Emotional Wellness

What does being well mean to you? In addition to physical aspects like being active and maintaining a healthy diet, we hope your definition of wellness includes emotional wellness! Experts now agree that emotional wellness is a very important part of overall health, and it’s something we can pursue at any age.

At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we define emotional wellness as, “continual growth that assists in maintaining respectful and satisfying relationships, expressing and managing feelings and coping with stress.” Emotional wellness involves having resilience to deal with life’s obstacles and adapt to difficult changes and challenges. This doesn’t mean that emotionally well people are unaffected by adversity. Rather, they are able to get back on track more easily when life presents challenges.

Emotional wellness can all too frequently fall to the bottom of our priority list. We’ve all heard that we need to practice good self-care, but how can we find time for ourselves when so many of us provide support to others in our personal and professional lives? Here are some practical guidelines for fostering emotional wellness:

  • Social connectedness is essential to having a healthy emotional state. Spending time with family, friends and others can lift the spirit and remind us that there are others “in our corner.”
  • Focus on the positives, perhaps through gratitude journaling or surrounding oneself with positive people as much as possible. In addition to just feeling good, there’s increasing evidence that focusing on the positive can actually maintain physical health.
  • Reduce stress. Break major tasks down into manageable ones. Practice mindfulness techniques such a yoga or meditation. Explore your sense of spirituality. There are so many ways to do this, and one does not need to be “religious” to do so.
  • Maintain physical health by eating a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity on a regular basis and getting adequate, restful sleep. All of these support our immune system in times of stress, which in turn helps us become more resilient both physically and emotionally.
  • When we do experience those bumps in the road and feel distressed or disconnected, reach out to others for support. Consider seeking the guidance of a professional counselor or a trusted friend or clergy person. This is a sign of strength, not of weakness!
  • Keep past successes in prominent view. It’s sometimes too easy to focus on the uphill climb ahead of us, forgetting about the mountains we have successfully surmounted in the past. Remembering these victories is so helpful in leading us on to the next one!

At Westminster Canterbury, residents may participate in numerous opportunities that encourage whole person wellness, including emotional wellness. Whether it’s through a yoga class, volunteering, participating in a peer support group, attending one of our numerous lectures and worship opportunities, or spending time enjoying the outdoor gardens on our campus, we encourage all residents to embrace wellness at every age and level of life. We wish you much success along your personal wellness journey!

Counting and Sharing Our Blessings!

What a blessing it is to share a blessing with another person.  This is a sure road to joy.  Last week, Virginia Repertory Theatre performed The Wiz in Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s Sara Belle November Theater.  What a show!  What incredible talent!  Happily, the joy of this performance was shared with many.  Our own residents came from every part of campus, proving once again that live performances are powerful, beneficial experiences no matter your health situation at the time.  Quite a few employees joined residents, and there were plenty of children and grandchildren enjoying the show.  We also invited a number of our friends from Senior Connections to the performance! 

Many of our employees volunteer with Senior Connections as part of Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s W•E•A•V•E (Workforce-Education-Assistance-Volunteerism-Engagement) program that encourages volunteerism. This part of W•E•A•V•E not only extends our Fellowship program for seniors-in-need so that we can help seniors beyond our walls live the best life possible – it has proven to be an inspiration to our employees, too. Our staff love helping others. Giving them an opportunity to do that through monthly Senior Connections Friendship Cafés and ramp building for seniors-in-need through a partnership with project:HOMES is just one of the innovative initiatives that make this an amazing place to work. It is for innovative thinking like this that Westminster Canterbury was recently honored with LeadingAge Virginia’s Workplace Excellence Award.

Our friends from Senior Connections loved every minute of The Wiz – rising to start the standing ovation at the end!  Together we enjoyed great talent, remembered that there is value in many types of people (and animals) and agreed that there’s no place like home!  So many people play an important part in making this place a very special place to live and work.  Thank you for sharing our blessings!

“Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many – not your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”  Charles Dickens

Learn more about Senior Connections Friendship Cafés by clicking here.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s Memory Support Nourishes the Brain and the Spirit!

Our memory support therapies at Westminster Canterbury Richmond include music, art, horticulture and exercise.  They involve more than residents.  Family members, staff, and even our teen volunteers during summertime can participate and engage.  One program in particular,

Opening Minds through Art, or OMA, is proudly supported by Westminster Canterbury Foundation and incorporates intergenerational art projects for people with dementia.  This five-week series, aimed at promoting social engagement, autonomy and dignity through art making, is adapted to meet residents’ current needs. Each week, resident artists of the Mary Morton Parsons Health Center, The Gables and Monticello team up with Westminster Canterbury volunteers to create beautiful artwork. As one volunteer attests, “The OMA program makes such an incredible difference in the lives of the residents and the volunteers!  I’ve always loved art, but now, after volunteering in OMA, I have an even greater respect for how art nourishes the heart, spirit and mind in ways I never thought about before.”  Indeed it does!  Watch how residents and staff volunteers interacted and learned together during this spring’s OMA!

Learn more about this award-winning program by clicking here.

 

Independence Day Traditions with Westminster Canterbury Richmond!

And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend Her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.
-Lee Greenwood

On Independence Day, the United States of America commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, a celebration of freedom. Traditionally, Americans enjoy fireworks, parades, cookouts, music and other patriotic displays. At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we celebrate in style!

One of the highlights of the year is our Independence Day parade, where residents, employees, and children from our Child Development Center come together to showcase their patriotic finest. Residents craft their own red, white and blue wands to wave during the parade. The parade concludes with a stop in our Sara Belle November Theater, where America’s Sweethearts gave a patriotic performance.

A special July 4 Picnic Buffet overflows with hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, corn on the cob, watermelon, beer and all the other favorites! Residents are even able to enjoy some of Richmond’s fireworks displays with the view from our new Roof Terrace.

Enjoy this look at the parade and all the Independence Day spirit

Live Life Well – An Inspirational Story of Generosity

When it comes to thinking about people as they age, is it possible you have some misperceptions?  Do you think of aging in terms of frailty and decreased activity?  Or do you picture active, vibrant people deepening their lives in ways that matter most to them?

Our most recent annual report, which chronicles 2018, explores 10 ways you inspire our residents to shine!  You inspire adventure, friendship, purpose, sharing, wellness, creativity, community, learning, family and joy!  Lives are enriched in transformative ways.

And you inspire generosity in such amazing ways!  This beautiful volume celebrates more than 1,000 donors – people who willingly share with us to ensure the best life possible for our residents and to cultivate leadership in senior services.  Without our donors, many of whom are our employees and residents, life at Westminster Canterbury would not be what it is today.

Our deep thanks go out to every single donor – for each gift is appreciated and valued.  Please CLICK HERE to view the report, read about the adventures and joy, and celebrate the marvelous time of life called elderhood. 

If you have questions about living at Westminster Canterbury Richmond, please contact Kim Novelli at knovelli@wcrichmond.org.  If you’re interested in learning more about supporting this special place, please contact Gayle Hunter Haglund at ghaglund@wcrichmond.org or visit www.wcrichmond.org/giving.   We hope this report inspires you to live life well and enjoy each day as a gift to treasure!

This Summer…Get Outside! It’s Good For Your Health!

Warmer weather is finally here! This is the time of year when many of us intend to spend more time outdoors…and for good reason! Being outdoors reduces stress levels and has an overall beneficial effect on both physical and mental health. And it’s a wonderful way to feel more connected to the natural environment, something that is frequently overlooked in our everyday routines of being indoors.

Each spring as nature is blooming and the weather is warming, many of our residents enjoy our Spring Walking Challenge.  Participants track and log their time spent walking over a six-week period with the help of pedometers, Fitbits or by simply dedicating time to walk each day.  It’s a great way to celebrate accomplishments and prepare for the Spring and Fall Walking Excursions to varied destinations like the T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge, High Bridge Trail or the Floodwall along the James River.

Our residents know how to cover some distance. And they know how to have some friendly competition! Residents practice their skills on our putting green or challenge their neighbors in croquet. Many enjoy the sights and songs of the birds, plants and flowers by choosing an easy stroll around Cochrane Pond with its paved walkway and quiet benches or the Campus Nature Trail, which offers a more challenging terrain. Recently, both residents and staff participated in the very popular Walking Wednesdays, a time each week to walk on our beautiful campus and get to know one another. Where are the best places to walk near your home?

An enthusiastic group of Westminster Canterbury residents formed a Birding Group, taking outings all throughout the Richmond area to learn about and observe our feathered friends. Our residents enjoy opportunities to garden vegetables and flowers no matter what area of the campus they live in, from independent living to memory and nursing care.  And speaking of flowers, you can spend time outside surrounded by beauty even if you are just in the mood to relax! Our numerous beautiful gardens, many of them given by generous donors to Westminster Canterbury Foundation, provide comfortable places to sit and read, meditate, visit with friends or just experience nature.  All of these leisure pursuits strengthen the body, inspire the mind and nurture the spirit.

As we look with excitement to our community’s future and expanding our opportunities for outdoor wellness, we remain committed to the health and vitality of every member of our community. Whether you live here on our campus or elsewhere, we encourage you to get outside today! Click here  for more information on wellness opportunities.

Celebrating Fathers of all Generations

Many of us were blessed with incredibly supportive and loving fathers. We fondly remember early morning fishing trips, his tireless commitment to our little league baseball team, and his teaching us how to get back up after we’d fallen off our bike. Many fathers today have taken on vital tasks like juggling a career, along with childcare, laundry, house cleaning, shopping for groceries and cooking. 

While father’s roles may be more varied than ever, when Father’s Day swings around, dads are invariably celebrated for the same reason – for their love and devotion to our children and families.

This year celebrate your father’s commitment to you and your family by enriching the lives of others in honor of your dad. Westminster Canterbury Richmond supports seniors-in-need, including many of our wonderful dads, through our Fellowship program that provides housing, meals, medical expenses and vital living for around 110 seniors annually. We strive to assure that each and every father, uncle, brother and friend can live the very best life possible throughout their elderhood.  We celebrate that these important years are a deep opportunity to learn from our fathers and to glean their wisdom.  You can honor your dad and ensure the best life possible for a senior-in-need with your gift to the Foundation.  We will be honored to send your dad a note telling him of your kindness.

Make a gift in his honor at http://www.wcrichmond.org/giving. If you have questions, contact the Foundation at (804) 264-6066 or foundation@wcrichmond.org.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond earns LeadingAge Virginia’s Workplace Excellence Award

At the LeadingAge Virginia conference in Norfolk, Virginia, on June 5-7, it was announced that Westminster Canterbury Richmond earned the Workplace Excellence Award thanks to our commitment to staff and community. This award recognizes a LeadingAge Virginia member community that demonstrates investment in their staff and workplace environment for the delivery of quality care and services and demonstrates innovation in workforce development practices.

LeadingAge Virginia is an association of not-for-profit aging services organizations serving residents and clients through life plan/continuing care retirement communities, senior housing, assisted living, nursing homes, adult day centers and home and community based services. We are not-for-profit organizations working together to expand the world of possibilities for aging.

To meet our commitment to ensuring the best life possible for our residents, Westminster Canterbury is committed to cultivating leadership in senior services through supporting and developing our employees. Our employee support goes well beyond traditional benefits programs, including an array of programs made possible by generous donors.

In 2017, through a partnership between our Foundation and Human Resources, we reorganized and augmented employee programs into the W·E·A·V·E (Workforce-Education-Assistance-Volunteerism-Engagement) program. Combining these components has allowed us to demonstrate a more holistic model for how Westminster Canterbury encourages and engages employees. Charitable funds given to W·E·A·V·E are available for educational efforts, emergency assistance for employees, staff volunteer programs such as a partnership with project:HOMES to build ramps on the homes of seniors-in-need, and engagement to encourage retention and satisfaction.

Watch this video to learn more about what makes Westminster Canterbury Richmond a great place to work! Visit https://careers.wcrichmond.org/ to see open positions.

Building Blitz Makes An Impact

When more than 100 dedicated employees join together for an awesome cause — creating ramps for seniors with mobility challenges — the results are dynamic!  Last week, Westminster Canterbury Richmond held its Second Annual Ramp Building Blitz with our partner, project:HOMES.  Teams came out to the tents on our campus, learned the process, and went to work!  Every hour, a new team took over – throughout the two days. “We’ve sent an SOS to Lowe’s for a quick lumber delivery,” team lead Brad Burnam of project: HOMES reported early in the second day.  “These teams are really rolling!”  With motivation high, weather great, music playing and food trucks cooking, the Blitz was great fun and super productive.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s ramp build is a key part of our organization’s ongoing response to the community needs assessment we conducted to learn the needs of seniors in the Richmond, Virginia, region.  One of the key findings is the need for people to age in place, yet access services.  When mobility issues arise, challenges heighten and the simple solution of a ramp can make all the difference. Since there is a long waiting list for ramps, our employees are striving to make a real impact.

In addition to meeting a need, our workforce is loving the power of working together. They held multiple fundraisers to provide the $15,000 needed to purchase lumber and hardware for the ramps.  “It was so fun to do, and exciting to realize we were making a difference for seniors around Richmond,” said Leota Parandeh, who organized the effort.  “Our employees are true experts in senior care and this is an awesome way to share that expertise. It is an honor to be involved.”

To learn more or to help with other outreach efforts for seniors in our region, contact Gayle Haglund at ghaglund@wcrichmond,.org.

Celebrating and Thanking our Nursing Staff!

At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we are so fortunate to count amongst our wonderful workforce more than 200 members of the nursing profession.  These caring teammates are a very special part of the Westminster Canterbury family. We have more than 75 Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses and more than 130 Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) across Independent and Assisted Living and the Mary Morton Parsons Health Center! Nurses and CNAs are core to our mission of providing care “…in a compassionate, professional, holistic manner…”

Each year our community commemorates National Nurses Week by highlighting the numerous contributions members of this very special and critical group of caregivers make to our organization and to those we serve. The week culminates in our Nurses Week Awards Celebration, where we present the Frances May Tabb Awards to four CNAs and the Clinical Excellence Award to one RN or LPN. Residents, their families and coworkers nominate nursing staff who have provided exceptional service. This year, we received over 174 nominations for 77 different staff members. This highlights just how much our nursing staff is appreciated! This year we also honored our residents who had careers in nursing. We are fortunate to have more than 25 of these dedicated professionals living here in our community, whose many years of service have contributed to numerous lives in so many ways. We are inspired each day by the care and compassion of these hardworking and very special people.

No matter where you encounter a nurse, the next time you experience great care and service from a nurse or a CNA, be sure to say “thank you!”  Nurses are so giving of themselves and it is important to “fill their well” with simple appreciation.

We’re happy to share with you this special slideshow of some of our residents and staff who have dedicated their careers to caring for others. If you’re interested in your own career in nursing, visit https://careers.wcrichmond.org/ to view our openings.

We extend our congratulations to our 2019 Tabb Award and Clinical Excellence Award recipients. Pictured with Will Blackwell, Administrator and Vice President Health Services (from left) are Karis Townsend, Nedesha Giggetts, Anne Mackenzie Salmons, Alonna Brickhouse and Nancy Cammack. We are truly grateful for your amazing care and service. Thank you for all you do to ensure our residents live life well!

nurses award week recipients 2019 small