Armchair Traveler: The Northwest Passage and Greenland

NW Passage and GreenlandHow many people can say they’ve traveled along the Northwest Passage and stepped foot in Greenland?

Polar BearVerl, a Panorama resident since 1992, has done just that. In fact, he’s taken that trip several times, most recently in September of 2012.

UpernavikWhat an exotic trip. That’s what Armchair Traveler is all about; the opportunity for the well-traveled to open the eyes of their fellow residents, sharing pictures and stories of their remarkable experiences.

NW Passage and GreenlandVerl’s presentation of his trip took us on a journey from Kugluktuk, Canada to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. Along the way he saw polar bears, narwhals and ivory gulls. He explored Beechey Island, a site of significance in the history of Arctic exploration, and experienced the feeling of less than 3 degrees Fahrenheit.

Verl also saw walruses and played a game of soccer in the town of Upernavik, Greenland. He said it was the men from the cruise ship versus the local town’s men.

Leaving us with his closing thought, Verl recalled:

“The Arctic seemed vast, cold, and empty to us. Yet, when we stepped onto the land we turned our attention to the living.”

Not as dismal as some might expect.


Stay tuned for more Armchair Travel. Next month we go to Haiti with a husband and wife who have close ties with the native people.

“Lacey Loves to Read” at Panorama

Lacey Loves to Read Panorama residents, along with the wider community of Lacey, have been encouraged to embark upon a community reading event, throughout the month of February. Many of our residents have jumped on the wagon and joined the community in reading and discussing the novels of best-selling author, Jennifer Holm.

Sunday brought representatives from the Lacey Museum and Timberland Regional Library to the Chambers House Restaurant to facilitate a group discussion of Holm’s novel “Our Only May Amelia,” which is set in historical Washington state.

In addition to this event, there will be a “Meet the Author” reception at the Lacey Community Center on February 28th.

7:00 – 9:00 pm

6729 Pacific Ave. SE



District Meetings

The season of district meetings is upon us here at Panorama. It’s a good time to talk about the Resident Council and how each Panorama resident is involved in the management of this active retirement community.

Our 140 acre campus is divided into 7 districts, based on neighborhood boundaries and apartment buildings. The purpose of this is to organize all 1200+ Panorama residents, easing the process of communication between each resident, members of the Resident Council, and the Panorama Corporation.

District Map

Each district is represented by delegated members of the Resident Council. Some districts have one representative, while others have two or three. This is based on the population size of each particular district. District representatives act as “the voice” of each member of their district. Residents are encouraged to stay in touch with their district reps and to share with them any comments or concerns they feel should be addressed at the monthly resident council meeting.

As a whole, the Resident Council acts as the liaison between Panorama residents and the Panorama Corporation. The leadership roles, such as president, vice president, and district representatives, are resident-elected positions. The president of the Resident Council is deeply involved with the day-to-day proceedings of Panorama and, along with the vice president, meets weekly with the president and CEO of the Panorama Corporation to discuss pressing resident concerns.


So how about the district meetings?

Every six months, a meeting for each district is held in the Panorama Auditorium. The auditorium stage features a diverse panel of corporate administrators, resident council members, and representatives from select resident organizations sponsored by the Resident Council. Each member of the panel gives a brief overview of what’s been happening in their area for the past six months. The floor is open to residents who have comments and questions.

As an example of this process, the meeting for District 4 was held this week. Panel members included the president and CEO of Panorama Corporation, the Vice President and CFO of the corporation, the Medical Director of the Providence Clinic at Panorama, the Director of Health Services for Independent Living, and resident representatives from PCTV (our closed-circuit television station), Benevolent Fund, Recycle Center, and the Resident Council President.

We covered topics from campus security to campus renewal and everything in between.

The president of the corporation focused on the on-campus clinic that has recently been the topic of a structured leading management workshop. A coalition of 38 representatives of Providence, 4 representatives of Panorama Corporation, and 3 Panorama residents have been participating in initiatives aimed at transforming the clinic into a 1st class Geriatric Center of Excellence. We heard more about this from the clinic’s medical director who called it an “integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to coordinating health care.”

The corporate vice president spoke about campus renewal and the idea of constant reinvestment in the community. He covered the renovations that have been happening lately and what’s to come in the near future.

Our Director of Health Services was happy to announce the new SARA pendants have been distributed to all residents on campus and the new system is up and working.

The resident representative from PCTV revealed results from a survey conducted at the last district meeting, in August. The survey was an attempt to assess how well PCTV was meeting the needs of Panorama residents and what it could to to improve. Residents said they wanted to know more about their fellow residents; PCTV responded with the “Meet Your Neighbor” program which interviews new residents. The results also revealed that residents want to know more about what Panorama staff is doing. Thus, “Inside Panorama” was created and has been on-air covering this topic.

The Resident Council President closed the meeting with a few remarks on increasing communication.

“One of the great things about Panorama is we can do as little or as much as we want. Regardless of how active we choose to be, we all want to know what’s going on around us because this is our home.”

To that end, communicative efforts are constantly made through the Panorama newsletter, district meetings, Resident Council meetings, and the Concerns Committee of the Resident Council, which is made up of representatives from resident groups, district representatives, and the Benevolent Fund president.


Active Retirement – Tapestry Weaving

The active seniors living at Panorama are involved in a myriad of creative hobbies. One of these is the textile art of tapestry weaving. Pat, a Panorama resident and experienced weaver who has been creating tapestries since 2004, recently gave demonstration in the weaving room. She hopes to teach the art to fellow residents who are interested in creating a tapestry group.

Tapestry DemoTapestry Demo

Learning in Retirement – Stress & Your Body: Psychological Factors

Continuing our current Learning in Retirement topic of “Stress and Your Body,” yesterday’s lecture in the Panorama Auditorium focused on psychological factors and the effect these factors have on our nervous system.

Emotional stress causes an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration, etc. Feeling as if we were back in the classroom, the audience eagerly listened to important connections and implications of the physical response our bodies have to emotional stressors.

The speaker outlined four factors that decrease the adverse effects of stress on our health.

1. Outlets –  As our nervous system responds to stressors, muscles tighten and build up tension. The use of outlets such as hobbies and exercise are useful in the release of tension. Outlets distract the mind from stressors and bring focus back to the present and what’s really important in our lives.

2. Social Support – Interaction and support from friends and family has a naturally calming affect. The speaker used a study on baboons to present an example of this concept. Social grooming is a common practice among baboons, especially after a stressful event. This is also why we humans tend to prefer “moral support” from a loved one when we have to go through a scary or painful experience.

3. Predictability – In studies performed on lab rats, as stressful situations became less predictable, the physical response to stressors became more intense. The presence of a predictable, albeit stressful situation allows time for us to plan an effective coping strategy. Predictability also provides a sense of relief in knowing when we’ll be safe. This is in contrast to the intensified stress we feel when there is no indication of when a situation may subside.

4. Sense of Control – Believing we have some control over a stressful situation tends to reassure us that we have the power to make things better, ultimately lowering our physical response to the stressor.

We can take away these pointers and apply them to our daily lives in order to lower the stress we feel and , ultimately, the damaging havoc it plays on our physical health.