More than 70 employees at A.G. Rhodes’ Wesley Woods home were recently recognized for their service of five or more years with the organization. A few employees commented about the recognition: “I am so fortunate to work for a company …read more
More than 70 employees at A.G. Rhodes’ Wesley Woods home were recently recognized for their service of five or more years with the organization.
A few employees commented about the recognition:
“I am so fortunate to work for a company that treats me like family,” said Marena Pearson, a Restorative CNA with 30 years of service.
“I came here because I needed a job but stayed because I loved it,” said Drusilla Payne, a Laundry Aide with 26 years of service.
“It’s nice to work for a company that truly values you as an employee and a person,” says Cindy Clive, Assistant Administrator with 25 years of service.
For more information about job opportunities at A.G. Rhodes, visit www.agrhodes.org/careers.
Hip Fractures Hip fractures caused by falls are one of the most common injuries suffered by seniors, as well as being the number one injury responsible for senior hospitalizations. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to …read more
Hip fractures caused by falls are one of the most common injuries suffered by seniors, as well as being the number one injury responsible for senior hospitalizations. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to fall-proof your or your loved one’s home:
For more detailed statistics regarding senior falls and ways to prevent them, visit the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) website at www.ncoa.org.
Burns are another common injury among older adults, especially those who smoke and/or are still independent enough to cook for themselves.
If you or your elder family member smokes, set up safe, supervised smoking areas that feature the appropriate disposal containers to reduce the risk of smoking-induced burns and fires. Deep ash trays are best, and filling them with water will help ensure discarded butts don’t smolder into a fire. Smoking in bed is also a serious risk, so discourage smoking when going to sleep, after drinking alcohol or taking medications that may similarly affect cognition and awareness.
As far as cooking burns are concerned, there are many safety best practices that may help reduce the risk for fire or injury:
A more preferable option may be to transition into a reputable local nursing home such as A.G. Rhodes, where residents can continue pursuing their interests, such as cooking, in a safe, assisted environment.
As we grow older the tissues within our joints wear down, making them less flexible and more prone to being pulled, strained or sprained – especially the wrists and ankles.
Overextended ligaments, in extreme cases even torn ligaments, are commonly referred to as sprains, and most occur in ankles, knees and wrists. Walking on even surfaces, avoiding athletic activity that may require excessive pivoting and adding fall deterrents around the home can help reduce your loved one’s risk of spraining a ligament.
Strains are similar to sprains but affect muscles instead of ligaments. Some common causes of strained, pulled or even torn muscles in older adults include lifting heavy objects, especially from an awkward position, athletic activities such as running, jumping or throwing or slipping on ice.
You can help reduce the risk of spraining or straining something by installing rails and grab bars around toilets, in slippery showers and near the bed to make it easier to get up and down (or in and out) of these areas. While exercise is very important for seniors, it’s also essential to ensure physical activities are designed to avoid sprains and strains. Even-surfaced walking paths, water aerobics and other low-impact exercises can help reduce the risk for overexerting or damaging muscles or ligaments.
Head trauma is a concern for every age group, but especially for those more prone to falls and accidents due to declining or limited mobility. In addition to weakening bones, joints and tissues, growing older also slows our reflexes and reduces muscle strength. This in turn makes falling especially dangerous for seniors, as they may have difficulty catching their fall or slowing down their momentum to reduce the force of impact.
Make certain that all flooring surfaces are free of damage and clutter, especially areas near furniture with sharp edges and stairways. The use of a walker, railing or other sturdy furniture of appropriate height for grabbing and supporting one’s self can help reduce the chance for falls in the home.
If you or a senior loved one have recently been injured, ill or undergone surgery and could use some short-term care and assistance to get you back on your feet until you fully heal and recover, A.G. Rhodes is here to help. We offer a short-term recovery care program, as well as inpatient and outpatient therapy and rehab services, to ensure seniors throughout the Atlanta area have the attentive, compassionate, round-the-clock care they need to safely recover and regain their strength.
Visit our website to learn more about our short-term recovery services and contact us online with any questions you may have.
Music is a truly powerful thing. It can make you feel happy, sad, angry, excited, heartbroken, enamored and virtually any other emotion capable of being felt by humans. It can be medicine for your soul, spirit and mind, with benefits …read more
Music is a truly powerful thing. It can make you feel happy, sad, angry, excited, heartbroken, enamored and virtually any other emotion capable of being felt by humans. It can be medicine for your soul, spirit and mind, with benefits ranging from memory improvement among older adults to drastic stress relief and much more. In fact, research has found that listening to music can:
Moreover, benefits of listening to music for seniors living with dementia include:
It’s clear that listening to/playing music, singing and dancing can have a number of benefits for seniors and young adults alike. While there’s still so much to learn in terms of how, specifically, music can shape and strengthen the brain throughout all stages of life, music is extremely beneficial for the mind, body and soul.
Taking Brain Stimulation a Step Further
While science has shown time and again just how beneficial listening to music can be for the human brain, especially as we grow older, physically playing an instrument is an even better workout for your brain. In one recent study, 13 older adults were given piano lessons, after which their memory, attention and problem-solving skills noticeably improved, as did their overall mood and quality of life. You don’t need to become the next Mozart, just taking a few lessons will provide a healthy workout for your brain.
Here are three additional, scientifically-backed ways to maximize the benefits music can have on your brain and quality of life:
Music Therapy in Georgia
There’s never been a better time to embark on a musical journey than right now, and for those in the greater Atlanta area, A.G. Rhodes provides just the program you or a senior loved one are looking for: music therapy. To view local news coverage of our innovative music therapy program and how the power of music has helped seniors throughout Georgia recover cherished memories, click here. For more information about A.G. Rhodes or to schedule a tour of one of our three nursing homes and rehab facilities, contact us online today.
A year and a half after residents at A.G. Rhodes’ Wesley Woods home sowed seeds from a rare plant during horticultural therapy sessions, seedlings have emerged and this new growth is giving researchers more clues about the mysterious plant. The …read more
A year and a half after residents at A.G. Rhodes’ Wesley Woods home sowed seeds from a rare plant during horticultural therapy sessions, seedlings have emerged and this new growth is giving researchers more clues about the mysterious plant.
The American starvine is a threatened plant found in less than 30 known sites in the United States, the most concentrated of which is around Emory’s Wesley Woods campus where one of A.G. Rhodes’ three homes is located. Conservation efforts between Emory and A.G. Rhodes have resulted in advances toward understanding more about the plant and how to preserve it.
In addition to studying the starvine plants that were propagated from seeds during horticultural therapy sessions with residents, a vineyard that was built in A.G. Rhodes’ back yard using starvine cuttings is also under observation.
While the starvine is a prehistoric plant, there are still many characteristics which are unknown. There is some evidence that it may have been used medicinally, and those observing the plant hope more clues will emerge as efforts to study it continue.
“This has been a wonderful project for us during horticultural therapy sessions, but it’s also a meaningful collaborative endeavor to conserve a species that hasn’t really been studied until recently,” says Kirk Hines, the Horticultural Therapist at A.G. Rhodes who has been involved for several years researching and preserving the plant.
Carl Brown, an Emory field biologist and adjunct faculty member in Environmental Sciences, took interest in the starvine more than a decade ago, and has been coming to A.G. Rhodes weekly to study its progress. He hopes that his observations will help him better understand how the plant grows in the wild. So far, successful propagation of the starvine at A.G. Rhodes suggests that the now-threatened plant may have a chance to flourish again one day.
“Not only have we gained unexpected insights into the ecology of this almost unknown plant, which has been in our native forests since the time of dinosaurs, but recent progress offers us hints about its medicinal value to Native Americans who once flourished here,” says Brown. “I am particularly intrigued that A.G Rhodes elders are helping us better understand our natural and cultural heritage.”
For now, residents at A.G. Rhodes are taking advantage of the unique opportunity to protect this rare species.
“Residents are eager to help aide the progress we’ve had so far,” says Hines. “It’s not only a therapy session for them, it’s a contribution to our environment.”
Read more about efforts to preserve the starvine:
Residents Embark on Preservation Effort to Save Rare Plant (December 19, 2014)
Native starvine nursery to take root at Wesley Woods (December 8, 2014)
Taming the wild starvine (February 18, 2013)
Saving the starvine (July 22, 2012)
Employee Q&A with Vanissa Johnson, Activities Director, A.G. Rhodes of Atlanta Vanissa Johnson, the Activities Program Director at A.G. Rhodes of Atlanta, has been around seniors all her life, and in April 2017, she celebrated her 25-year anniversary with A.G. Rhodes. …read more
Employee Q&A with Vanissa Johnson, Activities Director, A.G. Rhodes of Atlanta
Vanissa Johnson, the Activities Program Director at A.G. Rhodes of Atlanta, has been around seniors all her life, and in April 2017, she celebrated her 25-year anniversary with A.G. Rhodes. Learn more about how Vanissa got into the long-term care field, and what she enjoys about her job.
How did you get involved with working with elders at A.G. Rhodes?
I grew up spending the summers with my grandmother and great grandmother and I’ve always enjoyed being with the elderly. Those are some of my fondest memories—cooking with my grandmother and great grandmother, just sitting down and talking to them.
After I graduated college with a degree in Sociology, I was looking for jobs and I called A.G. Rhodes to see if they were hiring. At the time, they were about to open their Cobb location, and I got a job there as the Social Services Director.
A few years later, there was an opening at the Atlanta location, but it was in the Activities Department. I was interested in pursuing that so I took a certification course and transferred there in 1997 to become the Director of Activities.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I am really excited when we’re doing the activities and I see the expressions on residents’ faces. I see them laughing, dancing and when they say they really enjoyed an activity, that just means so much to me. Just to see the smiles on residents’ faces means a lot.
Describe your view on caring for our elders, and about aging?
I feel that the older generation has lived their lives, they are well-educated people, they’ve worked in different positions and they’ve raised their families. It’s their time to be taken care of.
Older people have a lot of wisdom. They share their life experiences, and it amazes me even with residents who have dementia or Alzheimer’s, what they do remember. We do a lot of trivia, and they’re able to recall things. What’s really great is when we do our sing-alongs, they know a lot of those songs. It’s our job to pull out the knowledge that they have.
Many times, residents just want someone to sit and talk with them, and they want to be cared for by people who are genuine. Most of the residents have families, but we’re with them the majority of the day. It’s a blessing to make their day more pleasant.
What do you do to improve care?
I make a point to get to know the resident as soon as they come in, and I think they really appreciate that. I feel that that helps us provide the best care for the residents. Some are very outgoing and sociable, while some are more laid back and prefer staying to themselves. Really getting to know the residents and their families is important.
How would you describe your relationship with your coworkers?
We’re together eight hours out of the day and so they become your extended family. We work together well. Everyone wants to see others succeed, and all the departments are willing to help each other.
We’ve celebrated birthday parties, baby showers and other milestones—it does feel like a family—being able to share different experiences with your coworkers.
What has kept you at A.G. Rhodes for so long?
The reputation of A.G. Rhodes. I have seen the way we run the day to day operations, and the interactions with the residents. It’s different than many other places. I wouldn’t want to work at any other health care facility
I feel that the staff genuinely cares. The fact that I have 25 years here, but we have some who have been here 30, 40 years. I just think that’s awesome. You rarely find that in this day and time. It’s a company that you can work for and feel proud of.
What have you seen change?
The addition of the therapy and rehabilitation services. We have residents coming in for maybe two to three weeks, get rehab and then go home. That’s been a big plus. Watching those residents recuperate and go back home is great.
We’ve also been focusing on person-centered care, and what the resident really wants. That’s helped us better see things from their point of view.
What advice would you have for someone coming into this field?
It seems simple, but treat the residents the way you would want to be treated—the way you would want your grandmother to be treated. Listen to the residents. It’s important to hear their point of view.
You have to learn to get along with all personalities. Respect your coworkers’ point of view and try and get along with each other. Also, come to work when you’re scheduled, and be timely. My staff knows how important that is to me.
Any final thoughts?
I look at my position as a blessing. I’m able to spend time with some wonderful seniors, and to help enrich their lives. In turn, they end up enriching mine.
During National Nursing Home Week May 14-20, the A.G. Rhodes homes celebrated exceptional staff who go above and beyond to care for elders who stay at A.G. Rhodes. Congratulations to Atlanta staff (left to right): Angela Moore, CNA of the Year; …read more
During National Nursing Home Week May 14-20, the A.G. Rhodes homes celebrated exceptional staff who go above and beyond to care for elders who stay at A.G. Rhodes.
Congratulations to Atlanta staff (left to right): Angela Moore, CNA of the Year; Luisa Reyes, Customer Service Award; Claudette Gaines, CNA of the Year Runner Up; and Larissa Pounds, LPN of the Year.
Congratulations to Cobb staff (left to right): Alicia Dukes, CNA of the Year Runner Up; Stella Oleka, CNA of the Year; and Casey Bailey, Nurse of the Year.
Congratulations to Wesley Woods staff (left to right): CNA of the Year: Linda Banks; CNA of the Year Runner Up: Dotlin Powell; LPN of the Year: Vincent Zangandou and LPN of the Year Runner up; Helen Debela.