Community Connection Newsletter | May 2020 | News & Announcements
Making the Most Out of Sheltering in Place
Thriving at Samaritas with a New Routine
By: Jacqueline Dillinger
Stuart Briscoe, in WWII England, once said: “While we huddled in our cellar seeking ‘shelter in place’, we learned to cope, then to survive, then to thrive and ultimately to enjoy the thrill of victory.

Here at Samaritas Senior Living in Traverse City, we have been sheltering in place for almost six weeks now. And we've been working hard to give residents our best while COVID-19 cases rise.

Our administrator Kristin Lindell shared this quote from Stuart Briscoe with our management team, and amazingly enough, I've seen this pattern happening with our residents here at Samaritas.
It started after the administration team made changes to align our services with CDC guidelines. Like adjusting to have meals delivered to rooms rather than in communal spaces. We also encouraged residents to try new fulfilling hobbies and to exercise in the wellness center at the proper social-distancing space.

We fell into a rhythm which became routine. Soon, residents were doing hallway exercises, separated, watching "Downton Abbey", doing needlework, taking walks, coloring, and doing word search puzzles. Some are even taking virtual outreach to a new level by we have a resident who has managed to play pool with his spouse virtually. Residents also are enjoying their daily walks to the mailbox, in fact, it's the highlight of their day.

We are thriving here Samaritas. Sure, there are lonely days, especially the ones where the sun refuses to shine, but we seem to be doing really well. It helps that the residents can get outside and take a walk in the brisk spring air.
Joanne Poehler 
I don’t remember my earliest memory of my mom, but I remember my last. I went to visit her in her last days, and I said to her, “Do you know who I am?”, and she answered, “Yes, you are my beautiful daughter”. I was an only child, so I was always running off to find friends to play with. My earliest memory is of my mom hitting my bare legs with a switch. As I got older, she made me sit in the corner. My mom baked the best butterscotch pies. She liked to cook. Fried potatoes, salmon patties. Corn bread was one of her favorites too. Since I was an only child, when I graduated from high school was her proudest moment. She only went to school through the 8th grade. For chest colds mom would put Vicks sav on a wool cloth and put it on our chest, then give us an aspirin. My mom fussed a lot, she never seemed contented. My mom and dad separated when I was 12 years old. She struggled as a single mother, having renters to help her pay the bills. During the war she went to work on a factory line making flaps for airplanes. She worked the night shift, and I stayed with my grandparents. Eventually she remarried, and she was very happy, they had so much fun together. He built her a new house from the ground up. It broke mom’s heart when he died. 
Tina Zuilhof 
My earliest memories of my mom are during the war. We lived in Holland, and the war broke out in 1940, I was born in ’39. My mom seemed worried all the time. Then I discovered that she was hiding my father, and she was sneaking him food. The Germans would knock on the door, and she could not tell anyone he was there. Mom was deaf, had been since 14. She had 2 sisters who were deaf also. She wear a hearing aid, and we would talk to her by pronouncing our words really clearly so she could read our lips. My mom cooked plain Dutch food. She had 7 people to feed (5 kids), so the food was nothing fancy. We ate kale, onions and potatoes, sometimes with sausage. She took pride in cooking a good meal for her family and kids appearance. Sunday morning, as we were dressed in our Sunday best, she would go down the line check each of our hair to make sure it was combed. No, mom was not tough, we were tough on her. We took advantage of her deafness, and would ask her things when she was asleep and couldn’t hear us. For a cold remedy, mom would beat an egg, and add whiskey and make us drink it. 
Her Mother never swore, if she said boy, baby etc. she was mad and I knew someone was in trouble. 

Her favorite thing her Mother made was and Angel food cake with raspberries. Her parents did not stay mad long at each other. If they had a dispute, her dad would go to the barn and would come back to the kitchen and hugged her Mother. Shirley always admired that about their relationship. Just before her Mother passed away at 1 month shy of 100, she told Shirley she needed a haircut. Shirley’s hair was always a struggle for her Mother. 
Joan G.
Her Mother was very strict. They always knew if they were in trouble when her Mother would walk around the sunroom tapping the windows with her ring. Sunday lunch after church was always her Mother’s homemade chicken noodle soup. It was the best. One special thing she bought for her Mother was a jewel box she got from the 5 and 10 she worked at. Her Mother still had the jewel box when she passed away. Joan remembers her Mother using homemade bear grease and laying flannel on her brother’s chest when he sick. She said he got better, so it must have worked. 
May is Foster Care Awareness Month
This May, during National Foster Care awareness month, you can show your support by sharing any of the social media posts with your friends and family to raise awareness of the issue.

You can also consider purchasing the official #ItTakesAPurpleVillage window sticker, where $5 dollars of every purchase will be donated back to the Samaritas Foster Care program. Visit this website for details.
Complete the 2020 Census This Month
Don't forget to complete the 2020 Census. It only takes a few minutes to answer questions by phone or online.

The information you provide can help the state decide how to spend tax dollars to cover Medicare, Medicaid and more.

Take a look at this handy guide for more details.
Give us a Shout
Since the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic, many of our employees are working in extraordinary circumstances to keep themselves and residents like you safe and well. If you've had a good experience with a Samaritas nurse, attendant or other staff member.

Tell us about by sending your emails, videos or other comments to We may use them for a post on Facebook or Instagram in the future.
See what else is going on at Samaritas this month!
Five Healthy Eating Tips
Even though you may be stuck at home, it's still a good time to focus on your diet and avoid the temptation of just eating snacks.

For older adults, it is even more important to get the proper nutrients each day to help your body function in the best way possible. Here are five easy ways to eat healthier and boost your metabolism. 
1. Drink plenty of liquids. Drinking liquids such as water or natural juice can be a great way to stay healthy. Water not only keeps your mouth hydrated, but helps you stay full longer. Try to limit beverages with a lot of sugar or sodium.

2. Try some “Super Foods”. “Super foods” are foods that are low calorie but high in vitamins or fiber. Some you can try incorporating into your diet are kale, broccoli and avocados. These foods help with cognitive function and help to support your immune system.

3. Opt for whole grains. Whole grains are a great substitution for refined grains. Refined or enriched grains remove many of the nutrients. Eating whole grains like brown rice, whole grain cereals and whole wheat bread will provide nutrients such as fiber, potassium, magnesium. 

4. Plenty of Protein. Try to get as much protein in your diet as possible. Proteins help with your muscle and bone function, as well as supporting a healthy diet. Try incorporating things such as eggs, beans, lean meats such as chicken and nuts.

5. Moderate Proportions. Eating in moderate proportions is a great way to eat a balanced and healthy diet. It will also prevent weight gain. Reduce, but don’t eliminate. Eat your favorite foods, but go for smaller portions and eat less than what you usually would.

Eating healthy as a senior can be difficult. These steps will point you in the right direction for a healthy and happy diet.
Samaritas offers retirement living for seniors with five communities throughout Michigan. Whether you want independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory support or rehabilitation therapy, you’ll find a home that feels right.

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