Music to Her Ears: Community Resident Continues to Play for Others
On more than a dozen nights a year, the community of Cathedral Village is filled with the beautiful, soothing sounds of talented musicians, many of whom have just made their debuts at Carnegie Hall. This special occasion occurs at the hands of a group of residents that includes Elizabeth (Beth) Glendinning, a music lover who has incorporated this passion in different facets of her life. Now, with the active environment she has found at Cathedral Village, a continuing care community in Philadelphia, Pa., she is able to continually pursue her love of the arts and share it with others.
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Beth graduated from Smith College as a music major. After traveling throughout the U.S., Europe and Middle East, she returned to her native city to pursue careers in broadcasting and politics.
Beth worked on President Eisenhower’s campaign and was a staff member of the Senate. She also held a position in public relations for D.C.’s classical music station, but eventually moved in 1963 to become the Director of Public Relations at the Philadelphia Orchestra.
In her new hometown, Beth met the “man of her dreams,” Henry, the president of an investment banking company. The couple had a son in addition to the three children he brought to their marriage. Aside from traveling in their free time, the Glendinnings ran a summer program in economics for high school students.
Although Henry passed away in 1988, Beth continued to stay active with the Philadelphia Orchestra and joined the Boards of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Curtis Institute of Music and Astral Artists.
Despite her involvement with these organizations over the years, Beth eventually knew it was time to make the transition from her home to a community that could not only provide a dynamic atmosphere, but offer a sense of security for her future. Where that community would be, however, was never a question for her.
“I always wanted to come to Cathedral Village because of the diversity of its population,” said Beth. “It’s near Philadelphia and I had friends here.”
Along with the location and vibrancy, it was also the community’s reputation of serving its residents since 1979 that appealed to Beth, so she made the move in 2004.
“I heard the staff was great, but I had no idea how great it was until I got here,” she said. “It’s very well run.”
It is no surprise that since her move to Cathedral Village Beth has not only managed to stay active with her outside organizations, but has become highly involved with those in the community. As co-chair of the Art Studio Committee, she is responsible for choosing teachers for painting programs, but it is her duties as co-chair of the Concert Committee that has let her utilize her roots in music.
“We bring in the most incredible people and present up to 14 concerts a year for the residents,” she said. “Because I’ve been floating around the music world so long in Philadelphia, it’s been easy for me to find the amazing talent.”
Beth credits the staff at Cathedral Village for financially supporting the concert committee and allowing her the opportunity to hire these classically trained artists. The monthly concerts held in the community’s auditorium, Cathedral Hall, are popular among all residents as volunteers bring individuals from the nursing facility to enjoy the experience.
“This is the thing I’m most proud of in the past four years. These are blessed years for me and that is my great joy,” she said.
With a town that is full of talented and diverse musicians, there is no question that her tasks for the Concert Series keep Beth busy, yet she manages to take advantage of the many other opportunities available on campus to stay active. Services that include housekeeping, dining and transportation allow individuals the freedom and luxury to engage in as many or as few activities as they desire, whether it is relaxing on movie nights to reading plays with the drama group.
Cathedral Village offers a range of college courses from Economics to Films and often features guest speakers. Residents can also explore their creative abilities utilizing the craft room, or take advantage of the community’s physical fitness equipment.
“We have a really great pool that I swim in every day,” said Beth. “It’s really beautiful to swim and see the snow falling outside.”
While she appreciates these wonderful amenities and the fact that Cathedral Village is pet-friendly, Beth had also come to the community knowing she would have access to a range of healthcare. This has been especially important lately as she is preparing to have knee replacement surgery and return to Cathedral Village for her therapy.
“You don’t have to go to some rehabilitation place,” said Beth. “You come back home and stay in the nursing facility, but you can come into your apartment and still check in with everyone.”
Now, Beth and her fellow residents also have the peace of mind knowing they can receive assisted living care in the comforts of their apartments.
“We can stay where we’ve all been living and don’t have to pack up our treasures and move, which is a major plus,” she said.
Along with Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living care, Cathedral Village’s supportive services also extends to Alzheimer’s care. The community’s Outpatient Department for independent living residents is managed full-time by an experienced Registered Nurse with a Physician on duty 24 hours a day. A variety of specialists from dentists to audiologists are also brought in for residents at least once a week.
As she looks back on the past five years being surrounded by lively individuals and a supportive staff, Beth could not be happier. Although it had been quite clear as to where she wanted to spend her future, it may be safe to say that Cathedral Village, with its organizations, amenities and care was ‘music to her ears,’ and still continues to be with each passing day.