Casino Night is a Winner at Harrogate

Mar 05 2014

Welcome to Casino Night!!








On Fat Tuesday evening, the Clark Auditorium was transformed and Harrogate was buzzing with excitement.  The official games of chance were running nonstop with a standing room only crowd enjoying the Mardi Gras themed Casino Night.   The dedicated wait staff, in their Mardi Gras attire,  served soda, beer, wine and our own signature punch; along with hot and cold hors d’oeurves, cheese and fruit and so much more.    Residents, guests and staff enjoyed the games for several hours, after which they traded in their winnings for tickets.  The prize table was filled with gorgeous gift baskets and other fantastic prizes.  Management Staff ended the evening pulling tickets for each prize and delighting close to 30 winners!!


It was standing room only around the Money Wheel manned by our fabulous Activities Management.

It was standing room only around the Money Wheel manned by our fabulous Activities Management.












There were four Black Jack tables with professional dealers and Mardi Gras "partyers!!"

There were four Black Jack tables with professional dealers and Mardi Gras “partyers!!”









Some serious black jack








The Craps table!

The Craps table!










The gorgeous Prize table!

The gorgeous Prize table!








Time to give away some prizes!

Time to give away some prizes!

Winners!!  Louise Z and Helen G

Winners!! Louise Z and Helen G



















Way to go Janell!  The big Winner!

Way to go Janell! The big Winner!










Bruce S, Resident "Overseer"!!

Bruce S, Resident “Overseer”!!



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Harrogate Employees S.C.O.R.E.!

Feb 04 2014









Welcome to the Tailgate Party!









The EAGLES were the winning team in Harrogate’s SCORE employee customer satisfaction program. SCORE (standing for Smile, Courtesy, Ownership, Respect, and Exceeding Expectations) has been an ongoing program since September, 2013. Employees were randomly and anonymously assigned to different fantasy football teams which were not revealed until the end of the program was approaching. Employees were nominated for Touchdowns, MVPs and Pro-Bowlers by their peers, supervisors and the Residents of Harrogate by going out of their way to provide the best personal attention to every detail of daily life at our beautiful community.

Not only did the winners receive accolades at the monthly All Resident Meetings, but each received cash awards in their paychecks as well!  The team with the most points earned turned out to be the Eagles and this team, along with anyone who was awarded during the four month program, was invited to the SCORE Tailgate Party this past Friday before the SuperBowl.  And what a great party it was!

We had pulled pork, hot dogs, hot wings, fried chicken, nachos and all the traditional tailgate party fare. We were even treated to a special tray featuring a chocolate football and other homemade treats made by our own staff member, Sharon.

Not only is Harrogate a wonderful place to live, it is a workplace like no other!!




Our Executive and Associate Excecutive Directors were such good sports!!








Bean bag toss








A winner








another winner
















Specialty Chocolates!



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Ringing in 2014!!

Jan 03 2014

Harrogate's Holiday Entrance









Harrogate’s residents and guests celebrated the New Year in style.  After a scrumptious surf and turf dinner, it was time to party!  With live entertainment, an open bar and both hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, the largest crowd ever  to attend our New Year’s Eve Party celebrated in style.

As you can see from the photos, this was a very festive evening.    Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year wishes from the entire Harrogate family!

Dancing the night away








Happy New Year!!








Conga Line











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Honoring our Veterans

Nov 13 2013

The sun shines brightly on Harrogate's Annual Veteran's Day ceremony as the flags fly in the crisp breeze.

The sun shines brightly on Harrogate’s Annual Veteran’s Day ceremony as the flags fly in the crisp breeze.













Harrogate continued our annual tradition of honoring our Veterans.  A parade began at 2:00 pm on Veteran’s Day in the bright sunshine beginning with the Lakehurst Naval Base Color Guard and The Foundation Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps.  The program was opened with a prayer by Dr. George Kelsey, from First Baptist Church in Toms River; followed by heartfelt words from our Executive Director, Don Johansen.   Lakewood Mayor Albert Akerman gave a moving speech and Harrogate’s own resident, Colonel Ed Fleming, United States Air Force led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.  The “Star Spangled Banner” was beautifully performed by Amy Shimmin and another Harrogate resident, Captain Bruce Suter, United States Army (Retired) led the Wreath Ceremony.  Bagpiper and drummer, Scott Butts and Jim Doyle, performed “Amazing Grace”; and Taps were played by Joseph Przebieglec, along with “God Bless America.”

Thank you, from Harrogate, to all our brave Military.


Colonel Ed Fleming, United States Air Force




















































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Harrogate’s Halloween Extravaganza

Nov 01 2013

Master of Ceremonies, Don "Hugh" Johansen Kicks off the Celebration

Master of Ceremonies, Don “Hugh” Johansen Kicks off the Celebration










Last Halloween, Super Storm Sandy caused us to cancel our annual tradition of a spectacular celebration at Harrogate, so this year we made up for lost time!  There were over thirty costumed characters in the parade and the crowd experienced quite a treat.

Master of Ceremonies, Don “Hugh” Johansen, our Executive Director, opened the show as each contestant paraded before the panel of judges and the spectators.  There was a pumpkin decorating contest and after the program, punch, apple cider and donuts were served.

Prizes were awarded for the best costumes and the most creative pumpkins.


Flamingo dancers

Flamingo dancers

A winning "Experiment Gone Bad"

A winning “Experiment Gone Bad”

Rocky and his trainer grandson

Rocky and his trainer grandson

Happy Red Sox Fan

Happy Red Sox Fan



































Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow and, of course, the Wicked Witch... one of the winners!

Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow and, of course, the Wicked Witch… one of the winners!

Expectant floozy

Expectant floozy

The Phantom of the Organ...

The Phantom of the Organ… a winning costume.

President and his secret service entourage

President and his secret service entourage



































Window Shopping....

Window Shopping…. a la Carol Burnett as Scarlet O’Hara








Our esteemed panel of Judges

Our esteemed panel of Judges










The pumpkins on parade...

The pumpkins on parade…

A full house!!

A full house!!

More of the crowd...

More of the crowd…

Just before the crowd arrives....

Just before the crowd arrives….

The dessert table awaits

The dessert table awaits

You can run... but you can't hide!

You can run… but you can’t hide!







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Oct 03 2013

by Dr. Len Lecci, Director of Clinical Services for MARS Memory-Health Network and Professor of Psychology at University of North Carolina, Wilmington

In the last ten to fifteen years, there have been many significant changes in the battle against memory disorders including several pharmacological treatments and more recently brain training exercises. Regardless of the approach used to treat these memory-related disorders, all of the data clearly indicates that the earlier one begins to intervene the more effective it is.

Why, you ask? Medications and treatments available today work to preserve the brain. The further a patient is into a memory disorder, the fewer healthy brain cells there are left to preserve. A 2005 study explained that beginning treatment early (using a cholinesterase inhibitor) resulted in about an eight year delay in admissions to nursing homes (Lopez et al., 2005), so there are some very real benefits for early detection and treatment.

Since our current medical system is not designed to facilitate the identification of subtle memory loss at its earliest stages, below are some ways to increase the chance for early detection:

  • Memory Baseline Testing – When someone has their memory tested when they are still functioning normally (or near-normal), this is called a baseline. A baseline is a standard of comparison that is uniquely established for you.  It helps determine if there are changes in your memory when compared to future evaluations of your memory.
  • Memory Check-ups – Once a baseline is established, regular memory check-ups are used to connect the “dots” and predict where your memory will go in the future (a lot like the meteorologist’s tracking of a hurricane). The important question with regard to tracking your memory changes over time is whether the pattern of change over time differs significantly from that associated with normal aging.
  • Are you at risk? Know the Pre-existing Conditions – In keeping with the hurricane analogy, there are other conditions that can lead to a hurricane forming, such as warm waters, air flow, competing storm systems, and the like. For memory problems, the conditions that increase the likelihood that one will develop a memory problem include a family history for memory disorders (dementia), the presence of other health problems (e.g., high blood pressure or cholesterol), a family history of memory disorders, and most importantly, age. As an example, research indicates that having a parent with early onset dementia (i.e., diagnosed before the age of 65) results in a 48% chance of developing dementia in the children. Obviously, this along with age, are especially strong risk factors, but all of the risk factors are important.

We can combine the data from memory check-ups with these conditions (age, family history, etc.) and predict a person’s likelihood for developing a problem that might need treatment. The vast majority of those who get tested will have a low likelihood of developing a memory problem. These individuals will get the peace of mind that comes with knowing their memory is functioning normally and that experts are monitoring it. For some, a memory problem may be present in its early stages or suspected in the future. These individuals will get the benefit of detecting the problem at the earliest possible stage and therefore treating it as effectively as possible.

Twenty years ago, there were few treatment options for those with dementia. Today, we have options, but the vast majority of those in need either never get them, or they get them too late. This is why the early detection of memory problems is now critical. Some obstacles still remain though. One of the biggest of these is that insurance companies do not currently cover the cost of memory check-ups (unless the test is identified as a medical necessity). There are two ways to overcome these obstacles:

  • Encourage everyone to take the responsibility for their own brain’s health and to get a memory check-up.
  • Encourage the medical community and insurance companies to formally recognize precursors of memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease as a diagnosis and cover the cost of memory check-ups so that people can get help when they would benefit most.

Our memories help to define who we are, and preserving these memories is essential to a good quality of life. Take the time to get educated about your memory and what you can do to preserve it.

Dr. Lecci will present a version of this article to Ocean County residents at Harrogate Retirement Community on October 17, 2013. For more information about similar events at Harrogate, please visit or call 877-493-3165.

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Our 25th Anniversary Gala

Jul 15 2013












Every July, the Harrogate family has a “Founder’s Day Ball” in our beautiful Clark Auditorium.  This year is extra special and our “25th Anniversary Gala” was an evening we will never forget.  Fred Lahotay and the Melody Men provided the music for residents and staff who danced the night away.  Don Johansen, Executive Director, made a beautiful toast to the Harrogate family — past, present and future — as everyone lifted their commemorative glasses of pink champagne.  Guests, dressed in their finest, were treated to professional, framed portraits as a remembrance of this very special evening.

Delicious Appetizers








Dancing the night away








Grand Dessert Presentation by the wait staff








Hats off to Harrogate















Here's to 25 more!









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Your Health and Your Brain (part 2)

Jul 12 2013

The previous article explored how gaming can impact and increase one’s cognitive abilities.

Another way to encourage mental stimulation, build brain reserve (synaptic density) and engage in socialization is by participating in the arts – dancing, theatre, painting, sculpting, music and knitting.

The Arts and Your Brain

In 1997, Don Campbell published “The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind and Unlock the Creative Spirit,” which popularized Alfred A. Tomatis’ approach of using Mozart’s music to stimulate the brain and attempt to cure various disorders. Additional research during the mid-1990s found that listening to Mozart’s music temporarily improved spatial intelligence and temporal reasoning.

Since then researchers have continued to study the benefits of participating in the arts and its impact on the brain.

Most recently, according to a study published in 2012 by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, cited in a Huffington Post article, children who learned to play an instrument experienced less of a decline in brain function as they aged. The study demonstrated that adults who had played an instrument for at least 10 years performed better in memory and cognitive ability tests, and stated that those who continued or picked an instrument back up in adulthood appeared to improve their cognitive abilities.

“Behaviors can change your brain,” states Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, Emory University assistant professor and lead author of the study. “Musical activity requires years of practice and is a challenging cognitive exercise.”

Additionally, the same article cites a PBS documentary entitled “Arts & the Mind,” which explores various visual and performing arts programming and its mental impact on children and adults. The documentary focuses on the “use it or lose it” concept and makes claims that dance can help ward off dementia.

“Evidence says that participation in dance programs reduces the rate of the development of dementia by maybe 75 percent,” states Peter Davies, Neuroscientist at New York’s Albert Einstein Medical Center.

Gerry Richman, executive producer of Arts & the Mind, continues “Arts that combine physical as well as mental acuity are the best in terms of keeping the aging mind going, which is why dance appears to have such potent benefits.”

Arts and Alzheimer’s

The arts are also proving to be beneficial for people who have already developed Alzheimer’s and dementia. Through art therapy programs caregivers and healthcare professionals are finding that art can provide the following benefits:

  • A way to communicate and express feelings;
  • Utilizes other areas of the brain;
  • Encourages socialization and decreases isolation, depression and loneliness;
  • Promotes relaxation, which can improve behavior and mood;
  • Improve relationships with loved ones.

Museums, like the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan, are tailoring programs to meet the needs of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. In Reconnecting Through Art,” Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian follow a small group of individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s through the Rubin Museum of Art. Below are some of the caregiver’s comments from the article:

  • “She’s alert for longer periods during the day, her walking is better, her responsiveness to stimuli around her in the home is better. It’s as though she’s been energized,” said Ms. Bedrosian Richardson, who was referencing her 90-year-old mother with late stages of dementia.
  • “I don’t get out, ever. I don’t leave him. And here’s something we can do together. This is a way for us both do something together that’s fun, that he enjoys,” states Nancy Hano, 64, with her 87-year old partner.

Other Brain Benefits from Art

According to, here are some additional mental health benefits from participating in art:

  • Stimulates creativity imagination and enhances creative skills;
  • Makes one more observant by concentrating on the details of environment;
  • Enhances problem solving skills and encourages out-of-the-box thinking;
  • Boosts self-esteem and provides a sense of accomplishment.

Art in Action

At Harrogate, our residents are involved in a myriad of visual and performing art programs including choir, Zumba, art classes, opera presentations and dances.

Additionally, Harrogate residents have taken trips to Museum of Natural History, Museum of Art, 911 Memorial in NYC and Sight & Sound Theatre. Most recently, a group of our resident artists submitted their artwork for the Ocean County College Senior Art Exhibit. Check out the gallery below to view pictures from the event.

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Harrogate Continues Yearly Support For Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey and Toms River Kiwanis

Jul 10 2013

Earlier this year, Harrogate showed its continued support by sponsoring the 13th Annual Caring Classic Golf Outing and the Toms River Kiwanis Daybreak’s 22nd Annual River to Bay 5k. For the past 20 years Harrogate has supported these local community events, and displayed its commitment in assisting the organizations in reaching their missions.

“Every year the Harrogate community looks forward to participating in the Caring Classic Golf Outing and the Kiwanis River to Bay 5k,” states Don Johansen, Executive Director of Harrogate. “As a not for profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of seniors, we believe it is important to support other community non profit organizations that share our passion of bettering the greater Ocean County community.”

The Caring Classic Golf Outing is the largest annual fundraiser for The Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey’s and has been present in the community for 13 years. This year, 97 golfers including 25 teams of four competed at Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Lakewood, N.J., raising over $30,000. These funds will go towards CVCJ’s mission to providing vital services to senior citizens allowing them to remain independent in their own homes.

For the past 20 years, Caregivers Volunteers of Central Jersey has been supporting and assisting seniors and caregivers of Central Jersey. This interfaith, nonprofit agency provides transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping and relief for caregivers. The annual Caring Classic Golf Outing raises funds to provide training, insurance and background checks for all volunteers in order to ensure safe services.

“The Annual Caring Classic Golf Outing creates awareness for The Caregivers Volunteers of Central Jersey and allows for a great fundraising opportunity, giving us the ability to raise funds to properly train our future volunteers,” states Lynette Whiteman, Executive Director of CVCJ. “It is wonderful to have the continued encouragement and aid of Harrogate for the past years.”

Toms River Kiwanis Daybreak’s Annual River to Bay 5k is a yearly Spring fundraiser. This year, approximately 500 participants helped the non-profit organization raise money for local charities. Harrogate made a donation of 850 water bottles for the participants to stay hydrated during and after the race.

The Toms River Kiwanis Daybreak has been sponsoring and participating in various community projects since 1990 in order to support the children of Toms River. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.

“Working together, Kiwanis members achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. When you help improve a community or give a child a chance to learn, experience, dream and succeed, great things happen,” states Tricia Passuth, Daybreak President. “Without continued support from partners such as Harrogate, we would not be able to accomplish our goal of supporting our community.”

For more information about Harrogate, please visit or call 877-493-3165.

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Harrogate Expands Partnership with Ocean County College

Jun 25 2013

Harrogate recently announced that it has developed a new partnership agreement with Ocean County College, an accredited, coeducational, two-year public, community college.

As a part of the agreement, Harrogate will serve as an off-site conference space for Ocean County College’s Academy for Lifelong Learning program. Additionally, the senior living community will sponsor senior-related Ocean County College events, and the two organizations will look to develop programming to encourage multigenerational education programs.

“We are excited about the expansion of our partnership with Ocean County College,” states Don Johansen, Executive Director of Harrogate. “Over the past several years, OCC has developed a reputation for education excellence within the Ocean County community, and we look forward to working with the college to develop programming to further educational aspirations across all generations.”

To kick-off the renewed partnership, Harrogate participated in the Ocean County College’s 38th Annual Senior Artist Expo, which attracted 153 senior artists within the Ocean County area. Among those artists were 11 Harrogate residents, who submitted a variety of artwork including water colors and oils to be judged. The artwork will remain on display for public viewing at OCC’s Art & Community Center gallery until June 26, 2013.

Additionally, Harrogate will host OCC’s Academy of Lifelong Learning’s Summer Senior Symposium, which will take place in Harrogate’s Clark Auditorium from July 22-24, 2013. The three-day symposium will feature a variety of seminars on topics including:
- The Present Middle East, Challenges and the Case of Egypt with Dr. Maysa Hayward
- A Portrait of Lakewood’s Orthodox Community with Dr. Ali Botein-Furrevig
- What is Health Information Technology? How Does it Affect You? with John Knight
- Climate Change, Is It Really Happening? with Dr. Robert J. Hodges
- Social Media, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly with Donna Parsons

“Harrogate has been an active supporter of Ocean County College and its Academy of Lifelong Learning for several years,” states Dr. Jon Larson, President of Ocean County College. “With this renewed partnership, we hope to continue to further our missions of providing educational opportunities to all throughout the Ocean County community.”

For more information about the Harrogate and OCC partnership or the Summer Senior Symposium, please visit our website or call 877-493-3165.

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