Wit and Wisdom Blog for Atria Senior Living

      Wit and Wisdom      

a new view on growing older

Connecting Safely through Culinary Experiences


Posted on August 7, 2020 by Mari Evans


As we have been carefully reopening our senior living communities over the past few months, Atria’s Culinary and Engage Life events teams have delivered thoughtful, hospitality-driven experiences for residents, adapted to the times in which we’re all living.

 Safety first, then fun

Chad Welch, Atria’s Executive Chef of Culinary Operations, used to recommend ways for community culinary staff to display a buffet, cheese board or fruit platter for residents to enjoy together as a group. These days, however, he provides recommendations for rethinking some of the basic concepts of resident dining options.

“We’ve been really creative with how we’re delivering food,” he said. One of the ways Atria has offered a safe and enjoyable experience is by visiting residents door to door with themed, decorated culinary carts with individual portions for safety. A farmer’s market cart, complete with terracotta planters filled with hummus, might arrive at their doorstep one day. Another day, they might be treated to a summer barbecue-themed spread of smoked ribs and slaw. Staff have even delivered pizza in boxes personalized with good-natured jokes like “You’re so cheesy!” and other special hellos.

During these cautionary times, staff also take residents’ temperatures, wheel hydration carts door to door, and bring residents mobile happy hours like Margarita Monday or Wimbledon Wednesday with cocktails and strawberries.

“We have carts for just about everything – one of my favorites is a ‘Positivi-Tea’ cart that shares tea and uplifting thoughts on meditation and wellness with our residents,” said Shannon Wilson, Atria’s Manager of Engage Life Operations. “They’re a way to make mealtime more of an event, a surprise to look forward to.”

 

People belong together

One of Atria’s core values is that people belong together – and food can help cultivate that sense of belonging.

The challenge these days is to help residents feel connected at a time when they must socially distance and can’t go out and enjoy their favorite local places. That’s why we vary community menus regionally and seasonally. We may serve stuffed quahogs in Falmouth, Massachusetts, at the same time we’re serving Crab Louie in San Mateo, California, or green chili in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“Having your meals delivered to you, while a bit of a luxury, can be monotonous at times, so this is a way to offer programs to residents throughout the day that makes the delivery a community-wide event,” Wilson said. “We value our residents so much and we want them to stay engaged and connected through their culinary experiences.”

To learn more about how Atria Senior Living is helping residents and families stay connected, visit AtriaSafeTogether.com.

 


Category: Community, COVID-19, The Atria Kitchen, Wit & Wisdom

Atria families are finding reassurance in an uncertain world


Posted on July 24, 2020 by Mari Evans


During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all had to rethink the way we live, work and keep our families safe.

At Atria Senior Living, we are committed to protecting residents’ health and safety while maintaining the connection and engagement so vital to their well-being. Our 14,000-plus employees are extensively trained on how to respond in any circumstance, whether it’s a hurricane, flood, wildfire or a pandemic.

Through every challenge over the years, we’ve emerged smarter and better situated to continue serving residents safely while offering them meaningful opportunities to lead vibrant, connected lives.

We continue to be grateful for the families who have put their trust in us. Here’s what a few of them had to say.

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Atria Daly City

Daly City, California

 

“I was recommended two years ago by a friend to bring my brother to Atria Daly City. This was the best decision I made on his behalf for myself and my family. What a beautiful community. The Executive Director, Cecilia, and Chef Walter really form a dynamic duo along with their ever-caring staff who are  tender, polite and very alert.

The real proof came when COVID-19 hit California and subsequently all care facilities. What a crew! All of them, with no one exempted, went above and beyond their abilities to help the vulnerable residents during this difficult time.

All of them, with no one exempted, went above and beyond their abilities to help the vulnerable residents during this difficult time.

Their dedicated service continues today and will for years to come. I was amazed to learn the number of hours each and every one of them worked at the community, sacrificing their personal lives, their families, their own time. Also, before the pandemic hit, the community was thriving socially with all the activities and field trips that made them feel good and like members of a big family.

I recommend Atria to anyone who wants their older loved ones to live in a safe, caring and loving environment. The economics of it are also great. The price is right, as they say, and Chef Walter will never disappoint you! You will be in a very good place!”

–Philip

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Atria Briarcliff Manor                                                                  

Briarcliff Manor, New York

 

"Atria Briarcliff Manor is exactly the community where I would want my parent(s) to live, especially during this challenging time. The sincerity, camaraderie and professionalism of the entire staff, the warmth and cleanliness of the campus and residence is incredible and outstanding! The measures taken to ensure all of the residents and staff are safe and well cared for is impressive and reassuring. Anyone who visits or has a loved one residing at Atria Briarcliff Manor can attest to the warmth and family the staff has created in this wonderful senior living community. Hats off to the Atria Briarcliff Manor team for its tireless efforts to generate creative programs and ways to keep the community members feeling connected to their loved ones and each other while respecting and abiding by social distancing protocols. #awesome!!! Well done Atria!”

–Deborah

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Atria Willow Park

Tyler, Texas

 

"I have been a resident of Atria for 12 years in May. When people ask me how I like it, I tell them it’s the best place to be.

The personnel since I have been here have been superb. But what I want to talk about is the way they have been in this present crisis. They are the best. There are just no adequate adjectives to tell you how excellently they have managed their sharing of duties during this time and are always pleasant. They have all pitched in and are always accommodating and kind and pleasant.   

There are just no adequate adjectives to tell you how excellently they have managed their sharing of duties during this time and are always pleasant.

I want to apologize for my writing. I’m 98 years old, and I think I’m doing pretty good to be able to write at all even if it does slant up the page. That shouldn’t detract from my message. Atria personnel are special. They are just extra special. Thank you for providing the type of management that encourages this type of service and employees.”

Sincerely,

Mary 

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Atria Tarzana

Tarzana, California

 

“Finding an assisted living community for a parent can be such a challenging and difficult decision, especially these days. Today, I was able to take a virtual tour of Atria Tarzana with Rafi and I was just blown away. He was not only informative, but his personal attention made my mom and me feel very comfortable.

He was not only informative, but his personal attention made my mom and me feel very comfortable.

Staff members also joined the tour to say hello. We felt extremely welcomed. All of our main concerns were answered in detail, from safety and health matters to everyday living. Thank you, Rafi! My mother is definitely looking forward to making Atria her new home.”

–Maggie

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Atria Crossroads Place

Waterford, Connecticut

 

“My father has been at Atria Crossroads Place for a little over two years now. We have been very happy with the service and accommodations. The building is very clean, the food is very good, and the staff is very kind and helpful. In the past few months amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Atria Crossroads Place has been outstanding in their approach to keeping residents safe and healthy. I highly recommend Atria. You will be hard-pressed to find a finer community in the state.”

–D.S.

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To learn more about how Atria Senior Living is helping residents and their families stay connected, visit AtriaSafeTogether.com.


Category: Community, COVID-19, Wit & Wisdom

Anthony | Engineer


Posted on September 28, 2018 by Atria Senior Living


Anthony was born in Peiping, China, and came to the United States on a student visa in 1950. When he learned communists had taken over his home country, he decided to stay in the U.S.

Building bridges is Anthony’s specialty. As a civil engineer, he designed long-span structures in countries like India and China where builders possessed the technology, but not the design expertise.

He met his wife Lillian at her family’s Chinese restaurant. His advice for a long, happy marriage is simple: respect. His secret to longevity? “Take life as it is – not as you wish it to be.”

See why discerning older adults like Anthony choose to age well together at Atria. Schedule a tour of a community near you.

Photo by noted portrait photographer Mark Seliger 


Category: Wit & Wisdom Tags: ,

Caterina | Co-Creator


Posted on August 31, 2018 by Atria Senior Living


Born in Palermo, Italy, Caterina worked for many years as an assistant seamstress to legendary legendary fashion designer Geoffrey Beene.

In 1967, she co-created a haute couture wedding dress for President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughter, Lynda. To prepare for the final fitting, Caterina, Mr. Beene and three other assistants traveled to Washington, D.C., where they labored inside the White House for three days. Caterina finished the wedding gown on a sewing machine set up in the Lincoln Bedroom.

Caterina’s favorite Italian expression is “hai mangiato?,” which means “Did you eat?” She loves making pasta con sardi, pasta with sardines, for family and friends. Her secret to longevity is “working for many years and enjoying my work.”

See why discerning older adults like Caterina choose to age well together at Atria. Schedule a tour of a community near you.

Photo by noted portrait photographer Mark Seliger 


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Rena | World Traveler


Posted on August 1, 2018 by Atria Senior Living


Rena is a writer who’s penned 22 travel guides and two cookbooks, including The 2nd Ave Deli Cookbook based on the legendary Jewish eatery in Manhattan’s East Village.

As a travel writer, she’s often asked which destination is her favorite. Rena’s answer? “The Galapagos Islands. It’s the most untouched, pristine place I’ve ever visited. It was like experiencing the Garden of Eden.”

Rena’s best advice to serious world travelers: “Program some leisure time into your day. Sit down for lunch. That’s my way of doing things. I’ve never taken less than three hours for lunch.”

See why discerning older adults like Rena choose to age well together at Atria. Schedule a tour of a community near you.

Photo by noted portrait photographer Mark Seliger 


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Janet-S.-Gold-Medal-Winner

Janet S. – still living the gold medal life


Posted on March 2, 2018 by Atria Senior Living


Atria Bay Spring Village resident Janet S. never dreamed she would win an Olympic gold medal in track and field – mostly because she was a swimmer.

“I ran a little, but not as much as I swam,” said Janet. “I tried out for track and field anyway in college and it was unbelievable to me that I made it.”

In 1951, Janet’s team at Boston University qualified for and competed in the Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. That led her to compete in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.

“It was a wonderful experience to walk into the Olympic stadium and know that I was representing the United States.”

That year, the Australian team was the heavy favorite to win gold during the women’s 4x100 meter relay. But there’s more to a relay race than running. The baton must be passed and, during the handoff, Australia dropped theirs. The U.S. team pulled ahead and won. Janet cried tears of joy when presented with her gold medal.

After returning home from the Olympics, Janet married her husband and moved to Barrington, Rhode Island, where she taught physical education to middle school students for 36 years. Janet was the first Rhode Islander to win an Olympic gold. She was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 1968.

A longtime minister, Janet returned to the Olympics in 2010 as chaplain for the U.S. Olympic Team. She also ministered to residents at Atria Bay Spring Village and eventually became a resident herself.

“It’s where I always wanted to be,” said Janet.

Today, Janet’s car parked outside the community proudly sports one of just six official Olympic Gold Medalist license plates in Rhode Island. She donated her Olympic uniform to the United States Olympic Committee archives and says one day her gold medal will be given to her alma mater to inspire future generations of female athletes.

“Women can achieve anything they aspire to if they work hard and believe in themselves,” Janet said.

 


Category: Community, Wit & Wisdom Tags: , , ,

Stories Connect People


Posted on December 5, 2017 by Atria Senior Living


From the time humans first roamed the earth, we have used storytelling as a way to understand our experiences, build connections and make sense of the world.

We live in a time when information is plentiful, but cheap. Wisdom, on the other hand, has become all the more rare and valuable. Our purest, most relatable source of wisdom is our stories.

(more…)


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The Power of Gratitude is in the Sharing – Atria Senior Living Blog

The Power of Gratitude is in the Sharing


Posted on September 13, 2017 by Atria Senior Living


Take a few moments to think about what you are grateful for: things like your health, your family, your friends, the food on your table, the roof over your head and the beauty of the flowers planted outside the coffee shop.

When we mindfully contemplate our blessings, we consider that some are things we did not always have, or lost temporarily. We acknowledge that many others do not share our good fortune. We recognize that we might not always have what we do now. (more…)


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5 Things You Can Do To Make This Year’s Family Reunion the Best Yet

5 Things You Can Do To Make This Year’s Family Reunion the Best Yet


Posted on June 15, 2017 by admin


Little ones running and chasing their cousins. Babies being held in the arms of wise great-grandparents. Family reunions are full of simple pleasures like these, yet they take a lot of planning. The when, where and who of a family reunion can be so time consuming that we sometimes forget why we’re getting together in the first place – to deepen our connection with the people we love, bridge generations and share the most precious gift we have to give – time. (more…)


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