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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!

This blog focuses on good attitude.

Our Trip to the Orchard

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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. Read a few of the residents’ responses!

Peg’s Perspective: Life Lessons I Learned from Our Residents

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By: Peg Carmany

I first began to work in senior housing in 2002, and it’s remarkable to me how fast those 15 years have flown by.   As I look back, I think my biggest misconception at the beginning was that I was here to help them. In reality, they have given me invaluable gifts of knowledge and friendship.

Here are but a few of the things I have learned from my residents over the years:

  1. Adversity does not have to define you.     If you get a chance to live into your 80s (or 90s) (or 100s!), life will definitely throw you some curve balls.     Poor health.   Unexpected loss of a loved one.    Financial troubles.      You name it.    And at some point (and I’m not entirely sure at what age, but it will happen), you grieve, you adjust, and then you accept that everyone is carrying around something that is burdensome.
  2. Once you realize #1, you are kinder to others as a result.
  3. Gratitude is important. It sounds trite, “Count your blessings.”   But it is not trite, it is important.     Almost always, there is something, oftentimes more than one thing, to truly be grateful for, and to acknowledge.
  4. If you become a good listener, most people will think you’re a terrific conversationalist.
  5. Life is short, and it goes by quickly, and none of us are getting out of here alive. Don’t waste a day lost in meaningless details. Know that “This too shall pass,” eventually.

Now in 2018, I continue to remind myself how much our residents have helped me grow as a human being. I am better at handling the curveballs that life throws my way, whether it’s at home or at work and I strive, every day, to express my gratitude in a variety of ways. But most importantly, I truly enjoy spending time with the people who have taught me so much. There’s always room to grow.

Memory Matters

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As I sat listening to Mr. A work his brain out, on the Dakim BrainFitness machine, he turned to me and said, “You know your memory is a very important thing. You will see so much in this life and your memory keeps track of it all.” I pondered this for a moment. He’s right. Every important event, face, and activity is all stored in my memory. Could you imagine losing it all?

Unfortunately, a decline in memory is a reality with age. As people age, their ability to remember often declines, even if they don’t suffer from dementia or another mental illness. This could be due to many factors including:

  1. The shrinking of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a small organ in the brain that is involved in memory, especially long-term memory.
  2. The repair process declines. Brain cells often need repaired but, the hormones that repair them decline with age. This could lead to fewer functioning brain cells and an impaired memory.
  3. A decline in blood flow to the brain is also common with age. This can impair memory but, it can also affect cognitive skills such as reading.

Luckily, progress has been made to prevent these changes. In a clinical trial conducted by the UCLA School of Medicine, Dakim BrainFitness was shown to significantly improve the two most important cognitive functions — memory and language abilities — and users strengthened attention, focus, and concentration.

And let me tell you, it works for Mr. A! As he and I continued our conversation, he sang his favorite song (Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue, 1925), recited a bible verse starting with every letter of the alphabet, and told me vivid, detailed stories from when he was a teacher.

Our residents have fun working on the Dakim BrianFitness machines and they keep their memory in tip-top shape! We are proud to have some of the few machines in Ohio.

Resources: apa.org, helpguide.org, ucla.edu

Our Resident Blog- To our Precious Ann

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A poem to Ann from Joan:

 

O Ann, Ann, our comedian;

Our hostess with the mostest; our Samaritan.

You’ve united us beyond compare

With cards and costumes debonair.

The get-together meetings for new residers

And appetizers are grand providers

PDR dinners for new neighbors are great.

They help make it easier to relate.

Your current events really keep us more sane

As we discuss the happenings that rattle our brain.

How much we owe you, our very dear friend,

For making our lives comfortably inter-blend.

So let us be thankful for your intercession

Making a compassionate, caring population.

 

-Joan