Healthy Meals for Healthy Aging

At Greenwood Retirement Communities, we strive to serve wholesome fresh foods.

Preparing tasty and nutritious meals helps our residents maintain a healthy balanced diet, to support a healthy mind, body and spirit.

When you are healthy in mind and body, you are caring for your mental and emotional health, which will reduce stress and increase your sense of calm and overall well-being.

Select a healthy choice at every lunch and dinner; fresh salads, vegetable side dishes, fresh fruit or compotes are delicious and increase your mineral and vitamin intake. Look for variety; occasionally choose fish, eggs, or cheeses in place of meats, or alternate simply prepared meals with complex, heavier dishes.

Chef and residents

Our cafes and friendship rooms are stocked with light juices, fresh fruit, and homemade treats to satisfy your between meals craving or hunger.  Of course, comfort food is always an added bonus to healthy aging, a treat makes you happy!

Be generous to your body with physical and mental activity, good food, water and sleep; it’s a great way to nourish your body and mind.

Taking Control of your future

What single act can have a profound impact on your future, and that of your family?  The answer may be assigning Power of Attorney, and having an up-to-date Will.  These decisions are voluntary, the documents are private, and the decisions are yours.

Assigning Power of Attorney to someone you trust has many benefits.  If you are injured or ill, or begin to find daily decisions confusing, this person can legally ensure that your wishes are carried out.  Otherwise, people with legitimate claims to your best interests have equal say in your treatment and care.  Differing views can sometimes lead to treatment delays, or even legal costs and a court decision which may be different than you would have made for yourself.

Applewood retirement residence Peterborough couple

An up-to-date Will is the only way to distribute your assets in the manner you would choose.  Without a Will, your property is divided through a legally clear succession of spouse, children, then other family members.  This “intestate” division is a legal matter, taking a portion of the assets that would otherwise go to the heirs named in a Will.  Intestate decisions don’t recognize verbal promises regarding property and assets.  A lawyer can make sure that everything is in order and your wishes are enacted.

For some, these decisions and conversations may be uncomfortable, but ultimately it means you are continuing to take care of yourself, and the people who mean the most to you.

Are You Dreaming of a Good Night’s Sleep?

Imagine waking up each morning rested, refreshed, and ready to take on the day!  Getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night makes us happier, healthier, and mentally sharper.  Many seniors report poor sleep that is broken with frequent waking, or difficulty in getting to sleep.  If you’ve visited your doctor and ruled out any health-related reason for sleeplessness, then try these tried and true tips to “sleep like a baby”.

Every day…

  • Keep regular bedtimes and wake-times; reserve sleeping in for weekends.
  • Get some fresh air, exercise, and fun each day, even if it’s just to the car and the mall in bad weather.  Try to schedule an activity for each day of the week.
  • Eat and drink at regular times, but not close to bedtime.
  • Make sure your bedroom is a calming environment, and that your bed is comfortable.

…and in the evening.

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and napping close to bedtime.
  • Lower the lights.  As the day winds down, twilight creeps in.  We are programmed by nature to rest as darkness falls.
  • Put aside computers, tablets, and cell-phones at least 1hour before bed.  They are stimulating; and the light they cast disturbs sleep.
  • Create a calming sleep routine.  Brush your teeth, put on your pyjamas, read a book in bed, or listen to soft music; consistency will train your body and mind to prepare for rest.

Make a restful sleep your new priority.  You might just feel like a kid again!

 

Adelaide Place Retirement Cummonity

Adelaide Place Retirement Cummonity

Caroline’s secret

This time I want to share with you a story from Caroline Place Retirement Residence.

Residents of Caroline Place harbour an amazing secret. They let it “out of the bag” on Friday afternoons, weekly on Wednesdays, Thursday evenings with some McMaster students, and even last Tuesday in Ann J.’s room!

I am talking about singing. Sitting in her office, Madelaine Steller-Cain, Executive Director at Caroline Place, can hear them belt out some ‘50s and ‘60s tunes spontaneously in the Café, and decided to research this a bit.

Nov2013 - Senior Hippies Singing

The benefits of singing fit nicely into a holistic nursing care plan; physical, psychosocial, spiritual, and emotional. So take notes:

Physical benefits of singing include exercising the intercostal muscles that surround the lungs, taking in good deep breaths to belt out the tunes. It also works the heart by improving the blood  flow, leading to better sleep with the positive effects on the respiratory system and opening sinuses.

Psychosocially, singing brings out the endorphins! These are pain relieving hormones that are released when we have fun. A reduction in depression can occur because oxytocin (hormone) is released. Feelings of loneliness are also minimized.

Singing is spiritually uplifting. The group effort and syncing of the tune puts the whole choir into a meditative state where stress and anxiety are further reduced.

Lastly singing is emotionally beneficial. When singing in a group, self-concept and role functions are elevated. Increased self-esteem and confidence has been proven in long term studies. It promotes bonding, healing, and increases awareness and understanding between people of different backgrounds.

Singing brings people together, is supportive, and lots of fun!! So bring it on!

 

 

The Seniors’ perspective

A few months back, we surveyed the residents living in the Greenwood retirement residences in order to gauge their satisfaction levels. We asked them about the building, the staff, the management, the food and the services in general.

The survey uncovered some things we do great, and some things we don’t do as well as we would like to think. We heard once again how the staff are amazing, but we already knew that. We have formed action plans based on the comments we received and are working on improving all the areas that were not given top marks.

One part of the survey that I really enjoyed reading, and wanted to share here, is the answer to the open-ended question – What one thing do you like best about living here? Here is a small sample of the answers were received:

Caroline Place Retirement Residence – Hamilton

  • I am warm in the winter, cool in the summer, well fed and all of my needs are met and all in one fee.
  • Not having to cook, clean, shop for groceries and change beds, etc. etc. etc.
  • Contact with people when I want it and no contact when I don’t want any.
  • Love my accommodation – love the staff – love the location.  Rating  5 to 10   A 10 for sure.
  • Being part of the family.

Crossword Man

Retirement Suites By The Lake – Scarborough

  • You only asked for one reason we like living here.  There are other reasons, of course, such as the good friends I have made and the wonderful staff who take such good care of us.
  • Go to my room, sit in my favourite chair and be able to look out the window down to the lake.
  • The small size of the building, homey atmosphere, friendly staff and a variety of activities.
  • I am content – this is home.

Adelaide Place Retirement Community – Lindsay

  • My new friends – I never thought to make new close friends at age 80 but have done so here.
  • I don’t have to make my meals and there usually is someone to talk with.  I was also given land and seedlings to grow flowers.  There is a good selection of books in the library.  Entertainment on Friday afternoons.
  • We don’t have to cut grass or shovel snow or rake leaves any more.
  • I don’t have to take the garbage out or shop for groceries.
  • Consider it home living and not living alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retirement homes are a great alternative

Seniors pay price as need soars

 An article in the “Toronto Star” dealing with the crisis in Long Term Care was shared by a resident with Gina Cook, the Executive Director of McCowan Retirement Residence. While Gina, as does anyone who works in the care industry, knows all to well that the LTC crisis is real, she thought that the public should be more educated about the alternative – A good retirement home.

Continue reading

The Therapy of Pets

Pet Therapy is a unique way to improve mental, physical and emotional wellbeing for seniors.   This therapy, and their benefits, can take place in many ways. The most common variations of pet therapy are visitation therapy or owner therapy.  Animal therapy variations can differ depending upon the needs of the seniors. Continue reading

Planning for downsizing

Moving to a new home is considered one of the top ten stress-causing life events for any individual. For a retiree planning to downsize for a move to a retirement residence, the prospect can be physically and emotionally overwhelming. Continue reading

Low Stress Entertaining – Retirement Style!

When considering a move to a retirement residence, a common concern is that you would be giving up entertaining family and friends for special events or for overnight visits. The fact is, living in a full-amenity retirement residence actually makes accommodating out-of-town family or guests for meals or overnights easier than ever before! Continue reading