Lifestyle Transitions at Wesley Heights celebrates first anniversary

Residents, family members, and staff are celebrating the first anniversary of Wesley Village’s newest addition to their Shelton senior living campus: Lifestyle Transitions at Wesley Heights.  Located in the newly renovated Northwest Wing of the campus’s Wesley Heights community, Lifestyle Transitions provides specialized assisted living and memory support options for aging adults. The community celebrated the first anniversary milestone with a family brunch, special activities and other caregiver events throughout the month.

Lifestyle Transitions program director, Lisa Kelleher reflected on her experience throughout the past year. “One of my favorite memories from our first year was celebrating the 100th birthday of our very first Lifestyle Transitions resident, Christina Sudol,” Kelleher shares. “We threw a huge party and invited everyone to send birthday cards so we could present Christina with 100 cards. She was delighted.”’

Sudol, who passed away this month, was well known and loved throughout the community. Her daughter, Patricia Day, expressed thanks for the care her mom received: “If the Lifestyle Transitions neighborhood had not been opened when it was, my mother would have had to go into a nursing home… it were there for her just in time.”

Unique to Wesley Village, the Lifestyle Transitions program is designed to support residents with cognitive impairment and increased social needs by engaging them in life and activities within the Lifestyle Transitions neighborhood as well as the larger Wesley Heights community.  The program also focuses on developing daily routines for successfully managing individualized physical, social and cognitive challenges.

“The Lifestyle Transitions program has greatly enhanced the quality of life of the residents in the entire Wesley Heights community,” shares Faith Wajdowicz, Vice President of Clinical Services at Wesley Village. “By integrating residents from the Lifestyle Transitions neighborhood and the extended Wesley Heights buildings, it has taken the stigma of being on a ‘specialty unit’ off of these individuals, affording them specialized care that promotes independence as much as possible.”

Along with a mission-based, relationship-centered approach to care, the program offers: affordable pricing, a wander-protection system, 24-hour staffing with caregivers trained by the Alzheimer’s Association, on-site physician services, engaging activities, a variety of apartment styles for individuals or couples, and education and support services for residents and families. “The success of the program truly relies on the commitment of our great interdisciplinary team of staff, who is so supportive of the residents we serve,” Wajdowicz states.

This past summer, the Lifestyle Transitions neighborhood proudly implemented the Music & Memory program on the campus, making Wesley Village the first Music & Memory Certified Care Facility in the Valley, and one of only a few in the State of Connecticut. Also introduced during the past year, was an Alzheimer’s & Dementia support group for caregivers, which the public is invited to attend every third Thursday of each month at 2pm.

“I am proud to be a part of an organization that has built a community dedicated to meeting the changing needs of residents, especially during difficult times of transition. To provide support for those with memory impairment and offer family members peace of mind is truly rewarding,” says Kelleher.

For more information about Lifestyle Transitions or to inquire about upcoming caregiver events, contact Lisa Bisson at 203-225-5024 or visit Wesley Village is located at 580 Long Hill Avenue in Shelton and is owned and operated by United Methodist Homes, a local not-for-profit organization. In addition to specialized assisted living and memory support, the campus also offers traditional assisted and independent living, skilled nursing, short-term rehab, and outpatient therapy and fitness services.

Staff and residents of Lifestyle Transitions at Wesley Heights gather for a photo in celebration of the community’s first anniversary. From left to right: resident Lucy Dodge, Graciela Lopez, CNA; resident, William Sihau; Sheila Franko, RN; resident Evelyn Healy; and Lisa Kelleher, program director.