St. George Village Blog
Posted on April 20, 2015 by Stacy Anthony
When it comes to good health, you can certainly feel it in your bones. That’s because your bones are alive. Every day, the body breaks down old bone and puts new bone in its place. While it is normal to lose some bone with age, too much bone loss can lead to osteoporosis.
What Is Osteoporosis?
With osteoporosis, the bones become weak and are more likely to break, especially those in the wrist, spine and hip. Because bone loss often happens over time and doesn’t hurt, many people have weak bones and don’t even know it. A broken bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis. It’s a good idea, therefore, to know the risk factors. These include:
• Poor Diet. Too little calcium can increase your chances of getting osteoporosis. Not enough vitamin D can also increase your risk. Vitamin D helps the body use the calcium in your diet.
• Not Enough Physical Activity. Not exercising and not being active for a long time can increase your chances of getting osteoporosis. Like muscles, bones become stronger—and stay stronger—with regular exercise.
• Body Weight. Being too thin makes you more likely to get osteoporosis.
• Smoking. Cigarettes can keep your body from using the calcium in your diet.
• Alcohol. People who drink a lot are more likely to get osteoporosis.
• Medicines. Certain medications can cause bone loss.
• Age. Your chances of getting osteoporosis increase as you get older.
• Gender. Women have a greater chance of getting osteoporosis because they have smaller bones than men and lose bone faster than men do. However, men can still develop osteoporosis as they age.
• Ethnicity. White and Asian women are most likely to get osteoporosis. However, people of all backgrounds are at risk.
• Family History. Having a close relative with osteoporosis may increase your risk.
What To Do About It
Since osteoporosis has no symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your bone health. If your doctor feels you’re at risk, he or she may order a bone density test. It’s quick, safe and painless. If your bone density test shows that your bones are weak, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and prescribe medication that can help.
For further information on osteoporosis and bone health, you can go to the website of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), or call toll free (877) 226-4267 and order a free publication on bone health.
Posted on April 8, 2015 by Stacy Anthony
Kids of all ages had a blast at St. George Village on Saturday, April 4. Residents and their families enjoyed a day of events, including caricatures, balloon animals, refreshments.
Highlights of the day were the annual Easter Egg Hunt on our grounds, and entertainment by Adam Boehmer, who astounded his audience with feats of juggling and balance.
Posted on March 6, 2015 by Stacy Anthony
This week, St. George Village members were entertained by a group of square dancing students from Queen of Angels Catholic School. The students curtseyed and bowed, allemanded, circled, do si doed, passed through, and swung their partners, showing how much fun square dancing can be!
Besides fun, did you know that square dancing offers other physical, mental and social benefits? Square dancing can help keep you fit by burning calories, lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol, strengthening weight-bearing bones and slowing bone loss, and more. This form of dance also keeps you on your mental toes by requiring you to react to the “calls” for changing movements and steps. Plus, square dancing requires teamwork, with each team of eight dancers depending on each other to keep the dance moving.
Thanks, Queen of Angels students, for showing us how much fun square dancing can be!
Posted on February 22, 2015 by Stacy Anthony
It was “let the good times roll” at St. George Village on Fat Tuesday, when residents and staff gathered for a Mardi Gras celebration.
The group, decked out in festive beads and masks, did a Mardi Gras march to the tune of “When the Saints Come Marching In.” They were led by resident Grace Samson, who will turn 100 in July! Entertainment was provided by The Class Act Band, and everyone feasted on shrimp and a variety of Mardi Gras hors d’oeuvres.
The roots of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. From here, the traditional revelry of “Boeuf Gras,” or fatted calf, followed France to her colonies. Over the centuries it evolved into a celebration held in several countries — most famously in New Orleans, La. in the United States — on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, and signals the beginning of Lent. The traditional Mardis Gras colors have great significance — purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power.
Posted on February 13, 2015 by Stacy Anthony
St. George Village recently hosted a Neighborhood Celebration, at which guests were treated to a very special presentation by SGV resident Mary Shern. Mary is the author of several books, including a novel, an autobiography and some real estate guides gleaned from her years of experience as a real estate broker. Not one to rest on her laurels, Mary realized she still had plenty to say and has penned a new book titled, And in Conclusion…Life After Ninety-Plus Years.
Mary spoke about her new book and entertained the crowd with her insights about life in the 90s — no, not the 1990s, but rather life as a nonagenarian! Her message: “The first 100 years are the hardest.”
Mary gives a whole new meaning to the term, “active aging!”
Posted on February 6, 2015 by Stacy Anthony
If you’re like most people, you’ve noticed differences in the way your mind works over time. The good news is that understanding the potential threats to brain health can help you make smart choices to strengthen mental alertness.
Some health conditions can negatively affect your brain. Heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes can alter or damage blood vessels throughout your body, including the brain.
Some medications and combinations of drugs, as well as alcohol use, may affect thinking.
Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia harm the brain, too. While no one knows how to prevent dementia, many approaches that are good for your health in other ways, like exercise and a healthy diet, are being tested.
Actions That Help Your Brain:
• Get regular health screenings.
• Manage diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
• Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the medications you take and any possible side effects.
• Try to maintain a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats (including fish and poultry), and low-fat or nonfat dairy products. Monitor your intake of solid fat, sugar and salt and eat proper portion sizes.
• Drink moderately, if at all, because avoiding alcohol can reverse some negative changes related to brain health.
• Be physically active be cause doing so may improve connections among your brain cells. Older adults should get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week.
• Don’t smoke. Quitting at any age will be beneficial to your mind and body. Nonsmokers have a lower risk of heart attacks, stroke and lung diseases, as well as increased blood circulation.
• Be safe. Older adults are at higher risk of falling and other accidents that can cause brain injury. To reduce your risk, exercise to improve balance and coordination, take a falls prevention class and make your home safer.
• Keep your mind active by doing mentally stimulating activities including reading, playing games, teaching or taking a class, and being social. Volunteer.
• Visit an Area Agency on Aging (AAA). These community-based agencies provide a welcoming environment for older adults and caregivers interested in learning about services from meals, transportation and in-home care to volunteer opportunities and classes to keep them healthy and engaged.
For more information and a free brochure containing strategies to promote brain health, call the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116 or visit www.eldercare.gov.
Posted on January 9, 2015 by Stacy Anthony
When America’s favorite orphan came to the stage this holiday season, a group of residents and staff from St. George Village were on hand to the Off Broadway Children’s Theatre’s production of Annie. Guests gave the cast and theatre glowing reviews!
The Off Broadway Children’s Theatre, located in Alpharetta, is a full-service performing arts center offering classes in dance, music and theatre as well as live theatrical performances for children by children.
Afterward the “Villagers” enjoyed a delicious lunch at Alpine Bakery. (Unfortunately, Daddy Warbucks wasn’t on hand to pick up the check!)
Posted on December 19, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.
—The History Channel
Pictured here is our own stately Christmas tree, surrounded by “carolers,” which is the centerpiece of our lobby every December. From all of us at St. George Village, we wish you and yours all the peace, joy and love of this Christmas season!
Posted on December 5, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
Santa’s Little Helpers know how important it is to stay active and eat well in order to stay healthy during the holiday season! Pictured here are some of the elves who live at St. George Village, getting in their workout (and having a good time doing it) at our indoor pool. Water aerobics, lap swimming or simple water-walking are all great ways to get in shape (or stay that way) at any age.
Kris Kringle himself would do well to follow the St. George Village Elves’ example!
Posted on November 28, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
In a recent survey by the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Philips, 96 percent of senior respondents said it’s important to be as independent as possible as they get older. For seniors to maintain that independence, it pays to age “SMART.” By combining basic physical and mental wellness techniques with technology, seniors can continue living the full, active lives they want and deserve. Consider these ideas:
S—Stay active, eat healthy: Activities such as walking and light weight lifting can help with balance and agility, preserving mobility and making you less likely to fall. Group classes designed for seniors can be a great way to stay fit and socialize.
Eat lots of fruits and veggies, lean proteins and smart carbohydrates. High blood pressure can be of particular concern with age, so diets should be low in sodium.
M—Mental fitness: Your brain needs a workout, too. Studies have associated activities such as reading, playing a musical instrument, learning a new language, playing memory games and other cognitively stimulating exercises with a slower rate of mental decline. Staying sharp mentally can help you maintain your independence by empowering you to manage everyday tasks.
A—A good night’s sleep: Lack of sleep can impair your memory, slow reaction time and exacerbate other conditions. Keeping a regular schedule, avoiding caffeine and sleeping in a dark, relaxing environment can help.
R—Remembering medications: It can be tricky to keep track of your medications but getting doses and timing right are crucial to maintaining your independence. One in 10 senior hospitalizations is related to medication mismanagement. The good news is there are lots of tools out there to help, some as simple as plastic pill-organizing boxes. More advanced solutions include mobile apps that send you a reminder when it’s time for meds and automatic devices that dispense pre-sorted medications at preprogrammed times.
T—Technology to keep connected: E-mail, Facebook and Skype can be great ways to stay connected with family and friends. You can watch your grandkid’s soccer game from halfway across the country or catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in decades. Isolation and loneliness can take a huge toll on mental health, so it’s important to maintain and create relationships.
Technology also keeps seniors connected to help and lets them go about busy, active lives with less worry. Mobile response apps can connect seniors to a call center with the simple click of a button in the case of an emergency. Medical alert services provide seniors with direct access to a response associate both in their homes and on the go. Some even come equipped with fall detection technology that can signal for help if a fall is detected, when the senior is unable to do so.
For more resources related to aging “SMART,” visit Philips Lifeline.