What are Aid and Attendance Benefits? How the U.S. pays for some senior living services for veterans

Westminster Communities of Florida always honors and supports our senior citizen veterans who served our country with valor and dedication. A common question we receive from residents and future residents is how to pay for assisted living facilities and nursing home care using Aid and Attendance benefits provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Aid and Attendance offers financial assistance to eligible veterans and their spouses or surviving spouses who need extra help with daily living activities.

What do you need to know about Aid and Attendance benefits?

Aid and Attendance is a special pension program designed to support senior veterans and their families in covering the costs associated with long-term care. It’s specifically aimed at those who require assistance with the activities of daily living like bathing, dressing and eating, or for those who are confined to their homes or nursing facilities.

Who may be eligible and what are the requirements?

To qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits, veterans must have served at least 90 days of active duty, with at least one day during a wartime period. Additionally, veterans must meet specific financial criteria and have a documented need for aid and attendance or be housebound. Surviving spouses of veterans may also be eligible for this benefit.

What financial assistance do Aid and Attendance benefits provide?

Aid and Attendance benefits provide additional financial support. This assistance can be used to cover the costs of an assisted living facility, nursing home care, in-home care or other medical expenses related to long-term care. The amount of the benefit varies based on factors such as income, assets and marital status. 

How do you apply for Aid and Attendance benefits?

Applying for Aid and Attendance benefits may seem overwhelming, but the VA offers resources to help veterans and their families through the process. It’s crucial to gather all necessary documentation, including military service records, medical reports and financial information before submitting the application. Veterans’ service organizations, state and county veteran service offices and accredited agents or attorneys can provide guidance and support during the application process.

As we commemorate Memorial Day, it’s important to express our gratitude for the sacrifices made by veterans, including the older adults among them. By raising awareness about Aid and Attendance benefits and caring for those who have served our nation, we hope to demonstrate our commitment to supporting veterans and their families as they face the challenges of aging.. It’s a way to ensure they receive the care and assistance they deserve.  

Unlocking the benefits of Life Plan Communities: Landmark five-year national study finds positive impacts of senior living on personal well-being

Did you know that residents who live in Life Plan Communities have better physical, emotional, intellectual, social and vocational wellness than seniors in the community at large? Westminster Communities of Florida is excited to share groundbreaking insights from the Mather Institute’s Age Well Study, conducted in collaboration with Northwestern University. The Age Well Study interviewed more than 8,200 residents throughout 122 Life Plan Communities around the United States.

As Florida’s leading provider of senior living communities, a Westminster Life Plan Community can be the key to unlocking a thriving and enriching aging experience. Discover the many advantages that make Life Plan Communities an ideal choice for seniors seeking a fulfilling and purposeful life.

What the study found

Beginning in 2018, the Mather Institute surveyed thousands of residents of Life Plan Communities and comparable seniors who lived outside of community settings, throughout the United States. The goal was to study the impact of the health and wellness of individuals choosing to reside at a Life Plan Community. The study found that over the last five years, the  health and wellness of Life Plan Community residents compared favorably to older adults in the community at large in five of six dimensions of wellness. Life Plan Community residents were found to:

  • Have significantly more healthy behaviors
  • Report that the move to a Life Plan Community had “somewhat or greatly improved” their social wellness
  • Have greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual and vocational wellness
  • Be significantly more satisfied with life, more optimistic, and have better perceptions of aging
  • Report that they were less lonely

Most importantly, they were found to be significantly more likely to report that they felt that they had purpose in their lives.

Why does choosing to live at a Life Plan Community have such an impact on overall well-being? Here are four ways that having a plan for life can make a difference.

1. Embracing an active lifestyle

Staying healthy and active is a top priority for seniors who want to live long and purposeful lives. Life Plan Communities are thoughtfully designed to support your well-being every step of the way. Wave goodbye to mundane routines and say hello to a plethora of amenities and services that promote a vibrant lifestyle. State-of-the-art fitness centers, a tailored well-being program emphasizing wellness of mind, body and spirit, and nutritious dining options empower residents to maintain an active and healthy way of life. Trust us: You’ll experience the difference for yourself, in your overall health.

2. Nurturing your mind and spirit

Finding joy and intellectual stimulation can be one of the reasons that the “Golden Years” can be among the most exciting part of your life. Our communities go above and beyond to cultivate your emotional and intellectual well-being. You’ll find robust partnerships with local colleges and universities that encourage lifelong learning,and offer classes that even meet on campus. Immerse yourself in a world of lifelong learning programs, cultural events, and creative endeavors. The tapestry of community life and the opportunity to engage in inspiring activities can contribute to your sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Get ready to ignite your passions, explore new horizons and experience new-found personal growth.

3. Cultivating lasting connections

Feel like having lunch with a friend or a debate over a cup of coffee? Residents who live at a Life Plan Community find that the days of longing for meaningful connections are gone. A Life Plan Community provides a warm and inclusive environment that fosters a sense of belonging. Imagine living with like-minded individuals who share your zeal for life and are eager to build lasting friendships. Engage in shared activities, participate in community events, and embrace the camaraderie that flourishes within these vibrant communities. Prepare to create cherished memories and forge bonds that stand the test of time.

4. Pursuing purposeful engagement

Retirement is not a time to relinquish your dreams and aspirations. In fact, Life Plan Communities empower you to pursue purposeful engagement in various endeavors. While many older adults experience a decline in vocational involvement, our communities are designed to reignite your passions. Whether it’s exploring part-time work, engaging in volunteer positions, or delving into lifelong learning programs, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute your skills and expertise. Embrace the chance to remain active, stimulated, and discover a renewed sense of purpose.

These four ways that a Life Plan Community can impact your life are just some of the many reasons that your personal well-being can benefit from unlocking the vibrant lifestyle of a Life Plan Community. The Mather Institute’s Age Well Study has unveiled the remarkable benefits of these communities for older adults. From physical well-being and emotional fulfillment to intellectual stimulation and social connections, Life Plan Communities offer a harmonious blend of opportunities for a rewarding and thriving aging experience.

As an organization with a Mission of inspiring older adults to live happy, healthy and purposeful lives, we invite you to embark on this incredible journey with us. Choose a Westminster Life Plan Community and gain access to life-enhancing services at your fingertips, an exciting and interesting calendar of lifestyle opportunities every day, and a supportive environment that embraces healthy aging and personal growth.

Westminster Communities of Florida is here to help you make the most of this exciting chapter in your life. Embrace new adventures, forge lifelong friendships, and create a legacy that captures the spirit of vibrant aging.

Find the community that suits you today – and welcome home!


More Self-Care tips to support taking care of YOU:

Imagine waterfall doorways (real and virtual): Another mindful technique I practice is to imagine that any doorway I walk through (whether it’s into meetings or resident rooms) is a waterfall. As I walk through it, I allow any stressful energy I’ve collected from the day to be washed off so I can walk into that next interaction clean and clear and present in the moment. When I leave, I allow the waterfall to wash the energy of that interaction off me so I can walk into the next task clean. This can also be done before pressing the button on the computer to enter a virtual meeting, as I pause and allow myself a moment of peace and calm before moving on. Doing this throughout the day means I am far less likely to gather my stress and carry it with me, so it takes less time to offload it at the end of the day before being with my loved ones, or just with myself.

Breathe: The best way I have found to soothe myself, keep myself from going to emotional extremes, pause to get more information, and simply keep my neurochemistry out of the stratosphere is to breathe. Breathing in while counting to four, holding for seven, then blowing out for eight (4-7-8 breathing) is one of the quickest ways to calm the sympathetic arousal that can lead us to fight, flee, or freeze. I can practice this while doing paperwork, sitting at a stoplight or in a meeting (just be sure not to look like you are heaving an aggrieved sigh!), cooking supper, or going to the restroom. When I am breathing, it helps me let go and accept things as they are — not in a resigned and helpless way — but with calm poise and empowered assurance.

Reminder: One of the many benefits available to us as Westminster team members is access to EAP (Employee Assistance Program) which  provides for some counseling (individual, marital, family, and group), career & vocational testing, and seminars, workshops & retreats. See your benefits guide or Human Resources Director for additional information and contact information.

Resource: 10 Self-Care Strategies for Professional Caregivers, Dr. Carla Cheatham, MA, MDiv, PhD, TRT

3 Travel Tips for Seniors Traveling on Memorial Day

Are you an older adult looking to make the most out of the Memorial Day holiday weekend? Whether you’re planning a road trip with your family, or exploring new places by plane or train, there are lots of ways to enjoy the long weekend. We’ve put together a few tips on how to stay safe and make the most out of your experience. Plus, with an active, independent lifestyle at Westminster Communities of Florida, you can drop everything to travel with your friends or family for the weekend and let us worry about maintaining your home while you’re gone.


Memorial Day travel can be a wonderful opportunity for seniors to explore, but safety should always come first. Plan ahead to minimize possible issues that could arise. Research the best routes and rest stops, and know the weather conditions along your route to prepare. When packing, include a first-aid kit with all essential medications, emergency supplies and important documents like identification and health insurance cards. Don’t forget snacks and drinks to stay alert, hydrated and energized throughout the day. Taking these precautions before you leave can help ensure a safe trip on Memorial Day for both you and your family!


Whether you’re going on a road trip with your family or exploring a new destination by plane or train, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday. Take regular breaks during a long drive or travel day giving you an opportunity to rest and recharge before continuing with your travels. While on break, stretch your legs, get some fresh air and enjoy the scenery along the way. Throughout your trip, stay flexible. Sometimes things don’t always go according to plan while traveling. If possible, try not to be too rigid with plans and be open-minded about changes in itinerary. Being flexible will help ensure that no matter what comes up during your travels, you’ll still be able to get the most out of your holiday weekend.


Many companies offer discounts to those aged 55 and above. Take advantage of travel benefits and discounts to help with travel costs and shop around for the best deal. Research discounts on transportation such as flights, trains, and buses; accommodations such as hotels, motels, and rental cars; attractions such as theme parks and museums; and insurance plans. Senior organizations like AARP offer special benefits and discounts, or investigate passes for seniors, like the lifetime pass offered by the National Park Service, giving you free admission at over 2,000 national parks, monuments and other recreational areas across the country. By taking advantage of travel benefits available, seniors can look forward to a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day trip without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re planning a road trip with friends or family, taking to the skies or exploring by rail, plan ahead, stay flexible and research saving opportunities to make the most out of your Memorial Day holiday.

Celebrating Nurses: A Journey of Growth and Accomplishment

Sharon Swaby-Morgan is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at Westminster Woods on Julington Creek, a Life Plan Community serving older in adults in Saint Johns with active, independent living, assisted living, nursing care and memory care. She joined Westminster in 2014 as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and in the last nine years has escalated her career and grown to love the community and the people.

“Those who know her characterize her as a bubbly, jovial, collaborative, knowledgeable, and fun team member,” said Amanda Birch, former Executive Director at Westminster Woods on Julington Creek and current Director of Culture and Mission Integration for Westminster Communities of Florida. She noted that Sharon and all she has to offer our organization are at the core of what we do – care for residents.

“I love what I do,” Sharon said. “I’ve been in healthcare for over 30 years and people keep saying, ‘Why don’t you try for the hospital?’ The hospital setting is not for everyone, and I don’t think it’s really for me. I like the nursing home setting, I like the seniors, I like working with the elderly. It’s my personal connection.”

“It didn’t take long for Sharon to stand out as such a caring, compassionate individual willing to go above and beyond for the residents she served,” Amanda reflected. “Sharon has been a role model for many on that campus.”


During her time as a CNA, Sharon was motivated and decided to go back to school and approached the challenge with dedication.

“Through her years of experience at Westminster Woods on Julington Creek, Sharon was encouraged to further pursue education to expand her nursing career,” Amanda said. “When she took the leap to do so, she was so excited and proud as she shared the news with me.”

“I found opportunities at Westminster to go back to school, so I took them,” Sharon said. “Even though I had a lot of sleepless nights, eventually I did it. I told myself I’m going to take the boards one time, so I took the boards and I passed.”

With help from Westminster’s Team Member Scholarship Fund and the Tuition Reimbursement Program, Sharon was able to get her LPN. The Tuition Reimbursement Program reimburses current team members for courses they take at an accredited institution, a benefit offered to team members seeking career ladder positions.

“It was a great help and a great benefit to me,” Sharon said.

Over the past five years, the Tuition Reimbursement Program has provided more than $115,000 in tuition reimbursement in amounts ranging from $415 to $9,900, all driving the opportunity for advancement.

When asked how Westminster has supported her personal growth, Sharon said, “Where do I begin?” Support from the organization spans all the way from offering financial support for career growth opportunities to things as simple as being flexible with her schedule to accommodate her attending classes.

“When I was going to my third and fourth semester in school, I had to make an adjustment to my days off,” Sharon reflected. “Westminster was there for me to make that adjustment with my schedule so I could finish school.”

“As it was common knowledge Sharon was pursuing a career path change to LPN, we conducted frequent check-ins to make sure she was on target with her aspirational goals,” Amanda said. “Each time I checked in with her, she was enthusiastic and even embraced what she thought were the most challenging of courses.”

After graduating from the LPN program, Sharon was promoted to an LPN position at Westminster Woods on Julington Creek in May of 2022.


Nursing is no easy job and Sharon recognized that it has a challenging reputation, but she continues to encourage team members at the beginning of their career to pursue the medical field.

“A lot of people look at it as a very hard field to go in, but if it’s something you really love, and want to become a nurse, I tell them, ’Go for it!’” Sharon said.

She encourages CNAs on her team to take advantage of the career growth opportunities Westminster offers like she did.

“I tell them to try and go back to school. We have the opportunity to do that because of the Tuition Reimbursement Program.”

Sharon noted that the educational opportunities also lie outside of the classroom at the community.
“At the job they will help you, and you will learn a lot!” Sharon encouraged. “You’re learning from other CNAs and the residents; you also learn from other nurses. I’m still learning!”

Sharon is taking her own advice and has signed up to go back to school and pursue becoming a Registered Nurse (RN).

“While nursing is a challenging career, Sharon realizes the rewards that come with the work,” Amanda said. “She oozes positivity and makes every day special for our residents.”

Nurses like Sharon are essential for providing quality care to the older adults in our communities and for helping to shape the future of healthcare. If you’re interested in joining the Westminster team and growing your career at one of our communities, check out the current opportunities at

Shining a Light on Promoted Leaders for National Nurses Week

This week, we celebrate the nurses who are dedicated to caring for those who call our communities home. As we commemorate National Nurses Week, we recognize the hard work and sacrifice of these individuals who work tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents. We are proud to highlight the stories of nurses throughout our organization, and to show our appreciation for them and the care they provide to our seniors. From inspiring future nurses to showing how they celebrate National Nurses Week, we acknowledge the nurses in our organization.

Today we’re featuring Vicki Brown and Laure Zulkowski, who joined the organization in nursing roles, excelled and were promoted to leadership roles.

Vicki Brown joined Westminster Communities of Florida as the Director of Nursing in 2010 and is now the Assistant Executive Director at Westminster Oaks, our Life Plan Community located in Tallahassee. After joining the organization, Brown needed to relocate to Orlando, and was then approached by Chief Operating Officer Garry Hennis about staying with the organization in an administrator role. Brown later relocated to Texas, leaving Westminster Communities of Florida, but hated to leave, and sought out openings with the organization when she returned to Florida.

“I didn’t even know he realized who I was,” Brown said. “As a Director of Nursing, I had been at Westminster Oaks just under two years. I appreciated that they said there was another opportunity for me and took that leap of faith and gave me a chance. I felt I could trust this organization and I have always felt supported, and that’s the reason I wanted to come back to Westminster.”

Regional Director of Health Services Laure Zulkowski was also persuaded to take on new challenges by leaders in the organization. Zulkowski joined Westminster Communities of Florida in 2018 as the Director of Nursing at Westminster Winter Park, our Life Plan Community on the shore of Lake Berry, and was then influenced to apply for the Administrator in Training program. She began a year of training at Westminster Towers, and as her training came to an end, she was encouraged to apply for her current leadership position.

“I was fortunate enough to be offered opportunities and I hope other people are able to do that as well,” Zulkowski said.


After education and training, mentoring has been an effective way for nurses to pass on their knowledge and experience to aspiring nurses. By offering advice and guidance, nurses can help foster a desire within young people to pursue a career in nursing.

“I’ve always tried to mentor people whenever I can,” Zulkowski said. “If I see somebody that is really enjoying wounds or enjoying something, I’ve always tried to have a conversation with them or give them resources to help them grow.”

She noted that the nursing industry has a bad reputation for not being welcome to beginners. Reflecting on how more experienced nurses don’t want to take more time out of their day to work with a new nurse or train a new nurse given the demanding nature of the profession.

“Nurses are hard to find right now and good nurses are so hard to find right now,” Zulkowski said. “If each of the good nurses that I know would mentor at least one new nurse, we could help grow our own very quickly, and they would not be as burned out so fast.”

In addition, mentors can help provide necessary resources such as educational materials or job opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable or difficult to acquire.

“I’ve always felt when there’s opportunities, they’ve been shared with me,” Brown said. She noted that when giving orientation to new team members, she encourages them to look at new positions as they come available to seek out opportunities for growth.

“If they’re looking to advance their career, maybe they are a CNA and they want to become a nurse, that we have opportunities available for scholarships,” Brown said. “We also have tuition reimbursement, so I always let them know not to shy away from those opportunities. I also share my story to let them know that there are other things you can do if you want to.”


Zulkowski has celebrated National Nurses Week a few ways throughout her career, with the most memorable celebration being a lamplight walk with fellow nurses.

“The team gets together right when it’s starting to get dark out and we have lamps to emulate Florence Nightingale. We walk around a city block together, all the nurses all together in one place,” Zulkowski said. “At one of the hospitals in the area, the doctors and other disciplines would come together and clap for all of the nurses. They loved that sign of appreciation.”

National Nurses Week ends on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, as the pioneer of modern-day nursing. Her passion for helping others and improving medicine is an inspiration for many today, who were called to follow the same path.

“We just want them to know that they’re appreciated!” Brown said about her team’s plans for National Nurses Week. “We’re planning on lots of food and fun.”

Throughout this week, we’ll be learning more about our nurses, both team members and residents who are former nurses, and their paths into the nursing profession and growth with the organization. Be sure to check back to follow the series.

Are you interested in joining the Westminster team and serving seniors throughout the state? To find out more, go to

CULTURE MOMENT:  Mental Health Month

Self-Care Strategies (Part 2)

More Self-Care tips to support taking care of YOU:

Set boundaries: We often feel guilty for setting boundaries, but there is nothing selfish about taking care of yourself so you can show up well for others. “No,” is a complete sentence, and I can allow others the dignity of dealing with their own feelings about what I am and am not able to do. If I push further than I really want or need to, I do not get to be resentful of others since my boundaries are mine to set and hold. When I find I have given too much, it is a chance for me to learn more about my limits and to own and honor them, so I am less likely to put myself in that situation again.

Finish the circle: Because it can be far easier to recall the negative in my life, my mentor regularly reminds me to “Finish the circle” by also naming the good around me. This does not negate the things that feel or seem bad — that would be false positivity — but it also does not deny the good around me. If I feel so stressed that I cannot think of such things, I go through the alphabet and name something I’m grateful for that begins with each letter. By the time I get to X, Y, and Z, I am more relaxed and have a more balanced perspective about whatever I am facing.

More to follow…

Resource: 10 Self-Care Strategies for Professional Caregivers, Dr. Carla Cheatham, MA, MDiv, PhD, TRT

Nurses Make a Difference: Anytime, Anywhere – Always, A Letter from COO Garry Hennis

Dear Westminster nursing team members,

I am sharing my heartfelt gratitude for every nurse. This year’s theme for National Nurses Week is “Nurses Make a Difference: Anytime, Anywhere – Always.” This honors your unwavering commitment to residents and your personal mission of service. I have witnessed this service within my own family – nurses like you who have given countless hours to caring for others.

The long-standing tradition of honoring nurses began in 1954, recognizing the contributions made by nurses during World War II and the Korean War, and acknowledging how special nurses are. The nursing profession is special, and over the decades, former Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan all played a role in creating this week’s special celebration of nurses. It ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, commemorating the founder of the modern nursing profession.

While the COVID-19 pandemic was not a war, it was certainly an event that will be remembered as a historic one, everywhere. Nurses within Westminster’s communities and throughout the world stepped up to serve others in the hour of need, when others chose to stay home and be safe. 

As an organization Westminster Communities of Florida is grateful to each of you. We are grateful for your commitment to your profession, and to all the residents we serve, regardless of whether your role is at the bedside, in a clinic, as a supervisor or in management, or leading our nursing services team.  

Being a nurse is often physically demanding and almost always emotionally taxing, but your ongoing commitment affords residents to experience a quality of life others take for granted.

Your personal mission as a nurse makes a difference and we celebrate you. Know that your work in this profession makes a difference in countless lives, from the residents themselves, to the extended families you touch, to the communities in which you serve and the betterment of society, simply by showing up and caring for another soul to nurse them on their journey.  

It didn’t take a pandemic for Westminster to know how special each of you are because we have been thankful for you not just during the tough times, but each and every day.   

We celebrate all of you. Happy National Nurses Week.

Sincerely, Garry

Celebrating Graduates Everywhere: Explore Lifelong Learning at Our Communities

As we enter the month of May, we celebrate the success of graduates everywhere. But just because you’ve completed your formal education doesn’t mean you have to stop learning! In fact, continuing to learn is a great way to keep your mind sharp and your body healthy.

Residents at a Westminster Communities of Florida’s Life Plan Communities enjoy a plethora of lifelong learning opportunities as a part of our MyWLife wellbeing program. We believe that wellbeing is much more than just physical wellness, and that to be “well,” you must consider your mind as well as your body. Our communities offer ways for residents to challenge their minds and keep their pencils sharp with Lifelong Learning courses on subjects as varied as painting, Spanish, and the discoveries of the James Webb Space Telescope.


Continuing to learn new skills and information throughout life can have many important benefits for seniors. Here are some of the biggest benefits that come from continuing to learn as you age:

Improved Brain Function: Learning is an excellent way to keep your brain active and healthy. Studies have found that engaging in intellectually stimulating activities helps people stay mentally sharp, even as they get older. Challenging your mind with learning new skills can help reduce cognitive decline and improve memory recall, too.

More Self-Confidence: Taking on a new challenge like learning something new can give you a sense of accomplishment which can boost self-confidence and help you develop positive attitudes towards yourself. Learning something difficult or complex also creates an opportunity for growth, which can lead to enhanced self-esteem.

Greater Social Connections: Many educational opportunities involve socializing with others who share similar interests, providing an opportunity for seniors to make meaningful connections with their peers or other people in their community who may not be part of their immediate social circle. This could be through joining a club or attending workshops where people discuss different topics or work together on projects.

Improved Quality of Life: Lifelong learning has been linked with improved physical health outcomes such as reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, lower levels of stress, improved sleep patterns, increased energy levels and longevity overall – all factors that contribute towards enjoying a better quality of life overall!


Many of our communities have partnerships with local colleges and universities and even host courses on campus. In Tallahassee, St. Petersburg and Jacksonville, we have partnerships with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Florida State University, Eckerd College and the University of North Florida, for residents to attend these exceptional courses and even provide classrooms! Here are a sample of some of the interesting courses available for the upcoming summer and fall semesters:

  • “The James Webb Space Telescope: A Revolution in the Making,” at Westminster Oaks

Astronomy has been the driver of forefront science and technology, fascinating generations since the beginning of humanity. However, only now do we have the technology to answer fundamental questions: Are we alone in the Universe? What did the infant Universe look like? What is the origin of elements? What is the nature of the so-called Dark Energy? In this course, we will venture from our solar system to nearby stars, from our galaxies to the very beginning of the Universe. In the final lecture, back to earth, we will discuss the technical challenges to build the James Webb Space Telescope.

  • “Henry Ford and His Magic Model T,” at Westminster Suncoast

The name “Henry Ford” is one of the most recognizable in American History. He was not educated, not a brilliant automotive engineer nor was he the first American to build or sell cars. Ford was middle aged before he found the formula for success that made him the world’s richest man in his day. Henry Ford excelled at vision and leadership and created a machine that literally revolutionized the entire world. Join us as we examine the life of this often controversial patriarch of American Manufacturing.

  • “Martin Luther King Jr.: Warrior for Justice,” at Westminster Palms

Few individuals have impacted the thinking and behavior of a nation like the Rev. Martin Luther King. An outstanding student, he graduated from college at 18 and went on to attain his Ph.D. in 1955. King came to national prominence directing a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama and soon founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Arrested often and vilified by many, he persevered and became the greatest proponent of Civil Rights in American History but was murdered for his efforts in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968. The youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, his legacy as a champion of the rights of free peoples everywhere is literally incalculable.

  • “British Royal Life at a Very British Castle: Windsor,” at Westminster Shores

Explore England’s most famous castle and royal residence. What would a visit to a medieval castle in the 1350s be like? What would you wear? What would you eat? How would you be entertained? How do the royal family live in Windsor Castle now? Learn about Megan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding. What happens to prepare for a state banquet? Learn about the royal family’s peculiar ways to be thrifty. Explore the treasures of Windsor including Queen Mary’s dollhouse, Henry VIII’s suit of armor and the clothes that Napoleon wore the night before the battle of Waterloo.

We encourage residents to take full advantage of these educational resources so they can continue to learn new skills and information throughout life. With the right combination of self-motivation and dedication, anyone can enjoy the benefits associated with lifelong learning!

What to Get Mom for Mother’s Day Gifts When You Live Far Apart

Mother’s Day is a special time of year to show our moms how much we appreciate them, but that can be hard to do if you live far away. If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift for your Mom, we have some great ideas to help you show your love and appreciation from afar. Read on for some great Mother’s Day gift ideas that will bridge the distance between you and your Mom this year.


Whether your mom loves books, flowers, beauty products or wine, there are a variety of subscription boxes available that can help bring her joy each month. If your mom loves to read then why not get her a book subscription? Find a package that includes monthly selections tailored to suit your mom’s tastes. If your mom loves flowers, set up a delivery every month so she can enjoy fresh blooms all year round. And for those Mom’s who love a glass of wine after a long day, a monthly service can share samples along with pairing recommendations and recipes – perfect for a night in! No matter what interests or hobbies your Mom has, there is a subscription box that will fit her lifestyle perfectly. By signing up you can ensure that even when you’re far apart on Mother’s Day, you’ll be able to give her something special each month throughout the year.


If you’re constantly snapping photos of your family, but struggle to share them with Mom in a timely manner, this might be the gift for mom. If she’s not on social media, she may not be up-to-date with all your family developments and milestones like the rest of your followers. Share them with her using a digital frame. Simply use the app to upload your latest images for mom to view instantly. Share it with your siblings so they can contribute, too! She’ll feel connected to you no matter how far away you are.

But what if your mom prefers a physical copy? Create a book of photos using Chatbooks, Mixbook or Shutterfly to share your recent images. Build it right from your phone and send mom a bound album she can flip through any time.


If your mom is the best cook you know, a great way to show your love and appreciation might be to safeguard her favorite family recipes. Whether it’s a casserole you enjoyed as a family during the holidays or a homemade bread recipe your grandmother made when the zucchinis were ripe, these treasured recipes are often passed down through generations. To keep them around for many more years, consider creating an heirloom-quality recipe tin, cutting board, or tea towel using the recipe that can be displayed in her kitchen. No matter how far away she may be, sending one of these thoughtful gifts will show how much you appreciate the time spent making cherished family recipes together.


Video chatting has become an invaluable tool for staying connected with loved ones who are far away. Set up a time on Mother’s Day to video chat and enjoy a meal together like breakfast or lunch. By being in the same virtual space, even if it’s not in person, you’ll both feel more connected and create a special shared experience. Depending on where each of you are located, try matching up local dishes from each region that you both can enjoy during your conversation. This way she’ll get to experience something new and exciting while connecting with you!


This might be just what mom asked for. Greeting cards and a phone call are simple but meaningful gifts to give your Mom this Mother’s Day, even if you are far away. A phone call is a great way to connect with her, especially if you don’t get the chance to catch up as much as you’d like. For an extra special touch, send her a beautiful Love Pop greeting card that is sure to make your mom feel loved and appreciated from afar. There’s a card design for every kind of Mom out there, you can even send one that opens into a bouquet of flowers! This way she’ll have something tangible that she can keep and treasure forever – no matter how far away she may be.

From subscription boxes to video calls, you can find something that will make your mother feel special and loved even when you’re not in the same town. Do you already have a gift for your mom? How are you planning on showing your appreciation for her? Let us know in the comments!

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