Inspiring Generosity All Year Long

There’s just something about this time of year that inspires generosity. It’s our beautiful faith traditions, reminding us of the ultimate gift of God’s love. Perhaps it’s cold weather turning us inward toward each other. Maybe, just maybe, as we inch closer to making New Year’s resolutions, we should remember those best intentions that began the year. It’s true that we cannot make up in December for injustice that lasts all year. But, in the spirit of generosity, we can each do what we can, turn toward one another, exercise our best intent, respond to love with love and strive to make our world a better place. We can each make a difference.

At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we practice generosity year-round through our Fellowship Program. We welcome into our community many who have given of their goodness throughout their lives but are unable to afford a healthy retirement. We offer every resident the security and peace of mind that they will never be asked to leave for financial reasons beyond their control. Through your help, we lean into our mission, sharing the joy of caring for one another.

Living and working in a community that promotes excellence and compassion in equal measure builds the spirit of generosity – what joy and blessing!

As this sacred season and the cold days of winter envelop us, listen for God’s sure call to compassion. Responding connects you to the best part of life. Celebrate love that promises peace and hope for all.

To support Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s Fellowship Program, please visit www.wcrichmond.org/giving. We greatly appreciate and need your generosity this season. Thank you.

Celebrating “Thanksgiving” All Year

It’s here! Thanksgiving, a major holiday in the United States! It might mean eating a lot, gathering with loved ones, and perhaps preparing for an often hectic holiday season. But what does it really mean to be thankful?

For many, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with those we love, and simply put, to be thankful for what we have.

The “what” is not just limited to “things.” We are entering a time of year when there is abundance of things. What about the less tangible but equally important aspects of life? Perhaps this means our health, job or financial security, or the blessing of living in a peaceful society. When we stop to think about it, many of us can find an abundance of things for which we are thankful!

That said, it is all too easy to focus on what is not going well. This holiday season, let’s challenge each other to break this trend. Be the person who focuses on what is going well or right. Negativity may be contagious, but so is positivity! Your example can change those around you.

A powerful way to get into the habit of focusing on what is going right is through a gratitude journal. Research has shown that regularly taking time to reflect on what we are thankful for can increase our own happiness.

Why practice gratitude journaling? Consistently focusing on what is going well can lead to better relationships and strengthen one’s resilience, the ability to recover when something does go wrong. Moreover, gratitude journaling has been associated with reduced levels of stress, anxiety and depression. It may improve self-esteem. And there is evidence of physical benefits—an improved immune system, better sleep and even improvements in chronic pain.

With practice, it becomes second nature to focus on the positive.

Start with just a few moments each week to focus on things for which you are thankful. Like every new practice, it may feel strange at first.  Writing down thoughts of gratitude can result in a powerful reference book that can be a great source of strength to read when we are faced with adversity.

It is true that there is pain all around us. There are times when it is right to mourn, right to focus on our pain and darkness. But there is joy everywhere too.  It is so easy to let the joy be overshadowed by the negativity and pain. This season, if we begin to challenge ourselves to practice appreciating the good, it may be easier to see the light, even if faint, when we are faced with the darkness.

This Thanksgiving, Westminster Canterbury Richmond wishes you and your loved ones a season of meaningful joy and peace!

Facebook: Why limit Thanksgiving to one day or season? In the year ahead, let’s focus on gratitude. Read to learn more about the many benefits of adopting this outlook! From our Westminster Canterbury family to yours, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Honoring Veterans

Westminster Canterbury Richmond honors the veterans living among us who made a tremendous impact on the world through their service. We currently serve residents who range in age from 65 to 105, many of whom have served in the United States Armed Forces. Our veterans have assured the privilege of peaceful voting in the United States. Election Day provided an opportunity to reflect on this right, which we should never take for granted.

Each November, we celebrate our veterans with a display in our Main Street Gallery featuring photos from their time in service. This Friday, resident veterans will share their memorabilia and stories at our Veterans Living History Display. This is a chance for residents and staff to talk with veterans and share in their memories while celebrating and honoring them.

In the evening, the John Marshall High School Alumni Band will entertain with an evening of patriotic tunes in the Sara Belle November Theater.

As we approach Veterans Day we honor all those men and women who have protected and

served our country through the military. Thank you for your service!

A Ride on The Pulse – Transportation for All

One of the key concerns of seniors in our surrounding area is a lack of access to public transportation. According to Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s Senior Community Needs Assessment, nearly 75% of those over 65 didn’t feel public transportation was available for older people. Richmond recently adapted its bus line and service by introducing The Pulse. A group of our residents took a ride to try out these new offerings and truly enjoyed it. Would you consider taking an elder friend for a ride on the Pulse? It may open a new world of possibilities. Watch this video to see how the ride went!

Will you support your neighbor–in-need?

Mary was widowed in her early 40s. She worked as a secretary until retirement so that she could provide for her children’s needs and education. She struggles to make ends meet on her tiny pension. Her home needs critical safety repairs and she can no longer afford all of her medications.

Howard owned his own small business. He raised his children and a grandchild. Despite financial hardships, he tithed all of his adult life. He lives with his children but his medical conditions mean he now needs a level of care they are unable to provide.

These two seniors-in-need are our neighbors in the greater Richmond community, whose lives could be changed by generous gifts to Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s Fellowship Fund.  Please help us say “yes” to their needs. 

Many older adults find themselves stranded on the road of life as they encounter the high cost of living and medical expenses. Your generosity provides security and peace of mind to these men and women, many of whom have led long lives of service to God and to their neighbors.

The Fellowship Program provides confidential financial assistance to seniors-in-need. Since 1975, Fellowship has provided over $70 million in assistance to more than 540 seniors in the form of housing, meals, help with medical expenses and access to Westminster Canterbury’s vital living.

Your donations do not go to a “far-away place.” You are helping to support your neighbors who have contributed their time and talents to enriching our community. A grateful recipient of Fellowship assistance described her gratitude: “Fellowship is a gift to my family, knowing that I will be taken care of.”

You are needed! Your gift will provide security and peace of mind to deserving seniors!

If you have not already made a gift to support the Fellowship Program, please consider joining our generous donors in giving to Fellowship.  You may give by check, credit card or securities transfer, or you can make a pledge to give by December 31, 2018.  For more information, please contact Jeanette Ucci at 804-264-6204 or visit www.wcrichmond.org/foundation.

Spirituality as Foundation

One’s spirituality creates the foundation of a strong and meaningful life.  The health of our spirit affects many aspects of wellness – your social and emotional wellbeing, your sense of security and purpose.  We believe a healthy spirit is the foundation of a vibrant life.

Spirituality and faith grow whenever a person prioritizes that growth.  And often that means having time to do so.  During our senior years, when pressures have lifted from work, financial achievement and raising our families, we may choose to spend time strengthening those parts of life that matter most to us.  When we face challenges, a strong spirit can help us stay steady and pull through.  What a benefit to look forward to and claim in elderhood! 

At Westminster Canterbury we strive to help people deepen their spiritual lives through a balance of worship, education and fellowship. Our Pastoral Care department chaplains visit with residents and staff frequently, knowing this one-on-one contact is often the most impactful service they offer. In fact, last year, chaplains held 6,000 one-on-one pastoral visits.  Chaplain interns are also an important part of our pastoral care programming.  Students from regional seminaries and universities intern with us, learning from mentors and the many ministry opportunities experienced here.  When these interns leave us to begin their careers, they are well-prepared in meaningful ways. Our internship program is one way that Westminster Canterbury Richmond gives back to the larger community.

Spiritual growth is important to us and many say that spirituality is tangible here.  We’ve prioritized this core part of our missional identity in our current master campus planning.  Exciting news will be coming soon.

Join us at our Live Life Well RVA Symposium: Innovation for the Longevity Economy!

We hope you will join us for this breakfast, program and opportunity to network with others interested in learning more about preparing for the future as people are living longer than ever before. Watch this short video for more details and feel free to share with others.  

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2018
REGISTRATION & BREAKFAST START AT 8 A.M.
SYMPOSIUM: 9-11 A.M.
Westminster Canterbury Richmond
Center for Creative Living
1600 Westbrook Avenue
Richmond, Virginia

Register at www.livelifewellRVA.org.

 

Advice for Active Aging Month!

September is Active Aging Month! Westminster Canterbury Richmond has amplified our usual Wellness activities with special opportunities including a Health and Wellness Fair and Walking Wednesdays. Now is the perfect time to consider how you can live life well as you age!

What are your assumptions and attitudes towards aging?  Are your beliefs based on how you witness changes in family or friends?  Perhaps you’ve been told from a very young age what to expect. If your grandmother had diabetes, do you automatically assume you will have diabetes too?  Doesn’t everyone have arthritis when they get old? No, not everyone has arthritis as they age. The truth is you have more control over how you age than you may think. While there may be some genetic links to diseases that get passed on to subsequent generations, it’s not a given. Even if you do inherit a disease, you can lessen the impact on your health through lifestyle choices.

Wellness seems to be the catchphrase of the new millennium.  What does wellness mean to you?  Westminster Canterbury has embraced Seven Dimensions of Wellness: Social, Emotional, Spiritual, Occupational, Environmental, Intellectual and Physical. Together these create a comprehensive, whole person wellness approach.  The Seven Dimensions of Wellness are a guide to help you live a life that is full, meaningful and balanced, by inspiring the mind, nurturing the spirit and strengthening the body.  In turn you experience the satisfaction and joy of living WELL Connected (Wellness at Every Level of Life).  

Diet and exercise should be at the top of the list, along with a positive attitude and self-discipline – the ability to make good choices regarding your own health and well-being.  You are responsible for your health and well-being. While there isn’t a magic pill, you can be proactive by educating yourself, managing your health, working with your clinical partners (physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors), exercising on a regular basis, eating healthy, staying socially connected to your community, and doing all the things you love and keep you engaged in life.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “The first wealth is health.” This can be a metaphor for how we age.  If you’re not paying attention to your health and well-being, suddenly it may slip away.  Stay engaged, hold dear to those you love, take care of your health and don’t let anyone tell you’re too old to have fun!

The Lamp: Let Me Tell You a Story

Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s Summer 2018 issue of The Lamp features stories about how donors to Westminster Canterbury Foundation support our workforce, who are the drivers of innovation on our campus. Learn more about how their big ideas ensure the best life possible for our residents and cultivate leadership in senior services.

These are your stories because you make this possible. Over the years, many wonderful donors gave to our Area of Greatest Need. This led to Innovation Grants. These grants allow employees to find new, great ways to serve you and your loved ones. There are many more stories to be told.

Visit our new website to read the latest issue.

Batting Into Fall in the Child Development Center

As Fall approaches, the Child Development Center at Westminster Canterbury Richmond is gearing up for an exciting new season! Each quarter, “friends and family boards” with a specific theme are decorated throughout the Center with photos of family fun and togetherness.  This season’s theme is sports/team related. Families will add pictures participating in their favorite activity or wearing their favorite team jersey. The friends and family board is intended to build community and links the home family to the school family.  Meghan Kaloski, Assistant Director adds, “It helps our families get to know each other and helps us to notice connections that we can use to build relationships.”

This creative idea supports the Conscious Discipline approach, which is practiced through the Center. Conscious Discipline is a comprehensive social-emotional learning program based on current brain research, child development information, and developmentally appropriate practices.  Built on the premise of developing discipline within children rather than applying discipline to them, it sets everyone (kids, families and staff) up to feel safe, loved and ready to learn and is the basis of our School Family! The children in the Child Development Center are part of a family, not only within the Center, but throughout the Westminster Canterbury campus. They often interact with residents through our intergenerational program, which is one way of introducing the children and seniors to each other to share and to be loved.

The friends and family boards, with their inspirational messages and photos of smiling, happy faces are a way of creating that sense of connection between home and school and a reminder that raising children takes team work! Quoting one bulletin board, “We are all different but as a team we fit together”. We look forward to winning season!

Senior Summer

The Senior Summer program at Westminster Canterbury Richmond provides learning opportunities to hundreds of residents each year. The program, which is the brain child of resident and founder Ann Archer, is hugely popular among residents and recently became available to those on our resident wait list. For the first interview in our new TV970 studio we interviewed Ann Archer and resident Dr. Bill Blake, a teacher with the program for years.

Make a Career Out of Caring

Westminster Canterbury Richmond is a great place to make a career out of caring! There are many opportunities to become a part of our award-winning community, from healthcare and engineering to housekeeping and hospitality. Watch this video to learn more about what makes Westminster Canterbury such a wonderful place to work.

If you’re interested in learning more about opportunities to work at Westminster Canterbury, visit www.wcrichmond.org/careers or call 804-264-6201.