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Querencia at Barton Creek to Host “Alive Inside” Screening In Coordination with Music and Memory Program

May 10, 2017

Querencia at Barton Creek, an SQLC retirement community, is pleased to invite the public to a special screening of the documentary “Alive Inside.” The film is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s ability to reawaken the hearts and souls of seniors affected by memory loss and improve their quality of life. The 2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award-winning documentary showcases music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a sense of self. The screening will take place on May 19 at 2:00p.m. at Querencia (2500 Barton Creek Boulevard in Austin) and will be presented by Stephanie Hoffman, vice president of education and training for the Texas Culture Change Coalition and regional director of the nonprofit MUSIC & MEMORY. Hoffman has been actively helping to pass legislation to ensure dignity and autonomy for seniors, and will lead a discussion and Q&A following the screening. Querencia recently became certified in the MUSIC & MEMORY program, and will begin to utilize the concept throughout its campus. Associates are looking forward to seeing how the program will benefit residents – especially those in memory support – when they are engaged through music which is customized to their personal preferences. 

Audiences will be introduced to men and women who are given the chance to be their full selves. The simple beauty of music returns what memory loss has taken away by restoring memories of hope and love. With an almost instant reaction, music awakens the heart and mind in powerful and emotional ways which are visible for all to see. “Alive Inside” documents the powerful emotional connection that we all have to music and how it relates to our life experiences and who we are as individuals. The film displays the unique connection we have to music and how its healing power can triumph when medication often fails.

“Having the ability to screen this film provides us with the opportunity to inspire the public and show attendees how the power of music can improve lives,” said Nate Weyand, executive director of Querencia at Barton Creek. “As you watch the film, you recognize the powerful emotional connection we all have with music, especially as it relates to events and times in our lives. We are happy to bring Cohen’s film to members of the Querencia community to show people how that connection can be used to battle memory loss in an unbelievably touching way.”

The film highlights the experiences of seniors around the country who have benefited from the simple experience of listening to music, and the film demonstrates the benefits of therapeutic music. The audience will learn that the brain ties music to memory, and that personalized therapeutic music enables the listener to reconnect, regain social skills and live a fuller life. They will see the benefits extend from the simple pleasure of activity to reduction in agitation and sundowning and even reduced needs for anti-psychotic medications.

MUSIC & MEMORY is a nonprofit organization which brings personalized music into the lives of individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other forms dementia through digital music technology to improve their quality of life. The organization trains caregivers on how to create and provide personalized playlists using iPods and other digital audio players which enable those participating to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories.

“A love for music is something that we all share, and it’s something that we can all connect with on a deeply personal level,” said Joan Ford, director of sales and marketing at Querencia. “This film is a compelling example of how health care should address unique therapeutic strategies to improve quality of life. I’m excited to attend the screening of ‘Alive Inside,’ and I think we all will benefit from seeing the true power of music in this film.”

Members of the public interested in attending can RSVP by (512) 610-9401.

Veteran Residents of Querencia Reflect on The Service of Fallen Soldiers During Memorial Day

May 10, 2017

For the majority of Americans, Memorial Day is the signal of the coming summer, and a reminder to give thanks to the men and women throughout history who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. However, for World War II veterans Mark Clement and Jack Puryear, both residents of Querencia at Barton Creek – an SQLC retirement community – Memorial Day is a time to remember the men they served alongside, especially those who never made the return trip home. While time can erode the lesser details of war, the heart remembers the comradery shared between the two veterans and their fellow servicemen and the images of war that are never forgotten.

As veterans of World War II, Clement and Puryear played roles in the moments of American history that still define our country today. Puryear spent the majority of his service as an aerial photographer for the U.S. Navy. He helped make pre-invasion maps of the South Pacific islands that made it possible for others, like Clement, to serve on the ground. Clement served as a second lieutenant in the fourth Marine Corp division in the eighth wave landing force on D-Day at Iwo Jima. He had his 20th birthday the next day! Puryear and Clement both served in Iwo Jima on D-Day without ever knowing of the other. However, it wouldn’t be until moving into Querencia that the two veterans would meet and discover this twist of fate. They have become great friends and even had the pleasure of traveling to Washington D.C. together as part of the honor flight program. Both men left home as boys and returned home as men, having witnessed the unimaginable facets of war. It is the sacrifices of the men with whom they served with that they wish to observe on Memorial Day. They share a hope that we will never forget the price that has been paid for our freedom, and never take such a gift for granted.

Querencia at Barton Creek Donates Appliances to Blanco River Regional Recovery Team

March 22, 2017

In 2015, the Memorial Day and All Saints weekend floods changed the lives of hundreds of families in Blanco, Caldwell, Guadalupe, and Hays Counties. While the flood waters receded almost two years ago, many individuals who reside in the affected counties are still trying to pick up the pieces. With this ongoing need in mind, Querencia at Barton Creek, an SQLC retirement community, has joined forces with the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team to provide flood survivors with basic resources to refill their homes and start over. This ongoing partnership will provide home appliances and any other necessities to area families. When residents move to other levels of living in the community, or if they decide to clean out their closets or change appliances, they donate items to this organization. The Blanco River Regional Recovery Team was designed to assist with the long-term recovery of survivors from the Memorial Day and All Saints weekend floods.

“There is still a lot of work that needs to be done,” said Cynthia Jones, volunteer for the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team. “It’s absolutely a long-term recovery for these communities. This flood changed people’s lives in ways that far exceeded the damage, and we are dedicated to making sure everyone is able to get back on their feet. Having help from a community like Querencia makes recovery possible, and we’re so thankful for their willingness to help others.”

According to Nelda Rivas, director of housekeeping at Querencia, the senior living community has always been dedicated to assisting those in need by donating after various disasters over the years, and this particular incident hit close to home. That’s why providing appliances and other items felt like a natural fit. The community has donated refrigerators, dishwashers, clothing, food and other essentials.  

“The community has rallied to help our neighbors,” said Rivas. “It’s incredibly rewarding to know that we can make a difference and give people a head start on their new beginning. We’re very proud of all our residents and team members who have contributed. Since we started, we’ve donated over a dozen appliances, and we’re excited to see how many more we can give to those in need.”

“At Querencia at Barton Creek, we are proud to work with other local organizations to positively impact the lives of people who live in the greater community,” said Nate Weyand, executive director of Querencia. “We hope that by sharing the ongoing story of those affected by the floods that it will inspire others to get involved and rebuild these local communities.”

Senior Residents at Querencia Prepare For Annual Souper Bowl of Caring To Benefit Garza Independence High School

February 1, 2017

As football fans around the country prepare to watch the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons face off for Super Bowl LI, the residents of Querencia at Barton Creek – an SQLC retirement community – are gearing up for their own championship match to help Garza Independence High School fight hunger. The “Souper Bowl of Caring,” an annual donation event, brings communities across the nation together around the biggest sporting event of the year to empower local youth and help those in need. Querencia residents and team members will participate in the nationwide movement throughout the week in advance of this Sunday’s game by collecting monetary donations, hygiene supplies and nonperishable food items. All donations will then be delivered directly to Garza Independence High School on Monday, February 6. Containers for donations will be located in the community’s lobby and outside of the Limestone Café at Querencia (2500 Barton Creek Boulevard in Austin). Residents, their families, team members and the public are encouraged to donate.

Garza Independence High School serves at-risk students and works with them to ensure they are able to finish their high school education. This annual giving event centers on the year-long partnership between the senior living community and the high school. Querencia residents travel to the school once a month to mentor the children, help with school work, share stories about their lives and provide emotional connections that the children may not experience elsewhere. The volunteers often meet with the students in on-on-one pairings that allow unique bonds to form between the students and residents. The residents also give presentations on different subjects in which they have personal experience or expertise.

“Querencia is honored to support our local youth,” said Nate Weyand, executive director of Querencia at Barton Creek. “The partnership we have with Garza Independence High School is one that brings great joy to the residents, and because of that we want to do everything we can to show our appreciation. We’re proud to use the excitement around the Super Bowl to raise awareness and make a difference in the lives of others.”

Laughter Yoga Class at Querencia Helps To Enhance Residents’ Overall Physical and Mental Health

January 30, 2017

They say laughter is the best medicine, and for the residents of Querencia at Barton Creek – an SQLC retirement community – the old adage has become a word of truth for those who participate in the senior living community’s Laughter Yoga class.

Twice a month, Leah Tunnell, a certified Laughter Yoga instructor, helps residents at Querencia find the benefit in laughter. While the idea of laughing as a form of exercise might seem strange, the full-body actions provide a mild cardiovascular workout that helps to strengthen and cleanse the lungs and stimulate blood flow throughout the body through the jiggling of the organs. While people of all ages can benefit from the classes, the exercises are especially advantageous for seniors. The movements are good for those with arthritis, allergies, diabetes, heart conditions and more. Additionally, laughter boosts the immune system and naturally lifts one’s spirits through the release of endorphins and dopamine into the body after only 10 minutes. Laughter is also a medically accepted form of exercise with proven mental and physical benefits, particularly for overcoming depression and promoting healing.

“The hardest part about a laughter class is learning how to get over your reservations when it comes to acting a little foolish,” says Tunnell. “You have to let go of your fear and be in the moment. While laughing is lighthearted, it’s also a proven way to improve your overall health and well-being. I’ll guarantee that anyone will walk away feeling better than they did before walking through the door after participating in a laughter yoga class.”  

For resident Ann Kirk, Laughter Yoga provides a sense of freedom from the pressures of everyday life. It gives her the opportunity to relax and find pleasure in the simple things.

“Hearing someone laugh is infectious,” said Kirk. “In that moment you have the ability to pause and take in the joy we experience in our lives. Being able to marvel at life and your own sense of self – even for a moment – is something that makes you feel better or whole. There has been plenty of research which shows that just 10 minutes of laughter equals that of 30 minutes spent on a treadmill. I don’t know about you, but I find treadmills very boring and would much rather spend my time laughing.”

According to Kirk, she has always lived an active lifestyle and has even taken traditional yoga classes since 1971. She says that while all exercise programs have their own unique benefits, Laughter Yoga offers a social benefit as well, as everyone sits or stands together in a circle feeding off of each other’s energy. She had never truly experienced this until she participated in one of the classes.

“When you first start going to Laughter Yoga it seems to be the oddest thing you’ll ever do,” said Kirk. “But the laughter is so real and contagious that you fall right in with everyone else, you just have to be willing to try something different. The activities are very childlike in nature and require a use of the imagination, and there’s great freedom in being able to act as a child with no judgement or demands from those around you.”

Querencia at Barton Creek adheres to the Masterpiece Living® Program philosophy that embraces healthy living at any age in all regards – physical, spiritual, social and intellectual. This includes the opportunity to help seniors remain active through engaging activities and programs, like Laughter Yoga.

“As a Masterpiece Living Center for Successful Aging community we do everything we can to make sure that the residents have access to the resources they need to lead healthy and active lives,” said Nate Weyand, executive director of Querencia at Barton Creek. “The Laughter Yoga program is yet another unique way of staying healthy physically and mentally, and it allows participants to engage with those around them. With the start of a new year, we all look for ways to enhance our overall well-being, and we hope that our Laughter Yoga participants inspire others to try something new and get active this year.”

Santa’s Helpers at Querencia Share Christmas Cheer with Children at Dell Medical Children’s Hospital

December 20, 2016

For many children around the world the countdown to Christmas morning is always one filled with excitement and joy. As many children and families were making their preparations for Santa to visit their homes this past Christmas, the children at Dell Medical Children’s Hospital were busy sending their letters with instructions on how Santa can find them on Christmas. With this in mind, the residents of Querencia at Barton Creek – an SQLC retirement community – helped Santa respond to letters received from the children at Dell Medical Children’s Hospital who sent their letters with instructions on how Santa could find them on Christmas Eve. Santa’s helpers at Querencia worked quickly to ensure the children knew their special letters made it to the North Pole on time.

The Christmas season is a special time of year that allows the opportunity to reflect on childhood memories and the holiday magic that is Santa Claus.

Querencia at Barton Creek wanted to help make sure the children of Dell Medical Children’s Hospital and their families were able to experience the wonder and merriment that comes on Christmas morning after a visit by Santa, even if they were unable to do so at home.

Querencia at Barton Creek to Recognize Veteran Residents in Observance of Veterans Day

November 3, 2016

As Veterans Day approaches, the veteran residents of Querencia at Barton Creek, an SQLC retirement community, are finding themselves reflecting on their military service and how those experiences helped to shape them into the men and women they are today. Through their service, many of these veterans helped to shape our country and secure the freedoms we enjoy today. While time can erode the lesser details of war, the experiences of our veterans are remembered and honored with dignity and respect.

Querencia residents will spend time on Veterans Day – Friday, November 11 attending various events to honor those who served and made sacrifices for our country. One such event will feature Holocaust survivor Fred Bednarski as he details his experiences during the Russian and German occupation of Poland during World War II.

Residents and Staff Members of Querencia at Barton Creek to Compete In Senior Games

October 12, 2016

The residents and staff members of Querencia at Barton Creek, an SQLC retirement community, are currently hard at work as they prepare to compete in the community’s 2016 Senior Games. The senior games are an annual event that allows residents and staff to come together for friendly competition, bragging rights and good clean fun. This comes on the heels of this year’s Olympic Games and has extra special meaning. The teams are designed to bring residents and staff from all departments together to build new relationships. Each day of competition will be filled with a variety of fun and exciting events that challenge the body and mind. Please see the order of events below: Chair Volleyball, Jenga, Pictionary, Bean Bag Baseball, Trivial Pursuit. Closing Ceremonies and Awards will take place to close the games.


Residents at Querencia Barton Creek Celebrate 3rd Annual Casino Night Fundraiser to Raise Proceeds for Alzheimer’s

September 30, 2016

Residents of Querencia at Barton Creek, an SQLC retirement community, recently celebrated their 3rd Annual Casino Night Fundraiser as they raised proceeds for Alzheimer’s Texas and the Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease. Residents and team members dressed in their Vegas finest and channeled their inner Elvis as they danced the night away. Attendees enjoyed classic casino games and fellowship as they came together to support those living with Alzheimer’s. The community has raised $14,000 through several events, and that number will likely go up after additional activities planned to raise money for Alzheimer’s Texas.

Querencia at Barton Creek is dedicated to supporting those living with Alzheimer’s and showcasing why this cause is important to the community. At The Plaza at Querencia, the community works with Alzheimer’s and memory support residents and their families every day. The team members and families understand the impact of fundraising events like this one, and they are dedicated to helping each other. Through efforts like the annual casino night fundraiser, everyone can come together to help find a cure.

Querencia at Barton Creek, a Masterpiece Living Center for Successful Aging certified community, is a premier life care senior living resort located at Barton Creek Boulevard and Chalk Knoll Drive in Austin, Texas, less than a mile from Barton Creek Resort & Club. Querencia at Barton Creek is 501(c)(3) nonprofit senior living community sponsored by Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC), a Texas-based nonprofit organization.

Tap Dancing Class at Querencia Keeps Residents on Their Toes

August 29, 2016

The residents at Querencia at Barton Creek – an SQLC retirement community – are moving to a new rhythm by adding a tap dancing lesson to their weekly routine. On Wednesday evenings you can find residents Genny Williams and Marcia Bailey leading their fellow residents in various combinations and exercises that help promote flexibility and strength from their hips all the way to their toes. The pair started their “Taptations” class to stay active and continue pursuing a lifelong passion and love for dance. Additionally, they say the classes are a wonderful way to keep them going when it comes to exercise.

“I’ve been dancing for as long as I can remember,” said Bailey. “It’s been wonderful to find a group here at Querencia that loves dancing as much as I do, especially tap. Having our dance class is a fun and unique way to get to know each other and exercise together. The movements from tapping help with our flexibility and balance, particularly in our ankles and joints, and of course everyone loves the added enjoyment that comes from making a little noise.”

“Personally, I’ve always had a deep love for dance of every kind,” said Williams. “It’s been wonderful to share that passion with others in our group that just started dancing for the first time. We have two men in the group, one of which is Marcia’s husband, and it’s been so entertaining to see them kick up their heels and have a good time.”

Over the years, Williams and Bailey have both competed nationally with different senior tap dancing groups, and Bailey still even performs from time to time with a group that visits Meals on Wheels gatherings and senior center socials in the Austin community. However, they quickly learned that there are not many places available for seniors to take lessons and practice their moves, so the pair put their heads together and decided to start their own group at Querencia. Since then, they’ve been joined by eight other residents who have discovered the benefits of dancing.

“It’s really an overall mind and body workout,” said Williams. “The music alone stimulates the senses and just makes you feel positive and joyful. There’s a lot of freedom in the movements, and you can dance to your ability. Some of the participants even sit and tap along, really strengthening their legs and ankles. While tapping has incredible physical benefits it can help you exercise mentally as well. You’re able to develop a sense of timing because you have to remember the steps and keep track of the music count. There’s a sense of rhythm and timing that’s very beneficial.”

“At Querencia, we are proud to offer our residents the freedom to take their passions and lead activities that encourage them to continue doing what they love,” said Nate Weyand, executive director of Querencia at Barton Creek. “The Taptations dance class that Genny Williams and Marcia Bailey have created is a unique way to see the benefits of dance in action. Their dedication to staying active and getting others out on the dance floor is an inspiration, and we hope they are able to encourage others to try something new and get moving.”

“I’ll continue dancing for as long as I can,” said Bailey. “I have no intention of slowing down yet, I still have plenty of moves left!”

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2500 Barton Creek Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78735
Phone 512-610-9400
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