Clark Used Book Sale

Be sure to join us for Clark's upcoming Used Book Sale.

Monday, July 15 from 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tuesday, July 16 from 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wednesday, July 17 from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Proceeds will help purchase new large-print books for the recently renovated library.

The sale will be held in the BK Room and reserved parking is available in the Chapel Lot off Sherman Street.

Used book and DVD donations are being accepted now.
Wednesday is $3 Bag Day!

Native Plant Restoration Day at Clark

Spring is the season where members of the Clark family come together to celebrate nature’s renewal. Consider volunteering with us on our campus as we devote a pleasant late-spring morning to giving back to our environment:

Native Plant Restoration Day at Clark

Friday, May 31 | 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Clark at Keller Lake
2499 Forest Hill Ave SE | Grand Rapids, MI

This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy nature’s gifts while contributing to a good cause. With the help of Plaster Creek Stewards and student volunteers from Calvin College, we’ll be digging, moving and restoring several of the native plants that currently reside in the footprint of Keller Lake's soon-to-be new independent living building. Some of the plants we will be preserving are trout lilies, trillium and May apples.

All tools needed for this project will be provided by our partner organization who will also provide more information about the goals of the restoration and the tasks to be completed on the morning of the big day. Participants are encouraged to wear long pants, socks, solid shoes and gloves. We’ll also be providing food and drinks as a thank you for your participation.

GRBJ: Clark's dementia care makes international connection

Clark's dementia care makes international connection

Speech therapist from Singapore spent eight weeks in Grand Rapids crafting a program to bring home.
By: Justin Dawes of Grand Rapids Business Journal

A speech therapist recently returned to her home country of Singapore after spending eight weeks studying the dementia program at Clark Retirement Communities in Grand Rapids.

An An Chia is one of six professionals creating an outpatient group therapy program for eight to 10 dementia patients at the new Sengkang General Hospital in Singapore.

The Singaporean government awarded Chia a grant that completely financed a trip to an organization of her choosing.

About a year ago, Chia simply Googled dementia Montessori programs in the U.S., and Clark Retirement’s Facebook page was in the top results. Clark Retirement has several practitioners — the most of any organization in the U.S. — certified by Amsterdam-based Association Montessori Internationale, trained through Brush Development Company. There are about 50 practitioners in the U.S.

Montessori dementia care is a philosophy of care with a goal of increasing residents’ independence, resulting in an increased sense of purpose and well-being, according to Renee Parham, a life enrichment specialist at Clark Retirement.

“I wanted to see somewhere that actually has done it and to be in that environment, not just go for some training program and then not see it in action,” Chia said.

After looking through information on the program, Chia reached out to Clark Retirement and explained what she was doing, and the organization agreed to host her.

Chia spent much of the time observing group activities and assessing residents, as well as observing training sessions for caregivers and families.

Through her observations, Chia particularly was interested in the activities Clark Retirement introduces to help dementia patients use their thinking abilities and feel a sense of purpose.

At Clark, there is a focus on giving dementia residents roles in the community based on what they enjoy or used to do, such as sorting lost and found, delivering mail, placing menus for each meal, playing piano for a group song or whatever other tasks would be useful for individual residents, Parham said.

Since it’s often easier and quicker to have staff complete simple tasks, she said that’s often what happens in health care and long-term care facilities.

“So, residents become accustomed to this learned helplessness,” Parham said.

Clark Retirement staff complete intake assessments to help determine individual roles and care.

Another major piece of the program involves therapy through group games and activities, which staff has found has created a stronger sense of community among residents.

Communication pathways in the brains of dementia patients can become jumbled and create difficulties for some. Games like charades and Scattergories require a higher level of cognitive effort to recall vocabulary used to express themselves, Parham said.

Chia said she believes the social aspect of these games is beneficial, as well.

“They might not interact on a normal basis … but within the context of the game, they might help each other. They might give clues. I think that is useful,” Chia said.

Each resident also has a memory book, which is like an organized, simplified version of a scrapbook, meant to help patients reminisce about their lives. It also can contain information to help residents remember daily routines.

“To help them self-initiate and remember that information for themselves, instead of having to constantly ask staff and feel not self-sufficient,” Parham said.

Chia said speech therapy in Singapore focuses solely on the impairment and typically does not include fun games or activities.

“I think what I've observed here is that therapy can be fun, and it can be incorporated into a group activity,” Chia said.

Chia said she plans to appropriately adjust some of these activities and implement them in the new program in Singapore, likely starting with some of the individual assessment techniques she learned.


Singles Game Night

Get ready to Mingle with Other Singles

Spring is the perfect time to meet someone new. You're invited to join us for a special event:

Singles Game Night
Wednesday, May 22 | 5-7 p.m.
Clark at Franklin
1551 Franklin St SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Get ready to mingle with other singles over board games, trivia and other fun activities. All your favorite snacks - including popcorn and pizza - will ensure that the night is as delicious as it is fun.

This is the perfect opportunity to meet other adults who share the same interests as you, as well as learn more about all the lifestyle choices that Clark at Franklin offers. We look forward to seeing you at this event - you never know who you might meet!

Please call 616-278-6527 to RSVP.

Hard Hat Tour for Sherman Street Apartments Depositors

On Friday, April 26, the future residents of our Sherman Street Apartments had their first opportunity to see their new apartments! They were excitement to see the progress on the project and to see their homes taking shape.