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Join Us In A Shared Prayer Today at 2 p.m.

November 24, 2020

Join Us In A Shared Prayer

We are continuing to pray for the health of all of Westminster, and the world. As we move forward in this journey together, we are reminded that in the face of uncertainty, we must join together in our efforts and put our faith in God. We must look to the power of faith, hope, and love through all of this. Join us today, November 24, at 2 p.m., for this week's special Thanksgiving shared prayer. The prayer was provided by Jeffrey A. Parkkila, Chaplain at Westminster Winter Park.

Download the prayer now


A Thanksgiving Letter from COO Garry Hennis

November 23, 2020

Thanksgiving Letter from Chief Operating Officer, Garry Hennis
Today, Garry D. Hennis, the Chief Operating Officer for Westminster Communities of Florida, shares with us his Thanksgiving letter to our team members. He reflects on the challenging times that we are experiencing, and reminds us to be thankful for all of the blessing we have in life. Read the letter below.

Thanksgiving Letter to Team Members

Dear team members,

Many times throughout our country’s history we have celebrated Thanksgiving amid challenging times. In our earliest celebration, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans gathered together to share thanks for a bountiful harvest, because it meant they would have food for the coming winter.

This year we will celebrate Thanksgiving with gratitude in our hearts. We are thankful for our health, as well as for our family and friends — but we acknowledge that some families may have empty seats at the table.

This sacrifice by millions of Americans, to avoid gathering to minimize the spread andrisk of the deadly virus, is being made to safeguard older adults, like those we serve, with the ultimate goal that they will have future years to celebrate.

It is our hope that next year, we will be giving thanks for a vaccine and the end of this deadly pandemic.

I have been truly grateful for your continued commitment to our Mission this year, amid the biggest threat of our lifetime. You are taking many important actions for safety, knowing that each of us is our brother’s keeper: You come to work and don protective equipment. You practice social distancing at work and at home, and avoid large gatherings. You bear the enormous responsibility of saving lives each and every day.

No matter whether you are a nurse, a housekeeper, a maintenance tech, a chef or any of the many roles in our community, what you do serves our Mission and honors God.

In Deuteronomy 31, God reassures the Israelites not to fear, for He will always guide them: “Be strong and of good courage; do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the Lord your God that goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.” We know that our work is guided by Him. Like God’s word, the Westminster Mission guides us to serve those in need through our service.

This season of Thanksgiving gives us opportunity to reflect on the many blessings we have in our lives. I thank each of you for being a major blessing in our residents’ lives and ask you to join me in giving thanks for our many blessings.

On behalf of the leadership team, I wish you and your family a safe and promising Thanksgiving.


Garry D. Hennis
Chief Operating Officer


Costume Parades, Turkey Trots and Special Menus: How Our Communities Are Making Thanksgiving Special This Year

November 19, 2020

How Our Communities Are Making Thanksgiving Special This Year
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without something special. So for the 7,000 residents of Westminster Communities of Florida, this year’s Thanksgiving celebrations will still be special, even while they and millions of Americans are practicing social distancing to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Our Resident Experience teams have been hard at work coming up with amazing and delightful ways to celebrate the holidays, throughout the state. From Wednesday through Friday, residents and team members alike will enjoy events to share their gratitude, stay active — and, yes, eat.

Here’s just a few of the fun ways our communities will be celebrating Thanksgiving this year:

  • Fitness: At Westminster St. Augustine, we’re hosting a Turkey Trot fun run. The event will start with a reflection to share what we are grateful for, and conclude with a prayer. Meanwhile, at Westminster Manor, in Bradenton, residents will enjoy a “Turkey Hunting” virtual exercise program on the in-house TV system.
  • Puzzles & Games: How about a game of “Family Feud” or live trivia? In St. Petersburg, Westminster Suncoast residents will do both to test just how sharp everyone is after a dose of tryptophan, while at Westminster Shores, they’ll choose from Thanksgiving-themed Bingo, SNAP and Word Scramble games.
  • Family Fun: Residents of Westminster Towers, in Orlando, will enjoy “Gobble Waffles,” a spin-off of the community’s popular Christmas Eve event, where residents are invited to wear their pajamas and enjoy homemade waffles. In addition, when the residents open the door for their Thanksgiving dining deliveries, they’ll find team members in costume!
  • Sharing Gratitude: In Jacksonville, residents at Westminster Woods on Julington Creek will enjoy a stimulating virtual TED Talk on gratitude followed by a group discussion. Meanwhile, continuing a long-standing tradition, Westminster Manor and Westminster Winter Park residents are each putting up a “Thanksgiving tree” with personalized messages of gratitude. And at Westminster Oaks in Tallahassee, there will be a special hymn sing-along event.
  • A Cornucopia of Great Food: Do you love three kinds of pie, your choice of turkey and ham, sides aplenty and a glass of sparkling cider? Our Dining Services teams are on a mission to make the Thanksgiving meal as special as possible, so residents can look forward to tons of special and delicious signature dishes. The team at Westminster Woods on Julington Creek is making a carrot soufflé, Westminster Oaks is offering a shrimp and stone crab cocktail appetizer, and the Westminster Point Pleasant residents will enjoy their choice of special Thanksgiving-themed Bundt cakes. Don’t count your calories!

“I’m so excited for all of the residents of Westminster Communities of Florida, because our Resident Experience teams are going all out to make this holiday amazing,” said Mario DeLuca, Vice President of Resident Experience. “We know how hard it will be for a lot of people to be away from their loved ones, but this year they will still be celebrating with their Westminster family.”

Are you looking to make the holiday special? You can try some of our signature Thanksgiving recipes for your own Thanksgiving table this year. And be sure to follow us on Facebook @WestminsterCommunitiesFL to see all of the great Turkey Day fun.

To learn more about how you can enjoy living at a Westminster community, contact us today or call us at (800) 948-1881.


NEWS: U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Urging Nursing Homes to Follow Established COVID Guidelines This Holiday Season

November 19, 2020

This news release is republished from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS Urging Nursing Homes to Follow Established COVID Guidelines This Holiday Season 

Today, in advance of the approaching holiday season, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is urging nursing home staff, residents and visitors to follow established guidelines for visitation and adherence to the core principles of infection prevention. These guidelines include remaining six feet apart from individuals, wearing a face covering, and limiting the number of visitors in the nursing home at any one time. Adherence to these principles is critical in preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in America’s nursing homes. While the holiday season is typically a time for family and friends to gather, CMS implores staff, residents and visitors to exercise extreme caution this year. 

“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, progress on a vaccine is proceeding at a pace worthy of the name Operation Warp Speed. Nevertheless, the approaching holiday season remains fraught with danger for the vulnerable residents of America’s nursing homes,” said Administrator Seema Verma. “They have already endured loss and loneliness to a degree that would have been unthinkable before this year began, but they and their families – along with facilities themselves – must not let their guard down over the holiday season, especially with a safe and effective vaccine so close to reality.”

The agency understands the emotional and mental health impact that separation from loved ones during the pandemic has caused. In September, CMS provided guidance for how residents can safely receive visitors in the nursing home. With the holiday season approaching, residents will want to spend more time with their loved ones, and CMS is recommending that facilities find innovative ways of recognizing the holidays without having parties or gatherings that could increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission (e.g., virtual parties or visits).

CMS also acknowledges that some residents may want to leave the nursing home temporarily to visit with family and friends for the holidays, or for other outings.  A resident has the right to leave the nursing home, and CMS urges that extra precautions be taken to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, which poses an elevated danger to the health of nursing home residents.  Nursing homes should double down on infection control and adhere to testing requirements.

Extra precautions taken now will help to ensure that our loved ones stay healthy and safe for the short amount of time remaining until a safe and effective vaccine becomes available.  Leaving the nursing home could increase a resident’s risk for exposure to COVID-19. The risk may be further increased by factors such as a resident’s health status, the level of COVID-19 in the community (e.g., cases or positivity rate), or attendance at large gatherings. Residents are encouraged to discuss these and other risks with their family and nursing home staff.  Nursing homes should educate residents and families of the risks of leaving the facility, the steps they should take to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19, and encourage residents can stay connected with loved ones through alternative means of communication, such as phone and video communication. 

To view the alert, please visit: CMS’ current emergencies page: https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/Emergency/EPRO/Current-Emergencies/Current-Emergencies-page

or here:  https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-facility-holiday-recommendations.pdf


Take A Westminster Thanksgiving Meal Home With Our Signature Recipes

November 18, 2020

This year, our Dining Services team shares with you four signature Thanskgiving recipes for side dishes that you can enjoy at home this holiday. Each recipe was created from the seasonal menu at our communities, allowing you to make a taste of Westminster this year. You can download the entire recipe book by clicking on the cover image or each individual recipe below.

Open the recipe (PDF)

Our Signature Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Signature Recipe for Cranberry Sauce

Our Signature Wild Rice and Mushrooms Recipe

Our Signature Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Our Signature Roasted Green Beans Recipe


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