Meet your Neighbor: Lori Morell

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Lori Morell started working for Monroe Township in 1993 after being recruited by Tom Allen to teach exercises classes at the Woodland School. Two months later the community center opened on Monmouth Street in Monroe and the township al- lowed her to grow programming for Monroe residents, adding an additional four classes to their schedule. In 1995, she received an award for Community Service in the Township of Monroe.

After roughly twenty years as an independent contractor with the town, Lori began teaching senior classes at the original Monroe Senior Center located in the basement of the municipal complex. Her title was ‘Fitness Wellness Director’ during which time she served as the fitness director for a CCRC in the Monroe. She then moved to Monroe as a permanent resident and has been living in Monroe for the last fourteen years.

In 2010, she began her career with Parker Homes. She is now the Health & Wellness Director for Parker Homes, supporting various communities with- in Monroe with programming from free education, to Project Healthy Bones exercise classes. Parker Homes awarded Rutgers Department of Pharmacy a grant in 2011 to do research about the benefits of strength training for Os- teoporosis for the aging. Needless to say, Lori is now engaged with the De- partment of Aging in the promotion and education of Project Healthy Bones. Parker now supports, under her auspices, 6 Healthy Bones classes in 3 counties of New Jersey, with 2 in Monroe Township. It’s their way of giving back to the community to support elders with a quality of life while aging in place. Their research has been evolving over the course of 7 years to hopefully become a national program for all seniors.

In 2015, Lori was nominated as an Ambassador for the Interagency Council for Osteoporosis (ICO) due to the development of Project Healthy Bones and Community Services, expanding free programming to the Rossmoor Commu- nity in Monroe, for good neighbor policy, and for continuing their research. She was also awarded for her Community Service from the Senior Department of Aging services for Community programming.

In 2017, she was working with the Department of Aging, Rutgers and ICO to promote, develop, and grow the Project Healthy Bones initiative across several counties. In 2018 she opened her new Healthy Bones class in the Monroe Se- nior Center.

Lori has been married for 37 years. She has two children. She currently had the joy of welcoming her first grandchild. She will soon be selling her house in Monroe and moving into a 55 plus adult community, also in Monroe.

Opened in late 2014, Parker at Monroe provides round-the clock, person-di- rected nursing care services, including memory care for individuals with all stages of dementias, who may also have complex physical needs. In addition, Parker Adult Day Center in Monroe provides daily programs for seniors, bus transportation, nutritious meals, medication administration, caregiver support groups, exercise programs and on the site physical therapy. The campus con- sists of six “Small Homes” connected to a Community Center. Sixteen residents with similar needs reside in each Small Home. The buildings and programs are designed to promote independence, dignity, and a sense of community among our residents.

As an Eden Alternative® registered home, Parker at Monroe embraces the concept of person-directed communities that offer varied and meaningful ac- tivities. The home provides opportunities for residents to give as well as receive care, and to interact with other living things, such as children, animals and plants.

For more information about Parker Adult Day Center at Monroe call 609 655-6853.