Technology and Innovation for Seniors

Technology is a huge part of life for all ages, including seniors! Many technology-based solutions allow people to live independently for longer, something more and more older Americans want.

For example, Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing apps are popular with older adults who do not drive any longer but still want and need to travel to their usual appointments and gatherings. Voice technology makes it easier for older adults to communicate and access services as they experience difficulty with their hands and vision. Amazon Echo allows seniors to interact with technology using their voice instead of their hands or through reading. Home automation enables seniors to control lights and thermostats using their voices, lowering the risk of falls and other complications.

At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, nearly every resident who moves to our campus comes with a smartphone or tablet, not to mention countless other smart TVs, smart speakers and other connected devices. We use technology to improve the lives of our residents, especially through K4Connect, solutions designed specifically for senior living. In just six months, the K4Connect app has been installed on more than 250 devices on our campus. Residents use it to stay up-to-date on the latest announcements, digital publications and menus. Amazon Alexa technology is integrated to make it easy to use.

A resident-led Technology Committee offers an extensive list of educational courses on everything from iPhone and Gmail to digital photography management, helping residents who may have never used these tools before to become avid users.  No matter your age, it’s never the wrong time to learn to try a new app or tool that can make day-to-day life better!

More Mission to More People

Since 1975, Westminster Canterbury Richmond has been helping seniors-in-need through our Fellowship Program by providing life care through housing, meals, medical expenses and access to all the vital living we have to offer. Each year, around 110 seniors receive support on our campus. Since the program began, more than 550 individuals have received more than $73 million in support.
 
We aspire to grow our Fellowship Program and find ways to reach into the community to provide more mission to more people. During the last two years we have taken steps to meet this goal by reaching out to local nonprofits that serve seniors in different ways.  Among our nonprofit partners is Senior Connections and their Friendship Cafes. We provide programming support and participate with our Friendship Café friends once a month.  Forging community partnerships, engaging our workforce who love to volunteer, and serving the greater Richmond community define our Fellowship Outreach!
 
This video features information on Parkinson’s Disease presented by Kathy Morton, Volunteer Resources Administrator, during our recent engagement with Friendship Café – The Guardian Place.

 

 

Will You Be a Hero to a Senior-in-Need?

For all her life, Mary cared for others. She contributed to the lives of countless children throughout her career as a public school teacher. When her parents and in-laws needed care, Mary was the one who was there for them.

Mary and her husband lived frugally on their modest income. Then her husband was critically injured. She had to stop working earlier than she had planned in order to care for him. Their modest savings quickly ran out. By the time her husband passed away, Mary had borrowed against their home, and was fighting foreclosure. Once so self-sufficient and independent, Mary needed help but had nowhere to turn. She had no other family. She couldn’t afford to see a doctor or buy medication. Keeping food on the table became a daily struggle.

She had nurtured so many lives. Who would be there to nurture her in her time of need?

Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s Fellowship Program provides a lifeline to seniors-in-need like Mary. Through your gifts to the Fellowship Program, more than 100 seniors who would have few other options receive housing, meals, medical care and all aspects of vital living found at Westminster Canterbury. But there are many more who don’t know how they will make it alone. You can be a hero to someone like Mary. Please support the Fellowship Program. With you, we can ensure a safe and secure life for these seniors-in-need.

Through your gifts to Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s Fellowship Program, you show that:

  • YOU believe that all seniors deserve a healthy, secure life.
  • YOU believe that no senior should have to choose between secure housing, nourishing meals and medical care, nor face the devastation of social isolation.
  • You believe that seniors who have given their lives to serving God and their neighbors deserve security, dignity and peace of mind.

We invite YOU to become a Fellowship hero! For more information, please contact Jeanette Ucci at 804-264-6204 or visit www.wcrichmond.org/foundation

Your Plan for Inspiring Generosity

Inspiring generosity makes many things possible at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. Generous donors are the lifeblood of our organization, helping us to ensure the best life possible for our residents and to cultivate leadership in senior services. What does this mean? We strive to support our residents and employees while also sharing with others in our region and industry what makes Westminster Canterbury such a special place so that all seniors can live life well.

Throughout our more than forty-year history, Westminster Canterbury has benefited from the foresight of donors who planned ahead to create a legacy that reflected the things they cared about most. Many left a gift to Westminster Canterbury Foundation in their wills. Some created arrangements like charitable gift annuities that give them income during their life while benefiting the Foundation after their lifetime.

These generous planners help Westminster Canterbury as we pursue a vibrant vision for what senior living looks like today and in the future. Your gifts strengthen what we do best – spiritual support, the arts, wellness, healthcare excellence, memory care, workforce development and intergenerational magic! Your support encourages innovation that improves lives. Our top priority, the Fellowship Program, provides security and peace of mind to seniors-in-need.

What is your plan for the future? For some tips of how to create or update your estate plan to make sure you take care of loved ones and the organizations you care about, read more here: http://plannedgiving.wcrichmond.org/5-steps.

Observing Lent at Westminster Canterbury Richmond

Lent is a time for reflection and prayer leading us to one of the most important days of the Christian year, Easter Sunday. Over time, Lent has come to resonate with people of varied faith traditions, including those who may not practice a formal religion. Why? True, observance of Lent can follow the more traditional sense of fasting and prayer. But it can also offer a broader, more personal opportunity to reflect on one’s relationships with the rest of humanity and with God.   

Here at Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we commemorate the beginning of Lent with our Ash Wednesday Service, conducted by our Pastoral Care staff and clergy from Richmond area congregations. Another important Lenten tradition here is the publication of The Lenten Journey. Written by residents, staff and friends of Westminster Canterbury, this is a collection of devotions that challenges us to deepen our Lenten observances. More than 4,000 copies are distributed to area faith congregations. The devotions are as diverse as the writers themselves. Everyone, regardless of whether participating in a formal faith tradition or not, is likely to find a devotion within these pages that resonates with his or her soul. From…

  • A gentle reminder to be still and listen for God’s presence in our lives,
  • To an invitation to “exchange our bad habits for healthier alternatives,”
  • To comforting thoughts for those who grieve,
  • To messages of hope in a frequently hostile world,
  • To the invitation to open our eyes to the everyday miracles happening around us.

We hope you will find words of comfort and inspiration in this Westminster Canterbury tradition. You may download a copy of The Lenten Journey here:

https://www.wcrichmond.org/publications-richmond-va#LentenJourney

May this Lenten Season be a time of reflection and renewal for you.

Renewal of Vows

19 years.  53 years.  69 years!  These are the number of years some of our beloved resident couples have been married.  To celebrate their love and commitment, four couples renewed their vows on Valentine’s Day, 2019. In a background of beautiful music surrounded by friends and family, these lovelies held hands, smiled and kissed…in celebration of their love and dedication to each other.  Every day is a wonderful day to celebrate love!

 

Every Mission Needs People to Make it Happen!

Here at Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we believe deeply in our mission of improving the lives of those we serve every day.  We’re committed to ensuring the best life possible for our residents and to cultivating leadership in senior services.

But this mission can’t gain traction without people.  And not just any people – we rely on many, many dedicated and qualified staff.  Sadly, it isn’t always easy to find them.

Both here in Richmond and nationwide, there is a workforce crisis in senior-focused organizations. With 10,000 people turning 65 each day and living longer lives, there are fewer available caregivers to serve growing numbers who need specialized care. Yet, senior services is still a largely unrecognized career option for workers of many age and ability ranges.

Working with seniors is a rewarding career with an excellent future. There are a wide variety of professions needed – Nursing, Cultural Arts, Information Technology, Communications, Dining, Philanthropy, Housekeeping, Pastoral Care, Engineering, and at Westminster Canterbury, even teachers for child development!

There has been no better time to learn about positive aging and purposeful elderhood than now!  Many senior-focused organizations are hiring here and around the country.  So, perhaps a rewarding career in senior services could be calling you!  Please consider answering!

To learn more about careers at Westminster Canterbury Richmond, go to www.wcrichmond.org/careers.

Celebrating All Kinds of Love on Valentine’s Day!

What do you think of when you hear that Valentine’s Day is approaching? If you’re like so many of us, you’ve been conditioned to think almost solely of romantic love: flowers, candy, jewelry and tons of greeting cards.

Besides being narrowly focused, this sole emphasis on romantic love, or eros, can cause many people to experience loneliness on a day that could be used as a time to celebrate the many varied and beautiful types of love. One of the greatest risks for seniors is isolation and loneliness. It’s important to stay connected through all types of love!

The origins of Valentine’s Day are not definite, but historians generally agree that it originated to honor one of the three Saints Valentine. Centuries later, Valentine’s Day is almost singly associated with romantic love. Americans alone spend billions of dollars for Valentine’s Day gifts! And if you’re not involved in a romantic relationship…well, where does this leave you?

There are many other types of love that could be celebrated on Valentine’s Day! When we emphasize only romantic love, we miss the opportunity to celebrate other longer-lasting, highly fulfilling types of affection. Amongst others, there is philia, which is friendship and good will toward others. There is pragma, or practical love, the longer-term love that is based on commitment and shared goals. And, there is agape, or universal love, sometimes also compared to charity or associated with the love between God and humankind. 

All of these are equally legitimate forms of love to celebrate! When is the last time we thought of giving a Valentine’s cards as a way of thanking a friend for support? Or how about using Valentine’s Day to celebrate a couple whose marriage or relationship has spanned decades? And how can we practice agape, the universal love of others, on Valentine’s Day? We can do something nice, something unexpected, for a friend, coworker, or even a stranger! Buy someone’s lunch, visit someone who is often alone, or practice philanthropy, as you are able, to help others.

At Westminster Canterbury, this year we are celebrating through a Renewal of Vows ceremony for resident couples; staff and residents exchanging “Valentine Grams” to express their appreciation; and a Reflections of Love Open House to share wedding photos, love letters and trinkets. Let’s challenge the “traditional” sense of Valentine’s Day this year. Perhaps skip that routine box of chocolates and take time to celebrate those other important loves in your life! Let’s make this Valentine’s Day the most inclusive one yet!

Our Employees Give From the Heart

At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, our employees take giving back seriously. They have launched the “Giving From the Heart” effort in February to raise donations for W·E·A·V·E.

Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s W·E·A·V·E program (Workforce-Education-Assistance-Volunteerism-Engagement) is their channel to giving back to one another and our community. Employees support W·E·A·V·E to help their fellow coworkers with emergencies, enable them to pursue education and self-improvement, fund staff volunteer work in the Richmond community, and connect through activity and appreciation.

During 2018, Westminster Canterbury staff partnered with project:HOMES to build components for 15 ramps and install three others on homes in the Richmond community. Staff raised the funds for the materials and gave the volunteer hours to make it happen. Part of the funds given by donors to W·E·A·V·E will help build more ramps in 2019.

Because of generous donors, our workforce can apply for emergency assistance for situations such as when a house fire strikes or a spouse loses a job. Donations also provide for scholarship assistance, making it possible for many to pursue additional education through certifications, conferences and higher degrees. In the past year, donors made it possible for coworkers to pursue degrees in Nursing and Business Administration, certifications in new Wellness and Recreation skills and additional training that will help them in their careers and help ensure the best life possible for our residents.

Our employees care deeply about our residents and each other. It is a privilege to watch their generosity in action.

Intimate Chamber Concert Series in the Roof Terrace

Westminster Canterbury Richmond recently undertook an extensive renovation of our Roof Terrace, a beautiful gathering space at the top of our eight-story Tower building. The interior of the Roof Terrace is complete, and activities are already taking place up there! We have had birthday parties, cocktail parties, lectures, and exercise classes that have gone very well.

The most recent addition to our Cultural Arts activities is a new performing arts series called the Roof Terrace Chamber Series. This video is from the first performance. This is a great example of how improving our spaces is a great benefit to helping our residents live life well with vital engagement in their senior years. Stay tuned for more videos as the performances continue. Learn more about our theater and arts programming here.