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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

Popular “Ask Irma” Series Expands to Video

Following the success of the “Ask Irma” online column and radio series in partnership with the Talbot Spy and WCEI, the monthly Q &A focused on seniors will add a monthly video series in January. In addition to answering submitted questions, Toce will also host experts and guests for in-depth conversations on topics related to aging and seniors. The video series will be hosted by the Talbot Spy and a new edition will be published each month.

“I am so proud of the success of the ‘Ask Irma’ series and I am excited about its evolution to video,” said Irma Toce, Londonderry on the Tred Avon CEO. “Over the past year, I have enjoyed engaging with our community and responding to their questions on aging, and I look forward to the more interactive video format in the months ahead. We have some exciting guests on the calendar for next year, and I am eager to share our discussions with our audience in hopes that it helps them and their loved ones.”

Toce has more than 25 years of experience in working with seniors. She holds a BS in social work and a MA in health management and is nationally recognized as an expert and mentor in the field of aging.

Toce has been Londonderry’s CEO since 2014. Under her leadership, Londonderry has grown and expanded its residences, recreational and gathering spaces and programming to better serve seniors on the Eastern Shore.

The video series will replace the written column on the Talbot Spy (www.talbotspy.org), but the monthly radio series will continue in its current format on WCEI (96.7 FM). Questions may still be submitted to askirma@londonderrytredavon.com. All questions will be answered anonymously.

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.

The Residents of Londonderry: Bob Woods

One of the many questions you could ask Bob Wood about his exceptional life is, “how in the world did a graduate of West Point end up teaching Navy Midshipmen how to sail?”

It’s a great story.

When Bob Wood transferred from Brown University to West Point in 1941, the United States had yet to enter WWII. As the reality of going to war set-in as their school careers progressed, he and his classmates were excited and anxious to serve.

Bob Wood graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in January of 1943 in the top quarter of his class. This is significant as 1943 was the only year where there were two graduating classes. With the United States fully committed to WWII, it was critical to get soldiers overseas as soon as possible.

Bob entered the Army Corp of Engineers following graduation and completed additional training at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia. He was later assigned to the 7th Armored Division known as the “Lucky Seven.”

As Bob and his fellow soldiers were on the Queen Mary in New York getting ready to head overseas, the troops received news of the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. When they landed in Scotland, they traveled through Southern England and then joined-up with the Army in France and stayed through the conclusion of the War in Europe.

Following V-E Day in May of 1945, Bob remained in Europe for the next few years and was stationed in Germany to assist with the Corp of Engineers’ rebuilding efforts. His wife, Cynthia, or “Cynnie” met him in Germany and they took up residence in a resort community in Bavaria where they lived in the house of a former Nazi officer. Their first daughter, Michael, arrived soon after, and Cynthia’s mother also joined them to help with the baby.

The young family returned to the United States and Bob left the Army and took a job in Chicago. Shortly after, he was called back to West Point to join the General’s Staff to help run the school as other officers had been sent overseas to serve in the Korean War. Cynthia and Bob welcomed their second daughter, Cindy, during their time in West Point.

Following the Korean War, the Woods returned to Chicago and then moved with Bob’s career – living in New York and the New Jersey where their son, Robert Jr., called Casey, was born. Bob worked as a consultant on Wall Street for many years while he and Cynthia raised their family.

Bob and Cynthia later relocated to Annapolis when Bob accepted a new position in Washington D.C. Both Bob and Cynthia were avid sailors and enjoyed being on the water.

Following Cynthia’s death, Bob remained in Annapolis and later met his second wife, Frances.

During his time in Annapolis, Bob became a sailing instructor with the Naval Academy, a role he enjoyed immensely. While Bob didn’t boast about his Army career, he was eventually discovered when a Midshipman caught sight of his class ring and realized a West Point graduate was teaching them how to sail!

After more than a decade in Annapolis, Frances convinced Bob to move to the Eastern Shore, an area she had grown to love with her first husband, and they settled in St. Michaels in the 1980s. They enjoyed and active retirement and continued sailing.

Frances passed away in August of 2014 and Bob remained at their home in St. Michaels until he moved to Londonderry in September 2015. He continued sailing until just recently.

This past May, Bob attended his 75th Reunion at West Point with his two daughters where he was joined by another classmate, and the families of several others. They also took some time to visit their old homes in New Jersey and New York as they made their way back to Easton.

Bob will celebrate is 98th birthday this month and is a proud father, grandfather, great-grandfather and veteran.

Senior Nation: Life at Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Easton has three distinctive examples of the Gothic Revival Style; one is the rectory of Christ Church, the second is the Trippe-Beale house at the corner of South and Aurora Streets and the third example is the Magnolia Manor, located on the grounds of Londonderry on the Tred Avon and formerly known as the Manor House. Londonderry began its life as a 600-acre tract of land known as London Derry. The land granted in 1667 from Lord Baltimore to an Irish Quaker, Francis Armstrong. A portion of the land grant was sold to Talbot County and was later used to build the courthouse and the Friends Meeting House in Easton.

 

Magnolia Manor was built shortly after the Civil War and was designed by one of the founding members of the American Institute of Architects, Richard Upjohn, who chose Port Deposit granite, brought in by boat up the Tred Avon River, as the house’s exterior material. The distinctive polygonal shaped entrance bay that projects from the front façade, the elaborate exterior detail indicative of the Gothic Revival style with its steeply pitched gable roof crowned with an ornate cross gable, the cornice, arched windows and shutters are a few of the reasons this manor house is now a Maryland Historic Trust Property. A fire destroyed the third floor and the porches in the 1960’s but fortunately the elaborate Gothic details remain.

On April 16, 1992, ground was broken and Londonderry transitioned from a private historical residence to one of less than ninety-eight senior living cooperatives in the country. Londonderry was the first independent living cooperative established on the Eastern Shore for residents aged 62 or older.

Londonderry not only provides maintenance free living on the Tred Avon River, but a vibrant community life as well.

Londonderry on the Tred Avon has grown to over 170 residents with five different apartment floor plans and eighteen different cottage floor plans. Cottages and apartments range from 574 square feet to over 3,000 square feet. With permission, residents may modify or add features to their apartments and cottages to reflect their personal tastes and interests. Three of the cottages were designed by Easton architects. Christine M. Dayton, Architect, designed the “Bellevue” and “Royal Oak” models and Atelier 11 Architects designed the “Skipton” model. All of the original lots have now been sold.

When the community was in its incipient stage of growth, the residents used Magnolia Manor as their Community Center. While Magnolia Manor is still used by the residents, it can also be rented by the public for special events. Over the last 25 years Londonderry has added a larger Community Center including the dining room “Tred Avon Tavern”. Recently the Spy reported on the opening of the Clubhouse, designed by Atelier 11 Architects, as a center of community life including fitness, hobby, and personal care activities. All the cottages and apartments are conveniently located near the new Clubhouse and community building.

The grounds of Londonderry on the Tred Avon are surrounded by nature. Residents enjoy strolling along the waterfront, biking or relaxing on their patios. Each cottage and apartment is unique; if you had the opportunity to visit every residence in Londonderry you would see how each of them live “Your Life, Your Way”.

For more information about Londonderry on the Tred Avon or how to rent Magnolia Manor for your event, contact Rachel L. Smith, Director of Sales and Marketing at 410-820-8732 or 800-752-8732 or rsmith@londonderrytredavon.com or visit the web site at www.londonderrytredavon.com or magnoliamanormd.com. The “Bellevue” and “Royal Oak” models were designed by Christine M. Dayton Architect, 410-822-3130, staff@cdaytonarchitect.com, www.cdaytonarchitect.com. The “Skipton” model was designed by Atelier 11 Architects, 410-822-3680, info@a11architecture.com, www.atelier11architecture.com.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

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