Who Represents Us?

Jul 12

Who looks after the interests of residents living in CCRCs. How about other residents. The Maryland Continuing Care Residents Association  (MaCCRA) is the statewide group of CCRC residents formed into chapters. Right now there are 17 chapters in Maryland CCRCs with many individual members in other communities. I am in the process of recruiting members to form a Charlestown chapter. Why is that important? For the simple reason that our voices need to be heard by legislators and public officials. MaCCRA is the only organization that is solely dedicated to protecting and advancing the interests of CCRC residents. Please check out the website and download a membership form if you are interested.

NaCCRA is the national association advocating for residents throughout the country. I got involved. I hope you do too.

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Five Year Anniversary

Jun 28

It is hard to believe that five years ago we moved to Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, MD. The move from Warner Robins, GA was smooth. Here is what I wrote in a blog post five years ago.

Where does the time go? Here we are heading to a six week mark on the calendar since we moved in. Life is good. The adjustment has been easy for both of us. It has surprised me how fast I got used to having a nice meal every night. We have sampled all the dining venues. We go to the Refectory for dinner before or after Mass, we head to the Chesapeake if we attend the movies in the Conference Center, and we go to the Atrium in our building the rest of the time. It is potluck when dining, you never know who will seat at your table. Sometimes it is a four top, sometimes a five top or even a seven top. We have some good times around the dining table as we get to know other residents. We don’t hear many complaints about life here from our table mates.

Life continues to be good. We are very blessed to be able to afford this lifestyle. We are both involved with things we enjoy doing. Dan has found his niche doing what he likes to do and I am busy with a variety of projects involving my techie skills. We don’t have to leave the campus to do what we like to do. We are spoiled with the on-campus services including the bank, pharmacy, library, video library, chapel, medical center, shuttle service and the list goes on.

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Task Force Gets Award

Apr 04

Task Force Gets Award

Ann and Vinson Bankoski

It was a big surprise for me to be called up to the front of the conference center on March 21 to receive the Erickson Living Values Cup on behalf of the Harmonious Living Task Force. This was the first time the cup which recognizes Charlestown Departments exemplifying the Erickson Living Values.

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Four Years with Apple CHUG

Mar 29

The Apple Charlestown User Group also is known affectionally CHUG marked its fourth anniversary this month. It is hard to believe that I have been organizing programs, doing the website, and sending out notices for four years.

Our little group has grown from the first meeting with 25 people in attendance to a mailing list of over 100 people. It has been interesting to see the shift from computers to iPads and iPhones. The iPad users dominate the membership. I set up a website using WordPress.com as well as a Google Groups private email list used for meeting notices and communication between meetings. Meeting flyers are designed every month for posting on bulletin boards as well as announced on the closed circuit TV station.

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Can’t We Just Get Along

Mar 01

Can’t We Just Get Along

We are a diverse community—in beliefs, experience, and background. There is an underlying tension that surfaces when differing viewpoints intersect in the public arena. Case in point; prayer and scripture on the closed-circuit TV channel. A recognized group held devotions during Advent and Lent last year. Some other residents reacted saying it was not appropriate since they did not share the beliefs expressed in the devotions. Oops! Now what!

A focus group was set up representing the various viewpoints. The purpose was to give input to administration so they could make a decision. The outcome—no prayers on the TV channel.  Unfortunately, it was announced at a public meeting that there was a consensus in the focus group. Mistake—as a member of that focus group, I knew that was not true.

So weeks later, the administration suggested a group under the auspices of the Resident Council should work on the topic. This time the charge was broadened. I ended up as the convenor with the goal of answering the following questions.

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Renovations on Main Street

Feb 12

Charlestown has been a CCRC since 1983. Before that it was a minor seminary for the Sulpician order. The historic buildings date to 1909 so you can imagine the renovation that took place in 1983 when John Erickson opened it as a continuing care retirement community.

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