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“Magical” was the word of the week as 85 Elders and Stakeholders from various Signature HealthCARE communities arrived at Walt Disney World for the final vacation of 2014.

This is the fourth consecutive year we have taken groups of nursing home residents on the vacations of their dreams. In past years, large groups have traveled to a single destination. However, last year, in an effort to accommodate a wider variety of preferences, Signature took smaller groups to several different destinations, including BostonAtlantic CityPanama City Beach and Gatlinburg.

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View the SHC 2014 Year In Review

Expansion. Adaptation. Innovation.

These words, in many ways, defined 2014 for Signature HealthCARE. The Revolution brought our total number of locations to 125. We welcomed new centers to the family and took pivotal steps to position SHC as an integrated care network capable of meeting health care needs across the full spectrum of care. We expanded into new business lines while continuing to enhance and invest in existing service offerings.

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Toby Langley

Toby Langley was born and raised in the Great Mills area, and he enjoys staying close with his family. Toby spent most of his life with his mother until she recently passed away, and he often went to the Center for Life Enrichment in Hollywood during his free time.

Toby loves playing darts, playing pranks on people, laughing and joking with friends, and flirting with pretty women.

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Diana Wolters

Diana was elected stakeholder of the month just after her last day with our Chesapeake Shores family. She wrote residents at Chesapeake Shores this letter to say goodbye:

Dearest Friends at Chesapeake Shores,

I hope that you all experienced a wonderful Christmas and are joyfully awaiting the New Year! This note is to let you all know what a privilege and pleasure it was to get to know each of you over the last ten months.

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Christmastime came and went this season, but our Chesapeake Shores Family celebrated in style this year! With an appearance from the big man himself, Santa, everyone was smiling ear to ear.

Because of the generosity of our community and stakeholders here, every resident was able to celebrate Christmas this year by opening special gifts just for them, and Santa was here to hand them all out!

After everyone’s bellies were full, it was time to open the gifts! Wrapping paper flew all around while residents’ smiles grew even bigger. Chesapeake Shores experienced the true meaning of Christmas, and we are so happy to brighten our residents’ day with such a simple gesture.

Thank you again to all the community members who contributed to making this breathtaking day happen!

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation,’ currently, 2.7 million people in the United States over age 40 have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase. Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is more prevalent. Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians. Over 2.7 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million people worldwide are blind due to glaucoma.

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Happy Holidays! Keep yourself and your family safe and healthy for the Holiday Season. Here are a few helpful tips from the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. It’s flu season. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Get your vaccinations, which help prevent various diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. Besides the flu vaccine, adults should get other vaccines too.
  • Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.
  • Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
  • Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same.
  • Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots. At home, work, and on the road, be prepared and prevent injuries too.
  • Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.

Reference: cdc.gov

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A group of girl scouts came to Chesapeake Shores for a visit! They  donned their Christmas decor and festive smiles. The girls and their parents caroled some beloved Christmas tunes and brought Christmas spirit to our elders.

Many thanks to the Girl Scout troops who volunteered their time to spread Christmas cheer. In the words of Buddy the Elf, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is by singing loud for all to hear,” and that is exactly what that lovely group of girls did.

A wonderful group of children and parents came to Chesapeake Shores for our elders. So much joy came to Chesapeake Shores!

The residents of Chesapeake Shores enjoyed an evening out at Anne Marie Gardens in Lusby, Maryland. The cold air couldn’t stop our residents from seeing the beautiful light display!

The garden had so many lights to see, from Disney Princess scenes to epic battles between superheroes and villains. After the walk through the garden, our elders and staff members warmed themselves to holiday music in the art building close by. It was a beautiful night in more ways than one.