Three Reasons to Move to a Retirement Community

Posted by Katharine on March 20th, 2019

Independent retirement living provides convenience and ease within a welcoming community that offers amenities and services to support your daily lifestyle and preferences. There are many aspects to independent living that can help eliminate the challenges of maintaining a home and inspire a new chapter of adventures and friendships in your life. When talking with residents at The Atrium at The Cedars, here are some of features that have brought them peace of mind since making their move.

Socialization when you want it.
The beauty of an independent living community is that you can choose to be as busy or as social as you like! While the offerings of activities, lectures, wellness programs and social engagements are plentiful, there is the opportunity to have restful and quiet moments in the privacy of your own home. The convenience of visiting friends and neighbors without the hassle of inclement weather and travel provides comfort and well-being.

Security and safety.
Winter storms, power outages and snow removal are all common occurrences here in the north east. The security and safety that independent living provides will alleviate the stress of tackling another tough winter and worrying about the safety of yourself and your property. With convenient transportation and snow removal, you’ll have more time to focus on the things you enjoy!

Relax with one of our wellness programs in water aerobics, yoga, meditation or Tai Chi. Enjoy delicious gourmet cooking and say goodbye to preparing meals. Entertain at your own leisure and savor the convenience of a community full of services designed to truly offer you a variety outstanding living options.

 If you are interested in learning more about how the Atrium lifestyle can benefit you, please contact Angie D’Amours our Marketing Representative at 221-7192 or

Maine Jewish Film Festival: Free Senior Screening

Posted by Katharine on February 28th, 2019

The Cedars is pleased to continue sponsoring the MJFF’s Free Senior Screening. This year, the documentary, Essential Link: The Story of Wilfred Israel will show at the Portland Museum of Art on Wednesday, March 13 at 2PM. Dessert reception to follow. There is no cost for seniors to attend, but you must get tickets by calling the MJFF at 207-523-3422 or emailing

Here is the scoop: The Essential Link: The Story of Wilfred Israel / Documentary / 2016 / Israel / Hebrew, German w/ Eng ST / 82 min

Documentary / Dir: Sam Pollard / USA / 2017 / 100 min Free Senior Film

Why is the story of retail businessman Wilfred Israel, who saved 15 times more people than Oskar Schindler, largely unknown? The owner of Berlins largest department store played a key role in the Kindertransport program and helped save tens of thousands of Jews . Filmmaker Yonatan Nir (My Hero Brother – MJFF 2017) takes us on a revealing journey into Wilfrid Israels life and the reasons for his disappearance from history.

For information about living options at The Cedars and The Atrium independent living at The Cedars, contact Angela D’Amours at 207-221-7100 or


Researching Bold New Ideas

Posted by Tracy Ericson on January 31st, 2019

The Cedars Learning Community™ Continues to Advance Senior Care

DO YOU REMEMBER THE RUSH of freedom that filled you the first time you rode a bike? Residents at The Cedars were able to revisit that feeling as part of a new research project on mental health in collaboration with the University of Southern Maine graduate program in Occupational Therapy and the Portland Wheelers.

The Portland Wheelers are familiar faces on our campus. These hardy cyclists volunteer to take mobility-challenged seniors on regular rides on specially equipped tandem bikes. While these rides are always popular at The Cedars, the students at USM were looking for a correlation between regular rides and improvements in depression (a common affliction in later life). A positive correlation would encourage other senior living communities to offer similar programs.

For the purposes of this research study, seniors with a history of depression were treated to regular rides over the course of six weeks. They completed an eight-point survey prior to and after each ride. The Cedars clinical staff also performed an evaluation based on the Geriatric Depression Scale, which measures externally observable changes in key indicators.

The program also provided Mood and Behavior assessment data gathered on all residents each quarter as required by federal regulations. The results were promising. Residents felt the rides were time well spent 99% of the time, and declared the ride enjoyable 93% of the time. Resident moods did show improvement after the rides and neither a patient’s age or level of dementia seemed to affect their perceptions. Almost all riders showed fewer indicators for depression after completing the Portland Wheelers program. While this sample size will not support speculation about the durability of the effects or allow generalization to a larger resident population, these promising results reinforce the value of this program and our commitment to researching advances in
healthy aging!


Are You Ready to Live 100 Years?

Posted by Tracy Ericson on January 24th, 2019

Tips from Kathryn Callnan, The Cedars President and CEO, on active, healthy, rewarding aging.

Drawing from her life experience as a nurse and as the leader of the largest not-for-profit senior living community in northern New England, Kathy offers her best advice on preparing for and making the most of your later years:

  • Plan on living to the age of 100.
    Find the best providers for healthcare, rehabilitation, long-term care and assisted living. Decide where you would like to receive care in the event you are hospitalized.
  • Don’t assume that you’ll always be able to live at home.
    Determine if you will be happier and better cared for at home with services or by moving to a community. Then do your research, tour communities and get on a waiting list.
  • Talk with your children and let them know what you want before something happens.
    Do you want to live near them or stay where you are?
    Where would you want to receive care should you need it?

Making Bold Plans? Meet Daniel Hoebeke, Charitable Gift Planner

Posted by Tracy Ericson on January 17th, 2019

A retired attorney, Daniel has spent the majority of his career helping individuals achieve their charitable giving goals through tax-wise planning techniques including wills and charitable trusts. He comes to us from the Jewish Home of San Francisco where he was the senior development director for nine years. Previously, Daniel also presented charitable estate planning seminars across the country for the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago.

Daniel is delighted to now call Maine his permanent home. He lives on Orr’s Island with Ellen, his wife of 45 years. In his spare time, Daniel serves on local charitable boards and is an avid wildlife photographer.

For information on tax-wise charitable giving options, please contact Daniel Hoebeke, J.D., Charitable Gift Planner, or 207-221-7007


A Bold View: A Spectacular House Party Sends an Important Message About Home

Posted by Tracy Ericson on January 10th, 2019


A thrilling view of the Maine coast—and a thought-provoking point-of-view on aging—captivated guests at The Cedars End-of-Summer Cocktail Party, hosted by Marjorie and Robert Ory on September 27.


THE ORYS, LONGTIME FRIENDS OF The Cedars, divide their time between Boston and a stunning oceanfront home in Kennebunkport. In 2003, when Marge’s mother became a resident at The Cedars, they became strong supporters of our innovative programs.
Knowing that the Grow Bold With Us campaign is poised to transform not only The Cedars but the standard of senior care statewide, they generously opened their Kennebunkport residence to offer family and friends from York County a first-hand preview of the exciting advances ahead.

Guests received the warmest of welcomes from their hosts and representatives from The Cedars were on hand to share a look into some exciting advances in aging.

Kathryn Callnan, President and CEO, described the Household Model of care. Seniors of today and tomorrow do not want the institutional model of care their parents and grand-parents experienced. The Cedars has commited to creating a true home where every aspect of care is completely customized to each resident. Kathryn explained how empowering it is for staff to train for multiple roles in order to support the daily, in-the-moment decisions our seniors make about how to live their lives, the same way we all do in our own homes.

GETTING HOME FASTER Angela Hunt, Chief Operating Officer at The Cedars, shared how the Rehabilitation Center at The Cedars continues to develop ways to speed seniors on the road to recovery:

  • Our Five-Day Intensive Therapy Program for younger joint replacement patients provides a wide range of therapies seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  • For patients with greater health challenges, our advances in medically complex care continues to set The Cedars apart. The Cedars is the first and only rehabilitation program in Maine to offer cardiopulmonary telemetry monitoring, supporting seniors with cardiac disease.
  • The first skilled nursing facility in Maine to provide peritoneal dialysis, The Cedars offers this less invasive, more convenient treatment alternative to hemodialysis.

Brian DesPres, Director of Rehabilitation Services, shared his insights into active aging with the Top Fitness Trends for 2019. The big takeaway? No matter how you do it, just keep moving! Brian urged guests to find their passion and stick with it to get the most energy and enjoyment from our later lives.

The Cedars is grateful to the Orys for the opportunity to share their groundbreaking vision for future of senior care.

Mindful Connections: An Innovative, Community-Based, Therapeutic Program at The Cedars

Posted by Tracy Ericson on January 3rd, 2019

For seniors in the early stages of memory loss still living at home, Mindful Connections provides powerful, personalized therapy to preserve independence, cognitive function, and hope.

BY THE AGE OF 60, between 5 and 7 percent of people will suffer from some form of memory loss. By the age of 85, 50 percent will show symptoms of cognitive impairment, usually diagnosed as Alzheimer’s Disease. Whether it affects us or someone we love, dementia will touch all our lives—but The Cedars believes it should not define our lives.

It’s a bold view, and it is true: people with memory loss have the ability to lead rich lives and make valuable contributions to their community.

Our newest community-based program, Mindful Connections, proves this every day. Using forward-thinking therapies rooted in research and best practices and customized for each patient’s unique life experiences and personal preferences, we support seniors with memory loss as they learn to live in the moment with strength, purpose, and joy.

“Because dementia can accelerate physical and mental decline, The Cedars holistic approach to treatment spans the six dimensions of wellness: physical, intellectual, occupational, social, spiritual, and emotional. Designed for seniors in the early stages of memory loss still living independently, Mindful Connections provides resources and respite for caregivers while enhancing health and offering hope to clients.


 Mindful Connections, as well as our upcoming Memory Care Assisted Living, are both built on a powerful philosophy—the Positive Approach to Care (PAC), developed by internationally recognized occupational therapist, Teepa Snow.

PAC prioritizes smart, compassionate responses to the realities of memory loss. Staff learn personalized strategies to form trusting relationships with clients—ways of responding to difficult situations that are supportive and successful. PAC recognizes that a person with dementia is doing the best that they can and if something isn’t working, the caregiver must change their approach. PAC also teaches heightened environmental awareness, encourages flexible and creative thinking, and supports authentic personal connections between clients and providers.


Each client receives a thorough evaluation from an experienced, PAC-certified Occupational Therapist. Assessments include in-depth interviews with family members and caregivers, standard evaluation tools, and skilled personal observations to determine the level of assistance each client will need to live productively in their community.

Some seniors in the program may benefit from a course of specialized rehabilitation therapy to address underlying issues such as balance or strength, speech and cognition, and the activities of daily living. The coping strategies learned in these sessions can do so much toward helping seniors with dementia and their caregivers feel safe in their chosen living situation.


The heart of the Mindful Connections community-based program is the Wellness Group, a gathering of a small group of seniors and their PAC-certified practitioner, with expertise in therapeutic recreation. While every member of the group has a customized treatment plan, seniors join together to share a specialized exercise program in the rehabilitation gym, engaging activities to preserve cognition and spark purpose and pleasure, and social interactions—meals, discussions, and more—that forge real friendships.

“The Wellness Group is wonderful,” says one member of Mindful Connections. “A diagnosis of memory loss can be so isolating. My friends in the Wellness Group understand exactly how I feel and we are working through this challenge together.”

To learn how The Cedars can help you or someone you love make Mindful Connections during memory loss, contact the Program Coordinator at 207-221-7163 or email

The Cedars Celebrates Groundbreaking for the Sam L. Cohen Households

Posted by Tracy Ericson on December 17th, 2018

The Cedars welcomed our community to join us in commemorating a powerful and pivotal moment in the Grow Bold With Us Campaign.

THE DAY BEFORE the groundbreaking ceremony for the much-anticipated Sam L. Cohen Households, construction crews arrived at The Cedars to begin tearing down a building set on the corner of our campus, clearing the way for the construction to come. By the time honored guests, supporters, community members, staff, and residents arrived on September 21, enormous excavators surrounded the crisp white event tent. The air was charged with excitement, optimism, and change. After so much hope and hard work, the first senior living community to implement the Household Model in Maine and New England was about to be the first to construct a residence specifically designed to be a true home for seniors.


Long before The Cedars broke ground for this innovative new building, our staff laid the groundwork to implement a new way of supporting seniors in their later years: the Household Model of care.

“Seniors of today and tomorrow don’t want the model of care experienced by their parents and grandparents,” Kathryn Callnan, President and CEO of The Cedars, told guests. “They want rich experiences. Choices. A home environment. The Cedars has always understood that seniors want privacy, autonomy, and the ability to make daily decisions about how they wish to live their lives even though they are no longer able to live independently at home.”

The Cedars staff has spent the last two years training for and implementing the Household Model of care. Thanks in part to the generosity of the Sam L. Cohen Foundation, they will soon have a space designed to support it.


The Cedars has always practiced person-centered care, and for the past 24 months has provided specialized training to dramatically shift the way staff gives care towards a person-directed model. However, completely implementing the Household Model requires building a radically different kind of space – one with distinct hallmarks of home. Private rooms and bathrooms. Welcoming common areas, like a kitchen that is always open and stocked with favorite foods. A front door, with a doorbell, that chimes a clear signal: this a private home for people living rich and meaningful lives.

The Sam L. Cohen Foundation’s contribution has helped to fund the construction of this cutting-edge residence to honor the late Sam Cohen’s many connections to The Cedars, his lifelong legacy of philanthropy, and most of all, his legendary love of gathering with family and friends.


The Groundbreaking Ceremony featured national and local political figures as well, as the Households have significance for seniors far beyond Maine’s shores. As the nation’s population rapidly ages, the demand for skilled healthcare workers and personalized senior living continues to grow. At this critical point, The Cedars has taken the lead—proposing bold initiatives for workforce development and training, partnerships for research and learning, and new living options for our later years.

After all, Maine has the oldest population in the nation. The “silver tsunami” will hit this state particularly hard and our elected representatives are keenly aware that now is the time to act.

The ceremony’s keynote speaker, Senator Susan Collins continues to be one of the country’s most reliable advocates for seniors. As chair of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, she has worked to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research and to strengthen support for family caregivers. Senator Collins has met over the past few years with John Watson, Chief Financial Officer at The Cedars, to discuss specific long-term care legislation and most recently review Medicaid funding considerations critical to Maine’s poor elderly in advance of the historic health care vote. Senator Collins spoke passionately of the potential for this model of care to transform how we age in Maine—and beyond.


“For nearly 90 years, The Cedars has helped Maine seniors live their lives to the fullest… working together, in Washington, D.C. and in communities across the nation, we are building a shared vision for aging that is centered on health, wellness and community.” – SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS


 In addition to the two skilled care Households, The Sam L. Cohen Households will provide the newest level of person-centered care at The Cedars—Memory Care Assisted Living.

The Cedars knows that people with memory loss can engage in meaningful activities, make decisions about how they want to spend their days, and participate in their own health and wellness. At The Cedars, they will.

Each resident will receive a thoughtful evaluation and strengths-based assessment from dedicated staff trained in the Teepa Snow Model of Postive Care. Caregivers will provide positive, powerful therapies designed to respond to changing abilities and personalized to each resident’s Life Story.

Innovative programs will be offered on a daily basis to promote choice, preserve dignity, and respect individuality—always putting the person first. In addition to a full calendar of group activities, staff will provide spontaneous activities—day and night—to meet in-the-moment needs for social engagement, self-expression and mindful connections.

“Our new Memory Care Assisted Living Household for seniors with more advanced memory loss will help preserve cognitive function and, most importantly, independence,” Kathryn Callnan assured guests. “We can make a promise to our community: when you come to live at The Cedars, you have come home.”

To learn how you can support bold new initiatives for seniors, call the Development Office at 207-221-7007 or email



Tips for Staying Healthy During Flu Season

Posted by Katharine on November 7th, 2018

“Ask The Nurse is a program at The Atrium, independent living at The Cedars that gives our residents the chance to touch base with Nancy Kuliga, RN and ask health questions, get their blood pressure checked, or help them decide if they need to contact their physician. In addition to this twice-weekly clinic, Nancy also oversees the Home Health Services at The Cedars that provides support for our residents. Nancy enjoys getting to know so many of the residents and always looks forward to this part of her week.  Here is her advice on how to stay healthy this flu season:

1. Get the flu vaccine! The best time to get the vaccine is from October through November but it is still useful to get one even if it’s later in the flu season.
2. Wash or sanitize hands thoroughly and often. Frequently washing hands with regular soap is an effective way to get rid of cold and flu germs.
3. Exercise regularly. Moderate exercise boosts the immune system and could reduce risk of cold by a third.
4. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
5. Clean the environment to eliminate germs.
6. Sanitize your mobile devices.
7. Stay away from people who are sick.
8. Avoid crowds and unnecessary travel.
9. Drink plenty of liquids! Drinking plenty of liquids, especially plain water or hot tea, helps the nasal passages stay moist and trap germs.
10. Get added Vitamin C and protein through nutritious foods! Some studies have shown that a little extra Vitamin C (but not too much) can reduce the risk of getting sick.


Groundbreaking for the Sam L. Cohen Households

Posted by Katharine on September 22nd, 2018

On Friday September 21, Senator Susan Collins shared remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony and climbed aboard an excavator to deliver the first dig for the Sam L. Cohen Households at The Cedars.

A Bold Change to Transform Senior Care

The Cedars is building the Sam L. Cohen Households for skilled nursing care and introducing a new, vitally needed memory care assisted living, as well as renovating our current neighborhoods in households.

The Household Model of Senior Living

The visionary and person-centered Household Model is earning praise across the country and fast becoming the best practice as an enlightened approach to senior care. The Household Model features a home environment where residents have choices, including when to wake up, what to eat, and how to spend each day, just like we do at home. It’s a model we believe will not only meet and exceed the expectations of our senior population but will also be a shining example to our entire industry and will shape the way forward for the improvement of senior healthcare across the nation.

Senator Collins as Advocate for Aging

As a long-standing advocate for seniors and healthcare, Senator Collins is the chair of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease where she has worked to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research and to strengthen support for family caregivers. In fact, the Senator shared that her BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act is making headway in Congress and will help establish centers of excellence in public health practices in Alzheimer’s Disease.

No stranger to The Cedars, Senator Collins has met over the past few years with John Watson, Chief Financial Officer at The Cedars, to discuss specific long-term care legislation, and most recently to review Medicaid funding considerations critical to Maine’s poor elderly in advance of the historic health care vote.

For more information on how The Cedars is transforming senior care, go to