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  • Try Water Aerobics for Fitness and Fun!

    St. George Village water aerobics classAccording 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 in Independent Living, Knowledge Center, Lifestyle, Wellness | Tagged , , ,

  • Meet the Staff: Quamaine Edwards

    Quamaine Edwards

    Service technician Quamaine Edwards has a ready smile and positive outlook that just won’t quit!

    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 in Independent Living, Lifestyle, Residents Corner | Tagged , , ,

  • Heeding the Signs

    SGV members Alice and Jim Sterling had the foresight to plan for their future health and lifestyle needs.

    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 in Independent Living, Lifestyle, Residents Corner, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , , ,

  • How Strong Is Your Chi? Learning Tai Chi And Qigong to Prevent Slips, Trips And Falls

    Tai chi is just one of many health and wellness activities offered to St. George Village members.

    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 in Independent Living, Knowledge Center, Lifestyle, Wellness | Tagged , , ,

  • Sharing Warmth and Smiles

    Pictured here are Rev. Edward O' Conner, a retired priest living at St. George Village, with a group of children from Queen of Angels Catholic School at the blessing of the Linus blankets.

    Recently, children from Queen of Angels Catholic School visited St. George Village to help make blankets for the Linus Project, a national nonprofit organization that provides homemade blankets to children in need.

    The children, 56 in all, came in groups on November 5, 6, 12 and 13. A dozen SGV residents, along with several of the mothers of the children, made a total of 68 blankets. After making the blankets, the children took them to the chapel at SGV, where a priest blessed both children and blankets. Then, everyone enjoyed a reception with refreshments.

    The blankets will be distributed to various charities, including the Ronald McDonald House, North Fulton Community Charities, and several community shelters for women and children. This is the seventh year that St. George Village and Queen of Angels have participated together in the Linus Project.

    Posted in Faith, Lifestyle, Partnerships | Tagged , , , , ,

  • Regular Eye Exams are Important for Seniors

    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.

     

    Posted in Independent Living, Knowledge Center, Lifestyle, Wellness | Tagged , , ,

  • Meet the Staff: Catherine Kimani

    Catherine Kimani’s love of life and her work as a care partner at St. George Village show in her smile!

    Catherine Kimani says her favorite part of working at St. George Village is the friendly and cooperative spirit that pervades every aspect of the community.

    “It’s an awesome place to work. Really, it is!” she says. “Everyone is so friendly and I love working with all the care partners as a team. This is a wonderful, stress-free place to work.”

    Catherine, a Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.), works in the Treasures of Lakeview community. She came to the United States six years ago from her native Kenya, where she also worked as a C.N.A.

    “I love working with seniors, so when I moved here, I just continued on with my career,” she explains. “All I had to do was get licensed.”

    Catherine lives in Acworth with her family. When she’s not working, she enjoys singing in church, shopping, cooking and, believe it or not, cleaning!

    Catherine was recently named St. George Village’s Care Partner of the Quarter.

    Posted in Lifestyle, Partnerships | Tagged , , , , ,

  • Technology Classes Keep Seniors Engaged and Connected

    BlueHair Technology Group is on a mission! Their goal is to educate seniors about current technology and how to connect and communicate with family and friends through email, games, video chat, Facebook, etc., on devices like iPads and smartphones.

    St. George Village is pleased to offer a variety of classes taught by BlueHair Technology founder Jane Ratliff and her staff as a service to its residents and members of the community.

    Meet Jane and learn more about BlueHair Technology in this video presentation.

     

    Posted in Independent Living, Knowledge Center, Lifestyle, Residents Corner | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Understanding Medicare

    People on Medicare can change plans or enroll in one for the first time by December 7 — or they’ll have to wait until next year.

    During Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, which ends December 7, millions of Medicare beneficiaries must decide on their Medicare Advantage (MA) health plan for the coming year. While many factors go into deciding about a plan—cost, choice of doctors, benefits—there’s one important question Medicare beneficiaries should ask: What is the quality rating of the plans I’m considering?

    A high rating means better health care and the best value for your money. Medicare uses a system called Star Ratings. Plans receive a rating of up to five stars. These ratings are based on things like how well the plan does at keeping people healthy by making sure they get the treatments, tests and vaccines they need to prevent illness, how quickly you can get an appointment and see specialists, and how the plan responds to your complaints and concerns.

    For 2014, over a third of MA plans will receive four or more stars, which is an increase from 28 percent in 2013. Seven of the 11 MA plans earning five stars this year are members of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, an organization representing the nation’s leading health plans.

    You can learn more about MA plans—and their quality ratings—using the Medicare Plan Finder. MA plans are called “Medicare Health Plans” in the Plan Finder.

    The National Committee for Quality Assurance also evaluates quality in MA plans; those rankings can be found at www.ncqa.org.

    — Patricia Smith, president and CEO, Alliance of Community Health Plans.

     

    Posted in Independent Living, Knowledge Center, News, Residents Corner | Tagged , , , , , , ,

  • Charming Charleston!

    Several St. George Village residents put on their travelin’ shoes last month and enjoyed a two-day trip to historic Charleston, S.C.

    Their busy itinerary included a visit to Drayton Hall — an 18th century unrestored plantation house — as well as a tour of Charleston Harbor, a carriage ride around the city, shopping at famous Charleston Market and dining at some of the city’s well-known restaurants.

    As you can see, everyone had a LOT of fun!

    Posted in Independent Living, Lifestyle, Residents Corner | Tagged , , , , , ,