The Arbors celebrates 25 years

O-4-F-Arbors-SBy Lettie Stratton

The Arbors at Shelburne, a senior living community dedicated to serving those with memory-related impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease, will celebrate its 25th year this month.

Senior Executive Director Kelly Mazza reports there will be an open house Tuesday, Oct. 29 from 4-6 pm at which anyone is welcome. Opening remarks will begin at 5 pm. “It will be a big party—we’ve invited about 500 people,” she added. Attendees will include Arbors community members, families, staff, community partners in Shelburne, and supporters.
“I am looking forward to seeing the residents enjoy being with so many people,” says Program Director Sara Brower. “I look forward to seeing the residents with smiles on their faces and knowing that we are bringing them happiness and love.”

The Arbors was founded in 1988 and purchased 10 years later by Benchmark Senior Living with a mission to serve Vermont seniors with memory care. It is one of only a few facilities like this in the state. With the amazing ratio of 64 residents and just over 100 staff members, it’s easy to see why The Arbors is able to celebrate 25 years and look forward to 25 more.“We’ll also be recognizing 23 associates who have been at The Arbors for five or more years,” Mazza says. “Of those 23, six have been with us 20 years or more.” And of those six, a handful have been with The Arbors since the start as direct caregivers. Mazza says this is especially impressive given the high burnout rate for caregivers. Because of the nature of the work, Mazza explained, it takes a special type of person to be able to do it for an extended period of time.

O-4-F-Arbors-Ext-SIndividualized programs and one-on-one counseling sets The Arbors apart as a top-notch community. By employing personal care assistants, individual needs and interests can be catered to and nurtured. And that doesn’t just apply to residents—The Arbors works closely with families of residents through support groups and direct outreach.

So what’s next for The Arbors? “We’ve certainly evolved as we’ve learned more about the disease,” Mazza says. “As we start to see more baby boomers enter our community, we have to look to new ways of doing things.” Mazza explained that not everyone is satisfied with sitting around and playing bingo these days. The Arbors has begun incorporating new technology such as touch-screen computers and Skype set ups so residents can talk to their loved ones. They also offer Zumba classes and other ways for their residents to stay active and engaged. Additionally, The Arbors is planning to refresh the aesthetic of their building to make it both more beautiful and user-friendly.

Don’t miss The Arbors’ 25-year celebration at 687 Harbor Road in Shelburne on Oct. 29 from 4-6 pm. For more information, call The Arbors at 318-4445.

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