Clare Oaks hosts "The Challenge of Change" workshop March 20

  • Michelle Franzak, director of marketing for Clare Oaks, shares a vision of helping seniors improve quality of life with JourneyCare, which conducts regular education workshops at the Bartlett-based continuing care retirement community. Photo provided by Clare Oaks

    Michelle Franzak, director of marketing for Clare Oaks, shares a vision of helping seniors improve quality of life with JourneyCare, which conducts regular education workshops at the Bartlett-based continuing care retirement community. Photo provided by Clare Oaks

 
Sheila King Marketing + Public Relations
Updated 3/5/2019 10:32 AM

Clare Oaks, a senior living community in Bartlett, Ill., will host The Challenge of Change, a workshop suggesting strategies for coping with changes that impact quality of life for older adults. The one-hour program begins with registration, refreshments and networking at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at Clare Oaks, 825 Carillon Drive. Presentation begins 5:30 p.m. To reserve your place in this free workshop, call 630-540-7506 or contact Michelle Franzak at mfranzak@clareoaks.com

"Our Challenge of Change workshop is for anyone who has experienced loss or may be facing loss that brings about a major life change. These experiences can range from death of a spouse to divorce, loss of eyesight or mobility, downsizing or relocating," said Michelle Franzak, director of marketing for Clare Oaks. "We share a common goal with our presenter to offer support at crucial intersections of peoples' lives and to give them tools to improve quality of life."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Mary Helen Ekstam, community outreach manager for JourneyCare, will share tips on finding joy, peace and harmony in everyday life no matter what challenges arise.

"Stressed is desserts spelled backward"

"Our goal is to help people reframe the challenges people face by gently encouraging them to open their minds to new possibilities. I like to remind people, the word 'stressed' is 'desserts' spelled backward!'" said Ekstam, a board-certified music therapist and health care administrator specializing in neurological rehabilitation, hospice care and palliative medicine. She will lead an engaging discussion and encourage participants to:

1. Explore change-related emotions, both negative and positive

2. Reframe their thinking -- for example, instead of feeling anxious and fearful about moving, try on a spirit of excitement about making a new home their special place

3. Consider personal constants throughout life that have provided sources of strength when facing challenges -- family, close friends or faith

4. Investigate supportive social resources available through church and community organizations such as grief counselors, social workers and support groups

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5. Develop positive coping habits to relieve stress -- for instance, meditation, exercise, yoga, aromatherapy, walking in nature, singing in the shower, watching a sunset, gardening, attending a support group, and employing humor.

"Education is a key mission for JourneyCare, which conducts workshops in senior communities like Clare Oaks," Ekstam said. "It's not uncommon for our Care workshop participants to report feeling lighter and more in control after engaging in these discussions. Like our host, Clare Oaks, our goal is to empower and inspire people to lead more fulfilling lives." JourneyCare is the largest nonprofit provider of palliative, supportive and end-of-life care in Illinois.

About Clare Oaks

Since 2008, Clare Oaks has provided independent living apartments and cottages as well as a comprehensive continuum of care for nearly 300 adults on its 41-acre campus.

Clare Oaks residents benefit from the CCRC's relationships with leading health care providers and educational institutions in the northwest suburbs.

For more information about Clare Oaks, 825 Carillon Drive, Bartlett, Ill., call 630-372-1983 or visit ClareOaks.org.

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