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

The Cedars: Innovations and New Advances

The Cedars develops new programs and technologies, advances critical research, and expands person-centered care.
Here are just a few examples:

Advancing Clinical Excellence
The Cedars Skilled Nursing was one of only 500 programs nationwide recognized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as an Age-Friendly Health System Committed to Care Excellence, a national initiative to improve quality of care for older adults.

Advancing Programs for Residents
As part of our diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion program, The Cedars partnered with the Portland Museum of Art to provide the first museum-based art program for people living with dementia and their care partners, a creative, supportive way to connect with their greater community.

Advancing Research
The Cedars partnered with the University of New England (UNE) in a groundbreaking study of people living with dementia to explore best practices for engagement and growth, and to change perceptions about memory loss.

Advancing Workforce Development
The Cedars joined the Harold Alfond Center for Advancement of Maine’s Workforce, Jobs for Maine Graduates, and Southern Maine Community College in a pilot program for students facing barriers to education, offering new Mainers and new graduates a successful career in healthcare.


A Message from Kathryn Callnan, Pres. & CEO: Transforming Aging Takes All of Us

September 2023

THE CEDARS CONTINUES to take an innovative leadership role in older adult living and healthcare in Portland and throughout Maine. Our commitment to the people we serve, our amazing staff, and the community leaders who help guide us never wavers. We are extraordinarily proud of how our community has responded to the international health crisis, COVID-19, we have all faced.

We have great optimism about the future and would like to reflect on The Cedars recent accomplishments. Since the Grand Opening of the Sam L. Cohen Households in March 2021, the transformation to person-centered care has been incredibly successful. In the Households, residents live life their way in a place they call home.

This experience has led the leadership to commit to creating more Households in the future. The Cedars has advanced from its well-earned reputation as a top performing care community to a nationally recognized research institution informing and leading the field nationwide with person-centered care, best practices, and innovative translational care advances.

Over the last few years, the University of Maine Center on Aging and The Cedars collaborated on a project funded by The Mayer-Rothschild Foundation for the creation of a designation of excellence in person-centered care. Additionally, The Cedars implemented a research project with The University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine, to study Optimal Engagement for People Living with Dementia. Both research projects will have national influence and help change the face of quality care provided for older adults across the nation.

As the effects of the pandemic wane, we have redoubled our commitment to re-engaging and connecting with community partners to support innovative, person-centered programs for older adults. We continue to surpass the traditional standards, providing intergenerational, inclusive programs in cooperation with colleges and universities, the Portland Museum of Art, the Maine Jewish Museum, and many other organizations throughout the Greater Portland area and across the United States.

Thanks to our donors, The Cedars continues to lead the way forward, being a premier provider of living options, healthcare, and advocacy for older adults. With many exciting and innovative projects underway and in the planning stages, The Cedars continues to push the boundaries when it comes to providing the best-in-class services it has been known for in Portland and Maine for nearly a century.

Kathryn Callnan, President and CEO
Richard Borts, Chair, Board of Directors


National Research Project: Optimal Engagement for People Living with Dementia

On July 25, 2023, Dr. Susan Wehry spoke about Optimal Engagement at a cocktail party held at the home of Judy Glickman Lauder and Leonard Lauder. Bernard Osher was recognized for his contribution to this important project. The Cedars partnered with the University of New England (UNE) to study better supports for people with dementia.

An interdisciplinary group of UNE graduate students in healthcare fields dug deep into scientific literature to identify best practices, evidence-based strategies, and gaps in knowledge under the direction of Susan Wehry, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, UNE College of Medicine, who co-leads the initiative with Angela Hunt, RPT, MS, our Chief Innovation Officer.

The team’s recommendations will be reviewed by panels which include people living with dementia. This feedback and insight will inform the development of widely accepted, person-centered best practices that will have a transformative impact on older adults living with dementia and their care partners.

Distinctive Memory Care Programming

At the Lunder Memory Care Assisted Living Household, we believe that people with an Alzheimer’s and/or a dementia diagnosis, can continue to engage in meaningful activities and participate in their overall health and wellness when receiving support from healthcare partners trained in their specific needs. For each person, the dementia journey will be different, and the needs will change along the way with time. At the Lunder Memory Care Household, we believe that through careful and thoughtful evaluation and intervention, we can anticipate and prepare for predicted changes in cognitive function. Our interdisciplinary team approach provides opportunities for successful socialization, choice, personal care, and self-direction, all within the environment of home. Care is organized around resident choices and preferences for the day. Our program identifies strengths and allows for resident positive interactions enhancing resident self-worth and life satisfaction.

 Commitment: The Lunder Memory Care Program Offers residents a daily person-centered program designed as a general structured daily resident routine. It identifies the flow of the resident’s day and incorporates such elements as daily pleasures, meaningful activities, clinical care, and personal and social pursuits. Resident dynamics and interests at the time will influence the content of the program. This will include reasonable flexibility to account for the need for spontaneity and variety.

 Resident Program Philosophy: Each resident of the Lunder Memory Care Household comes to our community with their own history, preferences, interest, and skills. Throughout the life span and despite disability, all individuals have the potential for personal growth. The goal of the Lunder Memory Care Program is to assist our residents to continue to experience personal growth and to maintain those activities that give them pleasure now and in the past. Enhancing the lives of residents is integral to the mission of our community.

The Lunder Memory Support Program: Specialized Programs

 1. 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 neurocognitive disorders. Its failure-free program provides opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for people with dementia. The Cedars has multiple employees certified in this program and a professional artist who participates in the art sessions of the Lunder Memory Care Household. Professional art supplies and materials are utilized in this program. Residents (artists) are paired with volunteers (family members, students, and/or caregivers) who are trained to rely on imagination instead of memory and focus on remaining strengths instead of lost skills. OMA enables our residents to assume new roles as artists and teachers and leave a legacy of beautiful artwork. The program has been offered six times to all residents of the household. Selected artwork is framed and will be displayed in the household.

 2. Memory Lane TV: Affectionately dubbed the “Netflix” of dementia care, Memory Lane TV is a simple to use ultra-specialized video-on-demand streaming service providing meaningful engagement to people living with dementia residing in the Lunder Memory Care Household. This program leverages the science behind multisensory stimulation as a means of enhancing meaningful engagement to moderate common behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease & other forms of dementia. Memory Lane TV is truly designed for people living with dementia throughout all stages; films do not have complex plots, reflect local culture, person-centered, and designed to produce positive effects on mood, behaviors, engagement, socialization, reminiscing, relaxation, and temporal referencing. Methods such as guided imagery, chronobiology, temporal referencing, and multisensory interventions are captured in films, pictures, music, sounds, and smell all incorporated into a diverse, five hundred plus portfolio of sessions. Content can be customized to the person’s likes/preferences, stage of dementia, and/or desired results. This program is projected from a 60” television and can be used 24/7 for all the residents. All residents participate in this unique program.

3. Music and Memory: Our Music and Memory program is geared to providing very personalized music through digital music technology. An extensive life music assessment is performed with our residents to tap into the benefits of this modality. The Cedars is a certified organization in the Music and Memory Program. Residents are provided with their own digital music device containing their individualized playlists. There is ample research, including objective brain imaging, that demonstrates personal meaningful music is an alternative route for communicating with individuals with dementia. Studies have exhibited improvement of attention, mood, and elicitation of memory. This evidence-based program is easily administered and utilized by all staff 24/7. The staff is currently working to provide this program to all residents residing in the household.

4. Timeslips: Timeslips is an evidence-based, award-winning storytelling program that sparks the imagination. A trained facilitator guides the residents in the development of a story as they view a picture. Timeslips brings residents together, connects emotions, builds relationships with others, and infuses creativity. This program has been offered since the fall of 2022 for all residents

5. Portland Wheelers: During the warner months, the Portland Wheelers, in collaboration with The Cedars, offer an adaptive biking program for the residents of the Lunder Memory Care Household. This unique program allows the residents to experience the feeling of a bike ride in a three wheeled trishaw as a volunteer pedals the electric bike through The Cedars neighborhood. This person-centered, evidence-based activity promotes an opportunity for resident engagement as residents participate in natural social interactions, enjoy the outdoors, and have a pleasurable, happy experience. Residents connect with nature, feel the wind in their hair, visit the neighborhood, wave at neighbors, see the comings and goings of the neighborhood along with experiencing various scents, sounds, and sights. This program brings back nostalgic memories of their youth and bike riding stories.

 6. Education: High quality training drives the transformation of quality care and quality programing. Dementia care training leads to improved communication, engagement, a reduction in dementia related behaviors and improved quality of life between staff and residents. In order to provide these specialized programs specifically designed for residents with dementia, the staff needs foundational training and skills development.

 7.Teepa Snow “Positive Approach” to Dementia Care (PAC): “Positive Approach to Dementia Care” is a unique program that explains the brain’s physical changes with dementia and why performing tasks, thinking, reasoning, and processing become difficult for someone with dementia. The Cedars Life Enrichment Manager is a certified trainer of “Positive Approach to Care.” “Positive Approach to Care” teaches us to celebrate individuality and uniqueness of each person and is considered a cornerstone to our educational program. All employees of the Lunder Memory Care Household are mandated to participate in this educational program.8

8. Future Art Programing: As part of a diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion program, The Cedars will partner with Portland Museum of Art to provide the first museum-based transformational art program for people living with mild to moderate dementia and their care partners. The program, “The Cedars Art


Encounters at the Portland Museum of Art for People Living with Dementia”, will positively engage a population with unique needs in a non-stigmatizing setting, allowing them to connect with the greater community. Residents of the Lunder Memory Care Household and their family members will be invited to participate in this program for the near future, fall 2023. Together, The Cedars and Portland Museum of Art will develop, implement, and evaluate the benefits of adopting it into a consistent, self-sustaining program focused on diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion for this rapidly growing population. This first program will serve as a blueprint for additional community-based programs offered to people living with dementia in the greater Portland area.

Artwork adorning the Lunder Memory Care Household donated by the Lunder Foundation, Peter and Paula Lunder, brings beauty, joy, engagement, and way-finding for the residents, staff, and visitors of the Lunder Memory Care Household. The pieces elicit memories and conversation and contribute to the feeling of home in the household.Several unique, evidence-based programs are offered to residents of the Lunder Memory Care Household through the Lunder Memory Support Program that are not offered at other memory care assisted living communities in the greater Portland area. We are profoundly grateful to The Lunder Foundation, Peter and Paula Lunder Family for their support. We are excited and honored to be offering a new level of service, memory care, with these innovative evidence-based programs.

For more inflammation on The Lunder Memory Care Household or The Cedars, contact June O’Neill at 207-2217192 or j’










Aquasize for a Low Impact and Effective Workout

Exercising in the water is low impact and delivers tremendous benefits to your cardiovascular and respiratory systems, not to mention, it can be a lot of fun!

When you exercise in the water you are generally able to do a lot more than your body may allow on dry land. Along with some increased flexibility and balance, the push and pull of the water allow both increased muscle training and a built-in safety barrier for joints. The water also helps to reduce lactic acid buildup and offers a gentler natural resistance while training.

Aquacising at The Atrium is offered three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The class is a go at your own pace and begins at 9:15am and lasts until 10:00am. The trainer stands outside of the water giving instructions and motivating the participants. Join a class today!                                                                                                                                                                                                                   



Age Friendly Health Systems Award

The Cedars is pleased to be the recipient of The Age friendly Health Systems award.
Recognized as a leader in the rapidly growing movement committed to care for older adults that is:
· Guided by an essential set of age friendly evidence-based practices across the 4 M’s (What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility).
· Causes no harm and is consistent with What Matters to the older adult and their family.
The Cedars continues its 93- year commitment and legacy of providing outstanding care for older adults.
We are excited to be part of a nationwide movement to improve health care for older adults.

Age-Friendly Health Systems is an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the​ Catholic Health Association of the United States.