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Music has the ability to transcend time, space and even science to impact others. Its lyrics and melody bring purpose to people’s lives and return them to a place of comfort, peace and joy. After lifelong choir director and jazz performer Beverly Eubanks, 86, was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia a few years ago, many wondered how her lifelong passion for music would be affected. They might be surprised to know that she still performs just like she did in her younger days, but on a smaller stage. Instead of singing beside the likes of Duke Ellington, as she did in her younger days, Eubanks now has new partners. They are her friends and fellow residents at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco, a residential assisted living and memory care community where she has lived for a year. Eubanks delights the residents and staff when she performs during weekly karaoke activities and alongside performers who visit the community regularly. Though her memories may come and go, it is through music that she continues to come alive, and caregivers and staff and Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco are committed to providing all residents with that feeling of joy and self-confidence that comes with doing activities they love and enjoy.


“Even with this diagnosis, it has never affected her music memory,” said Eubanks’ daughter and Frisco resident Teri Rogers. “She remembers every word and sings along with songs. She still has great talent, and the songs instantly come back to her as soon as they start. While my mom is healthy overall, she needs 24-hour care, and one thing that attracted us to Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco was their residential concept and smaller size, which allows the caregivers and staff to tailor activities to residents’ preferences. It’s personally rewarding to visit and see my mom still performing like she always has, belting along to Sinatra recordings – she still doesn’t miss a beat.”


Eubanks’ family has a history of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and she was a caregiver for her husband, who passed away from dementia almost six years ago. Eubanks’ mother also had dementia, and she was able to play piano even into the late stages, so the family knew music would be important to achieve some normalcy once Eubanks moved to the memory care community.


During the variety of music-filled activities at the community, Eubanks, along with fellow residents, sings and dances along with recorded music or live performers. Eubanks especially enjoys singing alongside performer Michelle Priest at the monthly birthday party celebrations, and she puts on quite a show during karaoke.


“We feel so privileged to have a resident like Beverly, who brings such talent and experience to Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco,” said Penny Tipton, activity director at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco. “Her enthusiasm with music proves to us that while dementia and Alzheimer’s can take away a lot, there is still a person inside who can still give back to others and experience life’s accomplishments. Music is such a therapeutic tool because so many can relate to the feelings and emotion of a song, and we love incorporating music into daily activities and will continue to see other ways it could be beneficial.”


Karaoke is offered at the community Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. The next music therapy activity will be July 14 and 28 at 10:30 a.m.

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Photo 1 - Kaytlin O'Neall volunteers at Mustang Cr

Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco continues to serve seniors and their families after completely opening a year ago, and it is looking for a special group of people to open their hearts to seniors. To enhance its purposeful, thriving environment, volunteers of all types and abilities are needed to share their time, life’s work, hobbies, or skills with the residents in various ways. Teens and adults can lead activities or join in the fun alongside residents to build relationships with people they wouldn’t normally meet in their daily lives. Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco is looking for volunteers to add to the one-of-a-kind, resident-centered senior living community, and share life with the residents through skills or hobbies they enjoy.

 Kaytlin O’Neall, 13, lives in Frisco and has been volunteering at the senior living community for about eight months. She visits every Thursday and helps the residents during crafts and parties. She lives near the senior living community and wanted to volunteer with seniors, so she visited Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco to observe and learn more, and she was hooked. O’Neall is homeschooled, so she is able to plan her classes around her volunteer time and visit during daytime hours.

 “Volunteering has helped me learn how to be there for others and made me a more outgoing person as I talked to the residents and got to know them,” said O’Neall. “It teaches me to be personable when I communicate, and shows me how to create a connection with someone from a different generation. I’ve made some great friends volunteering there, and I look forward to seeing them each week.”

 One of O’Neall’s favorite activities to participate in is helping with parties for the residents, like birthdays or holiday celebrations. She invites other Frisco residents to join her in giving back to their community and learning how they can also positively impact seniors’ lives.

 Volunteers of all ages can participate in activities, like playing board games, card games, memory games and puzzles; assisting with crafts and event prep for monthly or seasonal celebrations, as well as singing, dancing or playing an instrument.

 Adults can also lend a hand by sharing a skill or hobby they enjoy, like teaching a fitness class, crocheting, knitting, woodworking, painting, sharing travel experiences, bringing a pet to visit, accompanying residents on outings, coordinating a book club, assisting with special events, or one-on-one visits with residents. The community also looks for ways residents can give back to others during their activities, such as hosting a drive for a food pantry or hand-making items to donate to local charities.

 “It’s important to enhance the lives of each resident in our community, and we know that we would not have nearly the same impact without the help of volunteers and partnerships,” said Penny Tipton, activity director at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco. “These individuals truly impact the daily lives of all residents and give them a chance to grow and learn. The experience will also positively impact the volunteers’ lives as they create lasting bonds with our community and the residents.”

 Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco is looking for dedicated volunteers who are willing to go the extra mile to brighten someone’s day, just as their staff does, and bring in new, challenging and fun activities. Anyone is welcome to share a skill or passion with the residents, no matter their age. If you are interested in learning more about how you can volunteer at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco, please contact Penny Tipton at 214-679-1508 or  

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Photo 4 - Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco -Earth D Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco residents Taneko Crow, BJ Hazlewood and Beverly Eubanks help plant raised sensory gardens for memory care residents. The herbs will also be used by the dining team to cook with.

Seniors in Frisco are giving back to Mother Nature this Earth Day and getting their green thumbs dirty in a hands on activity. Residents at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco will gather on Friday, April 22 and spend the day giving back to the Earth by planting a tree and an interactive herb garden. A Texas Red Oak, the species residents voted on and selected, was donated by Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco’s landscaping company, JLM Jones Landscaping, and will be planted behind House E at 10 a.m. that day. Included in the planting will be a short dedication and ceremonial dig by residents. At 2:00 p.m. behind House B, residents will gather again to celebrate the holiday, this time to fill raised planter boxes with herbs, including mint, chives, sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley and basil. The herbs are not only for the dining team to use when they prepare meals, tending to them can also have a calming effect for residents with Alzheimer’s or other memory impairments. The garden will be entirely safe for ingestion and will be an additional space for residents to enjoy.

 Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco chose to participate in Earth Day this year because many of their residents have a personal connection with plants, and they wanted to honor their commitment by giving back to the Earth.

 “I was raised on a farm in Missouri where we milked cows and grew corn, oats and wheat,” said 95-year-old Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco resident Gerald Cisco. “My family made a living off of the land for a long time, and I think it’s important to preserve the Earth and keep its soil healthy so it can continue to grow things we all need to survive. The pastureland was also very important in feeding our livestock and keeping them healthy.”

 81-year-old Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco resident Frank Griffith attended Arizona State University’s horticulture program decades ago and owned his own commercial landscaping company just outside Seattle. He cared for the grounds of hospitals, hotels and golf courses, and still enjoys being outside today.

 “I think it’s very important to protect the Earth and continue to plant things, because that’s how we receive oxygen,” said Griffith. “It’s great that all of us at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco are participating in Earth Day and contributing to the health and wellness of the Earth.”

 “Many of our residents planted flowers and greenery, or gardened as a hobby,” said Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco executive director Cleta Brock. “We’re excited to offer them another way to be outside and get their hands in the soil again in a way that will look beautiful and benefit our whole community.” 

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Read Across America Day is an annual holiday associated with the reading motivation program sponsored by the National Education Association. The holiday encourages children in every community to celebrate reading on Dr. Seuss’s birthday by getting together and reading some of his classic books. Along with millions of others across the United States, the residents at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco answered that call in a fun and interactive way.


The residents and volunteers from the senior living community visited each of Tadlock Elementary’s kindergarten and first-grade classes in Frisco, wearing their tall Dr. Seuss hats to celebrate Read Across America Day. They read some of the many Dr. Seuss classics together with the children. The senior living community also donated Dr. Seuss books to each class they visited to ensure these stories can be enjoyed by students for years to come.


Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco residents continually look for ways to be active in the community and connect with people of all ages. They enjoy sharing their positive spirit with others and inspiring them to look for fun, simple ways to spread joy. Tadlock Elementary holds special meaning for the senior living community, because it was named after the original owner of the community’s property, Polly Tadlock. The residents and staff at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco seek to honor Tadlock by connecting with the students and teachers at the school in various ways.


“Our residents love to read and were thrilled to participate in an activity that allowed them to pass that love on to a younger generation,” said Cleta Brock, executive director of Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco. “Visiting the kids created such positive energy and excitement among everyone. We always enjoy working with Tadlock Elementary, and look forward to more activities together.”

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Photo 1 - George and Gisela Smith Wedding Photo.JP

This month, George and Gisela Smith will celebrate a milestone that a majority of Americans will never share: 70 years of marriage. The Smiths met in Tonawanda, New York after George returned from World War II. After dating each other for only about a week, George proposed, and the Smiths were wed on February 16, 1946. With their upcoming anniversary, they find themselves looking back on their 70 years together. They have overcome challenges–including losing two sons–and their positive attitudes and close bond helped them conquer these hard times together. This connection is now more meaningful than ever as Gisela battles with Alzheimer’s. The Smiths live in separate apartments, since Gisela requires specialized memory care attention, but George visits his wife almost every day. To acknowledge this strong bond and rare achievement, Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco will host a private anniversary dinner for the couple and their family at the community on Friday, February 19 at 5:00 p.m. The staff is looking forward to making a special evening for the Smith family, complete with a personalized menu, festive decorations and even a small wedding cake.

 Gisela is originally from Germany, and came to New York with her family as a toddler. While the Smiths didn’t date until 1946, George and Gisela actually first met in high school, but didn’t really know each other. After George returned from the war, George’s brother was dating Gisela’s cousin, and they decided to plan a double date. George was immediately smitten with Gisela, and the rest, as they say, is history.

 “I think about my vows a lot…for better or worse, to honor and obey, and still try to observe them even after 70 years,” said Smith. “Gisela has always been a cheerful, upbeat and honest person–that was what initially attracted me to her, and still does to this day.”

 The Smiths vows have meant different things to them in different stages of their marriage. George spent much of his career traveling as a merchant marine, which took him to all seven continents. Gisela was a homemaker and did much of the child rearing. Trust and communication was very important during this time. After a career opportunity presented itself, the family moved to the Panama Canal Zone, which George describes as the right move for their family. After two of their sons died in accidents, the Smiths learned what true perseverance means. They worked hard to remain positive and not blame others for the cards life dealt them, a tenet which they also applied in their marriage. They worked hard to forgive each other and remain positive no matter the circumstances.

 “They’ve had an extremely giving marriage,” said George Smith, Jr. “They’ve had hard times just like everyone has, but they’ve lasted 70 years, which is fantastic. They always taught me and my brothers that your word is your bond, and they have definitely lived that. Together they make a great team and have established a wonderful partnership. I’ve tried to model my own marriage of 35 years after theirs, and I strive to have the same kind of relationship they have.”

 George and Gisela, now 90 years old, are in a new stage of their marriage. As Gisela’s Alzheimer’s worsened, it required 24-hour caregiving which Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco is able to provide. There they are able to spend time together in an environment where staff members treat the residents like their family, which is exactly why they wanted to acknowledge this momentous occasion in a special way. Although Gisela’s memory is fading, the love between them after 70 years will never be forgotten.

 “George and Gisela are a special couple and their marriage continues to inspire others, including those of us at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco,” said Cleta Brock, Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco executive director. “Seventy years is a huge milestone, and we’re thrilled to bring their family together to celebrate this occasion.”

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Photo 1 - Marjorie Shaw and 5th grader Grace Ferma

How are memories best preserved? By passing them down to younger generations. Some families make scrapbooks, and others create home movies to preserve their precious memories. The residents at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco, however, are working with the students at Tadlock Elementary on a special project designed to create intergenerational opportunities, strengthen interview skills and memorialize their lives forever. The main purpose of Tadlock Elementary’s “Students With a Task” (SWAT) group, which is similar to a student council, is to work on the students’ leadership skills. They have been fine-tuning their interview skills and communicating clearly and effectively with the end goal of interviewing the senior residents of Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco. The children will visit the community (1200 W. Main in Frisco) on Saturday, January 23rd at 9:30 a.m. to conduct their final interviews for the project. The interviews will be recorded and shared using a popular app called StoryCorps. The mission of the app is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people across the globe, all while creating an archive for future generations. As members of America’s “Greatest Generation” dwindle, it is now more important than ever to preserve their values, memories and experiences, and there’s no better way to pass them on than through the minds of the children of  today.

“We got the idea to interview the seniors because they have experienced so much throughout their lives, and would be such great people for the students to learn from,” said Sarah Perry, Tadlock Elementary School counselor. “The students will have the option to share the audio or video from the app or with the other classes at the school. We’re encouraging them to ask questions about a senior’s moment of perseverance, leadership qualities and kindness shown toward others. The conversation gives them a chance to learn about the residents’ lives while improving their interview skills, which will help them both personally and with their education. Additionally, some students don’t have grandparents they can talk to in the area, so this gives them the chance to connect with a different generation right in their hometown.”

Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco began a partnership with Tadlock Elementary in 2015 and has been working with the school to serve the students and staff in various ways. The school is special to the senior living community because it was named for the original owner of the community’s property, Polly Tadlock. The partnership was established to honor Tadlock for entrusting the community with the land that was in her family for dozens of years, as well as to create an intergenerational connection for seniors and students to benefit from for years to come.

“The residents look forward to any time they can spend with the children from Tadlock Elementary,” said Penny Tipton, activity director at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco. “They are honored to share their lives with a younger generation and help the kids further develop their interview skills.”

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As parents, grandparents and other seniors age, we expect many things to change, like hair color, eyesight or hearing. These are things most spouses, children and grandchildren are prepared to deal with. But when memory impairment and other health disorders enter the equation, it is an almost impossible job for any person to handle by themselves. The role of the full-time caregiver can be very isolating and lonely. No one knows that struggle better than Donald Zoller. His wife is a memory care resident of Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco, and he is dedicating his life to creating an open and educational dialogue about caregiving and dementia. In fact, he recently published a pamphlet entitled “Alzheimer’s and Dementia…This Ugly Disease: A Caregiver’s Journey Into Pain, Anguish and Hope”. In his own words, he discusses the challenges and realizations that are part of deciding that your loved one needs a higher level of care in an assisted living and memory care community. His words are especially powerful around the holidays, when family members reunite and may realize it is time to consider an assisted living or memory care community.


“I made a vow to my wife when we got married that I would be there, no matter what,” said Zoller. “I think at first many spouses think they’re breaking that vow when they decide to find help with the care of their husband or wife. I had to ask myself ‘What is the loving thing to do for my wife?’, and now, I don’t see it like that. I see the extra help as a way to improve her quality of life and give her a higher level of care which I am unqualified to provide. In Beverley’s new living environment, I still care for her needs, but much of it is done through the hands of a professionally trained staff. I am honored that Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco keeps copies of my pamphlet on hand for families to use a tool.”


Zoller became a full-time caregiver for his wife about five years ago when she was diagnosed with a form of dementia. Many of Beverley’s family and extended family members also had memory impairments, and due to its genetic nature, looking back, Donald estimates he began seeing warning signs of this disease in Beverley as early as her 40s. Zoller is using his pamphlet as a tool to help other caregivers and families find understanding during a hard time.


As a caregiver, Zoller knows that caregivers have to realize when it is time to ask for help from others, which was hard for him to admit. First, he had to realize that he was in over his head, which happened through a conversation with his family, and then he had to find the right people to help Beverley and himself find a new path to take. At that time, the Zollers had just moved to the Frisco Lakes active adult community. He quickly found a team who could care for Beverley full-time just a few miles away at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco. Next, it was time for Donald to receive the support he needed. He began attending a caregiver support group at Frisco Lakes designed to bring caregivers together to provide an environment for them to share what is going on in their lives and receive guidance and words of encouragement from fellow caregivers.


“Support groups are some of the most beneficial tools I’ve found for myself and other caregivers,” said Zoller. “They help to build up community among all kinds of caregivers and help people who are in the same situation you are in and offer guidance. It shows other caregivers that there is hope, support and a place to go for help when they need it. ”


“Making health decisions on behalf of a loved one is always difficult, and we understand the many concerns and considerations families take into account in determining the next step in their journey together,” said Cleta Brock, executive director of Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco. “Donald’s pamphlet provides valuable first-hand understanding of this situation, and his perspective is extremely helpful to others facing the same decisions.”


Because Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco understands that caregivers have such a challenging role in their loved one’s care, it would like to extend its help to the caregiving community at large by creating a caregiver support group in the new year. Zoller will help lead the group, which will be open to the public.


In the meantime, Zoller and the staff members at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco have several tips that could assist families over the holidays and beyond. Families might see signs that their loved ones need more assistance, but they may not know what that means.


Here are some questions family members can ask themselves about their loved ones:


  1. Is your loved one able to complete tasks she could last year on her own, like cooking her signature dish without error?
  2. What was her condition just six months ago? What does that look like compared to today? Where do you think she will be six months from now, and will you still be able to care for that person on your own then?
  3. Does she have trouble thinking through a sequence of steps, like driving directions or getting ready in the morning?
  4. Does she have difficulty managing daily living activities, like medications, shopping or laundry?
  5. Are there changes in appearance, like noticeable weight gain or loss, hygiene habits, frailty or inability to maintain appearance as was possible previously, like shaving, make-up or hair styling?


Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco looks forward to being a resource for the public and welcomes any questions. If a member of the public would like a copy of Zoller’s pamphlet, please contact Mustang Creek Estates at 214-872-4242.

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With the holiday season beginning this month, the residents at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco wanted to give back to the community around them as they reflect on the things they’re thankful for during this season of thanks. To that end, they are making sure that families in Frisco have the opportunity to receive food and household items to help them get through a period of employment loss, medical issues, homelessness or any other factor impacting income. These items will improve each family’s quality of life and create a bridge to self-sufficiency. During the entire month of November, Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco (1200 West Main Street) is holding a food drive in each of its homes to collect supplies for families served by Frisco Family Services on a daily basis. The senior living community will accept the following cooking supplies and nonperishable food items through Monday, November 30th: laundry detergent, household cleaning products, cooking oils, flour, snack items, dry beans, baking mixes, jellies, boxed or pouch fruit juices, canned meats, tomato paste and sauce, spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, canned spinach, canned turnip greens and canned mushrooms. The senior living community is looking forward to bringing smiles to the faces of Frisco families in need.


“Our food pantry gives about 40,000 pounds of food to Frisco families every month, and last year we distributed about 542,000 pounds to over 3,600 individuals,” said Myrna Rodriguez, client services director at Frisco Family Services. “When people in our community take the time to make donations to our food pantry, it directly impacts the number of people our organization is able to support.  I think it is great for a senior living community to come together to hold a food drive for us.  I love the idea of a senior community willing to selflessly provide help to others.”


“Many of our residents were raised during the Great Depression and remember what it was like to go without food or other resources because their families couldn’t afford them,” said Penny Tipton, activity director at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco. “Especially during the time of year when people are giving thanks for their blessings, our residents want to help the community and encourage others to do their part as well. They want to pass along lasting memories and traditions they built with their own families around the kitchen table to others and make sure they have the food to create those memories.”

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As the annual frightful event of Halloween drew nearer, the residents at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco offered a sweeter side to the holiday for pre-k students at Plano’s Cambridge Academy. The residents visited the school the week of Halloween to deliver handmade and decorated treat bags of pre-packaged candies and artistic crafts to celebrate with the children. To thank the residents for their treats, the children prepared to sing a few songs for the group. 

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Residents, families and staff members of Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco are preparing to participate for the first time in the Collin County Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 26th. This senior living community opened last year and expects this to be the first of many ways they’ll give back to the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Dallas, a cause that is close to their hearts. The purpose behind Mustang Creek Estates’ creation is to provide residents with care in a home-like atmosphere. The residential-style senior living community consists of six homes with up to 16 residents in each building and two are memory care homes. Each is licensed and certified by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability. This senior housing model has proven by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to be the most ideal setting for people with memory impairments. This model of care is proven to serve residents emotional and socialization behaviors better, especially for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Staff, residents and family members from Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco will walk side by side at this event to show their support for finding a cure for this disease, and they hope the public will support their efforts. This is all part of the senior living community’s goal to design activities that build relationships between residents and staff, and the staff is continually looking for ways to serve their community through events like this.

 “The effects of Alzheimer’s and memory loss are something we witness first-hand every day,”said Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco activity director Penny Tipton. “This disease is also the reason we get up and look forward to coming to our jobs: to make each resident’s day happy, purposeful and meaningful and to provide support to the resident’s loved ones. Coming together for this cause is the best way to show our commitment to helping the fight against Alzheimer’s, and we encourage others in Collin County and across the metroplex to participate in a walk or raise money in their area. We welcome contributions to our team, Mustang Creek Estates - Frisco, as well.”

 As the senior living community grows more and more connected to Frisco residents and families, it plans to provide Alzheimer’s support groups once a month to serve as a resource for families and caregivers in the area. Its highly trained staff members also work with the memory care residents on a daily basis to form family-like bonds and provide purpose through daily, enriching activities.

 “We will continue to support this cause until Alzheimer’s and other memory impairments are eradicated,” said Mustang Creek Estates co-founder and CEO Renee Ramsey. “Our communities were built to provide comfort to families who have loved ones living with memory loss, and we see the effects dementia has on them daily. Our residents are truly the passion behind every decision we make on a daily basis, and this is just another special way to support a cause that is significant to our residents and their families. We can’t wait to join with them this weekend to help end Alzheimer’s.”

 You can support the team’s fundraising goal by searching the name “Mustang Creek Estates - Frisco” on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Collin County website.