This week, Bill Marley, one of Springmoor’s newest residents shares his journey to Springmoor – his new home and his new extended family.
Many thoughts come to mind as Frances and I reflect on our journey to Springmoor. This journey actually began in quiet conversation one evening a few years ago as we discussed the notion of downsizing. Many “empty-nesters” tend to do this after growing weary of rattling around in a big house, climbing stairs to the second floor, and constantly attending the responsibilities of property ownership.
We were very independent, but had a few developing health issues. This led us to consider moving to one of the fine retirement communities in Raleigh. We are blessed to have our two sons and their families living in the Raleigh area. They would gladly provide all the assistance needed as we grew older. However, Frances and I wanted to spare them of that responsibility and the effect caring for us would have on their lives.
Being Raleigh residents, we were well acquainted with Springmoor. Many friends were living here and Frances had performed for the delightful Springmoor Residents many times as a member of the Cardinal Singers.
A Springmoor Marketing Counselor became our guide along this journey. It was an easy decision to choose Springmoor as our future home. We both had a comforting feeling of relief the afternoon we sat with her and signed papers placing us on the wait list for residency. Just having our names on that list gave us an immediate sense of belonging to this community.
After moving here four months ago, the feeling of belonging has grown stronger. Everyone has welcomed us into the Springmoor Family with open arms. We enjoy seeing old friends more often now and meet new friends almost daily. Frances has benefited tremendously from the expert physical therapy sessions at the Stewart Health Center. I enjoy being a cashier at Springmoor’s Little Corner Store one morning a month. Becoming more involved in activities and volunteering our services as much as possible is something we are looking forward to in the months ahead.
I want to express the thought that “comfort” and “relief” are defining words in our lives since becoming Springmoor Residents. This is particularly true for me. Frances uses a walker and depends on me to be her “legs” and perform more than the usual “chores” expected of husbands around the house. Her safety and well-being are first and foremost. When living in our Raleigh home, I carried on my shoulders the responsibility of being first responder by calling 911 and then doing all I could awaiting the arrival of help. The weight of that responsibility has been significantly lightened now that we are Springmoor Residents.
Before Springmoor, I was always uneasy leaving Frances alone at home when I had to make an occasional day-trip out of town. I made certain she had everything needed close at hand, including medicine, a charged cell phone, and list of emergency numbers. I scheduled my trips when one or both of our sons would be in Raleigh and could come to help, if needed. I then called throughout the day to make certain she was all right. I was always uneasy there would be a certain delay in getting help to her if she had any trouble.
Now I am “comforted” and “relieved” in knowing that if Frances needs help while I am away, she can dial zero, pull the security cord, or press the pendant and help will be at our door in a brief minute. On a recent 12-hour round trip to Bryson City in the far western mountains, I knew Frances was safe in our Springmoor home. I was much more at ease driving in the heavy I-40 traffic without an urgent feeling I needed to get back home as soon as possible. That night, as I turned off Sawmill at the end of the trip, the double driveways at the lighted Springmoor entrance were like two outstretched arms welcoming me home again. I knew Frances was awaiting my return, safely inside the community. Continue reading →
Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented. Arnold Palmer
Take it from the pro – it is great for the soul! Tom Howell, Willie Martin and fellow Springmoor putters will agree. On a late Monday morning, you will find a group of men and women gathered on the “Springmoor CC Putting Green” to play a round of 18. Closest to the Pin, Hole in One and Lowest Score is what this group competes in each time they are together. Scores are never important but a little competition certainly makes it more fun.
Tom was asked recently to design a new golf card. His fellow golfers told him they needed something a little more official – this is an important part of the game and the details are necessary. Now the card has the length of each putt and the handicap level. The putting green has 9 holes and they will play it twice for a competitive round of golf. They play every other Monday at 11:00.
Brandon Hair, Springmoor’s Executive Director, joined the group during his first few months on the job. He made a hole in one on the closest to the pin putt and won a bag of cookies! The rest of the group trades places on the leader board every other week. Esther Wenzel and Joan Speir, the stars of the women’s team, give the men a run for their money with their putting skills. Don Preiss can be found practicing more than anyone. He loves the sport! New resident Murphy Osborne has recently joined the group and has found his way to the top on many occasions.
Asked how they find new golfers, Tom says it’s not hard. The Welcoming Committee is quick to point them in the right direction. He and Willie get calls from someone on the committee or are spotted at dinner and handed a list of who needs to be invited to play. There are some upcoming residents on the Waiting List that have joined the Monday game too.
If the group wants to play a full round with sand traps, water and long fairways they can head down Creedmoor Road. Wildwood Green Golf Club is only five minutes from Springmoor. They offer a great senior rate Monday thru Thursday, any time of the day. Tom says the location can’t be beat! Five minutes away and you’re on the golf course – what’s better than that?
And if it’s raining, he invites you to join him at the Billiards Table. Dale Matzinger, our North Carolina Senior Games Ping Pong Champion, signed up for the Wake County Senior Games this summer and encouraged Tom to try this sport too. Armed with a rules book, the two have gotten a lively group of Billiard players together and mastered the Senior Rules of the game. The newly renovated room in North Village has also become the hub of jigsaw puzzle fans. The two groups share lots of laughs together.
There is also a lively game of croquet each week – the South Village offers a beautiful court just outside the Bistro. There are a few putters that play croquet on Saturdays. Whatever your sport – from Ping-Pong to putting greens – there are always opportunities to compete, to share a few laughs and to exercise. Continue reading →
We have a new class with a great instructor. Pilates – it’s the best yet!
Ten Reasons to try Pilates
- It will boost your flexibility and joint mobility
- It is NOT a cardio workout
- It will make your muscles stronger
- It is a low-impact exercise
- It begins with simple exercises and can advance to new levels at your pace
- It can be done in a chair or on the floor
- It can be done in a large class or alone
- It requires NO special equipment (maybe a mat)
- It is good for your mental health as well as your physical health
- Trish Shipley, our Pilates instructor is “always encouraging and excels at teaching”.
Trish taught an introductory class last month to a standing room only group of interested residents. It was easy to see that there was a strong appeal for this new class. Trish is a certified PiYo and Yoga instructor and one of Springmoor’s favorite Wellness Center assistants. Her smile is contagious and her enthusiasm keeps you going!
She describes Pilates as a routine to strengthen your core: the muscles “from your neck down and your knees up”. There are no weights used with these exercises – your body becomes the weight or the resistance. When your core is strengthened, you are less susceptible to falls and injury. It helps improve your posture, flexibility and balance.
In Pilates, your arms and legs are lifted against gravity to strengthen each set of muscles. The core-focused exercises require no more than two inches of lifts. You may be sore the next day but that’s OK. You will be challenging a muscle that needs a workout and after a few sessions, it will be stronger without soreness. With each class, you will be challenged to try a new routine. Trish says there are hundreds of exercises she can add to the workout. She will be gentle and guide you through the next steps at a healthy pace.
Breathing is a central part of Pilates. As you learn the deep breathing routines with each lift your movements become more fluid and graceful. Your alignment is strengthened and your stress is reduced. The muscles are elongated with these exercises. The whole body gets a work out as all muscles groups are emphasized. Many professional athletes are now incorporating these routines into their fitness training to lessen injury in their sport.
Joseph Pilates, son of a prize-winning gymnast and a naturopath, developed this system of exercises in the early 20th century. He strongly believed in the relationship between the mind and the body. Alignment, breathing and developing a strong core were his keys to success.
“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.” – Joseph Hubertus Pilates, in 1965, age 86. Continue reading →
Simplifying your life isn’t just about removing the physical clutter out of your cabinets; it’s meant to make us look a little bit closer at our lifestyle and eliminate the things that keep us from truly enjoying life. In today’s fast-paced world, the idea of sitting on the porch with your family or a good book without having anywhere to be can be hard to imagine, but we’re here to tell you it’s possible. (ideal-Living Magazine, Becky Eades)
Springmoor makes it possible with our long list of amenities and services. We want you to enjoy your retirement – let us do the chores and run the errands. Simplify your lifestyle with our list of extras!
Interior and Exterior Maintenance
No more worries about fixing a leaky roof, waiting for an appliance repairman, or painting your interior. Our team will take care of everything on your list with a simple phone call. You can opt to be there or not when maintenance arrives. We want to make it as easy as possible.
Tired of mowing the grass, trimming the shrubs, aerating the lawn and spreading new pine straw? No worries, we have a landscaping crew that takes care of our beautiful 42-acre campus year-round. For those who still want to dig in the dirt on a smaller scale – that’s possible too. We have a garden that is prepped by the landscaping crew each spring. Our residents are invited to plant and maintain their gardens. Water and tools are available for everyone.
No more changing the sheets. No more dusting and vacuuming. No more scrubbing the bathrooms or the kitchen. Our housekeepers will come to your apartment weekly and take these chores off your list!
Need a quick visit to the see the doctor? Need a flu shot? Have a question for the nurse? They are all here on campus. Located in North Village, the clinic is only a short walk away. Need to recuperate after a surgery? Our short-term health center and physical therapist can have you back on your feet in no time. Need to see an off-campus specialist? We will arrange for transportation too.
Tired of cooking? Tired of grocery shopping? We can simplify that task too! Our dining services offer a nutritious menu with four different dining options. You may choose to dine-in or carryout a meal at lunch or dinner. Formal dining is available for both as is a more casual dining option in our cafes. Our buses will take you to the Farmer’s Market or your favorite grocery store on a weekly basis so you can still enjoy a home-cooked meal whenever you have time.
Traffic in Raleigh can be difficult to maneuver especially during the peak hours. Would you prefer to have someone else drive? Do you have an evening event or an outing in an unfamiliar place? Our drivers can be reserved to take you to doctors or business appointments. We offer activities via our tour buses for shopping trips, theatre and musical events, museum tours and educational outings on a daily basis. And a trip is always more fun when you have a friend and neighbor joining you!
Is your drive to the gym, especially on a rainy day, getting in the way of exercising regularly? Why not start your mornings with a lap swim or a water aerobics class in your building? Yes, both sides of our campus offer exercise classes and the newest gym equipment available. We offer over forty class options each week. Our campus has walking paths outside and is surrounded by a wonderful neighborhood with sidewalks and greenways. Springmoor will make your exercise routine easy.
Entertainment and Activities
Are you a season ticket-holder at Durham Performing Arts Center or the North Carolina Symphony, Raleigh Little Theatre or The North Carolina Ballet? Would you like to participate in an Osher Life Long Learning (OLLI) Class at NC State? Would you like to tour a museum or listen to a lecture, visit one of the triangle’s newest restaurants or volunteer to help with an English as a Second Language (ESL) program? We have all of these and so much more on the calendar. All you need to do is sign-up and we will take care of the rest! Continue reading →
A mother with her toddler son, a husband with his young wife, a daughter with her frail father – they sit in the emergency room waiting with fear of the unknown. Once ushered back to a room, multiple doctors, nurses and technicians come in to ask questions, take them for tests and administer medications. Waiting for the answer can take hours. Waiting for the pain to subside is difficult. Having a family member or friend with you makes all of this a little easier.
At Springmoor, we are all family. If a resident needs to go to the Emergency Room for a fall, for shortness of breath or any other need, we will go too! A family member is always called first. However, often the family lives out of town or even out of state. Perhaps they are traveling on business or even tied up in a meeting. If they can’t go with their family member, we will.
There are ten administrative staff members that rotate a pager through the business week. A Stewart Health Center employee carries it during the evening hours and the Springmoor Senior Staff carries the pager on the weekends. There is always an extended family member here for our residents.
An administrative staff member writes, “Our primary goal is to make sure our residents feel connected to us and do not feel alone. One of the best feelings I have when accompanying them is the gratitude they show and the feeling that I am able to help during a time of distress. One of my most recent experiences is with a resident who had no family locally or even in the state. When I arrived at the Emergency Room, I introduced myself. The resident smiled and said thank you for coming. I then asked her if she needed me to stay or if she felt okay by herself. She asked that I stay a little while until she knew what was happening. While she was being assisted, she periodically looked at me and smiled. Once, when I stepped out of the room, I heard her ask, “Where did my lady go?” She seemed relieved when they told her I was still there but standing outside the door, waiting to come back in. When I returned, she looked at me again and smiled. The look of relief and peace on her face was priceless. Although she never really said anything to me while she was there, her expression and smile was all I needed.”
From another staff member: “I have been many times to the ER with residents. The first question asked of me is usually from a nurse, ‘Are you a family member?’ When I reply, ‘No, I’m just a friend. I am from Springmoor.’ Their response is always one of surprise and appreciation.
While waiting for doctors and tests results, the resident often wants to call their family. I have offered my phone or even taken notes from the nurse to ask the family. I have been there to fluff a pillow, raise the bed, get water or call for a bedpan. Laying on stretcher in the ER can be a stressful experience for anyone. Being in pain makes this even more difficult. Having a friend eases the burden. I have heard numerous stories about resident’s children, their family, their travels, their childhood homes and so much more. These stories warm my heart. We may not have even known each other when I arrive but afterwards, I feel like I have a new parent, a new friend. This time together has always felt like we both were given a special gift.
Our Chaplains visit residents in the hospital on a daily basis. Robin says of this unique service, “One of the many remarkable things that makes Springmoor stand out from other retirement communities is its staff. Not only is the staff dedicated to their unified mission of making each day special and valuable for each resident, Springmoor employees have put in place extra steps to ensure resident satisfaction on every level. The emergency pager policy is one of these steps.
This seemingly small task is a huge gift. The staff person, carrying the pager, has to stop what they are doing and perhaps have others cover for them while they go to one of the several area hospitals. I have seen first hand, as a chaplain, how very important this service is for the resident who finds themselves unexpectedly in the Emergency Department. Sometimes they have only a short visit with a staff person, as a family member arrives quickly, or sometimes it can be a long day. We all know how slow time moves in the ER. This small gesture, of not being alone in the time when you feel the most vulnerable, is so appreciated by the residents, their families and the chaplains. These busy Springmoor employees help lend that comforting hand for your loved ones, when an emergency arises.” Continue reading →
Water exercises put less stress on the joints making it a perfect exercise for seniors. The water acts as a form of resistance, so strength exercises can be performed in the pool without heavy weights. Flexibility, balance, bone density and cardiovascular functions are increased while muscle-loss is decreased. Water workouts are a perfect alternative to exercising at the gym. Have you tried a water class yet?
This week, we did an Aqua Fitness Question and Answer session with Kari Richie, our Wellness Center Director.
Can you give us a short description of the classes offered at the Springmoor pools?
Aqua Basic – 45 minutes of fundamental water exercises to improve strength, range of motion, and balance.
Aqua Challenge – 45 minutes of challenging water exercises with a strong emphasis on cardiovascular endurance.
Aqua Free Time – The pool is supervised by a Health & Fitness Staff Member, allowing the residents to swim, walk or exercise at their own pace.
What level of difficulty is each class?
Aqua Challenge is in our “C” category, making it the highest level of difficulty. Modifications can be provided for different needs.
Aqua Basic is considered a “B” category… not as intense or fast paced.
Aqua Free Time is great for those who are motivated and like to exercise on their own.
Is one better than another for sore muscles or arthritis or other ailments? Do the physical therapy instructors also help?
Aqua Basic is the best option for those who have arthritis, chronic pain, or starting to exercise after a joint surgery or injury.
Physical Therapists do not teach classes but they can provide Aquatic Therapy for patients in the facility.
Water volleyball is a new monthly resident activity. Does the Wellness staff play too? Do you have an audience/cheering section?
The staff participates with the residents and we have a lot of fun!!! Cheering sections are welcome. We laugh and get a good workout while playing. (We don’t keep score.)
Lap swim – when, where and who?
Residents can lap swim during Aqua Free Time: Mon/Wed/Fri from 9:00 – 10:00 am or Mon/Wed from 1:30 – 2:30 pm.
Residents can use the pool on their own during non-programming hours. We strongly encourage the buddy rule.
Which resident swims the most laps (each day, each week)?
John Neal swims the most laps at one time. He swims a minimum of a mile three days a week (72 lengths plus another 6 to 8 laps just to be sure he counted correctly). Don & Jane Priess win the most consistent award. They come early in the morning and do their own routine.
Swimming in North Village – is this smaller pool just for aerobics? Anything else?
The Fitness Staff provides an Aqua Basic class in the NV Pool on Tues/Thurs at 9:15 am. A resident led group meets at 6:30 am on Tues/Thurs/Sat.
Some residents will use the pool on their own time to do their home exercise routine.
Time for play in the pool with grandchildren – how does this work?
Residents can enjoy spending time with their family while using the pool. We have several families who take advantage of this and they have so much fun! The rules are: residents must be present with their guests in the pool area at all times. We currently do not have “guest hours.” Residents may bring their guests any time there isn’t a scheduled program. Residents have first priority of the pool area.
Do residents do laps with kick boards or other equipment for lap swims?
Some residents swim laps with kick boards and others use the noodles or aqua dumbbells while water walking.
The hot tub and spa – tell us about this Wellness Center amenity.
The spa is popular after the Aqua classes as part of their cool down and relaxation time. It also becomes social time as they sit and relax with the jets on, talking and laughing with their friends. Some people only come to use the spa because of joint pain.
What is the most popular class? Why?
Aqua Challenge is the most popular class because it provides a good cardio and strength workout for all levels. Those who like the challenge can push themselves to their limit and those who like to take it easy can go at a slower pace and modify some of the movements.
What is the best class for beginners?
Aqua Basic is the best because it is slower paced and focuses on strength, range of motion, and balance.
What is the best class for life-long swimmers?
Aqua Challenge or Aqua Free Time
What hours is the pool open? Are there any special dos and don’ts?
The pool is open from 5:00 am – 10:00 pm. The programming hours are listed on the Fitness Calendar in the back of the monthly Springtimes. Hydration is important! Even though you feel like you’re not working as hard, you still need to drink plenty of water before and after your exercise in the water. It’s even more important to be hydrated if you spend time in the spa because of the warmer temperature. Always get out of the water if you experience dizziness, cramping, or chest pain.
Do any of the Springmoor Fitness Instructors have a swimming background?
Becky Boulo is our head Aquatic Instructor. Swimming has been a big part of her life. She taught swimming lessons all through college and even taught Swim 101 at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Becky ran summer camps for the Aleut and Yupik Indians in Northern Alaska Villages through a program to help children learn to swim to reduce the rate of drowning. Becky also taught Aqua Fitness classes in the 1980’s when it first became popular. When she moved to North Carolina, Becky helped start the Summer Swim Team in her subdivision where her daughter started at the age of 5 and is now a collegiate swimmer at the University of Idaho. Becky has been teaching at Springmoor for over 5 years!
The rest of the fitness staff holds various certifications and helps teach some of the aquatic classes.