Resident of The Week

Ruth, a resident at Vintage Mission Viejo, was born on March 23rd, 1922 in the small town of Page, North Dakota. When Ruth was born with pyloric stenosis the doctor told her mother that they could take her to a hospital in Fargo but it was very likely that Ruth would not live. Her mother decided to keep her at home and just feed her frequent small feedings. Although she was very small and required much attention, she pulled through.

Her father was a carpenter by trade and mother was a professional seamstress. Her family owned half the city block that included barn pasture land, chicken house and a two-story building. In the summers Ruth’s siblings and friends would give plays for the neighbors in their playhouse.

Ruth graduated from high school in 1939, earning many scholarships for teaching colleges. She had really wanted to go to nursing school but it was very expensive and they wouldn’t accept anyone under 18. She went to a teachers college for 2 years and then began working as a first and second grade teacher and began organizing and directing a high school band in a small town in Minnesota as well.

On December 7th, 1941 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The other teachers and Ruth were just leaving their lunch break when they heard the news. Because nurses were desperately needed the government began a Cadet Nursing Program for high school graduates. This was Ruth’s chance. She was accepted to the program and began training at the University of Minnesota.

After attending nursing school she met her husband, George, and they married in 1948. After having kids her husband decided he wanted to start his own agency, Ruth soon began to miss her nursing career. So, as he started up his agency Ruth took refresher nursing classes and began working at the New Tustin Hospital as the supervisor.

In 1969, Ruth and George decided to move to Mission Viejo. All of the children were talked into the move. At the time, Mission Hospital was just being built and so Ruth worked with the new director as the assistant director to write the nursing policies and procedures. The hospital opened in 1971.

After staying home for a few years and having all her children marry, Ruth decided to start volunteering. Her current volunteering work ranges from taking blood pressure at the senior center to housing information booths at her church. We are so happy to have Ruth as part of the Vintage family, adding to the rich history that each resident brings with them.

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Blog Post From Don Bishop, Narrows Glen Resident

When Betty was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease we were living in a downsized, one-level home. As time moved on and cognitive ability continued to fail, it became apparent that we would need to move. She was not willing so I finally told her that “I needed to move” and that she should come with me.

We began searching the area for retirement communities. My parameters were: close to family and, if possible, within our city of University Place. We visited a number of communities and all were nice but had drawbacks. When we found Narrows Glen we liked what we saw and began regular visits to experience the lifestyle and get Betty used to the surroundings. We attended social hours and different activates for 6 months total where Betty was also able to meet many very friendly residents. The residents and staff were really the deciding factor, however, the physical plant and the landscaped grounds certainly added to the mix. So, we moved into a two-bedroom unit. It had a patio and a garden area that appealed to me. It was also very close to the main parlor and the Rose Garden.

My passion has been gardening. After moving in, I got involved in the Garden Club and was quickly put in charge. I started to care for and nurture the Rose Garden and then the Dalia Gardens, Resident Gardens, etc. A plant/grow room was assigned to me, which I took to like a “duck to water.” The next thing I knew, I was elected President of the Residence Association. This has been an interesting experience and has put me in closer contact with management and residents. I am an advocate for the residents and work closely with the management for the betterment of all. There are so many activities available for residents that there is something for everyone, from trips to Wii Sports to various outings. All make living at Vintage a great experience.

As Betty’s disease progressed, it became necessary for me to move her to the Memory Care area, as I could no longer give her the care that she needed. Again we visited before the move to view the surroundings and get better acquainted with the surroundings and staff. Some of our family was not ready for the move and some were upset with me for “just doing it,” but they stepped up and one of them took Betty out for about two hours while the others prepared her new apartment. When she was brought to the new apartment many of her favorite pictures and belongings were in place. This was their way of trying to make her feel more at home. She has adjusted well and seems happy, has made many friends and is close so that I can visit frequently. The rest of the family is happier now and actively visiting as well.

The staff is just remarkable in what they do. The staff is familiar with all the idiosyncrasies of the residents and they know how to deal with them. For example, if I go to visit and it is time for me to leave, Betty doesn’t usually want to say goodbye. Immediately the staff will interject and get Betty actively helping them with another project so that she can be diverted – something that I can’t do on my own.

We have never looked back at the decision to move to Narrows Glen and it has made everything so easy. It was the right move for us and the timing was good.

This post was written by Don Bishop who is a resident at Narrows Glen, a Vintage Senior Living community located in Tacoma, Washington.

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Ask The Expert, Episode 3

Is it better for you to try and care for a loved one alone? David Hahklotubbe, Gerontologist and Executive Director of Vintage Sonoma explains why it is a bad idea. Hahklotubbe also discusses caregiver burnout and why we shouldn’t delay a decision to move our loved ones.

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Glossary of Helpful Senior Living Terms

Searching for assisted living and a little lost on the lingo? Here’s a list published by the Assisted Living Federation of America detailing all those confusing acronyms and words:

http://www.alfa.org/alfa/Glossary_of_Terms.asp

 

Some of the most commonly used are:

  • Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) – Bathing, dressing and grooming, walking and moving about, eating, toileting, and other personal care tasks.
  • Independent Living Units – Units that may include some basic services such as meals and housekeeping. Sometimes also referred to as “Instrumental Activities of Daily Living” or IADLs)
  • Caregiver or (CNA) – Refers to day-to-day caregivers in senior living settings who may aid with medications, dressing, dining, ambulating, etc. These are often certified professionals (Certified Nursing Aides)
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) – A community that offers several levels of assistance, including independent living, assisted living and nursing home care. It is different from other housing and care options for seniors because it usually provides a written agreement or long-term contract between the resident and the community, which offers a continuum of housing, services and health care system, commonly all on one campus or site.
Visit vintagesenior.com to find a location for you with the best ADLs and CNAs!
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Preserving WW2 Memories of Love and Devotion

Vintage Senior Living is partnering with the nationwide campaign of “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive!” to preserve the legacy of the “Greatest Generation.” The aim is to recognize their selfless contributions and inspire a renewal of national unity by gathering thousands of shared stories and photos from couples in love during World War II.

Each of our Vintage communities are scanning photos of Couples in Love from WWII and love letters to send to Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive. Photos collected from residents and the community will contribute to capturing the essence of the generation’s devotion, courage and self-sacrifice. Photos of couples with one of both in uniform, wedding photos and love letters exchanged between home fronts and battle fronts will provide future generations a unique window into the hearts and souls of the era’s “ordinary heroes.” You are invited to submit photos and love letters at a Vintage location near you. To find a location nearest you please visit www.vintagesenior.com. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Testimonials

There are many things that can make a house feel like a home.  At Vintage the residents mention multiple aspects that help give them peace of mind. Our staff naturally creates a personal relationship with each resident and their family. Besides creating friendships with the staff, our residents thrive socially. On any given day you can find them out with the other residents at an outing or participating in one of our many planned activities. But you don’t need to take our word – hear it from the residents and families themselves.  They will share why Vintage is a place they call home.

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Cycling for a Cause

The team at Vintage Narrows Glen in Tacoma, Washington puts their legs on the line in the fight to End Alzheimer’s. Eric, a staff member at Vintage Narrows Glen, rode his bicycle for 8 hours and raised over $1,200 for the Alzheimer’s Association! Vintage Narrows Glen has wonderful staff; Eric is only one of many. Their community is nestled among 15 acres of delightfully landscaped grounds and offers Independent Living, Assisted Living and memory care for Alzheimer’s and other dementia. It has everything that one could wish for with a Jacuzzi, a fitness center and a large putting green. There is never shortage of things to do; Eric and his team lead the activity planning, which include social, educational, spiritual, recreational and exercise classes. Vintage Narrows Glen is everything you want senior living to be and more.

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