Telehealth Intervention Programs for Seniors (TIPS)

The Cedars senior living community in Portland, in collaboration with the Westbrook Housing Authority and University of New England School of Nursing, proudly announces the launch of Telehealth Intervention Programs for Seniors (TIPS), an innovative initiative designed to enhance social connection and improve health and wellbeing among Maine’s older adult population.
The kick-off presentation took place last Friday at the Robert L. Harnois Apartments, Westbrook Housing Authority. The program is directed by The Cedars’ Sue Dionne-Jones, VP of Nursing!
TIPS offers weekly health checks from a licensed nurse such as blood pressure, oxygen levels, pulse, etc.
“The Cedars views TIPS as a proactive measure to empower older adults to maintain independent living at home while significantly enhancing their well-being and community involvement,” said Kathryn Callnan, President and CEO of The Cedars. “By addressing both medical and social needs, we anticipate a reduction in hospitalizations, rehospitalizations, emergency room visits, and improved housing stability; ultimately leading to lower healthcare costs.”
This initiative not only seeks to improve health outcomes but also to create a more connected and engaged older adult community. We are proud to support TIPS and the local communities!

Portland Conservatory of Music at The Cedars!

In the fall of 2022, the Portland Conservatory of Music and The Atrium at The Cedars started what has grown into a beautiful musical relationship.


Faculty, student groups, and soloists from PCM perform on the 2nd Tuesday evening of each month to the gracious and engaging members of The Atrium. The music ranges from instrumental soloists to collaborations such as flute and violin, music from the Middle East on traditional instruments, classical and Spanish guitar, cello duets, string trios and quartets, and fiddle and accordion.

Here is what some of the PCM faculty members have to say about their experience performing: 
“It was such a fun and fulfilling experience! The space is beautiful, I look forward to my next opportunity to perform there!”
“The audience was very receptive to our performance. They enjoyed the explanation of each piece and composer which added to the overall experience” 
“There is no substitute for the experience of live music both for the performers and the listeners. It is a privilege to honor and share, it with such a gracious and attentive audience.”
“The residents at The Atrium truly appreciate everything we play for them and for the musician it is so rewarding to bring music to their homes. This is why we become musicians, for experiences like these.”

The members of The Atrium at The Cedars rave:
“The talent that comes from The Portland Conservatory of Music is always outstanding!”
“We are so lucky to have them (PCM) come each month!”
“The Portland Conservatory of Music exposes us to unique music. We look forward to who shows up each month!” 
“Learning and hearing new instruments, such as the Lute, was educational and interesting.”

Both PCM and The Atrium at The Cedars are thrilled to continue to bring concerts to The Atrium at The Cedars on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. If you would like to attend one of our monthly concerts at The Atrium at The Cedars, please email Megan Davis, Lifestyles Manager and Marketing Assistant as seats are limited.
The Portland Conservatory of Music welcomes all to their many concerts held throughout the month in their newly renovated performance hall! Please visit their website to view upcoming events!  

A special thank you to Amy Hunter, Program Coordinator for PCM along with Michael Lund Ziegler, Executive Director for being so willing and dedicated to bringing the members of The Atrium at The Cedars amazing concerts, and of course the ever so talented faculty and students of PCM!

Portland Conservatory of Music: Where Everyone is a Musician! 

LeadingAge Standing Ovation Award Winner, Jenna Perkins, CNA-M

We are SO excited that our very own Jenna Perkins, CNA-M, has been honored with the LeadingAge Maine & New Hampshire Standing Ovation Award! Jenna was given the Benjamin G. Elder Memorial Award for Excellence in Service at the LeadingAge Conference yesterday with her parents and Cedars’ leadership there to support!

Jenna truly exemplifies what it means to be a team player and her compassion is palpable. “She is a team player and so willing to help. Jenna’s end goal is always excellent patient care.” states Nursing Administrative Coordinator, Debra Russell. Jenna puts the residents first and truly defines the practice of person-centered care. Jenna joined The Cedars as a CNA in long-term care in 2017 and has continued her education enrolling in an Associates nursing program this past fall.

We could not be prouder of Jenna and know she will continue to grow and thrive in her field, touching the lives of so many along the way with her positive and kindhearted dedication.

The Cedars truly is better because of you! 🏆


The Cedars recognized as an Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence

Did you know that The Cedars is recognized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement – IHI as an Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence. The Cedars is recognized by IHI as a leader in this rapidly growing movement committed to care of older adults that is:
• Guided by an essential set of age-friendly, evidence-based practices across the 4Ms (What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility);
• Causes no harms; and
• Is consistent with What Matters to the older adult and their family.
This is an exciting movement and there is much to be proud of as, together, we improve the health and health care of older adults.

Bates College Music Program

Bates College students have started a music program for residents of The Cedars over the three-month spring semester. The students will develop and implement enriching and engaging musical programs each week that inspire our residents to explore their musical artistic capabilities and form social connectedness within their communities. Students will share their passion for music while providing residents the opportunity to actively participate, make choices, and express their musical artistic capabilities through educational classes, presentations, creative composition, and interactive performances. The first goal of this program is to provide student musicians the opportunity to bring their musical artistry to older adults, practice their music in a unique real-world setting and cultivate reciprocal and mutually beneficial partnerships with older adults. The second goal is to provide older adults an intergenerational experience by providing opportunities for older adults to share their artistic capabilities, wisdom, creative insight and life experiences. Each program will be tailored to each communities’ abilities.


Bates College | Lewiston, Maine

Music & Memory at The Cedars

Music & Memory started with the understanding that music is deeply rooted in our conscious and unconscious brains. It becomes even more important if the functioning of the brain is deteriorating, as occurs in dementia and other types of cognitive and physical loss. Music can awaken the brain and with it, the memories that are associated with familiar songs.

The Music & Memory program helps people who suffer from a wide range of cognitive and physical challenges to find renewed meaning and connection in their lives through the gift of personalized music. The approach is simple and effective: Music playlists – containing the beloved songs from a person’s formative years – tap deep memories long attached to the brain and can bring listeners back to life, enabling them to feel like themselves again, to converse, socialize, and stay present.

Music & Memory has been a part of The Cedars since 2014, when our Activity Professionals were certified to lead the program and use it to help support our residents to help them feel connected not only to their past but keep them connected with the present. This past month, with our newest building, Sam L. Cohen fully opened; the program is being integrated to our new Activity team for use in their respective communities. Nick Viti, MOTR/L, CDP, PAC Certified Trainer was certified by Music & Memory and has seen first-hand the benefits of using the program. Once we know what our residents enjoy musically, with the aid of a questionnaire or simply being close to the resident, headphones (or a small speaker if headphones may be an irritant) are given to the resident as to not tether them to a single space. 

We happily continue our partnership with the Music & Memory Program to enrich the lives of our residents at The Cedars through music.

Visit their website: Music & Memory (


Chaplain Services at The Cedars

Under the auspices of Spiritual Care Services of Maine, Sally Thomas has been providing chaplain services at The Cedars since June of 2023. She visits each of four Cedars neighborhoods once a month, offering both one on one pastoral care and group conversation. In each neighborhood she works with the Lifestyles Managers to help her understand what might be interesting or useful and then makes plans for conversation for each setting. Like many chaplains she knows, much of her training was gotten in a medical setting–in her case, during the many years she worked as an RN in oncology.

Her monthly visits to the Atrium follow a pattern: first she checks with participants giving each a chance to share what’s on their mind; then she presents a story, usually with material props of some kind, to provide a basis for spiritual conversation. (At a recent meeting, in telling an ancient Hebrew parable about a traveler in the desert who stops by an abandoned well, she brought sand, carefully wrapped and spread on a cloth, along with a miniature well and bucket.) Her goal is always to provide a welcoming environment that supports sharing about those existential human matters that are both ordinary and significant.  And she is always open to guidance from participants about their needs and interests.


Tucker’s Taphouse Partnership with The Cedars

The Cedars is excited to announce a new partnership with Tucker’s Taphouse, a small micro-producer of maple syrup with 115 taps located around the southern part of the state, but boiling in Norway, Maine. Together we will explore the art of maple syrup producing while tapping the trees on The Cedars campus! Tucker’s Taphouse will be presenting at The Atrium and Hoffman Center on March 8th to hold an interactive lecture on all things MAPLE for The Cedars residents. From tap to collection to boiling and finally finished syrup.
Our residents will have special opportunities all month to see the demonstration of tapping of the trees on the grounds of The Cedars and even help participate in the tapping process! 
 Tucker’s Taphouse: Crafted in Maine, Sustainably Harvested, 100% All-Natural Maple Syrup.

Winter Blues? Helpful tips for Seasonal Depression.

Winter blues? Helpful tips for seasonal depression 


Fatigue, depression, hopelessness, and social withdrawal. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may be struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is sometimes referred to as Seasonal Depression. It is a real struggle, and, for some, it can be debilitating. People typically develop symptoms of SAD during the fall and winter months. Although there is no definitive answer why some develop SAD, it is said to be linked to shorter days and less exposure to sunlight. This lack of sun is said to cause a chemical change in our brains. That, coupled with unpredictable weather, less social activities, and the stress of the holidays, can certainly lead someone to feel less than their best.

When it comes to your mental and physical health you should consult a health care professional before trying any new form of therapy, medication, or exercise.

Some safe and helpful tips you can try at home that may help combat the symptoms of SAD:
Vitamin D and fresh air. Even just a few minutes a day of fresh air and sun has loads of benefits. If it isn’t safe to venture outdoors, even spending time near a large window allowing the sunlight to hit you helps.  Light therapy such as red-light therapy is becoming more accessible and can be done in the privacy of your own home.

Exercise. 20-30 minutes of daily physical activity is recommended to combat seasonal depression. If you can’t attend an exercise class, a walk is terrific exercise. Atrium tip: walking in our pool! The windows offer terrific light exposure and walking in the pool is easy on your joints. Two birds, one stone!

Try a new hobby: Having something new to focus on from your usual routine can help take your mind off the doldrum of this quieter season. It’s a great time to learn a new language or read a book you’ve been putting off. Perhaps you can try a new craft like knitting or attend an art class? Shaking up your routine can help! We are currently offering a Spanish language course three times a week!

Ask for help: If you truly feel like you can’t shake your feelings of sadness and struggle to get through your day, please consult a health care provider. They could provide more medically necessary treatments. Resources for Older Adults | SAMHSA

Opening Minds Through Art at The Cedars

Opening Minds Through Art (OMA)
Building Bridges Across Age and Cognitive Barriers through Art

The Cedars has completed its ninth year of collaboration with Opening Minds Through Art. Opening Minds Through Art (OMA) is an award-winning, evidence-based, intergenerational art making program for people with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. It is designed to help build a society that values all people without regard to age or cognitive status. This art program promotes social engagement which provides creative self-expression opportunities. OMA also provides staff with opportunities to build close relationships with people with dementia. The Cedars has several OMA trained facilitators on staff to help support our residents.

For more information about the OMA program visit