Our Stories Archives | Wesley Woods at New Albany

“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.


Warm Weather Safety Tips for Seniors

Now that we are in the thick of summer, the increase in temperature has not only become more noticeable but it has also become something to take into serious consideration before heading outside, especially for seniors. Before you plan your next activity outdoors, follow some of the below tips to ensure you’re staying healthy and safe.

  1. Stay hydrated. Make sure that you drink plenty of water before, during, and after being exposed to high temperatures. Staying adequately hydrated will help reduce the chances of overheating and becoming dehydrated. Avoid alcohol or caffeinated drinks as these tend to dehydrate you more.
  2. Avoid direct sunlight. Try to find a shaded spot or a cover you can stay under while being outside in the heat. By avoiding direct sunlight, you’ll limit the potential of sunburn and again, overheating.
  3. Use Sunscreen. Using a sunscreen for both face and body with an SPF of 30 or higher is best to use when being exposed to sunlight. If you plan to be outside, make sure you apply a generous amount and keep reapplying as necessary.
  4. Dress accordingly. Wear light, breathable clothing while you’re outside in the heat. Fabrics such as linen or cotton will help keep you cool and comfortable.
  5. Air conditioning is your best friend. When you’re able to, try and stay in well air-conditioned areas as much as possible. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, install a paddle fan or purchase a window unit to help circulate and regulate air flow.
  6. Know the signs and symptoms of dehydration and heat stroke. Knowing how to spot dehydration or heat stroke is important when being exposed to high temperatures for extended periods of time. If you happen to experience a headache, weakness, muscle cramping, dizziness or pass out, you may be dehydrated. As soon as possible, drink plenty of water or a drink with added electrolytes such as Gatorade. If you still don’t feel better, call 911. If you experience a temperature of 104 degrees or higher, red, dry or hot skin, a fast pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting or passing out, you may be having a heat stroke. Call 911 immediately and move to a shaded, cool area. Remove any additional layers of clothing and if possible, pour cold water on yourself. If you can safely swallow water or a sports drink, do so while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.
  7. Check the weather every morning. By being proactive with how the weather and temperature may change throughout the day, you’ll be better able to plan your activities and in most cases, can save the cooler days for being outside.
  8. If you can move activities indoors, do so. By evaluating which activities that you originally had planned to participate in outside can be moved inside, you will limit your chances of overexposure to high temperatures, and in turn, keep yourself healthier, happier, and cooler!

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.


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.”


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.


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.


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


Tip #21 of 50 – Holiday Memories and Traditions

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 #21 of 50 – Holiday Memories and Traditions

I have some very powerful memories of the holidays as a child, and I bet you do, too. Click the link above to learn more about Peg’s holiday traditions and why, at The Wesley Communities, you don’t have to give up yours.

 


Tip #20 of 50 – Loneliness in Seniors, an Enormous Problem

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 #20 of 50 – A problem no one wants to talk about: Loneliness can be an enormous problem for seniors still living in their homes

In the hierarchy of human needs, food, shelter, and safety are at the top of the list. And oftentimes, seniors living alone can meet these basic needs fairly well, especially with services provided in the home, and necessities more readily available through things like Uber and personal shoppers. But once you step beyond these basic human requirements to sustain life, social interaction and connection are of the utmost importance, and oftentimes, can be missing elements for seniors living alone. Click the link above to learn more.


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! Click the link above to learn more about why a pet needn’t be an obstacle when considering a retirement community.