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Chef-Prepared Meals: A Peek into The Village of Bedford Walk’s Meal Program

The Village of Bedford Walk, a JES | Prime Senior Living community, works to provide residents with a luxurious, concierge lifestyle to encourage residents to grow, learn and live life their way. One of the amenities that helps to provide this lifestyle includes the team of personal chefs from Peachtree Catering who work at The Village of Bedford Walk.

Recently, The Village of Bedford Walk staff members sat down with Benjamin Hamrah, general manager of Peachtree Catering, to get some more insight into the meals his chefs prepare for our residents. See below for Ben’s answers to all of our questions!

Where does Peachtree Catering’s food come from?

One of our core values is to keep as much of our business in the community as possible. We buy a very large portion of our produce and meats from farmers within 50 miles of Columbia and are working to increase our local ingredients every day. We believe that this not only gives our clients a higher quality product but helps to build our community and the families that live and work in it.

How do you decide what meals to serve? Do you plan them specifically for seniors?

We are incredibly lucky to have Rocky Galloway as our head chef for The Village of Bedford
Walk. Rocky and his wife Cheryl work together to coordinate Bedford Walker meals, using their years of food service experience to plan the menus based on a combination of seasonality and resident requests. While we always keep the age range and dietary needs of our residents in mind, we also design the menus around the diverse background that all the residents bring to the community. The fact that Bedford Walk is a JES |Prime Senior Living community means that the residents have a certain standard and expectation that we strive to bring to them each day.

What is your favorite thing about working with The Village of Bedford Walk?

While it may sound cliché, it is absolutely the residents. Before Bedford Walk, I had no experience with independent senior living communities, and by far the best experience has been witnessing how much fun they have every day. Just this Memorial Day, while I was grilling out on the patio for lunch, I got to laugh and “participate” in morning yoga with a huge group of residents! While my participation may have been purely in spirit, it was very cool to witness. I’ve built Gingerbread Houses, shared recipes, learned new games, been destroyed in card games and developed some truly valuable relationships with so many of the residents. We’ve laughed, cried, joked and danced together on many occasions. To top it all, I have several employees that have moved on to new chapters of their lives but continue to keep in contact with the residents. It really is a family at Bedford Walk.

Do you take resident meal requests and comments into consideration when planning the menu?

EVERY CHANCE WE GET! Our favorite thing is getting new/old recipes from the residents. I have a book of recipes that we’ve kept during our time at Bedford Walk, all collected from different residents and we love it! We also LOVE requests. Our primary goal is to make the residents happy, and we believe the best way to do that is to make sure that we are giving them exactly what they want. My favorite part of our resident meetings is having them all volunteer meal ideas that they’d like to see us prepare.

Tell us more about Peachtree Catering.

Peachtree was started by my father, owner and mentor, Ali Hamrah, in 1996. We first opened as an event space for wedding receptions but quickly realized that Columbia had a need for event spaces in all fashions and capacities daily. We were founded with the principal of giving our community a quality product at an affordable price. We began as a small business, giving our customers only one or two people to work with from start to finish. We believe that the personal service they received throughout the event process gave them the experience that they wanted and deserved. Throughout our 24 years of operation, we’ve never changed that, and we truly believe it is why we have been able to be so successful. We don’t have a “sales” or “marketing” team, and we don’t have a brigade of “banquet managers.” This gives us the opportunity to build genuine relationships with our clients, and even more importantly ensures that the message they conveyed to us on the first day they walked in is carried out on their most important of days. Peachtree is not a place, it’s a family, and that will never change.

How do you handle residents’ food allergies and dietary restrictions?

One of the great things about Bedford Walk is that the staff is dedicated to their residents’ satisfaction. Because of this, they set up personal and individual meetings with any residents with food allergies or dietary restrictions. I sit down with the resident(s) and Laura, the community manager and all-around boss lady, and have a discussion about their needs/wants/doctor’s orders and how we can meet them. We don’t like to make a big public display about them, and most residents don’t either, so Rocky and Cheryl make sure to take care of each resident specifically. Another great thing about Bedford Walk is their ever-growing resident profiles. We all work together to keep a profile for each resident, noting likes/dislikes and any dietary restrictions they may have so that we are always striving for that end of the day satisfaction.

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The Village of Bedford Walk Celebrates Third Anniversary

On Saturday, June 8, 2019, The Village of Bedford Walk, a JES | Prime luxury independent senior living community located in Columbia, Missouri, held an ice cream social for residents, friends and families to celebrate the community’s three-year anniversary. From beautiful weather to yards games and ice cream stations, the residents had all of the essentials for the perfect ice cream social!

We are so thankful to everyone who came out to help us celebrate and to all of the team members, residents and families who have helped create our engaged and family-like community.

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Summer Wellness Tips for Seniors

With the changing of the season, comes a change of lifestyle. Below are some tips to have a safe summer from www.senioradvisor.com.

Hydrate

With the summer sun getting stronger, hydration is key. Doctors recommend drinking six to eight cups of water a day during the summer. If you are planning on spending time in the sun, make sure to remember a water bottle. Drinks like soda, energy drinks or juice will not hydrate you as much as water will.

Wear Sunscreen

If you are going outside, make sure to pack sunscreen with you. The sun is much stronger in the summer, and may burn you faster than during the winter months. Reapply sunscreen every couple of hours to ensure you are protecting your skin from the powerful UV rays. Carrying sunscreen with you will prevent painful sunburn.

Check the Weather Before You Leave

This summer, be sure to check the weather before you leave home. By checking the weather, you are able to prepare for the day ahead. Being stranded without extra water and food, sunscreen or weather gear can be dangerous.

Following these tips will help keep your summer fun and safe!

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Bedford Residents’ Cardinals Outing

On April 11, residents and a few team members loaded up The Village of Bedford Walk’s shuttle and headed off to St. Louis for a Cardinals baseball game.

Our suite offered barbecue, nachos, drinks and more, along with a great view of the field. The St. Louis Cardinals took on the Los Angeles Dodgers for their fourth game that week. The game was filled with awesome plays by the Cardinals, and best of all: they won! Even our lone Cubs fan had a fun day cheering on the home team.

We love planning exciting outings and opportunities for our residents, so our monthly calendar gets pretty full! Take a look at our calendar of events to see what activities we have coming up, and call us at 573.303.7252 to learn more about our community.

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The Importance of Lifelong Learning

You have probably heard that it is important to keep your brain active, but do you know why lifelong learning is so important to your health? SixtyandMe.com explains three reasons why you should make education a priority.

#1: Lifelong Learning Improves Your Memory

Intellectual stimulation throughout your lifetime can delay the onset of memory problems and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, according to a study from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Learning something new, like a hobby, skill or activity can boost your memory by strengthening the networks in your brain.

Learning to play a musical instrument has several benefits including increasing your reaction time and strengthening your decision-making and problem-solving functioning.

#2: Lifelong Learning Lengthens Your Lifespan

Researchers David Cutler and Adriana Lleras-Muney suggest that a year of formal education can add more than six months to your lifespan. Their study found that the more educated you are, the lower your rates of anxiety and depression, heart disease, stroke, asthma and diabetes.

#3: Lifelong Learning Reduces Your Stress Level

You do not have to take a class or learn a new skill to receive the benefits of learning – simply pick up a book. Reading can lower your stress levels in as little as six minutes. Lower stress can lead to better cardiovascular health, a boosted immune system, lower blood pressure and decreased levels of depression.

As a retiree, you have more time than ever to pick up a hobby, read, learn a new skill or sign up for classes. Talk to Concierge Services if you would like help finding a local class or have a request for an activity.

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2019 Rootin’ Tootin’ Chili Cookoff Results

Members of our Chili Cookoff Committee spent the day serving up Carol’s famous Chili and getting attendees to “Come on Down” to try their luck at spinning our wheel or playing Plinko.

On February 16th, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbia participated in the 14th annual MFA Oil Rootin’ Tootin’ Chili Cookoff presented by JES Holdings at the Holiday Inn Executive Center. This is one of our favorite events and we have been the Prestin’ Sponsor since 2007. In the weeks leading up to the Chili Cookoff, JES teamed up with The Village of Bedford Walk and held fundraising events within our offices as well as in the community. With everyone’s support we were able to donate a total of $6,859 at the event winning us the Third Biggest Bowl Award.

At the event itself, businesses from the community create booths and serve up their best chili recipes. This year the JES booth theme was The Spice is Right, complete with a functional Plinko Board and Wheel. Our committee and The Village of Bedford Walk residents had so much fun creating this booth, but not as much fun as the kids did playing for prizes! Check out how awesome it looked below.

We cannot thank all those who donated during this fundraising process enough; with our support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbia reached their goal of $115,000 at the event. A special thank you to our sponsors from the community for their donation: Banacom Instant Signs of Missouri, Metro Electric, River City Drywall, Western States Fire Protection, Presley’s Glass Company, Meek’s, Sherwin Williams and Mid City Lumber.

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