Elite News – November 2016

Ashland / Jefferson

novemberElitecare_quiltshowWhat a fantastic festive October.  We went on an outing for lunch at the Spaghetti Factory. The residents so enjoyed themselves being they could relate to the décor of the restaurant and enjoyed touring all the beautiful furniture and stained glass. They also loved the Italian cuisine.

We had our annual Apple Strudel in  Adams house with Lydia. We had quite a turnout. To see the ladies in the kitchen and getting their hands in the pastry making, It  was wonderful to see them all enjoying something they truly love doing.

We had a wonderful Family Night combined with a Harvest Party in  Cascade House. The chef out did themselves preparing a delicious and unique Harvest dinner. We ended the month with our Halloween Trick or Treating party it was quite festive. All of the AC did a wonderful job decorating their houses and coming up with games for the kids to play. My compliments to all of our great AC and your creative talent, our campus looked amazing.

All of the AC dressed up in costumes and the residents had a wonderful time playing games and handing out candy with the kids. The ladies in Ashland wore either cat ears or a witch hat and there Halloween necklaces. They had fun being so involved. It was a very fun and festive evening. A fun memory for all to have.

 

Helens and Rainier

novemberElitecare_dinnerThe residents of Helens and Rainier joined together for a Harvest Feast/Family night event, which  all enjoyed very much. Everyone was full of the  delicious  food with absolutely  no leftovers.

A few residents went on a special outing to the Oregon Symphony to see Jason Alexander. They all raved about how wonderful it was.They would love to revisit the Symphony.And we have already arranged that for the month of  December.

The  Oatfield Estate campus had a Halloween safe trick or treating event. Residents dressed up and helped pass out candy, while children played a game at each house winning a prize.

For one of the outings for Rainier house, they went to Milwaukie Bowling Alley. Dorothy bowled a few strikes and was ecstatic about it.

They also went to the Spaghetti Factory for a lunch outing. Mostly everyone got a form of spaghetti and brought back left overs. It was as such a wonderful meal, Residents asked to return. .

The Resident took a scenic drive through the back roads, to see all the wonderful trees and all their vibrant colors.

Helens house hosted Healthy Moves Exercise. They played with a parachute and a ball. Residents didn’t notice that a whole hour had gone by when it was time to end.  A few residents enjoyed pet therapy with a staff member’s dog, Bella.  One resident even wanted to show others how adorable the dog is.

This coming month of November Helens and Rainier will be looking forward to a few exciting outings. We shall be going to Portland Art Museum,even touring the Cheese Factory and more. For lunch we’ll be going to Olive Garden and Spaghetti Factory. We will be having a Family night for Thanksgiving dinner on the 24th at noon.

 

Larch house, October

novemberElitecare_larchAniversaryWhat a beautiful October, we had at Larch house. We got to celebrate a 73rd wedding anniversary for an amazing and beautiful couple in Larch house. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate the day with these two!

We had an special strudel making activity for our Harvest Party. So many residents really enjoyed being involved in making and eating the beautiful desserts. There was singing and laughing, the atmosphere was magical! It was a amazing time!

We have many more great things planned for November here at the Larch House.

We’re looking forward to sharing them with you!

 

From the founder

Bill and I have enjoyed getting to know our team members at Elite Care. We appreciate all the hard work they perform with love for our residents every day. Of course, they get paid, but we want to show our appreciation when they go above the call of duty.

We want to encourage you to do the same. When you see someone being extra caring, we have a way for you to show your appreciation. Each house has a board called “You cared and I noticed”.  There are cards that you can fill out with the information of who was extra caring and what they did. On every family night, there will be a raffle and a prize. So please be observant and let everyone know about good deeds.

With Christmas approaching, often people would like to give a monetary reward to the people who take care of their loved one. As you may know, State of Oregon regulations forbids us to let you give individual gifts. We would like to facilitate you giving a Christmas thank you.  It will be added up and distributed based on how long someone has been working with us. Bill and I will match all your donations up to $10,000.

You can write a separate check made out to Elite Care Employee Appreciation account for this Christmas bonus. We will keep the money separate and then distribute with the checks before Christmas.

 

Jerrie Hogan – Hood House

By Gretchen Cole

novemberElitecare_jeriHoganJerrie moved to Oatfield Estates just a few months ago and says it’s a great place: she loves the “homey feeling” and getting to know the caregivers and cooks.  Her favorite activities are exercise classes and she is often seen walking the “Campus Loop.”

Jerrie was born in Modesto, California and grew up on a dairy ranch where she and her brothers and sisters got up early in the morning and worked late at night to help their parents with the cows.  She loved that there was always a lot to do, and has fond memories of the neighborhood kids gathering at the swimming hole by their house.  Her favorite thing was spending time with newborn calves, teaching them to use a nipple and drink from a bottle when they were separated from their mothers.

Jerrie graduated from Turlock High School and went to college in Oakland to become a nurse.  She worked for a podiatrist, providing foot care for diabetic patients, cherishing the relationships she developed with her regulars.  Nursing gave Jerrie confidence in making healthy choices for herself and her family and facing health crises when they arose.  Once an RN, always an RN – Jerrie is compelled to assist her new neighbors at Hood House when they need it.

Jerrie met her husband Dick when her older sister married his brother; they became acquainted at family gatherings, began dating and eventually married.  They had four children – Russ, Phil, Cathy and Brian – who they raised in Modesto until they moved to Canby, Oregon, where they eventually started their own metal fabrication business.

Her children are a great help to Jerrie.  Russ takes care of her home and beloved dog Lucy, an Australian shepherd named after the show “I Love Lucy”, and takes her to church every Sunday.  Brian is close by, too, and helps run the family business.  Phil lives farther away, and Cathy lives in Alaska but came to visit not too long ago; they talk and write to each other often.  Jerrie has many grandchildren, some who are in college, and her apartment at Hood House is filled with their wedding pictures.

The simple things in life matter most to Jerrie: her small church in Canby provides a great support system; she greatly depends on the Pastor whom she’s known a long time.  She loves classical music and likes to sing (except when she’s in public); she’s never been to the symphony but would like to go.  She enjoys sewing and used to make all her own clothes. And Jerrie loves gardening – she always had a garden planted with vegetables for the family, as well as several rows of berries for pies, jam and canning.  So for Jerrie, the vegetable garden is the most wonderful aspect of living at Oatfield Estates – it reminds her of home.

 

Hood/Adams

novemberElitecare_recordsThe weather has been cooling but it has been cozy and warm in Hood house. This month has been full of fun! From the Harvest Party where we had the opportunity to taste apple cider and hard cider from local businesses to Halloween Safe Trick or Treating where the residents passed out candy, played themed games at each house, pumpkin bowling at Hood House Pumpkin, bean bag toss at Adams house and socialized with the young ones and their families. Family Night, which also happened to fall on the same evening as the Harvest Party,it was an evening full of laughter and yummy fall themed foods.

We received new media items for our houses to enjoy, including a record player which had Hood house resident, Steven, on our mind. Steven was a DJ at KABOO, a former Portland radio station. When asked what his favorite tunes to play were, he said, “rock n roll”. The first day we got the record player up and running we listened to it upstairs during lunch. The music brought smiles and talk of the “old days” from our residents.

Adams house Greg is very fond of music as well ,he likes to play 20’s and 30’s music. The record player has brought so much joy for Greg, his toes were tapping and finger was dancing up a little gig! It’s brought him such joy,he had tears of joy.

 

 

 

 

 

Elite News – September 2016

Fanno Creek

Summer is nearly over! We all had great fun at Fanno Creek this August. Our busy month included an outing to Swan Island Dahlias in Canby, where we viewed the beautiful Dahlia fields as we sat in the shade eating ice cream.

We also took a tour of the Oregon Humane Society where Barb gave us a wonderful tour of the facilities and educated us on its history. Can you believe the Oregon Humane Society is 148 years old? It was founded in 1868 by noted humanitarian Thomas Lamb Eliot, and it is the third oldest humane society in the nation!

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our outing to Antique Powerland due to one hundred degree weather, but it is back on the agenda in September. We made up for it by going to Live Laugh Love Art in Tigard where we made fused glass projects that turned out amazingly well!

We have our walking club every Sunday where we walk the Fanno Creek trail to downtown Tigard. We enjoy taking a break on one of the benches and people watching before we turn around and head home. Occasionally, we walk up to Woodard Park and sit and for a few minutes and enjoy the weather and the children playing.

For our lunch outings, we visited both Hayden’s Lakefront Grill and Stanford’s in Tanasbourne where we dined on exquisite cuisine as our waiters treated us like royalty. Our dessert outings were to the famous Rose’s in Sherwood and to Shari’s in Beaverton for some of America’s best pie ala mode (although, a few of our residents decided to order banana splits this time).

Here are a few random photos of our residents!

Dick receiving a lesson in glass blowing!

Socializing

Making an Octopus during Sunday Arts & Crafts

Enjoying all the love…

From the Founder

August had many passages.

First, I would like to announce that Jamie Campbell, our operation’s manager for one year, has left. She was very important to help us get our house in order after we made major management changes last year in August. We appreciate all the hard work and guidance Jamie provided.

In the meantime, I am happy to announce that Kelly Nickerson has joined our company again. Kelly started working for us as a bookkeeper in 2001, she also was one of our first live-in families. She worked her way into marketing and was instrumental in keeping Oatfield Estates filled for several years. Her true goal, though, was to become a nurse. After she was admitted to the OHSU nursing program, she left us to become a nurse, she also worked for 5 years at Kaiser as a hospice nurse. Through a string of luck, Kelly has come back home to us. With all her past and new knowledge, we are excited to have her as our Director of Care Operations.

Moving forward, we are going once again back to the future. We are organizing towards the original 2 house model. Often times I visit Fanno Creek, which is a standalone 2 house model and I marvel at how well it runs, how calm it is. Over the years the prior management decided to be more centrally organized and run Oatfield Estates like a big campus. Even though we have 8 houses on campus, Bill and I still always wanted them to be organized with 2 sister houses working together.

We are in the process of finalizing our Organizational Chart, if you would like to see a copy, we will have some available for you in the office, just ask Mychal.

Ashland and Jefferson

This month we celebrated Marilyn’s Birthday in the Ashland house! All of the residents joined in to celebrate her special day. Marilyn so enjoyed everyone singing to her and she loved her presents; a new water bottle and a new nightgown. Marilyn’s favorite birthday treat, being a chocolate lover, was her S’mores chocolate pie. Marilyn said, “I could eat this entire pie.”

We had a great time!

Jefferson and Ashland had a great outing to an old fashioned Soda Fountain inside of an Antique store. Everyone loved the ice cream and so many of the residents enjoyed touring the store to see all the vintage items. Mary especially enjoyed looking through the store; she could relate to so many things that her parents had and that she had as a child. She had so much fun she asked if we could come back another time.

We would like to welcome our new resident in the Ashland house. Her name is Anne and she moved here from Vancouver, Washington. Anne was raised in Pennsylvania. Anne was married for 65 years and her and her husband loved to travel. Their favorite place was Victoria, Canada. Anne has 2 children, a boy and a girl. Anne has 1 grandchild and 1 great grandchild. Anne loves to do puzzles and loves the beach and enjoys sewing.  Anne loves to do activities, and she’s excited about meeting new people.

We wish her much happiness in her new home here at the Ashland house!

 

Hood and Adams

This last month was a scorcher but that didn’t stop us from exploring the city and inviting a bit of culture and fun into our lives. At the start of the month, we ate dessert at a local favorite, Tebo’s, and the following week drove down memory lane through the Columbia River gorge and viewed Multnomah Falls while sipping on hot cocoa, (it was strangely cold that day).

Numerous residents requested to go to the various flower farms in the area so to honor that request we went to Peninsula Park in Portland to visit the rose gardens. While it was beautiful and everyone enjoyed the scenery we quickly realized that it wasn’t getting any cooler so we hopped back in the bus and went to get ice cream. What better way to beat the heat, right?

Later in the month we visited the Portland Art Museum, where we observed the latest gallery showing, Native Fashion Now. Everyone was enraptured by the color and beauty of the combination of traditional native dress and high fashion gowns and jewelry. At the end of our tour we stopped to look through the gift shop and then drank some water outside the museum cafe as we rested after all the walking we had done.

To continue our downtown exploration we went to the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Old Town Chinatown in downtown Portland. The garden looked as though we had stepped out of Portland and into China. We walked along the covered bridges, through the temples and viewed art done by local artists in classical Chinese style and contemporary art. The ambiance radiated calm. After touring the garden we ended our journey in the teahouse where we enjoyed some refreshing iced tea and cookies.

As we come into this next month we have an assortment of activities and outings planned, including going to the movies, The End of the Oregon Trail Museum, visiting a local soda parlor/antique shop and much more. Though fall is upon us we will continue to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible by visiting the campus chickens, picking the last of the garden produce and sitting by the koi pond, before heading inside.

 

Table Top Bowling

“Great job Richard! You got a spare!”

Looking down the makeshift bowling lane, Richard grinned and said, “See, I told you I could do it.  Let’s see if you can beat that!”

Sitting opposite each other, residents are divided into teams. As I was assisting Susan with instructions, she throws the ball down the table receiving a Spare.

“Did I do well?” she asked.

“You got a spare,” I informed her.

“Is that good?” Susan asked.

I told her it was “Great!” A giggle escaped her lips and she gave me a hug as she went back to her seat.

Cheers, laughter, and clapping erupted through the breezeway.  The staff even got involved with assisting the residents that needed that little extra TLC.

Gloria is a pro at this event! “I used to be a bowler,” she informed us.  “This is nothing, the only thing different is that I am sitting down.”  Throwing the ball down the lane, a crash ignited the silence as the crowd watched with enthusiasm. I was delighted to hear and see roars of joyous laughter!

 

Chef’s Corner

This recipe came into my repertoire after a resident’s family asked me to make a graham cracker cake for their mom’s birthday, since that was a family tradition. After doing a bit of searching I came across some recipes, which I tweaked, and the result is a light and delicious cake that my resident and her family loved.

Graham Cracker Cake (Adapted from AllRecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup ground pecans
  • 1/2 cup sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup white sugar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line with parchment two 9 inch round pans.
  • Combine the crumbs, pecans, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and the light brown sugar until fluffy. Slowly beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Alternately add the milk and the crumb mixture while beating on low.
  • Beat the egg whites in a bowl until foamy. Add the sugar slowly, and beat to soft peaks. Fold into the crumb batter, and pour into the pans.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a rack about 10 minutes, then invert and cool completely.

(This cake goes well with many frosting combinations. A few suggestions are Vanilla Buttercream with a Salted Caramel Drizzle, or Mocha Frosting with Sliced Bananas in between the layers)

 

Michael Peter Larson – Tabor House

Michael Larson, aka “Mikey” (or Michael Peter Larson when he’s in trouble), is one of the original residents of Tabor House at Oatfield Estates and has lived here since 2014.  He has a sly sense of humor, an infectious laugh and is a joy to be around.  The twinkle in Mike’s eyes and his facial expressions make it easy to know what is on his mind, whether he’s amused or feeling stubborn.

Mike was born in 1943 and is a lifelong resident of the Portland area; he most recently lived in Lake Oswego.  He was a salesman for an electronics company for many years and is a proud veteran of the United States Army where he was stationed in Germany. His experience overseas spawned a love of travel, especially to the tropics and Asia.  His favorite destinations are Hawaii and China, and he still has a sense of wanderlust, loving to go on drives in the surrounding countryside.

Mike’s family means everything to him and he is a very proud father and grandfather.  His face beams when he speaks of his daughter, Andrea, and her husband and grandchildren who live in Oklahoma. Mike is always happy to share a book of paintings by his son-in-law, Desmond, a successful artist since he retired from the NBA, a former Seattle Sonic and Slam-Dunk Champion.

Mike’s friends are important to him as well, especially David, a former business colleague, who visits regularly and always brings delicious treats for Mike and his Tabor House family.  Mike has made many new friends on campus and is always game to partake in activities.  He never misses the annual visit from the Japanese nurses who do calligraphy for our residents.

Mike loves sports, especially soccer, basketball and football, and always roots for Oregon State.  Mike also loves movies; his favorite actor is Liam Neeson, especially in the “Taken” series.  But Mike is a softy and loves the romantic comedies best, especially “Leap Year,” his favorite movie.  Is it the happy ending, the Irish setting, or the female lead, Amy Adams? Probably all of the above, considering that Mike is such a romantic.  He wears his heart on his sleeve, enjoys the shenanigans of Tabor House and is loved by all.

                                                                                 – Gretchen Cole

Helens and Rainier

During the month of August, our Residents experienced the joy of painting and and other fun activities in an open art studio.

Then, we took a trip to the movies! We saw Kubo and the Two Strings, a story about a ragtag team of misfits fighting to save a village with unexpected powers. It is a stop-motion animated film, with some Japanese animation influences, each micro-expression produced by a single snapshot of a puppet’s face. Each movement is adjusted by a tiny little amount, and then when you play all the pictures together in quick succession, you have an animated film! Wow!

We had tons of fun doing some dance fitness, and got to visit with one of the staff members dogs. We love it when we get visits from our fluffy friends!

We celebrated the life of Lucille Phelps during the celebrations, and some of the Residents participated and lead the ceremony in a few songs.

For the month of September, we can look forward to going to the bowling alley, doing a little shopping at the Sellwood market, and visiting The End of the Oregon Trail museum. We are all looking forward to fall colors this month and hope you can join us for some of our outings.

 

Welcome Home, Kelly Nickerson

There’s nothing more exciting than welcoming one of our employees back to Elite Care

Not just any employee, one who helped build not only the foundation, but helped Bill & I create our unique philosophy.  She understood how to cultivate an environment in which our elders could thrive and experience independence for as long as possible.  Without further ado, we’d like to welcome Kelly Nickerson back to Oatfield.  I love hearing Kelly tell her story.  Not only was she our top sales and marketing representative, Kelly lived our mission, vision, and values and through this new way of living she became the poster child of Oatfield Estates.  Kelly shared our vision and helped us create simple, consistent, routines; otherwise known as SCR.  She understood BIP and if you ask her today she’ll share with you, it is the philosophy she raised her kids with.

Kelly started as a temporary employee working as an accountant. Soon thereafter, she and her baby moved into the Rainier House and assumed the role of a “live in”.  She shared her off hours with the residents; mealtimes, evening walks, movie nights etc.  She spent her weekends playing with the residents and building a sense of community for all of those around her.  Oatfield became her village, fostering the model of extended family at its finest.  One particular weekend a couple stopped by to tour and she was playing outside with her little one.  She informed the couple, marketing wasn’t available but she was happy to share where she lived.  Kelly plopped the baby in the stroller and off the two went…. to share their very own 6 acre back yard.  Kelly will tell you herself, living here reminded her of the movie, Cocoon.  However, instead of a cocoon, it was the moon the residents were drawn to; people were moonlight dancing, falling in love, laughing and having fun.

That weekend Kelly became our star marketing representative.  It wasn’t from a degree in marketing rather her love and strong sense of belonging which made all the difference in the world.  Change is inevitable and nothing lasts forever; in 2008, Kelly was accepted into OHSU’s school of Nursing Baccalaureate Program and off she went to fulfill her dreams.  Sadly, we watched her leave the nest with high hopes, someday she would return.  Well, timing is everything, Kelly returned right when we needed her most!  She now has her BSN in nursing coupled with years of Hospice experience not to mention her life experience; she has a wealth of knowledge to share with all of us.  If you have the chance, please welcome Kelly back to Elite Care: home is where her heart is!

Six (6) Things an Adult Child Looks For

In the Portland, Oregon Area, Oatfield Estates is located in Milwaukie, Oregon providing a dynamic combination of technology and professional experience which promotes safety and security with independent autonomy for elderly care.  This facility is a flagship campus location for Elite Care as the senior living facility assists and cares for dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  The culture of the retirement community is heartwarming and the architecture supports a family atmosphere for visiting, so get your mom and/or dad involved at Oatfield Estates.  It’s not home, but it’s close.

Elite Care in Milwaukie, Oregon provides technology, relationships and resident centric care where independence autonomy and respect are the hallmarks of our exceptional service. Elders thrive when a holistic approach is imbedded into the culture, natural food, bountiful activities and respect are present.  Oatfield Estates serves the Long term care market for dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases that afflict our elders. Small intimate environment reduces loneliness, independence is encouraged through respect, increase attention is achieved through small group design, lots of activities reduces boredom and the chef custom cooks from scratch to make sure diet/Nutrition is robust.

Assisited living in Portland Oregon is one of many choices to long term care that Elite Care provides

Whether your mom and dad need assisted living, foster homes, memory care, or retirement homes      understanding the different options to long term care in Portland Oregon is vital to their well-being.  Alzheimer’s and dementia do not require locked facilities.   The physical and mental decline requires love, understanding and consistency to allow the elders to thrive.  A Holistic approach that emphasizes diet, exercise and socialization minimizes the stress while maximizes their well-being.

Elite Care is special in that we provide Freedom and Autonomy with personalized care that is relationship based.  This means that the residents are the boss and maintain their independence while actively living their life to the end.

An open residential kitchen with their own chef, no hall ways and small environments increases independence and self-effacey while reducing stress.  Long hall ways, restaurant style eating and large facilities cause confusion and become a physical mental constraint to their independence.  The small groups of residents with the highest resident to team member ratio facilitates the development of new friendships and minimizes loneliness.

6 things that Elite Care does well and focuses on

  1. Maintaining their independence
  2. Increasing socialization
  3. Increasing attention
  4. Personal Activities coordinator so all residents are engaged each Day
  5. Making sure that Moving Mom is the best thing you could have done
  6. Value you will get the most for the money that is spent
  7. Having nutritious personalized meals by your personal chef

Elite Cares focuses is about making sure our residents maintain their independence while increasing their socialization and giving them lots of attention.  Their personal Activity coordinator keeps them actively engaged while their personal chef satisfies their nutritional needs through personally attending to their meals daily.  Our residents and families feel that this is the best place for mon and are receiving great value for the money they are spending.  Come see us today to truly understand how happy and alive an elder can be.

  1. Loss of independence:70% of respondents said they worried that their loved one would lose his or her independence after moving into a senior living community.
  2. Increased loneliness:66% of participants said they were concerned that their loved one would be lonely after moving into a senior living. community.
  3. Decreased attention:65% of poll-takers expressed fear that a loved one living in a senior living community would not receive the same level of attention that he or she receives at home.
  4. Boredom:63% of survey respondents said they worried that a loved one would be bored after becoming a resident of a senior living community.
  5. Boomer guilt:61% of participants said they were concerned that they would feel guilty about moving their loved one into a senior living community.
  6. Lack of funds:Almost 60% of poll-takers said they feared that their loved one did not not have enough money saved to live in a senior living community.
  7. Worsening diet:57% of survey respondents said they were worried that a loved one would not eat well as a senior living community resident.

Customize to individual needs

Chef customize to individual nutritional needs and personal preferences

Activities

Holistic approach to individualized care

All residents’ suites are connected to either the kitchen or Livingroom this increases autonomy and freedom

Short distances to great room/kitchen increases autonomy/freedom

Chef for each 12 residents individualizes nutritional needs and preferences

Chef and residents create personal relationships

Activity coordinator for each 12 residents customizes activities and exercise needs

Surrounded by activity or active lifestyle

Freedom is encouraged through small intimate spaces.  Autonomy is created by understanding the residents are the boss.

Power and self-efface is encouraged through understanding the residents are the boss.

Our Environment

Small intimate environment that minimizes the decline of elders

Culture

Recognizing the resident are the boss they pay us

Resident directed relationship base care.

Technology

Sharing with family members the events of mom’s day.

Power of Touch

What’s the key to their success? “Ikigai certainly helps,” Willcox offers. The word translates roughly to “that which makes one’s life worth living.” Older Okinawans, he says, possess a strong sense of purpose that may act as a buffer against stress and diseases such as hypertension. Many also belong to a Okinawan-style moai, a mutual support network that provides financial, emotional, and social help throughout life.

How the power of touch reduces pain and even fights disease

By Roger Dobson
Tuesday, 10 October 2006

When Jim Coan scanned the brains of married women in pain, he spotted changes that may help to shed light on an age-old mystery. As soon as the women touched the hands of their husbands, there was an instant drop in activity in the areas of the brains involved in fear, danger, and threat. The women, who had been exposed to experimental pain while they were scanned, were calmer and less stressed, and a similar, but smaller, effect was triggered by the touch of strangers.

“It’s the first study of the brain’s reactions to human touch in a threatening situation, and the first to measure how the brain is involved in the health-enhancing properties of close social relationships,” said Dr Coan, a neuroscientist at Virginia University.

Touch, a key component of traditional healing, is being increasingly studied in mainstream medicine, with some trials showing symptom benefits in a number of areas, from asthma and high blood pressure to migraine and childhood diabetes. Other research findings hint that not only does touch lower stress levels, but that it can boost the immune system and halt or slow the progress of disease.

The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine says it has carried out more than 100 studies into touch and found evidence of significant effects, including faster growth in premature babies, reduced pain, decreased autoimmune disease symptoms, lowered glucose levels in children with diabetes, and improved immune systems in people with cancer.

At the Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education in Sweden, a small trial involving 10 patients with fibromyalgia syndrome found that eight benefited from touch therapy. “The results of the pilot study are so encouraging that they warrant an extended study,'” said the researchers.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is one of a number of leading health centres in the US that now uses healing touch therapy. “Research has demonstrated that patients who receive healing touch experience accelerated wound healing and relaxation, pain relief and general comfort,” said a spokesman.

According to a Stanford University report, several studies are showing significant benefits in wound healing, pain and anxiety. It says touch therapy may also have positive effects on fracture healing and arthritis. But some studies have failed to find an effect for touch, while others have had mixed results. One review of 11 separate studies found that seven showed a beneficial effect, three showed no effect, and one had a negative effect. Two out of four studies found a significant effect, but the others showed that those who did not get the touch therapy progressed better.

Some believe the power of touch is all down to the placebo effect. “If you touch your partner they feel relaxed, but if someone else touches they may not feel as relaxed,” said Professor Edzard Ernst, a professor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter. “That is very much mind over matter. It has nothing to with the sensations of being touched, it is the expectation and the context of the intervention, rather than the specific effect of that intervention.”

While touch is used extensively for stress and anxiety and in palliative care, research is now increasingly focussing on whether it can impede the progress of a number of diseases, including depression and cancer.

At the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio, a pilot study has begun involving 120 men with localised prostate cancer, to see whether hand-healing through the complementary therapy reiki affects levels of anxiety and progression of the disease. One of the hopes is that the advance of the disease can be halted or slowed.

And at the University of Iowa, a study is looking at the effects of healing touch on 64 women with advanced cervical cancer. Researchers say the aim is to see whether touch can boost the immune system and improve the body’s natural defences against the disease.

While research such as this may suggest beneficial effects, the mechanisms that could be involved are far from clear. One of the most common findings from research, including a study at the Institute of Neurological Sciences in Glasgow, is that touch lowers heart rate and blood pressure. But how? Work at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, may provide an answer. It has shown that touch and massage can cut levels of stress hormones, which have been implicated in increasing the risk of a number of diseases. Touch many also increase levels of melatonin and of the feel-good hormone, serotonin.

Researchers at Ohio State University have found that psychological stress can increase the blood levels of hormones that then interfere with the delivery of cytokines, key immune system elements, to the site of an injury. The result, they say, is a slowing down of the wound healing process.

They also found that wounds took a day longer to heal when the patient had been involved in an argument with a loved one, and that in married couples who did not get on, wound healing took two days longer. “Wounds in the couples who were hostile healed at only 60 per cent of the rate of couples with low levels of hostility,” said Dr Janice Kiecolt-Glaser.

That finding, plus those of Dr Coan, may explain why the touch of a loved one can be therapeutic. But they do not explain why the touch of practitioners and strangers can have a similar effect. At DePauw University in Indiana, Dr Matthew Hertenstein may have found an answer. He has discovered that touch communicates emotions. When people were touched by a stranger they could not see, who had been instructed to try to communicate a particular emotion, they were able to tell the emotional state of the other person with great accuracy.

The findings show that people can communicate several distinct emotions through touch alone, including anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, and sympathy. Accuracy rates ranged from 48 per cent to 83 per cent, comparable with those found in studies of emotions shown in faces and voices. “The evidence indicates that humans can communicate several distinct emotions through touch,” said Dr Hertenstein. “Our study is the first to provide rigorous evidence showing that humans can reliably signal love, gratitude and sympathy with touch. These findings raise the interesting possibility that touch may convey more positive emotions than the face.”

What it suggests, too, is that touch is a much more sophisticated tool that previously thought. It could also explain why different trials on the therapeutic effects of touch can get differing results. It may be that touch works, but that it needs the right person, in the right mood, doing the touching.

How hugs can heal

* Hugging your partner could lower his or her blood pressure.

* Researchers have found that in younger women, the more hugs they get, the lower their blood pressure.

* Researchers at the University of North Carolina who investigated 69 pre-menopausal women showed that those who had the most hugs had a reduced heart rate.

* Exactly what could be responsible is not clear, but the psychiatrists who carried out the work also found that blood levels of the hormone oxytocin were much higher in the women who were hugged the most.

* Other research finds that oxytocin is released during social contact and that it is associated with social bonding, while a study at Ohio State University shows that when it is put into wounds in animals, the injuries heal much more quickly.

* Work at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences suggests that oxytocin can induce anti-stress-like effects, including reduction in blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol: “It increases pain thresholds and stimulates various types of positive social interaction, and it promotes growth and healing. Oxytocin can be released by various types of non-noxious sensory stimulation, for example by touch and warmth,” they say.

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Elite News – July-August 2016

Hood and Adams  
 
Adams and Hood house started this month with the amazing Fourth of July bash. There was face painting, clowns, family, friends and great food. Our Chefs did an outstanding job and everyone had an amazing time! 

We have started an “Art Studio” activity on Thursday mornings and the painting projects have been the Resident’s favorite topic of conversation as of late. We have also started a group called “Armchair Travels” learning about new places and cultures from the comfort of our living spaces. We pick a theme and/or country to start with and have a related ethnic snack of some kind.

We ended the month with a wonderful beach trip and picnic. The weather cooperated nicely and it was a clear and warm day. Perfect time to see the Oregon coast! 


Ashland and Jefferson
 
For this issue we are pleased to present the story of Resident Murial Jager! 
Muriel has lived at Oatfield Estates since October 2012. Muriel was born in New York city and was a homemaker. Her hobby was Creative Embroidery. Muriel has traveled to Hawaii, Alaska, The Holy Land, and Suez Canal.
Muriel has 3 daughters and one son. She has 110 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren, with a twelfth great-grandchild on the way. We’re grateful to Murel for sharing her life with us. 

We had an exciting outing in late July. We went to the home of Jamie Campbell (Operations Manager for Elite Care) to see where she raises bison (sometimes known as buffalo). We got to meet a “Mama” bison and a new-born baby bison, also called a calf. 

It brought so much happiness to Resident Rosie Rabinonitz, Ashland House. It brought back wonderful memories of her childhood days going to her family’s farm in South Dakota. She shared some of her memories with us, and on the way home to Oatfield Estates she told us how much fun she had and that she’d like to go again.

Foot Care Spa

“Listen to my feet and I will tell you the story of my life.” 
– John Bubbles, Father of Rhythm Tap
 
Please join us for the Grand Opening of Oatfield Estates, Foot Care Spa.  The official Grand Opening / Ribbon Cutting Event will be held on September 1st, Thursday, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm!  Heidi Corbett is a registered nurse who specializes in caring for feet! She started her nursing career in the hospital ER department and medical surgery unit. According to Heidi, it did not take long to realize her passion was in long term care. During the past twenty-five years Heidi has been in the long term care arena in some form or another; Director of Making Life Easier Home Care agency, Nursing Assistant Instructor, and Regional Director of Education with Extendicare, just to name a few.

Heidi comes to our campus with 35 years of Nursing experience and is passionate about advocating for our elders to remain active and independent for as long as possible. She believes in our philosophy, the power of touch, and loves keeping feet happy! Heidi’s passion extends well beyond nursing.  She brings with her the power of educating residents, families, and staff alike about proper preventative maintenance, offers suggestions for appropriate footwear, and provides tender touch massage to your loved one.  Heidi will make a great addition to our campus at Oatfield Estates.  Don’t miss the campus event and celebrate the grand opening for our foot care spa on August 15th, located in the Helens house, suite B4 (basement).  The schedule is filling up quickly, so hurry and schedule your loved one’s foot care appointment.  Email Heidi at corbetth6@gmail.com and msanders@elitecare.com.  Heidi will send a consent form and Mychal will add you to the schedule. 

Be good, keep your feet dry, your eyes open, your heart at peace.
~Author Unknown


 
A Place Called Home
 
Oatfield Estates is a place I called home for many years.  
Hello, my name is Jai Nickerson and I am 14 years old. In 2002, my mom began working in the Marketing Department for Oatfield Estates, and soon thereafter we moved onto campus and together we shared an apartment in the basement of the Helens House with the common area as my play-land. 
Through this experience we embraced extended family and created the role of a “Live-in”. Modeling the philosophy of extended family we were known as “the poster” children for Oatfield Estates.  
I truly thought since I romped around all over campus the entire 6 acres was “my backyard”.  I guess you could say, Oatfield Estates was my first stomping grounds.  It was a magical place where everything happened for the first time; I built my first snowman, slid down the hill (way before there was a gate), and met my first best friend.  
When my mom wasn’t touring newcomers to the campus or studying for nursing school, we were with the Residents. My mom raised me with love and kindness, surrounded by old people (now I refer to them as sacred elders). There was no judgment, just unconditional love.  
I believe Oatfield taught me many wonderful things and through my experience I have grown into a kind person with a strong love for the elderly. My mom says, “Nothing ever stays the same and change is something to embrace.”  
I must admit, it was difficult to walk back on campus.  The flood of emotions was quite intense, yet comforting at the same time. The ponds don’t seem as deep, nor do the trees seem as tall (well, maybe the one behind the office does). The faces have changed, but one thing remains constant, Oatfield is where my heart is!  
I love being back on campus, but mostly I love spending time with the Residents.  I have given myself a title: Resident Advocate.  My goal is by the end of the summer to meet every Resident, know their name, what they enjoy for fun, and most importantly, be an advocate for them.  
Please help preserve Oatfield, it’s special to me and I’m certain to many others as well.
~ Jai Nickerson, Resident Advocate


The Chefs Corner

Tip from Chef Kate for getting boiled eggs to peel easy!
 
This is the best method I’ve found after trial and error, and lots of tip reading!
Start your egg in boiling water. Gently lower the eggs into the boiling water and cover until it returns to a boil. Eggs should be completely covered. 
Then, turn off the heat, cover the eggs for about 8-10 minutes.  Drain the hot water off the eggs and fill the pot with lukewarm to cool water. 
As soon as it cools a little, you can reach in and crack the shells against the pot. Allow the cracked eggs to submerge in water, and then immediately begin to remove their shells. They should slide off easily, nearly in one piece. I find this works regardless of how fresh my carton of eggs is.
 
About Chef Kate!
 
Chef Kate has a special place in Elite Care’s heart: She has been employed with this community longer than any other team member! She has been with us since 2003 as the Chef in Adams House. 
Kate is our go-to person for all things kitchen. When you walk into her kitchen at Adams, you can really feel the environment that we envision for every house. Chefs are a very important component of the house!
Everyone loves Kate, not just for the delicious food she prepares, but also for the way she gets to know all the Residents and makes sure she understands their food likes and dislikes.  Chef Kate has a lot to do with the fact that Adams House rarely has any available suits. 
Thank-you Kate, for your years of dedicated service to our Residents and the wonderful example you set!

 
From the Founder
 
One of the challenges when you deal with frail elders’ care and medical needs is communication. In an effort to make this easier for all concerned and for our Team Members to be more responsive, we have established office hours for the Community Manager and the Nurse.
We want to apply simplicity, consistency, and routine to our communications as well. Often the amount of emails and phone calls gets overwhelming and sometimes our response hasn’t been as fast as you might want. In order to help the situation, here is what we have asked our Community Manager and our Nurses to do:
Community Managers and Nurses will spend one hour in the morning, from 9 to 10 am, and one hour in the afternoon, from 3 to 4pm, in their office. During that time they will respond to emails and phone calls.
If you have any non-urgent communications, please send emails to both CM and Nurse. With this new routine of time spent in the office solely for communication, it should be possible for them to be more responsive.
If you have any urgent communications, it is best to text rather than make a phone call. I would like your feedback as to how this is working. Please e-mail me with observations and concerns:lundberg@elitecare.com


Resident Spotlight: 

Vera Diltz
 
When combing through all of the memorable moments, events, and fun activities this month I couldn’t help but think of our dearly beloved Vera. All of my special, funny, and at times sad moments are all wrapped up and centered on her. Vera is a young and beautiful 94 year old woman who never misses a beat! Every day she is one of the first ladies up, dressed with her makeup applied and outfit properly accessorized. After breakfast you can count on Vera to read out loud to all of the Residents and staff the latest headlines, sports coverage and up-to-date weather forecast for the day.  The staff will always attempt to direct her attention to the positive and upbeat stories yet she cannot be diverted! She faithfully flips to that front page, reading aloud the headlines.
Besides the daily news report, Vera has made it her number one priority to ensure that every Resident is taken care for; that they have a place to stay, and have had a good meal to eat. Every day she will ask the staff; “Where is my young lady friend?” (Another Resident), followed by, “Doesn’t she get anything to eat? I don’t think she has any money to pay for it…I think I might have some birthday money left over…” 
Of course we always reassure that everyone is cared for, and will not take anyone’s word for it! She has to see it with her VERY OWN eyes! Vera’s daily concern assures me of that she IS and ALWAYS will be a woman of generosity, love, compassion, and servanthood.

 
Sylvan Park Decked Out in Patriotism
 
Fourth of July proved to be another successful event at Sylvan Park. Residents, families, team members and visitors from the outside all got together to show their patriotic spirit. Faces were painted, red, white, and blue attire was worn, and the entire Sylvan Park Campus both inside and out had decorations galore! Everyone did an outstanding job showing their patriotism during our annual Fourth of July Barbeque.  
Sticking with tradition, the chefs outdid themselves by preparing a delicious barbeque feast that had all the traditional favorites; including watermelon, potato salad and even homemade fresh squeezed lemonade which Chef Perry took the time to make. It warmed everyone’s hearts to the see the children of our Residents, families, and team members come together and enjoy the activities that were put together by the wonderful activities team at Sylvan Park. 
As the day came to an end there were smiles all around as loved ones hugged goodbye. It was no longer about “employees serving residents” it was about family enjoying family. How blessed are all of us to be a part of such a wonderful community?  It is events like this that truly remind us all of what family means. Here at Sylvan Park we are all family; and what better way to celebrate our nation’s independence than by coming together as one? 
We are looking forward to the rest of the adventures that summer will bring. 
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Preventing Identify Theft

Join us to learn more about Preventing Identity Theft. Next Thursday, July 14 at 4:30pm. Enjoy great appetizers and beverages, while learning about this important topic.

At Oatfield Estates, 4444 SE Oatfield Hill Road.

Preventing Identity Theft

Elite Care Founders

Royal Rosarians Honor Sylvan Park Residents

Founders Bill Reed and Lydia Lundberg

Founders Bill Reed and Lydia Lundberg

“May a Rose forever grow in your heart,” that’s what the Royal Rosarians wished for all of us who attended the memorial Rose Planting Ceremony at Sylvan Park.

I was honored to help plant the rose in memory of the residents who have passed away since we opened Sylvan Park. We had great attendance from the residents and families, there were snacks and refreshments as well as canopies for shade. The team members at Sylvan Park did a great job putting on a worthwhile celebration.

So when you wander around the Sylvan Park grounds and come upon the rose garden, I hope you pause and enjoy the budding rose bushes and remember the loved ones who have passed. We hope to do this every year.

Thanks Royal Rosarians for honoring us. They are: Ambassadors, Community Service, and Tradition. By Mayoral Declaration, the Royal Rosarians serve as the Official Greeters and Ambassadors of Goodwill for the City of Portland and surrounding areas. Rosarians are dedicated to community service through the charitable activities of the Royal Rosarian Foundation. We honor our legacy of tradition with rich pageantry and ceremonies from the mythical Realm of Rosaria.

– See more at royalrosarians.com

Hope Demenia Support

‘There’s Always HOPE’ Carnival Extravaganza

Enjoy a Festive Afternoon in the Park & Help a Great Local Cause!

You’re Invited! Grilled brats & dogs, apple nachos, cotton candy, face painting and one-of-a-kind photo ops with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and Planters NUTmobile!

Attractions are available for a suggested $1-$3 donation. All proceeds benefit HOPE: A Vancouver-based non-profit that provides advocacy, support, and education to individuals caring for people with all levels of dementia.

Learn more at hopedementiasupport.org

Sunday, August 23rd
11-1:30pm
Elite Care at Sylvan Park
2410 NE 112th Ave
Vancouver, Wa 98694

Birthday Cake

A Birthday Party for June, In June

Spruce & Cedar Houses

June ushered in a whole new month of outings, arts, bingo, and musical events for the Residents to enjoy. Our first outing was to The Painted Plate in Old Town Sherwood where the motto is, “You pick it, you paint it, we fire it!” The Residents had their choice of over 60 colors of paint and 250 pieces of pottery such as tiles, mugs, plates, bowls, and vases to choose from. The results were fantastic!

NW Alpaca Farm where the Residents were introduced to this fascinating animal by the owner, with a half-hour presentation of interesting facts and a bag of fleece shorn from one of the farm’s animals everyone was encouraged to feel. The owner also introduced us to a seven-day-old baby alpaca that we were able to pet! On the way home we stopped off at The Smith Berry Farm for milkshakes to help us cool off from the heat of the day.

We had a wonderful lineup of musical artists to tickle our ears this month, including the stunning and vocally gifted Rachael, some down-home country tunes by Cowboy Bill, beautiful piano music with Monte, and Dee, who has an amazing vocal range and a repertoire of hundreds of songs he sings from memory.

We celebrated June’s birthday on June 22 at High Tea with a phenomenal chocolate cake prepared by Chef Eric, handmade birthday cards from the Residents, and a boisterous rendition of the Birthday Song! June was actually born on June 21st, however, she was with her family on her actual birthday. June’s husband, Mel, was present, which made her birthday celebration extra special!

Trees

Thank Goodness for Trees

We’ve had hot temperatures for extended periods lately. I think we all need to give a nod to trees, which are nature’s cooling system. Trees can cool the air temperature 10 degrees, and the ground temperature between sun and shade can differ by 36 degrees!

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” – Robert Louis Stevenson, in “Forest Notes”

Lately, residents have made seed balls and have patiently waited for the Praying Mantis’ to hatch. July will be all about butterflies and the plants that attract them. August will bring an array of unusual plants that will amaze and astound us. We’re also experimenting with making plant impressions, so watch for the artwork in each house. Remember to water yourselves as well as your plants – we don’t want any of you wilting!