Overland Park Place, a place to call home
Johnson County LIVING WELL Magazine
There are always choices when considering retirement living: independent, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and more.
Through the years – 28 to be exact – Overland Park Place, a retirement community for independent seniors, has been a respected and long-standing member of the Johnson County community. They pride themselves on not only meeting the “needs” of the residents, but going far beyond.
One of the residents recently described living at Overland Park Place as “being on a cruise ship!” This comment would indicate they have good food and a lot of fun! But more than that, they take pride in the unique events and programs.
The residents have busy, productive lives when they come to live here, and they want to remain useful and vibrant. For instance, the Shining Stars Chorus allows former singers to feel the joy of singing again and have pride in what they’re doing. The Shining Stars perform all over Johnson County.
Glenn Lindell, a former minister, Ruth (Stormy) Shank (a former teacher) and Evelyn Hysell, a lady who actually used to sing professionally, are all members of The Shining Stars. “We practice weekly and perform about once a month. Sometimes for other retirement facilities, and recently for the AARP.” The group sings oldies including a lot of patriotic songs. There are 16 people in the group, and “as long as you can carry a tune, you can join the fun,” Lindell laughs.
Overland Park Place Book Club was initiated by request of the residents and they have lively monthly discussions over breakfast. And sometimes they even discuss the books they read!
The gardening group appeals to those with a green thumb who can put their expertise to work on the beautiful grounds. Sometimes the residents even feast on some of the homegrown vegetables!
Overland Park Place’s prestigious Ambassadors Club is a very active, necessary part of the culture.
The members act as liaisons for the newest residents who just moved in and need some extra support for the first few days. When you come into the building for one of the many great events, an ambassador will greet you with a smile.
Hysell, at 98, claims the honor as one of the oldest residents and one of the first ambassadors. She also sings in the chorus. “I helped with the motto, ‘It’s your life, live it well.’ This is a happy place, we are all neighbors.”
Shank is one of the members of the Overland Park Place Red Hat Society chapter, the Red Hot Foxy Ladies. This group goes out to eat, to the Nelson, even to the Diana exhibit at Union Station in downtown Kansas City. “We have so much fun,” Shank says. “I’ve now gotten involved in the formation of a teacher’s group. It started with 12 and has grown to around 25 people. We meet monthly and want to bring in speakers to talk about the latest teaching trends.”
The one lasting memory people take home after a visit to Overland Park Place is, “Everyone is so friendly!” Lindell credits a lot of this to the monthly Town Hall meetings. “We are all involved in the decisions and always are up to date on what’s going on. It’s a democracy.”
When the staff hears these words, they know they have met the goal of going beyond meeting the needs of individuals and increasing the happiness and life experience of everyone who calls Overland Park Place “home.”