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A Health and Wellness Magazine of McHarrie Life Senior Community A Health and Wellness Magazine of McHarrie Life Senior Community

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 3 FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 3

YOU HERE! Loma Linda California

Ikaria Greece Sardinia Italy

Okinawa Japan

Nicoya Costa Rica

Get on the Map of Longevity

The Secrets of the Longest Living People in the World

“Honoring our Past, Building Our Future, Leading the Way”




McHarrie Place

Health & Rehabilitation Center

Admissions: 315-638-2521 e continue to move forwardM with c H a r r i e To w n e plans to build another phase of Independent Living McHarri homes in our McHarrie Towne Founda independent living community. Construction documents are completed, necessary approvals are in process, and builders were invited to submit McHarrie Pointe McHarrie Place their bids. Assisted Living Health & Rehabilitation The demand for units continues to far exceed availability. New Residence construction will add an additional 38 units toCenter our existing neighborhood. Admissions: 315-638-2525 Our new units will closely resemble our current units, and will mesh perfectly with the McHarrie Towne landscape. McHarrie Life Sage Court We will keep those on our waiting list apprised of details as soon as Foundation they become available. Memory Care @ McHarrie Pointe Thank you for your patience as we continue to move forward with this Admissions: 315-638-2525 wonderful addition to our campus.

M c H a r r i e To w n e Independent Living Admissions: 315-638-1172 To request information about our programs,

McHarri M c H a r r i e P l aplease c e call 315-638-2521 or visit our website

Assisted Health & Rehabilitation at Resid Center LifeTimes is a publication of McHarrie Life Senior Community 7740 McHarrie Meigs Road Life Baldwinsville, New York 13027 Foundation 315-638-2521 LifeTimes Editor: Kelly O’Neill-Rossi Director, Development & Marketing If you would like to add/remove your mailing address information, please email McHarrie Life Senior Community is a not-for-profit organization that offers a continuum of healthcare programs and services for older adults including; independent living at McHarrie Towne, assisted living and memory care at McHarrie Pointe, and shortterm rehabilitation and skilled nursing care at McHarrie Place. All programs and services are conveniently located at 7740 Meigs Road in Baldwinsville, New York.



McHarrie Life Organizes Kare for Karen Charity Benefit


he staff at McHarrie Life joined together to collect donations and create 31 beautiful gift baskets for a charity fund-raising event to benefit fellow co-worker Karen Mackey who was battling cancer. Karen was a dedicated cook in our dietary department who prepared thousands of meals for residents throughout the past seventeen years. The gift baskets valued nearly $3,000, and were on display in the main lobby of McHarrie Place for several weeks. The benefit was organized by staff members Cheryl Wentworth, Kelly Kratzer and Lisa Adrian (pictured) and additional support and assistance was provided by the entire McHarrie Life staff. The Kare for Karen Benefit was Saturday, August 10, 2013 from 2 p.m.–6 p.m. at Seneca River Fire Station in Baldwinsville. The event included; food, music, raffles and a silent auction. A total of $6,400 was presented to Karen’s family to help pay for her medical expenses.


Tea—The Good and Bad


The Secret to Living to 122 Years Old


Health Benefits of Chocolate

Sadly, Karen passed away on Sunday, August 11th, and is greatly missed by her family, friends and co-workers. A BIG THANK YOU to our staff, volunteers and family members for supporting this event for Karen and her family.

Bottom: Staff membersValarie Osier (left) and Joanie Spencer (right) place bids in Kare for Karen raffle baskets.




Home is Where the Heart is…


Get on the Map of Longevity

Cheryl Wentworth, (left), Lisa Adrian, (center) and Kelly Kratzer (right) gathered raffle baskets and organized the Kare for Karen Benefit.

Middle: Karen enjoys a day at work in the kitchen.


Beat the Winter Blues: Try Snowshoeing

Top: Staff members

McHarrie Life Foundation The Lost Art of Letter Writing


McHarrie Volunteers

Jim Hoffman Award for Volunteer Excellence Winner Announced


McHarrie Pointe Welcomes New Director of Activities

Inside Back Cover Interesting Facts and Figures



Tea–The Good and Bad FALL/WINTER 2013

here are teas that profess to calm your mood, lull you to sleep, ease constipation, boost your energy or improve your mood. Although these health claims are not always clearly labeled on the box, their benefits are implied by their names; like Sleepy-time, Tummy Tamer and Energizer. Perhaps the toughest part about drinking tea is deciding which to drink. So what do we know about tea? Research has reported that drinking tea may protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis. In one study, tea drinkers had higher bone density and less bone loss than those who filled their mugs with other beverages. Some studies show that tea provides even more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables. Powerful compounds called flavonoids protect against damage caused by free radicals, helping cut cancer risk. Regular consumption of tea, particularly Green Tea, has been shown to lower the risk of colon, throat and stomach cancers. The antioxidants in teas may help keep arteries more flexible and relaxed, lowering blood pressure and supporting cardiovascular health. Tea also has a calming effect that helps combat stress.

Whether chilled or hot, tea is an excellent source of hydration. The choice of an iced tea sweetened with a splash of fruit juice instead of a sugary beverage could bring big benefits, rather than just empty calories. Toss some fresh fruit into a pitcher of iced tea and keep it in the refrigerator for a fresh pick-me-up. Tea is also known to boost immunity and will help fight colds and viruses. Try breathing in the warm vapors from tea you brew to help with a stuffy nose. Warm liquids in general, help with congestion. A University study showed; drinking green tea may affect body weight, fat accumulation and insulin activity. A mug of tea sipped slowly while preparing dinner could save you from unnecessary snacking. The Mayo Clinic notes that some studies suggest drinking tea, particularly green tea, may help reduce inflammation.

Certain teas do provide many benefits, but not all teas are harmless. Take caution with teas that add vitamins, minerals and herbs that could interfere with medications you’re already taking. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about “dieter’s teas” which contain laxatives like Senna, aloe and buckthorn. The FDA also warns that supplemented teas that contain: “Comfrey”— could cause liver damage “Woodruff” — acts as an anti­ coagulant “ Ephedra” — could affect heart rhythm “Lobelia” — may cause breathing problems and even “Chamomile”— may cause allergic reactions. And don’t assume that herbal teas don’t contain caffeine. Make sure the box says decaffeinated or caffeine-free. The benefits of tea have been enjoyed for centuries, so make tea part of your daily routine. n —Sue Brady, RD, CSG, CDN-Registered Dietitian, McHarrie Place

The Secret to Living to 122 Years Old FALL/WINTER 2013



es, you read that right! died at age 46 after eating a dessert French born Jean of spoiled preserved cherries. Louise Calment was Calment also ate the cherries, but the world’s longest survived. living person who lived At age 85, she took up fencing to age 122 years and 164 days old. for the first time, rode her bike to How did she do it? Well, to the age of 100, and lived indepenstart, her father lived to age 94, her dently until the age of 110. mother age 86, and brother, age 97, When asked about her diet, she so undoubtedly, there was a strong replied, “I pour olive oil on my food link between her long life and good and slather it on my face.” She also genes, but what exactly did she do enjoyed an occasional differently to become the oldest glass of port wine, Calmentat 116 courtesy of documented human being in the and remarkably ate (Gerentology Research Guinness Book of World Records? 2.2 lbs of chocolate Group) After countless studies of her each week! health and lifestyle, it was deter“I don’t wear mined that the number one contributing factor to mascara because I laugh until I cry her longevity was her immunity to stress. “If you too often,” she said. Her mind was can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about it,” sharp, and she did not suffer from she often said. dementia, but did have deterioratThe wealth of Calment’s family enabled her to ing eyesight and hearing in her later enjoy a leisurely life full of activities and hobbies years. including; tennis, cycling, swimming, roller skatCalment walked into a nursing ing, piano and opera. “I dream, I think, I go over home at 110 years old, and continued my life, and I never get bored,” said Calment. to enjoy daily walks for five addiCalment married her second cousin, Fernand tional years until she fell and broke Calment in 1896 at the age of 21 in Arles, France. her femur, which required surgery, Sadly, they had one daughter, Yvonne who died of and limited her ability to walk again. pneumonia at the age of 36. She raised her grandOn the many occasions when asked what her son, who became a medical doctor, but was killed secret to longevity was, she replied with a smile, in an automobile accident in 1963. Her husband “God must have forgotten me!” n

Calmentat age 60.

“I took pleasure where I could. I acted clearly and morally and without regret. I am very lucky.”




Chocolate By: Mark Stibich, Ph.D., former Guide



hocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly eight times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood

Holiday Chocolate Pie Recipe A favorite dessert of the residents of McHarrie Pointe Assisted Living Prep Time: 25 minutes Ready In: 4 hours 25 minutes Servings: 10 Ingredients: 32 OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 2 cups cold milk 2 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling 1 (8 ounce) tub COOL WHIP whipped topping, thawed, divided Directions: 1. Finely crush 24 of the cookies; mix with butter. Press firmly onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. 2. Pour milk into large bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.) 3. Spoon 1-1/2 cups of the pudding into crust. Gently stir 1/2 of the whipped topping into remaining pudding; spread over pudding layer in crust. Chop remaining 8 cookies; stir into remaining whipped topping. Spread over pie. 4. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set.

pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.

HEART HEALTH BENEFITS OF DARK CHOCOLATE: Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it every day can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are: Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday


can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure. Lower Cholesterol: Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.


you must balance those 200 calories by eating less of something else. Cut out other sweets or snacks and replace them with chocolate to keep your total calories the same.


Chocolate also holds benefits apart from protecting your heart: n It tastes good n It stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure n It contains serotonin, which acts as an antidepressant n It contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants

Chocolate is a complex food with over 300 compounds and chemicals in each bite. To really enjoy and appreciate chocolate, take the time to taste it. Professional chocolate tasters have developed a system for tasting chocolate that includes assessing the appearance, smell, feel and taste of each piece.


Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate. These other two chocolates cannot make any health claims. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content.

Here is some more good news — some of the fats in chocolate do not impact your cholesterol. The fats in chocolate are 1/3 oleic acid, 1/3 stearic acid and 1/3 palmitic acid: n Oleic Acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil. n Stearic Acid is a saturated fat but one which research shows has a neutral effect on cholesterol. n Palmitic Acid is also a saturated fat, one which raises cholesterol and heart disease risk. That means only 1/3 of the fat in dark chocolate is bad for you.

CHOCOLATE TIP 1 – BALANCE THE CALORIES: This information doesn’t mean that you should eat a pound of chocolate a day. Chocolate is still a high-calorie, high-fat food. Most of the studies done used no more than 100 grams, or about 3.5 ounces, of dark chocolate a day to get the benefits. One bar of dark chocolate has around 400 calories. If you eat half a bar of chocolate a day,


CHOCOLATE TIP 4 – SKIP THE NOUGAT: You should look for pure dark chocolate or dark chocolate with nuts, orange peel or other flavorings. Avoid anything with caramel, nougat or other fillings. These fillings are just adding sugar and fat which erase many of the benefits you get from eating the chocolate.

CHOCOLATE TIP 5 – AVOID MILK: It may taste good but some research shows that washing your chocolate down with a glass of milk could prevent the antioxidants being absorbed or used by your body. n Copyright 2013 Mark Stibitch, PhD (http://longevity. Used with permission of About, Inc., which can be found online at All rights reserved.




B E AT T H E W I N T E R B L U E S :

Try Snowshoeing


or those of us who don’t love the winter season, snowshoeing is a great, inexpensive, low-impact aerobic activity that will encourage you to get off the couch, head outside, and enjoy winter! Snowshoeing offers participants the peaceful, quiet serenity of a snow-covered landscape. Snowshoes were used 6,000 years ago as one of the earliest forms of transportation. Up until the 1970’s, wooden snowshoes were used primarily for employment and survival. The earlier designs were flawed due to problems with the If you start at the front desk at snowshoe’s width, binding and McHarrie Place, and walk the entire lack of traction on hilly terrain. perimeters of units 1, 2 and each Since the invention of a hallway of unit 3, then head down to new aluminum design in 1972, McHarrie Pointe, walk back and forth snowshoeing is now one of the in those two hallways, and return to fastest growing winter activities. the main lobby, you have walked over According to the Outdoor Industry a HALF MILE! Association, snowshoeing in the United States increased by 7.5% in 2011 (to 4.1 million) from the prior year. Anyone can snowshoe—it is as simple as walking. Best yet, you can burn between 400-900+ calories per hour depending on your weight, snow depth, terrain, and whether or not you use poles. The main muscles used are your quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles as well as the muscle groups in your feet and ankles. If you use the poles, you will also work the muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms. If you weigh 150 pounds, here is a comparison of what you would burn per hour doing other outdoor activities:

Did you know?


Walking: Hiking: Backpacking: Snowshoeing:

170 calories 408 calories 476 calories 500+ calories

Why do you burn so many calories snowshoeing? There are several contributing factors to this increased calorie expenditure. First, you are walking with added weight on your feet, and if you are walking on an ungroomed trail, every step you take makes you lift your legs above the depth of the snow, thus, burning more calories. Workouts in cold weather also increase your metabolic rate.

Surprisingly, you will find on a 30-degree day of snowshoeing that you will actually get warm, fast! There’s no need for snow pants, especially on groomed trails, and multiple layering is not necessary, unless it’s windy. Snowshoes are highly maneuverable so you can explore parks, hiking paths and open country fields. There are three different types of snowshoes for casual, back country, and racing enthusiasts. Snowshoes range in price from $75-$300 depending on the manufacturer. Many retailers offer package deals including snowshoes, poles and a snowshoe storage bag. During the winter months, Beaver Lake Nature Center in Baldwinsville has well-groomed, marked trails for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter hiking. They also rent snowshoes for just $3 per hour. This is a great way to try out a new activity with minimal investment. So strap on your snowshoes, and enjoy the beauty and solitude of Central New York’s winter wonderland. n



Home is Where the Heart is… By: Lori Crawford, PTA, Director of Rehabilitative Services, McHarrie Place et well, and go home. At McHarrie Place, we strive to help residents regain their strength, renew their confidence and get back to doing the things they love to do. Our therapists are committed to helping residents achieve maximum mobility, and optimal health and wellness upon discharge. Last year, our top-rated short-term rehabilitation program helped nearly 600 people successfully return home, and it continues to grow each year. If you or a loved one is in need of short-term rehabilitation, you may find our most frequently asked questions and answers most helpful.


Q. What types of therapies are available?


We provide physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Your individual therapy plan is always results-oriented, and tailored to your needs and abilities.

Q. How many days per week is the therapy department open?


Our rehab department is open six days a week to enable residents to regain their strength, rebuild their confidence and return home as quickly as possible.

Q. How often will I receive therapy services?


Every resident receives an individualized treatment plan based on their specific healthcare needs. We provide the most appropriate services recommended by your therapy team. Generally, you will receive at least five days of occupational therapy and six days of physical therapy, if required. Swallowing or speech therapy is generally provided 3-5 times per week, if needed.

Q. Who will pay for my stay?


We accept Medicare, Medicaid, and most major insurance providers. We will guide you and your family through the administrative process.

Q. What can I expect when I am ready to return home?


Prior to discharge, a plan is developed by your team of therapists, social worker, and nursing, medical and dietary staff to determine your equipment needs, in-home services or outpatient therapy once you are home. Follow-up appointments, medications and specifics to your discharge are discussed with you prior to leaving the facility and a written copy of that information is provided for you to take home. If needed, equipment is ordered and delivered to the facility to take with you when you leave. By the time you leave, our plan is to have you functioning at a level that allows you to live safely in your home environment. 

Q. Who will be involved in my care?


A team including our facility medical staff, therapists, nursing, social work, and dietary staff will provide care, guide your rehabilitation and recovery process, and work in partnership with you and your family.

For more information about short-term rehabilitation, please call 315-638-2521.


Longevity! FALL/WINTER 2013



id you know that one of the longest living populations in the world resides in Loma Linda, California? Compared to the rest of the United States, people living in Loma Linda live nearly 10 years longer than the rest of us. The question is, why? New York Times best-selling author Dan Buettner teamed up with National Geographic in 2005 to study the world’s longest-living populations. “We knew most of the answers lied within their lifestyle and environment,” says Buettner. He traveled the world visiting places where the highest percentages of the population lived astonishingly long lives, and enjoyed and retained optimal health and vitality well into their 90’s and 100’s. “We then assembled a team of medical researchers, anthropologists, demographers, and epidemiologists to search for evidencebased common denominators among all places,” says Buettner. Several years later, he published a book titled, The Blue Zone, Lessons for Living Longer from the People who have Lived the Longest. He identified the five “Blue Zones” as; Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, Loma Linda, California and Ikaria, Greece.

So how do we find our way to the fountain of youth? Let’s first focus our attention right here at home. Loma Linda, CA is located 60 miles East of Los Angeles, with a population of 23,000 residents. Approximately 50 percent are Seventh Day Adventists—a religion that encourages a lifestyle of healthy living including; vegetarianism, regular exercise, strong social connections and observation of the weekly Sabbath. “I feel a big contributing factor to longevity is a vegetarian diet. I would recommend this lifestyle to anyone,” says 92 year-old McHarrie Life resident and Seventh Day Adventist Dr. William Hafner. “My parents raised me since birth to follow an ovo-lacto vegetarian lifestyle which meant we did not consume animal flesh of any kind but did consume dairy and egg products. “We also did not drink coffee, tea, or alcohol, and did not smoke,” he says. Dr. Hafner, along with his wife, Dr. Margaret Hafner, are lifetime vegetarians. It’s hard to comprehend that the Hafner’s excluded red meat, poultry, and seafood from their diets, especially during the mid 1900’s when very few people followed a vegetarian diet. “I traveled a lot, and food choices were quite limited back then.


I often had to drink a milkshake or have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. There were not a lot of choices,” says Dr. Hafner. Although they resided most of their lives in Central New York, the Hafner’s still reaped the benefits of longevity without actually living in Loma Linda. Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health recently released some of the findings from its current Adventist Health Study-2, and the results make a convincing argument for plant-based eating. The study is currently following roughly 96,000 Seventh-day Adventists with a variety of dietary habits, although many Adventists are vegetarian or vegan due to religious belief. Vegetarian Adventist men were found to live to an average age of 83.3, 9.5 years longer than other Californian citizens, and women to 85.7, 6.1 years longer than their omnivorous counterparts. Additionally, the study found that men who consume beef more than three times per week are more than twice as likely to die of heart disease, and women with a diet high in meat and cheese have a more than doubled risk of developing ovarian cancer. Undoubtedly, genetics play a role in our longevity—around 20 percent, but the other 80 percent is based on our lifestyle. In other words, our personal choices lead the way to a healthier future.

Here are ten facts about the lifestyle choices of America’s longest population in Loma Linda that add years to their lifespan.

Find a sanctuary in time.


A weekly break from the rigors of daily life, the 24-hour Sabbath provides a time to focus on family, God, camaraderie, and nature. Adventists claim this relieves their stress, strengthens social networks, and provides consistent exercise.


Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).

Adventists with healthy BMI’s who keep active and eat meat sparingly (if at all) have lower blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol, and less cardiovascular disease than heavier Americans with higher BMIs.


Get regular, moderate exercise.

The Adventist Health Survey (AHS) shows that you don’t need to be a marathon runner to maximize your life expectancy. Getting regular, low-intensity exercise, like daily walks, helps to reduce your chances of developing heart disease and certain cancers.





Spend time with likeminded friends.

Adventists tend to spend a lot of time with other Adventists. They find well-being by sharing each other’s values and supporting each other’s habits.


Snack on nuts.

Adventists who consume nuts at least five times a week have about half the risk of heart disease and live about two years longer than those who don’t. At least four major studies confirmed that eating nuts has an impact on health and life expectancy.

The overall common lifestyle habits of all of the Blue Zone populations identified nine lifestyle characteristics that may help you live a longer, healthier life. Keep moving. Exercise daily. n Have a purpose in your life. (Add up to seven years to life expectancy) n Make family a #1 priority. (Commitment to a life partner. Add up to three years to life expectancy) n Work less, enjoy life more. n Eat less. Stop when you are 80 percent full. n Get creative. Experiment in the kitchen. Eat more vegetables and fruit, and less meat and processed food. n Drink red wine in moderation. (except Adventists) n Stay connected to people and social activities. n Cherish your spirituality and religious beliefs. (Add 4-14 years to life expectancy) n


Give something back.

Like many faiths, the Seventh-day Adventist Church encourages and provides opportunities for its members to volunteer. People who remain active find a sense of purpose, and stave off depression by focusing on helping others.


Eat meat in moderation.


Eat an early, light dinner.

Many Adventists follow a vegetarian diet. The AHS shows that consuming fruits and vegetables and whole grains seem to protect against a wide variety of cancers. For those who prefer to eat some meat, Adventists recommend small portions served as a side dish rather than as the main meal.

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper,” American nutritionist Adelle Davis is said to have recommended—an attitude also reflected in Adventist practices. A light dinner early in the evening avoids flooding the body with

Put more plants in your diet.

calories during the inactive part of the day. It seems to promote better sleep and a lower BMI.


Nonsmoking Adventists who ate two or more servings of fruit per day had about 70 percent fewer lung cancers than nonsmokers who ate fruit once or twice a week. Adventists who ate legumes such as peas and beans 3 times a week had a 30 to 40 percent reduction in colon cancer. Adventists women who consumed tomatoes at least three or four times a week reduced their chance of getting ovarian cancer by 70 percent over those who ate tomatoes less often. A diet high in tomatoes also seemed to have an effect on reducing prostate cancer for men.

Drink plenty of water.


The AHS suggests that men who drank 5 or 6 daily glasses of water had a substantial reduction in the risk of a fatal heart attack—60 to 70 percent—compared to those who drank considerably less. “To make it to age 100, you have to have won the genetic lottery. But most of us have the capacity to make it well into our early 90’s, and largely without chronic disease. As the Adventists demonstrate, the average person’s life expectancy could increase by 10-12 years by adopting a Blue Zones lifestyle,” says Buettner. Undoubtedly, the path to a healthier, longer life is within your reach. Learn more about the Blue Zones by visiting The website includes several simple surveys that will determine your life expectancy based on your current eating habits and lifestyle choices. It will also provide tips to help you live a healthier life. By learning the secrets of the longest living people in the world, you, too, can get on the map of longevity. Sources: The Blue Zone, Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest,” by Dan Buettner.



What makes McHarrie Life worthy of donor support?


hen I talk with prospective donors and tell them, for example, that Medicaid reimburses us for less than 72 percent of our daily cost of providing care, they are genuinely shocked. With the majority of our long-term care residents receiving Medicaid, it becomes easy to understand any operating shortfalls. So how do we stay afloat? Answer: our donors. It is natural for people to think: Why should I give? What will it mean? What is the impact? Some simple core values often answer those questions. We are caring. Each and every person on our campus is genuinely cared for, and about. We are reliable; since 1851 we have evolved to meet the community’s needs. We are responsive. We evaluate and adjust our programs to ensure we are meeting every need. We are enriching. We make sure our residents are living to their fullest potential, everyday. We are empowering. Staff and

volunteers mobilize for the public good. We are effective. We provide high-quality services at a reasonable cost. We are productive. We create jobs and economic value. My job is to explain the depth and complexity of our needs; my joy is to watch people become comfortable and understand that their giving will make a difference. Our donors are recognized through the beautiful dedication wall or plaque; and that pride becomes a part of who the donor is. I am honored by the generosity of our donors and volunteers. Through their giving they indeed make an impact, and leave a trail for future generations to follow. Audrey Gibbs, Director of Philanthropy

Let’s talk about your legacy. Many planned gifts carry distinct tax advantages to individuals, or their estates.

Letter Writ





was rummaging through my attic last week looking for old photos of my senior prom to show my daughter when I accidently stumbled upon three large boxes of hand-written letters from my childhood and college years. The boxes included old love letters, greeting cards and letters from my parents, siblings, and friends. I had long forgotten about them, sitting up in my attic, untouched, for over 20 years. When I was growing up in the 80’s, there were no personal computers, cell phones, or free long-distance phone calls. Our world was just beginning to turn the technological corner, but not quite yet. We still depended solely on a pen, paper and the good ole’ U.S. 22 cent postal stamp. There was no e-mail, and we had to wait, sometimes several weeks, for a reply to our letters, but oh the excitement I felt when I ran to the mailbox to find my childhood sweetheart’s letter waiting for me. Not only was I excited to read it, but also thrilled to respond. We had a pact to write each other back immediately, often resulting in TWO WHOLE LETTERS in one week! I even knew the postman’s pick-up times on each blue mailbox in my neighborhood to ensure a same-day response to his letter! After reading a letter from my first love, I felt like I was instantly transferred

back in time. Just a few sentences into the letter, I remembered with great clarity exactly how I felt when I read his words 25 years earlier. Over several decades later, my first love became my best friend, soul mate and husband. We had so much fun reading our old letters again, and marveled at how much we had grown together throughout the years. I realized with great sadness, though, that none of our children would ever experience the true joy of receiving handwritten letters in the mail. They would never have a box or two of old handwritten letters from old boyfriends, girlfriends, college friends, and family members to cherish and enjoy decades later. With letter writing as one of our primary ways of communication (second to the telephone), we knew no other way to stay connected. For anyone who has experienced the joy of regularly sending and receiving hand-written letters throughout the years, you also understand that there is a significant sentimental difference between reading mail on a computer screen and a hand-written letter. There is truly no comparison. Nonetheless, there are great benefits to e-mailing and texting today. We can communicate faster, thus, responses are faster, and we save ourselves the cost of a stamp every time we send an e-mail. Correspondences are endless, and we can even have

a “conversation” by typing back and forth on a cell phone, tablet or computer. It’s quick and convenient, but definitely not the same. Call me old-fashioned but I would take a hand-written card in the mailbox to a 10 page e-mail any day. Those old letters of my past reminded me of a different time and place in my life, and the handwriting on the paper is a personalized message from the very person who took the time to connect pen to paper, and heart to soul. Old letters are a great piece of our history, and often contain references to our favorite places, or specific memories that we shared. I was surprised to also find letters from my college mentor, and several dear relatives who have since passed. The good news is it’s never too late to share your knowledge and wisdom with younger generations. As long as the U.S. Postal Service is still in business, there is always the priceless opportunity to send a good ole’ fashioned hand-written letter. Perhaps we can even share an old letter or two with others to inspire them to put aside their iPad, PC, and smart phone, and help revive the lost art of letter writing. So dust off your address book and notepad, pick up a pen and start writing! n —Kelly O'Neill-Rossi, Director of Development and Marketing, Lifetimes Editor





n the spirit of giving, this year’s annual holiday fund-raising appeal includes a special holiday card that you can return to a resident. The appeal letter will arrive in your mailbox in early December. Feel free to write a special holiday greeting in the card provided and return with your donation. We will distribute the holiday cards to our residents throughout the holiday season. If you would like to receive more holiday cards to fill out and send to residents, feel free to contact Kelly O’Neill-Rossi, Director of Development & Marketing at 638-2521. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our residents, especially those who have very few family members living close by.





Jim Hoffman Award for Volunteer Excellence Winner Announced


cHarrie Life is proud to present its first-ever volunteer award in its 162 year-old history. This year’s winner is Maggie Tubbert—a faithful volunteer for the past 24 years. Over the years, she has enjoyed coordinating Sunday morning trivia, helping out with resident day trips such as shopping and restaurant expeditions, delivering church bulletins, assisting with supper club, and is always willing to come in at the last minute to help out whenever possible. “I really enjoy talking to the residents when I first come in. They are so grateful,” says Maggie. She especially loves helping out with special events during the holidays such as; pinning corsages on residents during Mother’s/Father’s Day, delivering palms to Catholic residents on Palm Sunday, helping

Resident Harry Maddeford (left) enjoys spending time with Volunteer of the Year Maggie Tubbert.

out with the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween Trick or Treat night, and distributing presents to residents on Christmas. Throughout the past several decades, she has befriended many residents who look forward to her regular visits and companionship. During the earlier years, she volunteered as a receptionist on the weekends, transported residents to physical therapy, and helped out with gardening projects. Maggie recalls her very first volunteer experience was tutoring a young disabled girl when she was a teenager. “I helped her with studying and school work,” she says. Over the past decade, she has enjoyed volunteering with her 11 year-old grandson, Robbie, who loves to help out during his summer vacations, winter recesses and various weekends throughout the year. “I used to bring him in as a baby, and visit with residents,” she says. Together, they enjoy helping out with fishing trips, special events, bowling night, the annual State Fair outing, and friendly visiting. “Robbie has pushed wheelchairs from the time he was a little boy!” In addition to her volunteer work on our campus, she also volunteers at the annual Upstate Chiropractic Beaver Lake Run, greets church members during Sunday mass at St. Mary’s Church, and regularly visits & cares for her older friends who are currently living in local nursing homes. When asked what volunteering has brought to her life, she replies, “You realize that if you can help someone in any way, it gives you a good feeling. It also gives residents support and hope on days they are having difficulties.” The Jim Hoffman Award for Volunteer Excellence was established last year by the McHarrie Life staff in memory of volunteer Jim Hoffman who died unexpectedly on August 13, 2012. Jim was a compassionate, hard working volunteer who dedicated his time and talent to our residents. In honor of his memory and unending commitment to bring joy and camaraderie to the lives of our residents, the award will recognize a volunteer each year who spends at least eight hours a month work-


ing directly with residents, demonstrates a genuine, caring demeanor towards residents, takes the initiative to learn new skills, and maintains a positive attitude and good spirit. “Maggie greatly represents those very qualities we cherished in Jim,” says volunteer coordinator Teri Tarolli. A permanent award plaque is displayed in the activities department, and includes the name and photo of the yearly winners. “This is a fantastic way to recognize volunteers who go above and beyond to make residents feel comfortable,” says Tarolli. Congratulations to Maggie Tubbert for her unending commitment to bringing happiness to the lives of our residents. n

Interested in volunteering? There are dozens of fun and exciting ways to help out. The holiday season is an especially rewarding time of year to volunteer.

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities: Help transport residents to holiday concerts and special events

Accompany residents on the annual shopping trip to the mall

• • •

Help with holiday decorating and tree trimming Bake holiday cookies with residents Wrap gifts with residents


Contact Volunteer Coordinator Teri Tarolli at 315-638-2521 for more information.




McHarrie Pointe Welcomes New Director of Activities By: Jacqueline R. Mullen, RN, BSN, Wellness Coordinator, McHarrie Pointe Assisted Living


cHarrie Pointe Assisted Living is pleased to announce a new team member who accepted the position as Director of Activities. We welcome Jo Ann Proietta– St. Amour to our activities program. Jo Ann joins the team with a tremendous amount of experience in directing several resident programs. She brings with her, not only her activities background, but also is educated as a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. What does this mean to the residents at McHarrie Pointe? Jo Ann works in collaboration with the Wellness Coordinator to promote good health through the philosophy of the mind, body and spirit. With Jo Ann as our activities/recreation professional, it is her intention to incorporate her program to encourage health and wellness in all areas. “Activities and recreational programs should be organized to emphasize cultural, spiritual,

divisional, physical, social and intellectual stimulation,” says Proietta-St. Amour. Jo Ann works with our residents to provide enriching programs that reflect a wide range of the residents’ interests while also providing physical and mental growth. She develops monthly calendars for our residents in our assisted living and memory care programs. Within the program schedule, Jo Ann includes daily life and spontaneity sessions by creating an environment in which unexpected and unpredictable interactions can take place. This is a great intervention to minimize boredom.

Activities that will strengthen the Mind, Body and Spirit THE MIND n Reminiscing Programs n Intellectual Stimulation n Familiar Old Movies n Historical Information n Current Events n Travel/Cultural Programs n Ethnic Programs n Trivia/Educational Lectures n Word Listing Games n Concentration Programs n Discussion Groups n Creativity (Art) Programs n Writing Poems n Music of all Genres


THE BODY “Let’s renew, refresh, evolve and transcend.” n Exercise Classes such as Zumba, Yoga and Tai Chi give well-rounded body workouts. n Well designed strength training. n Full range of motion exercises to preserve muscle integrity. n Flexibility and Toning. n Walking, Gardening, Horseshoes, Shuffleboard, Putt-Putt Golf, Dancing. n Massage Therapy.

THE SPIRIT “Let’s reconnect to find peace.” Bible Study activities such as finishing bible quotes, matching names to events in the book of faith, reading a prayer book, saying the Rosary, singing spiritual songs, and attending religious services. Meditation activities for relaxation and stress reduction for inner peace. This process results in enhanced spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. Selfawareness can help to minimize negative emotions. Aromatherapy activities can help with anxiety and pain relief whereby increasing energy levels. Other uses of aromatherapy are to enhance short-term memory levels through relaxation. It is a natural way that will have positive effects on the inner soul. At McHarrie Pointe we utilize our excellent staff collaboratively to ensure that our residents have a fulfilled active lifestyle that is individualized based on what they are interested in. There is a famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The first wealth is health.” By incorporating this quote into our daily routine, we will follow in our residents’ footsteps as they lead future generations into a long and healthy lifestyle.

Interesting Facts and Figures about McHarrie Life 240 

The number of full- and part-time employees—including physicians, physical therapists, nurses, administrators, maintenance, housekeeping, activities, clinical, clerical, & support staff.

SYRACUSE HOME originated in downtown Syracuse in 1851 as a shelter for impoverished women and children.

McHarrie Life is a not-forprofit organization. With much appreciation for our generous past and present donors, our campus expanded from skilled nursing care to independent living, assisted living, memory care and short-term rehabilitation.


residents live on our 140-acre campus.


is the Second Largest Employer in Baldwinsville (Anheuser-Busch is the largest)


volunteers at McHarrie Life contributed 6,000 volunteer hours in 2012.


Last year, short-term rehabilitation residents successfully completed their rehabilitation therapy and returned home.

Short-term rehabilitation residents range from ages 40-100.

Our programs and services continue to be among the highest rated in Central New York by


Each year receives hundreds of personalized e-mails, and thank you’s from grateful individuals, and families who recognize our professional, compassionate staff.


Annual survey results state that of discharged short-term rehabilitation residents would strongly recommend our program to friends, family and co-workers.





presents . . .

You’re invited

to our 12th annual AFTERNOON OF THEATER at Syracuse Stage

Sunday, December 8th

Patron Tickets: $50 each includes; 12:45 p.m. hors d’oeuvres, dessert and refreshments & 2:00 p.m. performance

Contributor Tickets: $30 each includes; 2:00 p.m. performance only

For tickets, please call 315-638-2521.

McHarrie Life Times  

315-638-2521 or visit our website at LifeTimes is a publication of McHarrie Life Senior Community 7740 Meigs Road Bald...

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