Harrogate’s own “iHenry”… featured in the Asbury Park Press

Aug 07 2015

 Asbury Park Press (online) 8.6

 

 

 

 

 

From the Asbury Park Press, Friday, August 7, 2015

Seniors need tech help?

Call iHenry!

LAKEWOOD – Henry Parcell sat at the head of the table one July day and fielded questions. How do you get to the website? What’s a home page? How do you turn up the volume?

If they could figure it out, the opportunities were endless. They could video-chat with their children and grandchildren. They could post photos of their recent travels. They could play games and read the news and email their friends.

“I’m simply amazed and blown away by what it can do,” Parcell, 81, said. “If you want to stay up with the times, you have to be on it.”

Parcell, known here as iHenry, has become the go-to technology expert at Harrogate, a retirement community here, hosting workshops with his iPad-wielding neighbors.

What was significant during a recent visit both to Parcell’s apartment and the workshop he led, however, was what was missing. You didn’t hear any complaints about new-fangled devices or kids that didn’t know how to communicate or the world that is getting smaller and scarier by the day.

“You find people with common interests, and that keeps you engaged in life,” said Don Johansen, executive director of Harrogate. “The more engaged they get, the deeper friendships result from it.”

Parcell has lived here with his wife of 55 years, Pru, for a little more than a year. He owns: an iMac for his desk that he uses to keep track of records and finances; an iPad mini that he uses to read the news and keep track of his appointments; and an iPhone 6, along with 75 apps.

Henry Parcell, also known as “iHenry,” works with Jan Shannon and her iPad at the Harrogate senior village in Lakewood, Friday, July 17, 2015. (Photo: THOMAS P. COSTELLO)

Not a techie

There is nothing in his past to suggest he would become a techie. He was born in Plainfield during the Great Depression in 1933, came of age during World War II and spent his career selling baby and adult diapers.

His job took him on the road as many as 40 weeks a year. When he needed to make a call, he searched for a pay phone. When he got lost, he found a gas station, where the attendants always knew the directions. There was no Yelp to suggest restaurants or MLB.com to watch out-of-market baseball games.

He retired in 1995 – before the Internet was as vital as electricity. But three years later, he bought a Dell desktop computer to keep his personal records. Over and over, he found that technology made his life easier. When a new gadget came out, he embraced it, making regular visits to the Apple store at the Freehold Raceway Mall for pointers.

You can try to get him to talk about what’s been lost to technology – the personal interaction, the work ethic, spelling and grammar. But he won’t take the bait.

“Yes, they can talk, they can make sense, they can communicate,” Parcell said of the younger generation. “It’s just a different way of doing things. They’re using the tools of the time.”

‘You have to be patient’

To those gathered at his workshop, there is no sense fighting it. Jan Shannon, 77, has an iMac, an iPad, an iPhone, a Kindle and a Facebook page that’s filled with photos from her travels around the world. Hungary, Morocco, Hawaii, India.

Parcell is “very patient,” she said with a laugh. “You have to be patient.”

The tools of the times are changing in a blink. How do you keep up? Have a place where you jot down all of your passwords in case you forget them. And think about whether the new device is a want or a need, Parcell said.

“He keeps saying every other day, I’m going to get an (Apple) watch,” Pru Parcell said. “I say, ‘You don’t need a watch.’ ”

But by the end of the interview, it wasn’t clear who would win this particular debate.

“Do I need it? No,” Parcell said, smiling. “Do I want it? Yes.”

Michael L. Diamond; 732-643-4038; mdiamond@gannettnj.com

 

For a video, click here:

http://www.app.com/story/money/industries/technology/2015/08/06/seniors-technology/31210929/

 

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Party Time at Harrogate!

Jul 30 2015

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Welcome to a Garden Party

Jul 21 2015

2015 Garden Party 027 034 037Harrogate held it’s Fifth Annual Garden Party on July 17th.  The weather cooperated by giving us a gorgeous day and we had a bigger turnout than ever before with over 80 people in attendance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harrogate Hosts Seeing Eye Dogs

Mar 06 2015

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Barbara Semanchik and 7 of her four legged friends from the Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Program and the 4-H Youth Development Program presented an uplifting program to the Ladies of Harrogate.

Ms. Semanchik explained how the program works and what to expect if you choose to raise a puppy.  The youngest puppy that visited was 10 weeks old and the other pups ranged in age from 7 to 14 months.

The Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Program began in 1942.  It is a joint effort of The Seeing Eye, Inc. and the 4-H Youth Development Program.  The participants are as young as 9 years old and include adults.  The participants are required to attend puppy club meetings and activities.    The puppies are placed between 7 and 8 weeks of age.    The most important role of the puppy raiser is to show the puppy as much of the outside world as you can so the puppy can become accustomed to its future work environment.  Puppies are exposed to all elements of life so that they will not be intimidated by these things as Seeing Eye dogs. The dog will be returned to The Seeing Eye at about 12 to 15 months of age.  It is difficult to give the puppy back, but know that you have raised your puppy to enhance a blind person’s independence makes it worth the effort.

As anyone can imagine, the room was lit with smiling faces and these precious puppies stole the hearts of everyone involved!

 

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New Year’s Eve 2015

Dec 31 2014

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The Real “Way We Get Paid” at Harrogate

Dec 02 2014

At Harrogate, we get paid time and time again by our residents, who show us that working with seniors and hearing their stories is far more meaningful than receiving a salary. We’re lucky to have kind and caring residents who show us how fun and active retirement can be.

Last month, Harrogate was invited to attend the annual LeadingAge conference in Nashville, where leaders in senior services met to discuss the future of the industry. Executive Director Don Johansen attended, and was so inspired by his experience that he shared it with everyone at Harrogate.

During a general session, LeadingAge and a major business partner Sodexo announced a new and unique way to remind all conference attendees why we do what we do every day. Because this year’s conference was in Nashville, a tribute to senior retirees in the form of a song seemed quite appropriate. The project was put together by local singer-songwriter Lionel Cartwright, and the lyrics were chosen from those who work in the field of senior living. The song, “The Way We Get Paid,” tells the story of why we love and value our careers in senior care so much.

The lyrics included stories about residents, including one who received his diploma at 80; a great-grandmother sharing her parenting skills with a younger generation; and a pilot who still takes to the skies.

Here at Harrogate, we understand and share this same passion for helping seniors thrive in retirement. Whether it’s regular social outings, a dog park or a special family recipe, we make sure our residents have access to exactly what they need to have the retirement they desire.

Listen to the song and let us know what you think!

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The R.O.M.E.O.s’ Special Evening

Nov 22 2014

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The Harrogate R.O.M.E.O.’s (Retired Older Men Eating Out) enjoy regularly scheduled trips to local eating establishments for lunch and comradery; however, once a year they are treated to an extraordinary evening of fine dining.

Our Executive Chef, Joe Alonzo, prepares a very special dinner, accompanied by a distinctive wine with each serving and followed by an outdoor sampling of fine cigars.

This year the menu was as follows:

Pumpkin Ale Bisque with frizzled shallots and honey mustard crumbs

Rainbow Microgreen Salad featuring petite heirloom tomatoes, oven roasted grapes, radish, chili candied bacon, raps flower blossom honey and clementine golden balsamic vinaigrette

Buffalo Mozzarella Ravioli with a roasted pepper and whiskey blush sauce and Australian black chia seeds

Butcher Cut Veal Chop & Jumbo Stuffed Shrimp served with red wine reduction & lobster and crab saffron stuffing, Shiitake Mushroom Risotto and Amber Maples Glazed Carrots

Caramel Bread Pudding covered in drunken apples, vanilla ice cream and Applejack amaretto honey sauce

If you, or anyone you know is a R.O.M.E.O.,  why not become a member of the Harrogate family so you don’t miss the next one?

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“Dancing Waters” in Polly’s Pool

Nov 22 2014

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The Mermaids and the Flower Girls of Harrogate, two synchronized swimming teams at Harrogate, recently presented an amazing program in our own “Polly’s Pool.”  There were over 100 audience members in attendance and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the “Dancing Waters” program.

The teams performed together for “Blue Hawaii” and “Tiny Bubbles.”  The Move and Groove exercise group did a hula demonstration to “Girl in a Little Grass Shack.”  The closing number was “Aloha Oe.”

Door prizes were awarded and Hawaiian refreshments and music were provided following the program in our beautiful dining room.

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Thank you to our Veterans

Nov 18 2014

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It was a beautiful day for a parade here in Ocean County and Harrogate was pleased to honor our Veterans with a very moving tribute.  The Lakehurst Naval Base Color Guard, the Foundation Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps led the parade, followed by Bagpiper and Drum, Scot Butts and Jim Doyle.  Karen Argabright, from the Disabled American Veterans gave an eloquent speach, along with our Executive Administrator, Don Johanson.  Taps were played by Joseph Przebieglec.    Our Veterans represented the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy.  The program closed with everyone singing “God Bless America.”

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Harrogate’s Halloween Spooktacular

Nov 12 2014

The annual tradition of Halloween at Harrogate seems to get better and better every year.  Between the ingenious costumes and creative pumpkins, the judges had their hands full deciding on the winners!  Everyone is a winner to the residents of Harrogate as they cheer on the incognito parade of employees and residents in our Clark Auditorium, which was transformed into a haunted forest!

 

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