Connections Program Coming to an End

For more than six years, the Community Support Services team has been collaborating with vendors, community partners, committed stakeholders, and friends to bring a thriving, fulfilling village-to-village model to Central Pennsylvania. Connections is a grassroots, neighbor helping neighbor program. Over the years, we’ve heard great stories of new friendships, creative solutions, common bonds, and shared interests. For some members, Connections has decreased loneliness and opened up new windows of opportunity to serve, and to serve alongside others.

Unfortunately, Connections has not achieved the fullness of service impact that had been originally envisioned. Despite our continued efforts through marketing, storytelling, advertising, and personal sharing, we’ve not seen membership increase.

As a non-profit organization which was formed in 1896, Messiah Lifeways is wholly committed to serving older adults and their families in a variety of ways. Realizing that no two life journeys are the same, we offer a spectrum of services to meet a wide range of needs. While many of our community based programs, like Adult Day centers and Messiah Lifeways At Home are flourishing, Connections, however, is a program we must now discontinue.

This decision has not been an easy one.  In order to fulfill our mission and be good stewards of our organizational resources, we will no longer support Connections memberships.  While this program will conclude as of January 31, 2019, it is our sincere hope that the relationships formed through this program will continue.

If you have any questions, please contact Karl Brummer or Christina Weber by calling 717.697.4666.

Residents Soar to New Heights

Eight Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village residents enjoyed “Dream Flights” at Capital City Airport courtesy of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 2011 to honor military veterans living in long-term care facilities. To date, the foundation has provided more than 3,200 Dream Flights to veterans nationwide. Messiah Lifeways enrichment professional Holly Zweiacher submitted the application to the foundation, inspired by 97-year old veteran Hank Heim. Hank and his neighbors enjoyed 20-30 minutes flights aboard a 1942 Boeing Stearman – the airplane often used to train military aviators in the 1940s. The event attracted widespread media attention – check out the stories here:

97-year-old Air Force veteran gets back in the cockpit

Veterans Return to Skies 


Carlisle Adult Day Center is enrolling new clients

The National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) defines Adult Day programs as “a professional care setting in which older adults and adults living with dementia…receive individualized therapeutic, social, and health services for some part of the day.”

Carlisle Adult Day clients enjoy gardening with the Master Gardeners from Penn State.

Messiah Lifeways Adult Day services go above and beyond in providing a positive, nurturing programming to meet a variety of needs in clients, especially those with a dementia diagnosis. Music, art, exercise, gardening, service projects, a hot lunch, special events… everything is geared towards socialization and maintaining the cognitive and physical abilities of each client. We don’t dwell on what has been lost; we focus on what is still possible.

We’re also keenly aware of the difficulties facing caregivers in Central Pennsylvania. Adult children need to continue working, devoted spouses become weary with caregiver burnout, families and neighbors feel ill-equipped to help. Adult Day programs like ours provide a safety net – a safe haven – for the clients and their loved ones. The Messiah Lifeways Adult Day programs are also strongly connected to the Alzheimer’s Association which adds an extra layer of support through training, resources, and caregiver support groups that help the entire family.

If someone you love is unable to stay safely at home during the work week due to memory impairment or another age-related concern or you know someone who would benefit from the services at a Messiah Lifeways Adult Day Services, please feel free to help spread the word. Some additional points of interest about Messiah Lifeways Adult Day programs:

• They’re secured and thoroughly equipped to put the caregiver’s mind at ease.
• They employ team members, including several Registered Nurses, who are well trained in therapeutic programming, validation and remotivation therapy, and more.
• Focus on the client – their memories, their interests, their hobbies, to make each day meaningful and positive.
• May help to reduce the unwanted behaviors that sometimes challenges families and caregivers.

Our Mechanicsburg Center is currently on a waiting list but our Carlisle Center does have openings. Melissa Brandt, the Carlisle Center Coordinator would welcome the opportunity to give tours and talk about the admission process with anyone who is interested. The Carlisle Adult Day program is located at The Meeting House, Carlisle Campus, 1155 Walnut Bottom Road.

Melissa can be reached at: 717-243-0447 or via email at

To learn more about Messiah Lifeways Adult Services, please visit


Messiah Lifeways At Home Team Members Recognized Among Best in Pennsylvania

Messiah Lifeways At Home team members Jennifer Medina and Ashley Hannon, pictured here with Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne, were among several Direct Care Worker of the Year nominees. They were celebrated recently at the Pennsylvania Homecare Association’s 2nd Annual Direct Care Worker Forum in Harrisburg. Messiah Lifeways At Home has been providing a broad range of non-medical caregiving services such as daily support, housekeeping, and companionship to older adults in the greater Harrisburg region since 1984. “Our entire team was honored by Jennifer and Ashley’s nomination and we celebrate this achievement with them. Their compassion and dedication is admirable; and we look forward to serving more clients in our region with this same spirit,” noted Christina Weber, Director of Community Support Services for Messiah Lifeways.

Village Square & Hopewell Grand Opening weekend

The public is warmly invited to tour Village Square and Hopewell on Saturday, January 27 between 11 am and 3 pm as we celebrate the completion of this phase of Project Envision at Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village.  Check out these great articles and photos from three local publications:


The Sentinel

Central Penn Business Journal

Follow us on social media this weekend as we share all the latest news and photos from our grand opening celebration!


Podcast #11- Benefits Of Using At Home Services


Click icon to listen

The Coach’s Corner has a new podcast for the new year! Listen and learn more about Messiah Lifeways At Home and how home care helps family caregivers gain some peace of mind and balance in their lives.

Home care plays a vital role in assisting older adults and the disabled to “age in place” in the safety and comfort of their own home and live as independently as possible while receiving the care they need to maintain a high quality of life.

As our population rapidly ages and the desire to stay at home rather than move to a care facility continues, the need for supplemental care and services like home care is also growing. Over the last several years a a number of non-medical home care providers has exploded across the country. To the surprise of many, Messiah Lifeways At Home has been providing a broad range of non-medical caregiving services such as daily support, housekeeping, and companionship to older adults in the greater Harrisburg region since 1984.

To learn more about Messiah Lifeways At Home, please call 717-790-8209 or visit



Running with Purpose

On November 12 hundreds of people crossed the finish line of the Harrisburg Marathon including Messiah Lifeways team member, Ron Steficek. On the morning of the race, Ron woke up and started to second guess whether or not he would be able to run the 26.2 mile course. He had been training for this day for the past thirteen months – day in and day out. This day was particularly special for Ron because ten years ago, on November 12, 2007, Ron’s nephew David, a captain in the US Army, was killed in the line of duty while serving overseas in Afghanistan. David was a runner and so when Ron decided to start this journey, he knew he wanted to run the marathon in memory and in honor of David.

Another reason Ron decided to run the marathon was because he wanted to continue living a healthier lifestyle that he started six years ago when he decided he was going to get into shape. He decided he was going to learn karate and, within three years, he graduated with a black belt. After karate, he got involved with bicycling which is still something he enjoys to this day. One day last year while at work, he saw that our Human Resources department had put up a “Couch to 5k” flyer as part of their Wellness committee to try and keep team members healthy and active. Ron figured since he had been bicycling for some time now that he would be able to run a 5k without any problem. It turns out it was a little tougher than he thought it would be, and so he decided it was time for another new “project.”

This time he came to the conclusion that he was going to start training for the Harrisburg Marathon in 2017 and run 26.2 miles – something he had never even dreamed he’d be able to accomplish. But that’s the thing with Ron, if he says he’s going to do something, he puts his mind to it and accomplishes his goal. So, with the help of a trainer, some determination and a whole lot of ambition and discipline, Ron ran his first marathon in 4 hours and 57 minutes. His goal was to finish in less than 5 hours. Thirteen months prior to the race, he started training by doing P90X workouts 6 days a week. Then, he started running two miles a week and kept increasing his mileage per his trainer’s advice. His longest run before the marathon was 20 miles.

Halfway through the marathon Ron was already thinking about how he could improve and beat his time for next year’s marathon. He plans to continue running marathons and wants to keep up with his healthy lifestyle. Ron’s face lit up with a big smile as he said, “this whole process was an adventure and I’m not sorry for one minute that I did it.”

Ron wasn’t the only Messiah Lifeways team member to participate in the Harrisburg Marathon this year. Jessica Mladenoff (pictured with Ron below) also ran in the marathon and Les and Kim Engle and their family (pictured below) competed in the relay section of the marathon.










Messiah Village Multisensory Room in the News

Business Woman Magazine celebrated National Caregiver’s Month and National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month by highlighting the important ways that communication and sensory stimulation can aid those journeying through memory less and dementia.  Reporter Barbara Trainin Blank consulted with Krissy Koenig, CTRS, a community life leader at Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village who has extensive knowledge of Snoezelen therapy, sensory programming, and how aromatherapy, gentle hand massages, dim lights, and visual cues can calm behaviors and evoke pleasant memories. Read the article in its entirety here.

Adult Day Clients Reach out to Local Animal Rescue

Messiah Lifeways Adult Day clients and team worked together to host a blanket drive to benefit the rescue pups at Speranza Animal Rescue in Mechanicsburg. On October 19, clients boarded the Messiah Lifeways bus and had the pleasure of making their donations in person as they drove to Speranza’s spacious farm. Clients were able to meet many of the rescued pups waiting for their forever homes. “It was a great day full of smiles and amazing connections,” shares Megan Stedjan, director of Community Support Services for Messiah Lifeways. “We learned that Speranza is an Italian word for ‘hope’ and hope certainly abounds when these interactions take place.” See more photos from the delightful farm visit by following Speranza or Messiah Lifeways on Facebook.

Messiah Village and AT&T team up to keep older adults connected

Reports released in 2017 from the Pew Internet and American Life project show that while older adults are using devices such as tablet computers and cell phones in increasing numbers, they continue to lag behind the overall adult population. That’s why Messiah Village and AT&T employees from Central Pennsylvania on August 31, 2017, teamed up for a program to help older adults learn how they can use wireless phones and tablets to improve their lives.

AT&T employees from Central Pennsylvania helped Messiah Village residents learn more about how to use smartphones and tablet computers to enable them to get better connected to family and friends. During the free program, residents learned how to navigate the Internet, recognize scams, keep private information secure, back-up data and more. State Representative Sheryl Delozier also stopped by the event to talk about the importance of keeping Pennsylvanians of all ages – especially older adults – connected and engaged.

“Now more than ever, services of all kinds are offered online – from continuing education courses and consultations with physicians to accessing benefits, grocery shopping, watching your favorite TV program, and much more,” Delozier said. “That’s why events like these are so important – companies like AT&T making important connections with and for older adults like those who live in Messiah Village. I’m glad the two organizations could team up on such an important project.”

According to Matthew Gallardo, Director of Community Engagement and Coaching for Messiah Lifeways, the event was another example of Messiah Lifeways enhancing the lives of older adults based on their needs and interests.

“Several months ago we were approached by a resident’s family asking about technology training, specifically for cell phone usage and safety,” Gallardo said “Messiah Lifeways Coaching, which provides consumer guidance and education, coordinated this event with AT&T to help give our residents a better understanding of smartphones and tablets so they could have a better user experience as technology becomes more and more mainstream with seniors.”

AT&T employees from Central Pennsylvania were joined by State Rep. Sheryl Delozier at a Digital You training program for residents of Messiah Village.  The event was coordinated by Nicole Dixon, an AT&T regional manager in Central Pennsylvania. Seven other AT&T employees were on site to help answer residents’ questions about their wireless devices.

“Our employees are involved in our communities in many ways. Events like this one give us a chance to help Central Pennsylvanians get the most from their wireless devices and to better connect to each other and their world,” Dixon said. “We’re grateful to the team at Messiah Village for welcoming us to campus. It was a great day.”