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.


Behold the Power of Wood

October 1, 2018

It was about a year ago that a group of senior living residents with a flair for saws and planers made their way back into the woodshop. At The Barrington of Carmel, they’ve got all they need to continue the craft they’ve now got time to perfect. Make no mistake, these seniors are doing it all – for their neighbors.

From creating wooden race cars to mark the Indianapolis 500 to wooden holiday ornaments, the crew can always be found spraying sawdust in the shop, helping to beautify the community. They also repair residents’ furniture – free of charge.

The shop is loaded – a table saw, drill press, bandsaw, planers, jointer cables and more – with everything the group could need to hone their skills. While many retirement communities offer opportunities in woodworking, our shop is a cut above.

The shop is also an important tool in promoting socialization and intellectual stimulation. Studies have shown that remaining active and social can play a role in aging well. It’s those connections, both inside and outside the community, that help residents of The Barrington thrive. It’s also part of the community’s larger commitment to Masterpiece Living, which promotes and encourages successful aging.

Also covered in The Hamilton County Reporter, here

Watch coverage by WRTV, here

Carmel Artist Finds Recognition, Colorful Way to Combat Ageism

August 7, 2018

Karen Tobias has always had an interest in art and has continued to pursue her passion into her retirement years. The Carmel watercolorist has now earned the interest of her peers, as one of her paintings has been selected by the Watercolor Society of Indiana to be displayed at Newfields Museum in Indianapolis beginning August 5.

Her fellow residents at The Barrington of Carmel, an area senior living community, say they couldn’t be prouder. 

“Karen’s art is an inspiration to us all, and this honor speaks to the fact that we’re never too old to follow our dreams,” said Jesse Sias, our executive director. “She truly represents the active, vibrant senior who makes The Barrington a special community.”

Also covered in The Hamilton County Reporter, here.

Also covered in Current in Carmel, here. 

Resident Marks More Than Three Decades Volunteering with Cougar Football

July 26, 2018

Every fall, the University of Houston’s football team begins preparing for their season opener with crosstown rival Rice University. As the young men condition their minds and bodies for a grueling 12-week schedule, they’ll be joined by one of the longest-serving members of the Cougar family, 92-year-old Tony Bruno.  

Three days a week, year-round, Bruno makes the 20-minute drive to campus from his home at The Buckingham senior living community. For 33 years he’s volunteered with the program, making himself available around the recruiting office or just offering the players a kind word of encouragement.

After serving as a radarman on a destroyer in the South Pacific during World War II, Bruno returned stateside in 1946. That fall he enrolled at the University of Houston and purchased season tickets for their inaugural football season. For more than 70 years he’s maintained his tickets, except for an 18-month hiatus when he was recalled to serve in the Korean War.

“The U of H has done a lot more for me than I’ve done for it,” said Bruno, who eventually graduated with degrees in economics, management and education. “At my age you need something to do, and I love to mix with the younger kids.”

Even when the team is on the road, Bruno still doesn’t miss a down. Saturday mornings you can find him huddled with other football enthusiasts at The Buckingham, cheering his beloved Cougars in his U of H jacket.

Read more in the feature article on Tony in The Houston Chronicle, here

Watch an interview of Tony on Fox 26, here. 

Paying It Forward: Resident Starts Scholarship Fund for Team Members at The Buckingham

June 29, 2018

Earlier this year, 98-year-old resident Ken Snyder was eager to find a way to show his appreciation to team members at The Buckingham for their generosity, professionalism and kindness since he moved into the senior living community six years ago.

“Ken’s been very clear; The Buckingham saved his life,” says executive director, Darrell Sheaffer. “He came to our community a few years ago and was really taken by the care he received from our team members – they’re responsible for his longevity.”

Recently, Ken donated $25,000 to start a scholarship fund for team members at The Buckingham to support their educational aspirations. He hopes the gesture will inspire other residents who have the financial means to follow his lead with similar contributions to the fund.

The Buckingham has notified team members of this incredible opportunity, which will support their pursuit of various forms of advanced education through multiple scholarships. 

“This gesture is a testimony to the incredibly close bonds many of our residents and team members develop,” adds Sheaffer. “Of the hundreds of senior living communities in the state, we’re one of seven that has a 5-Star rating. This is without a doubt due to our team members and their approach and passion to provide the best possible care for residents.”

Pianos Duel, Love Reigns as Carmel Retirement Community Plans Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Awareness

June 27, 2018

When it comes to raising money and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association, perhaps no day is more significant that The Longest Day, which occurs every June in conjunction with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The day, marked by people across the nation, is centered around finding creative, fun ways to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s research.

Last year, The Longest Day event raised over $7,000 at The Barrington. This year, June 21 will be a day of love, awareness and dueling pianos. 

“Together with our Glee Club, we’ve put together a day of awareness and fundraising that will raise money for this cause that’s so close to all our hearts,” said Executive Director Jesse Sias. “We’re all excited for the culmination of the day – a dueling pianos cocktail party!”

Read more about this in The Times

SQLC Elects Two New Board Members

June 8, 2018

SQLC is proud to announce the appointment of Bernard “Bernie” DiFiore and Laurie Dotter as the newest members of its board of directors. DiFiore is the former chairman and CEO of BenefitMall, and Dotter is the former president of Transwestern Investment Group.

“We’re truly honored and excited to have Mr. DiFiore and Ms. Dotter as the latest additions to our diverse and experienced group of board members,” said Scott Collier, Chairman of the SQLC Board. “Achieving SQLC’s mission to enrich the lives of seniors and their families involves tapping into some of the best talent from various industries. Both individuals bring considerable expertise and knowledge that will be invaluable in accomplishing that goal.”

DiFiore holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in public administration (MPA) from Syracuse University. He has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services and benefits industries. At BenefitMall, an employee benefits and payroll services provider, he oversaw the company’s strategic direction, planning and execution. DiFiore also serves on the Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command advisory board, Methodist Hospital System board, and the Business Council for the Arts. Additionally, he’s a long-standing member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, which focuses on making a positive impact for at-risk children and families.

Dotter received her bachelor’s degree in business administration with honors from Texas A&M University. She brings more than 25 years of experience building and managing real estate investment organizations to the SQLC board. During that time, she has overseen multibillion-dollar funds at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and at Dallas-based Hunt Realty Investments. As president of Transwestern Investment Group, a real estate investment management firm, she oversaw investment strategy, acquisition and asset management. Dotter is also an investment advisory board member at the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, where she helps preserve and grow the state’s financial resources.

 “Mr. DiFiore and Ms. Dotter have strong track records of success throughout their careers,” added Collier. “SQLC and the seniors we serve are sure to greatly benefit from their contributions. We are looking forward to working together to create exceptional senior living experiences.”

The Barrington Residents Team Up, Get Moving for National Senior Health and Fitness Day

May 21, 2018

May 30 is National Senior Health and Fitness Day, but at The Barrington, residents say that’s every day. The Barrington is home to the “Race to Wellness,” which is part of a partnership with Masterpiece Living®.

“We’re an active bunch,” said resident Sam Preissler, one of the coaches. “The goal is to build new habits that lead to wellness and further the active lifestyles we all lead.” All month, teams are competing in events at and away from the community, including lawn darts to bocce, and even a visit to Topgolf and a local bowling alley.

Read more about this in The Times and Hamilton County Report.

The Buckingham Spreads the Love One Slice at a Time

May 21, 2018

At 90 years old, Fred Perkins has spent a lifetime refining his culinary capabilities. Since his transition to The Buckingham four years ago, he’s channeled those talents into a new food frontier and an unusual way to serve up random acts of kindness to those around him – baking.

Pies, specifically key lime and pecan, are favorites. He spends up to three hours making the desserts, same with loaves of bread he meticulously makes from scratch.

The lucky recipients of these delectable creations? His neighbors and team members at here at The Buckingham. It’s not uncommon for residents in his exercise group to receive a post-workout treat, or those behind the concierge desk or other front-line team members to get a hand-delivered slice of appreciation. Gestures like this are a big part of the close-knit culture at The Buckingham.

Perkins traces his affinity for flavors back to his youth, where he spent the summers with his grandparents in rural Florida. They mostly lived off the ocean, and Perkins would carefully study his grandfather as he caught, cleaned and cooked their catch.

This translated into a passion for cooking – seafood, smoked meats, creole cuisine. Last year, in a competitive field of resident and team member chili connoisseurs, his recipe rose to the top at The Buckingham’s first annual chili cook-off, and this year he earned runner up.

The Goal of Local Seniors During Parkinson’s Awareness Month? Climb Higher.

May 10, 2018

Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year. The words, “You have Parkinson’s disease” are among those none of us wish to hear. Those in the aftermath of a diagnosis, however, have found hope at The Barrington.  

The Barrington of Carmel, in partnership with the Indiana Parkinson Foundation, offers a program known as “The CLIMB” twice-a-week, available to residents and non-residents alike. The CLIMB is a research-based exercise program that focuses on the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of battling the disease.

The CLIMB offers everything from weight training and posture therapy to yoga and speech therapy - a true balance of activities.

Barrington resident, Larry Smith attends regularly with his wife, Earletta, who has Parkinson’s.

“I can’t say enough about how this has benefitted her,” he said. “She takes medication as well, of course, but there’s something about The CLIMB that’s more than medicine. It’s a wonderful outlet for those who are living with Parkinson’s.”

Read more about this story featured in Indianapolis Patch

$72 Million Expansion Enhances Health Services at The Buckingham

May 10, 2018

This spring, The Buckingham began to unveil the first features of a comprehensive $72 million community expansion. A significant piece of this project is a redesigned health services building, with nearly 80 new assisted living, skilled nursing and memory support residences, an augmented physical therapy gym, and distinct rooms for speech and occupational therapy.

Additionally, the expansion includes The Tower – an 11-story building that features nearly 100 independent living residences and amenities, which include a fitness center, an outdoor courtyard, and an upscale dining venue with a wine room.

“We approached the health services side of this project with families in mind, and how we could better include and acknowledge them in the treatment and recovery process,” said Phillip Jacob, assistant executive director at The Buckingham. “Through new equipment and redesigned spaces, like our full kitchen and pantry, we can simulate real-world challenges during therapy. This gives families confidence their loved one will be better prepared when they eventually transition back home.”

To support the transformation of physical space in its health services building, The Buckingham recently introduced a number of new technology resources to help deliver more efficient, integrated care:

Advanced Nurse Call System

A state-of-the-art call system has been installed throughout the health services building. In addition to traditional call buttons in each room, all health professionals are equipped with a smartphone-like device that constantly receives call alerts and other resident data no matter where they may be located. The devices allow team members to prioritize alerts depending on time or urgency, and even communicate with residents and colleagues in real time.

“This system is quite advanced compared to traditional alert systems and will help us deliver even greater coordination of care,” said Jacob. “It will also help to further improve response times, which has the potential to reduce fall rates. We can even pull digital reports that allow us to see what times of the day are busiest, so we can better forecast what the demands will be and adjust staffing levels as appropriate.”    

Post-Discharge Management

Another piece of new technology will help health professionals better monitor and track the status of older adults who complete rehabilitation or skilled nursing care at The Buckingham. The software, NexusConnexions, supports the transitional care nurse who works with and makes in-home visits to discharged adults. The platform helps provide structure for day-to-day activities, creates personalized agendas, monitors data, and delivers insight to management on how activities translate to outcomes.

“A lot of the nurse’s job through the transitional care program is education,” said Jacob. “They make sure the individual is familiar with their medications and watch for any setback in their condition. Now coupled with the new digital tracking technology, the hope is that any signs of regression in that first 30-day window are caught early enough that steps can immediately be taken to avoid readmission to a hospital.” 

The Buckingham typically discharges 12 to 15 skilled nursing or rehabilitation residents a month. In 2017,
the community’s readmission rate was 14%, significantly lower than the national average of 21%.

“Technology is going to continue to play such an important role in what we do from a health services perspective,” added Jacob. “This tool is a great example of how we’re adapting to meet the needs of those we serve. But at the end of the day, it’s the willingness of our health professionals to be engaged and work directly with residents and their families that will continue to separate us from other communities.”


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