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

Message From the Tudor Oaks Executive Director Tudor Oaks is far more than the brick and mortar buildings you see from the outside. It is made up of the people who live and work at Tudor Oaks: the residents, families and staff, who create the warm and welcoming feeling everyone experiences upon entering our community.

As part of our 40-year tradition of creating healthy Christian communities, Tudor Oaks has implemented several new programs to help employees grow and become more involved in the community. In 2015, we launched a staff mentoring program. The mentoring program is designed to give new and seasoned staff members the opportunity to get to know and learn from one another, to encourage one another, and become a part of the future of Tudor Oaks. We begin to create the sense of community during orientation as all new staff members meet with their department directors who take the time to

SPRING :: 2017

make new staff feel welcome, describe their responsibilities and outline how they work with other departments. By building these relationships and sharing information we ensure Tudor Oaks residents receive the best care and customer service possible.

In addition to our internal staff development programs, Tudor Oaks is building relationships in the greater Milwaukee area by partnering with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Through the partnership, university students have the opportunity to become part of the Tudor Oaks intern program where they receive critical hands-on experience in senior care. Tudor Oaks is currently hosting three interns on campus: one in the wellness department, a second in healthcare administration, and the third in human resources. This is the second group of interns from the University of WisconsinMilwaukee program and we look forward to a long-term and re-


warding relationship, as we help develop well-trained, well-educated, and compassionate healthcare professionals.

Through the development of these and many other programs, Tudor Oaks is looking to the future, and taking steps to ensure we offer the latest in senior living and healthcare choices.

Shanna Eckberg, Tudor Oaks Executive Director

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. A result of 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 Tudor Oaks, 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 Tudor Oaks,” 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 Tudor Oaks. Tudor Oaks Wellness Director Carmelia Wilson uses these principles as well.

– Tudor Oaks Resident Perspectives –

Mary Taugher, retired Rehab Therapist, Tudor Oaks resident


aking the decision to move out of my home was scary, because I didn’t know if I would like living in an apartment. However, after touring nine different communities, I am so happy I chose Tudor Oaks,” stated Tudor Oaks resident Mary Taugher.

The apartment I selected was one of ten apartments being renovated in the new Dogwood wing. Prior to completing the construction the staff met with new residents on a monthly basis to keep us updated. We were kept very well informed on the progress of the renovation and given an accurate timeline for our move. These meetings also gave us the opportunity to meet the other new residents and when the apartments were finally completed, it was even more exciting to make the move because we already knew our neighbors, and our apartments were just as we had planned.

While researching my senior living choices I knew I wanted a community that offered a continuing care program, just in case I ever needed extra help. What I did not expect was that I would need the extra help so soon.

“There’s a spirit of joy that is evident in the staff and community here at Tudor Oaks.” Shortly after moving to my new apartment a fall sent me to the hospital. After my brief hospital stay, rather than going to an unfamiliar place for rehab, I was able to return to the familiarity of Tudor Oaks, and stay in the rehab center on the same campus as my apartment. Going through rehab was quite a change for me because I had spent my career as an occupational therapist and managed staff develop-

ment in the therapy field, now I was going to experience therapy from the patient perspective! During my rehab stay I was very impressed with the Tudor Oaks staff. They treat residents with dignity, compassion, and patience, while encouraging us to continue to strive toward our personal goals. With their help, I have met my goals and will be returning to my apartment in next to no time. There’s a spirit of joy that is evident in the staff and community here at Tudor Oaks. Working at Tudor Oaks is more than just a job for the staff they are dedicated to a mission. Having worked in many different places during my therapy career, I can assure you that Tudor Oaks is one of the best. I couldn’t be happier about my decision and I suggest you make the move sooner rather than later.

~Mary Taugher Resident since May 2016

Betty Krupka Enjoys Tudor Oaks’ Neighborhood Atmosphere


n 1950 my husband and I built our home and we loved everything about it—the big yard, garden, and neighborhood. We were very happy there and it was a great place to raise a family and enjoy time with friends. A number of years ago we began thinking about moving to a senior living community and toured Tudor Oaks. Shortly after the tour we decided Tudor Oaks would be a great place for us to live and we put a hold on one of the apartment homes. Unfortunately, before we moved in my sweetheart passed away. Afterward, our house, full of memories, seemed so empty that I felt I needed to move on. Luckily, I already knew where I wanted to

live and with the help of my children I moved to Tudor Oaks. Moving to Tudor Oaks has been like living in a wonderful new neighborhood again. My neighbors, and the other residents are all very nice people. Each day we enjoy the restaurant-style dining where we are seated by a hostess at a table with old friends and new. We also enjoy a menu that changes daily and all the delicious food is made right here in the Tudor Oaks kitchen. The staff is great, and if I ever need something fixed in my home they are always available, they even clean my apartment twice a month. Just like the old days in our


neighborhood, I have all the social activities and friendships around me, I am very happy that I decided to move to Tudor Oaks. ~Betty Krupka Resident since August 2014

Tudor Oaks Senior Living Community S77 W12929 McShane Drive Muskego, WI 53150

Tudor Oaks 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.



Tudor Oaks 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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Tudor Oaks Magazine Spring 2017  

Tudor Oaks Magazine Spring 2017

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