Local leader in Alzheimer’s Care presents at AFA National Educating America Tour

Educating America

Educating America

by Jeanine Genauer

Mary Jane Eicke, Executive Director of Juniper Village at Williamstown, was honored to present at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s Educating America Tour as part of its 15th anniversary celebration. The Concepts in Care Educational Conference, held on May 19 at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, provided the opportunity for people to learn from experts on topics, including: access to healthcare, transitioning from home to residential care setting, safeguarding your space, long-term care, perceptions of aging, and clinical trials and research.

With approximately 300 people in attendance, Mary Jane discussed care for the memory-impaired and Alzheimer’s disease. Juniper Village at Williamstown has received the Excellence in Care, Dementia Care Program of Distinction designation from the AFA consistently since 2010. At that time, JVW was the first in New Jersey and only one of thirty in the country to have received the honor.

“We are proud that our pioneering programs and innovatively designed environment has enabled us to be recognized by the AFA.  Thanks to our dedicated staff, we are one of an elite number of communities that they believe ensure quality of life for individuals with dementia and their families; and one that provides an optimal care setting,” explained Mary Jane Eicke.

As for being asked to present at the conference, she said, “It was an honor to be asked to present by the AFA. I was very proud to be part of it.”

Branching Out: Women and Senior Living

Women and Senior Living

Women and Senior Living

by Lynne Katzmann

Perhaps because of the recent election, I have been thinking about women and leadership. Before going any farther, I will tell you outright that I am in favor of more women leaders in our industry.

Having been a business owner and CEO for almost three decades you are probably not surprised to hear me say this, but my reasoning goes deeper: 74% of the people who live in senior housing communities nationwide are women. And, according to the Advisory Board Company, 80% of our team members, the people who make our communities function, are women. But at the top, there are mostly men. In fact, Modern Healthcare’s respected list of the industry’s most influential people named 79 men out of the 100! So, the ratios are inverted when it comes to power and recognition.

I am heartened that there are more women now than when I started Juniper in 1988. Several of the large publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) are led by women. In addition, there are operating companies where the CEO is female and still others with a couple of women in the C Suite. But given we are half of the population and general workforce, and our industry consumer and workforce is so heavily gender skewed, I am dismayed that I am still one of few…

Recent research suggests that companies with gender balance do better in terms of customer satisfaction and value for money. While we may not be ready for a woman in the White House, we must continue to make sure that women have a place in leadership. The first step in making change is awareness. Perhaps Juniper can serve as a role leader. I am proud that our board is gender balanced and our leadership has strong, experienced women as leaders. With greater balance, we can assure that our mission continues to be to “do well by doing good”.

Juniper Village at Brookline Leading the Way at PHCA!!

Juniper Village at Brookline

Juniper Village at Brookline

by Tara Williamson

PHCA, the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, is a statewide advocacy organization for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable older residents and their providers of care whose members comprise for-profit, nonprofit and government providers. Together, the more than 500 long-term care and senior service providers and their dedicated caregivers share a commitment to the highest level of care to ensure our sickest, frailest elderly and disabled residents live a healthy, safe life and age with the dignity and respect they deserve.

This year, at the annual convention, some lovely ladies from Juniper Village at Brookline – Anne Campbell, Liz Plozner-Chalfa, and Katie Castro – presented on techniques to reduce the use of antipsychotics. Additionally, Dennis Yeager, the Environmental Services Director at Brookline Senior Living, was awarded the PHCA Assisted Living/Personal Care Most Valuable Employee of the Year. Juniper Village at Brookline also won the Bronze Quality Award.

What Senior Living Can Learn From Burning Man

Burning Man

Burning Man

by Kourtney Liepelt of Senior Housing News

On the surface, seniors housing and the annual Burning Man festival appear to have little in common. After one provider ventured to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert with a group of seniors to participate in Burning Man, though, it seems there’s a lot senior living can learn from the event that brings more than 70,000 people together to create a pop-up metropolis for a week.

“Burning Man is an intentional community, and seniors housing is a different kind of intentional community,” Juniper Communities’ Founder and CEO Lynne Katzmann tells Senior Housing News. “But they’re both about people coming together, being themselves, where who they are is respected and celebrated. That’s the connection. We are doing what Burning Man does. Most people wouldn’t put the two together that way, but we need to do that.”

Last week, Bloomfield, New Jersey-based Juniper spearheaded the desert camp, bringing together participants of various generations for the weeklong festivity that has been likened to the millennial’s version of Woodstock. Some 74,000 people came together to form a city for the week at the event geared toward art, self-expression and independence, among them the four seniors participating with Juniper to spark conversations around ageism and joining the generations.

Juniper’s camp, dubbed Aging Insurrection, reflected this greater mission of breaking down barriers between age groups. In fact, along with Juniper’s camp partner, there were people there ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s.

“By taking an intergenerational group, we raised awareness not just that older people can handle Burning Man, but also that it’s a place where seniors thrive,” Katzmann says. “People don’t really associate Burning Man and seniors housing, but we can now talk about seniors housing in a new way.”

Senior Living and Social Connections

Part of shifting the framework of senior living involves emphasizing how seniors housing can foster social connectedness, Katzmann says, which was constantly on display during the weeklong event. The Aging Insurrection camp hosted two events of its own to facilitate such connections: an intergenerational coloring party where participants painted a large mural, and an insurrection salon dedicated to conversations and wisdom around aging.

“For Juniper, we’ve always believed a good life was about connecting socially and being in relationships with people,” Katzmann says. “What Burning Man did for me is prove the power of social connectedness…and why senior living is so important for people getting older.”

Katzmann’s 84-year-old mother is a prime example of joining the generations and leaving a social imprint, saying her favorite part of Burning Man was meeting and talking to people of all ages from around the world. Harsh physical conditions throughout the week including extreme fluctuations in temperature and wind that stirred up major dust storms didn’t deter her positive attitude about Burning Man, and she says she hopes her participation served a greater purpose.

“People who aren’t used to seeing older people out there at Burning Man—interacting with them and talking to them—hopefully realized that older people still can be involved and contribute,” Laurie Katzmann says. “That’s really what I hope the impact was, and I think that’s why I was there.”

Moving forward, Burning Man has provided a starting point to rebrand what senior living is all about, especially ahead of the baby boomer generation, says Cindy Longfellow, Juniper’s vice president of business development and sales and marketing. That means accommodating seniors basic needs, but proving they can flourish on a social level, too.

“If we can somehow filter that out and make that a hallmark of what we do, people will come to us and other senior communities, because people need and want that very much,” she says.

Read the entire article and view extensive photos.