St. George Village Blog
Category Archive: Independent Living Knowledge Center Lifestyle Wellness
Posted on March 14, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
According to renowned aquatics expert, U.S. Masters Swimming and Synchro Champion Dr. Jane Katz, water exercise is for everyone. “The magic of water works for everyone. All ages. All ability levels,” she states. “Whether in shape or overweight, workouts can be adapted to fit one’s needs.”
Because it is simultaneously buoyant and resistant, water gives people the ability to relax at the same time they stretch and strengthen their muscles. Pat Bollinger, an instructor of water aerobics at St. George Village, says this benefit is especially helpful for anyone who wants to get aerobic exercise and strength training, but also needs to relieve pressure from their joints.
“You’re in the water, you’re buoyant and you’re not pounding your joints,” she explains. “So, there isn’t any movement that you can’t do in the water.”
Bollinger says that buoyancy isn’t the only benefit water aerobics offers.
“You get your heart rate up and you increase your oxygen level. This helps your brain stay more active,” she states. “And besides that, it’s a lot of fun.”
For a holistic workout that enhances the body, mind and spirit, take to the water!
Posted on March 7, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
Quamaine Edwards, affectionately known as “Q,” is the oldest of several children… and that’s a position that helped to instill in him a strong work ethic and the importance of setting a good example.
“When you’re the oldest of five children and also the oldest grandchild, you’re put in a leadership position,” he says. “So, you have to set a good example.”
Quamaine sets a good example every day in his job as a service technician in SGV’s maintenance department. He truly looks forward to coming to work.
“I like putting a smile on the residents’ faces here. They’re like grandparents to me,” he explains. “I enjoy taking care of their needs and making sure they’re okay.”
An all-around athlete, Quamaine played football and basketball and ran track in high school, and later attended South Carolina State University on a football scholarship. Today, he uses those skills to coach 8-and-under boys basketball for the Marietta Parks & Recreation Department.
The father of a seven-month-old, Q says he hopes his son has inherited his athletic ability.
“Just to make sure, I’m going to get him started early!” he laughs.
Quamaine was recently named St. George Village’s Care Partner of the Quarter.
Posted on February 28, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
Several of our members have been busy constructing and painting birdhouses to set up around the St. George Village community for all members to enjoy. Frank Wooten, Director of Plant Operations, is our construction expert overseeing the project. The group made houses for bluebirds, wrens and sparrows, and wood ducks. Their next project will be constructing habitats for butterflies and bats.
Workshop participants include Dan Loposer, Martha LaVielle, Jackie Lyons, Agnes Sercer, JoAnn Smith, SGV Fitness Coordinator Lesley Thompson, Harold Tinley and Bob Worden.
Posted on February 17, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
As a senior, you’ve probably come to expect that your hair will turn gray and that you may lose a step or two in your tango. But did you know that feeling extremely tired or short of breath may signal a deeper, underlying problem? Aortic stenosis may be the culprit.
Up to 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from this progressive disease in which the aortic valve in the heart narrows. This can be caused by a variety of reasons, including the buildup of calcium in the heart valve, a birth defect, rheumatic fever, or radiation therapy. Approximately 250,000 people suffer from the most severe form of aortic stenosis.
Aortic stenosis symptoms are often mistaken for signs of “normal” aging and may cause you to experience the following:
• Chest pain or tightness
• Shortness of breath
• Lightheadedness, dizziness, and/or fainting
• Heart palpitations
• Swollen ankles and feet
• Difficulty walking short distances or exercising
• Sensations of a rapid fluttering heartbeat
• The need to sleep sitting upright instead of lying flat in bed
• Unable or unfit to engage in physical activities that you used to enjoy
If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor right away as they may be signs of a serious health issue.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association guidelines recommend treatment quickly once a person is diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis. Once people begin experiencing symptoms, studies indicate that up to 50 percent of those with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis will not survive more than an average of two years. These are indeed sobering statistics.
Fortunately there are treatment options available for aortic stenosis, which may help to extend and improve your quality of life. Therefore, it is important to recognize the symptoms.
Visit NewHeartValve.com to learn more about severe aortic stenosis and to locate a specialized Heart Team near you.
Posted on January 31, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
When Jim Sterling was present for the groundbreaking of St. George Village back in 2003, he and his wife, Alice, were interested in the community… but not yet ready to leave their home in a nearby subdivision. They visited again in 2005 when the life care community opened for residency… and Jim still wasn’t ready to leave home. But two years later, the Sterlings knew it was finally the right time to make St. George Village their permanent home.
“Even though we were both still active and able to drive at the time, the signs were there. Little things started happening,” recalls Alice. “We were eventually going to need some help.”
The Sterlings first moved into a two-bedroom apartment, and later downsized to a one-bedroom apartment when they realized they needed even less space. Then, when they both needed the help that Alice had foreseen, the couple moved into The Springs, the assisted living community within St. George Village.
The Sterlings are still able to enjoy all of the amenities that were available to them in independent living, but they now receive welcome assistance with day-to-day tasks.
“We enjoy three meals a day in the dining room, and all of the cleaning and any shopping we need is done for us now,” says Alice, who has experienced issues with her shoulder. “Our laundry is also done for us — three times a week! I have assistance with showering and we have help for any other health needs we might experience.”
Although Alice and Jim no longer drive, they don’t worry about transportation. They simply take advantage of SGV’s bus service, which ferries them to doctors’ appointments, the bank, grocery store, pharmacy and local department stores. Alice plays bridge a couple of times a week and reads voraciously. And Jim, although he doesn’t get out on the golf course as he did in the past, is still a sport — he loves watching baseball and football. They both enjoy the beautiful grounds outdoors at SGV.
“We originally came to St. George Village for all the amenities you can enjoy while still living independently. But we knew when we needed help, the facilities and staff would be there for us,” says Alice. “We really don’t lack for anything, now that we’ve moved into assisted living. I’m glad we’re here!
Posted on January 24, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
A lively group of St. George Village residents and staff recently visited The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta to view the special exhibition, Return to Rich’s: The Story Behind the Store.
Founded in 1867, Rich’s Department Store grew into one of the most influential and beloved institutions in Atlanta before being absorbed into Macy’s in 2005. The interactive exhibit spans 150 years of Atlanta’s favorite store and features beloved traditions such as the Magnolia Room, The Pink Pig, The Great Tree and Fashionata.
FYI, Return to Rich’s: The Story Behind the Store will be on display at The Breman through May 27, 2014.
Posted on January 13, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
For optimal health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults get a minimum of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week. In addition, muscle-strengthening activities should be conducted two or more days a week.
Exercise can help prevent many physical problems and chronic conditions that come with aging, including weight gain, back pain and heart disease. Plus, it keeps the mind sharp and can help you feel happier, improving symptoms of depression and even dementia. To gain these benefits, however, you need to find a fitness program that provides the physical results desired and is enjoyable, too, so you’ll stick to it.
Before you begin any exercise program, McMahon has the following tips:
1. See your doctor, especially if you have a chronic condition.
2. Start slowly. Begin by walking, say, for 10 minutes or so a day. As you gain energy and your body builds stamina, increase your activity levels and make it more challenging.
3. Stay motivated. Have realistic short-term goals you can easily meet.
4. Don’t be intimidated. Remember that everyone had to walk in the door for the first time. Don’t let the thought of starting hold you back. You can do it.
Posted on December 30, 2013 by Stacy Anthony
In technology seminars offered regularly at St. George Village, participants learn how to make the most of their iPads and smartphones by using applications for emailing, making photos and videos, listening to music, using social media sites such as Facebook, and more. These classes take away the fear and put the fun into using current technology devices!
Recent iPad workshop graduates, pictured here with Jane Ratliff and a volunteer from BlueHair Technology Group (back row), proudly display their Certificates of Completion.
Posted on December 23, 2013 by Stacy Anthony
Many older adults have found benefit from the centuries-old Chinese martial arts tai chi and qigong. “Chi” or “qi” (chee) means “life energy.” “Qigong” (chee-goong) literally means “life energy cultivation.” Tai chi consists of a series of flowing movements while qigong focuses on the repetition of isolated movements and breathing.
For example, Robert Johnson, M.D., Kaiser Permanente Chief of Palliative Care in Walnut Creek, Calif., has practiced tai chi and qigong since the 1970s. He believes these mind-body exercises promote good health, flexibility, strength and balance, which help reduce the risk of falling among seniors.
Each year, one out of three adults, age 65 and older, falls due to lack of balance or other reasons. Consider that a record 11,000 baby boomers turn 65 and become Medicare eligible every day, and that can add up to a lot of falls and serious injuries.
“We spend most of our day in sedentary jobs. Many of us sit in front of a computer or television for hours at a time,” Dr. Johnson said. “To age well, we need to move, stretch and keep our joints lubricated and flexible. Otherwise, our muscles, joints and tendons become stiff and brittle, and that can lead to falls and disabilities.”
Dr. Johnson recommends moving the joints in a circular motion. For example, place the hands on the knees and rotate the knees together in a clockwise and then counterclockwise motion. Also, try sitting in a squat position and stand up slowly to strengthen the quadriceps.
By clicking here, you can view a short video in which Dr. Johnson demonstrates a few basic exercises and explains why they’re helpful.
Along with doing exercises that promote flexibility, seniors can also help prevent falls and serious injuries by taking a few simple precautions at home:
• Reduce tripping hazards such as throw rugs, raised doorway thresholds, or loose carpet.
• Keep paths clear of electrical cords and clutter.
• Add grab bars where necessary—in hallways, stairways and bathtubs.
• Add a rubber bath mat in the shower or tub.
• Improve lighting throughout the house and use night-lights in hallways and bathrooms.
• Keep a phone and flashlight by the bed.
Posted on December 8, 2013 by Stacy Anthony
Many seniors will be glad to learn that there are steps they can take to protect against vision problems—starting with an eye exam. A regular exam is important because some eye conditions and diseases do not show warning signs.
While it is commonly known that eye troubles increase rapidly with age—particularly after age 65—a lesser-known fact is that vision loss is also associated with a higher incidence of falls, injuries, depression and social isolation.
As part of an overall health-maintenance strategy, the American Academy of Ophthalmology urges seniors to have a comprehensive eye exam, especially if they have not had one in the past two years, whether or not there are symptoms.
The Academy also encourages seniors, their loved ones and caregivers to be aware of signs that indicate vision problems that require an eye exam. These problems can include:
• Bumping into or knocking over objects
• Stepping hesitantly
• Squinting or tilting the head when trying to focus
• Missing objects when reaching
• Discontinuing everyday activities such as reading and writing.
Simple, painless eye exams are crucial in detecting an eye disease or condition in its early stages, to help preserve your sight. During the exam, an ophthalmologist—a medical doctor who specializes in eye care—will provide a diagnosis and treatment of all eye diseases and conditions.
Despite medical evidence that healthy vision plays a critical role in overall health and happiness, many older adults in the United States do not seek regular eye care or face difficulty accessing and paying for health care services.
To ensure that all seniors throughout the country have access to eye care services, nearly 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists are available to provide eye care at no out-of-pocket cost to qualifying seniors 65 and older through EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which matches patients to volunteer ophthalmologists.
“Sight problems should not be ignored at any age, but particularly in seniors, as problems are more common in this group of patients,” said Richard P. Mills, M.D., MPH, chairman for EyeCare America. “The earlier a patient seeks medical diagnosis and treatment, the greater the chances for saving and recovering one’s vision, which contributes to overall health and happiness.”
The program is sponsored by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation with additional support from Alcon. To learn more and to see if you qualify, visit EyeCare America.