Construction Update December 2019


The Sam L. Cohen Households construction is forging through as the crew finishes the installation of the exterior draining and utilities equipment. In addition, they are prepping the foundation base in anticipation of the materials-testing, at which point the foundation will be poured. The footings are in place, and we expect the foundation to be completed by early February.

Additional parking spaces have been created across from The Atrium main entrance. Please take care with any ice build-up, as the temperatures decline and the snow falls. Our construction team is addressing the issue and our maintenance continues to prioritize keeping the area cleared.

Construction Update October 2019

As we prepare for the building of the Sam L. Cohen Households, our construction crew is finishing up the drilling and blasting for ledge removal at the end this week. We expect the job site trailer to be on site Thursday. Starting the first week of November, we can expect our construction crew to start working on retaining walls, utility and further site work. And then, starting the third week of November, we’ll begin to see the foundation area being prepared. For more information on the Sam L. Cohen Households, offering two levels of care: skilled nursing care and the new, memory care assisted living, call us at 221-7000, ext. #1426.

Why You Should Consider a Gift From Your IRA

Due to recent tax changes, nearly two-thirds of people who once itemized deductions no longer do so. However, if you are least 70½ and have an IRA, an excellent tax savings vehicle remains for gift giving.
The tax law requires individuals who are at least 70½ to withdraw a certain amount every year and to pay income tax on it. This is called your required minimum distribution.
A separate law, however, says that if you make direct charitable gifts from these IRAs, you do not need to show these distributions as income.

 Example: Bob has a required minimum distribution in 2019 of $4,000, which will be taxed as ordinary income. Instead of taking the distribution himself, Bob directs the plan administrator to distribute $1,000 directly to The Cedars and another $1,000 to a different charity. He receives the remaining $2,000 distribution himself. Bob must only show $2,000 in ordinary income; the $2,000 to charities passes tax free.

 Although the example refers to the required minimum distribution, the annual maximum is actually $100,000. This makes IRA giving an excellent vehicle for fulfilling a charitable pledge as well.
Tax benefits vary in individual circumstances. You should always consult your financial advisor before making tax decisions.

For more information about these and other ways to make tax-wise gifts, please contact the Development Office at or 207-221-7007



Construction Update Early October 2019

Construction on the Sam L. Cohen Households continues this week with drilling and blasting to clear and level the land for the new building and parking areas. On October 7, the City of Portland has clear procedures that require that the excavators take an incremental approach to the blasting process which results in diminished impact on the surrounding residences over a greater period of time. The blasting hours will be restricted to Monday through Friday, 9:00AM to 4:00PM and PDK, Inc. estimates that the total blasting time will be complete in three weeks’ time. If anyone has concerns about the blasting, please contact PDK, Inc. at 207-415-5467.

Construction Update: September 2019

Construction on the Sam L. Cohen Households began the week of September 16 with the installation of fencing around the site, and the delivery of equipment. The next five to six weeks will bring site preparation to clear the land and level the ground for building. Then, we can expect to see the foundation work begin for the Households. The transition to the Household Model of senior living at The Cedars has been under way for the past two years, as we have been working with Action Pact to embrace the philosophy of the household for our entire staff and through innovative, person-centered programs and care. The new building will offer two, skilled nursing care households and a new, memory care assisted living household. Once the Sam L. Cohen Households are complete, we will start renovations on our current neighborhoods to transform them to the household model.






The Cedars Brings Household Model to Maine

How do you celebrate 90 years of quality care, innovative programs, and dedicated leadership? By breaking new ground.
Since opening as the Jewish Home for Aged in 1929, The Cedars has set the standard for non-profit, senior care. Today, we offer independent living, assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled care and community-based programs. We mark this milestone by constructing a true home for Maine’s older adults – The Sam L. Cohen Households. This new model of care will feature age-friendly design, with a warm, person-centered experience: two households of skilled nursing care, and one household offering a new level of care, Memory Care Assisted Living. Residents of the Sam L. Cohen Households will experience a living environment that offers a quality of life previously unimaginable outside of their own homes.

The Person-Directed Life
Your loved one chooses the rhythm of their individual life, the rituals and pleasures that are part of it. They get up as they wish, eat when and what they want, bathe how they prefer, participate in activities as they choose, host family, friends and neighbors, and go outside as the spaces are designed with safety in mind. Residents partner with their physician and care staff to actively engage and participate in decisions regarding their care.

Community to Support Quality Care
The Households are centered around you and your loved one. We are deeply committed to high involvement from you, your loved one and the care staff. Each Household shapes itself and responds to the needs and direction of the residents who live there and is led by a team that balances quality of care with quality of life.

Vibrant Living
The Household Model encourages residents to continue defining who they are through meaningful and purposeful engagement. The six dimensions of wellness are supported – including spiritual, intellectual, physical, social, vocational and emotional – as well as each resident’s energies, appetites, beliefs and attitudes. Through group and individual activities and specialized programs, residents continue living vibrant lives.

The Heart of the Home
At its core is a home environment that begins with a front door with a doorbell and features private bedrooms and bathrooms, a full kitchen that is open 24 hours a day, a living room, dining room, den, sunroom and other community spaces filled with natural light.

For more information, contact us today at 207-221-7162.

Kathy Callnan Appointed to Maine Commission on Workforce Issues

In August, 2019, Troy D. Jackson, President of the Maine Senate appointed The Cedars President and CEO, Kathy Callnan to the Commission to Study Long-term Care Workforce Issues. Kathy will be serving the commission as a representative of a statewide association representing nonprofit housing and senior service programming.

The Cedars has been focused on the workforce crisis, particularly as it applies to Maine’s older adults and their need to access care, for over ten years. With Maine have the oldest median age at 44 years, we have been working tirelessly to educate tomorrow’s workers on the opportunities in building a career in healthcare. With The Cedars Learning Community, our emphasis on person-centered care, and the upcoming Household Model of Care (construction begins September 2019), we have been forging partnerships to drive innovation at The Cedars. Our goal is to share our approaches to education, innovation, workforce development and the Household Model with other communities in Maine and New England to strengthen long-term care, our workforce and support for our older adults.

Thoughts About Giving: A Will or Trust are Not Enough

If you have a will or living trust, you have taken a major step in seeing to it that your property passes in an orderly, cost-effective way. However, these measures are only effective after you have passed away.

It is vitally important that you also plan for those times you are incapable (or unwilling) to make decisions affecting your personal finances or health.

A Durable Power of Attorney for finances gives another individual the authority to conduct financial transactions on your behalf. The power can be as broad or as narrow as you specify. It can also take effect immediately or be “springing” – taking effect in the future when health concerns merit it.

The selection of the person given control over your finances is exceptionally important because all of your assets are literally at risk. Changes to powers of attorney can always be made so long as you are competent.

Years ago, we often talked about the benefits of having a “living will,” a document that outlined our desires about end-of-life health treatment. Newer, more expansive documents are now available that provide health care decision-making authority at any time medical decisions are required. These include the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Advance Directives and POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment.) Later blog posts will discuss these options in greater detail.

Changing your estate plan is not a do-it-yourself project. At The Cedars, we would be happy to talk to you about your current needs and goals to help you prepare for the meeting with your lawyer.

  • Contact the Development Office at 207-221-7007


Positive Approach to Care Champions at The Cedars

The Cedars would like to recognize and congratulate our first PAC (Positive Approach to Care) Champions. Pictured here are Jenna Perkins, Kelly Thumb, Tracy Fleck and Karen Cook. Each of these wonderful caregivers has completed The Cedars Positive Approach to Care Trainings – created by internationally regarded occupational therapist, Teepa Snow – and has demonstrated their new skills while working with our residents who are living with memory loss.

Their care, patience, creativity, and positive attitudes all combine to make our residents’ daily lives more peaceful and connected. Working with each resident’s strengths, instead of focusing on their cognitive losses, translates to better days and more successful moments for people living with memory loss. As PAC Champions, each caregiver has signed an agreement to be a role model to their team in their Positive Approach to Care with our residents.  

You can find each of these caregivers working on The Cedars Neighborhoods wearing their newly awarded PAC Champion Purple Ribbon. We invite you to congratulate each of them! To find out more about the Cedars PAC trainings please contact Susan Raychard, MOTR/L, CDP, Ind. PAC Trainer and Mindful Connections Coordinator, or Nick Viti MOTR/L, CDP, Ind. PAC Trainer and Manager of Life Enrichment.



Sam L. Cohen Foundation’s Largest Gift Benefits The Cedars

High School

In honor of Sam’s legacy, the Sam L. Cohen Foundation has made its largest gift ever—$1.5 million—to support building a brand-new Healthcare Center at The Cedars that will provide truly person-centered care.

“Sam L. Cohen was, first and foremost, a people person. When the Foundation was first established, we researched the gifts Sam had made during his life,” explains Jeff Nathanson, President of the Sam L. Cohen Foundation. “Sam wasn’t here to tell us what he wanted and we hoped to discover what inspired his legendary, lifelong giving to guide us in our grant making.

It quickly became very clear to us that Sam didn’t give to organizations or ideas. Sam gave to people.”

SAM L. COHEN WAS THE LIFE OF the Jewish community of Biddeford, Maine. He was also its heart. More than ten years after his passing, his gregarious personality—and his generous philanthropy—remain legendary.

The Sam L. Cohen Foundation has continued his legacy by donating over $20 million to alleviate poverty, foster community, provide opportunity and promote equality in southern Maine since 2005. To mark the Foundation’s first decade, its directors began searching for an opportunity to make a larger, even more meaningful gift.

“It wasn’t easy,” Jeff admits. “That one big signature gift eluded us. Then we heard about the The Cedars Grow Bold With Us Campaign. We knew immediately that the way this new Healthcare Center will be built—to be a real home for seniors—would make Sam so proud.”

Person-centered care for seniors is the perfect way to honor Sam

“I do wish Sam were here to see the impact of this legacy gift,” agrees Kathryn Callnan, President and CEO of The Cedars. “He personified community and personal connection, yet his generation’s only options in later life were to struggle at home or to receive institutional care. This gift will let today’s seniors make personal choices about their daily life and health in a beautiful residence that will truly be their home. The Cedars will transform how this country sees aging.”

Sam’s legacy gift celebrates and continues the Cohen family’s commitment to The Cedars

The Cedars has long been able to count on the Cohens. Supporting Maine’s seniors is a family tradition that began with Sam’s beloved mother, Cecilia, a lifelong member of The Cedars Auxiliary. When The Cedars relocated to our current campus location from Munjoy Hill, Sam dedicated the new facility’s executive office and physical therapy area. And in 2009, a generous gift from the Foundation helped to establish The Sam L. Cohen Rehabilitation Center at The Cedars.

“Sam already helped to make The Cedars Maine’s largest Medicare provider and to put thousands of seniors on the road to recovery quickly,” Kathryn explains. “His legacy gift will now make it possible for us to customize our care based on each senior’s individual choices and to provide private rooms for our residents. Thanks to Sam, seniors will have a real home—and The Cedars will set a new standard for an entire industry.”

This gift creates another connection between Sam and his best friend, Bernard Osher, on The Cedars campus

Sam and his best friend, Bernard Osher, were inseparable during their lives and equally committed to supporting The Cedars. This history gives the legacy gift additional emotional resonance for everyone involved.

“Barney’s legacy gift helped build The Osher Inn, the assisted living residence at The Cedars,” Jeffrey explains. “Now Sam’s legacy gift will help to build a new, cutting-edge Healthcare Center right next to it. It wasn’t part of our decision-making process, but the proximity of those buildings means a lot to me personally—that Sam and Bernie will be so close together again.”

When The Cedars asked the Foundation to grow bold with us, they responded by making their largest gift yet

Jeffrey counts himself so lucky to have grown up with Sam as a family friend, a trusted advisor and a lifelong mentor. “At the end of every talk or breakfast we ever shared, he would ask me, ‘Do you need anything?’” Jeffrey remembers fondly.

“I never did, but he always asked. He asked this of everyone he met. Whenever anyone took him up on it, he gave.”

The Foundation has made their historic $1.5 million legacy gift to build the new, person-centered healthcare center in that same spirit. Jeffrey has no doubt that if Sam were here today to hear about The Cedars Grow Bold With Us Campaign, he would support it wholeheartedly.

“Sam would be so pleased and so proud to grow bold with The Cedars,” he says. “And he would want us all to join him.”