When it comes to learning and trying new experiences, Luther Manor offers residents enormous diversity. Its sheer mix of exceptional and engaging opportunities sets the senior living community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, apart from others, and it certainly rises high above what older adults can coordinate and organize on their own at home.
Each area of the community offers its own programs, activities and amenities. For example, the activities calendar for The Terrace at Luther Manor, the part of the community focused on independent living, is filled with musical and cultural performances, guest speakers and daytrips, concerts and cooking demonstrations, and so much more.
Leaning into creativity and cooking
If you want to get creative, there are beginning and advanced watercolor painting classes and a whole host of hands-on crafting.
“We’ve had acrylic painting, jewelry-making, thread art and all sorts of crafting classes, from felt ornaments to wind chimes,” said Kathi Brueggemann, director of independent living at Luther Manor, which provides senior housing and assisted living in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. “At The Terrace, there’s a Handiwork and Chat Club, where a group of ladies who love to do handiwork get together. They’ll teach anyone who wants to learn how to do all things handiwork like knitting, crocheting, crewel embroidery and fabric painting. It’s a wonderful social outlet too.”
For other types of life enrichment opportunities, you can attend Chef Walter’s cooking demonstrations and enjoy samples of his handiwork such as spinach salmon salad with poppy seed dressing, chicken saltimbocca, Chinese orange chicken over jasmine rice and other delicious dishes.
Every month, the community’s dietitian presents a discussion on nutrition on topics such as the importance of hydration, eating certain foods, even the health benefits of chocolate. Recently, Luther Manor held a Japanese tea party featuring matcha green tea, Japanese cherry blossom tea and a cultural discussion.
From day trips to music
If you enjoy day trips, outings vary from a visit to the farmers market to attending a water ski show at Pewaukee Lake to a historic Milwaukee bus tour hosted by Luther Manor’s resident historian.
As research shows, enriching life experiences promote brain health. Music, in particular, is especially good at stimulating the brain, and it offers therapeutic benefits for depression, memory loss and other conditions. At Luther Manor, it’s easy for residents to participate in and interact with music.
“We host musical programs every week. This past week, the Waukesha Civic Broadway Singers performed. The residents have their own group, the Terrace Singers, who perform concerts at the community all through the year for holidays and other special occasions. And, there’s also a barbershop quartet that performs at casual events like birthday parties,” said Brueggemann.
For anyone looking for something interesting to do or learn at home, Luther Manor offers Channel 956, which features special programming such as music, travelogues, brain games and exercise, as well as presentations about history, prominent people, earth science and more.
Getting social again
Social clubs are easy to come by, too, from the Handiwork and Chat Club mentioned earlier to a Walking Club that mixes exercise and friendship, and a Veterans Club that offers support and camaraderie for former military personnel.
“We also have very robust and active resident advisory councils that weigh in on issues and help make Luther Manor even better,” said Brueggemann. “Of course, there are standby favorites such as cribbage and Sheepshead bridge that make it easy for people to socialize and stay involved. Those who play regularly are always willing to teach beginners. For those who love to tinker with model trains, we have a model train room in The Terrace with volunteers who maintain it and teach others about the pastime.”
Enhancing your health and wellness
At Luther Manor, learning extends to evidence-based health and wellness programs backed by research that shows they work. For example, Living Well with Chronic Conditions workshops created by Stanford University help adults with ongoing health issues such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, pain, and now the long-term effects of COVID-19.
“It teaches participants new skills, helps them set goals and problem solve. Research shows an average of 27% fewer ER visits after taking the class,” said Brueggemann. “Residents who took the class at Luther Manor have told me they wish they would have taken the class sooner, and that they actually feel better because they’re taking better care of themselves.”
A new workshop called Mind Over Matter starts this fall. It’s designed to help women build skills and confidence to prevent and improve the symptoms of incontinence.
“People who take the class have reported a 55% to 71% improvement, depending on their situation. It can really make a huge difference,” said Brueggemann.
“Also, in the past, we’ve hosted the Stepping On program, which is a wonderful, exercise-focused program featuring advice from physical therapists, occupational therapists and pharmacists. For broader appeal, we’re starting a Stand Up and Move class next year. It teaches people how to spend less time sitting since sitting is extremely detrimental to our health. It’s not an exercise program, but it improves physical health by just getting everybody up and moving. Research shows the Stand Up and Move class can decrease sitting time by 68 minutes a day on average, which is huge.”
At Luther Manor, it’s easy to rekindle your love of learning and favorite pastimes. We invite you to take time this year to rekindle the excitement of trying something new and connecting with others.
Want to join in the fun? Come experience Luther Manor for yourself at one of our upcoming events. Or, schedule a visit to meet residents who share your interests and learn about other life-enriching opportunities. To coordinate your visit, give us a call today at (414) 464-3880 or send us a note through the form below.