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The Importance of Friendship in Senior Living Technology Making Life Better for Seniors Starting an Exercise Program After Age 60 SPRING 2017


Greetings from Thorne Crest’s Administrator Chris Schulz

Believe it or not, we’re approaching our first full year since completing the community renovations. Gone is the dust and noise of construction and now the residents are enjoying all the new amenities and have a beautiful community to call home.

With the completion of the redevelopment you may have noticed ads promoting the “All New Thorne Crest.” While we remain proud of the Thorne Crest heritage, we are equally excited about the “New” Thorne Crest, and look forward to what the future of our expanded community holds. In the past year the wellness center and programs have become a centerpiece of our community. In fact, we have seen such interest we added a part-time wellness assistant to help out. Fitness and wellness classes are held five times a day, and we offer different levels to accommodate everyone’s needs. Resident’s routinely use the swimming pool and attend aquatic classes, in truth, classes are so popular that even those who initially had little interest in exercise have become regulars!

SPRING :: 2017

Another result of the redevelopment is the expanded living choices that now include a dedicated assisted living area. The new assisted living area has its own dining room and lounge area where residents can gather to socialize with family and friends, or to engage in activities with other residents. To make it easy for family and friends to visit those in assisted living, we have created a separate entrance on the south side of the community.

Residents have also seen changes in the health center wing where we have added a new wellness room to help residents improve mobility, flexibility, and strength. A couple other highlights in the health center are a remodeled dining room and a beautiful new day room. The final piece that really makes Thorne Crest such an outstanding place to live and work is our staff. Thorne Crest has been recognized by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid as a 5-Star Community. This rating is not easily attained or maintained, and requires a focused, professional


and caring team to ensure residents receive the care they need and deserve. At Thorne Crest we work hard to find the best staff and keep them, with ongoing training and employee appreciation and together we make our campus a great place to call home.

If you are interested in senior living for yourself or a loved one, we invited you to stop by and take a look around the New Thorne Crest.

~Chris Schulz , Thorne Crest 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 and 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 Thorne Crest, 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 ABHM’s Mountain Vista Senior Living Community in Colorado 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 start 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 Thorne Crest. Contact our Wellness Director Leah Atz today to learn more.

Thorne Crest Resident Spotlight:

Marge and Roger In Iowa, back in the early 50’s Marge met Roger Lonning. Shortly after both graduated from Waukon Iowa High School they married in 1953.

the special vacations they plan for each grandchild when they turned 10 years old. Of all their travels together the trip to Norway remains a family highlight.

In 1957, after serving in the US Navy for five years, Roger was recruited by the elementary school director into teaching at Hawthorne Elementary, which is right across the street from Thorne Crest. He continued teaching at Hawthorne until 1961, when he transferred to the Albert Lea school district and became a very well-respected librarian. If you ask around the community, people remember Roger as the high school librarian, always very knowledgeable and willing to help kids with any assignment.

For Marge and Roger church has always held an important place in their lives, so Roger, in addition to his regular teaching position, also taught high school and adult Sunday school. He kept up his double duty for 40 years and has many fond memories of the kids he taught both at the high school and through his church.

Marge and Roger eventually started a family and have three children Stuart, Kathy, and Steven who have all gone on to have very successful lives and careers. Their family has continued to grow and they now have eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. Throughout their years together Marge and Roger have always loved to travel. The couple is particularly fond of

Assisted Living NeSpwecReialsiOdeffentr! Save up to



When you move to Thorne Crest Assisted Living

Offer good through 6/30/17

Marge and Roger were also dedicated to their community. Over the years Roger was involved with numerous volunteer groups and, in fact, at one point thought he should spend a little more time and home. However, reflecting on the past he is proud of the example he set for his family. As for Marge, she beMeet the New Marketing Director

Catherine Buboltz

Catherine brings 25-plus years of sales and marketing experience to Thorne Crest. Previously Catherine was the digital sales manager for KIMTTV in Mason City and before that the advertising director at the Albert Lea Tribune. She enjoys being involved in organizations that benefit our community, including the Chamber of Commerce, Blue Zones Project and the Daybreakers Kiwanis Club. She and her husband Bruce and their golden doodle, Sydney, enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.


Marge and Roger Lonning, Thorne Crest residents

came famous around town for her “tea rings.” Friends, neighbors and numerous others recall how around Christmas Marge would begin making her famous tea rings and they could not wait to get a taste. Today, if either Marge or Roger are asked if they miss their house they respond enthusiastically, “No”, Thorne Crest is their home now. They love living in a community where everything they need is under one roof and the staff is so friendly and attentive. They enjoy participating in the activities, exercise classes, using the library, making new friends and their new apartment home which is just the want they want it, “in the crow’s nest” as Marge says.

Independent Living NeSpwecReialsiOdeffentr! Save up to



On Thorne Crest Independent Living Entry Fee Offer good through 6/30/17

1201 Garfield Avenue Albert Lea, MN, 56007 Phone 507-373-2311

Thorne Crest 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.



Thorne Crest 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. OP Tho EN HO US E

Look Inside for the new Thorne Crest Magazine!


rn W Tue eC e d sd res ne a y sd , M t ay ay ,M 1 ay 5 • 16 3• 8 6p m -11 am


You’re Invited! Thorne Crest


TUESDAY, May 16 3-6 pm & WEDNESDAY, May 17 8-11am

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

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Thorne Crest Magazine Spring 2017  

Thorne Crest Magazine Spring 2017

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