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Purchasing new technology: Overcoming vendor overload by Marilynn Larkin, MA

Technology

"Like most companies, we receive a constant flow of pitches from vendors who come to us with new technology solutions," Brookdale Senior Living's Andrew Smith, PMP, MEd, director of innovation and strategy, told me recently in an interview. "We love the idea that so many innovators are creating products with seniors in mind," he adds. "The truth is we often have to turn them away because the product is not at the right stage of development." I had reached out to Smith, who deals with this issue almost daily, because International Council on Active Aging CEO Colin Milner has said that many ICAA members struggle with making the right technology purchasing decisions for their organizations or communities--and that for some, fear of making the wrong decision often keeps them from making any decisions at all. Happily, Smith agreed to share the process he implemented with his team at Tennessee-based Brookdale to help readers who are grappling with similar concerns.

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Purchasing new technology: Overcoming vendor overload by Marilynn Larkin, MA

Management

"Like most companies, we receive a constant flow of pitches from vendors who come to us with new technology solutions," Brookdale Senior Living's Andrew Smith, PMP, MEd, director of innovation and strategy, told me recently in an interview. "We love the idea that so many innovators are creating products with seniors in mind," he adds. "The truth is we often have to turn them away because the product is not at the right stage of development." I had reached out to Smith, who deals with this issue almost daily, because International Council on Active Aging CEO Colin Milner has said that many ICAA members struggle with making the right technology purchasing decisions for their organizations or communities--and that for some, fear of making the wrong decision often keeps them from making any decisions at all. Happily, Smith agreed to share the process he implemented with his team at Tennessee-based Brookdale to help readers who are grappling with similar concerns.

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Spiritual health and active aging: A perspective by Stephanie Ludwig, MDiv, MA, PhD

Spiritual wellness

Each morning 67-year-old John gets on his road bike and cycles through the northern foothills of Tucson, Arizona. Each year he gets slower, he says, but he always returns home from riding with a sweaty, relaxed, smiling face that radiates joy. John has ridden solo and with other cyclists for decades, and continues to do so because it brings him peace in body, mind and spirit as well as a sense of community. It also inspires him to be of service to others. Over the years he has found creative and meaningful ways to share his passion for cycling and bike-friendly communities through volunteerism and philanthropy. The physical, emotional and mental benefits of an active lifestyle are documented by researchers, and well known through direct experience by people like John. Far less considered are the benefits of an active lifestyle for spiritual health--especially approaching exercise and movement as spiritual practice.

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Spiritual health and active aging: A perspective by Stephanie Ludwig, MDiv, MA, PhD

Mindful exercise

Each morning 67-year-old John gets on his road bike and cycles through the northern foothills of Tucson, Arizona. Each year he gets slower, he says, but he always returns home from riding with a sweaty, relaxed, smiling face that radiates joy. John has ridden solo and with other cyclists for decades, and continues to do so because it brings him peace in body, mind and spirit as well as a sense of community. It also inspires him to be of service to others. Over the years he has found creative and meaningful ways to share his passion for cycling and bike-friendly communities through volunteerism and philanthropy. The physical, emotional and mental benefits of an active lifestyle are documented by researchers, and well known through direct experience by people like John. Far less considered are the benefits of an active lifestyle for spiritual health--especially approaching exercise and movement as spiritual practice.

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Five Meal Plan: Quincy Village reimagines food services

Management

Quincy Village in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, focuses "on providing older adults with quality service and a meaningful experience." Set amid the mountains, forests and farmlands of Franklin County, the not-for-profit continuing care retirement community provides four levels of living--independent living, personal care, assisted living and skilled nursing--and serves approximately 450 residents ages 55 and older. ... "Quincy Village is always looking at how we can raise the bar and deliver and support the best engaging services and culture, and in doing so, enhance the quality of life for our residents," says Director of Community Life and Volunteer Services Laura Glass. "For example, we determined a need to enhance the dining experience within our community." Quincy Village staff researched and designed a new meal program that they believed would work best for residents in nursing care. "This plan breaks away from the traditional tray service found in nursing homes and replaces it with fresh, made-to-order food five times a day (instead of three)," Glass says. Called the Five Meal Plan, the new dining program "has truly allowed us to provide quality resident-centered care," she adds.

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Five Meal Plan: Quincy Village reimagines food services

Innovator awards

Quincy Village in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, focuses "on providing older adults with quality service and a meaningful experience." Set amid the mountains, forests and farmlands of Franklin County, the not-for-profit continuing care retirement community provides four levels of living--independent living, personal care, assisted living and skilled nursing--and serves approximately 450 residents ages 55 and older. ... "Quincy Village is always looking at how we can raise the bar and deliver and support the best engaging services and culture, and in doing so, enhance the quality of life for our residents," says Director of Community Life and Volunteer Services Laura Glass. "For example, we determined a need to enhance the dining experience within our community." Quincy Village staff researched and designed a new meal program that they believed would work best for residents in nursing care. "This plan breaks away from the traditional tray service found in nursing homes and replaces it with fresh, made-to-order food five times a day (instead of three)," Glass says. Called the Five Meal Plan, the new dining program "has truly allowed us to provide quality resident-centered care," she adds.

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Five Meal Plan: Quincy Village reimagines food services

Customer service

Quincy Village in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, focuses "on providing older adults with quality service and a meaningful experience." Set amid the mountains, forests and farmlands of Franklin County, the not-for-profit continuing care retirement community provides four levels of living--independent living, personal care, assisted living and skilled nursing--and serves approximately 450 residents ages 55 and older. ... "Quincy Village is always looking at how we can raise the bar and deliver and support the best engaging services and culture, and in doing so, enhance the quality of life for our residents," says Director of Community Life and Volunteer Services Laura Glass. "For example, we determined a need to enhance the dining experience within our community." Quincy Village staff researched and designed a new meal program that they believed would work best for residents in nursing care. "This plan breaks away from the traditional tray service found in nursing homes and replaces it with fresh, made-to-order food five times a day (instead of three)," Glass says. Called the Five Meal Plan, the new dining program "has truly allowed us to provide quality resident-centered care," she adds.

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Communicating culture change: Taking stock of one journey's challenges and successes by Kelly A. Stranburg, MEd, CEP, CSCS

Marketing

It is nearly a year since I last shared with Journal on Active Aging readers the journey to become a culture of vitality and well-being at Sharon Towers, our not-for-profit life-plan community located in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a recap, we are focusing on repositioning our community as a center of vitality and well-being in the region. A destination that not only breaks stereotypes and stigmas that often exist with a retirement community or nursing home, but also inspires more positive views of aging. Throughout 2016, I wrote a column in the Journal highlighting and documenting steps we took, challenges we faced and lessons we learned along the way, to provide a potential culture-change roadmap for readers. ... So, how have we progressed with our communication efforts and what hurdles have we faced in the last 12 months as we continue to focus on changing our culture? Let's catch up.

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Communicating culture change: Taking stock of one journey's challenges and successes by Kelly A. Stranburg, MEd, CEP, CSCS

Culture Change

It is nearly a year since I last shared with Journal on Active Aging readers the journey to become a culture of vitality and well-being at Sharon Towers, our not-for-profit life-plan community located in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a recap, we are focusing on repositioning our community as a center of vitality and well-being in the region. A destination that not only breaks stereotypes and stigmas that often exist with a retirement community or nursing home, but also inspires more positive views of aging. Throughout 2016, I wrote a column in the Journal highlighting and documenting steps we took, challenges we faced and lessons we learned along the way, to provide a potential culture-change roadmap for readers. ... So, how have we progressed with our communication efforts and what hurdles have we faced in the last 12 months as we continue to focus on changing our culture? Let's catch up.

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Earth-friendly endeavors: Wake Robin nurtures a healthy, sustainable community

Innovator awards

In June 2015, the New York Times published an article in its "Business Day" section delving into the growing demand for--and expectations of--green retirement communities. Writer Constance Gustke also mentioned some of the benefits of these "eco-conscious" communities, such as a healthier living environment for older adults and a reduced carbon footprint and financial incentives for providers. Among the communities profiled was Wake Robin in Shelburne, Vermont. Named for the deep-red trillium flower that grows in the northeastern United States, Wake Robin is a life-plan community that overlooks scenic Lake Champlain. Core values include respect for residents' dignity, independence and goals, exemplified by a "resident-powered" community life. ... Environmental stewardship is the other core value at Wake Robin. "We are committed to responsible stewardship of resources, to the beauty and accessibility of our community and surroundings, and to nurturing the environment for a sustainable future," its website states.

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