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The Wesley Community Connection

MAY 2015

Woodlawn Commons
Open House

Join us between 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. this Friday, May 15, to tour the apartments at Woodlawn Commons and become acquainted with our amenities and services. Mention this e-Newsletter and receive $500 off your first month’s rent in our Enriched Living apartments.

For more information, contact us at http://info@wesleyhealth.com 
or call 518.691.1525.

A Black and White Affair – Gatsby Style 
presented by The Adirondack Trust Company

On Saturday, May 30, join supporters of The Wesley Community at the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club for The Wesley Foundation's Annual Gala. This year's event, which starts at 6:00 p.m., will raise funds for Wesley Health Care Center's renovation of the Springs building. Don't miss this fun-filled evening of music, food and celebration of The Wesley Community's mission.

For more information contact us at http://info@wesleyhealth.com or call 518.691.1525. 

Come to Our Spring Event
at Embury Apartments 


This year’s Annual Spring Dinner and entertainment event will honor Flag Day with the theme Stars & Stripes Forever. This fun evening will take place on Friday, June 5 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Embury Café. Entertainment will be provided by Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus (Real women. Real harmony. Real fun.) The menu includes Yankee pot roast. Tickets are $15 per person or 2 for $25. See our full flyer here.

Seating is limited, so contact us soon at
http://info@wesleyhealth.com or 518.691.1565
to make your reservation.
National Nursing Home Week 

National Nursing Home Week is underway this week and runs through May 16. At Wesley Health Care Center we celebrate all of the dedicated people who have helped Wesley earn its reputation for excellence by providing superior long-term nursing care with a personal touch for over 40 years. Services at Wesley include skilled nursing for aging adults who have significant chronic medical needs and adults of other ages who require daily medical attention because of chronic illnesses. Wesley also offers a hard-to-find residential setting that can meet the light care needs of less seriously ill geriatric residents. A specialized program for those requiring care and supervision for Alzheimer's disease and dementia completes Wesley Health Care Center's full spectrum of long-term care services. Excellence, innovation and personal commitment are the standards for long-term care at Wesley Health Care Center.

8 Things Not to Say to Your Aging Parents


By Linda Bernstein for Next Avenue

 
I’m going to say something politically incorrect here: Sometimes our elderly parents make us a little nuts. (And sometimes they out-and-out drive us crazy.) We love you, Mom and Dad, but we’ve heard the story about Aunt Cissy pouring wine in the dog’s bowl so many times we can tell it ourselves — in our sleep.
 
The repetitions, the forgetfulness, the incessant asking whether we’d like a sandwich: Eventually it just happens, and out of our well-meaning mouths tumble snarky comments and insults that we really don’t mean but they … just … slip … out.
 
“Seniors often know that their memory and cognitive and physical abilities are declining, and reminders are only hurtful,” says Francine Lederer, a psychotherapist in Los Angeles who works with “sandwich generation” patients and their parents. But even when we manage to hold our tongue, frustration lingers. That’s when we have to be doubly mindful, because by repressing those emotions, we’re more likely to have an emotional outburst.
 
“You might be justifiably annoyed,” Lederer says, “but take a step back and consider how your parent must feel as she faces her diminished capacities.” When people first start “slipping,” they are aware of the loss, and they are often terrified, scared and saddened.
 
Since forewarned is forearmed, here are eight common things we often catch ourselves saying plus suggestions for less hurtful ways to say them.
 
1. “How can you not remember that!?” That lengthy discussion you had last week with your dad about getting the car inspected might as well never have happened. Seniors often lose short-term memory before long-term and forget all kinds of things we think are monumentally important, like where they put their glasses or the keys — or when to take the car into the shop.
 
Say instead: “See this sticker? If the car isn’t inspected before the end of the month, a cop will give you a very expensive reminder.” Place a few Post-its notes around — on the dashboard, fridge and bathroom mirror. Add a smiley face to keep the tone light. And if you still think your parent might forget, make the appointment then call your mom that morning to remind her.
 
2. “You could do that if you really tried.” How hard is it to change the light bulb in the table lamp? Well, if your hands shake a lot or you can’t reach the shelf where you keep spare bulbs — or you’ve grown wary of electrical outlets — very hard. Simple tasks, like tying shoes, can become next-to-impossible if you have arthritis in your fingers or your back doesn’t bend easily. And being shamed into trying something doesn’t help.
 
Say instead: “Let me watch and see where you’re having trouble so we can figure out how this can get done.” Or if you live out of town: “Ask (So-and-so) for help.” Seniors, like everyone else, want to maintain their independence. But if a project is truly beyond their capabilities and they either don't know anyone who could help (or won't ask), you might want to try to find someone who can lend a hand.
 
3. “I just showed you how to use the DVR yesterday.” Learning new technology is tough for any adult, but gadgets with lots of buttons and options pose a special challenge for someone whose cognition or eyesight is failing. Even those of us with nimble fingers and well-functioning frontal lobes can be stymied by a new device that labels the controls differently from the one we are used to.
 
Say instead: “The blue button on top turns the TV on, and there’s one set of arrows for changing the channel and another for the volume. I’ll show you again.” Better yet — ask your parents’ cable or satellite provider to recommend a senior-friendly remote control with a simple design. Some companies give these to seniors for a nominal charge. If not, purchase one at a local electronics store. Or if they’re okay following instructions, you could write or print out step-by-step directions in large, legible type and leave it near the remote or listings guide.
 
4. “What does that have to do with what we're talking about?” One minute you and your dad are discussing summer vegetables and the next he's talking about a problem with the sprinkler system. What happened? Conversations with elderly parents often “go rogue” — either because they can’t keep their mind on the thread or they are simply bored and want to change the subject.
 
Say instead: “I was telling you about my garden. You love my fresh lettuce!” If the subject is important to you, try to bring the conversation back on track without pointing a finger at the senior’s slipping powers of conversation. And to avoid suppressing genuine anger or sadness, gently explain why the conversation was important to you. Another option: Say nothing and just listen.
 
5. “You already told me that.” And you don’t ever repeat yourself? We all say things more than once — but because elderly parents seem to do it all the time, we lose our patience with them.
 
Say instead: “No kidding?! And don’t tell me that the next thing you did was . . . .” Yes, you can make a joke out of it — but only if your parent won’t feel hurt. Best-case scenario: Your mom or dad will feel amused and relaxed enough to join in.
 
6. “I want your silver tea service when you die.” This is wrong on so many levels. Even worse than casually referencing their death is the fact that you come off like a circling vulture.
 
Say instead: “I have been reading how it’s helpful for everyone if parents leave a list specifying what will be left to whom.” Stress that unless they make their wishes known, there may be conflict among siblings and other relatives. I know one woman who gave her children and grandchildren stickers which they could use to mark items they desired (by placing them in the back or on the bottom).
 
7. “Wake up! (Or shhhh!) I thought you wanted to see this.” The darkened halls of concerts, movies, plays and religious services (or even the TV room at home) cue our elderly parents that it’s time for a quick snooze — which might be OK if there aren’t people around you trying to hear the show. There’s no need to remind older people that they’re committing a faux pas. And if their hearing is diminished, they may not realize that everyone can hear them “whisper.”
 
Say instead: “Mom, I know you don’t want to miss this.” Most likely she’ll fall asleep again. Then it’s up to you how many times you want to bother with the nudges — and not take it personally that your parent fell asleep on you.
 
8. “Hel-lo?! Your grandson’s name is Ryan.” How many times have you called your husband by the dog’s name? Mixing up appellations can be a sign of cognitive impairment — or just a normal problem with word recall. The more it happens, though, the more likely it is that your parent is moving into a stage where he needs medical intervention.
 
Say instead: “It’s Ryan, Dad. Your first grandson’s name is Ryan.” There aren’t a lot of different ways to say this: The difference here is how you say it. Don’t sound critical or angry; say it gently and with a friendly smile. If your father is truly confused, he’ll probably be relieved that you’re not offended. If it’s just a slip of the tongue, he’ll be glad you’re not annoyed. If he really truly can’t remember your children’s names, you have larger issues to deal with.
 
The most important thing, Lederer stresses, is that as our parents age, we go out of our way to maintain good relationships. “When dealing with elderly people, let your motto be, ‘Reframe, don’t blame,’” she says. A slip of the tongue can unleash a world of hurt and ill will. As exasperating as elderly parents can be, spouting off without thinking will only make them — and you — feel bad.
 
 Copyright© 2014 Next Avenue, a division of Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.
 

 
Thank you for your interest in The Wesley Community! 

To learn more, visit www.TheWesleyCommunity.org or use one of these links:

Embury Apartments
Evergreen Adult Day Services
Outpatient Therapies
Wesley Health Care Center
Woodlawn Commons
Ways To Give To Wesley

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Employment Opportunities: http://www.thewesleycommunity.org/employment/
Copyright © 2015 The Wesley Community, All rights reserved.


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