Monthly Archives: May 2016

Findlay Primrose’s Resident Photographer: Salvatore Brancaleone

Salvatore Brancaleone with his photo 'Corrupt City'

Brancaleone, with his photo, “Corrupt City”

Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the founder and first president of National Geographic magazine, once said, “If it is a great picture, why change it”? Salvatore “Sam” Brancaleone, who recently moved to Primrose Retirement Community of Findlay, couldn’t agree more. When describing Sam’s photography, the word typical wouldn’t likely be an adjective used in the same sentence.

“My work is general, realistic photography,” Sam said in a recent interview. “Posed family portraits are nice but I prefer candid shots of people interacting with each other. For instance, I once took a picture of a burning gas station and the firemen who were commended for their swift actions,” he said. “Another time I observed an Angus cow standing in a pool of water on a hot July day.” An average person would not find this thought provoking, but Sam articulated that “Both pictures were symbolic and very exciting to capture!”

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Sam has always had a fascination with photo journalism, and enjoyed the photos in The Detroit Free Press. He began experimenting with his own photography in 1972 after a family member gave him a 35mm camera. He soon discovered that he had a niche for capturing shots at just the precise moment. He then would come up with a caption and a story for the picture.

Over the years he has frequented art shows and displayed his work to those who share his interests. His work was shown at Henry Ford Hospital Clinic where it remained for a number of weeks in an art display.

In 2014 he moved to Findlay and got acquainted with employees of “Experience Works” in Bowling Green, Ohio. Soon he was working four days a week as a curator at the Findlay Art League where he remains employed. Sam is very much a people person and truly enjoys greeting guests there, conducting tours, attending the art shows, and being responsible for opening and closing the business.

Sam is very thankful for his brother, Jim Brancaleone, whom he credits for motivating him to pursue his art.

Womens’ Celebration at Zanesville Primrose

Primrose residents enjoying presentation and artwork

Enjoying the presentation and beautiful artwork

Primrose of Zanesville recently held our Annual Women’s Celebration Luncheon on Wednesday, May 4th. The women residents gathered at 12 noon in our dining rooms for us to celebrate. When springtime arrives we think of tulips, daffodils, and the season’s bounty of fresh produce. With that in mind, the menu for this very special day included a fresh greens salad topped with blackberries and blueberries, dressed with Caribbean Vinaigrette. Delicious chicken salad w/ red grapes and walnuts was placed on a leaf lettuce beside the fresh salad. The perfect refreshing raspberry and cranberry aspic was presented in a glass sherbet dish and garnished with an orange slice. It was all preceded by a cup of our own creamy chicken soup as the appetizer.

The finale was strawberry shortcake with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream! Perfect with a cup of coffee. We can’t show enough appreciation for those women who have influenced us, and guided us throughout our lives. But, we can share a small token of our gratefulness by having a wonderful luncheon and in some small way enriching their day.

We chose a speaker named Mary Ann Bucci who is a very well-known artist and author. She brought one painting of a whimsical Victorian woman in a garden that she had painted. Mary Ann dressed like the woman complete with a black floppy hat and a vintage ruffle corset fishtail skirt with ankle heel boots. Her book is titled “Stories & Art” and she shared many of her paintings with us. Her paintings are usually of local buildings and landmarks in Muskingum County.

Mary Ann brought her own special magnets of her paintings for each of our guests. Among the door prizes we gave out were prints of some of Mary Ann’s paintings.

The women residents enjoyed the luncheon. They said it was the best celebration ever!

When is it Unsafe for Loved Ones to Live at Home?

We all want our loved ones to remain safe and healthy in their retirement years.  It should be a time for them to enjoy the freedom and independence that comes as a reward for a lifetime of hard work and dedication.  According to AARP, nearly 90% of people over age 65 want to enjoy their retirement from the comfort of their own home.  For those dealing with physical ailments and responsibilities of home maintenance, living at home can sometimes be more of a danger than a benefit.

_K0C7052What to look for

Apart from the outward appearance of loneliness and isolation that is often brought on by living alone, what other warning signs should a loved one be on the lookout for?

  1. How are they eating? Stop by for a meal with your loved ones periodically.  While you are there, have a look in their refrigerator and their pantry.  Do you see fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs etc?  Or do you see a lot of processed foods, soda pop, sugary breakfast cereal, and instant dinners?  If so, this could be a sign that dietary needs are not being properly met and they could benefit from the balanced diet provided in a retirement community setting.
  2. How clean and well-maintained is the house? If the lawn and landscaping is unkempt, or if the inside of the house is cluttered and disorganized, this could also be a warning sign.  Aging loved-ones who struggle with maintaining their homes are at risk for injury that could result in hospitalization.  They could benefit immensely from a retirement community setting where the maintenance is provided for them and the environment is free from injury-causing hazards.
  3. Is forgetfulness becoming an issue? If you notice that your loved ones are often confused, or more forgetful than they used to be, they may be at risk.  Many things can cause forgetfulness including poor nutrition and mismanagement of medications.  In a retirement community setting, they not only receive balanced meals, but they can also get help to ensure that medications are taken when needed and in the right dosages.

A little help goes a long way

The Administration on Aging reports that an estimated 12% of seniors age 65 and older – more than 5 million in total – need some type of assistance with long-term care to perform activities of daily living.  If your loved ones are among this group, take heart!  There are many options available – many of which can make their retired years healthier and happier.

Spend some time researching senior living communities.  Get to know the options available in your area.  This will help prepare you to talk to your loved ones about a possible move.  If you have additional questions about what a senior living community brings to the table, Primrose would be honored to assist you.  Just visit for additional information.

When Siblings Disagree About Senior Care

Caring for an aging loved one can be one of the most stressful things to happen to a family.  The experience is often physically, emotionally, and financially draining.  When there are multiple siblings involved, disagreements can rear their ugly heads.  The good news is that it doesn’t not have to be this way!  When cooler heads prevail and families set aside their differences to work together in the best interest of their loved ones, harmony can be re-established.  Here are some reasons why siblings disagree about senior care and some possible solutions:

  1. One siarticle-1206170-060B3503000005DC-513_468x286bling may be the primary caretaker

Often times, the sibling who lives closest to their parents is the one who does the lion’s share of the work.  This can lead to anger and resentment toward other siblings who can’t as conveniently help share the load.  In these situations, it is important that you share with your siblings the difficulties you are experiencing.  They may not understand the effect the situation is having on you.  If they are too far away to help with caretaking on a regular basis, perhaps they can help shoulder some of the financial load or come for a weekend and give you some time off.

  1. Siblings disagree about the level of care needed

There is always a chance, when there are multiple siblings, that not all will agree on the level of care that their parents’ need.  In this situation, there is always the option of having a needs assessment done in your parents’ home.  At Primrose, our Director of Nursing can perform this assessment in just a few minutes and share his or her recommendations.  This can be helpful in getting the family on the same page regarding care-related decisions.

  1. Finances

Unfortunately, disagreements amongst siblings about how finances should be utilized for their care can sometimes cause deep division within families.  Concerns about affordability of care or how the cost of care might impact the family inheritance may come to light.  All siblings should be encouraged to openly discuss their financial concerns before a care decision is made.  When adequate finances are lacking, the family may also want to discuss the feasibility of pooling their resources to help pay the costs for a senior living community.

Working through a loved one’s transition from home to a retirement community can be a positive experience for all involved.  Communication is the key.  Share your thoughts and concerns with your siblings.  Talk through the issues and work toward compromise that is in the best interest of your parents.  You will be glad you did.

If you have any further questions about the transition, we would be honored to assist you.  Just visit for more information.

Afternoon of Inspiration at Lancaster Primrose

Shavon Dean with Paul Jablonka

Shavon Dean singing ‘Unforgettable’ with Primrose resident Paul Jablonka.

Primrose of Lancaster was entertained by the lovely voice of Shavon Dean from “Helping Voices”. Shavon sang a wonderful selection of hymns along with songs from the 60’s including everyone’s favorite – Unforgettable.

Shavon was in the middle of Unforgettable when resident Paul Jablonka stood up and began singing with her. We had no idea of Paul’s hidden talent and we were all in awe of his wonderful singing voice! It was a great performance

Shavon represents the Helping Voices outreach organization. Helping Voice provides music for any occasion to help raise funds and awareness for victims of human trafficking, sexual abuse, domestic violence and child abuse.

Our residents were given some insight into human trafficking and were astonished to find out what a big problem it really is in today’s society. The residents were very inspired by Shavon’s message and her passion to tackle such a difficult issue.

Shawnee Primrose Residents Interviewed by Students

Primrose resident Flora McKee with students

Christian Family Academy Students with Flora McKee

Students from Christian Family Academy visited Primrose to interview residents for a report they are each writing about the Great Depression and WWII. Four Primrose residents participated in the interviews. The students questioned each resident in their apartment and the interviews lasted from 30-45 minutes.

98-year-old Flora McKee, born and raised in Oklahoma, informed the students of how her family survived the Great Depression. Growing up in a farming community, she stated that families helped each other out the best they could by sharing their produce and goods. She also told of the frightening and devastating dust storms that she and her family experienced during the depression.

Bill Askin, 92 of Denver, CO, is a new resident to Shawnee Primrose. He was eager to share his experiences in the Navy during WWII as a Yeoman, First Class. He was even able to show the students his Navy uniform that has kept hanging in his closet all these years. Although, he joked about not being able to model it for them!

Leon and Leona Rogers of Shawnee, each told separate stories of the depression and WWII. Leon is an Army Veteran who received two Purple Hearts for his service in Europe during WWII. He does not glorify his time in the Army, but informed the students of the realities of war and stated that “the real heroes are the ones that did not return home”.

The students made new friends during their visit to Primrose as well as gathered valuable information on two historic events from those who were actually there for the experience. We are so blessed to have these folks, all in their nineties, with us at Primrose!

Decatur Primrose Resident Shares Thoughts

Jim and Kay McClarey - Primrose residents

Jim and Kay McClarey Primrose Residents and Pastoral Services

Someone once said that God could not be everywhere so He created mothers. That is not entirely true. God can be and is indeed everywhere. But, He does use each of us who are willing to make His presence known. It is imperative that each one of us remember every single person we meet is created in God’s image and is to be treated as God would treat that person — no matter what their job, station in life, race, age, mental acuity (or whatever) is, they are to be respected and treated kindly.

Jesus said that God loves and knows each one, even to numbering the hairs on our head. (Matthew. 10:30) Good to remember in our relationships.

Written by: Kay McClarey – Resident

Pueblo Primrose Resident Ed McDonald

Ed McDonald with his poems and paintings!

Ed is one happy resident posing next to his poems and paintings!

Edwin “Ed” McDonald is a kind, warm hearted, wonderful man. He was born November 5, 1919, on a farm near Concordia, Kansas. At the age of five, Ed began writing poems. Although he has written several, he could not name a favorite; but did state that he loves them all!

Ed attended Capital College of Pharmacy and graduated with his Pharmacist degree in 1941. He then married a beautiful young lady, Esther Mary, in 1942 and they started a family and raised two very talented daughters. He proudly served as a Pharmacist with the Navy for 4 years, before relocating to Pueblo.

In Pueblo, Ed continued his career as a Pharmacist and explored other areas such as doing pharmacy retail and then later switched to pharmacy whole sales. Ed currently has an active pharmacy license and enjoys being educated on medications to keep his mind active. Along with poetry, Ed started a collection of coins and has picked up the hobby of painting which he finds peaceful. Primrose is currently displaying his poems and paintings on our Primrose Artists wall, located on the second floor by the wellness center. Feel free to drop by and have a look!

Mishawaka Primrose Resident’s Military Service Guided Life

Nole Walters -Veteran

Nole Walters -Veteran

When Mishawaka Primrose resident Nole Walters joined the Navy he was 18 years old and had no idea that joining the service would impact him for the rest of his life.

“Being in the service prepared me for life in so many ways. You learn to take orders, follow instructions. You learn to give orders if you become an officer like I did. I learned a trade and as a result had a good career that supported my family,” Nole said.

Nole enrolled in the Navy and then finished college at Ball State University in Muncie, IN before going to officer’s candidate school. He taught at a Naval Academy prep school, helping 163 men learn to become officers. Nole also served on a cargo ship taking supplies to Guantanamo Bay and then on an aircraft carrier off the west coast. He was a weapons officer leading a division of 30 people who were responsible for the inspection and maintenance of bombs and explosives. Nole was in the Navy from 1948-1968 and served in active duty for nine of those years.

After leaving the service, Nole took a job at Bendix in Mishawaka. He had been surprised to find his expertise in bombs was just what they were looking for. “They were supplying the government with the type of equipment I had been working with and so it was a perfect fit,” he said. After a few years Nole and three partners started Trinetics – a company that manufactures parts for companies like General Electric. He eventually became the sole owner and ran it himself for 30 years. It still exists today.

Nole says that being in the service was a great experience and he realizes the ways it enriched his life. “I think everybody out to go into the service. It’s just a great experience,” he said.

Living it up at Marion Primrose

Nancy Reep volunteering in the dining room

Nancy Reep volunteering in the dining room

Nancy Reep likes keeping busy. A resident of Primrose of Marion since June 2014, she has volunteered for a number of things – from sitting with residents so families could go shopping or out to dinner to keeping residents apprised of the daily activities by helping Life Enrichment Coordinator Brenda by changing the daily activities notice on the dining room tables each day.

“I like being busy and helping people,” Reep said. “I like doing things for different people. I just like people and keeping busy keeps my mind going.”
The move from their rural home to Primrose came about as her late husband, Larry, came weekly to visit a friend, Sam Chapman, who was a respite resident for six months. She said he went home and told Nancy she had to go with him for the next visit with Sam to see the retirement community.

“That did it,” Nancy said. “Larry said ‘we’re moving there’ and we did. Unfortunately, Larry only lived in the community six months before he was called home to heaven. He loved it here and participated in everything and so do I.”

Nancy immediately joined the Primrose Ringers hand bell choir. “I absolutely love the bells,” she said. “We have such a good time together and get to travel to different places to play. We’ve become a pretty tight knit group.”

In addition to the bells, Nancy enjoys two weekly activities that call for brain power – Brain Ticklers and Koffee Klatch with Brenda. “She (Brenda) gives us descriptions of history, states, nursery rhymes and more on Tuesdays and then on Fridays at Koffee Klatch brings up a topic from former years and everyone chimes in with their experiences. It makes us think and we learn a lot about each other at the same time.”

Hearing other residents say there is nothing to do upsets Nancy. “Our calendar has a variety of activities available every day. If you put yourself out, yes, this is living!!”