We Are Family

We are facing a difficult and scary time right now. Our lives have been flipped upside down, emotions are heightened and in more cases than not, fear has taken the front seat.

While hard times surround us, we urge everyone to take a deeper look and to remember why we are here in the first place.

We have been through a journey with each and every one of our residents, patients, and families. Why did you seek us originally? Maybe Mom could no longer do the stairs in her house. Or maybe, Grandma was having difficulty remembering to take her daily medications and needed a nurse to help. Maybe Dad couldn’t bathe himself anymore. Whatever the factor was, you needed a place that was there for you, that would care for Mom, Dad, or Grandma like you care for them. You needed us, and you found us, and from there, another form of “family” began.

We treat your loved one as if they are our family, not only caring for them, but growing with them. We celebrate the important, happy days with them like holidays and anniversaries, and we comfort them in sadness and grief when it’s needed most. We know them by name, we know their children, and we know their children’s children. We worry about them and protect them as if they are our family and we do everything we can to fight for them, not just in the face of a pandemic, but always.

Our communities and teams are made up of clinicians and professionals in a variety of specialties. We have so many passionate people in such important roles. From doctors and nurses, to life enrichment coordinators and admissions, we all have unique roles and different responsibilities, but we all share one thing in common and that is that to us, your family has become our family.

We are a wonderful place filled with dedicated, hardworking people who followed a passion – a passion to serve. We give your loved ones medication, and exercise, and help them go to sleep at night. We dance with them and create beautiful pieces of artwork with them. We work to help your loved one walk again or to button a shirt again, and we smile with tears in our eyes as they do it. We work with families on new treatments and diagnoses, and we hold their hands when news might not be so good. We lend our families a shoulder when it’s needed, and we reassure them that we are here for love, support, and sympathy.

And when a pandemic unexpectedly hits – we rise, and we fight, and we protect. We monitor your loves ones day in and day out, constantly assessing and evaluating while still providing a lifestyle of positivity among the darkness. Our staff adapts quickly, following CDC and state guidelines, while putting important regulations and additional PPE in place. We listen to each other and support each other as a team. We react and we push forward. We work hard together, and lean on each other, and we make sure to thank each other. We do our best to keep families connected through FaceTime, window visits, and letters, and we find comfort in local businesses who donate and help. We protect your loves ones, we fight for your loved ones and soon, we will overcome. We are resilient and we are family.

 

This article was inspired by a Facebook post written by a Wisconsin nursing manager named Rachel encouraging those to spread the word.


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.

Now, Lisa is the Executive Director of Dining Services and oversees all nutritional care and dining services operations for all three of The Wesley Communities’ campuses. To celebrate National Nutrition Month, Lisa said that our communities will be focused on promoting the benefits of seafood and a Mediterranean diet. “As a department, we incorporate as many events as we can that are centered around food, health, and nutrition. We like to create environments that are inviting opportunities for residents and guests to socialize while enjoying good food that’s good for you,” said Lisa.

At our communities, you will also find a variety of meals, and Lisa tries to incorporate local items as often as possible. A lot of The Wesley Communities’ vendors work with local partners which luckily allows us to purchase local produce regularly.

Lisa also explained that for each of the care areas, it’s important that our residents have alternatives available to them outside of what may be featured on the daily menu. She said, “While dining services tries to promote similar menus across our campuses, they can be, and often are tailored specifically to the needs and desires of our residents. Many times, our on-staff dieticians and chefs meet on a regular basis to better understand how our residents’ diets may have changed and find ways to ensure we are meeting these changes through the menu options.” Lisa does a fantastic job of focusing her efforts on the unique diet needs of our residents – making sure that they always have healthy and delicious meals that promote their wellness.

“Overall, the most important thing for me and what has kept me here long-term is being able to build relationships with residents and staff. In my day-to-day role, I focus a lot on food, but it is also about connecting with each other – food brings everyone together.”


Why Every Retiree Should Consider a Retirement Community

There are certain adages you may recall your parents saying when you were a child: “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” “Things are not always what they seem,” plus, of course, “You won’t know until you try.”

Clichés are repeated again and again because most often, they are true. And it just so happens that these three sayings don’t just apply to the important lessons of childhood — many adults would do well to adhere to these proverbs as they go through life.

In fact, it recently struck me that seniors who are considering their various senior living options may want to keep these very adages in mind as they ponder the possibility of moving to a retirement community, such as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC, or life plan community).

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Click the link above to learn more about why retirement communities may have more to offer than you think.


Black History Month and Its Place in Ohio

Every year, the month of February is dedicated to celebrating Black History Month, a time to recognize and honor the contributions and heroic stories of African Americans. Did you know that there have been many significant moments over the decades that have advanced black culture in Ohio? Below we’ve included a timeline of some monumental moments right here in The Buckeye State. Click the link above to read the full list.


I’m Not Ready Yet

I’m Not Ready Yet

Although the vast majority of people who live in Continuing Care Retirement Communities report that they are happy with their decision, there are many who delay a move indefinitely because they feel they are not ready yet.

Of course, moving to a CCRC is an important decision. It requires appropriate planning and should not be rushed. Yet, delaying the decision too long could mean missing the opportunity because a common entry requirement among CCRCs is the ability to live independently. Furthermore, even if your health remains good, delaying means missing out on many of the benefits that such a community could provide for you in the first place.

Here are a few of the most common underlying reasons for not being ready:

“I don’t want to leave my home.” Leaving the home where you have lived for years, if not decades, is not easy. Your own home is a familiar environment and the memories you have built there will forever be cherished. But, these are not necessarily the best reasons to stay in your home. Over time, the idea of staying in the home often proves to be easier in theory than in practice for many older adults and their family members. Sometimes staying in the home means delaying a move later to an assisted living facility or nursing home, at a time when moving to an unfamiliar environment is even more challenging physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

“I’m still independent.” Because continuing care retirement communities include assisted living and healthcare services on-site, there is a common misperception that they are long-term care facilities. However, the majority of residents in most CCRCs live independently. In fact, many residents of CCRCs lead independent and active lifestyles for many years before ever requiring long-term care services. Yet, they also recognize that things can change unexpectedly. They want a plan in place and do not want to be a burden on their children whenever that day comes.

“I do not want to deal with the hassles of moving.” Moving and de-cluttering isn’t easy at any age, but it will only become more difficult as you get older. If this is the main reason for your delay, then it is better to make the move now rather than later. The process of de-cluttering can even be a special time to share with adult children or other family members as you dust off old family keepsakes together. Some retirement communities may even include moving and de-cluttering services as an added incentive to help make your move easier.

“I am not yet comfortable with the decision financially.” There are many resources available to help you determine whether a continuing care retirement community is a viable financial choice for you. A financial planner who is well-versed in CCRC contracts should also be able to help. Finally, many CCRCs utilize software that helps them determine if your assets and income are adequate to cover your projected lifetime cost and they will usually share the results with you.

If you are considering a CCRC, but feel that you are not quite ready to make the move, then it could be helpful to think about what “not ready” means for you. Addressing the underlying reasons sooner rather than later helps assure that you keep your options open and could spur important conversations about what is ultimately best for your long-term situation.

 

 

The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.


Tip #22 of 50 – A Look Back at 2019 and a Look Forward to 2020

As The Wesley Communities celebrate 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 #22 of 50 – A look back at 2019 and a look forward to 2020

As we plan for 2020 at The Wesley Communities, I found myself looking back over all that 2019 has brought to us. First and foremost, 2019 was the year where we celebrated our first 50 years of providing excellent housing, care and services for seniors. And we will continue that celebration into this year – 50 plus years of excellent service! We are proud of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Click the link above to read more about our memories from 2019 and our plans for 2020.


The Effects of Not Having a Will

When a person dies without having made a Last Will and Testament, and they have property titled in their name alone, whether it is a boat, house, bank account or a motorcycle, there is a good likelihood that they have made life more difficult and more expensive for their surviving spouse or children. Click the link above to learn more about the effects of not having a Will and why it is important to prepare one ahead of time.


New Year, New You – 2020 Resolutions for Seniors

The New Year has officially kicked off and for many, this is a time to set new goals and to plan for the year ahead. Health is typically one of the main areas people focus on once January rolls around, and while it may be a more obvious goal in the younger generations, it is just as important for our seniors as well.

If you are planning to focus on your health in 2020, set goals that will benefit both your physical and mental health. Typically, there are small changes and adjustments that can be made to your regular routine that will have a lasting, positive impact overall. Below, we’ve included some New Year’s Resolutions you may want to consider.

  1. Exercise for 20 minutes every day.

As we all know, physical fitness is a key component for a healthy lifestyle and while it may seem intimidating, setting aside even just 20 minutes a day to get your body moving will have added benefits. At The Wesley Communities, there are many physical activities available through our Wellness Centers. Try water aerobics at one of our pools or chair yoga in one of our exercise studios. The front desk receptionists are always available to give you more information on the classes we offer, as well as memberships. If formal classes aren’t something you’re looking to participate in, try taking a regular, brisk walk to get your body moving and your heart pumping.

  1. Spend more time with family and friends.

Being around those we love is proven to have a positive influence on overall health. They are the ones that mean the most to us, they lift our spirits, they are there to lend a listening ear and, in most cases, can provide a dose of laughter when it’s needed most. Make sure you prioritize to give the folks that are important to you the time both you and they deserve.

  1. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Of course, adding more nutrient-rich food into your diet can sometimes be easier said than done but have no fear, there are quick and easy ways to up the fruits and veggies such as grabbing a banana as a mid-afternoon snack (rather than a bag of chips) or picking a side salad rather than French fries while out to dinner. By making easy adjustments like these, you’ll be surprised when looking back on your week at the quantity of fruits and vegetables you were able to incorporate.

  1. Volunteer in your community or neighborhood.

Getting involved in other interests outside of your normal routine has many benefits especially for emotional well-being and socialization. Look for activities offered at local churches or senior centers that will give you the opportunity to be around other, like-minded people. At The Wesley Communities, we have many activities and life enrichment events for our residents and their friends. From participating in a weekly current events club to picking up a weekly game night with their neighbors, it is all available. Also, use the networks around you to find volunteer opportunities in the local community. Giving back is two-fold in that it makes a difference not only to those you’re helping, but also to you.

  1. Strengthen your brain.

As we age, exercising our brains is just as important as exercising our bodies. Make sure to participate in regular “brain activities” such as crossword puzzles, simple math equations and regular reading to keep your mind sharp and healthy/ For even more brain health, consider being a volunteer on our Brain Fitness committee – contact Peg Carmany, CEO of The Wesley Communities to join.

  1. Plan for your future and help others plan for theirs.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to look at the aspects of your life to make sure you are planning appropriately for any future events and situations that may arise. Are your finances where you’d like them to be? Are your appointments, including doctors scheduled for the year? Take this time to reevaluate how the previous year went and the areas you’d like to improve on to ease your mind of any worries for the future. And, be a helping hand to those around you who may need help getting organized for 2020. If you or a friend are looking ahead to retirement, consider learning more about continuing care retirement communities. We are always here to provide more information on our communities and the services we offer, and we invite you to come for a tour or for lunch with our staff. It is never too early to plan for your future and what better timing than now?

 

The above article was written by The Wesley Communities Marketing Communications Coordinator, Allie DeBor