Signs: When to consider Assisted Living for your loved one

This is the first installment in a 5 part series-Medical Safety

Families, Spouses and Caregivers should take note of the following concerning their loved one:

  • Taking medications incorrectly, skipping doses, re-ordering, picking up on time, over medicating, not following Dr. orders for duration/frequency
  • New medical diagnosis/chronic conditions-UTI’s, diabetes, Parkinson’s, arthritis, heart issues, COPD, skin tears, wounds
  • Frequent visits to the doctor/missed Dr. visits or neglecting self-care
  • Frequent ER visits
  • Weight loss/decreased nutrition/dehydration
  • Depression, loneliness, self-isolation, decreased socialization
  • Increased number of calls to family with anxiety, forgetfulness, repetitive questions

If you notice that a loved one is experiencing a decrease in their medical safety at home, it may be time to call Epworth Villa and speak to one of our experts and let us help you with available resources.

Memory Care – Hard Decisions

“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.

A tuned piano and an indoor bathroom! by Linda N.

The Anchor Cross is one of the 48 crosses in the stained glass windows of the Brill Chapel.

When asked to write an article, I began to think of all the churches I have been involved in or visited. My first career was teaching history in the High School in Cleburne, Texas. Curtis pastored Lone Wolf Baptist Church while he worked on his Ph.D. at Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX. It was a rural church in a farming community. They had a “pounding” for us on our first Sunday after we married! That was a step back in history, I didn’t even know the term. What a blessing as we only had $5.00 left for groceries! I do remember hoping our next church would have a piano in tune and an indoor bathroom!!!

We have visited many beautiful churches throughout the states and other parts of the world: Notre Dame, Chartes, St Paul’s in London, St. Basils in Moscow and even the Haggia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul with our Muslim friends. We were to visit Stanly Rother’s church, St. James Cathedral in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.

All these churches have wonderful memories and histories for me! All have brought forth their purpose to have a place to provide worship and service for me and others who live in their shadows. We each bring our histories with us and each of us have stories to tell. I think the beauty of Brill Chapel helps hold us for this time in our lives. These sacred times when we recall what God has done in our lives and will continue to do for us here. I think that Brill Chapel provides for us the very heartbeat of our community. The beauty of the stained-glass windows recalls the sacred history of our world and gives us a superbly artful place to reflect on the goodness of God in our personal history. What a special place it is! Magnificent cathedrals of the world are reflected right here.

Having grown up by the sea, I am drawn to THE ANCHOR CROSS the Christian Symbol of Hope and Steadfastness depicted as one of the forty-eight in the chapel. Hebrews 6:10. “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul… P.S. this most recent chapter in my personal church history – Brill Chapel has an indoor bathroom, an in tune piano, and organ, beautiful stained glass windows, and people who live in HOPE. If you have not read the book on the history of Brill Chapel, please take time to do so in the holder outside the Chaplain’s Office.

Why Epworth? by Nancy Z.

In 2006, our last parent was soon to pass on. Our only child, son John, lived near Oklahoma City with his wife Jamie and their soon-to-be five children. We loved our home in San Diego but wanted to be closer to our family. So, the search began in OKC.

My husband, Bill had some teaching assignments here at our son’s Missionary Training Boot Camp and used his free time to visit the various senior retirement residential communities in the area. When he returned home and we discussed it, there was only one that met our 5-item “want” list. That was Epworth.

High on that list was a dedicated place for worship and a full-time chaplain. Brill Chapel and Epworth’s commitment to a full-time chaplain assured us of the spiritual care we would need at times. The beautiful Chapel with its stain glass windows encouraged meditation and inspiration. As we learned of the programs in the Chapel – Sunday School, Vespers, and other special programs— it became obvious that this was the place for us.

We moved in March, 2007. It was a God-directed move. We have been blessed to be a part of the Brill Chapel program ever since.

Jacob’s Final Chapter by Chaplain Dwight

The character study of Jacob is a fascinating one. The Bible has a wonderful way of presenting all the heroes of the faith—flaws and all. Jacob is, in many ways, the father of Israel (his sons are the heads of the 12 tribes).

Genesis 46-49 Jacob has one last journey….to Egypt. On the way, as in times past, God assures Jacob of His presence and blessing. Israel (Jacob) has the beginnings of a great nation that God promised.

Once in Egypt, Jacob has an emotional reunion with Joseph and a brief but powerful visit with Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and Pharaoh asked him his age. I love his answer: “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.”

Jacob refers to his life as a pilgrimage. How appropriate. He never owned any land. He made several “pilgrimages” in his life, I think his perspective echoes the words of the familiar hymn, “This world is not my home; I’m just a passin’ through.” Now to us, 130 years is a long time. Yet Abraham lived 175 years, Isaac 180. So, to Jacob, his time was short. He also sees them as difficult. Later, when blessing Joseph (48:15-16), he has a more optimistic view, that God had been his shepherd all the days of his life.

Jacob finished well. He worshiped, gave testimony to God’s blessing, gave blessings to each of his children, and then breathed his last. May God grant us Jacob’s perspective. We are all on a pilgrimage, with hard times and good, all in God’s care. By God’s grace, let us remain faithful and finish well – however long that may take.

Jacob & Joseph by Chaplain Dwight

I like to joke that fashion sense is not one of my spiritual gifts. Let’s just say that I am indebted to my wife for lots of help in that area. I still have bad memories of a lime green leisure suit paired with a floral shirt. That memory lingered thanks to being featured in a family photo that hung in the hallway for decades.

In our study this week, Jacob gives Joseph a coat of many colors. It was more than a simple gift from a loving father. It was a long-sleeved garment worn by the nobility of the day. It was a symbol of authority and favored position within the family. It marked Joseph as the future leader of the household, even though he was far from the firstborn. He was the firstborn of Rachel, and that was the key distinction that mattered to Jacob.

The coat immediately set Joseph apart from his brothers and exempted him from the menial tasks of farming and shepherding. This fueled the jealousy and hatred the other brothers had for Joseph, leading to his being sold into slavery.

Jacob ended the chapter mourning what he believed was the death of Joseph. He was deceived by his sons, much like he had deceived his father to steal the blessing from Esau. In a sense, he is reaping what he has sown. I hope you have avoided favoritism, and not been caught in its effects. Thank goodness God has loved us with an everlasting love, and He does not show partiality. Show that love to those around you this week

I can open the pickle jar! by Rev. Helen T.

Helen T.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that pictures of me look more and more like an an old lady, bent over at the hips and slouching with rounded shoulders as I walk.  I was not happy and for the last couple of years, at least, I’ve tried to pay attention to my posture: stand up straight, shoulders back, as my dear friend and the daughter of a fellow resident told her mother when she walked, “Mom, lead with your thighs!”

I’ve not had much success—until now!  It’s not all of the time, but I find myself doing that more and more.  My back is straight up from my hips and my shoulders are back.  It still takes concentration and real effort.  Habits are hard to break.   I’m really happy about this and intend to keep it up!  I can breathe better.  

It’s also clear to me why now, all of a sudden, I can do it more with much less effort.  It’s the Stretch and Flex class!  I’ve been doing that since I moved in almost ten years ago.  But Lori’s classes are more strenuous.  And I think that is especially true of the core-strengthening ones.  I’m working harder and get tireder. It feels like as my core gets stronger, it’s just natural to stand more erectly with shoulders back.  Classes are also fun and interesting.  We rarely use the “rubber bands”, “jump ropes” and barbells the same way from day to day.  

More benefit, I was looking for a book the other day on the bottom shelf of our library.  I sat down on the floor to look.  Then I got up all by myself without hanging on to anything!  Yay!  And I’ve not had to ask for help to open the pickle jar or any other.  I don’t like getting up early enough for 9:00 o’clock classes.  But I don’t want to miss Stretch and Flex!  And if you see me slouching down the hall,  please remind me to straighten up!!

Jacob Wrestles God by Chaplain Dwight

Recently, I started a character study. I’m continuing with Jacob as he is a fascinating one. The Bible has a wonderful way of presenting all the heroes of the faith—flaws and all. Jacob is, in many ways, the father of Israel (his sons are the heads of the 12 tribes).

Jacob Wrestles God — Genesis 32 One of my favorite Scriptures is Proverbs 3:5-6. It exhorts us to trust in the Lord and not to lean on our own understanding. This is a constant battle for us, and certainly for Jacob. God delights in taking the self-reliant (Moses, Peter, Paul, etc., etc.) and humbling them (us) so they (we) could be of greater use.

Genesis 32 is Jacob’s greatest struggle and his finest hour. He begins the chapter as Jacob, the self-reliant schemer facing a return to his homeland and a confrontation with Esau. He ends the chapter with a new name, a new limp, and a greater understanding of dependence on God.

At the beginning of the chapter, Jacob ignores an early sign from God (v1), prays to God out of fear (“save me…for I am afraid, v 11), and implements a plan to pacify Esau. This plan leaves him alone, separated from his family and his possessions. (v 24).

At his darkest hour, he begins a lengthy wrestling match with “a man.” Jacob holds on for dear life, asking for a Blessing. He is asked his name. This is basically a confession, because Jacob means “heel catcher, deceiver” Now, Jacob cries out for a change. And he gets it. His name is changed to Israel, “God’s fighter,” or “He struggles with God.” Really, God would now fight for Israel. The new nation that Jacob heads must also rely on God to fight for them.

Jacob names the place Peniel, because he had seen the face of God and been spared. His limp would be a constant reminder to trust in the Lord, and not to lean on his own understanding. How are you doing with that struggle? Trust God with your situation, whatever it is.