Challenge Match for Music Therapy Hits High Note, Surpassing Goal!

Image caption: German Centre resident Nathanelle McNeil engages in music and movement exercises.


We surpassed our Challenge Match for Music Therapy goal with a $20,000 grant from the James and Sarah Dyer Charitable Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, bringing the total raised to more than $77,000.


The gifts were in response to a 1:1 challenge match that the German Ladies Aid Society of Boston—the founders of Deutsches Altenheim—issued back in May, designating up to $30,000 to match, dollar for dollar, any gift to support the Altenheim’s music therapy program. The community swiftly answered the call with 103 donors (and counting) contributing.


“This year, German Ladies Aid Society members chose to issue a challenge match for donations to the Altenheim’s music therapy program because the pandemic has had such isolating effects on seniors in our community,” says Society President Roswitha Stehling. “Music therapy will help the Altenheim’s frontline care team combat the mental and physical declines that this isolation has caused in some of our residents,” she continues.


Additional lead support includes a $5,000 gift from the Boston Evening Clinic Foundation and a $10,000 gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, but according to Michael Jugenheimer, the Deutsches Altenheim Foundation’s executive director of development, it is the collective support that helped the Altenheim hit such a high note,. “We are so grateful for everyone who stepped up to make a gift in support of music therapy,” says Jugenheimer. “I am humbled just thinking about the hours of music therapy this collective support will fund,” he says.


The funds will enhance the Altenheim’s music therapy program through one-on-one and group therapy sessions for residents and clients, with an emphasis on residents living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.


Multiple studies show that music has profound psychological and physiological benefits for seniors, especially those living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Music therapy elevates moods, reduces anxiety, increases mobility, and even diminishes pain.


“Music is a powerful catalyst for reminiscence,” says Director of Resident Life Carol Kelly. “We all love music, especially songs that bring back memories—like the song we walked down the aisle to or had our first slow dance at the prom to,” she continues. According to Kelly, for individuals living with dementia, music can tap into deep recesses of their memories, helping them reconnect with a sense of self otherwise difficult to achieve day-to-day.


Help us go up another octave. Add your support to music therapy today.

Sullivan Family Establishes Two Scholarships for TNAs

Image caption: Members of the Sullivan family with former Director of Social Services Mary Ellen Walsh at her retirement party. July 2021.


Our certified nursing technicians (known as CNAs elsewhere in the industry) are the backbone of our frontline team. Unfortunately, however, those interested in this rewarding career path are often met with barriers to entry, including costly training and testing requirements. At Deutsches Altenheim, and across the Legacy Lifecare family of affiliate organizations, we are hoping to fix that by providing on-site, paid training opportunities through a new Trained Nursing Assistant (TNA) Program.


Members of the Sullivan family—whose mother Barbara Sullivan called the Altenheim home for more than a decade—are supporting Deutsches Altenheim in this important work. They have generously established the Sullivan-Walsh Trained Nursing Assistant Scholarship Fund to sponsor scholarships for two TNAs, each year. The scholarships will cover the costs of training and testing, which will not only help eliminate a barrier to entry for a would-be CNT, but also help the Altenheim recruit and retain the best rising talent in the City of Boston during an increasingly challenging time for hiring across the sector.


They have chosen to name one of the scholarships the Barbara P. Sullivan Memorial Nursing Assistant Scholarship, in memory of their mother and an in honor of her 38-year career as a nurse at the former St. Margaret’s Hospital in Dorchester.


“When our mother passed away last year, we knew we wanted to do something as a family to honor her and ensure her legacy of compassion and generosity lived on” said a member of the Sullivan family. “We also wanted to do something to show our deep appreciation to the dedicated team at the Altenheim who gave our mother and us so much love and support during a very challenging time.”


The Sullivan family chose to name the second scholarship The Mary Ellen Walsh Honorary Nursing Assistant Scholarship in honor of Mary Ellen and her 22 years of dedication to the Altenheim and its residents, including her kind and compassionate support of their mother and their entire family. The Sullivan family was able to announce the establishment of the two scholarships and surprise Walsh with the honor at her recent retirement party.


Mary Ellen Walsh, who retired from her role as director of social services in July, would be the first to recognize just how important our CNTs are. Walsh said “CNTs are an integral part of our team, as they are the providers of our resident care, ensuring that each individual is safe and comfortable. The Altenheim owes its reputation to their unmatched dedication. I am honored to be a part of the Sullivan family’s scholarship, as a great stepping-stone financially for those who want a rewarding career in healthcare at the Altenheim.”


Deutsches Altenheim will award the scholarships annually to at least two TNAs who reflect the values of compassion, integrity, commitment, and humility that both Barbara P. Sullivan and Mary Ellen Walsh embodied throughout their careers. As the fund grows through investment returns and additional contributions, the Altenheim will be able to award even more scholarships.


Stay tuned for news about an award ceremony announcing the scholarship winners next spring. In the meantime, if you wish to join the Sullivan family by investing in training for our frontline healthcare heroes, you can give online to the Sullivan-Walsh Trained Nursing Assistant Scholarship Fund or contact the Foundation’s executive director Michael Jugenheimer about how you can give to the fund or sponsor your own rising CNT.

Deutsches Altenheim Foundation Donates to Relief Efforts in Haiti

Image caption: Employees gather to write out a check from the Deutsches Altenheim Foundation to Partners in Health to support relief work in Haiti. Pictured front, left to right, healthcare heroes and Certified Nursing Technicians Denise Francois, Suze Oxilas, and Maguay Fequiere. Pictured back, from left to right, German Centre Executive Director Michael Lincoln, Executive Director of Development Michael Jugenheimer, Assistant Director of Nursing Tyeshia Hall, Certified Nursing Technicians Judith Valeus and Mirlande Tunis, and Director of Nursing Austin Azeta. September 2021.



The Deutsches Altenheim Foundation donated $5,000 to Partners in Health to support relief efforts in Haiti in a show of support for Deutsches Altenheim’s team members who have family and friends that were affected by the recent 7.2-magnitude earthquake.


“We have a responsibility to stand in solidarity with our Haitian team members who are reeling from this tragedy,” says John Carberry, President of Deutsches Altenheim Foundation. “For the past 18 months our healthcare heroes have been putting their own lives on the line caring for our local seniors during the pandemic. Now it is our turn to support them—many of whom have family and friends in Haiti still recovering from the earthquake.”


“Ever since the Altenheim’s founding by the German Ladies Aid Society of Boston in 1914, immigrants have been at the forefront of caring for seniors at the Altenheim,” says Michael Jugenheimer, the Foundation’s executive director of development. “Today, instead of Germans, the majority of our front-line health care heroes are Haitian—this is true not only at the Altenheim, but at many senior care communities in Boston and beyond.”


Deutsches Altenheim Foundation chose Partners in Health, which is known in Haiti as Zanmi Lasante, given its roots in Boston and its long-standing commitment to Haiti. Partners in Health is the largest healthcare provider in Haiti outside of their government and has been working around the clock since the earthquake to mobilize clinical response teams to the hardest hit areas of southern Haiti and bring needed equipment to all those affected.


In addition to the Foundation’s gift, Deutsches Altenheim, Inc. provided direct support to staff members who are sending payments to family and friends in Haiti to aid in their recovery through a combination of pay advances and matching bonuses.


“I have multiple family members who live in Hatti and have been impacted by the earthquake. I try to help them the best I can and I am very grateful for getting matching financial support,” says Lakeira Hillery, the Altenheim’s human resources specialist. “Both the donation from the Foundation and the direct support are very much appreciated—it shows just how much Deutsches Altenheim cares about its staff,” she said.

The Cooperative Bank Supports Our Seniors

Image Caption: TCB’s Senior VP of Retail Banking Julinda Sheshi (right) and Assistant VP/Area Branch Manager Khepra Moscillo (right center) presented a generous $5,000 donation to the Foundation. German Centre Executive Director Michael Lincoln (left center) and Executive Director of Development Michael Jugenheimer (left) were present to receive it.


We are grateful to our neighbors and friends at The Cooperative Bank for investing in life-enhancing are for the seniors at the German Centre and Edelweiss Village.


Please join us in thanking Boston’s neighborhood bank for their support.




Giving Opportunity: Pave the Way for Quality Care, Brick by Brick

On June 17, 1913, the German Ladies Aid Society of Boston laid the cornerstone of what is now Deutsches Altenheim. 108 years later, we invite you to continue the tradition of care they started by laying your own piece of the campus’ history.


Pave the way to quality care for generations to come with the purchase of an engraved brick. Proceeds from the purchase of your brick will support the life-enhancing programs and services that are the hallmark of Deutsches Altenheim’s care.


You can choose to engrave the brick in your name or in honor or memory of someone special in your life. We will proudly install your engraved Brick at the German Centre entrance, in full view of all visitors.


We are also happy to work with you to identify a more suitable commemorative gift opportunity, including a named bench, tree, pathway, or indoor space that is right for you and your family.


To order your brick or discuss additional commemorative gift opportunities please contact Foundation staff.