Atlanta Retirement Communities

St. George Village Blog

Tag Archive: senior living in atlanta

  • Cheers for Chocolate!

    “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” — Charles M. Schultz

    A crew of chocolate-lovin’ St. George Village residents visited Schakolad Chocolate Factory in Roswell to learn about the art of making this delicious confection.

    Schakolad (pronounced shaq-oh-LAD) — a combination of “Schaked” and “Chocolate” — is a name associated with three generations of chocolate making. Baruch Schaked, co-founder of Schakolad, has been a chocolate maker since 1969 and opened his first custom retail chocolate boutique in Winter Park, Fla. in 1995. From there, Schakolad began franchising and now has locations in several states, including the Roswell store here in Georgia.

    On the tour, we learned about Schakolad’s “Made Fresh on Premises” concept, which means that all of the store’s chocolate items are prepared and dipped onsite for the highest quality and freshness.

    Of course, we enjoyed sampling our way through the tour, too!

    Posted in Lifestyle, Residents Corner | 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 , , , , , ,

  • 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 , , , , ,

  • 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 , , , , , ,

  • How the Affordable Care Act Affects Your Tax Return

    New health care laws may affect your taxes but do-it-yourself tax programs can help.

    In addition to significant health insurance changes, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 included tax law changes. Several of those changes will impact 2013 federal tax returns, due April 15, 2014.

    “Online tax preparation solutions like TaxACT will cover all the tax implications of the Affordable Care Act plus hundreds of other tax law changes,” said TaxACT spokesperson Jessi Dolmage. “All you have to do is answer simple questions. The program does the math and completes the tax forms for you.”

    The tax law changes in the health care act, also known as “Obamacare,” for 2013 returns include:

    • Reporting health insurance premiums, flexible spending beyond payroll deductions and other premiums paid by employees and their employers. “Simply enter the amount in Box 12 with Code DD on your Form W-2 when prompted by the tax program,” said Dolmage. “You’re providing information only; it won’t change your taxable income.”

    • Higher threshold for deducting medical expenses. The threshold for itemizing medical expenses increases to 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI). The threshold for taxpayers age 65 and older remains at 7.5 percent. Tax software will calculate the deduction based on medical ex­penses entered.

    • 3.8 percent tax on net investment income. Individuals and heads of household with an AGI of $200,000+, married couples filing separately with an AGI of $125,000+, and couples filing jointly with an AGI of $250,000+ must pay the tax. Answer a few questions about investment income and your tax program will do the rest.

    • Additional 0.9 percent Medi­care tax on wages and compensation in excess of $200,000. Taxpayers in those same AGI ranges are subject to the additional Medicare tax. It’s automatically withheld from employee wages, with the total amount provided in Box 6 of Form W-2. The tax is calculated for business owners or self-employed using figures on Schedule SE.

    The health insurance requirement begins to have implications on 2014 income tax returns (due April 2015). If you have health insurance, your online tax solution will guide you through the simple process of reporting it on your tax return. If you don’t have health insurance for a total of three or more months in 2014, you may pay a penalty that’s reported and calculated on your return. Tax programs will calculate the amount based on the number of uninsured individuals in your household and household income.

    Uninsured individuals can shop and apply for health insurance through online “marketplaces,” also called “exchanges,” starting October 1, 2013. States will have their own marketplaces, use the federal government’s Health Insurance Marketplace, or have a hybrid of the two. Enrollment closes March 31, 2014.

    If you don’t have access to minimum required employer-provided insurance and purchase insurance through a marketplace, you may qualify for a tax credit. The money can be used to pay for out-of-pocket expenses such as de­duc­tibles, co-payments and co-insurance. Eligibility and amounts are based on the cost of marketplace premiums and your household size and income. The credit will be paid directly to the health insurance company. If you elect to receive a lesser credit or no credit at all, you can claim the refundable credit on your 2014 tax return.

    Whether you have a simple or complex situation, TaxACT makes it easy to navigate the tax implications of the Affordable Care Act anytime, anywhere. Prepare, print and e-file your federal taxes free at www.taxact.com/afford able-care-act. Visit the Health Insurance Marketplace for information about insurance op­tions.

     

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

  • The Empowerment of Restored Hearing

    Audrey Hall, pictured here with her daughter, Cindy Grey, says that hearing aids have restored her ability to communicate with friends and family.

    Audrey Hall says that her children are to thank for her ability to hear these days.

    “The kids were wonderful — they made me do it!” she laughs. But Audrey has no regrets when she talkes about the hearing devices that allow her to once again actively participate in the world around her.

    Audrey found herself in a growing number of situations where she could not hear, such as being at a meal in the dining room with friends. And her children finally convinced her that she was missing out on a lot by not being able to hear.

    “Being able to communicate is so important,” says Audrey’s daughter, Cindy Grey, who took her mother to be evaluated by an audiologist.

    Audrey was fitted with Lyric® extended wear hearing aids. Placed deep in the ear canal where they are virtually invisible to others, the devices are worn 24 hours a day for months at a time, even during activities like showering, exercising and sleeping. This type of device works well for Audrey, who also has macular degeneration, which is responsible for her declining vision.

    “The Lyric hearing aids are wonderful for someone who can’t see well and would have trouble replacing batteries in another type of hearing aid,” she explains. “I never take these out of my ears.”

    Audrey has enjoyed her Lyric hearing aids for the past two years. She goes in to the audiologist’s office about every three months for replacements, but doesn’t have the daily hassle of remembering to put her hearing aids in, nor does she have to worry about replacing the batteries.

    With a family that includes her two children, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren as well as a host of friends at St. George Village, Audrey is pleased to be able to communicate and enjoy hearing them again.

    “I can’t say enough [good things] about my hearing aids,” says Audrey. “You just get to the point where you have to hear.”

    If you believe you have hearing loss, consult an audiologist. Audiologists hold graduate or
    doctorate degrees from accredited universities, are licensed, and are trained to detect, diagnose, manage and nonmedically treat hearing disorders.

    To learn more about Lyric Extended Wear Hearing Aids, call 1.866.964.8450 or visit Lyric.

    Posted in Knowledge Center, Lifestyle, Residents Corner, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

  • Three Ways to Stay in Shape as You Get Older

    Gary Player, the most successful international golfer of all time, is an avid supporter of physical fitness for all ages.

    by Gary Player

    As a professional golfer, it has always been important to me to stay in shape—and you can do so, too. As a matter of fact, my commitment to health and fitness has been a big part of my success in golf, winning tournaments over the course of five decades. However, as I get older, I realize that it takes a little bit more stretching, a little more training and a little more recovery time to keep in shape.

    Most older people face such struggles, no matter how athletic they have been throughout their lives.

    Staying fit is extremely important at any age, and not just for athletes. It can lead to improved sleep, weight control, concentration and mood.

    It’s important for you to keep active as you get older to help stave off high blood pressure and cholesterol, heart disease, stroke and diabetes, as well as other medical conditions that se­niors often face, such as osteoporosis and depression.

    Keeping in shape can also reduce the likelihood of falls and help you remain independent for years to come. For instance, regular jogging increases men’s life expectancy by 6.2 years and women’s by 5.6 years, the Copenhagen City Heart Study found.

    Fortunately, you can get in shape at just about any age. Consider the more than 10,000 adults over the age of 50 who participate every two years at the National Senior Games presented by Hu­mana. They’re an excellent example of people who not only recognize the importance of fitness but excel at multiple athletic activities.

    Three Tips

    You don’t need to be a super-athlete to stay in shape, but it’s important to get out there and do something. Here are three tips to help you keep fit:

    Fitness Classes. Many health plans offer fitness classes—such as SilverSneakers through Hu­mana Medicare Advantage—or yoga to give older individuals a fun, easy way to stay in shape. Staying fit in a group setting can be motivating and help you stay social.

    Health Screenings & An­nual Physicals. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all Medicare members now have access to one free annual wellness visit. Many preventive screenings, including type 2 diabetes and various cancers, are now also covered. Meeting with your primary care physician will give you more detailed, personalized information on what you can do to get and stay in shape.

    Exercise Like a Kid. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t exercise like a kid. After all, a recent American Cancer Society survey found that women are more likely to be physically active if it feels more like play and less like work. Simply jump on a bike or play an interactive video game, such as Wii bowling or—my favorite—Wii golf. You can also find multigenerational playgrounds across the country to help stay in shape.

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