Senior Nation: Updating Dixon House with Residents in Mind

For Don Wooters, co-owner of Dwelling and Design, taking on a large manor house’s interior and creating a totally new environment for its occupants is nothing new. For years, Don has traveled the country doing just that for dozens of clients who have purposely sought out his unique eye for design.

What is new is that one of his most recent clients, the historic Dixon House, the assisted-living residence on North Higgins Street in Easton, was seeking more than a fresh look. With most of its residents well over 90 years old, Dixon was asking to use a new design with colors, fabrics and textured wallpapers that were both comforting but also stimulating to the eighteen men and women that call it their home.

And now that the paint is dry and the work crews have left, the Spy thought it would be a good time to check in with Don, and with Dixon House’s director, Linda Elben, to talk about this particular project.  Challenged to ensure that the non-institutional feel of Dixon was preserved, Don and Linda speak in their interview about their selection of colors, getting feedback from residents, and how the new look has dramatically changed for this group-living space.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about the Dixon House please go here

Inside the Sandwich: Muscular Dystrophy Carnivals and Annual Giving By Amelia Blades Steward

During the 1960s and 70s, it wouldn’t be summer if we didn’t hold a Muscular Dystrophy Carnival in my neighborhood near the high school in Easton. A group of about 10 kids from my neighborhood looked forward to these backyard carnivals, to benefit “Jerry’s kids.” The Muscular Dystrophy Carnival kits came in the mail and included tickets, posters and an idea pamphlet to help us raise the funds to help find a cure for the disease. It was an important and noble cause. We had watched for hours the Jerry Lewis Telethons on the television and wanted to do our part to help the kids we saw in the images on the screen. We didn’t have many children in wheelchairs in our school, so it seemed particularly important to reach out to those who were unfortunate enough to be in that situation.

We used each other’s backyards to host the carnivals and rotated from house to house each year, based on the parents who agreed to having their card tables placed in the grass outside and their clotheslines strung with sheets, providing backdrops to the games we played. The O’Briant family’s yard was the most popular one in which to hold the carnivals. We each had aluminum wash tubs to contribute for bobbing for apples or for the floating duck game, where you picked a duck and got a prize based on the number on the bottom of the duck. There were magic shows, fortune-telling booths, and Kool-Aid stands. Everything required a ticket and the tickets cost about five cents each.

We assembled our props and got the carnival set up, borrowing from each other’s households. An alley connected our backyards, so it was easy to get things from one place to another. There was Kool-Aid to be stirred, cookies to be baked, and we had to get out the word so people would come to our carnival. The nearby

Elks Club pool provided the perfect place to share our news. Word spread among the kids when the carnival would take place. Of course, we counted on our mothers coming – they helped fill out our numbers and usually donated extra money.

The carnival started around 11 a.m. and went until 1 p.m., when the pool opened. We didn’t like to miss our pool time. We took our carnival jobs seriously, whether running a game, performing, or selling drinks or food. We knew the more we smiled and encouraged our patrons, the more money we would make. As the day wore on, however, so did we. The sun shone high overhead and the humidity rose. Some of the excitement waned and my friends and I grew weary.

Once we had drunk the Kool-Aid and eaten the cookies, we were ready to pack up the games, return the tables, chairs and props and head to the pool. Before we did, however, it was exciting to see how much money we had raised. If we made over ten dollars, we were excited! We weren’t old enough to have checkbooks, so one of our parents would deposit the money and write a check to be mailed to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. We waited anxiously for the return “thank you” letter in the mail from Jerry. It confirmed our hard work had paid off and showed we did something meaningful with our summer. These backyard carnivals instilled in us a compassion for helping others, something that still rings true today as the annual appeal letters arrive in the mail. While I no longer get that personal letter from Jerry, I still find satisfaction in anticipating the “thank you” after my annual donations are made – a confirmation that we can still make a difference, no matter how small the gift.

 

Mid-Shore Food: Finding the Balance between a Restaurant and the Family Kitchen Table

Bill Lynch might be one of the few chefs in America that works in the home kitchen of approximately 180 people every day. While it is true that Bill doesn’t get in his car to visit each one, the metaphor works in describing what it is like to direct the food service at the Londonderry on the Tred Avon community just off Port Street in Easton.

And that is where the challenge begins for Bill as he and his crew as they navigate the expectations of sophisticated residents with significant international culinary experiences but who also seek out simpler food options for their day to day meals.

That’s not an easy task for any chef, but with Bill’s own culinary background, starting with learning to cook from his Italian grandmother in Philly, to progressing through the hierarchy of professional kitchens, including some of the best in the Mid-Atlantic region, he has found himself very much at home himself is the new and satisfying change from what a traditional restaurant faces daily.

A few weeks ago, the Spy sat down with Bill to talk about this unique balancing act.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about Londonderry on the Tred Avon please go here

Londonderry on the Tred Avon CEO Presents at National Aging Conference

Irma Toce, Londonderry on the Tred Avon CEO, presented at the Leading Age Annual Meeting and Expo in New Orleans, La. on October 31st. The event is the nation’s largest gathering of executives, experts and professionals in the aging services field and was attended by more than 7,000 individuals.

Toce’s presentation, “Creating an Amuse-Bouche Hospitality Culture,” focused on establishing and embracing a hospitality culture in senior living communities. Inspired by the “amuse-bouche” concept in fine dining where a chef will prepare a special surprise appetizer for guests, Londonderry has adopted this strategy across the entire organization as part of their commitment to a hospitality-focused approach. From time to time, residents will be presented with an unexpected gesture from various departments to enhance their experience at Londonderry.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to share our approach and success stories with other professionals in the field,” said Toce. “Hospitality is our philosophy at Londonderry. It means going above and beyond the expectations of our residents to provide an exceptional experience and create stronger feeling of community. This initiative has made a significant impact on the atmosphere at Londonderry, and I hope my fellow professionals can achieve similar success.”

Toce has been Londonderry’s CEO since 2014. Under her leadership, Londonderry has reached capacity and is currently expanding its facilities to accommodate additional demand for residences and recreational amenities. Toce has more than 20 years of executive level experience in the aging services field and is a well-respected expert and mentor in her community of professionals.

About Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and over, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Senior Nation: Preparing for One’s Second Life with Transition Training

While the goal for many who have migrated to the Eastern Shore for retirement is to enjoy a more relaxed phase in their lives, the reality for many former professionals and business executives is that they are experiencing a significant transition in their lives.

In many cases, these men and women who enjoyed career success in their work lives, or thrived as volunteer leaders in their former communities,  are now confronted with how to constructively spend the next three or four decades.

That is one of the reasons the Spy has been particularly interested in life coaching that focused on this kind transition.  And we, therefore, took special notice when Gerri Leder, a resident of St. Michaels, alerting us to her upcoming workshops in St. Michaels and Oxford in November to focus on this very issue.

And that was all it took for us to invite Gerri to the Bullitt House to talk about this process.

This video is approximately two minutes in length.

Midlife Transition Workshops in St. Michaels and Oxford are scheduled 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov 9 at Etherton Hall, 103 Willow St., St. Michaels, or 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Nov 13 at the Oxford Community Center.  For more information go to here or call (443) 279-7901.

Londonderry on the Tred Avon Celebrates 25 Years

Londonderry on the Tred Avon celebrated its 25th Anniversary at a gala event on October 4th on the grounds of the Londonderry Manor House. More than 200 residents and community members attended to commemorate this important milestone in the life of the cooperative. Maryland State Senator Addie Eckardt and Delegate Johnny Mautz presented citations in honor of the event.

Established in 1992 as Londonderry Retirement Community on some of Talbot County’s most historic land, Londonderry on the Tred Avon has grown from its initial 15 individual cottages and 17 residents to a vibrant community of over 97 cottages, 26 apartments and more than 150 residents. The cooperative independent living retirement community is resident owned and operated and was the first of its kind on the Eastern Shore.

Pictured is Senator Addie Eckardt presenting a Maryland Senate Resolution to Londonderry. L-R: Londonderry CEO, Irma Toce, Easton Mayor, Robert Willey, Londonderry President, Pat Lewers, Talbot County Council Member, Al Silverstein, Senator Addie Eckardt, Talbot County Council Member, Chuck Callahan, Delegate Johnny Mautz and Talbot County Council Member, Jennifer Williams.

“Londonderry serves an important need in our community. The location, beautiful facility and grounds, and quality of staff really make it an ideal place to call home. It’s wonderful that they are celebrating their 25th anniversary,” said Al Silverstein, Talbot County Councilman and President of the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce.

“This event celebrated our past and future,” said Irma Toce, Londonderry CEO. “It was a special opportunity to reflect on our history as we move into an exciting time with the construction of our new Clubhouse slated to open next year. Big things are happening and it was important for us to celebrate where we began.”

The celebration, planned and designed by Kari Rider Events, featured food from Blue Heron Catering, live music from Guy and Dolls from Rockville, and dancing with Schafers Swing Dancers from Baltimore, Md.

“It was a very enjoyable party and we were thrilled to be invited,” said Judy Geoghegan, event guest. “The people (at Londonderry) are always friendly and so interesting to talk to and, we loved celebrating with them”,

About Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and over, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Spy Minute: Londonderry Toasts 25th Year Anniversary

It’s always a great moment when a respected community turns 25 years old. That quarter-century mark is one of the best indicators that the organization being celebrated has reached a point of maturity which promises a long healthy life to come, and there is no better example of this than Londonderry on the Tred Avon birthday bash this week.

While Londonderry has always had a sense of rock-solid stability, mainly since has been anchored by a 19th century Gothic Revival manor house, with now over 97 cottages and 26 apartments along the Tred Avon River, it is also true that for the first ten years of its existence, the then revolutionary new retirement community struggled against many odds to keep from closing, including revised partnership agreements, legal entanglements, and more recently, the unchartered waters that came with the Great Recession of 2008.

All of that is now ancient history as Londonderry is currently experiencing a waiting list for future residents, expanding its cottages and adding a large clubhouse this year.

As David Hazen said at the end of his comprehensive history of Londonderry noted, “Londonderry On The Tred Avon, nee The Retirement Community of Easton, Inc., can face the future knowing that it has been a great home for its residents of the past, while looking forward to being an even greater one for those of the future.”

The Spy was there a few nights ago to capture the scene as residents and friends gathered to toast Londonderry and its future.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Londonderry on the Tred Avon please go here

 

Dr. Terry Detrich Joins Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic at Bayleigh Chase

Integrace Bayleigh Chase, a forward-thinking life plan community based in Easton, announces that Terry Detrich, M.D. is joining the Samuel and Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic on October 2. A neurologist who has practiced in the local community for over 40 years, Dr. Detrich will be joining medical director Allan Anderson, M.D. and nurse practitioner Yvonne Liswell on the clinic team, as it expands its services to provide a more comprehensive approach to supporting families on Maryland’s Eastern Shore living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurocognitive impairments.

The addition of Dr. Detrich signifies the clinic’s evolution from traditional memory care to a more advanced and holistic neurocognitive model of care. This model not only focuses on diagnosing and treating impairments associated with memory, but also disorders that present in all five cognitive domains of the brain, including changes in language, motor skills, balance, visual/spatial perception and executive functions.

Dr. Detrich’s specialty in neurology, in collaboration with Dr. Anderson’s specialty in geriatric psychiatry, enables clinic patients to benefit from a multi-disciplinary team utilizing the most advanced diagnostic tools and treatments. Each patient receives a comprehensive evaluation to obtain an accurate and detailed diagnosis, followed by a thorough care plan to optimize quality of life for every individual and their family.

“We are happy and honored to welcome Dr. Terry Detrich to our clinic team, as his expertise and well-respected reputation are unparalleled in our region,” said Allan Anderson, M.D., medical director, the Samuel and Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic. “It is our priority to continue to expand the services we provide to our greater community, and ensure that families on Maryland’s Eastern Shore have access to the most advanced diagnostics and therapies to help those living with not just memory loss, but all forms of neurocognitive changes.”

“I am thrilled to be working with Dr. Anderson and the Bayleigh Chase team. This is an exciting new direction in my professional career that will allow me to continue to provide care to the greater community in a high-quality patient and caregiver environment,” said Terry Detrich, M.D.

The Samuel and Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic is located within the Integrace Bayleigh Chase community at 545 Cynwood Lane in Easton. The clinic evaluates individuals on an outpatient basis. For more information or to request an evaluation, please call 410-820-5191.

Located on a 35-acre campus in historic Easton, Bayleigh Chase is a not-for-profit life plan community that affords residents a lifestyle of flexibility and choice to live life on their own terms. Bayleigh Chase offers independent living options in its villas, cottages and apartment homes, as well as a continuum of supportive living services, including assisted living, memory support, outpatient and short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing and diagnostic and treatment support through the Samuel and Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic. For more information, please call 410-763-7167 or visit www.bayleighchase.org.

The Queens of Washington Street: The Drag Race for Talbot Hospice

It’s safe to say that Washington Street never gets campier in a given year than during the annual Talbot Hospice Drag Race. Ten or so men in full drag take to the streets of Easton in September to win the support of blue-ribbon judges on their wardrobe and charm.

Its also a wonderful way for the community to support the work of the greatly respected Talbot Hospice, which has helped so many families on the Mid-Shore with end of life support and treatment.

The Spy was there to catch some of the fun.

This video is approximately five minutes in length.  For more information on Talbot Hospice please go here 

Senior Nation: Over Five Thousand Dollars Raised to Feed Talbot Seniors

Upper Shore Aging received a check this week for $5,644.00, from GIVE 65, a community service program of the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation. The money raised will be used to provide congregate meals for seniors in need at the Senior Center in St. Michaels, located at the YMCA. It is estimated that over one thousand meals will be provided because of this effort.

Receiving the check on behalf of Upper Shore Aging, Childlene Brooks said, “We’re just so grateful for the dozens of generous citizens here on the Eastern Shore who made these financial gifts and for Home Instead Senior Care’s Foundation for matching those gifts, dollar for dollar!” Gary Gunther, also with Upper Shore Aging, joined Brooks in receiving the check from local Home Instead Senior Care Franchise Owners, Ben & Jenna Marchi who were on hand to present it. Gunther echoed Brooks comments and added, “Because of this effort, seniors who might otherwise go hungry will have these needed meals, and our kind neighbors here on the Eastern Shore can take pride knowing they played a role in it.

The online giving event earns its name from the period of time, 65 hours, from July 11 to 13, that donors could give gifts to be matched by the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation. Upper Shore Aging was selected to participate this year, in the event whose goal is to help nonprofit organizations serving seniors raise funds online and increase awareness. Ninety nonprofits from 36 states and the District of Columbia participated this year.

“GIVE65 allows us to help our seniors while raising awareness of the critical need for private sector partners to play active roles in their communities and financially assist the programs and services that so many seniors rely on,” said Ben Marchi, the Franchise Owner of Home Instead Senior Care, whose office is in Talbot County.

The 65-hour GIVE65 Event began at 7 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 11 and concluded at midnight on July 13. The virtual event is an initiative of the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation® and the nation’s first and only crowd-fundraising platform focused exclusively on helping nonprofit organizations across the country raise funds for programs and services benefiting seniors.

To learn more about GIVE65, visit GIVE65.org. All donations are 100 percent tax deductible in the United States.