COVID-19 Archives | Wesley Glen Retirement Community

The Season has Changed, but the Global Pandemic hasn’t : How to Stay Active and Limit Isolation with the Colder Weather

The global pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. Especially for older adults, the lack of normalcy and decreased interaction with others has significantly contributed to feelings of isolation, sadness, and overall mental and physical health decline.

The one saving grace the past few months was the warmer weather of summer. With small group gatherings (if masks are worn) being approved in many states, time spent outdoors has helped seniors feel more social and happier.

Residents at Wesley Glen Retirement Community have said that living in a community has helped tremendously as well, as activities and meals with others would not have been possible at home.

Now that the season has changed and the temperatures have dropped, many seniors living at home are worried that being unable to be outside as much could have additional negative effects to an already not-so-great time.

To help try and ease concerns, we’ve compiled some ideas and resources to stay active and limit isolation in the colder weather.

    1. Virtual gatherings are still here, and they’re better than ever. Now that we have been facing the pandemic head-on for months, families, friends, businesses, senior centers, and retirement communities have transitioned in-person social events to virtual events. Because of this, people are becoming more tech-savvy, more creative, and more engaged. Talk to your friends and families and contact some local businesses and communities to see what gatherings you can attend virtually from your home and for instructions on how to participate. Are you used to a weekly happy hour on your patio? Set up a virtual one through Zoom instead! Before you know it, you’ll have a full calendar of virtual visits with loved ones and educational opportunities!

All of The Wesley Communities offer virtual speaker series that meet on a monthly basis. Click here for Wesley Glen Retirement Community’s events. 

  1. Along the lines of virtual gatherings, visit museums and site-see from your house! Many national parks, museums, and famous attractions that feel pretty similar to being there in person. For example, spend time explore The Louvre here, or see all that the Franklin Park Conservatory has to offer from the cherry blossoms to the Bonsai Exhibition here.
  1. Expand and improve your cooking skills. Even though restaurants are open, and many have indoor seating options, it’s something that should be approached with serious caution. If you’re like a lot of people, eating at home makes you feel more comfortable and less susceptible. To add some excitement in eating more meals at home, take on the challenge of a new recipe or incorporate theme-nights into your weekly menus. Not only can this improve your cooking skills, it also makes eating at home a more exciting and enjoyable experience.
  1. Use items around the house to get creative with exercising. If you’ve grown accustomed to exercising outside, or you miss going to your gym or senior fitness center, you can transition some of your workout routines to your home using standard household items. To continue with a little cardio, take a few trips up and down your staircase to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up. For low weight bearing, arm exercises, try using soup cans for bicep curls or front raises. A chair is also a great item that can be used for a variety of exercises. From squats, to calf raises, the options are endless. Silver Sneakers has shared a great article (with videos) for some chair, yoga block, and bath towel exercises. Click here to view.
  1. Start planning for the holidays. If you tend to procrastinate your holiday shopping or gift making, use the extra time at home to cross some items off your list. You can order those Amazon items your grandson is wanting for Christmas or start knitting that scarf you gift to your daughter for Hanukkah each year. By starting early, you won’t have those last-minute errands to run or those projects to finish right before the holidays start.

Above all else, look out for one another. Check on your neighbors and try to find gratitude in the simple moments of life. It takes a village to overcome obstacles and we are in this together.


Change Your Address, Not Your Lifestyle

Making the transition to senior living can be difficult, but for many residents at Wesley Glen Retirement Community, knowing that they could continue to pursue their passions and interests was something that made the decision a little easier. Joan has always had a green thumb and a love for gardening. Before she moved to our community, she spent a lot of her time outdoors, tending to her home garden, and sharing herbs and vegetables with her neighbors and friends.

Once Joan joined us at Wesley Glen, our team learned about her desire to have a garden of her own and introduced her to Chacey Lane – an entire row of gardening plots right on campus. Without a moment’s hesitation, Joan reserved her space and now her garden blooms with basil, oregano, green peppers, parsley, mint, and black cherry tomatoes, just to name a few! She also loves to help other residents with their gardens and often, offers tips and tricks, and of course, an extra set of hands.

When Joan isn’t cooking her own meals with the herbs and vegetables she grows, she finds a lot of joy in sharing with her Wesley Glen neighbors and our Executive Chef, Kevin. On a regular basis, Chef Kevin holds educational and entertaining cooking demonstrations and sometimes, uses Joan’s garden for ingredients. He recently did a pesto demonstration and Joan’s basil was the star of the show!

Especially during our current situation, Joan said that being able to spend time outside again tending to her garden has been a blessing. She weeds and cares for it several times a week and enjoys admiring the other residents’ gardens along the lane as well. Joan expressed that she is happy to live at Wesley Glen and her garden adds a wonderful addition to her new home.

     


We Are Family

We are facing a difficult and scary time right now. Our lives have been flipped upside down, emotions are heightened and in more cases than not, fear has taken the front seat.

While hard times surround us, we urge everyone to take a deeper look and to remember why we are here in the first place.

We have been through a journey with each and every one of our residents, patients, and families. Why did you seek us originally? Maybe Mom could no longer do the stairs in her house. Or maybe, Grandma was having difficulty remembering to take her daily medications and needed a nurse to help. Maybe Dad couldn’t bathe himself anymore. Whatever the factor was, you needed a place that was there for you, that would care for Mom, Dad, or Grandma like you care for them. You needed us, and you found us, and from there, another form of “family” began.

We treat your loved one as if they are our family, not only caring for them, but growing with them. We celebrate the important, happy days with them like holidays and anniversaries, and we comfort them in sadness and grief when it’s needed most. We know them by name, we know their children, and we know their children’s children. We worry about them and protect them as if they are our family and we do everything we can to fight for them, not just in the face of a pandemic, but always.

Our communities and teams are made up of clinicians and professionals in a variety of specialties. We have so many passionate people in such important roles. From doctors and nurses, to life enrichment coordinators and admissions, we all have unique roles and different responsibilities, but we all share one thing in common and that is that to us, your family has become our family.

We are a wonderful place filled with dedicated, hardworking people who followed a passion – a passion to serve. We give your loved ones medication, and exercise, and help them go to sleep at night. We dance with them and create beautiful pieces of artwork with them. We work to help your loved one walk again or to button a shirt again, and we smile with tears in our eyes as they do it. We work with families on new treatments and diagnoses, and we hold their hands when news might not be so good. We lend our families a shoulder when it’s needed, and we reassure them that we are here for love and support.

And when a pandemic unexpectedly hits – we rise, and we fight, and we protect. We monitor your loves ones day in and day out, constantly assessing and evaluating while still providing a lifestyle of positivity among the darkness. Our staff adapts quickly, following CDC and state guidelines, while putting important regulations and additional PPE in place. We listen to each other and support each other as a team. We react and we push forward. We work hard together, and lean on each other, and we make sure to thank each other. We do our best to keep families connected through FaceTime, window visits, and letters, and we find comfort in local businesses who donate and help. We protect your loves ones, we fight for your loved ones and soon, we will overcome with your loved ones. We are resilient and we are family.

 

This article was inspired by a Facebook post written by a Wisconsin nursing manager named Rachel encouraging those to spread the word.