Image for "Eat, Breathe and Smile"
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.

Image for Love of Aviation Leads to Book

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.

Image for Making My Move

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

Image for Plan Now for Living Into Your 90s

Lenbrook was the natural choice for us when my wife and I decided it was time to move into a senior living community. It was the right choice for several reasons. For one, my parents chose to live in a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) way back in 1964. My father lived there nine years and my mother 22 years. Those were happy years for them in Penney Farms, Florida. So I’ve known what a CCRC is for a long time.

Image for Gratitude Journal and Joy

At our age, there's plenty to get grouchy about -- creaky knees and achy joints to name a few. So to help keep things on the brighter side, I work out regularly in our fitness center and I stay active on resident committees and community activities. But one of the best ways I've found to lift my spirits is to keep a "gratitude journal." It's amazing how this simple habit works so well and in so many ways.

Image for pARTicipating in the ART of Life  at The Woodruff

Let’s face it. I’m an “artistic type” through and through; I love the arts. Fortunately, I’m in good company. So many of our Lenbrook residents share a passion for the arts, frequenting the theater, symphony and museum at The Woodruff Arts Center. I’m very excited that we will celebrate art and life together in a very special way at The Woodruff coming up on Sept. 10.

Image for LIVE! Makes Life a Bit Easier
Lenbrook is known for the energy of its residents -- you can feel it and see it when you walk in our front door. So it's quite fitting that we have a resource access department called LIVE! -- which stands for  “Lenbrook Individuals are Vital and Engaged."
 
Image for Lenbrook VICTORS Find Their Focus
Who are Lenbrook's VICTORS? They are our residents who sometimes feel isolated or lonely, yet have a desire to contribute to others. These feelings can be common occurrences in any setting.
 
Initially, I would direct them to one or more of our regularly scheduled programs, events, activities or excursions. It wasn’t long before I realized that well-planned, parallel programming would offer these individuals an alternative means of fulfilling their particular needs.
 
Image for Seizing Life With Octopus Arms

Before I came to Lenbrook, I had to maintain a large home, buy groceries, fix my own meals and pay all the bills associated with keeping a home functioning, including utilities. It wasn't fun when my water heater broke one weekend and I couldn't get a plumber in until Monday. And when I had my total knee replacement, the three flights of stairs in my home became quite a challenge.

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