The Power of Three Households Transformed

The Power of Three Households Transformed


Open House at The Shores

OCEAN CITY, N.J. — While human shelter comes in endless variations, everyone seeks comfortable, welcoming and functional spaces. How do healthcare organizations create residences for seniors coping with frailty and chronic illness who typically spend significant time in medically-oriented surroundings?

United Methodist Communities (UMC) at the Shores has transformed their healthcare residence into three new households. At the October open house, Larry Carlson, UMC president and CEO reported, “After many complex conversations, we have begun to enact culture change, tilting the institutional model on its side. I want to commend The Shores for leading this dynamic organization-wide transition.”

Executive Director Jennifer Courlas welcomed guests who had the opportunity to tour the intimate dining rooms, cozy living rooms, and inviting working kitchens. Courlas shared the staff’s love for the transformation. Consistent staff on each shift in each household builds rapport among residents and associates and fosters the household model. To facilitate flexibility and build teamwork, all staff has been cross-trained.

Knowing that creating a comfortable sanctuary starts in the smallest of ways, associates learn the simple pleasures and preferences of residents, reflecting their individuality. This model gives residents more self-determination and steps away from a busy every minute mentality. Residents decide when they will rise and go to sleep, eat their meals, bathe, and what level of activity suits their needs.

Three volunteers present at the open house speak to the connections formed. Wendy Kern, a resident of Egg Harbor Township, welcomed and directed guests outside the third floor elevator. She offered, “I volunteer because The Shores did so much for my parents. I’ll always have a home here.” In addition to more than six years’ volunteering at The Shores, Kern also visits a former neighbor, who has moved there.

A mother and daughter duo, Maureen Grant of Margate and Karen Grant of Somers Point, registered open house guests. Maureen stated, “When I left The Shores following a rehab stay, I felt so thankful that my daughter and I decided to volunteer here together.”

NJ General Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak commented, “The Shores’ households make a home and family at a time when seniors need it the most. This happy accomplishment provides for our community and our area.”

NJ General Assemblyman R. Bruce Land presented a commendation on behalf of the NJ Legislative District 1, which includes the two assemblymen and Senator Jeff Van Drew.

Mayor Jay Gillian also presented a commendation and reflected, “The care at The Shores is second to none. Thanks for all you do for Ocean City.”

United Methodist Communities’ remaining four full-service campuses are each at a different stage developing households. For information about United Methodist Communities at The Shores call Patti Smith at 609-399-8505 or visit

United Methodist Community.4About United Methodist Communities at The Shores

The Shores is owned and operated by the United Methodist Communities which was established in April 1907 in Ocean Grove. With approximately 240 residents of all faith backgrounds, The Shores, a care continuum, offers Assisted Living, Memory Support, Long Term Care, Rehabilitation, Respite and Hospice. The six-acre site has access to Ocean City’s beaches, boardwalk, Music Pier, Aquatic Center, and cultural activities in “America’s Greatest Family Resort.” For additional information about The Shores visit or call Patti Smith at 609-399-8505.

 About United Methodist Communities

United Methodist Communities is a not-for-profit organization guided by a volunteer board of directors affiliated in ministry with the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey. The mission of the United Methodist Communities is compassionately serving in community so that all are free to choose abundant life. With over 109 years of continuous operation, the organization has grown to ten communities offering affordable senior housing, independent and assisted living, long term care, rehabilitation, memory support, respite, and hospice to persons of all faith backgrounds.