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Vitality Spa Grand Opening

by Mick Marsden

Congratulations to Lindsay Eisensmith for the grand opening of Vitality Spa at her new location on Lyme Street in beautiful Old Lyme, CT. Formally Better Health Massage and Bodywork formerly located near the Hideaway Restaurant, the new name is concise and cuts to the chase: Vitality! 


The new location is inviting and convenient. 



Vitality Spa opened officially on December 9th 2010 at their new location 14 Lyme Street, Old Lyme (next to the Diane Birdsall Gallery) and to the left of E. F. Watermelon. For more info call: 860-434-1792 or email them



The new location exudes an atmosphere of calm and relation with it's subtle warm tones, background music, and now a whole line of Vitality Spa products to keep the relaxed feeling and healing going at home after your session ends. 


Vitality Spa offers something for everyone:


Better Health Massage™

Zen Facial Rejuvenation

Vitality Body Therapy

Yoga Therapy

Deep Tissue / Sports Massage

Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy™

Pregnancy Massage

Active Release Technique (ART)


Craniosacral Therapy

Couples Massage




There's even more so please visit their website at: ""


There's a full staff of dedicated professionals waiting to help you and at a time that fits your busy life and schedule. 


From left: Kara Hooks, Lise Bohannon, Lindsay Eisensmith, Lesley Bolton, Dr. Carl Zapatka


My wife and I both have experienced the healing touch of Lindsay and her staff and consider ourselves Vitality Spa clients for life. Whether it be for general relaxation or to shorten the recovery from a bad back, the relief and care we receive is exemplary and welcome. 


Come visit soon and meet Lindsay yourself!


The Room Doctor - A Re-design for the home you want to sell.

by Mick Marsden

I've lost count of how many times I've told a prospective or current listing client that it's a beauty contest and a price war and you need to win both to sell your home in the current market. Are there exceptions? Sure…there's the unique location or architectural marvel with a historical aspect everyone wants to own, but for most, you simply need to look better and cost less to grab one of the few buyers in the current market looking to buy a home. 


Lisa gave each of her guests this special cookie with her logo on it. Each was beautifully presented in a cellophane bag tied off with a ribbon. 


It was 5 years ago I decided to give home staging a try to help my clients sell for more and in less time. Home staging's roots and traction came from the west coast of course and I was aware of it from the trade news I read and some blog articles. 5 years ago when I met Lisa Leonardi, creator of The Room Doctor, 70% of the listings in CA were already being staged at some level. Empty homes were furnished and occupied homes got sometimes complete make-overs. 


 Lisa Leonardi, right, with her right hand assistant Julie Cousins.


Lisa made a presentation to the brokerage I was working for at that time and her timing was perfect. I had a listing in need, TV shows were popping up dedicating themselves to the topic, and articles online and in real estate periodicals were covering the subject as well. Lisa was clearly the leading edge of home staging in our area and I for one was glad that this service was now available here. I was ready to give it a try..


Lisa held an open house at her beautiful home in Madison. She invited many of the great tradespeople she relies upon to get the job done. Karen Bernetti, a colleague in real estate and home staging, presented her new book "Ready2Sellin30Days" designed to help people prepare their home themselves in a well thought out and manageable way. You can eat an bite at a time! Find out more at

I had just signed a listing in Waterford that the previous agency had failed to sell during their six month listing period. The Coast Guard officer and his family had already moved to their next assignment in Alaska and the modest split-level house was empty, needing updates, on a corner lot but had good bones. The price was ok but not saying "buy me, I'm a good deal in my current condition." 


One of the many beautifully decorated rooms at Lisa's home for her annual open house.


I hired Lisa on my dime as the client had no funds to contribute so I covered this one in total. I had a 6% commission agreement so I could afford to cover it with my proceeds at closing. Lisa came in and treated the hardwood floors with a treatment to soften of the areas of that clearly needed refinishing. She brought in furnishings, hung nice things on the walls, made wonderful color choices in shower curtains and other accessories to soften the sting of the colors of a bygone era, and more. Candles were used in strategic places for ambiance. The place looked wonderful and it suggested a living flow that some buyers would have seen as challenging in a completely empty state. I now had a subject home that allowed me to create professional photos for marketing that were inviting and now looked like a good deal for the asking price now. 


Lisa speaking with Ed McCaffrey from our Page Taft Real Living Essex office. 


Long story short: I sold the home in less than 6 weeks, had more traffic in buyers at the house in the first week than the previous agency had during the entire listing period, and I found my own buyer making it very easy to cover the staging expense. I got very close to asking price, and the home sold in a short period of time. I've used The Room Doctor ever since and my track record proves the worth of the great service, advice, and talent of Lisa and her staff. 


Here's what The Room Doctor offers:


Staging Consultations: A service whereby Lisa spends an hour or two (as needed for the size of the home and scope) and advises on what the homeowner should do to best prepare the home for sale. She provides a summary of that consult in writing for the client to execute on their own. I ask that my seller's do as much as they can afford and agree with. Most do a lot and it is a huge improvement. 


Staging Assistance: A service whereby she and her staff will assist the homeowner in the physical execution of staging the home. From moving furniture, hanging art, and the like. 


Full Service Staging: Get out of the way and let the pros do it all. 


Furniture and accessory rental: Sometime's there's too much furniture, other times not, and still there are times replacing what isn't working with something that will till the house sells is the ticket.


There's much more The Room Doctor offers in the way of services so check out their website at the


The way things look really matter....especially to buyers in today's market.


If you're a seller and your agent hasn't recommended home staging, mention it to him or her! If you're an agent looking for a great home staging company, look no further. If you're a for sale by owner individual, what are you waiting for…call us or another agent you like and The Room Doctor today and get serious about selling your home today!

If you've ever had to search for a nursing home, long term care facility, or place to rehabilitate from major surgery for a loved one you'll quickly find out who's in the business for the right reasons.  By simply touring a facility unannounced your observations will give you the comfort level of what a facility has to offer to you or your family member needing care.



Some years ago I visited many long term care facilities while searching for an elder mother-in-law and it was quite discouraging. Often times the words coming from the lips of the representative who was selling the facility didn't match up with reality...or at least the reality I experienced with my own eyes during my tours. Many halls I walked smelled of urine and were full of equipment and the like in the halls making it difficult for residents to traverse. I simply didn't get the feeling or energy on the floor that things were as upbeat as they could be. These would be facilities that I feel are doing the least for the residents in order to fatten the bottom line for the company.  


Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Paul Knutsen, Executive Director of Gladeview Rehabilitation & Health Care Center in Old Saybrook, CT. I met Paul at a BNI meeting last week and went to visit him to see what kind of facility he ran. I was not only blown away about how Gladeview was managed and run, but with Paul Knutsen himself. 

Paul Knutsen explaining his approach to managing a long term care facility and his perspective on rehab to me.


I learned that this energetic executive in his early forties was in the business for the right reason. When I asked him how he found his way into the healthcare industry he reflected about his youth working for the Easter Seals Foundation at Camp Hemlocks in Hebron. At 15, he felt how wonderful it was to help someone in need, he knew then and there what he wanted to do for work for the rest of his life. That feeling was too good to let go. He never looked back. “I enjoy being able to be part of the team that provides great care, getting people back to their best, or providing a great living environment for those who reside with us.”  “Making a difference in someone else’s life is what this is all about”.



We discussed a lot about long term care facilities, a bit about our country's broken state our healthcare system is in, and more. Each of Paul's responses were heartfelt, erudite, and demonstrated his expertise in the business. Paul is no nonsense, has an extreme focus on things running correctly, puts the patient first, and manages a staff that is one of the warmest, most professional groups I've personally witnessed. 


On my tour of the 3 story, 132 bed facility, which is almost always totally full, I noticed one thing right away. The halls had no smell of urine. Things were light, bright, and spotless. The halls were clear and open and the people, residents and staff, that I engaged along the way happy and smiling. This is a testament to two important things about the facility: 


1. It means that residents with incontinence concerns are well cared for and that the staff truly care for those they care for.

2. The housekeeping staff isn't hiding.  They are very present, and on top of things always keeping up on what they do. 


The floors gleam, there isn't even a small piece of debris that can be found on any floor, in any corner. 


Gladeview’s staffing model and floor management by resident needs differ from most other homes as well.  Unit managers and Lead C.N.A’s  are in place and all staff are trained specific to the needs of the residents on their units help ensure their needs are met.  This model also produces the accountability that one needs to keep a tight ship running properly and efficiently.  The entire management team is active in the care of the residents and can be found out in the resident care areas of the facility assisting and observing to make sure the optimal care is being provided.


Meet Charlene Marcotte. Charlene is one of several residents who run Gladeview’s gift shop. The profits from the gift shop and other fund raising activities are used for Scholarships for a resident of Old Saybrook.  This scholarship is given to a student who demonstrates strong community service and academic success. The residents also donate their profits to other community endeavors such as the local food bank.  When visiting Gladeview there is often 2 or 3 residents volunteering at the gift shop. 

Gladeview offers a full complement of services:  

  • Twenty-four hour nursing care
  • Medical Director on staff and specialists on call
  • Speech, occupational, and physical therapy, dental services and psychiatry available
  • Individual and group social work services for residents and families
  • Distinct unit for sub-acute, short-term rehabilitation and post-acute care
  • Intravenous therapy
  • Contract with major insurances, HMO's and Medicare

Residents enjoy a rich lifestyle: 

  • Daily menu selections artfully prepared and elegantly served
  • Telephone outlets and cable access in every room
  • Personalized indoor and outdoor recreational programs
  • Wheelchair accessible gardening
  • Canopied patio area
  • Scheduled intergenerational opportunities
  • Day trips to restaurants, malls, local events, etc.
  • Arts and crafts classes
  • Ice cream parlor and Gift Shop
  • Volunteer services
  • Beauty/barber shop
  • Newspaper/mail service
  • Library
  • Regular chapel services
  • Rehabilitation
Large, equipped, light, bright, and cheery is Gladeview's Rehab Dept.

Speaking of Rehabilitation, most facilities offer a 5-day program with an option for a 6th. This is NOT Paul's approach whatsoever. He shared with me that Gladeview offers a standard 6-day program with an option for 7. He learned that with this approach people get better faster which means they're home sooner. This more aggressive approach provides optimal outcomes and reduces costs for everyone involved. Gladeview also has full time therapists in all disciplines, Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy as well as many per-diem therapists which make a seven day program possible.   

The Rehab department is twice as large as those found in other facilities. The reason for such a focus on rehabilitation is easy to understand as Gladeview was founded by a 100% disabled veteran, Dr. Morton Silbertein.  Dr. Silberstein’s experiences with his own rehabilitation and nursing care gave him the drive to become a physician and later in life founded Gladeview.  Dr. Silberstein lived from 1922 to 2007 and quoted Gladeview’s Mission:  “People should have a life for as long as they live!  That’s why we’re here.”  


You can read a short and moving biography of Dr. Silberstein by visiting


It's my understanding that approximately 35 of the residents at Gladeview are veterans. This is also consistent with Dr. Silberstein's mission to provide for his fellow veterans.


Linda Silberstein, currently owns Gladeview and is committed to continuing Dr. Silberstein’s mission.  She is personally on site very often to ensure Gladeview keeps consistent with its mission.


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