Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Let’s Live Life Better, together

Is there a secret to living a better life? I don’t think so. But it does take some work and perseverance.
Rebecca Marker-Smith
Director of Marketing

First, let’s clear the air. I am by no means a medical professional. However, like you, I read a lot of articles and ask a lot of questions.

According to an article in Medical News Today, nearly 75 percent of all deaths in the United States are attributed to just 10 causes, with the top three of these accounting for over 50 percent of all deaths.

Here are the top 10 leading causes of death in the US:
1. Heart disease
2. Cancer (malignant neoplasms)
3. Chronic lower respiratory disease
4. Accidents (unintentional injuries)
5. Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases)
6. Alzheimer's disease
7. Diabetes
8. Influenza and pneumonia
9. Kidney disease (nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis)
10. Suicide

So, this begs the question, “What lifestyle changes do we need to make to either avoid these situations or prolong them from happening?”

After doing some more reading, I learned that the majority of them had a common theme that boiled down to these 8 steps:
1. Stop smoking
2. Get more active
3. Lose weight
4. Lower blood pressure
5. Get more sleep
6. Control diabetes
7. Lower cholesterol
8. Eat better

So, at Green Hills Community, we are going to do just that.  We’re not going to do every one of them all at once. That would be an impossible task. What we need to do is break this down to bite-size pieces by offering educational luncheons on a monthly basis.

By reaching out to experts at Mary Rutan Hospital, we are going to learn how to live a better life, hence the slogan, “Live Life Better.”

Our first session, Tobacco Cessation Education, is set for noon on Friday, Feb. 9, in Foundation Hall, where doors open at 11:30 a.m. for lunch. The speaker is Brooxie Crouch, Respiratory Care Clinical Coordinator at MRH. To RSVP for this event, please call 465.0700 or e-mail info@greenhillscommunity.org.

Yes, some of the work in living a better life includes diet and exercise. But it is so much more than that.

It’s about having a purpose in life, being part of a community, forming a bond with other people, and sharing your time and talent. Think of this as a journey for the mind, body, and spirit.

And, this journey doesn’t stop with the monthly education luncheons.

Here are other resources and services that are available at Green Hills to help us live life better:
Blood drives: every other month from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Book Club: 1:30 p.m. third Friday of the month
Caregiver Support Group: 2 to 3 p.m. third Monday of the month
Church services: 2:30 p.m. Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays
Tai Chi: 4 p.m. Mondays
Volunteer opportunities: more opportunities that we can list here
Water fitness classes: 9 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays
Yoga: 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, 2:30 and 3:15 p.m. Wednesdays, 6 a.m. Thursdays

Additional educational sessions are also being planned such as financial wellness and how to live with someone who has dementia. If you would like to be included in the mailing list for these upcoming events or to learn more, please feel free to call me. I can be reached at 937.650.7117 or via e-mail: rsmith@greenhillscommunity.org.

Living a better life doesn’t need to be an uphill battle. We can do this because we’re going to do it together.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hands: The Tool of Tools

(This is a reprint of the speech that was shared by Elizabeth Siegenthaler, Director of the Green Hills Child Center, that she presented during the Child Center graduation ceremony on Friday, June 9, in Foundation Hall at Green Hills Community. For more than 30 years, Green Hills has offered child care to staff and the public and was the first nursing home in the state of Ohio to offer child care.)

Good morning.

Before we begin, I need you all to consider the importance of your hands.

Elizabeth Siegenthaler
Director of Child Center
According to Aristotle, the hand is the “tool of tools.” One of the very first things that takes place in meeting someone is to simply wave “Hello” or extend a firm handshake.

Hands give blessing while grasping another’s before a meal, or while folded before bedtime.

Often expressive, hands can offer an approving thumbs up, say that we’re #1, to rock on, to hang 10, or to peace out.

A hand is so important that a fortune teller not only uses it to track your past, but also to chart your future. In general, the significance of your hands is strength, power, and protection. However, it can just as easily mean generosity, hospitality, and stability.

Each day of our lives is filled with incidents that require our hands to be skillfully and silently involved, often to the point that we are nearly oblivious to how much we, and even others, rely on them.

Think back to the day your child was born. No bigger than a minute, your brand new baby fit in the palm of your hand—and from that point forward, relied on your hands to simply survive each day.

Equipped with the tools necessary, your hands …
swaddled Adelia…
rocked Elin to sleep…
changed Ellie’s diaper…
and fed Mason.

Your hands …
bathed Molly…
dressed Brayden…
tickled Braiyelyn…
fixed Olivia’s hair…
and zipped Ryder’s jacket.

Your hands also carried your sons and daughters into our Child Center.

Here, their hands learned the techniques necessary to …
crawl …
feed themselves …
share toys with friends …
do motions to songs …
paint and color …
wipe their noses …
write their names …
tie their shoes.

These children even learned that some hands hurt, but that there will always be hands to fix boo-boos and wipe away tears.

There … will always … be hands.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist said, “if you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment ...”

As your children rely on the help of your hands, you once depended on your parents’ hands to do the same for you. They once depended on their parents’ hands to do likewise. The hands of those who came before …    
fixed hair…
and zipped jackets for … you.

As your child leaves here today with his or her diploma in hand, I, along with all of the Child Center staff, will offer up a congratulatory round of applause, and keep our fingers crossed that our hands have assisted each one of you in preparing these graduates for the first day of school.

When that day in late August or early September comes, your children are relying on your hands for one more thing, and that is … to let go.

As you wait anxiously for the bus, or as you walk up to the entrance of the school, let go of your son’s and daughter’s hands. Like you once did for your parents on your first day, chances are good that your child will give you a reassuring thumb’s up.

While you wave “goodbye,” your child, armed with the “tool of tools,” will turn and wave “Hello” to his or her kindergarten teacher, and an entire classroom of new friends.

Congratulations to Green Hills Child Center’s Class of 2017!

In back from left: Elin Leichty, Molly Titlow, Ellie Louth, Adelia Leonard, and Olivia Keller.
From front from left: Mason Wallace, Braiyelyn Defibaugh, Brayden Clary, and Ryder Terry.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Last Monday, a genuine miracle happened at Bellefontaine High School.

What? A miracle? Yes! Right then and there. Time and Space, humanity’s most obstinate obstacles, vanished during four delightful hours.
Prom Royalty:
Fontella and John Marmon

The miracle happened when some 35 Green Hills’ Savvy Seniors happily enjoyed ‘their’ prom. Gently coached and encouraged by DECA students, our Savvy Seniors responded with remarkable bursts of recovered vitality. Surrounded by impressive posters from the four corners of the world, we engaged in subdued inter-generational social chit-chats and a lovingly served light lunch.

Then came the shared entertainment program. You should have seen that! Prom is all about dancing, right?

DECA seniors invaded the dance floor with their youthful vim and vigor, while begging old seniors to join them on the dance floor. “No way!” was the answer silently formulated by the oldies, still munching on their last cookie, kind of scared, you know. “My back is kill-ing me today! Me? Come on, I just can’t! I tell ya, I got Rheumatism, Fibromyalgia, the works! And oh, yes, you should see my bunions!

Me on the dance floor? I am stuck in my wheelchair, don’t you see? Those kids are nice to watch. That’s what I will do: watch and munch my cookie.”

That is when the miracle happened.

Reluctantly, with apprehension, dragging one foot here, one foot there, the old seniors joined the young ones. One by one, in groups, walking or pushed in their wheelchairs.

Samba! Mambo! Cha-Cha! Twist! And, oh delight, at long last the Savvy dancers could take a break with some slow dancing helped by Blue Eyes’ crooning; and Andrews sisters’ boogie-woogieing. Enough to bring tears to your happy eyes, I tell ya.

But then again came the shared fun of O-H-I-O! Some Swing, The Snake ... Nice, but kinda old fashioned, no?

That’s when the DECA Seniors demonstrated their gesticulating moves: The Dab, The Hit, and even The Quan. A few oldies joined in.

Can you imagine that, Savvies dancing The Dab?

The joy of dancing had taken us back in time, but not in a nostalgic way. Our past was blending with our hosts’ future in a uniquely shared and most natural way. Inter-generational programs sponsored by Green Hills like Techy Teens, are quite valuable for us all. They must be encouraged and expanded.

Full of knowledge, young people are at the start of a life journey full of challenges, likely achievements, and possible pitfalls; they need some of the wisdom that seniors have accumulated over their many years and want to share for the benefit of all.

Many thanks to the Bellefontaine High School DECA Seniors for adding caring love to their many talents. Many thanks to the Green Hills organizers for planning and running this wonderful event.
Rumors are that there will be a repeat in 2018. Great!

Meanwhile exercise more and munch less, OK?

--Patti & Dan Verin, residents of Green Hills Garden Homes
Patti & Dan Verin "cutting the rug" at the Senior Prom

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A feast of farro is phenomenal

We tried something new at the recent Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon  at Green Hills Community – it's call farro. 
Kelli Fritz, CDM
Director of Dining
& Support Services

You’ve heard of common grains like barley, buckwheat and whole wheat, but farro?

Farro, also called emmer in some parts of the world, is a type of ancient wheat grain that has been eaten around the world for thousands of years.

The ancient whole wheat grain has a long and interesting history and for many years fed almost the entirety of the Mediterranean and Near East. Specifically, it fed the vast majority of Romans from 44 BC to the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476 CE.

All classes of people,  from the wealthy to the poor, ate farro. The poor of the Roman Empire ground farro and included it as an ingredient in a type of polenta called "plus." 

As grains become more easily cultivated, farro lost its popularity until the French began using the grain in soups.

How does farro stack up against other grains? 

The USDA does not provide nutrition information for farro at this time but we can presume it has similar nutrients to other closely related ancient wheat species.

With that in mind, a half cup serving of uncooked farro has about:
150 calories 
34 grams of carbohydrates 
7-8 grams of fiber
7-8 grams of protein 
1 gram of sugar 
1 gram of fat
4 milligrams of niacin 
60 milligrams of magnesium
2 milligrams of iron
2 milligrams of zinc

Here are the six health benefits of eating farro
1. High in fiber: A very high level of fiber makes it heart-healthy, good for digestion and beneficial for
preventing blood sugar or insulin spikes and dips. Fiber is more than just a regulator. It is beneficial for preventing constipation, clearing the arteries of plaque buildup, curbing hunger pangs and supporting a healthy gut environment. Farro breaks down slowly, keeping your energy levels more stable compared to eating refined grains.

2. Improves immunity and heart health: Studies conducted by a national health organization show the more whole grains someone eats, the more protections that person seems to have against chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

3.  Good source of protein: Farro is considered an excellent source of plant base protein, providing just about the same amount as most legumes or beans and even more than many other whole grains.

4. High in B vitamins: Farro contains multiple B vitamins, especially Vitamin B3 Niacin, which is important for metabolic health and breaking down carbohydrates, fats and proteins from foods into energy.

5. Good source of antioxidants: Most people think of vegetables or fruits as being the only high antioxidant foods, but unprocessed grains also provide antioxidants, especially the type called lignans. Plant lignans are known to reduce inflammation.

6. Provides iron, magnesium and zinc: Farro is a good source of nutrients that some plant-based eaters or anyone with a mostly processed diet might be missing out on, including magnesium, zinc and iron. Iron is important for preventing anemia and helps to improve energy while zinc is crucial for brain function, helping with growth and development and facilitating with DNA and cellular functions. Magnesium is a crucial electrolyte that has numerous benefits, - preventing muscle cramps, helping you sleep better, fighting of headaches and helping with digestion.

Farro can be purchased at most grocery stores, including Kroger, Meijer and Aldi.

After reading this recipe, you might expect it to be quite earthy. You’d be right but there is so much more going on here. 

The first taste delivers the earthiness, but then you get sweetness and creaminess from the roasted onions and sweet potatoes that is topped off with the sweet crunch of the pomegranate seeds.

Farro dish served at Volunteer Luncheon
Serving Size: ½ cup 
Serves: 6 people

 1 cup of uncooked farro
 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
 Salt
 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes – should be about 2 ¼ cups
 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
 1/3 cup shelled raw walnuts
 3 cups packed finely chopped Kale – make sure to remove the stems before cutting
 1 large garlic clove, minced
 Lemon juice
 Black pepper
 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1. Combine farro with 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until grain is tender (about 20 minutes). Add one teaspoon of salt stir and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes. Drain excess water.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, toss onions & Garlic with enough oil to lightly coat, but do not soak. Spread across a baking sheet. Toss sweet potatoes with oil in similar fashion and spread on a separate baking sheet. Sprinkle with cumin, coriander and a pinch of salt. Place in oven and roast – onions will finish first.

3. Toast walnuts on the stove top in an non-stick pan while your vegetables are roasting.

4. Once everything is done cooking, blend your vegetables, walnuts with your rarro, add in the kale (uncooked) and fold ingredients together. Drizzle with a bit of the olive oil and lemon juice to taste, season with salt and pepper. Use the pomegranate seeds to top off the dish after it is put on a plate.


Friday, April 7, 2017

What tunes are on the soundtrack of your life?

Rebecca Marker-Smith
Director of Marketing
I believe in the power of music and how it sparks memories. I believe in the Music and Memory program that we offer at Green Hills Community.

The earliest song that I remember from growing up is the theme song of Josie and the Pussycats, a mini-record that I cut out from the back of a Honeycomb cereal box. The band was part of the Scooby-Doo show – one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons.

My parents had a very extensive record album collection, a great stereo system, and we listened to the radio all the time. 

When I got to high school – I would “discover” a song and sing it before anyone else knew about it. Eventually, the song would hit the Top 40 and I was over it – tired of hearing it and onto something else new and exciting.

While a student at Bowling Green State University, I fulfilled my dream by becoming a disc jockey at 88.1 FM WBGU. Garage bands were the rage, MTV was exposing us to all sorts of exciting sounds, college radio was king, and U2 was finally making a name for themselves. It was a great time to tune into the music industry and WBGU-FM hosted a wide range of formats.

I began with an early morning Saturday shift playing “alternative” music – anything that was NOT played anywhere else, like Depeche Mode, Roxy Music, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order, the Smiths and many others of that genre.

Later, I spend two semesters playing 60s and 70s music with a “Classic Flashback” show in which I always opened with Rod Stewart’s Every Picture Tells a Story, which I picked from my parent’s record collection along with tunes from Kenny Rogers and the First Edition and Three Dog Night. Wow, did I have a great time with that show.

During my last year at college, I took over as director of “Jazz Afterhours,” featuring music from classic jazz artists and more modern jazz/new age crossover artists like George Benson, Larry Carlton and John Scofield.

Yes, I love and appreciate music. My greatest fear is that when the day comes that I no longer recognize my family, that someone will play Top 40 tunes from 1984 thinking that I want to relive my high school years. I. Will. Go. Nuts. if I hear Oh Sherrie from Journey or something from Madonna. 

What do I want to hear? I’m so glad you asked. Here are a few songs on my list:
Early compilation albums from the Windham Hill record label and anything from Bob Marley.

Think about it. What songs always put you in a good mood or reminds you of a special event in your life?

Just like making a will or appointing someone to handle your affairs, I believe it is also important to write what you want to hear when your short-term memory starts to break down.

Now, it’s your turn. What songs are on the soundtrack of your life?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Therapy is essential

Jerry Walker is a worker.

He volunteers his time at the Air Force museum at the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, the West Liberty Post of the American Legion, Many Churches Serving One God community meal in West Liberty at Christmas and is a Sunday school teacher at South Union Mennonite Church.

In mid-December, the U.S. Coast Guard retiree was clearing up the last batch of fallen leaves in his yard when he slipped on a patch of ice that caused him to break his left upper femur.

Luckily, he had his cell phone and called his wife for two things …“Call your brother to ask him to come down and clean up the rest of the leaves and then call the squad to take me to the hospital – I just fell on the ice and I hurt a little bit.”

He was taken to Mary Rutan Hospital where he underwent surgery performed by Dr. Steven Haman of Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio in Lima.

“He’s a craftsman. He did a beautiful job to allow me to bear weight on that leg again. He knows what he is doing,” said Mr. Walker.

After a lot of hard work doing intensive physical and occupational therapy, Mr. Walker is back home.

“I was transported to Green Hills on a gurney. About a month later, I’m capable of walking with some assistance,” he said, happy with the progress he has made.

 “Therapy is most essential to healing. You have to come in with an open mind, be willing to do the work, do what you are told to recover quicker and go home.

“Without therapy I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said.

Following some additional therapy to help with his transition back home, he looks forward to helping his wife around the house and his volunteer work.

“I’m not done helping people,” he said.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Nursing: Is it for you?

Nursing is a calling. It’s not something anyone can do. It takes a special person who is willing to be hands on and help those who are not able to help themselves.

“At the time when I was choosing a career, there weren’t many options available for women. I knew that I wanted to be hands-on … on the go and not sitting in an office,” said Karen Arnett, who is a trainer for the STNA program at Green Hills Community.

Fresh out of high school, Karen was hired at Green Hills Community as a nurses’ aide, before licensing was required.

“Green Hills hired me and trained me for the position. After a year, I decided that I liked it and wanted to do more,” she said and was enrolled in the first LPN class that was offered at the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center.

A career in nursing allowed her the flexibility to take time off, about 20 years, to raise a family. After the children graduated from college, she decided to go back to school to become a Registered Nurse.

She has spent a total of about 10 years in nursing, some years at Mary Rutan Hospital and the remainder back at Green Hills.

“Being an STNA is hard work. You have to be able to pay attention to those you are caring for and be able to handle the care of several people,” she explained adding, “You have to be willing to do what needs to be done for someone who can’t do it themselves,” she explained.

Do you think that you have what it takes to be a nurse? Are you flexible with your time? An STNA can’t cure someone but they can make a difference for those who can’t care for themselves.

"Of all my years in nursing, my true passion was being an aide. As Director of Staff Development, I get to pass that passion along to others," she explained.

The next STNA course is from Jan. 9 to 20. Classes are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Green Hills Community. At the conclusion of the course, students are eligible to sit for the state test for nursing assistants.

STNAs are permitted to work in long-term care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation care settings.

Is nursing for you? To find out more, ask about the course or to register call Karen at 465.5065. If she is busy with a resident, call Stacie Cingle, Director of Human Resources at 465.5065.
Karen Arnett, left, with Evie Hostetler, right, reviews a list of medications with those stored in the med cart.