Brandywine keep things going for public

Brandywine Assisted Living at Fenwick Island aims to offer an affordable, elegant environment for its elder residents, but the facility’s involvement in the surrounding community reaches even further, opening its doors to the surrounding community for a variety of events.

“It’s quiet in the wintertime,” noted Brandywine’s director of community relations, Kathleen Skiles. “There’s not always a whole lot for people to do, so we want to offer a lot of community outreach activities that everyone can enjoy.”

In several visits where she has shared her scrapbooking talents, Clare Joneckis of Clare’s Keepsakes has worked with the residents at Brandywine Assisted Living. The reception and interest has been so successful that she will be returning in the upcoming months for the public’s edification. On Jan. 30, Feb. 27 and March 27, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Joneckis will provide tips on scrapbooking for anyone interested in attending.

“It’s a great social event,” said Skiles. “Clare does a great job, and everyone really enjoys what she brings.”

On the second Wednesday of each month, the public is being invited for a free morning of bingo, which follows a 9:30 a.m. breakfast.

“The bingo is a really big hit for us,” Skiles added. “On the first of the month, we open up registration and the calls come in immediately. We fill up with 50 people pretty quickly.”

Skiles keeps in touch, through e-mail, with visitors who stop in for the events.

“I let people know what we have going on,” she said, “and you can really start to see more and more people.”

There are plenty of other activities, which include seminars and support groups. An Alzheimer’s support group meets on the second Tuesday of each month. Doctors and professionals frequent the center, presenting valuable information focused around aging and well-being. Heart disease and cancer seminars typically pull in large crowds. Health groups and meetings are also a common scene at Brandywine.

Yoga classes, free and open to the public, will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:15 p.m. through the month of February. Brandywine Assisted Living has also teamed up with Salisbury University’s Healthy U of Delmarva program, which promotes a healthy lifestyle through proper diet, exercise and habits.

Guided meditation classes will run this spring, every Wednesday, between March 24 and April 28. Local businesses in need of meeting space may be happy to learn that Brandywine has them covered there, too.

By inviting the public to participate in these events and making them free to the public, Brandywine Assisted Living is gaining a reputation as a staple in the community.

“People are still learning about who we are,” said Skiles. “Ever since we opened, we very much wanted to become engrained in this community, and we’ve been successful so far in doing so. Everyone has been very accepting of us.”

And the directors are constantly at work planning new offerings.

“We’re always coming up with new ideas,” Skiles added. “We’re looking to bring more and more each month. A lot of people who are regulars get to know our residents, and it’s nice to offer that balance.”

For more information about Brandywine Assisted Living, located at the corner of Routes 54 and 20, across from Harris Teeter, visit or call (302) 436-0808. Some events require those attending to register ahead of time, so check in periodically for availability.