As author Anne Lamott put it “I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.” That’s a great resolution as we move into the season of warmer weather, beautiful blooms, and exciting possibilities. Spring is an especially exciting time in Nashville because it seems like everyone is eager to get out and shake things up after being cooped up during the winter.
One of the best ways to enjoy all that springtime has to offer is to go for a nature walk and appreciate Nashville’s beautiful native flowers. Warner Parks near Belle Meade has a diverse array of blossoms, and will be hosting a guided walk April 15th from 5-6:30 PM. Of course, you can always chart your own course throughout the next month when the flowers are at their peak. A similar event is taking place at Shelby Bottoms on April 11th from 2-3PM. [www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Nature-Centers-and-Natural-Areas/Shelby-Bottoms-Nature-Center.aspx] And of course, Cheekwood In Bloom is a must-see event that lasts until April 26th. The Cheekwood botanical gardens are beautiful year round, but spring is when they are at their very best with over 150,000 bulbs bursting into life and 30,000 daffodils carpeting the ground.
For sports fans, one of the major joys of springtime is the start of baseball season. The Nashville Sounds first home game is April 17th against Colorado Springs. There are so many sights and sounds during a good baseball game that its easy to follow Lamott’s advice to pay attention. A baseball game would also be a great way to spend time with friends and relatives— especially grandchildren and other little ones.
There’s no shortage of events in April, either, making Music City an especially exciting place to be. From Nashville Fashion Week April 7-11 to the Film Festival April 16-25th there’s something to suit a variety of interests. Not only will there be a chance to see some beautiful clothing and accessories created by hometown designers, many shops and boutiques throughout Nashville will be having specials and sales. It’s the perfect week to grab your girlfriends and hit the stores. Or you could call up a friend or family member and make an outing to see one of 254 exciting new movies from around the world and a chance to learn from the actors and filmmakers at panel discussions and workshops.
With so many exciting options, it’s easy to see why so many seniors choose to retire in Nashville. There’s never a dull moment in Music City, and you’ll find that your golden years gleam just as bright as the certified gold records adorning many a country star’s walls. From the great outdoors to the great fun of Nashville’s cultural offerings, this spring looks like it will be hard to beat!
It’s easy to find history wherever you go in Nashville, if last month’s collection of vintage photos is any indication. If you enjoyed looked back at the Nashville of yesteryear, it might have gotten you thinking about your own personal history, and the many great stories you have to tell.
With Nashville being such a hotspot for music, you might have stories to tell about the concerts you've been to, the celebrities you've met, and the songs you loved. How fun would it be to get a friend or family member to help you make a playlist or mix that is the soundtrack of your life, or even record the memories you have associated with each track. You could even set up a video recorder to capture your stories documentary style, with a loved one acting as the interviewer.
Perhaps you have photos and keepsakes that you could organize or arrange together. Scrap books or photo albums are a great way to preserve these things and organize them in new ways. For example, many people organize their photo albums by year, with a 1998 album or a 1965 album and so on. However, you could group your photos by theme if you want— say, a family heritage album showing the genealogy of multiple generations, or a travel album with a few photos from each of the trips you've taken.
Friends or family might enjoy helping you organize your photos, flyers, letters, cards, school papers, and more. Perhaps someone in the family might be interested in scanning your photos so that others can have copies, or so that they can be printed into albums for various family members. There are also a number of services that can digitize your photos for you, like Nashtucky, so that you have backups or can share with more people.
It's easy to forget the most important things sometimes-- not the big iconic moments of history or the famous places that tourists visit, but the shops, restaurants, homes, and offices that made up our daily lives. These are the places that had the biggest impact on us and made us who we are, from the salon where we got our hair done to the diners we went to with friends and family. Nashville has always been a place steeped in the nostalgia of country music, so it only seems appropriate to revisit some of the places that made 1960s and 70s Nashville so memorable for anyone who spent time here:
Chester's was a popular hair salon for many years. Nashvillians fondly remember in the 1950s and 60s when myna birds were kept in shops to attract customers, and the many celebrity sightings that occurred at Chester's over the years. Nearby were popular eateries like Woolworth's where you could get an excellent soda.
Of course, you can't reminisce about Nashville without recalling the Grand Ole Opry House. There were no shortage of exciting new inductees throughout the 1960s and 70s, including Patsy Cline, Hank Locklin, Billy Walker, and Tammy Wynette. This was also the era of Gram Parsons and the Byrds, a rare instance of rock and roll invading the Opry's pure country sound.
Many a young motorcycle enthusiast got his or her start at Malone's Cycle Shop. From 1958- 1978 they were a major purveyor of bikes from Honda to Kawasaki, Husqvarna to Moto Guzzi.
Harvey's Department Store was quite the shopping destination. In addition to its five-floor spread of merchandise, it was home to The Monkey Bar and Carousel, which featured an indoor Carousel for the kids and real live monkeys. Some Nashville residents remember when Mr. Harvey would let the monkeys run loose in the store if there weren't many customers about. Harvey's even featured the first escalator in the city.
Want to make the most of the next year? We put together an excellent list of suggestions for how you can spend your time, get fit, and take on new projects that will make retirement even more rewarding. Excited? So are we!
Here are five ways to kickstart your year:
1) Coworking spaces aren't only for freelancers or independent contractors. They're also a great place to put your knowledge to work for others. The Skillery in Nashville offers classes and workshops on everything from pie making to indigo dying and beyond. If you have an area of expertise you'd like to share, they're often open to suggestions. If you want to learn something new, you only need to look at the calendar and see what strikes you!
2) Painting is creatively fulfilling and therapeutic— great for maintaining dexterity and keeping your mind sharp. Basic supplies are inexpensive and available at any craft store or art supply shop. If you're in need of inspiration, gather some friends to check out East Nashville's galleries and shops, especially during Tomato Festival time. You'll see some great examples of everything from folk art to fine art that might give you an idea of what you'd like to put on the canvas!
3) Start a new fitness habit like a daily walk or regular group aerobics class. Bike riding is also easy on Nashville's gentle terrain. Whether you choose to workout alone or with a buddy, you'll quickly feel the positive benefits to your balance, strength, and endurance, making it easier to get even more out of life.
4) Try a new board game. They're back in a big way and there are more options than ever beyond the classics like Life, Monopoly, and backgammon. Try something like Settlers of Catan, Othello, Cranium, Apples to Apples.
5) Find a new way to explore the great outdoors. One of the best things about Nashville is its mild climate. That makes it easy to appreciate all sort of natural wonders, from canoeing and fishing to a gentle nature walk or even something more adventurous like trail biking. Beaman Park, Bell's Bend, Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park, Bowie Nature Park, and Cumberland Park are all great options close to downtown and with short, accessible trails.
Christmas is a magical time of year for Nashville seniors. It's a time when we all act a little nicer and think of others. While some think the holiday has become too commercialized, Christmas isn't about buying affection.
It's about gaining time with people we love. Putting some thought into buying or making a present for giving to family can honor past traditions and lead to new ones. With a little preparation, we can make this year's Christmas an unforgettable holiday gathering.
At some point in the month of December, we gather with our families. For many, that involves time in and around the kitchen cooking traditional meals, baking cookies with children, saying grace and eating until we're stuffed. It's an opportunity to share family stories about Christmases past and remember elders who are no longer with us.
There's an expression "It's the Thought that Counts", and with Christmas, that's certainly the case. Simply handing over a credit card to a clerk to acquire something generic gets the job done, but gifts are only truly delightful when we pour our time and creativity into them. This can mean personalizing something like a calendar, sewing a quilt, or making a handmade craft. Or sharing an exceptional book.
Experiences can also make better presents than things. For example, a trip to a museum that stimulates a grandchild's imagination. There are so many attractions in Nashville to entertain, educate and delight a loved one. Journeys to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Ryman Auditorium, a Titans football game, or a shopping expedition to Opry Mills can make for amazing days.
Of course, it doesn't have to be Christmas to make someone feel special. A family trip can mean more memories of time spent together – and the photos from the day can generate an additional present in the form of a photo album.
Elders sustain holiday rituals, which are the things that grandchildren carry forth into their own families as they age and create new branches on the family tree. What fun things does your family do when you get together? Play board games? Sing carols? Watch a certain holiday movie?
When striving toward a great Christmas experience, families need to be appropriate in giving and receiving. It can be challenging to discover what family members want, requiring you to play detective. Remember to keep gifts age-appropriate.
The holidays bring expectations of graciousness – both in giving and receiving. Rare is the teenager these days who will take the time to hand-write a thank you note to a grandparent for a Christmas present, so don't take it personally if they show a lack of warmth when given something they probably need rather than necessarily want.
The holidays are about connecting with family and honoring traditions. It isn't about buying affection. The best gifts have thought put into them, and the gathering goes more smoothly when family members work toward harmony and humility.
With a little bit of thought, this can be one of the best Christmases ever!
Today we are going to talk about one of the most crucial conversations that can take place between a grown child and their aging parent: discussing a move to a senior living facility like Maybelle Carter.
Sometimes it is the parent who realizes he or she needs help with routine tasks or simply wants the socialization that comes from being in close proximity to other people their age. Other times, the grown children may urge the parent to consider such a move for the sake of their health.
It's only natural to want to stay in our homes for as long as we can. Most Nashville seniors are able to stay in their homes for years with a relatively small amount of help, then gradually, it may become more difficult for them and moving become less of a choice, more of a necessity.
Once your family is sure that a move is in the senior's best interest, the process needs to be handled delicately and gradually. Parents may not be aware of the dangers of staying at home alone once health starts to decline. There may also be inaccurate preconceived notions about what to expect at a senior living community. The senior may not understand what senior living options exist these days and all the benefits that senior living communities can offer.
At Maybelle Carter, we create a warm "homey" atmosphere with loving support from a friendly and well-trained staff. The senior's level of independence is carefully assessed by our licensed staff to determine how much help is needed, so the parent shouldn't necessarily dwell on doctors and medications but on our activities and social opportunities.
It's important to get these things on the table and discuss the various options that are available. This information will help start the conversation with your loved one. Information about our amenities and services can be found at http://maybellecarter.com/nashville-retirement-living-amenities
If the senior is reluctant, highlight the positives and use non-threatening talk. Seniors typically feel relieved once they see for themselves that Maybelle Carter really is a community rather than a stark "room" as we offer multiple floor plans including 1,100-square-foot two bedroom, two bath apartments equipped with full size kitchens and the ability to decorate with cherished possessions. Pets can even come along as a roommate.
One of the big worries for seniors is that they don't want to be a burden in any way to their children. They don't want to have to worry about their children paying for the move or having to visit them once they are in a new place. They may not understand what senior living options exist these days and all the benefits that senior living communities can offer them.
Call us at (615) 868-2290 or visit http://maybellecarter.com/elderly-care-resources-nashville/free-consultation to schedule a visit and tour. We welcome the opportunity to act as a true resource to you and yours.
Sometimes it can feel as if your grandchildren are from a different planet and making arrangements to see them in-person is the equivalent of arranging a short interstellar voyage. If you want to have a greater presence in their lives, you have to go where they are and speak their language.
Here are a few tips to make that happen...
Get Smart... phone – Today's youth live on their mobile phones, experiencing everything by snapping photos for sharing on social networks and silently text messaging their friends (who oddly enough, may be sitting right next to them). This is quite a change from previous generations who are accustomed to paying friends and neighbors a visit and sharing long conversations as social gestures. If kids bring their gadgets when they visit you at Maybelle Carter, it probably isn't meant disrespectfully; most of them simply have these devices glued to their hips, figuratively speaking.
You can prove yourself to be one savvy senior by texting occasional, brief messages to your grandkids. They're more likely to respond to a brief "Hello" or a short joke than attempts to have a prolonged conversation. These days, communicating with youngsters is about competing for attention in a world full of distractions. You don't want to overdo it, but an occasional message does the trick. Be aware that teens have their own shorthand when texting. "BRB" means "be right back", for example, while "LOL" means "Laugh Out Loud". A simple Google search can help you decode their language.
Get Social (A Lil Bit) – Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can be a double-edged sword. You get a glimpse into the lives of loved ones, but you may also see more than you bargained for, especially when it comes to young people who may be on their best behavior around their elders but act silly in front of their friends. Some people fail to understand that Facebook is a megaphone and treat it more like a diary, oversharing aspects of their lives. Respect their need for privacy and you may be rewarded with more frequent online interactions and a glimpse into what's happening in their world. Facebook Messenger, which works like text messaging, can be a gateway for short written conversations between face-to-face visits.
Get Skyped – Skype is the name of a video conferencing software program available on most desktop and mobile computing devices. For free over the Internet, you can broadcast from a camera and see video of your loved one displayed. This is great for situations where frequent interactions in the flesh just aren't practical. Little ones like great-grandchildren will react to seeing your face and hearing your voice so that when you visit for the holidays, you're already familiar.
Maybelle Carter offers a computer in the residence living room where they can access the Internet using the router in our offices. This allows residents to have a link to the outside world across the world wide web. Indeeed, there are several ways Tennessee seniors can use modern technology to have more frequent interactions with grown children and grandkids.
Our campus sits on 7 beautiful acres where we garden, play shuffleboard and horseshoes, walk on the walking track and enjoy grilling out. We have watercolor painting classes, wii bowling tournaments, musical entertainers, and card & board games. Indeed, there's no shortage of ways to enjoy life here among one another.
But Maybelle Carter is located in Madison. This means we are fortunate to be surrounded by the Nashville Metropolitan area, which provides us with many interesting adventures. Maybelle Carter bus outings take us to a variety of places.
"We're 5 minutes from the OpryLand Hotel, Grand Ole Opry House, General Jackson Show Boat and the Opry Mills shopping mall," explained Jennifer Todd of Maybelle Carter. "Just minutes away is Nashville proper, which includes attractions such as the Parthenon, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, the Farmer's Marketing, the Nashville Symphony, Nashville Ballet, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, the Nashville Zoo and Loveless Café."
Our bus outings take us to grocery stores, Wal-Mart, dollar stores, Opry Mills, The Mall at Green Hills and Rivergate Mall, as well as restaurants and Summer Crest Winery. Nashville is also home to Goo Goo Cluster candy and Moon Pies. "East Nashville offers one-of-a-kind shopping and restaurants like The Pharmacy and 5 Points Pizza – our residents dine there occasionally," she said.
Faith is also an important part of most seniors' lives. Our area is home to 75 churches of varied denominations.
"Pro sports are big here as well," she said. "Our teams include the Tennessee Titans (football), Nashville Predators (hockey), and Nashville Sounds (minor league baseball)."
Being in the South, antebellum mansions also provide fascinating destinations for residents to go sight-seeing on outings. "Southern mansions include Andrew Jackson's home, The Hermitage, as well as BelleMeade Plantation, Belmont Mansion and Two Rivers Mansion," Todd said.
Maybelle Carter provides all of the comfort and security of small town community with all of the great adventures offered by our proximity to a major American city.
If you have difficulty remembering words and names or recalling once familiar places or people, you might need to see your doctor.
It's a scary thought, and diagnosis is best left to medical professionals who conduct a physical examination, review family history and do a blood test to rule out other causes for common symptoms.
Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer's live 8-20 years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, depending on age and other health conditions.
If you have it in the early stages, you'll find that memory loss is mild and you will have good days and bad days. One of the most important things you can do if diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's is to get legal, financial and care plans in place. Doing so allows you to share your wishes for future decisions, and also allows time to work through the complex issues that are involved in long-term care.
This is also the time to consider future safety topics, such as what to do when driving is no longer an option.
As Alzheimer's worsens, there's a danger of becoming confused and wandering off.
For this reason, you might want to accept the unpleasant reality that you need help.
That help is available at Maybelle Carter Retirement Life Community's Remembrance Village, where caregivers are specially trained to help seniors faced with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
We have licensed nurses on staff 24/7 and 3 dietitian-approved meals, plus snacks, throughout the day. We help the senior manage their medication and assist with dressing, bathing and grooming. State-of-the-art security protects residents from wandering off, and our newly designed accommodations create a stress-free, comfortable environment with less confusion. Residents can enjoy our private outdoor secured courtyard. Weekly personal laundry and linen services are also included.
For more information about Maybelle Carter Senior Living's Remembrance Village, visit http://maybellecarter.com/nashville-retirement-living-amenities/memory-care-madison-tn or call (615) 868-2290.
The Alzheimer's Association is organizing the 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer's in Nashville on Oct. 11 at the Public Square Park. The event raises money to help advance Alzheimer's support, care and research. To donate and/or participate, visit http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2014/TN-MidSouth?fr_id=5429&pg=entry or volunteer with Andrew Jackson at (615) 315-5880.
Alzheimer's Association: http://www.alz.org/
The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center: http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers
Alzheimer's Reading Room: http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/
The New York Times "New Old Age" Blog: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/
Looking for a fun, free way to feel better? Then laugh!
Sounds simple, right?
A variety of studies suggest there are health benefits to adopting a sense of humor and working on improving our daily mood. If nothing else, it makes us more attractive to other people, which leads to bonding with others.
Laughter causes our blood vessels to function more efficiently, increasing blood flow and fighting the build-up of cholesterol plaque in arteries that leads to heart attacks.
Other research suggests watching a comedy on TV or at the movies can reduce blood sugar levels for those with diabetes and decrease the intensity of pain as muscles relax tension following a good belly laugh.
Most people do not laugh enough, but just 15 minutes a day can produce positive results. This can be generated by seeking out fun people and sharing jokes or funny stories, perhaps hosting a game night or making time for bowling or miniature golf.
Sometimes it's as easy as asking someone what's the funniest thing that's ever happened to them. Keep framed photos or a scrapbook of good memories handy. Looking at snapshots can trigger laughs, just like watching a funny TV show or movie.
Worrying over things that probably won't happen causes stress, but laughter lightens our load and gives us perspective that's blinded when we feel as if the weight of the world is on our shoulders. Finding humor relaxes our muscles, allowing better sleep so the body can heal and recharge.
While laughing alone may not cure disease, it does seem to be strong medicine for the mind and body.
At Maybelle Carter, we work to create an environment where residents can make new friends and participate in fun activities that add joy and friendship to everyday life.