Vocational Wellness Part of the Well-Rounded Approach at Crane’s Mill

A Crane’s Mill resident and needlepoint expert shares her experience as an active member of the community

Jean reading in Towne Square

Jean reading in Towne Square

The La Via Wellness program at Crane’s Mill senior living community enhances resident well-being by focusing on six distinct dimensions of wellness: physical, spiritual, intellectual, emotional and social, vocational, and environmental. We believe that a well-rounded approach is key to long-term health. With the help of dedicated experts who specialize in each dimension of La Via, residents follow their own paths to engage their bodies and minds. Jean Meyers, a longtime resident of Crane’s Mill, is involved with the vocational aspects of the program as an integral part of the community needlepoint group.

Jean Meyers joined the Crane’s Mill community as a resident ten years ago, a decade after her retirement. When the La Via program started, Jean found herself drawn to participate in activities centered around the vocational aspect of wellness. Soon she became a leader in the needlepoint group, a close-knit group of residents who came together to practice their skills, ranging from quilting and crocheting to knitting, needlepoint, and counting cross stitch. With additional leadership by fellow resident and needlepoint enthusiast Ruth Ann Peters, the group gathers once a week to work on individual projects while spending time together.

Some of the members of the needlepoint group work on projects intended for use in the community, such as quilts for a children’s hospital in Paterson. Other quilters focus on spreading the love by making quilts for members of their own families. Jean is also part of an external quilting group in Montclair which makes quilts exclusively for local hospitals, so she is able to bring knowledge gained outside Crane’s Mill back to her friends and neighbors.

Though numbers dropped in the needlepoint group during the COVID-19 pandemic, the core group is still dedicated to their work. The vocational facets of La Via Wellness provide an essential social outlet for residents as well as promoting ongoing cognitive and motor development. “Everyone in the needlepoint group has a good sense of humor,” Jean shares. “We get to hear some wonderful stories about grandchildren!” In addition to giving residents the chance to grow their skills and do activities they enjoy, groups like the needlepoint group encourage lifelong learning. “We have intelligent conversations and work with each other well, offering advice or suggestions as needed.”

Vocational wellness is one key to long term health and happiness. Groups like the needlepoint group allow residents to blend their interests with hands-on activities, engaging minds and bodies alike while producing something meaningful. By using a variety of mental and physical skills to work toward a concrete goal, Crane’s Mill residents can enhance their overall well-being and have a lot of fun with their friends at the same time.

About Crane’s Mill

Crane’s Mill is a life plan retirement community located on 48 scenic acres in West Caldwell, New Jersey. A part of Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey, Crane’s Mill offers independent living apartments and cottages with the promise of excellent healthcare for the future. Levels of care include assisted living, memory support, rehabilitation, and long-term skilled nursing. For more information, visit www.www.cranesmill.org or call (973) 276-6700.