SPRINGHOUSE SENIOR LIVING – August 2020 NEWSLETTER
Welcome to the Springhouse monthly newsletter. Learn about all the exciting and inspirational activities and work being done around our senior living community. We provide tips and other information from the lives of our residents.
Self Discovery During the Pandemic
Confidence, resilience, passion: As the pandemic has changed the world and pushed our residents into their apartments and out of old routines, it has also, for many, revealed some surprising traits within themselves. The luxury of self-reflection without life’s usual distractions has taken some people elsewhere. While it’s arguably not time for “silver linings,” considering the havoc as the health crisis continues, it is possible for people to recognize where their values lie in new ways. Having to stay home and not engage with the world as they usually do, people are not only reconnecting with friends and family, but are having deeper and more meaningful conversations.
Our own residents had a few self-discoveries themselves. For example: Anne, an artist, looked beyond her sandwich one day. She dug out a seed from a tomato in her sandwich and planted it. Now it is a tomato plant ready to sprout its own tomatoes.
A few other residents starting writing poems to pass the time. Sarah wrote the following:
My home is Springhouse, a senior living community in Jamaica Plain, that includes Independent Living apartments like mine, Assisted Living, and a locked Memory Care unit. Since we are a vulnerable population, restrictions are serious. Confined to my apartment for many weeks now, I am allowed a half hour walk around the outside of the building between noon and 12:30 every day, reluctantly agreed to for some of us by management. Information is sometimes hard to come by, but we do know that some people here have tested positive for the virus.
Near the entrance to Springhouse, a rainbow windsock with colorful streamers hangs from the branch of a tree. The wind often tangles the streamers in the small branches nearby and very chance I get, when I’m out walking, I untangle the streamers so the whole rainbow symbol can hang gracefully at the entrance. Springhouse does its best to promote a gay-friendly atmosphere even though only a handful of residents and staff are openly gay. The staff even threw a Pride party last June for residents and friends, complete with decorations, a DJ, dancing, and refreshments.
The walk outdoors helps a lot, as does email, phone conversations and a bit of Zoom. As a longtime member of OLE (Older Lesbian Energy), I particularly enjoy the weekly Zoom meetings of my beloved lesbian sing-along group, which had its roots in OLE. But I certainly have times of despair and tears and hopelessness and anger. Will this crisis be over in my lifetime? I think the ramifications of this disaster will be felt for decades to come. I do know I am luckier than so many others, with a roof over my head and food delivered to my door. And the loving support of family and friends, particularly my own LGBTQ community.
Did you have any self discoveries during this time? We would love to know. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beware of scammers during COVID
Many of us are paying close attention to the guidance from federal, state, and local governments during this COVID-19 health emergency. Unfortunately, scammers are also paying attention. Some are even pretending to be affiliated with the government – just to scam you out of money.
• Learn how to tell the difference between a real contact tracer and a scammer. Legitimate tracers need health information, not money or personal financial information.
• Don’t respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government.
• Ignore offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work.
• Be wary of ads for test kits. Most test kits being advertised have not been approved by the FDA, and aren’t necessarily accurate.
• Hang up on robo calls. Scammers are using illegal robo calls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
• Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO. Use sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. And don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.
• Do your homework when it comes to donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card or by wiring money.
Etymology of the Springhouse Garden!
Springhouse, Springhouse, how does your garden grow? That is the question our Garden Club is set out to answer this year. By adding informational signs, as pictured to the left, to each section of our garden we’ve made it easy for anyone who visits the garden to learn about what we’re growing and the best conditions for each plant’s growth.
To take our educational approach a step further, in addition to work days where we get our hands dirty and tend to the garden, once a week the Garden Club hosts an informative session to learn about the origins of the various veggies we’re cultivating. The Etymology of Vegetables will be studied throughout the season in a format similar to that of our popular pre-pandemic program, “Tales and Treasures.”
Each week our Garden Club engages in a multi-sensory exploration of one vegetable in the garden. We discuss the vegetable’s growth, share expertise and information from past gardening experiences and learn the etymology of the veggie, including funny cultural stories or old wives tales surrounding it. We smell, taste and feel the various parts of the vegetable, share recipes and other uses as well as reminisce about the veggie’s place in our lives and various cultures.
Our first session featured peas. Did you know that peas were discovered in Thailand over 3000 years ago? We also learned that though there is some debate, the proper etiquette for eating peas is to squash them on the back of your fork so they don’t roll away. Janet Harris of Sussex, England, holds the world record for eating the most peas in one minute, 7175 – with chopsticks! Nutritionally, one serving of peas contains as much as Vitamin C as two large apples, more fiber than a slice of whole meal bread, and more thiamine than a pint of whole meal.
August fruits & veggies
August is a great time to feature fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Here are 5 foods that are peaking in August
- Blackberries – High in vitamin c and antioxidants and are delicious alone or in a smoothie
- Okra – High in fiber, vitamin c and k as well as lots of antioxidants. Cook this fast on high heat so it doesn’t get slimy.
- Peppers – High in vitamin A, C and K and antioxidants. A great addition to any salad or sauteed with onions
- Plums – A delicious summer fruit that offers a nice subtle flavor. Great alone or grilled and added to salads
Zucchini – This vegetable is exploding in August and can be very versatile. Baked, Grilled or Fried or eaten raw.
To find a local farmers market near you visit the Massachusetts government website here: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/farmers-markets
Support group updates at Springhouse Senior Living
At Springhouse Senior Living, we have acknowledged the need to keep positive and support our mental health during COVID-19. Our Care to Care support group is currently suspended until further notice, however for those caring for a loved one with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association has put together a number of online resources which you can access here: https://www.alzmassnh.org/virtual-programs/
The Living with Loss support group is being held virtually via Zoom. For more information, please contact Adrianna at email@example.com or call 617-522-0043 x 2103