What’s a Fidget Blanket?

A fidget blanket is a lap-size quilt that provides sensory and tactile stimulation for the restless hands of someone with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, such as ADD, or an autism spectrum disability. They are perfect for little kids, olders or anyone who gets a settled feeling by keeping their hands busy.

Recently a group of Student Volunteers from the University of Maryland Pharmacy School hosted a Fidget Blanket Workshop at Pickersgill Retirement Community.   14  residents participated by designing, sewing, embroidering and assembling fidget blankets.  The colorful creations featured zippers, ties, ribbon, strings, buttons, elastic, snaps, pom poms, braids and a variety of textures; smooth, ribbed, silky, fluffy and velvety.  With a goal of making 6 blankets to donate to Pickersgill residents who would like to have one, the project was not only extremely fun but also allowed participating residents to work with their hands, use the sewing machine, and interact with the dynamic pharmacy students.  Everyone involved agreed the project was such a success a second workshop is planned for next year.

Many thanks to the students, Dr. Brandt and the University of Maryland for planning and organizing the workshop.

The Birthday Party of the Century!

The Board of Directors of Pickersgill Retirement Community

honored  five residents at the

Annual Centenarian Tea


520 years of wisdom

There are five residents 100 years of age or older residing at Pickersgill.  Not only that, the ages of 3 of the 5 residents are:  103, 107 and… wait for it… 110!  In her welcoming remarks, board president, Faye Tully said, “the census bureau refers to our honored guests as the “super-aged,”  but those of us who know them just call them SUPER.”

What’s the secret to longevity?

“There isn’t any secret,” says 110 year-old Downing Kay. “You just live one day at a time. You take it as it comes.”

All of our centenarians expressed similar sentiments nevertheless they share a common, albeit unspoken, philosophy: engage as you age.  The daily activities of these five residents range from competition level scrabble matches, to participation in the Pickersgill writing group, to “taking the stairs” instead of the elevator. And above all, these residents are immersed in the social soul of Pickersgill Retirement Community.

Admissions director,  Janice Harris, is fond of saying “Life’s eternal at Pickersgill.”

And it’s practically true!  In the next twelve months three additional residents will celebrate the big 1-0-0, and right behind them are 46 residents who’s ages are between 95 -98.

Statistics compiled from Census Bureau data and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say:  In 1980 there were 2,194 Americans aged 100 or older;  in 2010 – 53,364  and  in 2014 – 72,197.  80 plus is the fastest growing age group in the country, and it’s likely many of us will live to celebrate our 100th birthday too.

The Staff, Board Members and Community Volunteers at Pickersgill Retirement Community were honored to be a part of this celebration. Happy birthday to Eleanor Bacon – age 100, Margaret Ford – age 103, Downing Kay – age 110, Albert Schnupp – age 100 and Linda Sennott – age 107. Very best wishes, and many happy returns.   [Tune in to Fox 45 TV on Thanksgiving Day to see a feature on our centenarians.]

(Finally!) Fall Fashion

Pickersgill residents and their guests packed the Willard Auditorium to see the latest trends for fall apparel at the annual TaylorMarie Fall Fashion Show – and it was not a moment too soon! Although the autumnal equinox occurred nearly eight weeks ago, the weather outside our doors here on Chestnut Avenue has just started to have a chilly bite. A warm (or very warm!) fall season is typical in Maryland and this year was no exception. One guest remarked, “I was playing golf in 80 degree weather last week,” and as if Mother Nature flipped a switch on the day of the fashion show, daytime temperatures dropped to a cool fifty degrees with downright frosty nights.

The Pickersgill fashionistas were ready to see some soft, cozy sweaters, fleecy vests and faux fur trimmed coats. The TaylorMarie collection delivered on all of that and more. One piece that got a lot of oohs and aahs was a beautiful plaid poncho, in shades of plum, grey and navy. Several looks, adorned with a bit of bling or shimmery metallic thread, would easily transition as great holiday attire, especially a red tartan tunic-style blouse that turned lots of heads.

After the runway show, Pickersgill ladies shopped for several hours, carefully choosing favorite ensembles with accessories to accent the looks. The runways of New York and Milan have nothing on the hallways of Pickersgill!

The runway!


Our models


The AWARD-WINNING Pickersgill Writing Group

It gives great pleasure to announce that eight members of the prolific Pickersgill Writing Group have received outstanding recognition for their work.  The Silver Pen Creative Writing Contest, presented by the Baltimore County Department of Aging, recognizes writing among adults age 60 and older. The theme of this year’s contest was Reimagine Aging.  Jane Seipp and Mernie Weathers were selected by the judges as finalists; and Jeanne Hansen, Pat Hoopes, June Kimmelshue, Bonnie Kramer, Carol Polk, and Charlotte Turadian received honorable mention ribbons.  Congratulations to these talented ladies, its exceptional to note they range from 90-98 years of age. Please read on to enjoy their work.

Follow the Pickersgill Writing Group on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pickersgillwriters/

and also on www.pickersgillwritinggroup.wordpress.com

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No tricks, ALL TREATS

Halloween at Pickersgill could constitute a “season” rather than a typical one day spooky celebration. From the lively resident activities planned for Halloween week to the whispered conversations regarding confidential costume plans, its excitement that’s palpable throughout the month of October.


Halloween Events:

— The students from Towson University’s Family Services Program host a fun night on each Wednesday with our residents. In October they were hard at work making Jack-O-Lantern Masks for the upcoming Halloween party.


— Our independent apartment residents opened their hearts and doors to little trick-or-treaters the Sunday before Halloween. The event, organized by Rhonda and Nece from food services, was for children and grandchildren of the Pickersgill residents, extended families and staff. Upon arrival, the costumed kids were sent on a trick or treat trail that lead them through the hallways of the apartments where residents were handing out candy. “We had a fantastic turnout,” said one resident, “nearly 60 children this year.”  The trail ended in the Grille where visiting families and residents mingled and enjoyed Halloween-themed refreshments. Rhonda noted, “It’s absolutely heartwarming to see kids and seniors coming together.”


— A nun, a witch, a pirate, a Baltimore Oriole, and a Campbell’s Soup can – what?? These were some of the clever costumes created by Pickersgill residents (and staff!) for the annual Halloween party. It took more than one look to recognize some of the well-disguised partiers. The Halloween eve afternoon party featured entertainment by DJ Jimmy Little and his two “Kick” sidekicks who had the guests dancing on the floor or in their seats. Peter Pan, his nemesis Captain Hook, Tink and the rest of the gang from Neverland wandered into the Auditorium during the party (perhaps from the PT suite.)  And no Pickersgill event would be complete without the beautiful, delicious snacks prepared by Rhonda and served by costumed staff and volunteers.

If you squint you can see them dancing on "The Buddy Deane Show."

Posted by Pickersgill Retirement Community on Tuesday, October 31, 2017


— Eat, drink and be scary! The always festive atmosphere at Happy Hour was even more spirited than usual on October 31!  Cruella De Vil, the Sun Maid Raisin Girl, Superman… and many more creatures and characters made an appearance.  Pickersgill residents and staff never miss an opportunity to scare up some fun!