St. George Village Blog
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.
Posted on November 20, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
St. George Village members and staff gathered for a special Veterans Day ceremony on November 11. Rev. Larry Robert of Vitas Hospice led the service, and SGV’s Villagers choral group sang all of the songs representing each branch of the U.S. Military.
Flags were raised by the Roswell High School Color Guard, and Adam Christian honored the custom of playing “Taps” on the trumpet to end the service.
Afterward, each veteran present at the ceremony was recognized with a flag pin and everyone enjoyed a piece of the sheet cake decorated as a U.S. flag.
God bless our veterans and America!
Posted on November 7, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
At St. George Village, we believe there’s no age limit on fun, so it’s no surprise that everyone here got into the spooky spirit of things on Halloween! Members and staff decked themselves out in creative costuming for our annual Halloween Costume Party and Happy Hour on October 29.
Part of the celebration was dedicated to the memory of Irene Kalliavas, who, along with fellow residents Harold Tinley and Bob Worden, always appeared on Halloween as Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. This year, SGV Care Partner Jean Pastore honored Irene by taking on the role of Dorothy, and you can see her pictured with Harold and Bob in their annual costumes. Honoring her mother’s Greek heritage, Irene’s daughter brought baklava and spanakopita for residents and staff to enjoy at the party.
Lots of treats (and not too many tricks) were the highlight of Halloween at SGV!
Posted on October 24, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
One of the most recognized faces at St. George Village is that of Guillermo Acevedo Gonzalez, better known by his nickname, “Memo.”
Memo grew up in Mexico and emigrated to the United States 20 years ago. He joined SGV’s maintenance staff in 2005.
“We do everything from plumbing and air conditioning and heating repairs to replacing light bulbs and hanging pictures and mirrors for residents,” he explains. “Basically, we take care of anything that needs repair or upkeep around the property. Every day on the job is different.”
In his spare time, Memo enjoys traveling around the country with his wife. And, he admits, he occasionally helps out friends in need of his plumbing and other repair skills.
Memo lives in Kennesaw, which is a 22-mile commute to work, one way. He says the drive is well worth it.
“I like working at St. George Village because the residents are always smiling and happy,” he says. “Everyone calls me by my nickname. They make me feel welcome.”
Posted on October 15, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
Centenarian or 99+ year-old teen? Those who know Gertrude “Trudy” Melun are hard-pressed to believe that this young lady with such a zest for life just celebrated her 100th birthday!
Known for her signature, “Hey lady!” Trudy greets everyone with a smile and is beloved by family and friends. She is interesting and interested, staying informed about local, national and international news as well as what’s going on with her family, friends, and fellow residents and the staff at SGV. Trudy’s strong faith and love for her church guide her as she seeks to make the most of every day.
To honor Trudy on her 100th birthday, Roswell Mayor Jere Wood proclaimed September 11, 2014 “Trudy Melun Day.” Mayor Wood stopped by SGV to join in the fun at Trudy’s birthday celebration.
We wish Trudy all the best as she embarks on the next 100 years of her remarkable life!
Posted on September 19, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
Evidence suggests that four-legged friends provide a number of health benefits for older adults, according to Pet Partners, a nonprofit organization that promotes positive human-animal interactions to improve the physical, emotional and psychological lives of both. A number of studies have shown that seniors who own pets actually go to the doctor less with minor health issues.
Additionally, research has shown that interacting with animals can help people decrease their cholesterol levels, fight depression and may even help protect against heart disease and stroke. And, the companionship that pets provide motivates older adults to be more involved in daily activities and encourages socializing.
At St. George Village, we understand the importance of the bond between people and their four-legged family members and, as a pet-friendly lifecare community, are pleased to welcome them!
Posted on August 29, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
More than 300,000 men die each year from heart disease in the United States, making it the leading cause of death for men. Unfortunately, half of the men who die suddenly from this disease have no previous symptoms.
High blood pressure is the top contributor to heart disease and death. Research shows 25 percent of men have high blood pressure—many without knowing it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men’s risk for heart disease increases with age and typically begins at 45, although it can occur at a younger age. In fact, African American men develop the condition more often and at an earlier age, compared to their white and Hispanic peers.
The good news is that you can take charge of your health by knowing your risk and taking steps to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The CDC recommends the following tips to help decrease the risk of heart disease:
• Check your blood pressure regularly. Your doctor can measure your blood pressure or you can check it yourself at home and many pharmacies. If you already have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medications in addition to recommending lifestyle changes. Take the medications as directed by your doctor.
• Eat more heart-healthy foods. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, which provide heart-protecting nutrients such as potassium and fiber.
• Reduce your sodium intake. More than 75% of the sodium we eat is from restaurant and processed foods. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend people aged 2 and up reduce sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day. People 51 and older and those of any age who are African Americans or who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease should further reduce intake to 1,500 mg per day.
• Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your blood pressure. Your doctor can help you determine your target weight and the best way to achieve it.
• Exercise regularly. Physical activity can also help lower your blood pressure. CDC recommends you engage in moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or a muscle strengthening activity, for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) every week.
• Limit alcohol use. Drinking too much alcohol is associated with high blood pressure. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation—no more than two drinks per day for men or one drink per day for women.
• Don’t smoke. Smoking damages blood vessels and speeds up the hardening of arteries. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Call a tobacco quit line (1-800-QUITNOW) or visit www.smokefree.gov.
Keeping your heart in good condition does require work, but the lasting health impact is worth the effort. Learn your risk for heart disease and adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle. More information on cardiovascular disease and heart health is available on CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention website.
Posted on August 15, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
Twenty St. Georgia Villagers recently hopped on the bus for a drive up to Rome, Ga. and a visit to Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum at Berry College. Oak Hill is the historic Greek Revival home and estate of Berry College founder Martha Berry. The Martha Berry Museum houses a permanent exhibition that traces the evolution of the Berry Schools into Berry College.
The group received a tour of the home (which has been featured in movies such as Sweet Home Alabama and Remember the Titans), led by Berry College students, and visited the Museum, Aunt Martha’s Cottage (the former home of Martha Berry’s servant who became caretaker of the estate), and the estate’s gardens.
No one went hungry on this trip! The first stop was lunch at the Harvest Moon Café and the adjacent HoneyMoon Bakery in downtown Rome.
Posted on July 31, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
A group of intrepid St. George Villagers recently ventured south to Centennial Park in Atlanta to take a ride on the SkyView Ferris Wheel.
Towering nearly 20 stories above the Park, the SkyView Ferris wheel features 42 climate-controlled gondolas that hold up to six people.
Guests are treated to breathtaking panoramic views of downtown Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan area.
Afterward, the fearless riders stopped by an Atlanta landmark, The Varsity, for an F.O.! (If you’re not up on Varsity lingo, F.O. is the restaurant’s iconic frosted orange drink.)
Posted on July 19, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
How about a little male bonding?
The Men’s Club of St. George Village offers an opportunity for fun and fellowship — just for the fellas. The Club’s first outing to the Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub for lunch (along with Guinness, ales and lagers!) was so popular that it has been established as a regular event.
Each month, the Men’s Club enjoys lunch at a nearby pub or restaurant. They are joined by SGV Executive Director Mark Lowell and additional staff members such as Physical Therapist Kevin Wildes from Genesis Rehab and Director of Plant Operations and Concierge Services Frank Wooten.
Most recently, 19 members of the Club lunched, laughed and swapped stories at Miller’s Ale House in Roswell.