Good Friday Gratitude

A note from the desk of Author and Resident Sara O.

To Epworth Villa:

Many, many thanks for your efforts to keep us all as safe as possible.  David and I deeply appreciate it.  We are glad we chose Epworth for our home.  We appreciate everyone.  We are so glad.

You asked a writer how she is coping with crisis, so here’s my answer.

I try to remember what I’m grateful for.  Gratitude changes my perspective and I have so much to be thankful for today.  I’m sheltered, fed, have David with me, have a wonderful family, I have Psalms 23 to cling to, and I know I’m surrounded by friends even though we can’t see each other.  I have a comfortable home and my physical needs are met. I am well today and that’s a good thing.   I think about the family dog I love and that always gives me a smile. This event wouldn’t worry her.  I can look outside and see spring flowers, green grass, the pond and know that a good, sunny day when all is back to normal, will come.  My life has been good and filled with people I’ve loved and they’ve loved me and I’ve been blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined.  I’m reminded that life is good.  That’s what is important.

Thanks for asking.  It’s a good reminder.

That’s what has gotten me this far.

Sara O.

Reading Buddies at Britton Elementary

Do you remember the first time you got to read to someone other than in “reading group!” or to hold your own book?  Maybe the pictures remind you of when you heard your grandchild read to you!  10 Epworth Villa Residents and Employees traveled to Britton Elementary School.  This was our first opportunity to be a Reading Buddy!  We were able to provide all the Valentine Treats for the 144 1st graders in  7 classrooms.  The children and teachers were thrilled!

The 34 children we saw that day were the better readers.  The librarian said she had never heard some of them read so well or be so well behaved.  “Maybe they had never been so close for so long with someone with wrinkles.”  Resident, Frans V. laughed.  He also said, “Yes, now some with read with a Dutch accent like me!”  The coordinators were pleased to have volunteers.

Are you ready to participate?  Whether you want to help gather supplies, contribute for the weekly treats or be a reading buddy there is a way for you to give back.  That’s what Epworth Villa is all about!

Memory Care Endorsement

“When our family realized that our mom would one day need the love and support of a Memory Care community, we knew it would be a hard decision to make. When we walked into Epworth Villa, it immediately looked like home and felt like home for our mom. Every staff member was so warm, so welcoming, and so professional. There was no doubt the decision we made gave us confidence and peace of mind she would be well cared for going forward. We are so grateful to the staff for their dedication to all the residents.” Lori S.

Marla Cordero, LPN in the Spotlight

Epworth Villa nurse, Marla Cordero, LPN was recently featured in the Oklahoma Nursing Times.  Cordero was asked: What qualities make a good nurse?  “I think that a nurse, just like with any other job, will love their job or hate their nurse! Residents like consistency. If a nurse tells a patient or resident something, be sure to follow through with it. Your words should be your honor, making you responsible,” Marla replied. Marla feels like her strongest quality is her years of experience. “I try to help the new nurses with anything that I can.”

To read more of this article, click here.


Should you add strength training to your fitness routine? Here are 3 reasons you should:

Better balance and boosted confidence. Adding strength training to your fitness routine 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes can translate to better balance. The stronger your body is the more control you will have, which in return will help you feel more confident with walking or any other activity.

Heart health. Performing cardio exercises is not the only way to get your heart rate up. Along with activities such as walking or biking, strength training is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease. There are two factors that go into getting your heart rate up during a strength training session: the number of muscles worked during an exercise and the intensity you perform those exercises.  The best way to achieve both is to choose multi-joint, compound exercises such as squats and push ups.

Reduce aches, pains and injury. Along with your muscles, strength training helps strengthen your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and other connective tissues. Strength training, also known as weight bearing exercise, helps those with osteoporosis increase bone density and improves joint mobility as well as muscle flexibility.  This leads to your body feeling better and can help prevent injuries.

Epworth Villa offers strength training options through our Small Group Strength and Flex and Stretch classes. Residents are also able to reserve Personal Training sessions to find a customizable way to build strength as well.

Use it or lose it!

by: Blaine Jackson, NASM-CPT, Epworth Villa Wellness Coordinator

Meet Marsha Purtell, Epworth Villa Chaplain

Reverend Purtell began as a local Pastor for The Oklahoma United Methodist Church Conference in the early 2000’s.  She has served in 3 different districts in the state of Oklahoma.  In 2019, God led her to Epworth Villa in Oklahoma City.  Purtell enters an established congregation that meets regularly in the Brill Chapel.  She will help guide the Religious Life Committee and minister to Residents, their families and employees.

Rev. Purtell also served as a Program Specialist for Early Childhood Development in the Cherokee Nation.  She not only worked with center in the counties of the Cherokee Nation, but also represented the tribe in meetings in Washington D.C. and other parts of the country.  She has also worked as a Social Worker, Educator, Program Developer and Case Manager for the Oklahoma State Department of Human Services and Department of Health.  Rev. Purtell earned her Master of Divinity at Phillips Theological Seminary.  She holds a Masters Certification in Education from Oklahoma City University, a Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Epworth Villa was glad to welcome Purtell in October of 2019.  Purtell has a passion to learn and strives to be a lifelong learner.  She will continue to engage in the community and local schools through her work at Epworth Villa.  Purtell’s office is located just outside of the Brill Chapel.  When possible, be sure to stop in and say “hello!”

Holiday Anticipation and Preparation by Rev. Marsha Purtell

I can remember as a child entering a large city where we lived. As we topped the hill and descended into the bowl toward home, my eyes widened and I gleefully exclaimed, “Look daddy, It looks like a Christmas tree fell over!” The reds and the greens, the flashing lights and the twinkling of car lights in the distance; I remember how beautiful it looked. My parents laughed and commented for years as we would enter another city how it was to see the town through the eyes of a child. (I will add though that my grandfather said the most beautiful lights as Christmas were our taillights. It meant his four grandchildren had been there and that now he could rest!) And again, we all laugh!

The tradition of lights goes back to our Jewish brothers and sisters festival of lights, Hanukkah, with the lighting of the Menorah. Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. A time of celebration and remembering. It is with the eight candles of the Menorah lit each night by the center attendant candle. This year Hanukkah begins Dec. 22. As we enter this time of anticipation and preparation it is a time to prepare our hearts, to see the beauty of the season, to reflect on the past and put light on those things not so Godly and remove them from our thoughts and actions. With the singing of carols, the celebrations, the giving and receiving of gifts, may we also reflect on the true meaning of this season and remember what God calls us to do this Holy Season. Prepare your heart for a Happy Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas.

Grace and Peace, Chaplain Marsha Purtell

Brightening the Winter

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing, a form of mild depression linked to changing seasons. To lessen the possibility that you are afflicted by it, take a minute to read the following tips

Exercise is beneficial for anyone who is suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that reduce pain and increase feelings of well-being. In addition, exercise increases your metabolism, which helps improve your energy levels. Plus, the fatigue from well-used muscles is a healthier type of fatigue than that of depression. Other benefits include increased self-esteem, improved sleep, and reduced anxiety.

While any form of exercise can help, some exercises are better suited to treating SAD. Any low-impact aerobic activities, including walking and dancing, are recommended. Other activities include:

gentle stretching
strength training

Exercising with a friend can also help. Not only does it provide you with motivation to keep working out, the social interaction can help combat SAD symptoms. Remember, you don’t have to become a marathon runner or elite athlete to reap the benefits of exercise. Even 10 minutes a day can help.

If you find that your SAD symptoms don’t improve or they interfere with your life, work or relationships, talk with your health care provider. Additional treatment options are available and together with exercise can help you beat the winter blues.

-Blaine Jackson, NASM-CPT

Preparing for Winter’s Chill

With winter around the corner, the Residents of Epworth Villa held their annual fall clothing drive.

This bi-annual event allows Residents to clean out their closets and give their items to Skyline Urban Ministries located in Oklahoma City. Jan Neel, Epworth Resident said, “I had a closet of good coats and I only need one. I can help keep others warm this winter with the coats that I am not wearing.”

Each year in the fall and spring there is a clothing drive at Epworth Villa.

Skyline workers said they love receiving donations from Epworth Villa because of the quality and care that goes into providing items. Johnny, a Skyline Volunteers said, “We also like the clothes Epworth Villa donates for our “Dress for Success” patrons.”

This fall the Residents gathered 845 pounds of warm clothing and coats for Skyline.