Tip #18 of 50 – Where Do I Even Begin?

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

Tip # 18 of 50 –   Where do I even begin?

If you are a senior living in your home or condo (or an adult child trying to help your parent or relative in this situation), you may know that living alone, for a variety of reasons, is not working. There may be a variety of obstacles in your world that make living at home either uncomfortable or perhaps impossible.   Eyesight or hearing loss is oftentimes a big contributor, along with failing physical strength. Laundry room in the basement, anyone? Driving at night sometimes becomes problematic, and eventually, driving at all is problematic.

So, where to begin? First, take heart. There are many options available to you, and they’re not nearly as overwhelming as you might imagine.

First, there are services that are available to you in your home: housekeeping services, meal delivery, home health assistance. In our geographic area, The Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA) is a wealth of information, and their phone number 614-645-7250 and can be found at www.coaaa.org.   They offer a wide variety of referrals that can lead to good options!

Second, another wonderful option to consider is retirement community living. And if you have pre-conceived notions about what that entails, I urge you to reconsider. There are stand-alone independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing options, meaning, facilities that offer one or two levels of care that may meet your immediate needs.

Third, I also urge you to consider a continuing care retirement community, or “CCRC.”   CCRCs offer all levels of care in one – higher levels of care are there if you need them. If there is such a community near you, and you want to stay close to your home, all you need to do is call their main number and say, “I’d like to come in and learn more about your community.” It’s that simple. I recommend you visit more than one, and as many as five, although three is a good number to do a real comparison. Take notes. Is it clean? Does the staff greet you? Are there residents who greet you? I always recommend having a meal wherever you visit, the quality of both food and the service varies greatly from place to place.

And what will you find at a CCRC? You will find help, and you will find peace of mind, and you will find security in knowing that whatever your needs are, they will be met. Socialization is a key factor to a long and healthy life, and it’s never too late to make lifelong friends.

And of course, I invite you to visit Wesley Glen, Wesley Ridge, and Wesley Woods at New Albany! At The Wesley Communities, we are welcoming communities of kindness and grace, where residents and staff thrive. We look forward to meeting you!

 

 

 


Tip #17 of 50 – Why Not Just Move Into A Hotel For Your Retirement?

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 #17 of 50 –  Why not just move into a hotel for your retirement?

You may have seen the cartoons and ads and articles that suggest (some in all seriousness) that the price of retirement home living is high so, “Why not just move into a hotel?” The article then usually goes on about the price per day, and usually concludes (inaccurately) that hotel living is the better deal financially.

Let me give you many reasons why this is just a horrible idea:

  1. Hotels are not communities, because most people in hotels are there for relatively short stays, and people who are “here and gone” do not make particularly good neighbors.
  2. Hotels generally do not have good (and certainly not healthy) food options, if any.
  3. Hotels in general do not offer group or individual activities. Hotels are not in the people business. They are in the overnight accommodation business.
  4. Hotels do not provide healthcare.
  5. A hotel room. Picture it. Really?

Now, let me give you some really good reasons why retirement communities are far superior to hotels:

  1. Retirement communities are focused on the needs and wants of the people who live there.
  2. It’s never too late to make lifelong friends . . . and people who move into retirement communities are almost always, without exception, there to stay.
  3. People who live in retirement communities are interested and interesting.
  4. The food and activity options are fabulous.
  5. Healthcare is provided at all levels in continuing care retirement communities.

We invite you to visit one of The Wesley Communities to see all that they have to offer! Learn more about our services and amenities by visiting our website at www.thewesleycommunities.com

 

 


An Interview with Janet Herring : A Wesley Ridge Resident With A Truly Special Past

Recently, The Wesley Ridge Retirement Community book club read the historical fiction novel, The Atomic City Girls. The group was lucky to have the author, Janet Beard, visit to discuss the book and meet with the residents who read it.

The novel chronicles the making of the atomic bomb in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where hundreds of young women were hired to work on special tasks, which were never truly explained. The workers at Oak Ridge were instructed that they were helping to win the war, but were told to ask no questions and to reveal nothing to outsiders.

While all of our Wesley Ridge book club members were excited to meet with the author, one resident in particular, Janet Herring, had an even greater enthusiasm, she was one of the young women who worked at Oak Ridge in 1945. Click the above link to learn more about Janet and her interesting past.

 


Tip #16 of 50 – “This is Not Your Grandmother’s Retirement Community”

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 #16 of 50 – “This is Not Your Grandmother’s Retirement Community”

For those of us “in the industry,” retirement community living makes a great deal of sense. We know that loneliness is a major factor in the mental and physical decline in the senior population. We also know that the residents who live in our communities are glad they’re here . . . and that they often say, “I wish I’d come sooner.”

So why, then, does the myth of “the old folks’ home” persist? You know the myth of which I speak: crowded, smelly hallways, bad food, and lots of sitting around? In fact, you may remember being forced to visit such places in your youth . . . . holiday caroling memories, anyone?

In truth, continuing care retirement communities are exactly the opposite of the myth.

It works like this: vibrant seniors come to the community into independent living apartments, and they have a variety of meaningful activities to attend and interested and interesting people who work and live there along with them.

At The Wesley Communities, residents often mention that they have a hard time choosing – attend a concert, or the balance and fitness class? Sing in the choir, or volunteer in the library? Join the book club or the garden club? Water aerobics or the competitive chair volleyball team? Eat in the formal dining room or grab a salad in the Bistro? And the list goes on and on . . . we try to find engaging and varied activities to meet the needs of an engaging and varied resident population.

Life at The Wesley Communities is meaningful. And everything you need is right here – good friends, good food, and help right here on campus, if and when you ever need it. This is not your grandmother’s retirement community!

 

Learn more about the services and amenities that are provided for the residents at The Wesley Communities in central Ohio by visiting our website at www.thewesleycommunities.com.

 


Tip # 15 of 50 – One of the Hardest Decisions There Is: When (and how) Do You Take the Car Keys Away?

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!

If this title caught your eye, you may very well be on the horns of dilemma. You might be an adult son or daughter, a spouse, or a good friend from church or the neighborhood, and you’re dealing with a very tricky problem – your loved one probably shouldn’t be driving anymore. There have been a few too many “Mr. McGoo” moments, perhaps a damaged garage door or fender with no explanation? Or worse? An accident where someone has been injured? The latter is actually easier to deal with than the former, I’ve found.

You are probably receiving a ton of denial from your loved one, and you are also experiencing a real dilemma: if I insist that Mom (or Dad) no longer drive, how on earth will they . . . (fill in the blank). If they live out of town, the problem is even harder.And, you may be dealing with more than a little anger about the whole situation.

At The Wesley Communities, we see this problem all too frequently, and we’re happy to offer some advice. No one wants to be the bad guy, right? But if you are seeing mailboxes going down and dents in the fender, you already know what the right answer is. So, how to implement?

There are several ways to approach this situation. The best way is to sit down and say, “I’ve noticed some things and I’m really concerned about your ability to drive safely any longer.” In most situations, it won’t be as bad as you think it might be. Your mom/dad/spouse/friend didn’t get to this stage in life without a fairly healthy dose of common sense. What you’re saying may even be a relief to them.

But in the cases where you are met with anger and denial. . . again, try to approach the situation reasonably. It’s not just their life that’s at stake, they could also injure someone else. Their eyesight and reflex time is very likely not what it should be in order to drive.

Still no luck? Be prepared to have practical solutions to their objections. There are taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, community center buses, and paid helpers. In many cases, a college student home for the summer would be delighted to have flexible hours and some extra cash.

And then here’s the last resort, and it’s pretty effective. If you know someone is getting behind the wheel of a car and they can’t see or hear well, and there is some fairly objective evidence of that, when you know they’re out and about, see if your local law enforcement team can help. They oftentimes are very willing to observe, and if a traffic violation is made, they will most likely pull the individual over. And then? Almost inevitably, a revocation of license (they can’t pass the driving test) will result.

These are hard situations to deal with, but just remember, they most likely need (and probably want) your help. You’re doing the right thing, keep after it.

At The Wesley Communities, we are welcoming communities of kindness and grace where residents and staff thrive.Please visit our website at www.thewesleycommunities.org for more information.


Tip # 14 of 50 –The Case Against Staying at Home as You Age

“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!

Tip # 14 of 50 –The Case Against Staying at Home as You Age

There has been a media blitzkrieg (and resulting changes in state and federal regulations regarding nursing home care) about the benefits of staying at home “as long as possible” as we age. Who wouldn’t, after all, want to stay at home? It’s well, home. And home can be familiar and welcoming, with daily routines, good memories, and familiar surroundings.

But what if staying at home isn’t the best option? What if staying at home ultimately means isolation and increasing danger for folks whose eyesight and hearing isn’t what it used to be? What if “home” lacks the one factor most likely to result in a long, happy life: sociability? And what if “home” means negotiating steep stairs and icy driveways to collect the mail, and a never-ending list of chores that become harder and harder as we age?

Continuing care retirement communities offer many options to more than offset the benefits of home. First and foremost, they are filled with people who are both interested and interesting. And there are a wide variety of activities to fit a wide variety of interests: music, entertainment, book clubs, fitness and art classes – the list goes on and on . . . . including good food that someone else prepares!

If the choice to “stay home” involves home healthcare services when needed, there is so much to consider. Of course, there are good home healthcare agencies, and not so good home healthcare agencies. And even if you find a good one, what if your healthcare needs don’t neatly align with a scheduled visit? What if your needs change, and you need far less than a trip to the ER by squad, but more than you can do yourself?

Continuing care retirement communities have competent help to fit all needs, around the clock, just a call away. And additional healthcare is available as needed, in assisted living, skilled/rehabilitation services, long-term care, memory care, and ultimately, hospice care.

I encourage you to compare “apples to apples” in terms of safety and peace of mind. In my opinion, the scale tips toward making a move to a faith-based, not for profit continuing care retirement community instead of clinging to “staying at home as long as possible.” It’s never too late to make life-long friends.

At The Wesley Communities, we are welcoming communities of kindness and grace where residents and staff thrive. Please visit our website at www.thewesleycommunities.org for more information.


Tip # 13 of 50 – The Longevity Project and a study of catastrophic thinking – “Don’t be a Chicken Little”!

“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!

Tip # 13 of 50 – The Longevity Project and a study of catastrophic thinking – “Don’t be a Chicken Little”!

In 1921, Dr. Lewis Terman began a study of 1500 children who were born around 1910.  The lives of these 1500 children were followed and studied in meticulous detail over the course of their lifetimes.   Out of this now famous study, Dr. Howard Friedman and Dr. Leslie Martin began to study a different question:   who lived the longest, and why?     The results are revealed in The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight Decade Study. 

When the Terman subjects were young adults, they were tested for their “Chicken Little” qualities, that is, did they constantly think the sky was falling?  Also called “catastrophizers,” these subjects tended to see impending doom everywhere, and the trend, perhaps not surprisingly, shows that this trait is not good for a long life! In sum, the Chicken Littles died sooner!

The good news is that catastrophic and related negative thought processes can be changed.   The first step is recognizing thoughts for what they are – they are merely thoughts. If you start to think of “worst case” scenarios, you can literally say to yourself, “Stop!” This, followed by thought replacement (replacing the negative thought with a more positive one), can be very useful.

Remember, making changes to persistent patterns of negative thinking takes both patience and determination, but it can lengthen your life, and it can be done!

Source: The Longevity Project, by Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D., and Leslie R. Martin, Ph.D


Peg’s Perspective-If you’re considering retirement community living . . . .

“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

Tip # 12 of 50 – If you’re considering retirement community living . . . .

Here we are, well into the new year of 2019, and how are your new year resolutions coming along? Most of us resolve to eat better, exercise more, get rid of clutter . . . . and the gyms are certainly more crowded for the first few months of the year! But most of us, by now, have gone back to our old ways.

So what’s the best way to start and continue a new habit? Experts agree: starting small and building toward a goal is the best way to stay focused and committed.

If you are considering looking at, and perhaps moving into a retirement community (for yourself or a loved one), start with small, concrete steps. Things I recommend that you consider:

1. Location. Do you want to be near to family? Or near to your old stomping grounds (and doctors and grocery stores)? That’s the first question you need to answer.

2. Determine what level of care you may need. Still living on your own? Independent living is probably the place to start. If you’ve had a health break and need assistance, assisted living or nursing care may also be appropriate.

3. Once you know where you want to be, locate several retirement communities in that geographic area. Find out if they have the level of care that is appropriate for you.

4. When you have a list, call and ask to visit. It’s easy to do, and the main number for each facility will put you in touch with exactly the right person.

5. When you visit, take notes so you can compare. Don’t try to visit more than two in any one day, even if you are pressed for time. There is a lot to take in at each community, and one of the best ways to “see” it is to have a meal there.

Each community you visit will have a different “feel.” Take notice of these things that are sometimes hard to measure: Is the staff friendly? Is the community for profit or not-for-profit? Is it clean and well-maintained? Are there resident satisfaction surveys you can review?

Progress to your goal is all about planning, and taking small, concrete steps.

We of course welcome you to visit The Wesley Communities! We are welcoming communities of kindness and grace where residents and staff thrive.


Peg’s Perspective –The Longevity Project and Conscientiousness

“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!

Tip # 11 of 50 –The Longevity Project and Conscientiousness

By: Peg Carmany

In 1921, a forward-thinking psychologist, Dr. Lewis Terman, began a study of 1500 children born around 1910.  The purpose of the study was to research intellectual leadership — Dr. Terman wondered if he could identify early markers of high potential in children who were identified as “gifted” by their teachers. Their lives were followed and studied in meticulous detail. Out of this now famous study Dr. Howard Friedman and Dr. Leslie Martin began to study a different question: who lives the longest, and why? The results are revealed in The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight Decade Study. 

One of the factors in living a long life is conscientiousness, that is, the young adults who were thrifty, persistent, detail-oriented and responsible, tended to live the longest. Conscientious people simply do more things to protect their health and engage in fewer activities that are risky. They are more likely to wear seatbelts and follow doctors’ orders. And not only do conscientious people have better health habits and healthier brains, but they also tend to create healthy, long-life pathways for themselves, including happier marriages, better friendships, and healthier work situations.

So, if you are a conscientious person, keep doing what you are already doing! And if you are not engaging in prudent, dependable habits, take heart. People can and do slowly change their patterns and habits to promote a healthy, happy, and long life.

At The Wesley Communities, we have an impressive number of residents who are living well beyond 100 years old, maintaining their independence, their minds, and their sense of purpose. We do not quiz them on their conscientiousness, but we do provide many wonderful options to help all of them make good, happy, and fun choices!

Source:  The Longevity Project, by Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D., and Leslie R. Martin, Ph.D


Peg’s Perspective-Brain Fitness: Hardwiring for Happiness

The Brain Fit Book Club at Wesley Glen really enjoyed reading (and discussing, over a course of several months) Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.  The book explores how we as humans are originally hardwired for negativity, not positivity. Why? Dr. Hanson refers to “Paper Tiger Paranoia,” which looks at the special power of fear:

“Our ancestors could make two kinds of mistakes:  (1) thinking there was a tiger in the bushes when there wasn’t one, and (2) thinking there was no tiger in the bushes when there actually was one.   The cost of the first mistake was needless anxiety, while the cost of the second one was death.   Consequently, we evolved to make the first mistake a thousand times to avoid making the second mistake even once,” Hanson explains.

So, we are genetically programmed for fear and anxiety. And anyone who has ever experienced the “hamster wheel of the mind” in the middle of the night can surely relate to that.

But we can, through a variety of ways, begin to hardwire our brains in a different way, in essence, change our brains for the better. The key, according to Dr. Hanson, is to become mindful of the thoughts you are thinking, step back and observe what you are thinking, then work with it to pull the negative thoughts from your own head like you would pull weeds from a garden, and then actively cultivate positive experiences and thoughts. Dr. Hanson calls it “Self-Directed Neuroplasticity,” which is cultivating good, positive thoughts in your head, including living and dwelling with good memories and thoughts, not bad ones.

The negativity bias, while good for survival in harsh conditions, is lousy for a good quality of life, fulfilling relationships, and long-term health. So, take a cue from Dr. Hanson, and regularly take in the good.     Many people are a much better friend to others than they are to themselves. He recommends taking notice of the good, and try not to focus on the negatives that inevitably arise in everyone’s life. Your life-long happiness with be enhanced as a result.

Source: Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson, Ph.D


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