- Social Media and Seniors
Seniors, some in their 90s, could soon be making new friends on Facebook thanks to facilities, including us here at the Inn, offering classes to help the elderly learn, or brush up their social network skills. The number of seniors using social networking is rising. A recent study out this last summer found that 33% of Internet users ages 65 and older used social-networking websites in 2011, compared with 13% in 2009.
Three of our residents are some of a growing number of seniors joining Facebook to connect with grandchildren and former pals. One lady I spoke to said “I understand that young people, the grandchildren, don’t use e-mail very much now. They only use Facebook, specifically, so I feel it is great way of communication with them,”.
Seniors are a growing demographic, with more than half of U.S. adults 65 and older online, which is very different from the previous years. For many elderly citizens, particularly those who live alone and far from their families, social networking sites offer new opportunities to stay in touch, share photos, make new friends or reconnect with old ones.
“They just want someone to show them the ropes,” and we are excited to help them with this new chapter!
- Enjoying Retirement
No matter whether it’s golfing every day or starting a new career, senior living can be great if you know how to enjoy life after retirement. People have all sorts of different dreams and plans for retired life; some want to start a new career, some want to travel, others just want to relax. No matter what your retirement plans, you can live retired life to the fullest by keeping just a few ideas in mind.
Keep your finances in mind: The directions your plans are headed have to coordinate with your income level. Be sure you have a solid plan for your future financial situation.
Build strong relationships with friends and family: This is a great time to catch up with old friends and have lunch. Really get to know your children and grandchildren again. Going on family vacations would be a great way to get back in the root of things.
Keep your body and mind healthy: We have many new programs out there like “Silver Streaks”, and “Senior Zumba” now!
Try new things: I have three people in my retirement facility that now have a Facebook, and email. No matter what you have heard in the past, you are never to old to learn.
Keep your personal information secure: I hear of senior scams out there on a weekly basis. Your personal information use to define who you were, but in today’s world we need to keep as much of our personal information private.
Remember retirement may be the end of one kind of accomplishment, but it opens the door to many others.
- While sunshine is healthy, too much sun is dangerous, especially for seniors.
Seniors only need about 15 minutes or less of sun exposure two to three times a week on their faces and hands for their bodies to produce an adequate supply of Vitamin D. Anything more than this should be given some thought on the dangers that can then occur. First think about your skin and the effects it is having. Sunscreen needs time to work. Seniors should apply it about an hour before going out into the sun and reapply about every two hours. They should reapply more frequently if they are swimming.Seniors should wear sunscreen everywhere if they go outside longer than 15 minutes. As much as I know our seniors like to walk, remember seniors need to exercise but avoid too much sun. Think of other ways to get your walking in like walking in malls, casinos, or even just the hallways in our building where the air conditioning is running. Lastly, drink your water! We have found over the years that if we fill up one of our ice chests and fill it with water, the seniors will take one and drink it. So anytime you enter our lobby and see the ice chest out, you know the heat is coming! I hope everyone enjoys this summer we finally got, but mostly stay safe and healthy.
- Afternoon Delights!
On an average day, the afternoons can be very dull. Its the time of day that lunch time has come and gone, and dinner time is so far away. It just so happens that afternoons seem like the best time for a nap! This doesn’t hold true for many here at the Inn. Every afternoon we can look forward to Ray coming down and taking his positions in one of the lobby chairs, and followed by Dick in the next chair. After a short time, we notice there are about six more residents in this circle of chatter. Around the lobby are smaller groups that gather for afternoon company, and at times laugh along with what is being said in the larger group. I often have residents come to me and thank me for making this such a ‘fun’ place to live. I realized last week that after 15 years we have really established a sense of comfort here in our building, but now we are seeing the great joy in living here.
I cannot express how much is warms may heart knowing that in short times past, these same people were living alone, and had little afternoon happiness on a daily basis. Ray for instance use to live just down the road from me, and we would stop in occasionally to see how he was doing. It was difficult to stop by for a ‘short’ visit since he was lonely and had a lot of things he wanted to tell us. Now I see him socializing daily with people of his own age, and having great days in his later years. I hear him laugh, tell his stories, and especial find great delight in teasing Dick about funny things. In fact, one afternoon I made name tags for each one of the men and swapped their names. Ray was being Dick for a day and the opposite. I planted the name tags on each of them and said “Remember you have his reputation in your hands, now have fun” and oh what a fun day that was. The laughter is just filling our lobby on a daily basis, and I cant dream of any other atmosphere I would want to have in our building. Our afternoons are complete delight, and I’m very happy for each and every one of my residents!
- It May Be Time To Check Out a Retirement Community
Leaving the comfort of a home where you have lived independently for many years can be a difficult and scary thing. I often compare it to starting at a new high school as a teenager, it’s a new environment, with new people and new challenges. It can also be hard to admit that our bodies are slower and less agile than they once were and our minds less sharp (For me, this began as early as 40!). And while these things may just be the typical signs of aging, you do need to pay attention when you sense there may be a more serious problem.
Review the following list of questions carefully and, if any of these sound familiar, Retirement Living may be a good option for you.
- Is your personal hygiene becoming more difficult?
- Are you wearing the same clothes over multiple days or not showering/shaving regularly?
- Do you have a fear of falling in the shower or bath?
- Are you having difficulty performing daily activities and household tasks?
- Is it getting hard for you to do the laundry, dishes, shopping or keep up with yard work?
- Is it becoming difficult to cook meals for yourself?
- Are you regularly misplacing items?
- Are you missing appointments or forgetting to turn off electrical items?
- Are you improperly using medications, forgetting to take them ?
- Have you recently lost a spouse?
- Are you afraid to be alone at night?
- Do you find yourself becoming more dependent on family members?
Making the decision to move to a Retirement Living facility is typically a very difficult one. But rest assured, when you get there you will wonder why you waited so long!
Besides, you have spent your whole life looking forward to “Retirement”, you owe it to yourself to enjoy it.
- Three delicious, home cooked meals daily
Is the food here any good?
It’s the first thing we want to know when we try a new restaurant- so naturally, it should be a top question when researching senior apartments. Nutrition is a big factor in a person’s overall health, but it has to taste good too -right?! Here, at the Colonial Inn, food is a top priority. It’s important that our food not only fulfill the nutritional requirements of our residents, but it has to get eaten. Because if it’s not eaten, it can’t nourish. So, is the food here any good? The easiest way to find out, is to ask the people who eat it every day. Here’s what a few residents had to say: Rod says, “My favorite meal is breakfast, they make the best extra crispy bacon, and they always get the poached egg just right.” And Wilma says, “With the fresh salad and fruit bar, plus two choices at every meal, you can always find just what you need.” We invite you to come see for yourself. We serve three delicious, home cooked meals daily. Come for a tour and enjoy a complimentary meal while you’re here.
- BE SURE TO GET ON OUR WAITING LIST!
There’s no room at the inn? That’s right- We are excited to announce that The Colonial Inn is full with a growing waiting list! Those who call the Colonial Inn home come from many different walks of life; retired teachers, lawyers, farmers, doctors, etc. and many have moved to The Colonial Inn from outside the local area to be nearer to family, to return to their roots or to get away from congested urban areas. And because so many choose to call The Colonial Inn home- is precisely why we’re full and actively adding names to our waiting list! Arrange a tour today and sign up to reserve an opportunity for your loved one to live an affordable, carefree, maintenance-free lifestyle among friends, neighbors, and a caring staff. There’s absolutely no obligation and you’ll never lose your spot on the list, even if your mom or dad isn’t ready to move when a room becomes available.
- Challenging the “Aging in Place” concept!
While there are a lot of things about this concept that I agree are beneficial, there’s still a lot of important things that are not considered. The benefits listed to staying in your home are:
Maintaining the same routine: This is great, but maybe the same routine is not a healthy one. Going to a dining room where there is a fresh salad where all the toppings are right at your finger tips, or fresh fruit every day is a wonderful thing that is just too hard to do for one person at home.
Living independently: Moving into a retirement community where you have your own apartment, choices in meals, choices in activities, choices in healthcare… There is so much independence in living with very little stress when you’re older. I would say that people living in retirement living are free to live far more independently than those home alone.
Home Security: There are so many phone scams, night burglaries, and so much more in this time we live in. The idea of a senior living alone in a house, where the family has made the bedroom on the ground floor and access to the home so easy, just worries me for the sake of safety. I get a lot of comfort knowing my staff is at the front desk 24 hours a day, and constantly check all the doors and windows for safety. I love the fact that if any of our residents have any kind of issue, all they have to do is pull the emergency cord and a staff member is there in minutes!
As you can see, I do not fully agree with this “Aging in Place” concept at all times. I know that in this time of hardship for the contractors, building is on a very low demand. Let us not rely on the senior community to provide work for the men looking for a remodel job, at the exchange of safety and good living!
- Sandman Celebrates 100 Years
August 7, 2010 marked 100 years of service to the maritime community by the historic tug boat the Sandman. Following 75 years of working as a tug boat, the Sandman is still in our community for all of us to see, tour, and remember. While the weather is still nice, I encourage you to go downtown Olympia and tour the boat in person. Tours are available Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 to 4:00.
- Where Has the Year Gone?
I can hardly believe that it’s already August. The summer just got here and I feel like we are getting ready to tell it goodbye. The County Fair is getting started, the local stores are getting school supplies in. We have enjoyed music in the park, trips to the mountains, and many BBQ’s with great food and fun!
As I prepare my mind and building for the fall season, I truly hope that we will all be able to slow down and enjoy each other’s company, and really appreciate our good health.
Donna Baker Blog
Being manager of a 100-room senior apartment complex has been a 10-year (so far) lesson in life, love, neighborly interactions, and the resilience of the human spirit. Every day here at The Colonial Inn the most amazing stories unfold. Some funny, others not so funny, some with happy endings, others not - but always heartwarming. In this blog I hope to share with you just some of what happens around here so you, too, can appreciate the depth and breadth of life experienced at The Colonial Inn.