Everything Elderly - LifeChoices with Evangelical Homes of Michigan and activities at University Living
Everything Elderly is on Saturday mornings at 8:30, on 1290 am WLBY, sponsored by Senior Helpers. We were blessed with two very interesting guests this weekend.
Our first guest was Steve Hopkins, the Executive Director for LifeChoices for Evangelical Homes of Michigan. Evangelical offers a full continuum of services for older adults -- independent living, assisted listing, skilled nursing, as well as in-home services.
LifeChoices is a new program to deliver support services to the home environment, to better ‘age in place.' This includes the traditional services, such as clinical and homemaker services, and adds technology solutions to make the home safer. LifeChoices further encompasses physical fitness, meal delivery and taking care of the home itself (handyman, electrical).
LifeChoices came about through a detailed two-year research effort, asking older adults to define their perfect world, to better identify their wishes. A large percentage indicated that if they could, they would prefer to stay in their homes and not move into a community.
Steve is clearly very proud of the team he works with - occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, physical trainers, activity directors, massage therapists, and others. Steve says he’s got “the A team -- I’m working with superstars”.
His group is a great resource for seniors, even if they don’t help them directly. Steve said that for about half the phone calls they receive, they don’t directly provide service, but they help the caller find the right resource.
Steve encouraged folks to go to their Wellness blog, at wellness.evangelicahomes.org. I visited the site, and it’s a neat blog with frequent updates. I encourage you to check it out!
To contact Steve Hopkins or Evangelical Homes of Michigan, call 734-295-9292 or go to evangelicalhomes.org. To listen to the full 12-minute conversation, click on Everything Elderly 0925 Steve Hopkins.mp3.
Maureen Pawlak was our next guest. Maureen is the activities director at University Living. University Living is a smaller facility on South Main Street in Ann Arbor, with independent living, assisted living and a memory care unit.
Maureen had five years of experience with a skilled nursing facility and then had the opportunity to move to University Living three years ago. “I loved the place as soon as I set foot in the door," she said. She plans activities for the residents, helps supervise the staff, and coordinates the volunteers. She is always working within the community to increase the quality of life.
Dr. Richard Adelman, professor emeritus from the University of Michigan, organizes a themed discussion every year for the residents and student volunteers. This year it’s the Israel/Palestinian Conflict - they obviously don’t shy away from the tougher topics. Dr. Adelman also hosts the Learning to Love Opera series.
It’s an amazing array of activities Maureen coordinates. There’s the practical (trips to Meijer), the lunch outings to Knight's (the residents’ favorite place), trips to museums, gardening, wine and cheese events, and fitness groups throughout each day. Maureen said it’s their musical events (classical or whatever) that are the biggest draw.
Maureen shared a funny story about a resident (in his 90s) that she saw walking down the hall “wearing his Skechers." She was surprised when she saw him get on his Blackberry, and then he told Maureen that she “has to get with the times”!
To contact Maureen Pawlak, call 734-669-3030, and you can visit the University Living website at univliving.com. To listen to the full 12-minute discussion, click on Everything Elderly 0925 Maureen Pawlak.mp3.