Start Creating for the Upcoming Runway Redux

Submitted by Panorama residents, Karen Romanelli and Judy Murphy – April 2020.

Need a DIY project? It’s for a good cause!

Runway Redux is coming in October, so why not get started on an outfit today?

Use whatever you can find around the house. Buttons, scrap fabric, plastic bags, old sweaters, jeans or costume jewelry can all be used to up-cycle that pair of pants and shirt or dress that was headed for the bin.

Need inspiration?  Just type phrases like “fashion ideas with buttons” or “using old jeans to up-cycle clothes” or “accessories from plastic/aluminum” or “recycle clothing” into your browser and you will find websites with plenty of ideas.

Remember, this is a fundraiser for the Benevolent Fund so please plan on walking the runway or coming to enjoy your creative friends and neighbors. More details in months ahead.

Questions? Contact Karen Romanelli or Judy Murphy (contact information is available to residents through Kya or the Resident Directory).

The Benevolent Fund Continues On

Submitted by resident organization, Panorama Benevolent Fund – April 2020

Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor A Pandemic…

has prevented the Panorama Benevolent Fund from bringing residents the personal support they need.

The Financial Assistance volunteers: Kristine Bartruff, Cynthia Daniels, Jay Felzien, and Georgia Vincent, have continued to work (by phone) with grant recipients to assure that their grants were processed as usual. With access to the Benevolent Fund Office down to once a week, Don Whiting (BF Treasurer) followed through with the financial details to make sure grants were received on time. The central thread to the Benevolent Fund’s successful operation at this disruptive time is Connie Cameron, Administrative Assistant, who is in the office every day to help volunteers and residents.

What better time to have emergency access to medical help with the SARA alert system than during these critical days of heightened health concerns. In March alone, 22 residents received assistance from the fire department and 7 residents were transported to emergency care (not COVID-19 related). Your SARA is your personal safety net at unexpected crucial times.

Sponsored by the Benevolent Fund, 3 experienced and caring Social Service Advisors: Tiffany Martin, Corrine Wasmundt, and Sara Wasser, are available every day to give person-centered support to residents as we move through the many phases of aging. These are disorientating times. If you are having difficulty with the disruption of your normal every-day life, please call a Social Service Advisor at x7557 or email socialservices@panorama.org.

As many of you know, the sales activities of the Benevolent Fund were shut down March 11, putting our hard working, dedicated volunteers out of work until management gives an “all clear” signal. The result is that the Acquisition Team is unable to clean out vacated residences and apartments, a major resource of merchandise for sales at Encore Furniture and Books, the Stiles-Beach Barn and the Patio Sale. Consequently, the smooth running sales system the volunteers developed has come to a complete halt—no merchandise, no revenue.  And the story continues…the 2020 Patio Sale has been cancelled.

As with economies all over the world – countries, corporate, small entrepreneurs, and personal – losses are being felt. The Benevolent Fund, also.  Please consider making a donation to the Benevolent Fund to support the promise the Fund intends to keep…even during a pandemic.

Phyllis Freitas, BF President

Resident-Driven Positive Change

Submitted by Panorama resident, Alice Falter – April 2020

We all like to hear about making a change, and about something moving forward. I think this story will put a smile on your face.

New sign created by Dave Taylor and Larry Pratt.

C & R Garden needed a new look, something different and exciting to show off the beautiful flowers that are grown in the raised boxes. Cathy Smith and I, Alice Falter, started last fall to plan the updates to be ready for spring 2020.

Phase 1.  We started with renaming the gardens, “Blue Zone Gardens”.

Phase 2.  We asked Dave Taylor and Larry Pratt from the Wood Shop to create a new sign, and they did a beautiful job. Thank you Dave and Larry for all your time and hard work, we love our new sign for the garden. It really helps to sharpen the new garden look.

Paintings by Neil Harris on the new privacy curtain.

Phase 3.  We then followed what Pam Burdick did out in her Pea Patch garden and that was to put up a privacy screen around the back fence which makes your eye stop at the black privacy curtain and look at the beautiful gardens. Thank you Pam for the great idea. Cathy ordered the curtains and when the weather allowed us to, we put up 100’ of our new privacy curtain on the South West end of the chain link fence, behind the Garden House located out in the Pea Patch.

Paintings by Neil Harris on the new privacy curtain.

Phase 4.  But, an exciting phase was yet to be accomplished. We asked Neil Harris, last fall, to paint large flowers on four boards 24” x 24”and two boards 24” x 30”. He agreed and worked over the winter and created six eye-catching paintings of different flowers. We gave him free range of what flowers to paint and what colors to choose. Neil did an amazing job; the paintings are bright, cheerful and full of love. We hung these pictures up on the privacy covered fence and they are truly works of art. This was an interesting way for Neil to show off his talent and for us to update our garden area. Art work and flower boxes, who knew that would be such an uplifting experience for all to view and admire? Thank You Neil.

Phase 5.  Look for a new painted little potting shed…as weather permits.

Name plaques are being created in the Clay Arts Studio for individual gardens (this work is on pause until the studio reopens).

Phase 6.  Name identification plaques are being made in clay arts for the gardeners who tend the individual garden boxes. This is a work in progress, and as soon as the clay arts room opens again, I can finish the name identification signs for the boxes.

So, you can see we have not been idle out in the Blue Zone Gardens. We love our flowers and love seeing smiles on faces of people walking around our garden boxes. If you are out enjoying the sunshine, come and see our new garden area (while social distancing!), enjoy the intimate feeling our curtain brings and enjoy our private art show. Truly, this is a one-of-a-kind experience for an adult senior living community. This garden speaks volumes; we can heal together, work together and laugh together. That’s what a Blue Zone is truly about. Take a walk and enjoy the Pea Patch; you won’t be disappointed.

Flowers are donated to:

  1.  Friday Share
  2. New Mother’ Day at Food Bank
  3. Senior Day at Food Bank
  4. Meals on Wheels 2020
  5. Assisted living
  6. Special Occasions – C & R
  7. Friends in Recovery

Flower arrangements, and decorative pumpkins are sold in the Gift Shop to help fund our garden projects.

Now, did we put a smile on your face?

Cathy Smith and Alice Falter

Trash Talk – Tips on Recycling at Panorama

Submitted by resident group, Panorama Green Team – April 2020

Plastics

There is a difference between what is RECYCLABLE and what our current recycling service will accept. The numbered triangles on the bottom of many plastic items only indicate the type of plastic; they do not indicate what our current recycling service provider can take.

What is acceptable here may be different than what you are used to and may change as markets for recyclables change.

You MAY put in the recycling bin: plastic bottles, jugs, and jars (no caps or lids); dairy tubs and yogurt cups (no caps or lids); plastic buckets (no lids or handles).

You may NOT put in the recycling bins: any plastics numbered 1-6 other than the above items. Do not put in the Recycling Bin: clear deli containers, frozen dinner trays, plastic takeout containers, plastic bags of any kind (including such things as bubble wrap, plastic-lined mailers), plastic egg cartons, plastic lids, plastic utensils. Unfortunately, all of these must be put in the trash.

Pay attention to the posted signs at the recycling centers, and if you are not sure about an item, put it in the trash.

Next month: Paper

Sustainable Transportation at Panorama

Submitted by resident group, Panorama Green Team – April 2020

Many of us are asking: “What can I – and my community – do as a positive response to climate change?”

The Green Team is considering how Panorama residents might shrink our carbon footprint while meeting our transportation needs. The goal is ambitious: we want Panorama to be seen as a leader in meeting its transportation needs in a sustainable manner. The Green Team is forming a work group to consider this and bring a plan to our community. We invite interested persons to join us.

What might such a plan include? We believe education is the key. Could we help our neighbors make smart choices to reduce fossil fuel use? This could include shifting to hybrid or electric vehicles, as well as improved access to alternate transportation. What are the questions we need answered to make wise choices?

We hope to collaborate with Panorama management in this effort. Could new or remodeled residences include outlets to recharge electric vehicles? Is there a cost-efficient strategy to begin providing vehicle recharge stations at our apartment buildings? In the longer term, could there be opportunities for Panorama to convert its vehicle fleet to electric power?

We know that transportation is a highly significant source of carbon dioxide emissions that accelerate climate change. We want to do our part to reduce our impact – and to educate the larger community if we can lead by example. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

If interested in joining this work group, call Cleve P. (contact information available to residents on Kya and the Resident Directory).

Inside Panorama TV

Submitted by Panorama TV – April 2020

TIME OUT

The Panorama Dream goes something like this. Give our residents a pleasant environment and plenty to do — dozens of self-governing interest and activity groups served by first-rate workshops and facilities — and they’ll stay healthy and happy. 

Now, the COVID-19 Pandemic is testing our dream in a way few of us could have imagined — the threat might abate if we stop doing what we do best — stop demonstrating our interdependence; and stay away from each other. ‘Til further notice. 

And yet, look how quickly we’re adjusting:

Like all campus activities, Panorama TV has suspended meetings and most production. But PTV has a part to play during this emergency — the vital information part: “INSIDE PANORAMA” shows continue (11AM, 3PM and 10PM on channel 370 and on demand via Kya.panorama.org) — our leaders, explaining community process, emergency rules and policies. We also stepped up with a new show, “The News with Lu” (8:00AM, 12PM, 6PM on 370, on demand on Kya) where residents can see the latest official updates. And, safety first, we’ll also be recording in a new way — everyone involved in production will be physically separated.

Actually, this forced break is an opportunity to take stock of the Panorama TV dream. We’re working on new shows that demonstrate how Panorama works. We’re dreaming about new cameras and clearer pictures on your TVs, tablets and smart phones. Our dreams are full of new on-demand features for the Kya resident web portal. To make sure it’s accessible to all, we’re working on additional methods for services like closed captioning.

This is a great time to get involved — subscribe to our weekly Highlights email; watch our cable channel (tell your new Xfinity voice remote “Channel 370”). Look us up on Kya. 

When the danger passes — and it will — we’ll dream up more fresh neighborhood TV…Panorama TV.

Dave Newton, Panorama TV

Caring For Our Neighbors During the COVID-19 Crisis

Submitted by Resident Emergency Resources Group – April 2020

Map Your Neighborhood and the other Resident Emergency Resource groups have been helping Panorama residents prepare for natural disasters for many years, never thinking that we would find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic.  Yet here we are, surviving the unexpected!  Here are some ways in which we can all help and care for each other in this difficult time.

  • Contact your neighbors by email or phone to stay connected and make sure that everyone has what they need.
  •  If you find that a neighbor is struggling in any way, please contact social services to let them know of your concerns. There is also a group of resident volunteers who have professional experience in helping people in times of distress. This Emotional Support Team is available to answer questions or just chat – call x6006 to leave a message and one of them will return your call.
  • Remind your neighbors that Jerry Gjovaag, Resident Council President, is the person to contact if you have any questions or concerns about what’s happening here at Panorama: councilpresident@panorama.org  For residents without internet access, the Emergency Hotline has the most current messages: x7777.
  • If you are able to support our neighbors outside of Panorama, donations to Thurston County organizations such as the Food Bank, Interfaith Works and the Thurston County United Way Covid-19 Response Fund are always welcome.

We would like to offer a standing ovation to the wonderful Panorama staff who are going “above and beyond” every day to help us through the current crisis.  We greatly appreciate each and every one of you!

Handling Virus Restrictions in Our Apartment

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw – April 2020

Every story is different when handling this Coronavirus, even here at Panorama!!

Years ago, my grandfather passed his strong, dominant, germ-freak gene down to my father. Being Dad’s oldest, I inherited the largest dose of that gene.

However, my father was a bit stingy. My thumb and forefinger don’t open doors, but I do cringe and wash my hands or use sanitizer at the very next chance. Guess I have a jump-start on assassinating germs! For many years, I’ve carried Purell to execute them after reading a menu, or after singing/reading from church manuals before Holy Communion, and especially after handling money. Eeeuu! We should have had stock in Clorox and Lysol.

So, am I bored here in our 1,000 square foot apartment at Panorama? The day that our local news reported Washington state had the first case of Coronavirus, my ears perked in shock. It was in a nursing home, and residents would be quarantined. I figured Panorama would keep us safe and ahead of the game with top notch suggestions and restrictions. They did and still are, at this date, April 2, 2020.

I made a list of things to do during the extra time of confinement:

1.) Start writing a third book. Goofies and Goodies. I sent out notices to Panorama residents to pass the word to friends and relatives, in-laws and out-laws for their one-liners, or paragraphs or longer stories of embarrassing moments, teacher stories, funnies, unusual happenings, unexpected job offer, handling the virus restrictions/confinements etc. However, the info must be original and true. I’m thrilled with incoming varieties of narratives and tales.

2.) Make crafts to sell in our Gifts, Etc. when it opens up again: design another line of my all occasion cards, and crochet Christmas stockings.

3.) Practice piano: keep reviewing the huge stack of pieces I’d been playing all over the campus. I know from experience that if I don’t, I’ll be reteaching myself. Dyslexia definitely doesn’t do that without difficulty. I teach myself pieces I’ve always wanted to learn, but didn’t have time to do.

Chris, in his recliner and remote, is backed up to my piano chair. I hear the news, Gomer Pyle, Carol Burnett, or Bible preachers, as I play with low volume, and no headset. Actually, I can still focus on my piano and improve each day. I’ve discovered that late night practice helps me focus and retain if I go to bed right away after practicing. Someone wrote me, “I just hope when this stay-at-home is over, and you play the new pieces of music all over your Panorama campus, you don’t start speaking the news reports at the same time!”

4.) Read. I wanted to read resident Candy Berner’s, new book, Timothy Ridge, hot off the press in my free time.  She strolled over to the Quinault with her walker. I met her at the entrance with my own walker and stepped 6+ feet away for her to lay her book on my walker’s seat. We were happy to see and visit in person. (This was her first novel and a real page-turner, by the way. I couldn’t wait to get to the end, but didn’t want it to end!!)

5.) Increase time for daily devotions. This takes priority, first time in the morning. However, we realize man proposes, and God disposes. He did last Sunday, when the phone awakened me. (I’d been treating myself to a late rise, after practicing piano till 2 a.m., and then reading a good book another 2 hours.) My iPhone text read “Good morning! Your order of groceries will be delivered to your home in one hour.” YIKES! We had been told it would be delivered anytime in the next 4 to 5 days. Surely, not on a Sunday…so we thought!

Shower, wash hair, get dressed, get breakfast, and be downstairs with a large, orange shopping cart provided by Panorama in an hour? Yes. Only half of the $220 large monthly order for two people was available in stock. After delivery, I sanitized each item well with large Clorox wipes, set them on the counters and glass-top stove to dry, then took note of the items not available to put onto the next list. A challenge, but thanked God for my safety and firm restrictions care at Panorama.

Not enough hours in each day, to scratch off each item on my want-to-do list!!

We’ve heard we are not stuck at home, but safe at home. (At least we are not stuck in a safe!)

N.B. A Panorama Staff Parade! Residents waved from front doors, driveways and/or patios as staff drove their cars with balloons of all types, streamers, signs, tooting horns. That is another way that our community sticks together! If the parade didn’t pass our home, we will be able to catch it soon on our closed-circuit Panorama Channel 370.

Panorama has financial reserves set aside for times like this, and is re-purposing employees into jobs needed in other venues on the campus.

The Coronavirus will eventually come to an end. However, with the dedicated, loving, employees, staff, residents and prayer, we will all be the better for it. Because we are in this together, in every aspect.

 I say thank you, thank you, Panorama. God is with you and with us always.

Remembering Jo Love

Written by Panorama resident, Bob Bowers – March 2020

Recently, on a lovely Saturday afternoon, the Panorama Community gathered to pay honor to one of our own, Jo Love Beach. She and her partner, Diane Stiles, moved to Panorama City (that was its moniker then) in November 2000. They became active in the Benevolent Fund bringing a spark of new energy to its work of helping those in the ebbtide of life have the resources they need for living. It is no secret to those living at Panorama that life in our fourth quarter often has some uncertainty:

Will we have enough to live our lives without fear?

Will our health continue to be robust?

Will we find something to do besides sit and wait?

Who will care when we age and need assistance with living?

Jo Love was active in helping others allay their fears about the future. Testimony was given by many at the memorial gathering concerning Jo Love’s involvement in making Panorama among the best places to age in our country. The memorial gathering was our way of saying thanks to Jo Love: Thanks for her leadership…thanks for her involvement…thanks for her positive personality.  Volunteering and leading is the way residents of Panorama can add to the richness of the community. There’s a place for everyone. As one who has lived here for 19 years, I can testify that it’s a dynamic place, full of energy and life. I can also say that Panorama will never be finished just as life is never finished.

The memorial gathering itself was marvel. I’ve seen and participated in many memorial gatherings but this one in honor of Jo Love outdid them all. In an easy, relaxed atmosphere those of us who attended shared with each other around elegantly set tables in the Seventeen51 Restaurant. We remembered Jo Love and honored Diane. We got to know the Beach family as they told us about their mother and grandmother. We shared with each other and went home with a quiet inner feeling of satisfaction, knowing that this is a good place to be at this time. Thanks, Jo Love, for having lived and worked among us. Your life is a challenge to our own to do what we can to make our world a better place.


Pain Management with Yoga

Written by Panorama resident and Yoga Instructor, Charles Kasler – April 2020

We greeted the year with a silent meditation + tea on New Year’s Eve, and a free class on New Year’s Day. We held our spring meditation retreat in the lovely chapel. Connie focused on new scientific research in meditation in her dharma talk. Charles began working with interested yoga students individually outside of class.

We have temporarily discontinued all classes while we shelter in place until the virus threat passes. Likewise we cancelled our spring equinox gathering, the first time we have missed a gathering since we began. Needless to say, we are all looking forward to practicing together again. In the meantime, there are audio and video classes for students to follow at home.

The original purpose of yoga was for inner peace. That’s still true today but there are also many side benefits, among them pain management. One of our students said that her yoga practice is like medicine. So true! Regular practice can lower stress and can have a feedback effect to improve chronic pain. 

“Yoga can teach you how to focus your mind to change your experience of physical pain. It can teach you how to listen to your body and take care of your needs so that you can participate in the activities that matter to you. It can give you back the sense of safety, control, and courage that you need to move past your experience of chronic pain.” – Kelly McConnogal, Stanford University

Practicing yoga on a regular basis can affect your response to pain, decreasing your level of perceived suffering. The increased flow of oxygen to the brain and muscle tissues improves energy level and sense of well being. Combining breath awareness with the physical movement of yoga helps release muscle tension in your body. For people with arthritis, moving joints through their range of motion and stretching muscles can decrease the intensity of pain, or relieve it completely. 

You can manage pain in two ways: 

Symptom Improvement – reduce pain for conditions that cause acute or chronic pain, such as low back pain, or recovery from surgery.

Adjunct to Western Medicine – aid in treatment of conditions that have pain as the main feature, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic headaches, and cancer treatments.

The level of pain you feel is influenced by how your brain perceives the experience. Several factors can influence pain perception, including: 

Age – As brain areas degenerate with age so does brain circuitry, so older people have lower pain tolerance and it may be harder to deal with pain.

Memory – Our past experience dealing with pain can influence our neural responses to it, causing us to be more sensitive to pain.

Acute vs. Chronic Pain

Chronic pain differs from acute pain in three ways: 

  1. Your body can become more sensitive to the threat of pain, leading to fear and anxiety.
  2. Your brain can become more likely to interpret situations as threatening, and sensations as painful.
  3. With the experience of repeated reactions to pain, your ability to differentiate between the many aspects of the pain response may become blurred.

Chronic pain is challenging because it goes beyond the physical presence of pain, and affects your mind-body connection. Chronic pain can affect your daily functioning due to changes in: 

  • Breathing. Your breath can become more shallow and shaky, making exercise and even normal physical activities more challenging. 
  • Muscle Tension. Because your body is in a constant state of alert, muscle tension can increase. This will limit your range of motion, which in turn can worsen stiffness. 
  • Movement Patterns. As you try to protect the area of pain, your movement patterns can change dramatically. Some people stop all nonessential movement, limiting what they can do in the short term and causing stiffness and weakness in the long term. Other people grit and bear the pain, only stopping when the pain is so intense that they can’t continue, but they may be creating unhealthy movement patterns that result in uneven physical wear and tear. 
  • Body Image. How you view yourself can change from physically capable to weak and incapable, which makes you less willing to take on physical challenges or even to keep exercising. 
  • Thought Patterns. Chronic pain can cause you to become less optimistic about pain and your life in general.
  • Emotions. Your emotions may become more volatile, leading you to become angry, frustrated, tearful, and overwhelmed. 

Although chronic pain can cause each of these issues, they are all problems that you can treat with yoga. And as you consciously address your chronic pain, you can improve or reverse the physical, mental, and emotional damage it has caused.