be.group Nabs Four EXCEL Awards

EXCEL

be.group has won four awards in Association Media & Publishing’s 2014 EXCEL Awards competition. For more than 30 years, AM&P has recognized excellence in association and nonprofit media, publishing and communications. It’s the largest competition of its kind and this year’s competition attracted more than 900 entries.

be.group won the gold for editoral excellence and the silver for general excellence in Web Publishing for MySilverAge.com. be.magazine won two golds in Magazines—one for general excellence (circulation of 10,000 or fewer) and another for cover photography.

 

Couple Stays Close in Different Levels of Continuing Care

Couple from Redwood Terrace CCRCHans Noordhoorn did all he could to take care of his wife Anita at their home in Rancho Bernardo, Calif. Anita had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006. He cooked their meals, helped her get ready for the day, and took her to fitness classes and other activities at Redwood Elderlink, a be.group service offering home care and rehabilitation therapy. But when Anita continued to lose self-sufficiency and began to wake up in the middle of the night, Hans knew he needed more support.

In June 2012, the Noordhoorns decided to move to Redwood Terrace, a be.group continuing care retirement community in Escondido, Calif. They lived together in independent living until it became apparent Anita needed more assistance. While Hans, 83, still lives independently, 82-year-old Anita now resides at Gannon House, Redwood Terrace’s memory care center. It was a tough choice: The move meant the two would have to live apart for the first time in their 53-year marriage.

“That was a difficult decision to make because I know she will never come back to independent living to be with me,” Noordhoorn says. “But I knew I couldn’t handle her care by myself.”

The Noordhoorns are one of many be.group couples dealing with the challenges of living in separate levels of care within a CCRC. Many moved into the community because of its continuing care benefits and have found other ways to stick together.

Hans takes comfort in the fact that he only needs to walk a few steps to join Anita in the afternoons for a stroll through the gardens. The Redwood Terrace staff helped him throw a big birthday celebration for Anita this summer, with her favorite chocolate cheesecake.  In independent living, he can play golf in the morning, work out in the community’s fitness center and participate on resident committees.

“I try to keep myself busy as much as possible,” he says. “I know this is better for her.”

Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of staying together in a CCRC.

 

Exercise Sue at Kirkwood Orange

Kirkwood Orange residents work up a sweat twice a week with fitness instructor Sue Burchfiel, also known as “Exercise Sue.”

More than a dozen residents—from assisted living and memory care—participate in Burchfiel’s weekly fitness classes consisting of everything from strength training to balance exercises. “I like to focus on every single part of the body, building our strength and muscle tone, so that they have more capability to continue to do things,” says Burchfiel, who has led the classes for two years.  “What I love most is that every class is different.”

Burchfiel keeps the residents moving—and smiling—with chair volleyball, aerobics, badminton, bowling and light weight training with water bottles. Check out the fun:

 

 

Opera at the Point

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For more than 20 years, Regents Point resident Pat Orcutt and her late husband Ken held season tickets at nearly a half-dozen opera houses nationwide—including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, L.A. Opera and Nevada Opera. “We saw about 35 operas a years,” says Orcutt, who also owns about 100 DVDs of various performances.

When they moved to Regents Point in 2004, they met other opera lovers. But for various reasons, many of their new neighbors weren’t able to attend. The Nevada couple decided that if their neighbors couldn’t go to the opera, they would bring the opera to them. They set up “Opera at the Point,” which enables community fans to see performances of “Aida,” “Ernani,” “Nabucco” and “Macbeth.”

“It’s a low-key program but what a lovely way to spend the afternoon,” says Orcutt, who plays host to the program every other month. “We’re just a bunch of friends getting together to enjoy something that we all love.”

Opera is among the many art forms that are celebrated at Regents Point. The Irvine community is home to many writers, painters, photographers, musicians and singers. Twice a month, residents also have the opportunity to see popular musicals like “Gigi” in a separate program called “Musical Matinee.”

For Orcutt, the opera and music have been part of her life since growing up in the Midwest. She and her sisters learned to play the guitar as children. Orcutt says her husband Ken would always sing many of the melodies from their favorite operas.

“We felt like opera was the quintessential form of entertainment, and we wanted to help others to have the chance to continue to enjoy it.”

 

 

 

Windsor Wins Glendale Beautiful Award

Congratulations to Windsor for receiving the 2014 Glendale Beautiful award for its lovely landscape and floral garden surrounding the community! The nonprofit group recognizes local businesses and organizations each year that help to improve the quality and look of Glendale neighborhoods.

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Royal Oaks’ William Rider Discovers the Poet Within

Bradbury Oaks resident Will Rider and Khandice Morente

Bradbury Oaks resident Will Rider and Khandice Morente, Bradbury Oaks resident services coordinator

The poet within Royal Oaks resident William Rider emerged in the middle of the night. In May 2013, Rider woke up at 2 a.m. with many stories and thoughts to share through poetry.  He went to his desk and began to write.

“The words just began to flow,” says Rider, who crafted more than 80 poems that he published two months ago in his first book.  “I would just put down what was in my heart. For me, it all comes from God, and I would cry tears of joy after every poem I liked because I knew I had done something right.”

In his first poetry collection, “Love and Live: God’s Words Written in Poetic Form,” he explores the importance of faith, as well as the gift of giving and learning new things. He also tapped into some overwhelming emotions like loneliness, which he described as “scary.”

“Mr. Rider has totally blossomed into a totally different person through writing,” says Khandice Morente, resident services coordinator at Bradbury Oaks, the community’s assisted living residence. Morente helped Rider to compile his poems, create a design for the book and work with the online self-publishing site CreateSpace.com.

“Through the poetry and writing, he’s really opened up in a different way,” she says.

Rider, who has lived at Bradbury Oaks for almost two years, chimes in that he’s just “having a lot of fun doing lots of different things.”

The St. Louis native, who spent most of career in computer programming, has always kept himself busy. When he moved to Royal Oaks with his late wife 10 years ago, he served on the resident council and volunteered on various committees, including library and landscaping. But now he’s found a new avenue to express himself.

And that spirit to write poetry has yet to leave him. He’s already finished a second collection that he hopes to publish in the next couple of months and has begun a third book—all of which are snippets of heart-warming and funny moments in his life.

One of his latest adventures was a trip with Royal Oaks neighbors Yu-Lan and Gunar Freiberg to a poetry reading in Santa Monica. The venue was filled with “young bohemian artistic types”—not what Rider and the Freibergs were expecting. “That’s all part of the fun,” Rider says.

 
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