Volara Enables Video Calling and More on the Google Nest Hub Max in 300+ Senior Living Communities and 9,000 Residents’ Apartments Across the US and UK

New York — The social isolation required by the lingering pandemic has proven to trigger loneliness and depression among older people. To mitigate the impact of this forced separation on seniors living in affordable housing, assisted living, and independent living communities, Volara has embarked on a mission to enable a commercially viable solution that connects seniors living in residential communities to their loved ones using technology. Nine thousand Google Nest Hub Max devices — featuring 10-inch touchscreen displays, two-way Google Duo video calling, support for eight languages, and a hearing-impaired mode — have been enabled for residents living at 300+ leading senior residential communities across the United States and United Kingdom.

The Google devices are provisioned, set up, powered, and supported by Volara, the largest provider of enterprise-grade voice assistant solutions that is perhaps best known in the senior living industry for its Technology Concierge Membership Program. Volara connects each device to the residents’ WiFi (making setup hassle free) and adds all personal calling contacts on behalf of the residents so they can begin video calling by voice command within seconds after receiving the solution. By simply saying “Hey Google, call my daughter,” or “Hey Google, play I love Lucy,” or “Hey Google, what’s the weather forecast today,” seniors have instant access to people, entertainment, and information without having to look up a phone number, connect an account, or remember a thing. The breadth of rich content available to residents just by asking spans residents’ diverse passions, including health and fitness, music, film, news, religion, games, cooking and more.

The senior living organizations pioneering this voice technology effort include: Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, Eden Housing, Eskaton®, Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing, HumanGood, Merrill Gardens, National Church Residences, Nicholas James Care Homes (UK), Oakland Care (UK), Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, SPM Property Management, St. Luke’s Hospital (UK), TELACU, Volunteers of America, and Watermark Retirement Communities, among others. Each of these trailblazing organizations are seeing tremendous engagement, with residents sending letters of thanks to administrators noting:

“The world to me was black and white; now it is in technicolor because of Volara and Google.”

“This is the best technology I ever used! I was able to see the face of my newborn grandson for the first time, and he lives on the East coast.”

“Finally, I look forward to getting out of bed every day because I know I can talk to my granddaughter.”

“Volara has been deploying enterprise grade voice assistant solutions in hotels, retail outlets and airports for several years,” said Volara CEO David Berger. “When COVID-19 hit, we became concerned about the impact of forced isolation on seniors and knew we could provide a solution. We became hyper focused on enabling as many seniors as possible to communicate with their children, grandchildren, doctors, and clergy face to face just by uttering a simple voice command.

“Through a collaborative effort with industry groups including CDW Healthcare, LeadingAge, the Lighthouse for Older Adults project, and Google, we were able to bring new technologies to bear, bring the product to market, and scale deployment in a matter of a few months,” he said. “Our cost-effective solution — providing hassle free implementation and measurable impact — was immediately welcomed and adopted by so many caring senior living organizations that for a time we had to stop accepting new clients. Seniors are hungry for the benefits of technology, and the forced social isolation due to the pandemic only deepened their interest.”

Senior Living Community Leaders Speak Out
“Technology’s potential to positively impact older adults’ lives and well-being is broad and deep. We know this from both our members, who provide care to residents and clients nationwide, as well as through the work of LeadingAge’s Center for Aging Services Technology, which partners with vendors, researchers, and providers to expedite the use of emerging tech to improve the aging experience. Our partnership with Volara, the solution provider that customizes, deploys, and manages the Google Nest Hub Max devices for use in affordable housing communities, is a terrific example of the technology’s benefits as well as of the continued need for our advocacy. We must ensure older adults have access to Internet service and devices so they can take advantage of the telehealth revolution and protect themselves from the ravages of social isolation.”
Katie Smith Sloan, President and CEO, LeadingAge

“We are proud to be among the first senior living providers to formally test Google Nest Hub Max devices provisioned by Volara. We had a singular objective: to use this technology to connect residents to their families, friends, and loved ones through the devices’ video calling feature. By that measure, we were hugely successful. The video conferencing feature of the Google Next Hub Max combined with Volara’s ability for us to connect residents to the outside world was powerful.

“If there’s one thing COVID taught us it’s that voice-based technology has a positive impact on senior’s lives. Therefore, we must go faster and get more devices into more residents’ hands. It’s not the technology itself that is exciting, but how Volara was able to personalize it to make it easy for seniors to engage. They made it extremely easy for residents to connect with the devices and have an instant video experience.”
Davis Park, Vice President, Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing

“The Volara component is extremely easy to use. It immediately increases the digital literacy of seniors and their social connectedness. Volara made it possible for our residents to just take the Google Nest Hub Max out of the box, plug it in, and use it right away. This has been a positive experience.

“Together Volara and Google are giving our residents immediate access to their friends and family, their personal healthcare providers, our staff, and their peers throughout the residential community. If we have information for a senior, we can connect with them via the Google device rather than making them come down to the office; this is huge if the resident has mobility issues. The large video screen enables us to see the resident face to face and it resolves issues they may be having quicker. And I’ve got to say, it is a lot of fun! It brings a lightheartedness to everyone during this stressful time.”
Elaine Brattin, Planning Associate, Strategy, Eskaton

Merrill Gardens initially deployed over 850 Google Nest Hub Max devices to pilot at six of our Washington-based Independent Living and Assisted Living Communities to determine if the technology — provisioned and powered by Volara — could help residents fight social isolation. We were pleasantly surprised that the program was a huge success! We went into the trial thinking this could be a hit but not to the extent that it was. From the moment our residents were introduced to the device, it just clicked with them. Little to no training was needed. They just had to say: ‘Hey Google, call so-and-so’ and they were connected via video screen to someone by just talking. It was so easy. The biggest hurdle was getting them over the fear of trying it. But when the pandemic hit and residents were quarantined to their rooms, they were willing to do just about anything to connect with loved ones. Volara + Google is a BIG hit.

“Volara went above and beyond in making their software simple to use. There are no accounts to sign in to or passwords to remember. They knew any level of difficulty, no matter how small, would result in our seniors refusing to engage. Each device was pre-set by Volara in guest mode, so it was truly plug and play. Volara provides wonderful support. It’s the type of relationship you expect to have with a technology partner. We have weekly meetings to discuss issues, concerns, or updates. Fortunately for us, there has not been a single negative situation since the technology was deployed.”
— Dalen Newton, IT Program Manager, Merrill Gardens

“We were introduced to Volara through LeadingAge. We deployed 500 Google Nest Hub Max devices, all of which continue to be used today. With a portfolio as large as ours, deploying this number of units could have been problematic if it were not for Volara. They pre-configured each device and provided simple instructions for our staff and residents to follow. It has been a complete ‘hands-off’ experience for our IT department, and we sincerely appreciate that. If anyone calls me for help with the Google device, I simply refer them to Volara. Their team can assist with any questions remotely, so we do not need to go into each apartment to configure the devices. It’s a solid relationship.

“PVM is a company that places a lot of attention on delivering specialty services to residents that they will not find elsewhere. Safety and security are top of mind, and we look for technologies that are cutting edge, like voice command devices and video streaming. We want our residents to have these leading-edge experiences to keep them free from social isolation. At PVM we are one big family, and the interconnectivity that Volara brings with the Google Nest Hub Max is improving life and bringing better experiences to those who use it.”
Mark Kronner, Chief Technology Officer, Presbyterian Villages of Michigan
“The residential experience with the Google Nest Hub Max deployment by Volara has been amazing. We have placed the devices in every room at our care homes. What a difference they have made; we often see residents dancing to music, playing games, and watching old TV shows via the YouTube channel. Seniors are smiling again. The technology is brilliant for residents, and a tremendous help to families. Our residents love the Google devices, and we love the service we receive from the entire Volara team. The relationship is superb.

“Ideally, we would like to bring this technology to all residents in all our care homes. Volara made it so easy for us to set up and for our people to use. If anyone’s contact information changes, Volara makes the updates in minutes. Like with any technology, there was some hesitation to use it, especially among the dementia patients. But our managers sat down with them and it is tremendous that they are using it with total ease. The resident’s families are absolutely thrilled. What more could we hope for?”
Nicola Wilcock, Client Manager, Nicholas James Care Homes

“Watermark creates extraordinary communities where people thrive, and we are committed to innovations and amenities that promote healthy aging. Our 65 senior living communities coast to coast provide a lifestyle built on choice with a focus on integrative wellness. During the pandemic we were committed to keeping our residents connected to their families and friends and the Volara platform was integral to our success. A group of residents from The Fountains at La Cholla were the first to receive the Google Nest Hub Max devices with customization features added. We knew the technology would be ideal for voice-activated video calls, but we were pleasantly surprised to see just how many seniors engage with it to listen to their favorite music, check weather and look up the dining offerings for the day. We are excited about the long-term value of this technology and others which create connection and engagement, for all Watermark residents.”
Tammy Farris, Director of Strategic Innovation, Watermark Retirement Communities

“The biggest challenge that the senior residents of St. Mary’s faced since the pandemic is social isolation. They had to transition from eating meals communally in the dining room to eating alone in their apartments. The fraternization between staff and residents and residents with each other is gone. All social programs, religious services, and shuttle busses that took residents off premises has stopped. Our seniors went from having robust entertainment and exercise offerings to having nothing. Life was difficult until Volara stepped in. Now, through the Google Nest Hub Max devices, there is no longer a lack of human interaction. They can use the device to partake in Zoom services and have video calls with their families, friends and even doctors. It’s been a wonderful experience.

“Volara has been wonderful to work with. The vast amount of work they had to do on the back end to make this a simple plug-and-play experience on the front end is amazing. When we make a change request or need to add a contact, the information is uploaded instantly. We never have to wait, and that means our residents do not have to wait to call a loved one or speak to a doctor. Volara’s customer service is so seamless and painless; too bad I cannot get that type of responsiveness from the cable company. We tip our hats to Volara for their professionalism and dedication.”
Linda Kangus, Administrative Assistant, St. Mary’s Court, SPM Property Management

“The pandemic put a spotlight on the digital inequity for our residents. When they received the Google devices, it brought balance by giving digital access to everyone with WiFi. This is a BIG deal. If you are someone who lives in affordable housing, having access to technology is a challenge. Not only is it nearly impossible to afford but learning how to use it can be extremely frustrating. The Google Nest Hub Max devices managed by Volara are extremely easy to use, more so than a laptop or even a tablet. And because Volara did all the work of uploading each resident’s contacts on the backend, they were able to use it instantly. This was a colossal achievement; everyone with a device felt accomplished and purposeful. It removed the stigma of ‘I’m old, therefore I can’t use technology.’ It’s very inspiring to know there are smiles on our seniors’ faces when they are able to connect with their families through technology. This is opening the doors to so many new possibilities for them; we are confident that our resident/members will continue to embrace technology going forward.

“If there’s a silver lining to this pandemic, it’s that technology is helping to fill the void for physical activity, education, social engagements, and also providing services like online shopping. Our members are ordering pizzas … they are looking up recipes … and watching how-to craft videos. Not only are we connecting people to medicine and a social network, but Volara and Google are giving our members entertainment — residents at one co-op had their first virtual bingo session last week and it was a blast! We can’t thank them enough.”
Anne Sackrison, Chief Operating Officer, CSI Support and Development

“Since the onset of COVID, Volunteers of America National Services has been focused on alleviating social isolation of residents at our many senior living facilities. The Google Nest Hub Max devices managed for us by Volara are playing a pivotal role in making that happen as it bridges the digital divide between people, social connectivity, and healthcare. This technology is perfectly aligned with the goals of our organization and it is designed to meet the unique needs of our resident population. There are no infrastructure costs or set-up needed on behalf of staff; Volara made sure the devices were plug-and-play to immediately address the issue of social isolation. Not only are residents using the Google devices to video chat with their families, doctors, and clergy, but we are creating YouTube channels for residents to download information specific to their individual needs. And, instead of bringing outside groups in to entertain our seniors, we can connect them virtually to speakers and other organizations that provide education and entertainment while keeping our people safe.

“We are thrilled with the responsiveness of Volara through this partnership. They understand the importance of voice and video technology for interacting with and engaging our residents along their wellness journeys. We couldn’t be happier with how Volara configured the systems and continue to support our seniors and staff. They have truly taken the burden off our shoulders and placed it on their own. Oftentimes when people look at large providers like VOA, they think they have a robust technology infrastructure to support the portfolio. That just isn’t true. We do not have the capacity to roll out solutions like the Google Nest Hub Max devices without partners like Volara.”
Ryan Elza, VP of Innovation and Technology, Volunteers of America National Services

Exceptional Engagement
In addition to the popular video calling feature of the Google Nest Hub Max, seniors are using the device to view rotating images of family or events, listen to their favorite music, access daily news, hear relaxing sounds, enjoy jokes, play games, watch videos, set timers/alarms and more just by speaking simple commands pre-configured by Volara and printed on a one-page, easy-to-read instruction sheet, such as:

“Hey Google, play funny videos on YouTube.”
“Hey Google, what’s the latest news?”
“Hey Google, play jazz.”
“Hey Google, tell me a joke.”
“Hey Google, let’s play a game.”
“Hey Google, play Radio NBC.”

The high level of utilization tells a compelling story:

42% of devices used at least once daily.
Engaged devices had a median of 4 queries daily.
Devices that include custom content about the community — like dining menus and activities calendars — had an average of 3.3 additional engagements daily.
55% of used devices played music/video per day
41% of used devices gave a search/answer per day
27% of used devices made a call per day
Volara’s software is managing more than 100,000 calling contacts for seniors using the devices.

To protect residents’ privacy, Volara and Google ensure that no voice recordings are captured or stored by themselves or senior living community management. The companies have also enabled a “Signed Out” experience that ensures no residents’ personally identifiable information is connected to the devices.

“We’re proud to be partnered with Volara to bring the Google Nest Hub Max to residents of leading senior living communities,” said Heather Clancy, Head of Global Enterprise Partnerships for Devices and Services at Google. “We are heartened by the positive impact our hardware is having on seniors through this partnership. Together with Volara’s software, custom conversation development, and implementation solutions, the potential of the Google Nest Hub Max to be a game changer for the way senior living communities engage with their residents is very real and measurable.”

To see a senior engaging with Google Nest Hub Max powered by Volara, click here. For more information on the Google Nest Hub Max initiative for the senior living industry, visit volara.io.

Brookdale Welcoming Families Back into Communities

NASHVILLE, Tenn., — A little over a year after visitor restrictions were put into place as one measure to help protect residents from COVID-19, Brookdale communities across the country are now able to lift those restrictions to allow both outdoor AND indoor visits, subject to specific state guidance.

The applicable state regulatory agencies in the 43 states in which Brookdale operates have adapted guidance to align with the recently updated protocols from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and/or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) allowing assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities to loosen restrictions on visits. Assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing communities that meet the state specific requirements are beginning to let families and loved ones in for visits again!  Independent living communities that are not licensed by the state but which had restricted visits as a measure of protection have also lifted visit restrictions.

Brookdale President and Chief Executive Officer Lucinda “Cindy” Baier was pleased that more families can start to join their loved ones in their communities again. “Brookdale has worked hard to keep our residents engaged and connected with their families, even when visits were not possible, by increasing use of technology and employing new ideas such as window visits and car parades. But there is no substitute for an actual visit with loved ones right inside a Brookdale community, our residents’ home. We are thrilled to see families again connecting in person. We’re excited to move into this next phase, guided by the CDC, CMS, and the applicable state health authorities.”

States such as Rhode IslandWashington and Florida have already been able to schedule families for indoor visits. In some states, state health departments have updated guidance to allow for “brief contact.”

The week that Brookdale West Bay in Rhode Island resumed in-person visits, the state released new guidance allowing for hugs. Resident Hazel Slocum was left speechless when she got to hug her son and daughter-in-law, Phil and Lauren. “You done great kid,” said Phil as he hugged his mother for the first time in a year. Their story, and others, can be seen on this episode of NBC Dateline.

In Washington, in-person visits resumed at Brookdale West Seattle on March 22, 2021Adrienne Gregory’s daughter was able to visit for three hours and they were able to hug for the first time since March. Gregory remarked how, “it felt good to be together again.”

About Brookdale
Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is the leading operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The Company is committed to providing senior living solutions primarily within properties that are designed, purpose-built and operated to provide the highest-quality service, care and living accommodations for residents. Brookdale operates and manages independent living, assisted living, memory care and continuing care retirement communities, with 726 communities in 43 states and the ability to serve approximately 64,000 residents as of December 31, 2020. The Company also offers a range of home health, hospice and outpatient therapy services to over 17,000 patients as of that date. For more Brookdale news, go to brookdalenews.com.

Ribbon Cutting at Oakmont

Oakmont Senior Living Opens New Luxury Community in Fullerton, CA

IRVINE, Calif.– Oakmont Senior Living continues to expand its network of luxury senior living communities in California with the opening of Oakmont of Fullerton on March 1. The opening of the brand-new community was celebrated with a festive vaccination clinic for new residents and team members on Feb. 28 and a socially distanced ribbon cutting attended by Fullerton Mayor Pro Tem Nick Dunlap, representatives from Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva’s office and County of Orange Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Doug Chaffee’s office, plus members of the North Orange County Chamber.

“We are thrilled to provide seniors and their families in Northern Orange County with our exceptional hospitality, quality amenities and five-star programs,” said Sarah Cleeson, Oakmont of Fullerton’s executive director. “We are providing the COVID-19 vaccine to our new residents as part of our commitment to the highest standards in health and safety. As a leader in senior living, our company has completed its second round of vaccinations at all Oakmont communities across the state. We are proud to have brought a clinic to our newest community in Fullerton.”

The vaccination program helps Oakmont of Fullerton residents settle into their new apartment homes with less stress and worry and more peace of mind for their families too.

Another amenity to ease the transition is Oakmont’s on-site community engagement coordinator, a position at Oakmont of Fullerton that helps facilitate the move and connects new residents with other residents, programs and team members. Each new resident receives a loaner iPad so that they can easily stay connected with family and friends. Oakmont’s community engagement coordinator guides residents in use of the iPad.

“Our exceptional services, amenities and professionally trained team members are what set Oakmont apart, and we are all focused on making our residents feel comfortable, cared for and inspired in their new home,” says Cleeson.

One of the stellar amenities at Oakmont Senior Living is a five-star culinary program that is overseen by an executive chef and includes menus created with the freshest seasonal ingredients, some harvested from on-site gardens. The on-site restaurant includes indoor and outdoor seating as well as a private dining room. There’s also a casual bistro for all-day dining and snacks.

A new feature unique to the Fullerton community is the Grand Hall. With a stage, scenic views of the manicured grounds and an elegant bar, the Grand Hall provides plenty of space for socially distanced events and programs.

The luxurious, resort-style setting also features a cozy library, movie theater with plush seating, fitness center and day spa with massage room plus recreation and game rooms. Outdoor areas include a putting green, bocce ball court, resident garden beds, walking paths and even a pet park for those with canine companions.

Conveniently located near walking trails, dining, shopping in downtown Fullerton, and less than one mile from St. Jude Medical Center and other world-renowned medical providers, residents have access to complimentary chauffer service within 10 miles of the Fullerton community. As the pandemic allows, the community plans to offer a robust social calendar with on-site educational, social and recreational programs as well as off-property group excursions.

Oakmont of Fullerton includes 101 spacious apartment homes in an array of floorplans from studios to two-bedrooms. The community also features a memory care neighborhood for those living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

Oakmont Senior Living currently operates 33 communities in California and two in Las Vegas. Oakmont’s other Orange County communities include Capriana and Villagio in Brea, Oakmont of Orange and Oakmont of Huntington Beach. Parent company, Oakmont Management Group is headquartered in Irvine, Calif.

Seniors at Waltonwood communities are still encouraged to wear their face masks and keep socially distanced, as recommended by the CDC, but now can feel more secure in their safety and more confident in their communities as they begin their new normal.

Waltonwood Senior Living Reaches Optimum Vaccination Rate at its Michigan Communities

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. – Since the vaccination clinics started this year, Waltonwood Senior Living has reached a 95% vaccination rate for all residents at its Michigan communities. Knowing the challenges and concerns faced by the senior living industry, the Waltonwood leadership team is ecstatic to reach such a high participation number and is proud of how smoothly and quickly its operations have managed this vital period, as well as the safety of all residents and associates through the transitions. Richard Mabe, Regional Director of Operations for Waltonwood communities in Michigan, was a major factor in driving the success of these communities’ vaccination rollout plan.

“I could not be prouder of our Executive Directors and all of their team members – from their excellent communication, high quality of care, and positivity maintained through this whole process,” says Mabe. “Day-to-day, we rely on our associates and their relationships with our residents to keep our communities going, and their commitment and dedication to their community families has been stronger than ever.”

Steven Tyshka, Director of Operations for Waltonwood Senior Living, believes the hard work and dedication of associates made the clinics successful. “It’s no secret that we hold a high standard for our upscale senior living communities, and I believe that we have strongly exemplified that in keeping our seniors, their family members and associates informed throughout the vaccination process,” says Tyshka. “The most important part – and what we’ve been striving for – is that this means stronger certainty for our residents, and more hope for a brighter tomorrow as we continue to protect and care for seniors.”

Seniors at Waltonwood communities are still encouraged to wear their face masks and keep socially distanced, as recommended by the CDC, but now can feel more secure in their safety and more confident in their communities as they begin their new normal.

The Waltonwood Senior Living communities in Michigan include Waltonwood Carriage Park and Waltonwood Cherry Hill in Canton, Waltonwood Twelve Oaks in Novi, Waltonwood Main in Rochester, Waltonwood University in Rochester Hills, Waltonwood Royal Oak in Royal Oak, and Waltonwood Lakeside in Sterling Heights.

If you are a reporter or photojournalist interested in covering this story, please contact Sarah Browning at (214) 378-7970, ext. 245 or sbrowning@thepointgroup.com, or Sarah Jackson at (214) 378-7970, ext. 304 or sjackson@thepointgroup.com.

ABOUT WALTONWOOD SENIOR LIVING

Waltonwood Senior Living offers independent living, assisted living and memory care services in Michigan, North Carolina and Virginia. Waltonwood serves as a benchmark in senior living options, with elegant housing and a wide spectrum of services and care options. Each community features unique architecture and impressive landscaping and provides residents with a maintenance-free lifestyle so they can enjoy all the comforts of their own home.

Singh is a family-owned company and for more than 45 years they have remained multifaceted in real estate development, with a strong foundation in luxury apartments, commercial properties, land development, high-end single-family homes and, for more than 30 years, senior living communities which have been branded “Waltonwood.” The vertical integration of the company, which provides for development, construction, finance and management under one umbrella, allows Singh to be poised for new opportunities in expanding markets. All projects are owned and operated by Singh management.

The company is headquartered in West Bloomfield, Mich. and has a regional office in Cary, N.C. Learn more about Singh and its Waltonwood communities at www.singhweb.com. If you are interested in learning more about Waltonwood Senior Living, please visit www.waltonwood.com or call 248-865-1600.

Woodland Terrace Celebrates Fighting Coronavirus with 90% Vaccination Rate

CARY, N.C., – Today, Woodland Terrace (a Kisco Senior Living community) is throwing a big party to celebrate that over 90% of its residents have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (and more have started their first round) with an afternoon of pandemic-style partying – socially distanced and smiles underneath their masks. The community is offering their residents Corona beer, candies with motivational messages, chips with dips, and cake! The main feature: boxing gloves, because they fought the coronavirus together, “knocking it out” of their community with a high vaccination rate and the help of their pharmacy partner, Walgreens.

Two residents, Steve and Judy Bank, were so excited that they could get their COVID-19 shots so early. “I just want to go in a store and try out clothes again,” says Judy. “We still have to be very cautious but are learning more about it and have been safe all this time thanks to Woodland Terrace,” the couple shared.

These Cary seniors are ready and excited to start getting back to normal and have been putting their plans to paper – literally! With each vaccination clinic, the community provided “What’s Next?” sheets for its residents to share what they are looking forward to next. Some residents shared plans to see their family or explore the town, and others were simply thankful to feel safer.

“I personally will breathe a sigh of relief because we are that much closer to being able to do the things that the residents love,” says Stephie Watts, assistant wellness director at Woodland Terrace. “Outings to parks, museums, restaurants, dining together with their neighbors and most of all, hugs!

Like his residents, Executive Director Matt Towler expresses pride and gratitude for his Woodland Terrace team of associates. “We have all put in a tremendous amount of effort this past year and put up a tough fight that is paying off,” said Towler. “Social distancing and masks kept us apart, but we all feel closer and very much look forward to a safe transition back to group activity and continuing to support each other the way we always have.”

Residents and associates at Woodland Terrace will still be taking safety precautions as advised by the CDC, including social distancing, wearing face masks, and sanitizing frequently. All residents and associates are tested for COVID-19 often using pooled-saliva testing for quick identification of COVID-19 in the community.

ABOUT WOODLAND TERRACE:

Woodland Terrace, a Kisco senior living community in Cary, North Carolina, offers maintenance-free independent living apartment homes, cottages and assisted living and memory care apartment homes located on 22 acres of lushly landscaped grounds with the charm and comfort of a small southern town. This warm and friendly community features a variety of amenities and services including chef-prepared meals, a state-of-the-art wellness center, personal chauffer service, extensive engaging events and activities, as well as access to on-site therapy and rehabilitation for residents as needed.

Woodland Terrace embraces Kisco Confidence, our unique approach and philosophy centered on giving residents and associates peace of mind knowing that our communities deliver on safety and security, trust and transparency, health and wellbeing and a 5-star lifestyle experience. For more information, call (919) 465-0356 or go to www.kiscoseniorliving.com/senior-living/nc/cary/woodland-terrace/

Brookdale Surpasses Raising $18 Million For Alzheimer’s Care, Support And Research

NASHVILLE, Tenn., — In a year like no other, Brookdale Senior Living continued to be a leader in fundraising to fight Alzheimer’s disease. During 2020, in the midst of serving and supporting tens of thousands of residents, patients, and associates during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Brookdale team maintained its commitment to supporting those seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s, and raised almost $1.2 million as a National Team for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s. With this contribution, Brookdale has raised more than $18 million since 2008 to support the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.

This fundraising is incredibly important for supporting the millions of Americans who are currently living with or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the millions who may be affected in the future. In pursuit of its vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association advances research toward methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure. The Association is also a leading voice for Alzheimer’s disease advocacy, fighting for critical Alzheimer’s research and care initiatives at the federal, state and local level.

“I am incredibly grateful for the compassion and commitment of all the members of our Brookdale team,” said Lucinda (“Cindy”) Baier, Brookdale’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “It is incredible and admirable that, despite all the hardships and challenges that 2020 brought, our team still kept in their hearts the need to fight Alzheimer’s. They still found ways to continue our tradition of supporting this important cause.” Baier added, “Within Brookdale’s Clare Bridge communities where we offer specialized dementia care with a person-centered approach, we see the impact of Alzheimer’s every day. We look forward to the day when there is a cure and support this cause fully.”

Brookdale raised the funds through associate, resident and family participation in local Walk to End Alzheimer’s events and from company business partners. Sara Terry, Senior Vice President of Resident & Family Engagement, explained, “Because of the pandemic, participants switched from group walks and other in-person events to connecting virtually. In this way, they continued to share their mutual commitment while following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines. I couldn’t be prouder of those who made this happen!”

“The Alzheimer’s Association congratulates and thanks Brookdale Senior Living for another astounding year as a National Team for Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” said Donna McCullough, chief development and field officer for the Alzheimer’s Association. “The unwavering commitment of Brookdale’s community across the country has fueled critical Alzheimer’s Association care, support and research programs, and is helping us get closer to our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.”

More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease — the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. By 2050, that number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million.

To learn more about Brookdale’s dementia care, visit brookdale.com.

About Brookdale Senior Living

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is the leading operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The Company is committed to providing senior living solutions primarily within properties that are designed, purpose-built and operated to provide the highest-quality service, care and living accommodations for residents. Brookdale operates and manages independent living, assisted living, memory care and continuing care retirement communities, with 726 communities in 43 states and the ability to serve approximately 64,000 residents as of December 31, 2020. The Company also offers a range of home health, hospice and outpatient therapy services to over 17,000 patients as of that date. For more Brookdale news, go to brookdalenews.com

Waltonwood Staff Spreading Cheer

Kindness Boxes: Waltonwood Cary Parkway Residents and Associates Spread Cheer Throughout Community

CARY, N.C.,  – Being kind is not only good for you but everyone else. For Random Acts of Kindness Day, Waltonwood Cary Parkway, a family-owned senior living community, has found a way to spread kindness and joy throughout the communityAll around the campus, boxes have been dispersed, and residents and associates are leaving thoughtful notes and wishes. These notes will be given to other residents and associates in the community, and they will hopefully lift the spirits of all who receive one. Being kind also has life-changing benefits. Research shows kindness boosts your immune system, reduces anxiety and gives you a sense of control.

“We are always looking for ways for our residents to interact with one another and be active within their community”, said LaQuita Dunn, life enrichment manager“In recent times, it has been easy to feel isolated, and we want our residents to know that they live in a community where they are supported and cared for. We often forget how simple of a gesture it takes to brighten someone’s day, and we figured our kindness boxes would be the perfect way to do that.” 

Each year on February 17, National Random Acts of Kindness Day grows in popularity. It is celebrated by individuals, groups and organizations nationwide to encourage acts of kindness. The movement of Random Acts of Kindness inspires people every day. As a favorite celebration for many, people everywhere are enjoying doing these acts of kindness. Not only do the acts of kindness bring joy to the receiver, but they spread positive reactions to the giver, too. The senior living community plans to keep the boxes out around the community to spread joy throughout the entire month.

“Since the pandemic hit, it hasn’t been easy for many of our residents”, said Dunn. “We are dedicated to keeping our residents safe and healthy, but we are also committed to making their daily lives as fulfilling as possible. We pride ourselves on the sense of community that is present at Waltonwood Cary Parkwayand even though many residents haven’t been unable to see their families, we wanted our residents to be able to find that comfort in one another. We are very excited to see everyone participate in our initiative and spread kindness around the community.”

ABOUT WALTONWOOD CARY PARKWAY 

Waltonwood Cary Parkway offers seniors a dignified, individualized community where residents can thrive. The community offers independent living cottages, and independent, assisted living and memory care apartments in studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans, creating a continuum of care where residents can enjoy an active lifestyle and receive care if they need it. The community offers many engaging amenities, including a theater, therapy pool, putting green, garden view lounge and private courtyards throughout its acreage. Residents receive the most up-to-date advances in senior living, including the specially designed Forever Fit program and life enrichment programing.

Singh is a family-owned company and for more than 45 years they have remained multifaceted in real estate development, with a strong foundation in luxury apartments, commercial properties, land development, high-end single-family homes and, for 30 years, senior living communities which have been branded “Waltonwood.”  The vertical integration of the company, which provides for development, construction, finance and management under one umbrella, allows Singh to be poised for new opportunities in expanding markets.  All projects are wholly owned by Singh and continue to be owned and managed by Singh.

The company is headquartered in West Bloomfield, MI and has regional offices in Cary, NC. Learn more about Singh and its Waltonwood communities at www.singhweb.com. If you are interested in learning more about Waltonwood Cary Parkway, please visit www.waltonwood.com or call 919-275-0983. 

The Woodlands at Furman Community Village Exterior

Greenville-Area Retirement Community Completes Major Expansion

Greenville, South Carolina  – The residents of The Woodlands at Furman have watched construction of the 13,000-square-foot Community Village for months and now they can use it every day. To say they are excited would be an understatement.

The locally-owned, non-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community, located adjacent to Furman University and close to downtown Greenville, invested about $4.5 million on the new building. Features include a wellness center with state-of-the-art pneumatic and cardio equipment, therapy pool, massage room, day spa, gym, locker rooms, a multi-purpose room that can be broken down into two spaces for simultaneous events, activities and exercise classes equipped with audio and visual equipment.

“The Community Village reminds me of a town square – providing a hub for activities ranging from lectures to exercise classes to spa services,” said Mary Lou Merkt, president and CEO at The Woodlands at Furman. “The Woodlands Board and Senior Leadership Team are delighted to open the new Community Village for our residents to enjoy.”

The Community Village was a team effort. Residents, team members, an interior designer as well as a senior exercise physiologist from The Cliffs were asked for input about the exercise equipment and the overall functionality and look of the new building.

“They just did a great job,” said Tom Dowell, resident and Resident Council member. “It’s a beautiful space and the new exercise machines are state-of-the-art. They looked at other centers, asked our opinion and it’s a very attractive building. We knew it would be, but ‘Wow’ is it impressive.”

Dowell said his wife Judy enjoys fitness classes and other activities the Community Village offers. It’s just a walk down the hall from their home and very convenient.

The Cliffs’ Vance Ferrigno said he assisted with recommending spacing for the equipment, advised on purchasing and to establish a functional movement pattern for the residents.  He visited The Woodlands at Furman recently to see the completed project and said he was “blown away” at beauty of it. “They did a phenomenal job.”

Ezra Hall, lifestyles director at The Woodlands at Furman, agrees and added the residents are also excited.

“The Community Village space means we can have dual events in the multipurpose room and with COVID, the space allows us to spread people out,” Hall said. “It’s just another tool in our tool belt and a way to keep people active and to engage others.”

Hall said being able to divide the room opens up opportunities and partnerships with local organizations, clubs and community groups. These events can continue and grow as The Woodlands at Furman can accommodate larger groups in the Community Village that he describes as tasteful, classy and well done.

“The Community Village provides The Woodlands with a space to unite its residents who live in apartments with those who live across the street in our single-family homes, called The Villas. Our residents love socializing and learning from one another,” Merkt said.

 

About The Woodlands at Furman
The Woodlands at Furman is a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Greenville, South Carolina, offering independent senior living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care. And as residents of the only retirement community in Upstate South Carolina that offers Life Care, people at our senior living community can enjoy today even more because they know that the ‘what-ifs’ of tomorrow are taken care of.” For more information about The Woodlands at Furman, visit http://www.thewoodlandsatfurman.org or call 864-371-3100.

Waldron Staff By New Sign

Aperion Care Waldron Welcomes New Ownership; Renamed Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center

WALDRON, IND. – Aperion Care Waldron announces it has changed ownership. Renamed Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, the 79-bed subacute and skilled nursing facility provides a broad spectrum of care, including long- and short-term care and rehabilitation, in an intimate and compassionate environment.Waldron Staff By New Sign-Cropped.jpeg

The new ownership team is a group of skilled nursing facility managers and operators based in Indiana and the Midwest. The ownership change was effective November 1, 2020.

“In these challenging times, it is very reassuring that our new ownership team has years of know-how, shared values and a great group of experienced experts – based right here in the Midwest – to support our care team,” said Manoj Berry, the center’s Administrator.

Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center will benefit from the hands-on attention that comes from a smaller, but very skilled “non-corporate” ownership and management team. The team has overseen operations at similar-sized care centers, in rural and suburban communities around the Midwest, and brings many new ideas that have been very successful at other facilities.

Implementing “Genuine Hometown Care”

“Our new owners view Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center as a world of family and friends,” said Berry. “They share core principles and standards that reflect the people and beliefs of our region: Genuine Hometown Care, Community Integration, and Employees are Family.”

Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center is known for its focus on providing hometown care with a commitment to fully integrating with the healthcare needs of the Waldron, Ind., community. As it continues to grow, the center will benefit from working with a skilled, hands-on regional ownership team.

“The ownership group has significant experience in overseeing operations at similar-sized care centers in rural and suburban communities around the Midwest,” Berry noted. “We anticipate incorporating new ideas that have been successful at their other facilities as we work to advance our mission of excellence in care.”

About Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center

Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center is a 79-bed subacute and skilled nursing facility in Waldron, Ind., providing long-term care, short-term care, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehab-to-home, speech therapy, hospice care, and respite care. The center is currently accepting new admissions for short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. For further information, please contact Sarah Jones at (317) 512-7341 or visit the Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center website at www.waldronhc.com.

JEA Senior Living Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout for all Residents and Team Members

VANCOUVER, Wash.,JEA Senior Living (JEA), a leading senior care provider, announced today that it will be making the COVID-19 vaccination available for all residents and team members as the vaccine is made available by federal, state, and local health authorities. For new residents who move into a JEA Senior Living community before December 31, 2020, the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to them free-of-charge.

Chris Belford, CEO, JEA Senior Living shared, “In order to provide the very best care for all of our residents, their families, and our team members, the leadership team at JEA Senior Living continues to monitor the latest COVID-19 updates from the CDC and WHO. This includes staying apprised of the latest developments surrounding preventative measures, recommended symptom management, and the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.”

Belford continued, “We are encouraging all of our residents and team members to receive the vaccine to protect not only themselves but their families as well. We believe that in order to eradicate COVID-19, it is our civic duty to receive the vaccine.”

Vaccine clinics are being coordinated with JEA’s Pharmacy partners and on-site clinics will be provided in 3 visits over the course of 2 months. Both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines include a series of 2 vaccinations. The initial vaccination provides about 55% of coverage, and the booster shot – which follows 21-28 days later – boosts immunity to 94-95%.

The Pfizer Vaccine has received the Emergency Use Authorization, with other vaccines to follow. For the most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: https://www.cdc.gov/

Team Members at JEA Senior Living communities will still be following social distancing and PPE protocols, even after receiving the vaccinations. This is in order to reduce exposure and the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

About JEA Senior Living

JEA is a family of companies that focuses on the development and management of senior living communities, concentrating on memory care facilities. The company and its founders date back to the early 1970s and have overseen the development and operation of independent living communities, assisted living communities, skilled nursing facilities, and Alzheimer’s special care centers. JEA’s current portfolio includes more than 57 communities led by an experienced management team with experts in care, nursing, development, finance, construction, marketing, and comprehensive management.