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Waltonwood Lake Boone watch room

Two residents at Waltonwood Lake Boone, a premier senior living community, recently had a very special celebration. Delmiro Bueno and Jacqueline Murray just so happen to be in-laws living at the same senior living community, and their mutual granddaughter, Faith Murray, got married! Since the seniors were unable to attend the ceremony due to COVID-19, Waltonwood Lake Boone helped them celebrate with their family virtually.

Waltonwood associates set up a live stream in the community's theater room so the residents could watch their granddaughter marry Anton Baeza in a private ceremony in Raleigh. The residents dressed in their wedding best and sat socially distant while they enjoyed a special wedding treat from the culinary team at the community and a sparkling beverage. The senior living community knew how much the residents wanted to see their granddaughter get married, so they did all they could to bring the wedding to them!

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Chelsea Gray, new marketing manager at Waltonwood

Waltonwood Lake Boone (a premier senior living community) is pleased to announce Chelsea Gray as its new marketing manager. Gray brings more than six years of senior living experience to her new position. She previously spent two years at a sister community, Waltonwood Cary Parkway. Gray will play a strategic role within Waltonwood Lake Boone. Her goal is to meet and exceed company expectations and ensure the needs of each resident and individual in the community are met. She has a deep passion for providing seniors with a greater quality of life and is looking forward to working in the three areas of senior living Waltonwood Lake Boone offers: independent living, assisted living, and memory care.

“I am excited for the opportunity to continue my career with Waltonwood at its Lake Boone location,” said Gray. “With the retirement of former Marketing Manager Gail Honeycutt, I know I have big shoes to fill. She was with the company for more than a decade and really made an impact on associates and residents. I knew moving to Lake Boone was a wonderful career opportunity. I have a goal of one day being part of a team that opens a new community, and what better way than to learn from a group of professionals who successfully opened Lake Boone nearly two years ago. Waltonwood is a one-of-a-kind company, and I am proud to continue my career with them. The team has been welcoming, and I know we will work well and achieve our goals together.”

Gray’s senior living experience started in college. She worked part-time for her aunt at a community in Northern Virginia. As she continued her studies and working at the community, she knew this was the right career path for her. She fell in love with making a difference in seniors’ lives and wanted to show families what good senior living looks like. After graduating with a public health studies degree from East Carolina University, she worked in marketing at two senior living companies before making the move to Waltonwood. Executive Director Allison O’Shea knows Gray is the perfect fit for the role.

“We’re excited to welcome Chelsea to the Waltonwood Lake Boone family,” said Allison O’Shea, executive director. “She possess the passion, talent and experience to help us redefine retirement living and ensure that seniors find the best fit at our community. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and I know she will ensure seniors in Raleigh receive the quality care and lifestyle they deserve.”

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Fathers Day putting at Waltonwood Lake Boone

Waltonwood Lake Boone, a premier senior living community, hosted a putt putt competition for all the dads at the community in celebration of Father’s Day. Health safety is still a huge concern during the pandemic, which means Father’s Day looks a bit different than it normally would with families and hugs, but Waltonwood Lake Boone found a way to make it as normal as it can be: a classic golf day for dad.

The senior living community set up their own little putt putt paradise right in the courtyard! The honored fathers at Lake Boone played a rousing round, while their competition was spaced safely apart by at least 6ft in distance. This event provided a safe yet familiar activity for residents this Father’s Day.

“We’re happy to be able to give our residents a little taste of normalcy for Father’s Day,” says Allison O’Shea, executive director at Waltonwood Lake Boone. “While we’re still working hard to ensure the health of our residents during this time, a big part of senior care includes physical activity and social time, and a bit of golf helps meet all of those components for well-rounded care. This is definitely one of the most fun events we’ve been able to put together for them.”

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Waltonwood Lake Boone, a premier senior living community in Raleigh, decided to show its residents a good time by hosting a bubble party on their balconies! Waltonwood passed out bottles of bubbles, turned on the tunes and called residents out to their balconies for the party. The residents were active and dancing, showing off their moves while blowing massive bubbles into the courtyard! After all, what's a good party without dancing and some decor?

The community was looking for a fun and creative way to keep residents engaged, and knew bubbles would do the trick! Some residents blew bubbles as big as their heads! Others used little handheld bubble-blowing toys to get as many bubbles in the air as possible, sending beautiful, shining bubbles up into the air and over to other sides of the community. These bubbles told the residents "Hey, neighbor! We're all still here and doing well! Let's enjoy this day!"

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Do you celebrate every month of knowing your true love? Well that’s exactly what Ida and Russell Halsted – residents at Waltonwood Lake Boone – do. While they celebrate their yearly anniversary, they also take time each month to celebrate the exact day they got married because it means so much to them. The couple met around Memorial Day weekend in 2007 while they were both getting their oil changed. Ida was divorced and Russell was a widow. When Russell walked in, he saw Ida sitting down reading the paper and decided to start a conversation with her. The conversation went so well, he knew he wanted to go on a date with her. He was heading out of town to visit family, so he got her number and promised a date when he returned. Fast forward about five weeks, the duo went out on their first date and felt an instant connection. The rest is history. Less than a year later the couple said “I do” on June 19, 2008.

“I never thought I would get married again or have a serious partner, but then I met Russell and my life changed,” said Ida Halsted. “I honestly thought he couldn’t be real because he was the perfect man. At first all I did was flirt because I had never met anyone like him before. He was a worthy person to love, and I knew I wanted him to be in my life. We built our relationship around honesty and trust. I never thought I would meet my true love while getting my oil changed, but I am so thankful I did.”

To honor their love, Ida and Russell celebrate the 19th of every month. Whether it’s going to a movie, out to eat or Russell writing a personal poem to his bride, they find ways to recognize the commitment they made to one another more than a decade ago. This month, the couple will have a double celebration as they celebrate Valentine’s Day as well. Russell says he knows they will never have a 50-, 60- or 70-year anniversary, that’s why it’s important to show how much they love one another every single day.

“It’s important to honor the love you have for one another as often as possible, that’s why we celebrate our love every month and not just on our anniversary,” said Russell Halsted. “This month we will celebrate 140 months together as a married couple, and they’ve been the best months of my life. We are still planning how we will celebrate, but now we devote our days to staying active at Waltonwood Lake Boone and showing how much we love each other each day. We do go through ups and downs, but if you remember to never go to bed angry at each other you will have a successful marriage and life.”

“Ida and Russell have an undeniable love that is evident in how they act and treat each other,” said Allison O’Shea, executive director at Waltonwood Lake Boone. “Their love story is inspiring and gives hope to those who are looking for a lifelong partner. We love seeing them together while at the community and know they will have a wonderful Valentine’s Day celebration, as well as honoring 140 months together. They are truly amazing people, and their story reminds us that love conquers all.”


To celebrate the upcoming holidays, Waltonwood Lake Boone, a premier senior living community, is inviting the public to its “Home for the Holidays” open house on Wednesday, December 4 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the senior living community (located at 3550 Horton Street). In addition to fun, seasonal interactive cooking demonstrations and various cooking stations, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy numerous holiday activities, meet the staff and tour the community. This special event is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in attending the open house is asked to RSVP by calling 984-232-0528.

“The Home for the Holidays open house will be a fun and interactive event for people of all ages to enjoy,” said Bryan Minton, culinary services director. “We will have an array of tasty foods that will tickle the taste buds of residents and guests. We are always looking for new ways to showcase what it means to redefine senior living, and our unique, seasonal menu does that. We pride ourselves in serving fresh food with local ingredients. We perform tableside cooking demonstrations and present weekly live-action stations for residents to enjoy. We hope the public stops by  to see firsthand how the culinary program works and why people are choosing to call Waltonwood home.”

Residents and guests will be able to taste delicious food, such as pimento cheese stuffed olives, crostini with ricotta, prosciutto and honey, as well as bacon, mushroom and spinach pierogis, a charcuterie display and much more. Waltonwood Lake Boone has a dedicated pastry chef, who will show off sweet treats too. Waltonwood Lake Boone understands food is a major part of the residents’ everyday lives and prides themselves on serving quality food that doesn’t compromise flavor. This is the second year the senior living community has hosted the open house event.

“We are excited to invite the public to our community and showcase our culinary talent,” said Allison O’Shea, executive director. “We have a dedicated pastry chef, which sets us apart from other senior living communities. Dining at Waltonwood is much more than eating a meal, it’s a true culinary experience. We had a fantastic turnout last year, and I know this year will also be a success. We are excited for the public to experience our warm atmosphere, meet our friendly staff and learn what it’s like to call our community home.”

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October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to increase awareness and raise money for research Waltonwood Lake Boone, a premier senior living community, is hosted “The Fairy” from Finklepott’s Original Fairy Hair Magic to give seniors pink Fairy Hair. The magical sparkle hair is a unique way for the community to involve the residents while raising money for 1 of Us, a Raleigh-based non-profit that helps women who are undergoing breast and other gynecological cancers. Seniors who didn’t want to receive Fairy Hair had the option to color their hair pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“We host several programs during the month of October to support Breast Cancer Awareness, but this year we wanted to do something different to engage the residents at Waltonwood Lake Boone,” said Shelly Levin, life enrichment manager. “We have several ladies who already have pink hair and they were thrilled to add a little sparkle to it. Fairy Hair is 100 percent safe, non-toxic and heat resistant. It takes a few minutes to fuse the strands of regular hair with the Fairy Hair, and it could last for months. I know the residents were excited to participate. Breast cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer in women and we want to do our part to raise awareness. It was a fun and memorable day for all.”

About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a yearly campaign to educate people about the importance of early screening, testing and more. The campaign starts on October 1 and ends on October 31. Waltonwood Lake Boone decided to donate their funds to 1 of Us in Raleigh to support their mission of helping women across North Carolina battling the disease. Since the non-profit started in 2010, they have touched the lives of more than 1,000 patients.

“1 of Us is known in the Triangle-area for their hard work and dedication to helping those in a financial crisis during one of the most difficult times in their lives,” said Allison O’Shea, executive director at Waltonwood Lake Boone. “Being able to donate a portion of the Fairy Hair funds to the organization plus the funds we’ve raised at the community during other events is truly rewarding. At our community, we have several women who have battled breast cancer, so to be able to have them here with us raising funds and awareness is inspiring. We know our efforts during the month of October and throughout the year can make a difference in the lives of others and that is what motivates us to find new ways to support Breast Cancer Awareness.”


Waltonwood Lake Boone, a premier senior living community, is inviting the public to participate in its bake sale fundraiser on Friday, September 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to raise funds and awareness for Dementia Alliance of North Carolina. This is one of several events the community (located at 3550 Horton Street) will host this year to support the organization. The cause is particularly important to resident Louise Powell, whose husband Don lives in the memory care neighborhood at the senior living community. Powell is eager to contribute to finding a cure, and baking is a hobby of hers. She will put her baking skills to the test when she joins other residents in the kitchen. She plans to make her favorite chocolate chip cookies and shortcake for everyone to enjoy. Powell says going through the process of dementia with her husband hasn’t been easy, but she is eager to do her part and contribute to the cause.

 “I’ve always loved baking, but I was not able to bake as often as I would have liked because I spent the last few years caring for Don,” said Powell. “However, now that we have a new home at Waltonwood and I can rely on the team here to help with his needs, I am looking forward to pulling out my recipes and baking sheets to make a difference. It is very important to give back, especially to an organization that is working hard to find a cure for all forms of dementia. I do my best to see my husband as often as I can. He still remembers me, and his eyes light up when I enter the room. It is heartwarming to see because every day is different for someone with dementia. I understand that the way the disease progresses is out of my hands, but knowing I am doing my part by giving back is rewarding.”

Since moving to the community, Powell has made several friends, including Kathy Midboe. The two would enjoy dinner each night in the dining room, attend programs together and much more. Midboe recently started to show cognitive decline and moved to the memory care neighborhood at Waltonwood Lake Boone. Now when Powell visits her husband, she also sees her friend. Powell says they may not be together every night, but their friendship is something she cherishes.

“Kathy and I hit it off right away, and I am thankful I still get to see her from time to time,” said Powell. “Kathy and Don need to see familiar people, and I am happy to provide that for both of them. Dementia is a challenging disease. It can be frustrating, emotional, difficult and much more. Hosting events like the bake sale is significant. This is our way to help an organization that is making a difference. Who doesn’t enjoy baked goodies? I look forward to baking and being with my husband and new friends at Waltonwood Lake Boone. One day I know we will find a cure, but until then we all need to do our part to support every effort out there.”

Dementia affects between 17 and 25 million people worldwide, and there are many types of the disease, including Alzheimer’s Disease. Understanding the varying types of dementia is critical for both the person with the disease, their family, and the caregivers. Waltonwood Lake Boone is honored to host the bake sale to support Dementia Alliance of North Carolina.

“Every day in our memory care neighborhood we see what people living with dementia and their family members go through,” said Allison O’Shea, executive director. “This will be a meaningful event for so many at the community. Raising money and awareness will not only help fund research, it also encourages others to keep their bodies and minds healthy. We hope the public stops by, purchases the homemade baked goods and learns more ways they can support Dementia Alliance. Let’s show those fighting this disease that they are not alone.”

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Waltonwood Lake Boone, a premier senior living community, is pleased to announce the hiring of four new members of its assisted living and memory care team. The team will play a strategic role in their assisted living and memory care neighborhoods at Waltonwood Lake Boone, which opened this summer. The community’s executive director, Allison O’Shea, is proud to announce Samantha Toms, memory care life enrichment manager; Takisha Craven, memory care wellness coordinator; Laura Gremore, assisted living life enrichment manager; and Sharon Staten, assisted living wellness coordinator. The 400,000-square-foot, $60 million community features 121 independent living apartments, 39 assisted living apartments and 23 memory care apartments and can serve more than 200 residents.

“The team brings years of experience and shares a deep passion for giving seniors a greater quality of life, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for in our assisted living and memory care neighborhoods at Lake Boone,” said O’Shea. “They are dedicated to serving seniors, and I know they will complement our independent living team. At Waltonwood Lake Boone, we pride ourselves in redefining senior living, and I believe Samantha, Takisha, Laura and Sharon will help take our community to the next level. I have seen firsthand how they interact with each resident and treat them like family. We are excited to have them on our team and look forward to seeing what they are able to accomplish now that our neighborhoods are open.”

In the memory care neighborhood, Samantha Toms joins the team as its life enrichment manager. A graduate of East Carolina University with a Master of Science in Recreational Therapy Administration, she previously served as a recreational therapist. In her new role, Toms will create programs, ensure residents are engaging in vibrant and meaningful activities, oversee all events, schedule outside performers and supervise the life enrichment team. She wanted to pursue a career in senior living to provide therapeutic programs to better the lives of seniors with cognitive and physical abilities.

Takisha Craven takes on the role as memory care wellness coordinator. She is a seasoned health care professional with ten years of experience working with seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. At Waltonwood Lake Boone, she is responsible for the day-to-day health care operations of the memory care neighborhood to ensure resident's health care needs are met. She has a passion for working with seniors and is thrilled to join the Lake Boone team. Craven is a graduate of Miller Motte College and is a certified nursing assistant.

In the assisted living neighborhood, Laura Gremore is the new life enrichment manager. Similar to Toms, Gremore develops and facilitates personalized and purposeful programming for residents based upon hobbies, interests, occupation and life events. A graduate of East Carolina University, she has a Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy and a Master of Science in Recreational Therapy Administration. She worked with seniors during her time at the Raleigh Parks and Recreation and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with seniors full-time.

Rounding out the assisted living team is Sharon Staten. The licensed practical nurse (LPN) serves as the wellness coordinator at Waltonwood Lake Boone. She has worked as a nurse for more than 15 years. Staten will ensure all resident's health care needs are met. She is excited to expand her knowledge of the senior living industry and enhance her current skills as an LPN in her new role at Waltonwood Lake Boone.

The senior living community is in a prime location inside the beltline of Raleigh near doctors, restaurants and shopping, and offers private studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments. Residents have an array of amenities to enjoy, including restaurant-style dining with three nutritious meals a day, a wellness and fitness center, craft room, beauty salon, library and more.

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When it comes to fitness, there are many reasons seniors should stay physically active. Working out not only enhances flexibility and range of motion, it also decreases joint pain and stiffness and improves circulation. For these reasons and more, residents of Waltonwood Lake Boone, a premier senior living community, are improving their health one step at a time. Since the community opened its doors last fall, a group of residents formed a walking club with the help of Forever Fit Coordinator Candice Kiefer. They meet at least three times a week and follow a walking path inside the community. To provide more opportunities to enhance their workout, the community recently added stations along the path to encourage residents to try some new exercises. Each station has a sign that names the exercise, including wall push-ups and squats.

Resident Doyle Long, 81, is an active member of the group who is already seeing improvements to her health. She has always enjoyed walking, but realized she needed to exercise more after two bad falls in 2017. Since moving to Waltonwood Lake Boone, she continues to stay active by attending workout classes like Tai Chi, and she never misses a chance to join fellow walkers at the community.

“When I lived in the country I had to walk long distances to get to my neighbor’s house,” said Long. “That is where my love of walking began. You notice the difference it makes on your overall health and well-being, and that is rewarding. I am building muscle and can feel myself getting stronger as I continue to work out. It’s the best feeling, and I am thrilled we decided to start a walking club at Waltonwood Lake Boone. It’s great for our physical health, and the socialization that comes along with it is wonderful for our mental health. I am excited to continue walking and look forward to using the new exercise stations. We have been challenging ourselves as we go. At first I said I would only do 10 wall push-ups, but that has already increased to 15, and I am proud of that. I enjoy doing squats as well. They even named a station after me called the Doyle squat. Everything is modified for our safety, and we go at our own pace. It truly is a fantastic way to stay active, and I don’t have plans to stop anytime soon.”

“Our Forever Fit exercise program is the perfect way for residents to thrive in their own unique way,” said Kiefer. “We look for activities that are safe and beneficial for seniors, and walking checks both of those boxes. The walking club has been a success for residents, and we see more participation each time they meet up. The workout stations are an added bonus because not everyone is able to attend every class, so they allow residents to still work out on their own time. We try to keep everyone in the community active and motivated, and forming clubs and doing group exercises is one way to get people involved. I love seeing the determination in each resident as they start or continue their fitness journey, and I am here to help along the way.”