Bay Village Mayor Paul Koomar recently joined the staff of O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village in celebration of a longtime Bay resident Mr. William King on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Following Mayor Koomar’s presentation of his special proclamation, everyone enjoyed birthday party festivities worthy of such a wonderful centenarian.
Senior centers offer our older citizens free or low-cost options for socialization, recreation, fitness and education, to name a few things. People who regularly partake in these offerings value them. Unfortunately, there are too many senior citizens who remain isolated in their homes and either don't know about our programs or don't feel compelled to come.
There is a bit of a "that's for old people" mentality that can be a roadblock. I have heard this sentiment from many, including those in their late 80s. Some people define being a senior as "10 years older than whatever age I am." Why is this? Well, certainly our perspective of aging has a lot to do with it. If we envision aging as something negative and depressing, then we certainly don't want to put ourselves in that category.
The Dwyer Senior Center in Bay Village will be the subject of two community events this month: a public meeting about a planned renovation, and a lunch fundraiser.
On Monday, Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m., a public meeting will be held at City Hall to discuss the proposed conversion of the Dwyer Center kitchen into a commercial kitchen that would allow serving of hot meals to seniors. The city is applying for a municipal grant through Cuyahoga County to provide the funds for this renovation. Anyone interested in this project is invited to attend.
On Thursday evening, June 23, O'Neill Healthcare Bay Village hosted the Letter Carriers Band. The group is, as the name suggests, entirely comprised of United States Postal Service letter carriers. Their big band sound was a big hit with all who attended. O'Neill Healthcare Bay Village also hosts the M2B2 Jazz band twice monthly on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the main dining room. This band plays frequently at The Brothers Lounge and other venues locally. These events are open to the public so if you want to hear some great music please join us.
With the goal of helping seniors prevent or manage chronic illness through good nutrition and exercise, The Bay Village Senior Center has kicked off a six-month wellness program that includes the planting of a large vegetable garden on the grounds of the senior center. All of the vegetables harvested will be given back to the seniors, and used for cooking demonstrations and tastings using this produce.
Research has shown that simple changes to diet and exercise can help seniors prevent and manage heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as other chronic conditions.
Carolyn Vieth enjoyed an early Mother's Day celebration with her daughters, Becky Olson and Evelyn Sobczak, at O'Neill Healthcare Bay Village on April 30. The ladies attended the High Tea dressed in their finery, hats and all, and enjoyed an assortment of teas, scones and other delights.
The Westlake Center for Community Services together with the Westlake Women's Club recognized our city's over-90s residents with a Birthday Brunch Celebration on April 28. These two organizations have partnered to provide this time-honored tradition for well over 15 years now. The biggest change to this event over the years is that the number of celebrants keeps growing. Some of us (including myself) who attended the brunch as special guests, have given up our seats to meet the demand.
In fact, approximately 100 people over the age of 90 attended this year's brunch! The celebration included a handshake, photo-op and proclamation from Mayor Dennis Clough. Among the attendees were individuals from the eight assisted living/senior living facilities in Westlake, as well as 25 or more residents who live independently. There were plenty more Westlake nonagenerians who could not attend the brunch, but will still receive Proclamations. Many reside in the six nursing home facilities within the city. In total, over 325 individual Proclamations were prepared.
The Westlake Center for Community Services is having a monthly daytime dance. Dancing, watching dancing and listening to music have many benefits. Throughout a person's entire life, the brain responds to music. Unborn babies hear and respond to music in the womb. Those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia often can still remember words to songs, even when they can’t recall other things.
Because everyone is a little Irish on St. Paddy’s day, the residents at O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village celebrated with Irish dancing performed by the talented students of the Burke School of Dance. These very talented young ladies dazzled everyone with their precision and skill making our St. Patrick’s Day celebration extra special.
Exercise is good for your health: physically, emotionally, mentally and don't forget socially! Just ask Alice McCarthy and Jackie Garvin, who have been exercising together at the Westlake Center for Community Services for about 15 years now. The widows first met each other in exercise class and have been great friends ever since.
Alice, who is 85, and Jackie, 78, find the classes at the Westlake Center "just right" for them, as the instructors work to their abilities. "We don't get on the floor," notes Alice, adding that it is very helpful to have chairs for some of their exercises. "We work with weights, exercise balls, bands and do some mild aerobics suited to our age groups."
The residents and staff of O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village welcomed in spring with their annual Spring Brunch on March 19. Over 280 guests were in attendance and excited to visit with a very special guest, the Easter Bunny.
O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village received a donation of artwork from the family of Janet Woodward, a former resident. Sue Hale, Mrs. Woodward’s daughter and a Bay Village resident, graciously donated the collection in memory of her mother.
The artwork consists of framed floral and landscape watercolors. Mrs. Woodward was an accomplished local artist and this treasure trove of exquisite watercolors will be on displayed and enjoyed by residents, guests and visitors for years to come.
The Marines landed at O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village to honor a Vietnam veteran. Lewis “Mike” Chapman, USMC Sergeant, received a surprise visit from the Marine Corp League, Gung Ho Detachment #650. This great group of Marines is the Nursing Home Reconnaissance Party, known for supporting any former Marine residing in a nursing home.
Mike enjoyed reminiscing about his days as a Marine, and hearing stories from the Gung Ho Detachment. O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village has been recognized by this group for the support and patriotism shown to our veterans. As a Veterans Administration-contracted facility, O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village has developed a number of programs engaging resident veterans with outside veterans organizations.
When chocolate hearts replace chocolate Santas in the world of retail, we know that Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Companionship and love never go out of style, although courtship rituals have changed over the years. Enter the world of Senior Speed Dating! Intrigued? You can find out more by registering to view "The Age of Love" documentary at the Westlake Center for Community Services.
This free movie screening is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m., and is open to Plus Fifty residents of the West Shore (reservations are required, 899-3544). The "Age of Love" is a story of the universality of love and desire, regardless of age. In fact, the goal is to empower seniors to see themselves in a new way that is not limited by social stereotypes.
The holidays were celebrated during the whole month of December at O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village. From the beautifully decorated Christmas trees throughout the community, to the children, families and friends coming in to spread Christmas cheer, there is no mistaking that it’s a most wonderful time of the year.
- Santa and his elf were in town for the annual resident and family open house, posing for pics every chance they got! Appetizers, desserts and a coffee bar were served.
- The Bay Presbyterian Church Mothers of Preschoolers group entertained the residents with a red carpet holiday fashion show, complete with red velvet dresses and lots of bling!
- The Bay Village Community Band performed a concert, Providence Church conducted the Christmas Eve service, and the afternoon New Year’s Eve party included entertainment from Gordon Taylor.
Holidays can be stressful and a lot of work. For our community elders, it just might take too much energy to think about some of the "extras" like decorating. That is part of the reason why the staff of Westlake's Community Services Department take extra time to transform our Community Center into a place that can help bring back the joy and wonder of the season.
The gingerbread house entrance immediately sets the tone. Our patrons smile and share some of their own happy holiday memories. Every community room has a different theme. There is a Grinch Christmas tree, along with the mono-antlered dog Max on the Grinch's sleigh, and another tree with an old-fashioned Candy and Soda Shop theme. You will find elves on shelves, and even a "Naughty List."
The Walkers of Westlake, a Plus Fifty group from the Westlake Center for Community Services recently completed 10 virtual walks around the world. The actual walks were 2 miles in length completed on the scenic track of the Westlake Recreation Department. The virtual walks took our seniors all over the world to such places as: Italy, Germany, China and Mexico, to name a few.
Each week the group received a treat from the featured country, as well as the next set of clues to help them determine their next destination. They also received a flag from the country they visited fastened to their "suitcase" so that they could track their own travels. The suitcases were part of the Center's bulletin board display. At the conclusion, our walkers returned to the good old USA for a breakfast provided by the Lutheran Home of Concord Reserve.
O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village honored 30 residents, all veterans, for their military service on Veterans Day. This distinguished group was comprised of men and women representing every branch of the armed forces and also included WWII veterans from the British and Hungarian armies.
A Color Guard from the North Ridgeville VFW Post #9871 led the ceremony honoring our vets and O’Neill Healthcare Hospice was on hand to commemorate each veteran’s service with the presentation of a certificate and pinning ceremony. The color guard concluded the solemn ceremony with a 21-gun salute and a bugler playing taps.
Fall is a time of change, and when we start spending more time indoors. It’s also a great time to come to the Bay Village Dwyer Senior Center to experience the variety of programs we have for our residents. Our goal is to provide programs for wellness, mental stimulation, and social interaction every single day. In November, our activities include:
Thursday, Nov. 5, 9:30 a.m. – Tour of the Federal Reserve Bank. We’ll be taking a guided walk through this national historic landmark, a monument to superb craftsmanship and prosperity of the post-World War l era and learn about the operations of the U.S. central bank. Cost: $10.
Friday, Nov. 6, noon – Going to the Dogs. An entertaining program by “Kiss K-9s,” dogs who have gone through training with Noreen, the dog trainer at PetSmart. A hot dog lunch will be served! Please RSVP.
Superheroes, princesses and wild animals spent a recent weekday morning with the residents of O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village. Actually, they were the children and moms of the Bay Presbyterian Church preschool group. Thirty-five of the cutest kids ever went trick-or-treating from door to door of the apartments in the assisted living facility and then gathered with the nursing home residents for a party in their dining room. With cider, donuts and cupcakes on the menu, both the preschool group and residents enjoyed their morning together.
Rae-Ann Suburban Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Facility in Westlake celebrated the opening of its modern new therapy gym on Oct. 15 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Dennis Clough.
Rae-Ann Suburban specializes in orthopedic rehabilitation and is one of five family-owned Rae-Ann facilities in the greater Cleveland area, three of which are in Westlake.
“Our new therapy gym is a dream come true and the culmination of years of planning,” said Rae-Ann owner John Griffiths. “Many of our staff, patients, and professionals helped us design and build this space to be the most functional, beautiful, and advanced therapy facility in the region.
“Eighty-eight percent of our patients are able to be rehabilitated and discharged with an average length of stay of less than 30 days,” Griffiths explained. “This new facility and its cutting-edge equipment will enable our therapy team to continue to provide the highest level of rehabilitation care on the West side and facilitate shorter, more effective post-acute care stays.”
My maternal grandmother, Emilie, and her sister, Frederica, emigrated from Germany in the mid-1880s. They settled in Cleveland, married and raised their families. Their brother, Carl, remained in Germany. Grandma Emilie corresponded with her family until her death in 1937 when her daughter, Emily, took over until World War II ended communications.
After Germany's surrender in 1945, Emily wrote to Carl's granddaughter, Hilda Specht, at her last known address in Stettin, a large seaport by the Baltic Sea. Emily told Hilda if she received the letter and wanted her help she would support her. Hilda had a friend who worked in the post office. One day she stopped in and her friend said, “Wait a minute, I have a letter for you.” Bingo! A connection was made!
O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village residents enjoyed an evening of music and dancing at the annual Stepping Out dance held at St. Ladislas Catholic Church in Westlake. Each year the church donates the use of their church hall and invites nursing home and assisted living residents from the local area to come together for an evening of fun. This year the residents sang and danced the night away to the singing duo of “Frank & Dean” – Sinatra and Martin? Oh, the memories!
October is a busy month at the Bay Village Senior Center, 300 Bryson Lane. To register or for more information, call 440-835-6565.
Tuesday, Oct. 13 (10 a.m.) Silver Sneakers CardioStrength Class – This class is for Baby Boomers and active, strong seniors. CardioStrength is an aerobics class that is safe and heart-healthy, but gentle on the joints.
Friday, Oct. 16 (12:30 p.m.) Grief Recovery for the Holidays – Discuss the difficulty and dread of grief during the holidays. Lunch provided. A 10- to 12-week grief support group will begin Oct. 23.
The Bay Village Dwyer Center "Sole Mates" were the winners of the St. John Medical Center Walking Challenge, beating out the Avon and North Ridgeville senior centers.
Not only did the Bay Village seniors log the most steps during the six-week challenge, but also saw the greatest results in weight loss and cholesterol reduction, as well as most steps by an individual.
On Saturday, Sept. 19, a dedicated team of O’Neill Healthcare employees participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Avon, at the All-Pro Freight Stadium, home of the Lake Erie Crushers. This nationwide event raises awareness and much needed funds to enhance Alzheimer’s care and provide support to advance critical research. We are proud to say that our O’Neill Healthcare team raised just over $2,200 for the cause.
Many interesting programs are upcoming at the Dwyer Senior Center, 300 Bryson Lane. To register or for more information, call 440-835-6565.
What's New at Playhouse Square
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 9:30 a.m.
George McNulty will talk about the history of Playhouse Square, and how the theatres survived the wrecking ball in the '70s. He then will review the upcoming productions in the Broadway Series. Two tickets will be given away for an upcoming performance!
Nature Trip to Sandy Ridge Reservation
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 9:30 a.m.
We will tour this wetland and wildlife preserve with a Sandy Ridge naturalist. Some seats are available on the tram, or you may walk. Departure is from the Dwyer Center. Cost is $10.
If you missed the Carnival at the Westlake Center for Community Services in August, "there's always next year" – a phrase familiar to us Clevelanders. In the meantime, check out some of the upcoming events in our newsletter found on the City of Westlake website at www.cityofwestlake.com under the Community Services department tab. Please call 440-899-3544 to RSVP for programs, or to request more information. Here are some offerings on deck:
FOR MEN ONLY
Our next Men's Morning is Wednesday, Sept. 16. This monthly program always starts out with a hearty, aka manly, homemade breakfast made onsite. This month's speaker is a return visit by local author Peter Chakerian. The regulars would recognize him from the last time he came to present his book on Browns tailgating. This time he presents on Cleveland's rock 'n' roll heyday and shares stories about co-authoring a book with famed Cleveland photojournalist Janet Macoska. RSVP by Sept. 2.
Several interesting programs will be presented at the Dwyer Senior Center in the coming weeks. To register or for more information, call 440-835-6565.
Cleveland Clinic Driving Evaluation Presentation
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 12:30 p.m.
Do you ever think you or someone you love should give up driving? The Driving Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program at the Cleveland Clinic is available to evaluate a person's current driving ability, assess driving potential and enable the person to return to safe, independent driving whenever possible. Come learn the details of this important program. Lunch is provided.
Art Appreciation with Bill Minnion
Monday, Aug. 31, 1 p.m.
"Placing Women in Art" – Artists are always looking for inspiration and many have chosen idealized but honest and powerful depictions of women. We will view the innocent, the elegant, the motherly, the femme fatale, the young and the old in portrayals of women from 17th century Vermeer to 21st century Andrew Wyeth. Anecdotal tidbits about the artists will lighten up the discussion.
Back-to-school shopping ads, Cleveland Browns Training Camp, and the final Patio Party at the Westlake Center for Community Services are signs that summer is winding down.
Our last patio party was a tropical celebration complete with steel drums and a feast to match. While we are still celebrating summer with a Carnival on Aug. 19, our September "Oktoberfest" celebration is just around the corner. The Sept. 9 "Oktoberfest" will be in honor of National Senior Day. We will celebrate with traditional Oktoberfest food, and non-traditional Oktoberfest drink (root beer instead of beer). The Polka Pirates will be on hand to play traditional style Slovenian, Polish and German music. We expect some spontaneous singing and dancing to occur.
Bay Village Community Services hosted a luncheon June 12 for residents 90-years-old or beyond at Dwyer Center. Thirty seniors having reached their 90s were honored and were treated to a luncheon provided by Towne Center Community Campus and musical entertainment.
O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village held a “Blessing of the Hands” ceremony in celebration of National Nursing Assistants week. Each year, the second week of June is set aside to acknowledge the contributions made by those individuals who have chosen to make the nursing assistant profession their life’s work. These dedicated and compassionate individuals are, quite literally, the heart and soul, not to mention the “hands” of the facility.
Staff from all departments came out to join in the ceremony performed by Dr. Rev. Marcettes Cunningham, of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. “Our hands express the function of caring, whether it’s administering medication, providing rehabilitation, preparing a meal or helping a resident’s family. We are privileged to work for a profession where we have the opportunity to care for others and make a difference in their lives,” said Candy Sanson, administrator.
Gardens at Westlake hosted a Sunshine Cruise Casino Gala for their residents and community members on June 6 which turned out to be a winning event for everyone as fun and excitement abounded. The Gardens was transformed into a cruise ship casino with slot machines, roulette wheels, and black jack and craps tables.
The crew (aka Gardens staff members) pampered guests in true cruise fashion and passed hors d'oeuvres and drinks so everyone could play without interruption. Attendees were excited to win fabulous prizes donated by local businesses.
St. John Medical Center’s Community Outreach program has kicked off their 6-week “Bring It On” health challenge to members of local senior centers. The program, sponsored exclusively by O’Neill Healthcare, focuses on improving the health and well being of seniors in the Westshore communities. The health challenge has two senior centers competing against one another to see whose members can demonstrate the greatest improvement in cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure, BMI and waist size.
I recently met with a nursing student from Cleveland State University who was given the assignment to explore a senior center and learn about how such a facility could potentially help her patients. Admittedly, she was quite surprised to learn the wide range and variety of activities, programs and services provided – and mostly how fun it all sounded.
I asked her to describe her picture of a senior center, and she pictured what many do: a room with people just sitting around, maybe playing cards or visiting. While there are definitely card players and lots of socializing, there is also so much more. Basically, we are a health and wellness spa for seniors. Maybe if we changed our name to reflect this, more people would benefit from what some of our patrons call "the best kept secret of Westlake."
O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village has been awarded a very special Certificate of Appreciation from the Marine Corp League, Gung Ho Detachment #650 on behalf of our distinguished veterans. This great group of Marines is the Nursing Home Reconnaissance Party, known for supporting any former Marine who becomes a nursing home resident.
We have been recognized for our support, patriotism and dedication to Marine veterans. This is only the second time the group has bestowed the award. We are thrilled to have received this honor. O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village is a Veterans Administration contracted facility and has developed a number of programs engaging our veterans with outside organizations.
For the fourth straight year the Gardens at Westlake senior living community hosted students from Avon Heritage South Elementary school for a Right to Read Week project. The students came on May 20 to read their stories to the residents.
The students brought their favorite books to read and some students brought books they wrote and illustrated. The 25 third-grade students had a great time, as did the residents of the Gardens at Westlake who enjoyed listening to the stories being read.
The Westlake Women's Club recently joined forces with the Westlake Center for Community Services to honor our residents who are 90 years old and then some! The birthday celebration took place at the Westlake Recreation Center and it included brunch, birthday cake and a formal recognition of all honorees by Mayor Dennis Clough who presented them with proclamations.
Papparazzi were plentiful as there were so many picture-worthy moments. About 100 guests enjoyed the event. Some were residents of our local assisted living facilities: Arden Courts, Devon Oaks, Our House and Brighton Gardens, along with one-third of the honorees who live independently. Pianist Jack Hogue provided entertainment. The oldest attendee was 103!
Mother’s Day was celebrated at O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village with a very special Mother/Daughter Tea. The dining room was decorated with more than 100 antique dolls from around the world. A delicious brunch was served to 80 residents and their guests, while they learned about antique dolls from the guest speaker, Evelyn Krause. It was a wonderful afternoon in celebration of great moms.
O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village, a senior living community on Bradley Road, had surprise guests on April 24 – Cowboy Bill and his pony, "Silver," of Pony Tales Farm, a non-profit farm in North Ridgeville, which is home to many rescued and rehabilitated ponies. As Silver walked around to greet the residents, Cowboy Bill sang campfire songs from the Old West and played his guitar. It was a wonderful event enjoyed by all.