Oakmont Seniors Set Sail on the Detroit Princess

Ahoy Matey!

On July 12th, excited groups from Oakmont Parkway, Oakmont Sterling, Oakmont Rochester Independent, Oakmont Rochester Assisted, and Oakmont Sterling Assisted enjoyed the calming waves and relaxing breeze of the Detroit River aboard an afternoon lunch cruise upon the Detroit Princess River Boat. The weather was beautiful, the space was elegant, and our residents arrived ready to set sail and enjoy an afternoon of elegance and entertainment.

The two-hour cruise treated guests to an unparalleled view of the Detroit and Windsor waterfronts, including Belle Isle State Park and the Renaissance Center. Lunch was a buffet-style affair, with freshly made options that gave everyone something to enjoy. Dessert was served and the entertainment began: the sweet sounds of the Motown tribute act The Prolifics. Dressed to the nines in their matching sequenced blue jackets, the Prolifics ran through the greatest hits of Detroit Soul including selections from the Temptations and Four Tops. They truly had everyone singing along.

Many residents ventured to the top deck to take in the sights, while others stayed on the lunch deck and danced, quite literally, to the non-stop music. The ship returned to port around 2:30, and Oakmont residents got back on the buses to head home, excited for the new friends and memories made during the wonderful afternoon cruise.

Three Tips to Help Seniors Beat the Heat

High 80s, low 90s, no rain. This kind of weather forecast is becoming all-too-familiar throughout Michigan this summer. And while these temps make it easy to get outside and enjoy a ball game or a BBQ with family and friends, they can create a potentially dangerous situation when it comes to dehydration and overheating – especially for seniors.

Along with the physiological changes of aging, many common medications and other lifestyle factors can actually make seniors more prone to dehydration-related issues and complications than younger people. That’s why we wanted to share three great tips to help seniors stay cool doing the summer season.

1. Wear the right clothes for hot temps

Along with its own set of activities, summer also has its own recommended wardrobe – with an emphasis on light, cool, and comfortable. For days like today that make it into the 90s, the Center for Disease Control recommends sticking to lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Wearing the right clothing will help your body’s natural cooling mechanisms do their job, and will help keep you from overheating.

2. Enjoy the beautiful summer weather from inside

Summer makes us want to go outside and experience the sunshine – especially after a long and bitter-cold winter. However, one of the best ways to beat the heat on these scorching summer days is to stay inside, preferably where it’s air-conditioned. Direct exposure to sunlight, even briefly, can not only raise body temps but can also cause sunburn – a condition which makes it virtually impossible to cool down and can easily damage skin.

If you do have to head outside in the heat on a day like today, be sure to wear sunscreen and weather-appropriate clothing like a hat and sunglasses. Carrying an umbrella can also be a great way to limit direct sun exposure.

If you’re looking for a place to cool down, many movie theaters, senior centers, museums, and public libraries tend to be comfortably conditioned, so consider spending your time there if you don’t have access to air conditioning at home.

3. Hydrate with water and fluid-rich foods

As we age, achieving proper hydration becomes harder and harder – which makes getting the appropriate amount of fluids a challenge every day. Combine that with the 90-plus-degree temperatures, and drinking the proper amount of water becomes even more important.

Along with drinking the proper amount of H20, seniors can help fight dehydration by eating a diet full of hydration-rich foods. These include cucumbers, watermelon, ice burg lettuce, radishes, and more. Though these foods can be helpful in the fight against dehydration, they aren’t a replacement for getting the proper amount of water in your diet, so be sure to be drink plenty of water, too.

The dog days of summer can be a great time to spend with family and friends, but it can also mean dangerously high temperatures for many. While no general advice like the tips above will replace conversations with your doctor and healthcare providers, we hope these tips will help you stay cool, beat the heat, and enjoy all of the fun activity that summer brings.

Stay Cool!

Note: If you’re prone to bouts of heat-induced dizziness or sickness, or have problems staying hydrated, be sure to have a conversation with your doctor. These tips are not a replacement for medical advice or the opinion of a medical professional. 

Oakmont’s 2018 Belle Isle Picnic is a Huge Success!

The annual picnic on Belle Isle has become one of the most popular Oakmont traditions, and this year’s event, held on Thursday, June 28th, surely counts as one of the best!

At around 11 am, Oakmont buses from each of our communities began to pull up to Shed 7 on the Isle’s southwest side, and excited residents, family members, and staff disembarked ready to enjoy a relaxing day of food, fun, and fellowship.

Each community supplied their own picnic dishes, with fresh sandwiches, salads, fruit, chips, lemonade, and other goodies on the menu at every table. Great conversations were had; wonderful stories were shared; and friendships, new and old, were celebrated.

While lunch was served by staff members, the soothing sounds of Wixie Harrington offered the perfect soundtrack to the day, playing hits from all modern eras of music and prompting many to sing along. Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack” was a particularly popular selection.

For Dessert, Screamer’s Ice Cream from Sterling Heights provided the cherry on top – allowing all attendees to indulge in many of their favorite ice cream snacks. It was the perfect treat for the warm June afternoon.

After lunch, many residents and staff enjoyed self-guided tours of the incredible Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, which displays incredible flora from all corners of the globe. Others sat and talked, reminiscing about their memories of Belle Isle from when they were children. 

From the food to the fun, and everything in between, 2018’s Belle Isle picnic was certainly one no attendee will ever forget. 

See you next year!



Meet Mary Ann and Richard

The greatest love stories are often filled with chance encounters, extraordinary circumstances, and plenty of meant-to-bes. For Richard and Mary Ann, residents of Oakmont Manor and a married couple of more than 40 years, their story is no different. True love found a way to win in the end.

A Tale of Two Cities

A native Michigander, Mary Ann was born into the heavily Polish neighborhood of Hamtramck – a small annex within the city limits of Detroit. Her mother worked on the line at General Motors, and her father worked for a small sausage company as a smoker. She stayed in Hamtramck throughout her childhood with her family, and, after graduating from St. Florian High School, was soon working and settled down with her first husband. The young couple would soon pick up their stakes and move to Houston, Texas, where their marriage would come to a timely end thousands of miles away from home.

While Mary Ann grew up in one of the country’s busiest and most prosperous cities, Richard had the exact opposite experience in the Hawkeye State. Born and raised in Northern Iowa on a working farm, Richard’s parents both endured the hard physical labor that comes with farm life. When medical issues forced the family to move down south to the Lone Star State, Richard was far from disappointed. “I was glad to get out of there,” he said of Iowa. “It was so hot and so flat, and the farm work was hard.”

Love in the Lone Star State

Just like any great love story, Richard and the newly single Mary Ann were helped by a bit of kismet and luck. Both were now living in Houston, countless miles away from their birthplaces, sharing apartments with roommates and working odd jobs. They met when they realized there were living on the same floor of two apartment buildings adjacent to each other, and through Richard’s roommate, were finally introduced. They liked each other immediately, and the rest, as they say, is history. “I liked him right away,” said Mary Ann.

The couple eventually moved to Austin where Richard’s parents were living, and he enrolled in college. After graduating in January with his teaching degree from the University of Texas, Richard struggled to find a job because of the time of year. One day he approached Mary Ann with an idea. “He asked me, ‘how would you like to go home to Detroit for a couple of years?’” Mary Ann said. “Now, it’s been fifty-some years and we’re still here.”

Back Home in Hamtramck

The couple moved back to Mary Ann’s hometown of Hamtramck, eventually settling into a house just one street over from where she grew up and her father still lived. He was now suffering from cancer, and their close proximity allowed her to visit every day to help take care of him. Richard was able to get a job first at Sherrard Elementary and then at Post Middle School where he taught Detroit and Hamtramck school children for more than 30 years.

Starting a family, the couple decided to move to the suburbs in the early 1970s, settling down in Sterling Heights where they lived for the next 25 years while they raised their children. Richard continued to teach, and Mary Ann worked for Hudson’s Department Store in the security division. As the kids grew, so did the couple’s desire for more space, moving eventually to what Mary Ann calls “her favorite place in Michigan” on the border of Shelby Township and Macomb. They lived there for 18 years, before some medical issues and the stresses of having to care for a three-story condo just got to be too much.

The couple toured five different senior living communities before deciding to put down roots at Oakmont Manor on the suggestion from a member of their church who also happened to be a resident. It was a perfect fit for the couple. “I liked the friendliness and the cleanliness, and for senior places, I think it’s one of the best,” Mary Ann said of their decision to move to Manor, “and I really love the people here. You feel like these people really care.”

Congratulations Martha Teller!

Oakmont Senior Communities would like to congratulate our Director of Sales and Marketing, Martha Teller, on her retirement. After a long and successful career of more than four decades in the workforce, Martha has stepped down from her position with Oakmont to enjoy her time with her husband and family, and pursue creative passion projects at her leisure.  

Since joining the Oakmont Team, Martha used her unique skills, talents, and abilities to help build our brand, brighten our communities, and make Oakmont a special place to live and work. Beyond the duties of her position, Martha’s kind demeanor and caring heart also helped her to build many close relationships with our residents and their families from whom we have received countless well-wishes on her behalf.

Despite our sadness at losing Martha, we are so grateful and proud of what she accomplished for our organization, and truly wish her the best during her much-deserved retirement.

Congratulations Martha!