Tip #19 of 50 – What About the Dog?

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 # 19 of 50 –  What about my pet?
If you are a senior living on your own, or if you are the adult child of a senior living on their own, and moving to a retirement community is under consideration one very important question may be: but what about the dog? Or, what about the cat? Oftentimes, this beloved pet has been part of the family for many years, and seems like a real obstacle when it comes to making a move.
The good news is this: many retirement communities not only allow pets, they encourage them! One of the most important factors in quality of life and longevity of life is socialization. A beloved pet can feel like a member of the family. And, they provide structure to daily life – they must be fed, exercised, and cared for, all of which can sometimes be a very good reason for getting out of bed in the morning and starting the day.
At all three of The Wesley Communities (Wesley Glen, Wesley Ridge, and Wesley Woods at New Albany), pets of all varieties and sizes are welcome, especially in independent living where the responsibility of care stays solely with the resident. Typically, some adjustments may be required, and pets are screened for personality. Living in community means getting along with your neighbors, of course. Also, if the resident requires a move to a higher level of care, the pet is welcome to travel right along if the resident can continue to provide for its needs.
At The Wesley Communities, we have also offered real assistance when a resident can no longer care for their pet if the family cannot take over. We have become a sort of matching service for pets so they are well cared for – sometimes our staff steps in and adopts, and sometimes we find another resident who needs and wants another pet to adopt. It’s a beautiful thing when a pet continues to be loved and cared for, and we do our best to make it happen, always.
The decision to move to a retirement community can be a difficult one, but having peace of mind in knowing that your beloved pet can and will be able to move with you may be an additional factor in making your final choice. There are many obstacles when considering a move, but a pet needn’t be one of them.
 
 


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 # 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– Brain Fitness: Safety and Reciprocity

“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 # 9 of 50 – Brain Fitness: Safety and Reciprocity
The Wesley Communities have established a “Brain Fitness” club that consists of members from our three campuses, and the residents attend regular meetings to get updates on state-of-the-art research regarding brain health. It’s good to learn about how to keep our brains “fit,” and how to slow or even stop the progression of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
The Brain Fitness club was established in response to rather current research that shows that you can create new and stronger neural pathways in your brain through exercise, proper diet, and a variety of other factors, including a strong social network and learning new things.
Social support is not merely the same thing as being in the presence of others. The critical issue is reciprocity: being truly heard and seen by the people around us, and feeling that we are held in someone else’s mind and heart. Numerous studies of disaster response have shown that social support is the most powerful protection against becoming overwhelmed by stress and trauma.
Wesley Glen, Wesley Ridge, and Wesley Woods at New Albany offer “brain fit” opportunities, including good dietary options, exercise and fitness classes, and a variety of activities to stimulate brain activity, learning, and just plain fun.
One of the most popular activities at Wesley Ridge is Chair Volleyball. Ken, a resident at Wesley Ridge, says: “[Chair Volleyball] is the most fun we’ve ever had! … But most of all, we’ve found it a great way to learn a lot of names of the residents in a very short time and we’ve made a lot of friends. We really enjoy being with the people on the volleyball team!
Perhaps the strongest attribute of The Wesley Communities is the element of social support. Many residents at our communities will testify to the fact that it’s never too late to make good friends, and as a result, create the reciprocity that is vital to good mental health.
We call it ‘The Wesley Way’.
Sources: The Body Keeps the Score:  Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
 
 
 


Water Aerobics Instructor Shares Her Story

Christine Togni, Aquatics Instructor at the Harcum Fitness and Aquatic Center, was named the Adult Honoree at the 2018 Jingle Bell Run held on December 1, 2018.  To read more about her advocacy for the Arthritis Foundation, becoming an instructor, and her upcoming support group, click above.


Peg’s Perspective – What’s the key to a long, healthy, and happy life?

“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
By:Peg Carmany
Hazel was born in Olathe, Kansas in her family’s farmhouse. Hazel’s parents were hard-working, encouraging people.  She remembers her mother helping all of them to be their very best. “Stand up straight like God intended,” her mother would explain. Hazel was the eighth of nine children in her family.
She attended a one room country school, with only two others in her class. It was a four mile walk each way—except during the winter when the snow was so high they could walk across the fence rows in the pasture, which made the walk a little shorter.
She remembers wearing dresses made of feed sacks with pretty designs when she was very young. But, when she was in the third grade her family moved to Springfield, Missouri. Here, she received a new dress from her mother and had a pencil box with new yellow pencils. She remembers how exciting it was to receive them!
Hazel went on to attend McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas. Here, she met and married her husband Bob. They were married for 47 years, and moved to Wesley Glen after Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It became difficult for her to care for him at home, so she knew she needed a helping hand.
Now, Hazel has been living at Wesley Glen for 24 years—since 1994! And, she has a lot of good, practical advice on how to live long, and how to live well!
Here are Hazel’s 5 tips for a long life:

  1. You have to have faith, and be connected to a faithful community. There can be lots of trauma in life, and at times you may say, “Lord I need a broader back.” She tries to not fret about things by trusting in her faith.
  2. Good children and a good family—that really helps! She has two children, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren. They are very good to her and she enjoys their company.
  3. A good diet. She is very conscious of what she eats—no fried foods, no pasta, no butter, very little red meat, and lots of vegetables!
  4. Exercise –she and Bob always kept a big garden, and she’s a faithful walker. Here at Wesley Glen she’s up almost every day by 5 or 5:30 a.m. to head to the workout room and walk two miles on the treadmill.
  5. Positive attitude –Hazel smiles and greets everyone she meets. She volunteers at church and at Wesley Glen. Her impact stretches far and wide!

We are grateful that Hazel lives at Wesley Glen, and appreciate that she practices what she preaches, truly “walking the walk.” She is a fine example of how to live a long and healthy life.


Mike the Miracle

Mike, who had suffered a major stroke in 2013, graduated from Wesley Hospice on September 27th. His friends, family, and the team at Wesley Hospice are so joyous at the miracle that occurred for Mike and his family.
Click the link above to read Mike’s story.




Our Trip to the Orchard

By: Cheryl Fey, Life Enrichment Coordinator at Wesley Ridge Retirement Community
Before our trip to the Branstool Orchard, we stopped to get lunch At Watts Family Restaurant. As we sat around the table waiting on dessert, we discussed our most memorable moments at orchards. Below are a few of the residents’ responses!
One couple, Bill and Martha, have been going to orchards in the Utica area every year since 1972.  First, they went to Legend Hills, then to a little roadside stand operated at the farm of Mr. Branstool.  Later Mr. Branstool enlarged his orchard and opened a larger building that has been successful for many years.
Hope remembers her time at Muskingum College when, during her freshman year, she went to an apple orchard, sat down on the ground, and ended up sitting in poison ivy!!  Something she has never forgotten.
Mary Lou went to the Hayes-McClay strawberry farms on Ebright Road to pick strawberries in the fields.  She was a member of Sweet Adelines, and the group would go to the Hayes home for homemade strawberry shortcake made specially from her hand-picked strawberries.
Mary Jo and Jim, who lived near Richfield, Ohio, used to go to Babb’s Orchard for apples and peaches.  As a child, Mary would peel the peaches in extra thick slices, so she could have lots of peach to eat with the peels!  As an adult, she would go to a family farm to get apples, plums and sour cherries to make pies and cobblers and for canning
One resident remembers going with her mom to an orchard with apples and peaches.  She would climb a ladder to pick the fruit – lots of fun.
The Heits take their grandkids every year to pick fruit.  One year the kids were each given their own bags to fill and when they went to check out, there was 85# of fruit!  Even though they really didn’t want to buy that much, they had to because the fruit was already picked!  No one had a credit card, so everyone was digging through their purses and wallets to come up with enough cash to settle the bill.  Obviously, they never did that again!
It is always a joy for me to hear about the residents’ experiences. From cooking and family to poison ivy and bags over flowing with fruit, their stories never disappoint!