New Perspective | Franklin Senior Living Community to Open Today

FRANKLIN, WI –New Perspective continues to expand and is opening its new Franklin, WI community Monday, June 22nd. New Perspective|Franklin is a multi-story structure for older adults on six acres at 7220 Ballpark Drive South—next to the Milwaukee Milkmen baseball stadium. The community features 149 rental units consisting of independent and assisted living apartments and Betty’s Harbor, a secure neighborhood specifically designed for those with memory loss.

“We’re incredibly excited to be opening our newest location in such an energetic and exciting part of Franklin,” said New Perspective CEO Ryan Novaczyk. “We believe the amenities of the building along with the quality of our care team will make it a vibrant and engaging place to live,” he added.

New Perspective|Franklin features a spacious two-story lobby and reception area with fireplaces, water features, and natural stone appointments. Exterior views and natural light play an integral part in creating a warm open atmosphere. The fitness center features state-of-the-art equipment specifically designed for older adults including an indoor warm-water pool kept at a constant 92°F.  Residents have plenty of dining choices including a restaurant-style dining room with a grand fireplace, café, and relaxing pub. Other amenities include a full-service beauty salon/spa, movie theater, and dance hall. Being within walking distance to the Milwaukee Milkmen’s ballpark creates a perfect opportunity to take in America’s favorite summer pastime, baseball.

“Despite opening during the pandemic, our senior living community has received a fantastic response from the Franklin area with initial move-ins even exceeding our initial expectations,” said New Perspective’ Partner and President, Chris Hyatt.

For rental information and a community tour, please call 414-775-3409. During the pandemic, tours are being offered by appointment with limitations including a face covering, temperature check, and only one family member permitted to enter the building.

For more information and to set up interviews with senior team members at New Perspective, the media should contact Scott McCaskey at Goldman & Associates Public Relations at or 757-625-2518 ext. 3.

Aaron Feinstein Joins The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights Luxury Senior Community as Director of People, Arts & Culture Team

Brooklyn, NY –Aaron Feinstein, an acclaimed film and theater director, and arts educator, has joined The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights, a 275-unit luxury seniors housing residence at 21 Clark Street, opening in summer 2020, as Director of the People, Arts & Culture Team.

The $330 million Watermark at Brooklyn Heights is one of five properties managed by Watermark Retirement Communities in their Élan Collection. This lifestyle brand of premier properties offers personal service with grand scale amenities. An extensive renovation and redevelopment of the historic Clark Street property into Brooklyn’s first luxury senior living community is currently nearing completion.

“Watermark is a leader in the development of transformative senior living residences offering an extraordinary lifestyle by supporting not only physical and intellectual health but also emotional and spiritual well-being. The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights will provide seniors in the New York City market with access to world-class arts and culture through programs specifically curated to meet their interests. We are delighted to welcome Aaron Feinstein to manage the People, Arts & Culture Team at our newest property,” said The Watermark at Brooklyn Height’s Executive Director Rocco Bertini.

“My passion is the development of programs specifically tailored to provide all audiences, regardless of their abilities, with access to arts and culture, and I look forward to creating stimulating content for the members of The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights,” added Feinstein.  “Our in-house programming combined with the world-class cultural options available in the New York City area will create extraordinary experiences for our members.”

Feinstein will lead the People, Arts & Culture Team in providing warm, welcoming, and enriching experiences for the members of The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights. The People, Arts, & Culture program will provide exceptional, “top-notch” inclusive programming that will build the community and support the engagement of all of our members,” Feinstein says. The Team will curate exceptional content from the many talented thought-leaders, performers, and influencers in and around New York City, and will connect to the international knowledge, events, programs, and flavors that make NYC center-stage of the world. Exceptional on-site live music events and theatrical performances open to members and their families will be supplemented by intimate arts and music classes adapted to meet the needs of every resident. A full schedule of stimulating outings will include visits to museums, Broadway and local theater performances, cultural events, and natural settings throughout the New York City area.


Aaron Feinstein’s Background

Residing in Brooklyn, NY, Feinstein is the founder and president of Actionplay, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing equal access for children, teens, and adults with autism and related conditions and disabilities to experience arts, education, and culture. As Director, he developed and supervised all staff for the inclusive AIMS (Actionplay Improvisational Musical Sundays) Program, developed the (ACT) training series curriculum, and supervised all administrative staff, therapists, and volunteers. The Actionplay Chorus from the AIMS program was featured on the HBO and Comedy Central Broadcast of Night of Too Many Stars. Feinstein co-directed the widely celebrated pilot program The Miracle Project with Elaine Hall, which has been featured at the 92nd Street Y, Rebecca School, Celebrate the Children, and the Educational Alliance. The Miracle Project was the subject of the 2006 HBO 2-Time Emmy Award-Winning Documentary “Autism: The Musical”.

Feinstein was most recently Co-Artistic Director of the All-in-All theater Company at the New York City Department of Education, where he created vision and curriculum, led teaching artists and associates, and managed accessibility-related issues for the development the first all-inclusive theater company open to NYC public school students. He advised on the creation of The Brooklyn Children’s Museum Sensory Room for children with disabilities and was a keynote speaker at the 2019 Arts in Special Education conference in Irvine, CA.

Feinstein has also produced over two hundred live acts as Segment Producer for Wonderama, the children’s live-to-tape studio television show. He was previously a teacher at the Rebecca School in New York, NY, and a Developmental Interventionist for SmartStart Developmental Learning Center in Santa Monica, CA, providing arts-related serviced and therapies to individuals on the autism spectrum. Feinstein has presented nationally at the United Nations, NYU Forum on Educational Theater, Wonderplay, Arts in Education Roundtable, The Voice Foundation, Museum Access Consortium, and ICDL, among many others – and is the published author of several books, articles and journals focused on changing the stigmas surrounding disability. Feinstein received a BA in Theater and an MFA in Theater Directing, both from UCLA Los Angeles.


Cultural and Educational Programming at The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights

The Watermark Talks and Events program will feature experiences that will also engage audiences from around the world as members can watch via live stream or via the Watermark Brooklyn Heights Social Media Channel, with beautifully captured video and audio that all can access. Sophisticated TEDx Talk-esque lectures, Experiential Learning, and Community based learning experiences through Watermark University classes will provide members with meaningful opportunities to learn, grow, and achieve wellness. And a full roster of lively recreational activities, including VR experiences, classic games, and videogame experiences that teach new skills, will create a playful environment with inclusive social opportunities for everyone. Most important, the content of the Arts & Culture program will be crowdsourced through digital or analog questionnaires to ensure that the preferences of the members are always heard and that there is continuous engagement between Watermark members and the People, Arts & Culture Team.

Feinstein has already developed a varied roster of virtual events to appeal to a wide range of interests. The first offering, “Cocktails and Conversation”, has inaugurated the program with a tour of the historic Watermark at Brooklyn Heights building led by Executive Director Rocco Bertini and moderated by Feinstein. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions as they were led on a virtual tour through the breathtaking property. The virtual introduction to the property continued recently with a wine appreciation demonstration by Director of Dining Services Vince Stewart and Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer, and home Israeli cooking with Executive Chef Kfir Kertes. Additional upcoming offerings include a lighthearted look at the evolution of our species with noted primatologist Natalia Reagan; a history of Fleet Week and other past naval displays in New York Harbor with local historians Cindy & Andrew of Turnstile Tours; and group discussions offering support and guidance to face the challenges of social distancing.

About Watermark at Brooklyn Heights

The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights is owned by a partnership of the majority owner Kayne Anderson, which has invested $130 million into the project; the operator, co-developer, and minority owner Watermark Retirement Communities/The Freshwater Group; and the development partner, minority owner, and construction owner’s representative Tishman Speyer.

Located in the heart of the fashionable Brooklyn Heights Historic District, the 350,000-square foot property was originally constructed in 1928 as the Leverich Towers Hotel, which served as a haven for many celebrities and cultural icons, including the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1975, Watchtower purchased The Towers as housing for their local Jehovah’s Witness volunteer force, and restored the intricate architectural features that defined the building’s place in the Brooklyn Heights Historical District. The current renovation preserves much of the building’s original structure and history while adding a stylish interior. At 16 stories, with a breathtaking rooftop terrace, garden, and Skyline club room, The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights will offer sweeping views of New York Harbor, the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty.

The building’s 275 apartments include 145 for independent living, 88 for assisted living, and 42 for memory care. The residences are offered in 78 different floor plans, uniquely configured, and harmoniously designed to embrace the building’s rich heritage. Ranging from studios to one- and two-bedrooms, the apartments at The Watermark will cater to each member’s tastes, space requirements, and preferences. Apartments are all thoughtfully crafted with an open floor arrangement and feature designer kitchens or kitchenettes and modern bathrooms with walk-in showers. Expansive, vintage mahogany-trimmed windows allow for abundant natural light and spectacular views. The mahogany windows and their surroundings were protected during construction and integrated into the new design. The details throughout the project recall the building’s days as a sophisticated venue frequented by celebrities of the time.

On the first level, the light-filled grand lobby leads to welcoming spaces including a café, wood-paneled library, wine bar, salon, and contemporary art gallery. The Dining and Entertainment level includes an upscale, full-service restaurant; a European-style restaurant with an exhibition kitchen; a movie theater; and a live performing arts center. An indoor heated swimming pool, fitness center, movement room, and wellness center are available on the Fitness and Wellness level. On the 16th floor, a rooftop clubroom with terraces offers comfortable seating and breathtaking views of Manhattan.

Givens Estates’ Expansion Nears Halfway Point; Dining Experience A Key

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Givens Estates retirement community embarked on a $33 million expansion and redevelopment project scheduled to open in 2021 that will enrich the lives of current and future residents. The new neighborhood, Friendship Park, is set in the heart of campus and will offer two buildings with 80 upscale and spacious apartment homes. In addition to the Friendship Park expansion, Givens Estates is investing in an $9.5 million project involving the Oxford Commons building on the campus. The project involves renovations and expansion to include three new dining venues, a wellness gym addition, and a new exterior terrace.

“The renovation will allow us to provide the atmosphere and amenities our residents expect while also bringing new ideas and creativity to the table,” said John Cowan, executive director of Givens Estates. “We want to compete at the highest level when it comes to the restaurant and dining experience, hospitality, and providing older adults with a vibrant and versatile culture.”

Each new dining option has its own personality, catering to an array of preferences and needs. An inviting gathering space designed to be a social hub for the community, The Social Brew is a resident-centered place for meeting friends and enjoying small plates from a diverse menu morning and evening. With a homelike environment and open seating for about 110 people, Market + Craft will offer a variety of stations featuring made-to-order items with fresh ingredients such as specialty salads, custom sandwiches, and carved meats. Residents can also order carryout items or select from a bakery with assorted fresh breads and pastries.Terrene will offer a more upscale, table-waited service for residents and their guests who prefer a more intimate dining experience. The centerpiece of the restaurant revolves around the French cooking suite, letting guests experience the chef’s creations during food preparation.

“Our vision is to build innovative, high-quality dining venues that offer residents more choices and exceptional culinary experiences,” said Kenneth Jenzen, dining services director. “Our overall goals for the expansion and modernization are resident-centered.”

Oxford Commons’ wellness center expansion will add 1,200 square feet for a new exercise studio, enlarged yoga, and aerobics studio, and dedicated therapy suite. The new area will offer more challenging activities such as spin classes and rowing and will be expanded to accommodate more people and a growing population of older adults.

Recent Census Bureau reports show more than 20% of Buncombe County residents are 65 years or older. With aging baby boomers, these numbers are expected to grow substantially over the next 10 years. This project is vital to positioning Givens Estates to serve the needs of its residents for the next 20 years.

Before Givens Estates started on this project, the leadership team underwent a thorough planning process. The team solicited feedback from consumer focus groups with current residents, future residents, and staff to determine which aspects of dining and wellness needed updating based on their expectations. Finally, they held in-depth discussions with industry consultants in dining, architecture, and construction to design the renovations thoughtfully.

Givens Estates has partnered with North Carolina-based Frank L. Blum Construction Company in the building of the community. Construction of Oxford Commons is anticipated to be completed by spring 2021, and Friendship Park is slated for fall 2021.

Claiborne Senior Living names Dan Hutson as Vice President of Marketing

Claiborne Senior Living has appointed Dan Hutson to its newly created position of Vice President of Marketing. Hutson brings more than 30 years of marketing and communications experience to his new role at the company, which owns and operates independent, assisted living, and memory care communities throughout the Southeast.

Hutson previously served as chief strategy officer at HumanGood, then the country’s seventh-largest nonprofit operator of senior living communities. As CSO, he was responsible for strategic planning, sales and marketing, corporate communications, and innovation and experience design. He managed the introduction and development of both the HumanGood and predecessor brands after joining what was then Southern California Presbyterian Homes in 2008.

“We’re excited to add Dan to our executive team,” said Tim Dunne, Claiborne’s president and chief operating officer. “His extensive experience in marketing, strategic planning, and customer-centric experience design will serve us well as we continue to grow the company.”

Hutson’s marketing and communication programs have been honored by the National Mature Media Awards, Content Marketing Awards, EXCEL Awards, and Healthcare Marketing IMPACT Awards, among others. He has spoken on senior living trends, marketing, innovation, and other topics at the NIC Fall Conference, Senior Care Marketing Sales Summit (SMASH), the Argentum Chief Executive Summit, LeadingAge national, and state conferences, and other gatherings of senior living leaders. He also has served on the advisory board of SMASH and the conference education planning committees for the NIC Fall Conference and LeadingAge Annual Meeting & EXPO. Hutson has his bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Cybersecurity Threats in the Age of COVID-19

There is no shortage of news about the coronavirus outbreak, formally known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We wanted to remind you that during media intense events like this, cyber attackers take advantage of this and attempt to scam you or launch phishing attacks that attempt to get you to click on malicious links or open infected email attachments. Here are some of the most common indicators that the phone call or email you received is most likely a scam or attack.

  • Any message that communicates a tremendous sense of urgency. The bad guys are trying to rush you into making a mistake.
  • Any message that asks for your personal or work information or prompts you to share your username and password.
  • Any message that pressures you into bypassing or ignoring your security policies and procedures.
  • Any message that promotes miracle cures, such as vaccines or medicine that will protect you. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be very suspicious of any phone call or message that pretends to be an official or government organization urging you to take immediate action.

For the latest updates consider visiting the World Health Organization or the Center for Disease Control. Please keep in mind coronavirus scams and attacks can happen at work or at home, via email, text messaging or even over the phone. Don’t fall victim to bad guys playing on your emotions. If you suspect you may have been the victim of a phishing event, immediately report it to your IT support team so they can identify and mitigate the threat or attack.

Some additional precautions you and your IT team can take are as followed:

  • Ensure remote users have secure access to work files via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection or a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) session. These are secure methods to get on your network and access your data or applications.
  • Ensure that you have Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is turned on everywhere possible. This is when you receive a code either via text message, email or an authenticator app that you have to enter in after you type your password. As cumbersome as this may seem, just remember that this is one of the most important ways to protect you from attackers.
  • Ensure your passwords for different services are complex and different enough so hackers cannot use brute force to figure out what they are. Why complex and different? Think back to the news when you hear about a breach of data at a company that you subscribe to? In most cases, people don’t even take note until they receive a class action claim letter in the mail. Well what if that password you used for that site or service was the same password you use for your work email (We’ve seen it!), then you just potentially exposed your entire company to an attacker.

There is no better time to make some adjustments than now to keep you, your staff, and your residents safe. Stay healthy!

Gary Jones is the General Manager of vcpi, which provides IT Managed Services for the senior living and post-acute care industries. He has been a long-time technology advocate of the industry and wants to help every provider bring their tech dreams to life.

Sharon Towers Launches Pop-up Grocery and Pharmacy

“COVID-19 forced our retirement community as well as others to adapt and become innovative,” said Milton McGowian, director of culinary at Sharon Towers. “We created a pop-up grocery store and pharmacy for our residents and also made those available to our team members. We wanted to be safe. Residents living independently could no longer shop for themselves, and we didn’t want team members going out shopping at grocery stores because of the risk there.”

McGowian, also a current Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) student specializing in Nonprofit Management and Leadership through Liberty Online University Programs, was challenged by Sharon Towers CEO Anne Moffat to find a solution to team members having to shop for residents, which was too time-consuming and posed a risk to those team members.

The pop-up grocery program launched on March 24 with an electronic form via a link sent to every resident and employee. The form offers hundreds of items in categorized drop-down menus. Residents input their name and address for delivery direct to their apartment, cottage or villa.

The food items come from distributors who sell in bulk and deliver to Sharon Towers. Staff then sort and deliver groceries to residents.

“It’s a win-win situation,” McGowian said. “Residents are happy they don’t have to go out. They order about twice a week. Not only does the new system help limit their exposure, but it helps our team members because they just don’t have the time to shop since they’re working all day. Everyone gets a better price with us because we buy wholesale.”

With Sharon Towers’ fine dining areas closed due to the pandemic, McGowian determined that dishes like lamb chops, filet mignon, and lobster tail could be delivered in vacuum-sealed packaging to preserve the taste.

“The specialty dining system has allowed us to reinvent what we do and tell the residents, ‘If you can’t come to our dining room and enjoy the food, we’re going to bring it to you,’” he said.

In April, McGowian organized a pop-up pharmacy with its own Over-the-Counter Health and Wellness form for ordering and delivery, which is managed by Carmen Murphy, community outreach coordinator.

Regular updates on the campus website keep families informed of the continuation of policies that visitor restrictions apply to the campus, not just buildings, as these types of visits could potentially expose loved ones to COVID-19.

A sink by the main front door which was created by Topper Amerson, owner’s representative, and Cory Stepanski, director of facilities, requires anyone going inside to wash their hands first, and employees are screened for coronavirus symptoms and get their temperature taken every day. Employees and residents showing symptoms of COVID-19 are tested.

“We’re still delivering meals three times a day, and our innovations have allowed us to share best practices with the senior living industry,” said McGowian.

Sharon Towers offers independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care. Founded in 1969 by Presbyterian leaders in Charlotte, the not-for-profit community is home to approximately 330 residents on a wooded, 28-acre campus on Sharon Road in the heart of SouthPark.