Barry ZeVan (aka "The Weatherman") shared some very helpful tips for how to keep your heart in good health:
The old adage stating, “One's good health is the most important thing one has,” is certainly true. Although not heart-related, I've been blessed to "cheat death" at least three times throughout my life. I was told, during two of those life-threatening times, I was blessed with a strong heart and it made all the difference regarding survival. As we’re annually aware, February is annually American Heart Month.
As American Heart Month continues, the AMA encourages all Americans to take control of their heart health by monitoring their blood pressure levels and making healthy lifestyle changes that can significantly reduce the risk of serious health consequences associated with high blood pressure. According to the AMA, an overwhelming number of Americans are living with uncontrolled high blood pressure — putting them at increased risk for heart attack and stroke. By empowering more people to monitor and control their blood pressure, there will be a continuum to not only help improve health outcomes for everyone, but also reduce health care costs.”
The AMA’s six tips for improving heart health to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, include the following:
As a partner with Fairview Health Services, we provide many services to help our residents maintain and improve their health. We offer nutritious meals for our residents, aquatic therapy, and Adult Day Programs that provide exercise activities, special outings, and more.
Martin Luther Campus is part of the Ebenezer family of Lutheran Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care and assisted living apartments for seniors in Bloomington. We also have adult day clubs and memory care programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St. Bloomington, MN. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call Amy at 952.948.5167
Marysue Moses, Ebenezer and Martin Luther’s Dimensions Program Coordinator, shares her thoughts in regards to the Ten Steps in Spiritual Formation and the value of spirituality for dementia patients:
In grad school about a decade ago, I ran across an article that provides guidance, inspiration and reassurance for exhausted dementia care partners. Is there anyone out there caring for a person with dementia who is NOT exhausted at this time of year? If so, please send me YOUR insights to share in a future blog!
Wayne Ewing’s article, “Land of Forgetfulness: Dementia Care as Spiritual Formation,” recounts his journey as caregiver for his wife who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at age 55. Wayne quickly realized that his skills as a clergyman and educator, while relevant, were not the entire package of what he needed in order to cope with the change in his “Beloved,” as he calls her, and to navigate the transformed waters of their relationship.
Wayne considered the wide range of needs that both he and his Beloved now had to contend with. He figured them out one by one and in time, Wayne discovered that he could meet his Beloved in the present moment. As they walked together in a pine forest near their home, he marveled at and shared in the delight and awe she expressed at the beauty around them.
This led Wayne to begin to ruminate on the Alzheimer’s Association’s Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Using an impressive knowledge of many religious traditions and spiritual scribes, he imagined how all those (scary and depressing sounding) warning signs might be looked at in a new light, the light of spiritual formation. He handily spun that list into Ten Steps in Spiritual Formation, pointing out the following:
I thought I would wrap up the blog right there. But no. Here goes.
My beloved husband died of cancer over 5 years ago. He was on hospice for a little over two months, and bedridden for just a week and a half. Phil was an extremely smart, hyper-witty, charming, snarkily funny guy. He had been an actor since he was 6 years old. He could be very loud on occasion. It was amazing to see Phil become so quiet in his last weeks. While it didn’t occur to me at the time to use the term “dementia” for anything that was going on with him, it was several years later that I suddenly realized that he actually was exhibiting dementia symptoms in his last 10 days: trouble with language and motor skills, disorientation, nonsensical speech, lack of initiative. For a time, our verbal communication consisted of him whispering the last few words of whatever I had just said to him back to me. But one day, he departed from that pattern. When I said, “I love you,” he replied, “I love you too.” How one little word can mean the world! That was the last thing he said to me, or anyone. I had assumed I’d be playing all sorts of his favorite music as the end drew near, but instead, it felt to me like he was very busy inside (and things were probably noisy enough). It seemed that the spiritual journey he was on required his entire focus and attention. I think (and hope) that was the right call.
At Martin Luther, we value the importance of Spiritual Health for our residents. We provide Spiritual Care, Pastoral Care, Weekly Worship and other spirituality services.
Martin Luther Campus is part of the Ebenezer family of Lutheran Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care and assisted living apartments for seniors in Bloomington. We also have adult day clubs and memory care programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St. Bloomington, MN. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call us at 952.888.775
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and with the arrival of spring, there are an abundance of activities to do for seniors. Check out these activities for a fun Mother’s Day to remember.
1. Have a Picnic
Now that spring has finally arrived, Mother's Day is the perfect time to enjoy nature. Go to a nearby park and enjoy a stroll, eat a picnic lunch on the grass, and listen to the birds chirp in the trees above. Martin Luther is located on a beautifully wooded grounds perfect for an afternoon stroll.
2. Catch a Show
There are several fun events happening just a short drive away from Martin Luther Campus. On Mother's Day, May 12, at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM, the Minnesota Orchestra in Minneapolis will be putting on a concert that will be a delightful experience for people of all ages. The Orpheum Theatre is putting on a show, “The Play That Goes Wrong” on May 12 at 1:00 PM and at 6:30 PM. This show is both a comedy and a murder mystery, so it will keep you guessing and laughing throughout the whole evening.
3. Enjoy a Sit-Down Meal at a Restaurant
Pick your favorite restaurant and share a meal with family and friends. This activity is simple, but it is a great experience and a wonderful environment to enjoy good food and bond with loved ones.
4. Have a Movie Night
Watching movies together is a casual activity that’s fun for all ages. Watch mom’s favorite movie and share one of yours with her for some great bonding time.
5. Bake Some Treats
Now that it is warming up, it’s time to start making treats like cupcakes and lemonade! You could either dig out an old family recipe or find a new, creative treat to make. Either way, fun memories are always made when cooking and baking in the kitchen!
6. Attend a Sporting Event
It’s not spring without baseball! The Minnesota Twins baseball team will be playing the Tigers at the Target Field at 1:10 PM on Mother’s Day. Bring the whole family along to cheer for the Twins and to enjoy an exciting baseball game.
7. Host a Game Night
A game night is always easy to put together and is a guaranteed fun evening for everyone! Have neighbors and friends bring over their favorite games and snacks for a game night to remember.
8. Arts and Crafts
Ignite your creative side by spending the afternoon painting, doing crafts, and making homemade decorations. This activity can be enjoyed by people of all ages- grandparents, kids, and everyone in between!
No matter how you celebrate Mother’s Day, the important thing is just spending time together.
Martin Luther Campus is part of the Ebenezer family of Lutheran Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care and assisted living apartments for seniors in Bloomington. We also have adult day clubs and memory care programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St. Bloomington, MN. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call Amy at 952-948-5167 for more information and to schedule a tour today
Barry ZeVan (aka "The Weatherman") shared some of his thoughts on how Ebenezer communities like Martin Luther can help with life transitions:
In my opinion (and the opinion of many), asking for help is one of life's most uncomfortable challenges. To some, including myself at more than one time in my life, asking for help paralleled the words failure, weakness or the inability to privately cope with difficult times, be they personal, professional, financial or any combination thereof, including transitional.
When a person lives a significant number of years (I'm 81), inner strength to overcome challenging times of transition from one life chapter to another has one riding an emotional roller coaster. Some of the ups and downs are almost too overwhelming with which to cope, but coping and overcoming any trepidation is within the power of each of us. I know that to be true and, possibly, maybe even probably, so do you. If not, there are people within the Ebenezer "family" with special skills who are available to help bring you to that wonderful emotional and mental epiphany and addressed more directly at the conclusion of this blog. I'll also illustrate some real life examples farther down this tome. First, however, in regard to financial stress, Minneapolis's own Mike Todd (nee Avrom Goldbogen, and Elizabeth Taylor's favorite husband) once stated, "I've never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is only a temporary situation." Mr. Todd's whimsy can be uplifting, for almost no situation is beyond being happily resolved. Humbly stated, I'm a living example of that truth.
Another living example of helping make the transition from one stage of life to another is the example of working all one's life in one profession, then transitioning to "retirement". One of my very close relatives retired last February after 52 years working in the same profession. Retirement for her was tantamount to a bullet-train coming to an abrupt stop and not continuing down any tracks. She was unaware that the routines with which she had lived for over a half-century had also come to an abrupt stop. After one month of "retirement," she decided to work at least part-time in a totally different arena, but one with which she had considerable expertise as a customer. Now, following a few months of "getting used to it," she's very happy in her transitional life.
In regard to my own transitions, they've been many. Very few have been easy, but most have led to positive outcomes I hadn't expected nor predicted. One of my favorite sayings in regard to our lives emanated from author George Eliot, (Mary Ann Evans) to wit: "It's never too late to be who you might have been." That saying has been an inspiration to me more than once, almost a mantra. Perhaps it resonates with you, too.
One special path to coping with the world of transitions is being provided by Ebenezer's outreach specialists at all Ebenezer facilities, with numerous optional resources to help those in need navigate to the smoothest possible transitions to life's next stages, compassionately and intelligently. A form guiding you or anyone you know who may wish to explore Ebenezer's assistance in regard to life transitions follows this closing paragraph. Thank you for reading!
The outreach specialists at Martin Luther Campus, an Ebenezer Senior Community, provide many resources to help with life transitions. Martin Luther Campus offers services like: Stay by the Day, Adult Day Programs, Transitional Therapy Care, and more. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call us at 952.888.7751
Martin Luther Campus is part of the Ebenezer family of Lutheran Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care and assisted living apartments for seniors in Bloomington. We also have adult day clubs and memory care programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St. Bloomington, MN. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call Amy at 952-948-5167 for more information and to schedule a tour today!
Watching a loved one grapple with dementia is difficult, and it can be even harder to know what to do. There are simple ways to help improve the daily lives of those who deal with dementia. We rounded up some helpful strategies you can put into practice today.
Choose Activities That They Enjoy
Dementia patients often become frustrated because they are unable to accomplish many of the chores and extracurricular activities that they enjoyed for many years. To help with easing this frustration, find activities that your loved one can still do. For instance, singing to music, doing arts and crafts, taking part in simple guided projects, and doing basic puzzles can give your loved one joy and a sense of accomplishment.
Try to Keep a Consistent Routine
People who deal with dementia can become stressed if their schedule changes too often or if they have to regularly travel to various out-of-town locations. To prevent agitation from too many changes, try to keep the dementia patient’s bedtime, medicine, meal, and activity schedule consistent.
Don’t Forget to Laugh
With so many of the daily struggles that come from dementia and aging, life can become difficult and depressing for people who deal with dementia. A great tip for improving your loved one’s daily life is to remember to laugh. Tell them jokes, read a joke book to them, show them a clip of a funny comedian, or recall funny stories from their past.
Build Social Connections
Dementia patients don’t like to feel isolated and detached from the social world. Staying connected with people of all ages is important for dementia patients. Giving them opportunities to meet new friends, spend time with young children, and visit with family will be a wonderful mood booster. Our memory care programs at Martin Luther Campus use social connections as a key component of dementia care.
People with dementia can become confused and agitated when there are multiple activities going on all at once. When you are visiting with your loved one, turn off the TV, music, or other distractions so that it will be easier for them to focus on the conversation at hand. It may be difficult for your loved one to distinguish between what is going on in the room and what is happening on TV, so remember to keep distractions to a minimum.
At The Martin Luther Memory Care Center, we offer 24-hour staffing, care plans based on detailed assessments of each individual, assistance with daily living activities, engaging activities like music making, exercise and balance programs, and more! Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call us at 952-888-7751.
Martin Luther Campus is part of the Ebenezer family of Lutheran Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care and assisted living apartments for seniors in Bloomington. We also have adult day clubs and memory care programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St. Bloomington, MN. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call Amy at 952-948-5167 for more information and to schedule a tour today.
Barry ZeVan (aka "The Weatherman") shared some of his thoughts on how Ebenezer facilities like Martin Luther combat isolation in seniors.
For yours truly, just seeing the word isolation initially conjures thoughts of despair, loneliness and hopelessness. Hopefully, those thoughts are, with further examination and deliberation, extreme and need not exemplify a total picture of isolation, but rather just emotional snapshots.
From time immemorial, people have been and still are social creatures. That's why we call the culture in which live, society. Regardless of the protestations of those who have even chosen to be hermits, living in self-imposed isolation, every human being cannot consistently or comfortably sustain life or healthy thought processes without at least some interaction with another human being. We have an innate need to communicate with one another, regardless of what thoughts or needs are shared. Thus, when the subject of isolation arises, there are multiple visions that also arise, but none, in my opinion, that require the most desperate or debilitating thinking or conclusions.
Without presumption here, I assume all human beings, at one time or another, have experienced a form of loneliness that propels minds to think in extreme terms that parallel isolation, leading to almost terrified thinking. The isolation, in most instances, is identified with being alone, feeling there's no one with whom one can express oft-times self-induced desperate thought processes and definitely thinking expressing those feelings will fall on deaf, or even mocking, ears. My comments are based on personal experience, as well as experiences of those I know whom no one would ever think experienced isolation or isolationist thinking. Negative thoughts are almost always self-made, fearing if they're shared with others, no one will really care, understand nor want to offer solace or help. In regard to Ebenezer, caring and help are parts of a permanent mantra dedicated to helping create better lives and more positive thinking for those who feel alone or isolated.
Those blessed to have any connection with Ebenezer and/or its multiple services should know the help Ebenezer can provide to alleviate feelings of isolation and helplessness is available 24/7/365. Professional Ebenezer personnel are aware that people of any age experience extreme thoughts of loneliness. Again, thanks to part of Ebenezer's mission to provide the best possible senior housing and social experiences connected thereto, Ebenezer’s trained professionals can speak with any Ebenezer resident, or even potential resident, about why and how socialization is so necessary to enjoy a well-rounded life. That socialization includes interaction with support groups and uplifting activities.
Without social interaction, isolation can indeed create much less of a life than we deserve, again of our own making. If you or others you know need to do so, please explore and avail yourself (or selves) of Ebenezer's genuine caring and proven solutions.
The Martin Luther Campus, an Ebenezer Senior Community, offers many resources and programs to help seniors combat loneliness and isolation. Martin Luther offers Adult Day Programs that gives seniors who do not need full- time nursing care social activity and care during the day. For those who do need full-time care, Martin Luther provides art and music programs, weekly worship, intergenerational programs and other activities that provide seniors with socialization.
Martin Luther Campus is part of the Ebenezer family of Lutheran Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care and assisted living apartments for seniors in Bloomington. We also have adult day clubs and memory care programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St. Bloomington, MN. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call Amy at 952.948.5167.
Daily exercise is important, but can be a challenge for many seniors dealing with chronic pain, arthritis or other conditions. These gentle exercises are a great way to stay in shape without causing pain.
1. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are cheap, easy to transport, and can be used anywhere. Resistance bands can be used to do seated rows, band pull aparts (pull the band as if you are shooting a bow), bicep curls (where you stand in the middle of the resistance band, grab both ends of the band, and pull up on the bands) and more.
Whether you go walking on the treadmill or enjoy an afternoon of walking outdoors, this exercise is beneficial and an easy impact workout for seniors. Walking can strengthen muscles, improve balance and circulation and increase energy levels. Walking is also a great group activity and way to socialize.
Swimming is a wonderful exercise that puts minimal stress on bones while working many muscles in the body and it can reduce back pain and improve posture. At Martin Luther, we provide aquatic therapy with access to one-on-one care from a licensed physical therapist and a state-of-the-art Hydroworx pool with an underwater treadmill and resistance jet technology.
4. Weight Lifting
As seniors age, it’s necessary to keep the arms strong so that day-to-day objects like milk cartons, cans, etc can be lifted without getting hurt. Bicep curls, overhead elbow extensions and side shoulder raises strengthen arm muscles without being too intensive.
Stretching is one of the best ways to improve posture and maintain flexibility for people of all ages. Stretching is especially important for seniors because flexibility usually decreases as people age, making activities like picking up objects and getting up off the couch more difficult. The triceps stretch, seated hip stretch and the cat-cow pose are three beneficial stretches to start with in your workout.
With these exercises, seniors can improve health, strengthen the core, improve circulation and more.
Martin Luther Campus is part of the Ebenezer family of Lutheran Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care and assisted living apartments for seniors in Bloomington. We also have adult day clubs and memory care programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St. Bloomington, MN. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call Call Amy at 952.948.5167
Therapy Animals Bring Lasting Comfort
It only takes a few minutes with Renee Beymer and her Puli dogs, Sari and Anika, to see the unique care animal visitors provide to residents. Like the interaction above with Renee, Sari and resident, Mike. Renee and her dogs are members of Tailwaggers—a large group of therapy animal visitors who have been faithfully coming to our campus for more than a decade!
Renee was first introduced to therapy animals when her own mother was sick in the hospital. Renee knew then that this was something she would do with her own dogs in retirement.
She is reminded often that being a therapy dog is a special calling. "The dogs have such a sense of what they are doing," Renee explains. “Anika is not a kisser at home. But as soon as she is in a care setting she lets residents hold her hand. Both Sari and Anika love to serve.”
A therapy animal is trained as a team--the animal and the person handler. “It’s more than just expecting your dog to be obedient. The person handler is an advocate for their dog and puts them in situations to be successful,” she notes.
Take an elevator ride. Renee might appear to be simply riding and chatting with another rider. But she is also assessing if the other person is comfortable around an animal and watching to protect her dog's feet as others get off and on.
And like Sari and Anika, Renee loves this work. “I see there is such a need. It allows folks to reminisce about special animal friends from the past. It’s been a real joy for me.”
Music is such a powerful force that affects people of all ages: learning the ABCs as a kid, attending your first concert or choosing the song to dance to at your wedding. Classic songs can bring back specific memories for a person who is dealing with dementia. Listening to music or playing an instrument has many benefits for dementia patients in all stages of this disease.
Music Brings Back Memories
Music ignites powerful emotions, which can bring back memories for some dementia patients. When these patients hear songs from their era, each specific song can remind them of different experiences- their wedding dance, the day their first child was born, a family road trip, etc.
Music Can Shift the Mood from Negative to Positive
There have been so many stories of how dementia patients can start the day with a bad mood, but when music from the “good old days” starts to play, they are taken back to a joyful and fun time in life. Consequently, this music that shaped their young lives can give them a positive attitude in their later years.
Music Boosts Brain Activity
The part of our brains that is stimulated when we hear music that we love is called the “salience network” and this section of our brains is rarely affected by dementia and mental illness. There are numerous examples of people whose brain activity increased when listening to music- like the man who started to communicate again after listening to songs.
Music Can Be Used as a Communication Tool with Dementia Patients
Research has shown that both visual and language memory are the first to suffer in this disease, but using music to communicate with patients can activate their brain. Caretakers can pair music with day-to-day activities so that patients can more easily develop a pattern that assists them in remembering the activity that they were doing while listening to a certain song.
Music Reduces Anxiety in Dementia Patients
Dementia patients can become easily frustrated and anxious when they can’t complete a chore or activity that they used to be able to accomplish. Putting on music, having patients dance to songs or play instruments relieves stress and can improve eye contact, engagement, etc.
As a part of our Lifelong Learning Program, we partner with MacPhail Music for Life, Northern Clay and the Bloomington Art Center to provide unique music and art therapy for our residents. Our Lifelong Learning Program promotes continued learning, encourages exploration of residents’ talents, and furthers creative expression.
Martin Luther Campus is part of the Ebenezer family of Lutheran Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care and assisted living apartments for seniors in Bloomington. We also have adult day clubs and memory care programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St. Bloomington, MN. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call us at 952.888.7751
Spending time with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s can be challenging. Activities that once brought them joy they no longer have interest in. They may be confused easily or unresponsive.
Don’t give up – there are still many family activities you can do with seniors dealing with Alzheimer’s. The key is to take it slow and focus on bonding.
This activity is an excellent way for elders to improve self-understanding. Try to keep reminiscing activities safe and remember to stop if your loved one recalls painful memories or becomes agitated. Try watching family videos or looking through photo albums. You can also watch a favorite movie or TV show from your loved one’s past.
Researchers have found that adults with advanced Alzheimer’s still respond to music. Listening to songs together is a fun way to connect with your loved one. Choose songs from their past to sing and dance to, or just sit and listen to together.
Arts & Crafts
Arts and crafts can help stimulate the brain. Remember to simplify crafts so your loved one doesn’t become frustrated. Playing with clay is a fun, textile craft. Painting, coloring, knitting and stringing are all crafts that can be easily simplified.
Chores may not sound like a fun activity on paper, but for someone with Alzheimer’s the routine of doing once-familiar tasks is extremely beneficial. Simple tasks like wiping off the table, sweeping or holding a trash bag gives your loved one a way to be part of a team and feel accomplished.
Reading is an important bonding activity. Pick a newspaper or book with large print. You can take turns or read to your loved one and ask them their thoughts on what you’re reading.
Not only is cooking fun, but you get the bonus of a tasty treat. Cooking can also easily be adapted for the ability level of your loved one. Choose a simple recipe and put them in charge or assign them an easy, repetitive task (like stirring). Cooking also goes hand-in-hand with reminiscing: start a discussion on their favorite foods growing up.
Exercise is good for both you and your loved one. Pick low-impact, low-energy activities. Walking, swimming, yoga and tai chi are all great activities to do together.
Getting outside for some fresh air is important for people with Alzheimer’s. The basic, repetitive nature of gardening is easy to follow. If your loved one isn’t up for gardening themselves, visit a botanical garden together.
Organizational tasks stimulate the brain. Have your loved one help you sort items by function, color, shape or design. You can turn organization into a game by cutting up a favorite poem and having your loved one put it back in order.
Even as Alzheimer’s becomes severe, your loved one still retains their senses. Sensory stimulation helps ground them. Try textile activities like combing hair, moisturizing their skin, shaving their face, giving them a manicure or having them interact with a textile like a soft teddy or moldable clay.
Always remember: it’s more about the process and not the result. Completing an activity isn’t as important as the time spent together. Be patient with your loved one and if they seem resistant, take a break and try again later.
Our caregivers work with your loved one to provide daily stimulation and brain-boosting activities. Our Memory Care Program at Martin Luther empowers our staff to provide compassionate and exceptional care based on current best-practices in memory care. Call Amy at 952-948-5167 for more information.
Martin Luther Campus is part of the Ebenezer family of Lutheran Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care and assisted living apartments for seniors in Bloomington. We also have adult day clubs and memory care programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St. Bloomington, MN. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call us at 952.888.7751.
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!