Monthly Archives

October 2018

Peg’s Perspective: Human Connection and Mirror Neurons

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

“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

By | Lifestyle | No Comments

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.