Trinity Community to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

BEAVERCREEK [May 03, 2019] – Trinity Community of Beavercreek is excited to participate in National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which will be held May 12 – 18.

The NSNCW 2019 theme, “Live Soulfully,” will celebrate skilled nursing centers and their residents and staff by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls. The theme fits well with United Church Homes’ mission and vision to provide care to the whole person including mind, body and spirit, which includes providing full-time chaplains at all UCH senior living communities.

Trinity Community will host a variety of events during the week, which kicks off on Mother’s Day with music and entertainment. Tuesday’s schedule includes a paper airplane race, table-top cornhole and football trivia. Events will continue through Saturday*.

Established an as annual, week-long observance by the American Health Care Association in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s older adults and people with disabilities.

For more information about Trinity Community, visit trinityofbeavercreek.org.

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Media Contact: Alissa Paolella, Communications Coordinator, 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

About Trinity Community:  Trinity Community offers independent and assisted living, long-term skilled care, short-term rehabilitation and memory care on a beautiful campus in Beavercreek, Ohio.

*Events are not open to the public, but media is invited to come get photos. To arrange a visit, please contact Alissa Paolella.

Patriot Ridge Community to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

FAIRBORN [May 3, 2019] – Patriot Ridge Community in Fairborn is excited to participate in National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which will be held May 12 – 18.

The NSNCW 2019 theme, “Live Soulfully,” will celebrate skilled nursing centers and their residents and staff by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls. The theme fits well with United Church Homes’ mission and vision to provide care to the whole person including mind, body and spirit, which includes providing full-time chaplains at all UCH senior living communities.

Throughout the week, Patriot Ridge will host cookouts for all staff. Monday, May 13 is Wear Your Favorite Hat Day. Tuesday will be Wear Your Favorite Color Day and residents will make no-bake cookies. Wednesday, May 15 is Spirit Day, when staff are invited to wear red, white and blue. Staff are invited to wear their favorite sports apparel Thursday, May 16 and Friday is Dress in Your Favorite Decade with entertainment by Rhinestones & Roses at 2:30 p.m. and walking tacos for residents and staff.

Established an as annual, week-long observance by the American Health Care Association in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s older adults and people with disabilities.

For more information about Patriot Ridge Community, visit unitedchurchhomes.org/patriot-ridge/.

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Media Contact: Alissa Paolella, Communications Coordinator, 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

About Patriot Ridge Community:  Patriot Ridge Community offers assisted living, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation and memory care on a beautiful campus located in Fairborn, Ohio. We focus on individualized care in a casual and comfortable atmosphere.

*Events are not open to the public. Media is invited to come take photos. Please contact Alissa Paolella to arrange a visit.

Harmar Place to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

MARIETTA [May 03, 2019] – Harmar Place in Marietta is excited to participate in National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which will be held May 12 – 18.

The NSNCW 2019 theme, “Live Soulfully,” will celebrate skilled nursing centers and their residents and staff by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls. The theme fits well with United Church Homes’ mission and vision to provide care to the whole person including mind, body and spirit, which includes providing full-time chaplains at all UCH senior living communities.

Here is Harmar Place’s schedule of events for the week*:

  • Monday, May 13
    2 p.m. National Apple Pie Day with karaoke
  • Tuesday, May 14
    2 p.m., Line Gold Dancers and root beer floats
  • Wednesday, May 15
    10 a.m., craft with recycled materials
    2 p.m., bake dog treats for the humane society
    6 p.m., Curtis Chamberlain
  • Thursday, May 16
    9:30 a.m., music with Joe
    2 p.m., Cake Walk
    4 p.m., back massages
  • Friday, May 17
    10 a.m., Soul’s Harbor
    2 p.m., Ahoy Bingo

Established an as annual, week-long observance by the American Health Care Association in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s older adults and people with disabilities.

For more information about Harmar Place, visit harmarplace.org.

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Media Contact: Alissa Paolella, Communications Coordinator, 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

About Harmar Place:  Harmar Place offers assisted living, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation and memory care on a beautiful campus located in Marietta, Ohio. We focus on individualized care in a casual and comfortable atmosphere.

*Events are not open to the public. Media is invited to come take photos. Please contact Alissa Paolella to arrange a visit.

Parkvue to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

SANDUSKY [April 29, 2019] – Parkvue Community in Sandusky is excited to participate in National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which will be held May 12 – 18.

Parkvue’s theme for the week is “Parkvue: The Talk of the Town.” Parkvue’s week will be a Main Street theme, with all departments participating by creating their own storefronts. Employees will display their wares on Friday and pass out goodies to residents as they tour Main Street. The grand finale will be a street fair, where unique street food can be sampled, bags of popcorn will be distributed and a musician will perform.

Below is Parkvue’s calendar of events for National Skilled Nursing Care Week:

  • Monday, May 13
    10 a.m., entertainer Dan Moyer
    2 p.m., Sweet Nothings
    Bingo will be played throughout the day with winners receiving a prize.
  • Tuesday, May 14
    10 a.m., Surprises at the Apothecary
    2:30 p.m., Ice Cream Shop
    3:30 p.m., Special Deliveries
  • Wednesday, May 15
    10 a.m., Main Street Scavenger Hunt
    2 p.m., Popcorn and Popcorn Floats
  • Thursday, May 16
    10 a.m., Picture Perfect (on courts)
    12 p.m., Main Street Meal in resident dining rooms
    2 p.m., Catholic services
    2:45 p.m., bingo
  • Friday, May 17
    10 a.m., Tours Down Main Street
    2:30 p.m., Street Fair*

Established an as annual, week-long observance by the American Health Care Association in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s older adults and people with disabilities.

For more information about Parkvue, visit parkvue.org

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About Parkvue: Parkvue Community offers independent and assisted living, long-term skilled care, short-term rehabilitation and memory care on a beautiful campus in Sandusky, Ohio. The campus features multiple ponds and an indoor swimming pool for residents.

*Events are not open to the public, but media is invited to come take photos.

Pilgrim Manor to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

GRAND RAPIDS [April 29, 2019] – Pilgrim Manor in Grand Rapids is excited to participate in National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which will be held May 12 – 18.

The NSNCW 2019 theme, “Live Soulfully,” will celebrate skilled nursing centers and their residents and staff by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls. The theme fits well with United Church Homes’ mission and vision to provide care to the whole person including mind, body and spirit, which includes providing full-time chaplains at all UCH senior living communities.

Pilgrim Manor will celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week with a focus on United Church Homes’ mission to transform aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace. Activities are being planned for residents and staff members.

The focus for the week will be the Hospitality: I LIVE IT program, which stands for Listen, Inspire, Value and Empower. The program includes a focus on United Church Homes’ Word of the Week. One example is using “community” instead of “facility” to deinstitutionalize the experience of living in a senior living community. Staff members are encouraged to listen, inspire, value all perspectives and empower their peers.

Established an as annual, week-long observance by the American Health Care Association in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s older adults and people with disabilities.

For more information about Pilgrim Manor, visit pilgrimmanor.org.

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About Pilgrim Manor: Pilgrim Manor offers assisted living, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation and memory care on a beautiful campus conveniently located in northeast Grand Rapids, Michigan, just minutes from downtown. We focus on individualized care in a casual and comfortable atmosphere.

Chapel Hill to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

CANAL FULTON [April 29, 2019] – Chapel Hill Community in Canal Fulton is excited to participate in National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which will be held May 12 – 18.

The NSNCW 2019 theme, “Live Soulfully,” will celebrate skilled nursing centers and their residents and staff by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls. The theme fits well with United Church Homes’ mission and vision to provide care to the whole person including mind, body and spirit, which includes providing full-time chaplains at all UCH senior living communities.

Below is the calendar of events for National Skilled Nursing Care Week:

  • Sunday, May 12
    9:30 a.m., worship service in the chapel with Rev. Erin Proie
    1 p.m., entertainer Jill Burke in the Grand Lobby
    2 p.m., Mother’s Day Social in the activities room with a mother’s blessing
  • Monday, May 13
    10 a.m., Walk with the Doc at Basler Community Center. Topic: Understanding your blood pressure. Afterward, join Dr. Rao for a brisk walk around the Kroft Common Circle
    2:30 p.m., Elvis singing gospel hits and other favorites in the Grand Lobby
  • Tuesday, May 14
    9:15 a.m., ceramics in the craft room
    1 p.m., bell choir in the Grand Lobby
    2:30 p.m., Tap Katz in the Grand Lobby
  • Wednesday, May 15
    10 a.m. to 1 p.m., all-building cookout
    10 – 3:30 p.m., massage for staff in the rec room on the garden level
    10 a.m. – 1 p.m., all-building cookout in the rec room/courtyard
  • Thursday, May 16
    2 – 4 p.m., The Toys That Time Forgot in the Grand Lobby, presenting toy commercials from the 1950s and ’60s.
  • Saturday, May 18
    12 – 3 p.m., Stark County Humane Society adoption event in the rec room/courtyard
    1 p.m., Blessing of the Pets

Established an as annual, week-long observance by the American Health Care Association in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s older adults and people with disabilities.

For more information about Chapel Hill, visit unitedchurchhomes.org/chapel-hill.

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About Chapel Hill Community:  Chapel Hill Community offers independent and assisted living, long-term skilled care, short-term rehabilitation and memory care on a beautiful campus outside Canal Fulton, Ohio.

Four Winds Community to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

JACKSON [April 29, 2019] – Four Winds Community in Jackson is excited to participate in National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which will be held May 12 – 18.

The NSNCW 2019 theme, “Live Soulfully,” will celebrate skilled nursing centers and their residents and staff by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls. The theme fits well with United Church Homes’ mission and vision to provide care to the whole person including mind, body and spirit, which includes providing full-time chaplains at all UCH senior living communities.

Below is Four Winds Community’s calendar of events for National Skilled Nursing Care Week:

  • Sunday, May 12
    3 p.m., Mother’s Day program with cookies and punch
  • Monday, May 13
    10 a.m., Resident King and Queen Contest
    12 p.m., Cupcake Kickoff
    2 p.m., Resident Recognition Ceremony (wear your favorite sports theme)
  • Tuesday, May 14
    6:30 p.m., Four Winds Talent Show open to staff, residents and community. Contact Jean Ann Moshier to register. Wear your favorite Halloween costume.
  • Wednesday, May 15
    6 p.m., Barbie Birthday Bash with cake and party for staff, community, residents. Wear your favorite nerd costume.
    Thursday, May 16
    1 p.m., Ice Cream Social and Luau. Wear your favorite luau outfit.
  • Friday, May 17
    First and second shifts, summer of ’69 theme party. Pizza for staff and residents. Wear your favorite hippie costume.
  • Saturday, May 18
    10 a.m. to 6 p.m., all-day bingo marathon
  • Sunday, May 19
    10 a.m. to 12 p.m., car show registration
    11:30 a.m., veterans ceremony
    12 p.m., All-American lunch (hot dogs, chips, apple pie slices and bottled water) – free for residents, staff and community. Staff and residents are encouraged to wear red, white and blue.
    2 p.m., car show awards

Established an as annual, week-long observance by the American Health Care Association in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s older adults and people with disabilities.

For more information about Four Winds, visit fourwindsjackson.org.

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About Four Winds Community: At Four Winds Community in Jackson, Ohio, our loving staff and beautiful campus create a warm, welcoming place to call home. Families appreciate the high quality of care that their loved ones receive here. But it’s more than the dedication of our staff that makes Four Winds so special. It’s the way that Four Winds remains an integral part of the greater Jackson community, where people know who we are and trust what we do.

Fairhaven to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

UPPER SANDUSKY [April 26, 2019] – Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky is excited to participate in National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which will be held May 12 – 18.

The NSNCW 2019 theme, “Live Soulfully,” will celebrate skilled nursing centers and their residents and staff by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls. The theme fits well with United Church Homes’ mission and vision to provide care to the whole person including mind, body and spirit, which includes providing full-time chaplains at all UCH senior living communities.

Below is the calendar of events for National Skilled Nursing Care Week:

  • Sunday, May 12
    1 p.m., Worship to reflect the theme of “Live Soulfully”
  • Monday, May 13
    2 – 3:30 p.m., Opening Minds through Art exhibit
    Book swap in the Robert P. Lee Fellowship Hall
  • Tuesday, May 14
    3 p.m., Daughters of Hope dance group
    Book swap in the Robert P. Lee Fellowship Hall
  • Wednesday, May 15
    11 a.m., proclamation by Mayor Scott Washburn
    6 p.m., FFA animals to visit with residents
  • Thursday, May 16
    Blessing hands of staff
  • Friday, May 17
    Huddles in honor of Music & Memory (all staff name a song they like)

Established an as annual, week-long observance by the American Health Care Association in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s older adults and people with disabilities.

For more information about Fairhaven, visit fairhaven.org.

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About United Church Homes:  United Church Homes, headquartered in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of seniors for more than a century. The faith-inspired nonprofit organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,800 dedicated staff serving nearly 5,000 residents of all faiths in 74 senior living communities throughout 14 states and two Native American nations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths.

In Memory: Connie Frater

In memory of Connie FraterConnie Frater, manager of Shawnee Springs in Bellefontaine, Ohio, died Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, following a prolonged hospital stay. She had been the manager of Shawnee Springs since it opened in 1995 and helped train many managers over the years. Connie was always willing to help wherever she was needed. “Each of us grieves not only the passing of a kind and wonderful person but also for her family’s loss,” said Cheryl Wickersham, vice president of Housing Services.

Chapel Hill’s Inaugural Resident Giving Campaign Was a Big Success

Inaugural resident giving campaign a big success - leads to sweet treat

Through the hot summer months, Chapel Hill Community residents dreamed of frozen custard, but the community didn’t have a custard machine. Members of the Chapel Hill Residents Council decided this was an excellent project to tackle. Their plan was to raise the money for the custard machine and also encourage donations toward benevolent care. An anonymous donor offered to match, dollar for dollar, residents’ contributions up to $10,000. In less than two months, residents had contributed the money and more — for a total of $23,000! In a surprising turn of events, most donors chose to give to benevolent care above all else. In the end, residents funded the custard machine and benevolent care as well as pastoral care and a pair of tribute benches for all to enjoy.

Parkvue Community’s Walking Path Project Fully Funded

Walking Path's at Parkvue

Nestled in a quiet, picturesque setting in Sandusky, Ohio, Parkvue Community has beautiful flowers, landscaping and water features for residents to enjoy. One of the highlights for all has been the walking path. However, years of weather and wear have made it difficult to use, with deep cracks across its surface. Discouraged by the state of the path, residents rallied together to raise the $13,000 needed to restore it. One anonymous donor contributed $1,000 to kickstart the campaign. Then, thanks to grants from the Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn Foundation, the Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn Foundation Charitable Impact Fund at the Erie County Community and the Mylander Foundation, the project was well on its way. But the biggest impact, if not in dollars, came from the heart — donations from residents, staff members and memorial donors. In total, Parkvue raised $14,820, and restoration will begin this spring.

Pilgrim Manor’s Assisted Living Director’s Tireless Efforts Pay Off in Bronze

 

Pilgrim Manor Assisted Living Director Carol Parsaca

United Church Homes’ Pilgrim Manor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has experienced a lot of growth in the past few years. In 2016, Pilgrim Manor joined UCH. Soon after, it received a $3 million facelift, completed in 2018, and a new executive director, Becky Stacy, this past fall. Throughout all the change, however, Assisted Living Director Carol Parsaca has remained a constant, and her work helped the community earn the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) Bronze — Commitment to Quality Award.

“Carol’s dedication to our residents and staff is unparalleled,” Marketing Director Elizabeth Schmidt said. “She is the very definition of a true servant leader, and we’re so proud that her hard work is being recognized and has led to our first Bronze Award win.”

Carol earned her undergraduate degree in science from Aquinas College, and joined Pilgrim Manor’s staff in 2010 after connecting with the community through her work at the Van Andel Institute, a biomedical research and science education organization in Grand Rapids. Her first position at Pilgrim Manor was as the assisted living sustainability manager, where she focused on green initiatives and waste reduction at the community. A few years later, she became the assisted living director, achieving AL certification from the Michigan Center for Assisted Living. She now serves residents in the more than 100-room AL section of Pilgrim Manor and oversees over 40 employees.

With so many people depending on her, Carol’s job can be challenging. She said trying to meet the wide range of resident and staff needs is the toughest part of her job. “They’re so very different from one end of the spectrum to the other. Finding the ability to serve and care for those people with limited resources is the biggest obstacle in my career.”

Carol Holding Bronze AwardObviously, she’s found a way to do just that. The AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program honors association members nationwide who demonstrate commitment to improving quality of care for older adults and individuals with disabilities. The Bronze Award is the first of three distinctions, followed by Silver and Gold. The program is rigorous — only 531 communities in 50 states and the District of Columbia achieved the Bronze Award in 2018. In Michigan, only 16 entities qualified, and of those, only one earned the award as an AL community — Pilgrim Manor.

On her quest for the award, Carol and her staff closely examined Pilgrim Manor’s quality of care. “We looked back and determined what we weren’t doing well, what we could improve. Then we began setting goals. Involving staff in the process was helpful.”

One of the pitfalls staff identified was the effect of alarms on residents. “We use alarms as a regular fall intervention, but were (the alarms) helpful or detrimental to the quality of life for residents? We decided they were more of an irritant to residents, so we stopped using them. And we haven’t reinstituted alarms for any reason at Pilgrim Manor.”

What’s Next for Pilgrim Manor’s Assisted Living Program?

“We definitely want to go for the Silver Award,” Carol said. “One of the challenges is that we will have to shift our focus slightly. The average move-in age of our AL residents used to be 90, but now we’re seeing residents entering our care in their late 70s/early 80s. Therefore, some of the qualifiers we met for the 2018 Bronze Award won’t apply to care for this younger population.”

Carol with Family 1But if anyone’s up to scoring the silver, it’s Carol, who is as busy at home as at work. She and her partner, Kevin, are parents to 3-year-old twins, William and Chase. When Carol gets the chance, she loves going out to eat with her family, enjoying some down time when she’s away from Pilgrim Manor.

When asked what her favorite part of being Pilgrim Manor’s AL director is, Carol said, “It’s the ability to learn from residents and coworkers, which keeps life exciting. I’m truly blessed to learn and serve every day.”

Examples of Engagement

Our residents are so engaged, we couldn’t write features on every story. Here are some highlights of other engagement activities by residents and staff of UCH communities from our Community Benefits Program.


Cherry Arbors

Dwight, a resident of Cherry Arbors, retired when he moved in. To fight boredom, Dwight began volunteering at the local hospital. Now, he feels fulfilled as a regular volunteer.


Four Winds Community

Four Winds Community organizes a benefit for St. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Wellston, Ohio, gathering prizes for a hugely popular bingo benefit. The benefit raised more than $1,800 for the school.


Harmar Place

Harmar Place residents make homemade dog treats for the local humane society. Everyone agreed it was a great idea. Every other Tuesday, residents get together to make the treats, the kitchen staff bakes them and a team member drops them off at the humane society. The dogs at the shelter love these special treats!


Patriot Ridge

Patriot Ridge Community in Fairborn, Ohio, hosts Camp Ageless annually, inviting children and residents to bond over crafts, games, face painting and more. It is part of several intergenerational programs offered at Patriot Ridge, connecting residents with younger generations. It’s a win-win when relationships are formed between older adults and youth, who learn from one another.


Parkvue Community

Parkvue Community in Sandusky, Ohio, offers a Patriots’ Day celebration every year, inviting local first responders to enjoy a cookout and socialize with residents.


Mill Run Place

Mill Run Place in Ashland, Ohio, participates in a program called Multi-Generational Mentoring, which links at-risk youth with caring older adults who provide assistance with homework assignments, helping to set the stage for academic success. However, this program is much more. It provides a mutually supportive atmosphere in which students receive encouragement and individualized attention.

Campaign for Abundant Life Winter Update

Campaign for Abundant Life is on pace to reach goal of $20 millionThe Campaign for Abundant Life is increasing in momentum as more individuals, churches and community partners respond with support. 2019 marks year three of the five-year comprehensive campaign. The goal is to raise funds for charitable care, pastoral care, the Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging, updated campuses for long-term care communities and supportive services for affordable housing. To date, United Church Homes has raised over $13.2 million*. Below is a breakdown of funding raised:

Campaign for Abundant Life breakdown of funding

Residents Establish New Endowment at Glenwood Community

New Endowment at Glenwood Community

The Glenwood Community Resident Association, made up of independent living residents, has planted the seed for a new endowment fund.

Earnings from the endowment fund will help underwrite the costs needed to sustain the operations of Glenwood Community.

This fundraising idea came about partly because of the advocacy of residents Roger and Sally Roberts and their interest to lead an initiative with their peers for a fund that would provide sustainability for operations for Glenwood for generations to come.

An anonymous lead gift of $10,000 started the campaign. One way donors can give toward the endowment is through their IRA required minimum distributions, and the fund has received a gift through that manner. To date, the residents have already received over $18,000, including $1,050 in memorial gifts already held by the Resident Association and voted on to give to the endowment.

“I was looking for a vehicle for residents to be able to give back to Glenwood,” Roger said. “With help from UCH Director of Gifts and Grants Alissa Clouse and President and CEO Rev. (Kenneth) Daniel, we were able to get it underway. I’m glad to say that we’re coming along very well. We’ve raised about a quarter of the funds that we’re going to need to meet UCH’s minimum (for endowments) in the prescribed period of time.”

The Resident Association has a goal to raise $50,000 required to initiate an endowment fund over a five-year period.

Roger sees endowments as an excellent way to encourage people to contribute to a cause they believe in.

Supporting Glenwood Community is a cause close to many residents’ hearts.

“Glenwood Community is not a community in name only,” Glenwood Executive Director Linda Dailey said. “Our generous residents have proven this by establishing an endowment to support one another well beyond the immediate future. Their commitment to our community and its future is evidence of the family that grows with (the addition of) each new resident. Their support will carry on past their personal residence at Glenwood. We are grateful for their philanthropy, support and leadership.”

Board Member Profile: Trevor Bates

Trevor Bates, United Church Homes Board Member

Trevor Bates, a member of the United Church Homes Board of Directors, led a session on emotionally intelligent leadership at the 2018 UCH Leadership, Education, Achievement, Development, Success (LEADS) class. Born and raised on the west side of Chicago, Trevor has a long history in academia and shared his expertise with LEADS participants.

Trevor grew up in an impoverished and high crime area of Chicago. His immediate family relocated to Kansas City, Kansas, when he was about 12 years old, to seek a better life.

“We experienced many years of personal challenges, but we always knew that God was with us and for us,” Trevor said.

After earning a high school diploma from Summer Academy of Arts and Sciences and an International Baccalaureate certificate in biology, mathematics and Spanish, Trevor went to Millikin University in Illinois, majoring in athletic training. Trevor served as a teaching assistant, student worker and manager of the fitness center. He graduated magna cum laude. He later earned a Master of Science in kinesiology with an emphasis in sports medicine from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

As a graduate assistant, Trevor taught undergraduate courses, provided clinical athletic training services to the Wheelchair Sports programs and served as a predoctoral fellow, assisting with administrative tasks related to athletic training assessment and accreditation within the College of Community Health and Kinesiology.

Trevor earned a Doctor of Health Sciences with a concentration in leadership and organizational behavior from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences.

Since June 2017, he has served as vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty at Mercy College of Ohio in Toledo. Trevor is also an associate professor of health sciences at the college.

Trevor has a special interest in professional development of all staff. Other interests include pain perception and associated healthcare choices; emotional intelligence assessment in hiring; and leadership decision making and perspectives.

Trevor joined the UCH Board of Directors in February 2017 after learning about the organization from Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO.

“Rev. Daniel described the mission and vision of UCH and the role of the Board, and I was very intrigued,” Trevor said. “I have visited communities and gotten to know several outstanding staff members through my previous professional academic role at Heidelberg University (in Tiffin, Ohio), preparing students seeking internships as they were pursuing a career in the healthcare field. Rev. Daniel asked me to consider becoming a member of the Board, and I was very honored to be invited to serve. After conversations with my wife and prayer, I enthusiastically accepted.”

United Church Homes is committed to developing new leaders who can advance to roles of greater responsibility and chart new and interesting career paths. This can lead to better employee retention. The first LEADS class completed the program in October 2016.

UCH partners with the Alber Enterprise Center at Ohio State University at Marion to offer the class annually.

At LEADS, Trevor put into practice his interest in developing future leaders to support organizational culture and succession planning. He learned about the opportunity when the first group of LEADS graduates presented to the Board. Trevor provided practical information learned through his research and experiences.

“I may have enjoyed the session as much, if not more, than the participants,” Trevor said. “We had some great conversations and the group was very engaged.

“The most fulfilling part of being on the Board is being a part of an organization where the love for Christ and what he did to serve others is the most important thing on everyone’s mind as we engage in discussions, planning and taking actions on behalf of the organization,” Trevor said.

Trevor’s goal is to find ways to use the gifts God gave him to contribute to a group of very talented and accomplished Board members.

Reflections on Love at the End of Life

Dr. Ira ByockThis blog is the third in a series of reflections from the third annual Symposium with Dr. Ira Byock on Oct. 12, 2018, Abundant Aging Through the End of Life. It was written by Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging intern Emily Howard. To subscribe to the weekly blog, visit abundantaging.org.

Julia’s husband had been a Presbyterian minister, who she met at seminary. When I met Julia, I was an undergraduate, and she was in her 90s, aging with faith and clarity about her life’s rootedness in community, history and hope.

She spoke often of her relationship with Rev. Wilson, her late husband. I will never forget the memory she treasured, of the “kind providence” that Rev. Wilson felt had brought them together. Their love was evidently a big one — love of the kind that shapes surrounding lives into better ones, just by being near it.

A love like that also shapes others in its last stage. Though I am sure the Wilsons’ relationship was imperfect (which, as Symposium speaker
Dr. Ira Byock noted, all relationships are) — there was much about Julia’s recollections of their marriage that shaped my values as a young person. As Julia shared her story, I saw ways that, even in approaching death, their love created abundant life.

Julia reflected deeply on the time of approaching the loss of her beloved, able to share what had helped her cope. She taught me a favorite prayer — the prayer of St. Francis — and often quoted the Scripture text that sustained her: from Philippians 4:6-7, St. Paul’s wise advice, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I was struck by their family’s facing of death with courage — which, to be sure, is not the absence of fear, but the facing of it. Her husband, in her recollection, was able to say goodbye in his last conscious days to the family that mattered deeply to him. To his daughter, he could say, “I’m proud of you.” To his wife, he could say, “I love you.”

Ira Byock’s description of his work in hospice care includes reflections on, “The Four Things that Matter Most.” His experience has shown that simply to be able to connect around the simple words that we all need to say and to hear can influence our endings in incredible ways — including those words that Rev. Wilson, Julia and their daughter exchanged, “I love you.” At the end of life, we need the words, “I love you,” “I forgive you,” “I’m proud of you,” and “Thank you.” Many Symposium participants were quick to note how much those words mean today, throughout a lifetime, not only at its close.

Fairhaven Ambassadors Provide Companionship to New Residents

Max and Rev. Hoover

The purpose of the Fairhaven Community Friendship Ambassador Program is to provide companionship, comfort, hospitality, service and abundant life to friends and neighbors who have chosen Fairhaven as their home on life’s journey.

Ambassadors spend one hour or more with a new resident during their initial visit; commit to checking in with the new resident during specific times daily and weekly; and be helpful and willing to make the experience of moving to a new home easier. Ambassadors also agree to be respectful in attitude by caring and demonstrating empathy toward the new resident.

Wilma, a resident who serves as the group’s secretary, said the program is much more than just visiting with a fellow resident.

“It’s not just walking into someone’s apartment. It’s really getting to know them,” she said. “It’s not something that ends. It’s an ongoing relationship we maintain throughout somebody’s lifetime. The program keeps growing and evolving.”

The program’s guidebook also lays out how the program could impact residents throughout their time at Fairhaven.

“As friendship ambassadors, you are working toward making the journey and experience at Fairhaven Community warm and inviting,” according to the guidebook. “If new residents know you are there and that you have a sincere concern for them, then we have fulfilled a wonderful mission. Your heart and care are the key.”

Fairhaven Activities Assistant Becky Blocksom leads the program and matches each new resident with a current resident prior to their arrival. Ambassadors are encouraged to visit with new residents regularly. Becky asks residents to develop a plan for ambassadors to walk with new residents to the dining room for their first meal.

“This simple act can make a big difference for new residents, who may be shy or otherwise worried about their new living situation,” Becky said.

Max, another ambassador, said he tries to be his authentic self when introducing himself to new residents.

“If I have a chance to introduce myself as a Christian, I will,” Max said. “Sometimes, they’ll let me pray with them. I don’t know many strangers.”

Each new resident receives a welcome package, which includes gifts such as candy, crocheted crosses and handmade lap blankets, donated by the women of Sycamore UCC.

Pilgrim Manor’s VanRee Fund Provides Residents the Chance to See Grand Rapids

 

VanRee fund provides Pilgrim Manor Residents the chance to see Grand Rapids

Shirley and James Balk have given so much to the people of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Through the James and Shirley Balk Foundation, they’ve funded education initiatives, healthcare organizations and local arts. They’ve supported the nonprofit healthcare system Spectrum Health. Their foundation has beautified tourist attraction Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. And since 2005, their philanthropy has also extended to United Church Homes’ Pilgrim Manor through the community’s VanRee Fund.

In the early 2000s, Shirley’s mother, Dorothy M. VanRee, lived at Pilgrim Manor, and the Balks had a wonderful experience with the community. After Dorothy passed away in 2004, Shirley and her husband wanted to do something for the residents of Pilgrim Manor, and the VanRee Fund was born.

“Basically, the VanRee Fund is a trip fund,” said Alexandra Wilson, director of annual giving and special events. “Our activities department uses money from that fund to take residents all over the city.”

pilgrim manor VanRee 2Typical outings include baseball games, bowling, ballet, the museum, Ford Museum and Meijer Gardens, to name a few, and local attraction membership costs also come from the fund.

Residents truly benefit from the VanRee Fund, Alex said. “Being able to experience the greater community enhances our residents’ quality of life. Without it, they would not have these opportunities.”

In 2010, the fund enabled Pilgrim Manor to buy a bus, which holds 14 residents, and Keri Kerr, recreation therapist, is licensed to drive it.

The bus not only provides transportation for residents, it connects them with family members, often transporting them together to events. This past year, residents and family members rode the bus in the Grand Rapids’ popular Pulaski Days parade. The annual week-long festival started in 1973, and many of Pilgrim Manor’s residents celebrated in that inaugural year.

“We love that they can continue to attend Pulaski Days and other events around town,” Director of Recreational Therapy and Volunteers Jennifer Raymond said. “Having the Pilgrim Manor bus gives our skilled nursing and assisted living residents a sense of normalcy they wouldn’t otherwise have.”

Although 15 years have passed since the Balks made their first contribution to the fund, it’s going strong, and its legacy can be seen on Pilgrim Manor’s residents’ faces as they spend an afternoon at the zoo or take a bus trip through the ball park to see Western Michigan’s biggest drive-through display of Christmas lights.

“Every day, thanks to the VanRee Fund, we’re out there making memories for our residents — some who have so little,” Jennifer said. “The fund is a blessing, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

Chapel Hill Community Resident Delores Voltz

 

Dolores Voltz, Chapel Hill resident

Delores is a resident of United Church Homes’ Chapel Hill Community in Canal Fulton, Ohio. Her connections to the community go back to her early adulthood in 1963, when her family helped prepare the earth for what would become Chapel Hill.

Delores’ father, Leonard Hegnauer, a minister, helped lay part of the foundation. He served as the building chairman. Delores’ brother, Bob Hegnauer, served as administrator of Chapel Hill, leading the community through its early years. Her sister, Naomi, lived there about 10 years ago.

Chapel Hill Marketing Director Jerry Martin recalled, “We were looking at the Memory Wall, and Delores pointed to a photo of herself and her husband, Don, helping to clear the land where Chapel Hill would be built.”

Delores’ daughter, Jan Boylan, and her three siblings have fond memories of family gatherings, including Thanksgiving dinners, held at Chapel Hill’s community spaces.

Delores was a member of Lowell United Church of Christ, one of Chapel Hill’s founding churches. Once per year, church members would visit Chapel Hill for spring cleaning day, when they made improvements to Chapel Hill’s outdoor spaces.

In 1984, Delores and her husband moved to Florida. After his death in June 1992, Delores moved back to the Canal Fulton area to be closer to family. Later, when she began to need support, she decided to move to Chapel Hill.

“As soon as I walked in, everyone was so friendly,” Delores said. “It was so natural to live here.”

Jan said there was no other place for her mother.

“This is just where she wanted to be,” Jan said. “It’s got a pretty setting. I don’t know of anywhere prettier.”

Seeing Delores surrounded by friends and participating in activities here, it’s obvious she’s returned home.