Friends & Neighbors A Newsletter for the Acts Family - Summer 2020

Welcome to the summer edition of Friends & Neighbors, a digital newsletter for the Acts family! This new version replaces the print publication with a more dynamic, digital-friendly reader experience. You can also access Friends & Neighbors on the MyActsLife Resident Portal and the Acts website.

We hope you enjoy the new Friends & Neighbors!

We've Come a Long Way Together

For those who call our communities home and the employees who give themselves bravely and selflessly each day, together we faced a virus that seems to know no bounds. As we better understand the new normal, we will always prioritize the health and well-being of our residents and employees. Should any of our protocols and guidelines change as we receive recommendations and mandates from local, state or federal officials, we are committed to keeping our residents, employees, family members and prospective residents informed every step of the way.

Our initial shipment of rapid testing machines has been received, training has been conducted, and the machines are being routinely utilized to supplement our lab testing protocols. These new in-house testing machines provide results in 15 minutes post swabbing and are an important component of our testing strategies for new move-ins, those requiring post-travel tests and other return to work testing, and for urgent testing to verify potential false positive lab readings.

We continue to be blessed and thankful for the actions of residents and staff to control the spread of the Coronavirus. We remain vigilant in our safety protocols including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and keen attention to hand hygiene. Our clinical team members working in WillowBrooke Court continue to provide quality, compassionate care to our residents most in need under very challenging conditions. These employees are not only preventing the spread of COVID-19 in highly vulnerable settings, but they are helping COVID-19 positive residents to recover from this illness. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have been subject to extensive regulatory scrutiny and oversight by local, state and federal regulators with a keen focus on our infection control protocols, practices, and outcomes. Since the pandemic began, more than 60 infection control surveys have been completed across the Acts organization. In almost every instance there have been zero deficiencies or recommendations as a result of these surveys. Some communities have been surveyed multiple times. This is a true testament to the talent, dedication and commitment of our employees and the support they receive from each other and our residents. We thank you from the bottom of our heart and we look forward to the brighter days ahead!

Acts Praised for Loving-Kindness during COVID-19

Residents across our Acts family share their positive experiences about living at an Acts community during the worldwide pandemic. Thanks to all our employees devoted to the care and safety of our residents during these uncertain times. This is truly Loving-Kindness in action!

Acts' Concierge Program Creates Special Bonds

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Acts launched a massive Concierge Program which included grocery and medication deliveries, food takeout and daily phone calls to every resident at all Acts communities.

“Everyone is doing 200 percent or more and with a smile on their face. We are really blessed to live here.” - Ed Uher, a resident of Magnolia Trace in Huntsville, Alabama.

Beyond their typical job duties, many employees spent hours on the phone with residents to offer reassurance. Read more heartwarming stories of Loving-Kindness from the Acts Concierge Program here.

Fairhaven employees Janine Hume and Rebecca Procopio deliver treats to residents Lester and Elizabeth Anne Davis.

Going Above the Call of Duty!

Embracing "social distancing," our residents and staff rose to the occasion in inspiring and unique ways these past few months.

Peg Lilis attends her first virtual party with the help of St. Andrews Estates employees. She celebrated her son and daughter-in-law's 40th wedding anniversary with family members as far away as London.

Brittany Pointe Estates Chaplain Darryl Lang helped a couple, completely unfamiliar with technology, connect with their three children in different parts of the country at the same time. Darryl stayed in this position for 20 minutes to enable the family reunion.

Azalea Trace staff helped celebrate resident Doris Kingsberry's 100th birthday in style with a community parade! Her family was grateful to be able to see her, at a safe distance, enjoying her special day. Doris' caravan drove through the entire community, passing by the front gate where her family members cheered.

Dining Rooms Reopen Across Acts

As our restaurants began to reopen across our Acts communities, our culinary teams rolled out the red carpet for our residents' first return to seated dining. Check out some of the meals served to our very happy residents!

Acts Earns High Marks for Financial Health

Acts is pleased to report that the Acts Obligated Group was once again awarded an A- credit rating from Fitch Ratings, one of the nation’s most recognized and respected credit rating agencies. Read more here.

Lanier Village Estates' Expansion To Begin

The Gainesville Times featured Lanier Village Estates and its exciting 24-acre expansion to begin in August. Thirty-one new cottages will be added to the community.

Artist rendering of a new cottage to be built at Lanier Village Estates

Each new cottage will have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a den and a two-car garage. The homes are more than 2,000 square feet. Read the full article here.

Integrace Issues $99.3 Million In Bonds for Refinancing, Renovations

The Integrace Obligated Group issued $99,305,000 in bonds through the Maryland Health and Higher Educational Facilities Authority to finance new renovations and upgrades of the Integrace obligated group communities. The combination of tax-exempt and taxable bonds will be used to improve residential units, common areas, auditoriums and dining areas.

“One of our critical objectives post-affiliation was to restructure the Integrace Obligated Group to re-finance debt, lower our borrowing costs and generate a significant fund to reinvigorate the communities. We are pleased to accomplish these objectives within the first year." - Richard Winter, Acts Senior VP & CFO

According to Ziegler, a specialty investment bank, the financing reflects the benefits realized from Integrace’s affiliation with Acts Retirement-Life Communities, resulting in improved operating performance and a favorable long-term outlook of financial stability. Integrace was able to refinance existing debt and add a substantial project fund for future renovations, while reducing annual debt service significantly. In 2019, Integrace completed an affiliation agreement with Acts, which assumed management and operation of the communities of Bayleigh Chase, Buckingham’s Choice and Fairhaven.

Acts Creates New Diversity and Inclusion Task Force

Acts is committed to be a positive force creating a more equitable, diverse and inclusive future. Much of our strength comes from our diverse staff representing many races, faiths and traditions. Human Resources and Acts Corporate University are collaborating to expand training to prevent discrimination and bias and encourage diversity and inclusion. We have created a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to collaborate and develop new initiatives and programs to promote diversity and inclusion in recruiting, hiring, training, and leadership. Acts treasures the unique value that each of our employees brings to the Acts family. We look forward to hearing your voices and ideas on how we can continue to embrace and enhance our diversity and inclusion efforts throughout the organization.

Future Residents Engaged with Virtual Tours, Meaningful Connections

Acts' Sales & Marketing teams are using the power of video as an invaluable tool to virtually introduce potential residents to the Acts lifestyle. Since March, Acts' sales managers and life care consultants have created more than 700 videos and personalized messages to prospects garnering nearly 11,000 views.

“It’s especially helpful for people who live outside our area, to find out if the community is a right fit and worth their time for an on-site visit.” - Kathy Sanderson-St. Rosia, Senior Life Care Consultant at Heron Point of Chestertown

Read more about how Acts' new video strategy engages prospective residents here.

Chaplains Uplift Residents with Daily Devotionals

In April, Acts' chaplains began Daily Devotional videos to share with residents and employees on the resident portal and Acts' social media channels.

To date, Acts has produced and distributed more than 125 Daily Devotional videos. You can watch them all on our YouTube playlist by clicking the button below.

Residents Sew Hundreds of Masks to Benefit Acts Samaritan Fund

St. Andrews Estates resident Carole Stephens spearheaded an incredible team that has sewn about 1,200 masks to ensure the safety of employees, residents and their loved ones. Asking for a $5 donation for each mask to benefit the Samaritan Fund, the community raised more than $5,500 dollars.

Now the group is raffling off two quilts made from mask fabric scraps as a commemorative piece of history! Money raised will support residents who outlive their financial resources.

Read more about the "Mask Angels" here.

Other Creative Ways to Support Acts Samaritan Fund

With the worldwide pandemic and safety restrictions on gatherings, residents across Acts created new ways to raise money to support their fellow residents in need.

At Lanier Village Estates, residents Gary Riley and John Bryan model the newest LVE fashion necessity! Custom logo shirts, jackets, vests for men and women are all on sale with proceeds benefiting the Samaritan Fund.

Lanier Village Estates residents model new gear to support their community.

Their motto is “Be a sport and show your support as proceeds benefit neighbors who may need a helping hand.”

Tryon Estates residents are planning a Samaritan Fund Showtime week of events, culminating with the TEny Awards. The committee has been coordinating via Zoom and socially distanced, in-person meetings since March.

Volunteers at Tryon Estates fundraise for Acts Samaritan Fund.

Acts Golf Classic Update

The Pennsylvania proportion of the Acts Golf Classic will now be held on Monday, September 21, at Cedarbrook Country Club in Blue Bell.

This annual event is vital in fulfilling the residents' benevolent assistance needs and we are thankful for all your help with the Golf Classic. For more information or to register, please visit the Golf Classic site here.

The Florida tournament is still on schedule to be held on Thursday, December 3, at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.

Acts Supports Alzheimer's Awareness in Longest Day Events

Across the Acts family, residents and staff raised funds and awareness for Alzheimer's disease research and support in a "virtual and socially distanced" Longest Day.

Acts communities held fitness walks, special food sales, and other events. Life Engagement Coordinator Grace Williams even swam laps in the rain - all for a good cause. Check out this video of the second annual Longest Day 5K at Plantation Estates!

Thanks to all who contributed to this national effort to support the Alzheimer's Association.

Fitness Trainers Launch Virtual Classes

As COVID-19 forced the shutdown of fitness centers and gyms across the country, Acts communities increased their fitness classes and offered new programs to meet the demands of active residents. In fact, despite nationwide stay-at-home orders, more seniors than ever before have participated in Acts innovative fitness programming.

“We have been able to reach so many more residents who never went to the gym. Videos allow us to add variety to our programming as well as offer classes in the evenings and weekends,” said Kimberly Huff, Acts Director of Fitness and Wellness.
Tryon Estates resident Alan Zaeske gets in his workout from home.

Read more about Acts' successful virtual fitness programs here.

Edgewater Couple Sends Postcards After ‘Virtual Vacations’

Edgewater at Boca Pointe residents Gary Elsner and Sharon Nottingham hoped to celebrate their first anniversary in a meaningful way. Unable to book an extravagant vacation during Florida's stay-at-home orders, they instead decided to travel for the special occasion– virtually. They've taken several online vacations and even created postcards to share with friends and family what they learned about each exciting destination. Read all about their "travels" here.

Lima Estates Centenarian Recalls Living Through Two Pandemics

Lima Estates resident, Helen Edwards McHenry, recently sat down with the Delaware County Daily Times to talk about turning 100 years young, and how her life has been impacted by not one, but two worldwide pandemics. Read the full article here.

Helen Edwards McHenry

Creative Ways to Spread Loving-Kindness Through Chalk Art

Employees and residents across our Acts family inspired others with positive and creative messages chalked on community sidewalks and parking lots.

St. Andrews Estates' Executive Director Susan George shows off the campus art.
One of the many inspiring messages at Bayleigh Chase.
Fitness Director Oris Martin gives residents an "Acts hug!"

If you enjoyed this edition of Friends & Neighbors, please click the "Appreciate" button below. Thank you!