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Residents bask in the charm of Via Christi Village on McLean

Via Christi Village on McLean

Situated along the Arkansas River west of downtown Wichita, Via Christi Village on McLean offers the best of both worlds — the natural beauty and serenity of country living plus metropolitan convenience. In fact, some refer to the intimate retirement village as “the bed and breakfast along the river.”

A continuing care retirement community, the Village at 777 N. McLean Blvd. offers independent living duplexes, assisted living apartments and skilled nursing care in private rooms. As residents move through life and transition from one level of care need to the next, everything for the body, mind and spirit is provided so they may stay as healthy and active as possible.

Center of the action

Just off the assisted living community’s ice cream parlor is the apartment where Veneda Wood lives. She says she appreciates the opportunities provided within the close-knit community by the river — from social activities and exercise classes to her weekly beauty parlor appointments.

“I’m at the center of the action,” says Veneda, 93. “You’re supplied with all your needs and activities and you can choose to participate in as much or as little as you wish.”

Thoughtful and respectful caregivers help her with medications, safe transfers to and from her walker and wheelchair, housekeeping and laundry. “I think their care is just splendid and the individualized attention is good,” she says. “I trust them. I feel comfortable with the neighborhood and this community.”

Since moving to the Village in 2011, that peace of mind has enabled Veneda to continue to focus on her philanthropic hobby of the past 14 years — making bracelets from donated old or unused jewelry and beads. She’s made well over 2,000 bracelets, donating proceeds from sales at the Village and other locations to support a retirement community in Newton, where her mother had lived and where she lived before moving back to Wichita.

“The beads keep my mind busy,” she says, sifting through containers of organized beads ready to become new accessories.

A green thumb

Next door at the Court, a skilled nursing center with 36 private rooms, you’re likely to find resident Doris Hopping tending to flowers in the outdoor courtyards.

“I really like digging in the dirt and planting flowers,” says Doris, 77, who moved to the Village in 2008 for support recovering from a stroke. She helps plant the outdoor containers and pots each season and serves as a volunteer waterer.

Fondly shared experiences growing up on a farm and growing vegetable and flower gardens established Doris as a green thumb and gardening consultant for staff and other residents. “I give them suggestions whether they ask me or not,” she jokes.

Doris enjoys playing card games such as pitch and visits from her daughter, Karen, and her “grand dog,” Coco.

She notes both her physical and emotional needs are met at the Village. Staff always check on her comfort and provide “good T.L.C.” when she needs it. “They take really good care of you here. They’re sympathetic — it’s like they’re part of the family.”

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