Atlanta Retirement Communities

St. George Village Blog

Tag Archive: senior citizens

  • Aging “SMART”

    Staying sharp mentally can help you maintain your independence.

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

  • It’s Never Too Late to Learn New Things!

    In technology seminars offered regularly at St. George Village, participants learn how to make the most of their iPads and smartphones by using applications for emailing, making photos and videos, listening to music, using social media sites such as Facebook, and more. These classes take away the fear and put the fun into using current technology devices!

    Recent iPad workshop graduates, pictured here with Jane Ratliff and a volunteer from BlueHair Technology Group (back row), proudly display their Certificates of Completion.

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

  • 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 , , , , , , ,

  • People With Chronic Health Conditions Have Increased Flu Risks

    People of all ages with chronic health conditions should get a flu shot every season, as soon as the vaccine is available in their community.

    The CDC urges the millions of Americans with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, stroke, or heart or lung disease to get a flu vaccine. A chronic health condition, even if it’s well managed, increases a person’s risk of serious illness from the flu. This could result in a sudden and costly trip to the hospital—or even death.

    “We have known for years that the flu is a serious disease, especially for people with certain chronic health conditions,” says Dr. Anne Schuchat, Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service and CDC’s Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Last season, nearly 92 percent of adults hospitalized with flu had a long-term health condition, as did about 53 percent of children sent to the hospital.

    Health conditions that increase the risk of flu-related problems include:

    • Asthma and chronic lung disease

    • Brain and central nervous system conditions

    • Heart disease

    • Blood disorders

    • Diabetes, kidney and other endocrine and metabolic disorders

    • Liver disorders

    • Weakened immune system

    • People under 19 years old and on long-term aspirin therapy

    • Obesity

    The chronic conditions most reported for adults sent to the hospital with flu include heart disease (37 percent), metabolic disorders such as diabetes (36 percent), chronic lung diseases (26 percent) and asthma (21 percent). For children, the most frequent conditions (obesity not included) include asthma (20 percent), brain and nervous system disorders (13 percent) and chronic lung diseases other than asthma (6.3 percent).

    The flu can also make chronic health conditions worse. For example, people with asthma may be more likely to experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and if people with congestive heart failure get sick with the flu, their condition could become even worse.

    The message is clear: People with chronic health conditions should get a flu shot every season as soon as vaccine is available in their community. This season’s flu vaccine protects against the viruses most likely to cause the flu this year. Flu vaccines have been given for decades. They’re safe and can’t give you the flu. Close family members and caregivers also need to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of spreading the flu to those at high risk. People with chronic conditions should not get the nasal spray.

    Flu vaccine is offered in many locations. Use the vaccine finder to find flu vaccine near you. You may also find more information about flu and the vaccine by visiting the CDC online or calling 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).

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

  • Fighting Alzheimer’s on Foot!

    The St. George Village Crusaders participated in the 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Atlantic Station on September 28, 2013. Together, St. George Village residents, their families, and SGV care partners raised over $6,300 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

    During the year, SGV holds two additional major fundraisers for the Alzheimer’s Association. Residents, their families and friends, and SGV staff can “Sponsor a Flag” in the annual Flag Display on Memorial Day weekend, in honor of or in memory of a loved one. And on Casual Fridays, care partners can make a $5 donation in exchange for the casual comfort of wearing jeans to work.

    To learn more about the mission to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association online.

     

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

  • “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 , , , , , , ,