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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    globe Though she is now happily settled at AlmaVia of San Francisco Roberta hasn t lost any of her wanderlust I have traveled extensively worldwide and I would love to do more of that she says In 1945 Roberta s family moved to North Carolina from Melbourne Australia when she was a little more than a year old After a short time there her father was promoted and the family relocated to Guam where they lived in a wood framed hut Roberta was a young child at the time but has fond memories of playing on the beach shopping at the nearby Air Force base and watching tropical fish swim through tide pools It was an eye opening experience she says After two years in Guam her father was promoted to master sergeant and transferred to the Marine headquarters in Washington D C Roberta started school there until the family moved once more three years later to the Bay Area Her father worked for three more years in the Marines until he retired in 1956 and Roberta s family finally settled permanently in San Francisco Roberta began pursuing a degree at San Francisco College for Women She wasn t enthusiastic about the school s emphasis on finding a career in teaching but she found she was passionate about studying history I wasn t particularly interested in teaching but I was interested in the way things work together why things happen and what happens next Roberta says She taught briefly but soon set her sights on business She returned to school for accounting and worked as an accountant for more than two decades I found a background in history forced me to think a certain way which dovetailed with accounting and business she says While working Roberta pursued a master s degree in business administration She fulfilled this dream in 1985 by taking a class or two here and there and just pulling it together over a number of years Just one year after obtaining an MBA Roberta decided to put her career on hold when her father became ill She helped her mother care for him full time until he passed away in 1987 She also cared for her mother whose health began to deteriorate after her husband s death After her mother passed away in 1999 Roberta decided to retire from accounting and return to traveling the world as she had done with her parents when she was young Traveling allowed Roberta to rekindle her love for history Her favorite countries to explore were in regions that were formerly part of the ancient Roman Empire including Europe the Middle East Northern Africa and the islands of the Mediterranean It s absolutely fascinating Ancient Roman rule the influence of Rome and the language the way that people think It s just a fascinating thing to do says Roberta In 2014 a fall in her apartment inspired Roberta to relocate to AlmaVia of San Francisco The move has given her time

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3067 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    to keep their calendars full And they ll have plenty of reasons to be busy on May 27 For the first time the California senior living communities are coming together to celebrate National Senior Health Fitness Day The focus of Elder Care Alliance s festivities will be to celebrate holistic wellness and give residents opportunities to incorporate wellness into their everyday lives Creating a Day of Health and Wellness Events We are celebrating Senior Health and Fitness Day by offering opportunities that promote wellness of the body mind and spirit for our residents and anyone from the community who would like to join us says Lisa Wright Sales and Marketing Director at AlmaVia of Camarillo A fitness class will get residents moving in the morning Participants will be seated the first half of the class and then standing to help improve balance The community teamed up with Mission Oaks Counseling Wellness Center which will provide seated massages specifically designed for seniors Soothing aromatherapy is incorporated into the massage Healthy snacks from the LIFT Levántate refreshment cart will be available throughout the day After lunch a group from the local senior center will come to the community for an afternoon walk Walkers will be split into groups based on their pace to accommodate people at various ability levels The goal is to encourage each resident to enjoy some fresh air and the company of others The day s events also include afternoon bocce ball a HealthRHYTHMS drum circle an evening yoga stretch healthy menu options at mealtimes and a loss support group Residents and visitors will receive raffle tickets for each event they complete and can enter to win a 60 minute massage at Mission Oaks It s going to get a little competitive around here Wright laughs Supporting Senior Health and Fitness The day s events as well as events at the community year round are intended to be accessible to residents of all levels of health and mobility Wright says For example aromatherapy and massage events gives residents with limited mobility a chance to participate and opens new avenues of achieving wellness Maybe they can t pick up the bocce ball and throw it but if they re interested in participating and just being a part of the energy the friendly competition and the fun it s all beneficial Wright says AlmaVia of San Francisco is also in on the action and hosting events for residents of all ability levels Activities like on site massages and outdoor meditation allow every resident to participate in some way A harpist will be playing during lunch which will include a special extra healthy menu Our goal is to reach all the senses and to bring wellness to individuals in all stages of life says Tessa Gresko Sales and Marketing Director at AlmaVia of San Francisco People can receive wellness in all different ways despite their health and individual needs Mercy Retirement Care Center will also be holding wellness events but they will

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3068 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    afternoon of traditional Irish entertainment put on by the United Irish Societies of San Francisco Performances include step dancers Kerry dancers bagpipers storytelling a fife and drum band and more The entertainers range from dancers as young as 4 to singers well into their 70s The show has been a tradition at AlmaVia of San Francisco for more than a decade Allison Zalko Life Enrichment Director says it is the most popular event of the year The residents enjoy the Irish dance performances and to see that energy in the room is wonderful she says Residents are so amazed by the performances they talk about it for days Margaret McAuliffe who organizes the event also sees a positive reaction from residents year after year She says that it isn t uncommon for residents to start lining up outside the dining room early to secure a front row seat McAuliffe says that residents are always delighted to see the young children performing the complicated dances in traditional Irish costumes The event is also popular with the groups that participate Valerie McGrew Vice President of the United Irish Societies says that all the performers look forward to visiting AlmaVia each year Everyone is very friendly Every time we go in there it s like being welcomed into someone s house she says The event is about more than providing entertainment It gives residents a chance to interact with community members from multiple generations After the show residents and performers mingle and snack on Irish soda bread Zalko says that residents appreciate the chance to meet new people and enjoy the company of so many different age groups It also provides some with a chance to reconnect with old friends One AlmaVia resident used to participate in events at McAuliffe s son s

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3069 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    didn t say much and he tended to keep to himself That didn t deter Resident Assistant Ronnie Dickens who leads the community s daily morning meeting for residents living in AlmaVia of San Francisco s memory care neighborhood He s accustomed to meeting people who aren t immediately comfortable engaging with others He started inviting Jerry to the 30 minute daily briefing The meeting typically starts with residents introducing themselves and talking about how they re feeling then Dickens takes over He shares the date and weather report a listing of resident and celebrity birthdays a printout of international and national news the lunch and dinner menus and daily activity highlights The session ends with a poem morning prayers and a sing along Part of Memory Care Best Practices The morning meeting is more than a chance for residents to get information it is a critical part of Elder Care Alliance s memory care best practices says Resident Care Director Leondra Banuelos These meetings are largely for residents in the early stages of dementia those seniors who retain some short and long term memory and are fairly independent Getting the day s news grounds residents in the present reducing anxiety and keeping them engaged Banuelos says Most seniors who participate in the morning meetings actually convene earlier in the day for coffee and breakfast together They arrive at the meetings in a good mood cracking jokes and bantering back and forth Initially Jerry resisted Dickens daily invitations to join the group The senior while mobile has a limited ability to read and tends to mumble Eventually Dickens good natured invites won Jerry over and he started attending the meetings even reading from a songbook He sings songs such as California Here I Come You are My Sunshine and other tunes popular with his generation Dickens says Jerry has become sunnier and started talking to other residents He ll talk about different parts of his life things he doesn t mind sharing Dickens says It promotes conversation Banuelos believes morning meetings along with other arts related activities and exercise make a significant difference and help seniors thrive in the community We really see that the residents don t decline as rapidly she says In fact when she meets with colleagues to discuss memory care issues related to the residents there s often little to talk about Most residents are sleeping and eating well with few health care related issues that would require hospitalization Health Benefits of the Program Memory care focused on engaging seniors with the present and with each other works Communities with engagement focused programming such as AlmaVia of San Francisco tend to have fewer falls hospitalizations and emergency calls to 911 than their assisted living counterparts Banuelos says Jerry is living proof He continues to do well at AlmaVia of San Francisco in large part due to those morning meetings It gets him started alert ready for the rest of the day which includes exercises with a

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3070 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    Heart of Gold award for AlmaVia of San Francisco James is very dependable organized and willing to help in every way he can says Allison Zalko Life Enrichment Director at AlmaVia of San Francisco He is dedicated to AlmaVia and genuinely cares about our residents and the community Helping AlmaVia Residents Get Around San Francisco Li s main responsibilities involve coordinating the transportation of residents to medical appointments and getting residents to and from scheduled activities outside the community During his downtime Li helps with errands for residents or staff members in other departments He sometimes helps residents fix problems with their electronics and one day he received an unusual request One of our resident council members used to be a civil rights activist says Li And now even in retirement he still believes those things really matter The resident wanted to voice his opinion on the approval of an upcoming San Francisco Presidio area development project but he wasn t familiar with using email He found the email address of the politician s office and wanted to write a letter says Li So I assisted in that and then with the email conversation that went back and forth Through this ability to voice his opinion on an important subject the resident gained a sense of accomplishment by doing what he loved being an advocate for issues in the community Five Years With Elder Care Alliance Acts of kindness like this coupled with a strong work ethic commitment to the team and genuine connections with residents and employees helped Li earn the Heart of Gold award To mark the occasion AlmaVia of San Francisco hosted a celebratory bash with both employees and residents Li recently gained another point of pride within the Elder Care Alliance ranks by reaching his five

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3071 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    community brought residents together in a fun atmosphere centered around fostering health and happiness Dr Madan Kataria created laughter yoga 20 years ago to help improve physical mental and emotional health The practice is based on the philosophy of enacting joyfulness It is a no impact physical technique blending intentional laughter and breathing exercises it can be performed by anyone in any environment while sitting Laughter has a huge benefit for the human body says Miller who embraced the power of laughter as a late stage cancer survivor and has been teaching laughter yoga for five years since studying under Kataria When you laugh your heart contracts faster increasing oxygen flow to the body and brain Advocates for laughter yoga say it works as a natural pain reliever helps to reduce stress and tension and can even boost the immune system Laughter also serves as an excellent treatment for depression because it helps to improve your emotional disposition says Miller Senior Health Emotional Wellness Miller encourages people to just come and observe even if they don t want to join in She wants everyone to feel comfortable and safe from the beginning even though the idea of planned laughter can feel well silly The exercises revolve around the idea of intentional or forced laughter The human body doesn t know the difference between real laughter and artificial laughter says Miller so the health benefits are the same While the exercises may start with intentional laughter pretty soon because we are social creatures it becomes genuine she says Miller s goal is for each participant to be relaxed and have a good time You just have to make eye contact and fake it till you make it she says As people look at each other and see friends laughing they start

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3076 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    transition to hospice as seamless as possible working alongside families to ensure loved ones needs are fully met What is Hospice Care The word hospice used to carry a negative connotation and for some it still does But some of the trepidation can be alleviated though education Once people understand what hospice care really does they embrace what it can do for their loved one says Kaitlyn Woodward Memory Care Director at AlmaVia of San Rafael Hospice is there to enhance quality of life though end of life she explains Hospice is a care program often covered by Medicare which is provided to terminally ill patients who have a life expectancy of six months or less It is designed to provide comfort and quality of life Once a patient s primary care physician makes the referral to hospice and a patient is approved she will receive access to a team of trained individuals including nurses counselors home health aides and volunteers to help provide comfort and reduce suffering Hospice can also include services for the entire family such as help with household chores and bereavement counseling These services can be extremely meaningful as families go through a tough time It s a wonderful experience for residents and families to receive that extra care says Rev Donene Blair Chaplain at AlmaVia of San Rafael They really care for the whole family A lack of understanding about what hospice really is causes some families to put off starting to receive care It is important to not wait because the sooner your loved one can receive hospice care after being diagnosed with a terminal illness the more comfortable she will be and the higher quality of life she will experience says Laurie McKay Care Transition Nurse at Heartland Hospice Starting hospice care doesn t mean giving up Residents can receive all the benefits of hospice while continuing to enjoy life in their community Usually there s no change to the care plan except for enhancement when hospice comes in says Woodward They supplement our care but we are still 100 percent in charge of the care plan of that resident How to Plan for Hospice Care in California Assisted Living One of the most important steps when planning for hospice care in an assisted living community is to verify that your family member s community has received a hospice waiver from the state says Blair If hospice care is something that you think will be important for your family you may want to add this to your list of questions to ask on a visit The decision to start hospice should be a mutual conversation between the patient family and the senior living community The hospice team should work with both the community and family to provide care It can be fairly seamless actually says Blair It s important to note that not all hospices offer the same services so look for one that fits your family s needs suggests McKay It s

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3077 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    close to his daughter s home was one part of his decision to join the community seven months ago Last week she dropped by with his five year old grandson and 10 year old granddaughter just to say hi on their way back from a movie I m two minutes away from my family Judd says And that s wonderful Finding Friends in San Rafael Senior Living When he s not enjoying visits with relatives Judd spends time with his AlmaVia family and takes advantage of the community s wide range of activities Joseph Sarto the community s Executive Director frequently serenades residents with impromptu piano concerts and every two weeks a woman whose father used to live in the community hosts a blackjack game A group also gathers nightly on the second floor to play various card games Judd recently taught them one of his favorites kings in the corner It s not a complicated game he says But it s fun Judd s evening card games and other AlmaVia endeavors are part of his overall goal to stay active something that he says helps the brain keep working Personalized Care for Seniors What makes life at AlmaVia of San Rafael special is the bond between residents and staff Last April Judd paused at a caregiver s office on his way out of the dining room She provided the care he needed at the time and continues to help him manage medications They check on you all the time Judd 91 year old Washington state native says If you need something and the staff can possibly do it for you they ll do it for you They really take an interest in you and you feel that That type of personalized care is one of the main reasons Judd

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3078 (2016-01-08)
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