by Broadmead resident Gwen Marable
Recently, the director of the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum was appointed director of Oregon Ridge Park, both Baltimore County parks, Having worked with her as a volunteer at the Banneker Park, I inquired if she’d be interested in coming to Broadmead to present a program, since she’s now working in our community. When I mentioned this idea to the chair of the Broadmead Bird and Nature Committee, she invited me to attend a meeting. There I found a small group of interesting and interested residents who are excited about the nature at Broadmead for all seasons. The topic for discussion was how to create and plan an exhibit for the Atrium in September. Would it be birds or butterflies? Ideas flew back and forth. I reflected that nature is what brought me to live here.
by Brad Breeding of My LifeSite
Isolation is the “silent killer” affecting an estimated 8 million seniors in the U.S., but it is an epidemic that often goes unnoticed and untreated, according to a panel of experts who testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging in April of this year. On average, 40 percent of seniors are impacted by the isolation that comes with living alone and the resulting feelings of loneliness, increasing their risk for depression, dementia, and premature death.
In her Congressional testimony, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Brigham Young University, noted that a lack of social interaction is as bad or worse for seniors’ health than smoking and obesity. Dr. Holt-Lunstad shared the results of her research, which looked at data collected from 148 studies of 300,000 participants and showed that increased socialization led to a 50 percent decrease in premature mortality among seniors.
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”
― Audrey Hepburn
What makes you happy?
It’s a broad question, and the answer is unique to each person. Maybe you’re an extrovert who loves spending time out and about with friends and meeting new people. Maybe it’s traveling…seeing the world and experiencing new things. Maybe you’re more of a homebody who relishes time spent with family.
As we age, we gain the wisdom to embrace and prioritize the things that truly matter in life, things like family and friendship, health, and security. And the decision to move to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), also called a life plan community, often involves an amalgamation of these priorities.
A CCRC offers seniors the security of having ready-access to healthcare services if and when needed, which provides wonderful peace of mind. And for many it is seen as a gift to their children–they don’t want their adult children to have to go through what they did with their own aging parents.
While all of these factors are significant and valid considerations when considering a CCRC, it’s crucial to remember what I would suggest is the most important factor: your happiness. After all, this is where you are going to live. Therefore, it is imperative to do your research on the communities you are considering, and by this, I mean more than just understanding the terms of the contract (though this is absolutely vital too). You have to answer the question: Is this a place where I will be happy to live?
by Brad Breeding of My LifeSite
There are countless benefits to living in a continuing care retirement community (CCRC, also called a life plan community)–from engaging and fun social opportunities to top-notch amenities and services–but one of the chief reasons for considering a move to a CCRC is the accessibility of healthcare services if and when you need them.
A CCRC is the only type of retirement community that by definition provides services spanning the continuum of care, meaning residents can live completely independently, utilize assisted living services, or receive skilled nursing care in a healthcare center, all offered right on the CCRC campus.
A CCRC’s healthcare center, traditionally known as a “nursing home,” utilizes licensed practical nurses (LPNs), licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), as well as registered nurses (RNs). The quality of care is often quite dependent on the average hours of care per day that a resident receives from an RN versus an LPN/LVN or nurse’s aide, as well as the quality of those staff members. A community can have the nicest buildings and amenities, but if they aren’t able to attract and retain the kindest, most knowledgeable and professional staff members, residents’ care and quality of life will inevitably be impacted.
by Broadmead resident Alma Smith
May is “Older Americans Month,” and we must consider how older Americans are addressed. Are we elderly, senior citizen, older person, or older adult? Upon surveying this age group, the term “older adults” is preferred. My children in their fifties have expressed this term as one they prefer while aging.
As we “Age Out Loud,” we do this gracefully by interacting with our peers. In the Continuing Care Retirement Community where I live, there are many ways to continue to feel needed as an older adult. Volunteer for committees within the community … just find your niche.
As a member of the Maryland Continuing Care Residents Association (MaCCRA), I have been active for six years working in various positions as secretary of my local chapter and secretary and now president of the State organization. Our focus is to educate and legislate for our continuing care residents. Meetings are held semi-annually to which we invite our local legislators to update us on issues that relate to seniors that are discussed at the General Assembly session. At the state level, speakers are invited to our meetings to keep us abreast of what’s going on in the senior communities at large.