Tag Archives: relationships

Equine engagement

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These hands have found harmony with many horses over a lifetime of 91 years. They belong to Truman, affectionally known as TD, a memory care resident of Vista Prairie at River Heights in South St. Paul, MN. Ara Schmidt developed a strong attachment with TD while she was a resident assistant in the memory care unit.

“I love all our memory care residents,” Ara explains. “But there was something about TD that just draws you in, especially when he starts talking about horses.”

In her first months at River Heights Ara recounts TD’s reaction when she showed him photos of horses. His family filled in the details that had escaped his memory. TD raised horses for many years, but was especially attached to one named Guy. In his apartment TD keeps a memory book full of photos and stories about “Guy the Wonder Horse.” TD called Guy his best friend for 32 years.

When River Heights promoted Ara to the activities assistant position, she soon hatched a plan sure to delight TD and all the residents. “I tapped my social media network for anybody who knew a source for equine therapy, using horses to awaken the senses,” Ara recounts. “Within a couple days I had two providers lined up.”

On August 5, Angie Vizenor was the first to roll up with a horse trailer transporting Magic and Manny, also pictured here. It was indeed a magical time, and only the latest example of River Heights’ imaginative efforts this summer to prevent isolation and keep residents engaged.

“We hope to make these visits an annual warm weather highlight,” says Ara. “The horse providers got as much joy out of the encounters as our residents did.”

In addition to its 16 memory care suites, River Heights offers assisted living in 44 apartments. Want to learn more about River Heights? Call Danielle at 651-326-6501. She would be happy to introduce you virtually to the whole dedicated staff, especially Ara.

Staying Connected: How Seniors Can Benefit From Social Media

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In the past few years, social media has become an integral part of day-to-day life, from browsing Twitter over lunch to checking Facebook in line for coffee. Yet despite being so prevalent, social media is still largely considered a youthful technology. However, seniors are in fact the fastest growing demographic on social media today. Although most people assume seniors have stayed away from social media because they struggle to manage technology, the truth is that their reluctance often stems from a lack of perceived value. But as more and more seniors sign up for Facebook accounts, it’s becoming clear that social media can be a valuable resource for seniors.

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The Benefits of Social Media for Seniors

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When most people hear ‘social media,’ seniors don’t typically come to mind. However, seniors aged 65 and older represent one of the fastest growing age groups to use social media, according to NPR and the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. In fact, seniors are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook today. Older adults are learning that social media sites are easy to access and are user-friendly. They are also catching on quickly to all the benefits social media has to offer them. We’ve laid out 5 of the top benefits of social media for older adults.

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The Importance of Relationships as You Age

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Building and Strengthening Relationships

The Importance of Relationships as You Age

Relationships are important opportunities. Relationships are where you find support, learn lessons, receive advice and grow. Whether the relationship is parent-child, friend, significant other or even a stranger, it can sometimes require a bit of work to maintain and even repair these relationships. But what happens, as you get older? Do relationships suddenly become less important? Actually, it’s the exact opposite; it becomes even more important to strengthen relationships.

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