed. The patient’s face lit up with old standard
and has been a Touch volunteer for a great, big smile. poodle, stop
two years. That’s one thing Boyer likes about by to visit
“After I retired I wanted a dog so I being a Touch volunteer. SSM St. Clare
got Lily,” said Schmidt of Wildwood. “I get the joy of sharing my little patient Don
“She was very energetic so I took her Molly with people and bringing a Kreutzer.
to obedience classes and she did really smile and often laughter to people who
well.” are obviously hurting and worried, photo by
The instructor told Schmidt that said Boyer, who lives in South Colin Dabbs
Lily was a great candidate for Touch. County.
“It gave her (Lily) a job. She’s goal Neu is slowly retiring from the
oriented. She wants to please and is Touch program “cause I’m 82.” He is
very people oriented, so I went in that now visiting only once a week and is
(Touch) direction,” Schmidt said. turning over his coordinator duties to
Lily has a special intuition when it Boyer and Schmidt. Neu will likely
comes to patients. play more golf – he now plays twice a
“She has a sense of what she needs week with seven buddies – and may
to do when she gets there – sometimes take up painting after a four-month
she’s quieter, sometimes more ram- break.
bunctious,” Schmidt said.
After visiting 40 to 50 patients two More Volunteers
hours a day, Lily comes home exhaust- The Touch program began in 1989
ed. with eight volunteers at one facility,
Schmidt said she also enjoys the according to Bill Dahlkamp, executive
patient contact. director of Support Dogs Inc. Today, it
“The feedback from the patients is has over 300 volunteers with about
outstanding,” Schmidt said. “They two-thirds of them over the age of 50,
thank us.” Touch volunteers visit about 75 facili-
Linda Boyer, also a retired Special ties in the metro area.
School District teacher, got involved “We’ve certified over 1,000 teams
with Touch about a year-and-a-half and we’re still growing,” Dahlkamp
ago at the urging of her dog’s trainer. said. He said Touch is always looking a hospital or nursing home where has grown so much indicates that
Her dog, Molly, a small mixed for more volunteers. Touch has an agreement. people enjoy the companionship of the
breed, wearing a pearl necklace, isn’t To become a Touch team, dogs have Touch dogs can be any breed. dogs,” Boyer said. “A lot of people are
intimidated by the larger dogs which to go through a temperament evalua- Dahlkamp encouraged anyone who excited that the dogs are coming and
tower over her. She holds her head tion to be sure they are suitable. Then is looking for something fun to do to they don’t want to check out (of the
high as she struts down the hospital the dog and handler must complete a contact Support Dogs at 997-2325 or hospital) until they’ve seen the dogs.”
corridor. She has her own special 12-week certification course. After visit www.supportdogs.org.
touch. completion, they are certified to go to “I think the fact that the program

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6-PT Webster-Kirkwood Times & South County Times July 16 - 22, 2010

Octogenarian Excels In Competitive Tennis League

Pat Fechter of Shrewsbury competes regularly with Kirkwood Women’s Tennis Association
by Fran Mannino Tennis Anyone?
Pat Fechter has been active all her Activity of some sort has always
life. At the age of 85, she is the most been a part of Fechter’s life, whether
senior member of the Kirkwood it be out of necessity or just plain fun.
Women’s Tennis Association (KWTA). A native of St. Louis, Fechter remem-
Fechter can still give the younger bers walking to the Fox Theatre and
members of the group a run for their riding her bike to Forest Park.
money on the court, joining them for “We walked everywhere, and as we
three sets of competitive tennis a walked we sang,” she said. “If we
week, May through September, in wanted to get there in a hurry, we had
Kirkwood Park. to sing a peppy song.
“Honestly, she is one of the most “We had the best of times,” she
delightful persons I have ever met,” said. “We didn’t have much, but we
said fellow KWTA player Laura Kern. didn’t know we didn’t have much and
“It’s a competitive league so there are we were happy.”
three A levels, three B levels and Fechter and her husband John, 87,
three C levels. We’re in the second grew up together in St. Teresa parish.
level together.” It was there that they discovered a
Fechter, a mother of 12, grand- shared love of tennis.
mother of 30 and great-grandmother “Two new priests at St. Teresa’s
of 13 (with another on the way), has put a tennis court in the schoolyard,”
been playing tennis all her life, and said John Fechter. “That was our first
has been with KWTA for over 20 time playing tennis.”
years. The couple became engaged in
“They’re having babies, and I’m 1941, just before John Fechter began
having great-grandbabies,” Fechter active duty with the Merchant Marines
said, noting the age difference between during World War II. They were mar-
herself and her KWTA teammates. ried in 1944.
“I’ve got to keep up with those kids. After attending business school,
They come in younger and younger all Pat Fechter took an office job at what
the time. All the gals are wonderful to is now Moog Inc. She then worked as
put up with me.” a typist for the government during the
Kern said aside from not being able war, staying busy while her fiance
to run as fast as she used to, Fechter was away.
is terrific on the court. “We had a group of gals we grew up
“She’s such a solid player, confident with,” she said. “All the guys were
and enjoyable, we could all stand to gone. We went to the gym, we wrote
learn a lot from her,” she said. “She’s letters to them, and we danced and
a person you’re just delighted to see danced and danced. It was nice that
every week. We joke in our league they all came home.” Pat Fechter plays Tuesday, July 13, in Kirkwood Park. Fechter will celebrate her
that we all want to be her when we 86th birthday on Sept. 13.
grow up.” cont. p. 8-PT photo by Diana Linsley

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July 16 - 22, 2010 Webster-Kirkwood Times & South County Times 7-PT

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& operated Did we mention affordable? The all-inclusive rates (with activities,
Drive-thru window a tour.
since 1977! meals, transportation, 24-hour staffing and more) are often less than costs
Flu and shingles vaccinations associated with living in your own home.
Come see
Home health aids and medical equipment retirement
We accept Medicaid, Medicare Part D, should be.
MO RX and most insurance plans. A Capital Senior Living Community
12335 W. Bend Dr. • 1-270 Tesson Ferry Rd. • St. Louis, MO 63128
(314) 638-3535 www.medicineshoppe.com/0128 www.tessonheights.com • 314-849-1366

Administrative Offices On the Cardinal Carberry Campus

7601 Watson Road • St. Louis, MO 63119 • 314-961-8000 • fax 314-961-1934

Every Senior Service…

• Mary Queen & Mother Skilled Nursing Care: 314-961-8000 x 277
• Mother of Perpetual Help, Assisted Living: 314-918-2260
• Our Lady of Life Senior Apartments: 314-968-9447
• Adult Day Program, St. Louis: 314-962-7501
• Adult Day Program, St. Charles: 636-916-3709
• Homemaker Program: 314-961-8000 x 303
• Affordable Housing Options: 314-968-9447 x 282
• Assisted Living Options: 314-961-8000 x 483
• RSVP Senior Volunteer: 314-961-8000 x 357
• Foster Grandparents: 314-961-8000 x 370
• Social Services: 314-918-2258


Independence, Safety and Comfort...

Stay in your home. Safety first.

Free in-home aSSeSSmentS
Bathroom modifications • Barrier-free showers
Walk-in bathtubs • Tubcuts
Ramps • Stairlifts • Automatic Door Openers
Ceiling Mounted Patient Lifts • ADA Approved Fixtures

our certified aging in place specialist designers and factory-trained

installers are committed... to putting lives in motion.

Our professionals are ready to answer

all your questions, assess your needs,
and offer solutions.

13300 Lakefront Dr. • Earth City, MO 63045
8-PT Webster-Kirkwood Times & South County Times July 16 - 22, 2010

Pat Fechter from page 6-PT

Pat Fechter had to forego tennis being active, her mother is a very
while raising her young family. She spiritual person who attends 8 a.m.
resumed playing in the 1970s at Mass every morning.
Westborough Country Club. She “That, I think, gets her through
remains active in the Kirkwood every crisis and all the trials and
Women’s Tennis Association, and reg- tribulations of having 11 children,”
ularly competes with athletes nearly said Goodwillie. “She was very busy
half her age. with the 11 of us, as you can imagine.
Fechter and her husband spend We went to Westborough, so we were
every winter at the Deep Canyon all in tennis together and swimming.
Tennis Club in Palm Desert, Calif., At Mary Queen of Peace, there was
although after recent knee replace- softball, soccer – it was continually
ment surgery, John Fechter said he going, going, going.”
doesn’t play as much as he’d like. By all accounts the Fechters are a
Fechter’s license plate attests to close-knit family, visiting frequently
her passion for the sport. The person- and gathering as a whole every
alized plate reads “XISNE1.” With the Christmas Eve to celebrate the holi-
‘X’ standing for the Roman numeral day.
‘10,’ the plate asks, “Tennis anyone?” “They all bring cookies,” said
Fechter. “They clean up and they dec-
Keeping Up With The Fechters orate for me and put the tree up and
The Fechters lived in Glendale for take it down. They’re wonderful.”
40 years before moving to Shrewsbury The Fechters held a family reunion
in the early 1990s. All of their children in 2001 in Gulf Shores, Ala. In 2003,
attended Mary Queen of Peace Parish in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,
in Webster Groves. they decided to do whatever they could
John Fechter had a long career as a to help other families.
CPA, first with Price Waterhouse and “They were asking for people to
then with Pott Industries. While her sponsor a family,” said John Fechter.
husband was traveling with his job, it “Somebody donated a home, and our
was up to Fechter to entertain and whole family pitched in and furnished
care for the kids. this place for them.”
“I did a lot with the children,” she The few memories that manage to
said. “We had a lovely yard, and I kept dim Fechter’s smile are those of losing
them in the yard with me. All of the her oldest child, Patricia, to cancer
other kids in the neighborhood would just eight years ago; and the loss of
come over here. We played baseball, her second-born, son John Jr., years Eighty-five-year-old Pat Fechter of Shrewsbury has these words of advice: “It
shot baskets, we even froze the yard ago at the age of 11 weeks. should be fun, otherwise you shouldn’t do it.”
photo by Diana Linsley
one year and played hockey – which Last year, Fechter’s fellow players
just about ruined the yard!” honored her at their end-of-season said. “It was a nice surprise.” is simple: get involved, practice and
Fechter’s daughter, Anne luncheon for her 24 years with Fechter will celebrate her 86th enjoy it.
Goodwillie, now lives in the Glendale KWTA. birthday on Sept. 13. Her advice to “It should be fun, otherwise you
home in which she and her siblings “I had assumed we were just cele- those who want to maintain a healthy, shouldn’t do it,” she said.
were raised. She said in addition to brating our last day of the season,” she active lifestyle with a sport like tennis

You are invited to attend an

Open House July 25, 2010 • 12 – 4 p.m.

Join us for an
Ice Cream Social
to celebrate National Ice Cream Month
Offering the finest Assisted Living

313 Augustine Rd., Eureka, MO

Tours and Refreshments
will be provided.
July 16 - 22, 2010 Webster-Kirkwood Times & South County Times 9-PT

Wednesday, July 28 • 11 a.m.

Complimentary lunch includes
BBQ, potato salad, cole slaw and dessert.

Celebrate summer with us

with an afternoon of lunch,
games and prizes.
But don’t delay, space is limited.
Reserve your seat today by calling 314-270-7111

Fountain View Assisted Living • Friendship Village Sunset Hills

12777 Pointe Drive • St. Louis, MO 63127
10-PT Webster-Kirkwood Times & South County Times July 16 - 22, 2010

St. Anthony’s Offers Services/

Health Screenings For Seniors
Free Hearing Screenings Home Transport Program
St. Anthony’s Medical Center will St. Anthony’s Medical Center’s
offer free hearing screenings on the Senior Services Department’s “Home
third Wednesday of the month. The Transport” program provides round-
next screening will be July 21. The trip transportation for adults age 60
simple screening tests, to determine and older and people with disabilities
if a person has a hearing loss, are from their homes to St. Anthony’s-
available without a doctor’s orders. sponsored services.
“As a community hospital, St. “We have provided transportation
Anthony’s mission and core values to St. Anthony’s for seniors living in
reflect a strong desire to focus on nursing homes and rehabilitation
the health and well-being of our pa- centers for several years, but now
tients,” said Deni Levick, director of we also offer this service to private
Therapy Services at St. Anthony’s. individuals living in their homes,”
“Offering these free hearing screen- said Ellie Sicola, R.N., director of Jeff Goldone, administrator of dining, in the kitchen at The Crossings. The new
ings is one more way for us to pro- St. Anthony’s Senior Services. “St. memory care household at Laclede Groves is unique to the St. Louis area.
vide a needed service to members of Anthony’s is committed to improv-
our community.”
An audiologist will perform the
ing access to medical services for the
residents of this community.”
Memory Care Household At Laclede Groves
Laclede Groves in Webster Groves Adjacent to the kitchen is a family-
five-minute screening, and then an- Trained drivers, wearing uni- held an open house last week to show style dining room, a living room and
swer any questions the patient may forms and displaying ID badges, use off The Crossings, a new memory care an enclosed sun porch.
have. In addition to the free screen- wheelchair-accessible vans to pick assisted living facility that is the first “Less than one percent of our senior
ings, participants can have their up patients in Zip codes surrounding of its kind in the St. Louis area. care industry has embraced this mod-
hearing aids checked and will receive the medical center, within St. Louis The Crossings is a self-contained el. Lutheran Senior Services is taking
a variety of information about hear- City and County and Jefferson Coun- “household,” bearing no resemblance off with it,” said Jane Wilke, adminis-
ing aids if they are interested. Indi- ty. Patients are asked to call with to an institution. Food is prepared in trator for communications at LSS.
viduals who undergo the free hear- their appointment times 48 hours in a modern, senior-safe household kitch- The small, self-contained household
ing screenings also will receive a advance, if possible. Drivers pick up en, with residents taking part in the serves 19-23 residents.
$100 discount coupon good for three residents at their doors (must be at preparation of each meal.
months toward the purchase of hear- ground level or handicapped acces-
ing aids.
Screenings will take place in St.
sible, no stairs) and transport them
directly to their scheduled appoint-
Self-Help Book Helps Plan For Retirement
Anthony’s Medical Center’s Audiol- ments, returning them home after- Investment Advisor Arthur S. of some of the more common mistakes
ogy and Hearing Center, located in wards. Montgomery, a resident of Des Peres, that retirees make, and then shows
suite 255 of St. Anthony’s Medical St. Anthony’s Home Transport has published a book titled, “So You how to avoid making them.
Plaza, 12700 Southfork Road. service is available from 7:30 a.m. Want To Retire.” The author interviewed hundreds
While the screenings are offered to 4 p.m. weekdays to area residents “I have been working with clients of retirees to discover their experi-
free as a service to the community, who are 60 or older or disabled. Cost and their financial needs since 1990, ences and advice. The book is $24.50,
appointments are required. To make for a round trip is $15. and throughout my career one of the and can be ordered through the pub-
an appointment, call 525-HEAR For more information or to sched- most asked questions is, ‘How do I lisher’s website: www.eloquentbooks.
(4327) and press option #2 to speak ule transportation, call 525-1889. prepare for retirement.’” com/SoYouWantToRetire.html
with the receptionist. The self-help guide gives examples

You are invited to attend an

July 25, 2010 • 12 – 3 p.m.

Ride on Over . . . Join us for an

Check out Lutheran Senior Services! Ice Cream Social
Visit us during the Prime Times Senior Expo! to celebrate National
It’s an easy way to learn more about the wide variety of options
available with Lutheran Senior Services. Ice Cream Month
Bring your questions about community living and in-home services.
Our team will have the answers.
Prime Times Expo
July 22 < 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Affton White-Rodgers Community Center Offering the finest in independent
For more information, call 314.446.2519 Senior Living cottages

Senior Living Communities < In-Home Services

Affordable Housing < Pastoral Care 100 Woodland Ct., Arnold, MO
Tours and Refreshments will be provided.
Office: (314) 909-4051
king experience.
July 16 - 22, 2010
Meet Your Reverse Mortgage
Toll-Free: (877) 786-8762
Webster-Kirkwood Times & South County Times 11-PT
e Mortgage financing.
As an experienced Reverse Mortgage
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oelbaum, brown
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ght solution to achieve
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As an experienced Reverse Mortgage Specialist, I can provide you
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Products and services subject to bank/credit approval.
©2007 Southwest Bank of St. Louis
Chiropractic Physician • Acupuncturist

Call for a FREE


12032 Tesson Ferry

St. Louis, MO 63128
Located in St. Louis Sports
Chiropractic Center

“Teaching the Art of
Living and Dying Well”

• fo r th e v isua lly impa ired •

We provide holistic
The home
end-of-life healthcare, wiTh a
by integrating hearT...
complementary care
...in The
with conventional hearT of
medicine, offer support KirKwood
and guidance to the
grieving, and empower T he Mary Culver Home for the Visually Impaired is a not-for-profit home for
older women whose eye problems keep them from living independently. We’re
a 27-room residence in the heart of Kirkwood offering nursing care 24/7 for those
patients, families and who need it. Respite care is also available.
our community with Friendly, competent caregivers; specialized activities; private rooms; and a simple
floor plan create a secure home for women coping with vision loss.
information and education.
Find out if the Mary Culver Home is right for you.
Call us at 314.966.6034 or visit www.maryculverhome.com.
Call Alternative Hospice
at (636) 343-3839
or 1-866-391-8548
www.alternativehospice.com 221 West Washington avenue • Kirkwood, missouri 63122-3916
The Mary Culver Home is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1866 as the Blind Girls’ Home.
12-PT Webster-Kirkwood Times & South County Times July 16 - 22, 2010

What Retirement Reality is made of…

Cape Albeon Retirement Community
Stop Looking, Start Living Today, with No Delays!
We are ready for you to move in and start carefree living!
We will make it easy for you:

Worried about large entry fees?

No problem. We have no entry fees on our
spacious apartments!

Worried about packing?

No problem. We’ll do it for you!

Worried about unpacking and decorating?

No problem. We’ll do it for you!

Worried about the moving bill?

No problem. We’ll pay it for you!

10 years of
Senior Living!

3380 Lake Bend Drive

St. Louis, MO 63088

Visit us soon and experience the Cape Albeon lifestyle.

Located near the intersection of Big Bend
and Dougherty Ferry Roads.