Swampscott woman is the new director of Briarcliff Lodge

LYNN ? A Swampscott woman has been named director of Briarcliff Lodge, an adult daycare facility overlooking Sluice Pond.Heidi Whear will oversee the programs established in 1977 and operated by Lynn Community Elder Services, a private, non-profit agency providing services to seniors throughout the North Shore.”As a newcomer, I can honestly say that Briarcliff is a hidden jewel among adult day programs in our area,” said Whear. “So my biggest goal is to make the program better known to people throughout the North Shore as a warm, caring, home-away-from-home where your loved one can spend quality time, receive excellent care and health monitoring, and make friends, while you go about your day.” Briarcliff is unique in that it is the only program of its kind on the North Shore that offers two separate, fully-staffed programs under one roof: an adult “day away” program and a program designed for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, according to spokeswoman Margaret Gilligan.The program is certified by the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Association, Gilligan said.”As family members age, they can move from an active, energetic program into a more supervised one that offers activities designed to engage and nurture people with memory loss and more complex health issues, all within the same beautiful, familiar setting,” Whear explained.The recently renovated building features light-filled spaces with panoramic views of the pond from both levels. Briarcliff Lodge was built in the 1920s and originally served as a community dance hall, refreshment stand, and canoe rental center for the lakeside resort.Whear, who holds a master’s degree in public health, has extensive experience in primary health care delivery, community health education and screening, and community programming, as well as working with elders in a variety of positions. Most recently, she supervised an elderly health and exercise program in Everett and also worked with senior populations in upstate New York, where she was director of a home health agency.Whear previously developed programs for elderly residents in affordable housing communities throughout New England through the Caleb Foundation.”I’m humbled to be part of such a talented and passionate team of professionals,” Whear said of her new co-workers. “I feel very welcomed by both the staff and members who attend our programs.”For more information about Briarcliff Lodge, call (781) 598-4570.

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