Monthly Archives

May 2015

Visiting Your Grandchildren This Summer

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Over the next couple of weeks summer vacation from school will begin for most school-aged children. What does this mean for you and me? For many of us this means it’s time for a road trip to visit our grandchildren or they are headed our way for a week or two. If the thought of the visit stresses you out, you are not alone. Here are some pointers to help ease your nerves and make for a more enjoyable visit.

Before the visit be sure to talk to your son or daughter about their rules and routines. For example, how long are the children allowed to watch television? How long can they be online and are they allowed to play video games everyday? When is bedtime and do they take naps? What types of foods do they like to eat? Are there any allergies you should know about? By taking the time to find out these things beforehand you help pave the way for a smoother visit.

While your grandchildren are visiting, the best things you can do with them is give them your attention and try to meet them at their level. Ask them things they enjoy doing and share with them things you enjoyed doing at their age. Share with them the cost of things like bread, gasoline, bacon, milk, a loaf of bread cost when you were their age and show them the comparison to today’s prices, which is a great way to sneak in a math lesson. Family photo time is always a fun time for everyone and it’s interesting to see the reaction the children have when they see you when you were they age they are now.

If you want to get outside, find a nature trail and take a hike. Bring along a small bag to collect treasures along the trail like a special petal from a flower, an odd shaped twig or a favorite from my childhood was shiny rocks or stones. Once you return from the hike, ask the child what they liked about each item they picked up and why they thought it was special. Another favorite is a picnic in the park. Allow the children to help prepare and pack the lunch for the picnic. Take a field trip, most children have never used public transportation or taken a ride in a taxicab, even if it’s just through downtown because they are using a form of transportation they’ve never used before, plus you will score major points with your grandchild.

Cherish every moment with you spend with your grandchildren. What I’ve learned is that the older they get, the less time they have to spend with you. Take the time to build a special bond with them when they are young so that they always look forward to their visits with you.

Summer Fun In the City

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By now, cabin fever has taken its toll on us all. If you’re like me, the time has come to open that cabin door and get out and enjoy the weather. As I sat on my porch the other day, I noticed most of my neighbors either working in their yards, washing their cars, walking their dogs or just sitting on their porches soaking up the warmth of the day. I cannot sit still for long, so I decided to see what was happening around the city that I might enjoy doing. After a few online searches, I found that Columbus has a lot to offer it’s residents so I decided to put together a list of sites for you to visit to help get your summer started.

If you want to find a little of everything in one search, you’ll want to visit Experience Columbus at www.experiencecolumbus.com. They make finding events to match your interests very simple and you can search by dates or add keywords to help narrow down your search results. Columbus Underground offers a very user-friendly site offering events for today, tomorrow and all year round. You can find them at www.columbusunderground.com. For events happening in Downtown Columbus, visit www.downtowncolumbus.com or Columbus Commons at www.columbuscommons.or/happenings/event-calendar/. If you like festivals but aren’t sure where to find them you’ll want to visit Columbus Ohio Festival Information at www.in-and-around-columbus.com/columbus-festivals.html where they offer a complete list of festivals in and around Central Ohio.

Today I’m heading to the North Market for lunch with a friend. There you can find a little of everything there from fresh produce and meats, yummy desserts, jewelry to a bouquet of flowers for a table at home to remind you that spring is here and summer isn’t far behind, so get up and out and enjoy the outdoors. The North Market also offers a seasonal farmer’s markets on Saturdays starting at 8am. For more information on activities and events, go to www.northmarket.com.

National Nursing Home Week

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Join The Wesley Communities as we celebrate National Nursing Home week.  What is National Nursing Home week?  National Nursing Home week began in 1967 and was incorporated into the celebration of Older Americans Month established in 1963 when only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays.  At that point about a third of older Americans lived in poverty, and there were few programs to meet their needs.

Each year there is a theme for National Nursing Home Week, and this year’s theme is “Bring on the Fiesta.”  During this week the spotlight is on nursing home residents and staff.  Everyone is encouraged to celebrate the elders who make a positive difference in the lives of others.  The week also provides an opportunity to highlight and honor those who contribute to our nation’s nursing homes — residents, family members, employees and volunteers.

The Wesley Communities is celebrating all month long with activities at Wesley Glen and Wesley Ridge Retirement Communities. There will be activities such as gardening, music, dance and art classes. The month will end with a Memorial Day Picnic.

Wesley Ridge is also hosting “A Splash of Style Family Fashion Show” this week on Saturday, May 16th.

How will you celebrate that special senior in your life?

For more information on activities at Wesley Ridge or Wesley Glen, visit the events calendar at www.wesleyglen.com or www.wesleyridge.com. You can also check with your activities representative for a complete list of events for this week.

Gardening With Arthritis

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Spring is finally here and many of us have already gotten our hands dirty doing yard work and tending our gardens.  Gardening is a soothing hobby and a great form of exercise. However, for those with arthritis, like my mother-in-law, gardening was at one time her favorite pastime, but now has become difficult since being diagnosed with arthritis.  I decided that I would try to find tips to help make gardening easier for her so she doesn’t have to give up something that she has always enjoyed.

If you love gardening and find that arthritis gets in the way, here are few simple tips that can hopefully help you work smarter, not harder, in your garden this year.

1. Avoid bending or kneeling; bring the garden up to your level.  Have a friend or a professional landscaper help you install a raised flowerbed.  Adding a retaining wall around your garden gives you a place to sit while you tend your garden.
2. When digging, pruning and weeding, use tools with arthritis-friendly features, such as easy-grip handles, which help absorb some of the impact and protect your joints.
3. When you have to go down to ground level, kneel on a foam pad to protect your knees.
4. Don’t carry your water.  Use a water caddy on wheels or install a hose long enough to reach the entire garden.
5. Plan ahead to avoid multiple trips back and forth by taking all the things you need in a wheelbarrow, bucket or wagon.
6. Use gloves that have a good grip, and try slipping a spongy rubber sleeve over the handle of your tools to help increase your grip.  This will help reduce the strain and jarring of your joints.

By using a few special tools and techniques, gardening doesn’t have to be a thing of past —  you can exercise that green thumb without causing added pain to your thumbs and other joints.  Remember that you don’t have to finish everything in one day.  Take your time, relax and enjoy the dirt and the treasures of your work.

Adults and Iron Deficiency

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Iron is an important dietary mineral that is involved in various bodily functions, including the transport of oxygen in the blood. This is essential in providing energy for daily life and iron deficiency results in depleting the iron stored within your body. This can lead to fatigue, tiredness and decreased immunity. According to the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board, healthy adult men and women 51 years old or older should consume approximately 8 milligrams of iron each day. Most elderly people easily fulfill this requirement by regularly eating iron-rich foods like beef, chicken, seafood, legumes and iron fortified cereals.

Unless you are diagnosed with an iron deficiency, adding an iron supplement is not a good idea. Non-prescription iron supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are not checked for safety and purity. Taking iron supplements when you have not been diagnosed with low iron can interfere with the proper function of several medications. These include cholesterol-lowering drugs, antacids, and antibiotics like ciprofloxacin and anti-inflammatory drugs. If needed, your physician can best advise what’s required to help with any iron deficiency you may have.

I personally suffer from severe anemia, and as a result, I have very low iron. I have found that when my iron is low, I become very tired, and symptoms include headache and weakness. While on vacation in the Bahamas a few years ago, doing nothing more than laying on the beach, I became unusually weak and unable to really move. One of the ladies I was traveling with immediately gave me an ice water, and although it did help a bit, I was still very weak. After drinking another water, I finally felt like I could get up and move around some. I found shade and a spinach salad at the beach café, and finally felt like myself again.

Once back at home I scheduled an appointment with my primary care physician. After having blood work done, I was told I needed a blood transfusion, my iron levels were dangerously low, and I could possibly need an iron fusion as well. After two pints of blood I was able to skip the iron fusion, but learned I would need to be on a prescription iron tablet for 6 months. From that point, I knew that it was vital that I also increase my intake of iron-enriched foods in my daily diet. After a year, I was able to discontinue the iron supplements and manage my iron by including lots of iron rich foods daily in my diet.

When iron deficiency is present in older adults, it is likely due to some underlying condition that requires further testing to find out the exact reason for the deficiency. If you begin to notice yourself being tired, weak or that your cognitive ability has decreased, it wouldn’t hurt to make an appointment to have a check-up to rule out any conditions that could affect your ability to shine daily.

Columbus Talent Donates Time for Annual Charity Golf Classic

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Columbus, OH (May 4, 2015) – The stars will be out Monday, July 13 for the 6th Annual Wesley Glen/Wesley Ridge Charity Golf Classic hosted by The Wesley Communities.

PGA Senior Tour player, Rod Spittle, will be located at Hole 15 where players will be able to purchase a golf ball and have Mr. Spittle hit for their shot. Columbus’ own Channel 6 news personality, Bill Kelly, will be Master of Ceremonies and will be broadcasting live from the event at 5 and 6 pm.  Professional auctioneer, Mike Albert, will once again be the auctioneer for the silent and live auctions.

Title Sponsors for the event are Corna Kokosing Construction Company and FirstMerit Bank. Proceeds benefit Hospice Services at Methodist ElderCare and Wesley At Home.

The event begins with player registration at 8 a.m. and a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. The event is not limited to golfers. Following the outing, guests and players will have a chance to mix and mingle as the event concludes with awards, dinner and live and silent auctions.

•  $1,000 per foursome (includes 18 holes of golf, beverages, lunch, dinner and auction)
•  $75 per person to attend only the dinner and auction
•  The Charity Golf Classic is limited to 30 teams
•  Deadline to register is Friday, July 3, 2015

For more information on securing a sponsorship or forming a team, contact Mary LeMaster (614) 396-4831 or visit www.methodisteldercare.org.

About The Wesley Communities

The Wesley Communities is an affiliate of the West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church providing quality housing, health care and services for seniors in the Central Ohio area. Incorporated in 1967, The Wesley Communities is a not-for-profit corporation that that knows its business and understands its customers. For additional information call (614) 396-4990 or visit www.methodisteldercare.org.

Reinvent Yourself!

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Like so many others, I have reinvented myself several times in my life. Out of curiosity, I asked a few of my close friends if they too had reinvented themselves and at what point do you stop. One friend summed it up for all of us, when she said, “You reinvent yourself everyday”. Everyday lends a new opportunity to move forward or to take steps backwards; it’s up to you on which direction.

Since there is no perfect way to reinvent yourself, I have gathered some tips that will help you with you make strides that move you forward toward the fabulous “you” that you are seeking.

  • Embrace your fears. Don’t be afraid to finally do something you always wanted to do for fear of failure or concern of what others may have thought of your choices.
  • Learn how to forgive and reconnect. Let bygones be bygones. Holding grudges takes way more energy than an attempt at making peace and moving forward.
  • Mid-life doesn’t mean stop living. It does mean you likely have more time behind you than ahead of you. It is prime time to make things happen that you may have put on hold earlier in life.
  • You don’t need a passion. Just do something. People believe you have to have a firm plan in place, but that is not true. What is important is you doing what you want and what makes you happy.

Reinvention is not a gene we have or don’t have. It’s what we decide we want it to be. I read once “It’s an equal opportunity that anyone can do”.   Take your time and think what you want the new reinvented you to be and make it happen.