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Westminster-Canterbury featured in Inside Business

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Brain Health Day with Dr. Len Lecci

Dr. Len Lecci says the three keys to maintaining good Brain Health as we age are eating right, physical exercise and engaging in social activity.  He told the residents at Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay they have all of those elements right here on campus. 

We don't think about our brains enough, researcher says. That's why he's giving a talk about it Virginia Beach

By Robyn Sidersky
The Virginian-Pilot 
July 7th, 2017

Dr. Len Lecci wants you to think about your brain. 

He says we don't spend enough time taking care of our brain health the way way we do our physical health, and that needs to change. 

It will be the subject of two talks he'll give Tuesday at Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay that are free and open to the public. The talk is entitled "“Your Happier, Healthier Brain."

Lecci, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Director of Clinical Services at MARS Memory-Health Network, will share the latest research and advice for maintaining a healthy brain.

Recent studies have shown that people who have outward signs of dementia can still flourish, he said. And the earlier adults start thinking about brain health, essentially starting at the age of 55, 65 or 70, the better off they will be. 

When we're younger, we do more things to work our brain, Lecci said. As we get older and slow down, we're not doing as many activities that stimulate the brain, he said. 

Often people don't pay attention to their brains the way they do their physical health because the brain isn't visible, he said. For example, when you injure your leg, you can see it. 

"As we decline cognitively, it's not quite as evident," Lecci said. "We go out of our way to hide it."

The event is free and open to the public and the talks begin at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m at Westminster- Canterbury at 3100 Shore Drive in Virginia Beach. To attend, RSVP by calling 757-496-1785.

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Westminster-Canterbury investing $30 million in Revitalization Project

By Sandra J. Pennecke
Inside Business
The Virginian-Pilot 
June 12, 2017

An exterior rendering of the New Wellness Center to be built by Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay

Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay is investing $30 million in the future of senior living.

Ben Unkle, president and CEO of the nonprofit retirement community built in 1982 at 3100 Shore Drive, wants to make sure it’s meeting rising standards in the industry.

Unkle said seniors don’t want a facility, they want a campus. “Everything is getting bigger and better,” he said. “People don’t just want to survive, but thrive.” With that thriving comes engagement, explained Unkle, which is the secret to aging well. The key is to make engagement opportunities available to residents. “It goes much deeper than new paint, wallpaper and looking shiny,” Unkle said. “We want to be innovative and cutting edge to make space to contribute to the mission.” Westminster-Canterbury broke ground for a new wellness studio June 1, which is just one facet of the revitalization. The 1,800-square-foot center will offer more capacity for residents to pursue their fitness goals.

More than 450 residents take 71 exercise classes each week and the number is expected to increase as the space increases, along with the number and variety of classes. Sandra Hanna, who moved to Westminster-Canterbury with her husband Dick in 2016, said she exercises every day to stay healthy. “Fitness has been important to me throughout my life,” Sandra Hanna said. “This investment by Westminster-Canterbury will create more capacity for exercise programs on-site and it reflects the emphasis here on a healthy, active lifestyle.” The revitalization will also include expanded dining venues, a clubhouse-style lounge with computers, coffee and library, and a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center. Three-year resident Connie Rutledge said she is looking forward to the new dining options. “Getting together over a great meal with friends and family is among the many things I enjoy here and this will provide new choices and experiences.” she said.

The rehabilitation center will include 23 private inpatient rooms, a 3,000-square-foot gym, a 500-square-foot occupational and speech therapy gym and an outside rehab garden. The Hoy Nursing Center is being remodeled into the Lighthouse Engagement Model for residents in need of health care. “We’ve been renovating the nursing center while it’s in operation,” Unkle said, noting they are finished with the second floor and will begin work on the first and third floors next. “It’s been quite a feat.” All of the work is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2018.

Unkle said people need to ask themselves what they would like when they retire. “Some people want to stay in their house through retirement, but research shows that over time it becomes isolating,” Unkle said. “It’s best to be in a community.” “Westminster-Canterbury has been a true leader in retirement living and the revitalization project demonstrates it,” said Dick Binford who moved there with his wife, Betty, in 2014. “The community is evolving to fulfill what today’s retirees are looking for and what we will want in the future, and I applaud this commitment.”

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