Tag Archive for: Retirement Communities
Meet our Member Spotlight of the Month, the Texas Masonic Retirement Center! With an expansive and comprehensive campus and plenty of programs to keep our seniors healthy, happy, and comfortable, we’re proud to have members like them. Read more about their No Mason Left Behind Project and about life at the Texas Masonic Retirement Community below.
Texas Masonic Retirement Community
Luxury High-Rise, Cottage Duplexes, or Cozy Apartments
At Texas Masonic Retirement Community, you’ll enjoy the finest accommodations with pricing and payment options to fit your lifestyle. We also offer a special Nursing Care Area to all qualified Texas Masons, relative of Masons, and affiliated Masonic Organizations.
All residents enjoy our expansive array of services including delicious meals, weekly housekeeping, onsite activities, offsite entertainment, shopping excursions, and more. All amenities and services are offered to every resident, regardless of the choice of living arrangements.
We’re proud to offer luxury high-rise living with a variety of floor plans for one-bedroom, two-bedrooms, and efficiency apartments. The high-rise buildings are conveniently connected by enclosed hallways to the dining area and community rooms. No need to get out in the weather to enjoy meals and activities with other residents.
We also offer a wide variety of apartments in our Historic Main Building. These cozy and convenient units are the most affordable option and provide direct access to the dining area and community gathering rooms.
Looking for a choice more like a personal residence? Consider our Cottage Duplex accommodations. These homes are just steps away from the dining area and all activities–yet give you added options like a garage and patio.
No Mason Left Behind Project
We like to share stories of our residents helped by this program in order to help you understand the tremendous difference your donation makes for those who may be facing desperate poverty, unsafe living conditions, or other difficult choices. Read Judy’s story below.
Mother of a Mason Helped By Donations Like Yours – Health Problems, Cannot Live Alone, Unaffordable Housing
Judy, age 80, answered a phone call from her frantic daughter two years ago.
“Mom, I’ve called over and over! Your personal alarm paged me and an ambulance is on the way. What is going on?”
“I had completely blacked out,” explains Judy. “We figured out later that I had gotten up in the night, fallen, and hit my head on the shower door. Just before I became unconscious, I must have pressed my personal alarm button.”
However, the alarm service routed the ambulance to a wrong address. With directions from Judy’s daughter, first responders eventually arrived and transported Judy to the hospital. After a few days recovering from the ordeal, she learned the new direction her life would take.
“The doctor told me I couldn’t live alone any longer. It was just too dangerous. I looked into senior living in Florida. The prices were far beyond anything I could afford. Then my son, Charles Powell, a Master Mason living in Mansfield, Texas, said, ‘Well, mother, I know you need a safe place to live. Let’s see if we can get you into the Texas Masonic Retirement Community (TMRC). They accept relatives at no charge, if you qualify for eligibility.’ ”
With approval of her application, Judy moved into TMRC in November 2020. If she chooses, Judy may live the rest of her life in her cozy private apartment at no cost. This includes all meals, activities, medical care, and more.
“I’ve had two strokes since I’ve been here,” says Judy. “They’ve taken great care of me through it all.”
A woman of strength and purpose, Judy raised three children. She added to the family income as a waitress, cook, and in other food service positions. With her children grown and settled, Judy decided to see the world—as a semi-truck driver.
“I bought my own rig and worked as an owner/operator pulling 18-wheeler trailers up to 53 feet long. I drove in 48 states and Canada. People here love to hear my stories!”
Although she has significant health care challenges, Judy zips around on her scooter with a bright smile.
“I get up every morning and thank God I have place to call home. I go and I do. Tomorrow night we’re going to Cleburne for a Marananth meeting. It’s great living here!”
The No Mason Left Behind Project helps provide older Texas Masons and their qualified loved ones with all-inclusive 24 hour a day/7 days a week accommodations at Texas Masonic Retirement Community–including medical services and nursing care. The cost of these benefits exceeds $2.5 million annually.
Want to make a donation to the No Mason Left Behind Project?
You can use our secure online donation service or print out and mail in a donation form. We look forward to paying tribute to your kindness and benevolence. A complete list of recognition awards and amenities is included at YourTMRC.org/donate.
Check out more of MCSA’s incredible Member Spotlights on our News Page!
At the Masonic Homes of California, our Member Spotlight of the Month, a period of rapid growth has the organization poised for a bright future.
A Need for Change
Back in 2018, Gary Charland, the president and CEO of the Masonic Homes of California, packed each member of his board of directors into golf carts and took them on an impromptu tour of the senior community’s campus in the East Bay town of Union City. It wasn’t pretty. “I specifically made sure we hit every bump in the road,” Charland says with a chuckle, and there were plenty to hit. He also pointed out the things that were missing—namely, sidewalks and walkways for pedestrians. On a campus known for its natural beauty, there wasn’t an easy way for residents to enjoy the outdoors, and Charland made sure board members noticed that, too.
Then, he brought them inside, where he pointed out cracked tiles and wasted space – he was unsparing in his tour. Finally, he turned to the challenge of caring for an aging population and what it meant for the Masonic Homes of California for the next 10, 20, or 100 years. In fact, Charland returned to a phrase he’d learned from several past grand masters: “The Masonic Homes is the jewel in the crown of California Freemasonry. Since its founding in 1898, the clinical care, culture, and support services offered through the Masonic Homes have been among the finest in the industry. But all that good work depends on infrastructure. And that needed major upgrades; the jewel needs polishing.”
Efforts Paid Off: A New Masonic Homes of California
Now, as Charland steps down as CEO and the Masonic Homes celebrates its 125th anniversary, the shine has most definitely returned. Charland’s retirement this summer comes on the heels of the completion of a long-gestating capital improvement plan to not only modernize the organization’s two senior community campuses in Union City and Covina (in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles), but to recalibrate its service offerings for the current and future needs of the membership.
This summer’s double milestone is also an opportunity to reflect on just how much the Masonic Homes of California have evolved under Charland’s decade-plus stewardship. Among the notable changes since he took over have been:
- The opening in 2022 of the Pavilion at the Masonic Homes in Union City and the planned opening this fall of the Covina Health Center, both of which feature 32 beds designed for those requiring skilled nursing or memory-loss care. By providing those services on-campus for the first time, couples living at the Masonic Homes will never need to be separated if one of their health needs require specialized care. Both projects were made possible through a three-year “Let’s Write the Future” fundraising campaign by the California Masonic Foundation.
- The completion of a five-year, $115 million Campus Master Plan in Union City, which included the complete renovation of the northern wing of the Adams Building (independent and assisted living) and Wollenberg Building (assisted living and memory care), the construction of new roads, walking paths, the repaving of the Sedam Plaza, and landscaping throughout the campus. Thanks to the recently completed renovations, the Union City campus has raised its capacity by 52 beds, most of which are dual-licensed for independent or assisted-living. The campus has also increased its share of beds set aside for memory care from just eight to 46 and, systemwide, there’s been a 58 percent increase in capacity.
- The exponential growth of the Masonic Center for Youth and Families, a mental health and wellness service that has grown from serving approximately 150 clients per year in 2015 to more than 1,000 per year, nearly all remotely, during the pandemic. In addition to its work with Masonic families and members of the Masonic youth orders, MCYAF also partners with several school districts and other public agencies to provide services for young people and – thanks to a recent Medicaid approval – now offers mental-health programs to seniors living at the Masonic Homes.
- The founding of the Lodge Outreach Program, beginning in 2011, in which members of California Masonic lodges are trained in the fundamentals of social work to reach out to their membership to help connect them to services available through the Masonic Senior Outreach Services (MSOS) or Masonic Family Outreach Services (MFOS) programs. The Lodge Outreach Program now has representatives in every Masonic district of the state, helping connect hundreds of California Masons and their families with referrals, advice, care management, and in many cases temporary emergency funds.
- The opening in 2020 of a new Shared Housing option for seniors in Covina, open to Masons aged 60 and up and able to live independently. The low-cost cohousing arrangement provides much-needed housing for those on a fixed income.
- The development of the Transitions rehabilitative services program in Union City—the first offering from the Masonic Homes to be open to the general public as a fee-for-service. Transitions offers those recovering from surgery, heart attack, or other serious medical issues with 24-hour skilled nursing in a setting with hotel-style amenities including private bathrooms. In 2022, Transitions was named a top rehab facility by U.S. News and World Report.
- The founding and growth of a first-of-its-kind, five-part Stepping Stones memory care program. Through Stepping Stones, residents at the Masonic Homes have access to memory care programs designed for every step of memory loss—including the very earliest stages—that have been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia by years.
- The opening in 2011 of the Acacia Creek retirement community in Union City, a market-rate, sister organization of the Masonic Homes offering high-end senior independent-living apartments to the general public.
Under Charland’s leadership, the Masonic Homes has also become a much more visible fixture in the local community. Seniors at the Masonic Homes and Acacia Creek regularly volunteer off-campus, and the campuses are open to the public for yearly events including SummerFest and HarvestFest and a beloved holiday tree-lighting.
Turning the Page: Terry Quigley, the New CEO
Beginning July 1, Terry Quigley, MSW, NHA will begin as chief executive officer and president. Quigley comes to the Masonic Homes with an extensive background managing mission-driven human services organizations and CCRCs, including through Episcopal Communities and Services in Southern California, where she oversaw assisted-living and affordable housing communities serving more than 700 residents. Quigley has also led operations at Shea Family Care and the Cloisters of La Jolla Skilled Nursing Facility in San Diego.
As the Masonic Homes of California celebrates its sesquicentennial and salutes Charland’s decade-plus of service to its mission, it looks to a particularly bright future.
Meet Our June Member Spotlight, Three Pillars Senior Living Communities!
Masonic Villages has a variety of different campuses across the US with specialties that serve our senior communities. Our Wisconsin Masonic Home’s Three Pillars Senior Living Communities span across Dousman, WI with 5 different residence centers that each focus on unique care plans. These centers include:
- Independent Living – Village On The Square
- Assisted Living & Memory Care – Riverside Lodge Assisted Living
- Rehabilitation – Hickory Suites
- Skilled Nursing – Masonic Health Care Center
- Catered Assisted Living – Compass Point
An Exciting Expansion
Just recently, it was announced that Three Pillars Senior Living Communities will be adding 8 new residence centers to their neighborhood in a variety of garden home, courtyard, loft, and villa styles centered around a Town Center. All living centers and residents will have access to the Town Center, which will include:
- Casual Dining
- Supper Club
- Performing Arts Center
- Social Connection Spaces
- Walking/Biking Trails
- Fitness Center
- Dog Park
- Bark River Access
This campus expansion seeks to take the change in the needs of the retirement community in stride and meet them as they come with the same high-quality services delivered by trusted, compassionate staff and volunteers.
To learn more about the upcoming groundbreaking in the Fall of 2023, as well as the other recent modernizations and additions that have been made to the other existing neighborhoods, you can attend one of Three Pillars’ Informational Sessions or download their brochure via their website!
These healthcare-based living residence centers are part of the Masonic Community’s efforts to deconstruct the stereotypes surrounding age, care, and the options that are available outside of the traditional retirement living sphere. Learn more about Three Pillars Senior Living Communities on their website under their “Our Story” tab, with the History,News, and more at the click of a button!
Want to become a member of the Masonic Community? See about a membership!
With specialties across the board, Three Pillars’ Living Communities in Wisconsin has seen the growing need for memory and dementia care and is working hard to satisfy it.
Three Pillars Senior Living Communities’ exciting memory care vision is built around the continued evolution of dementia-capable spaces. Intentional at every turn, they aim to set a new standard of caring for individuals and families affected by dementia, which involves providing a full spectrum of holistic dementia care along with a strong sense of inclusion. They plan to change barriers and stereotypes surrounding memory care – how?
From their Memory Care Campaign Page:
“Three Pillars has developed a thorough, strategic plan to address the pressing need for more services, support, and programming for those affected by varying stages of dementia, along with their loved ones. The two keystones of this plan include:
- Building three, new Residential Memory Care neighborhoods (with the opportunity to add a fourth). Each will serve 18 residents.
- Establishing a Cognitive Resource Center to serve individuals and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Primary components will include memory care training, resource center, wellness and respite programs.
These additions, located close to a brand-new childcare center, walking paths, garden home neighborhoods, and our town center, will become a vital part of our Three Pillars campus. They will be thoughtfully designed for maximum social engagement, security, and cognitive stimulation.”
Learn all about Three Pillar’s Memory Care Campaign and what you can do to support them on their website page dedicated to the campaign.
The time to contribute is now, and Three Pillars is aiming to meet the need for specific dementia-related care in Wisconsin before the need becomes overwhelming – join them in their goal to be proactive and donate today! You can contact them on their website or find them in the MCSA directory for any questions or further discussion.
Follow along with a blog from the Careers department at Masonic Homes Kentucky about healthcare jobs in the senior living industry and the 4 factors you need to consistently climb the senior living ladder!
From Their Newsroom:
If there’s one thing to know about senior living, it’s that the industry is largely dynamic and ever-growing. It has dramatically changed over the last few decades going from the idea of only being skilled “nursing homes” – lined with sterile rooms furnished with hospital beds – to flourishing retirement, independent, assisted living and memory care communities; communities that foster dignity, independence, purpose and respect.
If you’re just beginning your journey in senior living, a community-level position may be the perfect fit for you! These positions would include NAs, dining servers, cooks, housekeeping, maintenance generalist, and others. There are leadership roles in these departments as well like hospitality manager, activities and/or life enrichment director, sales director, registered nurse (RN), certified nursing assistant (CNA), or even an Executive Director.
According to MHKY, here are a few steps to take personally that will greatly impact your professional growth and upward movement in your career:
About Masonic Homes Kentucky
Founded in 1867, Masonic Homes Kentucky’s aging care services include independent living, assisted living, personal care, rehabilitation therapies, memory care, skilled nursing care, home care, dialysis, medical clinic and child development. Its campuses are located in Louisville, Shelbyville and Northern Kentucky. For more information, visit www.masonichomesky.com!
If you’re interested in becoming a Masonic member, visit our Membership page today!
Business Partner Spotlight: Warfel Construction
From their blog: Despite the uniquely challenging nature of the construction industry, the team at Warfel Construction has been energized by the opportunity to collaborate creatively in today’s environment. We have been in regular conversation with clients and industry partners about emerging trends in sustainable investments, business practices, energy procurement, and development opportunities.
Bottom line, markets are waking up to the reality that investment in sustainability pays dividends – literally. A reflective study on 2020 mutual fund and ETFs by Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing showed that mutual funds which focus on environment, social, and governance factors yielded, on average, 4.3% greater returns than more traditional peer funds.
Our clients are seeing these trends and acknowledging that investment in sustainability could have myriad benefits for the development of their organizations. However, the regular refrain to follow is, given the current market, how can we afford this?
- Start at the beginning
- Collaboration is key
- Think outside the box
- Less is more
- Forward is forward
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) offer multiple levels of active retirement and health care options – retirement living (independent living), personal care, and skilled nursing on the same campus. How the cost of health care is covered depends on the plan offered. Upon moving into a CCRC, residents select one of these plans:
Type A – Lifecare
Under a Lifecare contract, offered at Masonic Village at Sewickley, residents pay an upfront entrance fee and an ongoing monthly fee that bundles most of the cost for day-to-day living. Residents who transfer from retirement living to health care pay essentially the same monthly fee in place at time of transfer. Most communities will adjust the monthly fee for the additional meals provided in personal care and skilled nursing.
- Entrance fees are higher because you’re covering a full range of future possible health challenges.
- The monthly fee remains virtually the same if your health needs increase.
- Most residents qualify for tax advantages.
- Preferred by residents looking for cost certainty and financial protection of their savings/assets.
Type C – Fee for Service
Under a fee for service contract, residents pay an upfront entrance fee and an ongoing monthly fee that bundles most of the cost for day-to-day living. Entry fees and monthly fees are lower upon entry into active retirement living, but residents pay the full cost of personal care or skilled nursing for as long as needed at market rates.
- The entrance fee allows the community to charge a lower monthly fee than Lifecare communities.
- This plan does not provide for tax write-off since heath care services are not pre-funded.
- Savings and assets are potentially depleted paying for health care.
Some CCRCs offer a rental option without an entrance fee requirement. Residents who choose this type of contract pay a higher monthly fee and assume the full risk of the cost and self-coordination of their future care.
Visit our cost page for more information on retirement living fees.
Thanks to the generosity of Masonic Village residents, 11 dining room servers received $4,000 college scholarships.
Faced with staff shortages affecting the food services industry as a whole, Masonic Village had to pause table service in its restaurant. Residents wanted to help with the situation, and being aware of scholarship programs at local schools, formed a Dining Services Scholarship Committee, which includes four residents and Eric Gross, executive director. Their aim was to help recruit servers, many of whom are high school and college age, by offering them assistance with their future education through scholarships made possible through donations from residents.
“With the scholarship program, we thought it might encourage people to work here and put in more time and be rewarded,” committee co-chair Mike Glenn said. “We were so successful, we were able to increase our initial offer from $1,500-$2,000 scholarships to $4,000 scholarships. These kids are really great people. They’re good students and going into interesting areas of study.”
To qualify, servers must have worked at least 312 hours, submitted a short essay and application and already be attending or accepted to college. In total, more than $63,000 was contributed during what will become an annual campaign. The additional funds collected will be used for next year’s scholarships.
“Masonic Village feels like family,” said scholarship recipient David Binley (shown above right with residents Marlene and Bill Moisey), who has worked as a server since 2019 and is an economics major at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. “I appreciate going to work every day. I enjoy bringing in new people, training them and helping them see it’s a great place to work. I thank everyone who contributed. It was very, very generous.”
Recipients, in addition to David, include: Hunter Brace, studying business at Slippery Rock University; Mia Burens, studying biology/pre-med at University of Pittsburgh; Natalie Grillo, studying accounting at Penn State University; Miranda Johns (shown above left with residents Janet Maier and Randy Glass), studying forensic science/law at Duquesne University; Megan Meng, studying biology/pre-med at Duquesne University; Dylan Palmer, studying exercise science at Chatham University; Mary Pangburn, studying psychology/pre-med at Boston College; Zoe Staley, studying nursing at Beaver County Community College; Samuel Veleke, studying chemistry at University of Central Florida; and Jennifer Weiss, studying nursing at Carlow University.
The program is already having a positive impact on the recruitment of new servers. In the first three months of 2022, Masonic Village hired one server. In the following three months, after publicizing the scholarship program, Masonic Village hired five new servers, increasing the average total number from 24 to 30.
If you know someone interested in job opportunities at Masonic Village at Sewickley, visit our Careers page!