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Kasey Fallon

Furry Friends at Wake Robin

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Walking along the paths and neighborhoods at Wake Robin, one cannot help but run into a friendly four-legged friend. The Wake Robin  community has always been pet friendly. All furry or feathered companions are welcome!

Mojo pauses for a picture.

 

There are many activities at Wake Robin that are dog friendly. Dogs are welcomed to cruise along the over four miles of walking trails, accompany a resident collecting their mail inside the community center (except during meal times), or visit a friend living in Linden. The front desk is always equipped with an assortment of dog treats and pats from staff members. There are dog waste containers located around Wake Robin for convenience and even a dog park located right on campus.

When a resident’s needs increase and they are thinking of moving into the Linden Health Center, there is a worry of – what happens to my furry companion? Residents can choose to move their feline or canine friends into their new homes in Linden with them. If they are still able to care for them, they are welcome! There was even a guinea pig that lived in Linden for a period of time!

A resident and her dog, Sadie, going for a walk along the trails.

Wake Robin is an active community with residents that are walking, hiking, swimming, kayaking, or just enjoying the outdoors. This might be one of the reasons that there are so many dogs spotted walking around the community.

According to a study published in Scientific Reports, people who live alone and own dogs are more likely to live a longer life. Maybe Wake Robin is on to something!

Just to note, there are many feline companions that call Wake Robin home. Cats are not as seen and heard, since all cats live inside. While they are not mentioned as much in this blog – There are 25 cats that live here at Wake Robin that are just as loved as their canine counterparts!

 

How Seniors Can Safely Stay Active, Even in Extreme Heat

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Article By Katie Rosenbrock

(Originally posted August 4, 2015 in The Active Times)

From swimming in your backyard pool to enjoying long evening bike rides, there are so many things to love about summer. But one downside to the season that we don’t discuss often is the increased risk for heat-related illnesses that comes along with extreme summer heat.

Everyone should be aware of the dangers, but Linda Phypers, R.N., L.N.H.A., director of health services at Wake Robin, Vermont’s first Continuing Care Retirement Community, says the elderly community should take extra precautions.

“High heat and humidity can be dangerous—and people may feel differently on different days regardless of what the thermometer reads,” Phypers explained.

When it comes to engaging in physical activity on hot and humid days, she suggests choosing cooler times of the day, like in the early morning or late evening, or if it’s really a scorcher, opting not to exercise at all that day.

What should seniors be most concerned about when it comes to staying active in the summer?

“Dehydration and overexertion,” Phypers said. “Take extra breaks, remove gear and clothing to let the body cool down. Drink lots of water and give your body extra time to recover after exercise in extreme heat — the body gets overexerted and fatigued more quickly in high temps.”

She also suggests exercising with a friend so you can keep an eye on each other and said that these tips apply not just to seniors, but really anyone who wants to be active when it’s unusually hot and humid.

But what if it’s really just too hot outside and you want to fit some form of activity into your day?

Phypers suggests making use of an indoor pool if you have access to one.

“The number one indoor activity — if you have access — is to use an indoor pool,” she said. “ [It’s a] great way to get a good workout while keeping the body temperature down.”

If you don’t have a pool, Phypers suggests exercising inside where there are fans or AC.

“Do gentle resistance exercises with free weights or resistance bands,” she explained. “There are lots of free videos on YouTube focused on active seniors. Local fitness centers and senior centers have training and exercise programs indoors. Try yoga or tai chi. These are excellent activities in any weather. They build muscle, improve flexibility and improve balance — all important as we age. There are lots of videos for these exercises, too.”

Also, you could reach out to local senior centers. Phypers said they often plan activities to accommodate summer weather and usually have AC.

Her final piece of advice: if you take any medications, be aware of their side effects.

“Sometimes older people are taking medications that make them more susceptible to the heat — and make it harder to stay hydrated,” Phypers said. “Seniors should be aware if this is the case for them and either avoid strenuous exercise in the heat and take extra measures to stay hydrated.”

Wake Robin Takes on Boston

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blog post by Jena Necrason, Resident Program Coordinator (pictured above)

Twenty Wake Robin residents enjoyed a three-day trip to Boston on October 16-October 18. The fall foliage made for a scenic ride from Shelburne to this beautiful and historic city. We boarded our coach bus Monday morning and by early afternoon we were experiencing the thrilling art and rich history of Beantown. Half of our group ventured into Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market to take in the sites and eat lunch. The other half spent the afternoon in the immersive experience of the famed Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, enjoying art, flowers and plants, textiles, furniture, and architecture.

That evening we were welcomed to the place “where everybody knows your name” eating dinner at the original Cheers restaurant in Beacon Hill, which inspired the TV show. A busy first day, we all collapsed at our hotel in Bunker Hill for a good night of rest!

Day two started with a ‘Windshield Tour’ of the city with an energetic and knowledgeable guide named Debbie. We saw many of the city’s most important historic sites such as the Old Granary Burial Ground, Paul Revere’s House and Trinity Church just to name a few. We enjoyed the gorgeous architecture, and how each neighborhood had its own distinct history reflected in every detail of the buildings. Our tour ended in The Old North End where we selected traditional Italian restaurants to dine in for lunch. Everyone raved about their homemade pasta’s and wood-fired pizza’s as we boarded the bus for our afternoon excursions. A small group went on a tour of Fenway Park, seeing the in’s an out’s of how the stadium works from the bottom all the way to the very top. Others spent the afternoon at Boston’s gorgeous Museum of Fine Arts, losing themselves in the museum’s 450,000 works of art. Next was dinner at the Union Oyster House where a raucous and delicious time was had by all. Did you know that the Oyster House has been running continuously since 1826?

Our third and final day brought us to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The museum’s comprehensive exhibits were highly educational and deeply inspirational. We all boarded the bus moved by his legacy of political action and public service based on courage, service, inclusion, and innovation.

Our ride home, helmed by our fantastic coach driver Hugo, was filled with laughter and chatter and a few naps here and there! We arrived home at Wake Robin just in time for dinner.

Snowshoeing during a Wolf Moon

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Written by Wake Robin resident, Ann

Did you ever think it would be fun to celebrate the full January Wolf Moon and full February Snow moon with an after dinner scenic snowshoe walk? Living at Wake Robin folks can do that as long as the weather cooperates.   full moon in the woods

Members of Wake Robin love sharing their passions. Bill’s passion was winter fun. Bill was part of the 10th Mountain Division in WWII and saw action against the Germans at Riva Ridge in Italy. After the war he wrote a book on snowshoeing and x-c skiing. It was basically his idea to gather Wake Robin friends for this after dinner snowshoe walk. Now others carry on his leadership.   Wake Robin has the ideal location for this one-hour adventure. Those interested gather in the Community Center. A short walk through the woods on the one of Wake Robin’s trails, with the moon making tree shadows on the snow, brings one out to our South Meadow Hill. From there one looks down on Lake Champlain and lights along the shore.

Another trail on the return brings one to a field with a view of Camel’s Hump.   On one occasion we were out ahead of the moon on a very clear night. My how the stars do shine brightly! After picking out many constellations, we turned around and found a huge moon rising from behind the top of the hill and some tall evergreens. Such a sight!

Bill started a tradition on these walks of our howling at January’s Wolf moon – even though it is a myth that wolves howl at the moon. Why do we do it?  Simply because it is fun. On occasion we have howled if the group gets separated to locate each other, which wolves will do also. Howling is quite satisfying. So is being outside on a beautiful winter evening.

snowshoe - from A Hiltz resized

 

Wake Robin Receives Green Award

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The International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) has awarded Wake Robin their 2016 ICAA Innovators Green Award.

icaa-awardICAA’s goals are to change society’s perceptions of aging and improve the quality of life for older adults. The organizations that were considered for this award were judged based on their excellence in making a positive difference in the lives of older adults in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way.

Some green initiatives at Wake Robin:

  • Instead of using bleach in the laundry and Aquatic Center – Wake Robin uses Ozone. It saves 316,090 gallons of hot water and over $24,000 in one year alone.
  • Wake Robin releases 100,000 lady bugs in the spring instead of spraying pesticides to control the aphids and scale bugs.
  • Wake Robin sources food from local farms. 100% of the milk purchased is rBGH free. 100% of the ground beef used is local, hormone and antibiotic free. 100% of our bread is locally sourced. 90% of the cheese, yogurt, pudding and other dairy foods are local Vermont products. 27% of the fruits and vegetables served are sourced from local farms
  • 90% of food waste from Wake Robin’s kitchens is composted. Residents throughout the community compost – in fact, composting at Wake Robin was initiated by residents.
  • Wake Robin uses solar power from a solar farm in Monkton, VT. This reduces on-site energy costs by 24%.
  • Employee ride sharing is encouraged. Carpool employees can add their names for a gift card raffle that is drawn every month.

Environmental Services Director, Leslie Parker remarked; “The success of our green initiative – and the practices we have in place to preserve and sustain a healthy community – would not be possible without the commitment of the entire Wake Robin community – from the Board and Staff to the dedicated Residents.”

Wake Robin is proud to have been recognized for its initiative and will continue to keep this a part of the fabric of our culture.

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