The deadline to apply for Long Term Care Insurance is April 22. For information, go to our website at http://www.wlu.edu/human-resources/benefits/life-insurance-and-long-term-care/long-term-care-insurance, log-in and click on “review this information” for a Q&A about this benefit. Then go to www.genworth.com/groupltc and use Group ID “WLU” and Code “groupltc” to calculate premiums based on your benefit elections. Customer service representatives at Genworth are available at 800-416-3624.
Q: My mother has had dementia for about five years, and each month it seems like there’s something new to worry about. How do I keep from burning out and letting this slow deterioration from getting the best of me?
You’ve probably heard the typical spiel that health care professionals give caregivers about identifying your coping skills and practicing self-care many times already. So instead, I’m going to respond with some advice about maintaining good mental health that I’ve gained from my personal and professional experiences with caregiving.
Try to accept the changes and stay in the present. Caregiving for someone with dementia is not only hard—it’s downright confusing! Your mother is constantly losing pieces of herself, but she is still physically there. You feel so many things when you witness those changes: anger, sadness, guilt, fear – and above all, overwhelming anxiety that soon “the other shoe will drop,” and you will lose her forever. The best way to address these complicated feelings is to approach each encounter with curiosity rather than set expectations. The more attached you are to routines and the way things used to be, the more difficult it will be for you to accept what is happening in the present. Try to connect with your mother on any level that you can. Instead of dwelling on what she has lost, work on discovering what makes her smile now. Relish the pieces of her personality that still remain—like her feistiness or her sense of humor. Maintaining contact in these ways and seeing that she can still experience pleasure may help to reduce your fears about the future, too. Consider reading “I’m Still Here” by Dr. John Zeisel, for more in-depth guidance around connecting with your mother’s remaining capabilities versus focusing on what is gone.
Take stock of what you have learned. Caregiving is a constant teacher. In this role, most of us discover and develop skills and abilities we never knew we had. We also learn new things about the loved ones we are caring for – and about friends and relations who surprise us in both good and bad ways. Take time to reflect on what your experiences have taught you and how they can serve you now. Chances are that you have become a wiser, more complete person by caring for someone else. Perhaps you will find ways to apply that knowledge later on. Caregiving for my father taught me how to be more humble and empathetic. How to grow up and be present for people I loved. It also taught me that I enjoy helping others and put me on the path to becoming a social worker. Now I can use what I learned to assist families in crisis, and I love my work! So despite all the hardships and losses I endured as a caregiver, I am very grateful for that experience.
Practice gratitude. This may sound corny, but if you can find at least three things to be grateful for every day, I promise that it will help you deal with the hard stuff. Caregiving gives us a lot to complain about—there is no question about that. But there is joy in the experience as well, whether it’s the moments of clarity in between your mother’s episodes of memory loss, or the new closeness with your once-distant brother as you share information and deliberate on decisions. You can also practice gratitude with your mother. Go for a walk on a sunny day and marvel at the blue sky together. Any way you do it, try to become more aware of these little gifts; they really do count, and acknowledging them can contribute a great deal to your mental well-being.
By Elizabeth Guttenberg, LMSW, Senior Care Advisor
For more elder care advice, view http://blog.care.com/elder-advice/ and Care.com Senior Care Conversations blog.
The Energy Education Program is excited to announce the results of Washington and Lee’s first faculty/staff energy conservation contest:
First Place and winner of the title 2016 SuperOFFice:
The Office of Admissions!!
Second Place: We have a tie! The same outstanding score was achieved by two teams:
Third Place: Team Hollow, comprised of The Office of Financial Aid, The Office of International Education and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature in the Red House.
We also wish to recognize three departments that did not win first place because of their assigned Team’s overall score, but which themselves, independently, achieved perfect scores:
The Office of Special Programs
The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures
The Office of the Treasurer
Also, although we can have only one first place winning team, hundreds of individual work spaces across campus were perfectly, gloriously, shut down nightly during this competition, and those individuals with perfect scores will be receiving a certificate of acknowledgement in the coming weeks.
More information, including the team list and musings about the goals and philosophy for this competition can be found at http://www.wlu.edu/energy-education-program. If you would like to know where your team landed in the final ranking or have any other questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Thank you W&L Faculty and Staff for everything you do every day to care for our resources on this campus and beyond. You really are, well, Super.
The 2016 W&L Employee Recognition Banquet is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 19th beginning at 11:30 A.M. in Evans Dining Hall. Hope to see you there!
As part of “Cooking Matters,” The Rockbridge Area Healthy Communities Action Team will hold a free Grocery Tour at Wal-Mart.
COOKING MATTERS AT THE STORE
Funded through Share Our Strength and Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth.
SIGN UP TODAY FOR A FREE GROCERY TOUR!
A guided grocery store tour teaching skills for buying healthy foods on a budget.
Want to save money at the store?
Want to buy healthy foods for your family?
Need some tasty and healthy recipes?
If you said yes, come join us for a free guided grocery store tour!
During the hour tour, you’ll practice skills like:
buying fruits and vegetables on a budget
comparing unit prices to find bargains
reading and comparing food labels
identifying whole grains
and sticking to your budget!
After the tour you will receive a:
FREE $10 worth of healthy groceries of your choice using the skills learned on the tour
FREE book full of tasty recipes and simple tips on buying healthy, low-cost foods
FREE reusable grocery bag
Monday, April 18th
Wednesday, April 20th
Thursday, April 21st
Tuesday, April 26th
Friday, April 29th
Time: 10am – 12 pm
Location: Walmart 1233 North Lee Hwy Lexington, VA 24450
RSVP: Annie LePere firstname.lastname@example.org 540-462-6641
Meet in the front of the store on the produce side. Questions? Can’t make this tour but want to participate in the future? Call Annie LePere at 540-462-6641.
Congratulations to the 6th annual Spring Fitness Challenge prize winners! Enjoy your prizes!
Tudy Moncure – Fit Bit Flex
Rolf Piranian – Fit Bit Flex
Lesley Pelka – yoga mat
Jessica Miller – yoga mat
Helen MacDermott – wireless headphones
Allan Somerville-Brown – wireless headphones
Anita Davis – Tervis Tumbler
Louis Grandberry – Tervis Tumbler
Megan Axelrod – Fit Bit Charge
Joe Magoline – University Store workout clothes
Sarah Knenlein – University Store workout clothes
Social Security claiming rules for “File and Suspend” will end April 29, 2016. Anyone who is age 66 or older by the end of April can still file and suspend their Social Security benefits under the current rules that allow them to trigger benefits for an eligible family member, normally the spouse, while their own retirement benefit continues to grow by 8% per year up to age 70.
You may find additional information on the Social Security website Retirement Planner: Suspending Retirement Benefit Payments.
For questions please visit Retirement Planner: How You Apply for Retirement Benefits or Medicare
The 2016 W&L Employee Recognition Banquet will be next week, Tuesday, April 19th beginning at 11:30 A.M. in Evans Dining Hall.
Are you ready for an eating challenge that is actually good for you? Sign up for our Color Your Plate program today!
The USDA recommends that the average person eat 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables per day! Are you getting enough?
Register for the Color Your Plate fruit and vegetable challenge today and get:
Tips for getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet
Healthy and delicious recipes
A tracking log to monitor your daily fruit and veggie intake
The program will begin on April 18th and end on May 13th (4 weeks)
Earn 25 Wellness Points for tracking fruits and vegetables daily
Registration for the program will begin on April 1st. Interest participants can register for the program up until April 22nd. To register:
Log into your Wellness account at bebetterhealth.net.
Click on the “My Programs” tab.
Click the “Learn More” button for additional information and FAQs.
Click the “Register” button and complete the short registration information.
After registration, the “Register” button will become a “Leaderboard” button, which you can use to access the program once the program begins.
Completing the Program:
Use the nutrition tracker to log how many fruits and vegetables you eat. You must track 3 cups of fruits and vegetables daily (84 cups total) to earn 25 Wellness Points.
The last Wellness Wednesday lunch for the academic year will be on April 13th. The menu includes Wok-Seared Chicken & Vegetables (Kadhai murghi). The recipe is available here, on the Eating Well website.
Lunch is served from 11:00am-2:00pm. All employees are eligible for the limited lunch price. You can enjoy the main dish and salad bar for $6.60. You can earn 5 points for a Community Event in Evolve Wellness (20 point max for Community Events).
Washington and Lee University provides a liberal arts education that develops students' capacity to think freely, critically, and humanely and to conduct themselves with honor, integrity, and civility. Graduates will be prepared for life-long learning, personal achievement, responsible leadership, service to others, and engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society.