Thank you for all of the thoughtful ways you helped us in the decision-making process as we considered Sherwood Oaks. We are sooo glad this community “won” in our evaluations, and the professionalism with which you met us and your desire to have us here played a large part in our decision.
Thank you again and may God bless you!
John and Harriet Burress
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“Make the decision to come to Sherwood Oaks while you are young as active enough to enjoy it,” advises Loretta Pospistle, 67. Loretta and her husband Richard, 72, have been residents since 2006. They love the fact that the residents develop and run the activities at Sherwood Oaks and they are taking full advantage of them to match their energetic lifestyle.
Loretta participates in Tai Chi and yoga and shares a weekly walk as part of the Walk with a Friend program. She puts on her dancing shoes and joins husband Richard to take part in line dancing fun. “I enjoy games,” says Loretta, “and I play poker and dominoes. I also like to play Mah Jongg, but there wasn’t a play group here at Sherwood, so Richard and I started one!”
“I enjoy being active and helping others,” says Richard, who possesses many high technology skills. He volunteers weekly in the Sherwood Oaks computer center where he assists residents with projects like email, word processing and slide shows. As chair of the audio visual group, Richard manages the set up of projectors, microphones and sound equipment for campus movies, concerts and presentations. And Richard is involved with the organization of Sherwood’s summer games during which residents compete for bragging rights in games of croquet, golf putting, horse shoes, bocce and other sports.
Now that he has time to devote to it, Richard is getting back to painting as a member of the art group. He spends time with the resident art instructor and is working in both acrylic and watercolors. He is part of the Program Committee that secures outside entertainment such as musical, comedy and guest speakers to perform at Sherwood Oaks. And as a member of the Dining Services Committee, he participates in determining healthful and appetizing food options and reviews resident comments.
As a member of the Health Affairs Committee, Loretta receives health care concerns of residents and helps develop educational programs, such as preventing falls. She felt honored when asked to create a permanent Sherwood Oaks historical display for the Oak Lodge. “Richard and I love to be active and involved, but we make certain to set aside time each day to spend with each other.”
Helen Haberlein came to Sherwood Oaks in 2008. “I am happy here at Sherwood Oaks and there is certainly lots of activity and enjoyable things to do,” says Helen, 77. She swims twice per week and plants and tends flowers as part of the Landscape Committee. She has high praise for the books she reads and discusses at the book club.
“I also make use of the ceramics and pottery studio,” says Helen. “I enjoy ceramics and the studio is fully equipped with a pottery wheel and kiln.” Helen also likes to work on her golf putting on the campus putting green.
Sherwood Oaks residents currently have over 50 committees and activities available on campus. They know that active people are happier, healthier and a whole lot of fun to be around.
Based on their commitment to independence, dignity, and quality of life, resident advisors give the green light to zero-emissions acquisition.
With the blessing of their community’s transportation committee, headed by a retired electrical engineer from the Westinghouse nuclear division, executives with Sherwood Oaks, a retirement community in Cranberry Township, today announced the strategic addition of a ZENN electric car to the campus motor pool.
Hinting at both the due diligence of the resident committee he chairs as well as a lifetime of attention to detail, 91-year-old Melvin “Jud” Judkis, an 11-year resident of Sherwood Oaks, reels off the compelling stats that helped drive executives’ decision to go green.
“The fuel economy was listed as 245 miles per equivalent gallon of gasoline,” he says. “The cost of operating the car on electricity would be about 3.4 kilowatt-hours to drive 25 miles. That turns out to be about 40 cents, based upon the price of electricity.”
According to Sherwood Oaks president and CEO Mark D. Bondi, those facts made sense in terms of both bottom-line savings and in the way the purchase reflects the unique collaborative dynamic between Sherwood Oaks administrators and its clients who live there.
“We have a bunch of residents who are very bright,” says Mr. Bondi. “They’re retired engineers, retired educators, business owners. These are people who have planned very carefully all their lives. The residents really have a voice in what happens here, and they’re a resource for us.”
Manufactured by the ZENN Motor Company (www.zenncars.com), the new car will be used at Sherwood Oaks as an on-campus-only vehicle to supplement an already busy fleet of gas-powered cars and buses used by residents for transportation both on and off campus, to the airport, to doctor visits, and for shopping excursions.
According to Ralph Edgar, director of security and transportation for Sherwood Oaks, the four-passenger ZENN car is ideal for daily use around the community’s 84-acre campus. It has a top speed of 25 mph; it can be recharged overnight via a standard household electrical outlet; and it has a range of up to 30 miles on a single charge.
“We had a demo car for the last three weeks,” he says, “so we’re used to having it in service every day. We looked at some other products, along the lines of golf carts, but this is like a regular car. It’s enclosed; it will protect you from the weather. It’s a nice addition to our fleet.”
In addition to the ZENN car purchase, Mr. Bondi says other eco- and budget-friendly initiatives at Sherwood Oaks include recent construction of a “green” rooftop on the community’s healthcare center as well as energy-efficient design elements included in new apartments under construction, all of which reflects relevant input from some of the more than 50 activity/advisory committees that comprise the Sherwood Oaks Residents Association (SORA).
“Sherwood Oaks is a resident-founded community, and the relationship between residents and staff is extremely cooperative,” says Mr. Bondi. “I think the better communities try to stay close to their customers, like any business should.”
The resident chair of SORA’s transportation committee agrees.
“We try to be progressive in the things that we do, and we like to think that we are having a say in how this place is run,” says Mr. Judkis.
A Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC, is generally a senior community which offers housing, services and nursing care, usually all in one location.
In order to attain a CCRC certificate, an organization applies to the PA Department of Insurance for a “certificate of authority.” If granted, the organization is able to use the title of continuing care retirement community and qualifies for certain tax benefits.
Mark Bondi, President and CEO of Sherwood Oaks, advises seniors to be very well informed when selecting a CCRC for their retirement living. “The tax benefits have spurred a marked increase in the number of communities applying for CCRC certifications during the past five years. Simply having a certification and calling yourself a CCRC doesn’t really mean much,” Bondi cautions. “The CCRC certification does not demand any set of standard services or amenities.”
So, how can seniors be sure which continuing care retirement community is right for them? “The key is knowing that the services that will be rendered to you are governed by the written agreement between the community and the resident. These agreements must be read carefully to determine exactly what is—or isn’t included,” says Bondi.
When John and Harriet Burress began researching retirement communities, they prepared to meet the challenge. “We determined our priorities, and set out to find a community that met them. We visited five different facilities at least four times each,” said Harriet. “Selecting a place to retire is a very big decision and an important financial investment. We did our research accordingly before selecting Sherwood Oaks,” said John.
CCRCs offer many different types of agreements. Sherwood Oaks is a Type A community. The most commonly offered CCRC agreements are:
- Type A (Extensive) Agreement – includes housing, residential services, amenities and unlimited, specific health-related services with little or no increase in monthly payments except to cover normal operating costs and inflation adjustments.
- Type B (Modified) Agreement – like A above, except that a specified amount of health care services are included. After the specified amount of health care is used, a discounted rate or full per day rates for required health services will be charged.
- Type C (Fee-for-Service) – Includes housing, residential services and amenities for the fees stated in the agreement. Access to health care is guaranteed, but it may be required at full fee-for-service rates.
- Rental Agreement – Allows residents the opportunity to rent their housing and provides, but does not guarantee, access to health care services paid on a fee-for-service basis.
Bondi describes an example to illustrate the big differences between CCRC agreements. “If a resident becomes ill at Sherwood Oaks, our Type A agreement offers multiple levels of care at no additional cost allowing the residents’ needs to be met on campus as they change. Other types of agreements do not. Residents who fall ill at other CCRCs will need to find a health provider and arrange for payment of health services on their own. And these payments may be significant—costs for one year of skilled nursing services can exceed $70,000.”
John and Harriet Buress gathered information about various CCRCs and evaluated health services, living spaces, staffing, security features and spoke with residents on their visits. “We selected Sherwood Oaks because it best provided for our needs. The agreement was clear and understandable and we have been overwhelmed with friendly faces and the professional and helpful staff,” the Buresses said.
After only two months, John and Harriet Buress are happy to say that they already feel at home at Sherwood Oaks. “It’s so comforting to know that our healthcare, including assisted living are here on campus and guaranteed. We’re glad we came to Sherwood Oaks when we’re healthy enough to enjoy life, friendships and fun.”