McHarrie LifeTimes Fall 2020

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FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

C rocheting with a Purpose Meet Randa Greer of McHarrie Towne

What NOT to Say

When Someone Receives Devastating News

Virtual Doctor’s Visits on the Rise

The World’s First Crossword Puzzle

Conquer the Battle of the Bulge Forever

From the CEO D

uring these unprecedented times, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize our staff of 250 outstanding, hardworkMcHarrie ing, dedicated and caring people who have worked Independent tirelessly over the past year to keep our residents safe and well. I am truly honored and humbled to work with such an amazing team. McHarrie Place Everyone who works at McHarrie Life plays an Health & Rehabilitation essential role in the success of our organization. Center As we navigate this uncharted territory. Every Admissions: 315-638-2521 program on our campus, every department M c H a r r i e To w n e and each individual continues to work together through many McHarrie Independent Living challenges as our world adjusts to this “new normal.” Founda I would also like to express my gratitude for the generosity, patience and understanding of our residents and their families. McHarrie Pointe McHarrie Place It was an unexpected task to create new ways of communication Assisted Living Health & Rehabilitation and visitation while our doors remained closed. The iPad Residence Center technology and creative outdoor visits and events paved the Admissions: 315-638-2525 way to unite families in the safest way possible. We couldn’t do it without you. McHarrie Life Sage Court We certainly look forward to the day when COVID is behindFus oundation Memory Care @ McHarrie Pointe and our lives begin again. Admissions: 315-638-2525 Until then, we will get through this together and come out even stronger than ever before.

Together, as ever, as one. M c H a r r i e To w n e Independent Living Admissions: 315-638-1172

To request information about our programs, please

Mark Murphy, CEO

or visit our website at M c H a r r i e P l acall c 315-638-2521 e

Health & Rehabilitation is a publication of Center LifeTimes McHarrie Life Senior Community


7740 Meigs Road Baldwinsville, New York 13027 315-638-2521

McHarrie Life

LifeTimes Editor:FKelly o u nO’Neill-Rossi dation Director, Development & Marketing Contributing Writer: Kelly Acome

If you would like to add/remove your mailing address information, please email

Visit to read this independent review.

McHarrie Life Senior Community is a not-for-profit organization that offers a continuum of healthcare programs and services for older adults including; independent living at McHarrie Towne, assisted living and memory care at McHarrie Pointe, and short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing care at McHarrie Place. All programs and services are conveniently located at 7740 Meigs Road in Baldwinsville, New York.

Assisted Resid

Q& A FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

Inside this Issue

2 with McHarrie Life Staff



Crocheting with a Purpose

What NOT to Say. . .

12 In Special Recognition of You … 14 The World’s First Crossword Puzzle


Virtual Doctor’s Visits on the Rise

16 Conquer

the Battle of the Bulge Forever

The content in this magazine is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. Do not make any changes to your lifestyle, diet, medication or exercise routine without first discussing it with your doctor. No information in this magazine should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. Please consult with the appropriate medical professional for all of your healthcare needs and concerns.

Q& A


FALL/WINTER 2020–2021


My husband recently had a heart attack and is too weak to return home from the hospital. His doctor recommended short-term rehabilitation. Can you help him?


Yes, we help cardiac patients transition from hospital-tohome following a heart attack, cardiac surgery and other cardiac proce­dures. Our professional team of therapists works with a patient’s individual needs and specific cardiac condition to progress them at a comfortable/ safe pace while monitoring their progress and tolerance to increased activity. The goal of our program is to help patients regain their strength, endurance and functional mobility while learning to maintain any special precautions or limitations they may have during their healing and recovery. The patient’s program focuses on specific tasks they will have to do in order to function in their home safely, comfortably and successfully. Once the medical and therapy team feel the patient is ready to discharge to home, they will discuss a plan with the patient/family/caregivers. A home exercise program is established specific to the patient’s needs to help maintain function until the cardiologist feels it is appropriate for the patient to attend cardiac rehabilitation in the community. It is very important for us to establish the safest possible discharge to home which will allow the patient to continue improving their health and quality of life in the community. We also work closely with them to help decrease their chances of re-hospitalization. —Lori Crawford, PTA, Director of Rehabilitative Services, Syracuse Home


Foods that are Good for Your H ea

Q: A:

Is fat, salt or sugar the biggest problem in our diets?

There is no single nutrient or ingredient to blame for poor diets. The average American gets almost 60 percent of their daily calories from processed foods such as; pizza, fried food, hotdogs, deli meat, frozen meals, bacon, pastries, chips and sweetened beverages. The biggest problem is eating too much of those processed foods and not enough healthy foods such as vegetables, fruit, fish, and nuts. Lack of exercise is also a major contributor to our country’s 40 percent obesity rate. According to one study, only 20 percent of today’s jobs require at least moderate activity as opposed to 50 percent of jobs in 1960. The Center for Disease Control states that 80 percent of Americans do not get enough exercise which contributes to their increasing weight and declining health. —Sue Brady, Registered Dietitian, Syracuse Home


FALL/WINTER 2020–2021


Fish—choose fish that is

high in omega-3s such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout which help to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation in the body


Oats—try toasting them and add to your salad, yogurt or trail mix to help lower your LDL (bad cholesterol)



Berries— add blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries to your yogurt or cereal for heart healthy phytonutrients and soluble fiber


Nuts—enjoy a handful of healthy nuts such as almonds or walnuts to help satisfy your hunger and benefit your heart


Dark chocolate—choose at least 70 percent cocoa to reap the most health benefits from flavanols and anti-inflammatory compounds found in dark chocolate which help to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation in the body


Red, Yellow and

Orange Vegetables—

carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes, and acorn squash are packed with carotenoids, fiber and vitamins


Legumes—dried beans and lentils such as garbanzo, pinto, kidney or black beans are high in fiber, B-vitamins and minerals

8 9

Fruit—oranges, cantaloupe, and papaya are rich in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber

Green Vegetables— choose spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard/mustard greens, bok choy, broccoli and asparagus for a boost of vitamins, potassium, folate, calcium and fiber


Soy—add edamame beans or marinated tofu in a stir fry with fresh vegetables

Source: Cleveland Clinic


FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

Virtual Doctor’s V


By: Kelly Acome, Contributing Writer

trending way of communicating with your doctor is by virtual visits. A virtual visit (also known as Telehealth) is when you use your smart phone, tablet, or computer to have a live scheduled interactive conversation with a licensed medical professional. Prior to your virtual visit, the doctor’s office will help you set up a secure connection so you will have peace of mind that your health information is kept confidential. The short-term rehabilitation program at Syracuse Home saw an increase in virtual visits this past year. “In November of 2019, we scheduled our very first virtual visit for one of our short-term rehabilitation patients with her orthopedic surgeon. This was beneficial to our patient because it meant she didn’t have to leave our facility to attend the appointment. At that time, there was only one orthopedic surgeon doing the virtual visits. By March of 2020, more physicians in cardiology, infectious disease, and spine and wellness also started the visits. Since COVID-19, our virtual visits have expanded and we are doing at least two to three per week,” says Lori Crawford, Director of Rehabilitative Services at Syracuse Home.

Why should you participate in a virtual doctor’s visit?

1. Convenience—you can talk with your doctor from home, office, rehab center or while on vacation. 2. More efficient healthcare—it’s possible to have a virtual visit with several healthcare specialists at the same time. You may also have family members connect to the conference. 3. Less stress—living in upstate New York, we all worry about driving/ walking in the snow. With virtual visits, you can get the same medical care without stepping out in the weather. You also save on fuel and parking costs.

When preparing for your appointment: 1. Have a list of all medications you are currently taking. 2. Gather any data you are tracking, i.e., blood sugar, weight and blood pressure. 3. Write down any questions you may have so you don’t forget to ask. 4. Include your loved one or caregiver in the appointment, if needed. The use of virtual visits is for non-emergency or minor medical conditions only. It is not appropriate for serious conditions that require immediate attention or emergency care. If you experience any life-threatening issues, call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately. To learn more about virtual visits and how they may benefit you, contact your doctor today.

FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

Visits on the Rise



FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

What NOT to Say When Someone Receives Devastating News

A guide to helping others suffering from illness, trauma, or accident


he test results were finally in. Tom sat nervously beside his wife as the doctor read the report. “You have a rare and aggressive form of stage three prostate cancer,” he said. The news was devastating. Even though the couple have a close family and a large circle of friends, Tom decided to not tell any of his friends about his cancer diagnosis. “I couldn’t bear to listen to every person’s story and their terrible tales of death. I knew these stories were imminent and would only make this whole experience so much worse for me.” Well-meaning people do their best to offer words of comfort and reassurance to those who are in the grip of devastating life circumstances. Unfortunately, sometimes those words of comfort add more stress and fear to the person’s fragile state. Kara and her husband, John, were involved in a car accident in which Kara witnessed her husband get hit by a drunk driver. John was critically injured in the accident but survived. After his release from the hospital, the couple was completely overwhelmed by the number of people who made comments about how they should sue the drunk driver and worse yet, get rich from the accident. “It was extremely difficult for me to continue to answer very probing questions about settlements and lawsuits when all I wanted to do was turn back the clock in our lives and make my husband well again. Even though we knew people meant well, it was emotionally exhausting for us,” says Kara.

So how can you best help a loved one who has received devastating news? It’s very simple—just listen. This is truly the most important thing that you can do for someone. Let them tell their story without interruption. Do everything in your power to manage your impulse to take over the conversation or ask questions. Do NOT share your own personal story or experiences of other people in similar or worse situations. It NEVER makes the devastated person feel better and can minimize their feelings. For example, after Kara told her coworker about the car accident involving her husband, the person replied, “Well, my cousin Billy was hit by a drunk driver, decapitated and dead at the scene. You are lucky that didn’t happen to your husband.” Refrain from offering ANY advice unless asked. Overloading a devastated person with unsolicited advice is overwhelming and may make them feel worse. Avoid clichés like, “Everything happens for a reason.” There is a proper time and place to discuss why something happened but it is ultimately up to the devastated person to discover a reason. Do not express your opinions about proper behavior or judge a person’s character. This could increase their feelings of guilt, remorse or responsibility for what happened.

FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

Do not assume a person is religious. Unless you know the person very well, do not push prayer or share your religious beliefs unless you are invited to do so. Accept that you cannot take away their pain and suffering. It’s human nature to want to help but overloading a person with too much emotional outpouring can cause further stress.

What is helpful to say:

I am so sorry. I am here for you. I will check in with you. You mean the world to me. I will help you through this. I am thinking of you. Would you like me to…. Perhaps we could make plans to go out when you are feeling up to it.


Do not go into “Vigilante Mode.” Although it’s natural to feel fiercely protective of your loved one, it’s not the time to get angry, become vengeful or plan an attack that could inadvertently lead to more devastation. Keep confidences. Do not share the person’s devastating news with others unless instructed to do so.

What NOT to say:

It could be worse. I know how you feel. I told you so. My experience was worse than yours. Why do you think this happened? It’s not as bad as you think. I’m sure it will all work out. Let me know if you need anything. Can you sue them for this? Something good will come out of this.

Ideas for Helpful Gestures:

Prepare or purchase a meal for the family Send a “thinking of you” card Purchase a restaurant or grocery gift card Mow their lawn, rake leaves, shovel snow, take out trash Drive the person to appointments/ or children to school Check in on them via text or telephone call


FALL/WINTER 2020–2021


ocheting FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

with a Purpose

Meet Randa Greer of McHarrie Towne!



FALL/WINTER 2020–2021


hat began as a helpful project to crochet scarves for cancer patients soon turned into a retirement hobby to raise funds for a good cause. Randa Greer of McHarrie Towne is making a difference in our com­munity by sharing her beautiful talent to help those in need. As an active member of Christ Community United Methodist Church, she sells her scarves for $10 each or two for $15 at the Election Day Bake Sale and to people she knows. Her motto is, “Keeping Your Neck Warm with Style and Color.” All proceeds from her scarves benefit the church’s Mission Team Projects including; the food pantry, high school scholarships for young adults entering the business world in Uganda, refugee support to help families settle into their new homes in Syracuse, backpack supplies for the refugee children and other neighborhood families, shoebox collection gifts for children, and personal items for “My Brother’s House” ministry. “It’s important to find something in your life that gives you a sense of hope and purpose,” says Randa. “When I first started making the scarves, I found instructions online for a broomstick lace stitch. It’s a crocheting technique from the 19th century that first began using a broomstick for the loops,” she says. The stitch creates a unique pattern that makes her scarves exceptionally beautiful. Randa crochets a wide variety of colors—and each scarf takes approximately four hours to complete. Originally from Western Pennsylvania, Randa met her husband, Dave, while working in New York City in 1966. They married in 1968 and settled in Elmhurst, Queens and eventually bought a home in Franklin Square on Long Island. Randa worked in the operations/control office at LaGuardia Airport for Eastern

Airlines doing weights and balances on the EAL flights leaving LaGuardia. She was there until 1981 when she transferred to the Syracuse Airport. Her career provided them the opportunity to enjoy worldwide travel. “We visited London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, San Juan, St. Thomas, Trinidad, Tobago, Tokyo and Hong Kong. We often took ski trips to Colorado and Utah and, one day, we flew to New Orleans just to have lunch!” When Eastern Airlines went bankrupt in 1989, Randa accepted a position at SUNY Upstate in Accounts Payable as a Travel Reimbursement Clerk. She worked there until she retired in 2011. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast area in August 2005, volunteer organizations throughout the country were swarmed with

FALL/WINTER 2020–2021


“When I first started making the scarves, I found instructions online for a broomstick lace stitch. It’s a crocheting technique from the 19th century that first began using a broomstick for the loops,” people who wanted to help. Together, Randa and Dave signed up to go with a team from Cortland, NY through United Methodist Volunteers in Mission. This marked the beginning of several awe-inspiring trips for them. Randa returned twice to the Gulf Coast, adding new skills to her repertoire—including; hanging drywall boards, spackling, sanding, flooring and other tasks associated with rebuilding. In September of 2011, the couple joined a team of volunteers to help in the Southern Tier after the Susquehanna River flooded Binghamton. This included the exhausting task of “mucking” out basements of homes full of mud, dirt, trash, and sewage. “Working with other volunteers who are giving so much time and effort to help others is such a blessing,” she says. As part of her commitment to a healthy lifestyle, Randa walks on the treadmill at the McHarrie Towne fitness center five days a week. To help keep her mind sharp, she learned how to play the guitar at church

using the cut capo method. This particular method is a very easy fingering method she learned quickly and enjoys playing in the Guitar Band at church. Although they don’t travel much these days, Randa leads an active life by tending to her flower garden during the warmer weather months, creating PowerPoints for weekly church service, playing Sudoku, and reading fictional books. “We are immensely pleased to be living at McHarrie Towne. I am grateful for the many opportunities to gather together with other residents of the community.”


FALL/WINTER 2020–2021



Recognition of You…


e want to express our most sincere appreciation for the generosity, kindness and thoughtfulness of our residents, donors, staff, volunteers, family members, and local community throughout this past year. When our visitor policy was restricted in the beginning of the year to help protect the health and well-being of our residents, our activities staff worked quickly to secure the next best way to keep families connected during the pandemic. We received a donation of an iPad and were also able to purchase new iPad technology to help our residents and family members stay connected throughout the COVID-19 crisis. “Our generous donors funded the iPad tech­nology needed to help us maintain communication between our residents and their families,” says Kelly O’Neill-Rossi, Director of Development & Marketing. “It provided a much-needed lifeline and peace of mind for everyone. We were so grateful for this opportunity.”

FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

In addition, we would like to recognize the following gifts to our organization— Dessert Cakes Cookie trays Donuts Cloth headbands Restaurant-catered meals Crocheted ear protectors Many beautiful and much-needed masks Monetary donations to support activities for residents Your generosity helped put smiles on the faces of our staff members who work so very hard every day to keep our residents safe and well. Please know we are deeply touched by your thoughtfulness and grateful for your support during these difficult times.



FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

Can You Complete the World’s First Crossword Puzzle?


he crossword puzzle celebrates its 107th birthday this year. Inventor Arthur Wynne was a writer for New York World newspaper when he was challenged to create a new puzzle for the Christmas Fun page. He debuted the world’s first crossword puzzle on December 21, 1913. It was an instant success. Wynne originally named it “Word-Cross” but four weeks after its initial debut, typesetters inadvertently transposed the words to “Cross-Word” and the name stuck. Crossword puzzles were immensely popular in the 1920’s. Dictionary sales boomed, and libraries experienced a significant increase in visitors. Today, 90 percent of newspapers throughout the world continue to publish crossword puzzles for readers to enjoy.


FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

The health benefits of doing crossword puzzles include;

McHarrie Pointe residents Nora Maslinski, (right) and MaryJane Whalen (left) have enjoyed doing their daily crossword puzzles for many years now.

Improves vocabulary Inspires creativity Lowers stress Boosts mood and productivity Challenges the mind Helps to enhance memory Creates feelings of accomplishment Are you ready to tackle the world’s first “Word-Cross” puzzle? Here are a few helpful hints. The clues are slightly different from today’s traditional crossword puzzle—instead of “across” and “down,” the clues say the numbers of the starting and ending boxes of that word. Also, both 10-11 and 19-28 have the same answer. Good luck!


1 U









5 8



9 12

15 18

13 16


Fill in the small squares with words which agree with the following definitions: 2-3. What bargain hunters enjoy. 10-18. The fibre of the gomuti palm. 4-5. A written acknowledgment. 6-22. What we all should be. 6-7. Such and nothing more. 4-26. A daydream. 10-11. A bird. N-8. A fist. 2-11. A talon. 8-9. To cultivate. 14-15. Opposed to less. 24-31. To agree with. 19-28. A pigeon. 12-13. A bar of wood or iron. 18-19. What this puzzle is. 3-12. Part of a ship. F-7. Part of your head. 16-17. What artists learn to do. 22-23. An animal of prey. 20-29. One. 23-30. A river in Russia. 20-21. Fastened. 26-27. The close of a day. 5-27. Exchanging. 1-32. To govern. 24-25. Found on the seashore. 28-29. To elude. 9-25. Sunk in mud. 33-34. An aromatic plant. 13-21. A boy. 30-31. The plural of is. Source: See the back cover of this magazine for the answers.





17 21








31 34


FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

Conquer the Battle of the


ore than 40 percent of Americans are obese in our country today. People are eating larger portions, more processed foods and sugary beverages than ever before. According to the World Health Organization, the fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between the calories we consume and the calories we burn each day. Remarkably, people have struggled with their weight for thousands of years. The first recorded fad diet dates back to the year 1037 when William the Conquerer—the first Norman King of England— invented the Liquor Diet. In the later years of his life, William’s horse could no longer carry him due to his massive weight. He was so embarrassed that he decided to stay in bed, stop eating and only consume liquor. Ironically, William lost a significant amount of weight, but the very same year, he fell off his horse and died from his injuries. Experts estimate that as many as 95% of dieters regain the weight they lost. Yo-yo dieting is the practice of repeatedly losing weight by dieting and subsequently regaining it. After you lose weight, your appetite increases and your body hangs onto fat.

Yo-yo dieting can increase your body fat percentage at the expense of muscle mass and strength, and cause high blood pressure, diabetes, fatty liver and heart disease. To end this frustrating cycle, focus on changing your eating and lifestyle habits forever. Once you establish a new way of eating that helps you lose weight and maintain a healthy one, you will never have to “go on a diet” again.

So what can you do to maintain a healthy weight for life? ● Learn what to eat and how to balance your

diet (Consider consulting with a dietician or nutritionist) ● Commit to daily exercise to help burn the

calories that you consume ● Practice portion control and eat slowly ● Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each

night ● Make sure you are drinking at least six glasses

of water each day ● Pay close attention to your liquid intake to see

if your beverages contain added sugar/calories ● Avoid regularly eating empty calorie foods but

allow yourself a treat once in a while ● Learn how to manage stress through

meditation or exercise especially if you consider yourself a “stress eater”


FALL/WINTER 2020–2021

Bulge Forever The average American dines out 4.5 times per week. The American Heart Association recommends some easy swaps that will help you make healthy choices for both dining out and home cooking.



Top Rated Weight Loss Apps: 1. Noom—best at personal coaching

2. Numi—great

✘ bacon, sausage and fatty, salty meats ✘ white bread, rice and pasta ✘ cream-based or cheese soups ✘ deep-fried, pan-fried, extra crispy, creamed, stuffed foods

✘ French fries ✘ refried beans ✘ sour cream, queso ✘ salty sauces like soy, teriyaki, cocktail, au jus ✘ all-you-can-eat, supersize, buffet ✘ traditional desserts, cookies, ice cream ✘ soda, sweet tea, sugary cocktails

✔ skinless chicken, fish, lean meat ✔ whole-grain bread, rice and pasta ✔ broth-based soup with lots of veggies ✔ grilled, sautéed, roasted, steamed, baked, poached

✔ baked potato or side salad ✔ pinto or black beans ✔ guacamole, pico de gallo ✔ light sauces flavored with herbs, spices, vinegar, wine

✔ a la carte, light menu, salad bar ✔ fresh fruit and fruit-based desserts ✔ water, 100% juice, diet soda, seltzer, spritzers Source: Consumer Affairs

for people with diabetes

3. Weight Watchers— good for people who are on-the-go

4. Beach Body on Demand—best pick for athletes

5. Lose it!—great for tech savvy dieters

6. Aaptiv—ideal for music lovers

7. Fat Secret—perfect for dieters on a budget

8. Happy Scale—good for long-term weight loss

9. Seconds Interval Timer HIIT—great for home exercisers

10. My Net Diary—perfect for long-term health tracking




Can Brain Games Protect Our Memory?


rain games offer fun and challenging ways to “exercise” our minds. Millions of people of all ages enjoy crossword, word scramble, sudoku, chess, online game challenges, card games and so much more. Although studies are inconclusive about the role brain games play in our risk for dementia, they may help our thinking skills such as processing speed, planning skills, reaction time, decision making and short-term memory. The best thing you can do for your brain health — and to protect against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia — is to adopt and maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle, says Dr. Julie Brody-Magid, clinical director of the Memory Disorders Assessment Clinic at Harvardaffiliated McLean Hospital. Data supports embracing multiple lifestyle factors, such as not smoking; eating a diet based on ample whole fruits and vegetables, like the Mediterranean and MIND diets; doing regular cardiovascular exercise; managing stress; and limiting alcohol. “It is also critical to manage blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels,” says Dr. Brody-Magid. Source: Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School








Answer key for crossword puzzle on page 15.

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