Londonderry Welcomes New Executive Chef, Chelsea Coombs

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is pleased to announce Chelsea Coombs as its new Executive Chef. Coombs began her new position in January and is responsible for the community’s dining and kitchen operations.

“Chelsea has been an incredible addition to the Londonderry team,” said Irma Toce, Executive Director. “She brings incredible energy, leadership and creativity to our dining program. Her experience, education and culinary philosophy are a perfect fit to our holistic approach to wellness at Londonderry.”

Coombs strongly believes that “if you eat well, you feel well,” and her cooking is inspired by what is fresh and in season. She is an advocate for the health benefits of clean and wholesome eating and considers food to be a critical part of wellness.

“Being part of the Londonderry community has been a joy,” said Coombs. “The residents are open to trying new things and have allowed me to express my creativity on the menu. I have enjoyed working with them to reimagine their favorite dishes in a healthier way and have introduced simple changes to incorporate more fresh and seasonal ingredients into their diet.”

Prior to joining the Londonderry staff, Coombs served as the Sous Chef for Blue Heron Catering where she helped supervise a staff of 20 and managed all catering operations of all sizes ranging from small, in-home gatherings to large events of 400+ guests.

In addition to her experience in the kitchen, Coombs has also earned certifications in Food, Nutrition and Health as well as Nutrition, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion.

Coombs, an Eastern Shore native, lives in Trappe with her boyfriend, Paul, and Pug, Benny. When not in the kitchen, she enjoys being active and outdoors.

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 Nation: Ask Irma on Leaving Independent Living Too Soon

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 video blog called “Ask Irma” hosted by Irma Toce, C.E.O. of the Londonderry on the Tred Avon in Easton, where we will be exploring on all topics related to aging.

This month: Prematurely leaving independent living and the challenges of falling.

This video is approximately one minute in length. For information about Londonderry on the Tred Avon please go here

Acts Retirement-Life Communities and Integrace Complete Affiliation

Acts Retirement-Life Communities, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit senior living organizations, has completed its affiliation with Integrace and its family of communities located throughout Maryland. The affiliation brings together two nationally recognized names in the senior living industry under shared governance and leadership.

Integrace is a not-for-profit system of retirement communities consisting of Bayleigh Chase in Easton; Buckingham’s Choice in Adamstown; and Fairhaven in Sykesville; along with Copper Ridge, a memory support residence, in Sykesville. Collectively, these communities are home to approximately 1,080 residents and provide a continuum of services including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, short-term rehabilitation and specialized programming for Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and other types of neurocognitive disorders.

Photo: On April 1, residents, colleagues, and executives from Integrace and Acts Retirement-Life Communities gathered for a reception at Bayleigh Chase in Easton to celebrate the completion of the affiliation between the two senior living organizations. Pictured from L-R: Marianne Ell, Salena Cephas, Nicholas Shockley, Marty Chance, Joel Yacks, Andrea Lev, Danielle Adams, Bobbi Sweitzer, Sherri Brown, Kay Blessing, Brittni Conn, April Hauf, Nan Lambeth, Amy Fountain, Louise Montgomery, Susan Covey

“We are excited to be bringing Integrace into the Acts family, and building upon the success of these communities,” said Acts President and CEO Gerald T. Grant. “Our organizations share a similar mission and culture with consistent values and commitments to residents and employees. It’s exciting to contemplate the future of  our  organizations and what we can achieve as we work together to enrich the lives of our residents.”

With the affiliation, Acts is expanding its reach in Maryland, where it operates another senior living community, Heron Point of Chestertown. Acts is one of the strongest companies of its kind among not-for-profit senior living providers with combined assets in excess of $2 billion and its obligated group maintains an A- rating from Fitch Ratings. With the affiliation finalized, Acts will manage a network of 26 senior living campuses in nine states totaling 9,504 units, maintaining its status as the third largest multi-site senior living organization according to the LeadingAge Ziegler 200 listing of the nation’s largest not-for-profit aging services providers. The Acts communities are in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

About Acts
Headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, Acts Retirement-Life Communities is the nation’s largest not-for-profit owner, operator and developer of senior living continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), with a network of 26 campuses in nine states serving approximately 10,000 residents and employing more than 8,000 people. All of the Acts communities and its affiliates are accredited by CARF International for meeting the industry’s highest operational and financial standards. For more information, please visit: ActsRetirement.org.

Senior Nation: Ellen Walbridge Turns 100

: Pictured is the Walbridge family. In the photo seated left to right: Ellen with daughter Lois Schall. Standing left to right son Gene Walbridge, daughter Carol Goss, her husband Jeffrey Goss, daughter Barbara McCann, and her husband Larry McCann

Ellen Walbridge of Easton turned 100 at The Dixon House on February 26, 2019. On her birthday she stated, “I never dreamed I would be 100! It is a blessing to celebrate it.” Ellen had several celebrations: a celebration at her church, the Church of the Brethren, the Dixon House Celebration, and dinner with family. She added, “Dixon House has kept me active. I walk around the block every morning with my son which gets things going for me.”

 

Ellen Walbridge with Director Linda Elben as she blows out the candles of her cake at her 100th Birthday Celebration at Dixon House

Ellen was born in West Virginia but had ties to the Eastern Shore. At age 15, she came to work at Fike Orchard in Skipton at the suggestion of her brother who knew the Fikes through church. While living here, she met Alvin Walbridge at a church social and the rest is history. Over the years, she supported her husband who started Walbridge Bros. with two of his brothers. Family is very important to her. She and her husband had five children, one boy, and four girls. She now has 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Walbridge moved to The Dixon House in 2017 after living independently. When asked about the reason for longevity, she states that her brother lived until age 96 and she never drank or smoked. She was active in 4-H, loved to garden (she tends the flowers at The Dixon House), and enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and sewing. She also loves to bake, helping with the baking activities at The Dixon House, and lemon meringue pie is her specialty.

 

At her celebration at The Dixon House, Ellen received salutations from Governor Hogan and from the Eastern Shore Delegates. Pastor Joe Glass played her favorite hymns on the accordion. Mayor Robert Willey gave her a free parking card for the town of Easton. Sheriff Joe Gamble gave her a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, which gave her a laugh. She stated, “I will try and be good!”

The mission of The Dixon House is to provide high quality and affordable residential care to seniors in an enriching home-like environment. For further information, contact Linda Elben, Executive Director at 410-822-6661 or visit dixonhouse.org.

Senior Nation: Ask Irma on When to Downsize

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 video blog called “Ask Irma” by Irma Toce, where we focus on all topics related to aging.

This video is approximately one minute in length. For information about Londonderry on the Tred Avon please go here

A Fit Retirement with Janet Pfeffer: Paula Lowry

Editor’s note: From the moment the Spy profiled Janet Pfeffer with the YMCA of the Chesapeake, a few years ago, we hoped that our paths would cross again.

Janet is perhaps Talbot County’s most popular exercise instructor of a certain age. With a long-standing following at the Saint Michaels Family Y, Londonderry, and the Oxford Community Center for her classes, she has seen inspiring examples of transformation with her friends and students as they move from a rewarding professional career to a physically fit and purposeful retirement life.

We are happy to report that Janet accepted a Spy proposal to seek out some of these fit and purposeful retirees to share their unique stories over the next year.

Janet begins this series with her friend and colleague Paula Lowry. Paula, a native of Cambridge, and with a forty-two-year career as a community social worker in the fields of child welfare and substance abuse prevention, was the first to admit that full-time retirement was going to be a challenge. But as she describes her transition to Janet, it becomes increasingly clear however that the same passion she applied to her professional life could be used in her commitment to gardening and travel.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about the YMCA of the Chesapeake’s programs please go here.

 

 

 

 

 

Maryland Community for Life℠ – Talbot Hosted Innovations in Aging Presentation

By 2030, nearly 40 percent of Talbot County residents will be over the age of 60. To help address the growing concerns for services for this age group, Maryland Community for Life℠ – Talbot hosted a presentation, “Innovations in Aging” by Rona E. Kramer, Secretary for the Maryland Department of Aging to a full house at the Brookletts Place – Talbot Senior Center.

Kramer spoke of the Department of Aging’s role to “keep Maryland residents living at home or in the community – wherever they want to age.”

She commented, “Within two years of entering an assisted living or nursing home, the average citizen spends down all of their resources. With this huge population aging, we can’t afford not to find better ways to serve everyone.”

Kramer explained that this means backing up services earlier in life and offering them at a reasonable cost to everyone who can afford them. Her recent trip to Israel to learn how they handle services for their aging population was enlightening. She said that in Israel there are no nursing homes or assisted living facilities. The country brings non-medical services to people in their homes as they age.

Photo: From L-R – Rona E. Kramer, Secretary for the Maryland Department of Aging; Frank Divilio, Talbot County Council; Delegate Johnny Mautz, Senator Addie Eckardt, Gary Gunther, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging; Mayor Robert Willey; Chuck Callahan, Talbot County Council; Ron Engle, Easton Town Council; Pete Lesher, Talbot County Council; and Michael Bibb, St. Michaels Commissioner.

Maryland’s Department of Aging researched the “Community for Life” concept and helped communities implement this model locally. To date, there are five “Community for Life” communities in Maryland, including Broadmead in Cockeysville, Keswick in Baltimore, Ocean Pines, Allegany,  and Talbot County. This creative and unique program provides a package of services for homeowners and renters. Developed for older adults living independently in their own homes, the Maryland Community for Life program delivers key services in a cost-effective and supportive manner. Specifically, for a monthly fee, members receive basic home repair and maintenance by a community “Handyman,” a list of vetted contractors and contract review, transportation trips, as well as regular contact with a “Service Navigator” to help coordinate access to services and to assist with any needs that may arise.

Before introducing Lee Newcomb, President of the Maryland Community for Life℠ – Talbot Board, to present how the program works in Talbot County, Kramer highlighted a few other innovations being rolled out by the Maryland Department of Aging. These include a statewide Durable Medical Re-Use Program and a Senior Call Check Pilot Program.

Newcomb introduced Maryland Community for Life℠ – Talbot program, explaining that currently there are 21 members of the community, with 24 vetted volunteers serving them. She stated, “A Service Navigator, Stacey Woodworth, is now on board to serve members. She works with members to create a program that fits needs now and can be adapted as needs and circumstances change.”

Membership  in Maryland Community for Life℠ – Talbot is open to individuals or households up to three people aged 65 and older who live in Talbot County. Core services are personalized to individual needs. Membership to the program costs $80 a month. While the program does not provide medical services, the Service Navigator can connect members to medical services.

Newcomb clarified that members can receive eight round trips per household per month for their transportation benefits and up to four hours of “handyman” services a month. Social and educational programs are also being offered to members and the public to address social isolation. The first program on preventing fraud will be offered on January 18 from 1 to 2:30 at the Talbot County Free Library in Easton.

She added, “We also hope to offer supportive memberships for people who can’t afford the membership fee.”

Maryland Community for Life℠ – Talbot is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization operating as a component fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. MD Community for Life℠—Talbot is located at 10 S. Hanson Street, Ste 18, in Easton, Maryland. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To become a member or volunteer, email communityforlifetalbot@gmail.com or call 410-443-0760.  For further information, visit mdcommunityforlifetalbot.org. Contributions are tax deductible.

Talbot County Unboxed: Londonderryopoly

The hot game in Easton everyone is talking about might not be Pickleball anymore. It’s a variation of a board game that almost everyone is familiar with, and it’s called Londonderryopoly.

Londonderryopoly, modeled after the classic Monopoly board game, was created by the Londonderry team as its 2018 holiday gift. The game board features images of Londonderry and the amenities. The property squares are named after the cottages and apartment floor plans located in Londonderry, names such as Waverly, Neavitt and Tred Avon.

The game pieces feature symbols of the Eastern Shore like a duck and sailboat. The entire game experience is uniquely “Londonderry” and has received rave reviews from residents, community and business partners.

The Spy received its own copy and decided to unbox it as a community service.

This video is approximately one minute  in length. For more information about Londonderry, please go here.

Acts Retirement and Integrace Sign Agreement

Acts Retirement-Life Communities, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit senior living organizations, has entered into an agreement to affiliate with Integrace and assume management and operation of its four senior living communities located throughout Maryland. The affiliation is expected to close on May 1, 2019, at which time Integrace and its current entities will become affiliated with Acts.

Founded in 1974, Integrace is a not-for-profit system of retirement communities consisting of Bayleigh Chase in Easton; Buckingham’s Choice in Adamstown; Fairhaven in Sykesville; and Copper Ridge in Sykesville, along with an industry renowned research institute, The Integrace Institute. Collectively, the four communities are home to approximately 1,080 residents and provide a continuum of services including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, short-term rehabilitation and specialized programming for Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and other types of neurocognitive disorders.

Bayleigh Chase

“Our affiliation with Integrace is an exciting opportunity for Acts as our organizations share a common mission, values and desire to enrich the lives of seniors,” said Gerald T. Grant, Acts President and CEO. “We are excited to welcome Integrace into the Acts family, further strengthening both organizations and helping to secure a positive future for all the residents and staff under our care.”

Heron Point of Chestertown

With the affiliation, Acts will be expanding its presence in Maryland, where it operates another senior living community, Heron Point of Chestertown. Acts is one of the strongest companies of its kind among not-for-profit senior living providers with assets of $1.5 billion and maintains an A- rating from Fitch Ratings. Upon regulatory approval of the affiliation, Acts will manage a network of 27 faith-based senior living communities in nine states totaling 9,504 units, maintaining its status as the third largest multi-site senior living organization according to the LeadingAge Ziegler listing of the nation’s not-for-profit aging services providers. The Acts communities are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Acts, which is one of the industry’s premier senior living organization’s that throughout its history has demonstrated a strong commitment to residents and employees,” said Jackie Harris, Integrace President and CEO. “We believe that our faith-based organizations blend very well, and that our affiliation will contribute greatly to the continued excellent lifestyle and care for residents and growth experience for employees.”

Five Champion Trees Recognized at Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Five trees on the Londonderry on the Tred Avon campus have been recognized by the Maryland Big Tree Program as Talbot County Champion Trees. Champion trees are identified at the County and State level as being the largest identified members of their species. They are measured and scored based on their circumference, height and average crown width.

The trees were identified as Londonderry was taking care of routine forestry work around its campus and were nominated for recognition by Agnes Kedmenecz of the University of Maryland Extension Service. The trees were later measured by members of the Londonderry Community, University of Maryland Extension Service and the Maryland Big Tree Program, which is a volunteer-coordinated effort sponsored by the Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Service.

The five trees are in various areas of the campus with several near the Manor which was constructed at the close of the American Civil War.

The five trees identified as “Champion Trees” are the following:

• Japanese Maple measuring 5’ 8” in circumference, 33’ high and a 44.5’ average crown width
• Bitternut Hickory measuring 9’8” in circumference, 144’ high and a 68.5’ average crown width
• Nordmann Fir measuring 7’8” in circumference, 73’ high and a 34.5’ average crown width
• American Beech measuring 12’4” in circumference, 104’ high and a80’ average crown width
• Southern Red Oak measuring 20’3’ in circumference, 107 feet high and a 107.5’average crown width

“Our community is beyond thrilled to have five champion trees on our campus,” said Londonderry CEO, Irma Toce. “These trees are part of our rich history and it is wonderful that they can now be recognized by our residents and our neighbors throughout Talbot County. I’d like to thank our community members who worked so hard on this project.”

Londonderry on the Tred Avon was originally part of a 600-acre land grant known as Westmoreland which was granted to Irish Quaker immigrant Francis Armstrong in 1667. A portion of the land grant was sold to Talbot County upon which the first Talbot County Court House was built. As the property changed hands over the next 100 years, it became known as London Derry, and eventually Londonderry, as it is called today.

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.

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