News from Around the Village
From Senior Housing News: Benefits of Universities
Affiliating with Senior Communities
June 17, 2019
It’s in the news again: Senior Housing News recently reported on the benefits to university finances and enrollment of developing relationships with senior living communities. Read it here.
June 8, 2019
The Lasell Village community turned out in force for Saturday’s Annual Pride Parade in downtown Boston. Sporting rainbow tie-dye t-shirts, accessories, and handmade signs, residents and staff came together in the bright June sunshine to celebrate and support the LGBQT community. We marched, held signs, and even worked the crowd!
Resident in the News
Lifelong learner and Village resident Maud Chaplin recently updated classmates on her activities for Wellesley College’s alumni magazine. Through the Village, Maud has taken courses on genetics and Othello, while attending lectures and concerts, participating in a writing group at Wellesley, and teaching courses for the Dover and Sherborn Council on Aging. Phew! “Clearly, her academic life has not slowed down in retirement,” notes Wellesley magazine.
Boston Globe Features LV in Front Page Feature
May 20, 2019
Lasell Village is proud to have been featured in the recent Boston Globe article examining the trend towards better intergrating generations and the benefits to young and old alike. Reporter Robert Weisman sat in on a Lasell College forensics class where the “crime” under investigation was planned and staged by Village residents, with students and seniors coming together to explore the legal and forensic issues at play. “The exercise, called ‘CSI Lasell Village,’ matched undergrads with retirees in their 70s and older…,” Weisman reports. “Lasell’s intergenerational classes are part of an emerging movement seeking to connect — or reconnect — people across the age spectrum. The aim is to break down age segregation, the increasingly pervasive and often well-meaning separation of younger and older people in American schools, housing, work, and even spiritual life.” Read the full article here.
WBUR Profiles Village Intergenerational Lunch with Dr. James Muller
May 10, 2019
On May 3, local NPR station WBUR aired a segment covering an intergenerational gathering recently held at the Village to discuss the contemporary threat of nuclear proliferation. Guest speaker at the luncheon was Dr. James Muller, a Brigham and Women’s cardiologist and co-founder of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.
Dr. Muller originally visited with us in March at the invitation of the Saturday morning international relations discussion group, a regular gathering organized by Villagers to provide a forum for discussing current events. Dr. Muller and the participants agreed: with the perils of nuclear conflict rising in recent years, this is a vital conversation to hold with younger generations.
So the intergenerational lunch was born, and student leaders from Lasell College were invited to join Dr. Muller and Village residents to learn more about the current state of nuclear proliferation. The collaboration will continue in the fall.
Age-Friendly University Initiative Benefits Villagers & Students Alike
Did you know that in 2015, Lasell College became the first Massachusetts college to join the Age-Friendly University Initiative, which recognizes commitment to intergenerational learning? The college and Lasell Village work together to encourage interaction between students and Village residents through:
College courses earmarked every semester as intergenerational learning class rooms where students come together from Lasell Village and the college.
Intergenerational Learning Modules devised to engage students with Villagers in a shorter project, for example a writing class for international freshmen where student’s language skills are improved by creating biographies of Village residents.
Dedicated classes at Lasell Village that invite collaboration with College classes. Recently, a Village poetry writing class teamed up with a college art students to create “Poetry Banners.”
Cultivating intergenerational social relationships through exhibits, speakers, plays, and events like “Senior Prom.”
Importantly, these programs are available to Village residents at no additional cost.
“The benefits to Villagers and students are endless,” says Lasell Village Director of Education John Dixon. “The College assumes that if something is happening on campus, Villagers should be invited to participate.” Villagers’ life experience and wisdom benefit the students; students’ curiosity and energy enrich Village residents’ lifelong learning.
Such partnerships between universities and senior communities are on the rise, but “no one is doing it the way we do,” says Cheryl Sacks, Lasell Village Director of Marketing and Sales. With Lasell Village residences located on the college campus, the participation of older adults in the core activities of the college is expressly cultivated as part of the lifeblood of both institutions.
To learn more about what it means to be An Age-Friendly University, including the “10 Age-Friendly University Principles,” visit the website of Lasell College’s RoseMary B. Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies.
WCBV’s “Chronicle” Features Lasell
Boston’s local TV newsmagazine “Chronicle” visited with Lasell College President Michael Alexander to talk about innovation in higher education. Their conversation featured the partnership between the College and Lasell Village, and the many benefits to both communities of this innovative model. Watch the segment.
CCRCs and Universities: Tie-ins on the Rise
The April 14 issue of Senior Housing News reports on the growing trend towards developing senior housing communities on college campuses, establishing “shared synergies” from the availability of land and an enthusiastic student work force, to the benefits of life-long learning and intergenerational relationships for senior residents.
The report cites Lasell Village as a leading example of a CCRC participating in the “age-friendly university movement,” writing that Lasell provides “a framework for all-ages learning in universities. Leaders with Lasell Village and Lasell College are promoting the benefits of having senior living communities integrated with college campuses.”
Helping College Students Understand Dementia
The nine residents of Lasell Studios, Lasell Village’s supportive living facility for older adults with cognitive impairment, recently visited Lasell College Professor Joann M. Montepare’s “Living and Learning with Dementia” course to interact with students in a unique technique developed to engage adults with dementia in creative storytelling. You can read the full article here.
The class visit was a collaboration between Professor Montepare and Elena Ceban, Supported Living Manager at Lasell Village.
“Students got to see, firsthand, and on a progressive basis, what dementia looks like,” said Ceban. “With that comes an understanding of how to react and respond to behaviors and situations unique to this condition.”
Lasell Studios is part of Lasell Village, the College’s living and learning community for residents aged 65 and over. Developed six years ago, the facility specializes in the support of daily living activities and residents’ independence for those with cognitive diseases. Ceban’s work with the Studios led to her receiving LeadingAge Massachusetts’ 2018 Heart and Hands award.
New Distinction: Certified Age-Friendly Employer
Lasell Village has earned the distinction of being recognized as a Certified Age Friendly Employer™ for 2019 by the organization RetirementJobs.com. Certification was granted after a thorough evaluation of Lasell’s alignment with Certification Evaluation Standards, including a survey response, review of publicly available information, and comparison with standards for policies and practices within general commerce and the financial services industry.
Camille Grabowski, Director of Research and Certification for RetirementJobs.com writes: “Lasell Village’s commitment to the [age] 50+ workforce (and actually to all employees) is something to be proud of.” As part of the certification process, RetirementJobs.com verified that Lasell Village is “among the rising number of employers that make a special effort to recruit and retain workers over age 50.”
RetirementJobs.com is dedicated to helping people over age 50 beat age bias in hiring practices through advocacy, employer ratings, and a range of services for job seekers, from resume writing workshops to curated job listings by state and municipality.
Lasell Village Gets Good Press in Commercial Observer
Lasell Village President Anne Doyle was recently interviewed by the Commercial Observer for their piece “Woodstock Generation Changes the World of Senior Living.” The article profiles a number of different trends in senior living communities, including the increased appetite for creativity, freedom and community of the Woodstock Generation and tail-end Baby boomers. Doyle described how Lasell Village meets these desires with our emphasis on education and well-being through a collaborative relationship with Lasell College:
“Baby boomers are drawn to a community with a vibrant culture that embraces learning and engagement in intergenerational classes, lectures, clubs, and a full roster of fitness programs,” said Doyle. “Our education and health care offerings allow our community to thrive.” The Commercial Observer is the leading chronicle of news in the world of commercial real estate.
Storytelling through Quilts at Lasell College
Professor of Art and Graphic Design Margo Lemieux and students in her Drawing II course met with residents at Lasell Village for a “Talk of Ages” event on December 3 that focused on story quilts, an art form that combines technical craftsmanship with creative messaging. “There is something very rich to the kinds of intergenerational interactions that happen here, because it is a community with genuine respect all around. This event was the perfect example of that,” says Lasell Village Education John Dixon. Read more.
Lasell Village resident Jean Stringham was recently elected Vice President for Membership of the Massachusetts Life Care Residents’ Association (MLCRA), where her goal will be to increase membership in the organization of both facilities and individual residents. The general purpose of MLCRA is communication, education, advocacy, and collaboration with members, Resident Associations and other organizations to support the well-being of seniors living in Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) or similarly organized Independent Living Facilities throughout Massachusetts.
Jean’s article describing the engagement of Lasell Village residents in our community’s governance was published in MLCRA’s winter 2019 newsletter. Click here to read it. Congratulations, Jean!
Senior Housing News Cites Lasell Village’s “University Model”
“Lasell Village is a Boston-area continuing care retirement community (CCRC) that is on the leading edge of several senior housing trends, notably intergenerational living and university partnerships,” writes author Tim Mullaney in a February 4 article published in Senior Housing News, featuring an interview with Lasell Village President Anne Doyle.
“While many CCRCs offer lifelong learning opportunities, Lasell Village has gone further,” Mullaney asserts, citing such Lasell exclusives as a 450 hour lifelong learning commitment for each resident, and the community’s relationship with Lasell College’s Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies.
Lasell Village residents are growing stronger by the day, according to fitness instructor Paul Connolly. More and more residents are choosing to work out, with visits increasing by 20% or more versus the prior year for each month of 2018. In December alone, 81 residents worked out a whopping 576 times, according to Connolly’s attendance count. The Village’s fitness guru makes sure to reach out to all new residents so he can orient them to the fitness center’s equipment and offerings. In 2018, he provided personal training orientations for 23 new Villagers.
Paul’s enthusiasm for helping residents learn how to safely and effectively increase their fitness is evident in his recent newsletter to residents. Did you know:
- The Wall Street Journal recently cited weightlifting as the most beneficial workout for seniors because it improves bone density, strength and power—all of which help to prevent falls. Lasell Village has several residents who can push more than 400 pounds on the leg press machine!
- A good night’s sleep is critical to optimal functioning. Here are four key tips for better sleep:
- Set a sleep schedule, going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time every day.
- Review all medications and supplements with your physician to make sure none of them are interfering with your sleep.
- Avoid caffeine after 2 p.m.
- Prepare for sleep by unwinding in bed before turning off the light: read, try deep breathing or guided meditation.
Lasell Village Gets an ‘A’
Lasell Village recently received a Fitch Rating of A—-and rated in the top 13% of all Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s)!
We are proud to announce that Fitch Ratings Inc., one of the nation’s “Big Three” national credit agencies, released an independent opinion and assessment of the Village’s financial health on December 6, 2018. The “A” rating reflects Lasell Village’s strong financial profile supported by a “robust liquidity position, solid operations and steady occupancy levels”.
Fitch reported that Lasell Village boasts consistently high occupancy in our independent living units over the past five years. The report cited our unique location adjacent to the campus of Lasell College, where residents are required to complete at least 450 hours of continuing education, as a strength. “LV’s strong demand in an economically favorable service area has helped generate solid levels of maximum annual debt service (MADS)” as of fiscal 2018, “better than or on par to Fitch’s ‘A’ category medians.”
Click here to read the full report.
Intergenerational Dance Celebrates Good Times!
Lasell College students along with Lasell Village residents danced the night away Friday evening at Lasell Village’s Intergenerational Dance! It was a fun filled evening of dancing and laughter. Congratulations to our Dance King and Queen, Ed and Jane Rabin! Check out the gallery below:
Lasell Village Manager Receives LeadingAge Heart and Hands Award
Elena Ceban, Manager of Lasell Studios, was recently recognized by LeadingAge of Massachusetts for her exceptional work in the supported care area of Lasell Village.
The Heart and Hands award is given annually to an individual or group who demonstrates exceptional relationships with residents. These relationships should provide special enrichment and increased quality of life to the resident through efforts beyond those normally considered within the position’s job description.
Elena’s creativity and compassion knows no bounds. In her role as the Manager of Lasell Studios, Elena has gone beyond her job description of caring for the residents, finding new ways to integrate the Studios into the greater Lasell and Newton communities. When Elena enters a room, she adds instant sparkle. She calls all those who live in the Studios her “friends,” instead of using the term resident. When Elena talks about her job, she talks about “excitement.” She bursts into song. She hugs her friends. But what truly stands out is how innovative she is. She developed an intergenerational course and taught it with a Lasell College faculty member, all for the betterment of the community.
The award was celebrated recently with staff from Lasell Village along with Elena’s Mom who visited from Moldova for this very special event.
Pictured Above, L-R: Lasell Village President Anne Doyle, Studio Manager Elena Ceban and her mom, Robin Scully, RN