The Buckingham: The lead story in Houston senior living.

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Resident of The Buckingham Leads Program to Equip Caregivers

May 5, 2017

Hundreds of family members caring for their loved ones across Houston are now better equipped to handle the stresses and challenges they may face as a family member care provider because of Dick Humphrey, 83, a resident of The Buckingham – Houston’s premier retirement community. For nearly 10 years, Humphrey has worked with The Buckingham to further the mission of Powerful Tools for Caregivers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing self-care education for family members who care for their loved ones. Humphrey’s efforts began not long after moving into The Buckingham, when he joined the Board of Directors of Interface Samaritan Counseling Centers, a nonprofit dealing with family issues, which was looking to broaden the range of programs they provided. It was after Humphrey came across an article discussing the lack of preparedness and help families across the country experience, that he realized how he could help to make a difference. With the assistance of Interface Samaritan, The Buckingham and the community’s nonprofit sponsor, Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC), Humphrey initiated the first Texas master training session for Powerful Tools for Caregivers. Master trainers from the Powerful Tools headquarters in Portland, Oregon led a three day workshop for a class of 18 Houstonians who were interested in learning how to lead the program in their respective organizations. That training would lead to qualifying six of the original 18 participants as master trainers. Since the initial class in 2009, there have now been 18 more class leader trainings in Houston held at Interface Samaritan. Leading to the certification of over 200 additional class leaders.

“Most of my life I have been involved in community activities and I didn’t want that to change,” said Humphrey. “In an effort to stay active and engaged, I found out about Powerful Tools for Caregivers, and I felt that it would be helpful to residents here at The Buckingham and others in the surrounding community. Thanks to the continuing financial support of The Buckingham we have been able to have a significant impact on the community at large. The course has been taught in 30 locations across Houston, and there are over 250 class leaders across the state of Texas, making us third in the nation for Powerful Tools. Additionally, this training has been provided to over 100 residents and their families within The Buckingham alone. People are able to walk away feeling ready for the unknowns of the future and don’t feel the need to worry. Family member care providers come to us and say they feel confident in their ability to provide quality care as a result of taking better care of themselves.”

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers program is an evidence-based education program offering a unique combination of elements. The scripted curriculum and the intricately detailed training material guarantee its consistency and quality. The program encourages trainers and attendees to collaborate and share experiences. Throughout the class period, family member care providers are given the tools needed to reduce personal stress, communicate effectively, change self-perception, handle challenging situations, work through personal feelings and make decisions effectively. Additionally, the supportive environment helps to prevent feelings of inadequacy in difficult situations related to the unknowns of aging. According to Humphrey, this course provides invaluable knowledge for couples and families as they look ahead to the future. Once a participant has taken the class leader course they are then certified to lead the caregiving program within their sponsor organization in the local community, further widening the reach of the program.

“The partnership between Dick and The Buckingham to begin this program has been priceless,” said Pam Ortiz, director of resident services and lifestyles at The Buckingham. “This program provides an incredible benefit to our residents by giving them the ability to stay in control of their care and plan for the future. Additionally, we get to give back and share with the local community in a way that allows our neighbors to gain invaluable knowledge. We’re proud to help lead the way by preparing seniors and their families to deal with the unknowns of the future and giving them the tools they need to not feel stressed or worried if the times comes that they find themselves in the role of caregiver. This program is yet another extension of the Masterpiece Living® philosophy here at The Buckingham which endeavors to enhance all levels of living.”

Humphrey and Ortiz will soon speak on a panel at Masterpiece Living’s 2017 Lyceum, Aging Elevated: The Summit of Change. During the panel, they will discuss the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program and how it has impacted The Buckingham and the local community.

“We’re incredibly proud of Dick and what he has done not only for The Buckingham, but also the Houston community,” said Cathy Lightfoot, director of marketing at The Buckingham. “It’s residents like Dick that make The Buckingham special and truly make a difference in the lives of others. He saw a need and addressed it. As part of the Masterpiece Living philosophy, we coach and empower residents as they actively help the greater community through outreach. In addition, we offer support to family members and make physical adaptations to our environment in an effort to enhance all levels of living. Dick is a prime example of that philosophy, and we are honored to be a part of the difference he is making.”

The Buckingham Hosts New York Times Bestselling Author and International Art Dealer Ron Hall

May 4, 2017

The Buckingham, Houston’s premier retirement community, was honored to welcome New York Times bestselling author and international art dealer Ron Hall to speak with residents and invited guests about his firsthand account of his incredible friendship with Denver Moore, a homeless man with a storied past. Their friendship is detailed in the novel “Same Kind of Different As Me,” which the pair co-wrote together, detailing the bond built between the two men from uncommon backgrounds. The bond forever changed them and led to the friends raising more than $70 million for the underserved. The novel is also now a major motion picture featuring Greg Kinnear, Renée Zellweger and Djimon Hounsou. Following the presentation, Hall answered attendees’ questions, provided additional information about his experiences and life, and signed copies of his books. Additionally, as a tribute to the work of Hall and Moore benefitting the underserved, The Buckingham donated $500 to three local organizations dedicated to serving the homeless in Houston. The leadership teams from Lord of the Streets, The Beacon and Star of Hope were all in attendance to hear Hall speak and accept the donations.

“It’s wonderful to hear stories like those of Ron Hall and Denver Moore that touch the heart and inspire action,” said Cathy Lightfoot, director of marketing at The Buckingham. “We were honored to welcome Ron into our community and learn how all of us have the ability to make a difference in the lives of others. His interactions with those in attendance were engaging, and his incredible passion came through as he shared his story.”

The Buckingham, an SQLC retirement community, is proud to present residents and guests with remarkable individuals such as Ron Hall in its Red Carpet Speaker Series. The Red Carpet Speaker Series provides unique and often once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to meet renowned individuals and hear inspirational presentations. The speaker series is a dynamic piece of the Masterpiece Living® philosophy which encourages continual learning in all regards – physical, intellectual, social and spiritual.

Living It! Initiative at The Buckingham Inspires Residents to Live Engaged and Active Lifestyles

March 3, 2017

The Buckingham, Houston’s premier retirement community, recently concluded a month-long initiative called the “Living It!” program, which focused on inspiring senior residents to live a more engaged and active lifestyle. The four-week campaign focused on The Buckingham’s Masterpiece Living® philosophy, which embraces a wellness-minded attitude and encourages learning throughout the aging process, focusing on an individual’s key developmental areas – physical, intellectual, social and spiritual. The ultimate challenge was for residents to try four new activities each week throughout the four-week program. Events such as yoga, a coloring class, button contest and Mahjong pushed the residents to try new activities to stay active and engaged.

“The Living It! campaign was an incredible opportunity for residents to encourage one another and push themselves to experience something new,” said Pam Ortiz, director of resident services and lifestyles at The Buckingham. “During these last four weeks, it has been absolutely incredible to watch the residents challenge themselves, and we witnessed their commitment to our community’s Masterpiece Living® philosophy.”

The community began the first week by introducing programs aimed at the spiritual component of wellness, and the second week focused on the intellectual component. These programs challenged residents to embrace the benefits of lifelong learning. During the third week, which focused on social programs, residents met new people and participated in a new activity they might have otherwise never tried. Finally, as part of the last week of the Living It! program, residents experienced the physical components of wellness. The Buckingham embraces every opportunity to give residents the chance to take part in new activities as well as different cultures and traditions.

“With the success of the Living It! initiative we are encouraged to see residents try new things and expand the way they look at their well-being,” said Julie Fenske, executive director of The Buckingham. “At The Buckingham, we are inspired by the residents each day, and we hope that their dedication to improving their health and well-being inspires other seniors to try something new.”

The Buckingham Celebrates Go Texan Day

March 3, 2017

Each year, horses and Houstonians dressed in their western finest fill the streets of Houston to celebrate the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. To commemorate the rodeo, the residents of The Buckingham – Houston's premier life care retirement community – recently took part in their own country and western celebration. The Buckingham basked in Texas spirit on Go Texan Day by participating in the community’s annual chili cook-off, as residents and team members faced off to see who would take the top prize for best chili. Participants and attendees were able to savor many different kinds of homemade chili during the contest. Later that evening, residents dressed in their favorite rodeo attire and enjoyed an indulgent Texas-style barbecue dinner complete with a live band that played classic country tunes.

The Buckingham, an SQLC retirement community, embraces every opportunity to help residents experience exciting activities and explore different cultures and traditions, particularly those that honor the spirit of the local Houston community. Through events like the annual chili cook-off, the community provides residents with the opportunity to engage with others and find new ways to be active. The chili cook-off is yet another everyday reminder of the Masterpiece Living® philosophy which is incorporated throughout the community.

The Buckingham Hosts Dr. Robert Winningham for a Discussion on Recent Findings to Maximize Memory

February 2, 2017

There is mounting evidence that lifestyle factors, including staying mentally active, can delay memory problems. For this reason, The Buckingham, Houston’s premier retirement community, recently welcomed Dr. Robert Winningham, PhD., to discuss recent research related to the “Use it or lose it” theory of memory and aging. He shared a number of cognitive stimulation interventions that can be used to exercise targeted regions of the brain. Additionally, he discussed the latest research on the effects of physical exercise, nutrition and social support on health and how they can reduce the likelihood of developing memory problems. The take-home message is optimistic and motivating: There are many practical things that all of us can do to maximize our memory abilities.

Winningham has over 20 years of experience working on applied memory issues. He creates brain stimulation activities for thousands of communities and rehabilitation facilities as a part of “Dr. Rob’s Cranium Crunches” on and helps create cognitive stimulation video games for In addition to being a full professor at Western Oregon University, Winningham is also the Interim Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Former Chair of the Behavioral Sciences Division. He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Baylor University, and his Master and Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology from Western Washington University. He trains thousands of professionals through his popular workshops and seminars around the nation. In addition to publishing many scientific articles on memory and aging, he has published two books: “Train Your Brain: How to Maximize Memory Ability in Older Adulthood” and “Cranium Crunches: Brain Exercises to Maximize Memory Ability.”

The Buckingham, an SQLC retirement community, is proud to welcome leaders in various fields to present on topics important to residents and seniors throughout the local community. Dr. Winningham’s presentation is yet another reminder of the Masterpiece Living® philosophy that is incorporated throughout the community. The lifestyle encourages continual learning and promotes a healthy outlook in all regards – physical, mental, social and spiritual.

Wellness Center at The Buckingham Enables Residents to Take Control of Their Overall Health and Well-Being

January 30, 2017

With the new year in full swing, many resolutions are quickly fading away as motivation wanes and Valentine’s Day chocolates appear on supermarket shelves. But for the residents of The Buckingham, an SQLC retirement community, a new cutting-edge health and wellness center is making it easier to stay active. When Jill Bott makes her daily trip to the wellness center, she finds a place where she can enhance her health and well-being in a peaceful, encouraging environment. The premiere wellness center boasts two floors dedicated to the enhancement of residents’ overall health and fitness. Whether through the use of state-of-the-art equipment or participation in one of the many fitness classes available, residents have a multitude of options to choose from to create their own individual fitness regimens. For Bott, having the ability to tailor her activities to fit her schedule and personal goals means she can find the motivation she needs to stay active and pursue a healthy lifestyle at any time.

“I’m in the wellness center just about every day,” said Bott. “The time I spend is never wasted, as I am constantly pushing myself to improve. Being able to come to the wellness center and find peace is something I enjoy every time I walk in the door. By exercising regularly and staying active, I’ve been able to improve my balance and flexibility. It’s so good for all of us to exercise when we can, especially because there’s so many different options to choose from, and everyone can benefit in some way. The wellness center here at The Buckingham is an excellent resource that provides us with a multitude of convenient options.”

Under the watch of Carolyn Teague, fitness specialist at The Buckingham, residents find the encouragement and motivation promoted by Masterpiece Living® philosophy, they need to make choices that not only benefit their bodies, but every aspect of their lives.

“We want the residents to come to the wellness center and find an activity or a program that they can become passionate about,” said Teague. “It’s important to remember that exercise isn’t just a stimulation for the physical, but the mental, emotional and spiritual as well. Whether a resident finishes a three mile walk or 30 minutes in a bench blast class, we want each person to walk away feeling empowered and capable of doing anything. What makes our health and wellness center so special is that it allows residents to find their inner strength and fortify their dedication to bettering their physical health.”

For resident Dick Humphrey, his almost religious dedication to an active lifestyle began nearly 40 years ago after major heart surgery. Since then, Humphrey is much more aware of the steps he can take bolster his health. Since his retirement, Humphrey makes an effort to visit the wellness center every day. Whether he stops in for 30 minutes on the treadmill or various intervals of weights and other equipment, it’s never time put to waste.

“While I was committed to exercise long before coming to The Buckingham, I’ve found that I can truly benefit by taking advantage of the available amenities,” said Humphrey. “I’m mostly self-motivated when it comes to exercise, and it’s good to know that I’m encouraged to do what works best for me. I still follow a lot of the same regimens and workouts I have for years because they give me a lot of flexibility to do what I like at my leisure.”

Residents will soon find the wellness center to be the center of activity for the upcoming “Living It” program, a month-long initiative that will focus on inspiring senior residents to live a more engaged and active lifestyle. The four-week campaign will center on The Buckingham’s Masterpiece Living® program philosophy, which embraces a wellness-minded attitude and encourages learning throughout the aging process, focusing on an individual’s key development areas – physical, intellectual, social and spiritual.

“We’re proud of our wellness center and the ability to offer residents a quality space where they can come to strengthen themselves,” said Julie Fenske, executive director of The Buckingham. “With the start of our upcoming ‘Living It’ program around the corner, we’re looking forward to seeing residents come to the wellness center and find something new that will build their overall health and wellness at our community.”

The Buckingham Hosts Inaugural Blood Drive

January 17, 2017

Now that the holiday season is over, many are looking for ways to continue the spirit of giving into the new year. With this idea in mind, The Buckingham – a life care CCRC community – recently held the first of a planned series of annual blood drives at the retirement community. The blood drive was inspired by a resident at the community who previously had to receive multiple blood transfusions and realized the importance of helping others who are in need of blood. By donating blood, each individual donor had the ability to save up to three lives. The community partnered with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center to help boost the healthy and reliable blood supply at a time of year when the center typically runs low on blood. The Blood Drive was open to the community’s residents, team members, family members and friends. Because of the 25 individuals within the community who participated in the drive, up to 75 lives will be saved. Through this loving act, The Buckingham hopes to inspire others to consider donating blood, as there is always a need.

The Buckingham, Houston’s premier retirement community, is proud to have individuals within the community who are willing to give back to others in need. By giving blood, donors provided a unique gift to others that changes and saves lives. The blood drive was yet another reminder of the Masterpiece Living® philosophy that is incorporated throughout the community. The lifestyle encourages continual learning and promotes a healthy outlook in all regards – physical, intellectual, social and spiritual.

The Buckingham Retirement Community Collects Donations for Those in Need during the Holiday Season

December 16, 2016

The residents of The Buckingham – an SQLC retirement community – have a passion for serving others, a gift they are particularly excited to share during the holiday season. As residents at the senior living community reflect on their blessings over the past year, they are coming together to collect a number of donations and gifts for those in need in the local community. Currently, they are hard at work collecting gently worn coats, sweaters, scarves, hats, mittens, gloves and shoes from employees, residents, and family members for OneWarmCoat that will be donated to shelters and community centers in the Greater Houston area and other communities across the United States. The community also put up two Christmas Angel Trees with a total of 20 angel tags from the Salvation Army. Additionally, The Buckingham team members adopted a family through Chapelwood United Methodist Church to provide Christmas gifts for a local family.

“We’re honored to come together as a community and play a role in helping families and children during the holiday season,” said Julie Fenske, executive director of The Buckingham. “We are grateful to have residents and team members who are so passionate about making our world a better place, and it’s truly a joy to see the impact they are making on the lives of others. We hope that by getting involved in so many ways, we can show our community that giving back to those who need it the most is fun and worthwhile.”

Collecting the donations and gifts supports the Masterpiece Living® philosophy that is infused throughout the entire community. The lifestyle encourages continual learning and promotes a healthy outlook in all regards – physical, intellectual, social and spiritual. Residents of The Buckingham are dedicated to lending a helping hand not just around the holidays, but also all year long.

Unique Holiday Tradition Spurs New Memories for Residents and Team Members at The Buckingham

December 16, 2016

For many, yearly holiday traditions are what end up making the Christmas season feel nostalgic. Whether it’s baking Christmas cookies, decorating the tree or sharing memories of years past, traditions have a way of bringing everyone together. At The Buckingham – an SQLC retirement community – a unique and fun family tradition has become a holiday favorite. For the past few years, Santa has made a special visit to the community so residents and team members can enjoy seeing their children and grandchildren’s eyes light up as they sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Greeted by festive decorations such as a giant gingerbread house made by one of the residents, families came together to enjoy the special treat. The annual photos with Santa are sponsored by residents at the community who volunteer their time to make the special interaction with Santa Clause possible.

“The holiday season is an endearing time of the year as friends and family gather to celebrate life and love,” said Cathy Lightfoot, sales and marketing director at The Buckingham. “Welcoming our residents’ and team members’ children and grandchildren into our community to laugh and play is such a joy for all of us. It’s a heartwarming reminder and signifies the importance of enjoying little moments like these with our families.”

In addition, The Buckingham held its annual resident holiday party. Dressed in their holiday best, residents delighted in a gourmet dinner with lively entertainment. This year, merriment and cheer filled the air as residents gathered to celebrate the holiday season.

“Every day we are reminded of all the things we have to be thankful for and what it truly means to be a community,” said Julie Fenske, executive director of The Buckingham. “Our annual holiday traditions and festivities are a time for reflections and spending time together celebrating life and everything important in our lives.”

The Buckingham Announces Donation of More Than $23,000 for the Alzheimer's Association

November 22, 2016

Did you know that Alzheimer’s disease affects over 5 million Americans today? Out of that number, 350,000 are Texans. Someone is newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds, and current projections indicate that this rate will increase to one new diagnosis every 33 seconds by 2050. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and Texas currently ranks fourth in the number of Alzheimer’s disease cases and second in the number of deaths. With these sobering statistics in mind, The Buckingham, an SQLC retirement community, is proud to announce it has raised more than $23,000 for the Houston/Southeast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association this year. Throughout the past year, residents and team members at the senior living community have been hard at work participating in various fundraising events to show their support for those living with the disease. Recently, the community participated in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s to raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Association to support those in the local Houston community affected by the disease. This special event was particularly meaningful as November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, and those participating were reminded of how they can impact the lives of those affected by the disease.

“This year was our 10th year to participate in the walk as a community,” said Julie Fenske, executive director of The Buckingham. “It was wonderful to see our residents and team members come together with their families to help fight this disease. The impact we’ve made as a community is astounding. Over the past 10 years, we have raised close to $200,000 for the Houston/Southeast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. We are incredibly proud of everyone who has contributed to this cause as we understand firsthand how Alzheimer’s impacts the lives of seniors and their families.” 

In addition to personal donations, the community held a bake sale, silent auction, garage sale, raffles and an Octoberfest dinner. The events had a widespread impact on the community, with support from residents and team members along with their families and those in the local Houston area. The walk was the highlight of this year’s fundraising efforts because The Buckingham had its own team. Additionally, resident Inga Liesner raised nearly $6,000 cooking for an Octoberfest dinner at the community. Liesner donated 100 percent of the proceeds to The Buckingham’s fundraising efforts.   

“At The Buckingham, we do what we can to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Cathy Lightfoot, director of marketing at The Buckingham. “Every day, we work with residents and families as they face this disease head on, and we are dedicated to making a difference. We know the impact this disease has on our community, and we are hopeful that one day there will be a cure.”


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