Southgate at Shrewsbury’s resident chorale group is stepping up their rehearsals for the months of April and May, in anticipation of the upcoming Spring Concert. Residents have had the opportunity to enhance their vocal talent under the direction of pianist/conductor Malcolm Halliday, who is well-known for his musical expertise. The Spring Concert is scheduled for June and is much-anticipated by all members of our assisted living and independent living communities.
About Southgate at Shrewsbury
Spring is finally here, and it’s not the only season creating a stir here at Southgate at Shrewsbury. It’s also tax season, and before you know it, the filing deadline of April 18 will be here. Fortunately, if you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you may be able to receive free assistance to complete the process, so you can make that deadline without any stress.
That’s right—you may be eligible to receive free help preparing your tax return, regardless of whether you are one of our assisted living or independent living residents. That’s because all adults 60 years of age or older qualify for free assistance under the IRS Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program.
If the thought of using a free service makes you feel uneasy, you can rest assured knowing that the volunteers receive extensive training and undergo a rigorous certification process. Furthermore, they have access to comprehensive technical assistance to ensure they offer the best possible service.
The IRS relies on volunteer programs like this to help it succeed in its mission to better serve the groups it thinks might need extra assistance at tax time. This includes seniors in retirement communities, nursing homes and assisted living communities. By taking advantage of this program, you not only make the process easier on yourself, you help the IRS by ensuring that all your forms are filled out correctly the first time.
Each TCE center sets its own schedule and determines its own date for ceasing services, and many close their doors a few days prior to April 18. So if you are interested in this program, it’s a good idea to make an appointment as early as possible. You can search for TCE centers in the local area and find their contact information online at https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/. Once you set your appointment, you can view a list of material that you need to bring with you at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/checklist-for-free-tax-return-preparation.
Here at Southgate at Shrewsbury, we want to ensure that all of our residents in our continuing care retirement community feel comfortable with the tax preparation process and can access any assistance they need, so if you have any questions about arranging chauffeured transportation to and from a TCE center or another tax preparation location, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Be Sure to Moisturize and Humidify
Without a doubt, this tip to moisturize is the one most dermatologists recommend first. Dr Emanual Maverakis of the University of California, Davis Health System noted that using heaters in the winter dries out the skin, so more moisturizing is needed. One college professor used the analogy of two different-sized buckets to explain relative humidity. If you have a small bucket, and it’s 80 percent full of water, then you would say it’s quite full. But if you put that same amount of water in a big bucket, it might only be 20 percent full. Cold air is like the small bucket, and hot air is like the large bucket. When cold air is heated up, as it often is indoors in the winter, the relative humidity drops. Unless water is added back into the air, such as with a humidifier, the dry air will dry out your skin.
Quite often, people can tell when their skin is dry and needs more moisturizer. Dry skin will easily become itchy and irritated. In the winter, it seems to dry out even faster than usual. When moisturizing, you should start with a layer of a lotion with ceramides (mainly for eczema) to add moisture, then lock in the moisture with a thicker, petroleum-based cream. When moisturizing after a bath or shower, you can apply lotion within a couple of minutes of getting out to trap the moisture in the skin. It can take some time experimenting with different moisturizers and talking with your doctors before settling on a regimen that works for you.
Having a humidifier in the living room, bedroom, and the office helps too — especially during those cold and dry times. Dr. Tatyana Petukhova also recommended using humidifiers, noting the need to “clean them regularly” and use a humidity level “that feels comfortable.”
- Avoid Long Hot Baths or Showers
Simply put, hot water dries out your skin, and that’s generally not good for psoriasis or eczema. Many dermatologists note this tip as second important after moisturizing. Although a hot bath in the winter can be quite relaxing, it may be helpful to lower the temperature of your shower and cut down the time. Another option is 10- to 15-minute soothing baths. Sprinkle an over-the-counter oatmeal bath packet into the water as the bath is being drawn, then add some moisturizing oil. After getting out of the tub, put on an extra layer of moisturizer.
- Don’t Get Sick
Staying healthy is a key strategy for winter psoriasis care. Many immune-suppression drugs for psoriasis can cause one to more easily catch viruses or get bacterial infections. Illnesses such as the flu can cause your skin to explode with psoriasis and eczema. To make matters worse, you many not be able to take psoriasis medications since they can affect your immune system. In such a case, it could take weeks to get your skin back under control.
It is important to focus on prevention. Get your flu shot early. When you feel like you may be catching a cold, go to bed early, stay hydrated, and minimize your workload. Wash your hands regularly, especially after shaking someone’s hand. Prevention is an extremely vital part of staying healthy.
- Take Time to Relax and Exercise
Often times, tasks around the home, projects, family time, and other interests and hobbies can make it hard to relax and rest. However, if you don’t take the time to relax, the stress builds and can show up on your skin.
One important way to find relaxation is through exercise. It is quite common to not feel like moving in the winter, much less getting out to exercise in the cold or windy weather. The fully-equipped health club and spa at Southgate at Shrewsbury makes exercising in inclement weather much more enjoyable. The wide variety of classes offered allow our residents to stay fit in a fun, social environment, leading to less stress and more peace of mind. By keeping your body in good shape, your skin will typically follow suit.
- Manage Your Moods
Each winter brings its challenges. Whether health, family, or weather-related, it’s quite normal for these challenges to bring about increased infections, eczema rashes, psoriasis flares, and general break-outs. Addressing your feelings in a positive way and sharing with others can give you strength when feeling overwhelmed. The skin-emotion connection is still being researched, but it’s clear they are related.
It often takes experimentation and consultation with medical professionals to find out how to best manage winter psoriasis and other skin conditions. Southgate at Shrewsbury offers our residents unsurpassed health care both on campus and nearby, making it easy to get quick and informed medical opinions from experts in the field. We are committed to the health and wellness of the seniors in our community, and that’s just one more reason Southgate at Shrewsbury is the premiere destination for senior living.
We are very pleased and honored to announce that Southgate at Shrewsbury has been awarded the 2015 Central Massachusetts Better Business Bureau Torch Award. What are the BBB Torch Awards? Well, the mission of the BBB is to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education, and service excellence. In this spirit, the BBB conducts an annual awards program to gain public recognition for businesses and organizations that maintain a solid commitment to conducting their business practices in an ethical fashion. The Torch Awards are designed to promote not only the importance of ethical business practices, but the willingness and efforts made by businesses to ensure that our marketplace remains fair and honorable. We here at Southgate are so appreciative of this recognition, and feel fortunate to be able to provide this level of excellence to our clients, our employees, and our community.