Stay Healthy and Active in Retirement

It can be a struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle in your retirement, but we like to think we make it easy at Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community.

We have a fantastic fitness center available to residents at no additional cost to your package. The fitness center is run by Wellness and Health Promotion Manager, Mr. Bill Burtner. Bill is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania holding a master’s degree in sports science who is also a Certified health Fitness Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine.

Bill serves as a personal trainer to each of our residents. After their move-in, Bill contacts new residents and invites them to visit the fitness center, where he can evaluate their health and goals and design a personal workout plan just for them. Our other more structured work out options include weekly exercise classes, Tai Chi, yoga, aquacize, and therapeutic massage.

In spring, summer, and fall, Bill also conducts a walking program and walks with our residents around our 84-acre campus.

For those who like to do their workouts on their own, our fitness center includes top-notch Keiser strength machines which operate on pneumatic air pressure. We also have treadmills, steppers, bicycles, and rowing machines, all accessible 24/7 to fit the schedules of our residents. Our campus also includes wooded trails and paths around our lake, and connected covered walkways between patio homes that provide three miles of cement walkways, perfect for connecting with friends while getting a healthy workout in.

There is no reason that you cannot have a relaxing retirement that also involves regular, healthy workouts. For more information on the fitness options available to you at Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community, watch this short video or call us at (800) 642-2217.

Take Precautions in Summertime Heat

Summertime is full of wonderful opportunities to enjoy beautiful weather with friends and family. But with sunny days come some extra health risks for senior citizens. Plus, preexisting conditions such as heart disease and diabetes can make you extra prone to heat-related issues. Here are some things to keep in mind as you enjoy your summer!

Protect skin from the sun. You should wear sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 and apply it at least 15 minutes before sun exposure. You can also choose to wear a long-sleeved, light-colored shirt. If you do happen to get a sunburn, soothe skin with aloe vera and take either aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.

Enjoy some cool treats. When the weather is sweltering, it can help to indulge in some sweet treats. There are plenty of iced options for those who have special dietary needs, such as sugar-free offerings. Some treats you should avoid? Anything including caffeine or alcohol.

Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated on hot days is crucial to being and feeling healthy. You should aim to drink at least 8, 8 oz. glasses of water each day. Not a fan of water? Sports drinks are also great for helping you stay hydrated.

Examine your medicines. Some medicines make you more sensitive to ultraviolet rays. Be sure to check the labels on your medications and check with your doctor about any precautions to take.

Wear sunglasses. Not only can the sun damage the skin on your eyes, but your actual corneas and lenses, too. To avoid any damage, you should look for sunglasses that block 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.

Watch for heat stroke. If you or someone else begins to feel nausea or dizziness, it may be heat stroke. If heat stroke begins, it is important to get this person in a cool area, have them lie down, remove any tight fitting clothes, apply ice packs and call for medical attention. Don’t take any chances!

Check in with friends and family. If you’re going to be doing an activity outside all day, be sure to stay cool and let friends and family know where you are. They will feel better knowing that you’re happy and safe.

Remember, if you are suffering from any heat-related problem, you can visit Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community’s health care center – located right on campus!

Keeping in Touch with Far-Away Family

While Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community is conveniently located to the best that Pittsburgh has to offer, it’s not always located as closely to friends and family. While their lives may take them to the next city or the next state, technology has made it easier than ever to keep in touch with family online.

While nothing can replace the feeling of a hug from a loved one, here are some ways to keep in touch until that next hug comes around:

Facebook: According to Forbes, 11% of Facebook users are senior citizens. So it makes sense to contact your friends and family on a platform that they use often! On Facebook it is easy to share posts, messages, photos, video, and more! You can even put people onto lists so that you can check what specific groups are up to, like “My Bowling League” or “Close Friends.”

Pinterest: Disappointed that you won’t be able to help your daughter plan a dinner party? Wish you could help design your grandson’s nursery? Collaborative Pinterest boards are a wonderful way to share images and links with others. Pinterest is a social network that allows you to save or “Pin” images and links from websites and save them onto boards. So, you can create a collaborative “Recipes” board and add your best friend so you can share with one another and never feel more than a kitchen’s length away.

Flickr: If you’re not so sure about sharing your photos on social media, you can use a photo-sharing site like Flickr. Send links to friends and family and easily update your images so they always know what you’re doing here at Sherwood Oaks!

Email: Email is the closest you can come to sending a letter online. While social networks often keep us up to date with friends and family in short and quick messages, it’s nice to sit down and write lengthy letters to those we care about. Plus, it’s wonderful to skim through all of those bills and spam and stumble upon an email from an old friend.

Video chat: There are a lot of options out there when it comes to video chat, the most popular being Skype. With Skype, you can make a video call to another user so you can see and hear them in just minutes. It’s great for checking in to see your grandchild’s latest art project or have your friend show you the face she made at her surprise birthday party. You can even show someone your screen or chat during your call. Other video chat options are Oovoo and Google Hangouts, both giving you the option to video chat with multiple people.

Online gaming: Whether you play through Facebook or a website like Pogo, you can have a blast with friends and family by playing games online. There are also plenty of games that you can download for free if you have a smartphone or tablet – like Words With Friends or Ruzzle. Don’t stop family game night because of distance.

At Sherwood Oaks, we love to help keep our residents connected with the important people in their lives. If your friends and family can’t stop by for a visit, be sure to use these tips to keep in touch!

Going Green at Sherwood Oaks

At Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community, we take responsible energy use and the preservation of the environment very seriously. Going green not only helps the environment, but also can help lower energy costs and make you healthier in the process. Here are a few things that we do in order to reduce energy use and contribute to a healthier environment in the Pittsburgh area:
  • We have a recycling program, which includes recycled newspaper, plastic and glass
  • We also send used batteries and computer ink to be recycled
  • There are light sensors in our community center rooms to reduce chances that a light is left on
  • The porch light switches in independent residences are marked so residents won’t accidently leave their porch light on over night
  • Our maintenance department monitors water bills for unusual activity that could indicate an issue such as a leak
  • We’ve done LED lighting upgrades in the community center
And here are some very simple ways that our residents can take going green into their own hands:
  • Make sure that any appliances you might purchase are energy efficient with the energy star label
  • Use reusable cloth bags at the grocery store
  • Purchase a plastic or glass water bottle to refill instead of buying disposable water bottles
  • Pay any bills you may have online
  • If you’re not using an appliance, unplug it
  • Donate used items to thrift stores rather than throwing them out
  • Buy produce from local Pittsburgh growers (make a fun day trip to the Strip district!)
  • When running errands, carpool with a friend from Sherwood Oaks

Together, we truly believe that we and our residents can make a difference when it comes to going green!

10 Reasons to Love Summertime in Pittsburgh

Summertime is the perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy your city. And luckily for our residents at Sherwood Oaks retirement community, we’ve got quite an exciting city to explore. In fact, in June, the “Best Cities To Retire In America List” named Pittsburgh the best metro area for Boomers to retire in.

This is partly because of the easy access to healthcare that comes with Pittsburgh’s top-quality healthcare systems, such as UPMC. However, the vast array of activities for retirees in close distance to Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community is another reason our residents are going to have plenty of fun in the sun this summer.

Here are the top 10 reasons we LOVE summertime in Pittsburgh:

  1. Free Summer Concerts – Pittsburgh has birthed musicians such as Dean Martin, Perry Como, and George Benson. We continue to keep the tradition of musical excellence going all summer long with free and low-cost concerts throughout the city. Visit Hartwood Acres for their summer concert series, featuring the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and folk rock singer Rickie Lee Jones. Or grab lunch in Market Square downtown and take advantage of their free Lunchtime Concert Series, as well as other events throughout the summer.
  2. Phipps Conservatory – The Phipps Conservatory public gardens are perfect for those Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community residents with a green thumb, or just an appreciation for one. Seniors 62 and older can visit Phipps for just $14 and take in the beautiful array of flowers and plants all day long. From now until September 2, enjoy the featured Butterfly Forest.
  3. PNC Park – PNC Park has been referred to as one of the top ballparks in the country. And with the Pirates on a winning streak this summer, it’s a great time to pay a visit! With a wide variety of summertime food favorites and discounted tickets from Giant Eagle, you can spend a night at the ball game that will leave your stomach – and wallet – full.
  4. Culture – There is no denying the rich culture that Pittsburgh has to offer. This summer, pay a visit to one or many of Pittsburgh’s wonderful museums, including the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Heinz History Center, and the Fort Pitt Museum, just to name a few. Each of these museums have a senior citizen discount.
  5. The Pittsburgh Zoo – The Pittsburgh Zoo is a great place that our residents can enjoy with their children and grandchildren. Grandparents even get free admission on Grandparents’ day when accompanied by a grandchild! When visiting on a normal day, be sure to use your senior citizen discount and stop by to see the newborn baby tiger!
  6. The Strip District – If you’re looking for fresh produce, meats, cheeses, pastas, and more to whip up a great summer dish, look no further than the Strip District. For our residents who enjoy spending time in the kitchen, we recommend picking up ingredients at the shops and stands of the culturally eclectic Strip District. While you’re there you can also enjoy shopping for delicious foreign foods and souvenirs for friends and family that are uniquely Pittsburgh.
  7. Kennywood – Kennywood has been entertaining Pittsburgh residents since 1898. Since that time, their selection of rides for visitors of all ages, shows and entertainment, and food options have expanded immensely. Seniors 55+ can get a fun day pass for just $19.99. And July 11, 15, 30, and 31 are Kennywood’s Boomer Days, featuring a DJ playing oldies but goodies in Pavilion 1.
  8. The Duquesne Incline – The Duquesne Incline offers a breathtaking view of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington, with plenty of dining options near the lookout. It’s the perfect afternoon “staycation” for couples.
  9. Local Parks – Pittsburgh has plenty of beautiful city parks, great for enjoying some fresh air and getting in some exercise by biking or walking. Most parks offer events all summer long, so be sure to check out the Citiparks website for a full list.
  10. Cinema in the Park – One fantastic park offering is the Cinema in the Park series, with movies being shown throughout the city – for free!

While we offer only the best in living arrangements to our residents, we encourage them to get out of the house and enjoy all of the summertime activities that Pittsburgh has to offer. What are some local activities and attractions that YOU recommend?