Looking Ahead With Laura – July 2013

July is here and we are looking forward to celebrating our independence this week at the annual patriotic picnic and barbecue. This is our biggest event of the year and we are expecting sunshine. Beginning at noon on Saturday, June 29th, we will have a formal military ceremony honoring our many Homewoods veterans, followed by a barbecued chicken picnic and old time fiddle music. We do live well.

While the weather is nice, this month you will also see the return of our siding repair contractors and our painter. The work that began last summer can now be continued. This year siding will be replaced on the front of the building, and new waterproofing will be installed. Thank you for your patience during the months of July and August while this work is underway. Yorke & Curtis General Contractors are responsible for overseeing all work to the building exterior this year. They are well experienced, having done work for a number of prestigious retirement communities. For any who are interested, the construction team has offered to meet regularly with our residents, so that you can be kept abreast of all that is happening.

Our scenery is changing in other ways too. We have a lot of new faces here at Homewoods. It has been fun to get to know so many new friends and their pets! We are already seeing our new community members volunteering in the mercantile and Granny’s Attic, and participating in our Wednesday outings and resident council. What means the most to me, as I learn names and faces and get to know people better, is what a good job our long time residents do at creating a sense of welcome. We have a strong and caring community feeling here that is hard to capture in words. It is something that we experience, however, every day, and it is what makes Homewoods unique.

Two activities that add something special to our community have re-emerged in an exciting way. To begin with, our Homewoods Chorus, all volunteer and, at the moment without a conductor, is coming together nicely. We have been treated to several rehearsals in our front lobby, and it has been a joy to watch the group come together for the joy of singing together. We are all benefitting. I hope that in months to come our choir will be able to perform at some of our special events. This adds such richness and meaning to life here. The second new/old activity is a bible study, lead by pastor Jimmy Knodel, a longtime friend and volunteer at Homewoods. Group participants are reading the book The Story by Max Lucado. The first week with Jimmy, in our new Wednesday, 10:45 time slot, we had so many participants we will have to move the group to the East Dining Room going forward so that they have adequate space.

All in all, not only are we living well, we recognize we are living life, and life more abundant.

Announcing collaboration with Willamette View


willamette-shoreRecently Homewoods residents attended a Wellness Sampler hosted by the Homewoods community to introduce  residents to Willamette View’s  home care and wellness services. The executive director at Willamette View, Craig Van Valkenberg, and I have been working on an agreement between our two communities that will facilitate access for Homewoods residents  to a variety of health care services. Our goal is to enable people living at Homewoods to remain in independent living as long as they choose.


Key staff from Willamette View spoke about their skilled nursing care, home health care, home care, and health and wellness services.


We also learned about the many fitness programs that Willamette View offers. Fitness testing, including balance testing, strengthening classes, and use of the swimming pool were all highlighted. Afterward a number of Homewoods residents took the opportunity to test their balance on the balance machine the staff brought with them for demonstration.


A nurse met with residents who are interested in medication management. Medication management is an important service offered through the home care department at Willamette View. Many times a small investment in medication management can forestall an expensive move to a higher level of care.


Willamette View has provided aging services in the greater Portland area for more than fifty years and is widely regarded as one of the best continuing care communities in the state. I am excited to announce this collaboration between our two communities. We live in a prime location, not only because of our beautiful natural surroundings, but also because we have great neighbors.


As we head into summer with all of its many events, beginning soon with Cinco de Mayo and Mothers Day in May, we have much to celebrate. Let’s toast all that we have been given, including these new opportunities provided by Willamette View to live well.