Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pickersgill Hosts Flag Day Essay Contest

Each year, Pickersgill Retirement Community celebrates Flag Day in a big way. This year, the event just got bigger.

Why Flag Day?
Though Flag Day may not be the first holiday people think of when asked to name holidays they celebrate, the flag holds a special place in Pickersgill’s history. One of Pickersgill’s early board presidents—and its namesake—is Mary Pickersgill. Among other things, Mary Pickersgill was a seamstress, and she was one of the women who sewed the flag that flew over Fort McHenry, and inspired Frances Scott Key to write “Defence of Fort McHenry” which became better known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The community honors this rich history by celebrating Flag Day each year.

Important Anniversary

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Orioles Biggest Fan Lives at Pickersgill

In 1954, “I Love Lucy” was the top-ranking TV show, Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio, Eisenhower was president, and the Orioles debuted in Baltimore. For Olga Wagner, 93, a resident at Pickersgill Retirement Community in Towson, Maryland, it was a start of a lifelong love affair with America’s Pastime.

Though Olga grew up in New Jersey, she moved to Baltimore when she was 20, and Maryland has become her home. The Orioles have been her favorite team since the team came to Baltimore in 1954; she cheers them on through every game.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On Cue: Pickersgill Retirement Community Residents Pick Up Billiards, Win Trophies

Seven residents from Pickersgill Retirement Community in Towson, Md., get together four times a week to play billiards and they occasionally take their game to a neighboring retirement community to compete.

Richard Davidson, a Pickersgill resident who lives at the community with his wife Elinor, is not an “experienced” billiards player, but picked up the game a year ago and sharpens his skills regularly with the group.

“I just do it for fun,” Davidson said. “You meet a lot of people that way.”

Though Davidson doesn’t play competitively often, he and the six other members of the billiards club travel every few months to nearby Blakehurst Retirement Community to compete with their residents’ billiards team.

Throughout the game play, the score remains pretty even for the players on both teams.

“I honestly can’t tell you if any team is in the lead right now,” Davidson said. “We just all have a good time playing.”

Davidson and his wife described Pickersgill resident Jack Moore as the top billiards player in the group with his ability to perform impressive shots, and the player to watch when competing or just playing casually.

Along with billiards, Pickersgill offers many different activities for residents to participate.
Dick Davidson and Henry Grandizio

Davidson likes playing Wii bowling and bridge when he isn’t sinking shots with his billiards friends. He also looks forward to the summer weather when Pickersgill will open their seasonal horseshoe pit.

Davidson enjoys as many activities Pickersgill offers residents as he can; meeting people and participating in different events are two of the reasons he and his wife enjoy living at the community.

“Most people put off moving to a place like this even though the time is right,” Davidson said. “The biggest draw here is the people; it’s like one big family.”

Founded in 1802, Pickersgill Retirement Community is named after one of its early board presidents, Mary Pickersgill, the seamstress who created the American flag that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner." Today the nonprofit retirement community offers a continuum of retirement living accommodations, including brand-new assisted living rooms and suites. To learn more, visit us online atwww.pickersgillretirement.org, or feel free to give us a call at 410-825-7423.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pickersgill is Proud to Offer Area Social Workers CEU-Credit Courses

Ethical issues regarding maltreatment, confidentiality, and end of life care are the focus of three CEU-credit eligible seminars that Pickersgill Retirement Community in Towson, Md., is hosting throughout the next two months.

Pickersgill places a high value on the Pickersgill Educational Program and its continual development. The community looks to become an increasingly important educational resource to the professional/social work community, and values the connections that we have with many area social workers. As we connect through the Pickersgill Educational Program, we tailor future seminars based on the feedback and requests that we receive after each session; this mindset ensures that all programs offered are timely and relevant to the needs of social workers who attend.

Gisele Ferretto, a clinical instructor for both the Title IV-E Education for Public Child Welfare Program and the Child Welfare Academy at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, presented the first seminar, “Addressing Ethical Issues When Making Required Reports of Maltreatment and Harm,” on April 10.

Ferretto will also present the second seminar, “The Ethical Considerations and Complexity of Confidentiality When Serving Individuals and Families,” on May 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

The last program, “Ethical Considerations and Conversations with Individuals Facing End of Life,” on June 3 will cover three different topics on end of lifecare.

The first two topics, “Ethical Considerations at End of Life” and “Courageous Conversations: Helping Families Think About the Unthinkable,” will be hosted by Vernon “Skip” Krause, a clinical social worker with Gilchrest Hospice Care and a social work clinical specialist.

“Honoring Veterans: Talking About Military Experience at End of Life,” the third topic of the final seminar, will be presented by Cynthia Dresser, the community hospice coordinator for the Veterans Administration Maryland Health Care System.

Three CEU credits will be earned for each half-day session attended.

The cost is $25 for each session.  Registration for this event can be found on the Pickersgill Retirement Community website.

Pickersgill Retirement Community is a nonprofit retirement community nestled among dogwoods on a beautiful campus in Towson, Md. Pickersgill has a tradition of excellence, and a rich history. Founded, and named after former board member Mary Pickersgill—the seamstress who inspired “The Star Spangled Banner” with her flag that waved over Fort McHenry—Pickersgill is the rare community that can claim it has dutifully served generations of seniors in the Baltimore area for more than 200 years. To find out more about our community, check out our website, find us on Facebook, or give us a call at 410-825-7423.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Still Deciding on a Retirement Community? Let Me Make it Easier on You

By Brant C. Hart, Pickersgill Retirement Community Executive Director

With several senior living communities to choose from in the Baltimore, Md., area, I can understand why some people have a hard time figuring out where to start their search. As the executive director of Pickersgill Retirement Community, I would suggest starting (and ending) with Pickersgill, of course, and I’ll give you a few simple reasons why:

  1.  We are always improving: That might seem like a bit of a blanket statement, but it’s a true blanket statement. We are constantly looking ahead and constantly making upgrades in the community (we just finished a $1 million upgrade to our heating and cooling system), and it gets noticed. A State Department of Licensure employee recently made that comment to me: “Wow. You guys are always making improvements.” We are. We do it because we want residents to see their money in action, whether it’s in a fresh coat of paint in the hallways, WiFi throughout the community, new furniture in our lounge areas or upgrades to equipment used in all levels of care. We have a “replacement fund” for this very reason; our commitment to staying ahead of plant issues and senior living trends sets us apart from the rest.
  2. We are affordable—and we maintain that: We keep rate increases to a minimum; on average, residents have seen only a 2 percent rate increase a year in rent since 1993 (and that’s about 3 percent less than many of our competitors). It’s been our mission—for 200 years—to make senior living affordable to seniors in the Baltimore, Md., area and we haven’t broken that promise yet.
  3.  Dedicated staff: A good chunk of our good reputation is due to the good work performed every day by our dedicated staff. And I don’t mean that our staff just does their job well, and does it with a smile (which they do), but they keep that energy up for our residents for years, even decades. We have had employees retire after 30, 40, even 50 years of service. They all tell me they love coming to work each day because of the residents. If it weren’t for our community’s overarching commitment to providing excellent care to residents, we wouldn’t have dedicated staff like we have, and we wouldn’t have happy residents like we have, either.
  4. Range of Assisted Living Offerings is Minimal: We don’t have a lot of add-ons, which—in some communities—can translate to ‘a lot of add-on fees.’ We offer residents an option to have limited assisted living help, or a more comprehensive assisted living package (which seem to be the two types of people who often need those accommodations). It makes sense to us, and saves cents for residents.
  5. Spacious Skilled Nursing Rooms: As a continuing care retirement community, it’s important to us that not only are independent living residents comfortable, but residents in all levels of care—including skilled nursing—are feeling at home. Our skilled nursing rooms are each equipped with their own lavatory, and are very spacious when lined up against our competitors. “High levels of care” means a little more than top-notch medical assistance at Pickersgill (though you’ll get that, too); we value privacy and dignity, and we think residents value us for that very reason. 

Founded in 1802, Pickersgill Retirement Community is named after one of its early board presidents, Mary Pickersgill, the seamstress who created the American flag that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner." Today the nonprofit retirement community offers a continuum of retirement living accommodations, including brand-new assisted living rooms and suites. To learn more, visit us online at www.pickersgillretirement.org, or feel free to give us a call at 410-825-7423.