Gracious senior living

With its 56-acre Neo-Georgian campus, The Osborn offers a variety of up-to-date services and living arrangements for seniors in an environment that conjures the turn-of-the-20th-century estate of founder Miriam Osborn.

Set on 56 acres in Rye, The Osborn is a five-star senior living complex founded in 1908 when Miriam Osborn left a portion of her estate to ensure ongoing support and care for senior women. The original Neo-Georgian residence, the main building, is nearly the same as it was when it was first built, although it now includes men, who were allowed into the community in the 1990s.

Nowadays, prospective residents considering The Osborn have a wealth of options, including one- two- or three-bedroom apartments, garden homes, assisted living arrangements, a memory care facility and short- and long-term rehabilitation facilities all on the same campus. 

The Osborn has 435 full-time residents and about 40 to 50 short-term rehabilitation patients at any given time. Of the full-time residents, about 188 live independently in the apartments or garden homes, with the additional 97 rental units in the main building made up of 80% assisted living arrangements and 20% independent residential units. 

The Osborn’s 84-bed Medicare-certified skilled nursing facility provides both short- and long-term care to on- and off-campus residents. Home care is also offered to residents on campus, with around 75 engaging in those services within their independent units. Another 75 to 80 receive home care in and around Westchester and Fairfield counties through Osborn Home Care, which provides nursing and companion services to those who wish to age in place. 

Regardless of the different types of care offered, The Osborn maintains an ethos of keeping its residents connected to the community. 

“I think one of the things that we do that’s important is that we keep people active and engaged and connected,” said Richard Sgaglio, vice president of marketing and development for The Osborn. “A lot of people who move to retirement or senior living communities decide that they want to be involved with something.”

According to Sgaglio, there are many options for residents to stay engaged mentally and physically, including events like concerts, theatrical and dance performances, talks from best-selling authors, art exhibits and cocktail hours.

A program with Manhattanville College in Purchase offers residents the chance to audit classes on the Manhattanville campus or attend lectures from professors on the Osborn campus itself — a verdant space of walkways and gardens that enables residents to engage with the environment and participate in outdoor activities, key in Covid times. 

“One of the things that sets us apart from many of the other communities is that 56 acres,” said Christa Picciano Daniello, vice president of sales for The Osborn. “It really makes a huge difference for people to have expansive grounds where you can really be outside and take in the beauty of the campus, and there’s not a lot of places that have that, so it’s very special to us.”

The campus is an accredited arboretum, a status it was awarded in 2020, with more than 1,000 trees of 116 different species. Representatives from Rye Nature Center help residents stay in touch with the outdoors at The Osborn, holding events that include expert-led nature walks, tree mapping, tree planting and even tapping for maple syrup. 

“When it comes to retirement, I think psychologically, it’s hard for people because they’re leaving their home that they’ve been in for 60 years, their memories and they’re looking at it as a last move, whereas it’s really not. It’s like the next step, the next chapter in life,” said Daniello. “And if you’ve planned right, it can be a really exciting chapter. We had a resident who had just moved in about a month ago, and she said, ‘This is the next chapter, the next exciting chapter of my life.’ That’s exactly how we want people to feel. And that came directly from a resident moving in, and a week after that we got a call from her and her family thanking us, because she has never been so busy. (Her daughter) said, ‘Unfortunately I can’t get a hold of my mom because she’s been so busy, and I couldn’t be (happier) to say that.’ So those are the things that make you feel really good.”

Daniello and Sgaglio pointed out another draw of The Osborn — confidence that the facility will be there and deliver as promised throughout a resident’s life, which, these days, can extend longer than ever before.

The Osborn has an A Fitch rating, putting it in the top 3% of facilities from a financial security standpoint, a rarity for senior living communities today, according to Sgaglio.

“We’ve been here for 114 years. We’re not going anywhere,” said Sgaglio. “We’ve been a leader that continues to change with the times but also shows the financial security that people should be looking for.

“A lot of these multisite, corporate senior living facilities that are popping up all over, they’re in a much different financial model,” he added. “They’re about their shareholders and trying to make money, and we’re not. We’re not for profit, so everything we do centers on the services that we provide to seniors. So it’s not about us having money that’s invested to our shareholders. We don’t have any. We invest it back into our programs and services and our own financial plan. That’s the difference between going to a senior living community that is for profit versus not for profit. We are mission-driven; we’re not financially driven.”

Being focused on one site has also proved a great benefit for both leaders of the organization and The Osborn’s residents.

“We don’t need to run through a million different channels (to make a decision),” said Daniello. “For instance … when Covid happened, you might have to go through a bunch of channels to approve changes. But we’re really able to be nimble and involve the residents in a lot of our decision-making because we are a single site….It allows us to really be innovative, to make quick changes and to really keep this campus up to date and beautiful, because we’re focused on it and that’s our only focus.”

According to Sgaglio and Daniello, many residents said they felt safer at The Osborn during the pandemic than they would have felt anywhere else, likely due to the level of care they feel from the staff who work with them every day.

“If you ask our residents what they love the most about The Osborn, many will say it’s the people,” said Daniello. “Our staff is amazing and really care about our residents. They know their names and their likes and dislikes. Residents often comment that The Osborn staff is like their extended family. There is nothing we won’t go the extra mile for. You will never hear, ‘That’s not my job,’ because our philosophy is it’s all our job. Whether we can do it, or we make sure the person who can do it gets it done, we will get it done.”

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