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The Official Blog of Episcopal Retirement Homes

Meet the New Faces in the ERH Board

Posted by Bryan Reynolds

May 22, 2014 12:09:00 PM

As we reported in April, the Episcopal Retirement Homes (ERH) Board of Directors is made up of volunteer members who are dedicated to the organization’s mission to “enrich the lives of older adults in a person-centered, innovative and spiritually based way.”

Today’s entry is a continuation of our series, introducing you to the board volunteers dedicated to making retirement living a rewarding experience for Cincinnati seniors.

Rev. Darren ElinThe Rev. Darren Elin

As the rector at St. Thomas, the Rev. Darren Elin was a natural fit for the position of Episcopal Clergy Representative on the ERH Board. His experience in parish work and community relations helps him to advise the Board and ensure that the decisions they make on behalf of ERH’s retirement communities line up well with the organization’s ministerial goals.

“I believe in ERH’s mission to help those it serves live well into the future,” he said. “ERH has earned an excellent reputation for not only great service, but as a model employer and ministry partner.”

Elin, who is serving his first term with ERH, came to the ministry through his lifelong love of music. He began singing in church choirs while working overseas in Tokyo. In fact, that was where he met his wife. They have two children. One of their favorite family activities is attending concerts at Music Hall.

For Elin, the most rewarding part of serving as a volunteer board member is, “seeing just how much this ministry can make difference.”

Robert ReedDr. Robert Reed

Dr. Robert Reed, who began serving on the ERH Board in 2013, has accumulated a vast body of experience treating seniors in at all stages of dementia as a neurologist practicing at Cincinnati’s Good Samaritan Hospital. And this experience has given him a particular insight and compassion for seniors who must live with the progressive disease.

The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine graduate and former Mayo fellow is currently the Director of Good Samaritan’s Electroencephalography (ECG) department and is an expert in Alzheimer’s care. He is particularly concerned with finding ways to slow the advance of the disease.

“I’m interested to see if a directed, intense learning program could flatten the curve of progression,” he said.

Working so long to help patients with neurological disorders allows him to bring a unique perspective to the Board’s work. He enjoys the sense of community he gets from his volunteerism.

“ERH has incorporated innovative methods of care based on respect for the integrity and needs of those in our aging population.” It is important, he stated, to address not only seniors’ healthcare needs, but their financial concerns as well.

“I believe in the mission to make care of the elderly affordable and healthy,” said Reed, which is why he advocates strongly that ERH continue to “reach out to those of limited resources to make care affordable.”

Rich SetterbergRich Setterberg

Like Elin and Reed, Rich Setterberg is a relatively new board member, having served for less than a year. But as a healthcare law expert, his expertise in medical staff credentialing and healthcare organizational documents has already proved an invaluable asset.

“I first became actively involved in board governance issues involving the elderly and disabled when I served on the board of The Beechwood Home, which specializes in [caring for multiple sclerosis] patients,” he said. That experience strongly shaped his perspective on Cincinnati’s need for affordable, person-centered senior care.

“While I was serving at The Beechwood Home, I overcame my discomfort with the severely disabled.” Working to help disabled patients, Setterberg related, “helped me understand the human beings beneath the surface of disabilities.

“I have a great deal of empathy for the elderly. Those with less money, who are sick, or who are disabled are often forgotten,” he asserted. “I’d like to change not only that outcome, but also that attitude.”

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Topics: Episcopal Retirement Homes

Meet Episcopal Retirement Homes' Volunteer Board Members

Posted by Bryan Reynolds

May 8, 2014 3:41:00 PM

It’s always nice to put a face with a name. The Episcopal Retirement Homes (ERH) Board of Directors is made up of volunteer members who are dedicated to the organization’s mission: to “enrich the lives of older adults in a person-centered, innovative and spiritually based way.” In this entry, you’ll meet a few of those volunteers.

Gates SmithGates Smith

Gates Smith has sat on ERH’s Board for the past four years and serves on the Affordable Living and Development committees. He is a marketing expert who was formerly the Executive Vice President of Agency Operations for the Ohio National Life Insurance Company’s Financial Services division where he served two years on Ohio National’s Board of Directors.

Smith also has previous volunteer board experience. He served seven years as the chairman for the St. Paul Village retirement community in Madisonville, which is now managed by ERH. During his tenure, the Village was completely renovated.

“The partnership with ERH enabled a transformation that only ERH could have accomplished,” he said. “The result was the realization of our many prayers for the residents.”

In addition to his volunteer service, Smith enjoys bicycling and golf. But for him, the time he spends helping others may be the most rewarding.

“I’m privileged to work alongside a group of competent and passionate Board members and staff,” he affirmed. “ERH has grown dramatically in just the few years I have been on the Board.”

Anne Warrington WilsonAnne Warrington Wilson

As the Episcopal Priest-in-Charge at St. Mary Magdalene in Maineville, Ohio, the Rev. Anne Warrington Wilson knows that input from constituents is the key to finding the best way forward.

I pay attention to people’s needs and wants,” she asserted. “I think I see the simple, direct questions that need to be asked about a new program or policy.”

As a six-year member of the ERH Board of Directors, Wilson enjoys meeting residents and figuring out how the organization can nurture their golden years.

The most rewarding aspect?

“Getting to know seniors who still live a full, stimulating life, even if driving, cooking and housework have become difficult,” she said. “People should be well taken care of during their older years. I am most concerned about alleviating social isolation when it becomes difficult for people to be part of their communities. Life in ERH communities helps improve these problems. I wish we could offer this life to all seniors.”

Even outside of her Board activities, Wilson gives back. An avid gardener, she grows vegetables and donates them to local food banks. She also volunteers her gardening skills for several area churches.

Tate GreenwaldTate Greenwald

Since coming to ERH seven years ago, Tate Greenwald has been impressed with our dedication to providing compassionate future care to Cincinnati’s seniors.

“I have been overwhelmed by the dedication of the Board members, the leadership team and ERH’s employees,” he noted.

Drawing on his experience as a human resources professional for Xtec, Inc., in Sharonville, Oh., and The National Underwriter Company in Erlanger, Ky., Greenwald brings expertise in benefit and compensation plans to his position as ERH’s Vice Chairman of Personnel. That knowledge is helping him to shape ERH’s ongoing growth. He also serves on the Compliance Committee and the ERH Foundation’s Board of Directors.

“ERH lives up to its mission of enriching the lives of older adults,” he said. “That mission continues to spread to more and more older adults with compassion and organized strategy.”

When he and his wife are not attending the Broadway series at the Aronoff Center, they volunteer with ERH’s Meals on Wheels program, which makes and delivers subsidized meals to needy individuals and shut-in seniors five days a week. Seeing the difference he makes in recipients’ lives is, Greenwald related, “a heartwarming experience.”

He is also a bit of a vocalist.

“I have sung for more than 50 years in several Episcopal church choirs,” he said.

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Topics: Episcopal Retirement Homes, senior housing, Cincinnati

ERH and Local Community Come Together for Fun and Fundraising

Posted by Alicia Inman

Oct 18, 2013 9:06:00 AM

ERH GalaEight years ago, we had an idea that the Episcopal Retirement Homes community could come together with leaders of the local community to host an event that would help see the ERH mission to “enrich the lives of older adults in a person-centered, innovative, and spiritually based way” brought out into the Greater Cincinnati community.

And so the ERH Gala was born.

Every year, a committee of residents, ERH volunteers, and local sponsors come together to host a themed event to benefit our Good Samaritan Mission which funds all of our charitable work in the Episcopal Retirement Homes communities and throughout southern Ohio.

Every year, the Good Samaritan Mission spends over $2 million dollars to make sure that our resident financial aid fund is never depleted, that Parish Health Ministry can continue its partnerships with local churches, that Meals on Wheels can continue its operations from Deupree House, that our vision of affordable senior living in Cincinnati stays a reality, and that our staff and residents who need care and assistance always have a resource available.

This year, our Gala took its cues from the iconic Vincent van Gogh sunflower painting which hangs at the National Gallery in London.

In the months leading up to the Gala, residents at both Marjorie P Lee and Deupree House put their artistic talents to work creating their own unique interpretations of the piece. From oil on canvas, to reverse glass etching to enamel tile—each work was exceptional in its execution.

Deupree House resident watercolorist Nancy Holterhoff painted an exquisite copy of the original masterpiece which we featured on the front of our invitations. Artist Pat Donaldson, also from Deupree, executed a beautiful acrylic on slate.

Over 25 masterpieces were created in all, and each table at the Gala featured a small work that was painted by a resident and taken home by one lucky guest at the end of the night.

Though dinner and dancing to the big band were a hit, as always, the silent auction was probably the highlight of the evening.

erh gala pic 2The amazing art work and painstakingly crafted treasures donated by residents of ERH communities and some of our guests were certainly sights to be seen.

The reproductions painted by Nancy Holterhoff and Pat Donaldson were both donated to the auction was not the only artowork represented at the Gala. Our guests were also in the giving mood, donating their own works of art   including a piece that displayed one of our famous local landmarks, the Roebling Bridge, which made an appearance in a giclée.

Another guest, a faithful attendee of the ERH Gala, contributed a lovely sketch to be sold as he does every year. An accomplished ERH quilter worked tirelessly to complete a batik quilt in time for the Gala. A resident photographer offered an image he had captured of the Marjorie P. Lee Fountain of Faith.

Last year, our Masquerade raised over $112,000 for the Mission.

The numbers aren’t in for this September’s Gala, but our volunteer committee put together a wonderful evening of dinner, drinks, and dancing at the Hyde Park Country Club, but we expect to match or exceed our giving from last year.

Deupree House residents Ann Bullock, Chet Cavaliere, Victoria Chisholm, and Sayers Sarran worked together with Nancy Powell, President of the Marjorie P. Lee Auxiliary, and board members Trish Martindell and Kit Duvall to ensure that the menu, program, and invitations were nothing less than stellar.

And of course, we can’t forget the support of our title sponsor PNC and sustaining sponsors Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, the Diocese of Southern Ohio, and local realtors Henkle Schueler who made the evening possible.

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Topics: Episcopal Retirement Homes, Building Community, community outreach

Our Board and CEO Keep ERH on the Cutting Edge of Senior Living

Posted by Alicia Inman

Oct 11, 2013 8:26:00 AM

At ERH we look for the innovators and forward thinkers to lead our charge in setting the standard for senior living in Cincinnati and across the country.

Board Member Dixon MIllerDixon Miller

Member of the Board

In the years since the rector of St. Luke’s in Granville Ohio, Stephen Applegate, recommended his parishioner Dixon Miller for a seat on our board, the Episcopal Retirement Homes community has benefitted from a marked increase in incisive legal expertise and keen business savvy.

As a practicing international attorney with expertise in corporate law, he’s more than familiar with the legal intricacies involved in the running of an expansive organization like the ERH family of retirement communities and senior services.

“The ERH Board is one of the most involved and effective boards I have ever worked with. It is truly exemplary of how an effective nonprofit board should work,” he says.

And Miller is no stranger to the complexities of the senior care industry, either.

His mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease nearly two decades ago and endured a 15 year struggle with the disease that lead her from assisted living to full-time care before she passed away.

And it is his experience with his mother’s care that, in part, led him to service to the older adult community in Cincinnati as a member of the Episcopal Retirement Homes board.

Board Member Ben BlemkerBen Blemker

Member of the Board; Member of Finance and Strategic Investment Committee within ERH

Our retirement communities have already felt the positive impact of the leadership experience Ben Blemker gained in his years as CEO of the scrap division at the David J. Joseph Company in Cincinnati in the few short months he has been serving on our board.

Blemker’s ability to analyze business currents and environments has enabled us to act proactively in order to facilitate positive change in both our communities and services.

“Being part of a progressive, well-run, well-defined organization is appealing to me,” says Blemker. “It’s a very complicated organization that takes two or three years to really get your arms around… I have served on nonprofit boards in the past. But, in my opinion, they didn’t have the right approach to defining success and implementing it.”

ERH, on the other hand, has the right kind of discipline and financial savvy—thanks to the time and expertise of volunteers like Blemker—to make a nonprofit organization succeed.

CEO Doug SpitlerRobert Douglas Spitler

President and CEO

Our President and Chief Executive Officer Doug Spitler has been a driving force for change in the Episcopal Retirement community since he was hired on as the Executive Director of Whetsone Care Center in Columbus more than twenty years ago—after his Beatles-inspired rock n’roll band finished touring the Midwest, of course.

It didn’t take long for Spitler’s innovative ideas for aging services to catch the attention of the board. He was named President and CEO in 1987, only five years after joining the ERH team.

ERH’s unwavering commitment to excellence and service to older adults in the Greater Cincinnati area is a point of pride for Spitler. “We have some of the most talented and committed Board members and staff who keep ERH in the forefront of eldercare trends,” he says.

Spitler has himself been a licensed nursing home administrator since 1974 and has always strived to provide dignified senior care that centered on the needs and desires of the older adults who lived in the communities he managed.

This goal, which has made him such an effective leader here at ERH, has become even dearer now that his own mother Mary Elizabeth is advancing in age—88 and still going strong!

The dedication of the Deupree Cottages was one of his proudest and fondest moments in his time at ERH. “It was great to finally provide nursing care the way it should be,” he says, “restoring freedom, choice and purpose for elders.”

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Topics: Episcopal Retirement Homes, Senior Life, retirement community, senior living

Innovative and Dedicated Leaders Drive Person-Centered Senior Living

Posted by Emily Inman

Jul 22, 2013 9:00:00 AM

Dedicated ERH board members provide the leadership our retirement communities and senior services need to be innovators in senior living.

Bruce Freeman
Vice Chair, Leadership

Bruce FreemanAs Rector of the Church of the Redeemer in Hyde Park, Bruce Freeman brings an element of pastoral ministry to the Episcopal Retirement Homes board.

After nearly a decade with ERH, serving on the board for more than half of that time, Freeman isn’t afraid to keep the board on track with the “obvious questions” about the goals and purpose of our service and ministry. In fact, as rector of a local church he is able to supply a firsthand account of our ministry within the Greater Cincinnati community.

“I truly believe in the mission of ERH,” he says, “and have witnessed the excellence of this organization in following its mission. [As part of the board,] I can actually make a difference in the lives of seniors in my community, while having fun with talented staff and board members.”

Freeman truly has a heart for the older adults of Greater Cincinnati. One of his greatest joys in service has been hearing their stories—stories from strangers, from members of his congregation who have benefited from our senior services and from residents of Episcopal Retirement Homes communities who have the comfort of a permanent home through ERH because they will never be asked leave for financial reasons.

Kit Duval
Vice Chair, Development

Kit DuvallAs a life-long Episcopalian, Kit Duval has been working with the Episcopal Church for as long as she can remember. As an experienced manager and development specialist—Duval work as director of development at Talbert House and as executive director for The Friends of the School for Creative and Performing Arts—sShe joined the ERH board in 2003 to meet our need for  fund development consultation.

It was a service she was “happy to do.” Since then, however, she claims that “the department and its skillful staff have flown by my expertise [in fundraising, marketing and public relations]. Nonetheless, I am happy to continue helping where needed.”

Especially when it gives her the opportunity to see how her service has helped to enrich and enhance the lives of residents at our retirement communities.

“It is a joy to be a part of an organization that puts the quality of life for seniors at the top of its goals,” says Duvall.

Outside of ERH, she finds enjoyment in sports—an outing to a baseball or football game can find you a fast friend in Duvall. She also volunteers her skills with other ministries in the Greater Cincinnati community, chairing the annual fundraising event for Stepping Stones, a nonprofit which helps improve the lives of adults and children with disabilities.

Trish Martindell
Member of the Board, Former Board Chair

Trish MartindellTrish Martindell began serving the ERH community as a way to give back to the organization that took “such wonderful care” of her father.

She joined the ERH board after serving as Chair of the Family Council at Deupree in 2001, when her father was a resident at Deupree Health Center, eventually sitting as board chair from 2010 through 2011. As a key leader in ERH leadership Martindell has brought her strategic thinking, a skill refined during 26 years as a Procter & Gamble executive, to bear in the world of senior living.

In giving back to the ERH community, Martindell has found that her own life has been enriched by the people and experiences.

“ERH has created a culture throughout the organization that attracts the highest quality of people,” she says. And serving on the board has provided “the challenges of learning the complexities of the business – something I miss about Procter & Gamble.”

Martindell has also put her skills into service for other projects in the Greater Cincinnati community, serving as a volunteer for 21 years on the Multiple Sclerosis board and 13 years on the Beechwood Home board.

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Topics: Episcopal Retirement Homes, Leadership, senior living

Innovative Senior Living Requires Innovative Leadership

Posted by Emily Inman

Jun 7, 2013 9:00:00 AM

Every member of the Episcopal Retirement Homes Board of Directors has devoted skills and experience to serving the Great Cincinnati community. They lead the way in our commitment to enrich the lives of older adults in a person-centered, innovative and spiritually based way.

The Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price Jr.
Member of the ERH Board of Directors

Rev. Kenneth Price has played a crucial role in creating a healthy spiritual environment at ERH.

After a ministry that crossed state lines— Fr. Kenneth Price has served as Bishop Suffragan in Southern Ohio and Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh— Bishop Price become a spiritual leader for the ERH communities and our Board.

As the Bishop representative to the ERH Board from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, he has been able to carry on his pastoral ministry for over 16 years. Bishop Price has presided at building dedications, worked for affordable senior living as part of an ERH cooperation with the Central Ohio Committee working on affordable housing, and ministered to the residents of the ERH retirement communities.

Bishop Price believes that his participation on the Board has brought him as benefits as his service has brought to other, though he does consider the work of Episcopal Retirement Homes an integral ministry to the community.

“With the growing elderly population remaining active longer, communities like ERH [that provide dynamic retirement living] are critical. Now, with our movement into affordable senior living, the mission is enhanced.”

After 44 years in service to the church, Bishop Price isn’t going to be limiting his ministry much anytime soon.

“I am looking forward to reading, traveling and becoming more involved with ERH, particularly in the area of affordable senior living in Columbus,” he says.

Robin Smith
Board Chair,
Vice Chair of Financial Resources,
Next Generation Leadership Development Committee Chair,
Member of the ERH Foundation Board

Robin Smith has helped bring financial stability to our senior living communities.

As a former Procter & Gamble IT professional, Robin Smith has brought more than 29 years of experience in finance, program and project management, as well as leadership and organizational development to our senior living mission.

More than five years of service has carried with it great fulfillment, and Mrs. Smith has found particular enjoyment in working on the strategic initiatives that have been brought to life through our residents. She says that her involvement in the renovations at St. Paul Village has given her a deeper understanding of the power of person-centered care.

I am a true believer of ERH’s mission,” she says. “And I am giving my time and talents in order to spread [senior care that is person-centered, innovative and spiritually based] to as many older adults in our communities as possible.”

When she isn’t serving the residents of ERH retirement communities, Mrs. Smith can be found outdoors almost every day enjoying her favorite hobby—running. She’s competed in twelve marathons, including six outings in the Boston Marathon.

Mike Schueler
Member of the Board of Directors

Mike Schueler has helped in the continued growth and expansion of our senior living communities.

As President of the Schueler Group of Companies, which is involved in the real estate, development and construction business, Mike Schueler is no stranger to the demands of management.

As a board member for more than five years, Mr. Schueler has been able to use his business knowledge to advise Episcopal Retirement Homes in a number of areas—from broad business management to his particular areas of expertise in finance, real estate, and project management.

Mr. Schueler has always been an advocate for the Greater Cincinnati Community. In addition to representing the interests of local seniors through his service as an ERH board member, he is also a part of Little Miami Inc. As president of the organization, Mr. Schueler has been instrumental in helping to preserve the Little Miami River, a task which is more than halfway complete.

No stranger to bringing life and vitality to a community, Schueler chaired the Development Committee at the College of Mount St. Joseph for 18 years, helping it to grow and expand. The college granted him an honorary Ph.D. for his dedication to service and business expertise.

We’re grateful that he has chosen to bend his skills in support of our effort to bring a higher level of senior care to Greater Cincinnati, and Mr. Schueler has enjoyed seeing ERH grow.

“It is thrilling to be a part of this vibrant and diversified growing organization, which is run by a skilled group of managers,” he says.

When he takes time away from running the Schueler Group and his charitable endeavors, Mr. Schueler can likely be found relaxing with family or downtown at some of his favorite Cincinnati haunts like Tony’s Restaurant, Trio Bistro and Playhouse in the Park. A family man, he also enjoys spending time at the family home near Charleston, S.C., and attending the annual family reunion on Sanibel Island in Florida is always a highlight of the year.

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Topics: Episcopal Retirement Homes, Leadership

A Unique Philosophy and Experienced Staff Set ERH Senior Care Apart

Posted by Emily Inman

May 13, 2013 10:00:00 AM


ERH shows how not-for-profit can make a difference in senior careWhen assisted living first started to become popular in the early 2000s, articles and news reports seemed to pop up every day about the failure of these senior living communities to meet the needs of their residents.

The root of the problem lay in concept and execution.

Many assisted living homes in the United States opened with thoughts of easy money gained from serving a rapidly aging generation of boomers. They weren’t prepared to deal with the reality of older adults who needed the support of skilled professionals to maintain quality of life. These kind of retirement homes, designed around a financial model rather than a description of service, had cut their costs through staffing. They just didn’t hire trained professionals.

Because ERH is a non-profit organization, these problems have never plagued our communities.

Not-for-profit is what makes the difference.

The leadership at Episcopal Retirement Homes is a team of individuals who know the ins-and-outs of both senior living and financial management.

They’ve made sure that we’re serving older adults at the highest level and that we’re financially sound— investing our income right back into the organization to provide Resident Financial Aid, Spiritual Services, and many other services and amenities for our residents.

As a not-for-profit organization, our goal is to ensure quality in the senior living experience of our residents and clients, not to make money. We’re dedicated to ensuring that the older adults we serve have the most skilled care and live enriched lives because of our service.

We focus on senior care, not profits.

That’s why Person-Centered Care (PCC) is the common thread running throughout all ERH communities and programs. Driven by a desire to exceed the normal standards of senior care, PCC enables our staff to interact with people on a higher level of empathy and understanding.

The PCC philosophy permeates all ERH communities and programs. Whether a resident or a client of services, all people ERH serves are treated as the unique individuals they have always been with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Because we strive to provide service above and beyond what can be found at other communities and in other organizations, we hire staff members who are both empathetic and the most skilled individuals within their field—from custodians to caregivers to executives.

And that makes a difference.

Benefit from our experience.

“The staff and management of ERH are some of the most dedicated and passionate people I’ve ever worked with. It’s energizing to be part of such a dynamic organization!”
- Debbie Engelbrecht, Grant Writer, Episcopal Retirement Homes

The skilled staff and leadership at Episcopal Retirement Homes have a heart for service, so they’re always willing to share their senior living expertise. In fact, they’re so eager to share, we’ve created a Speakers Bureau to provide free educational opportunities for the Greater Cincinnati community.

Our team of retirement living, healthcare, and long-term care professionals speaks to audiences on a wide variety of topics.

The following is a sampling of some of the many topics we offer:

  • Helping loved ones adjust to a senior living community or nursing home
  • Preventing falls and other accidents
  • Understanding the normal changes and challenges that come with aging
  • Elder etiquette: tips for working with older clients
  • Health and wellness in all aspects of senior living
  • Health tips for seniors that includes exercise and fitness programs for older adults
  • Choosing a retirement community and the financial considerations for the future
  • The Person-Centered Care approach

The Speakers Bureau offers a variety of opportunities to learn more about senior care and how to ensure that the lives of older adults are filled with purpose, choice and freedom.

If you would like to have one of our highly experienced professionals speak at your next meeting or conference, we are more than happy to oblige! There is absolutely no charge for this service, and we can tailor presentations to your group’s specific needs.

You can visit our webpage to find out more about our services or to complete a Speaker Request Form.

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Topics: Episcopal Retirement Homes, senior living services, senior healthcare

Living Well Senior Solutions Brings ERH Services to the Community

Posted by Emily Inman

Apr 18, 2013 11:00:00 AM

Living Well Senior Solutions provides services older adults need to keep living at home safely.Anyone who has been through a crisis knows that change can frighten, devastate and overwhelm. We’ve seen many residents join our Episcopal Retirement Homes communities after a life-changing event.

It’s our goal to see all Cincinnati seniors thrive in their golden years. That’s why we started Living Well Senior Solutions (LWSS).

The pilot program, which was initiated with just a single client in 2008, has nearly doubled in size from 2011 to 2012, and we continue to grow as we serve older adults in the Greater Cincinnati area.

What is Living Well Senior Solutions?

LWSS is a geriatric care management program that serves the entire family. In fact, it’s often grown children who contact program director Peggy Slade-Sowders for help.

“I always say that our care managers are like extended family members. Each manager treats the clients as if they were her own mother or father,” says Kathy Ison-Lind, Vice President for Affordable Housing and In-Home Services at Episcopal Retirement Homes. “The care managers know all of the resources in the city, and they are truly advocates for their clients.”

This senior services program aims to be the preventive measure, the arm to lean on for support and the bright spot in a cloudy situation—all rolled into one. From the very beginning, our priority was to help older adults live wherever they call home for as long as possible by making the most of opportunities and maintaining total wellness.

“The program is really all about promoting strength of people,” says Peggy Slade-Sowders.

Instead of bringing attention to what an older adult can no longer do, we focus on promoting the things they can do.

Serving at the Client’s Convenience.

As experienced care managers, the Living Well Senior Solutions team looks at the big picture to create a plan that provides exactly what each client needs. Slade-Sowders and her team of four can do everything from accompanying clients to a doctor’s appointment to arranging in-home support and senior services.

“We try to help with whatever a client most needs,” Slade-Sowders notes. Large or small, Living Well Senior Solutions can help. “For example, we had a client who quilts and knits. She had forgotten how to do one knitting stitch, and kept getting stuck. We found a knitter to come in and help her with that stitch. It’s still up to her if she does it, but she has what she needs now.”

The average time care managers spend with clientele ranges from an hour to 30 hours a month, depending on what is needed at any given moment.

“Our services are very personalized and very flexible. We respond to our clients’ needs at their convenience, not ours,” Slade-Sowders says.

Living Well Senior Solutions Provides What Older Adults Need.

The LWSS caregivers work to improve the quality of their clients’ senior living experience. In the past year our team has been able to:

  • Prevent at least 10 hospitalizations because of early intervention and follow-up. This often means doing mini-assessments when care managers notice a client isn’t feeling well and contacting the doctor before a condition escalates.
  • Correct potential safety issues and prevent countless falls.
  • Help clients keep up the lifestyle they’re used to— going on trips and attending events.
  • Provide rides for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and other errands.
  • Help clients and their families through the complicated process of selling a house.
  • Ensure that spouses and families were together for holidays and family events.
  • Assist with technology like emergency response devices, medication dispensing systems, and easier to manage phones, so that clients could stay safely in their homes.

Slade-Sowders says that their biggest result, by far, is something that’s hard to quantify—

“It’s about offering assurance and peace of mind to an elder client and their loved ones. That’s what motivates us every day.”

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Topics: Episcopal Retirement Homes, living well, senior living services

Meet the Board that Keeps Episcopal Retirement Homes on Track

Posted by Emily Inman

Apr 16, 2013 2:51:00 PM

The Episcopal Retirement Homes Board of Directors makes serving the ERH mission a priority. They lead the commitment to enrich the lives of older adults in a person-centered, innovative and spiritually based way.

In today’s blog, we’ll be introducing you to a few of the gifted individuals who have volunteered their time and talents to serving our community.

ELIZABETH WILLIAMS
Representative to the Board,
Chairman of Resident’s Council

Elizabeth Williams of the Episcopal Retirement Homes Board

Dr. Williams is a retired professor of gerontology and developmental psychology who has always been interested in life’s golden years.

“I once taught the subject,” she says, “now I am the subject!”

With a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, specializing in gerontology, Dr. Williams has brought her professional expertise into play in articulating the opinions and concerns of the Episcopal Retirement Homes communities’ residents during her two years on the Board.

ERH is not her only experience serving on a senior-focused board. Before moving to Cincinnati to be near her daughter who lives in Mariemont, Dr. Williams served on committees for many older adult organizations in Grosse Point, Michigan— including the senior living community of the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan.

Dr. Williams has never regretted her decision to move into the Deupree House in 2010.

“The Deupree House is a great place to call home,” she says. “They do a good job of providing a comfortable senior living experience. I especially enjoy the beautiful swimming pool.”

When she isn’t serving her community by working on the Board or assisting with the resident newsletter, Dr. Williams and her husband can be found out in the community, enjoying their golden years.

Whether attending adult classes at the University of Cincinnati or picnicking at nearby Ault Park, the Williams know what it means to live well.

RICHARD “DICK” ADAMS
Member of the Board of Directors
& ERH Foundation Board

Richard Adams of the Episcopal Retirement Homes Board

As a former Procter & Gamble professional with 35 years of experience, Dick Adams is bringing financial and investment expertise to the Episcopal Retirement Homes Board.

Mr. Adams is one of the most dedicated Board members our community could ask for. He’s been serving Episcopal Retirement Homes for thirty years. He originally joined the Marjorie P. Lee Advisory Committee to get involved in the community where his father-in-law was an active resident.

“My father-in-law was a Marjorie P. Lee resident and a member of the Memorial Homes Board," says Adams.

Service has become something of a long-running family tradition with his wife and sisters-in-law getting involved as volunteers, and Mr. Adams finds that serving our extremely well-run organization with its many lovely residents is particularly rewarding.

“It gives me great pleasure to help the Cincinnati area community through affiliations with organizations like ERH, he explains. “In the past, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the Church of the Redeemer, Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Hyde Park Center for Older Adults, Families Forward, The Cincinnatus Association, Cincinnati State, The University Club of Cincinnati, and Cincinnati Public Schools.”

When he isn’t working, Mr. Adams enjoys a day out on the links improving his golf game or relaxing at home by reading a book. A fan of the arts, he and his wife regularly attends performances at Cincinnati Music Hall and Cincinnati Playhouse in The Park. The Adams also enjoy visiting their summer home on Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada or stopping in to visit their grown sons as well.

THOMAS KAHLE
Director of the Board,
Former Chair of the Board

Thomas Khale of the Episcopal Retirement Homes Board

As an attorney with practice concentrations in health care and finance and 10 years as co-chair of Baker Hostetler’s national healthcare practice, Thomas Kahle knows the innerworkings of continuing care retirement communities.

His understanding of senior living finance and knowledge of how healthcare reform and regulation can impact Episcopal Retirement Homes has been a boon to our organization and a gratifying experience for him. He has been able to see, first hand, how much of a difference we are able to make in the lives of older adults throughout his more than 15 years of service on the ERH Board.

“I firmly believe in the value of the ERH mission,” he says. “It is exhilarating to work alongside a group of talented people who share the same passion.”

Besides being an avid cyclist, which provides him with a distinct perspective of the Greater Cincinnati area, Kahle is a history buff. He’s recently been learning more about the history of our city, and has a particular interest in the steamboat building industry that flourished in Cincinnati’s East End during the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Topics: Episcopal Retirement Homes, Leadership

ERH Provides Internationally Accredited Senior Living

Posted by Emily Inman

Apr 11, 2013 10:00:00 AM

If you’ve been looking for a place to have the best senior living experience and receive any necessary care from one of the most qualified providers, consider making an Episcopal Retirement Homes community your home.

ERH communities recently received CARF-CCAC accreditation for excellence in senior living and senior care.This past year, the service and care we provide at three of our communities—Deupree House, Deupree House Skilled Nursing Cottages, and Marjorie P. Lee— were certified by an independent organization of outside examiners. All of these Episcopal Retirement Homes communities received the highest level of accreditation possible by meeting internationally recognized organizational and program standards from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC).

CARF-CCAC is an independent nonprofit accreditor of health and human services that sets the standards for excellence in the senior living and care industry.

Rigorous Accreditation Procedures Guarantee Quality

Achieving accreditation requires a lot of work from a retirement community. Any senior care provider wishing to be certified must commit to quality in all areas of service.

The accreditation process begins with an internal examination of service programs and business practices to insure that operations can meet the needs of those being served.

Following the operational review, a team of industry experts selected by CARF conducts an on-site survey where providers must demonstrate conformity to a series of rigorous and internationally recognized care standards.

After the on-site inspection of the communities under survey, the accreditation surveyors file a written report on the provider’s strengths and areas for improvement with the CARF organization. The CARF then awards accreditation based on the results of the survey. If a provider has sufficiently demonstrated its conformance to the standards, it earns CARF accreditation.

ERH Communities Are Setting the Bar High

For Episcopal Retirement Homes, accreditation was a year-long process that required months of self evaluation.  At the end of the process, we had conformed ourselves to the rigorous CARF standards in all aspects of our communities, and we received our certification not long after the on-site surveyors finished their inspections of our communities.

“The surveyors were particularly impressed with our deep commitment to person-centered care,” said Laura Lamb, our Vice President of Residential Housing and Healthcare and leader of the accreditation process for all three ERH communities. “And they really held us up as a model for the nation in that regard.”

Accreditation demonstrates a provider's commitment to continuously improve service quality and to focus on the satisfaction of the persons served. Lamb likens the accreditation to winning the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award on a corporate level or getting a Consumer Reports’ “Best Buy” designation or a Good Housekeeping “Seal of Approval” on the consumer level. It is evidence of excellence.

“This is an exciting achievement for us,” said Lamb. “While we’ve always known our programs for seniors are of the highest quality, this accreditation demonstrates to potential residents and their families that we are accountable and that we are committed to excellence in our programs and service to our residents.”

CARF-CCAC accreditation is only awarded to those organizations that meet high standards in program quality, treatment of residents and clients and business practices. The services at Marjorie P. Lee, Deupree House and Deupree Cottages have been officially accredited for a five-year period— this signifies approval at the highest level that a community can receive.

Our communities will undergo a review and re-accreditation in 2017, and we’re confident that the process will show that Episcopal Retirement Homes continues to be a leader in service to seniors in the Cincinnati area.

“We are proud to be recognized on so many fronts for our good work and passion for improving the lives of older adults,” says CEO Doug Spitler. “It really demonstrates our commitment to staying on the forefront of our industry through continuous improvement and sound financial management.”

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Topics: Episcopal Retirement Homes, Deupree House, Marjorie P Lee, senior living

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