Displaying Her Colors

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A teacher for most of her life, Sandy Kreutzer enjoyed teaching at every level-from Kindergarten through college. Of her profession, she says, “I really enjoyed getting to interact with all kinds of people on many different levels.”

Mrs. Kreutzer has enjoyed many hobbies, including reading, card playing, knitting, computers and gourmet cooking. She was living in Oregon when she had a stroke. Her three children decided that Mrs. Kreutzer needed to make a move. “My children were really struggling to travel out to Oregon from Pennsylvania to visit me in the hospital and then the nursing home,” she explains.

The family began searching for a place close to home where Mrs. Kreutzer could receive the care she needed. They found that place in Valley Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Coopersburg, PA. She has been at Valley Manor for over two years now, and has been very happy with the service she has received. “The best thing about living here is definitely the people, both the staff and the other residents; everyone is just marvelous-so friendly and helpful.”

As a founding member of the Red Hat Society Chapter at Valley Manor, Mrs. Kreutzer has inspired her fellow residents with her vitality and determination, while helping to expand their social calendars. The Red Hat Society is considered to be a “disorganization” of women who are 50 years of age or older. (Those younger than fifty wear a pink hat.)

Her interest with the Red Hat Society began in December of 2003. However, she remembers that several years ago, “I found the poem [“Warning” by Jenny Joseph] that warns readers that she is going to wear a red hat and purple clothing when she is older, and I thought it was really a great idea. I had cancer at the time, and a friend of mine also had cancer, and we decided to live by the poem-to do whatever we wanted, whenever we felt like it! We made a pact to not take life so seriously.”

Because of the inspiring mission of the organization, Mrs. Kreutzer thought it would be perfect for her fellow residents at Valley Manor. She helped to establish a chapter there, and it has been a big success. “We have decorated our own hats, had several speakers, and all types of activities. Except for the time when we had margaritas and tortillas, we usually serve dessert at each meeting and tea in the fancy cups that we collect. Our one and only rule is that members can not complain,” says Mrs. Kreutzer. The Valley Manor chapter is unique in that all meetings are held in the facility; members and even other chapters come to Valley Manor to attend meetings.

Proudly displaying her red hat, Mrs. Kreutzer has become an inspiration to her fellow residents and the staff at Valley Manor; one of the most recent individuals to join their chapter was one of the therapists on staff who just turned fifty.

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