The Cambridge Homes 2023-24 Annual Appeal
Dear Members of the Cambridge Homes Community,
The Cambridge Homes can look back on this year with great pride – our institution has thrived in its vital mission of providing an intimate and dynamic home for Cambridge seniors of all income levels. While the Covid pandemic is still with us, 2023 was a year that allowed the Homes to return to some semblance of normality. This would have been impossible without the leadership of Senior Living Residences and the dedication and diligence of our staff, all of whom have worked tirelessly to keep our residents safe over the long trajectory of the virus.
The Board and Senior Living Residences are keenly aware of how our staff are essential to creating the community and programs that sustain and engage our residents. An indication of this success is, the average age of our current residents is 89 years, and some have lived at the Homes for over 20 years. In turn, the connection staff feel to our residents is reflected in the fact that some of our associates have been with us for more than 20 years and have often recruited family and friends to become Homes’ associates. We are committed to providing a dignified work environment and to compensating our staff at the highest level of industry standards in terms of competitive annual wage increases and critical benefits such as first-rate health care and a retirement savings option.
Beyond the vibrant array of current activities and social functions that have long characterized life at the Homes, the management and Board are dedicated to continuing and expanding our collaborations, partnerships and off-campus trips. We are especially proud of the following initiatives that were undertaken in 2023 or are in the process of development:
- New mental health initiatives for both residents and associates including multicultural roundtable, gratitude and spirit of calm workshops, and reflection groups with our social worker.
- Partnerships with Tufts occupational therapy doctoral students who worked with residents on a self-portrait project last Spring and are working with the garden group this Fall.
- Partnership with Lesley University expressive art therapists and Longy School of Music practitioners who engage with residents who may be self-isolating or who are confined to their apartments due to health reasons. Therapists routinely work one to one with residents in their apartments.
- Partnership with Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in which CNA students offer intergenerational wellness clinics and for Home Health Aid students to perform their co-op hours at the Homes, learning from our skilled caregivers.
- Participation in our first Parkinson’s Movement Day walk.
- Resident outings to such cultural institutions as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and seasonal venues like local farmers markets.
As anyone familiar with current economic trends is aware, operating expenses for all health care organizations, like the Homes (but also including hospitals and nursing homes), have increased dramatically since the onset of the pandemic. Therefore, and despite careful management, these industry-wide inflationary pressures caused the Board in September to increase monthly residency fees and care options by 7%. Moreover, we anticipate additional fee increases over the next year or two before health care costs begin to moderate; as Senior Living Residences expects they will. In the face of these financial challenges, we remain committed to subsidizing between 12 and 15 of our residents each year. As long as our residents are deemed medically appropriate for an assisted living community, they will never have to leave the Homes, regardless of their personal finances.
Finally, a word about the close involvement of the Friends of The Cambridge Homes, a group of generous volunteers who provide a connection to the wider Cambridge community beyond 360 Mount Auburn Street. Friends regularly participate in wine and cheese gatherings and monthly tea receptions. At these and other activities, the Friends help to foster a compassionate, home-like atmosphere, which is especially important for our residents without local family members.
The Board of Directors is immensely proud of our community in West Cambridge. The Homes is a unique and exemplary organization and for all the reasons enumerated above, we ask for your donation to aid in sustaining this wonderful community of Cambridge elders.
With all best wishes,
Charles V. Reed
President of the Board
The Cambridge Homes