Message from Megin Hemmerling, North Shore Regional President

November 7, 2022

Dear Residents and Families,

We have a lot to celebrate in Peabody this fall. On November 1, we hosted an employee appreciation in honor of our milestone anniversaries at the Shapiro Rudolph Day Center, Brudnick Center for Living and Kaplan Estates; the fact that our campus received a Great Place to Work designation; and to thank our employees for their continued dedication. Festivities included music, raffles, prizes, and a bounty of fall-themed foods.

Renovations are in full swing at the Brudnick Center for Living “Great Room.” The wallpaper is up, tiling has begun in the Bistro and the flooring will be completed soon. Additionally, to provide employees with a relaxing and comfortable space to for breaks, we are giving our employee breakroom a face life as well. New paint, cabinets and flooring are on the way. Best of all, the room will feature a state-of-the-art  A new flat screen TV and  microwave ovens will complete the makeover.

In honor of Veterans Day I’d like to offer a heartfelt thank you to our staff, families and residents who served in the armed forces. We truly appreciate your dedication to this country. The sacrifices you have made allow us the freedoms we all enjoy every day.

This holiday season, please take the time to enjoy being with those you care about and reflect upon the things we are grateful for in our lives. I am especially thankful that the difficult years of the pandemic are behind us. That said, we all learned the importance of staying vigilant. Remember to get your flu shots and COVID-19 boosters as we embark upon the winter months. These preventative measures go a long way towards keeping you, and those you care about, safe and well.

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving!

All the best,


Megin L. Hemmerling
Regional President, Peabody
Chelsea Jewish Lifecare

Innovative Memory Care Activities Implemented on Chelsea Jewish Lifecare Campuses

November 3, 2022

More than 6.2 million Americans are living with some form of memory loss. As November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, it’s a good time to explore how we support our memory care residents. We have, in fact, implemented the Dementia Special Care Unit (DSCU) on our Peabody and Chelsea campuses, focusing on new tools and strategies for residents with dementia. The results have been significant.

Essentially, the DSCU provides specialized programming and therapeutic activities with a trained, dedicated staff. The unit was started because so many of our residents are living with dementia. Through the use of innovative technology such as the ABBY and the IN2L, along with staff members who have been trained and certified in the Teepa Snow Positive Approach to Care, our programming has expanded with great success.

Susan LeClaire, Therapeutic Activities Director of the Dementia Special Care Unit in Peabody and Chelsea is passionate about her work in the DSCU. When asked why she went into memory care, she was quick to respond, “My role in rehabilitation as a provider of occupational therapy (OT) to our seniors was the perfect segue into my position here,” remarked Susan. “OT focuses upon activities to help patients regain independence and get back to doing what they love after an illness, injury, or surgery. Similarly, the use of personalized multi-sensory activities can help our residents living with dementia retain the skills they have and maintain as much independence as possible.” Added Susan, “It’s so rewarding to see our residents enjoying themselves while engaged in productive, purposeful activities.”

The ABBY is a unique engagement technology that looks like a large retro TV/radio, complete with knobs to turn, buttons to press, a steering wheel mounted under the screen and a life-like cat with soft fur to pet. This device supports our residents when agitated. They can pet the cat which activates a video of an adorable frisky kitty engaged in tug of war with a bed sheet at the end of which is a giggling toddler. With the help of families, the ABBY can be personalized with videos and photos important to a particular resident. Our staff can easily access the content to provide a personalized engagement experience for the resident.

Additionally, staff utilize the IN2L, which is a huge 75” touchscreen computer on wheels pre-loaded with stimulating content to engage residents living with dementia. Familiar popular songs with large print words in a flash encourage the residents sing along. There is also a travel section, which allows residents to travel anywhere in the world in an instant! In essence, the IN2L enables socialization, cognitive stimulation, and improves the mood and emotional well-being for residents living with all levels of dementia. Other approaches for our memory care and Alzheimer residents involve therapeutic gardening, pet therapy, and music therapy, including the renowned Music & Memory program.

A key priority is to get to know the resident so activities can be tailored to an individual’s hobbies and history. “In a sense, my job is to act as a detective,”’ explained LeClaire. “With the help of our families, I try to find out as much as I can about each resident. This way, our staff will know and understand the unique roles, values, and interests of our residents before they were affected by the disease. More importantly, this information helps create strong bonds between our staff members and our residents.”

The Season to be Thankful

November 11, 2022

As we prepare for the holiday season, it seems only fitting to reflect upon the past year and the true meaning of the holidays. With that in mind, below are quotes from residents and staff members about what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving. We are thankful for our amazing residents and staff. Happy Thanksgiving!

“This holiday season I am grateful for so many things. I am first always grateful for my family and their health and happiness. I am grateful for this wonderful company for believing in me and for always making our employees and residents safety and happiness a priority. I am grateful for the AMAZING team at Ruth’s House who work endlessly to make our residents feel safe, warm and loved in their home. Lastly, I am grateful for our residents who trust us to give them a beautiful, enriching, and fun place to live!”

Christina Tuohey
Executive Director
Ruth’s House Assisted Living


“I am thankful for my children.”

Linda B
Ruth’s House Assisted Living Resident


“I am thankful for the company. Everyone here is fantastic.”

Regina Retynsky
Ruth’s House Assisted Living Resident


“This Thanksgiving I am thankful to call Cohen Florence my home. I feel so blessed to be here with all of these amazing people.”

Ruth Curran
Cohen Florence Levine Estates Resident


“This Thanksgiving I am grateful to be spending the holiday with my family and friends. I am grateful for their health and the happiness and support they bring me each and every day.”

Kristen Donnelly
Executive Director
Cohen Florence Levine Estates/Florence & Chafetz Home for Specialized Care


“I am grateful for the residents and the joy they bring to our community; I am grateful for our families and their involvement at Kaplan; I am grateful for our team and the compassion and dedication they display in the care they provide; and I’m grateful for the love and encouragement of my family as they support me in the work that I do.”

Andrea Hillel
Executive Director
Harriett and Ralph Kaplan Estates


“I am thankful for my wonderful children and the care I am receiving here.”

Harriett and Ralph Kaplan Estates Resident


“This thanksgiving I am thankful for all healthcare employees from administration and nursing to housekeeping and kitchen staff. Everyone has come together and kept working to provide the best care possible through a pandemic and beyond. “

Dennis Kanarkiewicz
Director of Nursing
Brudnick Center for Living


“I am thankful for my daughter who challenges me and inspires me to be the best version of myself. I am grateful for the Katzman community- the incredibly compassionate and dedicated team at KCL, our residents, and their families. Wishing you all good health and happiness this Thanksgiving.”

Jill Tura
Executive Director
Katzman Family Center for Living


“I’m thankful for my kids and our health. I’m thankful to have a job with nice co-workers that get along and work as a team to provide care to our residents. Even though our jobs are stressful, I feel blessed that I wake up in the morning and enjoy going to work.”

Dylia A. LPN
Katzman Family Center for Living


“I have worked here for a long time. I’m thankful that this place feels like my home and that these people are my family.”

Maria C. CNA
Katzman Family Center for Living

People are Talking!

November 10, 2022

Feedback from our residents and families is crucial to making our residences the best they can be. Through our surveys, phone calls and day-to-day interaction, we continuously take into consideration each and every comment.

Another way to provide essential feedback is through our virtual Town Hall Meetings, which are held for residents and families in our skilled nursing residences. These meetings enable you to ask questions, find out about activities and events and discuss any issues or concerns. It’s also a great way to interact with other families. This month Katzman Center will hold its meeting on November 29; Leavitt Family Jewish Home will be on November 30 at 5:30pm; the Leonard Florence Center meeting will be held on December 1 at 5:30pm and Brudnick Center will be held on December 13.

Below are a few of the comments we received recently as well as Zoom invites to the virtual Town Halls Meetings. We welcome your participation!


Family Feedback

“I appreciate how knowledgeable the staff is about my loved one, how they really care about her well- being and how patient and considerate they act towards family members.”

“The accommodations and staff are excellent! What I noticed the most is that everyone knocks before they enter a room.”

“Lovely staff with great nurses. They are very sympathetic and caring.”

“Great communication and follow through. Everyone is so friendly!”

“The therapy is exceptional.”

“It’s like staying at a nice hotel!”


Town Hall Zoom Meetings:

KCL Town Hall Meeting
Time: November 29, 2022, 5:30pm EST
Meeting ID: 838 2136 6694
Passcode: 434193

JNH Town Hall Meeting
Time: November 30, 2022, 5:30pm EST
Meeting ID: 833 4120 6408
Passcode: 544356

LFCL Town Hall Meeting
Time: December 1, 2022, 5:30pm EST
Meeting ID: 894 0908 4158
Passcode: 752571

BCL Town Hall Meeting
Time: December 13, 2022, 5:30pm EST
Meeting ID: 856 2176 1609
Passcode: 639445

Look What’s Happening on Our Peabody Campus

November 8, 2022

The beautiful fall weather has made our activities even more enjoyable. One of the season’s highlights: the annual Fall Foliage Ride. It was a perfect New England day. To celebrate the season further, residents have been busy making colorful fall centerpieces.

Take a look at our photos from our annual Oktoberfest celebration, with themed food, entertainment by Eddie Marando and event horse races. Up next on the calendar: lunch outings to April’s in Salem and Floramo’s in Wakefield. The trips offer delicious food as well as the chance to socialize in a lively setting. Additionally, our outdoor entertainment with the talented Memory Laners was a hit with residents and staff alike.

This fall we are holding a special “Natalie Kaplan Speaker Series.” The ongoing monthly event was started by Natalie Kaplan, who won the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Assisted Livings Association. We are grateful that Pam DeGroot, Natalie’s daughter, continues to run the much-loved program. Pam does an outstanding job.

Cantor Sarah Fruedenberger was the most recent speaker and discussed her journey on becoming a cantor and defeating obstacles. Cantor Fruedenberger’s presentation included her singing a medley of beautiful songs. The residents thoroughly enjoyed her program. For November, our speaker is Rabbi Tiferet Baranbaum, who will provide valuable insight into how different groups of people view the world. Rabbi Baranbaum is the Rabbi of Congregational Learning and Programming at TBZ Brookline.

As always, Veterans Day is a meaningful event on our campus. We will be showing a special interactive trivia video regarding military service throughout the years of our country. A huge thank you to all of our veterans who served our country. We salute your dedication, loyalty, and unwavering commitment.