A Message From Your Executive Director
Dear Residents and Families,
I’m pleased to provide you with updates here about several important items this month. First, a big welcome to our new Director of Life Enrichment, Deb Caravella. Don’t miss the Staff Spotlight below, highlighting Deb.
As you know, we postponed our HVAC work that was scheduled for last week. We are watching the weather closely and working with our vendor to reschedule the work, almost certainly in May.
Suzette and I are excited to announce that we have partnered with a Podiatrist who will come to The Village to provide services. Dr. Ahmad Rashid of North Country Podiatry will offer services ranging from basic nail care to removal of calluses, information about diabetic shoes, and surgical referrals at Rutland Medical Center as needed. Podiatrists can be difficult to find and we hope that our residents will benefit from this new relationship. Bev Sinclair RN will still visit to offer basic toenail trims. Dr. Rashid will allow us to expand upon the services available to our residents. Please check out his website here for more information. Here is a link to a consent form. His first visit to The Village will be May 25th. Any resident wishing to see the doctor that day will need to have a signed consent ahead of time. Dr. Rashid will be able to bill Medicare Part B and/or private insurance.
I’d like to offer another reminder that we need everyone’s help keeping our residents on the 2nd floor safe. When you are getting on the elevator at the 2nd floor please take a moment to be sure there are no Memory Care residents in the elevator with you. When you are getting off the elevator at the 2nd floor please pause until the door closes behind you. As always, call out to staff if you need help or have questions.
It has been a goal of mine since we opened to join a local farm’s CSA. This year that goal will come to fruition. Each week our Life Enrichment department will take a few residents to Sweetland Farms in Norwich, VT to pick up our share of vegetables. Most weeks, staff will then offer an activity that involves those veggies. Any veggies not used in resident activities will go to the kitchen for use in meals. CSA pickups begin the week of May 16th. I’m thrilled to have this local source be part of what we serve. See their flyer here.
Many of you received my email last week regarding Covid boosters. We have not been able to secure anyone to come to The Village to administer the next booster to residents and staff. We are still trying. That said, we strongly encourage all residents to seek the booster via their PCP or at a local pharmacy. We want everyone to be as safe as possible.
Speaking of health, AL resident Patsy directed me to this New York Times article about octogenarian health and thought other residents might find it interesting.
Finally, I regret to inform you that Samantha Tracey has resigned her position as Business Office Manager effective May 23rd. Sam has been an integral part of the growth of The Village for the past 4 years, serving in several different roles. She will be continuing down her career path at a new job outside of Boston. I am so grateful for Sam’s dedication and loyalty to the residents and staff of The Village and wish her the very best with what comes next. We will certainly miss her.
Here’s hoping that April showers do in fact bring May flowers.
Community Updates & Activities from Russell Hardeman
May Events 2023
Deb Caravella, our new Director of Life Enrichment, has hit the ground running in her first week on the job. We are excited for the fresh ideas and warmth she has already displayed and look forward to seeing increased engagement from residents in the weeks and months to come.
This month’s Resident Spotlight is in memoriam. Bill is already missed by residents and staff alike.
William Williams “Bill” was born in Niles, MI in 1931, to Mary and Errol Williams, was the younger brother of Donald Williams, and remained a lifetime fan of the Detroit Tigers.
In 1949 he headed East to attend college. It’s quite possible that Bill is the only man named William Williams who attended Williams College, in Williamstown, MA, and lived in Williams Hall. Bill majored in philosophy and lettered in varsity wrestling and track and field.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams in 1953, he completed postgraduate coursework in philosophy at Columbia University and graduated with a Master of Arts in educational psychology in 1966. In 1984, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Williams College.
Bill was an accomplished and daring sailor who regularly took his dinghy into the open ocean off the coast of Maine. He was a fearless skier, an avid tennis player, and a fierce competitor in croquet – with a wink, he rarely admitted defeat. He proudly won first place in the age 60 and over standing long jump event at a USAA Track and Field competition. After being heartily congratulated by friends and family, he admitted he had been the only participant in the event!
Bill had a special fondness for lobster, oysters, and corn on the cob, followed by mint chocolate chip ice cream and a late-night snack of black licorice or Necco wafers. His garden was famous for its extra-large Brussels sprouts and an abundance of roses. He adored his English springer spaniels: Squeegie, Missy, Beau, and Maggie.
Bill had an ability to speak in great detail on almost any topic and was genuinely interested in the lives of others. At the drop of a hat, he could propose a heartfelt and eloquent toast on any occasion.
He was a lifelong reader, devouring the spy novels of John le Carré, the philosophy books of Hegel, and the poetry of Cavafy. His library reflected his consuming interest in the Civil War, and he was a regular lecturer on philosophy around the family dinner table, much to the dismay of his children.
In the evenings, his home was filled with music of Beethoven, Brahms and John Denver. As an enthusiastic singer of hymns his rich voice resounded in the church congregation.
Bill could often be found sipping his favorite double malt scotch, Lagavulin, with just three ice cubes, while focusing on his next chess move or playing Rummy 500 with friends and family.
As a young father, he perfected the art of packing a car and patiently drove his family from New Jersey to Florida in an overstuffed, unairconditioned 1966 Ford Mustang with two bored and whining children in the back seat.
Always a practical joker, he played “got you last.” Instead of saying “goodbye,” he’d tap his children on the shoulder and say “got you last” before running away with them in hot pursuit, trying to tap him back. They played this game for decades, through airport terminals, bus stations and through rolled down car windows. Age never limited him; he was well into his 70s when he leapt out of a car trunk to play a joke on his son. He told his young children he was Superman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound-for his 90th birthday, he strode out of his bedroom sporting a Superman bodysuit.
In addition to being great father and husband, Renaissance man, and lover of life, Bill had an impressive career in education.
He began his career teaching elementary English, History and Physical Education at the McTernan School in Waterbury, CT (now Chase Collegiate School) from 1953-1954. From 1955 to 1966 he served as head of the departments of guidance, boarding and humanities, as well as an instructor of English and varsity wrestling coach, at the Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, NY. In 1966 he became the first Headmaster of Doane Academy in Burlington, NJ, before serving as Headmaster of the Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn NY, from 1970 to 2000.
Under his leadership, Poly Prep began admitting girls and graduated its first co-ed class in 1979. During Bill’s tenure, three new buildings were constructed: the Richard Perry Theater, the Marx Building for Science and Technology, and the Jordan Center for Physical Education and Dance.
In 1995, he was profiled in the New York Times for his groundbreaking leadership of the school. Mr. Williams shepherded Poly Prep, founded in 1854, “away from white male exclusivity” toward an “ideal of a coed, multiethnic school,” the paper reported.
In addition to his longtime career at Poly Prep, Bill contributed his leadership skills to community organizations. He served as a trustee of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, the Professional Children’s school, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and the New York State Association of Independent Schools. He also served as president of the Guild of Independent Schools of New York City from 1986-1998. He was a trustee of Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn, a trustee of Northern Stage in White River Junction, VT, and was elected chair of the board of directors of the Newton school in Strafford, VT, and served as a Trustee of the United Church of Strafford, VT.
A lifetime member of the Headmasters Association, and the Country Day School Headmasters Association of the United States, Bill also served as the Headmaster Association’s vice president and president. He was a member, and later president, of the Cum Laude Society, which honored him with the Cecil A. Ewing Award for Dedication and Meritorious service.
Bill met the love of his life, Linda, on a substitute blind date while she was studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. After a brief courtship, they married and began their 64-year adventure. They have three children, Diana, William, Jr., and Sarah, and two granddaughters, Isobel and Niulan.
Please join us in welcoming Deb Caravella to the Village team. She joins us with over 10 years of experience working in Assisted Living and Memory Care at communities such as Eastview, Shelburne Bay, and a community in the Barre area. She brings a collaborative spirit and an excitement about getting to know our residents.
When she is not working, Deb spends lots of time with her mom, who will be 94 years old this year! She has 4 grown children who are scattered geographically, and she enjoys traveling to visit them. She is involved in her local church. Her favorite authors are John Grisham and Patricia Cromwell and enjoys movies of that genre as well. She loves to garden and get her hands dirty. She also spends time mountain biking and hiking for relaxation. Her favorite place is near a body of water.
She lives with her bratty rescue dog, Cooper, and 12-year old cat, Blue.
Memory Care Minute
In April our Memory Care Residents saw warmer temperatures and nice weather. With this they have been enjoying going out to the Gates Garden. We have had cookouts and many outside socials, playing corn hole and ladder ball. We also had a visit with students from Hartford High School’s Adopt-A-Grandparent program. The students helped residents make wind chimes and visited outside. Residents and staff alike love when they come to visit.
Also in April we did scenic rides and even went out to lunch at 99 Restaurant. Residents helped Samantha Tracey cook a meal for The Haven. This has become a monthly event that we all look forward to. They love to give back to our community.
In May we will have a musical performance by Jim Hollis on the second floor. We also will be making some changes to our exercise program and adding a few new activities. Additionally, residents will be planting in Gates Garden.
On May 17th at 4:00 pm, we will be hosting a talk about dementia, what it is and how to communicate with a person with dementia. Bayada’s health educator Cynthia Stadler will be the presenter. If you would like to attend, please let me know.
Director of Memory Care
COVID-19 In Our Community
We are committed to keeping you informed of how COVID-19 is impacting The Village at White River Junction. We continue our robust commitment to following the guidelines from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health authorities by:
- Based on our current Phase and the positivity rate in our county, the following protocols for visitation are in place:
- Currently we do not allow guests to eat in the dining rooms.
- Core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention will be enforced. These include:
- Screening before each visit
- Hand hygiene
- Mask use for all visitors and staff; It is currently recommended that fully vaccinated visitors keep their mask on when in a private area, even with a fully vaccinated resident.
- Requiring all staff to wear surgical or procedural masks and adhere to screening processes
- Maintaining the frequency and rigor of cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces
- Reviewing our emergency preparedness and response program
- Coordinating best practices across our large partner network
- Group activities are held
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
LCS COVID-19 website
Local health department website
From the Governor