Category Archives: Merrill Gardens

Words From The Wise Video Series – Telling Our Resident’s Stories

When you look back at your life, what will have mattered most to you? What if we considered this possibility now?  We decided to ask the people who live at Merrill Gardens to share their wisdom with us and we are so pleased to introduce our Words from the Wise video series.  Through these interviews with residents, we celebrate their lifetime of experiences and the joy that’s possible at every stage of life.

Words from the Wise gives Merrill Gardens residents center stage as they share their insight with candor in our first video focusing on advice for young people.  These seniors speak from the heart as they share what really matters.

We’ve traveled to our communities for the past few months to bring this video series to life.  We asked lots of questions and it’s been truly enlightening.  Talking to people who who were born in the 1920’s and giving them an opportunity to reflect on their lives and share what they have learned is a privilege.  Its also been a whole lot of fun to set up our cameras, ask some questions and just see where it goes!

We hope these videos in some small way communicate the life stories and experiences of those who came before us. As they share their dearest thoughts and reflect on their lives, we can learn so much in return.  Its such an honor for us to share these stories.

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My advice is… pick the way you are going to go and don’t be deterred.  If its what you really want, stick up for it.. and do it.”  Leta Mertes, born in 1923

 

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“I have always been a great advocate of paying it forward. I think if we help our fellow human beings and require that they help someone down the line, that would go a long way in curing the ills that we have… if people would just take a better attitude towards each other.”  Tom Tompkins, born in 1926

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You meet people from all walks of life, and you learn a lot about yourself by meeting other people. They come from all over the world, the country and everything like that… each one has a story to tell.”  Joan and Vince Cangiano, born in 1926, married for 56 years                                                                                 For many of us, growing older is a scary thought and our society doesn’t always do a good job of honoring those who have come before us.  We want our video series to shine a new light on the joy that comes from reflecting back on a life well lived.  We think you will love getting to know the people we profile as much as we did!

 


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Teaching the Next Generation

With more than 25 communities in multiple states, you would think Merrill Gardens President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Pettit would already have his hands full. But Bill is not a man who likes to have even a few of his fingers idle for any length of time.

Under Bill’s supervision, Merrill Gardens is leading the new Senior Living Management Program at Washington State University’s Everett Campus. Bill will coordinate on-site training experiences for the WSU students in the Merrill Gardens Mountlake Terrace Community.

It’s a fantastic story, and the Everett Herald was kind enough to feature it last week. Thanks to Jim Davis for covering this, and thanks to everyone participating in the curriculum. Take a read through The Herald’s coverage of this truly one of a kind program.

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Flight ,The Llama Visits Cordata

The holidays have officially started! And what better way to bring in the holiday cheer than with a festive llama?

Last week, Merrill Gardens at Cordata (Bellingham, WA) had a visit from Flight, a certified therapy llama. Flight came in holiday attire and they set up a holiday background for photos. Our residents will send their pictures to friends and families in their holiday cards this year. And yes, the llama gives kisses!

We had a great time with Flight! Check out the photos from the day:

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The Merrill Gardens Senior Olympics

Watch out Michel Phelps — Our residents are staying fit and active this summer! In all of our communities we encourage an active lifestyle. From fitness classes to sports, we love to stay active while having fun in a variety of ways.

Merrill Gardens

The gang at Merrill Gardens at Stanwood hosted their Age of Champions where they gave a volleyball to each resident who pledged to keep active. This led up to the Olympics and they were a blast for residents and team member! A variety of games were played including some old time favorites like Ring Toss, Golf, and Egg Walk. We also hosted a few new games like “Pantyhose Swing” and “Oreo Tower”.

What is Pantyhose Swing? This game consisted of hitting a ball across the room to your partner, then tying the pantyhose around your waist and hitting the ball back across the room. *Phew!*

Oreo Tower? In this fun game, residents built a tower of Oreos on top of their partners heads without the Oreos falling. The quickest was a tower of 6 Oreos. Wow!

Residents signed up with a partner and had 6 different games to play during the day. Keeping with tradition, we had Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in all categories.

The day was filled with laughter, fun, and fitness.  Our residents inspire us in so many ways — we can’t wait until next year! To stay updated on future Merrill Garden’s activities, visit us on our Facebook page.

Here are a few shots from the day:

Age of champions & Olympics

Age of champions & Olympics

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Top Chef is Back!

We’re excited to announce that Merrill Garden’s second annual Top Chef Competition is coming in just a few days.

This palate-pleasing dining experience features the Top Chef finalist recipes from our communities nationwide. Vote for your favorite soup, salad, entrée and dessert, and help us name the 2012 Top Chef winners for Merrill Gardens!

The past few weeks our residents have been getting ready for the fun to begin.

Stay tuned for our launch on April 1st and get ready to vote for your favorites!

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Community Spotlight:

Merrill Gardens at Admiral Heights

Merrill Gardens at Admiral Heights is a vibrant place to call home with lots going on! Our residents love the location of our community; we are right in the middle of all the action in the West Seattle business district. It’s an easy walk to shopping, dining and entertainment, including a public library, theatres, the award winning Metropolitan Market and some great restaurants. In addition, we are close to beautiful Alki Beach and just a short drive to downtown Seattle. For folks who don’t want to drive, we have scheduled transportation in our community bus and a town car.

Merrill Gardens at Admiral Heights

We are proud of the warm and welcoming atmosphere of our community, many of our team members have worked with us for years and they know what it takes to make our community a great place to call home. There is always something to do with our many amenities including a library, media room, activity room with kitchen and seating, rooftop garden and large lobby area. Our exclusive Anytime Dining program means that residents can dine in our restaurant style dining room on their own schedule. We are pleased with the fact that our busy activities program was recognized as the best in our company with the Merrill Gardens Lifestyles Award in 2010. With so much going on at our community, residents often tell us their biggest challenge is fitting it all in!

Speaking of the folks who live at Merrill Gardens at Admiral Heights, there is a robust resident council and hospitality committee that is open to anyone and new residents are paired with a friend when they move in so they can fit in right away.

Call us at (206) 938-3964 and we will be glad to show you around!

Here are some recent events at the community:

Halloween: This is a big event every year. Merrill Gardens at Admiral Heights is where the kids come to drop off their treasure map for a chance to win prizes when they are done grabbing candy from local merchants. See the album on our Facebook Page!

Winery tour: Residents visited the Chateau St. Michelle Winery in Woodinville. A great time to tour the facility, enjoy a tasting and learn about wine! See the album on our Facebook Page!

Veterans Event (11/11): Always a big celebration, this year we also raised funds for the Friends to Friends charity.
See the album on our Facebook Page!

Ruth: She lived in Des Moines before coming here, and made the move to be closer to her family. One of the things that convinced her to move here was the fact that the community stresses independence, but still offers assistance if needed. She has called Admiral Heights home for the past eight years and loves the atmosphere, and the people. She is a very independent person and likes the fact that she can chose to participate in community events or just do her own thing.

George and Catherine: This couple just moved to the community and said they looked at lots of options but Merrill Gardens at Admiral Heights was the perfect fit. They love the food and the convenience of the Anytime Dining program. They also take advantage of the community concierge who helps them schedule rides to appointments. Plus, George likes that his favorite barbershop is just down the street!

Pat: She has been a West Seattle girl for most of her life, this is where she raised her family and she wanted to stay close by when she and her husband retired. Pat‘s husband passed away after they moved to Admiral Heights and she says that everyone at the community was so kind and helpful to her during that difficult time. Pat is very social and active and she is always involved in the outings at the community. She really loves that it is easy for her to go to downtown Seattle and soak up the city. She is also happy to be surrounded by the many friends she has made at the community.

Richard: He lived in the neighborhood and watched the community being built before he moved in! He has lived here for over seven years and loves the long time team members. He loves the variety of activities that are offered and the daily games they have in the lobby. Richard is on the Resident Council that meets each month. He has also been an avid volunteer at Group Health for over 10 years, going every week on Mondays and Fridays.

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Merrill Gardens President Bill Pettit Goes Back to School

Merrill Gardens President Bill Pettit, and 3 other execs from the senior care industry, have joined the faculty at Washington State University as ad hoc members.

The group is teaching a new and unique course – HBM 497 Senior Living Management. The curriculum deals with a rapidly growing segment of the non-nursing-home senior living services industry, assisted living, independent living and memory care. The class is in the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management (SHBM).

“This is a very unique opportunity and a true industry/academic partnership,” said Nancy Swanger, director of the SHBM and instructor of record for the course. “With our aging boomer population, the demand for students with this type of management training is potentially huge.

“We are perhaps the only public institution in the country with a senior living course as an option in its hospitality curriculum – certainly the only one on the west coast,” she said.

In addition to participating in developing the curriculum and providing classroom instruction, all four of the companies will host the class to a tour of some of their senior living communities. Plus, the companies are awarding scholarships of $2,500 to four students enrolled in the class.

For more info, please read the recent article from the WSU News Center. In the meantime, congrats Professor Pettit.

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The Benefits of Exercising

In this New York Times article, Why Exercise Makes us Feel Good a study shows that even a little exercise goes a long way. The residents at Merrill Gardens who take advantage of our Active Living program are way ahead of the game! Get moving and feel better mentally and physically!

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96 Year Old Bill Sleepers on Technology

Bill Sleepers, A Merrill Gardens at Mill Creek (WA) resident, is embracing technology and thinks that other seniors should do the same. Check out this great article about his efforts to show seniors how to have fun with social media!

Click to View Article

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Support Our Troops Week Countdown


It’s countdown to Support Our Troops Week June 13-19!

Merrill Gardens communities will be holding fun filled events and raising money for the USO! Last year we raised $50,000 and we want to top it this year. Mark your calendar and watch for more info to come.

Check out the article from our friends at 94.1 KMPS helping us get the word out!

Here are the Dates & Times for all of our USO Events taking place across our communities.

Head over to our Facebook Page to view Photos from all of the Events: Merrill Gardens on Facebook

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