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Archive for the ‘Healthy Aging’ Category

Music with EldersWe may not be in Venice Beach, but drum circles are starting up at Magnolia and Primrose! Last night we hosted our first drum circle with residents of both care homes and it was AMAZING. Everyone participated and had a great time whether they were drumming a beat, shaking a maraca, or playing the tambourine.  Residents copied rhytms, created their own rhytms, and later added percussion to guitar played by Susie Halsell. We liked it so much that our “drum circle” will be a permanent weekly fixture around here.

So, what is a drum circle? A drum circle can mean lots of different things, Basically its any group of people playing percussion in a circle. The focus is on the event itself, not practicing for a performance or attempting to make an actual song. Here is a great quotation from Mickey Hart, Grateful Dead drummer, during a testimony before the United States Special Committee on Aging,

Typically people gather to drum in drum “circles” wiht others from the surrounding community. The drum circle offers equality because there is no head or tail. It includes people of all ages. The main objective is to share rhythm and get in tune with each other and themselves. To form a group consciousness. To entrain and resonate. By entertainment, I mean that a new voice, a collective voice, emerges from the group as they drum together.

Why do a drum circle? Well there are lots of benefits to this form of expression and music! They include:

  • Loosening stiff joints in the arms and hands
  • Improving circulation in the arms and hands
  • Providing an easily accessible mild exercise
  • Stimulating the mind with music
  • Building a sense of group identiy
  • Can easily be done as an intergenerational activty with youth.
  • Really fun, many say it “makes them feel young again”

So, what do you need to start your own drum circle? While fancy African drums and bongos would be wonderful, you can also find many other less expensive instruments. In fact, it’s nice to have a variety of percussion instruments since every participant may have a different capabilities with their hands and arms and different interests. Here are some things we used last night that worked out great

  • large metal coffee cans for drumming. Oatmeal cartons work too!
  • small glass bottles filled with beans or other small objects
  • hatboxes (they make great makeshift drums!)
  • maracas ( often inexpensive)
  • a stick rubbed on the outside of a ridged coffee can
  • get creative!

Have you ever been a part of a drum circle? What instruments would YOU add?Ladies of the drum circle

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Giving a donation

The Santa Maria Baseball team and the Residents of Magnolia

On Sunday we were visited at Magnolia & Primrose by the Santa Maria Baseball Club U14.  The team showed off some of their baseball skills with a short practice. Afterwards they joined residents in a game of catch. We snapped a great picture of Ms. Jeanne throwing a ball back!

Jeanne has a great arm!

The baseball exposition was followed by pizza with the team and the residents in our party barn. Check out our slideshow for more pictures!

 

At the end of the visit they received a donation from the care home to help cover the costs of their fall league. Check out the story from the Santa Maria Times.

Joey Halsell plays on the team and is the grandson of owners Chuck & Margie Halsell. Thank you Joey for bringing your team by! Good luck in your next season.

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The Alzheimer’s walk is fast approaching and Magnolia and Primrose are getting ready! Our team is forming and we have several events in the works to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. (More information coming soon!)

Couple walking

One way we are preparing is  by starting a walking club! Participating employees receive a pedometer and are put into a drawing for prizes when they reach over 10,000 steps in a day. However, walking your way to health isn’t just for the young!

  •  Did you know taking at least 10,000 steps a day can help improve your health and reduce the risk of chronic disease?
  • Did you know the average person only takes about 2,000 to 4,000 steps a day?
  • Pedometers are economical and a great way to track your daily activity
Elders benefit greatly from the exercise provided by walking. Walking more actually improves balance while also providing great health benefits. In addition, getting daily exercise helps improve your mood and appetite. Even increasing activity by a little can help! Here are some ideas for getting elders moving:
  • Visit a garden with winding paths.
  • Use pedometers to make your work measureable
  • Go shopping together at non-busy times
  • Dance for Balance (one of our favorites!)
  • Take smaller walks several times a day instead of one long walk
What are your suggestions for getting exercise at any age?

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A senior citizen in trying to slow down his pr...

Image via Wikipedia

Balance is important for everyone. It is one aspect of fitness that we often ignore in favor of strength, cardiovascular fitness, or flexibility. However balance should be a fitness priority of everone! Our ability to balance ourselves determines how well we are able to navigate safely and nimbly through our environment.

 Balance is of particular importance to us as we age. Each year U.S. hospitals have over 300,000 admissions for broken hips which are often caused by falls. A decline in fitness, loss of vision, and inner ear problems can all contribute to problems with balance. Luckily, balance can be improved at any age with simple exercises!

 Check out the following links to try some of the exercises we will be using at Magnolia this month:

 Balance Exercises for Seniors

 Exercise Guide from the National Institute on Aging

 Yoga and Pilates classes are also great for balance among other aspects of fitness. Don’t forget to check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine!

(And don’t worry, you don’t need to be able to stand on one hand to reap the benefits of improved balance!)

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