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The Importance of Friendship in Senior Living Technology Making Life Better for Seniors Starting an Exercise Program After Age 60

Improvements Continue at Mountain Vista

If your house is anything like mine, home improvement is never-ending! Keeping the Mountain Vista campus looking great for residents and families is also an ongoing effort. I’ve been at Mountain Vista for nearly 18 years, and in that time we have continually made improvements and upgrades to the community. I’ve been around to see several different remodeling projects —at one point in fact, each area of the community was a different color! Today the “home improvements” at Mountain Vista continue. Our assisted living area, which first opened around the time I joined the community, is currently receiving a face lift. The project includes remodeling a number of assisted living apartments with plans to continue the renovations as apartments become available. The remodeled apartments feature warm and comforting colors, new appliances, new crown molding, new carpet, along with new granite countertops and updated cabinetry. The assisted living remodel project also includes updating common areas to ensure they are comfortable and welcoming for residents, family and friends. Our memory care building is a wonderful addition to the Mountain Vista campus. Opened within the past 18 months this new building is designed specifically for memory care residents, where the interiors reflect modern tastes and provide all modern conveniences. Private rooms offer resi-

SPRING :: 2017

Mountain Vista Memory Care Suite

dents a sense of security and familiarity that is vital to those facing memory concerns. The specially trained staff provides residents with personalized activity and care programs to meet their individual needs. There’s also a beautiful, secure outdoor garden that allows residents and their families to enjoy some fresh air. The improvements don’t stop there. Mountain Vista’s independent living cottages are also receiving a makeover. As the cottages become available, we plan to update the fits and finishes of the cottages to meet the growing demand of today’s seniors. The grounds surrounding our community will soon be revitalized with plans that may include an expanded pathway system around campus along with new gardens and landscaping. Systems within the community are also seeing improvements such as upgraded


phone and entertainment systems, and a forthcoming transition to paperless medical records. Mountain Vista is always moving forward and has a clear vision for the future, with plans to stay on the forefront of senior care. ~Mary Sawyer-Winters, Community Administrator

Mary Sawyer-Winters, Mountain Vista Community Administrator

A Friendship A Day Keeps the Doctor Away! Throughout our lives maintaining social connections is necessary for physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. For seniors, social bonds are more important than ever, but too often social networks begin to shrink just when they are needed most. By choosing to live in a senior living community residents are surrounded by a network of friends, family and peers. Activities, events, entertainment and mealtimes make it easy to meet new people. When living on a senior campus or in a community setting, friends and neighbors are close by therefore eliminating the transportation barrier that causes many seniors to feel isolated in their home. Social isolation can lead to unintended psychological and physical health risks. For example, depression, cognitive decline, impaired mobility, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and dementia. In addition, those who are socially isolated are less likely to be proactive about their health, leading to poor diet, decreased physical activity and a lower likelihood of seeking medical care. In American Baptist Homes of the Midwest (ABHM) communities like Mountain Vista, seniors can create a lifestyle of their choosing and easily maintain or expand their social circles, increase interaction and prevent the consequences isolation can have on overall health. The social aspect of a senior community is one of the key benefits our residents receive during a stage of life when many experience social isolation. New friendships form every day across ABHM communities and are often the first thing residents mention when describing how their life has improved through community living.

“It was scary leaving my home of 32 years to move to a senior living community,” said one longtime resident, “but I’ve discovered that in the sharing of memories and the daily adventures of retirement, I’ve formed deep new friendships that bring me great joy. I find it impossible to clearly express the many blessings that are freely shared here each day, person-to-person and friend-to-friend.” Paulette Webb moved to Mountain Vista during July of 2016 and said her new friendships have been an unexpected blessing. “I have made good friends here and really enjoy being social”. Paulette continues, “it’s something I didn’t even realize I was missing when I was living in my house, but now I don’t know how I lived without it!” Though they may initially feel reluctant to change, most seniors find moving to a senior living community transforms their overall quality of life. If you are experiencing social isolation, talk to a loved one about transitioning to a senior community in your area. Already living in an ABHM community and looking for more? Ask your community’s activity coordinator how you can get more involved in community life.

Technology At ABHM Communities,

Is Changing

Senior Living

For the Better

n his 18 years with American Baptist Homes of the Midwest (ABHM), IT Director Roger Hennen has seen technology transform the lives of residents, as well as the way ABHM communities manage and deliver care.


This transformation follows a trend across the senior living industry. Communities all over the country are adopting new technologies in order to create more efficient processes, provide more personalized care, and facilitate communication between families, providers and community staff. At ABHM, Roger spearheads IT initiatives and helps the senior living communities implement and adapt new systems that streamline care and enhanced resident experiences. For example, digital health records enable staff to more carefully monitor resi-

dents’ progress over time, while health information exchange systems simplify patient transitions between hospital stays, rehab and discharge. Even the dining services team has technology on their side, using software to manage dietary plans customized to the needs of each individual resident. Perhaps the most dramatic change has come from the residents themselves, and how they adapt to new technology. Roger states, “Today, many new residents arrive at our communities with laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones in tow. Eighteen years ago, that rarely happened, people just didn’t have the interest and some of the technology didn’t even exist.” He continues, “In my time with ABHM there has been a dramatic change, I see residents in their 80s using

a wide variety of digital devices and computer systems, it has become the new norm.” The use of technology has been especially lifechanging for residents who do not have family nearby. These new means of communication give residents the opportunity to talk face-toface with family and friends hundreds and even thousands of miles away. “The biggest thing now is social media,” says Roger. “I’m seeing more and more of it each week. Facebook, Instagram . . . residents are using social media to stay in touch with family.” For those who don’t own a smartphone, tablet or laptop, ABHM provides access to computers so residents can use FaceTime or Skype with distant family members. Over the last five or six years, the access and use of technology has become a routine part of daily life for residents and families. ABHM communities have Wi-Fi installed throughout all the common areas and in the health centers, networks for guests and visiting family to access and walk-up computer stations are available in each community for those who don’t have a personal computer. “People coming to our communities have grown accustomed to having access to technology,” says Roger. “It’s part of their lives.”

How to Start an Exercise Routine AFTER AGE If you haven’t made exercise a regular part of your life by the time you’re 60, you may think it’s too late. Fortunately, it’s not! Many people associate aging with physical decline that makes it difficult to exercise. In reality, physical decline is a by-product of not being active on a regular basis. And far from being too late to get started, adults over 60 actually stand to benefit from exercise even more than younger adults! Regular physical activity lowers your risk for almost every chronic illness, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and strokes. Exercise has also been proven to slow mental decline, improve mood, and increase your body’s ability to recover from injury or surgery. Increased strength and dexterity reduce the risk of falls, which are a leading preventable cause of senior hospital visits. With all these potential benefits, what’s stopping you? Here’s how to get started.


3. Consistency Over Intensity

You don’t need to run marathons to gain the benefits of regular physical activity. Even a daily walk is enough to see improvements in your overall health. The key to establishing an exercise routine at any stage in life is picking something that you can commit to doing consistently. Find something you enjoy and exercise won’t seem like such a chore.

4. Work with a Trainer A physical trainer can help you set realistic goals, find exercises that fit your body and limitations, and practice exercise safely. For example, lifting weights without proper training and guidance can risk injury. ABHM’s staff of physical therapists and trainers will work with you to design a customized fitness program that will help you reach your goals.

1. Get Approval

5. Know When to Stop

Before you start any kind of exercise program, it’s important to get clearance from your doctor. Check with your physician to make sure they don’t have any concerns about you participating in certain forms of exercise. Take any advice they offer seriously. A sudden change in activity level can be dangerous if you have a heart condition or joint problems.

When you push your body beyond what it’s used to, it’s normal to feel some soreness and discomfort. However, if you experience pain or illness during a workout, that’s a signal from your body that you should stop and rest or slow down. Warning signs include chest pain or pressure, dizziness, nausea, cold sweat, sharp joint pain, and racing or irregular heartbeat.

2. Start Small If exercise hasn’t been a regular part of your life, you’re not going to jump up off the couch and head off running down the block. Assess your physical fitness level to determine an appropriate starting point. Without knowing your baseline, it’s easy to overdo it and cause an injury. Take it slow and work up to a more strenuous routine.

With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start a new exercise routine. There’s almost nothing better for your mental and physical health than spending time outside moving your body, so get out there and go! Wellness and Fitness programs are offered for residents of all ABHM Communities, including Mountain Vista. Contact our Wellness Director TJ Sherley today to learn more.

Ruthann Hofferber: Embracing Change With Style and Grace Change in life is never easy, no matter what age you are. It can be stressful or wonderful, welcomed or necessary, but it is almost never what you expect. Sometimes you just have to accept what life gives you, adapt, and make the best of it.

expected, his passing was difficult for Ruthann. A year later she decided to sell her home, downsize and move to Aurora near her daughter Lori. However, after a year in her apartment, Ruthann and her family decided it was time to look at other living options that would enable Ruthann to live a more active and social lifestyle. That’s when she became a part of the Mountain Vista family.

Ruthann Hofferber, a new Mountain Vista resident, knows this lesson well. After weathering several years of significant life changes Recently, when asked how she she decided to join the Mountain was settling in to Mountain Vista, Vista assisted family, and has hanshe had this dled the transition to say, with style and “I participate in almost all the “When I was grace. activities. The exercise gets living in my me energized each day...” Ruthann was born apartment in in Columbia, MisAurora, it souri, eventually moving to Colwas nice to be close to my daughorado in 1947. Some 28 years ter, but I felt kind of lonely. In an later, in 1975, Ruthann met the apartment, you don’t get the love of her life, Gene. She and chance to get to know your neighGene dated for a year, then marbors the way you do here. I have ried in 1976. The couple lived a made some nice friends since full and happy life and enjoyed moving here, and don’t have to spending their free time traveling. feel lonely anymore. I participate in almost all the activities. The exIn 2014, after many happy years ercise gets me energized each together, Gene passed away. As

Ruthann Hofferber, Mountain Vista Assisted Living resident

day, and I just love Randy and Deb. My room is great, and the food is very good. I love feeling cared for.” Ruthann is a woman who has experienced a lot of changes in the past few years. With the help of her two supportive children, Lori and Scott, and their families, she has embraced each change as it’s come. Now that she’s settled into Mountain Vista, she is happy and loving life.

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Senior Living Community

PLUS Up to $1200 toward Moving Expenses! Limited time offer. Call for details.


4800 Tabor Street Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

Mountain Vista Senior Living Community is owned and operated by American Baptist Homes of the Midwest, a not-for-profit provider of senior health care since 1930.

Mountain Vista is a faith-based, not-for-profit senior living community. Our mission is to create healthy Christian communities that empower older adults. We provide choices for housing, services, and technology that enrich body, mind and spirit.



The Importance of Friendship in Senior Living Technology Making Life Better for Seniors Starting an Excercise Program After Age 60

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Mountain Vista Magazine Spring 2017  

Mountain Vista Magazine Spring 2017