Celebrating the heart in senior living

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Lois A. Bowers
Lois A. Bowers

February's focus is on the heart. It's a month marked with celebrations of the special people in our lives, appreciation for others and education to learn ways to take better care of ourselves, especially our cardiovascular health. Here's a look at some of the ways that those goals have manifested themselves in senior living.

Winn-ing royally

Just ahead of Valentine's Day,  Evelyn and Paul Winn (pictured) celebrated 70 years of marriage Thursday as king and queen of the Candle Light Cove Senior Prom. Their actual wedding anniversary was a day earlier.

“What an incredible milestone for them and an example of enduring and true love,” said Cissy Nickel, executive director of the Easton, MD, assisted living and memory care community.

Evelyn, 93, has lived at the IntegraCare community for almost two years. Paul, 94, lives nearby and visits her daily.

“At Candle Light Cove, we are fortunate to have several couples who have been married for 60 to 70 years,” Nickel said. “How fortunate these couples have been to have found that special kind of love and to be able to enjoy each other for so long.”

Needling for newborns

In Overland Park, KS, Tallgrass Creek residents who are members of the community's Creative Hands group recently made 75 red hats for Little Hats, Big Hearts, a nationwide program to knit and crochet red hats for babies born in February, American Heart Month, at participating hospitals. The program, operated under the auspices of American Heart Association in connection with the Children's Heart Foundation, also aims to educate new mothers on how to live heart-healthy lives and help their children do the same.

Tallgrass Creek is an Erickson Living community.

Wearing red, brain is fed

Residents and staff of Charlestown retirement community (pictured below) in Catonsville, MD, participated in National Wear Red Day on Feb. 3. The observance is part of American Heart Month.

As part of the festivities at the Erickson Living community, Frederick E. Kuhn, M.D., director of the echocardiography lab at Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, delivered a talk, “Bringing Awareness to Heart and Stroke Disease.” The event was sponsored by Charlestown's Diversity and Inclusion Council.

Spicing up life

In Cedar Hills, UT, MBK Senior Living's The Charleston at Cedar Hills community hosted a “Love Your Heart” event to showcase cuisine that is beneficial to the cardiovascular and overall health of older adults.

Feb. 8, older adults and their families were invited to enjoy samples of heart-healthy cuisine and learn about key ingredients and spices that make up a balanced, heart-healthy diet. They also received wellness information.

“Heart disease is the number one killer among Americans, and yet there are simple ways you can improve your heart health today,” said Geoff Davies, corporate director of dining services for MBK Senior Living.

Lois A. Bowers is senior editor of McKnight's Senior Living. Contact her at lois.bowers@mcknights.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Lois_Bowers.

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