March 10, 2011 at 14:30 PM EST
Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime Teams Up with Brookdale Senior Living to Fulfill Wishes for Hundreds of Seniors
With Support From SCA, the makers of TENA®, and Office Depot, Partnership Expands Nationwide Program to Help Older Adults Make Dreams a Reality

DENVER, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Wishes are ageless, timeless, and priceless. To seniors, they are also testimonials to hope and validation that there is no age limit on their desire to live life to the fullest. Brookdale Senior Living and Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime (JBWOL) today announced a multiyear initiative to grant wishes for hundreds of seniors nationwide. With corporate support provided by SCA, the makers of TENA®, and Office Depot, the sponsorship will build on the joint commitment of each organization to serve seniors and raise awareness about the importance of helping older adults keep dreaming, daring and discovering.

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"All too often, older generations are overlooked as society yields to the dynamics and pressures of our modern culture," said Jeremy Bloom, Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime founder. "I created Wish of a Lifetime to change our views about aging and remind future generations about the value, wisdom and dreams of older adults. Teaming up with Brookdale will take the initiative to the next level, so we can expand our message and serve more seniors than I ever imagined possible."

Both organizations have previously been granting wishes to seniors independently. As a result of their new alliance, hundreds of wishes will be granted annually.

Bloom was drawn to Brookdale's Optimum Life® concept. Optimum Life helps cultivate whole-person wellness through fulfillment in six key dimensions: physical, emotional, purposeful, social, spiritual, and intellectual.

"Joining together with Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime will motivate our residents to expand their opportunities to live an Optimum Life," said Sara Terry, vice president of Optimum Life for Brookdale. "Thanks to the scope of this program, more Brookdale Senior Living residents than ever won't let 'someday' become a code word for 'never.' They will have an opportunity to fulfill those dreams they had placed on the shelf, and take action as a result of our mutual commitment."

Research has shown that aging adults who face increasing health complications and difficulty maneuvering through their everyday activities respond positively to external interactions and events that cultivate purposeful fulfillment.

"Purpose gives dynamism to life.  Life without purpose or meaning can have serious adverse effects emotionally and physically.  Research has demonstrated that purposeful pursuits can not only help us live longer but with a better quality of life and better health outcomes," said Kevin W. O'Neil, MD, FACP, CMD and medical director for Brookdale Senior Living. "The Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale Senior Living sponsorship is designed to ensure that a greater number of seniors are able to experience such enrichment."

To kick off the initiative, the Brookdale/JBWOL team will grant three wishes to Brookdale residents during its kick-off event in Denver on March 10. Examples include:

  • June W., 78, a resident of Wynwood Ridge Point, a Brookdale Senior Living assisted living community in Boulder, Colo., is unable to spend as much time with her granddaughter, Tasha, as she would like. June is partially paralyzed, and Tasha's home in Taos, N.M. will be the first one June is able to visit because all of Tasha's previous homes had too many steps. As her surprise wish, Brookdale and Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime will be sending June and her daughter to Taos on Mother's Day 2011 for a reunion. 

  • Buzz Z., 97, a resident of Wynwood Ridge Point, was a professional drummer, and played in the famous Blue Barron Orchestra, a large swing band in the 30s and 40s.  Buzz's dream is to play in a good swing band again. After hearing his story, the Joe Peterson Orchestra jumped at the opportunity to help Buzz fulfill his lifelong dream, and invited him to come play in their band for a few songs, as they perform timeless favorites of Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey, and Glenn Miller. During the March 10 event, the Joe Peterson orchestra will perform for Buzz and award him the opportunity to rehearse and play with them one more time.

  • For Helene D., 87, a resident of Parkplace, a Brookdale Senior Living retirement community in Denver, aviation has always been in her blood. Starting as a teenager as an air traffic controller, she worked in Chicago during World War II, guiding planes in on the runway. After working at Chicago, Helene acquired her pilot's license at the age of 26. She and her husband owned several small planes, and flew around the country together.  Helene turned to Brookdale and JBWOL to help fulfill her wish of getting back up in the air and flying a plane one last time. During the March 10 event, Helene will be surprised by her dear friend, Emily Warner, an aviation legend herself and the first female pilot at Frontier Airlines, and be told she will take to the skies yet again.

Wishes events, where residents will be granted surprise wishes on-site or told their wish will be granted soon, will occur throughout the year in Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Kansas City, Raleigh, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Details and stories about each wish will be captured and shared at www.brookdalewishes.com.

National sponsors include SCA, the makers of TENA®, the worldwide leader in the management of incontinence, providing products and services for individuals and healthcare facilities for more than 50 years, and Office Depot, a leading global provider of office products and services.

"SCA, through our TENA brand, cares about people and helping them live the life they want – regardless of what gets in their way," said Bruno Zepeda, President, of SCA's Personal Care division in North America. "Brookdale Senior Living and Jeremy Bloom share our same commitment when it comes to helping seniors pursue their passions and be tenacious in their lives so we are privileged to have the opportunity to support the Wish of a Lifetime program."

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is a leading owner and operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The company owns and operates independent living, assisted living and dementia care communities and continuing care retirement centers with 560 communities in 34 states and the ability to serve more than 51,000 residents. Brookdale is committed to providing exceptional living experiences within properties that are purpose-built, designed and operated to help residents live well while achieving an Optimum Life®. Brookdale Senior Living communities provide a daily experience of programs, services and care that are unique as a result of the collective talents and inspiration of the residents, their families, and its associates – demonstrating Brookdale's promise of "Our People Make the Difference." Brookdale is a publicly-traded company (NYSE: BKD). For more information, visit http://www.brookdaleliving.com.

Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime (JBWOL) was established in 2008 by two-time Olympic Skier, former NFL football player and Colorado native Jeremy Bloom in living honor of his grandmother Donna Wheeler. Bloom left competitive sports to launch the foundation in order to initiate a cultural change by enriching the lives of seniors. For more information, please visit www.seniorwish.org.

SCA is a global hygiene and paper company that develops and produces personal-care products, tissue, packaging solutions, publication papers and solid-wood products. SCA has many well-known brands, including the global brands TENA and Tork. In 2009 global sales were $14.5 billion. SCA conducts sales in 100 countries and has 45,000 employees. More information at www.sca.com

Celebrating 25 years as a leading global provider office supplies and services, Office Depot is Taking Care of Business for millions of customers around the globe. For the local corner store as well as Fortune 500 companies, Office Depot provides supplies and services to its customers through 1,602 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs and a $4.1 billion e-commerce operation. Office Depot has annual sales of approximately $11.6 billion, and employs about 40,000 associates around the world. The Company provides more office supplies and services to more customers in more countries than any other company, and currently sells to customers directly or through affiliates in 53 countries.

TENA® and Tork® are registered trademarks of SCA Hygiene Products.

Contacts: Amanda Brannum, GroundFloor Media, 303-865-8143, abrannum@groundfloormedia.com

Holly Botsford, Public Relations Manager, 414-918-5314, hbotsford@brookdaleliving.com

SOURCE Brookdale Senior Living

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