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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Retirement community’s service director loves the ‘pioneer spirit’

blog-DeePjpgWhat impresses Dee Pekruhn the most about the residents of Westminster at Lake Ridge is what she calls the “pioneer spirit.”

“The residents are very take-charge, caring people,” says Pekruhn, who is the community’s Resident Services Director. “They are very involved. They really do look out for one another. It is like a family. We provide guidance, but the residents do it.”

Westminster at Lake Ridge’s active and engaged residents don’t just wait for staff to develop programs, events and classes for them. They are the initiators, Pekruhn says.

“Residents have taught dance classes,” she says. “They provide computer training, maintain the web portal, drive the yearbook and are very active with committees. The men’s breakfast group brings in speakers, and there is an equivalent women’s group.”

Last fall, a resident group of German descent took charge of planning an Oktoberfest celebration.

“It was a huge, wonderful event,” Pekruhn says. “We provided support, but we try to stay out of their way.”

Pekruhn works closely with the retirement community’s Chaplain, Nurse, Director of Health Services, Director of Social Services and others to support residents and their needs. She brings to her job the top-level background that residents have come to expect of their staff.

A native of Pennsylvania, Pekruhn earned a degree in English and psychology at the College of William and Mary. Pekruhn completed a master’s degree in Business Administration at George Washington University and was in the Leading Age Academy’s leadership program while earning her nursing home administrator’s license, which required 1,500 hours of preceptorship and passage of state and national exams.

While in college, she volunteered with a group call Read that visited residents of retirement communities. Her first job was at Patriots Colony at Williamsburg, where she was Activities Coordinator. She then served as Director of Resident Services at Goodwin House of Alexandria, another retirement community. Later on, she received a grant to develop an Arts Council and build an Arts Institute that offered 90 classes to Fairfax County residents.

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