Atlanta Retirement Communities

St. George Village Blog

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  • Meet Our Care Partner, Assistant Activity Coordinator Della Westerfield

    Della Westerfield enjoys being creative… and it shows in her dedication to her role as Assistant Activity Coordinator for The Springs, Treasures of Lakeview and Friendship House communities at St. George Village.

    Della calls on her background in community service and dance and exercise instruction when she plans activities for residents, such as storytelling, bowling, dancing, nature walks or special programs like the monthly “Love and Kisses” show.

    “I bring in different individuals and groups to entertain — we’ve had everything from dance troupes and musicians to singers and comedians doing monologues,” she says. “The program started out in the lounge of The Springs, but it’s grown so much that we moved it to the auditorium. A lot of our independent living residents love the show, too!”

    Della has a lifelong love of dance and performing. Her dream is to one day open a studio that teaches a wide variety of cultural dance, such as Irish, West African, Mexican Folk and more.

    “I’d like to provide an opportunity for kids to learn about different cultures through dance,” she says, adding that “it could bridge the gap of understanding.”

    Recently named SGV Care Partner of the Quarter, Della says she loves working at St. George Village because of the friendly, family-oriented atmosphere.

    “Everyone is so helpful to each other — staff and residents. Everyone is doing their part,” she says. “I find that really nice. You feel welcome here.”

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

  • 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 , , , , , ,

  • Older and Younger Generations Partner on Project to Help Others

    Mary Apps (right) shows a first grade student how to tie the edges of a Linus blanket, which will be given to a child in need.

    One of the volunteer activities St. George Village resident Mary Apps loves most is making blankets for the Linus Project, a national nonprofit organization that provides homemade blankets to children in need. (The concept is based on the Peanuts cartoon character, Linus, and his trusty security blanket.)

    Mary and several other SGV residents had been making the Linus blankets and giving them to a group at St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church, who then distributed the blankets to area shelters. When a teacher at nearby Queen of Angels Catholic School heard about the Linus blankets, she approached Mary about getting some of the younger students at the school involved in the project.

    “Each class at Queen of Angels works on a project during the school year. The first graders help make the Linus blankets and the second graders distribute them,” Mary explains. “In November every year, the children come over to St. George Village and we show them how to tie knots and finish off the blankets so that they don’t ravel.”

    “The blankets that our children make are given to local organizations like the Drake House, the Ronald McDonald House and the Catholic Charities’ prenatal program,” Mary explains. “A supply of blankets is also given to first responders and emergency workers, who often encounter children who are affected by disasters and other emergencies — children who don’t have as much as they need to stay warm.”

    After the blanket-making session, the children go to the chapel, where a priest blesses them and their blankets, and then they enjoy a reception with refreshments.

    Mary says that the Linus blankets have become a beloved tradition at Queen of Angels, both for the good feeling it brings to do something for someone else and for the fun of partnering with SGV residents.

    The students have fun making friends with the St. George Village residents and they learn how their Linus blankets will help other children in need of comfort.

    “So many of the children have older siblings who participated in the project and have talked about it,” she says. “They look forward to being in first grade so they can work on the blankets and come over to spend time at St. George Village!”

    Posted in Faith, Independent Living, Lifestyle, Partnerships, 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 , , , , , ,

  • Help is There…When You Need It

    Martha Mobley says she never worried about losing her independence when she made the transition from independent to assisted living.

    SGV resident Martha Mobley is well acquainted with transition — and says there is nothing to fear from it. When Mrs. Mobley left her home of 34 years to move into an Independent Living apartment at SGV, she maintained her active life, making friends in her new community while still visiting her old neighborhood and friends. Then, she experienced an illness that moved her from the hospital to skilled nursing and then to Assisted Living at SGV’s Wellington Court.

    “I realized that I could not go back to Independent Living without having some help first, so I chose to move into Assisted Living,” she says, adding that there was no need to worry about giving up her independence. “I had the privileges in Assisted Living that I had living independently, but also had help when I needed it.”

    Life Care Communities like St. George Village are wise choices because they provide an independent living lifestyle with a comprehensive plan for the future — residents experience the security of being cared for as needed throughout the aging process. Simply stated, one of the most reassuring benefits of living in a Life Care Community like St. George Village is having a residence for life!

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

  • Alzheimer’s Disease, are you at risk?

    The greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is advancing age. Most individuals with the disease are age 65 or older. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65 and after age 85, the risk reaches nearly 50 percent. According to an article in Parade magazine, there are at least three ways to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

    1.Exercise Your Mind and Body

    We’ve all heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it!” St. George Village boasts many opportunities to exercise including Tai Chi, Chair aerobics, line dancing, gardening, balloon volleyball, fishing, water aerobics, and weight training. Exercising one’s mind, however, sometimes takes more creativity. Board games, card games, word puzzles, sudoku, and “brainteasers” are great ideas! In fact, check out this website for fun options: http://www.parade.com/games/lumosity/index.html

    2.Eat Foods Rich in Folate

    These include fruits and leafy-green vegetables. Peanuts, okra, green peas, collard greens, spinach and black-eyed peas are all folate-rich foods which are “big hits” in the South.

    3. Stay Socially Connected

    Call, write, or email your family and friends often. Participate in day trips, group activities, and religious events. Share meals with others. Seek out others with common interests and help each other stay involved! If you need ideas of how to maintain an active lifestyle, just check out the activity calendars from any of our St. George Village neighborhoods!

    Submitted by Meredith Swinford, LMSW

    Posted in Wellness | Tagged , , , ,

  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities, how secure are they?

    "Continuing Care Retirement Community"

    The security of a continuing care retirement community is actually a very broad topic. Some will focus on the financial security of the community while others will be inclined to think of their physical safety within their new living environment. When clients ask this important question I always respond with a clarifying question to determine just what they really mean by secure. This ensures that I’ll answer their specific question and also provides an opportunity to address the three ways living at St. George Village is a secure choice!

    Posted in Knowledge Center | Tagged , , , , ,