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Lifestyle

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

 

Peg’s Perspective:   It’s all about attitude

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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:   It’s all about attitude

By: Peg Carmany

According to Time Magazine, The average human life span is 71.4 years, although life expectancy in the United States is just under 79 years. The article also explains, the oldest living human being that we are aware of was Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122 years, 164 days.

Some of you are thinking, “Good for Jeanne, but no thanks,” I know, but as life expectancies rise, shouldn’t we all study how to live better as we live longer?

And, at The Wesley Communities our residents’ life expectancies far exceed the average human life span of 79 years. This is due to many reasons, but I believe one of the most impactful is living in community with one another. I believe that this helps not only in developing relationships, but also to improve attitude.

As I interview our residents, several common themes emerge, and chief among them is attitude.   That is, a positive one. Time Magazines article ‘How to Live Longer, Better”, mentions a Yale University study released this year found that in a group of 4765 people with an average age of 72, those who carried a gene variant linked to dementia, but also had a positive attitude about aging, were 50% less likely to develop dementia than people who carried the gene but faced aging with pessimism and fear.

But, this doesn’t just go for our residents! The Time Magazine article quotes Carla Julli, a 90-year-old Italian women, “After World War II, my entire generation went a bit crazy and wanted to enjoy life. . . . I tried to remember that thought out my life: go out and dance.”

So my advice on aging well?

  • Embrace what comes next.
  • No one’s getting out of here alive.
  • Take that trip.
  • Make things right with people in your life.
  • Try something new that you’ve always wanted to do.
  • “Go out and dance.”

 

Source: “How to Live longer, Better” by Jeffrey Kluger and Alexandra Sifferlin, Time February 18, 2018.

 

 

Central Ohio Bucket List

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The Bucket List for those of any age!

Summer is here in central Ohio, and we are all spending a bit more time outdoors. I’m sure you are looking for fun, safe, and active adventures to do with your loved ones. The summer time is the perfect opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime! But, what will you do this summer? Not to worry, the list below includes fun adventures right here in central Ohio. Whether you’re age 5 or 65, check out our ultimate summer bucket list!

  • Have a picnic.

Pack up a lunch and round up the family for this trip! Central Ohio has various parks that would be an ideal setting for an afternoon picnic. A few of our favorites are Blendon Woods Metro Park, near Wesley Woods at New Albany, Blacklick Woods Metro Park, near Wesley Ridge Retirement Community, and Highbanks Metro Park, which is just a short drive from Wesley Glen Retirement Community.

  • See fireworks.

Red, White, and BOOM is a must see in Columbus, Ohio. Sit right along the Scioto River and enjoy the beautiful display. This year, Red, White, and BOOM will be on July 3rd. Mark your calendars!

  • Visit the zoo.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is great for all ages! If you are overwhelmed by visiting the zoo, try breaking it up into two different trips. Then, you will be able visit half one day, and the other half on another day. But, to have the best time be sure to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. You’ll also want to ensure that you drink plenty of water if it’s a warm day.

  • Feed the ducks.

One of the best locations to feed ducks in Central Ohio is Creekside Park in Gahanna, Ohio. While you’re there, take a walk on the trails to explore the other wildlife. And occasionally, Creekside Park will have live music.

  • Go to a festival.

Experience Columbus provides an outstanding list of festivals and annual events in the Columbus area. There is a festival nearly every weekend in the summer! No matter what you’re interested in, from botanical gardens to blues and jazz, you’ll find a festival right around the corner.

What is on your bucket list this summer?

Peg’s Perspective: Fifty Tips on Aging Well to Celebrate 50 Years of Excellent Service

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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!

Tip # 1 of 50 – What’s the key to a long, healthy, and happy life?   

Answers from an interview with Joe and Millie Anderson — people who know how it’s done!

Joe and Millie Anderson met at church when Millie was 15 years old . . . . Millie remembers Joe and his brother Frank coming into church “just a little bit late,” and Millie said to her sister,  “They’re here!”

Joe remembers that Millie was “a step above my pay grade.”

After 66 years of marriage, they bring a unique perspective to aging well, not just surviving, but thriving.

Both came from rather large families.    Joe is the youngest of 8, and Millie had four brothers.    Millie’s father died when she was five.

From Joe, who ran a successful business that has been passed to his family:    “Be straight with people.   Never, ever cheat.    And be loyal to your family, and keep them together.”

And Millie’s advice?    “Church, church, church, all the time”      “We never knew we were poor, we made our own fun.”    And from her Grandmother, who lived with them,  a deep love of poetry.

Joe and Millie’s advice exactly fits with research from The Longevity Project, which shows that in order to live not only longer, but better, people both work hard and play hard. And, if you want to live a long life, going to church really may be the answer to your prayers.         It’s the values from church – respect, compassion, gratitude, charity, humility, harmony, meditation, and preservation of health that seem to predict longevity, not what’s being preached from the pulpit.

So there you have it, tips from the pros . . . . I sincerely thank Joe and Millie for sharing their insights with all of us.

References:

THE LONGEVITY PROJECT: SURPRISING DISCOVERIES FOR HEALTH AND LONG LIFE FROM THE LANDMARK EIGHT-DECADE STUDY

4 Things to Try when Facing a Tough Time

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By: Kayla Statema

I’m sure you have heard the saying, ‘April showers bring May flowers.’ And, even as we grow and change as a company, the weather at our communities in central Ohio continues to prove this quote true. But, this short phrase is so much more meaningful than just getting through Columbus, Ohio weather!

People often look back on this quote when battling a rough patch in life. Sometimes it can be hard to see the positive that can come out of a tough time, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind when facing a challenging situation.

  • Let go of guilt and forgive

When you and your family are facing a tough time, it is important to understand that everyone will not quite be themselves. Little things that you would brush off before, may now make you upset. And, the same is true for your family and friends who are facing difficulties. You are not to blame for this, and neither are your friends and family. You all must learn to let go of guilt when you act out of character. And, you must forgive when someone you love acts out of character. If you cannot let go of guilt and find forgiveness, it will start a cycle of anger between you and your family, your friends, as well as yourself.

  • Allow others to help

It’s important to allow others to help. You may not be able to take on as much as you used to at work or at home. During a difficult time, it is important to be open and honest about what you are going through. And, if someone offers a helping hand allow them to assist you. During this time someone cutting your lawn or picking up a shift at work can make a world of a difference in your wellbeing.

  • Notice positive gestures

When you are going through a hard time it’s easy to be angry at the world. So, during this difficult time challenge yourself to look at the world in a different light. Thank the person who held the door open for you. Embrace the person who picked up the tab for your morning coffee. And, thank your spouse who stopped by the grocery store to pick up the milk you needed. Noticing these small gestures can make a difference on your overall attitude. If you are finding it difficult to notice these positive gestures, try starting a gratitude journal. Then, before you go to bed each night, note the things that happened that day which you are grateful for.

  • Be kind to yourself

You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s so important. Take time for yourself during tough times. A tough situation can take up a lot of your free time so, it’s important to make the most of every minute. Go for a walk to get fresh air. Take a hot bath with aroma therapy to relax. Or, if you have a bit more time, schedule a massage or a day trip. This may help to balance out the emotions you are feeling.

We know it can be hard to keep in hindsight, but always remember—April showers bring May flowers. As people, we will always change, hit rough patches and face challenges. But ultimately, a move to a new city, may bring us closer to new friendships. The passing of a loved one may allow you to be more understanding and compassionate in the future. And, no matter what the scenario, one day you may be able to help others going through a similar situation.

How to Downsize (and stick to it!)

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In a society where ‘bigger is better’, it can seem impossible to downsize. And, even if you want to downsize, you may worry about all of the things you have acquired over the years. But, as we all know, bigger isn’t always better. And, simplifying your life may have benefits to your overall well-being. So, where do you start?
1.) Realize what you have.
A lot of times we collect things that we don’t even realize. When downsizing, it’s important to make a list of everything that you have. Pick a week to designate to taking inventory. To make the task seem more achievable, break it down into one or two rooms per day. Make sure you record all the items in that room and the number of each item you have.
2.) Streamline your list.
Now that you have this big, long list what do you do? From your inventory list, make three different categories, things you haven’t touched in a year, things you use a few times a year, and the things you use on a weekly basis.
Most of the things you haven’t touched in a year may be thrown away. But, sentimental items, like family heirlooms, may not. Be honest with yourself when sorting through these items.
The second list should be things you have used a few times in the past year, but do not use on a weekly basis. Go through your ‘past year’ list and see if you can narrow it down. For example, if you have 150 books, pick 15 that you cannot part with.
And, the third list should be things that you use on a weekly basis. In many cases, most the weekly basis list may be kept, except for duplicate items, such as two vacuums or multiple sets of dishware.
3.) Donate or sell immediately.
This is the most important step, because if you have your items sitting around your house for too long they might just end up back on that book shelf! Consider donating items to families, friends or a homeless shelter. If you are selling your items, determine a sell-by date. If you don’t sell them by the date, then donate them. This will keep you from waiting around for a buyer for too long.
4.) Creatively store the remaining items.
There are some items that you just won’t be able to part with, and that is okay. Pictures and important paperwork may be among the things you choose to keep. Now, the key is to store these items creatively. It’s easy to go out and find boxes to put on a shelf. But, stop and ask yourself if this is the most effective way. Look for furniture pieces that can double as storage, such as a hollow ottoman. This way, you will be able to store photos, paperwork, and other important items, without your guests knowing.
If you have decorative family heir looms, consider using them to decorate your new place. And, if these items are too large to keep in your new home, think about passing them down to another family member. If you can’t bear to part with them, a climate controlled storage unit is an option, too.
Through taking these steps, you may be more likely to stick to your downsizing project! And remember, you are simplifying your life in order to make room for bigger, better things such as being closer to your grandchildren. Or, waking up on a cold, snowing day knowing that you don’t have to worry about finding someone to shovel your drive way.

What to do when the weather turns cold?

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By: Peg Carmany

As the weather starts to turn colder, and our choices of outside activities here in Central Ohio become more limited, I find myself making lists of things to do such as good books to read, good movies to watch (or re-watch), and then there’s the ever-present wealth of learning opportunities on the internet – TED talks, Podcasts, silly hamster videos, and much more!

What do the residents find to do at Wesley Glen, Wesley Ridge, and Wesley Woods when the weather outside turns frightful? Well, it varies depending on the interests of the individual, but the communities offer a wide array of activities to meet a wide range of interests, including (but not limited to!) the following:

For the theater lover:

The drama group at Wesley Glen meets regularly, and practiced all fall for its winter reading production.

For the fitness fanatic:

There are so many wellness activities, including yoga classes for all levels, meditation classes and water aerobics at Wesley Glen and Wesley Ridge. Wesley Ridge has its chair volleyball team, where competitive spirit runs high!   At Wesley Woods, we have state of the art fitness equipment and various classes to take. Many campuses also have dance fit classes to keep everyone moving!

For the competitive player:

On top of all of these fun to-do’s we also have Rummikub, bridge and chair volleyball. When these events are going on, they bring out the best in us! You get a chance to see everyone’s friendly, but competitive nature. Some of the games can get intense, and they will have you on the edge of your seat!

For the contemplative spirit:

One of my personal favorites is our worship services. I’m happy to know that our residents have a place, right at home, where they can attend services. New residents love attending these services, and it is a great way to meet others in the community. On top of this, we also have prayer groups that meet regularly.

For the crafty cat:

If you are the crafty type, like me, you will enjoy our art classes and knit and crochet groups. These groups create an endless amount of beautiful crafts.   We have some very talented artists!  And, you can really see the personality of individual shine through their work.

For the busy bee:

If you are looking to get out, many times we have dinners out and other outings, with transportation provided. Even in the cold, wintery months it is nice to get a breath of fresh air.   Or, outings in the bus to look at Christmas lights, also a personal favorite!

For the homebody:

If you are looking for a more relaxed day, visit our library or our on-site salon. Our peaceful libraries provide the perfect atmosphere for an afternoon of reading. We also have book clubs, such as our brain fit book club, that our residents enjoy. And, our salons will be sure to pamper you when you need it. You leave with your hair looking great, and your spirit uplifted.

On top of all of this, we also have a choral group, educational offerings, volunteer opportunities, on-site sundry shopping and billiards that many different people enjoy.

Rarely (if ever) does a resident say “there’s nothing to do,” in fact, the more likely “tongue in cheek” complaint is, “The calendar is too full!   I have a hard time choosing!”

One of the greatest benefits of moving into a retirement community is the ability to stay socially active. As the CEO of The Wesley Communities, I am proud that we have an environment where our residents can learn, relax and thrive in community.