Senior Nation: Ask Irma

Senior Nation is committed to offering resources to help us deal with the challenges and opportunities of aging. To that end, we are launching a new monthly column called “Ask Irma” by Irma Toce, where we focus on all topics related to aging.

Dear Irma,

When is the right time to move into senior housing?

Respectfully,

“Stayathomemom”

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Dear StayAtHomeMom,

This probably is the question I have heard most throughout my career And my answer is always “Move and enjoy before it is too late”

I say that because all too often consumers wait for an “event” to happen Whether it’s moving into independent living, assisted living or a dementia assisted living, it has become very clear no one is ever quite ready to make the move So we wait and I have seen prospects actually wait so long they now do not qualify for the senior living of their choice

My advice is when you start thinking about senior living, start to look while you are still able to make decisions and fully capable of participating with all the amenities and programs that are being offered to enjoy life to the fullest Don’t wait for that fall to happen or someone wondering off

Start a whole new fresh chapter in life with wonderful peers to share stories with and make new memories with.

Fondly

Irma

Irma Toce is the  CEO of Londonderry on the Tred Avon with over 25 years experience work with seniors. Her years of experience in the field is accompanied by BS in social work and an MA in health management, Irma not only leads the dynamic community of Londonderry, but she is also nationally recognized as an expert in the field of aging.

 

Senior Nation: One Building Lot Left at Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Londonderry on the Tred Avon announces they are nearing completion of their independent living community. Londonderry is an intimate cooperative community for adults ages 62+ offering maintenance-free living, new Clubhouse facilities, a full programs and events calendar, limited medical support and transportation off campus.

“The past 3 years have been very exciting as we’ve been able to watch Londonderry gain over 20 new cottages and welcome new neighbors to our community,” said Rachel Smith Director of Sales Marketing. “We encourage anyone who has been considering moving to Londonderry to take advantage of this last new construction opportunity.”

The one remaining lot is conveniently located within walking distance of the new Clubhouse and can accommodate the Skipton, Belleuve and Easton models.

“Building a retirement home at Londonderry is a special experience,” said Smith. “For some, this is their first new home, and the ability to work with our builder to customize their new home to suit their tastes and lifestyle is exciting.”

Photos and floor plans of the available models may be found online at www.londonderrytredavon.com under the “new construction” section. Interested seniors may contact the Sales and Marketing Office at 410-820-8732 to learn more and schedule a tour of the campus.

 

Londonderry Residents Participate in “Londonderry’s Got Talent” Show

Londonderry on the Tred Avon staff and residents participated in the second annual “Londonderry’s Got Talent” Show on Wednesday, April 18th. The much-anticipated event was held in the Londonderry Community Center with well over 100 residents and many family members in attendance.

“This is the most highly-anticipated event of the year,” said Irma Toce, Londonderry CEO and emcee for Londonderry’s Got Talent. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone at Londonderry to learn more about each other, laugh together and poke a little fun at the aging process.”

This year’s talent show featured 12 individual and group acts. Attendees were treated to musical performances, book readings and acting performances to name a few. There were guest appearances from “celebrities” including “Willie Nelson” and the community favorite, “Minnie Pearl”. The famous “Bag Ladies” even made a special appearance.

Nancy Burns, a resident in the audience, said the event “was a wonderful time and very funny. We really enjoyed ourselves.”

Guest judges for the event were Rosemary Fasolo and Peter Markano from Pixel Print and Post in St. Michaels and Craig Stitcher from Bayside Lawn and Landscape in Easton.

The winner of this year’s talent show was George Wadelton for his rendition of “Memory” from the Broadway musical, Cats.

Cathy Cooper, Londonderry resident and performer, said, “As residents, we all have a role in this event. Some of us act, and some of us laugh and applaud. Whatever the role, it’s a great time to come together and celebrate our community.”

About Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62+, 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 Life’s Ask Irma: Concerned Daughter Needs Advice to her Mother’s Grief

Senior Nation is committed to offering resources to help us deal with the challenges and opportunities of aging. To that end, we are launching a new monthly column called “Ask Irma” by Irma Toce, where we focus on all topics related to aging.

Dear Irma,

Dad passed almost a year ago. Mom took such good care of dad. After my dad’s passing I’ve noticed Mom is not enjoying the things she once loved, she is not spending time with friends or taking care of herself. What can I do to help? Mom is healthy and was once vibrant.

Signed,

Concerned Daughter

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Dear Concerned Daughter,

Thank you for reaching out and showing concerns for mom.

Your mom is going through the grief of losing her husband. You also wrote that mom used to take care of him which implies that he was ill.

While taking care of a spouse is a difficult thing to do, it does give a sense of being “useful” and needed.

After your father’s passing all of a sudden the feeling of being needed is no longer there and mom might feel “useless.”

It also seems mom might suffer from depression because of her lack of interest in friends and taking care of herself

I would suggest to take her to her physician to check for depression and once she receives a clean bill of health to slowly introduce her to volunteering.

The Senior Center might be a good first place to start.

I hope you find a way to re-introduce mom to a social setting so she can enjoy herself among her peers.

Good luck to you and your mom.

Signed,

Irma

Irma Toce is the  CEO of Londonderry on the Tred Avon with over 25 years experience work with seniors. Her years of experience in the field is accompanied by BS in social work and an MA in health management, Irma not only leads the dynamic community of Londonderry, but she is also nationally recognized as an expert in the field of aging.

 

Profiles at Londonderry: Bob Welte

Londonderry has started a new series of “Resident Profiles” highlighting a Londonderry resident with an interesting and compelling story. We often hear, “you never know who your neighbors are” within the Londonderry and greater Easton community, and offer these profiles as a way to highlight some of our very talented, accomplished and interesting friends and neighbors.

His Londonderry friends and neighbors may know him best as their witty and competitive bridge teacher, but Bob Welte’s story spans 86 years and both coasts of the United States.

Photo Caption: Following a satisfying career in engineering and physics spanning both coasts of the U.S., Bob Welte has made his home in Easton at Londonderry.

Bob Welte was born in 1932 in what would later become Silicon Valley, CA, and was part of the region’s transformation from fruit orchards to the hub of technological innovation for the country. He attended the University of Santa Clara, and then Stanford University for graduate school, where he studied electrical engineering and physics.

He married his wife, Diane, and together they had six children in five years. Described by Bob as “some kind of babe,” he also lauded her patience, kindness and skill as a “superb organizer” to manage their full, yet hectic, life making a home for their growing and active family.

Bob spent his early career in California’s Bay Area working on military contracts supporting the design and development of fighter jets used by the United States Navy and Air Force during the Cold War period.

After their children were grown, Bob continued his career in military defense and accepted a new position based in Manhattan. He and Diane relocated to New York while the children stayed in California. In reflecting on the move, Bob commented that “getting the kids out of the house” was the best thing he and Diane could have done for them, as it forced them to finally be on their own.

After 25 years in New York, Bob and Diane began considering retirement and had planned to return to California until they received an invitation to Easton’s storied Waterfowl Festival. They had been to the Shore previously when Bob’s work brought him to Washington, D.C., but had never considered retiring here. After a fun Festival weekend with friends, the decision was made. Easton would be their new home.

For the next 25 years, Bob and Diane lived on five acres on the Ratcliff Manor property in Easton. They were active members of the community and Bob gladly played the role of “Mr. Gopher” to support Diane’s volunteer work.

In 2014, Bob’s beloved Diane passed away. After selling their home at Ratcliff Manor, Bob joined the Londonderry Community where he has made a name for himself as a formidable bridge player. His mother, who Bob says, “was a little old woman who would beat the pants off you,” taught him to play. He now shares the family bridge playing secrets four times a week when he teaches lessons to his friends and neighbors.

Bob enjoys the Londonderry community and appreciates his neighbors and his ability to create a balance between activity and time alone. Bob remains close with his children and grandchildren and returns to California several times a year to visit.

For more information on Londonderry on the Tred Avon please go here

Pat Lewers Elected Londonderry on the Tred Avon Board President

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is proud to announce Pat Lewers as the current President of their Board of Directors. As a residential cooperative community, the Board of Directors represents the residents and oversees the operations and programming within the community.

“It was my honor to be selected to lead our Board,” said Lewers. “It’s an exciting time at Londonderry as we are bursting at the seams and embarking on expansion projects to accommodate our growing needs. Our new clubhouse will give us the space we need to host events, speakers, and the other programs our residents enjoy and rely on. We are also completing construction on the remainder of our building lots to meet the demand for homes in our community.”

Lewers moved to Londonderry in 2013 after living on Baileys Neck Road in Easton for 25 years with her husband, retired Necrologist, Dr. Ted Lewers. Together they have three daughters and four grandchildren. A native Washingtonian, Lewers is a graduate of the University of Maryland and taught fourth grade in Baltimore before raising her family full-time.

Lewers is an active member of the Mid-Shore community and has volunteered countless hours with the Easton Memorial Hospital, Talbot County Garden Club, Talbot County Historical Society and St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. She is currently volunteering with organizations that support individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.

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.

Londonderry on the Tred Avon Residents Inducted into Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame

Larraine “Lari” Caldwell, and James and Patricia Bradley.

Londonderry on the Tred Avon residents, Larraine “Lari” Caldwell, and James and Patricia Bradley were three of fifty honorees inducted into the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame (MSCH) this year. They were recognized at an induction ceremony on Thursday, October 26th at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, Md. Founded in 1987, the MSCHF is a private, all-volunteer organization that publicly recognizes and honors Maryland senior citizens for outstanding service in their communities.

“We are proud to count these wonderful individuals as our neighbors at Londonderry,” said Irma Toce, Londonderry CEO. “Our residents pride themselves on community engagement and Lari, James and Patricia exemplify the great impact seniors can make by sharing their talents and experiences with the causes and organizations they care about.”

Lari Caldwell is a retired Licensed Certified Social Worker and is currently Vice-President of Care and Share, an organization that raises money for vulnerable adults and children who do not qualify for other forms of assistance. She serves on the Londonderry on the Tred Avon Board of Directors as well as on the board of the Friends of the Dorchester County Library. She is also active with the Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester and the Dorchester County Adult Public Guardianship Review Board.

James and Patricia Bradley are retired educators and founders of the Caroline County affiliate of Rebuilding Together, an organization that provides free homeowner services to the elderly, disabled, veterans and families with children facing necessary, but unaffordable, repairs to their homes. They also volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Voice of the Homeless – Winter Haven Cold Weather Shelter, St. Martin’s Ministries and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

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.

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.

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.

Londonderry Employees to Become Habitat Homebuyers

Two employees of Londonderry on the Tred Avon are on the path to realizing their dream of owning a home thanks to Habitat for Humanity Choptank and the assistance of one of Londonderry’s residents.

Shavonte Green and Duval Mills both learned about Habitat for Humanity when representatives from the organization visited Londonderry to talk employees and fill them in on the process of becoming a homeowner.

“It felt like a good option for me,” Mills, head waiter at Londonderry, said. “I’m very excited.”

Green and Mills were both able to learn a little more about Habitat from Londonderry resident Lari Caldwell, who’s volunteered with the program for about a decade. A former social worker, she serves on Habitat for Humanity Choptank Homebuyer Selection Committee, helping to look into applicants’ backgrounds and choose good candidates for the program.

Shavonte Green and Duval Mills are each pictured with Londonderry resident Lari Caldwell and a representative of Habitat for Humanity Choptank.

Though she recused herself from the committee in this case, she’s done what she can to encourage them both along.

“I did promote them as responsible young people who would do well as candidates for Habitat,” Caldwell said. “They’re both very pleasant and personable, and I think this will be wonderful for both of them.”

According to Habitat for Humanity Choptank, applicants must be free of outstanding collectible debt before closing, save for closing costs,pay an affordable mortgage for the cost of the home, and assume responsibility for maintaining the home, and for paying home owners insurance and property taxes. The biggest piece of the process is the completion of 300-400 “sweat equity” hours — essentially volunteer service to the program.

“Our philosophy is about building neighborhoods and helping people to live their best life in their communities,” Caldwell said. “We really want to assure that the people that come into our program really want to be there.”

Green and Mills are still early in the process, but are very much looking forward to going through it. In fact, Caldwell says Mills has already done many of many of his sweat equity hours despite just being approved by Habitat.

“He’s really, very motivated,” Caldwell said. “I’m very proud of both of them for doing what they have to take this step in life.”

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and up, 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.