CNA Plus Graduation at The Cedars

Posted by Katharine on July 2nd, 2018

On June 25, The Cedars graduated another class of certified nursing assistants from The Cedars CNA Plus. For the past year, The Cedars has been partnering with Southern Maine Community College and the Root Cellar to provide opportunities for bright, compassionate people to start a career in healthcare while addressing the growing need for caregivers, particularly for our aging population.

Angie Hunt, Chief Operating Officer and Susan Dionne-Jones, Director of Nursing, congratulated our graduates and gave a heart-felt thanks to Nancy Rodick, RN Instructor for her guidance and expertise over the past several months of class and clinicals. CNA Plus not only provides nursing assistant instruction but also teaches additional skills that are becoming more valuable in the healthcare setting.

Special guest speaker, Brenda Beaulieu, Business Relations Manager at SMCC expressed how proud she is of our graduates as they each worked a job, many managing a family, while going to school. A great level of commitment and a first step into a new and exciting future. For more information on the CNA Plus program at The Cedars, contact us today at 221-7150.

The Cedars Hosts Symposium on Aging, Workforce, Creative Solutions

Posted by Katharine on May 30th, 2018

The Cedars, one of Maine’s most comprehensive senior living communities, recently hosted a panel of national experts at the symposium, A Silver Lining for an Aging State: A Bold Approach to Boost Maine’s Economy. Presenters examined the critical issues facing the State of Maine as our population rapidly ages and workforce steadily declines.

They each offered insights into workforce and labor issues at the local, state and national level, shared innovative partnerships to benefit the people and the economy of Maine, and introduced creative solutions through a powerful new model of senior care that will transform how we live the later stages of our lives.

The conversation was active and passionate throughout the room. The audience included members of the healthcare community, educational partners, local business representatives, policy analysts and more. Panelists and some key points include:

John Dorrer, Workforce Development Consultant and former Acting Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor shared some of the staggering statistics around the workforce demographics. The number of American’s 65 and older continues to increase, expecting to double by 2060, while the number of 20-34-year-olds is expected to decrease by 15%. Maine’s future workforce is declining drastically as the number of openings grows, particularly in health care positions.

Carol Kim, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Innovation and Partnerships for the University of Maine system shared the exciting formation of the University of Maine System Aging Initiative, across all of the UMaine campuses. Dr. Kim shared some of the successes of the Virtual Environment and Multi-Modal Interaction Lab, including special equipment designed to promote exercise and improve overall quality of life. She also discussed multi-generational classrooms, aging forums and many community-based testing labs, including one at The Cedars.

Steve Shields, CEO of Action Pact, a unique culture change company shared details of the Household Model which transforms long-term care through the person-centered approach. In this innovative model, long-term and assisted living homes adopt an approach that shapes the physical environment, organizational structure, and interpersonal relationships in ways that create an atmosphere of genuine home, while providing elders with clear opportunities to direct their daily choices and pleasures. Steve explained the various aspects of home that we take for granted, which have been all by eliminated in traditional long term care, such as the front door and door bell, signifying privacy and control over who enters your environment.

Kathryn Callnan, President and CEO of The Cedars then shared the transition to the Household Model at The Cedars, and the accompanying learning community which puts the organization in the active role of educating and training the workforce, while creating a partnership to support those efforts. Kathy emphasized that she looks forward to sharing The Cedars ideas, experiences and successes so that households of this type can exist throughout Maine, New England and beyond.

Moderator, Dr. Elise Bolda, PhD of the Muskie School of Public Service took questions which spanned inquiries into the details of the Household Model, issues of access to care, and further clarification on the workforce demographics. The room was filled with excitement over the creative approaches being taken by The Cedars and community partners. The Cedars looks forward to continuing this very important conversation with future forums on the topic of aging in Maine.


The Benefits of Community Retirement

Posted by Katharine on May 21st, 2018

Thinking about a move to a retirement community?  Although this transition can seem overwhelming at first, people who have made the move report that it was one of the best decisions they have ever made for themselves.  They are able to enjoy a rich social life, . And their reasons are as much practical as they are personal.

Most people are either moving from the home that they’ve lived in for years or from a residence to which they’ve already downsized.  Some move from out of the area to be closer to their adult children while others have lived in Maine for much of their lives.  In either case, the benefits of living in a retirement community are many and include a rich social life, worry-free living, and freedom from the hassles of home repair and maintenance.

Freedom from Managing a Home. No more worries about maintaining a home, managing the upkeep, or even changing a light bulb.  Many retirement communities have staff that takes care of snow removal and property maintenance, both inside and out.  Housekeepers clean your apartment weekly, provide seasonal intensive cleaning, and at The Atrium we offer weekly flat linen service.  If anything arises – like a light bulb that’s gone out – simply call the front desk for staff assistance.

Access to Dining, Exercise, Cultural Events and More. Many communities provide extensive in-house options as well as excursions to local happenings.  You will find yourself enjoying meals with new friends and choosing from exercise classes, swimming in the pool, attending lectures or concerts, playing bridge, or relaxing in your apartment. Throughout the week, most communities arrange for excursions. At The Cedars we go to area restaurants, plays, the symphony, museum exhibits, or a senior college class.  Outings that were once a special treat become part of your everyday life.

Transportation. Scheduled rides to doctor’s appointments, your accountant, the grocery store, or the library help keep you independent. Many communities offer opportunities to schedule these personal trips in addition to the community excursions on their events calendar. At The Cedars, residents schedule their own trips throughout the week. Even those residents who drive their own cars enjoy this personal service, especially in the winter months.

Peace of Mind that comes from knowing that staff is right there, in the event they are needed.  And should additional personal support be necessary on either a short or long term basis, many communities like The Cedars offer home health support services as well as a continuum of senior living options on their campus, such as assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing services.

All of these conveniences and amenities lead to a lightness of spirit in knowing that your many of your needs will be met and that visits from friends and family will be just that – time to enjoy lunch in the café, a walk around the grounds, or a swim in the pool with those you love. You can enjoy life and get back to living.

Community Education: Liliane Willens at The Cedars

Posted by Katharine on May 2nd, 2018

The Cedars was  honored to recently host Dr. Liliane Willens  as she presented to a packed house, sharing her riveting story of growing up in China during World War II under the pressures of foreign invaders and civil war as recounted in her most recent book, Stateless in Shanghai Lily spoke energetically for more than an hour about her experiences living in Shanghai, often injecting humor among the political and social details of this tumultuous time.

Scholar, memoirist and humanitarian, Dr. Willens has conducted hundreds of lectures and interviews across the United States, Europe, Asia and into Africa. She has presented at Georgetown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stonehill College, the University of Maine, the Library of Congress, and to the Joint Harvard/MIT Washington Clubs.

Born of Russian parentage in the former French Concession of Shanghai China, Liliane and her family experienced World War II under the Japanese military occupation and after the war, the Chinese civil war between the Nationalists and the communists. While waiting for her immigration visa, Liliane lived two years under the newly established People’s Republic of China.

Upon immigrating to the Unites States, Liliane studied French and 18th Century French Literature at Boston University and taught at Boston College as well as Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Later moving to Washington, DC, she worked for the US Agency for International Development and the Peace Corps.

The Jews of Shanghai was part of The Cedars Community Education Series. For more information about our community, contact Angela D’Amours at 207-221-7100.

The Cedars Volunteer Awarded by Leading Age

Posted by Katharine on April 15th, 2018

On April 11, Jennifer Butcher, long time volunteer at The Cedars received the Volunteer of the Year Award at the Leading Age Maine/New Hampshire Standing Ovation Award ceremony. Here is what they shared about Jenn.

Jennifer first came to The Cedars to visit her grandmother, an Assisted Living resident. It was easy to see that she felt comfortable with and easily related to our residents. Since 2009 and long after her grandmother’s passing, Jennifer has logged over 3/500 hours of service. She has faithfully made the on-hour commute to The Cedars at least two full days each week, and often returns for a third day to support staff vacations.

With her natural ability to tune into the needs of others, combined with her understanding of dementia, Jennifer uses humor and warmth to relate to residents. Jennifer is a natural leader, responding to needs as they arise. Form comforting residents to assisting staff and offering her ideas, she is a treasured friend to all and an outstanding asset to The Cedars community. Congratulations, Jennifer!

The Benefits of Retirement Living: The Cedars

Posted by Katharine on March 22nd, 2018

Socializing 2Thinking about a move for you or a loved one to a retirement community?  Although approaching this transition can seem overwhelming, our members at The Atrium at The Cedars have told us that it was one of the best decisions they have ever made for themselves.  And their reasons are as much practical as they are personal.

We find that our new members are either moving from the home that they have lived in for years or from a residence to which they’ve already downsized.  Some members have moved from out of state to be near their adult children and others had lived in Maine for much of their lives.  In either case, the benefits of living in a retirement community, from our members’ perspectives, are plentiful.

Freedom from Managing a Home which means no further worries about maintaining a home, managing the upkeep, or even changing a light bulb.  At The Atrium at The Cedars, we have staff that takes care of snow removal and maintains our property both inside and out.  Our housekeepers clean your apartment weekly, which includes flat linen service.  If anything arises – like a light bulb that needs changing – just call the front desk and one of our staff will be available to help.

Access to Dining, Exercise, Cultural Events and more, which is especially valuable during the winter months.  Our members find themselves enjoying our dining room, exercising in our gym, swimming in our pool, attending lectures and concerts – all in one, beautifully appointed location.  The outings that were once a special treat become part of their every day.

Transportation to doctor’s appointments, classes at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, your accountant or the library.  The Cedars offers personal transportation throughout the week and to the many exciting community excursions arranged on our calendar.

Peace of Mind that comes from knowing that staff is right there, should you need them, by either picking up the phone or activating your personal help button which most of our members keep with them.  And should you need additional assistance on either a short or long term basis, we have options: our Concierge Services to provide help in your apartment, or our award winning health care services at the Osher Inn Assisted Living, or physical rehabilitation at the Sam L. Cohen Rehabilitation Center.

All of this and more leads to a Lightness of Spirit for our members in knowing that your needs will be met and that your children’s visits will just that – visits for brunch, dinner, or a swim in the pool. Our members get back to living.

For more information on the Benefits of Retirement Living at The Cedars, contact Angie D’Amours, Marketing Representative at 207-221-7100 or

The Cedars and the Maine Jewish Film Festival 2018

Posted by Katharine on February 22nd, 2018

The Cedars is proud to sponsor the Maine Jewish Film Festival’s Free Senior Screening. The Festival has come such a long way in the eight years that we have been a sponsor – and this year’s line up of films is better than ever!

The 2018 free senior film will be Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me, a 100 minute documentary by director, Sam Pollard. The film is being shown on Thursday March 15 at 2PM at the Portland Museum of Art. Dessert reception to follow film.

Through fantastic performances, star-studded interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage, this documentary pays tribute to the legendary Sammy Davis, Jr.  From a very young age, Sammy displayed his larger-than-life talents to multiple audiences, often fighting prejudice and racism along the way.  From Civil Rights marches, to entertaining the troops in Vietnam, to his controversial support of Nixon – Sammy connected with the world beyond entertainment.  Interviewees include Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg, and Billy Crystal.

Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your ticket through the MJFF today. We’ll see you there!


Celebrating Our Heroes at The Cedars

Posted by Katharine on January 24th, 2018

Each month, The Cedars celebrates our Culture Change Heroes – those staff that stand out for their leadership and team work, while embracing person-centered care in their interactions with the older people living at The Cedars. Since December, we’ve had the chance to recognize the following heroes: Joe Gerardo in Environmental Services; Melissa Deering, Amber Schmidt, Connie Poole, Tracy Coburn in Nursing; and Amy Callison, Neighborhood Homemaker. Here is what makes these heroes standout, in the words of their peers:

  • Going above and beyond to improve the quality of life and care for our residents. Through hard work with maintenance repairs and improving residents’ day to day experiences.
  • Constantly striving for excellence, she helps to coach staff when they need it and constantly supports and encourages everyone she meets.
  • Between taking extra shifts and orienting new staff, she tirelessly helps all of our residents and ensures all tasks are done. Thank you for your hospitality and making sure the residents and their families are comfortable!
  • She is a team player, always open to helping her co-workers accomplish their tasks throughout the day.
  • She visits with residents who may need extra TLC, holding their hand, making a special snack and taking them on walks throughout the community.

As we transition into the Household Model of care at The Cedars, we look forward to transforming our community through building new structures on our campus to accommodate two, new long term care Households and adding a Memory Care Household. In addition, we are renovating our current short stay rehabilitation and long term care residences to support person-centered care in private rooms and beautiful common living rooms and kitchens.

While the new construction of the Household Model will begin this year, the culture change to person-centered care is well under way at The Cedars. Through our Steering Team and several Action Teams, we are leveling the organizational structure so that all staff has the opportunity to offer their expertise, creativity, and leadership abilities. Many small steps have developed into some big shifts throughout our community, all towards the goal of providing home for our residents.

Staff Spotlight at The Cedars: John Roy, Dining Director

Posted by Katharine on January 9th, 2018

John Roy is the Director of Dining Services for The Cedars community. Staff can usually spot him cooking in one of our kitchens, helping staff during service, or talking with residents about their meals and dining preferences. His passion is preparing healthy, delicious meals for our community with the freshest local ingredients.

A graduate of Johnson and Wales College and a recipient of the Cordon Bleu Medal and Who’s Who Award, John has over 30 years in culinary management from educational settings, to hotel and restaurants, corporate environments, healthcare and retirement communities.

John was born and raised in Waterville, Maine and today lives with his wife in Newcastle. He commutes over 50 miles each way daily. He must really enjoy working here – and The Cedars is lucky to have him on our team!

John looks forward to growing with our community, especially towards our exciting new transformation to the Household Model of care.

The Benefits of Retirement Living in the Winter Months

Posted by Katharine on January 4th, 2018

On wintry days like today, we find our residents expressing how thankful they are to have made the decision to move to a retirement community. “I love snowy days now,” one individual recently exclaimed. “I get to enjoy the beauty from inside, while having everything I need, right here.” At The Atrium, independent living at The Cedars, our residents relax in the privacy of their own apartments while having immediate access to friends, fine dining, fitness, entertainment and more. Here are some of the more popular winter activities older adults at The Cedars are enjoying this winter.

Fitness Classes
When the temperature drops, it can be challenging to get outside and exercise. The Cedars offers many fitness choices including Yoga, Tai Chi, Strength Training, Water Aerobics in our indoor, heated pool, and more. Residents can take advantage of our Fitness Center, swim laps or enjoy the whirlpool spa. Our Wellness Coordinator works with the older adults to assess their current level of fitness, set goals, and create fun, individualized fitness and nutrition plans.

Social Opportunities
Our residents have access to a calendar full of groups to enjoy such as book clubs, current events discussion, Stitch and Sip, Master Piece Theater and TED Talk discussions, bridge, cribbage and Rummikub – to name a few. We also have wine and cheese gatherings and socializing where residents bring their beverage of choice, just prior to the evening meal.

Culture and Education
Winter is the perfect time to attend an in-house lecture with a favorite historian or curator, attend concerts with local classical or jazz artists in our atrium, or attend a class at the local senior college, with gratis door to door transportation provided by The Cedars. And of course, residents enjoy our movie theater with films shown throughout the day.

Outings to local restaurants, theater companies, the symphony and area museums are so much more fun when the transportation is provided and a familiar group of friends accompanies you. Our residents have season tickets to local performances and together, choose our monthly excursions.

Despite the weather, older adults at The Cedars enjoy enriching and stimulating social lives – year round. For more information on retirement living in Portland, Maine – contact us today.