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Tips on overcoming the winter doldrums

Winter bluesIt’s very common to feel blue during the winter months with the often depressing backdrop of overcast skies, limited sun and shorter days. For seniors with limited mobility, the poor weather conditions might cause them to become increasingly homebound and feel isolated. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of falling into a seasonal slump.

Friends and social activities are a huge help in lifting the mood, so setting a weekly get together is a smart idea. If you no longer drive, take advantage of public transportation to visit loved ones or participate in community events. Or you might invite friends and family to your home.

It’s also important to eat a healthy diet and continue to exercise, though often it can be hard to find the desire to do so when it’s cold outside. But staying active will reduce the risk of falling into a slump and keep your body healthy. 

Music and media at EPOCH

Free music showsAt EPOCH, we’re kicking off the New Year with performances by some of our favorite local musicians, including a cappella group Proof of the Pudding, Brad Ackland and Karèn Tchougourian. We’re also thrilled to welcome broadcast news veteran Betty-Jo Cugini for a discussion about her experience in the industry. Join us for any or all of these free events. Space is limited and an RSVP is requested.

The benefits of purposeful rounds

Lori Anderson, RN, EPOCH AdminstratorBy Lori Anderson, RN, administrator, EPOCH Senior Healthcare of Harwich

At nursing homes around the country, the risk of residents falling and injuring themselves is a daily concern for staff. Special programs are often implemented as a result, but at EPOCH Senior Healthcare of Harwich, we’re learning that sometimes the simplest solution is the most effective.

Since July 2014, we have been taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to reduce the risk of falls through special, purposeful rounds that combine checking on resident safety with involved social interaction. Every shift, all staff members—not just our nursing assistants—spend 30 minutes making these rounds, which go beyond quick in-and-out check-ups.

Ring in the New Year at EPOCH

New Year's celebrationsWe’re looking forward to celebrating New Year’s Eve at our communities, and you can bet we’ll ring in the New Year with great parties and live entertainment. For those living in or near Providence, join us for a performance by jazz musician Steve Burke. Or if you live closer to Norton, stop by our party and enjoy music by pianist John Barnett. In Chestnut Hill, residents, staff and guests will celebrate with local musician J.D. Foster. In addition to the celebrations, we’ll also host our monthly book club discussion this week as well as a concert by Ethan Stone. Hope you’ll join us! 

Plan your loved one's care with the whole family

Being a caregiver for an aging family member is hard work. For many, the responsibilities are made more stressful by trying to juggle another job along with other family and social roles. Caregiving can become much more manageable when a whole family agrees to care for an aging relative together.

Initiating a family meeting is a great way to begin sharing caregiving responsibilities. You can set up clear expectations for each person’s role and help the primary caregiver feel less alone as everyone agrees to help and support each other. A meeting will also help aid planning for long term care to ensure your loved one will be well cared for even in the face of changing circumstances.