COVID-19 Archives | Wesley Woods at New Albany

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.

Residents at Wesley Woods at New Albany have said that living in a community has helped tremendously as well, as activities and meals with others would not have been possible at home.

Now that the season has changed and the temperatures have dropped, many seniors living at home 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 compiled some ideas and resources to stay active and limit isolation in the colder weather.

    1. Virtual gatherings are still here, and they’re better than ever. Now that we have been facing the pandemic head-on for months, families, friends, businesses, senior centers, and retirement communities have transitioned in-person social events to virtual events. Because of this, people are becoming more tech-savvy, more creative, and more engaged. Talk to your friends and families and contact some local businesses and communities to see what gatherings you can attend virtually from your home and for instructions on how to participate. Are you used to a weekly happy hour on your patio? Set up a virtual one through Zoom instead! Before you know it, you’ll have a full calendar of virtual visits with loved ones and educational opportunities!

All of The Wesley Communities offer virtual speaker series that meet on a monthly basis. Click here for Wesley Woods at New Albany’s events.

  1. Along the lines of virtual gatherings, visit museums and site-see from your house! Many national parks, museums, and famous attractions are offering virtual visits that feel pretty similar to being there in person. For example, spend time explore The Louvre here, or see all that the Franklin Park Conservatory has to offer from the cherry blossoms to the Bonsai Exhibition here.
  1. Expand and improve your cooking skills. Even though restaurants are open, and many have indoor seating options, it’s something that should be approached with serious caution. If you’re like a lot of people, eating at home makes you feel more comfortable and less susceptible. To add some excitement in eating more meals at home, take on the challenge of a new recipe or incorporate theme-nights into your weekly menus. Not only can this improve your cooking skills, it also makes eating at home a more exciting and enjoyable experience.
  1. Use items around the house to get creative with exercising. If you’ve grown accustomed to exercising outside, or you miss going to your gym or senior fitness center, you can transition some of your workout routines to your home using standard household items. To continue with a little cardio, take a few trips up and down your staircase to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up. For low weight bearing, arm exercises, try using soup cans for bicep curls or front raises. A chair is also a great item that can be used for a variety of exercises. From squats, to calf raises, the options are endless. Silver Sneakers has shared a great article (with videos) for some chair, yoga block, and bath towel exercises. Click here to view.
  1. Start planning for the holidays. If you tend to procrastinate your holiday shopping or gift making, use the extra time at home to cross some items off your list. You can order those Amazon items your grandson is wanting for Christmas or start knitting that scarf you gift to your daughter for Hanukkah each year. By starting early, you won’t have those last-minute errands to run or those projects to finish right before the holidays start.

Above all else, look out for one another. Check on your neighbors and try to find gratitude in the simple moments of life. It takes a village to overcome obstacles and we are in this together.


“This Is My Home” – Jerry Shares His Thoughts on Life at Wesley Woods at New Albany

Jerry Krumdieck came to Wesley Woods at New Albany in 2017 after his wife of 44 years unfortunately passed away. Before moving, Jerry lived in a 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom home in Gahanna and while he loved his neighbors and of course, his home, he began to feel a real sense of loneliness. He and his Bengal cat, Henry, shared the entire house and it started to be a lot of upkeep.

Previously, Jerry and his wife looked at many retirement communities. None of them seemed to be what they were looking for, and they didn’t see themselves living the fulfilling lives they wanted to once they reached retirement. That was until Jerry met Emily Smith-Conlon, a marketing representative from Wesley Woods at New Albany at the Gahanna Senior Center and learned about our community. Interestingly enough, Jerry was familiar with The Wesley Communities as his wife’s step-grandfather was one of the first residents of Wesley Glen Retirement Community, a sister community of Wesley Woods. Although Jerry was somewhat hesitant and unsure about making a move, he agreed to meet with Emily again. During his visit, our community was still in the development stages, but just by the drawings, Jerry said, “I fell in love.” After speaking with Emily, he also met with The Wesley Communities’ CEO, Peg Carmany, and after their encounter, he was sold. Jerry officially moved into his villa in May of 2017 and said it became home almost instantly.

Jerry comes from a past career in the food services industry and even held the position of Director of Dining Services at First Community Village in Columbus. Being very knowledgeable about retirement community dining operations, it was important for him to find a community to live with exceptional meal options and superior dining services. If you ask him, he’d tell you he found it at Wesley Woods. Jerry frequently pays his compliments and thanks to our dining staff, and raves about Executive Chef, Jim Bline, and the creativity Jim brings to our menus. “Jim is wonderful, it is clear that Wesley Woods hired someone highly qualified for the job and we are so lucky to have him,” Jerry said.

For all of our residents, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been easy, but for Jerry, it hasn’t made him question his decision or change his views of where he chose to call home. He explained, “The staff has been really great. I have heard many of them say that they don’t go out to eat and they stay in their houses when outside of work because they care about us and don’t want to bring the virus here. It’s reassuring that we are cared for that much.” Jerry said that being here at Wesley Woods during this situation has made him feel really safe. “If I would have been at home during this, I would have been scared to death. Here, we have guidance and we are always informed in a timely manner,” he said.

Jerry is very active on our campus. He participates in a variety of life enrichment opportunities and leads many groups, including the Food and Dining Forum. Whether he is praising our dining team, admiring the natural light in his villa from the numerous windows (which he loves!) or sending minutes to other residents from a recent meeting, Jerry said he’s never, ever been unhappy here. “This is my home,” he expressed.


Helpful Tips for Downsizing in Retirement

One of the main reasons older adults put off downsizing or moving to a retirement community is dealing with all the “stuff” that has accumulated over the years. Yet, if done right, the process of downsizing may not be as daunting as you think. Especially with our current situation, many of us are spending more time at home and have more free time in our schedules to tackle a huge project like this. It may even be enjoyable or refreshing at times. A lot of the physical work can be done by others down the road, so your main role is to categorize, organize, and direct.

Start now

If you are thinking about moving, whether to a retirement community or to a smaller home, then now is a good time to start the process of downsizing. Do not wait until you are ready to move because it can be overwhelming at that point and you will have other things that require your attention. Even if you ultimately choose not to move then at least you have done your family members a big favor because there will be less stuff for them to deal with one day.

Recognize that you cannot keep it all

In order to know what items you can and should purge, you first need to know which items you absolutely cannot part with. But here is the key: after you have created the initial list, pare it down even further. This can be a tough exercise, but the reality is that some of the things you think you need to save may not be necessary to keep after all. For example, that sport coat or blouse in the closet that you have held onto for 15 years because you are sure you will wear it again…it’s probably time to part ways. That stack of magazines with holiday recipes dating back 10 years?… those can go too. Your most cherished recipes will not be hidden in a tall stack of magazines anyway, right?

Your kids may not want your stuff

Another popular reason for hanging on to various items is the idea that the kids or grandkids will want them. But many people eventually discover that the things they thought would be coveted by their adult children were not so desirable after all. To help sort this out, consider inviting your children over (once it is safe) for a day to go through your things and find out what they actually want.

Sort by large and small

Once you know what you want to keep, make a list of big and small items. The big items are anything that will not fit in a regular size moving box, such as a sofa or table. As you consider these items, be sure to think about the dimensions and style of your new home so you will know if they will fit. Many CCRCs have move-in coordinators who can help you with this.

Obviously, it could be tough to list out every single smaller item, but you want to think about your most utilized items first. Consider things like silverware, pictures, kitchenware, books, etc.

Sell, donate, or discard?

Once you have decided what items are no longer needed, it is time to decide what to do with them. Create a separate list with three columns: Sell, Donate, and Trash. As you consider what you want to sell, remember that items rarely bring in the amount of cash that the owner thinks they will. In some cases it may simply be easier to donate or discard an item than to go to the trouble of trying to sell it.

However, if you feel sure it would be worth the time to try to sell some of your belongings, then there are a number of ways you can do this. From the comfort of your home, you could try to sell them online with sites like Ebay or Craig’s List. (Please take caution if you use Craigslist or a similar website. If possible, wait until it is safe to meet the buyer in a public place and take someone with you.) Sometimes a good old-fashioned yard sale could do the job, but you will want to wait again, until it is a safe time to have one and you should have someone to help you with the set up and break down. Alternately, if you have more than a few valuable items, there are sure to be any number of local companies that will administer an estate sale for you – again, this would have to occur once it is safe.

Hauling the junk

Finally, after you have gone through the above mentioned steps, there will probably be a lot of junk left over. This would include things that have piled up in a garage or crawlspace over the years, such as old paint cans. There are many national companies who have safety protocols in place given our current situation that will come by and haul these things away for you while practicing social distancing. All you have to do is point to the items you want removed, and they will recycle or trash the items accordingly. Of course, you could also store the items for the time-being and revisit having a company haul them away for you once you feel more comfortable.

 

 

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


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.