Have the Safest Summer Picnic Ever

Memorial Day weekend kicked off one of our favorite seasons – picnic season! There aren’t many things better than getting together with friends and family for food and fun. But with summer comes a lot of danger, also. Especially as you age. Don’t let a fun family get-together turn into an emergency situation. Follow these simple tips for fun in the sun.

  • Make sure the venue is friendly for everyone

If you or other picnic guests need a venue that is wheelchair-friendly or provides a lot of shade, be sure to take that into consideration when you are making your reservation. If you are a resident at Sherwood Oaks, we have a picnic area for you to use, and can even cater your event! There are picnic tables, grills, and outdoor games for your use, or you can move the event inside to our Oak Lodge Great Room in case of rain.

  • Make sure perishable items are stored in a cooler

If you are taking meat to grill to an offsite location, make sure that it is kept cool on your journey so that you don’t end up with very sick picnic guests! If you will be grilling close to home, keep these items in the refrigerator until you’re ready to plop them on the grill!

  • Use a food thermometer

The best way to make sure that your meat is cooked to perfection is to check its temperature with a food thermometer. Here is a handy guide from the food network to help you make sure that the burgers you are serving are safe for hungry picnic-goers.

  • Remember sunscreen!

Don’t try to get a nice summer tan. The higher the level of protection, the better! Review our guide to making healthy decisions this spring and make sure you’re covered!

  • Bring hand sanitizer or wet wipes

The great outdoors involve a lot of dirty things. Even if you don’t realize it, getting your hands dirty could be very dangerous if you sneak a chip or piece of watermelon. To help keep germs at bay for everyone at the picnic, be sure to have antibacterial wipes or liquid hand sanitizer nearby, just in case you don’t have immediate access to a sink and soap.

  • Drink plenty of water

Dehydration is a major risk for seniors, so it is important to drink plenty of water when you’re going to be outside for extended periods of time. If you don’t like water, try adding some flavoring to it, or flavor it naturally with fruit!

  • Find shade if you need it

If you feel like you are getting overheated in the sun, move to the shade or go inside to enjoy some air conditioning. Heat stroke can come on quickly and be extremely dangerous to your health. Your family and friends will understand if you have to miss out on some of the fun to cool down.

  • Make up a first aid kit

A simple first aid kit will have you prepared for a wide array of situations that may pop up, from mosquito bites to minor cuts. It’s smart to keep these handy:

      • Band aids
      • Insect repellant
      • Antiseptic cream
      • Extra sunscreen
      • Bug bite cream
      • Larger bandages
      • Cloth tape and sterile gauze
      • Tweezers
      • Disposable gloves
      • Ibuprofen or another pain reliever
      • Ice packs
      • An antihistamine
  • Know your medicine

Some medicines have an adverse reaction when you spend time in the sun. Your skin can become inflamed and red, looking almost like a sunburn. In photoallergenic reactions, these symptoms can end up being very long lasting. Don’t take the risk. Check the labels of your medication and ask you’re doctor if you aren’t sure about how any of your medications will react with the sun.

With your health in check, it’s time to pack that picnic basket with hot dogs and potato salad!

Make New Friends and Keep the Old

It was probably extremely easy to make friends when you were younger. First, you interacted and bonded with those you went to school with. Then you met coworkers that you found common ground with, and eventually you became buddies of the parents of your children’s’ friends.

But as we age, it can become more difficult to make friends – especially if retirement takes us away from the area we are familiar with. It can feel awkward to introduce ourselves to others, and we may miss the groups of friends that we’ve held dear throughout life.

At Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community, we like to think that we nurture friendships between our residents. New residents are met with a Welcoming Committee, who invite them to join current residents for a meal, in order to help them feel more at home. Several times a year, Sherwood Oaks also has a welcome dinner for new residents, which includes the CEO, members of the management staff, and residents on the resident association board.

Soon after residents move in, they are contacted by our newsletter staff, who will collect information about their life, family, career, hometown, hobbies, etc., to be printed in our newsletter. Often, this gives residents something to bond over, whether it’s where they grew up or if they somehow have a mutual friend or acquaintance.

We provide a wide variety of activities and social events that we encourage our residents to take part in. One advantage of choosing a retirement community is that yes, it is a community! A community that specifically focuses on the needs and wants of residents in your age group.

Old friends are also always invited to come and visit at Sherwood Oaks, and even take part in activities. These people have shaped your past and will continue to shape your future. You can also go off campus with friends easily, as we provide transportation to local shows and shopping malls.

Some tips for making friends at Sherwood Oaks:

  • Invite others over to your patio home for dinner or a game night
  • Accept any invitations that come your way
  • Be active on campus and consider picking up a hobby
  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and show them your personality
  • Try a new activity and ask someone for help with it

Transitioning from Independent Living to Continuing Care

With every stage of life comes a lot of new changes – and retirement is no exception. While retirement can be a time of freedom and relaxation, when medical issues make independent living difficult, residents may need to make the decision with their family to move to continuing care. Here are a few common questions residents and their families have when the time comes to transition from independent living to continuing care.

 1. What kind of conditions usually cause someone to move to continuing care? 

This typically happens when a resident is no longer safe living in their independent living patio home. Reasons for this could be frequent falling, forgetting to take medications, or a progressive neurological disease, to name a few.

2. Does someone at Sherwood Oaks discuss residents’ options when it comes to moving from independent living?

Our medical staff, in conjunction with the resident and resident’s family, are involved in the decision about when/if the resident needs to move to a higher level of care.

3. How does the process go when one spouse is ready for continuing care and one is not? 

In this situation, the spouse not in need of continuing care remains in the patio home, while and the spouse needing more care moves to the next level.  By being in a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) they can see each other every day without worrying about finding transportation.  They can have their meals together and attend activities together.

4. Is the resident’s family involved in the process?

Yes, they are involved in any decision dealing with a resident’s continuing care.

5. Does a doctor need to state that someone needs to be moved to continuing care? 

Yes, our medical staff will do a functional assessment in order to see what the resident’s capabilities are and if they need a higher level of care.

6. How does a daily routine change when someone is moved to continuing care? 

They have assistance from RN’s, LPN’s and Nurse Assistants for whatever needs they have, 24/7.  The staff also takes over ordering, storing and administering their medications.  They may need help bathing, scheduling and getting to doctors appointment, all which Sherwood Oaks will do.  They are provided three meals per day and daily activities including occasional off-campus outings.

7. What if a resident doesn’t want to be moved to continuing care? 

They can appeal the recommendation to our CEO. 

The decision to switch from independent living to continuing care is an important one that needs to be discussed with residents, family members, staff members, and health professionals. Talk to your healthcare provider at Sherwood Oaks to discuss your options for continuing care.

When is it Time to Make the Move to a Retirement Community?

So – you’ve retired and you’re pursuing all of the things you said you would when you clocked out of your job for the first time. But how do you know when it’s time to pack up and leave the house you may have spent decades in and move to a retirement community? There are some questions you may need to ask yourself.


Is your home maintenance getting to be too much? 

While big houses are just right for growing families, you may find that your home is a little bit to spacious now that the kids have left the nest. And big houses require a BIG amount of maintenance that can include climbing up steps and using ladders to reach those clogged gutters. This can be not only inconvenient, but dangerous as you get older. At a retirement community like Sherwood Oaks, all of your home maintenance is taken care of, so that you can enjoy activities you love rather than spending your time trying to keep up with your space.


Are you starting to have more health concerns?

Even minor heath issues are cause for concern when you aren’t sure if you can get the help you need in an emergency. Sherwood Oaks residents can see health professionals on campus, which is helpful for both maintaining their everyday health and when emergencies happen.

A perk of retirement communities like Sherwood Oaks is that we have the resources to tend to residents who need all levels of care. Residents start out living independently in one of our patio homes, and if their needs change, we have personal care/assisted living, skilled nursing, and a state of the art memory care building.  If one spouse needs care and the other doesn’t, the healthy spouse can remain in their patio home and the spouse that needs more care can get that in our personal care level or skilled nursing level, on the same campus. Couples can spend their days together, have meals together, and go to activities together.


Are you thinking about downsizing?

If you are simply surrounded by too much house, you might want to consider a smaller townhome at a retirement community. While you may be losing space, you will also be gaining amenities that you probably don’t have as a homeowner, such as a convenient on-campus fitness center and food service. You could gain a whole lot more by giving up a little bit of space.


Are you looking for more of a community in your age range?

Retirement communities are just that – communities. And they include plenty of on-site activities and opportunities to make friends in your age range. And you are free to take control of the activities that you and your friends enjoy most! At Sherwood Oaks, we have no activities director who controls when, where, and what happens on campus. Everything is resident-run!


Is security a concern?

No home can be completely secure, and it’s unfortunately common for you to be targeted by thieves as you age. Retirement communities offer a higher level of security than you may have in your current home, including security to keep a close eye on campus – assuring that you and your home are safe.


Are you feeling isolated?

If you live alone, it can be tough to fill your social needs from day to day. Sherwood Oaks and other retirement communities surround you with new people to learn from, laugh with, and build friendships with!


Is transportation becoming a hassle?

Driving can become a huge concern as you get older, with changes in your eyesight and reaction time. But retirement communities offer transportation options to help you get where you need to go, without you having to put yourself in a dangerous situation.

Many of our residents still drive, but other options include buses that travel to and from campus, taking you to local malls, grocery stores, hospitals, or into the city (Oakland). These buses can also take you to Pittsburgh’s Cultural District for events. If you’re traveling and need to take a trip to the to the airport, or if you need to pick up friends and family from the airport, we can take care of that, too! And doctors appointments no longer need to be a hassle. We can take you to your appointment and even stay with you so that you don’t have to wait at your appointment alone.

If you said yes to any of these questions, give us a call today to find out more about life at Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community.