SQLC Headlines

Top Stories in Senior Living.

SQLC communities make headlines in all our hometowns.

Querencia at Barton Creek in Austin, Edgemere in Dallas, The Buckingham in Houston, Mirador in Corpus Christi, The Stayton at Museum Way in Fort Worth and The Barrington in Carmel, Indiana.


The Buckingham Celebrates Centenarian Residents

February 12, 2018

As we enter 2018, we're happy to have five residents who have entered the Centenarian Club! To celebrate the residents who have lived for a full century, The Buckingham gathered with other residents, team and family members to celebrate this once in a lifetime achievement with cake and quality time. 

Mirador Resident Reflects On Professional Ballet Career in Response to Nutcracker Performance

December 13, 2017

The holiday season is one filled with wonder, from the flickering of lights on a tree to the smell of seasonal treats filling the room, miracles and joy fill the air as families and friends gather. The enchantment of the season is captured yearly in The Nutcracker ballet, a tale filled with magic, hope and love in a land of fairies. The Nutcracker is a story which has captivated audiences for generations and inspires children around the world to become ballerinas. For Mirador resident Luwanna Isenogle, that dream was one that came true, and during the holiday season she often reflects on her career as a professional dance teacher and a dancer in the Chicago Opera Ballet.

At the age of eight, Isenogle began performing classical ballet under the tutelage of Martha Miller, spending her weekends in Chicago at the Ruth Page Studio strengthening her body to achieve the fluidity and grace required to perform on stage. She even remembers her first Nutcracker performance fondly, as she took to the stage as a deer when she was a little girl. Later, she would go on to spend three seasons performing with the Chicago Opera Ballet, exposing her to the knowledge and understanding she would need to follow her passion to teach and inspire future generations of dancers. After hanging up her own pointe shoes Isenogle opened her own studio, Ballet Arts of Auburn, where she taught classical ballet to over 200 students, including her own daughter.

“There wasn’t a role in the entirety of my career that I enjoyed more than that of teacher,” said Isenogle. “Having danced professionally and spent time in a company, I know firsthand what it takes to make it as a professional dancer and wanted nothing more than to share that knowledge. As a teacher, I witnessed many of my students go on to do remarkable things with their own careers, including two who went on to perform for The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. It’s incredibly rewarding to look back and see how I was able to help my students hone their talents and enjoy amazing careers in the process, and as a teacher there’s not much more to ask for.”

It’s safe to say that ballet wasn’t just a career choice for Isenogle, but a deep passion which brought joy to her life. Today, she reflects on those memories with a smile, showing pictures from her performances and even displaying a pair of carefully preserved pointe shoes. It’s this love for dance that Mirador recently experienced along with Isenogle when the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet stopped by to perform The Nutcracker for residents.

“Anytime I’m able to watch a dancer to perform, I can feel the movements in my bones, reminding me of my own performances,” said Isenogle. “So many people don’t understand the work and strength it takes to dance, especially classical ballet, and when you see a dancer perform you realize how solid one must be for it to look so effortless. It was delightful to be able to see the young performers and see how proud they were of the production, and I’m honored to have been able to see it for myself.”

Ricky Van Twest Named Director of Dining Services At The Buckingham

December 6, 2017

The Buckingham, Houston’s premier senior living community, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ricky Van Twest as director of dining services. The announcement was made by Darrell Sheaffer, executive director of The Buckingham. Van Twest comes to The Buckingham with two decades of experience in the hospitality industry working in fine dining with luxury properties around the world.  

“We are thrilled to welcome Ricky to our community as director of dining services,” said Sheaffer. “Ricky’s culinary background includes working with three of our sister communities – The Barrington of Carmel in Indianapolis; Mirador in Corpus Christi; and, most recently, responsible for opening the newest restaurant at Edgemere in Dallas. He absolutely understands the expectations of our residents and their guests, and we know that he will exceed the already high standards of dining experience excellence for which The Buckingham is known.”

“Van Twest has over eight years of experience working with luxury hospitality properties around the world,” continued Sheaffer. “He is an experienced leader who has opened five Ritz-Carlton hotels in addition to assisting with dozens of overhaul renovations for various restaurants, lounges and other food and beverage businesses. Due to his previous experience, Van Twest can confidently handle the day-to-day activities within dining services while cultivating a successful team environment.”

“I’m honored to take on this role and look forward to providing our residents with exceptional service,” said Van Twest. “Remarkable food and excellent service are the epitome of hospitality, and that is what I plan to provide for the residents here at The Buckingham. Having worked in the hospitality and dining services industries for many years I understand what people expect when it comes to an outstanding experience, and I intend to provide that during every meal served at The Buckingham.”   

Mirador to Host Inaugural Festival of Wreaths Benefitting The Ronald McDonald House of Corpus Christi

November 29, 2017

With the holiday season in full swing, Mirador will soon host the senior living community’s inaugural Festival of Wreaths. The event will take place on Wednesday, December 6 at the community (5857 Timbergate Drive) and will feature 24 one-of-a-kind holiday wreaths designed by local businesses and members of the local Corpus Christi community.  During the holiday celebration, guests will have the opportunity to bid on the wreaths during a silent auction, with all proceeds going to benefit The Ronald McDonald House of Corpus Christi. The evening will feature live entertainment in addition to plenty of delicious treats and refreshments. This special occasion is free and open to the public. For those interested in attending please RSVP by calling (361) 994-0905.

Mirador is always seeking ways to present its residents and special guests with opportunities to give back to the local community, share experiences and enjoy incredible events. The community is hosting the Festival of Wreaths as a unique opportunity to support those in need.

The Buckingham Honors Resident Dr. Jan Van Sant at Dining Venue Sneak Peek

November 9, 2017

Within a matter of weeks, The Buckingham will unveil The Rosewood Grill, the newest casual dining venue at Houston’s premier senior living community. But residents had a sneak peek during a pre-opening reception honoring resident Dr. Jan van Sant, for whom a private dining and wine room in the new space are named.

Dr. van Sant, a wine connoisseur, is a former president of The Buckingham Resident Council, as well as the first resident to hold a full voting membership on the Board of Directors of Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC). Stocked with bottles of fine wines, the space offers a private dining experience. The Rosewood Grill is part of the Tower at The Buckingham expansion project.  The Tower is scheduled for move-ins by mid-November, shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Dr. van Sant is a fitting namesake for The Rosewood Grill’s private dining and wine room,” said Joe Anderson, president and CEO of SQLC. “As a beloved resident and board member, he has selflessly served The Buckingham and its sister communities, and he embodies the spirit of welcoming we feel in each of our communities. The Rosewood Grill and its private dining and wine room will be a special place where residents and their loved ones can spend time together for years to come. We couldn’t think of a more appropriate space to carry Dr. van Sant’s name and commemorate his legacy of service to The Buckingham and our organization.” 

“I was incredibly surprised and humbled by this honor,” said Van Sant. “In regards to the event itself, it was about the last thing I expected to occur. I’ve been privileged to serve not only the residents of The Buckingham, but the entire SQLC organization, while sitting on the board.  It’s truly something special in my life. Our goal is to ensure that residents living in our communities have everything they need to live life to the fullest, and I’m honored to have played a role in that mission.”

Dr. van Sant is a 34-year oil industry veteran with particular experience in the areas of exploration and production research and technology. After retiring, Van Sant was the executive director of the American Geological Institute Foundation, which raised more than $20 million for certain AGI-sponsored educational and other national programs. He later served as associate director of the Foundation. Dr. van Sant also served as Assistant to the Vice President for Research at the University of Houston, and was a member of advisory committees at various times at institutions such as the University of South Carolina, University of Utah, University of Kansas, and Rice University.

“There is no one more deserving of this honor than Dr. van Sant,” said Darrell Sheaffer, executive director of The Buckingham. “His contributions have helped tremendously in our community, and it is a privilege to thank him in such a public way. We look forward to meeting the needs of more seniors in Houston, and the dedication of residents like Dr. van Sant helps us positively impact the lives of seniors each and every day.”

The Buckingham Receives National Quality Award For 2017

October 17, 2017

The Buckingham, Houston’s premier senior living community, has been recognized as 2017 recipient of the “Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award” by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), the leading association for long-term and post-acute care.

The Buckingham was presented the award during the AHCA/NCAL 68th annual convention and exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The award is one of three progressive award levels through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award program, which honors association members across the nation who have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality care for seniors and persons with disabilities.

To qualify for the award, The Buckingham was charged with identifying a focus area within the community where the team could measure and show improvement. They chose to look at their QAPI (Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement) analysis and demonstrated successful implementation of new processes to positively impact their quality measures. 

The Buckingham applied for the award in January based on its mission statement and vision, as well as key strengths and challenges. Upon submission, a group of trained examiners reviewed the community’s application to determine if all criteria were met.

“At The Buckingham, we strive each day to provide our residents with a superior lifestyle and high-quality health services,” said Darrell Sheaffer, executive director of The Buckingham. “We are honored to receive this recognition, as it highlights the dedication our team has to ensuring quality care. This award is evidence of their hard work and passion for maintaining excellence in service and hospitality.”

As a recipient of the “Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award”, The Buckingham may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels to qualify for the “SilverAchievement in Quality Award”.

“A dedication to quality assurance is something upon which our team prides itself,” said Phil Jacob, associate executive director of The Buckingham. “Receiving this award is a true testament to every member of our staff and their commitment to serving our community each day. Our team is the forefront of our organization. They are the ones working day-in and day-out with residents, and absolutely none of this would be possible without them. We are incredibly proud of their achievement and look forward to continuing to provide superior care and hospitality.”

In addition to independent living, The Buckingham offers assisted living, memory care, and long- and short-term skilled nursing residences.

Residents of The Buckingham Host Oktoberfest Fundraiser Benefiting Staff Members Impacted By Hurricane Harvey

October 11, 2017

After the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey throughout Houston, residents of The Buckingham – Houston’s premier senior living community – are thankful for the support and dedication of the selfless team members who helped maintain a sense of normalcy during the storm. Many employees stayed at the community 24 hours a day to provide food, uplifting conversation and care to meet the residents’ needs, even as their own homes were flooded and their lives impacted significantly. To show their appreciation, the senior residents recently came together to help employees impacted by the storm during the community’s annual Oktoberfest fundraiser. The annual celebration began seven years ago when resident Inge Liesner began holding the event, in which she organizes the entire occasion and cooks for all in attendance, to raise money to support the Alzheimer’s Association. While coordinating the event for this year, Liesner decided that funds raised from the event would be put to best use by donating them to The Buckingham Relief Fund, which supports team members affected by Hurricane Harvey. In total, residents raised over $7,000 at this year’s event.

“Because the team here at The Buckingham took care of us, it’s only natural that we want to show our gratitude,” said Liesner. “The Oktoberfest fundraiser is not anything new for our community, but what we are doing with the funds for this year’s event is, and it’s absolutely the most appropriate. This event and the funds raised are only a small way to show our thanks, but it’s something we had to do knowing that so many of our team members were impacted by Harvey. This was our way of showing them just how much we appreciate everything they do for us, especially the sacrifices they made during the storm. We wanted to let the team members know that we don’t take them or their actions for granted.”

Each year, Liesner cooks a variety of authentic German dishes for those in attendance. During the event, residents were treated to traditional appetizers and beers during happy hour, followed by a seated dinner. During the dinner, attendees were served a number of homemade Oktoberfest plates prepared by Liesner, including Semmelknoedel, or bread dumplings; Spätzle, a Bavarian pasta; and Schweinebraten, a pork roast. The meal was followed by a dessert buffet filled with treats both new and familiar for those in attendance to enjoy.

“It’s safe to say that Harvey was unable to dampen spirits at The Buckingham,” said Darrell Sheaffer, executive director of The Buckingham. “While the anticipation of the storm and the uncertainty of what would happen was present for all of us, our team did an incredible job of making sure that residents never needed to worry. It’s wonderful to see how our community has come together to serve one another during times such as these, and we are grateful for residents like Inge Liesner who lead the charge in lending a helping hand. At The Buckingham, we are truly a community where people care for each other, and it is resident-organized events like the Oktoberfest fundraiser that show the heart of our community.”

Mirador to Receive National Quality Award For 2017

October 11, 2017

Mirador is proud to announce its recent recognition as a 2017 recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award for the community’s dedication to improving the lives of its residents through quality care. In addition to independent living, Mirador offers assisted living, memory care, as well as long- and short-term skilled nursing residences. This special distinction is one of the three progressive award levels through the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), the leading association for long-term and post-acute care. Mirador attributes its success to the dedication of team members and their desire to provide residents with exceptional care. To qualify for the award, Mirador had to identify an area of focus within the community the team wanted to improve and had to demonstrate measurable improvements. They chose fall prevention, and the community significantly lowered the risk of a fall for residents through the implementation of new processes.

“We are honored to receive this exclusive recognition,” said Deborah Nugent, executive director of Mirador. “At Mirador, we strive to maintain an environment where our team is focused on excellence both personally and professionally, and it can be seen in everything they do. Our team works each day to ensure that our residents receive quality care, and this award is only further proof of their hard work and dedication to providing exceptional care.”

The National Quality Award program honors association members across the nation who have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality care for seniors and persons with disabilities. Mirador applied for the award in January based on its mission statement, vision, as well as key strengths and challenges. Upon submission, a group of trained examiners reviewed the community’s application to determine if all criteria were met. Mirador will receive the award during the AHCA/NCAL 68th annual convention and exposition in Las Vegas, Nev., which takes place October 15 to 18, 2017. As a recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award, Mirador may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels to qualify for the SilverAchievement in Quality Award.

“It is an incredible honor to receive this recognition,” said Vanessa Hancock, sales counselor for The Plaza Health Services at Mirador. “Our team works every day to ensure the highest quality of care for residents, and this recognition wouldn’t be possible without their desire to maintain excellence in care. This award is a testament to their commitment and the superior service they provide. We are proud of their achievement and look forward to seeing what they are able to accomplish next.”

Querencia at Barton Creek Raises Awareness to End Alzheimer’s

October 4, 2017

For the millions of Americans impacted by Alzheimer’s disease every day, it’s more important than ever to raise awareness. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and Texas currently ranks fourth in the number of new cases and second in the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease. With these sobering statistics in mind, the senior living community Querencia at Barton Creek is joining the fight against Alzheimer’s as they prepare to participate in the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, October 7. The community is proud to announce that so far it has raised over $10,000 which will be donated evenly between the Austin Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Darrel K Royal Foundation this year. During the past year, residents and team members at the senior living community have been hard at work holding various fundraising events to show their support for those living with the disease and to prepare for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Recently, Querencia residents and team members participated in the community’s annual Pet of the Year contest. The ongoing tradition allows individuals to vote for their favorite pet by donating to the Alzheimer’s Association. Through this fundraiser alone the community raised $5,000. It’s through fundraising events like the Pet of the Year contest that residents like Edith Royal feel inspired by the compassion and dedication of their fellow residents as they contribute to the cause.

“At this point in life it is common to know someone who has been affected by memory loss, particularly Alzheimer’s,” said Royal. “It’s vital that as a community we do what we can to make people aware of this disease and really see the importance of knowing exactly what lies ahead. As we age, our most prized possessions are often our sense of self and our memories, especially those of our loved ones. By actively raising awareness and seeking solutions for this disease we can do our part to ensure that no one needs to face living with memory loss.”

In addition to the Pet of the Year contest and personal donations, the community also holds its annual casino night. The events have a widespread impact on the community, with support from residents and team members as well as their families and those in the local Austin area. The community is particularly excited for the walk, which will be the highlight of this year’s fundraising and awareness efforts. For resident Judy Reynolds, it’s activism like this that is incredibly personal, as her own husband lived with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Being part of a community that sees the importance in raising awareness for Alzheimer’s is such a blessing,” said Reynolds. “As the number of people being diagnosed is increasing, it’s more important than ever that we work together to get the word out about how important this cause actually is. Being involved in fundraising and taking an active role has been meaningful for me and my family, as we understand the significance of what other families are experiencing with their loved ones. I’m proud to be able to contribute to a cause that directly impacts the lives of seniors and their families.”

“At Querencia, it’s incredibly important for us to do what we can as a community to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Nate Weyand, executive director of Querencia at Barton Creek. “We see many of our resident and families facing this disease every day, and we are dedicated to doing what we can to join them in the fight. We’re proud of everyone who has contributed to the cause and who stands with us in our efforts to raise money toward finding a cure.”

Mind and Body Yoga Offers Health Benefits to Edgemere Residents

September 29, 2017

National Yoga Month is held during September to educate the public about the health benefits of yoga and inspire a healthy lifestyle. The awareness campaign consists of yoga classes and other special events to celebrate the month and motivate people to practice yoga. That’s why Edgemere, a premier senior living community in Dallas, started mind and body yoga. The 50-minute class is held three times a week and features poses, meditation and breathing exercises. Residents can choose to either stand or use a chair instead of sitting on the ground. This is the first time the senior living community has offered yoga for residents to enjoy. The media is invited to attend the class on Wednesday, September 27 at 11 a.m. in the fitness center. Pat Londeree has lived at the senior living community for 16 years and tried yoga for the first time. She says she’s already noticed an improvement in her ability to focus and balance, and that’s not all. The Edgemere resident says she feels her muscles getting stronger and her posture is better.

“Yoga was always on my bucket list so I’m glad I am able to check that off,” said Londeree. “After I got over my initial giggles I realized this is a great exercise. I can see how it helps with your balance and will help prevent falls. I am very calm and relaxed when I leave the class, and it gives me the pick me up I need for the day. The meditation and breathing exercises are great. Yoga has benefits for your overall health and I am thankful the community started this class. I have tried many classes while I’ve lived at Edgemere and this is definitely one of my favorites. I’m proud of myself for trying something new and I look forward to attending additional classes in the future.”

Here are just six of the many benefits yoga has for seniors:

  • Improves balance and stability
  • Improves flexibility and joint health
  • Improves respiration
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Encourages mindfulness

“Residents have really enjoyed coming to class and experiencing something new,” said Charles Plafcan, fitness coordinator at Edgemere. “The class challenges the body and mind through strengthening, stretching, relaxing and breathing. Flexibility and muscle tone will continually improve as their mind, body and spirit work together in harmony. The class is something a lot of residents have never done before, or didn’t think they could do. But incorporating a chair or standing gives residents the same health benefits while allowing them to be comfortable in class. It’s been a great success and we look forward to keeping yoga at the community in the future.”


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