April 21, 2021

Brandywine Living Offers Active Aging Communities, Including Assisted Living and Memory Care

CREATIVE CUISINE: “‘Cooking With Class’ is  one of our signature programs available to residents at all Brandywine Living communities,” explains Holly Ballarotto, chief of staff of Brandywine Living, headquartered in Mount Laurel. “The classes take place several times a month, and are led by the communities’ professionally-trained chefs.” Shown are residents enjoying a special culinary class guided by one of the expert chefs.

By Jean Stratton

Living Life to the fullest in a secure and vibrant setting is the goal of residents at Brandywine Living at Princeton, says Executive Director Sharon Moore.

“I have the honor and privilege to serve seniors every day. It’s the opportunity to impact someone’s day in some way, sharing kind words and exchanging warm smiles. Personal connections with our residents is an integral part of my day. We take pride in making a real difference in our residents’ lives. My passion is helping our residents live their best life.”

Brandywine Living at Princeton opened in 2011 at 155 Raymond Road, and offers many opportunities for residents to be as active and engaged as they wish, while at the same time providing a complete range of health care, medical supervision, physical therapy and more.

Brandywine at Princeton is one of 32 Brandywine Living communities in the Northeast, and one of two in Princeton. As a leading provider of quality care for older adults, Brandywine offers assisted living, including nurses on-site 24 hours a day, as well as a special “Reflections” program for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia conditions. It also provides short-term respite care.

Peace of Mind

124 residents can be accommodated in studio, and one or two bedroom apartments, featuring up-to-date appointments and appliances.

“Brandywine’s setting allows residents to age in place with the peace of mind of knowing that the supportive services they may eventually need are available to them,” says Holly Ballarotto, Brandywine Living chief of staff. “Because of this, we have residents of all ages. While most move into assisted living when in need of some assistance, usually in their eighties, we also have many residents who are well over 100.”

“Every resident has different needs,” she adds. “Some need very little supportive service, and move in to enjoy a vibrant community of neighbors, and don’t want to be bothered with the upkeep of a large house or worrying about cooking every meal. Others require more assistance with their daily activities.”

This can include help with a variety of needs and services, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, a personal wellness plan, fitness classes, and  an emergency response system, etc. Help with scheduling and transportation to medical appointments are also accessible.

In addition, weekly housekeeping, all utilities, and basic cable TV are all available.

Brandywine has a unique and flexible dining program, very much appreciated by residents. It is all day restaurant-style dining, enabling residents to select whatever time they wish to eat. The main dining room is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the bistro 24 hours a day, offering snacks and beverages, and a pub is available for Happy Hour and specific events.

Lifestyle Choices

The attractive outdoor landscaping offers colorful gardens and plantings, and walkways for residents.

And, the lifestyle choices are abundant! There is really something for everyone’s personal interest, hobby, or ability. A library stocked with best sellers (there is also a book club), game room with pool table, activity room with arts and crafts, cards, computer, on-site movies, as well as outings to museums and restaurants in the area are among the opportunities for residents.

Amenities include a full-service beauty salon, barber shop, and in addition, residents’ apartments are checked every day to make sure everything is secure.

It’s never too late to learn something new, and Brandywine offers monthly classes on a variety of educational subjects, often led by university professors.

A number of signature programs are unique to Brandywine. For example,  “Escapades … For Life” offers a special program of creative and fun activities, including “Karaoke Knights” for those who like to sing, and “Card Sharks” for those handy with a game of bridge, poker, or gin.

“Artists’ Palette” is for painters at all levels and “Curtain Call” and “Center Stage” provide one-act plays, and spotlight entertainers on stage at Brandywine.

New Memories

“My job is so enjoyable because I have the opportunity every day to make people smile, laugh, and engage them in the past ‘escapades’ they still enjoy,” says Stephanie Gaber, Escapades producer. “I look forward to coming to work every day because I really enjoy spending time with the residents. It doesn’t feel like work. Together, we are making new memories every day.”

“Reflections” is another Signature Program, which provides a unique, stimulating, supportive environment for residents with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other related memory care needs. The environment is designed to be safe and secure, with patience, kindness, and compassion being the hallmarks.

Specific programs include “The Butterfly Program,” tailored around the unique abilities of each resident, also “My Life, My Story,” which explores the person’s life and the unfinished story yet to be told. The resident’s life history is told and celebrated every day, and programs are designed around each person’s special interests.

“The Promenade Club” ensures that those residents capable of maintaining an active lifestyle can participate in activities offered to those in general assisted living.

Other programs are “Music Is Magic,” which offers music every day, and “Connections: A Family Day Experience,” in which monthly connections bring family and residents together to spend time, and engage with each other.

COVID, of course, has been a challenge for
everyone, and certainly for facilities such as Brandywine. All the safety and sanitary precautions are in place, reports the staff. Visitation is permitted indoors and outdoors now, and there is a special weather protected outdoor “Igloo” for those not yet comfortable going inside.

Life Lessons

“COVID was a life-changing event, significantly impacting senior living,” says Sharon Moore. “However, it also inspired creativity and innovation. Technology, architectural redesign of our communities, health and wellness initiatives, to name a few. Senior living is ever evolving; the future is bright, and the best is yet to come.

“I am so fortunate and grateful to do what I love,” she continues. “My perspective on life has been impacted significantly. The resiliency of our residents is astounding. The real life stories of historic events, firsthand accounts of World War II and living through the Great Depression, voting rights, the civil rights movement — the heartwarming stories go on and on, filled with wisdom and life lessons.

“What resonates the most is making a difference in the lives of the residents I serve. There is no greater reward. How deeply my life has been touched and my soul enriched by our amazing residents!”

In addition to Brandywine Living at Princeton, a new facility will be available on Mt. Lucas Road. Brandywine Living acquired Acorn Glen last year, and it will reopen later this year or in early 2022. It is undergoing a total transformation, and will be known as Brandywine Living Serenade at Princeton. 

Both senior living communities in Princeton are certain to live up to Brandywine’s “INVEST Mission,” which states: “We  INVEST in the individuality and identity of each resident. We INVEST in a social environment that can create magical moments. We INVEST by offering specialized training for our team members. We INVEST by gaining a commitment from our families to remain involved with their loved ones.”

For more information on Brandywine Living at Princeton, call (732) 329-8888. Website: brandycare.com.