Message from Megin Hemmerling, Regional President

June 14, 2023

Dear Residents and Families,

June 21st marks the first day of summer! We are all looking forward to outdoor activities, seasonal foods, and an abundance of warm weather. With that in mind, I’d like to remind everyone that it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Equally important is the use of sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect ourselves from sun exposure. Preventive measures are the key to a fun and safe summer.

On the Peabody campus, our beautiful patios are ready for you to enjoy. It is our hope that you use the courtyards and outdoor patios on the nice days ahead. Nothing lifts the spirits more than being outdoors on a sunny day. In Chelsea, Katzman Center for Living (KCL) will begin their weekly BBQs in the courtyard this month, complete with musical entertainment. Residents and staff alike look forward to this lively summer series. Additionally, as part of our ongoing renovations, each resident room at KCL will receive a new armchair for comfortable relaxation or visits. This month, Leonard Florence Center and Estates on Admiral’s Hill will begin their evening summer concert series. It’s a time to enjoy warm summer nights with music, refreshments, and camaraderie with friends.

This month we pay tribute to the dads amongst us. It’s a special time for our families and we enjoy celebrating the holiday in all of our residences. Hope everyone had a very Happy Father’s Day!

All the best,


How Do You Keep Loved Ones with Memory Loss Safe?

June 13, 2023

Whether at home or in a traditional assisted living residence, it’s always difficult for families to determine if a loved one needs additional support. Sometimes the signs are clear-cut, but often, they are merely attributed to “getting older” and being forgetful. It’s important, therefore, to address all safety issues that may result from memory loss since the biggest challenge for families and caregivers is keeping a loved one safe.

“We continually strive to ensure that a safe, clean, and comfortable environment exists for everyone who lives, works, or visits our facilities,” explained Jeffrey Lind, Director of Facilities Engineering at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “It is the number one priority for the engineering and maintenance department.”

As June is National Safety Month, it seems timely to explore the safety issues facing many of our seniors and families who may have loved ones with memory loss. The first step, and often the hardest one, is to recognize the signs and symptoms that indicate that something may be wrong.

Common Signs of Memory Loss:

  • Wandering
    Adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease often feel compelled to walk about. They have no real place to go, and they often do not realize what direction they are heading. They just feel the need to move and walk somewhat aimlessly. This behavior is often called “wandering” by clinicians, researchers, and caregivers
  • Memory Problems
    Often seniors are unable to remember details of a conversation or event that took place a year ago, an acquaintance, events or have difficulty finding words.
  • Disorientation
    A person with dementia may have difficulty finding their way to a familiar place or feel confused about where they are, or think they are back in some past time of their life.
  • Personality and Behavior Changes
    Individuals with memory loss may get upset, worried, and angry much more easily than before. Staying engaged with art and music activities helps individuals communicate and express themselves.

Preventative Safety Measures for Memory Support Residents

Assisted living and nursing homes with memory support focus on keeping their residents safe, active, and happy. At Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, the staff are highly trained to make sure residents remain safe at all times. Lind noted that the organization makes use of all local resources, “In addition to on-site training, we have partnered with MassMAP (Massachusetts Mutual Aid Plan,” said Jeff. “This ensures that we have the resources and manpower available to cover any potential issue that might arise at any day/hour.”

Below are areas of concern for memory care residents and some of the preventative steps we take on our campus:

  • Falls are a common and serious safety concern in assisted living facilities and nursing homes as they can lead to serious injuries and among elders. As over half the falls take place in one’s apartment or room, it is important to reduce clutter, avoid overcrowding with furniture, and make sure the resident is wearing supportive footwear with no-slip soles.
  • Emergency preparedness is an essential aspect of ensuring the safety of residents in assisted living facilities. Staff are trained regularly on procedures and protocols for emergency situations such as severe weather, fire, power outages and more.
  • Dementia care safety includes grab bars in bathrooms, rugs tacked down to prevent falls, wide corridors, call buttons and high staff to resident ratio
  • Regular safety inspections of the assisted living
  • Floors and surfaces kept clutter free
  • Door and window alarms
  • 24-hour supervision

Seek Professional Guidance

Even after recognizing the signs of memory loss, it is challenging to decide on the best living situation for loved ones. Our professional team can help guide you and offer resources. Call Terry Halliday at 978-854-1825 or email Meeting staff members, touring properties and/or talking with other families facing similar situations can be extremely helpful.

Behind the Scenes in Peabody!

June 15, 2023

Summer is off to a great start with outdoor summer parties. Tropical refreshments, a colorful Tiki Bar and lively calypso music set the stage for a fun “island” vibe. As in past years, we will host the popular our International Festivals, beginning with BCL residents going on a “trip” to France while Kaplan residents will be visiting Canada. These festivals are a big hit on campus as residents watch videos, discuss interesting facts, listen to the country’s traditional music and sample delicious foods representative of each country. Definitely hassle free travel!

David McKee recently visited our campus, speaking to residents about good brain health and five areas to focus upon. Dave has a very interesting and unique background. He and his wife Diana worked in Senegal West Africa for over 20 years. His advice for best practices: exercise, maintain good sleep habits, follow a Mediterranean diet, stay socially active and remain mentally alert. Sounds like a very sound plan. We are also focusing on persona physical therapy. Michele Baker (PT) will continue her health series. This month she will address how to maintain and improve one’s balance.

High school students from Lynn Vocational Tech came for a fun “Game Day” with our second-floor residents at the Brudnick Center. Stations were set up to play games such as bowling, “Bat the Balloon” and a carnival toss. It was a fun day for all. Coming up: our Presidential Library Series will be held in June and July. We will have programs from the presidential libraries of Carter, FDR, Clinton, and Truman, among others.

Our collaboration with Congregation Sons of Israel (CSOI) continues to bring much joy to our campus. Monthly shabbat services in the Community Room have been widely attended. And at our live service on June 10, we had a Baby Naming celebration! After the special service, attendees, residents, and CSOI congregants enjoyed a kiddish luncheon to celebrate the special day. Family members representing four generations made the occasion truly memorable!


Get To Know Jen Fazekas!

May 31, 2023

Director of Marketing Chelsea Jewish Lifecare

The transition from car sales to assisted living sales may seem like a big jump, but to Jen Fazekas, Director of Marketing for Cohen Florence Levine Estates and Florence & Chafetz Specialized Care, changing best decisions ever. Her career is thriving and she loves the day-to-day interaction with the residents. “Seeing our residents smile and helping them live their best lives is so gratifying,” remarked Jen. “I feel lucky I can truly make a difference.”

Growing up in Endwell, a small upstate town in New York, Jen was always active, engaging, and athletic. As a toddler, she had the unique distinction of being featured on the cover of the Page Seed Company catalogue, which was one of the biggest seed manufacturers in the country. Take a look at the adorable cover! From the ages of 12-17, Jen had a professional golf coach, eventually playing at the Grand Cypress Golf Club while in high school. She also played varsity softball and basketball. Jen received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the State University of New York at Oswego and, following graduation, worked for a few years in sales for Acura and Cadillac.

Although Jen was a highly successful car salesperson, she was drawn to senior care because of her grandfather. Her grandparents were living in Florida when her grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Jen witnessed; firsthand, how difficult it was for her grandmother to manage on her own. Ultimately her family moved her grandparents back to New York so her family could help. “Looking back, it was challenging for us to navigate the different levels of care,” admitted Jen. “However once they were finally placed in a CCRC, I knew I wanted to apply my newfound knowledge of the process to help other families in need.” She entered the assisted living arena and has never looked back.

Jen lives in Peabody with her husband Nick, six year-old son Aiden, who is finishing up kindergarten, and Tank, their eight month old puppy. In her spare time, Jen enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, cooking, and attending her son’s many sporting events.

Asked about the highlights of her role as Marketing Director, Jen immediately talked about the hugely enjoyable Snowball Fashion Show held at Florence & Chafetz this past spring. Jen put her heart and soul into producing the event. In addition, she emceed the event in a festive red dress, offering commentary that was fitting for the most exclusive Rec Carpet runway. “The residents absolutely had the time of their lives,” said Jen. “We had so much fun getting ready beforehand, and the actual show was even better than we ever imagined. Residents and staff were dancing, singing, and laughing. It was a day I’ll always remember.”