Wood Haven Health Care

‘Ka-Bloom’ – Planting flowers therapeutic for seniors

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   There’s just something rejuvenating about digging in the dirt. Residents of Wood Haven Health Care got a little of that hands-on therapy during the annual “KaBloom” event at the facility last week. Dorothy Betts, who was planting some petunias in baskets in the courtyard, wasn’t particular about the type of flowers being planted. “I like them all,” she said. Filling up the flowering baskets brought back memories to Betts of the flowers she used to plant with her husband – impatiens, coral bells, daylilies, and bleeding hearts. “I think it’s therapeutic,” Betts said. “Then you get to watch them grow.” In addition to the flowers in the courtyard, there will also be tomatoes planted on the patio, where strawberries grew last summer. “It’s a good thing for them to get into the dirt,” said Wood Haven activity leader Cindy Dow. This summer, the residents will also be creating a fairy garden and a succulent garden. Those two garden plots are raised, making it easier for seniors to care for them, Dow said. “They love to nurture them,” Dow said of the seniors and the summer flowers. “There’s something therapeutic about watching them grow.” And spring is the ideal time for people to get outside. “After being cooped up in the winter, it’s so refreshing to come outside,” Dow said. The courtyard flowering benefits those who can’t travel to the courtyard as well. “They can see them from their windows,” Dow said. In front of Wood Haven Health Care, another planting crew was busy at work last week. Wood County Commissioners Doris Herringshaw, Ted Bowlus and Craig LaHote, as well as county administrator Andrew Kalmar and assistant administrator Kelly O’Boyle were digging in to plant flowerbeds with Wood Haven Administrator Jeff Orlowski. They came armed with their own trowels, gloves and sunscreen, to make the job more pleasant. Orlowki said the KaBloom program has several benefits for Wood Haven residents. “It’s been known that gardening has been able to lower blood pressure and increase brain activities and give a good general feel to whoever is doing it,” he said. “We are doing all kinds of different activities. The KaBloom  program pretty much came out of getting the residents outside on nice days in May and to get the employees involved and the families involved. The whole focus of these activities, and this is our overall goal at Wood Haven, is providing an outstanding experience, and activities are so much a part of that.”  

New Year’s resolutions easy to make, hard to keep

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Marcy Collins gave up on New Year’s resolutions long ago. So as 2018 rolls around, her resolution is to not make a resolution. “I quit doing those years ago,” Collins said as she worked at the front desk at the Wood County Commissioners. “None of them come true.” But some people still have hope – even if it’s just a sliver of optimism – that starting a new direction stands a better chance of success when it begins with the turn from one calendar year to the next. Dallas Mohr still clutches to the hope. “I guess I’ll try to lose a little weight,” he said. That may mean a change in eating habits, since he made his 2018 prediction as he waited for his carryout order at Campus Pollyeyes. But Mohr had other goals, too, that do not require cutting back on pizza. “This year I want to strive to be a better person, and to do better in my business” which he is just starting up. A business resolution was also top on the list for Ben and Jen Waddington, of Waddington Jewelers in downtown Bowling Green. As they worked at their jewelry counter, the couple talked about resolutions. “You feel like you have to start something at the new year,” Ben Waddington said. So the couple decided to focus on time management. “With kids and a small business, that’s always hard,” he said. But now that both their children are in school, they can focus more on their business which saw growth last year. The plan is to get to work earlier, be more organized and take advantage of the extra time that both kids are in school, the couple agreed. Research shows that nearly half of all American adults make New Year’s resolutions. Fewer than 10 percent stick with their resolutions more than a few months. The most common goals are losing weight, exercising more, quitting smoking and saving money. Tricks to success include setting realistic resolutions, focusing on one goal at a time, telling someone about your resolution, changing your behavior with others who have set the same goal, starting small and not expecting perfection. But Monica O’Connor isn’t messing around with any small goals. As she checked on residents at Wood Haven Health Care, she admitted to not having great success with New Year’s resolutions in the past. “I try. Do I keep them up? Heck no,” O’Connor said with a smile. This year, she’s got a list. At the top is losing weight, followed by improving relationships, then saving money. “I got a lot of them this year,” O’Connor said. Dean Heilman, who works in maintenance at Wood Haven, was planning to mix it up a bit next year. “It starts out good – typically…

Do’s & don’ts of talking with loved ones with dementia

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The room was crowded with people desperately seeking ways to connect with loved ones who have dementia. The secret, the speaker said, is to stop expecting people with dementia to be who they used to be. Belinda Cytlak, a memory care consultant with Waugh Consulting, recently presented a program at Wood Haven Health Care on how to communicate with people who have dementia. When Cytlak asked how many in the audience know someone with dementia, every person raised a hand. “The family and friends have the toughest time,” she said. Cytlak spoke from experience, with her mother having dementia. “The hardest thing was to give up who my mom was,” she said. That doesn’t mean giving up on loved ones, but just changing expectations of them. It can be difficult for family members or friends to realize that today’s lunch is no longer a safe topic of conversation. “Anyone who has dementia has a problem with short-term memory,” Cytlak said. So the typical questions about lunch or recent visitors can make a person with dementia feel frustrated or like a failure, she said. “We put that person with dementia in a position where they know they don’t know – and they don’t want to fail,” Cytlak said. Above all, she said, don’t dispute facts with a person with dementia. “My mom used to say her big brother just came to visit. He’s been gone for eight years,” Cytlak said. But it was futile to say “No Mom, your brother wasn’t here.” Trying to use logic is not helpful. In fact, reasoning often causes a conversation to “spiral out of control.” If a loved one with dementia gets agitated or angry over their lack of short-term memory, Cytlak suggested trying to redirect them. Family and friends should come up with “conversation starters,” that can bring back pleasant memories. Cytlak recommended that loved ones try to “live in their world.” Her mom loved cooking, so talking about recipes was a topic enjoyable to both of them. Pay attention to the person’s senses, she advised. What do they like to smell – molasses cookies, certain flowers? What was a favorite food – candy, pie, beer? Did they prefer Frank Sinatra or Glenn Miller? Don’t forget the sense of touch that can bring back memories – with pets, or fabrics such as lace. And old photos or adult coloring books can prompt good conversations. “Give them a tool of how to get into their long-term memory,” Cytlak said. And avoid questions all together if those cause stress. Instead of saying, “do you remember our first puppy?” try saying, “I was thinking about that dog we had….” “So they don’t have to feel bad about not knowing an answer,” she said. Let people with dementia be helpful…

Wood Haven off to see the wizard…and rest of cast from Oz

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The yellow brick road leading into Wood Haven’s dining room was the first indication that something was different on Wednesday. Inside, the staff had taken on the roles of Dorothy, Aunt Em, the Wizard of Oz, the Lion, Tin Man, Scarecrow, witches and even a flying monkey. The food followed suit, with the menu including Aunt Em’s famous fried chicken, Tin Man tater tots, Scarecrow stuffing, Flying Monkey mashed potatoes, Emerald City green beans, Yellow Brick Road corn – all topped off with Toto’s treats. “I tried to get all the characters in the meal,” said Sue Smith, dining services manager at Wood Haven Health Care. The Wizard of Oz celebration on Wednesday was the brainchild of Smith. “I love to plan theme dinners. It’s kind of my big forte,” she said. Such events allow Smith to combine her two loves of art and food. “It’s my passion.” In preparation for the Oz event, the residents had a chance to revisit the 1939 movie classic. “I rented it at home this week, just to get psyched up,” Smith said. “I’m excited about it, can you tell? Food and people and events – that’s my passion,” she said. Smith served lunch in her cowardly lion costume, while Dorothy skipped around the dining room with her basket and Toto – who is actually Smith’s terrier named Maximus. “They are excited. I think they like it,” Smith said of the residents. “This is fun. There are lots of smiles,” said Christina Stearns, Wood Haven community relations director, who was dressed as a good witch. In one corner of the dining room, an evil witch’s feet stuck out from under a cardboard house. And songs from the movie played in the background. “It’s been a very good time,” said Hazel Rehm, a Wood Haven resident. “I think everyone’s enjoying it, and the costumes are great.” As residents dined on their Wizard of Oz meal, Amanda Smith as Dorothy entertained by singing “Over the Rainbow.” Desserts completed the meal – some in the shape of Toto. Smith had to purchase a dog cookie cutter for the occasion. “I definitely get into this,” she said. So did much of the Wood Haven staff, with nurses, aides, therapists, administration and maintenance workers dressing their parts. The Tin Man, one of the maintenance men, was not only missing a heart, but also any food since he was unable to bend his arms. This was not Smith’s first theme lunch. Earlier this year, she organized a 1920s celebration with glitzy decorations and a menu featuring items like “mafia meatloaf.” She has plans to visit every decade of the 1900s, focusing on themes like the big band era, “Happy Days,” and disco. Smith said she is always looking for fun ideas for…

Wood Haven Health Care named a Top Workplace for 2017

Wood Haven Health Care has been named a ‘Top Workplace’ for the second year in a row by the employees who work there. Workplace Dynamics, a survey firm, teams up with The Toledo Blade newspaper annually to select the top 35 to 40 workplaces in the country. Employees nominate their companies, and those nominations along with company surveys are compiled to determine which are the most dynamic and supportive workplaces in the Toledo area. Workplace Dynamics has worked with more than 40 publishers and roughly 35,000 businesses. 4,387 out 7,135 Toledo metro area employees responded to the surveys last year.