Posts Tagged: life enrichment

Music and Memory Gives the Gift of Music

“We experience a deeper connection to events in our lives that we associate with music,” says Nick Viti, OTR/L, Manager of Life Enrichment at The Cedars. “Certain songs conjure up very rich and specific memories. For anyone experiencing memory loss, music is a powerful tool.” Thanks to a generous new grant from the nonprofit group Music and MemorySM, The Cedars has exciting new ways to use the power of music to help residents preserve and protect their memory, calm or uplift their emotions and enrich their lives. The Cedars received the entire Music and MemorySM  program, an assortment of iPod shuffles, headphones and music downloads as part of the grant. Staff are working with families and loved ones to craft customized playlists for each resident, and to choose music connected with events in each resident’s life story. “Do you ever turn up the radio on your way to work...

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Exploring Watercolor at The Osher Inn Assisted Living

When Nancy Meyer arrives at the Osher Inn at The Cedars Retirement Community, she unpacks watercolor paints, brushes and paper. Eager hands await the materials, ready to get to work adding color and personal flair to the watercolor paper. Teaching and facilitating watercolor painting with seniors has had a great effect on Meyer, a New York native who now calls Baldwin home. “It’s so rewarding,” said Meyer. And the Osher residents love it, her many loyal attendants wouldn’t miss her class. Nancy focuses on nature in her watercolor sessions, bringing pieces of the natural world inside especially for those who are unable to go out-of-doors. It may be apple blossoms, flowers or pumpkins. These special still-life subjects are sure to bring smiles, said Meyer. “I learn from them,” she said, of her students. Some smile, paint and have a great time. Others are slowed down by the details. Others...

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Skilled Care: Six Ways to Make the Most of Your Visits

          Melanie Desjardins, MSW, Household Coordinator on the Shapiro Neighborhood at The Cedars Personal visits can make a big difference for loved ones who live at The Cedars. Although our Life Enrichment Department offers several activities, arriving with a planned activity can make your visit more pleasant and meaningful for both you and your loved one. Here are some creative things to do while visiting: Bring photos of family and friends from days gone by and/or recent photos of their house or hometown. Help your loved one write letters or send cards to people. Together, start to create a photo album, framed photograph collection or a poster to hang in their room. Cook your favorite family meal together in our Life Enrichment kitchen. Create a life story to frame for all staff to see. Write about the great life of your loved one! Play word and...

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In Good Company with Angie D’Amours from The Cedars Retirement Community

  As I get to know the many, wonderful members at The Atrium at The Cedars in my role as Marketing Representative, I frequently find myself surprised by what I hear.  Members often explain their reasons for choosing our retirement community: proximity to downtown Portland, sense of security from our continuum of care, or relief from the burden of home ownership.  Once they arrive, although they may have expected the warm welcome from our community, they are often amazed to find themselves developing new friendships. Real, true friendships with peers who share their stories, provide fellowship and offer support.  It seems that this facet of their lives, this idea of relishing the company of friends, was a book already read and returned to the shelf. Once our members at have an opportunity to live without the worries and difficulties that come with aging, the possibilities of living a fuller life...

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The Cedars: The Value of Companionship As We Age

“We have the same basic needs and desires in our later years,” explains Richard Marino, MD, Medical Director at The Cedars. “We need friendships and companionship. Relationships improve the quality of our lives, and can actually extend our lives.” It has been observed that mortality rates slightly decrease just prior to major holidays and life events, suggesting that spending time with those that we love has a beneficial effect on our survival. Research has shown that sexual activity and other forms of physical and emotional affection lowers the risk of depression in seniors.* That’s why Dr. Marino makes it a priority to support healthy, consensual relationships that form at The Cedars— and why loved ones should, too. “Our staff respects the privacy of our residents,” he says. “We work closely with families to resolve any concerns about consent or their loved one’s care, and we work closely with residents to...

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Volunteering at The Cedars

The 89 year history of The Cedars as a non-profit is steeped in the tradition of volunteering. In 1927 The Cedars Auxiliary was formed and these dynamic women collected a nickel a week to build The Jewish Home of Aged on Portland’s Munjoy Hill. Today, volunteering at The Cedars is as important – and robust – as ever. The Cedars has over 70 volunteers who give their time to the residents who live here – and last year graciously contributed over 3200 hours! What do these generous men, women and young adults do at The Cedars? Volunteer positions include friendly visitors, activity assistants, pet therapy visitors, helping to facilitate religious services, hospice support, musical entertainers, bridge and cribbage game players, dining assistants, companions, technology tutors and support, book club leaders and more. In addition, our volunteers receive quarterly trainings and gather monthly for group meetings with our Volunteer Coordinator, Janine...

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The Magic of Music: Assisted Living Week at The Osher Inn

“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of our souls.” –PLATO  This week is National Assisted Living Week, an annual event sponsored by the National Center for Assisted Living.  This year’s theme, The Magic of Music, celebrates the music we’ve all created, played, listened to and enjoyed throughout our lives.  Throughout the week the residents at The Osher Inn at The Cedars will play games, sing and listen to their favorite melodies as guests share their music with us. Music is such as powerful force that brings evokes feelings of love, comfort, joy and memories of days gone by.   For people with memory issues, several studies have demonstrated the soothing effects of music and the ability to bring those precious memories back. We hope you’ll embrace music this week as we honor our residents, staff, volunteers, and families – and embrace all that music brings to our...

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Retirement Living at The Cedars: Burgeoning Community of Bridge Players

When Les Brewer first moved to The Atrium at The Cedars in the spring of 2013, he was pleased to hear that there was a standing bridge game every Thursday evening.  At the time, there were a few tables of avid bridge players who would routinely meet.  Over the course of the year, Les has taken on the role of coordinating the game and opening the fun to new players and novices alike.  “Everyone enjoys the hour and a half on Thursday nights – it keeps the mind occupied and it’s very social,” Les explains. When Les was growing up he would watch his grandparents play bridge, learning the game through observation.  Whenever there was an opportunity to play, he would join them.  In college, bridge was a popular early-evening activity in his Beta Theta Pi fraternity house at the University of Maine.  Then, while stationed in Paris, France during WWII, he would walk to the Red Cross...

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Wellness in Assisted Living: Setting a Higher Standard

During the past decade, assisted living communities have offered exercise, social, creative and educational opportunities. In recent years, senior care has been trending toward broader and deeper approaches to wellness. You’ll want to look for this higher standard as you visit assisted living communities for yourself or your loved one. The best assisted living communities have embraced a wellness philosophy that infuses the entire organization.   What are the Six Dimensions of Wellness? It is commonly accepted that six dimensions of wellness need to be present in order to age successfully. There are tangible signs that the community you’re considering has a successful wellness philosophy when these six commonly known factors are holistically integrated into all quality programming for senior life. Seen together, these dimensions optimize and improve a person’s state of health.   Physical — Centers on exercising the body to promote strength and flexibility. Advocates healthy lifestyle habits, encourages...

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The Cedars Retirement Community: Where Were You 50 Years Ago Today?

Channel 13 News joined members at The Atrium at The Cedars, today to ask them about their memories of John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963.  Four members gathered in the living room to share their recollections and the ‘loss of innocence’ that followed. Bob Ryan recalled living in New York and, once hearing the news, followed the television broadcasts and the insanity that followed.  On the day of JFK’s funeral, he closed is office and production facilities for the day.  “Everyone went to church,” he explained, ” and that was the first time I recall ever hearing the National Anthem played at Catholic mass.” Margaretmary McCann, a school teacher in Portland at the time, explained the challenge of relating the news to her fifth grade class.  “We were called into the principal’s office and told the news, and upon returning to the classroom I explained that something awful...

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