Mike the Miracle

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Mike, who had suffered a major stroke in 2013, graduated from Wesley Hospice on September 27th. His friends, family, and the team at Wesley Hospice are so joyous at the miracle that occurred for Mike and his family.

Click the link above to read Mike’s story.

Peg’s Perspective: Human Connection and Mirror Neurons

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“Fifty Tips on Aging Well to Celebrate 50 Years of Excellent Service”

As The Wesley Communities approach 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Peg’s Perspective:

Do you ever wake up and feel like you can conquer the world?   Yes—me too! And, if you carry that mood with you all day, chances are many people will pick up on it. They may say things like “You’re in a good mood today,” or “You look good today!” or many other phrases that we love to hear.  But have you ever stopped and asked yourself how these people know that you’re in a good mood? Or how your positive mood is impacting those around you?

Although you may not be familiar with the term “mirror neurons,” medical research is filled with studies showing that human beings are astoundingly attuned to the emotions and emotional shifts of the other humans around them.   We notice changes in the position of the eyebrow, wrinkles around the eyes, and overall body language that signal to us the other person’s state of mind – comfortable, angry, frightened, happy, suspicious, or relaxed, explains Bessel van der Kolk M.D in his book, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

Science shows that our internal mirror neurons register what the other person is experiencing, and our own bodies adjust to what the other person is feeling.  That is, we mirror what we’re seeing.  For example, when we receive a message from the other person that “You’re safe with me,” we relax.

So, what is the most important lesson of mirror neurons?   It is this:   surround yourself with people who send you good messages.  Our brains are wired to help us function as members of a tribe.    It is therefore important that we are surrounded by people who support and restore us.   And if you do, your quality of life will soar!

The feeling that you get when you walk into any of The Wesley Communities is perhaps the greatest benefit of our life plan communities.   Here, it’s never too late to make new friends and experience new things with a tribe—who can brighten your spirits on any given day.  Providing an environment to benefit your physical and emotional health is the top priority at our communities.  And one of the ways this occurs is through positive interactions with others.

To learn more about our living options or services, please click here.

Source: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

3 Must Ask Questions When Considering a Life Plan Community

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Life plan communities, sometimes still referred to as Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs, provide peace of mind for many retirees who live independently today but seek the comfort of knowing that assisted living or skilled medical care is available if and when needed.  However, many life plan communities require a fairly substantial entry fee, on top of monthly service fees, in exchange for a commitment to provide lifetime housing and care. Therefore, choosing the right community the first time is an important decision.

If you are researching life plan communities for yourself or a loved one, here are three questions you need to be sure to ask:

What is the ratio of independent living residences to assisted living and healthcare residences?

Some life plan communities are mainly independent living communities with a proportionately small number of assisted living or skilled care units available. This could be particularly concerning for newer communities, where very few residents require care now but may in the future. The question is whether there will be enough availability in the healthcare center for residents requiring care at that time. On the flip side, some CCRCs evolved out of established nursing care facilities that added a few independent living residences. In this case, you may find the number of residents requiring care services far outweighs those living independently. On average independent living residences represent 60-75% of the total residential units.

How have your monthly rates changed over the last five years?

This is important to ask for two reasons. First, it gives you an indication of what to expect going forward so you can plan accordingly. Second, it could also be an indication of the community’s financial viability. Average fee increases of 3-4 percent per year are not uncommon in the industry. If you find there have been years when the increase has been substantially more, you should find out why. Be sure you ask what the increases have been each year over the past 3-5 years, as opposed to an average. Averages can sometimes hide larger increases in a given year.

What services are included in my monthly fee, and what will cost extra?

When a provider shares with you their monthly rates, be sure to find out what types of services are included, and which are extra. This is particularly important if you are comparing two communities and one operates à la carte, while the other operates under an all-inclusive model. Ask this question not only in terms of your monthly fees while living independently, but also in the future if you should require assisted living, memory care, or nursing care. The type of residency contract, which can vary from one life plan community to another, will dictate what you will pay today versus what you will pay in the future if you require care services.

The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.

Peg’s Perspective: Taking Care of Your Telomeres

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“Fifty Tips on Aging Well to Celebrate 50 Years of Excellent Service”

As The Wesley Communities approach 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Peg’s Perspective:

As we age we all think about many health tips we have learned along the way.  But, emerging research suggests that taking care of our telomeres should be our top priority!

Elizabeth Blackburn is a Nobel Prize-winning biologist who studies telomeres. “If you think of your chromosomes (which carry your genetic material) as shoelaces, telomeres are the little protective tips at the end,” Blackburn explains during an interview with The Guardian.

“Telomeres wear down during our lives, and when they get too short they can no longer protect our chromosomes. These chromosomes then become inactive. When this occurs, there is an increased risk for major conditions and diseases of aging, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer,” explains Meghan Routt ANP/GNP-BC, AOCNP, who is the Director of Physician Services and the nurse practitioner in the Schafer Clinic at Wesley Glen.

Blackburn’s work surrounds her belief that we can lengthen our telomeres, or at least stop them from shortening, in order to stay healthier longer.

So, how can you protect your telomeres?

In summary, it’s the same message we’ve all been talking about lately – we need to improve our lifestyle by managing chronic stress, exercising, eating healthier, and getting enough sleep.

Blackburn suggests incorporating a combination of various exercises, such as walking, swimming, yoga, and weight-lifting, to increase telomere health. One interesting finding of the study is that moderate exercisers keep their telomeres as well as marathon runners.

According to Blackburn, a balanced diet centered around whole foods has a “quantifiable effect” on telomeres when compared to a diet high in processed foods.

It is good to remember that the daily choices we make impact the quality of our cells. So, make healthy food choices, get moving, and try meditation to reduce stress and improve the quality of your sleep.

The cells you save may be your own.

 

Source:

The Guardian

Why move in the fall and winter?

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It may seem crazy to move during the fall and winter months—especially in Columbus, Ohio! But there are many benefits to moving during this time. Despite the chilly temperatures, you may be able to avoid scheduling nightmares, save money, avoid damaged belongings, and sell your house more quickly.

More flexible scheduling

Movers simply have less moves in the fall and winter months. Typically, after the back-to-school rush of September slows down, so do moving companies. What does this mean for you? This means you’ll have more flexibility to decide the day and time that you move.

Save money

Because many movers’ schedules slow down during the chilly months, some will offer discounts and incentives for those willing to move. This could mean savings for you!

Reduce risk of damage

The heat of summer can cause damage to many things—groceries, candles, electronics. And, as we all know, the back of the moving trucks don’t typically have A/C. By moving in the colder months, you can reduce the risk that your belongings will be damaged by heat.

Selling your house could be easier

Because fewer people move in the winter, there are often less houses on the market. You could get more buyer exposure by listing your home in the winter months. And, an added bonus—you don’t need to do yard work to add curb appeal. The winter wonderland backdrop that the snow creates is all your home may need!

If you are ready to make the move this fall and winter, call one of our Marketing Coordinators at 614-396-4990. We have a trusted list of moving companies, downsizing companies, and auction houses. Our Marketing Coordinators can guide you through the moving process and provide you with the resources needed to have a great fall or winter move.

Peg’s Perspective: More about a good attitude. . .

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Tip # 5

“Fifty Tips on Aging Well to Celebrate 50 Years of Excellent Service”

As The Wesley Communities approach 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Peg’s Perspective:   More about a good attitude. . .

As I walked across the driveway from my office to the main lobby at Wesley Glen this morning, three residents were outside singing “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” with their strong and smooth voices.

“Oh, what a beautiful morning

Oh, what a beautiful day

I have a wonderful feeling,

Everything’s going my way.”

If you remember the movie Oklahoma and this song, I am quite sure you now have the tune in your head. (And if you do not, please look it up on Youtube, you won’t regret it.)

This line of the song hits three aspects of keeping a positive attitude:

  1. ‘Oh, what a beautiful morning’–Wake up, breathe in the fresh air and look around at all things for which you are grateful.  This is an excellent way to begin every day.
  2. ‘Oh, what a beautiful day’–Throughout the day remember to stop and see the beauty.  Take a walk…spend timewith family…do something that you love every day.
  3. I have a wonderful feeling, everything’s going my way’–Keep a positive outlook on life, even when something worrisome occurs.  Step back and realize that although you are not in control of the situation, you are in control of how you react to it.

I know the residents who were singing this morning, and I promise you, they are interested and interesting, but their lives have not been without hardships.  And yet, sometimes-oftentimes, actually- if you expect a beautiful morning, you will receive a beautiful morning.

So, how to age well?   Focus on the positive and face the negative with a few deep breaths and the knowledge that “This too shall pass.”   It will.

“Those who wish to sing will always find a song.”   Swedish Proverb

 

Staying Hydrated When It’s Hot!

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By: Lisa Kaylor Wolfe

It is important for people of all ages to stay hydrated when it’s hot. But when it comes to seniors, it’s even more vital. As we age, individuals tend to hold less water, which can quickly lead to dehydration, and many times we also lose the ability to perceive how thirsty we truly are. Without this perception of thirst, we often will not drink as much as we once did.

Here are a few tips for staying hydrated, especially in the summer heat:

Don’t wait to experience thirst

As mentioned above, many older adults do not perceive thirst as they once did. But even when they do experience thirst, it is already too late. The effects of dehydration begin before you get the sensation of thirst. The best way to ensure you are drinking water—without relying on thirst as an indicator—is to place reminders on your phone and around your house.  When these reminders go off, or you see that sticky note on your countertop, grab an 8-ounce glass of water.

Another recommendation is for individuals to think of something they do frequently.  For example, many people read, listen to the radio, or watch tv. When a new chapter is reached, or a commercial comes on, let that be a cue to take a sip of water. Sips of water regularly throughout the day help us stay hydrated while avoiding the need to consume large quantities of fluid at once.

Eat your water

Fruits and vegetables often have a high-water content.  Some of the highest include watermelon, cucumbers, and grapefruit.  By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can drink less water while maintaining your fluid intake for the day.

Avoid excess alcohol consumption

A glass or two of wine is generally okay, but drinking alcohol in excess can lead to dehydration. It may lead to excess urine output, and, in severe cases, vomiting, which may all lead to dehydration. When drinking alcohol, have a glass of water before you begin. Then alternate between an alcoholic beverage and a glass of water. Before bed, be sure to have one last glass of water.

If you ever experience symptoms of dehydration, such as dry mouth, headache, dry skin, or dizziness, it is important to seek medical attention.

Our Trip to the Orchard

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By: Cheryl Fey, Life Enrichment Coordinator at Wesley Ridge Retirement Community

Before our trip to the Branstool Orchard, we stopped to get lunch At Watts Family Restaurant. As we sat around the table waiting on dessert, we discussed our most memorable moments at orchards. Below are a few of the residents’ responses!

One couple, Bill and Martha, have been going to orchards in the Utica area every year since 1972.  First, they went to Legend Hills, then to a little roadside stand operated at the farm of Mr. Branstool.  Later Mr. Branstool enlarged his orchard and opened a larger building that has been successful for many years.

Hope remembers her time at Muskingum College when, during her freshman year, she went to an apple orchard, sat down on the ground, and ended up sitting in poison ivy!!  Something she has never forgotten.

Mary Lou went to the Hayes-McClay strawberry farms on Ebright Road to pick strawberries in the fields.  She was a member of Sweet Adelines, and the group would go to the Hayes home for homemade strawberry shortcake made specially from her hand-picked strawberries.

Mary Jo and Jim, who lived near Richfield, Ohio, used to go to Babb’s Orchard for apples and peaches.  As a child, Mary would peel the peaches in extra thick slices, so she could have lots of peach to eat with the peels!  As an adult, she would go to a family farm to get apples, plums and sour cherries to make pies and cobblers and for canning

One resident remembers going with her mom to an orchard with apples and peaches.  She would climb a ladder to pick the fruit – lots of fun.

The Heits take their grandkids every year to pick fruit.  One year the kids were each given their own bags to fill and when they went to check out, there was 85# of fruit!  Even though they really didn’t want to buy that much, they had to because the fruit was already picked!  No one had a credit card, so everyone was digging through their purses and wallets to come up with enough cash to settle the bill.  Obviously, they never did that again!

It is always a joy for me to hear about the residents’ experiences. From cooking and family to poison ivy and bags over flowing with fruit, their stories never disappoint!