Laptop Donation

We would like to thank United Healthcare for their generous donation of two laptops that will be placed in common areas for use by our residents.

United Health Care


Yoga for our residents

Our residents enjoy participating in the yoga class conducted here every week.  The style of yoga conducted is the Chair Yoga which is performed while sitting on  a stable chair for most of the exercises.  Some of the postures can also be performed standing up for a little added challenge.   Chair yoga provides a gentle workout and helps relieve the aches and pains of arthritis which seems to be a condition many senior members suffer from. The moving and stretching to the rhythm of the music is another reason why our residents enjoy this activity so much.

Here are some pictures from a yoga session:

Arthritis and Yoga

There are several benefits to routine practice of yoga such as blood pressure management, combating allergies, healthy back, improved mental health, etc. just to name a few. Many studies have also linked the benefits of yoga to relieve symptoms of Arthritis. Below is an article from Arthritis Today that talks about the different styles of yoga and those that are best suited for someone suffering from Arthritis.

Yoga That’s Right for You

Pick the yoga practice that’s best for your joints.

By Camille Noe Pagán
Looking for a way to feel better that doesn’t involve popping another pill? Try yoga.Science supports this mind-body activity as good medicine for arthritis. Among the most recent evidence: Yoga reduced disability and eased swollen joints and pain without causing adverse effects in thousands of study participants, according to a review of clinical trials conducted between 1980 and 2010. The study, funded in part by the Arthritis Foundation, was published in Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America.“Most importantly, we found that yoga does not exacerbate disease symptoms for persons with arthritis. With proper instruction, it is a safe way for people to stay active and mindful, both of which are associated with a variety of health benefits,” says lead author Steffany Moonaz, PhD, a health behaviorist and yoga research consultant in Baltimore, Md., and founder of Yoga for Arthritis.Here’s the scoop on a variety of types – and whether they’re safe for you.Viniyoga

Viniyoga is typically practiced in private, one-on-one sessions with a yoga instructor who modifies various yoga poses to match your skill level, health status and fitness goals.

OK with arthritis: Yes, with a qualified instructor. Look for someone who has experience with arthritis and/or other joint conditions.

Keep in mind: “Because Viniyoga poses are highly adapted, they may appear quite different than they would in other yoga traditions,” says Moonaz.


The goal of restorative yoga is to relax, rest and restore. Poses, which are held for between five and 15 minutes at a time, are done using lots of props, such as ropes and foam blocks. “So the body is completely supported and minimal or no muscular effort is necessary to maintain the posture,” says Moonaz.

Okay with arthritis? Yes.

Keep in mind: Unlike almost all other forms of yoga, Restorative yoga doesn’t build physical fitness—but it’s particularly beneficial for individuals with arthritis who are seeking to relieve stress as a way to reduce disease activity, notes Moonaz.

Power Yoga

As its name suggests, power yoga is a vigorous and fast-paced practice that modifies poses from various practices, such as Ashtanga and Bikram, and provides a cardio workout in addition to strengthening and stretching.

OK with arthritis: Not typically.

Keep in mind: Says Moonaz, “Very fit individuals with mild arthritis might be okay with power yoga, but most instructors will gear classes toward a very active population who is aiming to get an intense workout.”


With Vinyasa yoga, a series of poses is done in a row; each pose transitions into the next.

OK with arthritis? In some cases.

Keep in mind: “Many Vinyasa classes are complex and involve a lot of weight-bearing through the hands. Look for ‘Gentle Vinyasa,’ which tends to be slower and are less likely to require you to support your body weight through your hands,” advises Jane Foody, a New York City-based physical therapist and certified yoga instructor who works with individuals with arthritis. Adds Moonaz, “Unless you have very mild arthritis, I wouldn’t recommend Viyasa unless it’s a private lesson or a small class with a well qualified instructor who can take the time to offer proper individualized instruction.”


Ashtanga is a type of vigorous yoga that involves moving quickly between poses.OK with arthritis? No.Keep in mind: “Ashtanga probably moves too quickly to be safe for this population, unless it is taught at a very basic level and significantly modified for people with arthritis,” says Moonaz.Chair YogaWith chair yoga, gentle yoga poses are primarily performed while seated.

OK with arthritis? Yes.

Keep in mind: Chair yoga is ideal for seniors and those with limited mobility, says Foody. Listen to your body and communicate with your teacher if anything feels uncomfortable, adds Moonaz.


A blanket term for poses commonly identified with yoga, Hatha involves balancing and stretching in seated, standing and prone positions. Usually performed slowly, it concentrates on strengthening and reducing stress.

OK with arthritis? In some cases.

Keep in mind: Because class intensity varies widely, “It’s always best to ask the instructor what the class involves,” says Foody.


Props such as blocks and ropes are used to ease into poses without causing strain or injury with Iyengar yoga.

OK with arthritis? Yes.

Keep in mind: “Iyengar is well suited for people with arthritis because there is a lot of attention to individual alignment and limitations,” says Moonaz. “A beginner level class is recommended so that you have the time and attention to properly adapt poses to your needs.”

Key tip: Once you’ve found a class that’s right for you, start slow, do only what feels comfortable, and if you feel any joint pain during a pose, stop doing it.

Try Yoga at Home

Face-to-face yoga instruction is invaluable when you’re starting out. But you can start at home, too, with a yoga DVD. Choose one that includes modified poses and step-by-step instructions, such as  Easing Into Yoga with registered yoga instructor Linda Howard. The program is designed for those who are new to yoga, who want to learn at their own pace, or who live with illness or injury.

Joint Commission Accredited

  We are excited to share the news with everyone that Odd Fellows Home has received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in long term care.

  The accreditation award recognizes Odd Fellows Home’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state of the art standards.

Communication Difficulties and Seniors

There are many different hearing, language, and speech problems that affect the senior community. By understanding the symptoms, seniors can seek the treatment they need and identify the problem as early as possible. At  Odd Fellows Home we provide audiology services which involve an Otoscopic evaluation and a hearing screening. A licensed speech therapist also provides treatments to residents who have speech difficulties. A holistic treatment plan is created involving the physician and different departments like nursing, activities, rehabilitation, etc. has listed below some common communication difficulties experienced by the senior population:

Hearing difficulties affect over 10 million seniors in the United States and the most common cause of this is presbycusis which is age-related hearing loss. This loss of hearing happens slowly, and first results in the difficulty to hear high-frequency sounds as someone talking. As this condition gets worse, lower-frequency sounds can become difficult to hear as well. Some of the symptoms include: difficulty hearing in noisy places, ringing in the ears, and voices sounding slurred or mumbled. It will also be easier to understand a man’s voice than a woman’s. While there is no cure for this condition, there are some treatments available with the most common being hearing aids. Of course any purchase of a hearing aid should be completed by licensed audiologist.

Aphasia is a condition where seniors experience impairment in language ability. Symptoms may include the inability to understand language, inability to form words or pronounce words, and inability to read or write. The major causes of aphasia are strokes and head injuries. And because of the complex nature of aphasia there is no universal treatment method. It presents itself differently in patients and, therefore, requires a team effort in providing a treatment plan. This may include a doctor, social worker, speech pathologist, psychologist, and occupational therapist. Overall treatment has been known to create positive outcomes when learning to adjust to these limitations in communication.

Dysarthria is a disorder that interferes with the normal production of speech. People who have dysarthria often have challenges with vocal quality, range, tone, strength in speech, and timing. Causes of dysarthria include degenerative disease (Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, and ALS), embolic stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Treatment is typically done by speech pathologists and includes a variety of techniques.

If you notice a change in speech, memory, organization, or communication in general than it should be reported to your physician or the senior’s physician immediately. These problems can often occur when there is an underlying problem, so it’s important to address this as soon as possible.

Respite Care at The Odd Fellows Home

Yoga and Seniors


A trained yoga instructor conducts Gentle Yoga sessions for our residents, every week. This activity is enjoyed by many of our residents and is always well attended. The yoga sessions for February will be conducted every Friday. Check out our February Activities Calendar to see all the other activities that our residents will be enjoying this month.

Yoga has been shown to help alleviate or reduce many health challenges faced by the senior population, making it an increasingly popular exercise choice.


Sleep: Yoga practice improves the quantity and quality of sleep among the geriatric population.

Strength/Arthritis: Yoga improves strength in individuals suffering from arthritis.

Diabetes: Over time, Type II diabetics can achieve better blood sugar control and pulmonary functions when they follow a daily Yoga regimen.

Hypertension: Regular yoga practice can show a decrease in blood pressure, as well as a decrease in blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.

Excess Weight: Practicing Yoga regularly for at least half an hour per week may help offset middle-age weight gain (Kristal et al, 2005). It is estimated that people typically gain about one pound per year between the ages of 45 and 55.

Mood/Anxiety: Moods and anxiety levels improve as a result of regular Yoga sessions.

Chronic Pain: Yoga practice has been shown to aid those suffering with chronic pain.

Lung Problems/Breathing Difficulties: Breathing difficulties in Bronchial Asthmatics can be relieved by practicing Yoga-chair breathing procedure composed of simple neck muscle relaxation movements and postures (or “asanas”) with breathing exercises.

This article is from American Senior Fitness Association, please visit their site for the complete article.

Clarence Plant to receive the Caffrey Memorial Award

Everyone at the Odd Fellows Home wishes to congratulate Clarence Plant, Secretary, Board of Trustees on being selected to receive the Tenth Annual Caffrey Memorial Award. The Caffrey Memorial award was established in 2001 by Colwyn and Eleanor Caffrey in honor of their three sons. It is presented each year to a citizen of Worcester who demonstrates a willingness to donate their time to work for the greater good of the community, as well as possess the qualities of courage, perseverance and fortitude through deeds and actions aimed at improving the city.

Clarence Plant has been selected to receive this award for his contributions to the Worcester Community through his work with the City Manager’s Neighborhood Cabinet, the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness Leadership Council, and community organizations through the years, including Girls, Inc. of Worcester and YMCA of Central Massachusetts.

Clarence will be recognized during a City Council Meeting on February 8th in the Levi Lincoln Chamber in City Hall and will be presented with the United States flag that was flown over the Union Station.

Preventing Falls Among Seniors

Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls. Falls can lead to moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can even increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable.


Falls are not just the result of getting older. Many falls can be prevented. Falls are usually caused by a number of things. By changing some of these things, you can lower your chances of falling.

You can reduce your chances of falling by doing these things:

1. Begin a regular exercise program.Senior doing Yoga

Exercise is one of the most important ways to reduce your chances of falling. It makes you stronger and helps you feel better. Exercises that improve balance and coordination (like Tai Chi) are the most helpful.

Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your chances of falling.

Ask your doctor or health care worker about the best type of exercise program for you.

2. Make your home safer.

About half of all falls happen at home. To make your home safer:

  • Remove things you can trip over (such as papers, books, clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places where you walk.
  • Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
  • Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool.
  • Have grab bars put in next to your toilet and in the tub or shower.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
  • Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well. Lamp shades or frosted bulbs can reduce glare.
  • Have handrails and lights put in on all staircases.
  • Wear shoes that give good support and have thin non-slip soles. Avoid wearing slippers and athletic shoes with deep treads.

3. Have your health care provider review your medicines.

Have your doctor or pharmacist look at all the medicines you take (including ones that don’t need prescriptions such as cold medicines). As you get older, the way some medicines work in your body can change. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you drowsy or light-headed which can lead to a fall.

4. Have your vision checked.

Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor.  You may be wearing the wrong glasses or have a condition such as glaucoma or cataracts that limits your vision.  Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.

This article is from the CDC, please visit their website for more information on Falls and tips on Fall Prevention.

Wii-Hab: How a Video Game Can Help Rehabilitation

Video games are usually considered to be just for kids, and just for fun. But a new therapy known as ‘Wii-hab’ uses the Wii gaming system to help seniors remain active and improve hand-eye coordination. It is not a replacement for normal therapy, but it is a fun and effective way to add some variety to a program. The video below explains more about the ways that Wii-hab works!