Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Seniors need connections

I would like to thank the St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center Foundation and Morley and Deana Golden for bringing the insightful Dr. Henry Lodge to the Wood River Valley recently to share his views on healthy aging. I believe that many of Dr. Lodge's points ran true to the mission of the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation project to create a Continuing Care Community for our seniors.

Dr. Lodge told us, "Isolation is stress, we as humans must have a role in the pack." We are meant to exist in social groups, and as we age, this becomes much more important for our physical and emotional health. "Connection is growth," he stated, adding that we need to be "involved and relevant to our community."

The three-tiered continuum of care planned for Croy Canyon Ranch will allow individuals and couples to move into the independent-living units for stress-free living. As medical needs change, assisted-living apartments and the skilled-nursing suites will be available without having to leave the area for long-term care. Families will stay connected.

I noticed that the majority of those in attendance at Dr. Lodge's presentation were in the 70- to 80-year-old age bracket. We no doubt have some of the most active, healthy seniors of any community in the country. Our seniors are growing by being active, not sedate and decaying. We are blessed with an abundance of outdoor activities with hiking and biking options right outside our front doors. The Croy Canyon Ranch Continuing Care Community will offer seniors the same outdoor amenities they have always enjoyed with the added benefit of a gathering place with friends and a social structure to keep growing mentally and staying young.

We are very appreciative of our donors who have contributed to our capital campaign as we continue to raise the necessary philanthropy to make this project a reality. Our goal is to create an environment for seniors that is supportive of a vibrant life with access to nature and animals, companionship and relationships with the young and old alike and meaningful activity to stimulate the mind and body.

Wasn't it joyful to see the final act at the Michael Franti concert when he invited both the children and those "over 60" to share the stage in a moving, energetic dance of celebration? The interaction between the generations is why we all benefit in keeping our seniors close and existing as one big community—the way we were meant to be.

Kathleen Eder

Executive director

Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation

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