THIS RETIREMENT COMMUNITY FOCUSES ON CARE & COMPASSION
OCEAN City is amusements and Johnson’s Popcorn, teenagers getting their ‘tan time’ on the beach, and parents taking advantage of family time. The island has a little something for everyone, and as families age and grow, individuals tend to look deeper into the community for additional support.
Fortunately, the United Methodist Communities at The Shores, a retirement community on 22nd and Bay, focuses on specialized accommodation for those who prioritize their freedom, health, and faith, and also find comfort in Ocean City itself.
Following the Civil War, UMC developed in response to the increased demand for Methodist housing. For the past 112 years, the non-profit organization has aided in supporting seniors of all religions, backgrounds, and necessary assistance.
With tremendous growth over time, the mission and purpose remain the same.
“We have always been, and continue to be extremely focused on compassion, serving the community, and helping others live an abundant life through their biblical roots,” said Jim Zauner, The Shores executive director.
For The Shores, the “one-way-fits-all” approach does not exist, rather each member of the community has their own personalized plan based on their wellness.
“As one progresses in their life, needs may shift. This is why we find it so important to have support on both ends of the spectrum. To ensure we are well suited to provide, we work as a team to customize a program for each member,” said Jim. “Prior to admittance, our nurse and residential living director will administer assessments to best estimate the proper environment. With this, the interdisciplinary team, along with our chefs will collaborate to understand and tend to the different requirements. It takes a village, but it’s how we make sure we do things right.”
Delivering proper care relates to not only the initial preparation, but the assistance following admittance. Fortunately, the organization implements several services that range from standard assisted living to intense healthcare.
“The variety in what we offer is valuable, because there is a spot for everyone,” said Jim. “We have our full-service community where help is provided where they see best. A lot of the community is extremely independent and live a very normal life. They have cars and come and go as they please. Clearly this program is not for everyone, but it is good to give freedom to those who can manage it.”
As specific individuals require more attention, services can intensify to ensure proper support.
“Assisted living plus pertains to a higher level of care, where individuals are placed in smaller areas to avoid physical strain,” said Jim. “Within this we offer memory care, working with those who struggle with any level of memory loss. As for general health care, we provide post-acute care, such as rehab, to more extreme levels of assistance like hospice.”
Although these services are highly valued, the environment The Shores’ staff works to create and maintain is one of the most special aspects of the organization.
“A very important piece of my job is listening and factoring in our members preferences,” said Jim. “We steer this ship together, so we are not only fulfilling our mission, but creating an exciting experience for all.”
The safe and caring reputation The Shores has upheld plays a large part in why new members join the community, and current ones stay.
In addition, the connection to Ocean City helps the community feel a little more at home.
“Some of our members love that we are located here, because it reminds them of where they vacationed in past years,” said Jim. “We have a few individuals that have always planned to join The Shores once the time came, because they never wanted to leave the area.”
The United Methodist Communities is a non-profit organization; therefore their foundations are an integral part of success. The funding not only supports the residents, but also allows for improvement in the facility itself.
“The goal is to continue evolving,” said Jim. “In the next couple of years, we are looking to accommodate the changing needs of our members, remain a place where people feel safe and welcomed, and provide a beautiful life to those who trust us to do so.”
To learn more for a loved one, yourself, or to donate visit The Shores website at www.umcommunities.org/theshores/lifestyle.
Photos provided by The Shores.
Find this and more in the September/October issue of OC Mag