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Press. As the first Continuing Care Retirement Community in Northampton County, Moravian Hall Square is committed to providing information and resources through the media and our website on a variety of age related topics. The news articles included have appeared in local and state publications.
Keeping in Touch with our Neighbors
Keeping in touch with local churches during the holiday season. Click here to view the PDF.
Teddy Bear Ministry
From the youngest to the oldest – a teddy bear is comfort, warmth, security – a friend no matter where you are or why, alone or surrounded by family and friends. It started simply enough. When residents are in the hospital, a Moravian Hall Square staffer delivers a cuddly little bear to remind them that their “family” back at Moravian Hall Square is thinking of them and wishing a speedy recovery and return home.The Chaplin is most logical to deliver the bear. After all, Reverend Dotty Burcaw visits residents regularly in the all the surrounding hospitals, whether there for elective surgery, illness or accident. The continuing care retirement community in Nazareth is home to almost 300 in residential, assisted living, nursing care and memory support areas.
“Residents look forward to visits in the hospital, especially if there is no family living nearby”, says Dotty. The teddy bear now has become as anticipated as her visit, she said, chuckling. Residents don’t just leave them on a bedside stand. They have slept with them in the hospital and sometimes when they return to an apartment or nursing care bed. The bears always have a place of honor, sometimes inseparable when the illness and recovery are long and tedious. In one instance, a resident had the bear constantly in her tight embrace, in the hospital and when she returned to Moravian Hall Square. She was surrounded by loving family as well and knew she had not long to live. Her daughters buried her with the bear still in her embrace.
“When I enter the hospital room of a resident, after the greeting I put the teddy bear on the tray, and then tell them that this is a get well gift from all of us at Moravian Hall Square. If they are able to move I usually hand them the bear from the tray and then they ask me if it is all right to name them. Naming gives ‘official’ ownership of this special gift. When possible I hold hands when we pray and the bear becomes part of the prayer. There is no clinical evidence for this observation, but when I depart, the folks have a more peaceful expression as they tuck their new treasure under their arm. I sense God’s healing presence with them. It is a blessing for me, as well.”
Music as Therapy
Music is a powerful force in our lives from lullabies as babies, to the latest craze as teenagers, to “golden oldies” as senior citizens. This is especially true for someone that has Alzheimer’s disease. When a person may not recognize a family member, a hymn or melody from the past can trigger not only fond memories but often have a calming affect.
Music therapy is becoming an integral part of programming for Alzheimer’s residents, says Pat Chuckalovcak, Director of Assisted Living Services at Moravian Hall Square. Residents of Galilee House regularly gather around a player piano to listen to tunes from their past. Often they will sing along and even begin to play, despite the disease that is erasing memory. An old fashioned Wurlitzer Bubble Jukebox that plays familiar tunes from the 40s and 50s can lead to toe tapping, smiles and some impromptu dancing.
Music therapy cannot reverse Alzheimer’s but can improve the quality of life and provide family and caregivers with a bridge to connect to their loved ones when nothing else seems to work. Hymns in chapel services on Sunday have the same affect, according to Chuckalovcak.
A recent article in Time Magazine offers helpful information. The article and additional information on music as therapy can be found on www.musictherapy.com.
Moravian Hall Square offers an Alzheimer’s Association Support Group 9:30-11 a.m., the first Wednesday of each month in Galilee House. For additional information on the support group or Galilee House, please call 610-746-1000 or on line at www.moravian.com.
Maintain Your Brain
When the conversation turns to fitness, one of the first reactions is to look down at a hopefully trim waistline. But the brain needs to be healthy as well, because it plays a critical role that can affect your very existence: thinking, feeling, remembering, working, and playing – even sleeping, according to the Alzheimer’s Association in their “Maintain Your Brain” education campaign.
Their website – www.alz.org/maintainyourbrain – has numerous helpful dos and don’ts. For example: interacting with others by combining physical, mental and social activities may be most likely to prevent dementia. A simple conversation, volunteering, joining a club, taking a class are all positive steps to a healthier mind and body.
What is good for your heart is good for your brain as well – controlling weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Keeping your brain busy increases its vitality and builds reserves of brain cells and connections. Read, write, play games, learn new things, and do crossword puzzles all help, according to the website.
At a facility like Moravian Hall Square’s Galilee House Memory Care, nutrition, exercise, interaction with staff, other residents and family, are essential components of an overall plan to keep residents’ bodies and minds as fit and active as possible.
Located in the center of Nazareth, Moravian Hall Square also has a monthly Alzheimer’s Association sponsored support group for families already dealing with the disease in a loved one. Trained staff offers support, answers questions, and discusses ways to help while the loved one still is at home. Families share their personal experiences and methods of coping. The group meets the first Wednesday of each month from 9:30-11 a.m. in the lobby of Galilee House Memory Care. For additional information, please call 610-746-1000 or online at www.moravian.com
Water is the nutrient your body needs most because it carries nutrients to organs; carries away waste; hydrates skin; moistens eyes, mouth, and nose; lubricates joints, and serves as a shock absorber inside the spinal cord.
Good hydration is additionally important for seniors who might be taking a variety of medications that require being ingested with water to distribute the medicine adequately and efficiently throughout the body.
Not getting enough water can also lead to dehydration. That can stress your heart and raise your core body temperature quickly, especially during summer outdoor activities. It can even lead to heat stroke which can be life threatening. Even mild dehydration can make you feel tired.
How much water do you need? The National Institute of Medicine recommends about 9 cups for woman and 13 cups for men every day. Certain health conditions may increase or decrease your individual needs.
You can usually get 20% of your fluids needs from food. You can drink just about any fluid to meet the rest of your needs. Juice, soft drinks, smoothies, coffee, tea, even alcoholic beverages all count. Just keep in mind that caffeine and alcohol can have a diuretic effect that makes you lose water.
How do you know if you are dehydrated? Symptoms include: dry mouth, dizziness, weakness, muscle cramps, weak or rapid pulse, confusion, sluggishness, fainting, inability to sweat, and decrease urine output
During warm months “hydration stations” are put around the campus so residents and staff have easy access to water flavored with a variety of fresh fruits. “Plain water can loose its appeal, but the addition of watermelon, lemon and lime, and other fresh fruits makes the water more appealing to the eye and palate,“ according to the General Manager of Dining Services at Moravian Hall Square.
68 Years after Battle, a War Medal Arrives
Moravian Hall Square resident, Isabel Miller, was recently presented with a very special gift. Mrs. Miller’s son, Barry, proudly presented her with the China War Memorial Medal. The medal was recently awarded to her late husband, Marlen E. Miller in recognition of his service in the Pacific during World War II. The medal was issued by the Republic of China for those who helped in the war against Japan. Click on this link to read the Express Times article – http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2013/03/palmer_township_man_secures_wa.html
The Heritage, our quarterly newsletter is sent to 9,000 homes locally, and nationally to those with a connection to our facility. We currently are gathering email addresses to send the Heritage and other publications electronically as part of our commitment to “go green”. Please email us your email address, name and mailing address.
The staff is always pleasant, always helpful.