NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Nora O’Brien, PT, DPT, has been named Executive Director of Willow Towers Assisted Living, the award-winning not-for-profit assisted living residence that is an integral part of the United Hebrew “Campus of Comprehensive Care” in New Rochelle, New York. Dr. O’Brien, who holds a PhD in physical therapy, served as Director of Burke Rehabilitation at United Hebrew for nine years, and as a physical therapist at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital for 21 years. Dr. O’Brien has worked closely with senior populations, both as an administrator and a clinician, something she says she has enjoyed tremendously.
Dr. O’Brien says she relishes her new role because she views Willow Towers as a “life-saver.” “I have seen new residents, who came to Willow Towers after feeling isolated in their homes, regain their energy and zest for life. We provide them with the necessities they cannot get when living alone: socialization, connections to other people, and improved nutrition and hydration,” she says. “They really begin to thrive.”
Rita Mabli, President and CEO of United Hebrew, has high regard for Ms. O’Brien. “Nora has been committed to improving the lifestyles for seniors throughout her professional career,” Ms. Mabli explains. “She is an innovator who continually seeks ways to help people live life to the fullest. Residents love her, and her staff is devoted to her philosophy, which is to help residents remain independent as long as possible, and to enjoy the highest quality of life.”
Aging in Place at Willow Towers
Dr. O’Brien notes that Willow Towers, located on the 7.5-acre United Hebrew campus that overlooks the Long Island Sound, has services that allow residents to age in place. “Willow Towers was the first assisted living residence in Westchester County to obtain triple licensure from New York State,” she points out. “We are licensed to operate as an Assisted Living Residence (ALR), an Enhanced Assisted Living Residence (EALR) for people with extra health needs, and a Special Needs Assisted Living Residence, for persons living with dementia. What that means is that you can live at Willows Tower for a very long time, even if you become frail, without having to move to a skilled nursing facility.”
Willow Towers contains 126 apartments, ranging from studios to two-bedroom suites, and maintains a community of up to 150 residents. Thirty residents live in the secure Phoenix Memory Care Neighborhood, the most advanced memory-impairment supported community on campus. For people living with less severe memory impairment, the Griffin Program offers half-day or full-day supervised activities so residents can continue to live in their Willow Towers apartments.
“Willow Towers provides an extended family to those who are entering a new chapter in their lives,” Dr. O’Brien says. “Beautiful relationships are developed not only with fellow residents, but with our amazing staff.” She points out that the non-denominational Willow Towers operates close to capacity, and encourages interested residents and families to visit the facility and plan ahead to avoid making decisions during a time of crisis.
Dr. O’Brien, a resident of New Rochelle, earned a bachelor of science in physical therapy at New York University, and a doctorate in physical therapy from Dominican College of Blauvelt. In addition to her work at United Hebrew, Dr. O’Brien has served as an adjunct faculty member at New York Medical College and as a consultant for Hospice and Palliative Care of Westchester.