LeadingAge NC Excellence in Innovation Award

The Vitality and Well-Being Team has been honored for its innovative work in pursuit of a long-standing mission: Enriching the quality of life for all who call Sharon Towers home.

The Excellence in Innovation Award for 2020 is presented by LeadingAge North Carolina, a not-for-profit organization devoted to expanding the world of possibilities for the aging. Based in Raleigh, LeadingAge North Carolina offers resources, networking and advocacy to continuing care retirement communities. Its Excellent in Innovation Award recognizes programs and/or best practices implemented by a member community or among organizations that address significant needs in the pursuit of expanded possibilities for aging.

Excellence in Innovation Award Is a Team Effort

Sharon Towers’ Director of Vitality and Well-Being, Jessica Bourque, is especially proud of the honor because it celebrates the work of the entire team of 20 staff members. Exercise, recreation and music therapists, chaplain, memory care specialists, concierges, shuttle drivers – all seek fresh, new ways to bring joy and purpose to everyone in independent living, assisted living and health care.

Jessica, who has been part of the Sharon Towers family for 21 years, says that in a typical month, residents can choose from 1,000-plus programs and activities. All are meaningful. Some go that extra mile. One, in fact, goes that extra mile literally.

The Duet Hits the Right Notes

The Duet is a wheelchair tandem bike that allows residents to be taken for a ride. The “peddler” has some extra electrical support to keep those wheels turning. To spend time outside, to breathe in the fresh air lifts the spirits. “You should see them,” Jessica says, “They say, ‘I’ve not ridden a bike since I was a kid!’” The Duet received financial support from The Treasure Chest, our wonderful resale shop.

Other Innovations

The Duet bike is just one innovation. Others include:

  • Senior Fitness Tests: With a goal of “Being your best self,” the team offers senior fitness tests so each resident can have an exercise program tailored to their current condition and goals. Doesn’t the back-scratch test sound like fun? There’s even an awards program to celebrate all the huffing and puffing that leads to a fitter life. The movie people have The Oscars. Sharon Towers has The Vitality and Well-Being Awards (The VAWAs).
  • Music Therapy: Music therapy allows residents to move to the sound of drums, maracas, piano and more. Residents seem more chipper after they’ve come together to enjoy each other’s company in a drum circle. “It is very cool,” Jessica says. The Legacy Project is an extraordinary part of music therapy. It offers residents the opportunity to share with loved ones what mattered most to them in their life. It might involve recording a favorite song for loved ones or creating a play list of songs for friends and loved ones to relish his or her life’s journey.

The Vitality and Well-Being Team has not one goal but seven: To meet the social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, occupational, physical and environmental needs of residents. Innovation is just another way of team members stepping up and saying “Hey, I have this great idea…”

Please join us in congratulating the Vitality and Well-Being Team on the 2020 Excellence in Innovation Award. We’re excited to see how they’ll innovate next!

Sharon Towers' Vitality and Well-Being team

Sharon Towers Vitality and Well-Being Team: (Left to right) Patrice Squirewell (Health and Fitness Manager), Jocelyn Leaf (Exercise Physiologist), Angel Strong (Exercise Physiologist/Massage Therapist), Jessie Velasquez (Lifestyle Coordinator) and Carmen Murphy (Community Outreach Coordinator).

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