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Woodland Pond Stories, Events and Community Happenings by lew697
Live the life that you love in the cultural heart of the Mid-Hudson Valley. Woodland Pond beckons. Let the art, history and energy of the area inspire you and the varying levels of all-inclusive individualized care support you for a lifetime of confident living.
October 01, 2013 05:19 PM | 0 0 comments | 557 557 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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When We Stop Learning, We Stop Living – At Least Meaningfully
by lew697
September 04, 2014 01:31 PM | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Dr. Paul Lurie, a resident of Woodland Pond at New Paltz, is looking forward to participating in a Lifetime Learning course, since he taught one last semester.
Dr. Paul Lurie, a resident of Woodland Pond at New Paltz, is looking forward to participating in a Lifetime Learning course, since he taught one last semester.
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There’s a saying that goes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, well local retirees, beg to differ. While stereotypes suggest that seniors are not open to new ideas and that they are set in their ways, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found that older adults actually are interested in learning. This is a group of people that want to keep up with what's going on in the world, who wish to expand their spiritual or personal growth, and relish in the simple joy of learning something new. Many of the residents at Woodland Pond at New Paltz, the only continuing care retirement community in the Hudson Valley, have prestigious backgrounds as doctors, lawyers, writers and various specialists. They recognize and embrace the value of lifelong learning. Wanting to offer educational opportunities to residents and provide the chance for qualified residents to teach classes to area seniors, Woodland Pond decided to partner with the State University of New York’s Lifetime Learning Institute. The classes are open to the public. Residents can participate in classes with fellow retirees in the area, or they can volunteer to teach classes.  

 

“Residents and others age 55 and over can pursue an existing interest, or begin exploring a new one,” said Michelle Gramoglia, executive director of Woodland Pond at New Paltz. “Courses are open to the public and are based in a SUNY New Paltz classroom in a downtown location, or, most conveniently held right at the community. The courses are taught by experienced, quality instructors who volunteer their time for the program. The courses range from 6 – 8 weeks in length.

 

Residents at Woodland Pond enjoy participating in classes and several have taught classes as well. During the 2014 spring semester, Dr. Paul R. Lurie led a class titled A Cardiologist Explains Things, to educate seniors on the structure and function of the different body parts and how they function. He knew people were curious about this subject, and wanted to help them understand how their bodies work. Dr. Lurie was a professor of Pediatric Cardiology at Indiana University, the University of Southern California and Albany Medical College.

 

“It felt rewarding to educate people about their bodies, as I enjoy explaining things simply to both patients and people of all ages,” said Dr. Lurie. “This fall, I will be enrolling in classes and experiencing the program from a different side. I am considering teaching another class during a future semester.”

 

“The whole principle of the Lifetime Learning Institute is to expand our minds,” said Dr. Lurie. “For some people, continued learning is necessary, like eating and sleeping, we have to do it, we feel compelled to do it, and it is a part of everyday living. Learning keeps people engaged and interested in life.”

 

Fellow Woodland Pond resident and Professor emeritus of LaGuardia Community College, Douglas McBride, led the Great Decisions class, which covered America’s largest discussion on world affairs. McBride highlighted eight of the most thought-provoking policy challenges facing Americans each year. Rob Greene, a practicing therapist and resident of Woodland Pond, also led a class, which was titled What Jung Has to Teach Us About Ourselves, and showed how Jungian psychology can help deepen self-understanding. The course covered dreams, personality types, the shadow, and the two soul images – Anima and Animus.

 

The Rush Memory and Aging Project showed that when senior adults are exposed to increased cognitive activity decline in cognitive function slowed and the risk of mild cognitive impairment decreased. Research shows that cognitively active seniors are 2.6 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than seniors with less cognitive activity. Not only can lifelong learning keep minds sharp and engaged, but it is also critical to emotional health.

 

The classes are available in the fall and spring. Participants must be a member of The Lifetime Learning Institute Program to register for classes. Annual membership is $115 per person. Each semester offers a variety of courses, such as Claytainers, Murder & Mayhem: Writing a Mystery Novel, Financial Planning for Retirees, Mexico, The US and Manifest Destiny and Yoga Level One.

 

After conducting a national survey among Americans age 50 and older, researchers from the AARP found that older learners prefer methods that are easy to access, require small investments of time and money to get started, and allow learning to begin immediately. Their results also show that older learners are most interested in subjects that would improve the quality of their lives, build upon a current skill, or enable them to take better care of their health.

 

“We are thrilled that our residents are taking and teaching these classes,” said Gramoglia. “Many studies have shown that staying engaged and learning new things increases quality of life, keeps the brain sharp and helps prevent the onset of dementia. We are thankful that programs like the Lifetime Learning Institute exist to provide our residents with educational opportunities.”

 

ABOUT WOODLAND POND

 

Woodland Pond at New Paltz is located in New Paltz, New York, and is a not-for-profit, upscale, continuing care retirement community (CCRC), tailored exclusively for those 62 and over. Nestled beneath the shoulder of the breathtaking Shawangunk Ridge, the community opened in 2009 and is the only CCRC in the Mid-Hudson Valley area.  Woodland Pond offers an 83-acre campus that includes a professionally-staffed Health Center and a Community Center with an art studio, fitness center, heated indoor swimming pool, salon, market basket, billiard room, library, woodworking shop, game room, computer lab and more.

 

As a true CCRC, Woodland Pond at New Paltz offers independent living with a choice of a private residence (24 cottages and 177 apartments), services, and amenities. Many of the apartment styles and all of the cottages are now either fully reserved and/or occupied.  Under Woodland Pond’s Life Care program, residents are provided privileged admission to the assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing center. Life Care functions similar to a long-term care policy wrapped in a healthy and fulfilling resort lifestyle – so that residents can enjoy this chapter of their lives in an inspiring and supportive environment free from worrying about future escalating long-term care expenses.

 

Woodland Pond caters to a diverse group of accomplished individuals with a variety of interests and a zest for life. The community is operated by HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, an integrated health care system committed to providing quality and compassionate medical care for patients, their families and the Hudson Valley community. For more details, please visit: http://wpatnp.org.

 

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Boy Scout Builds Walking Trail for Woodland Pond at New Paltz Residents
by lew697
August 22, 2014 10:56 AM | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Stevie Branche, a boy scout working toward Eagle Scout status, is constructing Branche trail, an extension of a current trail at Woodland Pond at New Paltz.
Stevie Branche, a boy scout working toward Eagle Scout status, is constructing Branche trail, an extension of a current trail at Woodland Pond at New Paltz.
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New Paltz, NEW YORK June 6, 2014: Clearing the land with his tools in hand, Stevie Branche, a 17-year-old boy scout, is extending a walking a trail for residents at Woodland Pond at New Paltz. Last year, the residents raised funds to build a viewing platform and a small trail that accesses it from the south side of the campus. Branche’s addition will create a continuous loop for residents to enjoy. Completing this service project will bring Branche one step closer to fulfilling the requirements for Eagle Scout status. Branche typically works on the project on Saturday mornings and sometimes after school.

 

“My mom works at Woodland Pond, and I got the idea for this project from her,” said Branche. “She had talked of the current trail and how the residents hoped the trail would be extended to make a complete loop around the community. Wanting to give back to seniors, I thought this project would be appreciated by the residents at Woodland Pond. The new trail will give them the opportunity to go outside, observe nature and get exercise. Once the troop council approved my project, I set to work on it in the fall of 2013.”

 

Branche has carefully planned the design of the trail to make sure it accommodates all levels of physical mobility and stamina. He and fellow scouts have cleared dense forest, brush, weeds, roots and hazardous objects away from the path, smoothed the land and lined the trail with soft dirt for easy treading. Some of the tools and supplies, such as mulch, dirt, and posts for signs and trail-markers, were purchased and some of it was donated.

 

“When I moved here, I had envisioned turning the old ATV trails in the woods into a walking trail for residents, staff, friends and families of Woodland Pond to use,” said Douglas McBride, a resident of Woodland Pond. “The beaver pond was not easily viewed from the ATV trails that ran through the woods, so we built a viewing platform so residents could enjoy the pond from a safe and comfortable spot. We raised funds and worked with the Woodland Pond Foundation to build a viewing platform and a small trail leading to the scenic spot. With that project completed, we were hopeful that the other part of the trail we had envisioned would come next. When Stevie approached us with his ambitious idea, we gladly accepted his offer to help. He and his fellow scouts have done a marvelous job. We cannot wait to see the finished result.”

 

Branche selected this act of service as part of the requirements for advancement to Eagle Scout status, the highest rank one can achieve in Boy Scouts. In addition to the community service project, Branche is required to complete merit badges, have a position of leadership in the troop, and participate in troop meetings, activities and events by the time he turns 18. He has been working toward this goal since joining Boy Scouts. Branche will be the first in his family to achieve this honor. Less than one percent of Boy Scouts achieve the Eagle Scout title.

 

 

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Woodland Pond Resident Publishes Book on Healthcare Dilemma
by lew697
August 22, 2014 10:56 AM | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Dr. Randolph Estwick
Dr. Randolph Estwick
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The Healthcare Dilemma: An Inside View
The Healthcare Dilemma: An Inside View
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Having worked as an international physician and a consultant in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for many years, and motivated by his daily experience with his wife who had suffered from the sudden onset of a stroke, Dr. Randolph Estwick, a resident of Woodland Pond at New Paltz, recently published his experiences and perceptions in a book, The Healthcare Dilemma: An Inside View.

 

“My wife was the inspiration for this book,” said Dr. Estwick. “Typically, the effects of a stroke are the main cause of long-term illness and disability, requiring long-term care either at home or at an institution. I have had first-hand experience of what happens when a traumatic event occurs within a family. I found myself in a very unique position of being two persons in one; the experienced physician on one side of the coin, and the spouse of the victim of a major medical event, a stroke, on the other side. I have concluded that it was easier as a consulting physician. I hope that the perspectives presented may be helpful in improving the care and outlook of victims of a stroke or other disabling conditions.”

 

Dr. Estwick has published articles in several scientific publications, including The American Journal of Physiology, Cancer and Geriatrics, where he has written about the rehabilitation management of “Central Cervical Cord Compression Syndrome,” among other similar topics. He has also served as a reviewer for the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Estwick’s desire is to share his experiences and his perceptions with those who need help navigating the healthcare system, so they are able to make informed decisions in selecting an institution either for themselves or for their loved ones.  

 

The book contains information for those seeking long-term care, the pros and cons of senior care, a comparison of institutional communities versus care at home, and information on how the healthcare system could be improved.  

 

His suggestion is to start investing in long-term healthcare coverage as soon as you are able – whether you are a young adult, on the verge of retirement or even if you are retired. If you initiate coverage at an early age, he says, your premium will be much lower. His research shows that people easily spend $500 a day, and more on long-term healthcare.

 

“I have also included helpful tools for those who are searching for long-term care facilities,” said Dr. Estwick. “I created a table with ten criteria, and each criteria/item is given a rating from 1 to 10. The highest possible score for all items is 100; the higher the score, the better the care provider. The criteria listed includes staff to patient ratio, communication in English, orderliness of the facility (odor, appearance, organization), and years of continuous employment, just to name a few. I provide narratives for each category so readers may understand their significance.”

 

The book took Dr. Estwick two years to complete. He took the time to gather facts and a large body of support including on-site observation, but no names or places to highlight his main points. He believes the information presented in his book will make a significant impact because it relates to people – real people who are suffering and are affected by the current healthcare delivery system. 

 

“Relatively few people can afford healthcare and have to rely on other agencies (Medicaid, Medicare) to help with the cost,” expressed Dr. Estwick. “People simply do not earn enough money to pay for the costs of their long-term healthcare. When you get older, you will reach a point where you are unable to care for yourself, and you will require care, but the quality of care you receive will be comparable to what you pay. These perceptions are not a critique of the healthcare system, they are realities. My intention is to strike a balance between those who operate the system and the recipients of healthcare. The question I want people to ask is, ‘How do we improve the system?’”

 

“I had an advance look at Dr. Estwick’s book, and am impressed with the breadth of topics covered, and the honest, comprehensive viewpoint that Dr. Estwick has offered his readers,” said Michelle Gramoglia, Executive Director of Woodland Pond at New Paltz. “There are a number of excerpts and points made in the book that our staff at all levels will benefit from having read; it is incredibly valuable to understand the perspective of a man with all of Dr. Estwick’s personal experience and credentials.” 

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Woodland Pond Resident Shares Memories of Prisoner of War Experiences
by lew697
June 09, 2014 02:48 PM | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Robert Jagoda, a resident of Woodland Pond and World War II veteran
Robert Jagoda, a resident of Woodland Pond and World War II veteran
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New Paltz, NEW YORK May 19, 2014:  Robert Jagoda, a resident of Woodland Pond at New Paltz, was captured and held as a prisoner of war during World War II. On the beachheads of Salerno and Anzio, Germans attempted one final massive attack to retake Italy. During this combat, Jagoda and fellow GI’s of the 45th, 3rd, and 36th Infantry Divisions were captured and held as prisoners of war. In honor of Memorial Day, Jagoda is sharing his inspirational story of survival.

 

“After we were captured, fellow Americans and I were kept in a cramped studio where we were forced to sleep on the floor or stand against the wall,” said Jagoda. “Over the course of the next three months we would be transitioned to different stalags, German prisoner of war transit camps. We suffered from malnutrition and a host of other problems, ranging from scurvy to malaria. Our meager subsistence consisted of two meals per day: a loaf of rock-hard black bread to be shared by five men, at noon; supper brought a tepid beverage served as soup, consisting of water, lard and cabbage leaves. At one point, I weighed 79 pounds.”

 

Jagoda and fellow prisoners loved the Italians, as they attempted to smuggle food and other basic survival items to the prisoners. When the prisoners were marched through towns with allies, they too would try to give food to the prisoners. In one town, women were in the streets throwing loaves of bread at the men. The German guards fired overhead shots to ward off the women, but they just went to the second story of their homes and threw the bread like football passes down to the prisoners.

 

“As prisoners we had to get creative in the ways in which we could do things,” said Jagoda. “We would take Klim milk cans and turn them into little stoves using belts and can openers. Wooden shavings from our bunks would help ignite and sustain a small fire. Most of us used these for cooking, but others would use it to make a cup of tea. Some of the British prisoners would sneak into the toilet area and make tea with these Klim cans late at night. You would hear people go into the bathroom to use the toilet and they’d shout, ‘Cut it out matey, you’re peeing in my brew!’ Despite our circumstances, we had some comedic moments.”

 

Jagoda recalls that prisoners tried to escape by digging tunnels or jumping fences. They were never successful, and were typically the victims of machine guns. After three months of captivity, Jagoda and 18 other prisoners were sent to the village of Bebenhausen, in Germany, to work on the Anton Markthaler’s farm. Anton’s daughter, Senzi, oversaw the prisoners and was persistent in her efforts to ensure that the 19 “kriegies,” prisoner allies, were treated fairly and, in acknowledgement of their work, were to join the farm families at meal times. He was one of the only prisoners that spoke German, so he acted as an interpreter between fellow prisoners and the Germans.

 

“I was 20 years old when I met Senzi, and we developed a close friendship when I worked as a prisoner of war on her family’s farm,” said Jagoda. “During our time on the Markthaler farm, Senzi interceded with our guards so we could invite villagers to ‘Good bye My Bebenhausen Baby,’ a musical that a fellow prisoner, Flannery, and I collaborated on to produce. We received a standing ovation, guards included. Next, in early autumn, we introduced the villagers to baseball. We set up in a cow pasture behind a church and graveyard. The ball, which was the size of a large cantaloupe, was stuffed with tightly packed felt; the bat weighed close to four pounds and was crafted of ash by the village wagon-maker. The game barely lasted three innings; the ball split at the seams, sending scraps of felt in all directions. Flannery, the man on base, mistakenly slid into a fresh cow flop – to the joy of villagers.”

 

After eleven months had passed, two S.S. officers came by the farm to guide Jagoda and other prisoners to a large stalag where they said the prisoners would be safe. Senzi did not trust these men, so she packed Jagoda a rucksack with a map, compass, milk, cheese, bread and cold cuts. She urged Jagoda to escape as soon as the forest offered a safe haven. Jagoda sneaked away from the officers, and hid in a farmhouse. Later that night, he ran into allied forces while trying to escape.  They brought him to a farmer who provided him with civilian clothes.  Together, they rode bicycles and canvassed the area until they found the other 18 prisoners of war who were penned up in a small wire enclosure. They freed the men and the guards fled as American 10th armored tanks rumbled into the area. The war was finally over. Jagoda caught a ride back to the village of Bebenhausen, where he reunited with Senzi.

 

To commemorate her friendship and bring light to his experiences, Jagoda published “Senzi: A Woman to Remember,” a memoir about his experiences as a prisoner of war. In this, Jagoda honors the memory of his time with Crescent Markthaler, known by the name Senzi, the woman who aided his escape, and to whom he credits his life.

 

Several years later, a friend and former colleague of Jagoda’s traveled to Germany and visited the village where Senzi had lived. To his surprise, his colleague found Senzi who had not spoken to Jagoda in years.  The two had lost touch over the years and did not have each other’s contact information. From that point on, Jagoda and Senzi stayed in correspondence sharing gifts, letters and finally Jagoda’s memoir. One of Senzi’s granddaughters spent several evenings reading the book to her.

 

“We are excited to honor Mr. Jagoda and other veterans at Woodland Pond in recognition of Memorial Day,” said Sarah Hull, resident services director for Woodland Pond. “Hearing their tales of service, bravery and hardship, makes us all grateful for their sacrifice. Anne and Ray Smith, Woodland Pond residents, are compiling stories for a second edition of Wartimes Remembered, a novel with a collective array of true stories based on veterans’ personal experiences during World War II and the Korean War. It will be wonderful to have the tales recorded in print for future generations to enjoy.”

 

ABOUT WOODLAND POND

 

Woodland Pond at New Paltz is located in New Paltz, New York, and is a not-for-profit, upscale, continuing care retirement community (CCRC), tailored exclusively for those 62 and over. Nestled beneath the shoulder of the breathtaking Shawangunk Ridge, the community opened in 2009 and is the only CCRC in the Mid-Hudson Valley area.  Woodland Pond offers an 83-acre campus that includes a professionally-staffed Health Center and a Community Center with an art studio, fitness center, heated indoor swimming pool, salon, market basket, billiard room, library, woodworking shop, game room, computer lab and more.

 

As a true CCRC, Woodland Pond at New Paltz offers independent living with a choice of a private residence (24 cottages and 177 apartments), services, and amenities. Under Woodland Pond’s Life Care program, residents are provided privileged admission to the assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing center. Life Care functions similar to a long-term care policy wrapped in a healthy and fulfilling resort lifestyle – so that residents can enjoy this chapter of their lives in an inspiring and supportive environment free from worrying about future escalating long-term care expenses.

 

Woodland Pond caters to a diverse group of accomplished individuals with a variety of interests and a zest for life. The community is operated by HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, an integrated health care system committed to providing quality and compassionate medical care for patients, their families and the Hudson Valley community. For more details, please visit: http://wpatnp.org.

 

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Woodland Pond to Host Chic Fashion Show to Raise Funds for Interfaith Meditation Room
by lew697
April 09, 2014 01:14 PM | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Woodland Pond at New Paltz, the only continuing care retirement community in the Mid-Hudson Valley area, is teaming up with the Rambling Rose Boutique to host a fashion show to raise funds for the Woodland Pond Interfaith Meditation Room.  This project was initiated by Woodland Pond residents through their Interfaith Committee. The fashion show, which will feature 15 models comprised of Woodland Pond staff and residents, students and the residents’ grandchildren, will be held on Friday, April 25, from 7 – 8 PM and is open to the public. Rambling Rose will debut it’s spring and summer collection of clothing and accessories at the event. Admission is $20 per person and complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. There will also be 50/50 raffle tickets available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit the project. Seating is limited, please RSVP by calling 845-256-5900.

 

“The Woodland Pond Interfaith Meditation Room will be a room for individual or shared prayer, meditation, and contemplation for all residents of Woodland Pond, their families, friends and clergy,” said Lyn Mayo, a Woodland Pond resident and chair of the Interfaith Committee. “The Interfaith Committee initiated the project and sought to utilize space that is currently not serving a purpose. Woodland Pond has been buzzing about the fashion show and the outside community is getting excited too. This will be a lighthearted and entertaining fundraiser for all.”

 

Once built, the Woodland Pond Interfaith Meditation Room will be decorated with serene nature scenes and will be furnished with simple furniture. In addition to being a place for meditation and worship, the Interfaith Committee also encourages people to use the space to honor a loved one or friend, or memorialize any special occasion – birthday, anniversary, or milestone.   

 

“It will be a space for all walks of faith to utilize for quiet contemplation and prayer,” said Sarah Hull, resident services director for Woodland Pond.  “We have many faiths at Woodland Pond and this will be a place that all residents’ family members and guests can use.  I am very excited about the outside community, residents and employees coming together for a fun event that has a great purpose. The residents are thrilled that Rambling Rose is donating its time and gorgeous clothing for the event.”

 

The Woodland Pond Interfaith Committee recognizes all faiths and plans monthly services for various religious observances. This month the committee is planning a Seder for Passover and a service for the Easter celebration on Good Friday. The committee invites clergy from outside of Woodland Pond, as well as residents who are retired clergy, to lead the services. The Interfaith Committee was designed with the purpose of recognizing different faiths and fulfilling the spiritual needs of seniors. 

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Woodland Pond Recognized as One of Best Nursing Homes by U.S. News & World Report
by lew697
April 02, 2014 03:51 PM | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Woodland Pond at New Paltz
Woodland Pond at New Paltz
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Woodland Pond at New Paltz, the only continuing care retirement community in the Mid-Hudson Valley area, has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report with a five-star rating in its annual Best Nursing Homes issue.  The senior living community is excited about the recognition and pledges to provide continued excellence.

 

“We are delighted to have our inpatient rehabilitation and skilled nursing services be featured in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Nursing Homes issue,” said Michelle Gramoglia, executive director. “We offer high quality, long-term care for seniors with personalized services designed to meet each individual’s needs, and it is so fulfilling to receive national recognition for these efforts.”

 

Data gathered from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides the basis for the ratings. CMS exists to help consumers, families and caregivers assess options for senior care. The data comes from regular health inspections carried out by state agencies and mandatory reporting from the residences. Facilities are evaluated on several categories including health inspections, level of nurse staffing and quality of care. In New York, only 23 percent of all nursing homes received a five-star rating. Woodland Pond is the only 5 star rated facility in the Ulster and Dutchess County region, out of a total of 22 total facilities located in the two counties. 

 

“We are honored to receive the top rating and are excited and engaged in our commitment to continue to provide quality care in all areas of our community,” said Michelle Gramoglia. “Continuing care retirement communities feature a broad spectrum of care designed to conveniently support you and your loved ones as they age in place. Woodland Pond at New Paltz offers independent and assisted living options, and offers skilled nursing care, rehabilitation programs and memory care support. This 5 star rating highlights the dedication to high quality care provided in an incredible environment.” 

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Ulster County Community Effort Provides Free Tax Preparation Services to Seniors and Individuals with Limited Incomes
by lew697
March 06, 2014 12:45 PM | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Betsy Haight, a resident of Woodland Pond, and a call center volunteer, take calls and schedule appointments for the AARP tax program.
Betsy Haight, a resident of Woodland Pond, and a call center volunteer, take calls and schedule appointments for the AARP tax program.
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Mary Louise VanWinkle, a resident of Woodland Pond, and call center volunteer enjoy helping others by volunteering ing the AARP tax assistance program.
Mary Louise VanWinkle, a resident of Woodland Pond, and call center volunteer enjoy helping others by volunteering ing the AARP tax assistance program.
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All income earning citizens are responsible for filing their taxes, which is frequently done online. Seniors and people with limited incomes may not own computers, have internet access or possess knowledge about online tax programs or filing their taxes in general. In response to this need, members of the Ulster County community have come together to provide tax preparation services for seniors over the age of 55 and people with limited incomes. Woodland Pond, a senior living community in New Paltz, has donated a vacant apartment to be used as a call center, through which all tax preparation appointments are scheduled with volunteer tax preparers at seven sites throughout Ulster County. Woodland Pond residents and members of the outside community volunteer their time to run the call center. Internet and telephone service has been provided by Cornerstone Communications, at no charge to AARP or Woodland Pond. It is truly a community wide effort.

 

“It is important to provide these services for people that cannot afford them, as we all are obligated to file our taxes,” said Vici Danskin, a resident of Woodland Pond at New Paltz and coordinator of the call center operations. “I have been volunteering in the New Paltz community for much of my life, as I think it is important to help people. A typical call at the call center involves getting names and contact information of the people that call. We inform them of all the documents and items they will need to bring with them to their appointments. Then, we schedule a convenient time and location for them. Prior to their appointment, we give them a reminder call. Most of our available appointments for February filled up quickly and March is filling up fast too. We served over 3,000 people last year, so it is important to call as soon as you can to reserve a spot. The last day we will offer these services is April 12.”

 

The number for the call center is (845) 255-0791. The call center operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am to 1 pm. Should people call the call center any other time, they can leave a voicemail and volunteers will get back to them as soon as possible. It is highly recommended that people call during the hours of operation. Appointments are scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This is Woodland Pond’s second year to donate services and time for operating the call center.

 

“We are so grateful for the services Woodland Pond and other companies are providing to make this program possible,” said Margaret Taylor, a volunteer tax preparer in Ulster County. “If the tax preparers had to also handle calls and appointments, it would take away from the amount of returns we could process. We are grateful for the volunteers and services provided by Woodland Pond at New Paltz. They have been instrumental in helping us throughout the entire process. Their technical personnel set up the computers to go wireless, connected the internet and ensured that the entire system would connect with our computers at the tax preparation sites. Sometimes the idea of filing taxes gives people anxiety, especially if they are not familiar with preparing taxes. I think it is important to assist people who may not be in the best position to file their taxes. Each return varies in complexity, and usually they take 45 minutes to an hour to complete. All tax preparer volunteers are certified and are required to pass exams each year.”

 

“We are delighted to assist with the AARP tax program,” said Michelle Gramoglia, executive director at Woodland Pond. “Residents enjoy volunteering their time to this great cause. It is a beneficial program for fellow seniors and other residents in the surrounding community.”

 

The AARP tax program is in need of additional volunteers for the call center and for preparing taxes. If you are interested in volunteering at the call center, please call Vici Danskin at (845) 255-0791. If you are interested in volunteering your services as a tax preparer, please call Richard Dooley, the district coordinator for the program, at (845) 246-0696.

 

ABOUT WOODLAND POND AT NEW PALTZ

 

Woodland Pond at New Paltz is located in New Paltz, New York, and is a not-for-profit, upscale, continuing care retirement community (CCRC), tailored exclusively for those 62 and over. Nestled beneath the shoulder of the breathtaking Shawangunk Ridge, the community opened in 2009 and is the only CCRC in the Mid-Hudson Valley area.  Woodland Pond offers an 83-acre campus that includes a professionally-staffed Health Center and a Community Center with an art studio, fitness center, heated indoor swimming pool, salon, market basket, billiard room, library, woodworking shop, game room, computer lab and more.

 

As a true CCRC, Woodland Pond at New Paltz offers independent living with a choice of a private residence (24 cottages and 177 apartments), services, and amenities. Under Woodland Pond’s Life Care program, residents are provided privileged admission to the assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing center. Life Care functions similar to a long-term care policy wrapped in a healthy and fulfilling resort lifestyle – so that residents can enjoy this chapter of their lives in an inspiring and supportive environment free from worrying about future escalating long-term care expenses.

 

Woodland Pond caters to a diverse group of accomplished individuals with a variety of interests and a zest for life. The community is operated by HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, an integrated health care system committed to providing quality and compassionate medical care for patients, their families and the Hudson Valley community. For more details, please visit: http://wpatnp.org.

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Woodland Pond Residents Create and Share Works of Heart
by lew697
February 06, 2014 04:59 PM | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
The Woodland Pond quilting group meets to discuss and organize the Works of HeART showcase.
The Woodland Pond quilting group meets to discuss and organize the Works of HeART showcase.
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Joyce Gartrell, a resident of Woodland Pond, sports a quilted jacket that she handmade and wears regularly.
Joyce Gartrell, a resident of Woodland Pond, sports a quilted jacket that she handmade and wears regularly.
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Bernice Leonard, a resident of Woodland Pond, is most fond of her keepsake basket quilt, which hangs in the north wing of Woodland Pond.
Bernice Leonard, a resident of Woodland Pond, is most fond of her keepsake basket quilt, which hangs in the north wing of Woodland Pond.
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Bernice Leonard, a resident of Woodland Pond, loves sharing her parents’ anniversary quilt with others.
Bernice Leonard, a resident of Woodland Pond, loves sharing her parents’ anniversary quilt with others.
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Stitch by stitch, creativity and love flow from the quilting group at Woodland Pond as they work on quilts for people whom they care about and for seniors in need. The ladies meet once a month to work on a variety of quilting projects. Sometimes these dedicated will work on separate projects for their family and friends, other times they will work on joint projects that benefit others. In the past, the quilting group has donated quilts to seniors in skilled nursing.

 

“It is never too late to pick up a hobby,” said Bernice Leonard, a member of the Woodland Pond quilting group and a member of the Wiltwyck Quilt Guild in Kingston. “I started quilting in my adult life and have found enjoyment in creating special keepsakes for my friends and family. Thirty years ago, I decided to the lead the project of assembling a 50th wedding anniversary quilt for my parents. I had each member of our family create a square that would make up an overall compilation of memories of them and their marriage. As the squares arrived at my house, it was always a fun and sometimes interesting surprise to see what someone had created. My daughter created a square with grandma’s cookie jar for her contribution, which I thought was really cute.”

 

Leonard’s favorite quilt is hanging in the north wing of Woodland Pond. It is a quilt with keepsake baskets sewn on it. The quilt has such special meaning to Bernice, because she used lace trim handkerchiefs that her mother made and crocheted handkerchiefs that a good friend made in the design of the quilt. She said this particular quilt has much sentimental value for her, because it encompasses special items that she delicately included to share with others.

 

“My husband likes to read, so I made him a quilt with a bookcase on it and stitched the titles of some of his favorite novels on the books,” said Leonard. “Everyone has creative pieces of art to share. We are inspired by our loved ones and by our experiences with them. This show is going to be very special.”

 

“After my mother passed, I discovered an incomplete postage stamp quilt that my grandmother had started years ago,” shared Joyce Gartrell, a member of the Woodland Pond quilting group and the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) quilting group. “My grandmother passed when my mother was only 12-years-old, so this quilt was special to me, a gift from the grandmother I never met. After discovering this special keepsake, I decided that I would like to finish the quilt. It was tedious, as the squares that make up that quilt are literally the size of postage stamps. It is neat to think that the grandmother I never knew introduced me to this creative hobby. I have been quilting for over 35 years.”

 

Gartrell says that after all this time she is still learning new techniques for quilting. She is fond of making quilts for people in need or to raise money for a good cause. In the past, she had made table runners that were sold to raise money for her church. She has made pot holders, aprons and lap robes to be sold to benefit women assisted by PEO. The group also makes baby blankets for Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie. The PEO quilting group meets weekly at Woodland Pond to work on these items. PEO uses the funds to provide educational opportunities for female students going back to college.  

 

“My favorite quilted piece is the first jacket that I made in a quilting class,” said Gartrell. “I made it with a fall themed fabric with leaves and hues of gold. I had so much fun making that jacket, I signed up for two more classes and now I have three quilted jackets that I wear regularly. They are really unique pieces that I treasure.”

 

 “The stories that we have heard and the pieces we have seen are extremely impressive,” said Michelle Gramoglia, executive director of Woodland Pond. “The residents have a vast amount of artistic creativity. We recently showcased their work in a special Works of HeART quilt showcase. The event was a huge success and everyone enjoyed sharing their work and family treasures.” 

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Woodland Pond Residents Play Santa Claus by Providing for Families in Need
by lew697
December 20, 2013 01:09 PM | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Marilyn Dilascio and Len Kapner, residents of Woodland Pond, were delighted to partake in the Family of New Paltz Adopt-a-Family Program and provide for a family in need.
Marilyn Dilascio and Len Kapner, residents of Woodland Pond, were delighted to partake in the Family of New Paltz Adopt-a-Family Program and provide for a family in need.
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Residents and staff members of Woodland Pond enjoyed taking part in the Family of New Paltz Adopt-a-Family Program this holiday season.
Residents and staff members of Woodland Pond enjoyed taking part in the Family of New Paltz Adopt-a-Family Program this holiday season.
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Warren and Mary Duffy, residents of Woodland Pond, pick out an ornament from the Giving Tree, which has ornaments with gifts on the wish lists of families in need in New Paltz.
Warren and Mary Duffy, residents of Woodland Pond, pick out an ornament from the Giving Tree, which has ornaments with gifts on the wish lists of families in need in New Paltz.
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Imagine being in a position where you are struggling to make ends meet and provide for children that depend on you to survive and you’ll quickly realize that instead of a time of joy, the holidays present a feeling of dread and concern.  Unfortunately, some families simply don’t have the means to provide gifts for their loved ones. This is happening to families in New Paltz. In response to their needs, residents at Woodland Pond bought items on each family’s wish list and were eager to make sure seven children and two mothers have a wonderful Christmas.

 

“Woodland Pond adopts two families in need every year, and this year we are playing Santa Claus for families facing financial challenges,” said Warren Duffy, a resident of Woodland Pond. “We have a Giving Tree that is situated in the dining room with ornaments that have items on each family member’s wish list.  My wife and I decided to buy a gift for a 12-year-old girl since our grandchildren are around that age and are also girls. She only wanted one thing for Christmas, so fulfilling her wish was simple. We think she will be very excited and thankful on Christmas morning when she opens up what we picked out for her. Christmas is all about making a difference by sharing and providing for others in need.”

 

Woodland Pond adopts two families through Family of New Paltz’s Adopt-a-Family for the Holidays Program each year. The community collected unwrapped gifts until December 11. A staff member from the community delivered the gifts to Family of New Paltz who will wrap the gifts and give them to the children at a special Christmas party.

 

“I think their eyes will light up and they will have bright smiles on their faces when they see all the packages,” said Duffy. “No child should feel left out on Christmas and it warms my heart to know that I played a part in making sure that does not happen. Beyond the gifts, I think we bestow hope in these children. I believe that we show them that there are kind people in the world who care about them and hopefully we are setting an example of the importance of sharing and giving to others.”

 

Woodland Pond residents believe that everyone should take time to see how they can help others. They feel the true meaning of Christmas can be found in giving back and helping those who need it, whether it is by donating time, money or material goods. Every wish on the Giving Tree gets fulfilled each year.

 

“The spirit that fills Woodland Pond during the holidays is contagious,” said Michelle Gramoglia, executive director of Woodland Pond. “The residents are always eager and excited to do something for others who need a little extra help. It was heart-warming to see them actively shopping for children and to see their delight in providing for a family beyond their own.”

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Seniors Showcase Life Work at Kaleidoscope of the Arts Show
by lew697
October 25, 2013 03:22 PM | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Creativity and emotion embodied several works of art on display at the annual Kaleidoscope of the Arts show on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents of Woodland Pond were eager to share their life work and creative spirit with neighbors, friends, family and the public. Everything from books, jams, paintings, sculptures, ceramics and carvings were on display. Many of the items on display were also available for purchase. Dick Barry, a resident of Woodland Pond, premiered his latest novel, Experiencing Woodland Pond, at the Kaleidoscope and signed copies sold. Additionally, there was a bake sale and gift basket raffle. The proceeds from the bake sale and raffle benefited the Woodland Pond Foundation, which serves residents at the Woodland Pond community.

 

Experiencing Woodland Pond is a personal memoir of laughing, learning, loving and living in a continuing care retirement community, and I was very excited for its premiere,” said Barry. “It is a wonderful book about my experience to move to a senior living community; the move itself, meeting new people in the community and the lifestyle at Woodland Pond. This is one of seven novels I have completed during my retirement. I finished this book in mid-September.”

 

Barry had his other six books on display as well: Crosscurrents, The Qualities of Mercy, Personal Wars, An Inappropriate Death, An Evil’s Vortex, and Infinite Gestures. He also had his latest novella, History of the Smiling Young Lord, available as well. Barry has found that writing has brought him a lot of joy in his retirement. He writes five days a week for at least three hours a day. He was excited to share his passion with others at the Kaleidoscope show.

 

“Woodland Pond is an incredibly diverse community filled with dynamic and interesting individuals,” said Barry. “The Kaleidoscope of the Arts demonstrates to the wider community that Woodland Pond is filled with talented seniors that are still creatively active. This art show portrays the livelihood and vibrancy that fills this community.”

 

“This is such a colorful and interesting event, and one to which all of the staff and residents look forward to each year,” said Robert Seidman, executive director of Woodland Pond. “The Kaleidoscope of the Arts gives the residents the opportunity to showcase their passion, their work and their talent. We all enjoyed this year’s showcase and the premiere of Dick’s book as well.”

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