The value of intergenerational relationships

A few months ago, I attended a women’s breakfast with an intergenerational theme. My daughter performed there as a “millennial” in a skit that highlighted just how different she was from her “mother,” the Generation X-er and her “grandmother,” the Baby Boomer.

The skit was funny and light-hearted as the players tried to plan a baby shower from their three different—and stereotypical—perspectives. But, as can happen, interactions became a bit heated when they tried to push their own agendas. Eventually, however, instead of being frustrated with one another, they decided to focus on their similarities rather than differences and work together.

If our society could learn to do that in real life, I believe we could get so much more accomplished! It often also is interesting to experience a different point of view. And that was the point they were trying to make in the skit.

I work for an organization that serves people of every generation and I love the perspective it offers.

Senior living … with the emphasis on living!

It’s a concern I often hear.

Life in a senior living community means giving up your independence. Or it means you no longer own your own home. Or it means we’ll be isolated from our friends and family. And on and on.

But nothing could be further from the truth!

And so many people who come to live in a Diakon Senior Living Community later say they held back from making a decision and were suddenly forced to consider the move. They frequently add that they wish they had made the decision long ago, had they known the positive impact our lifestyle can have.

We at Diakon Senior Living Services are happy to debunk such commonly held myths. In fact, many of our residents say that community life opens up new opportunities for better health and wellness, quality of life and a sense of fulfillment they could never experience living on their own!

From greater independence to security for the future, the benefits can be life-changing:

Click here to read more!

A “dino”-mite marketing campaign

While I hate clichés, sometimes thinking “outside the box” can be a great idea, even if occasionally a daunting task.

A few years back, we were tasked with developing a direct mail marketing-focused post card for one of our senior living communities. But think about your mail for a moment and recall how many such cards you receive weekly.

So the goal for any such card is to get picked up and at least looked at.

For some reason—perhaps that book by Roy Chapman Andrews of the American Museum of Natural History I read at night as a child, the blanket pulled over my head to avoid parental discovery, a flashlight held by my teeth—I thought: dinosaurs.

Decreased sense of smell could be linked to cognitive illnesses

Hmmm …

Not smelling as well? (And we don’t mean personal hygiene!)

According to Harvard Health, recent studies show that an inadequate sniffer could be a red flag when it comes to determining one’s risk for developing cognitive impairments (what the medical field calls dementia).

While much more research needs to be done before smell becomes a reliable diagnostic test for memory loss, a study published last year in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society claims that scientists might have picked up the scent on a new correlation.

Last September, the journal published a study conducted by otolaryngologist Jayant M. Pinto in which nearly 3,000 adults ages 57 to 85 were asked to smell and identify five odors.

Click here to read more about the results from this study…

A shared respect for the past

As Diakon’s unofficial historian for both the Tressler Lutheran Home for Children and the Topton Orphans Home, I am concerned about the ultimate preservation of the artifacts that remain from these orphanages, particularly when you consider one is now 150 years old.

For example, our “history closet” contains the painted portraits of Col. John Tressler and his son, Capt. David Loy Tressler—the founders of the classical academy and then soldiers’ orphans home purchased in 1868 by the Lutheran church, creating the Tressler Orphans Home. I assume the paintings date to the late 1800s.

When I brought out the portraits last year to photograph for our anniversary video, I found some of their paint was flecking, the image of Capt. David with a slight tear in it.

To my amazement, I found a nationally recognized art conservationist in nearby Carlisle, Pennsylvania, so one day soon, I will be loading the two large portraits into my vehicle and transporting them for repair.

The value of having access to on-site health services

When Sarah and John began the process of selecting a senior living community for their retirement years, the minor health issues they had faced recently—Sarah’s chronic arthritis had flared up and John learned he has diabetes—played a role in their decision.

In their early 70s, they were still a very active and independent couple and yet they had come to recognize that future, potential health-care needs played a bigger role in life now.

In fact, a significant reason many older adults choose to make the move to a senior living community is for the health benefits.

A community setting inherently promotes a more active lifestyle, not to mention the availability of amenities that make exercising more feasible and fun. But perhaps the greatest value is the senior living community’s on-site access to health care and related services.

Diakon Senior Living Communities offer a variety of health-care services. Having access to lifestyle options that range from daily personal care to rehabilitation programs that enhance recovery, older adults feel confident and secure, no matter what the future holds.

Consider how the health-care services on site at Diakon Senior Living communities add incredible value to the health and happiness.

Click here to read more…

Why older adults should explore new interests

Many of us imagine retirement to be a chapter of our lives filled with relaxation, free schedules and the opportunity to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.

However, many older adults with this expectation are often disappointed when their lifestyle doesn’t make them as happy as they thought it would. So why doesn’t golfing, reading or doing our favorite things every day make us happy?

The reason lies in the difference between pleasure and meaningful engagement. Our favorite pastimes may be pleasurable, but that feeling only lasts so long, fading shortly into our retirement.

Longer-lasting joy comes from doing things that not only truly engage our minds, but also provide meaning. For example, reading may be a pleasurable activity, but joining a book club and sharing ideas with others can be more engaging. Leading a book club or planning a Reading Day at your local school offers additional meaning.

If you’re searching for more than just pleasure in your retirement, exploring new interests can lead you to a more engaging, meaningful and fulfilling lifestyle. Click here for just a few reasons to try something new!

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Feeling overwhelmed

I stared at my rambunctious foster dog running circles through my living room wondering how on earth after two weeks she was still living with us.

I did not anticipate having her this long; she was with us strictly as a temporary rescue mission. She’s a great dog, but we just don’t have the space or time to do this long-term.

Around work and my normal commitments, I’ve been helping my oldest daughter organize a benefit concert as a fundraiser for her upcoming mission trip. My youngest daughter is in her post-season playoffs for field hockey, which translates to my being at games, college recruiting visits, making mac and cheese for team pasta parties and helping plan the end-of-the-year banquet.

And now it’s early November. You know what that means. It doesn’t matter that you just handed out candy to trick-or-treaters because now it’s officially the holiday season.

So how is someone who is already feeling overwhelmed head into the most overwhelming time of the year?

Bowling brings out the good sport in residents

In the world of bowling, three consecutive strikes is called a “turkey.”

In the world of Wii bowling tournaments at the Cumberland Crossings senior living community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, such an accomplishment earns the “turkey hat.”

“Not everyone thinks it’s an honor to wear the hat, but they’re all good sports,” says Toni Cannon, the senior living community’s fitness coordinator.

For the past 10 years, Toni has coordinated a Wii bowling tournament for residents. Two of Cumberland Crossings’ home video-game systems were donated and as residents experimented with various games, bowling became the favorite.

“I’ve tried to do the golf, but no one wants to, not even the golfers. The baseball game is hard and tennis is difficult. I think they like the bowling because it is a simple game, easy to learn and everyone understands it,” Toni says.

“And playing it gives the feel of actual bowling. It requires some hand-eye coordination to use the controller and release the ball at the right time, but even people who have never bowled before can do it.”