Thoughts About Giving: Is Your Will Still Valid?

By Dan Hoebeke, Charitable Gift Planner

Over the years, one question I have been asked frequently is whether a will needs to be renewed. The answer, though simple, leads to other questions.

Once a will has been properly executed, it never technically expires. However, our individual circumstances and goals change over time. For that reason, wills should be reviewed periodically.

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you should take a fresh look at your will (or living trust).

  • Have you moved to another state?
  • Has an immediate family member died or become incapacitated?
  • Have there been major life events among the people named in your will, such as marriage or divorce?
  • Have you changed jobs or retired?
  • Are all of your children now adults?
  • Are the people given jobs in your will or trust still the best choice to perform those functions?
  • Are there any people who will require additional care or financial assistance?
  • Have five years elapsed since you last reviewed your will?
  • Have changes to tax laws significantly affected your lifestyle or taxes?
  • Are you interested in leaving a legacy through a charitable gift in your estate?

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.

For more information, contact the Development Office at 207-221-7007 or


The Cedars’ Angie Hunt Presents at Leading Age Missouri

Angie Hunt, Chief Operating Officer at The Cedars was recently invited by Leading Age Missouri to share her expertise on post-acute care and value-based purchasing. On Wednesday, May 8 at the Third Annual Summit for Acute and Post-Acute Care Providers: Insights and Perspectives on Care Coordination and Value-Based Payment, Angie spoke on a panel to discuss Care Collaboration and Value-Based Care.

Moderator Margaret Donnelly, VP of Post-Acute Care Services at St. Lukes Health System explained that the adoption of value-based care models is expected to account for 59 percent of healthcare payments by 2020, as the healthcare industry uses value-based care to address the high-cost utilizers. Payer-provider collaboration, holistic healthcare approaches that address the social determinants of health, and the use of health IT tools will be among the most important drivers of value-based care.

Angie spoke as a frontline provider from the perspective of skilled nursing or post-acute care facility, outlining work The Cedars has done in the ACO with MaineHealth to become a Gold Member, their highest ranking. With the increased acuity of short-stay patients and the challenges involved with reducing hospitalizations, she shared the need for extensive clinical programming in best practices, equipment acquisitions, and staff education.

The Cedars is on the cutting edge of the best in evidence-based practices in post-acute care and is always willing to share our experiences and expertise.

Thoughts About Giving: Obligations, Gifts and Choices

You can do more than you ever thought possible. Planning your estate allows you to both fulfill obligations and make gifts. It’s called sequential planning.

Many people begin by considering their obligations—commitments we have made to care for a spouse, children or other loved ones.  Those are listed in your will or trust first. Astonishingly, our assets often allow those obligations to be met with money left over. Once that happens, everything we do with our property is really a gift.

This is where The Cedars and other favorite charities come in. Your planned gift to The Cedars helps to provide the long-range stability that is simply not possible through annual giving.

 – Daniel Hoebeke, J.D., Charitable Gift Planner

For more information on planned giving opportunities, please the Development Office at 207-221-7007 or

Assisted Living at The Cedars: Our Dining Experience

Sitting down for a delicious meal is something we all look forward to, both to nourish our bodies as well as to gather with friends and families.  At The Osher Inn Assisted Living, our residents look forward to joining in our dining room that is elegant yet intimate and feels just like home in our small community of 30 apartments.

For lunch or dinner, we often have family members join their loved ones to catch up on busy lives.  Breakfast time is an opportunity for our residents to plan their days and visit with friends over a lingering cup of coffee.  Our Dining Director, John Roy, prides himself on planning his menus around seasonality and variety. “Living in Maine gives us access to the best seafood, produce, and meats,” he explains. “And we don’t want even our most popular dishes to feel repetitive. In every way, we try to keep our menus fresh.” 

During the warmer months, residents have the option of dining outside.  And special events throughout the year provide an added element of interest to our residents.  For more information about Assisted Living at The Cedars, call us today at 207-221-7100.

Dr. Susan Wehry on Tomorrow’s Physicians and Person-Centered Care

We had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Susan Wehry, Chief of Geriatric Division of Primary Care for the School of Osteopathic Medicine at University of New England prior to her presentation at The Cedars Annual Meeting on May 2.

It’s an interesting time with so few people going into geriatric medicine and the number of older adults rising every day. What is your goal and vision in your role at UNE?

Whether future physicians want to go into geriatric medicine or not, they are going to be treating a lot of older adults because that’s who’s here. They’ll be working with older adults in orthopedics, primary care, gastroenterology, or even pediatrics – since many grandparents will be caring for their grandchildren.

My goal isn’t to create more geriatricians – that situation will take care of itself. Rather, my goal is to ensure that tomorrow’s physicians will know how to care for this population. For instance, polypharmacy is a huge issue with something like 80% of emergency room visits resulting from adverse drug reactions. I will hopefully inspire a handful of students to become geriatricians, however I really want each student to think critically about every older person they see.

Secondly, I want to inspire physicians to get involved in public policy. The current health care system is not serving people well, as we see in the high burnout rate for health care professionals, the fact that we’re barely containing costs, the inadequate access to care, and disparities among people of color and the poor. We need to critically think about how to make the systems better – and to make it an age-friendly system.

As a geriatric psychologist, I find the workings of the brain to be fascinating and a rich area for exploration in old age. If we could influence dementia care, delirium, depression and anxiety – we would see much less suffering and the world would be a better place.

The Cedars is enthused to be a research partner with UNE medical school in our Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program. Tell us about the study through Scripps Gerontology.

In long-term care, we need to continue finding ways to put the person in the center of care. It used to be that we looked at dementia from the outside, inward. Then we looked at the person with dementia, and now our care interventions need to concentrate on the whole person. Although ‘dementia’ is big, it’s not the person. Individuals with dementia still have ways of expressing themselves and communicating, even if they can’t speak or use their hands. Art is a non-verbal pathway for communication.

My hope for involving the medical students in OMA, is to open other channels of communication, to make a person-to-person connection, to see the person not as their symptoms but as an individual, and finally to build empathy skills in general. We need to look at dementia in a new way, moving from a deficit model to a strength-based approach. We don’t want to focus on working with what’s wrong, but instead to work with what is!

In terms of the study, it’s clear that medical students won’t be able to participate in the full, 13-week course. Therefore, we’re trying to determine what is needed from the program to reach our goals for the students. We’ll look at three groups: one will take a pre-test followed by the OMA online training and then a post-test; another will take a pre-test, work with a long-term care resident for one day in the program, then a post-test; and the third will only take the pre and post-tests.

The Cedars has a long history as a clinical site for UNE’s medical and health students. Tell us why you chose The Cedars for this study, aside from our history and the fact that we are an OMA community.

The fact that The Cedars is near our Portland campus and that we’re in the same community, is a great starting point. In addition, you have Angie Hunt who is always thinking and seeing opportunities. When I met Angie and Kathy Callnan, where we all presented at the University of Maine’s Clinical Geriatrics Colloquium, I was so impressed by their fundamental commitment to person- centered care and their plans for the Household Model of care. The Cedars has a proven track record of innovative programs and making things happen; it’s always great to find a partner who shares your values and brings their own great ideas.

Music and Memory Gives the Gift of Music

“We experience a deeper connection to events in our lives that we associate with music,” says Nick Viti, OTR/L, Manager of Life Enrichment at The Cedars. “Certain songs conjure up very rich and specific memories. For anyone experiencing memory loss, music is a powerful tool.”

Thanks to a generous new grant from the nonprofit group Music and MemorySM, The Cedars has exciting new ways to use the power of music to help residents preserve and protect their memory, calm or uplift their emotions and enrich their lives.

The Cedars received the entire Music and MemorySM  program, an assortment of iPod shuffles, headphones and music downloads as part of the grant. Staff are working with families and loved ones to craft customized playlists for each resident, and to choose music connected with events in each resident’s life story.

“Do you ever turn up the radio on your way to work when you need extra energy, or drift off to sleep listening to something soothing?” Nick asks. “We all know how powerful music can be to help us regulate our emotions and get through our day. It’s so exciting to be able to give residents back the gift of music.”

We continue to develop new ways to integrate digital music into the lives of our seniors, and initial results from this program have been overwhelmingly positive. We look forward to sharing the greatest hits from Music and MemorySM in future issues!


Exploring Watercolor at The Osher Inn Assisted Living

When Nancy Meyer arrives at the Osher Inn at The Cedars Retirement Community, she unpacks watercolor paints, brushes and paper. Eager hands await the materials, ready to get to work adding color and personal flair to the watercolor paper. Teaching and facilitating watercolor painting with seniors has had a great effect on Meyer, a New York native who now calls Baldwin home. “It’s so rewarding,” said Meyer. And the Osher residents love it, her many loyal attendants wouldn’t miss her class.

Nancy focuses on nature in her watercolor sessions, bringing pieces of the natural world inside especially for those who are unable to go out-of-doors. It may be apple blossoms, flowers or pumpkins. These special still-life subjects are sure to bring smiles, said Meyer. “I learn from them,” she said, of her students. Some smile, paint and have a great time. Others are slowed down by the details. Others come simply to watch her paint.

“It’s like a therapy to watch someone paint. It’s very calming,” she said. The sessions offer an opportunity for Meyer to make personal connections. She’s met fellow wild-bird admirers in her classes. Others love plants. There are always stories to go around. I’ve made so many people happy with painting,” she said. 

Meyer is a self-taught artist who got her start in craft shows when she was 18 years old. Her paintings have hung in some of New York’s prestigious galleries – she later began teaching watercolors and her business spread by word-of-mouth. Meyer said it is a privilege for her to be able to get to know the seniors she works with. “They give me so much more than I give them. They have such a soul,” she said. 

For more information on life enrichment at The Cedars, contact


The Cedars Receives Award from AJAS for Innovative Art Program Involving Students from UNE and USM

The Cedars recently received the Programming Award from AJAS  (Association of Jewish Aging Services) for “Partnering With Elders: Health and Creativity”, an innovative program that builds bridges across age and cognitive barriers through the use of art. Students from the University of Southern Maine and the University of New England come to The Cedars to earn course credits by participating in the Opening Minds Through Art program with our skilled nursing residents. In May, the program culminates in an exciting gallery opening which showcases the vivid and inspiring art that has been created by the residents throughout the year.

Kathy Callnan, The Cedars President and CEO, accepted the award at the annual AJAS conference in La Jolla, California, on April 4, 2019.

Thoughts About Giving: Annuals and Perennials

Whether you are an avid gardener of simply water the plants in your window, you know that there are two kinds of flowers.  “Annuals” are the ones you plant every year.  They are beautiful and varied, but come autumn, they are used up. 

“Perennials” are those which, when planted once, reappear every year – a gentle reminder that some work pays off well into the future.

Perennial gifts may also be called “planned gifts” and include such things as gifts from retirement accounts and will bequests.  These gifts may require a little extra effort now, but they will continue to bloom well into the future.  At The Cedars, those “extra effort” gifts provide a lasting legacy of compassionate care for our seniors.

For more information on planned giving opportunities, please contact the Development Office at 207-221-7007 or

The Benefits of Retirement Living

Thinking 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 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.