2016 Arts Walk is on its way!

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Panorama is home to a number of accomplished artists, as well as those who are exploring their artistic side for the first time. Please join us for the 2nd Annual Arts Walk at Panorama. This year’s event will be even bigger and than last year with more than 60 visual artists displaying their works in fabric art, oil painting, watercolors, colored pencil, woodworking, metalwork, Zentangle, ceramics, basketry and more! As you stroll the campus viewing these art displays, enjoy the sound of live music being played by resident musicians and stop by the theatre for a live stage performance! There will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Following the event, be sure to join us for a special Arts Walk Happy Hour at Seventeen51 Restaurant & Bistro ¤ 3:00p – 5:00p.

A Resident’s Perspective – Changes and Growth at Panorama

Written by Panorama resident, Bob Bowers. July 2016

I found Deb Ross’ blog “Newbies, Would-bes, and Boomers” to be thought provoking.  Her blog was quoted in the 2015 Annual Report.  The comments brought back memories.  When my wife and I took up residence at Panorama on December 22, 2000 she was 67 and I was 65, soon to become 66 in March.  The average age of residents was somewhere in the low 80’s.  The comment we got when we mentioned our ages was more like this: “Oh, you’re just young kids!”  I still get that comment from the 90+’s around Panorama and I’ll be 82 in March!

We moved here from Anchorage, Alaska because we wanted a better living situation:  a physical home that was user friendly and not a two-story, walk-up condo on the second and third floor of the building; a place with a better climate than one with heaps of snow and ice and melting slush in winter; a community that met our need for good medical care and if need be good hospitals and a good nursing home—ya never know!–;  and, a stimulating environment to help keep us alive and growing.

When we came to Panorama there was no Aquatic and Fitness Center.  There was one large room in the basement of the Quinault called the Quinault “Auditorium” and no auditorium/theater with the latest in seating, design, and program.  The television “station” operated in a tiny room with old equipment.  There was no recycling center.  The nursing home was doing a terrific job of care in a 30- year-old outdated building.  One social worker was working for the Benevolent Fund.  The activities page in the newsletter was a page and a half long.  There was no wi-fi; no Information Technology Department; and very few computers to be seen.

What we did have at Panorama was:

  • A CEO dedicated to changes that made sense
  • A Board of Directors committed to working with the Executive Staff to create excellence
  • A Marketing Staff aware of the need for good, solid marketing
  • Residents who were aware of needs and progressive in working for change

We are not done yet.  This is a dynamic place to live into our old age.  I can now be considered to be old.  And, yes, I have some challenges in my old age.  But, I like what’s happened here.  I was grateful for the new C and R who took superb care of my wife in the last 3 ½ years of her life.  We’re entering a new phase at Panorama with the retirement of Joe DiSanto.  We’ve exciting changes and challenges ahead as the new Management Team takes over.  I wouldn’t miss it. . .and, I hope I live long enough to enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed the changes in the past 16 years!

Bob Bowers Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – What’s Next?

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. July 2016

How often have you heard (or promised yourself), “I am going to write a book sometime,” or “You need to write a book with all those stories in your life?”

Within a few days of moving to Panorama, I tiptoed into a free–Writing Your Life–class in the chapel balcony. Charlotte (the facilitator) and the class of about eight offered me a seat around a large table arrangement.

Edith began reading the next episode story as a wife of a vicar and her move into the two-story, old wood parsonage the same snowy day the transferring vicar was moving out. Transporters needed to save time and money—it was the depression. Both families had small children, and it was lunchtime!

Class members heartily nodded at her scenario–no paper plates, microwaves, or plastic anything.

I felt invigorated to join. Authors who had no time to write since the last class, came just to hear the ongoing stories. We neither critiqued nor edited. However, I had a goal to write and encouragement to “write my story.”

Hungering for constructive criticism, I magnetized to invitations from members of our PanWriters class. What next?

After about a year, I showed up to the class. For a small fee, we received critique and editing from Bryan Willis, an internationally known playwright, and from the nine class members, who received a copy of others’ story. The first day I showed up, I read two pages of My Wedding Nightmare. I left with swollen encouragement.

I continued that class until time to write about the twenty some years of my life that I am keeping a secret here in Washington until publication. Why? I didn’t want to read that section in class. Just about everyone knows I’m writing, and asks the title. If I do, I give away the two areas involved in the book before it arrives on the shelves here, and everywhere, hopefully! A neighbor and author Patricia mentored me and gave me many books to study. Besides writing for marketing, I write for benevolent fund several times a year. Writing many hours a day is recreation for me, not work.

Finally, great news! I finished the book after these five years of daily pounding my laptop until letters on the keys force me to use the seek-and-you-shall-find method. I should have taken stock in printer paper. Busy Bryan, who had just finished a commissioning, was eager to be my editor. A week later, I presented him with my manuscript.

Many assume that a retirement community is a place to keep warm until time to get cold again. If that fits their fancy, fine–we respect individual choices. However, Panorama offers much more. Residents–who never had the time to pursue their talents–enjoy the opportunity here. A great-grandmother, who had never stepped into a television studio, is an expert TV switcher in Panorama’s closed-circuit TV studio.

Now, I eagerly await Bryan’s critiques on my manuscript, so we can get the nitty-gritty details to final print is completed.

Then I can relax, be done, volunteer piano playing more often, write regularly on this blog, work further in my craft room, become a resident transit dispatcher and/or a concierge in Pan Hall.

What next?

Start my next book!?

Mary Jo Bio

Embracing Life presents “Five Wishes”

Written by Panorama staff. June 2016

Embracing LifeWhen first arriving to this particular session, I was unsure what to expect out of Five Wishes. The only information I had was the event description which states, “Five Wishes is an easy-to-use legal document written in everyday language that lets adults of all ages plan how they want to be cared for in case they become seriously ill. It is unique because it speaks to all needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. Five Wishes also helps structure discussions with your family and physician.” It was assumed that this was going to just be a discussion of how to fill out this legal document. Instead, it was an uplifting, enlightening, and helpful discussion that allowed everyone to take something away from it.

Carol Johnson was the facilitator for this Embracing Life session. She is a health care counselor and handles end-of-life issues. Her light humor and relaxed persona helped make the atmosphere less negative and depressing. It was more than just a lecture about how to legally fill out this document; it was a discussion in how to ensure that everyone’s end-of-life wishes were fulfilled.

Carol started off by asking the audience why they came today to learn about Five Wishes. The following responses were:

  • Doing it for children, spouse, loved ones, etc.
  • Ease my mind
  • Love for my family
  • To create ease for family & loved ones

In essence, according to Carol, everyone was there to “get their ducks in a row”, to further ensure that their wishes were heard and fulfilled. She then had everyone state how they felt dealing with end-of life issues. The following feelings were stated:

  • Scary
  • Stressful
  • Depressing
  • Sad
  • Sensible
  • Frustrating
  • Accomplishing

While most of the feelings were negative, there were a few that felt discussing and dealing with end-of-life issues enabled them to be furthered prepared for the future. Carol then went through the entire Five Wishes document and what it entails. The main purpose of this legal document is to list how you want to be treated when you are seriously ill. It gives you the tools to help you talk to friends, family and doctors, so that they will know exactly what you want. The document allows you to make the following decisions and choices:

  • Who you want to make healthcare decisions for you
  • Where you want to die
  • Life support decisions
  • Wishes for your loved ones to know
  • How you want to be treated
  • How you want to be remembered

These are just a few of the topics and choices that you can make in the document. The ideal part about Five Wishes is that all the decisions are in one document.

By the end of the discussion, those initial negative feelings concerning end-of-life were lessened. Carol made the discussion fun and entertaining, showing the audience that end-of-life discussions do not need to be scary and depressing. Regardless of age, knowing how you want to spend your end-of-life is important. Although it is hard to discuss such a heavy topic with family and loved ones, it will create ease for them when they have to make those decisions for you. Ensuring that your wishes are heard and fulfilled is important and will truly enable you to “embrace your life” until the very end.


Embracing Life presents: Life’s Third Act

Written by Panorama staff. June 2016

Embracing LifeThis Embracing Life session was a combination of TED talk, Life’s Third Act, and an audience discussion. The TED Talk, given by Jane Fonda, re-examined the old metaphor for aging and people’s new life expectancy. People today are living on average 34 years longer than their great-grandparents. This extra time is what Fonda calls “the third act.” Before, age was seen as an arch: you’re born, you peak at midlife and then you die. However, with these extra three decades, Fonda suggests a new metaphor for aging. Instead of a peak-decline arch, she states that aging is like a staircase. Aging, in her words, is “the upward ascension of the human spirit, bringing us into wisdom, wholeness, and authenticity.” This additional act gives us extra time to ascend upward, to reflect and free ourselves from the past, review our life, and better our quality of life.

After the short TED talk, the audience was broken into small groups and asked to discuss a number of questions. The first question was regarding the old metaphor of age being like an arch. The groups were asked the following questions:

  • What were your role models for “old age”?
  • Who were the old people in your youth?
  • What were they doing with their time?
  • What was “retirement” for them?

After several minutes of discussing, there was a large consensus among the audience. Many in their youth saw old people working hard and never experiencing retirement. Old people had to live with their children or grandchildren as they were unable to live on their own comfortably. Nobody retired and working until the day you died was accepted.

The next questions discussed the extra 30 years that have been added to our life expectancy. The questions were:

  • How can we re-imagine this new phase of our lives from a decline into a developmental stage of life with its own significance?
  • How do we use this time?
  • How do we live it successfully?

There were a large variety of answers from the audience. Some wanted to use the time for self care, especially since there are more options and resources that offer self care nowadays. Some wanted to use the time to help others and contribute to the world. Others wanted to use it for self reflection, strive to make their third act successful, and develop wisdom around reflection. The groups discussed what was important for them to embrace in their third act. Whether that is staying in touch with friends, enjoying the things you love, furthering relationships or enriching the world, this new additional act allows more time to embrace our lives.

Jane Fonda quoted a German psychiatrist in her talk, Viktor Frankl, who spent five years in a Nazi concentration camp. He wrote this while he was in the camp: “Everything you have in life can be taken from you except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. This is what determines the quality of life we’ve lived – not whether we’ve been rich or poor, famous or unknown, healthy or suffering. What determines our quality of life is how we relate to those realities, what kind of meaning we assign them, what kind of attitude we cling to about them, what state of mind we allow them to trigger.” As we become older and gain more time, we gain the ability and chance to learn more about ourselves. We learn to embrace ourselves, our freedom, our spirit, and our bodies. By reflecting on our life experiences, we can become wiser and become whole. With this extra time, we gain the chance to enjoy the things and people we love, gain wisdom, embrace our new additional time and continue to ascend with into our age potential.