Senior Resources » Assisted Living » Activity and Aging with Ken Farmer

Activity and Aging with Ken Farmer

Ken Farmer at Careage leads by example, sharing tips for healthy living and fitness, hydration and exercise.

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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

This is a special presentation of Answers for Elders with Careage and welcome back to Answers for Elders radio everyone. I am here with Ken Farmer, the CEO of Careage, and can thank you so much before being on the program today. Thank you for having these is in can. You are an amazing human being. I I have to say. There’s so many things about you that just blow my mind and I love listening to your stories and things like that. But one of the things about you that fascinates me is that you’re an active runner, that you do marathons and you’re retired. You’re on a your fourth try it retirement, right. That’s correct. For career failed retirement, as we talked about. So you have had an obviously very long career, but you run marathons and one of the things that I think that we you know, you being a medical doctor yourself, you understand the importance of activity. So could you share with us a little bit about you know why that’s important for our seniors? Yes, thank you, Susan. You know, nine times out of ten I’m talking with somebody and we talk about running marathons and they say, oh in that bad for your knees and you know, I’ll say, well, actually know it isn’t. And you know, sure somebody that had an old knee injury from playing football in high school of the college and has arthritis from that, then running may be worse in their their problems. But for most of us who don’t have preexisting injuries, physical activity, to include running, is not only bad, not bad, it’s good. And so you know I I’ve just recently, at age sixty seven, run my thirty six marathon. It’s amazing. Most sixty seven year olds aren’t going to run a marathon and most thirty seven year olds don’t either. But the point is we can all do something hum and the older we become, I believe, the more important it is for us to do something in physical activity. I know, and I’m the worst, you know, and I think to a lot of us, even you know, that are caring for our parents. Let’s just start with those that our family caregivers out there. They are so wrapped up and taking care of somebody else, and I will include myself in that. Yeah, that we end up not taking care of our own, you know, our own selves then right. You know, one of the things that I talked about in in my book when I’ve written my book, and I talked about the fact that you know, get out and just walk around the block exactly if you have to do something, and and just remember that you can’t give to somebody else from an empty vessel, so you have to take care of yourself. Yeah, you’ve really tied up the two aspects of what I think is so important about about this one is that physical activity is important and it there’s this old adage of use it or lose it, and I think there is some truth to that, particularly as we age, that you know, if all you’re doing is sitting, then you’re losing muscle tone and you’re losing muscle mass and you’re losing range emotion of of your joints, and so you find some physical activity that works for you and it’s very important to maintaining that mobility and that ability to do things. But the other part that you just teat up, Suzanne, is I often refer to my running as my therapy. Yes, it is my therapy and I need my therapy and those around me know that I need my therapy. You know, they can tell when I haven’t run for a few days now. My wife, when I started running thirty five years ago, my wife said all supports, you’re running on one condition and I said what is that, dear? And she said that you don’t try to make me a runner. And I can’t say that I haven’t tried. But you know, she third running would not be her therapy. But she loves going up for a walk and she loves curling up with a good book and she loves volunteering and she’s very active as she volunteers. Sure, so everybody finds their own, their own quote, therapy and quote, and so it’s that combination of staying physically active but also doing something that is that release for you. You know. And it’s so interesting because when I what back in my career I worked for Tony Robbins and one of the things that Tony Talks about is emotion is created by motion, yes, and the fact that you can go out and you know, I know it’s really intense to take care of a loved one and to be able to be in a situation where you know they’ll push your buttons big time. I know my mom had a she did really well and I learned over time. You know, it doesn’t do any good, if I loved one has dementia, to get into it with them because they don’t have the time know what they’re saying to you. And so the best thing for I think, for me, was just say, you know, mom, Dad, I need to I need to take a break right and walk out, if it’s walk out and just walk around the block. You know it’s getting you’re getting your exercise, start to move again, clear your heads right, you can come back and deal with that. I think that’s no matter what we go through in life, and as we age I think it’s even more important. Like you say, if you don’t lose it, you you know, don’t use that, you’re going to lose it. That’s right. And so in age of our senior living communities, one of our important management positions is life enrichmond direct I love, or which many people refer to as the activities Er, and in our scholl nursing facilities we have a director of rehabilitation. So that the life and Richmond or activities director. You know, a lot of a lot of people think, oh, they’re they’re scheduling the Bingo and the you know, things like yes, they are, HMM, but they’re also scheduling the pool time and they swimming pool. They’re also scheduling the the dance classes and the jazzercise and the tours out of the Facility Fun and makes it enjoyable exactly. So it’s there are activities for everyone and one activity is not going to fit everyone, but you have something that does fit it. Absolutely that’s important in a senior living community. Absolutely so we are speaking with Mr. Ken farmer, and I’m using Mr. because you’ve got your name back, who is a retired major general from the army as well as a medical doctor, and we are picking his brain on is medical expertise today. So obviously you guys do a lot of things. What are some exercises that seniors can do right now for their, you know, their quality of life, no matter what? I know there’s such a thing as chair exercises. You know, tell us a little bit about just an overview of things that people should be doing. Well, I you know, I think the it starts with ambulation, with with with walking, and it doesn’t matter whether you can get up and take a brisk walk or, like me, run or whether you’ve gotten to that point that you need a cane or a walker or you know, but getting up and ambulating for as long as you can and if you need assistance, recognize that you need assistance, whether it’s that cane or that Walker or or that rolling Walker or somebody at your side. And when it can, we’ll put somebody at your side. But staying see saying active, active and ambulating is the first and most important thing. And also if somebody’s even in a wheelchair, there’s such thing as chair exercise. Exactly right. They can actually move their legs, if they can, if they’re able to in their arms and different things like that, and they’re around their waist and I love that. There’s wonderful exercises that go on like that. That’s right and that’s part of that’s where the the negotiated service agreement or care plan dovetails with the the life enrich but or activities directors plan and engagement. And how do those come together and how do we keep this particular resident active? Well, and I’m sure, especially for those that have had a diagnosis of some form of dementia, that movement exercises almost become even more critical. Is that correct? I mean, I’m not sure that’s effective. Yeah, that’s correct. And you know, if you go into our memory care facilities, you won’t see you’ll see some by people in their rooms, but you won’t see most people lying or sitting in their rooms. You will see them out in the common areas. Yes, they might be playing a game, they might be talking or maybe they’re watching a movie, but they’re out there. They had to get out there. Yeah, and that’s by design, right, that and and so most of them don’t take the meal in the room. Most of them take the meal in the the dining room. And so part of that is the design and the you know, the they schedule promotes, let’s keep them active, both physically and mentally, moving, changing locations. That s right. Those things are important and it’s and it’s that activity, that daily repetition, which is so important. So what do you think? I know there’s a lot of right now. There’s a lot of things go on, like Tai Chi, it’s called it. Yeah, Tai Chi, right. I know that that’s really popular with seniors and obviously that’s a different form of movement. Is that correct? That’s correct. And you know, part of what that promotes is where what you know, certain people from short cultures and backgrounds might be oriented to a particular form of exercise like tie tie or, and it’s balance, more sons, and it exactly, exactly okay. And then going back to also, I think it’s really important that we note is make sure that your loved one is fit with a good set of pair of shoes. That’s right. My mom used to wear these crazy little rebok, you know, shoes that had no support, you know, no balance, no foundation to them at all, and you know, it was everything we could do to get her into a good pair of shoes that had, you know, helped them with balance. And you know, I know that there’s some wonderful types of shoes out there that are specially made for seniors with all types of balance issues. That’s that’s correct. As you well know and as others have talked about on your program before, falls or one of the most the biggest risks for the senior elderly community and and there are a lot of aspects of fall prevention, but one of them starts with what you just brought up, is is having a good foundation, and I’m speaking now of the foundation under your feet. Yes, good, good, yes, stable shoes. Yeah, don’t skimp on that one’s right. Make sure you make a good investment in that. So you guys have websites for all three of your properties and so we’re just going to review them. Number One, patriots landing. Is just patriots landingcom. Is that correct? Right? And that is in the backyard of JBLM and Fort Lewis. Is that? They’re right? Are Du Pont Washington Dune Punt. And then we have Patriots Glen in the Lake Hills areas area of Bellevue and is that just Patriots Glen? correct. That’s easy. And that is an again assisted living and memory care’s correct. I’m I’m doing this by memory. And then we have mission healthcare, also in Bellevue, and that’s towards cross roads areas. That’s correct. Mission Healthcare, one hundred and fifty sixth street and mission healthcare. And we are opening, and this bring a new mission healthcare restaurant and rent and we’re excited about that as well. And then you’re doing obviously Careage Home Health. Careage Home Health, and that is helping with just basically a lot of wound care and different things like that is mostly a rehabilitation and home healthcare, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist versus perfect. Yes, perfect. Can thank you so much for being on the program to thank you for having this is a this has been a special presentation of Answers for Elders with Careage. For more information for Careage, go to That’s


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Originally published November 18, 2017

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