The Birches Blog

Healthy Living Tips

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Janet Syvertsen from Alzheimer’s Association is at The Birches at Esopus today. She is joined by a group of residents for a lunchtime presentation: “Healthy Habits for your brain and body: tips from the latest research. The workshop covered lifestyle habits associated with healthy aging: cognitive activity, exercise, diet & nutrition, and social engagement. Of particular interest was the Mediterranean diet as a few residents shared some menu ideas and diet successes.

Resident wins top prize!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

St. Mary’s Benevolent Society held its Annual 20 Week Raffle Party Sunday afternoon at it’s hall near the Hudson River beach in Kingston NY. But with the fabulous spread of food and a chance to win over $2,500 in prizes, attendees were happy to be inside for a few hours.

Steve Aaron, Founder & Managing Member of Birchez, treated eighty Residents and staff to the event, which also included entry into the big drawing. And a Resident from Chambers Court won the top prize, shown here being presented with the check and celebrating with her twin sister and Steve Aaron! Among the guests, Alderman Tony Davis and his lovely wife Ginger. We found a couple of surprise servers behind the bountiful buffet: Candidate for Surrogate Court Sara McGinty, shown with Birchez’ Community OutreachCoordinator Shirley Whitlock. And of course Birchez’ Senior Advocate Alice Tipp held court at her table! All of the senior communities of Birchez were represented, and we left happy and full

Germanfest! Birchez supports Shriners International

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Summer has given us the opportunity to celebrate with our Residents at a variety of barbecues and festivals. The most recent: yesterday’s 18th Annual Germanfest, held by the Ulster County Shrine Club at the Town of Ulster Park (Robert E. Post Park). We are pleased to be able to support Shriners International through the Ulster County club. Birchez Associates treated Residents to the event which featured continuous serving of German bratwurst, hot dogs and burgers PLUS a main meal of Roast Pork and all the trimmings.Steve Aaron, Founder & Managing Member of Birchez had the opportunity to visit with Residents. Some of our Ulster neighbors were in appropriate dress (lederhosen & Tracten hat in the photo), but the river breeze made the warm day delightful. Lots of great music from the Jay Unger that had the crowd up and dancing. Our residents won several door prizes and the 50/50! Thanks to Kevin Costello and James Maloney for inviting us!

State Senator Amedore visits with Residents

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

A Chicken BBQ at a Hudson Riverfront Park? Count us in! Residents of Chambers Court and The Birches at Chambers were treated by Birchez Associates and its Founder and Managing Member Steve Aaron to a seriously impressive spread. As the event was held by the Town of Ulster Republican Party, it was also an opportunity to visit with some of our elected officials and to get to know some of the candidates. State Senator George Amedore was on hand to greet constituents, in this case, Steve Aaron. Sharing headlines with politics was the food! Each serving contained half a large chicken, and many took home containers of left overs. Thanks to Cynthia Wadnola for her culinary supervision (shown with fellow board member of the Town of Ulster Library – and Chambers Court Resident – Mary Nielsen). Vice Chairman of the Ulster Legislature James Maloney showed his ability to multitask, here serving the buffet along with Town of Ulster Board Member John Morrow. Former Town of Ulster Supervisor and Chambers Court Resident Andy Labarge is about to enjoy his plate of chicken and corn on the cob. And we couldn’t get one table of Residents to look up from their plates long enough to pose for a picture!



Radio Interview with Steven L. Aaron, Birchez Associates LLC

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Dubbed the “Taste of Ulster”, Thursday morning’s Kingston Community Radio show starts off with a tribute to the late Walter Maxwell. Hosts former Legislature Chairman Fred Wadnola and chef extraordinaire Cynthia Wadnola welcome Steve Aaron, Founder and Managing Member of Birchez Associates LLC.
Listen in on a wide-ranging discussion, featuring the latest Birchez community in Schoharie and what’s on the drawing board for proposed affordable senior housing in the Hudson Valley.
Plus, find out how to arrange your own tour of a Birchez community. Despite waiting lists, Steve Aaron encourage seniors to get their applications in to get the process started: “I can’t tell you the number of times we go down the list and #1 isn’t ready to move, #2 situation has changed, etc. Plus the income band of the apartment dictates who may qualify for a given opening. I’ve witnessed going down 20 names before we find someone ready to move.”
Steve also shares details on green building at Birchez: LEED Platinum at The Birchez at Chambers, early adapter of radiant heat for senior housing at The Birchez at Saugerties. The trio also reviews Birchez’ latest newsletter, with a nod to First Responders, and the profiles of The Birches at Saugerties resident Art Baum and the scholarship winner at Birchwood Village. To see the video of the radio show, go to Click on 8.18.2016 show and once past the opening commercial, advance to 25:00 for the start of today’s KCR show. Runs til 1:21:00

Live, Laugh and Learn: Seniors go to College for a Day

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Live, Laugh and Learn, put on by the Ulster County Office for the Aging, invites Seniors to a day in a college setting at the SUNY Ulster campus in Kingston NY. Twenty-eight workshops ranged from serious (legal issues, insurance and avoiding scams) to exercise (Silver Sneakers, Tai Chi, Swing Dance, Laugh Yoga and Zumba) to fun hobbies (crafts, gardening). Monkey Joe’s provided breakfast treats and MVM-Home supplied nutritious wraps for lunch. Birchez Associates represented with a booth staffed by Senior Advocate Alice Tipp, along with K.J. McIntyre and Megan Donahue of the Marketing team. 

Congratulations to our raffle winner at the Live, Laugh, and Learn senior day event . The winner is Betty Ferracane of Saugerties who won the nostalgic penny-candy jar from Kingston Candy Bar!

Congressman Chris Gibson chooses the Birches at Chambers to announce important senior legislation

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson is introduced by Birchez Associate’s Steve Aaron at a press conference by Gibson introducing legislation that would re-authorize the Older American Act (OAA). Congressman Gibson says he chose the site because the Birchez Senior communities are a great example of how to care for our nation’s senior citizens by offering high quality, affordable housing that truly meets the needs of the areas senior population.

Keeping Affordable Housing Affordable

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Senior affordable housing is a major benefit to retirees living on fixed incomes, but the public-private partnerships required to sustain such housing often bring about vigorous discussions over property taxes, specifically payments-in-lieu-of-taxes. In this Point of View, Steve Aaron sets out the steps that led to Birchez’ request to amend the original PILOT agreement.

The following article appears in the Saugerties Times, Oct. 16, 2012. (Reprinted with permission)

Point of View: Agreement will keep Birches at Saugerties rents down

By Steven L. Aaron

A lot has been said recently about The Birches at Saugerties’ amended payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement [PILOT]. The issue can be easily misunderstood. I’d like to walk you through it to put the matter in perspective. First, The Birches at Saugerties exists to meet the affordable-housing needs of an important segment of our local residents — seniors on fixed incomes.

Ask anyone who lives in this or any other Birchez community and you’ll immediately sense the pride and security they feel in having award-winning housing that’s clean, safe and affordable in their home community.

Second, it’s vital to these residents and to the entire town of Saugerties that we keep the rents affordable. (more…)

Beyond The Sunbelt

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

From Low-Cost to Luxury, Retirement Living Has Never Looked Better

By Lynn Woods   for Generation Monthly September 2012

Once, retirement meant moving to warmer climates and trading in work for rounds of golf, often until frailty and advanced age led to a nursing home. Today, for many, that option has become passé. They made 40 the new 30, they caused a new-paradigm-spawning social revolution, and now baby boomers are retiring differently from their parents.

They don’t want to be so far from their kids. And there’s the weather: global warming is linked to the droughts that are devastating a large part of the Sunbelt. Some are not retiring at all, instead moving on to new careers. Plus, simple economic necessity is causing many seniors to stay put. All of these factors are increasing the Hudson Valley’s geographical appeal.  (more…)

Stylin’ Seniors

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

November 28, 2011 – As Baby Boomers take center stage, much is written on their spending patterns, use of technology, travel ideas, and more. But one of the most encouraging and inspiring takes comes from stylist Ari Seth Cohen in his blog Advanced Style, which proffers “Proof from the wise and silver haired set that personal style advances with age”. Ari’s subjects, male and female, are over 50 — and fabulous! He certainly demonstrates that age is no barrier to style.

To the right, meet Rose, age 100, as she poses for Ari’s blog.

Ari’s book, Advanced Style, is on pre-order with Amazon with an April 2012 publication date (that’s a shame because I would have loved to gift it this holiday season). As with his blog, the book promises insights from his subjects, an interview with a 91 year old subject, and delicious photos (many apparently candid, on-the-streets of New York photos).

Meanwhile, Ari’s blog also offers videos and enchanting tidbits on matching vintage items, and playing with different costumes and styles. Hats are plentiful and I predict an influx of designer canes!

I’ve seen many of our senior residents at the Birches communities, where the average age is in the 70s, styled and ready for their close up. Whether they are dressed for the fitness studio, the movie theater, or on their way out the door, many show great flair.

The old perception that the elderly dressed in dusters and wasted away their waning years in front of the TV just doesn’t play with today’s seniors. Fair warning, we’ll be featuring some of our own Stylin’ Seniors in future blogs.

Another of Ari’s elegant subjects is Ruth, shown to the left, who is also 100 years old.

-- K.J. McIntyre