Superbowl Sunday Snow – Thank you , Panorama!

Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. February 2017

This blog is a little off my usual  topic of “newbies, boomers, and would-bes” but I wanted to express my gratitude for Panorama’s awesome response to yesterday and today’s Superbowl Sunday snow event (“storm” might be a little too strong a word). First off – we vaguely heard the phone ring during the last thrilling minutes of Super Bowl – or was it a ref whistle? Were we going to answer it? No way! But Panorama left a voicemail message letting us know that some events and facilities might be closed tomorrow (Monday) due to the snow event. Later on, after catching our breath following the game, we checked and confirmed that the Aquatic and Fitness Center would indeed be opening late. Thanks to Jenny, Security, and others for great communication! We know that some staff worked beyond their normal hours to ensure the safety and awareness of residents and staff.

In the morning, we also got an email from Grace Moore to let us know of Monday evening’s concert cancellation. Thank you so much, Grace, for being on top of communications! While email is not yet available to some residents, it’s a great way to communicate last-minute changes to the schedule.

At about 11 Monday morning I ventured out, equipped with my Yaktrax tread devices on my boots (thanks to fellow resident Susan W for the suggestion!), and, of course, my SARA pendant. During my walk, three snowplows came by, and there were Panorama staff out at each neighborhood shoveling walkways. Most sidewalks were shoveled by then, as were most roads. A shouted “thank you” to staff was invariably met with a smile. 

Inside the Quinault, by the door, were two armchairs that allowed me to take off (and then put back on) my Yaktrax before heading to the exercise room. 

So, KUDOS to Panorama and staff for their great efforts at communication and response! 

Deb Bio_Edit

 

A Resident’s Perspective – Friendship

Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. January 2017

An article by Paula Span in the New York Times inspired me to write this blog entry. The title of the article is “Loneliness Can be Deadly for Elders: Friends are the Antidote.”

The article notes that the importance of maintaining social contacts is well known: having someone you can call in the event of an emergency, keeping mentally and physically fit, and less likely to succumb to depression, all contribute to health, safety, and longevity. The article goes on to say that this can be difficult for seniors, as our old friends move away or pass away. Interestingly, as we get older, our definitions of friendship evolve: we seek out more meaningful relationships and can overlook quirks and tics in our friends that would formerly have annoyed us.

My non-Panorama friends and relatives often ask me how I am fitting in here. Of course, I mention the many activities and amenities that our community has to offer. I always add, though, that I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of folks I genuinely like and consider friends, not just acquaintances. A surprise because, of course, we baby boomers believed that we shouldn’t “trust anyone over 30.”

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The Times article notes, “I couldn’t help noticing how many of the elders I spoke with had benefited from living in retirement communities and nursing homes – the very destinations so many people dread. They can provide proximity, shared activities, and a larger pool of prospective friends.”

One of the things that Panorama encourages is the development of social interest groups – whether it be genealogy, book groups, politics, foreign language, neighborhood get-togethers, or just having fun. Panorama can provide meeting spaces, transportation, copying and communication services, and other assistance for these activities. There are also numerous places around campus just to “hang out” and share a cup of coffee, work on a jigsaw puzzle or launch an impromptu card game. In time, we may even have a Resident Portal on the Internet to make it even easier and seamless for us to share ideas and friendship.

Deb Bio_Edit

A Resident’s Perspective – Love & Community in the Aftermath of the Orlando Shooting

Written by Panorama resident, Mike Turner. June 2016

Flag Flies at Half Staff for Orlando_June  2016Like everyone else around the world I was shocked, angry and numbed by the violent events at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It is hard at times like this to know what to do, what to say…

Though everyone is touched by such events it hits a little harder and closer to home when the group that is being targeted is one you belong to.

Once again I have to congratulate and thank the residents and executives of Panorama for again doing the right things. My husband Jay and I received numerous emails and personal comments of comfort from friends and neighbors who wanted to express their concern and sorrow.  They were much appreciated.

President Obama ordered that all federal buildings and embassies around the world  lower the American flag in honor and respect for those who died or were injured in Orlando. I was so glad to see that the American flags here at Panorama were also lowered.  They didn’t have to be, the order was for government buildings only.  Mr. Di Santo made the decision to lower the Panorama flags as well.  I went to his office and thanked him for the heartfelt and deeply appreciated gesture.  His response was a simple “of course we did”.  A simple, noble and appreciated response.

I have said it and written it over and over again about how special and caring everyone here at Panorama is. This was another on my list of why we enjoy our life here.  People care and are not afraid to show it.

Though terrible situations like this happen and are difficult to stop, it is always nice to know that when/if they do, you have an entire community that comes to your aid in words and deeds. And sometimes that is all you need to get through your sorrow and pain.

Thank you Panorama!

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The Panorama “Tribe”

Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. June 2016

In a previous blog, I learned about dealing with transitions: the decision to move to Panorama, then on to the Quinault or Assisted Living when that’s appropriate. Recently I’ve been pondering another kind of transition: how do we respond to the loss of our neighbors and friends through death or dementia? As a baby boomer living in an “advanced” society, I’ve been sheltered from regularly experiencing the death of friends and neighbors. And I have found few on-line resources that address the question.

I started thinking about this topic a while ago, when my close friend moved out of her retirement community because she could not handle becoming friends with someone, only to have them “die on her.” Another person was reported to have said, “Why bother making friends here? We’re only going to lose them.” I decided to interview some folks who see loss on a regular basis. Two are hospice volunteers and the third is a pastor. They all agreed that each person deals with the loss of a friend in a different way: there’s no “right” way or magic wand. Suggestions included attending the person’s memorial service, writing a letter to them (perhaps when they are facing the end) telling them what they mean to you and how they will be remembered. My pastor emphasized that it’s OK to grieve for the loss of a friend: only by allowing yourself to grieve can you move on and be able to continue to love.

Today, I heard a radio interview with Sebastian Junger, who has written a book called Tribe. Junger notes that in the past, we all belonged to small groups, or tribes, who relied on each other for food, warmth, shelter, and protection. As our society became more isolated, we lost that sense of tribe. But remnants exist, including military service, summer camp, and communal response to disasters. In these situations, our need to support one another makes us feel more fully human and alive (Junger noted that after 9/11, suicide rates went down in New York City).

It occurred to me that we here at Panorama are, or can choose to be, a kind of tribe as well. Through the Benevolent Fund and the Foundation, we support each other financially and physically. The intimate size of our districts allow us to get to know each other and make sure we are looked after – a notable example is the Map Your Neighborhood program.

As voluntary members of the Panorama tribe, we can grieve the loss of one of us, knowing that we fully embraced and appreciated their contributions while they were alive. Thus grief, which can be experienced as isolating, instead becomes a shared experience. We often refer to this as “community.” I think the term tribe, though, adds that sense of inter-reliance that allows us to support each other while recognizing the gifts we all bring and will continue to contribute as our legacy survives.

Deb Bio_Edit