Hickory Glen Turns 30 with a Celebration!

Since the day that Leonard Sapp’s vision became reality, Hickory Glen has been doing its absolute best to provide the surrounding community with a place to really enjoy their retirement years. Thirty years ago, what was then known as Oak Terrace Apartments, opened to the public. Since then there have been countless friendships started, goals achieved, and memories made all within these walls. Recently, we were fortunate enough to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this amazing community as we reminisce upon three decades of great times and look ahead to many more.

We were deeply honored by those who chose to spend their time with us to rejoice in the celebration of our community, which so many have called home. The afternoon was kicked off by a rededication from the Chamber of Commerce which included a ribbon cutting ceremony. The day was graced by a slew of guest speakers, residents, and local professionals who joined us to commemorate the past thirty years of life at Hickory Glen. Such speakers included members of the Sapp family, Mayor Langfelder, and  former manager Gerry McCaffrey. A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation by Mayor Langfelder of a certificate from the City of Springfield declaring April 5th, 2017 official Hickory Glen Day.  Current manager Jill DelValley also spoke to those in attendance, as did Linda Loftus who has been a part of the Hickory Glen family for many of the thirty years.

There was a festive atmosphere surrounding the day as the lobby and dining room were packed with people eager to celebrate the history and future of Hickory Glen. The event was catered by Arena Food Service and Chef Shaun Moore, who delighted guests with a beautiful array of scrumptious appetizers to wow our taste buds and a decadent dessert to top it off. Jill took a few moments to recognize and honor a handful of our residents that have been happily living here for over ten years each! Martha V., a resident here, recalls having a great time at the celebration. Citing many aspects of the event, Martha says her favorite parts were “listening to the Mayor and Sapp family speak, learning about the history of Hickory Glen, and the recognition given to those residents who have been here for ten or more years.” Another resident, Rhoda A., said that she “very much enjoyed the food, happy atmosphere, and the congeniality of all who attended the event.” Many of those in attendance enjoyed the slideshows that were set up in different rooms around the building. These featured pictures from  throughout the years, so that guests could really experience the past of Hickory Glen and those who lived and worked here before. As we look back on this wonderful celebration, we can only hope and do our best to ensure that the next thirty years are just as great!

Snowed In?

SNOWED IN?

It’s that time of the year again. The cold wind is blowing in, there’s frost on your windshield, the ground is slick and snow can be as high as your knees. We all have fun memories that involve snow and the Christmassy feel. This year, our earliest sign of snow appeared on December 4, 2016, much earlier than anticipated. Ice and snow can be challenging for everyone, particularly seniors. How can you stay healthy and safe this holiday season? Here are a few tips that we think are key:

1.       Fall prevention: Per Dr. Wang from the Stanford Hospital, falls are the leading cause of death in women and men over the age of 65. It is imperative that you stay safe. Watch out for black ice; sometimes, especially on sidewalks, it is difficult to see or notice black ice on the floor. To avoid this, wear shoes that have traction soles and update your prescriptions for glasses, if possible, to prevent falls and increase the firm grip on the ground.

2.       Keep warm: According to CDC, hypothermia is major cause of death or illness with adults over the age of 65. It is recommended that you dress in layers or get a single thick coat. Cover areas of your body that are susceptible to cold; socks for feet, gloves for hands, hats for your head and ears and a scarf to protect your neck.

3.       Watch out for winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): According to Mental Health America, two million seniors suffer from clinical depression and/or SAD. Holiday traditions can trigger memories of long lost loved ones which may lead to depression. Also, having to stay home to avoid accidents or the cold can lead to depression. It is important to do happy things during the winter. A ten minute call to a loved one daily can reduce the feelings of loneliness. Participate in community activities.  If you don’t know what to do, stop by Hickory Glen Senior Living! There will always be something happening and people to interact with.

4.       Get prepared for emergencies: How? Get snow tires for your car. Make sure your engine has been serviced. Put a thick warm blanket in the back seat of your car. Prepare your homes for power outages by getting a flashlight with fresh batteries, some canned food, and bottled water.

5.       Monitor your diet: Ever heard the phrase, “Good mood, good food”? It is important to eat foods rich in vitamin D. Why? During the summer and spring, we get a lot of vitamin D from the sun. However, during the winter, since we’re barely exposed to the sun, it is important to get your vitamin D from various sources such as milk, grains and sea food.

6.       Watch out for carbon monoxide poisoning from your fireplace, gas heaters and lanterns. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors have batteries and are updated. They should be replaced every 10 years.

At Hickory Glen Senior Living, you don’t have to worry about being alone during the winter! There are fun activities planned and opportunities for socialization with other residents daily. With our staff present 24/7, you can call at any time in case of falls or any emergencies. If you still drive, you won’t have to worry about black ice or scrapping snow off your driveway because we will scrape your car and bring it to the entrance so you don’t have to walk far. If you drive, but are skeptical of the hazardous weather conditions, you can take our bus to medical appointments, grocery stores, malls, to visit family, church, and many other local places.  Our building is equipped with safety monitoring equipment in case of power outages or storm emergencies as well. Lastly, our meals have a well-balanced nutritional value with seasonal nutritional needs that can help keep you healthy during the winter season. We at Hickory Glen fret the winter season a little less knowing all we have available within our community!

Christmas Activities at Hickory Glen

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You can tell it’s the Holiday Season at Hickory Glen was wonderful. There are so many activities. On December 8th, we started the day with our knitting and crotchet circle where residents enjoyed making items for the season. Minutes later, we ventured off to listen to Christmas music performed by the Lutheran High School Choir. The “youngins”, as our residents call them, did an enjoyable performance. “I have a musical background so I’ve always loved music. I particularly loved the madrigals because it had a balanced blend of boys and girls. I was really impressed because I couldn’t do what they were doing,” Mary Lou M., a Hickory Glen resident said, after the performance.

After lunch, we had another performance called the Sleigh Ride slide and music presentation. The room was filled with the soothing sound of the golden saxophone. “The performer is from my hometown in Hillsboro and I loved every moment of his performance,” Nadine B. said. Tom and Darlene E, guests of ours, who joined us this festive season said, “It was wonderful and calming.”

Later that evening, our Guest Chef, Shaun Moore, came up with a bold menu that included: Sage rubbed pork loin with herb cider glaze, Tuscan braised beef with red wine sauce served with caramelized shallot mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. “Dinner was out of this world. I need that recipe!” Nadine B. said. One of our chefs in the kitchen, Barb A, said, “Cooking was exciting and I learned a lot from the Guest Chef while preparing the meal.” A server of ours, Schella, talked about enjoying the enthusiasm the residents and guests experienced.

To close up the evening, we had harpist Jan Mulrooney-Kuhn play beautifully and elegantly. Hickory Glen is the place to be. If you’re in town on December 15, come join us for Happy Hour with Ed Clark at 2pm. Happy Holidays!!

Shopping for Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – as most songs say.  We are three weeks away from Christmas and all the joys of gift giving, decorating trees, the plush white snow and beautiful decorations will soon start popping up in your neighborhood. It is important to understand tips to shop better and save money this Christmas.

1.      Before shopping for Christmas gifts for your friends and family, it is important to dress for the weather.  According to Health-in-Aging, older adults are at higher risk of hypothermia. Wear warm attire, shoes with rubber soles that have firm grip mechanics, and always monitor the temperature of your environment before leaving. The Illinois Highway Safety suggests keeping a warm blanket in your car in case of any emergencies.

2.      For the good stuff. Are you a penny pincher? Do you like to save money on items? Are you worried about costs? Grandkids have high demands and finding something that your friends and family want is difficult. According to Forbes List, you should prepare with three major points.

·         Make a list and prioritize your list. List the important people first and the least important people last

·         Create a budget for each person: You may or may not already know what they want. Still, it is important you make a distinct budget that fits your income.

·         Consider buying low cost items for people at the bottom of the list. A box of chocolates with a thoughtful Christmas card works well. Remember, it’s the thought that matters.

3.      A few helpful suggestions.

·         Watch out for coupons in the mail and online. A few percentages off saves a lot of money in the long run.

·         Some stores offer senior discounts on certain days. Ask the cashiers if they offer and when they offer.

·         Try to buy your gifts at one location. Choose a mall or a strip mall rather than a stand alone store. It saves time, money and the amount of trips you would have to make.

·         Take advantage of online shopping and cyber deals.

·         If shopping for individual gifts is a struggle, you can buy gift cards instead.

 

Here at Hickory Glen, we try to make holiday shopping easier for our residents. They can hop on our open bus on Friday afternoons and be dropped of at the door of the store they wish to go to! We have staff present 24/7 who are willing to assist with online ordering or bringing packages in as well. We want to make our residents’ lives as stress-free as possible, so we will do everything in our power to accommodate you during the holiday season and every other day at Hickory Glen!

 

Happy Holidays!

A Pension Program YOU may qualify to Receive!

A Place for Mom (APFM) reports that over 40% of the families they refer who move into senior living communities are veterans or spouses of veterans. They plead to senior communities to not only market to veterans, but to provide the resources necessary to help families with their search. APFM finds that “prior to speaking with APFM, 70% of families are not aware of the VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit that can help pay for senior living.” There are so many different resources available to veterans and it is crucial that families seek out the appropriate contacts to find these resources. “It’s imperative that veteran families start planning for senior living as soon as possible so they can take advantage of the A&A Pension while it’s still more widely accessible,” said Kaylin Gilkey, senior manager at VeteranAid.org. “With the proposed changes anticipated to go into effect as early as next year, proactive planning can make the difference between a veteran and their spouse living in a high-quality assisted living facility or struggling to pay for basic care costs in the future.” The Department of Veterans Affairs looks at current income, assets, and expenses when they apply, however with the new change that could come as early as 2017 will consider the applicant’s financial history over the past three years to determine whether they are eligible for the pension. This means that people who may currently be qualified for the pension may be disqualified under the new regulations.

The benefits that you attain from the VA Pension Program can potentially help you live at Hickory Glen. The money that you receive is yours to do with what you wish.

APFM has written a great guide explaining veteran’s benefits that we strongly encourage you to review – please see this link http://web28.streamhoster.com/apfmdev/apfm_ebook_veterans-guide_final.pdf. If you have any questions regarding VA Benefits or whether you are eligible, you should contact www.VeteranAid.org, www.aplaceformom.com, or you can give us a call at 217-793-0431!

 

 

Hickory Glen turns 30!

Hickory Glen will begin celebrating 30 years in the Springfield community on January 1st! We decided to share with you some of the History behind Hickory Glen.

The vision began in 1981 when Edwina Kilbride and Mr. Leonard Sapp, at the time her sister and his mother were next door at Oak Terrace Health Care Center, decided it was time to build an apartment next to the Oak Terrace Nursing Home. The location was ideal due to the closeness to health care facilities, shopping centers, and parks. The vision was farfetched because of zoning difficulties, the approval of the Springfield City Council, and six houses had to be purchased for the vision to come to fruition.

Mr. and Mrs. Sapp began their journey across the country, engaging in seminars and visiting other homes in Sun City, Washington D.C, Phoenix, Chicago and Florida. After four years of thorough planning, the ground work began in 1985. Mr. Rick Lawrence was hired as the superintendent, Mr. Sapp was his own subcontractor and Arlene Lilie was hired as the decorator.

Mr. Sapp’s exquisite taste can be seen in the balconies, interior décor, lighting, large mirrors, safety installations, and amenities. Behind every great man is a woman and Mrs. Sapp, though not recognized, played a huge part in supporting and encouraging her husband’s vision.  Oak Terrace wasn’t just a retirement home, it was “the retirement home.” The building opened to residents on January 5, 1987.

In the summer of 2001, Oak Terrace was acquired by Everest Properties. A succinct transition occurred and Oak Terrace became HICKORY GLEN.

Hickory Glen Active Senior Living transformed into what it is today—a magnificent blend of senior community living and prime independence with Mr. Sapp’s original vision in mind. What makes Hickory Glen different from a nursing home or assisted living facility? We are an independent living community that promotes activity, wellness, and engagement in our own community and in the greater Springfield community. Society has created a stereotype that all retirement communities are nursing homes where seniors are nearing the end of their lives… however Hickory Glen IS NOT anywhere close to this! Our community allows seniors to enjoy their golden years without having to deal with all the stresses that come with owning your own home. Our goal is to create a happy, warm, stress-free environment where seniors can socialize with each other and enjoy the hobbies that might have slipped away from them for one reason or another.

Many times, seniors claim they aren’t ready for ‘this type of living’ and we are here to tell you that you are more ready than you think you are! We don’t want you to give up your independence whatsoever, rather we want you to be able to enjoy your time with your spouse, family, and/or your friends. Hickory Glen encourages our residents to travel, volunteer, work, be spontaneous – our community isn’t here to hinder your dreams and goals… we’re here to help you make it all come true! Also, living in a community like ours will give your children and family members peace of mind knowing that you are living in a safe environment where someone can respond immediately if something were to happen in the middle of the night.

Hickory Glen Active Senior Living encourages you to come visit our community before you make up your mind that you are not ready for this type of living. It may be exactly what you are looking for!

Making Sense of Medications

pills

Pills! Pills! Pills! We don’t like them, but sometimes, we need them and it is necessary for daily functioning. According to the National Council on Patient Information and Education(NCPIE), seniors account for 34% of prescribed medications and 30% of over the counter medications. 2 out of 5 seniors in the category take multiple medications at the same time. It is important to monitor your medications to prevent negative side effects, misusage and to save money.

·         Know why you’re being prescribed a particular medication:. According to Duke University, two thirds of prescribed medications are either not needed or unnecessarily unsafe. It is important to verify the necessity of each medication you take. Sometimes a medication you’re taking may help for a symptom you have.

·         Keep written or typed lists of medications you have taken in the past or are currently taking: According to the NCPIE, most seniors have more than one physician at any given time. Keeping personal records may make it easier for medical professionals to understand what has worked, what’s working and what will work.

·         Verify dosage: According to the NCPIE, one out of three senior patients don’t speak to their doctor within the last year. It is important to talk to your doctor about the dosage you’re taking. Sometimes, an increase or decrease is necessary based on weight and age alone.

·         Verify side effects: I’m sure you’ve seen commercials with long lists of side effects. Still, it is necessary to understand what may happen if you take a particular medication. Also, make sure you take note of any odd changes you experience with your medication. It helps you and helps your doctor.

·         Medication compliance: According to the NCPIE, 40% of seniors are non-compliant with their medications. Remembering to take medications isn’t easy. Sometimes we forget to take them and sometimes we forget we have already taken them. Medication compliance is necessary for full health and recovery. You can buy a pill box from your local store, hire a nursing professional to help, or ask your family for help. Ask for large print labels to prevent taking the wrong medication and try to get your refills one week ahead of time.  Also, it is important not to stop taking medications until your Doctor says it’s okay to do so, even if you feel better.

·         Discuss safe storage methods: Some medications need to be stored in the refrigerator and some need to be stored at room temperature. Proper storage is important to maintain efficacy of the medication you are taking.

If you have questions about medication management, please talk to Jill or Meredith from Hickory Glen, Active Senior Living at (217) 793-0431 – they can set you up with the appropriate resources.

BMW Side Car Event at Hickory Glen

Every year, Snoopy and his motorcycle group come to Hickory Glen to give our residents a ride in their BMW Motorcycle Sidecars. This year, we were fortunate enough to have Hellar Armbruster bring his BMW bike and sidecar to Hickory Glen where over 15 residents were given the chance to take the ride of a lifetime! Hellar Armbruster is a part of the Springfield Milers, which is local bike club that formed in 1981. They have on average between 70 and 80 members who meet once a month. During the summer months (April-October) they try to have their meeting out of town so they can all ride together.
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rhoda

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Our residents love this event and it brings a lot of joy to their faces to see each other riding in the sidecar as well. Jean L. said “I loved it. I took motorcycle lessons but I had never ridden in a sidecar before. I enjoyed showing Hellar’s wife and kids around our community while he was given the other residents their rides.” Our residents enjoyed an ice cream social in the midst of riding in the sidecar. “It was fantastic! He drove fast and I told him he was going to get a ticket, but I loved it and I would do it again,” said Rhoda A. Mr. Armbruster took our residents around the block and then came back to give the next one their ride. Phyllis S. said “It was a very free feeling… I’ve never felt so free before in my life!” We sure hope that we can get the Springfield Milers to come to Hickory Glen next year because of the joy and happiness they bring to all of us! THANK YOU

BENEFITS OF SENIOR LIVING

There are many benefits of living in a senior living community.  Some of which are mentioned in the previous articles such as stress free living, decreased boredom, and better food options.  There are of course other benefits to living in a community like Hickory Glen.  According to DSC_5421APlaceForMom.com other benefits are making new friends, feeling safe and improved family relationships.  SeniorLiving.net also states that socialization and “All-Inclusive” rents are other benefits of living in a senior community.

Hickory Glen offers many opportunities to make new friends.  We have a greeter program for new residents that help people get acquainted with the community and other residents.  Many people are afraid that they will not know anyone when they move in, so we take that worry off your plate!  There are many other opportunities to get to know others living here and we have many people from many different walks of life.  People are often surprised to find a friend from the past living here.  Bob found the person that had picked he and his “girl” up over 60 years ago and took them to St. Louis to get “hitched”…….he hadn’t seen him since the day he dropped he and his bride to be off in St. Louis.  There are many of those “feel good” stories here at Hickory Glen, you might be surprised who you find here.

Often times it can be a little scary to live by yourself and just the thought that someone else is nearby can be the difference between a sleepless night and restful night.  There is 24 hour staff here at Hickory Glen and they are always just a call away.  Regular rounds are made in the building to make sure things are secure.  It is a comfort to both residents and their families to know a Hickory Glen staff member is so close.

Families sometimes worry about a parent or older relative and spend any time they have with them fixing something in the house, mowing the yard, or shopping for them. Steve said “I think you do a wonderful job here (at Hickory Glen), we do not worry so much about mom and can come enjoy a day with just her”.    The role reversal of the kids becoming the caregiver of parents can be very stressful on relationships.  Let us take some of the worrying off your plate and come simply enjoy a visit with your family member.  It will make your parent feel less of a burden and make them feel important again, making for a happier relationship.

Decreasing isolation is a large part of living a healthier life, but especially so for our older adults.  Older adults can become isolated because they no longer drive, or their friends are no longer able to get out.  Living at Hickory Glen provides many opportunities for socializing.  Not only do we have activities to participate in, but meals are also taken in our dining room with friends or there is our transportation.  We take our bus on small group outings to a variety of places, or to the grocery store.  On Sunday’s we take our residents wanting to go to their church.  John said about a trip to church on Sunday “Hickory Glen provides wonderful transportation services”.  Socializing can be different for everyone: for some it is participating in activities, for others it is simply sitting in a lobby area and watching people.  You choose how social you want to be.

Come be a part of Hickory Glen’s vibrant community.

 

Dealing with Grief Over the Holidays-Part 2

When a spouse is lost, there is a huge risk of depression and senior isolation — that can lead to a plethora of problems — which is why it’s so important to get help. There are a few ways you can help your aging parent cope:

  1. Try the holiday in a new way.

Start a new celebration or tradition by going to a different venue or home

Try to create new memories, while continuing to honor the old in subtle ways, such as through decorating, meals or family traditions

  1. Honor the lost loved one.

Light a candle or say a prayer for your loved one

Share favorite stories about your loved one

Create an online tribute for the loved one

Visit your place of worship, if applicable for your family’s belief system

  1. Consult a professionals help, if necessary.

Whether you speak to a doctor, geriatrician, geriatric psychologist or geriatric psychiatrist, as Kernisan discusses, it’s important to talk to a professional if grief is not being handled well (or if you suspect there are underlying health issues that are a catalyst of the loss!)

If a senior loved one has lost a spouse, it may be a good time to think about or consider senior living. Senior living communities can provide daily activities, socialization, friendship and happiness during retirement years.

Adult Children Who Have Lost Parents

Just as seniors who have lost a spouse are at risk for heartache during the holidays, it’s only natural that adult children who have lost their parents may be suffering. Usually parents are the hub of the holidays, and if mom or dad passed suddenly, there can be even more emotions involved, such as shock or psychological trauma.

Grief counselors agree that trying to ignore the recent death of a parent only creates more problems. It is much healthier to acknowledge the loss and either go ahead with family rituals, honoring the loved one who passed, or start new traditions, while still respectfully acknowledging the old ones. A loving parent would want the celebrations to continue, which is also important to keep in mind.

As with the seniors who have lost spouses, there are ways to cope with this heart wrenching grief:

  1. Try the holiday in a new way.

Create new memories and traditions while it may be too painful to do regular family traditions

As with seniors who have lost their spouse, attending a celebration at a different venue or home could help, while continuing to honor old traditions through decorating, meals and family nuances

  1. Honor the lost loved one.

Create a memory book to document and honor their life, accomplishments and heritage

Memorialize your parent through donations in their name or volunteering for their favorite organizations

Practice spiritual beliefs that speak to you, whether it’s through prayer or visiting a place of worship

Create an online tribute

Share favorite stories about your loved one

  1. Join a support group.

Talking to people who have experienced similar loss can be helpful as a support group offers understanding, empathy and advice from people in a similar situation

Overcoming grief and loneliness are challenges that many people face when they lose a loved one, but whether they are able to move on afterward depends on their own inner resources as well as the support they receive from friends and family. For those who are having a particularly hard time coping, Dr. Kernisan suggests medical treatment and counseling to get their life back on track.

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