Relocating

 

 

I finally have relocated to Virginia Beach, about two hours from Richmond, a few yards from the beach. I returned to Imperial Plaza for the ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) monthly outing and we all had a really good time with good food. Laughing, joking and having a good time with my buddies made the day for me. It was a really good break from unpacking. My wife had a nail appointment at her usual nail salon after which she and her sister went out to eat. Who say seniors can’t have fun?

The thing about moving is finding things you forgot you have and taking more time than you have looking at pictures/items long forgotten but, my, my how memories return. There are several hard parts with one is finding your way around the new surroundings. Going through the streets watching the driving habits that are different from where you come from. There is also the joy of finding shortcuts that are not featured on GPS, avoiding the volume of traffic during the rush hours. In a few weeks I should be able to go where ever I desire without a thought, GPS or map. I remember being stationed in Europe; I would purposely drive around the larger cities, hopelessly lost, but not afraid. By the time my gasoline is getting low I would somewhat know the city. I would not know it like a local but I would know it. That is what I am trying to do, in time, here.

There is the myriad of empty boxes with a few more to go. Where to put it all is beyond me and I am wondering how we accrued all the things we are finding. The thrift stores will acquire quite a bit before we are finished with it all. I finally can move through this place without sliding side ways from one side of a room to the other. However, this bring on wonderful memories of my many military moves. Oh, well, the things I am really looking for must be in one of the boxes I haven’t emptied yet, I hope.

Another difficult part of relocating is getting used to new routines as well as meeting new people (it takes me awhile to remember a name). For some odd reason I find myself waking earlier than usual but on an odd day or two I do sleep late (blame it on the salt air, so refreshing). It is good during this time of year, however, when it gets dark earlier and sunrise later, I doubt I will be in to it as much. Then, being on the coast, with the water a hundred yards away, may be a problem if or when a hurricane arrive and the water floods the area. We’ll deal with that when the time come to deal with it. Until then, we’ll enjoy what is here.

Well, summer is here and it’s fun time. Many people prefer cold weather, winter snow, I don’t. I spent too many years in the military surrounded in cold weather and snow. Now that I am not required to do it, I will not. Have fun, stay safe and I’ll see you the later.

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Smoking Rules

There have been fights and arguments over smoking for many years. Whether it is someone’s right to tell, not ask a person(s), not to smoke, where to smoke, when to smoke and/or how bad smoke is to their body, or, on the other hand, a person(s) have a right to affect their body and smoke I believe is the smoker’s business. This argument goes both ways, have many variables and cross many lines, clear and hidden. I will only touch on it lightly.

Imperial Plaza have been going through this for a few years and, I hate to say this, will see no end to the controversy. Brookdale, who leased Imperial Plaza in the past, was to give clear guidance and areas in which to smoke to the residents last year. They never did proceed in the actions (I am guessing) because they knew for a long time they were leaving and they would let the new administration handle the volatile situation. Now the new guidelines are in effect with many people ready to carry the fight to full war.

I see both sides, I know that both sides have fanatics, I can agree with some of what both sides want. I used to be a supervisor, mediating many disagreements, seeing what both sides want while trying to prevent total war between the parties. Because of the smoking bans, cigarette companies have moved from states that put undue pressure on them, their source of money and extra taxes on them. However, the populace should look at, feel for and understand the smokers that are caught in the middle of it all.

First and foremost, like the non-smoker, smokers have rights also. The way things are set in the USA, smokers don’t have any rights except to be able to buy cigarettes when they reach a certain age. Then they are greatly taxed for buying the legal weed and layered with many legal issues in order to smoke the legal weed. They are told the over taxation goes toward the over burdened medical system in order to care for the health problems that smoking brings upon the human body. Okay, then don’t allow the nonsmoker benefit from the program, let that money take care the smoker.

Then, the smoker is put out in the rain, cold, boiling hot sun, humid air and placed yards away from everyone. If a nonsmoker happen to come near, smell the smoker and complain, the smoker is moved even further or told not to smoke, even though the nonsmoker could have walked around or gone in a different direction. To me, the smoker do not have rights.

Somerby have done just that. They have banned smoking in many areas and to be able to smoke the resident have a long walk to get to the area, if the resident is not lucky enough to live in the nearest building. I am a cigar smoker and I have a few days left before I am completely moved to another community. I will not have to do the things residents here does. I am one of the lucky ones. Maybe these rules/laws will effect me a few years from now but at this time I will not be under the strict laws that have come about.

The nonsmokers do not have to go out into the rain, sun, wind, cold, snow, etc. to do what they have a right to do under the laws that were passed by our elected officials. The smoker, as far as I see, does not have the same rights and they are not only over taxed (and the nonsmoker benefit from that) but shunned worst than our pets. I see both sides and feel for both sides. All I have to say is I am moving at the right time and I am sure more will do the same, I have heard rumors. Neither side want to bend (give a little) but in order to have peace and tranquility the sides must.

After I wrote the part about peace and tranquility an incident happened that shows that there are people that do not want peace. Three or four people were sitting around smoking and talking, enjoying the afternoon. A person that live two buildings away came over to confront the smokers, called the police to the Imperial Plaza property but refused to lodge a formal complaint. True, they were illegally smoking, however, they were not in her area of domicile nor were they bothering other people. All I can say now is GOOD LUCK people at Imperial Plaza. My wife and I are out of here!

 

 

Senior Living

Well, the time is almost here for me to finalize the move to the luxury independent senior living apartment complex. It is less than a year old and abuts the Chesterpeak Bay/Atlantic Ocean. This is what I call living the high life. I have tried to tell others that there is always more than what you see. All it will take is looking around and the willingness to move from the comfort zone that a person have become used to, whether it is good or bad. Move up, never down. There is always something better than what a person have now (if it is not all ready fantastic).

As my friend and I smoke our cigars, watching the hawks constantly fly to and fro from their nest, we are anticipating the appearance of another bunch of baby hawks. Unfortunately, I will not be here to watch and take pictures again. One thing is for sure, the squirrel population will be kept at a low number. I have observed rats, squirrels and rabbits in their talons as they fly to the nest, feeding themselves and, if the eggs have hatched, the little ones. All I’ll see in Virginia Beach are sea birds, maybe a fish or two in their mouth. Oh well, change is good and exciting.

Somerby is moving right along with their moving into the job at hand. They still have a long way to go and I hope things come together soon. Although I have resigned from the Resident Council, I still get people questioning me about the things going on around here as well as personal problems they have about this facility. I listen and try to advise them, knowing they know I am leaving very soon. They will realize they have to go to the new person in charge when I am finally permanently gone, can’t be found wondering around this facility. As far as I know, my new place does not have a resident council and, if they form one, I will not be apart of it. Too much work, no pay.

As I have said, senior living is fun plus relaxation and the latitude to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, no pressure. I see some seniors trying to have fun but far too many do not and frown at those that do. They are the ones that constantly live in the past and want everyone around them to do the same. That is not me because, although I find time to sit and relax, I always look for something fun and exciting to do. The activities department at Imperial Plaza always provide a variety of adventures, on and off site, but few residents engage in the activities. I guess the old saying still stand true; you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I see that most of these people are stuck in their same old ways and don’t want to change. God bless them and I wish them well. My wife and I are moving on, moving on up.

Seniors can live a relaxing fun filled life. All they have to do is want to do it and be willing to change. Change their way of life, possible location and thinking. Become more active and SMILE. Love life and life will love the senior until the end day. No one know when that day and time will come but until then, love life to the fullest.

Coco Cay, Bahamas

 

Changes

I have attended two military management schools plus one when I became a civilian. The first thing that is always drummed into my head that I have found to be true today: there is always a resistance to change. In all my years of moving around in the military or having a change of command, I learned to adapt, go with the flow, things are not as bad as it seem, life goes on.

At the end of the month Bookdale Senior Living will leave to be replaced by Somerby Senior Living. Change. As I look into Somerby, as president of the Resident Council and as an independent resident at Imperial Plaza, I don’t, at this time, see any negative signals about the change. At this time, all I see are positive things. Sure, the pharmacy is lost but that was a part of Brookdale and, as told to me, Brookdale could not find a replacement willing to operate on the premises. Somerby, looking into their other facilities, have never operated a pharmacy on their premises. Maybe later they can be talked into trying although there are many regulation hoops to jump through. Changes.

A lot of people at Imperial Plaza either do not understand or refuse to understand that to them this is their residence but to Somerby or any other company this is a business and businesses must abide by laws and regulations. They want to not cause any disruption to the daily lives of the residents but, at the same time, must do what business practices demand. Sure, with change there will be some disruption of the way things have been done but change cause people to adjust to the subtle change in the way things were done.

Many people, especially senior citizens, want to stay in the same old mold and do not want to change, whether good or bad. They do not want to try something new or even talk about it. I have found a lot of people here always talking about the way it was done back in the ’40s and ’50s and they still want it done that way. On days when the activities department have music, old swing music have the place almost full. On days when up to date music is played, very few people attend then complain that there is nothing to do. They hate change and have to be dragged along into a new era.

I wish Somerby luck in managing Imperial Plaza and attempting to drag the stubborn individuals into a new system. I wish the residents stop asking the same questions over and over, put into a different format and getting the same response, hoping for a different answer. That goes back to the old saying: you can satisfy some of the people some of the time but not satisfy all the people all of the time.

On that note, to those reading this at Imperial Plaza, the blogs will continue but not from Imperial Plaza. My wife and I will relocate to Virginia Beach, right down the road (interstate 64) to a new senior living facility on the beach. My wife and I will return for visits and activities and we will always remember the good times we had at Imperial Plaza. However, as I have said, the blogs will go on and the readers around the world will continue to wonder what I have to say next. I hope I can honor their wishes and make it entertaining. Change is inevitable, we also are changing.

Elder Abuse

I’m late getting this blog out for viewing because I just returned from another cruise. Senior living is fantastic if you take advantage of living after working. As I have said in other articles, there are many wonderful things to do when you hit the senior status, no matter your mobility or age. I will talk about senior traveling, especially mine, in other articles.

Before I get into my article I would like to welcome Somerby Senior Living to Imperial Plaza especially Maryanne. The Resident Council, with me as President, look forward to working with you to improve, as well as sustain, Imperial Plaza. Our home is your home.

Many times I have seen older people (seniors) with scars, bruises, broken bones and worst. There are events where seniors are severely injured or killed. Not all but most can be attributed to what is known as ‘senior abuse’. It happens all over, all the time, especially to those that can not fight back or is incapacitated. When the people that cause these abusive acts are caught, charged with the crime and jailed, someone always say “they didn’t mean it” or something similar.

As seniors get older and older some depend on another person for help in the daily routines. Many hire someone through an agency and, a lot of times, the person selected to help the elderly person is not vetted properly, if vetted at all. Another reason is the pay. These people don’t get the money they should have to do the best job possible. Low pay equal low work equal elder abuse. I really can’t put the entire fault there because others abuse also.

Family members have been known to do the same thing and, sometimes, worst than an agency. The people or person that received life, nourishment and love from the very person/people they are abusing, really don’t care. Sometimes the abuse is done because of frustration. Sometimes it’s done because they have a mental illness and don’t know any better or don’t realize what they are doing. Sometimes it is done because of stupidity, to see what happens if this or that is done. Most of it is done because of greed. There is an inheritance or insurance, etc. either way, no one can feel or know the suffering that the senior endures.

Over the years, as a police officer, I have come upon cases that have made me want to inflict my own justice upon the person that did the harm. It’s heart retching to see a person beaten, starved, robbed, mocked, made homeless, etc. How can people be so heartless, unfeeling, unremorseful, or just plain sick minded to do this to a mother, father, sibling, child or even a person you are tending to? They must not know God but would be the loudest, crying for help if the same thing would happen to them. They don’t realize, one day they will be in the same condition and will need the aide of others. Remember, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Senior Retirement

Like I have said, as well as many others, being retired is fun and, at the same time, exhausting, to most. Remember, us retirees worked our whole lives waiting to have the time and pleasure to go to do whatever we want to do. I know, many people say they are adults and can do whatever they want to do now. However, the reality is in the back of your mind that there is always the JOB. Vacation time is always too short and you always run out of time to do the things you don’t have time to do. I know this sound like the run-around but look at it seriously.

As a senior, money was put away in your youth, or should have been put away for the time that you can not work any longer or when you reach that retirement age (full or early). Social Security come in handy, which is taken out of the paycheck each and every pay period. Now you can do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it and for however long you want or need to do it. It is up to you because you don’t have a clock to punch or a deadline to meet. This is your retirement and you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself and/or your spouse. You can dance the night away on a Wednesday night or go on a two week cruise while someone look after your house for you. You are the adult, the retiree, you do what you want to do.

Or you may do it the way my wife and I decided. Get rid of the house and move into a retirement community (like Imperial Plaza). It may be smaller and it is not yours but what you are giving up is small compared to what you gain. You gain the freedom to come and go as you please. You gain the freedom to stay on a trip as long as you please because everything is cared for, you just take care of the interior of your house or apartment (even there, you don’t have anything to do). You do not cut grass, remove snow, trim bushes, fix a leaky faucet, etc. You are a senior that is sitting back and relaxing. You think about how pleasant it is to be retired as you pick-up your umbrella garnished drink on a tropical beach somewhere.

My wife and I are always on the go and we simply love it. Our passports are up to date and the suitcases never gather dust. Week after next we will be on another cruise and so many other things are on the calendar for this year. So be like the retired me, be a good senior and enjoy the rest of your life because tomorrow is not promised. Also, don’t forget, being a senior does not mean you are limited as seniors were years ago. Accommodations are made for seniors, handicapped people and for people that fit both categories. There is no excuse not to get out there, enjoy life and spend the kids inheritance. You worked for it, they did not, and you may not get another chance to do the things you always dreamed about doing. There is a big beautiful world out there just for you to see, enjoy or just chill. Have Fun!!!

Closer Than It Seem

While backing my car I looked through my passenger mirror and today’s writing came to me. On the passenger mirror a message is written, objects may be closer than it seem. What is primary in my mind is what most seniors go through, eye sight. What make eye sight so disconcerting is the driving habit of the seniors. This is not only dangerous to them but it is very dangerous to others as well.

Many times I have been driving on the interstate and suddenly come upon a slow vehicle or another vehicle almost side swipe me or any number of things that is dangerous. Most of the time a senior is behind the wheel (I’m not speaking about people using their phone). I have asked a few why they drive so slow and the answer I usually receive is they are going the speed limit or nothing is beside them when they first look. Both answers are wrong.

With age most seniors eye sight get weaker, even with eye care from a doctor. Most seniors don’t realize this nor realize the corrective actions; these actions continue as if everything is the same as it was years ago. Corrective glasses are fine but that does not solve the many other senior problems, such as reaction time to a situation. These reaction times are much slower than it was back when. The senior, at times, forget they can not do what they used to do. The mind tell them they have done something before and think they can still do it. Not so, the body will quickly (hopefully before it is too late to pull out) let you know something can not be done. The only options are, leave whatever you are trying to do to someone else to finish, grit your teeth and slowly continue on or get hurt which will cause you to call for emergency help.

The senior is reluctant to give up their independence, opting to remain on their own, do things themselves, drive although their sight is failing and swear they can still make do. The most important thing, other than physical health, is eye sight. That not only effects driving but also effect almost everything else. If the eye sight is not right, preparing food for cooking is difficult because it can not be cleaned the way it should, cut the way it should without cutting yourself, nor cook without burning. The last is because either you can not see the correct temperature or, because the mind is slowly fading, the cooking food is left to cook too long.

All in all, among many things, the eyes play an important role in the senior’s life. I worry about their driving habits, my habits, and the dangers that are caused because of these habits or because eye sight is fading. Don’t be afraid to stop driving. Give up that permit if the need is there. Don’t become outraged because you are tested to find out whether you have the capability to get behind the steering wheel. Don’t be offended because it is for your life and the lives of others. Not only because of the mirror but the eyes may make things seem closer or farther than it really is. Be careful and, if you have to give in, do it.