Lenbrook's front entrance courtyard proudly sported a real snowman for a few days this winter when snow blanketed Atlanta. One of our residents felt inspired to build it, so he did. Once complete, he encouraged others to do the same, putting up a sign which read: "Feel free to add to the snowman. Or build your own. But Whatever You Do, Don't Act Your Age!" 
 

My name is Ruth Smith but my friends and neighbors also know me as "Rocky's Mom." Rocky is my 1-year-old French bulldog (a "Frenchie"). I love sharing him with our community and seeing all the smiles he generates. Rocky assumes everybody loves him as much as I do. But just in case, I always ask before entering the elevator, "Do you mind if we join you?" Lenbrook welcomed me and my first "Frenchie," Liam, here five years ago. 

Bulldogs are Beautiful Inside

Last summer I moved to Lenbrook primarily because I wanted to help make things easier for my children when and if I need additional care. But now that I'm here, I often wonder why I didn't make the move sooner! Atlanta's been my home since 1956, so in addition to my new friends at Lenbrook, I have all of my "old" friends and outside activities too. I have to keep a calendar to blend my Lenbrook life and my "outside life." 

This was the mantra written on my hand when I started the 2017 IRONMAN Florida race in November. Although the black Sharpie ink faded as the miles passed by, the message was embedded in my mind. These three words represented a very simple but important race strategy for me. Why did I choose this mantra? Let me offer a closer look at my Ironman journey and the parallels to my role here at Lenbrook.
 
My Race Mantra
 

Nutrition For Seniors

One of the most frequent questions I get asked by residents is “How can I prevent mental decline through diet?”  The good news is Martha Clare Morris, PhD has created the MIND diet, Mediterranean - DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.

The MIND diet is a hybrid of the DASH and Mediterranean diets to help create a diet aimed at reducing the risk of dementia and the decline in brain health that people often experience as they age. Such decline, however, is not considered a normal part of aging.

"Shining star" employees -- or associates as we call our employees here at Lenbrook -- stand out by their nature and tend to receive frequent recognition. But what about associates who work behind the scenes, or in less visible positions and provide invaluable momentum to the team and the organization as a whole? That's the delicate but critical balance we've aimed to achieve with our new associate recognition program. 

It takes the efforts of every individual to make a successful team and hence a successful organization. This is especially true at Lenbrook.

I happened to be born in St. Thomas the same year aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh landed on our island. As a child, I watched as huge equipment dredged the Mosquito Bay located adjacent to Lindbergh's landing strip and transformed it into Lindbergh Bay. Perhaps that's how I came to be so interested in aviation and now, at 89, am getting ready to publish a documentary about aviation in the U.S. Virgin Islands from 1921 to 1971.

Everyone says time goes faster the older you get. If that's the case, I'm getting older really fast. Actually, I prefer the alternative explanation which says, "Time flies when you're having fun." Naturally, it's easy to have more fun if you're actively engaged in doing what you love. That's how I'd describe this past year at Lenbrook -- a year filled with enjoyment in our community as residents engage with life and pursue what's meaningful to them.

When my husband of 58 years passed away in April of 2009, I knew exactly what I was going to do. We had visited a friend from high school in Dallas, Texas, who lived in a lovely CCRC ("Continuing Care Retirement Community"). I couldn’t forget it, and immediately set about getting my Dunwoody house ready to sell so I, too, could make this kind of a move for the rest of my life.

Research, Sale and Move

I heard an analogy not too long ago from an advisor at Jackson Spalding and it stuck with me ... so much that I used the analogy to kick off a monthly resident information meeting. It's about the making of a cake. 

Most cakes are made with simple ingredients: flour, butter, sugar, milk or water, baking soda, eggs, and of course flavoring -- vanilla, chocolate, etc. When you see a cake, whether it's a sheet cake or a seven-layer cake, do you see the eggs? Not really. Why not? Because all the ingredients combine to make it into a fluffy, delicious dessert. 

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