Knibbe's Korner: Life's Shifting Stages


Life’s Shifting Stages

We measure time by milestones, significant events in life marked by age. For instance, we know the age when one is old enough to drive, to vote, to drink alcohol and to collect Medicare. A recent study looked at the question “Are life’s important milestones shifting?” The study revealed that people in their 20s and 30s have important goals that are similar to their 60 and 70-year-old counterparts. According to this new report, from the Stanford Center on Longevity, important life goals such as marrying, buying homes, and starting families are the same as previous generations. However, what the study did find is, although these important goals are the same, the 20-30-year-olds have shifted them to later in life vs. the 70 + generation. As a result of the shifting of life’s milestones in early adulthood, there is a shifting of milestones in late adulthood. In addition, with an increase in life expectancy, this prompts a new language to describe the future stages of life and age categories. The following is a comparison between “Recent Past” life stages and ages and those in the “Near Future” along with new language to describe each stage.


Understandably a new way to describe the life stages and age categories will have an impact on how we organize our cultural, social, and government services. It will also influence the language we use. If you have thoughts or ideas in this area, I would love to hear from you.

Grace and Shalom,

Dave Knibbe

President and CEO of Evergreen Commons

World Azheimer's Day

September 21st marks World Alzheimer’s Day. This is an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds Alzheimer’s related dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. It is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks of daily life.

The Day Center of Evergreen Commons has over 30+ years of experience caring for people with dementia. The Day Center program offers dementia support through a range of services, including…

1.     Activities are planned based on the individual interests of our participants and are rooted in a therapeutic approach. Cognitive activities such as; word scrambles, Jeopardy and dice games, stimulate the brain using memory, problem-solving & strategy. Creative activities such as; art, music and Bell Choir, allow for individual expression. Gross Motor activities such as chair exercise, basketball toss, and bowling encourage activity in the motor cortex and sustain physical health. Social activities promote relationships and a feeling of connectedness, and include reminiscing and discussion groups. Spiritual activities, like prayer circle, allow participants to give and receive emotional support.

2.     Health monitoring and assessments are performed on a monthly basis with oversight from an RN. The Day Center can assist in maintaining an individual’s functionality, or independence, with activities of daily living, personal care, prevention of hospitalization and medication management by routinely taking vitals, assessing fall risk and making ongoing contact with caregivers to discuss changes or concerns.

3.     Caregiver support, training and respite services provide an outlet for caregivers to talk about the strain of caregiving and receive feedback and tips on how to cope or handle their individual situations. Classes and training provide education on disease progression and the importance of self-care for the caregiver. Enrolling a loved one into the program allows working caregivers to maintain employment and financial stability, or a break from day to day caregiving tasks, which can be emotionally and physically draining.

Knibbe's Korner: Laughing Matters

Some would say aging is no laughing matter. It is serious business. Others would contend as we age we can learn to develop a keen sense of humor. We can learn that laughing matters. Living through the many seasons of life can give one a perspective and wisdom of what counts. We can find humor in many of life’s incongruities and inconsistency.

The benefits of humor to our overall well-being and health are significant. Humor can:

· Reduces stress and tension

· Improves our immune system

· Keep our brains fit and healthy

· Help maintain a positive outlook on life

Ok... since laughing matters, let’s try out this story that has been around for awhile:

“A man buys a parrot and brings him home. But the parrot starts insulting him and gets really nasty, so the man picks up the parrot and tosses him into the freezer to teach him a lesson. He hears the bird squawking for a few minutes, but all of a sudden the parrot is quiet. The man opens the freezer door, the parrot walks out, looks up at him and says, "I apologize for offending you, and I humbly ask your forgiveness."

The man says, "Well, thank you. I forgive you."

The parrot then says, "If you don't mind my asking, what did the chicken do?"

So the challenge for the month of August is to have a few laughs everyday to enhance your well-being.

Here are a couple to get you going:

· What did the left eye say to the right eye? Between you and me, something smells.

· What do you get from a pampered cow? Spoiled milk.

Grace and Shalom,


The Wellness Place

The Wellness Place

Recently, you may have noticed underneath our name ‘Evergreen Commons’ a tag line: The Wellness Place. Its purpose is to better define our position regarding who we are, what we plan to do, and where we are aiming as we look to the future.

First, we see wellness as much more than simply physical health. We believe it is the complete integration of all eight dimensions of life: social, spiritual, vocational, emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual and physical. These dimensions of wellness provide a framework to guide our organization and all of our programs and services.

Second, we desire that “The Wellness Place” becomes a platform for the pursuit of enhancing ones well-being in our community. Our wellness focus is on individual and group responsibilities that positively influence cognitive and physical abilities, as well as quality of life and purpose. Our emphasis is on the causes of wellness and also promote preventative and practical strategies that encourage individuals to become their best selves, regardless of personal challenges.

Third, it is our hope that “The Wellness Place” will encourage and inspire individuals to develop a wellness lifestyle; as well as a positive attitude, spirit, and outlook resulting in purposeful, active, and holistic living as fully as one is able.

Those of us who have been ‘around for a while’ know life is full of both joy and sorrow, with a tilt toward pain and brokenness. Our experience in living life informs us that it takes intentionality to actively contribute in building a thriving community and to purposely pursue living life to the fullest.

Our hope is that Evergreen Commons – “The Wellness Place” – will inspire you on your own journey to wellness and the pursuit of enhancing your well-being.

Grace and Shalom,


"The purpose of life is a life of purpose." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Knibbe's Korner: Practice Kindness

Practice Kindness:

An older accomplished artist who had just completed a magnificent sculpture was asked, “How long did it take you to finish this piece”? The artist, without hesitation, answered; “My whole life”.

Do the cumulative years of our lives alone make us better and wiser? I would suggest not unless we apply our life lessons to our daily lives and the constant practice of the principles of values we treasure.

The practice of kindness is one of those values that takes a lifetime of learning and application. Practicing kindness starts with having a positive regard and respect toward yourself. Treat yourself kindly. Next, practicing kindness necessitates taking generous action in the well-being of others and making their lives better.

Karyn Hall, Ph. D., in a recent article in Psychology Today, emphasizes a few different ways to practice kindness:

Be on the lookout to help people in need. Notice when others are suffering or need a helping hand.. and take action.

Be openly happy for other people’s successes. Celebrate with them.

Be gentle in giving accurate feedback when needed. Tell the truth in a loving and careful way.

“Be kind whenever possible, it is always possible.”

Dalai Lama

It is possible our older adult community could lead the way in this important practice. However, we will need to constantly keep working on this skill our whole life and encourage others to do the same.

Grace and Shalom,


President of Evergreen Commons

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Evergreen Chorale Sings "Happy Together"

"Happy Together" is a song by American rock band the Turtles from the album Happy Together. Released as a single in February 1967, the song knocked The Beatles' "Penny Lane" out of the number one slot on the US Billboard Hot 100 and remained atop the chart for three weeks. Recently, the Evergreen Chorale performed an a cappella arrangement by Audrey Snyder showcasing the vast array of musical talent among its 95 member choir. Not only does this group all stay active, but more importantly, they know how to have some fun as well. You can watch their video HERE and please feel free to share and spread the happiness. The Evergreen Chorale is a performance group of Evergreen Commons in Holland, MI and directed by Kerry Daab. 



Age Friendly Holland/Zeeland Transportation Report

We are pleased to be able to share the following PDF link to the Age-Friendly Holland/Zeeland 2018 Report including the results of a Transportation Study. In this report you will find the Case for Age-Friendly Cities, a summary of key decisions of the Age-Friendly Holland/Zeeland effort, the results of the Transportation Study, summary findings of recommended strategies to address transportation needs, the Holland/Zeeland Transportation Guide for Older Adults, a Checklist for Age-Friendly Cities and additional resources.

Evergreen Commons & Atrio Home Care Announce a Collaborative Agreement for In-Home Care Services

For Immediate Release
June 14, 2018

Evergreen: David Knibbe, (616), 355-5101,
Atrio: Carolyn Fliestra, (616) 235-5670,

Evergreen Commons and Atrio Home Care announce a collaborative agreement for in-home care services
(HOLLAND, MI) – Evergreen Commons Inc., a Holland-based community center and care organization for older adults, announces it has entered into a collaborative agreement with Atrio Home Care to provide in-home care services for older adults living in the Holland area.
The affiliation was announced to Evergreen employees June 13. As a way to make the transition easy as possible for Evergreen clients and staff, Atrio plans to offer positions to all of Evergreen’s home care staff members. 
Evergreen leaders believe this move is in the best interest of Holland’s older adult community.
“For over 30 years, Evergreen has offered in-home care services for older adults and will continue to do so through this collaborative agreement with Atrio Home Care and its Help at Home agency,” said Dave Knibbe, president and CEO of Evergreen Commons. “This collaboration will help us to increase the scale of in-home services provided to our older adult community, allowing us to serve them more effectively and comprehensively.”
Leaders from both organizations believe this is a perfect match for two like-minded agencies.
“We are excited to work with such a wonderful organization as Evergreen Commons,” said Carolyn Flietstra, executive vice president of Atrio Home Care. “We’re both faith-based, nonprofit organizations whose sole purpose is to serve seniors in our community with the highest level of care and compassion.” 
“It was a very good fit for us to form this collaborative agreement with Atrio," adds Knibbe. “Our nonprofit organizations already share similar missions, philosophies and ways of approaching care for older adults. This new model, designed for collaboration, will provide a better outcome for all involved parties. We truly believe in the power of the social sector working together in collaborative efforts.”
Atrio Home Care was formed in 2017 as a joint venture between Resthaven, Holland Home, and Clark Retirement’s home care companies. Now working as one comprehensive home care provider, Atrio offers both in-home health care and help at home services to seniors living in their own homes. Based in Holland and Grand Rapids, Atrio serves about 2500 seniors and their families in Kent, Ottawa, Allegan, Barry, Ionia and Montcalm counties.
In-home care helps older adults, who maintain their own residence, with services that allow them to live safer, healthier, and more vibrant lives as they continue to live in their homes. The services provided include help with daily activities such as meal preparation, shopping, housekeeping or personal needs like bathing and dressing. In-home care services are provided as private-pay, long-term care insurance, liability or auto insurance, or in some cases, local funding. 

For more information, visit or 
About Evergreen Commons
Established in 1985, Evergreen Commons provides a Community Center and Day Center that offer opportunities, programs and services to help adults, age 50+, to live fully while they age in place. The Commons of Evergreen provides a place, platform and opportunities for older adults to live a purposeful, active lifestyle in all its dimensions: Social, Physical, Vocational, Environmental, Intellectual, Financial, Emotional and Spiritual.  The Day Center of Evergreen provides outstanding assisted care for adults, offering programming that features a wide variety of specially designed activities, beneficial socialization, meals, personal care, transportation and community-based care that helps address dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes and prevention of falls. Evergreen Commons serves nearly 700 older adults daily and over 5000 older adults in the greater Holland area each year. 
About Atrio Home Care
Committed to providing compassionate and skilled care, Atrio Home Care is a joint venture between Holland Home, Resthaven and Clark that provides Home Health and Help at Home services to seniors in West Michigan. Atrio Home Care employs over 200 nurses, therapists, aides and other clinicians delivering a broad range of skilled and private duty services. Based in Grand Rapids and Holland, Atrio serves about 2500 seniors and their families in Kent, Ottawa, Allegan, Barry, Ionia and Montcalm counties each year. For more information, visit

# # # 

Craig Clark
Clark Communications
(616) 550-2736

The Evergreen Chorale kicks off it's 2017-2018 Concert Season

The Evergreen Chorale kicks off its 17th season, led by Kerry Daab, Music Director of the Chorale.

The Chorale presents major concerts each spring and fall, as well as performing in area churches and at various events in the community. A holiday favorite is the annual Christmas at The Commons event, starring The Evergreen Chorale. Find their upcoming schedule below or download the PDF here.

November 4, 2017 at 7:30PM
Annual Fall Concert
The Commons of Evergreen Auditorium
480 State Street
Holland, MI 49423

December 5, 2017 at 11:30AM
Christmas at The Commons
480 State Street
Holland, MI 49423
Tickets Required

December 6, 2017 at 11:30AM
Christmas at The Commons
480 State Street
Holland, MI 49423
Tickets Required

December 7, 2017 at 6:00PM
Christmas at The Commons
480 State Street
Holland, MI 49423
Tickets Required

February 25, 2018 at 3:00PM
Sacred Music Concert
First Reformed Church
630 State Street
Holland, MI 49423

May 19, 2018 at 7:30PM
Annual Spring Concert
The Commons of Evergreen Auditorium
480 State Street
Holland, MI 49423

May 27, 2018 at 10:00AM
Worship Service
Geneva Camp & Retreat Center
3995 Lakeshore Dr.
Holland, MI 49424

The Commons of Evergreen member, Alan Doering, ArtPrize entry

The Renaissance Flame of Grand Rapids

Join The Commons of Evergreen Travel Group as they venture to ArtPrize Nine on October 2nd, 3rd, and 5th! For more information, contact Gail Andrus at 616-355-5115.

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Alan, a retired endodontist, who five years ago didn't know what a table saw was took a wood bowl making class at The Commons of Evergreen Wood Shop. From making that first popcorn bowl to where he has evolved today, woodworking has left him with a wonderful feeling. The 36" tall ArtPrize sculpture, pictured above with the original Waterford cyrstal inspiration, consists of 5807 pieces of cut and glued wood. The four woods are Maple, Yellowheart, Padauk and Wenge. The inspiration for this artwork came from a Waterford crystal gift given to President Ford by the Prime Minister of Ireland in 1976. It was given to the President as a gift during the bicentennial from the people of Ireland. The extraordinary shape captured Alan's attention during a visit at the Museum. The building of the Ford Museum was one of the key events that started the rebirth of downtown Grand Rapids and how the name, Renaissance Flame of Grand Rapids, came to be. 

Alan's piece, Renaissance Flame of Grand Rapids, will be on display at the Ford Museum September 20 - October 8, 2017. To vote for this piece, use code: 64030

NEW - Moving with Parkinson's Programming Begins September 11, 2017


We are excited to partner with the Grand Rapids Ballet School and bring you "Moving with Parkinson's". 

At Grand Rapids Ballet School, we believe in the therapeutic power of dance. That’s why we’re proud to offer “Moving with Parkinson’s” class. Because there is no cure for this chronic and progressive disorder, many patients turn to therapy to maintain some degree of independence—and we’re here to provide it in a less traditional, more holistic way. This doesn’t feel like a doctor’s office; you’re in a dance studio that’s invigorating and restorative while providing you with a true sense of community. It’s so much more than an exercise class. Join us and find out for yourself or tell someone you love today!

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This 12 week program will begin Monday, September 11th from 11:15am-Noon and is open to anyone age 50+ that has Parkinson's disease or some other form of movement barriers and Care Partners. 

Cost is $36/members and $60/non-members (No additional charge for Care Partners to attend.) Please register in advance at the Member Guest Services desk. 

Dress Code: loose, comfortable clothing

2017 Giving Gala

On Thursday, October 12th, Evergreen Commons will host our first Giving Gala. It is sure to be a fun and meaningful event, and will be held at The Commons of Evergreen Auditorium. Throughout the evening guests will “Experience Evergreen” and hear the heartwarming stories about the people that are served by our programs. This event includes a cocktail reception, fine dining, and a behind- the- scenes look at the impact Evergreen Commons has on older adults in the West Michigan community. 

Proceeds from the event will support the programming at The Commons of Evergreen, The Day Center of Evergreen, and In-Home Care of Evergreen. Annually our programs and services provide community and hope to over 5,000 older adults. Your support will help us continue to respond to the needs of low-income older adults in our community. Please find out how you or your organization might be able to further support Evergreen with a sponsorship of the event at this link HERE.

Details regarding individual ticket sales coming soon – check out our website or inquire at the Member/Guest Services Desk. For sponsorship information please contact Melissa Wesolek at 616.355.5122 or via email   

Cruise-In Car Show Thursday, August 10

Join us for the Cruise-In Car Show on Thursday, August 10 from 6-8:00pm at The Commons of Evergreen. 

Go ahead and download the registration form here (pdf) and mail it back to Member Guest Services at 480 State Street, Holland MI 49423 to pre-register. Day-of registration also available on a first-come basis. There is a $5 suggested donation per vehicle entered. "Best in Show" prize awarded at 7:45pm. 

Spectators are free to help us pick "Best in Show". Concessions available. For additional questions, contact 355-5120. 

Volunteer Appreciation July 25th

We invite all of our Evergreen volunteers to our Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner!

An interactive program full of fun, encouragement, humor and a little music is sure to be a HOOT!

For additional details and to sign up, contact Viola at The Commons or Cori at The Day Center.

RSVP by Thursday, July 20th at noon.