Atlanta Retirement Communities

St. George Village Blog

Tag Archive: Independent living

  • “Grape” Ideas For More Healthful Eating

    Cooking and baking with 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes is easy, delicious and healthful.

    A delightful way to enjoy wholesome eating can start with your packing your plate with produce, including a dynamite little fruit—the Concord grape. Concord grapes are bold in taste and pack quite a nutritious punch. They can be enjoyed as 100% grape juice or in simple, healthy and flavor-packed recipes.

    Thanks to the Concord grape, 100% grape juice can help support a healthy heart. According to Alton Brown, spokesperson for Welch’s and Food Network star, food historian and scientist, “Welch’s presses the entire Concord grape, skin, seed, pulp and all, and that releases heart-healthy plant nutrients called polyphenols.”

    Many of the polyphenols in Concord grapes are the same as those found in wine. In fact, you can even use 100% grape juice instead of sweet wine in a variety of recipes.

    There are many ways to get your share of the goodness of Concord grapes. 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes can be enjoyed in a glass as a nutritious beverage and can easily be incorporated into recipes for desserts, low-fat salad dressings, marinades and more. This tasty ingredient may not only enhance the flavor of your favorite dishes, it can add a boost of heart-healthy purple fruit to your day.

    Here’s one easy (and delicious) way to add this one-of-a-kind fruit to your menu:

    Poached Pears in Grape Juice

    1-½ cups Welch’s 100% Grape Juice made with Concord grapes

    2 cinnamon sticks

    2 strips of orange rind

    4 pears, peeled with stems remaining

    • In a medium saucepan, bring grape juice, cinnamon and orange rind to a boil.

    • Place pears standing in saucepan and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

    • Turn or spoon juice over pears as they simmer. Remove pears and let cool.

    • Reduce sauce by boiling down to about 1⁄3 cup.

    • Spoon sauce over pears and keep chilled.

    • Serve pears by themselves or with light whipped cream.

    You can find more facts, tips and recipes to share the goodness of Concord grapes with your family at www.welchs.com.

    (Courtesy of Welch’s)

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

  • Improving Relationships by Aiding Communication

    What did you say? Can you repeat that, please? Hearing loss makes communication a challenge, which, unfortunately, may put relationships in peril. Feelings of anger, frustration and resentment are often experienced by those suffering from hearing loss, as well as by spouses, family members and friends who are constantly barraged with requests to repeat themselves or talk louder.

    With millions of people affected by hearing loss, according to the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), there are, no doubt, a significant number of relationships suffering from a lack of communication. And while the best way to treat hearing loss is with a hearing aid, the AAA also cites that only one out of every five adults who needs a hearing aid actually wears one.

    Do you or someone you know show any of the signs below? Hearing loss could be affecting your relationships:
    • Your hearing is muffled and you ask your family members or friends to repeat constantly.
    • Your other half is covering his or her ears because the TV is too loud and you still can’t hear it.
    • You have difficulty understanding what your partner is saying in public spaces.
    • When there are competing voices or background noise, you cannot distinguish the specific words.
    • You have begun avoiding conversation and social interaction.

    All of the above situations can cause depression and isolation. A good course of action to pursue is a hearing test and trying a hearing aid to be sure the depression is not hearing-related.

    For more information on hearing loss, try these online resources:
    www.mdhearingaid.com
    www.nihseniorhealth/gov/hearingloss
    www.hearingloss.org

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

  • There’s No Age Limit on Staying Active and Loving Life

    Active and loving life in her 90s, Mary Shern’s career includes an acting stint on radio soaps, a long career in real estate and authoring several books.

    “I like the companionship. You always feel like you have friends here,” says Mary Shern, who moved to St. George Village in 2006. “It reminds me a little bit of living in the dorm in college — you can borrow whatever you need!”

    That youthful college spirit is still quite evident in Mary’s vivacious, enthusiastic personality. The nonagenarian makes use of SGV’s indoor pool as often as possible, serves on the community’s food committee, has produced a couple of the Villagers shows and participates in the Great Decisions program…and also has just completed a soon-to-be-published book on the subject of being 90!

    Mary’s life is a testament to the term “active aging.” Growing up in New York, she began working when she was just a teen.

    “I started out in show biz, acting on radio soap operas. My first role was on the show, ‘Pepper Young’s Family’ — Burgess Meredith was Pepper! Later, I had a role on ‘When a Girl Marries,’” she says. “Then, I did an interview show for a while and years later, when I was living in Hawaii, I had a real estate show on Sunday afternoons called ‘The House Detective.’”

    It was in New York as a young woman that Mary met and married her husband, a real estate developer…and that led to her second career as a realtor and a side job as an author.
    “I was a real estate broker with my own company, teaching the business to agents who needed their licenses. I had my own style of teaching, so I wrote my own textbooks,” she explains. “I published three of those.”

    She also wrote a novel that she says was “just happenstance. The Women’s Real Estate Association wanted me to write about how a housewife could get into the real estate business once her children were in school.”

    Mary lived in Hawaii for 18 years before moving to Atlanta, where two of her children live, and where she continued working in real estate.

    “At that time, the market in Atlanta was still pretty good,” she says. “I ran a real estate school and did a lot of speaking engagements and traveling.”

    Finally, at the age of 90, Mary decided to retire. But that didn’t mean she retired to an easy chair. She wrote an autobiography just for her family, and then moved on to write the new book in progress.

    “The books weren’t a big part of my career; they were more like an ancillary occupation at the time. But writing did become a kind of compulsion for me,” she laughs. “I don’t know how much longer I’ll do it, though.”

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

  • Important Medication Tips For Seniors

    Should you be taking the medications you’re taking? If you’re 65 or older, that’s an important question to ask yourself and your healthcare provider. Why? Because some commonly prescribed medications can actually be harmful for older adults.

    As you get older, your body changes. These changes can in­crease the chances that you might have side effects from certain drugs. For example, your liver or kidneys may not function quite as well as when you were younger, so your body can’t pro­cess medications in the same way. This can lead to a build-up of the drug in your system, which can increase the risk of side effects such as falls, a drop in blood pressure or heart rate, drowsiness, or confusion.

    Many older adults have two or more health problems that require multiple medications and treatments. Because of this, older adults are more likely to experience potentially harmful interactions between their prescriptions. In fact, every year, one in three adults 65 and older has one or more harmful reactions to medications they are taking.

    “Older adults and their caregivers need to take an active role in managing their medications,” says Cathy Alessi, M.D., a physician who specializes in the care of older adults and is the president of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS). “They need to ask questions of their doctor, nurse, physician assistant, or pharmacist, and read the information that comes with their medications. All medications have side effects, even those sold over-the-counter. That’s why patients should discuss the risks and benefits of any medication with their healthcare pro­vider before deciding which ones are right for them.”

    What should you do to lower your odds of having harmful medication side effects or drug interactions? Here are five tips from the American Geriatrics Society:

    1. Bring a list of all the medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter drugs you’re taking to every medical appointment. The list should include the dosages you take and how often you take them. Be sure your emergency contact person or caregiver has an up-to-date copy of the list.

    2. If you notice a new health problem or symptom after starting a new medication, you may be having a harmful drug reaction. Tell your healthcare provider right away. If you have a serious reaction, such as difficulty breathing or swelling in your throat, call 911 and go to the emergency room immediately.

    3. Fill your prescriptions at the same pharmacy and get to know your local pharmacist. Your pharmacist’s job is to be aware of all the medications you’re taking. Most pharmacies use computer systems that alert the pharmacist to possible drug interactions.

    4. Once or twice a year, ask your primary healthcare provider to review your list of medications, supplements, and vitamins. Ask whether you still need to take each one, and at its current dose. There may be times when your provider will decide to stop some of your medications or adjust the doses. Just remember, though, that you should never change the dose or stop taking any medication without first consulting your provider.

    5. Whenever a healthcare professional prescribes a new medication, changes a dosage, or stops prescribing a drug you’ve been prescribed, ask for an explanation. It’s important that you understand these changes in your care.

    To help healthcare providers care for older adults who take multiple medications, the AGS has published a list of medications that may cause harmful side effects in older people when taken alone or in combination. In the healthcare industry this list is known as the “Beers List,” or “Beers Criteria,” and is named after the late Dr. Mark Beers, a geriatric medicine specialist who originated the list in 1991.

    For more information about how to safely manage your medications, visit www.healthinaging.org, the website of the AGS Foundation for Health in Aging.

    Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Provider About Your Medications:

    • Why are you prescribing this particular medication?

    • Are there other medications that might be safer or more ­effective?

    • What are the potential side effects? Which ones are serious enough to call you or 911?

    • How will I know if the medication is working?

    • Does this medication interact with any other drugs I’m taking?

    • Are there any dietary restrictions I should follow?

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

  • Our New Pavilion is Open!

    Care Partners from the dining rooms, maintenance staff and administration gathered for the official ribbon cutting ceremony on July 8, 2013.

    Outdoor dining recently became a reality at St. George Village with the completion of the new Pavilion on the dining room patio.

    A dedication service for the new structure was held on July 2, which included a blessing by Monsignor Peter Rau from St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church. More than 50 residents attended the service and then enjoyed mimosas, coffee and doughnuts in the new outdoor dining space.

    Additionally, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by SGV care partners from administration, the dining rooms and maintenance, was held on July 8.

    St. George Village is so pleased to offer this new outdoor addition and hopes residents will enjoy dining al fresco.

     

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

  • Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

    St. George Village residents turned out to cheer on the Gwinnett Braves in their game against the Norfolk Tides on July 11, 2013. The outing was one of SGV’s Thursday trips — organized day travels to fun and interesting sites and events around the north Georgia area. (By the way, the G-Braves bested the Tides in a 10-4 rout!)

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

  • “Free Lunch” Investment Seminars — What to Look Out For

    If you’re ever invited to a free seminar that promises to teach you about investing or managing money in retirement, and that comes with a free meal, there may be a few facts you should digest first.

    Research by the FINRA In­vestor Education Foundation found that 64 percent of Americans age 40 and older have been invited to so-called “free lunch” seminars. While a free meal or prize might be enticing, in many cases the goals of these seminars are to recruit new clients and sell products.

    “Even when described as purely educational, free-meal seminars typically have one aim and that’s to sell you something,” said FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh. “That ‘something’ might be a book, a particular product or financial services. But just because someone buys you a meal doesn’t mean you have to swallow any pitch—that day or days down the road.”

    Securities regulators such as FINRA conducted more than 100 examinations of free-meal seminars. In half the cases, invitations and advertisements contained exaggerated or misleading claims, and 12 percent of them appeared to involve fraud.

    If you decide to attend a free-meal seminar, be cautious and informed:

    • Watch out for conflicts of in­terest. Even if the people who host a seminar or speak at the event are industry experts, they might not be the ones actually paying for it. At times, insurance companies or mutual funds finance these seminars, expecting the speaker to drive sales of their products.

    • Do your homework before the seminar. You can verify that the salesperson is licensed and the investment is registered at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s website.

    • Ask questions while you’re there. What are the risks of this investment? How much does it cost initially to purchase the investment? For what type of investor is this investment a good idea? For what type of investor is this investment a bad idea?

    • Don’t buy anything or open an account on the spot. The seminar might be intended just to introduce you to the product, with a hard sell later. After the event, do some research on your own. Understand the risks. While the prospect of high rates of return might sound tempting, remember that there may be additional risks or costs associated with the product.

    • Savvy investors refuse to be rushed. A good investment will be available tomorrow or next week or next month when you’re ready and understand where your money is going. Rarely, if ever, do you have to invest your money on the spot.

    For resources that can help you avoid investment fraud, visit the FINRA Foundation’s website.

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

  • Celebrate Summer!

    In honor of the onset of summertime, we at St. George Village share this poem and wish you all the fun and joy of the warmest season of the year.

    Summer Sun
    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Great is the sun, and wide he goes
    Through empty heaven with repose;
    And in the blue and glowing days
    More thick than rain he showers his rays.

    Though closer still the blinds we pull
    To keep the shady parlour cool,
    Yet he will find a chink or two
    To slip his golden fingers through.

    The dusty attic spider-clad
    He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
    And through the broken edge of tiles
    Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

    Meantime his golden face around
    He bares to all the garden ground,
    And sheds a warm and glittering look
    Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

    Above the hills, along the blue,
    Round the bright air with footing true,
    To please the child, to paint the rose,
    The gardener of the World, he goes.

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

  • Discussing the World, Staying Intellectually Engaged

    Members of the Great Decisions class at St. George Village listen to a guest speaker’s presentation at a recent meeting.

    Iran, Egypt, China, Africa, NATO, the future of the Euro and the threat assessment of certain countries to the United States and other countries — these are the topics St. George Village residents are learning about and discussing in the Great Decisions program.

    Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. This national civic education program, administered by the Foreign Policy Association, takes place in communities all across the U.S. Discussions highlight eight of the most thought-provoking foreign policy challenges facing American each year.

    Great Decisions members are provided with background material — a study guide and a short DVD presentation — to review before each lecture takes place. Then they are treated to presentations by foreign affairs experts including university professors and ambassadors, who speak on the designated topic.

    The Great Decisions program requires participants to commit to attending the eight presentations, which are scheduled throughout the year. About 30 SGV residents currently are members of the class, a number that has remained stable for the six years the program has been in existence.

    SGV’s Great Decisions members find the presentations intellectually stimulating and thought provoking. And they never allow their diverse political views to get in the way of their discussions.

    “We try to leave politics out of this particular situation,” says Pat Tritt, who organizes the program’s schedule and lines up the guest speakers. “Everyone is respectful of each other’s opinions.”

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

  • Meet the SGV Staff: Dave Fagerstrom

    One of the first things you notice about Dave Fagerstrom is his welcoming smile. Dave, who has been a driver for St. George Village since August 2011, says that being behind the wheel gives him a reason to smile.

    “I love driving!” he says. “And I enjoy spending time with our residents. It’s great to feel I’m being helpful to them by getting them where they want to go.”

    Originally from Jamestown, N.Y., Dave served in Vietnam as an Air Force helicopter pilot. After serving his country, he began a career in banking as a branch manager and eventually moved to Atlanta in 1979. He discovered his true love of driving in retirement, when he did a stint as a tractor-trailer driver.

    Today, Dave ferries SGV residents to doctors’ appointments and routine errands like grocery shopping and stops at various banks and dry cleaners. But he especially enjoys SGV Trip Days.

    “On Thursdays, we take day trips to places like Calloway Gardens, Amicalola State Park or the outlet mall,” he says. “It’s a lot of fun!”

    The St. George Village staff invites you to get to know us better! We’ll highlight a different staff member occasionally in our blog as an ongoing feature.

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