On a recent sunny, while many people their age might have been finishing up lunch, or grabbing a quick afternoon nap, Mary Steeves, 85, Manuel Borba, 84, and Raymond Hawkins, 92, were fulfilling a lifelong dream.
The recent article, “Flying high, fulfilling dreams,” by Denise Rockenstein, told the story of three individuals, residents of Orchard Park Retirement and Assisted Living Facility in Clearlake, California, who were asked the question: “If money, health and time were not factors, what would you like to do with the rest of your life?” Mary, Manuel and Raymond all wanted to fly.
For Mary, the idea that she’d always wanted to take to the skies came as a revelation to her family. Mary’s daughter, Donna Sage, remarked, "My mother will never ever be the same again after this experience. Never in my life had I heard anything about her dream to fly. It was very much a surprise to me. She was so giddy the day they announced it at the lunch. It was just like she turned into a teenager. She was so excited she couldn't stop laughing."
Manuel and Raymond (with his wife, Pearl, by his side) enjoyed their separate flights as well, especially when their pilot flew over Orchard Park, low enough for them to see their friends waving below.
These flights, a dream-come-true for three seniors, are just the beginning, according to Orchard Park community relations coordinator Jane McNight. "This absolutely the most wonderful thing and we have more dreams to fulfill."
The question above may seem an odd one, but for residents of some senior living communities, they couldn’t imagine life without their furry, four-legged companions. According to the recent article, “Senior Homes Partial to Pets,” by Sharon L. Peters, the practice of welcoming cats, dogs and even rabbits into senior care communities is a growing one.
Just ask the residents of the Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore, MD, a pet-friendly provider profiled in the article. As Helene King, a communication coordinator for the center says, "People grow up with animals, have had them all their lives, and this is their home now, so why wouldn't they have pets here?" The center offers pet therapy as a part of their “Eden Alternative” program, which also includes plants and contact with kids as a part of their daily routines.
While living with pets isn’t ideal for every senior, many locations that have attempted to integrate canine or feline companions into their staff claim a high rate of success. Levindale, for example, believes that their dogs, cats, birds and fish relax residents, offer companionship, and relieve boredom and loneliness.
Provided the pets are well cared for, it seems that the benefits of having furry therapy assistants outweigh the negatives. Says King, "We just haven't experienced a downside."
In 1983, former President Ronald Regan dedicated the third week in September to raising awareness of the wealth of adult day programs available nationwide and improving accessibility to those programs for families in need of adult day care services. This year’s National Adult Day Services Week takes place during the week of September 21-27, 2008.
NADSA, the National Adult Day Services Association, lists several ways for families to celebrate this week of awareness at their Web site: http://www.nadsa.org/events/nadsw2008.asp.
If you’d like to get involved in this national celebration, read on for a few ways you can observe National Adult Day Services Week in your own community.
• Suggest to your local high school that they select students to partner members of local adult day care center to record oral histories. Forging connections between generations this way can be rewarding for all involved.
• Work with an area newspaper or television station to promote a human interest story about a member of a local adult day care center.
• If you or a member of your family has are familiar with using adult day care services, offer to speak at a local caregiver support meeting and share your experiences.
Senior living in Nashville is about to get a lot more fun for retiring country music musicians. Country singer Martina McBride, member of the Crescendo Music Community Fund (CMCF), a non-profit group of professionals in the music industry, announced plans to build a brand-new kind of senior living center.
After almost a decade of planning, the CMCF is announcing its intention to build a $95 million dollar senior living facility that is a little more… rockin’ than your average home for senior care. The Crescendo will offer residents of its 180 condominiums the chance to utilize an in-house recording studio, performance hall, or even to attend one of many country music-themed workshops.
As McBride said in a recent interview with Dial-Global, "I do think that it's gonna be the first of its kind. It places great importance on keeping people who live here involved with Music Row and feeling like they're still involved in the music industry with things like songwriting workshops to a place to be able to perform if they want to a recording studio where they can still record music ... It's just very unique, and I think it really will fit the needs of so many people who have been involved in the music industry in such a special way."
The senior living center, scheduled to open in 2013, will offer three levels of care and prices ranging from $300,000 to $650,000 depending on condo square footage. Financial assistance will be available for those who qualify.