On Wednesday, July 30, the residents of O’Neill Healthcare Bradley Bay experienced an evening of joy – joyful music that is – listening to the glorious singing of the talented Joyful Hearts Choir. Volunteer members of the choir belong to the Sacred Heart Chapel in Lorain. With almost 50 residents in attendance, we sang and moved to the choir who brought joy to everyone in our community. They promised to be back in the fall – and we can’t wait!
Weddings are traditionally shared with the bride and groom’s family and friends but this mother/daughter caregiver team made a last quick stop to Arden Courts Memory Care Community to share their joy with their residents. Michelle and Brittany Yereb have been caregivers at Arden Courts for over three years and consider their residents part of their extended family.
“The residents have been hearing about the wedding since Brittany and DJ became engaged. We just had to stop by and let them all see her in her dress,” said proud mom Michelle.
Riding bikes is all the rage now, but not everyone has the mobility and dexterity to balance a moving bike. Bad weather, puddles, pot holes, and dogs that chase anything moving are all in the minds of the good folks of the Knickerbocker Apartments in Bay Village.
So what to do? In our rec room there are several pedal-powered bikes. With the summer here, a parade would be great. The upside is no sunburn, no bumpy sidewalks or distracting ice cream stores. Only shouts from the sidelines cheering the bikers on, resulting in hand waving, just like a real parade. Older folks are fun folks ... and stationary bikes are great!
On June 26, the residents of Bradley Bay Health Center were treated to a concert by a very surprising group of musicians. They are musicians by night but letter carriers by day! That’s right – the Cleveland Letter Carriers Band performed for us for over an hour. More than 25 of the approximate 80-person band entertained our residents and had everyone singing a happy tune.
When the Second World War started, millions of new jobs were soon to be filled by loyal citizens from all walks of life. The newly enlisted men and women needed training and supplies, guns and all the tools of warfare. Guns and ammunition, iron ore and steel had to be produced in our plants and factories. These products were delivered by lake freighters. Each freighter had a full crew. Many jobs were created to keep up with the need for equipment for the war.
Dick Dillon, a volunteer and friend of the Village Bicycle Cooperative, is 86 years old and an avid adult tri-cyclist. As a former NASA aerospace engineer who was head of Engine Systems in the Launch Vehicles Division and a Marine Motorcycle Scout in the Pacific during WWII, Dick became an expert on two- and three-wheeled vehicles.
Over the past six years, Dick has developed a passion for adult tricycles as a method of providing enjoyment, physical activity, freedom and, of course, transportation.
Dick lives in Bay Village with his wife Dona, who helps contribute to his exercise regimen by providing a list of errands for him to run on his blue tricycle, which he explained he carefully chose to match the “blue” in everything else around Bay. In the process of running all his errands, Dick was able to save enough in gasoline costs over the first two years of tricycle ownership to pay for his trike.
If your aging loved one has a knack for gardening, encourage her passion for this activity, but also take steps to ensure she is safe every step of the way. Here are some tips for gardening with a senior with Alzheimer's disease that will keep your aging loved one and the rest of your family safe and secure while enjoying this time together:
- Try to limit gardening activities to early in the morning and later in the evening to avoid the most intense heat and sun of the day.
- Make sure your loved one is wearing adequate sun protection, including sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Avoid giving your loved one sharp gardening tools such as spades, picks and hand rakes.
- Avoid using potting soil or fertilizers that contain dangerous chemicals in case your loved one tries to consume these products.
- Never leave your loved one alone in the garden.
Stephen Riley, a Life Scout of Troop #338 in Avon Lake has made the residents of Bradley Bay Health Center very happy. Stephen decided that he would build two raised planting beds for Bradley Bay. This was Stephen's Eagle project, and along with the help of a few of his troup members, these wonderful beds were built.
They are raised, so that the residents don't have to bend over to plant and they are on casters, so that they can be moved around the grounds at Bradley Bay for all of the residents to enjoy as the flowers grow throughout the summer. Stephen succeeded in completing his project, but more importantly he will bring smiles to the residents of Bradley Bay all summer long.
The rain did not dampen the spirit of Key Bank volunteers who visited Eliza Jennings Assisted Living Community at Devon Oaks Wednesday, May 14, for KeyBank’s 24th annual "Neighbors Make the Difference Day." The volunteers spruced up the outdoor patios, planted flowers and stained patio furniture. Devon Oaks hosted a family-style barbeque in appreciation of the volunteers' efforts.
Elizabeth Culley celebrated her 100th birthday on May 16 at Bradley Bay Health Center, where she is a resident. Elizabeth was born in Germany, grew up in Lakewood, and after graduation lived in New York City where she met her late husband, Ray. They later moved to Rocky River, where she and Ray were married for 44 years, and had three sons – John, James and Ray. She also has nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Involved with Baycrafters (now BAYarts), Elizabeth loved to create enameling and stained glass pieces. Bay Village Mayor Deborah Sutherland created a proclamation for Elizabeth's centenarian status.
On April 12, the student council of the Westlake Chinese Cultural School (WCCC) held the opening of their art show at Bradley Bay Health Center’s assisted living facility.
Approximately 75 children, parents and their guests attended the opening. Also in attendance were Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland and Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough, along with school board members from Westlake and the WCCC.
The residents of Bradley Bay were thrilled to be able to enjoy the wonderful art on display. Artwork was separated into three age categories, and first, second and third place prizes were awarded in each. Judging was conducted by area art professionals.
The children from the Westerly Elementary School in Bay Village enterained the residents of the Knickerbocker apartments on March 27. Third- and fourth-graders, led by their music teacher, Mrs. Carrie Engelbrecht, spent many hours working on the songs and dances, practicing speaking parts and music. The costumes were very colorful and creative I'm sure many people helped out with making and fitting the costume to the child.
Saxophone player Al Fuller, in Bradley Bay Health Center rehabbing a knee, can’t get out to play with his regular musician friends, so they came to play with him.
A number of local musicians and vocalists came to the nursing home recently to have a jam session that made everyone, including Al and numerous nursing-home residents who crowded into the day room to enjoy the music, feel better.
Al, age 75, already had his saxophone; he insisted it be brought to him when he went into the nursing home. He plays it, accompanied by a CD player, to help ease his pain.
It is impossible to completely prevent a fall. But if you follow these tips, the chances can be reduced. Prevention takes a little planning and possibly some acceptance that the risk is higher for seniors in winter.
- The correct footwear is very important! Make sure your loved one is not wearing worn-out shoes or boots. Ensure the size is correct, not too big or too small. Ensure that the footwear has adequate traction on the soles. Consider adding anti-skid materials to the bottom.
- Ensure the steps going up to the house are strong and in good repair. Weak or wobbly steps can cause your loved one to become off balance and increases the risk of a fall. Ensure that snow, ice and water buildup are properly maintained at all times.
Knickerbocker resident Elizabeth Zachar has been very busy the past few weeks. She has spent what seems like every waking moment knitting beautiful ruffle scarves to sell as a fundraiser for the Knickerbocker Senior Center. Her work is seen in local office buildings, around town, and on many of the guests that visit the senior center regularly.
The Knickerbocker Senior Center, located at the Knickerbocker Apartments in Bay Village, provides housing for local seniors. A few weeks back a group of residents decided they would like to take a bus trip. After some research they found the cost to be prohibitive for many of those living at the apartments. So, in an effort to raise money to offset the trip, Mrs. Zachar started making and selling scarves. She sells them for $10 each.
Many of us know someone or are experiencing in our own families the care of older relatives many of whom are experiencing Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. Please join the Westshore Lions Club at our next meeting on Monday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, to learn about SAIDO, a non-pharmaceutical intervention that is proven to improve and even reverse memory loss among older adults. Our guest speaker will be Carrie Zdilla from Eliza Jennings/Devon Oaks Assisted Living.
This time of the year brings back many thoughts and good memories. My granddaughter just got engaged to a very nice guy. She will be married in July.
She was a good baby and slept a lot. Her grandmother and I made daily trips to Columbus at that time. We took Amanda with us. She slept until we stopped for breakfast. She would have her bottle at the restaurant. She would sleep most of the time during our return trip home.
Tuesday is always a very nice day at the Knickerbocker Senior Center. Children from Normandy Elementary School trudge through snow, rain, hail and sometimes sunshine several blocks to the senior center. The seniors and the children get along well as they work on crafts and play games such as bingo, cards and putting puzzles together. The teacher who escorts them and supplies the crafts and games is the very energetic and thoughtful Mrs. Nicole Barrick.
Mrs. Barrick has a background in music. She enjoys working with elementary school students. She is always making sure the elders and youngsters are on the same page and having lots of fun. The seniors seem to have a nice, calming effect on the kids. Of course, the long cold walk helps to reduce some of their natural energy.
Every Thanksgiving since I was a child I have revisited my roots through the Pilgrim, John Howland. John and his brothers George, Arthur and Henry were born near Newport, County Essex, England. John came to this country on the Mayflower. His brothers came later.
I am a direct descendant of Henry. My grandmother on my mother's side was a Howland from that line. I always wonder how the Pilgrims of yore would view today's Thanksgiving.
What is 26.21875 miles and has 15 participants? Before anyone thinks this is a trick question on a math test or a knock-knock joke, know that it is just one of the many fun activities in the community services dept.'s "Fifty Plus" programs at Westlake Center.
Known as a Golden Marathon, 15 participants over the age of 50 participated. This is the seventh marathon in as many years through the Center with walkers committed to trails and parkways twice a month for six to seven months in order to complete the 26-mile, 385-yard walk.
Evelyn Ballantine celebrated her 100th birthday one day early, on Oct. 24, at Bradley Bay Assisted Living, where she is a resident. Evelyn is a native Clevelander, and she and her late husband moved to Bay Village in 1950.
She and Thomas were married for 63 years, during which, in addition to being a homemaker, she worked at the Cleveland Club and Union Commerce Bank. She has one son, Tom, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Lots of great inter-generational events celebrated Halloween at Bradley Bay with our community neighbors. Bay Village's Normandy School Brownie Troop #70769, led by troop leader Julia Frindt, stopped in for a visit. These energetic and creatively dressed Brownies helped serve during our pumpkin pie social and played charades with our residents.
A few days later, the parent group of Bay Presbyterian preschool, Mothers of Pre-Schoolers, brought 20 of their children in to make both the residents and staff smile. Dressed in the cutest costumes ever, the children had a great time as they trick-or-treated through the halls of our Assisted Living, and then went into the dining room to party with the Nursing residents.
Westlake Center for Community Services is a destination for anyone age 50-plus interested in social, educational and recreational activities. No longer called Westlake Senior Center, "Fifty Plus" programs seems to more correctly identify the population the department serves. In fact, a 2012 Nielsen report found that by 2017, 50 percent of the US population will be over age 50.
The Westlake community services department staff, volunteers and advisory board find creative ways in which new information and new skills are offered as well as the tried and true traditional programs. Older adult participants credit the Center with benefiting their physical and mental health and improving their ability to find out about and connect to support services. A better quality of life ensues and successful aging is the result.
I retired this past May at the age of 58 after forty years of secretarial and legal assistant work. I made the big decision that I would rather be a "poor happy person" than continue working full time until the official retirement age of 65. I am enjoying the free things in life and living the most frugal existence possible.
I've been thinking about tricycles (or trikes, as the hip people say) ever since spotting a number of people pedaling around on them in the Bay Village area, where I reside, and surrounding communities. It looked like it could be fun to do an all-day outing on a trike – pack lunch, stop at a park on the lake, library, then shopping and errands in the center of town. It made me think that perhaps if I owned one, maybe I could survive without a car? The basket is large enough for at least a weeks' worth for groceries for myself.
A shy, senior dog, spotted in the Bradley Woods area and appearing to be in need, was recently reported to the Westlake Police Department and finally caught by the dog warden after several weeks. Upon his capture, they found that he was extremely underweight, with a severe skin infection and open wounds, causing speculation that he may have been bitten by a coyote or another dog.
Since he was so withdrawn that he would not interact with people, the police department contacted Connie Field from the Love-A-Stray rescue group for help. Love-a-Stray took him in, gave him a new name, “Cuddy”, and volunteer Mary Bertin worked with him to slowly earn his trust.
Remember the Terri Schiavo case? It lasted from 1990 to 2005 involving a battle between Terri’s husband and her parents on whether or not to remove her from life support. It was a very controversial case that brought about a lot of thought and discussion on the topic of Advanced Directives. Terri did not have a living will; if she did, it would have prevented this 15-year legal struggle.
The chartered bus arrived promptly at eight in the morning. The weather was perfect, sunny and dry. The beep-beep of the bus backing up sent the waiting passengers scurrying to get on board. The scene reminded me of charging the school bus to get the best seat when I was a kid. Only I'm not a kid. This trip was planned for senior citizens.
Each person was given a large shopping bag with their name on it. A good idea as everyone planned to buy souvenirs. These bags were to be stored under the coach to keep the overhead rack free. YEAH, SURE. The plan failed. Everyone put their stuff on the overhead rack. Heaven help us if the bus had to make a sudden stop.
Once per year, every one who is eligible and wants to enroll or already is enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan and/or a Medicare Advantage Plan/Medicare Part C can either enroll without penalty during this time or review their current plan to see if it is still the most advantageous based on their current situation. For more information about the health and drug plans and Medigap policies described below, visit www.medicare.gov and click “Sign Up/Change Plans” then “Find health and drug plans” or call 1-800-MEDICARE.
What is Medicare Part D?
All people with Medicare are eligible to enroll in a Medicare drug plan without penalty during open enrollment. These plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare. These plans can either add coverage to Traditional Medicare or will be included in some Medicare Advantage Plans.
It might have rained all morning at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, but that didn’t stop Team Arden Courts Westlake from having fun at the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 21. “We had a lot to celebrate,” said Lisa Anthony, the marketing director at Arden Courts. “Our team received the award for the Top Fundraising Team in the Healthcare/Senior Living Division and we are very proud.”
Fall is the time for many landscaping chores, such as raking, pruning and planting. Just because a person has dementia, doesn’t mean they have to stop activities they enjoy and that make them feel productive. Here are some ideas to involve those with dementia in these types of activities:
Early Stage Dementia
- Provide a bag and rake for raking leaves. Re-direct, as needed, to keep the person on task.
- Prune overgrown bushes by bringing the person to the bush and instructing what to do. Supervise the person for safety and to prevent over-pruning.
- Help the person plant spring-blooming bulbs by giving step-by-step directions and providing the needed tools.
The residents of the Knickerbocker Apartments in Bay Village were thrilled last week when a team of energetic volunteers from Bay View Cares showed up with shovels in hand to plant a vegetable garden for all to enjoy. Bay View Cares, a missional community formed from members of Bay Presbyterian Church, organized and funded this event from design to harvest – and the residents are thrilled!
The amazing wood structure, including the front gate, was designed by Greg Ernst. John Meaux, Paul Lang, Eric Peterson and Paul Sutherland implemented his plan by building this uniquely shaped garden. Allen Borowski, his wife Jen, and their two children, Noah and Rebecca, worked to fill the beds with soil and Sweet Peet.
The scent of lavender, a comfortable recliner, soft music and the gentle touch of a hand massage from a caring person add up to an improved quality of life for individuals in the latter stages of dementia.
This soothing atmosphere, along with meaningful activities, is all part of the groundbreaking Namaste Care Program now being provided to residents at all of the Arden Courts Memory Care Communities in the Cleveland area, including the Westlake location.
Residents with advanced dementia who have become less verbal and less able to benefit from traditional activities in which they did well in earlier stages become calm and relaxed when brought into the Namaste Room with its slower pace and spa-like tranquility.
A relatively new profession and one that is on the rise, a geriatric care manager may be a term that comes up in family discussions about aging parents and loved ones. So what is a geriatric care manager, anyway?
They are human service professionals and they act as advocates and coaches for their clients and their families and help to navigate them through the difficult journey of aging. The geriatric care manager assists clients to maintain their independence, safety in their living environment and maximum functional abilities, both physically and cognitively. They are knowledgeable on resources for the elderly and will know the costs and quality of such resources which can reduce a lot of stress on clients and families who would otherwise be doing the research on their own.
As we get older, at some point we may worry about our memory. Have you ever walked into a room and forgot why you went in there? It happens to most of us and is usually not a reason to worry, especially if you can quickly retrace your steps and remember why you went into the room in the first place. The following tips, however, may help you decide if you need further evaluation to rule out dementia or something else that may be causing problems.
Every two years, the Ohio Department on Aging hires an independent firm to evaluate Family Satisfaction in all of the nursing homes in the state. This survey examines every aspect of care including staffing levels, attentiveness of staff, accommodations, activities, dining and delivery of care.
The 2012 results were just released and we are proud to announce that out of nearly 1,000 homes in the survey, Bradley Bay is ranked No. 1 in the state for family satisfaction.
Living far away from aging parents can be very difficult for families. You may feel overwhelmed and wonder what you can do to help from a long distance standpoint. The following are some tips that may help to decrease your worries and help you feel more prepared.
Consider having a family meeting via conference call or the web. Talk about the concerns each sibling is having with your parents' health, living environment and/or safety. Decide who can do what to help, establish a schedule and set goals. Consider asking your parents' friends or neighbors if they would be willing to help in small ways such as checking in periodically.
I've worked in nursing homes for many years, so I know that chronic hospitalizations are a reality for those who live in a nursing home as well as for those living in their own home. This is a very big topic in legislation and focus for improvement.
It is obviously costing Medicare a lot of extra dollars as well as causing stress to those who are being hospitalized and their families. One recent study found that 20 percent of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries are re-admitted within 30 days, with costs accounting for one-sixth of the total Medicare budget.
This year’s Seniors’ Seasonal Delights program, a joint effort of the Westlake City School District and the Westlake Department of Senior and Community Services, will be held Thursday, Dec. 13, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Westlake High School.
The schedule of events is as follows:
- 5:30 p.m. – Dinner at Westlake High School Cafeteria
- 5:45-6:15 p.m. – Dinner Entertainment: Choirs from the WHS Vocal Music Program
- 6:15-6:40 p.m. – BINGO
- 7:00 p.m. – WHS Instrumental Winter Music Concert at the WHS Performing Arts Center
Cost per person is $10. Invitations and tickets will be available beginning Nov. 1 at the Westlake Department of Senior and Community Services, 29694 Center Ridge Rd., or send a request by mail to: Ruth Weible, Westlake City School District, Seniors’ Seasonal Delights, 27200 Hilliard Blvd., Westlake, OH 44145.
State Representative Nan Baker visited Bradley Bay Health Center on Oct. 12 and presented to residents, families and community members an overview of what is going on at the state level in the Ohio House of Representatives. Nan discussed the now-balanced budget and the creation of jobs for Ohioans. Nan was very enthused about the future of Ohio.
The South Shore Four Barbershop Quartet surprised Westlake Village resident Richard Mills recently with a private performance. Mills, a talented singer himself, even had an opportunity to join in and sing the lead on a few songs. Mills once sang with a jazz band, and has wonderful memories of frequent visits to New Orleans to perform with local groups there. Hospice of the Western Reserve arranged the surprise visit as part of its life enrichment program, which works on granting the wishes of patients. The program is part of the non-profit agency’s philosophy of helping individuals celebrate life to the fullest through meaningful and memorable experiences.