Beatitudes Community

How Are Your New Years Fitness Goals Going?!?!

How are all your New Years exercise goals going!?! Around this time a lot of us tend to fall off exercise goals that were made for the new year. If this sounds like you, continue to read on, but if you are thinking I am going to give you the “magic potion” you are going to be highly disappointed.

If your excitement and enthusiasm have worn off don’t be upset or throw in the towel, try to remember why you made this a priority to begin with. Also, hold yourself accountable and be consistent with your routine and keep showing up day after day after day. “Consistency is key” is a phrase I tell myself every day, it is not flashy but for me being consistent with physical movement on a daily basis has the feel that if I do it without movement, the day feels strange! Also, be accountable to yourself, you have it in you to show up. Some days, that means hitting a class or gym, other days it could mean just doing some ankle circles or shoulder rolls to loosen up.

You’ve heard it time and again: physical activity and exercise are good for you, and you should aim to make them part of your routine. There are countless studies that prove the important health benefits associated with exercise, and it becomes more important as we age. Regular physical activity and exercise for seniors helps improve mental and physical health, both of which will help you maintain your independence as you age. Below are 5 benefits to think about!

Prevent Disease- Studies have shown that maintaining regular physical activity can help prevent many common diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Exercise improves overall immune function, which is important for seniors as their immune systems are often compromised. Even light exercise, such as walking, can be a powerful tool for preventable disease management.

Improved Mental Health- The mental health benefits of exercise are nearly endless. Exercise produces endorphins (the “feel good” hormone), which act as a stress reliever and leaves you feeling happy and satisfied. In addition, exercise has been linked to improving sleep, which is especially important for older adults who often suffer from insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns.  

Decreased Risks of Falls- Older adults are at a higher risk of falls, which can prove to be potentially disastrous for maintaining independence. Exercise improves strength and flexibility, which also help improve balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls. Seniors take much longer to recover from falls, so anything that helps avoid them in the first place is critical.
Social Engagement- Whether you join a walking group, go to group fitness classes or visit a gardening club, exercise can be made into a fun social event. Maintaining strong social ties is important for aging adults to feel a sense of purpose and avoid feelings of loneliness or depression. Above all, the key is to find a form of exercise you love, and it will never feel like a chore again.

Improved Cognitive Function- Regular physical activity and fine-tuned motor skills benefit cognitive function. Countless studies suggest a lower risk of dementia for physically active individuals, regardless of when you begin a routine.

The Beatitudes Experience

“There’s just something about this place.” It’s a phrase I hear often since joining Beatitudes Campus! I have to agree, it’s true. There is an energy and positivity here on campus that is hard to explain. In marketing, it’s called a brand experience – and it is something that we marketers work hard to capture, communicate and share with the outside world.

Cherish Your Friends

This past spring as part of my Lenten discipline I took on something instead of giving up something. I had been thinking a lot about past friendships from college and graduate school and I realized I missed those people in my life. I decided I would take time to reach out and hopefully connect with six friends with whom I had lost contact. I was interested then to read of a study that encourages people to make those phone calls or send a text or email. According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people often underestimate how much their friends and old acquaintances appreciate hearing from them.

“If there’s been someone that you’ve been hesitating to reach out to, that you’ve lost touch with perhaps, you should go ahead and reach out, and they’re likely to appreciate it much more than you think,” said Peggy Liu, the study’s lead author. The researchers conducted a series of 13 experiments with more than 5,900 participants to see if people could accurately estimate how much their friends value them reaching out and what forms of communication make the biggest impact. In these experiments, reaching out was defined as a phone call, text, email, note or small gift. The experiments found that initiators significantly underestimated the recipient’s reaction to the check-in.

“It’s often less about these kinds of grand overtures that we can make in our relationships and more about the small moments of letting a friend know that we’re thinking of them,” said Miriam Kirmayer, a clinical psychologist and friendship expert who was not involved in the study. A recipient appreciated the communication more when it was surprising, such as when it was from someone the recipient did not regularly contact or when the participant and recipient did not consider themselves to be close friends, the study found. “When you feel that sense of positive surprise,” Liu said, “it really further boosts the appreciation that you feel.”

Relationships, including friendships, can be one of the strongest predictors of how healthy we are and how long we live, and they can boost our overall well-being. During the pandemic we certainly found that when we are disconnected and isolated from our friends and loved ones we suffer from increased anxiety and depression. We know that friendships require nourishment and after leaving college and graduate school I had starved the relationships which had meant so much to me. Most of the six friends I reached out to live in other states and one lives out of the country. I was able to see the friends that live here in person and the others I spoke to on the phone. With each one it was fun to hear their voice and catch up on where they are at in life. Just as the study found, each person I talked to appreciated the fact that I had reached out to renew our friendship. My intention now is to feed those friendships and keep them alive. Who are the friends that you might reach out to?

The Reality of Good News

T.S. Eliot once wrote humankind ‘cannot bear very much reality.’ I think the point he was trying to make is usually misunderstood, but, I thought of those words when I recently heard that number of people avoiding news-media has doubled in the last five years.

As a child I remember my Grandma ensuring that she watched both the lunchtime and evening television news bulletins, as well as having a national newspaper delivered in the morning and a local newspaper delivered each evening. Gone now is that rhythm for most people. According to a recent poll, only 17% now read a physical newspaper daily. Only 53% watch TV news bulletins. Its often discussed that smaller percentages of people are engaging with professionally produced, politically neutral news, and ceasing to distinguish it from passing entertainment or editorial comment. Perhaps T.S. Eliot was right when he famously wrote that humankind ‘cannot bear very much reality.’ But not all news is bad. When the evangelist Mark began to write his book, he started out with ‘The beginning of the gospel…’ which means ‘good news’. The start of the good news. That book talks about suffering, tragedy, in-fighting, occupation and political intrigue among many other things. So did he make a mistake? Did Mark forget what he said he was supposed to be writing about? For those who read that book, as well as the other books of our scriptures, it is important to remember that story of good news is set, not in a fairytale land where life is tranquil and charming, but rather in reality. And that is what makes it such good news. The news that causes us to see beyond the day-to-day difficulties, and to know the reality of God’s love for each of us. It is a knowledge of that love which led Mark to start his book by highlighting to 2000 years of readers, that that love is good and transformative. Hundreds of years before that, Isaiah knew the same to be true as he wrote “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and transformation”. May we hear that message of love, peace and transformation today. For that is the reality of a life of faith. T.S Elliot was right, we cannot bear too much reality. But perhaps that is because we all need to take a break from the bad news – to rediscover what the good news of love means for each of us.

Slow Down!

Are you aware that the posted speed limit on campus is 15 miles per hour? Campus Security as well as members of the Safety Committee have noticed a recent uptick in speeding on campus. The Beatitudes Campus is not only large, but we’re all busy! Residents, staff and visitors are traveling across campus every day by foot, scooter, wheelchair, bike, golf cart and even vehicles. The majority of those observed traveling over the speed limit are not residents or staff but rather families, visitors, private caregivers and delivery personnel. Residents and staff, please take a moment to remind your campus visitors of the posted speed limit and ask them to exercise extreme caution when driving on campus. Please make sure you are aware of all cross walks and stop signs around campus as well. If you have any questions or concerns you can reach out to Security by dialing x16172 from any campus phone.

A Happy and a Holy Lent

Happy Lent! For Christians, the intention of this portion of the year is for us all to make a conscious effort to focus on turning our hearts and minds back towards God. Sometimes people do this by practicing a little self-denial and self-discipline, perhaps by giving up a favorite food or treat as a reminder to focus instead on our spiritual nourishment. A favorite family story of ours is how my brother (aged around 6 at the time) was asked by the priest following church what he was giving up for Lent. Without hesitation he replied, “school”. A good attempt, but not quite in with the intended goal of opening the doors of our hearts a little wider to the deep riches of faith!

Here at the campus, there are a variety of ways that you can mark this holy season. Lent begins on March 2nd, and so we invite you to join us for some delicious pancakes on Tuesday, March 1st, between 8 and 10AM, Life Center as we keep the custom of using up all the fattening ingredients in the house before the beginning of the Lenten fast.

Ash Wednesday follows on March 2nd. Ash Wednesday has for centuries been a day for Christians to have our foreheads marked with ashes as an acknowledgement of our mortality, and to reflect in penitence for our mistakes. Residents and staff are welcome to receive the imposition of ashes and spend some time in prayer and contemplation in the Life Center, 8:00am-12:00pm.

If you are interested in a contemplative way of journeying through Lent, copies of ‘Daily Guideposts – 40 Devotions for Lent’, are available to pick up in the Life Center after the Sunday services, or directly from our department by calling Kimberly Bravo 18465.

Another book that will be shaping our Lenten season is ‘Lent In Plain Sight – A Devotion in 10 Objects’ which is forming the basis of our current sermon series at the 3:00pm Sunday Campus Worship Service at which, as always, all are welcome!
I hope that these events and resources help to provide ways for us to use this season of reflection and prayer, and by doing so to grow closer to God in our everyday lives – a happy and a holy Lent to you all!

Did You Hear?

Our ability to hear is one of our most important senses as it connects us to the world around us. With masks and social distancing thrown in the mix, COVID has made communication even more challenging. For those of you who missed the Health and Wellness Committee’s recent speaker, audiology professor Dr. Tricia Dabrowski, A.T. Still University Audiology Department has kindly provided Beatitudes Campus with the following helpful tips to improve communication with hearing loss.

Let’s start with the Listener.

  1. Don’t be embarrassed by your hearing loss. Explain, or remind speakers, that you have difficulty hearing, and describe the best way for the Speaker to communicate in order for you to understand.
  2. Pay attention to the speaker’s face and gestures while they speak.
  3. Don’t bluff! Pretending that you heard something never results in a solution to your communication troubles.
  4. Provide feedback after the communication so the Speaker knows how well they are doing.
  5. Arrange for frequent breaks during long discussions.
  6. Set realistic goals about what you can expect to understand.

Now let’s consider some things the Speaker can do which will help a great deal:

  1. Get the person’s attention before you begin to speak.
  2. Always face the listener and do not put obstacles in front of your face (unless you need to be wearing a mask).
  3. Speak into their “good ear” if they have one.
  4. Use facial expressions and gestures to help convey the meaning of your words.
  5. Speak slightly slower and louder and be sure to enunciate. Pause briefly after key words in the phrase to increase the likelihood that the Listener will understand the communication the first time around.
  6. Speak to the listener in a well-lit place, so they can read your lips as you speak.
  7. Give a clue of some kind when the topic is changing.
  8. If the listener does not understand something you’re trying to say after the second attempt, try using different words.
  9. When you’re in a difficult listening environment simplify the conversation.
  10. When in doubt, ask the Listener what you could do to help.
  11. Before parting ways, always leave a thorough note of any important facts, dates, times, etc. that were discussed in the conversation, so the listener can correctly recall important details.

Don’t expect any of these strategies to work 100% of the time. Both the Listener and Speaker must maintain a positive attitude, be patient, and relax! Now let’s consider how you might change the Environment to increase the likelihood that communications will be understood.

  1. Recognize that noise is your enemy! For the hearing impaired, modest amounts of background noise mask the important speech sounds they are trying to hear and can make communication very challenging.
  2. The ideal listening distance is 4-6 feet. This will allow the Listener to observe your facial expressions, gestures, and optimize the volume of soft speech sounds.
  3. Lighting that is too dark will make it difficult for the Listener to view the Speakers facial expressions and lips (be aware of glare from shiny surfaces obstructing views, as well).

Another way to improve communication is to ensure that your ears, eyes, and hearing aids are working properly. Remember to visit your audiologist and optometrist annually!

Things That Can Be Equally True

One of the many challenging aspects of living is to understand and experience that two seemingly opposing things can be true. This life lesson doesn’t come easily however, because as humans, we like to keep things simple. Black and white, either or. Our brains are designed to put things into nice, neat, and uncomplicated categories. This sorting and categorizing serves an important purpose: it’s a lot easier for us to interact with our world this way. Everything seems to settle into a nice category. Happiness and sadness. Good people and bad people. Healthy food and unhealthy food. True and false. Jean Piaget, a prolific child development researcher and psychologist suggests that when new information comes into our brains, we have two options: fit it nicely into an existing category or schema (assimilation) or do a complete overhaul of the categories to fit the new information (accommodation). At some point each of us realizes that our world is not so simple and our categories do not seem to fully encapsulate our experiences with life.

Embracing the “AND” or holding two ideas at once can be very freeing. Think about holding these truths: You are resilient AND you need a break, you are kind AND have boundaries, others have it worse AND your pain is valid, you are independent AND you still need others, you can be sad and grieving AND relieved and joyful, you are strong AND you need support, you can be sure about something AND change your mind, you are sad sometimes AND you are happy. Someone has suggested that perhaps that’s why we have two hands—to be able to hold the complexity of feelings and experiences of life. Dual feelings and beliefs can be equally true. One of them doesn’t cancel out the other. Writer and podcaster Tsh Oxenreider says it this way: “Two opposing things can be equally true. Counting the days till Christmas doesn’t mean we hate Halloween. I go to church on Sundays, and still hold the same faith at the pub on Saturday night. I shamelessly play a steady stream of eighties pop music and likewise have an undying devotion to Chopin. And perhaps most significantly: I love to travel and I love my home.” Somehow it seems that as we get older life presents to us many more nuanced, gray areas that don’t fit into nice, neat, black and white categories. Sometimes we need to be easy on ourselves and others, we are all just doing our best! We can celebrate AND be challenged by the fact that we are complex, loving, impassioned individuals that deserve to feel a range of emotions without judgement from ourselves or others.

New Beginnings

We are now well into 2022 and settling into what we are certainly anticipating will be a better year than 2021! For many, the start of a new year is a time to look forward, consider the possibilities that lie ahead, and make a resolution about things you would like to change. Sometimes these New Year’s resolutions are small tweaks you’d like to make to improve some aspect of your life. Other times, they are monumental shifts that you want or need to implement. There are a few key areas that might be worth adding to your list.

Share your time, talents, and treasure

We all have unique ways we can contribute to the betterment of the world around us, and the new year is the perfect time to start. Plus, several studies have found both physical and mental health benefits for seniors who volunteer with causes they care about.

There are near-countless ways to give of yourself to worthy groups and many of them are available through CareCorps here on campus. As we begin to restart many of our community outreach programs, tutoring at our local elementary and high schools, animal shelters, food pantries, blood drives, and community centers — just to name a few — are always looking for committed volunteers.

Not sure where you’d like to offer your time, talents, and treasure? Didi Cruz, CareCorps Volunteer Coordinator (x18526) is a great resource start your search.

Try something new

Want to learn to play the guitar? Take dance lessons? Start watercolor painting? Go hang gliding? Learn Italian? This is your year to resolve to try something new! And many of those opportunities are available through our LifeLong Learning program.

Focus on wellness

No matter your age, this is a perennial favorite when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. But the truth is: it’s always a good time to refocus on healthier lifestyle choices.

Maybe you could stand to lose a few pounds, exercise more often, or eat more healthfully. Perhaps you’ve been putting off that trip to the doctor or a preventative healthcare screening. Or it could be that you need to work on lowering your stress level or confronting your anxiety. Whatever wellness area you’ve been neglecting, commit to making a healthy improvement in 2022. It could improve your quality of life or even lengthen your life!

When was the last time you reviewed your personal legal documents including your power of attorney/healthcare proxy, advance directives, and will? For some, it may have been decades since these important documents were created, and a lot may have changed in that time.

Advance directives, sometimes called a living will, are documents that can help guide healthcare decisions made by doctors and loved ones should you no longer be able to voice your wishes for yourself.

If you need to change or update anything on your advance directives, it is best to complete a whole new document and give an updated version to your healthcare providers, attorney-in-fact (from your power of attorney), and other loved ones.

A will allows you to pass along your assets (tangible or monetary) to specific people or organizations after your death. Depending on your particular situation, wills can be very simple or very complex, but regardless, it is wise to review your will periodically to ensure it still reflects your wishes. Always work with an attorney should changes need to be made to a will.

Speaking of monumental shifts, this will also be a year of significant change for me. After six of the best and most meaningful years of my life serving the senior living community at Beatitudes Campus, as well as much prayer and deliberation, I am honored to have accepted the CEO position of another organization. Although I will be physically leaving next month my regard and admiration for this tremendous campus of residents and staff will never leave me. I hold the time spent here and the mission, vision and values that I have been able to enjoy, help refine and live as very dear. I am so happy to see all the progress that has been made and look forward to the completion of the redevelopment program.

I thank the board of directors, Michelle Just, President & CEO and all my colleagues for the opportunity to work with them as well as my cherished teams in Marketing, Sales, Outreach and Assisted Living. And my sincere thanks for all the many kindnesses that you have extended to me and for the many lifelong friendships that I will always treasure!


The Environment standing committee has the following definition in the Residents Council Procedures Manual:

To work with the Director of Plant Operations and the liaison person(s) designated by the Administration to assist in identifying and improving upon unsustainable (wasteful) practices or conditions on the Beatitudes Campus. This will include encouraging the most prudent use of water, electricity, heating/cooling, and other resources among all residents, staff, and employees.

– Residents Council Procedures Manual

We desperately need residents who are interested in helping with the above to join the Environment Committee. We currently have only three members and no chair or meeting dates. If you are interested, please contact Phil Adelman at x15472 or email at [email protected].

The Return of Premier Hearing!

The Beatitudes Campus Wellness Center is proud to announce the return of Premier Hearing! Premier Hearing will be on campus every 3rd Thursday from 8-11:30AM. On campus services include inspections for ear wax build-up, battery sales, hearing aid cleaning and tubing changes. Additionally, hearing tests will be performed in their sound proof booth at their office located at 9th Street and McDowell. To schedule services on campus in the Wellness Center or to schedule a hearing test off campus call 602-253-3532. Campus transportation to off campus hearing tests is available by calling x16135.

Independent Living (IL) COVID Guidelines [Rev. 01.19.2022]

Independent Living COVID-19 Self-Isolation Precautions at Beatitudes Campus

The COVID-19 virus is highly contagious and can be spread even when vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals carrying the virus do not have any symptoms. As such, Beatitudes Campus is compelled to encourage residents to take every measure possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and has put in place safeguard recommendations to better ensure the health of our entire community.

Exposed Residents:

  • Unvaccinated residents or those have not had a second dose or booster within six months: Residents who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than two months out after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, must quarantine for five days from the date of the exposure followed by KN95 mask use for an additional five days. Best practice would also include a test on day six after exposure before returning to normal routines on Campus.
  • Fully vaccinated and boosted: Individuals who are fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot within the past six months are exempt from quarantine, but should wear a KN95 mask for 10 days following the exposure.  If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not related to COVID-19.  Dispatch Health will provide in-home COVID tests for individuals who develop COVID-like symptoms.  They can be reached at 480-493-3444.

Positive Residents:

Asymptomatic Positive: Asymptomatic positive cases or those who are asymptomatic five days following a positive test may be exempt from quarantine after day five with the following:

  • Must receive a negative COVID test result after five days since the positive test.  Otherwise quarantine will last 10 days. (At this time, the Campus does not have enough tests to test residents and has limited availability to drive residents to testing sites.  Please make private arrangements for testing, if possible.)
  • Must wear a well-fitted KN95 in all public locations and in the company of others for an additional five days.

Symptomatic Positive: Symptomatic positives must continue to quarantine for a full 10-day period.

We sincerely hope you will fully cooperate with these procedures, and thank you for doing your part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Your adherence to these self-isolation protocols could help save lives.

Self-Isolation Procedures:

  • You may choose to leave Campus at any time to stay with family or a friend during this period of COVID-related restrictions on Campus.
  • Residents who have tested positive for COVID and those who have symptoms of COVID are asked NOT TO LEAVE their apartment for at least five days (depending on symptoms and test results) for any reason other than essential medical appointments.
  • On the 5th day of isolation, Resident Services will inquire about any COVID-related symptoms ask whether you have plans to be COVID tested. If you are asymptomatic and test negative for COVID, your quarantine will be complete. If you continue to have symptoms, test positive, and/or do not have proof of a negative COVID test, you will be asked to continue to isolate for a total of 10 days following your positive test.
  • You also MAY NOT gather with any residents while in isolation, and the CDC advises that you avoid contact with all persons, including members of your own household, as much as possible.
  • For the safety of the community and any staff who may need to enter your apartment in an emergency, an isolation sign will be placed on your door and a bin of Personal Protective Equipment will be placed outside your door.
  • If you require any additional help or care during your self-isolation period, Beatitudes at Home may assist with your needs. Beatitudes at Home can be reached at x18527.
  • If you experience any life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, press your bath alert or personal help button or call 911.

Again, we thank you in advance for your cooperation and adherence to the mandatory self-isolation protocol. Any residents who are not compliant with these procedures will have a staff member placed at their door 24/7 to ensure adherence at the resident’s expense for the duration of their self-isolation. Please keep in mind that these procedures are temporary, and with your help, we will stop the spread of COVID-19 and make our community safer.

Revised: 01.19.2022

Coping with COVID: Temporary Dining Changes

The pandemic taught us the importance of having contingency plans to keep our community whole in a crisis. Of course, the hope is they will never be needed. Yet, Covid combined with a staggering workforce shortage, has brought us to a painful place. As I write this, 19 staff are out with confirmed Covid positives or serious symptoms. In addition, many need to stay home with children who are positive or home due to exposures.