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Landis Homes Hires Administrator July 18, 2018

Landis Homes has announced that Danielle Martin joined the team as the new nursing home administrator (NHA) in early June. In the role, Martin will be responsible for the coordination and delivery of programs and services within the skilled nursing houses. She will also provide direction for the campus supervisors, assessment coordinators and medical records personnel.

Martin, who has 27 years of health care experience, was most recently employed as the NHA at Penn State Health Transitional Care in Hummelstown. Her previous experiences in long-term care include serving as a director of nursing, director of quality and registered nurse case manager.

Martin's education includes receiving licensed practical nurse credentials from Lancaster County Career and Technology Center in 1993, registered nurse credentials from HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, in 2006; a Master of Science in Nursing from Walden University in 2014, and her NHA credentials from York College in 2015.

She was born and raised in Lancaster County and currently lives in Bird-in-Hand with her family.

For more information about Landis Homes, readers may visit


Bringing Together Those Who Served July 17, 2018

World War II (WWII) veteran and Masonic Village resident Robert Rineer enjoys talking to other veterans and finding out what they did, so in 2016 he decided to approach recreation coordinator Nancy Heffley about starting an official veterans group for those living in the personal care suites in the Freemasons Building.

Currently, the group has approximately 23 members and meets once a month. "They just enjoy talking together about their experiences," Rineer said. Heffley helps to remind them about their meetings, he added. For 2018, the group has planned two lunch trips to the Elizabethtown VFW and Elizabethtown American Legion and bus trips to the United States Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle and the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg.

Rineer, 95, served in the Army Air Corps, now the Air Force, from 1942 to 1944, flying C-46 cargo transport planes throughout India and China. After completing his military service, he moved to Mountville and began a lifelong career in electronics, which included teaching night school at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.

When forming the veterans group, Rineer wanted to ensure it would be open to individuals who served in any branch of the military. "If you were in the service for at least 30 days, you're considered a veteran," said Rineer. "When I started the group I didn't have (guest) speakers, but my guys just enjoy sitting around and telling stories."

The group's lone female member, 94-year-old Rita Warrick, is also a World War II veteran, having served as a Navy corpsman at the Seattle Naval Hospital. "My husband was drafted and sent to England, so he was far away and I wanted to do something to help," shared Warrick, who raised five children with her husband in Philadelphia after the war. She looks forward to hearing others' stories at the monthly meetings.

WWII veteran Herbert Ridyard, who lives in a cottage at Masonic Village with his wife, Nancy Lou, was the guest speaker for the group's January meeting.

He shared maps and photos from a recent trip back to Germany to illustrate his story of joining the United States Army at age 17 and serving as a rifleman and ammunition bearer in a heavy machine gun squad with the 94th Infantry Division in Gen. George Patton's Third Army in the European Theater. Ridyard was in combat for eight months and earned four battle stars for campaigns in northern France, the Ardennes, the Rhineland and central Germany, as well as the Combat Infantry Badge and the Bronze Star for Valor.

During the winter of 1944 to 1945, Ridyard was hospitalized with frozen toes. After Victory in Europe Day, he served eight months in the Army of Occupation in Germany and Czechoslovakia. Following his time in the military, he earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. Ridyard worked at the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronutics (NACA) - the forerunner of NASA - as an aeronautical research scientist and later with General Electric's missile department.

During Ridyard's talk, he highlighted the many ways that he believes the Holy Spirit guided and protected him throughout several incidences that would have drastically altered the course of his life had there been an ever-so-slightly different outcome. Rain melted the heavy snow during one mission, which allowed Ridyard to see and navigate the minefield before him. "Afterward, the guy that called me said, 'You weren't supposed to come until tonight.' If we'd come earlier, we wouldn't have seen the mines. If we waited until night, we wouldn't have seen the mines," reflected Ridyard. "Some people say that's dumb luck, but I'm not so sure that's true."


Garden Spot Village Posts Housing Opportunity July 17, 2018

Garden Spot Village is currently accepting resident applications for the Cooperative Living House, 435 Ranck Road, New Holland. The house aims to offer safe and affordable housing for people age 62 and older and to replace isolation with community.

The home offers five private bedrooms and bathrooms for rent. Residents share a common kitchen, laundry and other living spaces as well as a two-car garage. The house offers a sliding scale month-to-month rent for fixed or low-income people.

For more information, readers may contact Jackie Berrios at Garden Spot Village at 717-355-6240.


Gallery To Feature Artwork July 13, 2018

The Art Gallery at United Zion Retirement Community, 722 Furnace Hills Pike, Lititz, is featuring Melanie Glass as July's Artist of the Month.

Glass currently resides in Fresno, Calif., but is a native of Harrisburg. She honed her talent through art classes taken at Harrisburg Area Community College. She uses paper or canvas and a combination of techniques including watercolor, acrylics, oils, and collaging with the goal of capturing an emotion or a memory or sharing an experience.

Glass has shared her artwork at a number of programs and venues. She has also volunteered and taught art classes at the Susquehanna Arts Museum in downtown Harrisburg.

Her artwork will be on display and available for purchase throughout the month of July. The Art Gallery is free and open to the public daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information on the Art Gallery, readers may contact Alyssa Wojcik at

United Zion Retirement Community is located 1.5 miles north of the square in Lititz. For other news and events, readers may find the retirement community's Facebook page.


UZRC Welcomes New CEO July 13, 2018

United Zion Retirement Community (UZRC) has welcomed Sue Verdegem as the chief executive officer (CEO), effective July 1.

Verdegem comes to UZRC with more than three decades of experience in the nonprofit, faith-based, senior-living sector. She previously served as senior executive vice president of Finance and Administration at Tel Hai Retirement Community and is a licensed nursing home administrator. Verdegem has a Master of Business Administration from Alvernia College and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and accounting from Franklin & Marshall College.

Verdegem was the 2014 recipient of the Professional Development Award by LeadingAge PA. She has served on numerous boards of directors in senior care including CARE and FTH Services.

UZRC, located in Lititz, offers independent living cottages and apartments, personal care services, skilled nursing care, and in-home elderly care. Established in 1905, it has a faith-inspired mission to provide superior quality services to the aging, based on Christian principles, in a loving and caring community that aims to encourage independence, promote wellness, and preserve human dignity.

A current construction and expansion project includes 10 independent living apartments over two floors and 12 private rooms for short-term rehabilitation and long-term care in a state-of-the-art skilled nursing area. The enhancements are scheduled for occupancy this fall. UZRC has planned an open house for Saturday, Oct. 20.

Readers with questions may visit or contact Megan Weiss at


Memory Loss Support Group To Meet July 11, 2018

The Memory Loss Support Group at Landis Homes, 1001 E. Oregon Road, Lititz, will meet at 7 p.m. on on Tuesday, July 31, in the Warwick Room of The Heritage. The topic for the evening will be "Dietary and Nutritional Considerations for Persons with Dementia" presented by Haley Irvine, registered dietitian at Landis Homes.

The meeting is open to caregivers of persons with memory loss and other forms of dementia. The group operates in partnership with the Alzheimer's Association of the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter. For more information, readers may call Landis Homes at 717-581-3939.


Landis Homes Opens New Building July 11, 2018

Landis Homes held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 6 to celebrate the most recent addition to the retirement community's campus in Lititz. Many people gathered to mark the official opening of the Calvin G. and Janet C. High Learning and Wellness Center and the new Crossings apartments. Attendees included residents, family members, donors, business partners, employees and neighbors. Speakers included Larry Zook, president and CEO, and Beth Trout, vice president of advancement.

The new center, which is centrally located on the 114-acre campus, includes an indoor pool, a fitness room and studio, a bistro, a hair salon, a pharmacy, a bank, an art gallery, offices and classrooms. The top two floors in the 103,000-square-foot, four-level center hold 22 apartments. New apartment residents began moving in on May 21, and shortly afterward the aquatics and fitness center opened to offer new services and classes.

The total cost of the project is $53 million and will include two more structures. Now under construction, these will create 57 additional apartments, which are slated to open in late 2018 and spring of 2019. The Connections Capital Campaign raised more than $3.4 million through 340 donations.

For more information about Landis Homes, readers may visit


Benner, Organization Receive Awards July 10, 2018

A group and an individual with ties to Landis Homes were honored with Distinguished Service Awards, presented at the LeadingAge PA annual conference in Hershey on June 21. A Landis Homes resident group, Friends of the Woods and Wetlands, tied for the Volunteer of the Year Award, and Dorcas Benner received the award for Caregiver of the Year for her work with Landis at Home.

LeadingAge PA is a trade association representing Pennsylvania's nonprofit organizations that provide housing, health care and community services primarily to seniors. Since 1963, the association has acted as a source for advocacy, networking and education for nonprofit providers of services for older adults.

The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to a group or individual who has enhanced the quality of life of seniors through volunteer work for the benefit of the residents, the member organization or the greater community. The Friends of the Woods and Wetlands stay informed of environmental issues and make suggestions regarding ways to align campus policies and practices with good stewardship of the natural surroundings.

The group was recognized for volunteering its time, talent and expertise on behalf of the flora and fauna on the 110-acre senior living campus. The group was lauded as an environmental education resource to both Landis Homes residents and residents of the larger community. The Friends of the Woods and Wetlands tied for the honor with Midge Coker, a longtime volunteer at Phoebe Allentown Health Care Center in Allentown.

The Caregiver of the Year Award is presented to an individual who provides excellent clinical care while demonstrating leadership and a commitment to the field of aging. Benner, a registered nurse who resides in Willow Street, has 47 years of experience as a nurse, with 19 of those years serving at Landis Homes and with Landis at Home. For the past five years, she has worked as the home care supervisor for Landis at Home, a home care service affiliate of Landis Communities, with offices on the campus of Landis Homes.

Benner and eight individuals representing the Friends of the Woods and Wetlands group, along with friends, family members and colleagues, were hosted at an evening gala attended by other award winners.

For more information about Landis Homes, readers may visit


Residents Wish For A Merry Christmas ... In July July 6, 2018

Although temperatures are more like 93 degrees instead of 39, a group of Woodcrest Villa residents is thinking Christmas. The seventh annual Christmas in July school supplies drive will be held from Tuesday, July 24, through Tuesday, July 31. A kickoff celebration will be held at 7 p.m. on July 24 in Gamber Auditorium, which is located within the VIVA Centre on Woodcrest Villa's campus, 2001 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster.

"We'll have a little music, a little laughter," co-founder Barbara Smith said of the celebration. "That's the best part: eating homemade Christmas cookies!"

The program will feature musical performances as well as group singing of carols, and resident Dee Harnish will read a Pennsylvania Dutch translation of Clement Moore's poem "The Night Before Christmas." Refreshments - including the cookies that Barbara mentioned - will be provided. There will also be an opportunity for attendees to order school supplies for donation to the program.

Volunteer Dennis Good explained that the group has put an efficiency measure in place to improve the shopping process. As in previous years, group members will offer school supplies for residents to buy and donate. This service enables folks who are unable to shop off-campus to participate in the supplies drive. This year, however, the group will take orders for items, which Dennis will order in bulk and ship directly to the Families in Transition program.

Families in Transition began more than 20 years ago in the School District of Lancaster and has since spread to incorporate 17 Lancaster County school districts. The program aims to remove barriers to education for homeless children by helping to provide school supplies, clothing, transportation to school, and other basic needs. Christmas in July accepts donations of cash in addition to school supplies; the funds have been used to purchase school uniforms and other necessities, including laundry detergent. In 2017, more than 10,000 items were donated, and financial contributions amounted to almost $4,000.

Barbara noted that $500 is earmarked for the Hempfield School District, as that is where the retirement community is located. She related a conversation with her contact at the district who requested some of those funds be used for laundry detergent. The contact explained that the school nurses all have access to washers and dryers, and when children come to school in unclean clothing, the nurses are able to provide the students with a fresh set of clothing to wear while they launder the clothing.

"That's a really touching story," Barbara remarked.

Accounts like those are why Barbara, Dennis, and others participate in Christmas in July.

"It's fun to do something with the younger generation," remarked program co-founder Pat Smith, who is not related to Barbara.

"We have so many former school teachers, nurses, and principals who live here," Barbara explained. "They're so touched by this program (because they remember their own students). They like selecting things themselves if they're mobile."

Items for the project may be placed in decorated boxes in several areas on campus. Members of the public may drop off items at the VIVA Centre, and cash contributions may be made at the center's front desk. The school supplies requested are crayons, No. 2 pencils, colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, pink erasers, glue sticks, safety scissors, spiral notebooks, three-ring binders, three-ring notebook paper, composition books, and backpacks. Personal care items will also be accepted, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, socks, hairbrushes, combs, and hair picks.

For more information about Christmas in July, readers may call Barbara at 717-391-3627.


Calvary Homes Sets Ground Breaking July 5, 2018

Clifford Hurter, president and CEO for Calvary Homes, has announced the ground breaking for a three-story addition to the senior living community.

The ground breaking will be held in Fellowship Hall on Sunday, July 15, beginning at 3 p.m. It is open to the public and will feature special music by Nancy Sebastian Koch, refreshments, and limited tours of the new memory support neighborhood soon to be completed as part of the project.

The addition is part of a $12.4 million renovation and expansion, which began in March and features several phases. The project will provide 22 new office spaces, a welcome center, a community center for social and recreational amenities, and four large independent living apartments on the third floor. The main entrance will also be reconfigured and will include additional parking space for visitors and special events. The project will also include additional personal care accommodations, a new chapel, and nearly all private rooms with full baths in health care.

Phased completion of the entire project is expected between now and 2020. Calvary Homes is currently seeking donations to help fund the project, with a $2 million capital campaign now underway.

Calvary Homes was established in 1963 as an outreach ministry by members of Calvary Church to missionaries, pastors, and Christian servants. Today, the community serves nearly 400 residents in a variety of living accommodations on its 38-acre campus.


Bowlers Raise Funds For Organization July 3, 2018

During a recent Wii Bowling competition among the residents of Letort Manor at Church of God Home in Carlisle, organizer Helen Milliron and a group of like-minded neighbors raised $6,643 for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BB/BS) of the Capital Region. The funds brought the group's two-year total to nearly $14,000. Approximately one dozen bowlers participated each year. This year's competition kicked off in late May at Church of God Home, a StoneRidge Retirement Living Community.

Through BB/BS of the Capital Region, mentors provide youths with support and encouragement. Mentors offer advice, help with homework, and take mentees on excursions, such as trips to the movie theater.


GSV Posts Support Groups June 26, 2018

Garden Spot Village (GSV), 433 S. Kinzer Ave., New Holland, has posted two upcoming events.

The Essential Tremor Support Group will meet on Thursday, July 12, from 10 to 11 a.m. in the board room. Guest speaker Elaine Carrigan will discuss the value of music therapy as a nonmedical intervention in calming essential tremors. Carrigan will share stories as well. Individuals with essential tremors and their families and friends are invited to attend this free event. This quarterly support group is affiliated with the International Essential Tremor Foundation. For more information, readers may call Sherilyn Lapp at 717-355-6264 or email

The Low Vision Support Group will meet on July 12 at 3 p.m. in the Gardens Towers. Dr. Dan Strybos will present an update about macular degeneration. The group is designed to provide information and support to enhance independence for persons with any kind of visual losses. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, readers may call Mary Beth Villafane at 717-355-6010.


Caregiver Group Slates Meeting June 25, 2018

The Alzheimer's Association and Garden Spot Village co-sponsor a support group for family caregivers of persons with dementia. The next meeting will be held on Monday, July 9, at 10 a.m. in the Concord Room at Garden Spot Village, 433 S. Kinzer, Ave., New Holland.

Guest speaker Jan Mills, who has a Master of Social Work, will provide suggestions and tools for building and keeping healthy family relationships while dealing with a loved one who has dementia. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions, concerns, and comments about caring for loved ones.

Upon advance request, free respite care is available during this group meeting time for individuals currently enrolled in Garden Spot Village Adult Day Services. Individuals attending for the first time are asked to contact Marcia Parsons at 717-355-6239 or


Garden Spot Village Dedicates House June 21, 2018

Garden Spot Village hosted a dedication and ribbon cutting for the Cooperative Living House on June 15. Approximately 80 people attended the celebration, which was held on the lawn of the home. Guest speakers included Casey Martin for Rep. David Zimmerman and New Holland Mayor Tim Bender.

The Cooperative Living House was created to provide affordable housing for people age 62 and up. The house was built with community support and volunteer labor. Many local businesses, churches and individuals contributed materials and labor. To learn more, readers may call 717-355-6000 or visit


Veterans Club Participates In Parades June 20, 2018

Members of the Traditions of Hershey Veterans Club recently participated in two annual Memorial Day parades. This is the fifth year that members rode in the parades.

In the Annville Memorial Day parade on May 26, Veterans Club members rode in cars adorned with their name, branch of service, and rank. During the Palmyra Memorial Day parade on May 28, club members traveled the route together on a float.

Participating in the parades has become an annual event in which Veterans Club members honor fallen comrades and remember their sacrifice.


Frey Receives Appointment June 14, 2018

Landis Communities has announced the appointment of Mona Frey as the new executive director of Welsh Mountain Home. Frey is a licensed practical nurse with more than 25 years of experience. She also holds a personal care home administrator license (PCHA) and is a certified medication technician trainer, along with holding certification in dementia support group facilitation. Her nursing and leadership experience includes serving as a nursing care coordinator, primary care nurse, memory support coordinator, director of wellness (personal care) and assistant administrator of personal care. Most recently, she was director of wellness and assistant director at Legend Senior Living's Lititz location.

Mona and her husband live in Conestoga and enjoy traveling and experiencing different cultures and ethnic foods.


Support Group Meetings Slated June 13, 2018

The Masonic Village, 1 Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown, will host meetings for two support groups.

Caregivers are invited to attend an open forum meeting of the Dementia Caregiver Support and Education Group on Tuesday, July 17. The group meets every third Tuesday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Masonic Village's Health Care Center Courtyard Conference Room. There is no cost to attend. For directions and to preregister, readers may call 717-367-1121, ext. 33764.

Those who have lost a loved one are welcome to attend the monthly meeting of the Bereavement Support Group on Thursday, July 12, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. This meeting will take place in the large recreation room in Sycamore North, located on the first floor. Refreshments are served, and there is no cost to attend. For more information, readers may call Heidi Young, bereavement coordinator, at 717-367-1121, ext. 33576.


Music Students Present Program June 13, 2018

Students of Carole A. Bubacz presented a recital at Juniper Retirement Village in Mount Joy on June 2. Students, including Sarah Heinz, Timmy Stehman, Ian Rivera, Rachel Snyder, Benjamin Heinz, Daniel Rivera, Stefanie Good, Alayna Brubaker, Lilly Stehman, and Luke Hershey, performed a variety of music on piano and flute.

Students performed solos, and a quartet, a double duet, and a duet were also featured. Sarah Heinz, Timmy Stehman, Ian Rivera, and Katie Stehman were showcased in the quartet, while Lilly Stehman, Benjamin Heinz, Timmy Stehman, and Bubacz performed the double duet. Luke Hershey and Daniel Rivera took the stage for the duet.

In addition, Stefanie Good, Luke Hershey, and Daniel Rivera were honored for continuing their music lessons through their senior year of high school.


Memory Support Group To Meet June 12, 2018

The Memory Loss Support Group at Landis Homes, 1001 E. Oregon Road, Lititz, will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, in the Warwick Room of the Heritage. The topic for the evening will be "Journaling the Journey - Gripes, Grace and Gratitude - Using Journaling to Support You as a Caregiver," presented by Kathleen King.

The meeting is open to caregivers of persons with memory loss and other forms of dementia. The group operates in partnership with the Alzheimer's Association of the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter. For more information, readers may call Landis Homes at 717-581-3939.


Moravian Manor Posts Trips June 11, 2018

Moravian Manor Retirement Community in Lititz has posted two upcoming trips, both of which will be supported by coach transportation.

"American Treasures" will feature a trip to Oaks on Wednesday, Aug. 1. Tripgoers will be able to view a large collection of Americana from antiques to kitsch to pop culture by way of a tram. There will also be a mechanical music display. After a buffet lunch, participants will visit Pottsgrove Manor, where a guide will share about the estate. The day will conclude with a ride on the second-oldest carousel in the U.S.

"Autumn Days" will be a trip to Cape May, N.J., on Tuesday through Thursday, Sept. 11 to 13. Tripgoers will stay at a historic Victorian seaside location. Activities they may enjoy will include a whale watch cruise, a trolley ride, and fine dining. Before returning home, the group will stop at Smithville Village.

Readers may contact Holly Began at 717-625-6132 or for more information on either trip.

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