75 State Street is an active and vibrant community. This blog is here to document just a few of our many updates and activities! Check our blog page frequently to see what we’re up to.



Accessibility in Hollywood: “A Quiet Place”

“A Quiet Place” is undoubtedly a horror film. The basic premise is that grasshopper-esque monsters have killed off most of humanity. But for the hard-of-hearing, an unusually quiet movie may seem like an extra layer of nightmare, given that they already struggle with perceiving the sounds of their daily lives.

In actual fact, the opposite is true. “A Quiet Place” is one of the most hearing-accessible films in today’s blockbuster climate! Katherine Anderson, a graduate of John Paul the Great Catholic University (Class of 2016), recently wrote the following for JPGCU’s Impacting Culture blog. “Aside from blind and deaf characters, and more importantly casting blind and deaf actors, Hollywood still has much to do in making their films accessible to blind and deaf audiences. Closed captioning and audio description is available in theaters, but not at all uniform.”

“A Quiet Place” is one of the few films that you can count on always being close-captioned. Even during its debut period in commercial theaters. For those with limited hearing abilities, including many older adults, this can provide a welcome respite from straining to catch each word of dialogue or every important auditory cue.

Gwen Fraser, our Administrative Assistant here at Seventy Five State Street, had this to say about her own viewing experience: “I think people assume that subtitles will be distracting, when for many audience members, they’re actually essential. This movie is a great example of seamlessly incorporating accessibility. The [closed captions] don’t take away from the experience whatsoever: the theater audience was still hanging on every word.” She noted that it’s no coincidence that the film’s director (and male lead), John Krasinki, recently made Time’s 100 Most Influential people list for 2018.

Now, that doesn’t mean that all older adults enjoy horror films… but it’s a step in the right direction!

Have you seen “A Quiet Place” yet? What did you think?

Ageless: More Than Just a Hashtag

We’re guessing that not very many older adults read “Cosmo.” But the folks over at Cosmopolitan headquarters have an important message for aging women, and they’re not alone.

Women’s Health just featured an article called “The Good Wrinkle,” which focuses on celebrating aging skin (rather than trying to correct it). Good Housekeeping routinely shares a “50 over 50” list that highlights women over the age of fifty who are doing amazing things in the world. And Cosmo just updated their #Fearless campaign to include #Ageless, reflecting the insight that age is truly just a number.

“As women, we spend way too much time thinking and talking about our age,” wrote Michele Promaulayko (Editor-in-Chief) in the April 2018 issue. “For decades, Cosmo has been encouraging women to be fun and fearless. Now, I’m adding ageless to that list of embraceable traits.”

It’s an idea that makes a lot of intuitive sense. “After all,” Promaulayko explains, “age is less of a limiting factor than it’s ever been. There are teenage business owners and yoga instructors in their 70s.” At Seventy Five State Street, we have residents who are well over the age of 90 and still living incredible, full lives- including driving, gardening, and attending exercise groups!

What does #ageless mean to you? To us, it means that no number will stand in the way of a full and active lifestyle.

Financial Planning for Older Adults

By Michele Reitan, Business Office Manager

Retirement is an exciting next chapter of our lives, full of the promise of relaxation and opportunities for volunteering, family time, travel, and fun. However later retirement sometimes comes with new challenges and stressors as we slow down and need additional help. Financially speaking, your income is generally lower during retirement than during one’s earning years. Mapping out a budget that makes sense for this stage of life is an important step in preparing for a comfortable retirement. Here are a few select suggestions and pieces of financial advice for older adults:

First and most importantly, know you that you are not alone. Since older adults are at a higher risk of fraud and identity theft, it’s important to get help instituting anti-fraud measures. Don’t be afraid to say no to requests for contributions and be cognizant not to give out your personal information over the phone. Many financial institutions provide special assistance for older adults. Be sure to ask your bank or credit union about their aging-friendly policies. For example, you may be able to receive essential financial documents printed in a larger font, making it easier for you to make out important details. If you find that your institution does not cater to older clients, it may be time to do some “comparison shopping,” and find an institution that will go above and beyond to help you.

Though we are often reticent to discuss finances with even our closest friends, I suggest involving your family and friends in your planning process. As you develop a spending plan for your retirement, you may also want to find a financial advisor outside of your personal network. Look for an advisor with measured, professional expertise and a violation-free track record, and remember that if something seems too good to be true—it is!

Older adults are also uniquely positioned to turn hobbies into extra sources of income! Now that you are no longer employed full-time in the workforce, consider turning your leisure activities into a productive enterprise. Here at Seventy Five State Street for example, many residents enjoy exhibiting (and selling!) their original artwork during First Friday. In addition to generating income, keep your eye out for deals and discounts for seniors as balancing expenditures is just as important as income. Everyone knows about the AARP and AAA but countless other organizations also offer special discounts for older adults.

Finally, stay organized and keep learning. Make sure to file your documents regularly, in an orderly
fashion and in a secure location. This will help you manage your day to day expenses better and if you fall ill, your loved ones will be able to better assist you in obtaining the care you need. Financial literacy is a lifelong skill that never grows old and learning helps keep the mind active.

March Historical Happy Hour

We were so thrilled to have a speaker from Greater Portland Landmarks visit us and give a wonderful presentation on Charles Quincy Clapp! Though he was considered an “amateur” architect, Clapp designed some of the most recognizable buildings in Portland. Alessa Wylie, Manager of Education Programs at Greater Portland Landmarks, introduced us to Mr. Clapp and his contribution to the architecture of the city. Her illustrated presentation highlighted his former residence on Spring Street and several of his most distinctive buildings, many of which are located in the State Street neighborhood.

Here are some photos from the event!

Spring Has Sprung!

It’s officially spring. We can’t wait to see new blooms in our gardens soon!

All of us at Seventy-Five State Street also wish to express our appreciation to Jill Bock and Peter Monro. They have given many years of dedicated volunteer service in our community. Year after year, Peter devotes endless hours to designing and implementing plans for the gardens surrounding our buildings. He plants, transplants and builds garden structures throughout each growing season. His creative efforts have transformed our grounds!

Several years ago, Peter’s wife, Jill, stopped by to see the results of Peter’s gardening and lend a hand. While so doing, Jill got to know residents and staff and offered to share her artistic talents. Jill now regularly teaches an art class here, where she says it’s “a give and take of creative learning.” Jill also has worked diligently with the Activities team to frame and exhibit residents’ artwork. We have had several very successful receptions and sales.

Both Peter and Jill have said that seeing the happiness on residents’ faces is all the thanks they wish for. However, every now and then it’s important to acknowledge their tremendous efforts and express our deep gratitude for all they do. Peter and Jill, Seventy-Five State Street is a better place because of you!



The Importance Of Friendship

New research has found that friendships become increasingly important to one’s happiness and health across the lifespan. In fact, they are actually a stronger predictor of health and happiness than relationships with family members. “Friendships become even more important as we age,” said William Chopik, professor of psychology at Michigan State University. “Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being so it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest,” Chopik continued. “If a friendship has survived the test of time, you know it must be a good one. A person you turn to for help and advice often, and a person you want in your life.”


Let’s Hear It For Exercise!

Recent findings in Cardiology suggest that to give your heart a boost, you may want to focus on exercise first. The research found that getting active may do more for cardiovascular health in older adults than losing weight does. The study’s author, Dr. Klodian Dhana, said, “Our results show that physical activity plays a crucial role in the health of middle age to elderly people.” Expert guidelines currently recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity. This will decrease the risk of heart disease, Dr. Dhana said.

Eat Your Five-A-Day!

Recent research supports one simple thing elders can do to reduce dementia risk: eat their “five-a-day.” In a study published in the journal Age and Aging, researchers found that eating at least three portions of vegetables and two servings of fruits daily was associated with lower risk of dementia in older adults.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults consume at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables daily. This means around five servings, and can improve overall health and lower risk of chronic diseases. Compared with adults who did not adhere to WHO recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake, adults who consumed three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruits daily were found to be at lower risk of dementia development over six years. Dementia risk was further reduced for adults who consumed an additional three portions of vegetables each day. Let’s eat those veggies!

Birthday Fun

As each resident’s birthday approaches, they have the opportunity to plan a special birthday meal. The SFSS dining staff prepares and serves the resident’s entree of choice to make this a festive occasion. Residents choose from a list that includes lobster, filet mignon, scallops, chicken, salmon, shrimp, or pasta. Residents may request the date and mealtime for their special meal. A personal birthday cake for 4-6 people is presented at the end of the celebration! In addition, we’ve recently started hosting monthly birthday parties, so resident and staff birthdays can be recognized.


Come Visit Our Library

Do you love to read? We are so fortunate to have a library on our first floor (State Street building) opposite the living room. Shelves contain a variety of literature and other reading materials. A group of residents and staff, known as Friends of the Library, meet on a regular basis to discuss the continued use of the library, upkeep, and the purchasing of new books. Portland Public Library also lends us a variety of large print books in many genres that are changed monthly. Future plans for the library include inviting more guest speakers and authors for programs. We encourage all residents to check out this wonderful space!