Articles By Garden Court

The Importance of Fun

By: Rebecca Boehm

Having fun is one of the most overlooked ways to stay healthy. When talking about health, you’ve heard “eat your vegetables and exercise,” but remember health is more than physical health. What about your mental and emotional health? Having fun improves your mental and emotional well being. It stimulates your soul, and gives you something to look forward to.

There are two different types of fun – solitary fun and social fun. Solitary fun is things you do to make yourself happy that don’t require anyone else. Think of your favorite hobby.

Solitary fun can be things like, knitting, crocheting, wood-working, doing a puzzle, singing, playing an instrument, shopping, drawing, painting, playing cards, baking, or gardening.

The things we find fun change throughout our lives. What we once found fun and exciting may have lost its appeal, or is no longer possible due to health limitations.  Trying new things gives you the chance to expand your mind and create a healthy lifestyle.

Being in a space where you CAN and WILL do fun things on your own is important. If you are spending all your time caring for your house, you might feel too busy for fun! But what’s a life without fun? It’s easy to get into a routine and forget to include a fun activity on your daily to do list.

Retirement living gives you the chance to do fun activities and the time to do whatever you enjoy.  Most retirement communities do the cooking and cleaning for you, so you can spend more time having fun. At Garden Court Retirement, you could enjoy billiards, bingo, crocheting, painting, gardening, crafts, live entertainment, special presentations and more, plus whatever you like to do in your apartment.

Social fun is just as important as solitary fun. Being around others who enjoy similar activities or topics of conversation can lift your mood and mental health.  If you spend a lot of time alone, make sure to have social fun regularly. Eating lunch alone isn’t a hobby, but going out for lunch at a new restaurant with friends can be loads of fun! How often do you indulge in stimulating conversations with people? If you answered less than once or twice a week, consider incorporating a few of the following into your routine.

Meet with your friends at least once a week. Go to the senior center. Join a club. Try a class at a local gym. Visit a retirement community. At Garden Court Retirement, you don’t have to live there to attend some of the events. Each month there are free events for seniors. Call 425-438-9080 to receive monthly event invitations.

Retirement living can turn solitary fun into social fun.  Enjoy your favorite hobbies with other older adults or try a Sip and Paint where you can socialize, drink a glass of wine, and paint all at once. Living at Garden Court can increase your social fun. With weekly outings, entertainment, cocktail hours, games, exercise classes, and more to choose from, there’s never a dull moment.

Prioritize your mental and emotional well being by having more fun this year. Make time for the things you enjoy.  Consider visiting Garden Court, where we celebrate the art of life every day. Garden Court is ready to welcome you to an event, or to join the fun everyday as a resident. Experience it for yourself; call Garden Court at 425-438-9080.

Caption: Garden Court is located in South Everett near Silver Lake. The community welcomes both independent seniors and those who need a little daily assistance.

Garden Court Retirement: Getting the Most out of Life in Retirement

By Rebecca Boehm

Nestled between Everett and Mukilteo, Garden Court Retirement is home to roughly 160 of the coolest and most interesting residents. If you’ve never stopped in here you might have driven past the large, elegant building on 112th many times without a second thought. You wouldn’t know about all the people who are passionate about their hobbies and continue to live their lives to the fullest in their 70s, 80s, 90s, and above. Residents at Garden Court know that life isn’t always serious, and that even if life can be hard, it should also be enjoyable.

Garden Court was built in 2002 as an independent community with assisted living services. Apartments come in studio, one and two bedroom floor-plans ranging to over 1,000 square feet. The building is beautiful, but just as important – it is full of safety features. Family members of residents know they don’t need to worry when there’s a daily, non-intrusive “check-in” button, a wearable emergency pendant for each resident, and emergency buttons strategically placed through-out the building. Not worrying about safety gives residents that much more freedom to put their energy to better uses – like attending live entertainment or getting involved in a club.

Independent living at Garden Court is for anyone who is above 55 years old, would enjoy housekeeping and transportation services and meals being prepared for them. It doesn’t mean necessarily mean someone is unable to cook and clean, but someone who could take the pressure off of themselves and enjoy having more time to relax or engage in their hobbies. You can live independently at Garden Court – enjoy cooking, driving and more IF you want to, not because you have to do it. Independent living is great for anyone who finds themselves in a big, empty house and wants to be around fun, interesting people. It is also a great way to plan for the future. Get settled in a new home when you are fully independent, knowing that if you ever need care – even temporarily, our caregivers have your back.

Assisted living at Garden Court is for anyone who is above 55 years old, wants or needs their meals prepared for them, their housekeeping taken care of and a little extra day to day help. Assisted living is perfect for someone who could benefit from some or all of the following: Medication reminders, medication management, shower assistance, dressing and grooming assistance, incontinence management, diabetic care management, meals delivered to your apartment and more. On assisted living, residents can use one or more of these services and can change how much care they receive as their situation changes. At Garden Court, there is no assisted living ‘wing’ of the building. Anyone can go on or off of assisted living as needed without changing their apartment.

Whether you or your family members need a little assistance or no assistance at all, the culture at Garden Court is reason enough to be here. Whatever you or your family members enjoy, if it’s not already happening at Garden Court, we will gladly embrace new activities. Currently we host a variety of live entertainment, fitness classes, bible studies, church services, games, book club, knitting and crochet group, gardening, painting, weekly happy hour socials, parties, presentations and other events. If there’s some place you regularly go to, we can usually drive you there. If you or your family members are part of a group or are hosting a group in your home, consider hosting it at Garden Court. To check out the events and culture at Garden Court, stop in for a visit or call 425-438-9080 for a complete list of upcoming activities.

Planning the next step of your life ahead of time ensures that you can relax, enjoy yourself, and get the most out of the years to come. Stop in and meet with any member of our marketing team to see if Garden Court could be the right move for you or your family members. Whether you are planning for the distant or not-so-distant future, our team is happy to go over lifestyle, floor plans and everything else that comes with planning your next step. Call Rebecca, Tina or Shawna at 425-438-9080 to get started.

Garden Court is known for the expansive outdoor space with raised garden beds for residents to enjoy gardening.

Garden Court Retirement is located at 520 112th St SW, Everett, WA 98204.

Keeping What’s Really Important

By: Rebecca Boehm

For everything you keep, you lose something else. If you keep a toaster on your counter, you inevitably lose free counter space. Many people keep more than we need and more than we can use. Not only do people keep possessions like knick-knacks, but often people keep a clunky, worn-out car while ignoring far easier ways to get around. It’s easy to think that a car is important – when really what’s important is being able to get where you want, when you want to be there. Sometimes, as much as we love our possessions – and there’s nothing wrong with being sentimental – holding onto things can hold us back. It’s easy to think your current possessions will enable you to live with all the freedom, joy and independence you want. But maybe there’s an easier way.

The Problem with Keeping Everything

Simply put, keeping too many possessions can contribute to dangerous situations. Keeping items on floors is a trip hazard. If possessions are crowding your house, this might be a fire hazard. At the very least, a shelf full of knick-knacks takes much longer to dust than an empty shelf!

At some point, many people inevitably face the idea of downsizing. Maybe it’s getting hard to navigate the staircase, or maybe the house is too much to maintain. If you cringe at the idea of leaving your house and parting with some of your possessions, you’re not alone. Many people want to keep their hobbies, decorations, and more. You’ve worked hard your whole life to acquire all these things, so what could you gain from getting rid of them? Well you might gain the freedom to live a fuller life, enjoy hobbies, make friends and make memories.

Keeping your Hobbies

It’s easy for anyone to hang on to equipment or accessories for a hobby they haven’t done in years. Maybe you’re waiting for a day when you have time and energy to pick that hobby back up again. Maybe you know you won’t use that baseball equipment from college, but it’s fun to keep for the memories. It’s okay to keep a few of your favorite items that mean a lot to you, but remember that doing your favorite activity, or talking about the memories, are more important than keeping all of those items. What if letting go of some of your possessions could allow you to engage in that hobby again?

At Garden Court Retirement, residents can enjoy painting, sewing, knitting, billiards and a wealth of other activities while our staff takes the burden of home maintenance. For some, their baseball days are behind them, but sharing their memories with other residents who love the sport can be a lot of fun.

Keeping your Lifestyle

For some people, entertaining was a huge part of their life. They have beautiful dishes, a dining room decorated to the nines, recipes for delicious foods, and they want to carry on these traditions. They also think that entertaining requires them to keep their kitchen, even when they have days where cooking becomes difficult.

YOU are what makes your dinners and get-togethers truly special. If you only kept one set of fancy dishes, your guests would still remember your events as being amazing, and you being the best host or hostess.

For people who choose to live at a retirement community such as Garden Court, they’re able to entertain even more. At Garden Court, residents can enjoy dining rooms available for gatherings, an activity room equipped with a huge kitchen to prepare your favorite recipes, and the apartments at Garden Court come with full kitchens. Not having to do as much grocery shopping or dish washing makes people enjoy hosting their friends even more. At Garden Court, there are events with food for friends and family to attend.

The More You have, the More You have to Clean

Living in a big house with a lot of space can mean giving up a better part of your day for cleaning. People view a big house as their biggest asset, yet keeping it and maintaining it can cost more than most people realize. It costs a lot of your time to clean and decorate. It costs money to buy cleaning supplies and home-goods. It costs energy that you could have spent doing something you enjoy instead of maintaining your house.  What if you could enjoy a formal living room, dining room, library, billiards room and more without being responsible for its upkeep? At Garden Court, you can.

This year I challenge you to keep what’s really important, whether that’s your hobby or passion, your independence, or your enjoyment. Moving into a retirement community could give you a little assistance, a lot of fun, or both. At Garden Court, housekeeping, dining, transportation and entertainment are included in the rent. Join us at Garden Court where we take care of most housekeeping and cooking, so you can do what’s important to you. If you have a clunky, worn out car, let go of overdue oil changes and getting gas on cold days. Let our driver take you where you want to go, when you want to be there. Call us at 425-438-9080 to see for yourself.

Caption: Garden Court is located near Silver Lake in Everett. The community welcomes both independent seniors and those who need a little daily assistance.

The High Cost of Staying in Your Home!

By Jane E. Meyers-Bowen,

We all love our homes! They are filled with memories of family and friend celebrations and holidays. Or our gardens, we fill them with flowers or vegetables, bring us pride and peace. Yet, as seniors age, so do their homes.  An aging home requires major investments that can be very costly.  Roofs today cost $15,000-$25,000. Wiring and plumbing can equally deplete cash that may be better used for personal care than care for your home. Living in your home requires minor upkeep as well. But as seniors-standing on ladders to change light bulbs, carrying laundry up and down stairs, and shoveling snow, you are putting yourself at risk for a fall. Not having grab bars in bathrooms and railings on stairs or having poorly lighted rooms, scatter rugs, extension or phone cords are often found in seniors’ homes which all contribute to setting up situations that are unsafe. The other risky situation is hiring casual workers, who may not be well vetted, are coming into your home. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls.” Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. Twenty to thirty percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, or head traumas.  These injuries can make it hard to get around or live independently and increase the risk of early death.” Yet falls represent the most preventable public health risk.

  1. Survey your environment.
  2. A large percentage of falls are caused by medication errors. And have your doctor review your medicines as many can have side effects of dizziness or drowsiness.
  3. Get your eyes checked.
  4. Is  your pet contributing factor to falling?

At Garden Court Retirement, we have heard seniors and their families over the years describe a slow downward spiral while living in their homes. It may be related to different things for different older adults from increasing pain from arthritis, diminishing eyesight or hearing, depression from the loss of a spouse, or giving up driving.  Over time, physical activity goes down and they start to loss muscle mass and experience strength and balance problems. They may stop socializing- because they can’t hear or get a ride to church or to the senior center. Loss of appetite contributes to not eating healthily or eating alone and they start living on high salt TV dinners or donuts.   And sadly, many live in front of the TV waiting for their children to call-lonely & becoming frail. The downward spiral can be reversed.  At Garden Court Retirement has recognized that for many seniors their health indexes improve.   There are many reasons retirement communities have emerged as a lifestyle. Living with others in a community setting, encourages all the good things your doctor prescribes:  exercise, healthy eating, socializing, using your mind, laughing, & reducing your stress. We are social beings-exercise is more fun, meals are more enjoyable and watching the Seahawks is better with others. The irony is many seniors fear the loss of their independence moving into a retirement community but in reality seniors actually gain independence… independence from yard work, house work, preparing food etc. With all their new freedom they have to time to spend it with their families, focus on their health, enjoy sharing fun with new and old friends and sleeping better knowing they are in a safer place. Come see for yourself. Call today for a lunch and tour. 425 438-9080

When Seniors Go Rogue!

Forget the cooking, cleaning and home repairs! Start living the life that matters.  Most of us are so in love with our stuff that it runs our lives.  Also, so worried that “living life fully” is over, we reach back to memories of the past to comfort us in the hours we spend alone.

Way too many hours alone?  Families/Friends may come once or twice a week to visit or take us out to lunch or to church but that ends up to a total of 10 hours (or less) leaving only 74 awake hours alone each week!  Is that really enough human contact to feel alive? Many people don’t even know that they are feeling lonely but experience an emptiness that is always there.

Is it time to go Rogue? Seniors today have so many more choices than sitting by the phone waiting for their children to call. Still learning, growing, going and doing is the spirit (and brain) that ages well.  Making new decisions even one new decision can make a difference in the quality of your life.

At Garden Court Retirement, in the Silver Lake area, they offer residents many of the comforts of home yet provide the juice for joyful living.  Imagine a dance floor w live music? Or ever thought about a trip to the Pacific Science Center or to the Everett Performing Arts Center or to the Lavender Fields in Woodville?  (Of course we go to the casino, too!)

Rogue Residents eat when they want, sleep in as late as they want, come and go as they want and even enjoy family and friends staying over the week with them! So rid yourself of those things that are necessary to do’s but offer little joy and trade up for those things that do.

Going Rogue is not a reckless action though.  It’s the lifestyle that doctors recommend: Stimulation, movement, healthy food, socializing, and reduction of stress.  Imagine that!

Come see for yourself! Tours daily! Call 425 465-4959.

Jane Meyers-Bowen
Garden Court Retirement

Let the Fun Begin…How to Analyze if a Retirement Community is Alive and Well!

Jane Meyers-Bowen MN

Today’s Retirement Communities are more like cruise ships, than nursing homes! It’s a lifestyle of fun, food, adventure, and entertainment day after day. The funny thing is that it also reflects what doctors’ advice- socializing, good food, rest, exercise, and reducing your stress. Hmmmm! Who would have guessed! Many residents’ health indexes improve shortly after moving in.

Retirement Communities offer a new lifestyle, breaking free from the clinical institutional structure of a nursing home, and moving toward life on a cruise ship!  Activity Programs are a key part of the recipe of “ living it up.” So how do you evaluate an Activity Program for quality? Here’s what you look for:

  • Number of people-The size of the community can impact the quality of the Activity Program. You need enough people to have a robust schedule of events.
  • Number of events- How many events are available every day? Are there Blank Days? For example, many communities don’t have anything happening on the week-ends.
  • Are there activities inside the community as well as outside the community? Are there day trips with destinations like- public gardens, museums, theatres, baseball stadiums, casinos?
  • Are there options for people with less physicality or very physically fit? Are there options for people with no cognitive loss or some with cognitive changes in their brains?
  • Is there diversity in the type of activities? Are there activities for Heart (Socials and Support groups), Mind (Adult Learning Opportunities), Body (Exercise Programs), Spirit (Religious and Spiritual gatherings)?
  • Is there recognition of cultural and ethnic differences?
  • Are there activities that your family or friend can share in?
  • Do the Residents inform the plan? Or is this the same program that was developed five years?
  • Is there evaluation? Do Residents get a chance to evaluate the quality of the Activity Program?

As the industry advances, so have the expectations.  In addition to entertainment events and parties, self development became an added component-exercise programs, classes, etc.. A re-naming has happened from Activity programs to Life Enrichment programs.  This is a thrust of moving participants from Observation (on the sidelines) to Involvement (on the court).  Today, an even higher standard of participation is sought after by seniors. Leaders in the industry talk about Engagement.  Engagement is being involved and sharing of your passion. Aliveness is a measure of joy, contentment, and participation in day to day life with others. It’s all about living life your way. Come see our Gardens at Garden Court Retirement in South Everett-planted and loved by passionate residents!

Mental Toughness for Older Adults!

Jane Meyers-Bowen MN

Although many fear that aging with bring with it a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease  Based on data for Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older, Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia had been diagnosed in only 8 percent of white older adults, 11 percent of African-Americans and 12 percent of Hispanics.

For those without dementia, brain health is something that is moving to the forefront in the national conversation. With all the research about Traumatic Brain Injury in sports, many of our ideas are changing.  When I was in nursing school decades ago, if someone had a stroke there was little hope for life without disability. Today stroke treatment within the golden hour  can reverse or prevent brain damage with the use of  the powerful clot-busting drug known as tPA (short for tissue plasminogen activator), if given within the first few hours after a stroke.  The whole field of rehabilitative medicine has proven that 90 year old bodies can build strength, use and agility. Who knew? Lifestyle can have a profound impact and aging your brain.

We witness older adults living alone in their homes will present bodies that have decompensated gradually over time. If it hurts to move, it’s the human condition to not move. Going to the store, preparing healthy food, staying in touch with friends become taxing.  Without exercise, good food, and being connected with others we pay a price. Those dynamics begin to grind away on one’s body, mind, and social confidence.

Moving from the home you raised your children in, planted your prize winning roses in, and celebrated life’s joyful occasions, can feel like you are letting go of all that matters. Yet, putting yourself in a healthier environment can save the quality of your life. Retirement communities offer the lifestyle that the doctor orders- healthy food, exercise, socialization, and reduced stress.

Mental Toughness requires one to focus outward on the challenges that must be handled. The research based thought calls it RESILENCY.   If it is making lemonade out of lemons, keeping a positive sense of self, and staying focused on the problem to solve rather than the emotion surrounding the problem. In my family we call it “going down the rabbit hole” which takes you deep into nowhere. New self talk like- “change is good” and “this will be a great journey” keeps your stress down which is correlated with brain health.  All kinds of good things are ahead. A resident who moved into Garden Court said, “when I was living at home I was focused on everything I couldn’t do anymore. Now, I focus on all the things I can do.”

Know that there are always trade-offs.  There can be a lot of living left in life. Live it Well.

Garden Court Retirement is locally owned and managed and located in south Everett.  It  has been awarded Best in Senior Living in the greater Seattle area and in the top 1% of retirement communities in the country. Tours are available 7 days per week. Call 425 438-9080.

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Garden Court Retirement Community
520 112th St SW
Everett, WA, 98204
Phone: 425-357-7534

Email: GardenCourt@artegan.com

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