Health and Wellness Archives - The Wesley Communities

Lessons from Winter Storm Landon

Safety Measures to Take This Season

Winter Storm Landon made his appearance in the blink of an eye. For those of us in Ohio, what started as rain quickly turned to a wintry mix of rain and ice, with projected heavy snowfall as the hours inched by. In times of rapid weather changes, it’s easy to become scared, overwhelmed and unsure as to what the best safety measures are. We’re breaking down some of the best precautions to take as soon as possible, how to understand some of the meteorologists’ weather jargon and what lessons we can learn to stay prepared for the future.

Actions to Be Taken Immediately

  • Stay InformedCheck your local stations every few hours. With severe weather, conditions can change in hours or even minutes. By regularly tuning into the weather updates from your phone, radio or television, you’ll always be in the know.
  • Charge ElectronicsPower outages are common with severe weather conditions. Do your part to keep all electronics that are necessary for your safety, especially cell phones, fully charged.
  • Gather Items for WarmthIf a power outage takes place, in-home heat may become an issue. Make sure you have a large quantity of blankets and plenty of warm clothing to keep you and your loved ones as warm as possible.
  • Prevent Home DamageTake inventory of things in your home that could be open to damage or safety hazards. Prevent your pipes from freezing by letting faucets drip and opening cabinets that cover pipes to expose them to more heat. Reduce the chances of a fire by stocking up on batteries and using battery-operated candles, flashlights, etc. The more open flames, the greater the chances of a fire.
  • Check Vehicles – Make sure you have a full tank of gas, or at least enough to get to a desired destination if needs dictate. Also, make sure your antifreeze tank is full. Should travel become unavoidable, you’ll want to be able to drive as safely as possible.

Understanding Meteorology Terminology

We know that an unexpected winter storm foments strong emotions and can be highly stressful. Reacting quickly to prepare is challenging enough, and being bombarded by unfamiliar phrases, terms and weather warnings doesn’t make it any easier. Below, we’re defining some of the common terms you’re likely to hear.

Common Weather Terms and What They Mean

  • Wintry MixThis term typically refers to a mixture of precipitation consisting of rain, freezing rain, snow and sleet.
  • SleetA common term for ice pellets that can quickly put a thin layer of ice on roads.
  • Winter Storm WatchThe potential for heavy snow and high levels of ice accumulation. It’s typically issued 24-48 hours before a storm.
  • Winter Storm WarningA step above a watch, a warning means imminent, hazardous weather is occurring or about to occur. Travel recommendations or restrictions are often mentioned when a winter storm warning is issued.

Be Prepared for Next Time

Unless you live in the tropics, winter storms are inevitable. There’s every possibility that there will be more before this winter is out. So, how can we plan ahead for future storms to keep ourselves and those around us safe? 

Steps to Take for the Future

  • Emergency KitsEmergency kits for your house and car are essential for severe weather conditions. For your home, consider items that will keep you warm or cool, depending on the relevant weather conditions, as well as first aid items and important medications. For your car, think items necessary for changes in temperature, equipment such as a shovel or ice scraper, snacks, water, batteries, jumper cables, and traction aids such as salt or cat litter.
  • Escape PlanShould a weather situation become so severe that it requires you to leave your home, having a backup plan is crucial. Whether it entails heading to a local hotel or a relative’s house, make sure you have arrangements ready to go.
  • Work or Child ResponsibilitiesFor many of us, job and parenting responsibilities are a major factor when it comes to handling inclement weather. Think about what would be most beneficial for you, your employer or your family. Maybe it’s talking to a boss about working from home or changing work hours around the weather. For childcare providers, especially those who look after grandchildren, working out a future plan with your son or daughter will help everyone down the road.
  • Stock Food Pantry and Bottled WaterKeep your pantry stocked with non-perishables and keep a few cases of bottled water on hand. Should the weather change, you’ll be confident that you can stay fed and hydrated.
  • Emergency Communication PlanHaving a discussion with your family prior to a serious weather condition will give all of you peace of mind. Maybe you name someone the “communicator” to keep everyone updated as conditions change, or maybe you designate a “safety checker” who confirms safety measures are taken so you all stay prepared. Have a text or phone call communication channel and work out a plan that works best for your family. 

We hope our winter storm lessons have provided you with some insight, some education and some tips for the next go around. We’re looking forward to bidding this storm farewell and saying, “Goodbye forever, Landon.”

When is the Best Time to Move to a CCRC?

For many older adults who are currently independent but like the idea of living in a setting where healthcare services are available if needed down the road, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) can be an ideal solution.

A popular question among prospective CCRC residents is, “When is the best time to make the move?” There is no perfect answer to this question because everyone’s situation will be different. However, waiting too long can mean missing out on some of the very reasons people are attracted to these communities in the first place.

If you feel that a continuing care retirement community is right for you, here are a few reasons why you may want to consider moving sooner rather than later. Click the link above to learn more about when the best time to make a move really is.

The Season has Changed, but the Global Pandemic hasn’t : How to Stay Active and Limit Isolation with the Colder Weather

The global pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. Especially for older adults, the lack of normalcy and decreased interaction with others has significantly contributed to feelings of isolation, sadness, and overall mental and physical health decline.

The one saving grace the past few months was the warmer weather of summer. With small group gatherings (if masks are worn) being approved in many states, time spent outdoors has helped seniors feel more social and happier.

Now that the season has changed and the temperatures have dropped, many are worried that being unable to be outside as much could have additional negative effects to an already not-so-great time.

To help try and ease concerns, we’ve complied some ideas and resources to stay active and limit isolation in the colder weather. Click the link above to read more.

What is a “Continuum of Care”?

If you have been looking at various senior living options, including continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs, also called life plan communities), you have likely heard or seen the term “continuum of care” used. It’s an important concept when it comes to the variety of services provided by retirement communities, but it is also a term that is unclear to many prospective residents. So, let’s dig in and answer the commonly asked question: What is a “continuum of care”?

First, the definition…click the link above to learn more.

The Role of Diet in Active Aging

Through all stages of life, the concept of maintaining a “healthy diet” is one we are constantly reminded of. Across the board, many regular diets are to include nutrient-rich foods in a variety of categories such as fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, dairy, meat, fish, and poultry.

However, as we grow, our unique health needs vary and many times, diets require adjustments with increases in certain food groups, and decreases in others. Especially for older adults, it’s important to understand the role diet plays in active aging, and how to determine the type of diet that is best for you and your health needs.

A few diets that have been well-received by dieticians and nutritionists specifically for seniors include the Mediterranean Diet, the DASH Diet and the MIND Diet. Click the link above to read more.

Game On: Can Brain Games Improve Your Memory?

There are a number of so-called “brain game” products on the market these days. These typically are computer or smartphone/tablet-based games that claim they can help improve seniors’ cognitive function and memory. But do they really work? Could playing video games be the secret to decreasing the prevalence of neuro-degenerative conditions like dementia? And what about things like crossword puzzles and sudoku—can they help seniors stay mentally sharp? Click the link above to read the full article.

Warm Weather Safety Tips for Seniors

Now that we are in the thick of summer, the increase in temperature has not only become more noticeable but it has also become something to take into serious consideration before heading outside, especially for seniors. Before you plan your next activity outdoors, follow some of the our tips to ensure you’re staying healthy and safe. Click the link above to read more.


How to Cope with Stress, When Times are Stressful

At a time like this, it is normal for stress levels to be heightened and for you to feel “off” more often than you feel “normal.” Your feelings are completely validated and while they are okay to have, for most of us, it doesn’t feel very good.

The Ohio Department of Health has put forth some valuable information and resources for identifying your stress, managing it, and for helping manage the stress of a loved one you’re caring for.

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones.
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes.
  • Anger or short temper.

Things you can do to support yourself

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

If you are taking care of an older adult:

  • Make sure your loved one’s nutrition intake is monitored.
  • Provide consistent predictable patterns and schedules.
  • Stay engaged with communication.
  • Personal care is important (clean clothes, bathing).
  • Attempt to lower emotions to reduce stress.
  • Understand that this change impacts a wide range of human experience that includes physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being.

 Resources for additional assistance:

  • Throughout Ohio, you can text the keyword “4hope” to 741 741 to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor. Data usage while texting Crisis Text Line is free, and the number will not appear on a phone bill with the mobile service carrier. People of all ages can use Crisis Text Line.
  • The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Director, Lori Criss, offers information on how to manage Coronavirus related stress. Click the link below to watch.
  • For those of you interested in meditation, the below link offers some of the most recommended guided meditations.
  • The Disaster Distress Helpline is available 24 hours a way, 7 days a week, year-round.
    • Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs”to 66746, Spanish-speakers, text “Hablanos” to 66746.

By identifying your own stress and the stress of those you care for, you can work towards managing it and living a happier and healthier life, especially now, when it is needed the most.




What is Social Distancing? And Why is it so Important Right Now?

With the recent events that have transpired over the past few weeks, there are many new terms that we as a society are learning and adapting to. Besides the big ones – COVID-19 and Novel Coronavirus, there are plenty of others. One of major importance that has received a lot of attention, however, is the term social distancing.

For a lot of us, this might be the first time we’ve heard this term and as a result, we may need a little further explanation. So, what is social distancing? And why is it so important right now?

Social distancing is a way for public health officials to try and limit the spread of infection by restricting interaction between people and meetings with large groups. The objective of social distancing is to reduce the probability of contact between people carrying an infection and people who are not infected to again, mitigate the spread of that infection. The more people that actively practice social distancing, the slower an infection will most likely spread.

Under the circumstances our world is facing, social distancing is among one of the most critical measures we can be taking. Right now, health officials are focused on “flattening the curve” through social distancing, which means that they are trying to slow the rate of new cases of Coronavirus so as to not overwhelm the health care professionals and resources that we have available.

Practice social distancing by limiting your interaction with others. If you do need to be around others, it is advised to avoid group settings of 10 or more people and to keep a distance of at least six feet between yourself and another individual. If your circumstances allow you to stay at home, that is encouraged as much as possible.

By taking social distancing seriously, we can help our health care industry, our fellow citizens, and our world through this uncertain and difficult time.

National Nutrition Month – Meet Executive Director of Dining Services, Lisa Wolfe, RD, LD

March is National Nutrition Month and at The Wesley Communities, we are fortunate to have our Executive Director of Dining Services, Lisa Wolfe, RD, LD. As an Ohio State University graduate, Lisa studied Medical Dietetics and soon after, became a Registered Dietitian. Lisa first started with our communities in 2005, as a Clinical Dietitian focusing on clinical nutrition and monitoring resident care. From that position, Lisa’s career progressed to Assistant Director of Dining Services positions throughout our communities, which gave her valuable experience in not only nutrition but also in improving our dining services to meet the needs of our residents. Click the link above to learn more about Lisa.