9 tips for preparing for a moving or estate sale

Sifting through a lifetime of possessions and keepsakes to decide what is kept, sold or trashed can be an overwhelming task. Here are nine tips to make the task more manageable from Jeanie Daebelliehn, who helps families at Friendship Manor prepare for moving and estate sales.

Start with the family keepsakes

Most families keep items that have been in the family a long time or mementos such as antique furniture, jewelry and pictures. If it has significance to you and your family, then consider keeping it, even if there isn’t a monetary value to the item.

If you’re not sure, keep it

Once you throw out or sell an item it is gone forever. If you are undecided on any personal items, family keepsakes or special possessions, just keep it. You can always get rid of the item later if you decide you don’t want it after all. But once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Trash damaged items

Any items that have water, mold or mildew damage will not sell and should be thrown out.

Household items sell well

The economy has turned many estate and moving sale shoppers into bargain hunters instead of treasure seekers. That means while you may not get a great price on antique furniture or Depression glass, household items such as knick knacks, furniture, tools and even half-full bottles of cleaning products will sell.

Prepare the home

Clean out the cupboards and the refrigerator, wipe off all the glassware, remove all personal items and declutter the home. You’ll also want to get lots of tables to set all the items on for sale.

Make sure each item has a price tag

Create a price tag for each item that includes the price and item description. When the item is sold, remove the tag and keep it for your records. That way you’ll know exactly what was sold and for what price when the sale is over.

Take your time

Getting a home full of a lifetime of possessions ready for an estate or moving sale takes time, as much as a month in some cases. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare so you’re not rushed or accidentally get rid of something you’ll wish you kept later.


Once you’re ready to host your sale, taking out a notice in the local paper and on Craigslist is a great way to let estate and moving sale shoppers know about the sale.

Have compassion

We often have sentimental attachments to our possessions. That’s why it is so easy to accumulate so much over a lifetime and so hard to let it go. As you work with your family or your parent to downsize, have compassion and understanding when family members want to hang on to certain items. Even though you may not see the value in them, the object may have significant meaning for them.


Family felt Friendship Manor was truly home

Doris Flaherty went to Silver Cross Health & Rehabilitation Pavilion after she had a stroke five years ago to recover. From there she moved into independent living and eventually assisted living as her needs changed.

But the convenience of having all the services his mother needed under one roof wasn’t what her son Pat Flaherty appreciated most, it was the staff that went above and beyond to care for his mother.

“You can have a great facility, but if you don’t have good people or a good attitude, it doesn’t matter,” Pat Flaherty said. “You can tell when it is about really helping someone or just putting in the time. They’re really great people.”

The Flaherty family is a big one, filled with all boys. One of the brothers made a point to visit their mother just about every day, joining her and the friends she made at Friendship Manor for coffee, a meal or daily activity. The Flaherty’s appreciated that the activities were always a challenge for both the body and mind. Even when their mother became wheelchair-bound, she still was able to participate in activities such as balloon volleyball to keep her skills sharp.

“Those folks make an effort to have everyone included,” Pat Flaherty said. “We always felt she was in good hands.”

Flaherty can name several staff members by name and detail how they went out of their way to care for his mother, from helping her recover from the stroke, to making sure she was living in the right part of the Manor as her needs changed, to stopping by and checking on her even when they were working in another part of the building. To Flaherty, the Friendship Manor staff were more than just caregivers, they become friends of the family.

“We’ve had a wonderful experience with the folks down there,” Pat Flaherty said. “It really was a home for her, not just a place to be.”

Click here for more information about Friendship Manor, the community, staff and it really does feel like home.


Friendship In-Home Services help seniors stay in their homes longer

In-Home Services

Friendship In-Home Services can help seniors stay in their homes longer by providing assistance on everything from light housekeeping and cooking, to grocery shopping and errand running.

But while In-Home Services helps give seniors back their independence, there can be an adjustment period as seniors get used to having someone other than family helping out around the house.

“It’s the whole trust thing,” said Dan Clem-McKinley, Director of Friendship In-Home Services. “It’s developing a new relationship with someone and that’s why communication is very critical.”

Clem-McKinley and his staff are very thorough when it comes to matching seniors with care providers. They make sure caregivers that are animal lovers are assigned to homes with pets, send good cooks to seniors that need help with meal preparation and fill out a detailed care plan that outlines exactly what housekeeping and other tasks will be performed at each visit.

“If you address everything as much as possible up front, you’ve done your job and that adjustment period is going to go much smoother,” said Clem-McKinley. “They realize this isn’t so bad. This frees me up to do what I want or just relax.”

Once the adjustment period is over, Clem-McKinley said seniors experience a sense of relief because they are getting help with tasks they had difficulty accomplishing on their own such as taking the trash to the curb, assisting with personal hygiene or remembering to take their medication.

“We have clients where we just stand by while they’re in the shower, just for that comfort,” Clem-McKinley said.

Click here for more information about Friendship In-Home Services.


How to Create an Exercise Program for Seniors

Silver Cross Steps June 2013 (103)

Staying active is important at any age. But for seniors, regular physical activity can help maintain mobility, strength, and balance, as well as slow decline.

The most important part of creating an exercise plan for seniors is to start with a doctor’s assessment of their current physical condition to see what exercises they can complete.

“They need to identify existing health issues and then design their health routine around that,” said Mark Leverenz, OTR/L and Director of Rehabilitation at Friendship Manor.

For example, a brisk 30-minute walk at the mall may be an excellent activity for one senior, while standing for one minute without aid could be a challenge for another.

One common exercise Leverenz recommends is swimming for patients with arthritis. The buoyancy of the water reduces pressure on the joints while still allowing seniors to work on maintaining range of motion and mobility. He also uses a heart rate monitor with seniors with a history of heart disease to ensure they can get adequate exercise without raising their blood pressure to dangerous levels. Of course, walking is always an excellent exercise for seniors.

“Walking increases your heart rate, so it is good for cardiovascular health,” Leverenz said. “It works the bigger muscles in your legs which helps with your metabolism.”

Friendship Manor has an exercise room that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers daily fitness classes that give residents an opportunity to move all parts of their body with suggested modifications for those that need it.

“They can make their own decision on how to modify,” Leverenz said. “Some may be able to do it all standing, while others do some of the exercises while sitting and some while standing.”

No matter what your age, the key to any exercise program is consistency.

“You can’t do it for a couple weeks and think, ‘I’m good for a year,’ ” Leverenz said. “Building it into your daily routine is important.”

For more information about the services offered at Friendship Manor, click here to visit our Community page. You’ll be able to take an online tour, download an activity calendar and learn about our rehabilitation program.


There’s still time to customize your own Villa at Friendship Manor

Villas in January

The harsh winter has slowed construction of the new Senior Villa Community at Friendship Manor, but that’s good news for seniors still considering moving in to one of the duplex, tri-plex, or four plex units.

Seniors that sign a contract to live in the Friendship Place before mid-March will be able to choose from a series of custom options to make the new home their own. Residents will be able to choose their own paint color and interior finishes. They also can choose between several upgrade options such as granite countertops, carpet or luxury vinyl tile and glass in upper kitchen cabinet doors.

All the Villas feature two bedrooms, two baths, a one- or two-car garage, single floor living, fireplace, patio and much more.

The Villas offer an excellent opportunity for seniors who are ready to downsize. Residents of the Senior Villa Community will enjoy the independence of living in their own home but have access to all the Friendship Manor activities and amenities, transportation, security, housekeeping, meals, snow removal and landscaping. Although seniors with a green thumb are welcome to keep up with their gardening hobby.

The first of the Villas is expected to be complete in less than three months, with the final Villa to be finished in mid-summer. Click here to learn more about the Villas or to reserve your spot.


Five signs it may be time to consider assisted living

As we age, we often need help with day-to-day tasks that we used to be able to complete independently. But there’s a big difference between hiring someone to take care of the lawn and not being able to remember if you ate breakfast or not that day.

Julie Mathis, a Wellness Nurse and Assisted Living Manager at Friendship Manor offers five tips to help you decide when it may be time to consider an assisted living arrangement for your loved one.

Lost sense of direction

Short-term memory loss can be a barrier to living independently. The most visible symptom of seniors with short-term memory loss is an inability to focus on the topic of conversation or repeating themselves often. But a more dangerous side effect is a lost sense of direction. Seniors may go to the store and forget what they went there for, or worse, not remember how to get back home.

Falling often

We’re not talking about taking a spill in an icy parking lot. That can happen to the most nimble of teenagers. But if your loved one is tripping in the house, falling when they get up from bed or going to the bathroom, then it could be time to consider assisted living.

Sometimes the problem isn’t aging, it’s physical. Urinary tract infections, and blood pressure issues can also cause frequent falls. So make sure you consult your loved one’s physician first.

Not eating or taking medication regularly

When a senior has issues with short-term memory loss, sometimes they forget to eat, prepare food for themselves or take medication. Not only does that make it difficult for them to fulfill their nutritional needs, but it can also lead to more serious problems when medications are not taken properly.

 Problems with basic hygiene

If your loved one is having trouble with basic personal maintenance tasks, such as showering daily, brushing their hair or teeth or dressing properly, then it may be time to consider assisted living.

This isn’t limited to seniors who have trouble accomplishing the tasks on their own. If they need reminders to do daily tasks such as taking a shower, then you should consider moving them to assisted living where staff will remind and help them to maintain proper personal care levels.

You’re exhausted

Oftentimes children of seniors feel the obligation to take care of their parent at home. But if your parent is up every few hours and you are always making sure they don’t fall in their way to the bathroom or wander outside of the house, then it may be time to consider moving your parent to assisted living where trained staff can look out for them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“There comes a point where the child needs to say, ‘I can’t do this all myself,’ ” said Mathis.

Click here for more information about assisted living and to see if it may be the right move for your loved one.


Everything you need is at Friendship Manor

IMG_2076 everything you need blog photo

It’s hard to be bored at Friendship Manor. Between Main Street, complete with a Bistro, library, and Country Store, Silver Cross Health and Rehabilitation Pavilion, and regular visits from audiologists, podiatrists, and MetroLab, residents can get everything they need without ever leaving our beautiful 14-acre campus.

Here’s a sampling of the many on-site benefits residents can enjoy from the climate-controlled comfort of Friendship Manor.

Main Street

Designed to look like a quaint downtown, Main Street offers residents an opportunity to feel like they’re going about their business around town, without having to leave Friendship Manor.

Some of the amenities include a Bistro that is open for breakfast and lunch, American Bank and Trust with office hours twice a week, and a beauty shop where residents can do everything from getting their hair styled, to a full day of pampering with a perm, color, and pedicure.

“You kind of feel like you’re out and about shopping somewhere,” said Pat Bierman, Marking Representative at Friendship Manor. “You can go to the Country Store, stop at the library and get a book, have lunch at the Bistro, and stop and talk to your banker before you go home.”


A favorite location among the men of Friendship Manor, is a fully stocked woodshop where residents can pass the time and continue the woodworking hobbies they practiced before coming to Friendship Manor.

Residents make everything from stained glass art, to wooden bowls, to fully functioning miniature boats. One resident who makes French rolling pins told Bierman the woodshop was a deciding factor in moving to Friendship Manor.

“He loves the woodshop and he’s really happy we have it,” Bierman said. “He’s down there daily.”

 Health services on site

Friendship Manor is home to the Silver Cross Health and Rehabilitation Center, which offers in- and out-patient care. That means residents can head over for an hour for treatment, or spend a few weeks there recovering from surgery or an injury before returning to their apartment.

MetroLab also visits Friendship Manor weekly to do any blood work or labs the residents need. An audiologist and podiatrist visit monthly to check on patients, as well as help with any new needs that arise.

Friendship Manor offers exercises classes and has a fitness center that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so residents can stay fit and mobile at their leisure.

Free transportation

Just because residents don’t have to leave Friendship Manor to get groceries, go to the doctor or get their hair done, that doesn’t mean they can’t. If a resident would like to stick with a long-time doctor, pick up something special at the grocery store or go to the mall for a new outfit, they can… and we provide transportation to get there.

Friendship Manor offers free van rides around the Quad-Cities to scheduled doctor appointments on both sides of the river, the grocery store, pharmacy, SouthPark Mall, Target, Kohls and to other personal appointments.

“Just because they live here doesn’t mean they can’t get out into the community and do their own personal shopping,” Bierman said. “They can have their own beautician, or get their favorite food brands at the grocery store.”

To learn more about what Friendship Manor has to offer, click here to take our Online Tour.




Valentine’s Day lasts a week at Friendship Manor

Valentine's Day, Friendship Manor

At Friendship Manor we pride ourselves on giving our residents plenty of activities to do without ever having to leave the grounds. That is especially true this month as we turn Valentine’s Day into a weeklong celebration.

Mad Hatter Tea

2 p.m. on Tuesday, February 11

First up is the popular Mad Hatter Tea, organized by Assistant Activity Director Kristine Mayer and her family. The family has an impressive teapot collection and antique linens they bring for the traditional tea party. The Mayer family also makes tasty treats from scratch. The popular event grows every year as more and more residents take part.

Kings Daughters and Sons Bake Sale

10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, February 13

The group that originally founded Friendship Manor now gives back to the community at large by donating to local shelters, serving meals, and other charitable acts in the Quad-Cities. All proceeds from the bake sale will go toward The King’s Daughter and Sons philanthropic efforts.

Couple Valentine Dinner

5 p.m. Thursday, February 13

The Couple Valentine’s Dinner is a new event this year, and is designed to give married couples living at the Manor a nice evening together without having to battle cold or snow to go out to a nice restaurant.

“I think when they get to a certain age they don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day as much,” said Nancy Mann, Activity Director at Friendship Manor, adding unpredictable winter weather is often a deterrent to going out for dinner. “This gives them the opportunity to celebrate with other couples as well as get to know them.”

Valentine Party

3 p.m. Friday, February 14

One of the most popular events of the year, the Valentine Party is always a fun affair filled with treats, entertainment, and, of course, the crowning of a new king and queen.

Nominations and voting cards have already gone out but this year’s royal couple won’t be announced until the big Valentine Party. As tradition goes, last year’s royal couple, Joan and Larry Tadlock, will take one final walk around the room, before passing their crowns and velvet robes to the new royal couple.

“I think they like the fact that they feel honored by their peers,” Mann said. “That people think that much of them that they’d actually nominate them.”

For more activities at Friendship Manor, click here to download our full calendar of events.


How to detect and treat seasonal affective disorder


Fall and winter are beautiful seasons, however, the shortened days and gloomy weather have a tendency to affect people’s moods a little.

But it is important to recognize when a person is experiencing more than just a little case of the winter blues, especially seniors who are more likely to be affected by depression. Symptoms such as moodiness, lack of enthusiasm, and lack of energy could be a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Read on for advice in helping manage your loved one’s winter time depression symptoms.

Pay a one-on-one visit

For milder cases of seasonal depression, sometimes one-on-one visits and activities are all it takes to lift a senior’s spirits.

“If a resident feels more down one day, or feeling kind of lonely we use activity aids,” said Patti McKean, Director of Nursing at Friendship Manor. “They do everything from playing bingo with the residents, volleyball with a beach volleyball, and baking cookies.”

Use light therapy

Soaking in the vitamin D from natural sunlight is another great way to combat against seasonal depression. Treatment is as simple as spending more time outdoors or in rooms that allow lots of natural sunlight to shine in.

“For older people, it can be harder to get outside,” said McKean. “At Friendship Manor, we have an activity area that lets in a lot of bright light. We call it the bird room because you can see a lot of birds through the window.”

Consider medication

For more severe cases of seasonal depression, medication can be a great help. Though Friendship Manor nursing staff cannot write prescriptions, they can help residents get in touch with health care professionals who can.

Learn more on how Friendship Manor works with its residents to eliminate symptoms of seasonal depression by contacting us today.


Five ways to prevent senior falls during winter


We’ve all had the experience of losing our balance from walking on slippery ice or snow. While your pride may be temporarily bruised, most falls are not serious when you are younger.

But seniors have a much greater risk of injury from falling, making safety measures more important.

Friendship Manor’s occupational therapist, Mark Leverenz, has five tips for preventing senior slips and falls during winter. Read on to help protect you or your loved one this season.

Avoid uncleared sidewalks and parking lots

Uncleared sidewalks and parking lots are tricky for anyone to navigate. Seniors’ driveways should be shoveled and salted to avoid a risky situation at home. When parking lots are icy, seniors can be dropped off by the door to reduce the risk of slipping.

Utilize extra support

A pair of no-skid shoes, walker, or family member’s arm are great at providing extra support for seniors who have difficulty walking in winter weather.

Get moving

Gentle exercises that improve flexibility, strength, and coordination are excellent ways to be proactive against slips and falls.

“Especially in the cold weather, people are usually not as flexible,” said Leverenz. “Just the body being cold slows down reaction times.”

Friendship Manor offers fitness classes three times a week to its residents, and plans active games such as indoor beach volleyball and Wii sports to encourage healthy lifestyles. Visit our website for a complete calendar of activities.


Don’t rush

Rushing to stand or get from one place to another is dangerous for seniors. Often the cause of balance issues are lightheadedness, dizziness, or tripping, so it is important to stress the value of slowing things down, especially when navigating steps.

“Steps are dangerous even when the weather is not bad,” said Leverenz. “Transitioning from one surface to another also requires extra caution. Slow yourself down and be as safe as you can.”

Get evaluated

Rehabilitation specialists can evaluate a person’s risk for falling based on factors such as balance, vision, and hearing capabilities. Then a plan can be made to improve these problem areas.

“A tell-tale sign of balance issues is tripping frequently, and constantly reaching for support from walls or counters,” said Leverenz.

As a non-profit organization, Friendship Manor makes it a priority to provide rehabilitation care to both residents and community members. Learn more about our rehabilitation services by clicking here.