The Impact of Active and Engaging Assisted Living

Active-Assisted-Living

 The best kind of assisted living is one that provides your loved ones with a safe, clean and welcoming environment above everything else! However, these are not the only attributes to look for. It’s sometimes easy to forget that retirement living is often a change of lifestyle and that means a great opportunity is created to not only improve living situations but create a more engaging lifestyle. The environment, people, activities and promoted lifestyle are all part and parcel with the retirement facility that perfectly fits your loved one’s needs. We’ve compiled a handy list of the various aspects of the ideal senior care services that you can find in National City.

The Environment

Nothing affects your mood, daily outlook, and overall health like the environment you live in and interact with everyday. From the choice of colors in your room to the cleanliness of the space in general, the environment in a care facility should foster positivity and provide a welcoming sense of home. Besides cleanliness, the warmth of the space is also an important contributing factor to your loved one’s reception of such a facility. Which brings us to the people….

The People

The people that your loved one interacts with daily from nurses to counsellors to other residents are important to creating a sense of belonging and home. Ensure that you can rely on those who you entrust your loved one to. Make sure that they are trustworthy, professional, but most importantly, caring. Your loved one needs to be surrounded with people who genuinely care and are involved in their wellbeing – not nameless nurses or rotating nametags but reliable and consistent workers who provide the best care.

The Lifestyle

Above all else, the lifestyle that a care facility provides is important. The various senior care services that it provides need to encourage an active and engaging lifestyle that promotes social connection and fosters new and exciting experiences. An engaging lifestyle ensures that your loved one is never bored or lonely. Creating memorable experiences also improves one’s mood and happiness.

The Activities

In-house spa days? Leisure swimming or going to the gym? Quick and accessible transportation to tons of other amenities? Numerous experiences to travel and explore? There is a wide array of opportunities to create new memories, live life comfortably, be engaged and happy.

Advice from our Wellness Team: Drink More Water, Your Body Will Thank You!

If you are suffering from fPouring water into a glassatigue, you feel depressed or too stressed, and you are looking for more energy, water could be just the ticket. Did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? For 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak it is often mistaken for hunger!

Even mild dehydration can slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%.  So if you are interested in losing weight and/or controlling your appetite, if you suffer from dry skin, indigestion, backaches, or headaches, drinking more water might be the solution, at least partly. Continue reading

Paradise Village Honors Our Veterans

Paradise Village Honors Our Veterans
Celebrating America’s Finest at Paradise Village

If you live in San Diego then you know that this beautiful city is a military city and it is therefore no surprise that many discerning veterans looking for that connection select Paradise Village as the community they wish to call home…In celebration of our veterans, Paradise Village recently debuted our Resident Veterans Wall!

The formal unveiling event began in our Liberty Theater with a video of the Arlington Color Guard. This was followed by the anthems of all service branches. With emotion and pride, resident veterans from each branch stood during their anthems and sang along to the words long etched into memory. Continue reading

Weekly Wellness Tip

 

Paradise Village Weekly Wellness Tip
Does This image look all to familiar? if so your really need to read this article!

Choosing the Right Exercise Shoe
What’s the one piece of workout gear you can’t live without? Your iPod? A good water bottle?  Your lucky T-shirt?  Wrong, wrong, and wrong. The single most important piece of equipment to virtually any kind of exercise program — running, aerobics, hiking, tennis, basketball — is the right pair of shoes.  A good pair of shoes can make or break your workout, and it’s easy to go wrong. Here are the five biggest shoe mistakes people make. Continue reading

Senior Women Say Wear Lipstick!

Paradise Village Retirement Community is home to the Ms. Senior San Diego Pageant!“Wear Lipstick.” This is about the craziest advice for living well given to senior women that I have seen, but in a way it makes perfect sense. A scientific example of this was given in a Harvard study which found that women who thought they looked younger after a visit to a salon actually had a drop in blood pressure. Anecdotally, a recent interview of vibrant women entering their 11th decade – yes, 11th decade – with vigor and spirit found a similar thread in the consensus of the group – that self confidence is a marvelous thing and a little vanity is good for you.

We have seen this same phenomenon on our senior living campus too. To the delight of everyone, Paradise Village Retirement Community has the privilege of calling itself home to the Ms. Senior San Diego Pageant. This event honors women in the ‘Age of Elegance’ who best portray dignity, maturity, and inner beauty, and is intended to inspire all of us to live a full, balanced, and vivacious life. One cannot help but feel that this group of gracious, fit, happy and social contestants, lives by the ‘Wear Lipstick’ philosophy.

This leads to the thought that of course it is not really about makeup and it’s not about being model perfect or conforming to guidelines that do not fit us. The senior women who offered their insights on living well were talking about enhancing who we feel we are, about recognizing within ourselves something worth celebrating and something worth sharing. Their insights, summed up by the idea of wearing lipstick, were full of approaches to feed your soul, indulge in yourself, generate positive energy and grow confidence.

So there it is. Feel beautiful. It is key to a long and wonderful life.

To Itemize or Not, That is the Question

Many seniors have gotten into the habit of claiming the standard deduction instead of itemizing. That’s because they typically pay little or no mortgage interest, and they usually don’t owe much for state and local income and property taxes either. So the most common itemized deductions for the rest of us often amount to little or nothing for seniors. Plus folks age 65 and older get larger standard deductions. All that said, claiming the standard deduction may not be the right answer if you have significant medical expenses.

As you probably know, medical expenses can only be deducted to the extent they exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). In adding up your expenses, don’t make the common mistake of forgetting to count Medicare insurance premiums. Together with other out-of-pocket costs, Medicare premiums can easily put you over the 7.5%-of-AGI threshold and also cause your total itemized deductions to exceed the standard deduction amount. Here’s the drill to find out if you can cut your tax bill by itemizing.

Step 1: Identify Expenses that Count as Medical Expenses.

 

To figure out if you have enough medical expenses to benefit from itemizing, add up the following.

  • Premiums for Medicare Parts B, C, and D Coverage. Seniors enrolled in Medicare can count premiums for Medicare Part B coverage (for medical costs other than hospital bills), Part C coverage (for Medicare Advantage policies), and Part D coverage (for prescription drugs) as medical expenses. *For most people, the 2011 Part B premium is $1,157 per covered person, but it can be up to $4,429 per person for higher-income folks (the 2012 premiums will be a bit higher, but we don’t have the exact numbers yet). *Part C premiums depend on the plan. *Part D premiums average around $360 per covered person for 2011 (and will probably be about the same for 2012).
  • These Medicare coverage premiums are generally withheld from your SocialSecurity benefit payments. If so, you can find the premium amounts for each year on Form SSA-1099 (Social Security Benefit Statement) which you should receive shortly after the end of each year.
  • Premiums for Supplemental Medicare Coverage (Medigap Insurance)
  • Seniors can also count premiums paid for private Medicare supplemental insurance policies — often called Medigap coverage — as medical expenses. The cost depends on the plan, but annual premiums can easily amount to $1,000 to $2,000 per covered person or more.
  • Premiums for Qualified Long-Term Care Coverage
  • Premiums for qualified long-term care (LTC) insurance also count as medical expenses, subject to age-based limits. For each covered person, count the lesser of: (1) the actual premiums paid in 2011 or (2) the age-based limit from below: Age on 12/31/2011 – Maximum Premium Amount 61-70 $3,390. Over 70 $4,240
  • Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses
  • Many seniors also incur significant out-of-pocket outlays due to insurance co-payments and deductibles and for dental and vision care. Be sure to add these into the mix.
  • Medical Expenses Paid for Relatives
  • Did you pay health premiums or uninsured medical expenses for a qualifying relative this year? If you did, count these expenses, too. For a person to be your qualifying relative, you generally must pay over half of his or her support for 2011, and the person must be your adult child, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchild, father, stepfather, father-in-law, mother, stepmother, mother-in-law, brother, stepbrother, brother-in-law, sister, stepsister, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew. It doesn’t matter if the relative lives with you or not.

 

Step 2: Add Everything Up and Subtract 7.5% of AGI

 

As earlier, you can only claim an itemized medical expense deduction to the extent your total expenses exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI). For example, say your 2011 AGI is $80,000, and you have $20,000 of medical expenses from the preceding expansive list, deduction is $14,000 [$20,000 — $6,000 (7.5% of your $80,000 AGI)].

 

Step 3: Add in Other Itemized Deductions and Compare to Standard Deduction

 

Now that you’ve learned you can claim a significant itemized deduction for medical expenses (even after subtracting 7.5% of AGI), the next step is to identify any other potential itemized deductions for 2011. These can include (among other things):

  • State and local income and property taxes (including taxes on cars, boats, and other personal property).
  • State and local general sales taxes (but only if you choose to claim them instead of claiming state and local income taxes).
  • Home mortgage interest (if any).
  • Charitable contributions

 

Add these to your medical expense deduction, and see if the total exceeds your 2011 standard deduction amount of $7,250 if you are aunmarried and will be 65 or older as of 12/31/11 or $13,900 if you file jointly, and both you and your spouse will be 65 or older as of 12/31/11.

 

Be sure to contact a trusted, experienced tax advisor to find what’s right for you!

95-year-old Paradise Village Original Tuskegee Airman Proud of Impact and Accomplishments

Colonel Louis Hill, Retired Air Force, says he has a unique story.  Hill is an extremely modest man with life experiences that would impress anyone, though he states, “I’m no one special.”   Hill lives by his father’s expression, “Do the most good for the largest number.”

Hill was raised by his parents, both college graduates, which was a feat in their day.  He was the seventh of eight children, all whom went to college as well.  Growing up in the South at that time had its challenges.  Regarding segregation, Hill believed that “five percent of the population was in favor, another five percent against, and the balance just went along to get along.”  It was not until age 16 that Hill was told “Go to the back of the bus!”  Hill humorously added, “mainly because they did not have buses in my hometown.”  He later married his college sweetheart Ecra Yvon Jett, and they had beautiful daughters Myrna E. Hill and Ecra Elaine Hill.

Hill taught high school following his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Mathematics fromAlabamaStateUniversityin 1938.  He was deferred for entry into the military at that time.  In 1942, he was drafted as a “buck” Private at the age of 26.  Three months later he found himself in officer’s training and three months later a new 2LT officer in the Army Air Corps.  His goal was to get to the Tuskegee Project which was formed in 1941 from political and social pressure, though he never formally submitted an application to the program.  He made himself a nuisance in his pursuit, and was transferred 16 times before landing in the exact place he wanted to call his military home at the Tuskegee Army Airfield in September 1943.  The Tuskegee Airmen were training to becomeAmerica’s first black military pilots in segregated units.   Eleanor Roosevelt was a major champion of the Project, telling her President husband “those men can fly!”

Hill was 26 years old joining this testing ground and was called “The Old Man” in the group.  He chose not to apply as a pilot, but rather wanted to work others through the program—a mentor and educator at heart.  He worked in Cadet Classification in the Psychological and Motor Skill Testing Sections.  His job was to ensure the program was successful by screening for candidates who were both stable and could withstand extreme stress.  The personality and Psych tests, and the pressure to become two to three times as good as non-black counterparts, were key to the viability of the project.  Hill was most proud of the caliber of candidates and colleagues he worked with atTuskegee.  Black enlisted men were what Hill described as “extraordinary.”  They were men of character and ambition with Master and Doctoral degrees, but were not seeking entry into the officers’ ranks at that time.  At the beginning of the project, only five black pilots graduated the first year.  Just before military segregation ended, 940 fighter pilots graduated in total.  Tuskegee Airmen were considered any service man or woman that took part in any aspect of the fighter group, not just the pilots.  Hill firmly believed that war was transitory and they would win the war.  He taught and encouraged all he worked with to develop marketable skills to use following in peacetime. 

The Tuskegee Airmen broke through a barrier of ignorance and proved that black men would handle themselves equally among the officers’ ranks, as brave countrymen, and outstanding aviators.  Respect came from white fighter pilots who showed appreciation by nicknaming the black airmen the “Red Tail Angels.”  These white pilots knew they were led to successful missions and safely returned back to base as a result of the black unit’s skill and bravery.  The Army Air Corps’  332nd Tuskegee Fighter Group and its four squadrons (the 99th, 100th, 301st, and 302nd) were commanded by West Pointer COL Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. who was an honors graduate, but endured discrimination and isolation by peers at the Military Academy all four years. 

The war ended in 1945.  Hill discovered his strengths, expertise and leadership in Logistics.  He was transferred to Hawaiiand joined a group to prepare a separate location for the 477th Bombardment Group.  Hill didn’t have enough points to make him eligible to get out of the service.  There was an effort, where possible, to have black officers command black companies.  In 1945, Hill deactivated these seven companies, and then activated the 10th Air Ammunition Squadron, and commanded as a Captain.  He was quite proud, and rightly so, of their deficiency-free distinction.  It was not until 1946 when Hill would be accepted as equal and received officer’s housing.  In 1947, the United States Army Air Corps became the Unites States Air Force.  In 1948, full integration occurred in theU.S. military. 

Further along in Hill’s service he became a staff officer at the fighter wing headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.  Four black fighter units and one bomber unit transferred to Ohioand were nicknamed “The Black Air Force,”  Hill worked with an inspiring group of officers who shared his philosophy to lead and mentor.  Later, Captain Hill was chosen to go on to AdvancedOfficersSchooland graduated in the top 10 percent.  He was one of the first black officers and the only representative from the newly formed Air Force at the time.  Hill moved on to Strategic Air Command and was promoted later to Integrated Major.  He transferred to Englandand commanded the 3918th Maintenance Supply and Services Group.  Major Hill always pushed for mainstreaming his career as a military officer.  When asked about leading “Red Necks,” Hill stated, “I have no problem with them.  They will be the ones with a problem.”   Hill served in many other positions and locales in the service.  In 1964, Hill was promoted to Colonel.  His career in Air Force Logistics continued as Deputy Wing Commander for the 6200th Material Wing in support of all ofSoutheast Asia.  Hill was ultimately assigned to Aerospace Defense Command as Commanding Director of Supply and Services for all radar sites of the world, as he managed four billion dollars of inventory.  On June 1, 1971, Colonel Hill retired from active duty joining at that time thousands of original Tuskegee Airmen.  Upon retirement, Hill was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Segregation was an interesting time in history and in Hill’s life and military career.  Hill shared, “I always believed the movement that integration would occur.”  He painted a picture of the ridiculousness of segregation. 

Two days after Hill’s military retirement, he was employed by Northrop Aerospace Industry inLos Angeles.  His great work and mentoring continued in the Aerospace Industry, retiring again after 10 years as Corporate Director of Logistics Engineering.  He later became a community volunteer. 

Hill was honored by President Clinton as one of the original Tuskegee Airmen on V Day at the 50th Anniversary inPearl Harbor.  In 1995, Hill was an advisor to a documentary on the Tuskegee Airmen. 

Ten years ago, Hill joined 15 other “originals” and rode atop the “Tuskegee Airmen: A Cut Above” float in the 121st Tournament of Roses Parade.  In 2007, Hill, along with other original Tuskegee Airmen, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush.  President Bush autographed his award photograph with the words, “With Respect and Appreciation.”  On 11/11/11, Hill was honored at the Nellis Air Force Base Veteran’s Day celebration and air show among other Tuskegee Airmen.  Most recently, George Lucas’ film Red Tails, a story about the Tuskegee Project, was released in theatres everywhere.  Lucas invited Hill to theHollywood preview where he wore his uniform and ribbons.  Two days later, Hill was honored by the City ofLos Angeles and offered an interview with ABC news.

When asked about his greatest life accomplishments, Hill reflected, “I am proud of the impact I had on the Tuskegee Airmen.  They deserve all the recognition and then some.  I am also proud of the impact on men—officers and enlisted—year after year.  I believe I inspired them to do something with their life.  We all had everything to gain and nothing to lose.”  Hill always stressed accomplishments instead of the individual people.  He taught, “If you believe in yourself, you can do anything!”  Hill’s biggest regret, “I wish I had finished a book about all of this that I started 10 years ago.” 

(Editor’s note: Colonel Hill will be receiving an audio recorder as a gift fromParadiseVillageto help complete his life’s work and experiences in writing!)

What are the most important lessons you have learned?

The Legacy Project began in 2004, when Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development at Cornell University, began collecting advice for living from American’s seniors. He gathered 1500 responses to the question: “What are the most important lessons you have learned over the course of your life?”

People from all over the nation in their 70’s and above shared their advice and wisdom for living a live with no regrets. A summary of his findings can be found in his recent book, 30 Lessons for Living-from the Wisest Americans.

Here is a summary of some of their thoughts.

How To Be Happy: The consensus of the elders is that we can’t wait for external events to bring about happiness. They suggest we can make a choice not to brood negatively about life. Don’t think on any past shortcomings or failures. Learn what you can from them, resolve to do better, and live on. Almost all elders viewed happiness as a choice, not the result of how live treats you.

On Aging: “Embrace it. Don’t fight it. Growing older is both an attitude and a process”, an 80 year old man said. The experts advice to the young: “Don’t waste your time worrying about getting old.”

Maintain social contacts. Avoid becoming isolated. When an invitation is issued, say yes. Take steps to stay engaged, and take advantage of opportunities to learn new things. Although many were initially reluctant, those who moved to a senior living community found more freedom to enjoy activities and relationships then they had before.

On Regrets: Travel more when your younger rather than wait until the children are grown or you are retired. Travel is so rewarding that is should take precedence over other things younger people spend money on. Create a bucket list now and start whittling it down.

Vist the web site for more advice and Meet The Elders videos.  www.legacyproject.human.cornell.edu

Jazz 88 All-Stars at the Liberty Hall Theatre

Jazz 88 All-Stars at the Liberty Hall Theatre

By Robert Bush | Posted January 30, 2012, 3:57 p.m.

Last night, another in a an excellent series of monthly jazz concerts was produced by the folks at Liberty Theatre at Paradise Village. This time, the featured act was the KSDS Jazz 88.3 All Stars, loaded with some of San Diego’s premier, yet under-sung players.

“The All-Stars were formed about eight years ago to do a promotional jingle for the radio station,” says drummer Barry Farrar, who has hosted one of KSDS’ best programs for more than 30 years, the always entertaining “Percussive Profiles,” which airs on Tuesdays at 10-12 p.m.

What makes “Percussive Profiles” such a satisfying show is the fact that it’s put together by a jazz drummer. There’s never a lack of enthusiasm, or absence of inside information, and Farrar, obviously knows and loves, the subject of jazz drumming. He also features live interviews with many drum legends on the show, an extra treat.

Since it’s inception, the All-Stars have focused the bulk of their attention to a celebration of the music recorded on the Blue Note label in the 1960s, and related material, including some excellent originals that reflect a similar oeuvre.

In that spirit, the band burst out of the gates with a version of Freddie Hubbard’s “Gibraltar,” a smoking tune from that tradition. Farrar set up a quasi-Latin groove, then trumpeter Steve Ebner and tenor saxophonist Bob Campbell jumped all over the intricate theme before launching into excellent, idiomatic solos.

As a soloist, Ebner navigates the divide between the breakneck velocity of Hubbard and the more nuanced chops of Woody Shaw quite well. Campbell usually reflects a tone similar to Stan Getz but his lines are more intense, like someone who has studied John Coltrane’s early work as well.

Joining Farrar in the rhythm section were two cats I wish I heard much more often: the ebullient Mikan Zlatkovich on piano, and the powerful veteran Bill Andrews on bass. I remember being enthralled by Andrews’ playing some 30 years ago, and he’s even better now. Zlatkovich is a master of the piano, on the opener, he displayed his absorption of McCoy Tyner, but you can hear everyone from Art Tatum to Bill Evans in his wide ranging personal distillation of the jazz piano aesthetic.

On “Senor Blues,” Ebner blew bright, fleet-fingered excursions with frequent stops at the blues, while Campbell wound tight arpeggios and knotty improvisations with a clear and calm tone. Zlatkovich seemed to watch his own handiwork with an ecstatic wonder, and Andrews took it into the basement with a solo loaded chock full of double-stops and slurring asides.

Blue Mitchell’s “Fugi Mama,” was an island-flavored tune in the spirit of Sonny Rollins’ “St. Thomas,” and it bounced along joyfully, powered by the manic ornamentation of Campbell and the squeezed notes of Ebner, who shot skeins of scalar harmony into the rafters. Zlatkovich picked up the last line of Ebner’s solo, repeated it, then sent it into several harmonically related neighborhoods before unleashing a torrent of fresh ideas.

Jeffery Smith, the Managing Artist Director of the Liberty Theatre, and a celebrated vocalist in his own right, joined the band for a sensitive, yet powerful reading of Bill Evans’ “Detour Ahead.” Smith has a muscular baritone that retains the clarity of a Johnny Hartman, and the elasticity of Leon Thomas. He’s got a command of the emotional center of a ballad, and he makes you think about the lyrics.

Zlatkovich’s “This Is For Horace,” followed a brief intermission, and it was probably the standout moment of the concert. An excellent, swinging tune, this one also visited the blues in a deep, gutbucket fashion–eliciting exciting solos from the whole band, especially from the composer.

Wayne Shorter’s elliptical, modal masterpiece, “Speak No Evil,” followed. The pianist struck a free, rubato intro that set up the melody, and the furious swing and swagger of its groove. Campbell started out slow and easy, before erupting into altissimo register screams and squeals. Zlatkovich set dizzying streams of back and forth melodic ideas into motion and rocked some explosive block chord harmony. Both Campbell and Zlatkovich tossed in heavy quotes from another Shorter tune, “Witch Hunt,” for good meausre.

To close out this excellent evening of classic mainstream music, the band stormed through Duke Ellington’s ever popular “Caravan.”

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Photo by Barbara Wise

Paradise Village enjoy nearby waterfront park!

Pepper Park

 

 

 

 

Paradise Village retirement community residents love the close access to parks and recreation we have within a few miles of our senior living community.  National City’s own Pepper Park, named after National City businessman and civic leader Leonard Pepper, is a 5-½ acre park with picnic areas, a busy boat launching ramp and a fishing pier equipped with lighting for night fishing.  Paradise Village is located two miles from the beautiful, waterfront area in our city.

Residents venture off on their own to explore these local area gems or are taken in our lovely coach van to a variety of parks, waterfront areas and picturesque places in town.  Our walking club heads out weekly on Saturday mornings.  World renown Balboa Park is only 5 miles away.

Paradise Village offers affordable senior housing in San Diego’s beautiful South Bay!

PEPPER PARK stats:

Special Events Permitted: Yes
Maximum Occupancy for Events: 1,000
Weddings/Receptions: Yes
Location: South Terminus of Tidelands Avenue
Hours
: 6:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Amenities

Telephones Bike Parking Play Equipment
Boat Launch Picnic Telephones
Bike Restrooms