Monthly Archives: July 2016

Senior Spotlight: Mike Launder at Findlay Primrose

Mike Launder checking plant for possible pests.

Primrose resident Mike Launder checking for possible pests. His plants seem to always be insect-free.

Mike has been our resident gardener for two seasons here at Findlay Primrose. He recalls helping his parents at home in the garden just as soon as he was old enough to hold a garden hoe! This interest extended into his adult life and he can only remember a few years when he and his wife didn’t have a vegetable garden which kept their pantry and freezer stocked for each winter. When he moved to Findlay Primrose in the fall of 2014 he was delighted to see the raised garden on the west side of the building. He likes to share his abundant bounty with residents and staff, who readily accept green beans, onions, radishes, squash and broccoli. The tomatoes are ripening rather slowly, but Mike hopes to have some soon.

This has been a very dry year and he has kept busy with regular watering. “The water from the hose does a fair job,” Mike said. “But there is nothing like good old rainwater from Mother Nature!”

We are so happy that Mike could continue with his gardening and look forward to his crops for summers to come!

Life Enrichment Coordinator Reflects on Lancaster Primrose

Residents riding bus at Primrose Retirement Community

Primrose residents enjoying a scenic ride together

Being a Life Enrichment Coordinator can be a hard job at times but it can also be fun and very rewarding. The hardest part of the job is making everyone happy – making sure they get to go where they like to go or do what they they like to do. Once folks learn about all the things we have to offer, they come out of their shells and participate. When we have entertainers come in and they sing a familiar song to the resident it brings back memories for them. I love to see them all sing along. Sometimes a few tears will flow when they hear a song that is really special to them.

Twice a month we go on a scenic ride. No destination in mind, just a chance to get out of the community and see what is going on outside in their world. They love seeing the farms, going through the little towns to see new buildings going up. When we return home, they thank the bus driver and myself for the ride. “I really enjoyed that ride” they say with a big smile on their faces. It makes me smile and truly happy to be a part of making someone else happy.

— Bobbie Arnold

Getting Creative at Pueblo Primrose Retirement Community

Primrose residents exercising creative abilities

The ladies are getting all set up for ‘canvas and painting’

With all the warm weather here in Pueblo, we have been taking advantage of our beautiful courtyard and enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine. Primrose of Pueblo had our very own “Canvas & Coolers.” Event recently. Our residents got together one delightful afternoon and they enjoyed painting and chatting away with each other and also refreshed themselves with wine coolers. We then designated a wall for our resident artists that we hung the canvas’ on.

We also are pretty keen on our “Paint & Plant” project. Everyone gets a clay pot and a saucer to paint and then they get to decorate it however they wish. We had several colors and different designs they could choose from. Once the paint is dry, soil and a flower get planted and each resident gets to take their pot and saucer to their apartment and take joy in knowing they made it! Painting is something we all enjoy doing together. It’s fascinating seeing how different everyone’s final piece turns out.

Celebrating National Friendship Day at Sioux Falls Primrose

Ralph and Cletus, Primrose residents

Ralph Scoular & Cletus Schuttloffel

National Friendship Day is the first Sunday in August, and no matter how old you are, a friend can be one of life’s greatest gifts. Over the past few months at Primrose Retirement Community of Sioux Falls, a more significant friendship has developed between two gentlemen in our community.

Ralph Scoular and Cletus Schuttloffel both lost their wives in the past few months and have demonstrated a sense of camaraderie in adjusting to their new lives. They eat their meals together in the dining room and sit in the lobby by the fireplace after breakfast to discuss news items of note that they read about in the newspaper or otherwise absorb in the media. They are also both veterans of the United States Military. Ralph was a navigator for the Air Corps and Cletus delivered ammunition in the Naval Air Corps. They were both caretakers for their wives and feel the void of losing that very unique relationship in their lives. They are frequently on opposite sides of a political issue but are very respectful of each other and admit that “sometimes we just don’t choose to discuss politics.”

When asked what they value most about a friend, they both agreed that being able to be honest and share interests are the most important foundations of a good friendship. They like doing “small town” things like going out for a drive in the community to check out new stores that have opened. They also like to occasionally share a meal in Ralph’s apartment and go out to the store to buy provisions together. One of the men is Catholic, the other Methodist, one was a business owner and the other worked full time at Morrell’s as well as farming evenings and weekends. Both men are grateful for the opportunity to live in a place where they can share a sense of community with other residents every day.

Craft Day at Mankato Primrose

Mankato Primrose residents with potted plants

Marilyn, Mary Ann and Irene showing off their beautiful potted plants!

“Bloom where you’re planted!” Here at the Primrose of Mankato, each resident is encouraged to bloom and grow each and every day. This past month the residents were able to participate in a craft day! We hand painted flower pots and then picked from a selection of beautiful flowers to plant. Each resident had a different design on their pot – some were decorated for the fourth of July, others had stripes, flowers, polka dots, and other fun designs! Everyone’s creative juices were flowing and the pots turned out unique and beautiful.

Once the pots were dry, we spent an afternoon planting the flowers. It was fun to decide which plant would look best with the colors of the hand painted pots. Once the pots and flowers were complete, everyone was able to take their plant back to their apartment to enjoy. The residents had a great time during this activity, it brought back memories of their old gardens and flowers, it also gave us a chance to make wonderful new memories and enjoy each others company.

Zanesville Primrose Sales Director Writes About Mom

Primrose resident Marilyn Stephens and daughter Cindy Clark

Zanesville resident Marilyn Stephens and her daughter – Primrose Sales Director Cindy Clark

I am Cindy Clark – Sales Director for Primrose Retirement Community in Zanesville, OH. My mother, Marilyn Stephens, worked as a registered nurse for more than 30 years. She always put others’ needs and care before her own and served as a mentor to all new nurses – and suddenly she found herself a widow. She lived for 15 years in a ranch home that she and my father built until her health took some turns and her safety became a concern.

My mom is a member of Friendship Baptist Church in New Concord and a member of the Salvation Army – and she remains as active in both as she can. She enjoys getting together with her girlfriends every Monday at Primrose for lunch and plays cards. Mom loves to watch Ohio State football and basketball and enjoys our Buckeye tailgate parties.

I am one of Marilyn’s two children – the other is Rich Stephens who is a Nursing Home Administrator at Summit Acres in Caldwell. We are both married and have been blessed to give mom two granddaughters, a step granddaughter, a step grandson, 6 great-grandsons and a great-granddaughter due in August of 2016.

While I work at Primrose and knew it would be the perfect place for mom to call home, it did take some time for us to convenience her that this would be a safe place for her! As with all moves there is the struggle of downsizing, letting personal items go, and finally making the decision to move.

That was the tough part! Now that we are settled at Primrose, mom is being cared for by wonderful nurses and RAs. She enjoys the daily home cooked meals and the fellowship opportunities. For mom, as a widow, there were many days/nights she would be home alone. Now, at Primrose, there are so many wonderful residents that she can dine with, talk to, and create new friendships with. There is a wide variety of activities that she can pick from and attend as she wishes.

The conveniences of our in-house physician, podiatrist, and our wonderful nursing team have made it so much easier for her to get the care she needs when she needs it. It also allows me and her son, Rich, to sleep peacefully at night knowing she is being well taken care of.

Primrose definitely offers stress free living and we are proud to both live and work here!

Unpacking the True Costs of Home Maintenance

If you are a senior citizen trying to decide between downsizing to a smaller home and moving to a retirement community, you’ll want to be aware of the maintenance and repair costs associated with home ownership.  When these additional expenses are figured into your overall budget, you may be surprised at how affordable senior living can be.

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The numbers don’t lie

An article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal indicates that you can expect to spend about 1% of your home’s total value each year on repairs and general maintenance.  If your home cost $400,000, that would be $4,000/year – or about $333/month.  You would also want to have some reserve cash on hand to handle large expenses not covered by homeowner’s insurance – like new shingles or an air conditioner.

Author Jeff Brown of MainStreet offers a bit more insight:

“If you bought a $300,000 home with 20% down and a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 4.75%, your $240,000 mortgage would cost $1,252 a month, according to the  A $333 monthly maintenance and repair budget would equal nearly 27% of your principal and interest payment.

Let’s look at it another way. Assume your home is an investment that will grow in value over time. Historically, home values have gone up about 4% a year, on average. Because of inflation, your maintenance costs will also continue going up, so they will always equal 1% of the home’s value. As a result, your home really gains just 3% a year. That happens to be the long-term inflation rate. So in real, inflation-adjusted terms, your home would not grow in value at all.

For still another way of looking at it, consider what economists call the “opportunity cost” of spending $333 a month on fix-ups. Suppose that instead of incurring these repair costs, you invested $333 a month in a mix of stock and bond mutual funds. You could have $57,282 after 10 years, $169,965 after 20 years and $391,630 after 30 years. That assumes a 7% annual return, about what most experts figure a mixed portfolio will average over long periods.”

Your money, your decision

If you own a home, maintenance and repair costs are inevitable.  For many, this goes with the territory of raising a family and building memories that last for a lifetime.  When the time comes for you to consider downsizing, though, be sure to weigh all your options when deciding between a smaller home or a senior living community.  To see how the cost associated with buying a new home compares with the cost of living at Primrose, drop us a line.  We can work through a simple cost-comparison tool with you that will help illustrate which option may be right one for you.  Just visit for more information.

Findlay Primrose Resident Dick Myers Busy Baking

Richard with delectable creation

Richard with delectable creation

Richard and Audrey had been married just one-day shy of 67 years when Audrey passed away in March of this year. To keep busy, Richard likes to visit with his Primrose friends and be creative in the kitchen. He is pretty much self-taught in this area, but he did learn a lot from Audrey over the years. When her health began to decline it became apparent that he would eventually need to be not only the Caregiver, but also the cook. By watching her techniques, he caught on rather quickly. “She was a very good teacher,” he said. They had one child born to them, Cindy, whom they lost to cancer in 2011.

June brings sunshine and warm weather, and with it seasonal fruit. This month Richard has made several strawberry pies. He doesn’t buy pre-made pie shells or commercial strawberry glaze, though. He cleans and cuts fresh strawberries and makes everything from scratch. He has found that using vegetable oil in place of shortening makes the best tasting crust. For the filling he simply uses water, sugar, cornstarch and a few tablespoons of strawberry Jell-O. His recipes must have been successful, because they were quickly consumed when he shared them with his Primrose friends. There is nothing like the taste of homemade treats!

We are all looking forward to Richard sharing more of his kitchen creations with us!