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No that’s not a call of distress…it’s a call to pizza! Magnolia celebrated the start of May in Orcutt, CA with residents, guests, and children. We had pizza catered by Bello Forno who brought a trailer with its own wood-fired pizza oven!  It was quite a sight to see. The children made tissue paper flowers, had flower relay races, and “flower” cupcakes were also served.

Check out our pictures. It looks like a pizza parlor at Magnolia. Do you celebrate May Day?

Spring is in the air and new life is all around. The Easter Bunny even brought some chicks to Magnolia for a visit. Many people had experiences to share about having chickens when they were younger.

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What are your favorite icons of Easter?

Chinese New Year Lion Dance

Image by sachman75 via Flickr

All last week and this week we are celebrating Chinese New Year at Magnolia. Celebrating holidays and learning about other cultures is a great way to keep the mind engaged and free from boredom. Here are some of the goings-on at Magnolia  right now to welcome the year of the rabbit.

  • What is your animal? Are you a rabbit? Find out here.
  • Study of mandarin oranges- most popular fruit during Chinese New Year
  • Armchair travels to the Great Wall of China
  • Stories about rabbits
  • The Arts: Rabbit paints, red envelopes and lanterns

 

People born in the year of the rabbit are supposedly gracious, good friends, kind, and sensitive. What does the Chinese Zodiac say your personality is like?

The wreaths are hung, the tree is trimmed and our menorah is out as well! It’s time for the holidays at the Magnolia Care Home and we celebrated in style this last Sunday with our annual party.

Activities included gingerbread men, painting sugar cookies, lots of games for the kids, and making ornaments for the tree. There was also a moving performance of traditional carols by the Righetti Madrigals.

Check out a slideshow of some of the pictures of the festivities!

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The holidays can be a stressful time for families when their loved one is experiencing Alzheimers or other forms of memory loss. However, it can also be a great time to reminisce with your loved one about Holiday traditions. Visit the Alzheimer’s Association for a great article about coping during the holidays.

Caring handsNovember is for giving thanks, and especially giving thanks to devoted caregivers. At Magnolia,  our caregivers are our most important resource. They provide gentle hands-on care and treat the residents with dignity and respect.

In order to honor our caregivers and other caregivers in the community, we are holding a “Blessing of Hands” Ceremony at the Halsell Barn at 4630 Song Ln. We invite all our families to come and help us thank our caregivers for their sacred work. We also invite other caregivers in the community to come and be honored. Clergy will be on hand to help us give thanks for our caregivers and bless their hands for the work they have done and will do.

BlessingofHands Flyer 2010

Please RSVP to Larissa : larissahalsell@slresources.com

PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer's disease

Image via Wikipedia

Do you want to learn more about Alzheimer’s and its effects on individuals with the disease and their families?

HBO put out a great series last year called “the Alzheimer’s Project“. It won two Creative Arts Emmys and includes features on individuals struggling with the disease, caregivers, and current directions in science. All videos are now available to watch online.

Here is the 84 minute video “The Memory Loss Tapes” which won a creative Emmy for exceptional merit in nonfiction filmaking. “The Memory Loss Tapes” follows the lives of people with Alzheimer’s as they deal with the diagnosis and the increasing symptoms. It is a very moving film and is a great resource to view to find out more about what having Alzheimer’s is like.

On Saturday morning people from around the Central Coast gathered at Waller Park in Santa Maria on a “walk to remember”. Our team, “Steel Magnolias” joined in the festivities and celebrated raising over $5,600 for the Alzheimer’s Association. In fact, we had the honor of being named the top fundraising team! Not only that, but our team also had the top individual fundraiser: Carol Abeloe.

Thank you everyone for your donations and for participating in our fundraising events. The spaghetti dinner, move nite fundraiser, and grandparents’ luncheon all made our team successful. There was even a lovely story by the Santa Maria Times about the grandparent’s luncheon fundraiser at St. Louis de Montfort.

Here are some pictures of Saturday’s festivities!

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Let’s all go “walk to remember”!

The Magnolia house has been raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association for the last two months. This Saturday, the “Steel Magnolia’s” team will walk with other teams from Santa Maria and the Central Coast to raise money and awareness in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk.

The walk will take place this Saturday, the 25th from 9-1 at Waller Park. It contains two mile or one mile walk.

For more information, go to the 2010 Santa Maria Memory Walk link here

To view Steel Magnolia’s donation page go here

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!)

AnnMarie and Emily perform a piano duet

 Did you know that music  helps individuals with Alzheimer’s to remember new verbal information? Or that it can help them access old memories? 

Check out some pictures from the Sunday concert at Magnolia. AnnMarie and Emily Halsell performed a piano duet, and Aden Anderson performed on the violin. There was alsoa beautiful harp and vocal performance.  Thank you to all of the young musicians!
 
Music therapy is good for everyone!
 

Beautiful vocal and harp performance

  

So tell us, what music brings back wonderful memories for you?