Category Archives: Residents Association

Our Intergenerational Music Program Featured as National Cutting Edge. Newspaper and TV

Collington is now the Poster Child for Intergenerational programs!

Samantha Flores and Collington are the featured story (with photo of our auditorium) in The New York Times reporing on a newly issued report on inter generation initiatives for seniors.  The story begins.

When Samantha Flores wasn’t taking classes at the University of Maryland for her master’s degree in cello performance this past academic year, she could often be found hanging out with a bunch of 80-somethings. Ms. Flores, 28, along with another music student, was participating in a new artists-in-residence program at Collington, a nonprofit retirement community in Mitchellville, Md.

As the article reported:

Marilyn Haskel, a 72-year-old resident of Collington involved in selecting the students, said the young people often invited fellow music students to practice on the grounds, resulting in pop-up concerts. With no family nearby, Ms. Haskel said, “it was delightful for me to sit down and have conversations about their careers and what they’re planning.”

When residents learned that Ms. Flores didn’t have a car, they often drove her to campus. Ms. Flores struck up close friendships with many of the residents, including one she met in September who had recently been given a brain cancer diagnosis.

“We bonded over Bach,” she said, engaging in lengthy conversations about him. When the man died in February, Ms. Flores played a piece he had requested at his funeral: Bach’s “Sarabande: Suite for Solo Cello No. 5 in C Minor.”

“I promised I wouldn’t cry, but you can’t help that,” she said. “It was a very emotional moment.”

The trigger for the article is a new report from Generations United and the Eisner Foundation survey of 180 intergenerational programs.

That report itself cites a Harris Poll that found:

[P]lenty of support for programs that bring diverse age groups together to fend off loneliness. Ninety-two percent of Americans believe intergenerational activities can help reduce loneliness across all ages.

Moreover,

A strong majority of Americans (94 percent) agree that older people have skills or talents that can help address a child’s/youth’s needs and 89 percent believe the same about children and youth addressing the needs of elders. More than four in ve Americans also say if they (85 percent) or a loved one (86 percent) needed care services, they would prefer a care setting with opportunities for intergenerational contact rather than one with a single age group. Americans were also clear that age segregation is harmful, finding that almost three quarters (74 percent) agree that “programs and facilities that separately serve different age groups prevent children/youth and older adults from benefitting from each other’s skills and talents.

Given all that is now happening in this field, way beyond music, we will need to keep innovatintg to stay in the lead — another major task for our strategic planning process.  Indeed, onsite child care was an idea that came up frequently in the process.

P.S.  One little thing I would like the photo committee to do is take on making a set of before and after photos of our residents, showing the huge impact grandchildren visits have on us.

P.P.S.  The TV version is on WJLA, here.

 

 

The Potential for Clinical Trials at Collington

As we move forward with our repositioning of health care at Collington,  of necessity the potential of Collington as a research location has taken a big of a back burner – but only for now.

This New York Times article is a timely reminder of how us seniors are often forgotten when it comes to clinical trials:

Salt matters to geriatricians. It’s associated with conditions many older people contend with, particularly high blood pressure, but also swelling and heart failure.

Though doctors frequently urge older patients to reduce salt in their diets, it’s not clear how much reduction is necessary to improve health, or even how much salt most people actually consume.

“There’s a lot of controversy, but that’s why we need the data,” said Dr. Covinsky. So he read on, until he reached the paragraph explaining that the study used “randomly selected, nonpregnant participants aged 20 to 69 years.”

He did a double-take. Once again, the population probably most affected — older adults — had been left out of an important study.

“How is this possible? Unacceptable!” Dr. Covinsky protested on Twitter. “I can think of no good rationale for this exclusion. This has got to stop.”

Indeed, I have been told by researchers that it is hard to recruit seniors for trials.  This may be for a variety of reasons, lack of trust, fear of the unknown, inconvenience, failure to understand modern protocols and informed consent.  As the Times adds:

Starting next January, [NIH] grant applicants will have to explain how they intend to include people of all ages, providing acceptable justifications for any group they leave out. The agency will monitor investigators to make sure they comply.

Moreover, there are often problems with exclusions of research candidates who have multiple medical conditions (like almost all seniors.)

This has all led to the idea that Collington may indeed be a perfect research partner.  We have many scientists here, and many with experience with statistics, data, and research protocols.  We are an easy to reach population, and we are also racially diverse — another important consideration.  Moreover, we might be able to help enroll and provide services associated with the research to those in the community.  (In particular, fear of not being helped with other conditions is a major deterrent to certain categories of patients.

So, as we move forward, lets keep this is mind.

Salt, anyone?

p.s. Dorothy Yuan adds the following thoughtful comment.

You have absolutely right that we have an ideal population for clinical trials.  I can already think of many parameters.  First, the age bracket is quite limited.  Second, living conditions are similar.  Third,  access to minimal  medical care is generally available.  Forth, although the daily menu provides a lot of choices it is still rather limited in scope. Fifth, and most important, easy access for researchers to do follow-ups.
Whereas these conditions are not suitable for all areas of study.  For example, salt intake will be rather difficult since we don’t prepare our own meals.  However, we would be ideal for many other studies.  
All we need is a way to advertise our availability. 

 

News and Perspectives on Strategic Planning and Implementation Steps

Editors Note:  Periodically we post perspectives pieces in which we offer some broader thoughts on where our community is going.  We do this not only for each other, but to show our friends what is happening here.

As many know, our Strategic Planning document has been published, and concrete steps have been announced to move its items forward (see page 15 of our Courier dated Feb 26 to March 4).  This is a very important document for all of our lives, and not just because of the concrete steps, such as completely repositioning our health care, that are being and will be undertaken under its banner.

Every few weeks, the Committee, which is a Board Committee with heavy resident and staff participation, will be releasing an update on activities and plans in the Courier.  Residents will also be hearing about that in various fora, including the RA Council and the Community Meeting.

Indeed, such an update is in the most recent Courier.  It includes the very important news with respect to the critical health care partnership, that:

After a significant amount of due diligence, we have narrowed potential partners down to 3 providers. We are continuing due diligence and believe a final recommendation will be made to the Board in June for their endorsement.

Similarly with respect to the physical redesign of the Creighton Center (which is of course deeply integrated with our conceptual redesign:

A Request for Proposals (RFP) has been developed and has gone out to several national and local architectural firms. An ad hoc committee of the Strategic Planning Committee will oversee the RFP process and final recommendations on an architecture firm. We expect this process to be completed by the end of June as well. 

The is no need to note what a wonderful acceleration this represents.

The Report notes that the “Collington Culture and Stakeholder Engagement” implementation rollout will begin in September, and the other two will start in 2019. This delay will enable us to take full advantage of what we are learning about how best to work together in the initial groups and apply that will the next ones.

Speaking for my self, I feel very confident that these processes will be rich in resident input, and that the transformative quality will be clear from how things work out  Just look at the Landing Bistro and the new Physical Therapy staff and spaces.  These both reflect the values and principles processes established in the Srategic Planning process.  I hope that these will similarly increasingly influence everything here at Collington.

 

 

 

 

Meet Dr. George Hennawi – As described by his colleagues – A great guy, a straight shooter, his patients love him

On April 19th, a much anticipated program took place as over 100 Collingtonians packed our auditorium and an unknown number watched from home on channel 972. Dr. Peter Fielding, Chair of the Health Services Committee, introduced us to Medstar Gerontologist, Dr. Hennawi.

Dr. Hennawi presented his vision for medical care here at Collington based on a model already in place in Baltimore. As he demonstrated his enthusiasm, his presentation included statistics documenting this model of care’s success. Watch for yourself, understand the future of gerontology and how we may be part of that trailblazing experience!

Signs of Spring and Easter at Collington

By Marian Fuchs

After weeks of enduring a seemingly never-ending winter, spring finally arrived at the very end of March, in time for a great Easter brunch on April 1 – no fooling! Here’s proof…

Flowers on campus

Easter Bunny  and Ice Sculpture Seafood Bar

Mimosas in the Ivy Lounge and Snacks

Easter Windowsill Creations by the Flower Committee

spring4Forsythia all around Collington