A few months ago, we welcomed Su-Yoon Ko to our campus virtually to host a community presentation on decluttering and bereavement organizing. Su-Yoon is a professional organizer and passionate about supporting clients in the physical and emotional process of looking at their things and determining what to keep.
Her calm, kind approach is both supportive and reassuring during what we all know can be a very difficult process. After her presentation, we asked Su-Yoon for a few good tips that someone trying to embark on a decluttering/organizing journey could hold close as they begin the process. Here are her words of wisdom...
Decluttering. Where to Start?
by: Su-Yoon Ko, Decluttering Key
Decluttering is more than just about dealing with the physical stuff, it’s emotional, mental, and spiritual as well, not to mention if there’s the added layer of grief when you’re seeing to someone’s belongings who has died. There’s no rule that you have to keep anything at all, or that you have to let anything go- it’s about finding what works best for you. Here are a few tips.
One way to start, before you even touch anything, is to journal. Spend some time thinking about the person you lost and free write, without judgement. What words or phrases would you use to describe them and your relationship with each other? What memories come up? Are there certain things that make you think of that person when you see them? Are these energetically uplifting for you? Relationships are complicated, and it’s not that we’re trying to deny anyone’s complexities, but it also doesn’t serve anyone to keep things that have a negative memory attached. If you start with an idea of what items help define that person to you, perhaps it’ll make it easier to let go of the items that don’t have that same energy of memory for you.
Set the boundaries
Taking your unique situation into consideration, what do you truly have space for? If you have a boundary set in place before you get into the actual physical items, it might be easier to make decisions. What feels right to you: keep whatever fits in this closet? On this shelf? Or in this box? There’s no right or wrong, just what’s right or wrong for you. Setting boundaries will help give you clarity as you move through items. Will there be exceptions? Certainly; being flexible enough to consider those on a case by case basis can bring some peace.
Here’s a familiar scenario: you start sorting books, then you see a shoe and think “I’ll just put it in the closet”, you open the closet and start arranging clothes and suddenly you think “Wait what was I doing?” It’s easy to get distracted and never quite finish the task you started. One thing to do, you or someone who wants to help, is to pre-sort. This means putting all similar items together (“like with like” as professional organizers say), for example all paperwork together, books with books, etc. I feel that putting like with like from the whole house in one place works best; if that’s not be possible, then pre-sort room by room. After pre-sorting, it’s easier for the decision maker to then sort into keep, donate, sell etc. piles without distracting items.
Intentionally saved vs. not decluttered
When seeing to someone else’s belongings after they die, it can be difficult to let anything go, especially in the midst of grief. Reframing your perspective that many of the items there were perhaps not intentionally saved, rather they just had not yet been dealt with - sorted and taken to donation, trash or in general decluttered in some way, could be helpful. Trust that you’ll be able to discern what is truly a treasure and worth your time and effort to deal thoughtfully with, and what is not.
Q & A with the Deceased
Not that you need permission to let go of things that don’t fit your life, a suggestion if you do seek that extra support, is directly asking the deceased. Connect with them energetically and ask - aloud or in your mind – (“Grandma, is it ok if I let this afghan go?”, “Dad, would it be ok if I gave this book away?”), and then just listen for any thoughts or feelings that come to you. Quite often people hear in their mind an answer. This has been immensely helpful for some clients, and not so much for others. It’s just another tool in your toolbelt that you can pull out and use if the situation feels right.
Need help getting started with your decluttering project? Contact Su-Yoon directly to learn more about her services at: declutteringkey.com/contact
Martin Luther Care Center is part of the Ebenezer family of Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care, long term care, assisted living apartments, and memory care for seniors in Bloomington, Minnesota. We also have adult day programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St., in Bloomington, MN.
Are you or a loved one interested in learning more about assisted living care? Call Amy at 952-885-8882 or more information and to schedule a tour today.
By Sally Peterson, Director of Community Programs
Happy National Volunteer Appreciation Week to you, our valued volunteers!
We want to recognize that our volunteers continue to be a vital part of the Martin Luther Campus fabric. While we continue to be living through unprecedented times, it does not mean that your continued commitment to Martin Luther Campus as a volunteer has gone unnoticed.
During the past year, many of our volunteers have found ways to volunteer from afar. At a time when our residents were more isolated, these efforts have been critical and so appreciated. Homemade masks, cards, letters, treats, bingo prizes, lap robes, phone calls, cutting/prepping for projects, donations, books, and check-ins…the list goes on and on.
What a difference you have made! We miss seeing you so much, but know you continue to be with us in spirit. We appreciate you as much as always and look forward to welcoming you back on campus doing what you do best . . .caring for others!
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
We believe in the COVID-19 vaccine.
Here's a few reasons why members of our team are excited to get theirs!
We are proud to report that hope is in abundance here at Martin Luther Care Center as we started the COVID-19 vaccination process!
Thank you to our friends at KSTP-TV for being on hand to help us share this milestone moment. And special thanks to resident, Roger and staff nurse, Marissa for sharing their thoughts so beautifully.
Here's the link to the story from last night's KSTP Newscast that shares the excitement of the process to date.
We are pleased that federal and state officials have prioritized long-term care residents and their caregivers for early COVID-19 vaccinations. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect those living in and receiving care in our communities. The news of a vaccine gives us hope for the next chapter in our fight against this virus.
Ebenezer communities have been among the first to receive the recently approved COVID-19 vaccine.
In cooperation with the government’s distribution to pharmacies, we have begun administering the very first vaccines to staff and residents in our skilled care communities, and have now started to vaccinate staff and residents within Assisted Living and Memory Care communities. Right now, we are only planning to vaccinate Independent Living residents in our Assisted Living communities. Eventually we will offer the vaccinate to residents in our free-standing rental, cooperative and condominium communities.
How we will administer the vaccine
Our Pharmacy will vaccinate residents – including Independent Living residents who reside in communities that provide Assisted Living services. Our site nurses will vaccinate staff members.
The vaccine will be administered in 2 doses. After receiving the first dose, the recipient must receive a second dose. It is important to get the SAME MANUFACTURED VACCINE as the first dose.
To ensure that we are getting the vaccine to those who need it most, we will not vaccinate staff or residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days. We will vaccinate these individuals at a later date.
We strongly encourage staff and residents to get vaccinated
At this time, we are not requiring that all staff and residents get the vaccine, however, we are strongly encouraging it. Vaccinating a significant majority of staff and residents is the only way we will be able to stop the spread of the virus.
About the vaccine
As part of our continuing effort to provide up-to-date information, we have included the latest information from the CDC along with links to their website.
Potential side effects
As with any vaccine, your body may react to the vaccine as those antibodies are being made. Not everyone will experience this reaction. Below are the most common:
When will I be protected? How long will I be immune?
We will most likely not know how long the vaccine will be protective once we receive it. We will know more as more time passes in the current research. It is possible we may need to have vaccine shots for COVID-19 on a regular basis (like the flu shot).
How many people need to get a COVID- 19 vaccine for herd immunity?
Herd immunity means that enough people in a community are protected from getting a disease because they’ve already had the disease or they’ve been vaccinated. Herd immunity makes it hard for the disease to spread from person to person, and it even protects those who cannot be vaccinated, like newborns.
While experts don’t yet know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, vaccination is a safer way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. Have a question about COVID-19 vaccines? Click here.
Will we still need to wear face masks?
Similar to other types of vaccines, a large number of people in the community will need to get vaccinated before transmission drops enough to stop the use of masks.
Is the vaccine safe?
Can Ebenezer residents and staff give consent or decline the vaccine?
Our residents and staff will be asked about their interest in receiving the vaccination and will be asked to sign a consent at some point prior to the vaccination being administered. If they choose to decline, they will be asked to sign a declination. The declination is not binding. Those within our community can receive the vaccine later, if they change their minds.
It is important to get information from reliable sources (CDC, AMDA, medical directors, medical providers, etc.). Here are some link to information:
CDC: Vaccines & Immunizations
CDC: About COVID-19 Vaccines
CDC: Provider Resources for COVID-19 Vaccine Conversations with Patients and Answering Patients’ Questions
Leading Age Minnesota
Martin Luther Campus residents have been proud supporters of Toys 4 Tots for many years. Our Resident Council fundraises all year long through the sales of flowers, cards, snack goodie bags, and more. These funds allow us to purchase toys for the program at the holidays.
In years past, we've had an annual visit from some of the Marines who run the Toys 4 Tots Twin Cities program -- explaining their detailed process of collecting, sorting and distributing all of the toys to families in the area. Our residents love this and are so pleased to meet them and hear their stories and adventures, particularly our veteran residents. We sure missed our Marine friends this year!
Normally, when it's time to purchase the toys a number of our residents would go with staff on the campus bus to shop for toys at a local store. This year, of course, we had to do things a little differently, and got creative. Each resident worked with a staff member to pick out a toy on Amazon! They learned all about the vast options there and had fun selecting something special. A precious doll, a family board game, a new ball....residents reminisced about their favorite gifts as a child and ones they gave their own kids.
To date, we have collected approx. 100 toys, and we're so pleased to have a little shoutout on Kare11 this past Friday for our efforts.
**Be sure to check it out (we are the third group featured)! Click here to view: https://bit.ly/3gI36We
Giving back and contributing to the lives of others is essential. We add a service component to our resident care because participating in projects like this is an important part of our residents' wellbeing.
We'd like to thank our residents as well as their families and our staff for contributing to the toy collection drive and making it another successful year!
Washington, D.C. – November 2020 – Martin Luther Campus is among the 21% of U.S. skilled nursing facilities that have been recognized as a Best Nursing Home for 2020-21 by U.S. News & World Report.
The home earned Best Nursing Homes status by achieving a rating of “High Performing,” the highest possible rating, for both Short-Term Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care. U.S. News gives the designation of Best Nursing Home only to those homes that satisfy U.S. News’s assessment of the appropriate use of key services and consistent performance in quality measures.
“We are so proud to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report again this year,” said Kenzie Christopher, Martin Luther Campus Administrator. “This recognition is a testament to the exceptional care our staff provides to residents on a daily basis. A national honor like this is wonderful in any year, but particularly affirming amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Now in its 11th year, the U.S. News Best Nursing Homes ratings and profiles offer comprehensive information about care, safety, health inspections, staffing and more for nearly all of the nation’s 15,000-plus nursing homes. The Best Nursing Homes ratings reflect U.S. News’ exclusive analysis of publicly available data using a methodology defined by U.S. News that evaluates factors that it has determined most greatly impact patient and resident care, safety, and outcomes. This year, to accompany the new ratings, nursing home profile pages were updated to include a patient safety summary that reflects COVID-19 data alongside other measurements of safety and related advice on choosing a home or facility amidst the pandemic.
“U.S. News strives to provide access to information that allows consumers to make educated decisions on all types of care,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “Updating the profiles to include a patient safety summary that highlights COVID-19 data paired with other measures of care arms families, caregivers and patients with the information needed to make a decision that keeps safety at the highest priority.”
The Best Nursing Home finder features ratings on both long-term and short-term care. The Long-Term Care Rating aims to provide prospective residents who need help with daily activities, and their families, with analysis and information regarding the quality of care provided by nursing homes. The rating includes data on staffing, success in preventing ER visits and pneumonia vaccination rates, among other metrics. The short-term rating incorporates measures of quality including consistency of registered nurse staffing, use of antipsychotic drugs and success in preventing falls. Click here to read the full report.
Martin Luther Campus is a part of Ebenezer, the largest family of Senior Care communities in Minnesota. Ebenezer is the senior housing division of Fairview Health Services with 100 years of experience serving older adults, and helping their lives be more independent, healthful, meaningful, and secure. Through quality care options for assisted living, transitional care, long-term care, and memory care, Martin Luther Campus is able to meet the needs of residents today and into the future. Martin Luther Campus prides itself in focusing on the whole person with continued learning and innovation as a response to the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions of residents.
About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. A digital news and information company focused on Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars and News USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
If your aging parent or a loved one has been living independently and enjoying an active lifestyle, they might not be willing to admit that their mental and/or physical abilities are not what they used to be.
Not wanting to be a burden, they may be hesitant to reach out for assistance — that’s why it is important to know when it’s time to offer help.
Signs that indicate your loved one may need help include:
Unless the situation is critical, experts recommend involving your parent or loved one as much as possible in the decision-making process when planning for care. This can help ease their fears of losing control, and it shows that you have their best interests at heart.
Taking on Caregiving Responsibilities
Becoming a family caregiver is one of the most rewarding and stressful jobs you’ll undertake. Because you’re likely juggling many responsibilities, taking care of your physical health and emotional well-being are key to avoid caregiver stress. According to the American Psychological Association, caregiving strain is often more significant when caregivers don’t have enough resources (information, skills, social support, respite and community services) and feel overwhelmed.
Being aware of caregiver stress can help you take action. Signs and symptoms include:
Navigating family caregiving tasks
There’s no reason to feel like you have to go it alone. Asking for help with caregiving responsibilities can help you avoid caregiver stress.
Family members and friends are often ready and willing to help, but they may be unaware of your feelings or how they can help. Starting the conversation and sharing information can help everyone understand the situation and feel involved.
Be specific about the type of help you need and make a list of important tasks. Look for ways to divide caregiving responsibilities, such as running errands or buying groceries; managing bills and other financial duties; taking care of your loved one’s medications and doctor appointments; or researching additional resources for support.
If you or a loved one needs support navigating senior living option or is seeking tools and resources available in the community, do not hesitate to call the Martin Luther Campus. We are glad to share community resources, support groups, adult day program options and conversation to support you.
Contact Amy today at 952-948-5167 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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!