To stay current on events, share experiences of a lifetime, build camaraderie and expand knowledge, about 40 residents at Presbyterian Village North (PVN) participate in a weekly group, the Men’s Kaffee Klatch. Joe Nall, a resident at PVN, has been facilitating the meetings for the last six years. He books speakers for each meeting and helps lead discussions. A resident started the group more than 30 years ago, and the group continues to meet every Thursday at 7:45 a.m. for breakfast, coffee and a weekly discussion and speaker. The residents learn about new topics, ask a variety of questions and form long-lasting friendships.
“The meeting format is much like that of a civic club,” said Nall. “We have a jester who cracks jokes during the meetings to lighten up the group, and each week we have a new guest speaker. Some of the topics are serious and others are more lighthearted. During my time as facilitator, I have booked lawyers, doctors, architects, missionaries, preachers, chaplains, authors and others. I have a background in city government and civil engineering, so I book a lot of speakers that pertain to those topics, such as the assistant city manager of Frisco who discussed Frisco’s growth, the D/FW engineers who focused on public works projects, our city councilman and a state senator.”
Nall reads the newspaper to look for ideas for guest speakers. If he can get their telephone numbers, he will give them a call to see if they are interested in coming to speak to the group. Other times, a group member has a lead or mentions that he knows someone, so Nall will have him try to get that person booked. Nall also has a friend who is an electrical engineering professor at SMU and sends him recommendations of speakers who have visited his class. Some meetings are full of special traditions, like the meeting before Christmas, when Santa Claus made a special visit, and a local doctor played Christmas melodies on his saxophone.
“The best part of the meetings is building camaraderie with our neighbors and friends,” said Nall. “After so many meetings you know just about everybody, and it’s nice to hear what they have been up to and catch up. One of the most memorable meetings for me was when a fellow resident came to share a humble presentation that was full of his life experiences. He was George Patton’s doctor and apparently did a lot of hitchhiking in his youth. One time he was picked up by Bonnie and Clyde in Louisiana! His stories were both thrilling and unbelievable.”
When a new member joins the group or a new staff member joins PVN, Nall will ask that they share a mini bio about themselves so the group can get to know them. Coming up, Nall has scheduled a visit from PVN’s new dining services director, as well as a doctor who will speak on prostate health. About 30 to 40 male residents from independent living attend the meetings each Thursday.
“We love seeing residents leading social groups and developing engaging activities,” said Ron Kelly, executive director of Presbyterian Village North. “It is heartwarming to see these special friendships forming and to hear the banter and stories that come from the meetings. The Men’s Kaffee Klatch Group is one of many activities and groups available to residents at Presbyterian Village North. Our goal is to provide an engaging environment full of interesting options, and this is just one example of a special, meaningful activity that our residents look forward to each week.”
ABOUT PRESBYTERIAN VILLAGE NORTH
Presbyterian Village North, a Presbyterian Communities and Services community, is a faith-based nonprofit continuing care retirement community for active adults aged 62 or older offering independent living, assisted living, short-stay rehab services, skilled nursing and certified memory care. Nestled among 63 acres of wildflower gardens and putting greens in North Dallas, independent living residents may choose from executive homes, patio homes or garden apartments. Assisted living residents enjoy private apartments, and private and shared suites are offered for licensed nursing care, rehabilitation therapy, memory care and hospice care. Amenities include an 1,800- square-foot wellness center, computer center, billiards room, salon, meeting rooms, woodshop, library, business center, sewing center, pottery and craft center, fulltime chaplain and weekly worship services and a 250-seat performing arts center. In 2011, Presbyterian Village North opened the nation’s most innovative therapy pool, the HydroWorx 3500, with underwater treadmill, gait monitoring and massage jets, as part of its comprehensive wellness program. The retirement community was named one of the nation’s best for 2013 and 2014 by U.S. News & World Report and Medicare, which ranks it 5 star. For more information, please visit www.prescs.org.
ABOUT PRESBYTERIAN COMMUNITIES AND SERVICES
Presbyterian Communities and Services, located in Dallas, is a faith-based nonprofit organization comprised of U.S. News & World Report-recognized continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs)—Grace Presbyterian Village and Presbyterian Village North—and the leading hospice services of Faith Presbyterian Hospice. The organization fulfills its mission of empowering individuals to live their lives to the fullest by providing a standard for excellence, premier training, quality services and compassionate care. With a 79-year shared legacy, Presbyterian Communities and Services was established in 2008 to join the two CCRCs and hospice organization. For additional information, please visit www.prescs.org.