Destination Wellness!



by Diane Byrne

Achieving whole person wellness is a path; a road; a life-long journey; and yes, sometimes it is met with twists and turns, obstacles and hurdles along the way. We often find in life, however, that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. In a poignant quote by Qwana Reynolds-Frasier we are reminded “determination determines our destination”, and it is with these thoughts in mind we begin the month of May focused upon healthy aging and fitness.

As an integral part of our Connect4Life program, Theralink, with services provided by Genesis Rehab is Juniper’s on-site, comprehensive program of rehabilitative and restorative therapies, fitness classes and related outcomes that provides integrated post-acute care to meet the intentions of health care reform. Over the past years we have been able to achieve significant positive outcomes regarding therapy utilization, increasing the quality of our therapeutic fitness and dementia capable programs, and decreasing falls.

During this spring we will be implementing a new program for the residents: Destination Wellness: Theralink Days with Vitality Checks. This monthly wellness fair, complete with healthy snacks for the residents, will focus on educational presentations regarding wellness topics, resident assessments for balance, lower body strength and endurance, as well as, safety checks for durable medical equipment. The results of the assessments that are completed will enable us to further track and analyze outcome measurements related to increasing residents’ balance, strength and endurance, thus further reducing falls. It is our hope that Destination Wellness will serve to spark determination and motivation within us all on our journey towards health and wellness; enabling us to achieve positive outcomes along the way; celebrating the journey and the destination!

Honor The Fallen: Enjoy Your Life For Them!!

by Tara Williamson

Honor the fallen, honor their sacrifice, live your life, enjoy your life. Have a drink and some good food for those who no longer can.

If a somber remembrance is required of you, leave a drink and a plate for the remembered but do not cast a condescending eye towards those that don’t understand. I pray they never truly understand as so many of us do for that was the choice we made.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

I for one, because of my beliefs, will say a prayer for those brave men and women who have given their all in service to our country (and for those who still serve – my husband, my cousin, and so many of my friends), laugh for them, feast for them, love my wonderful children and family for them, and celebrate life for them.

So laugh, be merry, and enjoy yourself!

Mother’s Day Visiting Tips

by Jeanine Genauer

Are you planning to visit your mom at a senior living residence for Mother’s Day? Are you wondering what you should do or what you should bring? Allow us to use our experience to provide you with some valuable insight.

For moms without memory care issues, the most valuable gift you can give is your simply time and presence. Of course, if at all possible, it is even better if you also bring your children or others who bring your mom smiles and joy. Make arrangements to share a meal or tea, and give your mom the opportunity to dress up for the occasion. You could also go for a short walk. Take pictures of your family together and give them to your mom as a keepsake. Perhaps, make or bring a corkboard that can be hung in the room with the pictures displayed. The board can be covered in a pretty fabric and ribbons strung in a crisscross pattern to hold important items in place. In addition to displaying family photos, notes about doctor appointments, birthday reminders, and a favorite letter or poem can be mounted.

For moms who have Alzheimer’s or dementia, the visit should be short and sweet, perhaps an hour visit bringing her favorite candy or cookies. We recommend they be soft. Also, if you can, plan your visit prior to 3 p.m. so that sundowning does not interfere with the quality of the time you spend with her. Looking at old photos and reminiscing is a great way to spend the time. Although you may expect conversation difficulties, you can minimize these is you stay away though from asking questions such as, “Do you know who that is?” Rather state, “Look at Sara, your newest grandbaby. She has grown quite a bit since last year.”

When bringing photos or photos albums, make sure they are labeled with the names and relationships of the people in them. This will allow caregivers to have a conversation with your mom about the people in the pictures after you leave.

Gifts of flowers may be overwhelming because the vase can be difficult to manage and the blooms may not last long. If your mom is particularly fond of them, we recommend you consider a small basket of silk flowers so that it is stable on a table and not a safety risk. Other great gifts are a small make-up bag with simple lipstick, blush, and a brush or comb so that caregivers can help the residents feel good about themselves. We also suggest gift certificates to the beauty salon, or guest meal certificates.

Careful planning is the key to a successful visit. Know what you might want to talk about or do. Work with the staff if necessary. Share your concerns and your appreciation. Creativity, flexibility, tolerance for confusion, a sense of humor, patience, commitment, time, and willingness to make the most of the moment will all add to a successful visit.

Most of all bring your love and have a Happy Mother’s Day!

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