Monthly Archives: February 2015

Betty Abernathy's Valentine's Day Poem

Senior Living

Primrose resident Betty Abernathy

Cheyenne, WY, Retirement Communities

I HAVE A STORY TO TELL:

There once was a woman
Who had a decision to make
It would not be easy
A chance she must take.

Could she possibly leave
Her wonderful home
They loved and built brick by brick
And stone by stone?

Many years of labor
Blood, sweat and tears
They built a structure to
Live in for 38 years.

But it takes two
To make a house a home
So reality set in when
She found herself alone.

A few years passed by
The time was taking its toll
Hired help was needed
To fix, irrigate and mow.

Then came this year (2014)
When reality set in
And she had to admit
“Another year-can’t do it again”.

“Nope, the body has aged
But still there is life
Need a place nice and cozy
Not filled with more strife”.

That woman is me
And I found by way here
To a Primrose Retirement Villa
A Place filled with good cheer.

New address is as follows
1522 Dorothy Lane
Still in Cheyenne
The zip code the same.

You are welcome as always
And I now want to say
Blessings, Love and Happiness
On this Valentine’s Day.

by Betty Abernathy
Primrose Resident

Special thanks to Life Enrichment Coordinator Lisa McInelly for her assistance in sharing this poem.

Understanding the Value of Safety and Security

Once the decision to sell a home and transition to a retirement community has been made, the real questions begin. As you start researching available options for your loved ones, you will quickly learn that there are many important factors at play that need to be researched – and one of the most important involves resident safety and security.

What you need to know

What should you be asking retirement communities when researching this topic? Kathy Gerdes, Primrose Executive Director of Nursing, believes there is one question in particular that is of the utmost importance. “If your loved one is in need of assisted living services, it is essential to ask the staff how they will communicate with you   about the care Capture One Catalog1030being provided. It is important to learn how a community involves you in the caretaking process,” Gerdes said. “Good communication and a commitment to developing a personal relationship with residents and their family members is the key,” she added. At Primrose everything from Email and phone calls, to text messaging and Skype-based teleconferencing are utilized to make the family communication process easy and efficient.

It is equally important to ask about what staff protocols are in place to ensure that internal communication is also happening effectively. “We make sure that our staff have the ability to talk to one another at all times no matter where they are in the building,” Gerdes said. “Things can change quickly from one moment to the next. Ensuring that our staff are in a position to be able to adjust quickly to accommodate the unexpected, gives us the best opportunity to provide our residents with the safest possible environment at all times,” she added.

What’ most important to you?

Once you are confident that the communities on your short list have effective internal and external communication plans in place – you may want to start evaluating safety features. For example, many communities will offer on-call nursing services, but not all will have a nurse on-site 24 hours a day. What about personal safety measures? Is it important to you that your loved one have a wireless pendant around their neck or an emergency pull cord system available in case something happens to them in their apartment?

Maybe the security of the building itself is of importance to you. At some communities, exterior doors are locked 24 hours a day to prevent intruders from entering, but residents are given a passcode allowing them to come and go as they please. Maybe it is important to you to know where the security cameras and fire alarms are located, or what the protocol is in the event of severe weather. These are all important safety-related questions for you to ask.

As you can see, the issue of safety covers a lot of ground. Obviously, the end goal for family members who are doing the research is the well-being of their loved ones. But understanding how a community goes about achieving that goal will go a long way in helping to ensure that you’ve made the right choice.

If you have questions for us, Primrose would be honored to assist you. Feel free to visit our website at www.primroseretirement.com for more information.

Lucas Loves Primrosers

Ruth sings to Lucas

Ruth Macartney lovingly sings to Lucas

Donna posing with Lucas

Donna Childress snuggles Lucas

Pueblo, CO, Retirement Communities

There are many scientifically proven mental, physical and emotional benefits to Pet Therapy. According to PAWs for People, physically it lowers blood pressure and pain, releases endorphins and enhances relaxation. Emotionally it reduces boredom, anxiety and loneliness. Frankly, the way a dog conveys unconditional love, being present, responsive and appreciative does wonders to lift spirits. I see it every day.

Seven year old Red Golden Retriever Lucas is the “unofficial” therapy dog of Primrose of Pueblo and may just have the best job in the house! He has been on the job in the Life Enrichment Department for 3 years and loves the Primrosers who live in this special community. There is a treat jar available but that isn’t the only thing going on in these interactions between man and dog.

Ruth McCartney comes by every day to sing to Lucas while she pets him and massages his ears. When Rod Townley plays the harmonica for him, his ears visibly raise up. Even when his owner, Life Enrichment Coordinator Barbara Della Rossa is at an activity, residents come by for their “Lucas Time.” There are several residents who bring him “special treats” and that is often kept between just them and Lucas. Coming to see Lucas is often part of a physical or occupational therapy session. He even makes one on one visits and has entertained groups of residents with his talented manner of keeping a balloon in the air with coordinated leaps. He and his owner walk with residents that just need to get some fresh air and delight in the joy of a walk. Even with folks that can’t always remember names, they seem to remember his, or will call him “my boy” or “the puppy.” Donna Childress snuggles him with a reassuring “Grandma loves you” after attending an exercise class. Emily Sutton quips in her lovely New England accent “Hi Handsome, He’s my honey and I love him” as she scratches the spot behind his head that she knows he can’t reach. This is living at Primrose of Pueblo with a gentle spirit that always has time to visit.

Thank you, Primrose, from your friend always, Lucas
paw print

by Barbara Della Rossa
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about the retirement living experience at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

Bingo Healthy Activity at Marion Primrose

Senior Living

Chloe Miller battles Parkinson’s every day but that doesn’t keep her away from the bingo table. She said she believes by concentrating on using her hands and finger to pick up the markers and putting them in place it’s good therapy.

Marion, OH, Retirement Communities

For some folks, Bingo is a waste of time – or so they say. But Primrose Marion has a faithful dozen who play Bingo three times a week.

Scientific studies are revealing that playing bingo can have some not-so-obvious benefits. Research has shown that playing Bingo is good therapy for aging people. Bingo requires hand/eye control, concentration hearing and then looking for the letter and number as they are called, and offers tons of socialization and – yes, competition.

Winning is a great joy, but most seniors don’t only play to win. They actually enjoy the excitement and social atmosphere! Recent research has shown that playing bingo stimulates the following health benefits:

• Cognitive strength: University of Southampton’s psychology department, conducted tests that measured mental speed, memory and capacity to absorb specific kinds of information. The results concluded that bingo players are quicker and more accurate than non-bingo players. Research also found that older players outperformed younger players, so if you think our brains go into a steady decline as we age, think again.
• Social well-being: Bingo gives seniors a fun and safe environment to connect with new and old friends while enjoying a game they all love to play. It brings seniors together while providing them a sense of belonging in the community.
• Physical health: If you have ever attended a bingo event at a senior center you may have experienced the laughter and excitement. Simply relaxing while playing a game with friends helps reduce stress and depression amongst seniors, improving their physical health.

At Primrose Marion, folks play for a fun size candy bar and not money. It doesn’t cost to play, either.

For Nancy Reep, who recently lost her husband, it has helped with her loneliness and gives her something to do, she said.

Pat Scroggins also plays for ‘something to do’ and other reasons. “I just like being with everyone and it makes me use my brain,” she said.

Chloe Miller struggles with Parkinson’s but says she finds playing bingo can be both a blessing and a curse. On good days, she zips right through the games. On bad days, when he hands seem to be the most unsteady, she said she struggles to keep the markers in the right squares and also often has trouble picking up the markers.

“When I came here and saw they had bingo so often, I was pleased,” she said. “I used to play with others and really enjoy the game. It’s nice seeing people. I really enjoy being with people on those mornings.”

by Brenda Donegan
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about the retirement living experience at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

Wausau Primrose 'Angels on Earth'

Resident George Tobalski and Krista Dallman, CNA

Current resident George Tobalski and Krista Dallman, CNA

Wausau, WI, Retirement Communities

“Thank you, you were Angels on Earth” she said. Heartfelt words spoken with a breaking voice by a grieving daughter at her father’s funeral. She was referring to the staff at Primrose who cared for her father through the end of his life. We are often privileged to attend services for our residents who have passed. Another sister at this service told of the tender care her father received from so many of the caregivers at Primrose. She described an evening when one of the CNA’s came to help her father get ready for bed. How she so tenderly helped him wash up and change his clothes for bedtime and how she tucked him into bed, taking care that he was warm and comfortable. Tears welled up in his daughter’s eyes when describing how gently his caregiver leaned in to straighten his collar and whisper sweet dreams. She looked at me and said, “I think she may have given him a kiss goodnight.” The gratitude expressed by all six of the adult children was overwhelming.

I wondered then if the extraordinary people called caregivers have any notion of the gratitude that families and friends of Primrose residents are feeling? Who are they and is that an appropriate description of what they do? Caregivers are educated professionals, with certifications, degrees and specialized training that qualify them to give the best care possible. Besides giving care, these men and women routinely give something else. . . their hearts. Working with senior residents is a dangerous job; an unsuspecting caregiver is subjected to friendship, advice, affection, life lessons and love. Sometimes when they least expect it they have that heart broken by loss. Yet they keep on giving to enrich the lives of people they care for. Maybe a more appropriate name would be compassion givers.

We were blessed to have been invited to share in this end of life epoch, one of the most private and emotional times a family will ever go through. As I visited with family and watched the slideshow documenting over 60 years of marriage, the births of six children, family hobbies, celebrations and so many happy times, I had to agree that sometimes God does send in “Angels on Earth.”

by Kathy Jamison
Wausau Primrose Sales Director

To find out more about the retirement living experience at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

Mansfield Primrose Senior Highlights: John and Jackie Alexander

John and Jackie Alexander

John and Jackie Alexander

Mansfield, OH, Retirement Communities

John and Jackie Alexander were high school sweet hearts at St. Bernard high School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

They were married in 1952 after John graduated from the Cincinnati College of Pharmacy.

Soon after the honeymoon, John was drafted but joined the navy instead of going into the Army.

After his discharge from the Navy, John got a job with a major drug store chain as pharmacist-store manager and worked in various stores in Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana.

While living in Tiffin, Ohio, Jackie got a job at Heidelberg College as secretary for the Vice President of Administration and worked there for 18 years. It was also about this time that John finished his flight training and received his private pilot’s license.

When John got another transfer to Mansfield, Jackie got her license in real estate and worked at the Sluss Realty Company.

When John wasn’t on the golf course with the guys, and Jackie wasn’t playing bridge with the girls, they could usually be found cruising the waters of lake Erie on their boat.

After retirement from the retail drug store business, John worked for The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and worked as pharmacist mainly at the Mansfield Correctional Institution for 13 years.

It was also about this time that the two of them volunteered their time to work at the Old Mansfield Reformatory for 13 years giving tours and working in the gift shop.

The Alexander have two children, a son, Brad and a daughter, Lynn who both live with their families in Lake County, East of Cleveland.

After living in Lexington for 28 years, their final transfer was to Primrose Retirement Community in a Villa. Enjoying life!

by Angela Gardner
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about the retirement living experience at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

Countdown to 'Noon' Years at Mankato Primrose

Ringing in the Noon Years

Iva, Sylvia, Evelyn, and Mary Ann enjoying lunch and celebrating “Noon” Years!

Mankato, MN, Retirement Communities

Ringing in New Years is sometimes a bit difficult at Primrose, as our staff is usually home at midnight, and our residents are usually in bed! To solve this problem, we’ve come up with our own way to celebrate the New Year, and you could say it’s become a bit of a tradition! Each year, on December 31st, we make our noon-time meal special by participating in a countdown to “Noon” Years! The activity includes a fun menu and many decorations! We placed festive hats/headbands, streamers, and noisemakers at every table. We persuaded almost everyone to get in on the fun and wear some kind of headwear! We began our countdown at ten minutes to noon, and gave minute-by-minute updates. As we approached the last minute, we rallied the residents to help us count down. At noon, the dining room was full of clapping and noisemaker sounds! We always have a lot of fun with this activity, and the residents do too!

by Emilie Hauser
Activity Assistant

To find out more about the retirement living experience at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

February is American Heart Month

heart health

February is American Heart Month. Of course, we also celebrate Valentine’s Day this month, and heart-shaped symbols of love will be hung from every window and door. It is only fitting, then, that the month of February be dedicated to heart health – more specifically, the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease, which includes h eart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, kills more people in the United States than any other disease. But the good news is that, in many cases, bad heart health can be prevented. At Primrose, we are proud to help our residents understand and avoid the risk factors – which include poor diet, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Controlling the risk factors of cardiovascular disease comes down to making good decisions, and the process can seem overwhelming to someone who is just beginning. It is important to remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step – and that every step you take makes you heart healthier!

Here are a few things you should do:

•Get a checkup at least once per year, even if you feel healthy.
•Monitor your blood pressure. You can check it at any pharmacy or at a doctor’s office.
•Have your cholesterol checked at least every 5 years.
•Eat healthy. Adults should have at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. Eat high fiber foods, and avoid cholesterol and saturated fat.
•Exercise regularly. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park far from the entrance when out shopping so that you have to walk farther etc…
•If you smoke, quit. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Remember – there are many things you can do to take control of your heart health. If you have questions about anything, ask your doctor. Take charge and be healthy in 2015, your heart will thank you!