Starting the Season Off Right

UpFront Jazz Band

The UpFront Jazz Band will perform on Oct 31st photo source: www.facebook.com/UpFront.Music/

Starting the Season Off Right

Whether you call it Fall, Autumn, or whatever, October marks the time of year when the temperatures get cooler and days get shorter. It is also the time people start thinking about holiday gatherings and other get-togethers, starting with Halloween.

The importance of attending these holiday parties is two-fold. Loneliness can be hard for many of us during the holiday season, but it can affect seniors the hardest. With the weather getting gloomy, seniors don’t get to be outdoors as much and may get into a cycle of just staying in the rooms or at their home.

UpFront Jazz Band

The Knights of Pythias Retirement Center understands the importance of conversation and just being around others. On Oct. 31, we will be having a Halloween event and encourage our residents to put on a costume and enjoy the Upfront Jazz Band and baked potato bar starting at 4:30 p.m.

Halloween Boo Bingo

Another Oct. 31 event, the Halloween Boo Bingo, will be held at The Luepke Center. Even if residents don’t want to get dressed up, they can still attend and have a great time. Residents are asked to bring a white elephant gift in exchange for a bingo card and friends and family of our residents are welcome to attend.

Pumpkin Carving Event

Halloween Boo Bingo

Boo Bingo at the Luepke Center Oct 31st

On Oct. 22, we will be attending a pumpkin carving event in Troutdale, OR, as part of a Seniors Harvest Fun day. There are sure to be jack-o-lanterns of all shapes, sizes, and designs on display.

There are other ways for seniors to enjoy Halloween, too. If possible, joining grandchildren for a night of trick-or-treating is a great way to get a little exercise and be close with family. Talking about school or their costumes will let the children know their grandparents want them to be happy and well.

Of course, there doesn’t have to be a special event or holiday to keep our older loved ones from feeling alone. Weekly visits or even a phone call to talk about their day will let them know their family and friends are thinking of them.

For more information on the Halloween Boob Bingo night or other Knights of Pythias events, contact us today.

Staying Active Indoors

Staying Active Indoors

No matter your age, staying active is important for body and mind. Not only do you feel better after 30 minutes of exercise, seniors who stay active can help combat diabetes, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer. Flexibility, balance, endurance, and strength are also happy side effects of moving around every day.

However, as summer gives way to fall, the chances to walk around the neighborhood every day become limited. Cold, rainy weather is no fun to spend any time in, and it can make sidewalks slippery. But that doesn’t mean seniors have to sit in a chair for six months.

Knights of Pythias provides residents with a fitness room and two morning exercise groups: yoga and sit and stretch.

Yoga

Yoga can be helpful for anyone, even those that are disabled, have problems with movement, or other health considerations. Each pose can modified to suit most fitness levels and some can be performed while sitting in a chair or wheelchair. Yoga can strengthen your body as well as improve flexibility and balance. Our Yoga classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday.

Elderly doing yoga at a retirement center in Vancouver WA

Sit and Stretch

Another way to improve flexibility is daily stretching. As we age, our muscles begin to lose some of it’s elasticity, affecting how we move around. Daily stretching keeps muscles and joints in good working condition and can be done at any age. In addition to the benefits of daily exercise, stretching can help with back pain, improve posture, and is beneficial for those who suffer from arthritis. Our Sit and Stretch classes are held at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The best part about Yoga and stretching? It can all be done indoors and out of the weather! Additionally, the fitness room is open until 8 p.m. and features treadmills, stationary bikes, weights, and a punching bag.

Since we do not have staff available to supervise, we recommend that the residents consult their doctor to figure out what the best exercise regimen would be for them.

Don’t over do it…

As with any kind of exercising, don’t over do it. As we get older, our bodies don’t respond like they used to. If you are just getting back into the swing of exercising, start slow until you feel strong enough to work out for longer periods of time. Always have access to water, too – no matter what activity you choose, staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your body.

Another helpful tip: choose activities that you are able to do or that you enjoy. This will make it easier to stick with a plan and keep you from getting discouraged. If you can find a “workout buddy,” this will also help keep you on track and you can encourage each other.

To learn more about our fitness room and exercise classes, contact Knight of Pythias Retirement Center today!

Senior Aid in Education

Senior Aid in Education

No matter where they live, Grandparents can help their grandkids in many different ways. Sure, a birthday or Christmas gift is always appreciated, but seniors can also give something more important – emotional support. With a new school year approaching, an encouraging word from a grandparents can go a long way over the next nine months.

The following is a quick list of ideas that grandparents can use to help:

  • Ask about what’s going on at school
  • Congratulate grandkids for their efforts
  • If possible, volunteer at their school
  • Learn along with kids
  • Talk about the future and planning

Ask

Grandfather and Grandson

If a grandparent shows interest in what they are learning, children learn that school/education is something of value.

If a grandparent shows interest in what they are learning, children learn that school/education is something of value. Talking about what the kids are learning about, school events, and new friends they may be making are easy subjects to broach. But, be specific with your questions – asking about the best part of the day (and the worst) will show your interest. If the children are studying a particular time in history, share what you learned by living through it.

Congratulate

When praising a grandchild for a job well done (in school or at an event), make sure to mention more than the end result. Talk about the preparation or extra work they did to help them reach their goals. It may be a cliche, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true: it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

Volunteer

If you live near enough to your grandchildren, volunteering at the school can show them how much you value education. Find out who their teachers are, or ask their parents, about what you can do to help. This could be anything from being a guest speaker to a lunch buddy – anything that shows you care about your grandchild and their education.

Learn

You’ve learned many things during your time on Earth – share them with your grandchild! Talk about your life experiences with them, help them finds books about what life was like when you were younger, or just show them how to follow a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. If you express an interest in reading, following directions, and lifelong learning, so will they.

Plan

Sometimes, school can be overwhelming. With classes, homework, and even a sport, time can easily get away from us. Let your grandchildren know you are rooting for them and that the hard work and planning for future goals will work out for the best.

After all, you did that and got a great grandchild out of it! Even if you aren’t in the same city, an occasional note or phone call will let your grandchild know you are thinking of them. It could inspire them to do the same for their grandchildren.

Safety Tips for Summer Heat

Two elderly ladies beating the summer heat

Seniors can be affected by heat-related issues faster and with great consequence than younger folks. So it’s important for them to be aware and take precautions.

Safety Tips for Summer Heat

With summer in full swing, temperatures are on the rise. For the most part, we enjoy mild summers in the Pacific Northwest. And we take advantage of the few months of sunshine we get. But, there are times when the thermometer climbs past the 80’s and into the 90’s – sometimes even triple digits. When the weather gets that warm, and sticks around for a few days, it’s time to take the proper precautions.

While many of these suggestions work for everyone, they are even more important for our older loved ones. Seniors can suffer from poor circulation and inefficient sweat glands. The inability to sweat due to certain medications, and other issues make sweltering heat more of an issue. Seniors can be affected by heat-related issues faster and with great consequence than younger folks. So it’s important for them to be aware and take precautions.

Here are a few tips our older loved ones can follow when the temperatures begin to get too high:

  1. Hydration – drinking plenty of water is a good idea every day, but even more so during warmer days. On the flip side, avoid caffeine or alcoholic drinks as those tend to dehydrate the body.
  2. Wear Proper Clothes – Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to get all bundled up to go out in the middle of summer. While it is still a good idea to cover up as much as possible with a long-sleeved shirt, pants, or long dress, make sure the clothes are made of lighter material and are a little loose fitting. Adding a large-brimmed hat will help protect your skin from the sun as well.
  3. Keep Cool At Home – If your home is not equipped with air conditioning, and you know it will be a warm day, open the windows to your home in the morning while it is still cool. As the temperature begins to rise, close the windows and shades to keep the cool air trapped in your home. In the evening, open everything up again. For safety sake, close windows at night, although second-story windows may be left open.
  4. Keep Cool Away from Home – When a string of 90-degree heat hits, it can be difficult to keep the home cool. It’s a good idea to find air conditioning elsewhere. In times of extreme heat, cooling stations are often set up around Clark County. Or you could visit the mall, go to a movie theater, or find a community center where you can spend a few hours during the warmest parts of the day.
  5. Pay Attention to Your Body – If you begin to feel faint, dizzy, or nauseous, you may be getting heat stroke. Get inside as soon as possible or call someone for help.

These are just a few ways to stay safe in the summer heat. It’s important for family members to check on older loved ones as well to make sure they are taking the proper precautions. Stopping by for a visit or even a phone call can make sure a senior is in good spirits and taking care of themselves.

Don’t forget those furry friends

One more thing to keep note of – higher temperatures can also affect pets, sometimes more dramatically. Many of the above steps – making sure plenty of water is available, staying out of the heat, and keeping the house cool can keep things comfortable for our furry friends as well. If you must leave the house, keep your pets at home. Leaving your dog in the car while you walk the mall or take in a movie for a few hours is a death sentence for our four-legged friends.

There is a lot to be aware of when the temperature goes up and up and up. But, it doesn’t mean seniors can’t enjoy the sunny days. Using the above tips, and a little common sense, can make a summer day enjoyable for all.

Summertime Activities in Vancouver WA

Summertime Activities in Vancouver, WA

Although the rainy Spring weather hasn’t left us entirely, sunnier, warmer days are in the near future. Previously, we wrote about the importance of Vitamin D, which is provided by sunlight. Increased bone growth and strength, lowered risk of disease, and eased thoughts of depression are just a few of the good side effects of Vitamin D.

And after months and months of rain and cold, it’s also just nice to be able to go outside whenever you want. With summer just around the corner, there are plenty of things to do in the Vancouver area.

Vancouver Farmers Market

This annual event starts in mid-March every year and ends at the end of October. For those seven months, 250 vendors set up shop just west of Esther Short Park. A short ride from Knights of Pythias Retirement Center, the market  is a great place to walk around for a few hours and soak up that valuable sunshine.

The market has fresh produce, flowers, and plants from local farms and gardens as well as home and garden accessories. Baked goods, delicious food, and other treats are also available and many booths provide arts and crafts. The Vancouver Farmers Market is also an excellent way to get out and socialize with other people as well, also important after a long winter indoors.

Six to Sunset Concerts

City of Vancouver Riverview Concert Series

Photo Credit: www.cityofvancouver.us

Located at Esther Short Park, the Six to Sunset concert series happens every Thursday from July 6-August 10 this year. This year, the series has quite the lineup:

July 6 – Blues and R&B performer Curtis Salgado

July 13 – R&B and Dance group Nu Shooz

July 20 – Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

July 27 – 5 Guys Named Moe, a 13-piece horn-driven band performing 60’s hits

August 3 – Coolade, providing hits from the 60’s and today

Augst 10 – Saxaphonist to the stars Patrick Lamb

These evening concerts are a perfect chance to get out and enjoy some music after the temperatures begin to cool down. The concerts end at 8 p.m., which allows a little time to walk around the park and downtown Vancouver before the sun goes down for the day.

Cruise the Couve

Happening just outside Knights of Pythias Retirement Center’s front doors, Cruise the Couve is an all-day event for classic cars and modern marvels alike. Traveling down Main and Washington Streets, there are plenty of options for food and drink as well as two locations to donate food.

Other activities include A Family Fun Zone, Racer’s Row, and Live Music. Cruise the Couve is the ideal place to watch the muscle cars of yesterday – and maybe even a wood-paneled station wagon – cruising down the main drag like they did in the 60’s.

Knights of Pythias Yard Sale

Knights of Pythias Retirement Center Yard Sale

Don’t miss the Knights of Pythias Retirement Center Annual Yard Sale July 22 9 am to 3 pm!

Another outdoor event during the summer is the annual Yard Sale at Knights of Pythias. This year, the sale is on Saturday, July 22, from 9 am – 3 pm. In the back parking lot of KOPRC. The sale is run by Camelot Lodge #1, although the resident association does have it’s own area to sell their goods.

Clothing, household items, books, furniture, and so on will all be on display for purchase. Proceeds from the Camelot Lodge sales go towards activities they sponsor throughout the community, such as monthly dinners and entertainment for Knights of Pythias residents. Hot dogs, chili, and pop will also be available.

The sun is beginning to shine with a lot more frequency, and it’s important for older friends and family to get out and enjoy it. Along with the physical improvements a healthy dose of Vitamin D can provide, the mental stimulation of getting out and socializing is important, too.

Contact Knights of Pythias Retirement Center if you have any questions about our annual Yard Sale.