Senior Living

Everybody wins at the Westlake Intergenerational Prom

Intergenerational relationships help strengthen individuals, and help strengthen a community. Everybody wins.

So, in 2020, when it seemed like nobody was winning ... Westlake Community Services staff created what is called the Westlake Youth Advisory Board (WYAB) to engage community youth with our mission, and to assist us with developing intergenerational opportunities within our Plus 50 programs.  

Being 2020, our first nine months of meetings were held virtually with severely limited opportunities for intergenerational interaction. Nevertheless, our youth members got busy creating hundreds of Christmas stockings and Valentine bags to be delivered to unsuspecting senior residents in need of some cheer.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:02 AM, 06.21.2022

Digital literacy expo returns May 26

The Center for Aging in the Digital World ("TheCenter"), a nonprofit organization empowering seniors with digital literacy, will present its 6th annual "Living in the Digital World Senior Expo" on Thursday, May 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  at the Don Umerley Civic Center in Rocky River. TheCenter is converting the civic center's halls into a learning lab for the day with showcases in the main hall and up to 30-minute presentations in the presentation hall. Come join us!

Have you been thinking about starting to use technology?

Tak Sato, co-founder of TheCenter, will cover the overall benefits of digital literacy at 9:30 a.m. What is different and special this year is that seniors who completed the nonprofit's Discover Digital Literacy! program will show fellow senior attendees how they keep connected even during a pandemic. See for yourself how easy it is to attend a church service, for example, through Zoom meetings. 

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 9:46 AM, 05.17.2022

Prevent frailty and falls with weight training

After age 30, yes I said 30, we begin to lose as much as 3-5% of our muscle mass each decade. This progressive loss of both muscle mass and function is known as sarcopenia. Ten percent of 50 year olds have sarcopenia. This number really accelerates after age 75. Men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetime.

Sarcopenia leads to frailty. Twenty-nine percent of people over 60 and 46% of people over 80 cannot lift 10 pounds! Imagine how limiting that is.

Sarcopenia also increases your risk for falling. One-third of all Americans over 60 report a fall every year, and falling is the No. 1 reason for injury-related death.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 10:54 AM, 04.05.2022

Redefine aging at Westlake Community Services

Everyday we age. This excites us when we are young. We cross milestones such as double digits, Sweet 16 and legal age with enthusiasm.

Once we hit 30, the enthusiasm begins to wane. Black balloons make their appearance. By the time we hit 40 or 50 we are pronounced "over the hill," as if this is a bad thing.

But is it really so bad? After all, if you think about it, wouldn't you rather run down a hill than up it? And how about a rollercoaster ride? Isn't the drop the most thrilling part? Framing it this way makes "over the hill" is a cause for celebration.

Yet we don't approach aging with celebration. We focus much more on the decline rather than the blossoming. One dictionary definition I found called aging "a condition" with symptoms and causes. Ugh. No wonder the artwork created by local elementary school children for our Westlake Community Center patrons (in honor of National Senior Day) included heartfelt messages to "get well soon."

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 10:30 AM, 03.01.2022

Bay Village Senior Center is back in action!

After two years of closures and pared-down activities due to the pandemic, the Bay Village Senior Center is back in March with so many activities that it feels, dare I say it, almost “normal.” We have learned to enjoy the months when COVID numbers are low, and to pull back for safety when they are high. Right now we are enjoying the moment with low COVID numbers, and certainly hope these moments continue.

March is always fun because of St. Patrick’s Day, but this year is also the Guardians home opener, a Pasta Fundraiser for the senior center, a cheese tasting class and National Craft Month, among our regularly scheduled activities. It’s enough to make a leprechaun tired!

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 10:29 AM, 03.01.2022

'Good Neighbor' volunteers help Bay seniors stay in their homes

Living in Bay Village means living in a community that takes care of one another. When Bay Village Community Services began developing a program to assist older residents who need help with home maintenance that they can no longer do themselves, it seemed like a natural fit to call on the community to fill that need. The Good Neighbor program was born, and officially launched in January.

Good Neighbor volunteers help with small maintenance needs, such as:

  • Taking out and bringing in trash cans
  • Light landscaping and yard care
  • Snow removal
  • Minor outdoor home repair

Ideally, when a resident asks for assistance, a neighbor or someone who lives close by will be called on to complete the task. For those requests that are outside the scope of a volunteer, professional services will be referred.

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 10:28 AM, 03.01.2022

Calling all active 'seniors': Join in the BV60+ fun!

BV60+ is a group created by Bay Village Community Services for younger, more active people age 60+. Some in the group are retired, while others still work. We plan monthly activities specifically for this group, and it’s a great way to connect with others in the community.

A New Members Meet and Greet will be held Thursday, March 10, at 7 p.m. at the Bay Village Senior Center. This is a great way to meet other new members before joining the larger group for activities. We want everyone to feel comfortable. Singles are encouraged to join; participating in BV60+ is a great way to meet new friends.

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 10:28 AM, 03.01.2022

Podcast for older adults to launch this month

Podcasts are the new “talk radio.” The host and guest(s) have open discussion on topics from A-Z. A unique “video podcast” focused on topics for people 55+ will begin broadcasting this month from the theater at the Westlake Community Services Center, 28975 Hilliard Blvd. The series will begin with some prepared subjects, but the plan is to incorporate members and community to participate in discussions making it their own.

The pilot episode will kick off on Friday, Feb. 18, at 11 a.m., featuring the Virtual Brain Health Center. Learn the basics to understand how now is the time for brain health. Leave with practical tips and resources to support your optimal brain care. Dr. Krystal L. Culler, DBH, MA and LeAnne Stuver, M.Ed., BSN will take you on their journey to creating this virtual resource that is beneficial for all ages.

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Volume 14, Issue 3, Posted 10:13 AM, 02.01.2022

Helping kids bond with their grandparents

Although Grandparents Day was Sept. 9, smart parents regularly celebrate the vital role that grandparents play in their family’s life every day.

Susan Bosak, the author of “How to Build the Grandma Connection,” says that children who have strong ties with involved, caring grandparents develop higher self-esteem, and better emotional and social skills, including an ability to withstand peer pressure.

So, if you’re looking for a fun bonding activity for your grandchild, look no further. The West Shore YMCA and Sunrise Senior living are collaborating to bring on the fun. It’s all treats and no tricks at this sticky-sweet dessert party. In this hands-on cooking class, your kiddo will have fun making apple pies and caramel apples!

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:14 AM, 10.19.2021

Digital expo for seniors to be virtual again this year

“Physically distant but not socially distant” is the theme of the free, virtual, fifth annual Living in the Digital World Senior Expo which will stream live on Thursday, May 27, from 9 a.m. until 12:30 pm. Seniors and their family members and caregivers are invited to join in this morning of friendly and fun digital learning.

Seniors are welcome to relax with a cup of coffee or tea and spend the morning at home discovering how they can embrace digital literacy as an enjoyable life skill while also learning some good habits of how to stay safe online.

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Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 10:10 AM, 05.18.2021

Sign up for 'Over 90 Birthday' proclamations in Westlake

Do you know someone who will be celebrating a birthday of 90 or older in 2021? If so, you can arrange for them to receive an Over 90 Birthday Proclamation from Mayor Dennis Clough. Call Cindi at Westlake Community Services at 440-899-3544 by April 16.

Many of the City of Westlake’s 90+ residents are already on a notification list for these special birthday certificates but we want to ensure we reach everyone who may be interested so we can help make their impressive milestone even more special!

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 10:32 AM, 04.06.2021

Balloon buddies bring smiles to Westlake seniors

Robert Markowitz, owner/operator at Cleveland Magic and Balloons, is part of a national campaign called “Adopt a Grandparent,” along with other balloon professionals across the country. The campaign's goal is to bring joy to seniors in assisted-living facilities.

“These seniors don’t all have families to visit them, and some have families that live too far to visit,” Robert said. He has been a part of the movement since February.

On March 3, cheerful 28-inch-tall figures (known as Balloon Buddies) were delivered to the Belvedere of Westlake. One for each resident, to brighten up their day a bit and bring joy. Activity director Stephanie Gumina said that one of the residents liked her “Buddy” so much that she took the balloon with her to her doctor appointment! They are just the right size for hugging and holding and have been very therapeutic for the residents and staff.

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 10:26 AM, 03.16.2021

100 Westlake seniors surprised with stockings of cheer

The most widely held legend about the Christmas stocking links to St. Nicholas creatively helping a down-and-out widower. Knowing that this widower would refuse charity, the stealthy St. Nicholas slipped down the chimney of this man's home and snuck gold coins into the stockings hanging by the fireplace. The stockings provided a perfect receptacle for an unexpected bit of cheer.

Due to pronounced social isolation this year, the need for cheer is great. This thought prompted staffers from the Westlake Community Services department, along with the department's Community Advisory Council and Youth Board, to concoct a plan surprising 100 area seniors, St. Nicholas style.

Led by the fundraising and solicitation effort of the Advisory Council, 100 stockings were purchased and quickly filled with donations. The bounty included cookies, chocolates, hot cocoa, lip balm, hand sanitizers and handmade candles. One clever donor packaged four blank Christmas cards with envelopes and stamps encouraging the stocking recipients to continue to spread the joy to four of their friends.

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Volume 12, Issue 24, Posted 9:54 AM, 12.15.2020

Socialize and learn from the safety of your home

Feeling tired of being socially distant and isolated from fun? Please consider Zooming with us! The Westlake Community Services Department has been offering an array of Fifty-Plus opportunities via Zoom since May. We have exercise, discussion groups, Smithsonian tours, cooking classes, history classes, board games, book discussions and more!

The best part is that the classes are either facilitated or co-facilitated by our Westlake Community Services staff, so you'll get to know us and we'll get to know you. The experience is anything but impersonal. You'll also get to know other seniors in our community, as we host with a friendly and social environment.

New to Zoom? That's OK! If you have a tablet, computer or smart phone, you can do this. Call us up and we'll talk you through the steps. You won't believe how easy it is and you won't be sorry you tried it. You might even win a prize at the end of the month. More about that later.

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Volume 12, Issue 23, Posted 10:04 AM, 12.01.2020

Westlake Community Services offers drive-in events

The abundance of creativity displayed by the Westlake Senior and Community Services Department since Covid-19 disrupted virtually everyone’s day-to-day life has been truly inspiring. Interestingly enough, “virtually” is one of the key adjectives to describe how the department has continued to fulfill its mission of engaging and enriching the community it serves during this difficult time – but not the only one.

The department began offering Virtual Programs in May to keep residents – particularly those in the 60-plus community – engaged at a time when many may be feeling isolated, unable to leave home.

While these programs, which allow residents to participate via Zoom or with their phone, have proven extremely popular and effective, staffers still hoped to find ways to safely invite residents back to take part in some in-person, but socially-distanced, activities.

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Volume 12, Issue 15, Posted 9:50 AM, 08.04.2020

Senior Strong program just a phone call away

During this stay-at-home time, the Westlake Senior and Community Services Department and Far West Center are teaming up to offer Senior Strong by phone. This four-part series is designed to support the emotional health and well-being of individuals in the 60-plus community.

Groups of 12 are invited to discuss ways to cope with the anxiety, isolation and stress which many are facing during the COVID-19 situation.

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Volume 12, Issue 15, Posted 9:54 AM, 08.04.2020

Drive-in Bingo

Drive-in movie theaters have clearly made a comeback. A recent headline declared that the Aut-O-Rama in North Ridgeville was the fifth highest grossing theater in the country one weekend. But, it's not just about the movies. It's about having something to do; somewhere to go that is safe and where social distancing guidelines can easily be maintained. 

In fact many of the bustling nights at the Aut-O-Rama were for high school graduations. I know this personally, because that's where my 2020 graduate of St. Joseph Academy's commencement was held. The novelty of watching the individually pre-taped graduation segments, consolidated and united on the big screen in a parking lot full of classmates and families made it pretty special and spectacular. It was the first and only thing that happened to this class that actually exceeded what was supposed to have been.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:11 AM, 07.07.2020

Westlake Senior Center offers virtual programs

Although senior centers cancelled activities and closed their doors to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, the work and provision of services didn't end with the locked doors, they just changed.

One of the changes resulted in the creation of a virtual program schedule of events. The Westlake Senior and Community Services Center would like to invite our local seniors (you do not have to be a Westlake resident) to join us in some of our free programs via Zoom. Instructions on how to utilize Zoom are detailed in our newsletter found at www.cityofwestlake.org/community-services

Recognizing, however, that this unfamiliar territory may sound too intimidating to try without assistance, we have staff Zoom tutors who are more than willing to talk you through the steps over the phone. Call 440-899-3544 for a Zoom tutorial, or to register for the Zoom classes. We send the class invitations out to registered guests only, so that we can monitor who is allowed to enter the virtual program. This is a safety feature.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 AM, 06.02.2020

Bay Village Senior Center connects by mail

Seniors are affected in many ways by the Coronavirus, and they remain the most at-risk population. While it’s hard on all of us to stay home and social distance, many seniors live alone, which makes the quarantine even more difficult. To make matters worse, while many of us pass the time and socialize online, research shows that less than half of seniors have a computer, or know how to use one.

With this information, the Bay Village Senior Center staff decided that if the seniors can’t come to the senior center, we will take the senior center to them, and created Senior Center by Mail. This program will start in June and continue monthly, until the center opens back up again.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:37 AM, 06.02.2020

Meals on Wheels partners with Westlake business to support restaurant program

As a result of the COVID-19 virus, public and private partnerships have become very innovative with positive results. An example of this is a sponsorship of meals to be provided to Westlake Meals on Wheels (WMOW) recipients by local business, All Metal Sales in Westlake. A program initiated by WMOW pairs residents of the community wanting to donate with local restaurants to provide meals.

All Metal Sales became aware of the program and wanted to help. Owner Tom Klocker initiated the relationship by donating 400 disposable masks that will aid delivery drivers and those preparing meals in the WMOW kitchen. In addition, All Metal Sales reached out to Barry Bagels in Avon to be part of the program. Barry Bagels is being sponsored by All Metal Sales to provide a meal to 75 WMOW recipients every Wednesday for a month.

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Volume 12, Issue 10, Posted 10:44 AM, 05.19.2020

Digital World Senior Expo goes virtual

“Keeping Seniors Connected” is the theme of the free, virtual, 4th Annual Living in the Digital World Senior Expo which will live stream on Thursday, May 21, from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Seniors, caregivers and anyone who wants to start embracing the new and required “life-skill” of the 21st century are invited to join us.

This year’s expo invites seniors to relax with a cup of coffee or tea and spend the morning in the comfort of their homes, discovering how to embrace Digital Literacy during this time of social distancing, learn how to stay safe online, and how to delve into the resources available to uncover their family ancestry.

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Volume 12, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 05.11.2020

December opportunities for the 50+ crowd

December is the busiest month of the year for ATM withdrawals. With that in mind, if you are a retiree looking for some low- or no-cost opportunities this month, here are ideas highlighted from our December calendar at the Westlake Center for Community Services on 29694 Center Ridge Road. You don't have to be a Westlake resident to partake in the activities, but please RSVP to 440-899-3544 so that we hold a spot for you! To see the entire monthly newsletter and calendar of events, visit www.cityofwestlake.org/community-services, and/or stop by Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and ask for a tour.

MUSIC, MORSEL AND MORE – Friday, Dec. 6. Doors open at 10:30 a.m., entertainment begins at 11:00, and lunch is at noon. Join Debbie Darling and David Strieter in a sing-along as they perform some of the most beloved holiday music. In her usual style, Debbie will intersperse interesting anecdotes about some of our favorite songs. Lunch includes soup, a sandwich, dessert, and coffee or tea. RSVP by Dec. 2. The cost is a donation of large jars of peanut butter and jelly for the Westlake Food Pantry.

MEMORY LANE TRIVIA – Wednesday, Dec. 4, 1:30 p.m. Our travelling trivia game will be hosted at the North Olmsted Senior Center this time. This is an interactive and mentally challenging game that has you competing with other teams from local west side senior centers to win prizes. Call to register your team (up to six) or ask to be placed on a team. A cocoa and cookie bar will be enjoyed by all. This month's trivia challenge will have a holiday theme. No cost.

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Volume 11, Issue 22, Posted 9:30 AM, 11.19.2019

The seniors are coming! The seniors are coming!

The seniors are not only coming, they are already here. In fact, for the first time in history, the population age 65+ is greater than the population of children under age 5, and that trend is projected to keep on growing.

The term “Silver Tsunami” was coined to describe the anticipated retirement of the Baby Boomers. The growth in this population can be seen in the numerous new senior living communities sprouting up in many communities, and the number of commercials targeting older people. Aging is now big business.

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Volume 11, Issue 22, Posted 9:29 AM, 11.19.2019

Free showing of critically acclaimed film, 'Gen Silent,' Aug. 25 in Westlake

Church of the Redeemer UCC will host a screening of Stu Maddox’s critically acclaimed film, "Gen Silent," Sunday, Aug. 25, at noon at the church, 23500 Center Ridge Road, Westlake. The viewing is free, but attendees are asked to make reservations by calling the church at 440-331-0834 or emailing church@corucc.org.

The documentary tells the story of six LGBT older adults transitioning to assisted care and facing the decision of going back into the closet to survive.

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Volume 11, Issue 16, Posted 9:21 AM, 08.20.2019

Spend time with grandparents before heading back to school

There is no “Endless Summer,” despite what the Beach Boys had your parents and me believing back in an earlier century. Sad to say, but just as students are fully into their summer grooves – work and parties, sleeping late and connecting with old friends – it’s back to the books.

Not so fast.

If you’re lucky enough to have grandparents in town, an investment of a few hours right now will pay enormous dividends throughout your family all year. Here are five ways to ensure Grandma and Grandpa remember you when you’re off studying.

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Volume 11, Issue 15, Posted 10:10 AM, 08.06.2019

Mayor Clough honors Devon Oaks residents age 90 and older

Devon Oaks Assisted Living in Westlake recognized 21 residents during a 90 & Over birthday luncheon on May 14. Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough attended the celebration and presented a personalized proclamation to each honoree, followed by a handshake and photo op.

Mayor Clough thanked the honorees for their gifts of wisdom and experience, their valuable contributions to the community, and acknowledged their remarkable ability to successfully adapt to significant events and changes during their lifetimes.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 9:50 AM, 06.18.2019

Estate planning seminar June 3 at Westlake Senior Center

The stress of navigating legal and financial matters can be overwhelming. Many feel unprepared, especially when facing significant life changes. To provide the community with access to expert resources and advice, Hospice of the Western Reserve is partnering with the Westlake Senior Center to offer a free estate planning presentation, “Securing Tomorrow’s Future Today.”

The presentation will be held Monday, June 3, 1:30-3:30 p.m., in conjunction with an Afternoon Tea. The seminar is free and open to the general public but advance registration is required by Friday, May 24. To register, contact Glenna Schultz at gschultz@hospicewr.org or 216-383-5291.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 05.21.2019

Local nonprofit empowers seniors to use technology

“I want to watch marching band videos,” said Sara Cooley, when she took a chance on technology by attending an info session hosted by the nonprofit Center for Aging in the Digital World. Founder Tak Sato had a simple idea: to ease seniors’ fears when it comes to technology. To do this he would take an old-school approach by gathering seniors around a table and teaching a free technology class just for them.

“We felt there was a need in our community that was not being met when it came to seniors having the opportunity to come together and learn that technology can be for them too,” said Sato, who founded the Center for Aging in the Digital World with his wife, Mely, and also pens The Digital World column for the Observer.

Cooley says what hooked her on giving technology a shot was when Sato told the group that just because a tablet can do lots of cool things, if all you want to do is one thing, that’s OK. “Just do what you want and don’t worry about the rest,” he said. This was the answer she was looking for.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:10 PM, 05.06.2019

From the Greatest Generation to the beginning of Generation X, all are 50-Plus

Four distinct generations make up the 50-plus community. On any given day, folks from all of these generations can be found at the Westlake Center for Senior & Community Services: The Greatest Generation (people born from 1901-1925), The Silent Generation (1926-1944), The Baby Boomers (1945-1964) and the early part of Generation X (1965-1984).

Since Generation X is just beginning to enter the 50-plus scene, we don't see or hear as much about them. Most of the focus is on The Baby Boomers, as they now constitute more than two-thirds of the 50-plus population.

So why is this important?  Critics may say we are going overboard in labeling people, but not if the labels are just intended as generalities to help understand people. As long as we avoid utilizing them as cookie-cutter definitions, I think that they do provide some general guidance in understanding different people of different ages.

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Volume 11, Issue 8, Posted 9:46 AM, 04.16.2019

Senior Strong: Far West Center partners with area senior centers

Over a year ago, eight West Shore senior centers (Avon, Bay Village, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville, Rocky River and Westlake) worked on a collaborative website, combining eight different activity calendars and newsletter information in one place. The result, www.westshoreseniors.org, provides an easier platform to obtain resources and information from surrounding communities. The participating senior centers already enjoyed a strong collaborative relationship, so we were natural partners.

Hearing about our collaboration sparked an idea for Kelly Dylag, president and CEO of the Far West Center, a community mental health center serving the West Shore community. The Far West Center strives to help persons achieve their highest level of mental health and well-being.

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 9:50 AM, 04.02.2019

The joy of grocery shopping with your dad

You’re good to your dad – always looking for ways to get him out, to spend time with him, and to make sure his pantry is stocked. Taking him to the grocery store is the ideal way to check all of these boxes at once.

Here are nine pro tips to maximize your shopping experience with him, from someone who has the sincere privilege of shopping with our parents’ generation a few times every week.  

1. Check your “obligation” mindset at the door. Don’t think of this outing as a weekly nutritional imperative. With the right attitude, it can be the buddy movie you never got around to making: “Dad and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 9:49 AM, 04.02.2019

Boomer Bash to be held May 1 at LaCentre

The date is set for Boomer Bash West 2019 for Wednesday, May 1, from 4 -7 p.m. at LaCentre in Westlake. The event is one not to miss! An entertaining and educational event for 50+ adults, presented by Northeast Ohio Boomer and Beyond Magazine.

The night will include a mix of entertainment, education, raffle/giveaways, complimentary small bites, happy hour priced cocktails, photo booth fun and much more. “We are thrilled to be returning to LaCentre for Boomer Bash West again this Spring,” notes publisher Brad MItchell. “The positive energy that the vendors and attendees bring to the event truly makes the Bash a Celebration of Life After 50!”

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 9:45 AM, 04.02.2019

Making senior social connections

Personal connections are the basis of being human. We cannot survive without the care of someone else in our infant stage. We cannot learn the fundamental skills of evolving into a person without being taught to eat, walk, speak and learn. We need each other.

Social ties are important not only to one's quality of life, but also one's longevity. Studies indicate that lonesomeness can be as much a health concern as high blood pressure, obesity and alcoholism.

In senior living, making a social connection and meeting new people can be layered with the unsettled emotions of a young adult going out into the world for the first time. However, in senior living, the next chapter of life seems to be spelled in a common language of understanding what it is like to meet new neighbors and make new friends. How about re-connections with friends from your childhood, school days, neighbors where you raised your families, co-workers and colleagues?

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 10:09 AM, 03.19.2019

Cooking demo awakens senses

The senses come alive at Brookdale Westlake Village. Childhood memories are recaptured at unexpected moments as the pages of our lives turn each new day. A memory in song, an emotion tugged by the smile of a child, a hug for a friend that goes through grief, and the aromas of the kitchen that evoke fond memories of food.

It is human nature to enjoy a good meal. You inhale a deep breath as you walk into a kitchen that has the warm smells of cookies in the oven, a skillet sizzling with bacon, a delicious dish passed down through generations like stuffed cabbage rolls, paprikash, Grandma's sauce, or the many delicate pastries like baklava and kolachis.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:54 AM, 03.05.2019

For Mom's doctors appointments, remember the three P's

Doctors appointments can be tough on your mom, when she’s faced with ever-changing offices and doctors, distant parking, check-in terminals, increased testing, shorter appointments ... all at an age when her hearing, vision, thinking and confidence aren’t where they were even five to 10 years ago. 

To improve the odds of her staying healthier and happier, and living longer, it helps to focus on the three P’s to improve the outcomes of her appointments.

Preparation

The days before her appointment are as important as the 20 minutes your mom will spend with the doctor. It’s time to discuss who she’ll be seeing, why, where and when, and to create a plan for the day.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 9:56 AM, 02.19.2019

Seniors find 'bonus' love

February is the month of love. Cupid is the most recognized symbol of love in Roman mythology. The myth of Cupid’s arrow is known to cause a person to be “struck” to fall in love and no one is entirely immune to Cupid’s arrow.

This holds true in the community of Brookdale Westlake Village where there is no age limit to finding love … again. A new love among seniors that have been widowed can be delicate. There is a sensitivity on many levels when love opens a new chapter in one’s life.

Ageism, a form of discrimination that, at times, silently exists in how we view being “senior” has struggled with finding love after the loss of a spouse. In a senior living community, the language of loss is common and it is the thread that weaves new friendships.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 10:02 AM, 02.19.2019

Exercise classes just for seniors

So how are you doing on that New Year’s resolution to get into better shape? Did you start that exercise program yet? Is it because you really don’t like to exercise? Do you know why?

For some older adults, the thought of going to a gym with people of all shapes, ages and sizes is intimidating and overwhelming. This feeling turns to hopelessness if that same person has any trouble with mobility, pain, vision or even hearing. How many times have you heard someone say, I can’t exercise because of my (fill in the blank) condition?

There is an alternative for older adults that is far more compatible, and dare I say fun? All of the West Shore area senior centers offer an array of exercise classes that are geared toward seniors; a senior-only gym, if you will.

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 10:04 AM, 01.22.2019

Chair volleyball comes to the Westlake Senior Center

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 40 percent of American adults sit for more than 8 hours per day; 40 percent are physically inactive with no moderate exercise during the week, and an additional 10 percent fit into both categories. These percentages increase with age.

But sitting doesn’t have to mean inactivity. If you’ve ever taken a spinning class, you know what I mean. Chair yoga is another (less intense) option that is very popular with seniors, giving a full work-out regardless of balance and mobility issues.

Now there’s another fun option in town that is also a team sport. Indoor chair volleyball is a new activity taking senior centers across the country by storm. It is played with two teams of at least six players, with a shorter, 5-foot-high net. The “volleyball” is actually a beach ball. Rules are similar to regular volleyball except for the “one cheek on the chair” rule. Yes, I said one cheek on the chair; think about it.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 9:49 AM, 01.08.2019

10 resolutions for dealing with aging parents

It’s a whole new ballgame when our parents enter their 80s, and it’s easy to fall into bad habits when we’re with them. In 2019 I resolve to:

  1. Stop “dealing” with them: Language matters, and if I’m not careful, Mom will think I consider her a burden, which is not the case. 
  2. Walk in their shoes: Imagine you’ve lost your spouse or home or driving privileges – or all three. Would you be sad now and then? Angry? Confused? I resolve to work on my empathy muscles in 2019.
  3. Consider they might be right: My dad made it to 87 without organic kale juice every morning, so I need to stop sniping about his hot dogs and Pop-Tarts. And I resolve to drop off Dortmunder 12-packs now and then.
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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 9:48 AM, 01.08.2019

Join a Fifty-Plus trivia challenge team

Here's a trivia question: What show has been running for the past 50-plus years, primarily on WEWS Channel 5 on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.? Hint: Don Webster was one of the long-running hosts of this 12-time Emmy Award-winning program.

If you guessed "Academic Challenge," you are correct. If you are 50+ and guessed "Academic Challenge," you should try out for our team!

The senior center in the city of Westlake is participating in an Academic Challenge-style trivia contest which includes 30 senior centers from Northeast Ohio, and we need to form a team! You do not need to live in Westlake to participate, but you do need to be 50 or older, and enjoy trivia competitions.

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Volume 10, Issue 24, Posted 10:04 AM, 12.18.2018