Chaplain Luke, Martin Luther Campus Director of Spiritual Care, shares a personal reflection on the importance of connection.
Typically, I don’t make a habit of over-sharing about my personal life, but I've decided to make an exception. Recently, I did something for the first time since the pandemic started: I went to the dentist. As far as dentist visits go, it was amazing, and not just because it’s been way too long. Rather, it was amazing because of the informal conversation I had with the dental hygienist. We talked as best as one can at the dentist. The hygienist was someone I recognized, but didn’t know her very well. That part didn't matter. What mattered - what made this visit to the dentist so amazing, is that it provided me with a social interaction that I didn’t realize I'd been missing.
This recent experience at the dentist reminded me of an article from The Atlantic titled, “The Pandemic Has Erased Entire Categories of Friendships: There’s a reason you miss the people you didn’t even know that well." Perhaps you’ve read this article. If not, and you’re interested, the link to the entire piece is below.
The point of the article is that the pandemic – and strict social distancing protocols – has essentially eliminated an entire category of subtle, but important, friendships for many of us. These are relationships with friends and acquaintances that may not have been significant enough to keep up through Zoom calls - those connections with people you saw every morning at the gym, the server from your local restaurant, co-workers who now work remotely, or the dental hygienist you only ever saw every six months.
The article speaks to the implications of the loss of these connections. It's a healthy reminder that many of us have experienced various levels of loss over the past year. The importance of these losses are starting to be better understood.
I’m reminded of our residents and their loss of regular interactions with acquaintances and friends. I’m also reminded of just how much our staff's work environment, and all work environments, have changed over the past year.
I’m grateful to see residents start to reconnect with one another in small groups. I’m also grateful to see work happening in the same room again across different departments.
There are many ways - both personally and professionally – in which we are still in the slog of this pandemic. There are also ways in which we can see glimpses of a hopeful return to that new normal. I'm not entirely sure what that new normal will look like, but I know it will include reconnecting with one another, and supporting our residents as they reconnect with their neighbors and loved ones.
I'm grateful to our families and our staff for your tireless support over the past year on behalf of the residents, while also navigating the pandemic personally as best you can.
With A Nice-Clean-Smile-That-You-Can’t-See-Due-To-My-Mask,
From the Kitchen of Rebecca Kapsen RDN, LDN
Ebenezer Corporate Registered Dietitian
As we age, likely you will notice certain subtle changes in your body including aches, pains, decreased sense of smell and perhaps even vision changes. Eating a healthy, rounded diet full of nutritious fruits and veggies can help protect us from some of these ailments. Carrots, peas and leafy greens are great foods to incorporate into the diet to improve immune function, skin elasticity, protein intake and maintain healthy eyesight.
Did you know that carrots are chock full of an antioxidant known as beta-carotene that not only helps protect the body from certain diseases, but can also contribute to maintaining healthy skin and digestion? Of note, carrots also contain phytonutrients that can help reduce the risk of colon cancer!
Eating peas can provide not only protein, but fiber to aid in motility of the GI tract. As we age, motility decreases which leads to decreased absorption of nutrients. Try split peas for the most “bang for your buck”—bringing you 16.3g fiber per cup!
Eyesight generally diminishes as we age and unfortunately, some seniors can develop complications with their eyes that include macular degeneration and cataracts. Try including leafy green lettuce and spinach that contain lutein, an antioxidant that can lower the risk of eye disease.
A recipe to get you started!
Here’s a great side-dish recipe for savory carrots. This recipe combines cinnamon with turmeric for a savory and earthy twist on glazed carrots. As an added bonus, turmeric may provide anti-inflammatory benefits to help reduce the risk of chronic disease. Enjoy!
Cinnamon and Turmeric Roasted Carrots
Adapted by Leanne Ray, MS, RDN
Director of Community Relations
Hello friends, my name is Kate and I'd love to share with you ALL of the wonderful things happening at Martin Luther Campus. Be sure to check our Blog, Lifestyle page and Facebook page often to stay updated on the happenings at our community!