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Resident Spotlight: Birdie Ellen Garner Upton

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Eagles Landing, GA | 1 comment

Resident Spotlight: Birdie Ellen Garner Upton

Where did you grow up?

Birdie states that she was born December 18, 1936, in Henry County, Georgia, and she grew up in Henry County also. She grew up the youngest child in a family with two half-sisters and one half-brother and one sister. Her sister is still living.

What are some of your favorite memories from childhood?

Birdie states that a favorite childhood memory is going with all of her family to a river in Henry County in the summer to go swimming to escape the heat and her family would take a picnic and spend the day swimming in the river. She also remembers her dad at Halloween getting a flatbed truck and putting hay in the back and the family would go to a Halloween party together and have a good time.

What are some of your favorite memories from your adulthood?

Birdie states that her best memory from adulthood is meeting her future husband Herbert Parker from Jonesboro and they got married when Birdie was 24 years old. Three years later their son Joseph was born. She remembers that her son was involved in a lot of different sports and her boss would let her take time off from work to go see him play in games. She was married to Herbert for many years, but he died. Seven years later she met and married Virgil Upton and they were married 11 years and then he also died.

Did you have a profession?

Birdie states that she worked for about 30 years for the Clayton County Water Authority in various positions until she retired in 1986. She loved her work and did the best job that she could.

Which accomplishments in your life do you feel most proud?

Birdie states that she is most proud of her 30 years spent with Clayton County Water Authority and she was responsible for them getting a Credit Union started. She also worked for the retired people from the Water Authority getting invited back one time a year for a luncheon so that they can get together and stay in touch with each other and the Water Authority.

Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone who is just graduating from college?

Birdie’s advice is to love everyone you meet, treat people the way that you want to be treated and be a good Christian.

Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone who is just starting a family?

Birdie’s advice is to stay at home with your children and if you don’t you can miss a lot while they are growing up and teach your children right from wrong.

What brought you to Dogwood Forest?

Birdie states that she was living by herself and found that she was going blind related to macular degeneration. She decided that before she went completely blind that she should enter an assisted living facility and so she contacted Dogwood Forest at Eagles Landing and made arrangements for admission. She states that she sold her home and gave away her car and had her family pick out pieces of furniture that she did not want to bring with her to Dogwood Forest and made arrangements for admission on February 17, 2014. Birdie states that she really likes it here at Dogwood Forest that the other residents and staff are very friendly and nice to her and she is glad she was able to make her own decision about placement in the community. Birdie is very friendly and enjoys socializing with others and is involved in activities and outings as she wants to be.

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Changing Our Mindset on Exercise…Even If We Really Don’t Want To

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Alpharetta, GA, Body, Dunwoody, GA, Eagles Landing, GA, Fayetteville, GA, Gainesville, GA, Mind | 4 comments

Changing Our Mindset on Exercise…Even If We Really Don’t Want To

Most of us have a love hate relationship with exercise. We love the way it makes us look and feel, but we hate to do it. However as humans, we were created by God to be mobile creatures with ability to use all of the 640 muscles in our bodies. Our bodies were designed to move and MUST move in order to work properly. We have to devote the time necessary to ensure our bodies are performing at its peak levels. After all, if we are good to our bodies, our bodies will be good to us.

Although, you would want to start good exercise habits earlier in life, it’s truly never too late to get moving, and still reap the benefits. Many seniors in our Dogwood Forest communities find a way to exercise each day. We have walking clubs where are seniors put on their sneakers and workout gear, and walk the walking paths on our community grounds. The Dogwood Forest life enrichment program often involves resident trips to beautiful parks and trails to walk and take in the beauty of nature. Other residents are involved in tai chi and yoga. Both of the ancient Asian rooted practices are excellent for seniors as they both help improve strength, muscle tone, balance, flexibility, and reduce aches and pains.  In addition, Yoga and Tai Chi specifically helps to improve lung capacity. While many of our residents are mobile, we do have some residents who may have issues with mobility—yet, they still participate in instructor lead chair exercise class using inflatable balls, elastic bands and light weights.

Now, we won’t pretend that changing your lifestyle is easy– quite the contrary.  It involves a sacrifice in time, proper planning and a serious mental overhaul—a switch in mindset. But, we must remember how essential our body’s function is to maintaining a high quality of life. Your body is like anything else — if you don’t do the proper maintenance, it will not work as it should and will eventually be nonfunctional. Just think of your body as a vehicle made of various mechanics. However, unlike a car, you can only get one body per lifetime!

When it comes to lifestyle changes it takes  just four things:

  1. Time
  2. Incremental steps
  3. Determination
  4. Dedication

You can start off small by dedicating just 10 minutes a day to some form of exercise such as  jumping jacks or walking. Each week you can increase that time until you get to 30 minutes a day. Simply focus on taking just one step toward better health everyday, regardless of how small the step is and gradually work your way up.  Tell yourself,  ”Self,  you are going to stay committed and stay determined.”  Eventually, your mindset will change and daily exercise will become just a part of your life. Besides, not only does exercise have its rewards physically, but also mentally!  And working out CAN be super fun!

Remember to ALWAYS consult a doctor before beginning new exercise regimens. We aren’t doctors, we are simply motivators who want to inspire you mind, body & spirit!

Check out this 94-year-old below. We all can learn a thing or two from him!


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Today Show Spotlights the Impact of Alzheimer’s on Women

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in Mind, Uncategorized | 2 comments

More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. However, women have historically been disproportionately affected by the debilitating disease. Last week, The Today Show broadcasted a segment based on a recent report released by the Alzheimer’s Association on how Alzheimer’s disease disproportionately affects women either as patients or caregivers .  Here are a few astonishing  facts presented in the report:

  1. According to Alzheimer’s Association, 3.2.million women have Alzheimer’s.
  2. A 65, 1 out 6 women will develop Alzheimer’s versus 1 out 11 men.
  3. When a woman reaches her 60′s, she is 2 times more likely to get Alzheimer’s than breast cancer.

According to an  informative Foundation,  Brightfocus , and the recent report from the Alzheimer’s Association, funding for cancer is 10 times higher than Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the only leading cause death in the United  States that is currently on the rise, according to the Brightfocus Foundation.

The report released by the Alzheimer’s Association really enlightened those who may be unfamiliar with the disease  or  who are misinformed about Alzheimer’s and how it greatly impacts the lives of its victims and the people that love them. Televised reports such as this one brings awareness. Kudos to Today for this segment. Check out the segment below.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Resident Spotlight: Mickey Maddox

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Eagles Landing, GA | 6 comments

Resident Spotlight: Mickey Maddox

Where did you grow up?

Mickey states that she was born in Wrens, Georgia, on April 6, 1927, and she grew up in Wrens also. She grew up one of the middle children in a family with 8 girls and 3 boys. Today she has 2 sisters living. She received a high school education plus she attended Atlanta Business School.

What are some of your favorite memories from childhood?

Mickey states that one of her favorite memories from childhood was that during the summer family would make homemade ice cream with a hand-cranked ice cream maker and the older children would crank the ice cream while the younger children would plan and then everyone would eat the ice cream together. She also remembers that some of her cousins would come to visit and the kids would play together and then the family would eat a meal together.

What are some of your favorite memories from adulthood?

Mickey states that she met her future husband, Sidney Maddox, in 1949 and they knew each other about 3 months and then they got married. They had 4 children – 3 boys and 1 girl. Mickey and Sidney were married from 1949 to 1966 when he died in a car accident. She mainly raised her 4 children on her own. Another good memory from her adulthood was when Mickey and one of her sisters went to Texas to visit another sister for about 1 week and she remembers having a good time visiting and talking.

Did you have a profession?

Mickey states that she was a secretary at Ft. Gillem in the Atlanta area for 42-plus years. Mickey states that she really enjoyed her work.

Which accomplishments in your life do you feel most proud?

Mickey states that she is most proud of her children and the fine people that they have become. She states that her youngest child was 3 years old when her husband died and so she mostly had to raise her children by herself with the help of friends and family.

Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone who is graduating college?

Mickey states that she would say that person needs to really enjoy the work that they do because you spend a lot of your life at work and so it is important to like what you do.

Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone who is just starting a family?

The only advice that she would give is that you need to be prepared to stay up late at night a lot when you have children. Mickey states that she is not very good at giving advice to other people.

What brought you to Dogwood Forest?

Mickey’s family states that prior to admission to Dogwood Forest, Mickey was living on her own in her own home in Conley, Georgia, near Forest Park and the family was concerned about Mickey’s safety at home and Mickey not eating properly at home. Mickey’s granddaughter checked out several communities and then showed Dogwood Forest to Mickey’s son and daughter-in-law and they felt good about Mickey coming to Dogwood Forest. Mickey stayed in her room a lot at first and didn’t want to interact much with others, but after a week or two she got to know other residents and started getting involved in activities and now Mickey is content and satisfied at Dogwood Forest. Mickey states that she likes it a lot now with her being good friends with another resident that lives near her and they spend a lot of the day together.

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Glaucoma: The Sneaky Sight Stealer

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Alpharetta, GA, Body, Dunwoody, GA, Eagles Landing, GA, Education, Fayetteville, GA, Gainesville, GA | 20 comments

Glaucoma: The Sneaky Sight Stealer

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Although, many consider glaucoma an eye disease that effects seniors like those in our Dogwood Forest Communities, this theory is flawed and is not always the case especially for certain ethnic groups. With regular complete eye exams, the detection of preliminary signs can be found earlier. That’s why its important that we begin looking towards the future and getting an eye exam for glaucoma. Did you know that according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, over 2.2 million people in the United States have glaucoma, but only half of them know they have it? First, let’s understand more about glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma? Glaucoma is nicknamed “the sneak thief of sight.” Often there aren’t any symptoms of the disease, and if it’s left untreated, can cause permanent loss of vision.  According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, nearly 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing. As defined by the foundation,  glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve carries the images we see to the brain. Unfortunately, the process of losing vision is so gradual that the disease often goes undetected. This could delay treatment; which eventually leads to blindness. According to the World Health Organization, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.   

Who is at Risk? Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans and the percentage is high among older Hispanics. There has been a steady rise in glaucoma cases within the African American population with over 520,000 affected, and according to research by both the National Institute of Health and Glaucoma Research Foundation, the number is projected to rise to 820,000 by 2030. African Americans who have a family history of glaucoma or are over the age of 40, should begin learning about the disease and begin testing. With that said, glaucoma can affect all populations and should be a regular exam for everyone regardless of ethnicity by the age of 6o.

How are you tested for Glaucoma? According to the National Eye Institute, during a comprehensive dilated eye exam, an eye care professional can see inside the eye to detect signs of symptoms that can lead to glaucoma such as a changes to the optic nerve. This symptom will appear before any other. This allows the eye care professional to determine if you have glaucoma or are at risk for it. Unfortunately, once symptoms appear, it might be too late to prevent vision loss and the progression of blindness, according to the National Eye Institute.

How is Glaucoma treated? If glaucoma is detected early, treatments such as eye drops or surgery can slow or stop vision loss.

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition and should be spotted as soon as possible in order to maintain your eye health. Get tested today. 






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Thanks be to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in Education | 4 comments

Thanks be to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

By: Al Holbrook- Chairman of Trinity Lifestyles Management

Today is America’s day, a day to honor and recognize the true work of a servant, Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King came from a long line of Baptist ministers, his grandfather and father serving Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga. Dr. King graduated from Morehouse College in 1948 and entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of his class. He then entered Boston University completing his doctorate in 1955 and met and married Coretta Scott, a woman of superior intellectual and artistic attainments, having two sons.

Dr. King became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama and began his work for civil rights. Leading nonviolent demonstrations, Martin championed the equal rights of all people and was called by God to sacrifice his personal privacy and comfort zone to serve others. On December 21st, 1956, the Supreme Court of the United States declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, in part because of Dr. King’s bus boycott. During the days of the boycott, King was arrested, his home bombed and subject to personal abuse.

In 1957, Martin took over leadership of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the ideals for the organization he took from Christianity, its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled six million miles, spoke twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice and at the same time wrote five books. He led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. Later he directed a peaceful march on Washington, D.C. of 250,000 people to whom he delivered the address, “I have a Dream”. He conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for Lyndon B. Johnson. He was arrested twenty times and assaulted at least four times; awarded five honorary degrees, named Man of the Year by Time magazine and ultimately became a world leader.

At age thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr. was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified, he announced he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement. On the evening of April 4th, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. King was assassinated.

All of us are called to serve others in various ways and various degrees. Please take a moment today to consider the sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King, a Godly servant who has made the world and America a better place to live.  


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Self Screening for Dementia Using Just a Pen and Pad

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Alpharetta, GA, Dunwoody, GA, Eagles Landing, GA, Education, Fayetteville, GA, Gainesville, GA, Mind, Research | 50 comments

Self Screening for mild dementia and early Alzheimer’s? Check. A screening for mild dementia and early Alzheimer’s that takes 15 minutes? Check. A screening for mild dementia and early Alzheimer’s that takes just 15 minutes AND you only need a pen and a pad? Check.

Thanks to Ohio State University, we now have the SAGE test for early cognitive impairments. The test is a FREE  screening available online; which allows you to spot the signs of cognitive decline before they become too advanced. The beauty of the self test is that it can be done in just 15 minutes notifying you of when you might need to have a conversation with your doctor about cognitive impairments. This is exciting news to our Dogwood Forest communities because like many assisted living communities, our prospects and families are not always aware when there has been a decline in their loved one’s cognitive abilities. This opens the conversation and gives them some insight with a quick and easy test that can be downloaded online right at home.

Here’s how it works:

The test utilizes a  combination of image association, problem solving, word association,  memory test, and test on your ability to follow directions. The test has been said by doctors to be an excellent starting point because preliminary studies show a strong correlation between the test and more detailed cognitive evaluations. Doctors cannot only use the test to as a starting point for dementia exams, but also use the test to monitor even slight changes in cognitive abilities in their patients. This enables doctors to spot warning signs much sooner which means treatment can begin much sooner. Early detection and treatment is important because studies show most Alzheimer’s patient wait 3-4 years before being treated.

To learn more about the study, check out the video below. To learn more about the Ohio State Study, click here.



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Neuroscience Project Could Shine Light on the Elusive Brain

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Body, Education, Mind, Research | 5 comments

It’s fascinating to think about how the brain truly works. The intricacy of its functionality is astounding. To think, the body’s connections only work because of our brains. For years, scientists have been interested in solving the mystery behind the brains interworking, but due to the lack of advanced technology, we have been unable to uncover the true power behind the brain. However, we are now in 2014 and technology allows us to dig much deeper into our cognitive function and other neurological mysteries. The brain is elusive with a myriad of codes, but with governmental interest resurgence reaching to the executive branch again within the last couple of years, Alzheimer’s research and other neurological research may get the necessary funding to finally crack the code. With teams of researchers, like the ones at Washington University, the brains elusiveness may become more intelligible.

Washington University’s neuroscience research team is working on the first interactive wiring diagram of the living, functioning brain. The study will consist of 1,200 participants who have volunteered to do brain scans and cognitive, psychological, physical and genetic assessments. The data will then be processed and used to build a 3-D interactive brain map showing the function and structure of a healthy human brain. According to The Times article discussing the study (click here for full article on the project), the 3-D mapping will be detailed to one and half cubic millimeters, or less than 0.0001 cubic inches.  That is AMAZING!

According to the article, all 1,200 subjects whose brain data is being collected for the project, will spend 10 hours over two days being scanned and doing other various test. The scientists  will then spend ‘hours analyzing and storing each person’s data to build something that neuroscience doesn’t currently have, a baseline database for structure and activity in a healthy brain that can be cross-referenced with personality traits, cognitive skills and genetics,’ according to the article. They will then make this available online for everyone to use and explore.

The project is connected to the Human Connetome Project, which will cost an estimated $40 million over the course of 5 years.

The database will be groundbreaking for the medical community shedding light on the brain’s functionality, improving knowledge, research, treatments and surgery.  It could also have direct implications on the tragic disease that so many of our residents are faced with – Alzheimer’s.


To learn more about this project, and read more on how it could impact different areas of neuroscience, click the link for the in-depth article on the study. Check out the interview from The Times on Washington University’s program.



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Dogwood Forest of Eagles Landing Named SeniorAdvisor.com’s 2013 Excellence Award Winner

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Eagles Landing, GA, Uncategorized | 20 comments

Dogwood Forest of Eagles Landing Named SeniorAdvisor.com’s 2013 Excellence Award Winner

We are so excited to announce that Dogwood Forest of Eagles Landing has been named a SeniorAdvisor.com 2013 Excellence Award winner! SeniorAdvisor.com is a senior living online review site that reviews over 100,000 senior living communities nationwide. As a recipient of the 2013 Excellence Award, Dogwood Forest of Eagles Landing is ranked amongst the top one percent of all senior living communities. The winners are selected based on the reviews from residents, families, and visitors collected on the site.  This what Vicki Curl, executive for Trinity Lifestyles Management, the management arm of Dogwood Forest, said in a recent press release:

“We are honored to be a recipient of this award as Dogwood Forest of Eagles Landing and all of our communities consistently strive for excellence,” states Vicki Curl, President of Asset Management for Trinity Lifestyles Management, the management arm for the Dogwood Forest properties. “We are so proud of Dogwood Forest of Eagles Landing and their outstanding service being recognized by SeniorAdvisor.com for 2013. It is our goal to have all our Dogwood Forest communities recognized in 2014.”

We are honored to receive this award. Thank you SeniorAdvisor.com and all those who took the time to review our Eagles Landing community and we encourage you to continue writing reviews as it only makes us better.  We hope to continue to satisfy our customers with outstanding customer service and excellence in senior living care.

Click on the link to see the full press release.



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Arctic Blast Means Different Safety Measures for Seniors

Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 in Education, Uncategorized | 9 comments

Arctic Blast Means Different Safety Measures for Seniors

It seems like Atlanta is feeling more like Antarctica these days. The 2014 winter season has been off to a blistering start with much of the country enduring the coldest arctic blast in decades. With temperatures dipping to records lows and hovering in negative digits, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure we are safe and our homes are safe guarded. Many vulnerable populations would benefit greatly from special attention during tough weather conditions, particularly senior adults who may be living alone. While many of us know how to safe guard our homes and ourselves from the cold, the senior population may be unaware or simply unable to perform those recommended tips themselves. For those who have senior family members, its important that you assist them during difficult weather conditions. If you are a neighbor to an senior adult or simply in contact with the person regularly, its commendable if help them and ensure they understand how to safe guard from the cold. We want to make sure that our seniors in our Dogwood Forest communities are safe, but we are also concerned with well-being of seniors outside of our communities.

We’ve included a few tips to assist you in helping the seniors in your life through the winter months!

1. Make sure they are warm: Ensure the thermal temperature in their home is adequate for extremely cold temperatures. Seniors are more susceptible to hypothermia because their bodies don’t react to cold temperatures as quickly as young people, according to the SIU School of Medicine. Because hypothermia seriously impairs the brain, their balance, coordination and judgment could be impaired, so they may not realize they are in danger. Also, yellowish fingertips and confusion are some of the signs to look for to determine if they are in danger of going into hyperthermia.

But, the most important thing is making sure it doesn’t get this far. Make sure they have what is necessary to stay warm whether it be blankets or warmer clothing. If they don’t have a working heating system in their home, you might want to consider having them stay with you for a few days until the temperatures rise. Great caution should be taken with portable heaters. If there is any question concerning the senior’s cognitive state, space heaters are not recommended.

2. Check the home’s pipes: Ensure they have water moving through the pipes to prevent the pipes from busting. This can be done by simply allowing the facets to drip. Drain all outside water hoses and sprinkler lines, and disconnect them from faucets. Use insulated covers or other insulated material around backflow systems and outdoor faucets. Check all pipes in unheated areas like crawlspaces, garages and basements and ensure that drafts are not getting in this area. Close garage doors if pipes are located there and open all cabinets inside the home that have faucets like kitchens and bathrooms so warm air with circulate. (1)

3. Make sure they are stocked with food: There is no way of us knowing exactly what the weather will bring. After all, we don’t create it, we just prepare for it. Make sure they have enough food and water at home in case they are incapable of living their home due to snow or ice storms (which we are all too familiar with here in the Atlanta Metro).

4. Ask about rescheduling appointments if possible: If you don’t have to go out in the elements, you shouldn’t. During this time, its important that we don’t expose ourselves to treacherous road conditions or sub zero temperatures if we don’t have to. If a an appointment is not dire, try to reschedule it.

5. Ensure porches, driveways, and walkways are free of ice: Its important that we ensure there are not any indoor AND outdoor hazards for seniors. Although we would like for people to listen to every word we say and follow advice, people often don’t. So in case they decide to go outside to get the mail or walk outside to check the garden, make sure their isn’t any ice in their walking path. Keep it clear. It’s recommended that kitty litter or salt is placed on asphalt surfaces to prevent slipping.

6. Check on them: Simply checking in with them during the winter would be of tremendous help to them and ensures that they are safe during the harsh winter months.

Research obtained for this article: (1) Ehow.com- “How to Prepare your Pipes from Freezing in Winter


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