Rhinestone Cowboy released last-ever album “Adiós” – recorded after diagnosis of Alzheimers – Hear the song here!

On Friday, the legendary singer-songwriter Glen Campbell bid a final farewell to his fans by releasing his last-ever album. Titled Adiós, it was recorded in 2012, when the “Rhinestone Cowboy” formally ended his music career after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease the year before.

Glen Campbell has been open about his experience with Alzheimer’s. In 2012, he embarked on a yearlong farewell tour, which was captured in the documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me. The film, available on Amazon, also documented some of the singer’s offstage struggles as the disease progressed. Produced by his friend and longtime banjo player Carl Jackson, he says his friend’s attitude towards his ailment was extraordinary.

“Glen’s whole approach to having Alzheimer’s was pretty much different from anything I’ve ever seen before,” Jackson says.  “If he forgot something, he would laugh about it, rather than get sad. And we just went about recording the album that way, as a fun thing to do, and it was a total joy.”

Campbell, who is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s, is no longer able to communicate well, and so no one will know exactly what he thinks of his last-ever album. But, according to Jackson, he seems to approve.

“I just know in my heart that it means the world to him … because of the peace that comes over him when he hears the music,” Jackson says. “It just means the world to me that we can do this for him and have him go out on something I believe just reaffirmed that Glen Campbell’s the best — period.”

 Jean Garboden is the Director of Education and Innovation at Compass Senior Living, located in Eugene Oregon. Jean is an Elder Advocate and Eden Alternative Educator with over 30 years’ experience in not-for-profit and for-profit health care organizations. She is honored to lead the mission and values culture development for Compass Senior Living. Jean lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where she enjoys the weather and volunteers with the Nevadans for the Common Good, advocating for caregivers and elders in southern Nevada.


Aging Gracefully with Yoga

Senior woman in meditation by ocean
Elder woman doing yoga on beach – aging gracefully, peacefully, and joyfully.

I came across this video of yoga instructor Tao Porchon-Lynch recently. She is not the typical teacher you might find in a yoga studio, however. She is in her late 90s and is more agile than most people half her age. I find her message of aging gracefully inspiring, and can only hope that some day you will find me at age 90 on my yoga mat.

Porchon-Lynch teaches about elderhood: that it is a time of learning, growth, and porchon-lynchvibrancy; inviting elder adults to grow spiritually, strengthen physically, and find the very best within themselves through a yoga practice accessible to anyone.

It is important to note that yoga is more than a physical practice. The word yoga itself is translated as “union.” It is the drawing together (or union) of heart, mind, and body that integrates all parts of ourselves into a unified whole. Just as a team performs best when all members are focused on a common goal, we become our best selves when every part of our being is in alignment with every other part.

The research available about yoga’s health benefits is vast, with more information and research data specifically about yoga and elders showing up almost daily.

Of particular interest is a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, linking yoga to the reduction of older adults’ risk of mild cognitive impairment—considered a precursor for developing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Imagine that we can help reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s by practicing yoga!

Besides reducing risk of dementia:

  • people who practice yoga regularly have more energy, vitality, and better moods.
  • yoga also improves muscle strength and flexibility, preventing further breakdown of cartilage and joints and reducing arthritis pain.
  • the wonderful social connection with others is an added benefit when people attend group yoga classes.
  • people who practice yoga regularly have more energy, vitality, and better moods.
  • yoga improves stress resilience, boosts immunity and reduces instances of depression.
  • yoga improves balance and sharpens the mind.
  • medically, yoga can help control blood sugar in people with diabetes, enhances respiratory function, relieves arthritis pain and minimizes hypertension.

It is no wonder Tao Porchon-Lynch has achieved the honor of becoming the world’s oldest yoga teacher. Tao says because of her yoga practice she has never felt old. She shows us that through yoga she is aging gracefully, enjoying how good her yoga makes her feel. As a yoga practitioner in her late-nineties, it is safe to say that feeling good is powerful medicine.



Guest author Carrie Gallahan

Carrie Gallahan is the Director of Operations for Compass Senior Living, Midwest Region.  She is also a dementia practitioner and passionate elder advocate. carrie-sideplankCarrie  is a Registered Yoga Teacher and a Certified Chair Yoga Teacher. Carrie is the co-founder of Joyful Yoga, located in Peru, Indiana.   Joyful Yoga is an innovation partner with Compass Senior Living and has developed a signature chair-yoga program specifically for Compass Senior Living – True North Yoga.  Carrie has seen first hand what yoga can do for people of all ages and physical abilities. She loves to share the joy and wellness that yoga brings to lives.

What shall we do? Let’s do what is right, and proper, and good

Every morning at Shorewood Senior Living  in Florence Oregon, we start the day with our True North stand-up meeting.  It is my favorite time of the day!  It gives us a moment to pause, make direct eye contact with one another, communicate, laugh, focus on on our core values,  express appreciation for the work we do, and to seek solutions as a team.

Last week as we came together a staffing shortage on our dining services team was a hot topic. One server quit, and two others had given notice.  We had placed ads in the newspaper, Facebook, the unemployment center, and craigslist.  We only received three applicants. All three candidates were not qualified for the position and we knew they wouldn’t last long if we hired them.

We discussed the option of going ahead and bringing one of them on as a ‘warm body’ to just get us through until we could find the right person.  Being from a small town, we knew the candidate pool was small, and several people spoke up, saying they could see problems may arise if we selected the wrong person.

At Shorewood, we remind ourselves every day that our decisions are guided by goodness, loyalty, faith, and fun.  So, I asked the team, “What should we do? Is there no one else to choose from? Is this the only option?”

One by one each person on the team began to speak up.

“I’ll help!”

“Tell us the hours that need to be filled and we will step in and help.”

“We want to hire the right person.”

“Our team, our residents, and our community are too important to do something we know will not ultimately be good for Shorewood.”

Together we decided and committed to hiring the right person for the job. It was awesome to come together as a team like this. More ideas came out as to where to advertise for the position and how to spread it through word of mouth.

It was exciting to see what can happen when we evoke our core values, and focus on what is right, and proper and good. From a place of goodness this team stepped out in faith that if they do the right things, the right things will happen. They demonstrated loyalty to one another and to the residents in their commitment… and through it all, we are having fun!

This was a great step in our growth as a team as we came together to overcome an obstacle, knowing that we did the right thing for those we serve. This next person we hire will be the perfect fit for Shorewood!


BethwebbAbout the Guest Author:  Bethany Webb, Executive Director at Shorewood Senior Living in Florence, Oregon has worked in Senior Housing for 3 years. Bethany is inspired by  the elders she is honored to serve, and embraces her leadership role. Bethany recognizes that the responsibility of leadership is not to come up with all of the great ideas, but to create an environment where good ideas can thrive!  When not working, Bethany loves spending outdoor time on the Oregon Coast with her three daughters.

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What do Millennials and Zillennials know about Elderhood?

Millennials and Zillennials (Generation Z),  are the next generation of workers in eldercare!  They will reshape the workplace, bringing with them energy and a desire to make a difference.   Millennials and Zillennials matter!

If you’re not familiar with the term “Generation Z or Zillennials,” you will be soon enough. It refers to a wave of young people on the verge of supplanting Millennials as the prime movers in the workforce and society at large.

 I  teach and grow care teams and their leaders in the senior housing industry, and I often hear Senior Housing leaders lament the lack of work ethic of those under age 35.  The reality is that 78% of new hires in senior care in the United states are Millennials as reported by McKnights Long-term care survey in 2015.

It is time for us to reexamine and understand these generations, and embrace new leadership styles and cultures as thought leaders in the industry.

Today, we have 4 generations working together in long-term care, serving our greatest generation (average age 84 years old). This gives us opportunities to harvest and unleash the power and creativity of a multi-generational team that may inspire and transform eldercare as a vibrant, interesting, and forward thinking community of people.

The Millennials and Zillennials, along with the Boomers and Generation X have the honor to work and learn together to support elders on their life journey at this wonderful developmental stage of life called elderhood. A bonus for all of us is a chance to  learn from the wisdom and experience of elders – the 5th generation in our workplace!

  • The Traditionalist (born between 1900 – 1945 – The elders we serve! ages 70- 100+)
  • The Boomers ( ages 52-70 in 2016)
  • Generation X (ages 36-51 in 2016)
  • The Millennials (ages 22-35 in 2016)
  • The Zillennials (ages 4 – 21 in 2016)

As I have been teaching, listening, and learning with the millennials, and their younger counterpart, the Zillennials, I  recognize that they have some particular characteristics  that will reshape the workplace  – such as their ambition and desire to keep learning and move quickly upwards, as well as their willingness to move on quickly if their expectations are not being met.  Millennials want a flexible approach to work, and very regular feedback and encouragement. They want to feel their work is worthwhile and that their efforts are being recognized.

The companies that have already been the most successful in attracting talented Millennials are naturally innovative employers who are never restrained by ‘how things used to be done’. These companies are not specifically targeting Millennials, but their culture, leadership style, and approach to recruitment and retention naturally appeal to the Millennial generation. And because of that, they are able to take their pick of the best younger talent around.

It is not too late for those of us in senior housing to gain the loyalty  of Millennials who seek employers with similar values according to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016Thus, those organizations that are guided by strong core values may be less likely to lose their Millennial employees. We have an opportunity now to connect with these next generations to work alongside us as innovators and shapers of the future!

Millennials show us what ‘old’ looks like, and their lives and perceptions are changed!



About the Author:    Jean Garboden is the Director of Education and Innovation at Compass Senior Living, located in Eugene Oregon. Jean is an Elder Advocate and Eden Alternative Educator with over 30 years’ experience in not-for-profit and for profit health care organizations. She is honored to lead the mission and values culture development for Compass Senior Living.  Jean lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where she enjoys the weather and volunteers with the Nevadans for the Common Good, advocating for caregivers and elders in southern Nevada.  She spends her leisure time with her husband Art, her dog Max, her cat Molly, and a 50-year-old desert tortoise named Myrtle.