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School Days for Seniors!

August 31, 2018

Retirement is the perfect time to … go back to school? At The Saybrook at Haddam, we certainly think so, although learning at this stage of life is far different – and requires no testing!  We regularly ask residents which topics they would like to learn more about, what type of educational programs they would like to attend, which programs in the community interest them, and so on.  We use this information to build fantastic weekly activities, invite experts to our community, and plan educational excursions at the many nearby resources.  Since they helped plan them, residents eagerly participate in these events and provide feedback for future programs.  This interaction contributes significantly to the high quality of life we enjoy in our assisted living and independent living community.

Griwold AprilThese past few weeks were extremely busy with educational-oriented events. We attended several programs at local libraries: one lecture on how our beloved Connecticut River Valley region was formed geologically, and another that took a close look at the life of a “good” colonial wife.  We also continued popular on-site programs featuring visiting professors and other local experts, Great Courses video programs, book discussions, Bible studies, and art classes.  We host these learning events in our movie room, Country Kitchen, library, front parlor or second-floor great room– helping ensure residents use and enjoy all the many wonderful areas of our community!

U.S. News and World Report says senior citizens can only benefit from more education as “lifelong learning is a noble pursuit that will keep you engaged and challenged.”  They note four upsides:

  • Seniors can pursue educational programs based entirely on their personal areas of interest. They do not need to follow a degree path and classes can be as varied and unconnected as they would like.
  • Learning helps fill potentially empty hours with interesting and engaging challenges.
  • Seniors stay “sharp” through study and learning. While this is great for personal satisfaction, it also gives them thought-provoking conversational starters at social events.
  • Seniors are more socially engaged when they participate in classes and learning – and often make new friends who share similar interests.

Safe Harbor Farm trip 2The Saybrook at Haddam knows that overall wellness and quality of life absolutely includes a strong element of learning and engagement. We are always encouraged by the diverse suggestions for educational activities residents (and families) send our way because it shows their high level of curiosity and wonder at the world around us.  Our activities team takes these suggestions to heart and relies on this input to build meaningful experiences each week.

Families and friends are always welcome to join us at any of these events. Please check our weekly and monthly activity calendars and see what best fits your schedule.  You may be surprised at the things you will learn!

For a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam or its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or contact David Downey at 860-345-3779.

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We’re happy to answer any questions you have and provide additional information about The Saybrook at Haddam.

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Support in Sharing

August 15, 2018

Sharing is a beautiful part of life.  Granted, we may have struggled with sharing when we were very young, but as we age, we recognize its importance.  Sharing is the backbone of happiness and has countless other benefits – which is why we always encourage and seek out ways to share here at The Saybrook at Haddam.  One of the best things we can share, of course, is our experience and expertise, particularly in the area of helping families understand and navigate memory-related illness.

Since we opened the Safe Harbor Memory Care community in 2011, we have held many different educational and support events open to residents, their families, and the general community. We have had social workers, Alzheimer’s Association counselors, and specially trained personnel lead these groups, offering valuable insight and information in safe and welcoming settings.

This week we resume our “Caregivers Support Group” monthly meetings under the direction of Kathy Hallett, director of Safe Harbor at The Saybrook at Haddam.  As an Alzheimer’s Association trained facilitator, Kathy prepares short topics to present at each support group meeting and helps the group move in the direction that most addresses their needs. Kathy is also prepared to share community resources and distribute a wide range of educational materials from the Alzheimer’s Association.

“For caregivers, gathering in a safe environment to discuss frustrations, isolation issues and sadness is a good opportunity to not feel as lonely,” Kathy said.  “We take time to answer many questions, suggest tips, discuss loved ones’ stage and progression within the disease, and foster new friendships.”

The Mayo Clinic says support groups “provide an opportunity for people to share personal experiences and feelings, coping strategies, or firsthand information about diseases or treatments.” It suggests these groups are valuable tools to “fill a gap between medical treatment and the need for emotional support.”

Additionally, The Mayo Clinic says people may enjoy these wonderful benefits:

  • Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
  • Reducing distress, depression, anxiety or fatigue
  • Improving skills to cope with challenges
  • Staying motivated to manage chronic conditions or stick to treatment plans
  • Gaining a sense of empowerment, control or hope
  • Improving understanding of a disease and your own experience with it
  • Getting practical feedback about treatment options
  • Learning about health, economic or social resources

It is a privilege to share the experience and education of our talented staff in all areas of aging – but most especially regarding memory-related illnesses.  The success of our Safe Harbor memory care community has been in great part a result of the willingness of so many people to share so much of themselves – from our staff to our residents and their families to our volunteers and to the many Alzheimer’s experts who visit with us and help us grow.  This does, indeed, contribute to a beautiful life.

Our Caregivers Support Group welcome those caring for a loved one with a memory-related illness.  It will be held the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the first-floor library of The Saybrook at Haddam.  Please join us!

For a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam or its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or contact David Downey at 860-345-3779.

Request Information or Schedule a Tour

We’re happy to answer any questions you have and provide additional information about The Saybrook at Haddam.

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