COVID-19 Response and Updates


I am writing this note after the Fourth of July. Certainly, it was like no other Fourth of July weekend we have had before! Even our little campus-wide celebration had to be canceled.

The coronavirus and avoiding its spread has put a damper on so much of what we do, but we can still talk about our heroes at Sierra View Homes. We have 150 employees who are going above and beyond to keep you safe, and taking care of you when things don’t go as planned. They work each day trying to make each person comfortable.  

For the past four months, with everyone’s help, we were able to keep the virus totally off the campus. We now have experienced a one-time spread in our Nursing Care Center, infecting 13 residents and six employees. We learned the virus entered our building by way of a resident. The family decided to take her out to eat following a doctor’s visit. The virus has been contained to this one section of the Nursing Care Center. Our aim is not just to contain it but to keep any symptoms that infected residents experience to a minimum. So we will expeditiously fight to treat any symptom and keep discomfort and serious complications down.

Even before the need was in sight, Barbara Alatorre, our Director of Nursing, had a running list of volunteers that would work the COVID Unit. These people knew that they would have to work long, 12-hour days and put themselves at more risk of contracting the virus. Yet, they stepped forward and said, “yes, I will do it.” In our time of need, we are seeing heroism at its finest.

We set up apartment 3 for the COVID Unit staff to have a place to go, rest, and relax, giving them a home away from home.  Apartment 17 has also been made available for any other staff who need to rest after a long shift.

Please keep our hard-working staff and our residents in your prayers. We thank God for these outstanding people in our lives! 

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In every prayer for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this: that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:3-6

May God bless your summer!

– Ro Linscheid, Executive Director and CEO


Dear Friends,

As part of our commitment to transparent communication and keeping our residents, families, and staff informed, I am writing to make you aware that as of Sunday, June 28, 2020, we have identified 3 resident and 3 staff cases of COVID-19 in our Nursing Care Center. 

Sierra View Nursing Care Center’s strategic protocol is now in place. Trained staff are currently working to contain the infection and minimize its spread. Designated team members are moving quickly to isolate the infection, utilizing quarantine procedures and strict protective gear.

The staff involved were limited to the skilled nursing area, and did not have contact with our other care levels. The 3 residents impacted are roommates, and the residents in neighboring rooms have tested negative, which may indicate limited potential for spread.

The impacted rooms and nearby areas are currently undergoing an intensive cleaning procedure. We continue to practice widespread infection-prevention throughout our campus. We are in contact with the Department of Public Health and Medicare Agencies and are in compliance with their most recent guidelines.

While this is difficult news, I want to reassure you that our very dedicated staff is working tirelessly to keep our residents comfortable and healthy. I’ve been amazed at the many creative ways our staff is going above-and-beyond to meet our residents’ social and emotional needs, while complying with strict protocols to keep them safe.

We want to thank you for your continued understanding and for your prayers. Together, we will get through this. 

Romans 12:12 – “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

Ro Linscheid
Executive Director/ CEO

As new information becomes available, or if public health officials change recommendations in ways that impact our services, we will post updates on our website at and email them to our email list. You may add yourself to our email list here:


Dear Friends,

Thus far, we have successfully guarded our retirement campus from COVID-19. This is no small feat, as Sierra View Homes is home to 250 residents and a labor force of approximately 150. Thank you to each of you for your cooperation and good attitude as we work to protect each other! With the continued diligence of residents, families, and staff (and some help from Above) Sierra View should be able to keep the virus from entering our campus.

This particular virus seems to be very contagious and can cause greater harm in some individuals. Reports show that many people have the virus and show no signs or symptoms, which requires extra diligence in vulnerable populations like ours. 

We continue to practice widespread infection-prevention throughout our campus, with more restrictive procedures in our Nursing Care Center and Assisted Living. We receive continual updates from the Department of Public Health and Medicare Agencies and will comply with their most recent guidelines.

Sierra View has developed a strategic protocol that will be initiated in the event of an infection on our campus. If this occurs, our community and families will be notified immediately, and trained staff will jump into action to contain the infection and minimize its spread. Designated team members are prepared and ready to move quickly to isolate an infection, utilizing quarantine procedures and strict protective gear.

During the next couple of weeks, as testing becomes more available, the numbers of reported COVID-19 cases will increase. Please remember that, while those with health issues may be more severely affected, there are many people who will have little-to-no symptoms and can recover quickly. 

We are extending our shelter-in-place procedures and will keep our residents and community informed through the MessageNow channel 2 and through letters such as this.

We have very dedicated staff working hard to keep our residents as comfortable and healthy as we can. We want to thank you for your continued understanding and for your prayers. Together, we will get through this. 

Romans 5:3-5 “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”


Ro Linscheid, 
Executive Director/ CEO


Seamstresses and quilters, bring us your masks!
Sierra View Homes is seeking sewn, fabric masks for our staff. Current guidelines require all nursing home staff to wear masks

While we do have a stockpile of PPE for the protection of our staff, we are reserving its use for the care of possible future COVID-19 patients. In the meantime, we are in need of washable, reusable fabric masks for our staff to wear in compliance with the new guidelines.

‣ Masks should be made of at least two layers of tightly-woven “quilter’s cotton.”
‣ Please wash and dry your fabric on high heat before sewing in order to reduce shrinkage in commercial washers.
‣ Masks can be with ties or elastic. Some people are using Jersey material to stretch over the ears, since elastic is hard to find. We will take whatever you are making.

Here is a link to a mask pattern which we recommend:…/AB-Mask-for-a-Nurse-by-a-N…/
However, once again, we will take whatever you are making. Thank you for your efforts!

COVID-19 RESPONSE UPDATE as of 3/26/20:

Dear Sierra View Homes Friends and Family,
Governor Newsom has ordered all of California to shelter in place. Here at Sierra View Homes, we are working very hard to assist the people living on our campus to do just that.

Here are just some of the ways we are working to safeguard the health of our residents:
• We are now delivering meals to our residents with meal plans, and have discontinued the extra charge for meal delivery.

• While our weekly shopping trips have been canceled, we have a new system in place to meet our apartment residents’ needs: designated employees are making routine, scheduled contact with each resident to assess how they are doing and identify any grocery or medicinal needs. For those who have no family support, we will make sure their needs are met.

• We encourage families to keep their loved-one supplied, but in order to comply with social distancing requirements, family members delivering goods to the independent apartments must remain outside of the building.

• Our assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing are closed to visitors, except in cases of essential visitors (emergencies or end-of-life visitation). Essential visitors must go through a nursing pre-screening before entry.

• While we always in-service staff on infection control, these past two weeks we have in-serviced to an even higher level with COVID-19-specific healthcare best practices in mind. The staff know what to do to keep themselves healthy and how to watch for signs and symptoms.

• Housekeeping has equipment to disinfect and extra staff hours to do so. We are proud of the diligence with which our housekeeping staff are cleaning all areas, paying extra attention to public areas and surfaces.

We are doing everything we can to keep our staff and residents as safe as possible, while complying with governmental recommendations and keeping our residents’ and families’ social needs in mind. We understand the burden that lack of visitation and required isolation puts on our families and residents, and we are working tirelessly to find ways to mitigate that.

Finally, I’d like to encourage us to guard our thoughts during this time of social and economic upheaval. Philippians 4:6-9 reminds us: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

In the face of social distancing, each of us must consider the many blessings that we are experiencing during this time, focus on the good we see all around us, and ask ourselves what good works God is calling us to in the service of our neighbors.

Ro Linscheid
Executive Director and CEO
Sierra View Homes

As new information becomes available, or if public health officials change recommendations in ways that impact our services, we will post updates on our website at and email them to our email list. You may add yourself to our email list here:

Sierra View Homes COVID Response Update as of 3/16/20: 

Dear Sierra View Homes Friends and Family,
As guidelines are rapidly changing, so are our policies. 

In response to the CDC’s guidelines for nursing homes, we have chosen to limit visitors to Sierra View Homes Retirement Community. We will be screening and accepting essential visitors only (such as end-of-life and other emergency visits). This limitation will include family, friends, volunteers, CNA Training/LVN training program students, and any non-essential consultants. All visitors will be required to check in at the nurses’ station for screening.  

Additionally, we have implemented separated eating options to limit contact in dining rooms, and increased the number of take-out meals from our kitchen. 

In accordance with Governor Newsom’s directive that people aged 65 and older should practice home isolation, we are in the process of securing resources for the delivery of groceries and other needed items to the seniors in our independent apartments.

Once again, I would like to encourage you to lean into the Lord as we face this time together. Psalm 46:1 reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” God never promises us a lack of suffering, but He does promise to be with us through it. That allows us to take the counter-cultural action of not being afraid, even as we see hardships coming. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6–7)

Ro Linscheid
Executive Director and CEO

As new information becomes available, or if public health officials change recommendations in ways that impact our services, we will post updates on our website at and email them to our email list. You may add yourself to our email list here:

 Dear Sierra View Homes Friends and Family,

As COVID-19 begins to have an increased impact on our Reedley community, we wish to share more about the steps Sierra View Homes Retirement Community has been taking to keep all of our residents and families safe and infection-free.

Challenges of this nature are not new to the long-term care community environment. As a result, Sierra View Homes has a long-standing routine of diligence in the prevention of infectious diseases. We assess our residents and staff on a daily basis and encourage family to stay away if they are feeling ill. Signs posted on the entryway doors to the Nursing Care and Assisted Living remind anyone entering to be cautious of entering if they do not feel well. We have hand sanitizers placed in common areas and hand washing is encouraged. Staff are highly trained and encouraged to monitor everyone they encounter for signs and symptoms of any type of infection such as colds, flu, etc.


In response to the COVID-19 issue, Sierra View has gone over and above our standing procedures and implemented multiple additional preventative measures:

· Canceling or postponing large group events such as the Kiwanis Crab Feed. The Kiwanis Crab Feed is postponed to a date yet to be announced.

· Adding extra staff training, ongoing team briefings, and enhanced operating procedures.

· Increasing the frequency of cleaning public areas and high-contact surfaces, including restrooms, lobbies, door handles and handrails with an approved disinfectant.

· Increasing Housekeeping staff hours to accommodate a more intensive cleaning regimen.

· Increased testing of dietary dishwasher sanitizer levels to ensure maximum sanitizer levels are maintained while washing of dishes, pots, and pans.

· Increased deployment of antibacterial hand sanitizer stations throughout assisted living, skilled nursing, and the Terraces.

· Increased monitoring of all residents who return from physicians’ offices or hospitals for signs of illness or infection.

· Encouraging families to limit the number of visitors to just two at a time.

· Informing and instructing our independent living residents on proper infection prevention.

· Working to establish video-conference options to allow families to connect without the chance of infection.


YOU play an important role in helping us keep your loved-ones safe. If you are considering coming to visit, please do not come if you have any symptoms of a cold, flu, etc. Please check yourself for fever before your visit. Likewise, if you have traveled within the last two weeks, attended large events, or have any reason to suspect your own health, please refrain from visiting.

We also request that you limit the number of visitors to just two at a time. Please wash hands thoroughly before entering our facility, use hand sanitizer while you are there, and refrain from hugging, kissing, or touching residents or staff during your visit.

If you are unable to visit due to illness or out of an abundance of caution (THANK YOU!), we may be able to accommodate a video-conferencing call with your loved one.

Sierra View Homes Retirement Community takes the well-being of our residents very seriously, and will continue to monitor the situation and adapt our rules and policies as appropriate. Please contact us at (559) 638-9226 with any questions or concerns.

As new information becomes available, or if public health officials change recommendations in ways that impact our services, we will post updates on our website at and email them to our email list. You may add yourself to our email list here:

While this information can be concerning, I would like to encourage you and your family to turn to God and lean into 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline,” and Isaiah 41:10, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

Thank you for your partnership!


Ro Linscheid,
Executive Director

New Life

April showers bring May flowers! This saying is very true in South Dakota where I grew up. This year, our extended rainy season has made that saying true here, too. Ever since I moved to Reedley, I have always been amazed at how early the spring flowers start to bloom.

In February, the tree blossoms bring promise of delicious fruit soon to come. Gardens planted in February bring us the cool weather vegetables and give the promise of wonderful salads and more. The trees grow new leaves and the poppies bloom bright orange as the weather warms up.

May is the time for delightful weather and temperatures that encourage us to spend more time outdoors. As we witness this new life around us, I hope it also reminds us to remain hopeful that one day we will again meet in gazebos, stroll together on sidewalks and spend time over coffee and a pastry with our good friends and family.

We have done our part in staying home and keeping our physical distance from one another. Patiently, we wait for the new life where once again we are able to move around freely and visit family and friends.

I think it will feel like we have come out of hibernation. We will have a new beginning and the knowledge that we have come through a dark time. Our lives will bloom like the flowers of spring. Let’s look forward to a time when smiles, laughter and conversation is heard once again in every corner of Sierra View Homes Retirement Community!

I hope you are well and can look to the future with the anticipation of restoring friendships, making new friends and a new sense of community.
Happy Mother’s Day!
– Ro Linscheid, Executive Director

Chaplain’s Corner: Defiant Celebration!

With everything going on in our world these days, Easter might actually take many of us by surprise this year! And it is right and well that we should be surprised by the resurrection! While our Easter traditions and rituals are rich and meaningful, it is possible that they also become a routine, allowing us to forget just how shocking and unsettling Jesus’ resurrection truly was, both to the disciples and to the world.

Resurrection is perhaps the most powerful symbol known to humankind. It is a declaration that life is more powerful than death, that love is more powerful than hate, and that hope is more powerful than despair. Let us cling to Easter with renewed anticipation this year, defiantly celebrating the reality:
God is making all things new and that we are freed from the need to fear. Shine with the courage of that conviction this Easter season.
Christ is risen indeed!! 
– Caley Ortman, Chaplain

How to Combat Loneliness in Older Adults

Loneliness and social isolation are a huge concern for older adults. As we age, it becomes harder to stay connected with family and friends, especially if you are living alone. Older adults face loss, loss of a good friend or spouse to illness or death. They have to face issues such as hearing and or vision loss, mobility challenges both physically or in loss of driving privileges. All these issues cause challenges in staying connected. The National Poll on Healthy Aging found one in three older adults say they lack regular companionship and a survey conducted by GreatCall reports 52% of older adults experience feelings of loneliness a few times a year.

Now studies are showing that being lonely can lead to depression and or cognitive decline. They are saying, “Loneliness is as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.” Social isolation and loneliness have been linked to poorer health outcomes and higher healthcare cost. According to AARP this is adding $6.7 billion in health related spending in the older adult population.

Social separation of our families is very prevalent in the United States because our families have spread all over the states and beyond. We are not as connected as we were years ago when generations lived under the same roof. We now have to be more deliberate in staying connected. Thankfully, technology such as Skype, FaceTime, texting and calling have helped to give us connectivity.

There are ways you, as an older adult, could combat loneliness and isolation. You cannot rely on others to combat your loneliness. You need to take matters into your own hands. So, find something to do. Doing something that keeps you thinking about something other than yourself helps to decrease the feeling of loneliness. If you are mobile, join a friend for coffee. I know of several coffee groups meeting in Reedley. I am sure every town has a gathering spot where folks come to meet and connect. Going for a walk or doing some gardening, if you want to stay close to home, gives you some exercise and allows you to breathe deeply. Doing something that is useful and improves the world around you goes a long way to feeling fulfilled and useful.

Take care of yourself. Get your vision and hearing checked regularly. You can be in a room filled with wonderful people but if you do not hear what is being said or you cannot see who is in the room it can be very disturbing leading you to pull back and stay away.

Find a friend to hang out with or do some volunteer work. Look around your community. There are a number of volunteer possibilities. Being in a group working towards a common goal leads to a feeling of inclusion. It is likely you will find someone who is willing to strike up a conversation. Listen, smile and share your thoughts in a give and take conversation.

Consider moving to a retirement community like Sierra View Homes Retirement Community since it offers activities that give opportunities to relate to others. There are dining opportunities that give you a healthy way to be connected. If you tend to be quiet and shy, in a retirement living space there will be plenty of others who will draw you into the conversation. Exercise rooms to encourage you to be active and stay fit.

Travel somewhere new. There are numerous tour groups to join if you are able to travel. There are many places to see near and far. Being curious about exploring some place you have not seen before gives you a way to keep looking forward. It keeps your mind focused on something other than yourself.

5 Tips to Eat Your Way to a Better Mood

The holidays have come and gone and now we may be facing the added pounds from all those Christmas goodies. There can be a feeling of disappointment or even disillusionment as we pack away the Christmas decorations. Those New Year’s resolutions are already a challenge to keep. Maybe we can look to food to improve our mood and avoid further negative thought. .

We have all heard that eating a healthy diet can help cut the risks of illnesses especially as we age. Now studies are showing what we eat can affect our mood. I am part of a task Force at Sierra View Homes Retirement Community to study and provide healthier, plant based and protein meals for the Sierra View residents.

There is a strong connection between your brain and your gut. When you are depressed the level of healthy gut bacteria goes down. A healthy gut builds the good chemicals in the brain. Neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, gamma-aminobutyric acid, serotonin are created in your gut. It is important to have good food to keep up your gut health and produce these important brain chemicals.

Studies have been done on diets high in ultra-processed foods. Sodas, instant soups, pre-made and pre-packaged foods tend to lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease. The European Journal of Nutrition examined the diets of almost 15,000 people. They found the people who ate the most ultra processed foods had a 33 percent higher risk of depression than those who ate only minimal amounts. The ultra-processed food have little nutrition such as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins that provide brain health. They also are full of sugar and additives that feed the bad bacteria in your gut. The findings show there is a higher chance of depression when this diet is followed.

There is more to mood maintenance than just eating the right food. To have good mood hygiene we need to look at some nutrition strategies:

  • Eat regular meals and snacks at the same times every day. This helps keep your blood sugar levels even. Eating regularly helps keep your body fueled and your gut health in top working condition.
  • Don’t skip meals. When you skip a meal it is easy to over eat at the next meal. Have you heard the term “Hangary”? The combination of hungry and angry.
  • Avoid carbohydrates and junk foods with high sugar content such as candy and soda etc. Sugar creates blood sugar spikes that can have a serious effect on your mood when the sugar spikes wear off.
  • Eat foods that boost mood such as protein. Protein helps to slow the absorption of carbohydrates. It also improves your gut health and therefore increases good brain chemicals. Vitamins such as vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, give the brain a good boost. Folate helps to ward off depression. Foods such as broccoli, lentils, oatmeal, oranges, and dark leafy greens provide folate. Also, B-12 found in cottage cheese, lean beef and salmon give the brain a feel good boost.
  • Eat foods that contain soluble fiber, like complex carbohydrates. These can slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream and increase serotonin the “feel good” chemical. Both work to help maintain a good mood. Complex carbohydrates can be found in oats, beans, pears, peas and Brussel sprouts.

There is a strong connection between food and your mood. By combining strategies for eating regularly with foods that may have a positive effect on your well-being you can develop a plan for feeling better in the New Year.

Savoring Life

Do we use our time to really live or do we allow time to use us up? I recently encountered this question in Kathleen Norris’ book, Acedia & Me and it was another reminder that the time we have is a gift from God. The way we use it matters. As a culture we sometimes worship at the altar of productivity. We boast of how many hours of overtime we put in this week or how little sleep we’re running on. We fill every evening with activities and when those brief moments of open time do appear, we pull out our phones.

Jesus was undoubtedly productive during his time on earth, yet it is worth noting how often in the Gospels Jesus withdraws to a quiet place to recharge or carves out time to spend with just the disciples. In a similar way he sought to reclaim the way Sabbath was meant to be observed: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).

Take some time this month to just “be,” and instead of feeling guilty about it, remember that we honor God’s gift of life by taking the time to truly savor it.

Happy Fall!

The seven wonders of the world are not places, but…

Chaplain’s Corner: The Fear of Fear is Community

I had the opportunity to take our youth group to our biennial church conference in Kansas City several weeks ago. Dustin Gaylon, one of our speakers speaking during a morning worship session, made the comment that “the fear of fear is community.”

In the Gospel of John, as the end of his time on this earth nears, Jesus promises his disciples that he will not leave them comfortless. Before he is taken up into the sky the disciples receive the power of the Holy Spirit. But we should also not forget that as Jesus hung on the cross in John 19:25-27 he also instructs his followers to care for each other.

While the disciples were initially paralyzed with fear cowering and barricaded in a room following the crucifixion, they were soon empowered, not just by the Holy Spirit, but through the community they shared with each other as they spread the Gospel and planted new communities of faith.

The things we fear most, when brought before God and shared with our community of faith, become much more bearable. Community is a gift of comfort from God. Let us embrace it with open arms.
– Caley Ortman, Chaplain

We’re a Cooling Center. Come Beat the Heat!

When temperatures reach 100 degrees or above, from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. come to Sierra View Homes for a place to sit, drink water, and cool down!

The Central Valley of California is in an extremely dangerous heat wave. We are used to summers days where the temperature cools down at night. Lately, however, there has been very little cooling at night. Seniors especially are subject to ill effects of extreme hot weather. Heat exhaustion and or heat stroke become real possibilities when the temperatures soar to 90 degrees and above and there is little relief. Lack of awareness and concern for the high air conditioning bills will slow the response of some seniors in seeking relief.

Sierra View Homes is one of the cooling centers in Reedley.

Hot weather is dangerous without proper protection and preparation. Employers, according to state law, need to be aware of the heat and have plenty of fluids to drink and shade for their employees to stay free of heat related effects. All employees, especially the ones who work out doors, must know how to spot heat related issues such as dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion

Outdoor employees are not the only ones who have to watch for heat-related issues. It is important to pay attention to the senior population as this heat wave continues. People 65 and older have decreased ability to notice changes in their body temperature. They do not sweat as much as younger adults do. Sweating is an important of the body’s heat regulation mechanism. Chronic health conditions can reduce the body’s ability to respond to heat conditions. Prescription drugs can further impair one’s sense of how hot your body truly is.

Dehydration is the root of many heat-related health problems. Dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and most seriously heat stroke can cause serious health issues up to and including death. When the body’s temperature becomes unusually high, neurological issues can happen and emergency treatment must be sought. It is extremely important to drink plenty of water or juice, even if you are not thirsty. It is a good idea to limit alcoholic or caffeinated drinks as they contribute to dehydration. A good rule of thumb is to drink fluids at every meal and to sip fluids throughout the day rather than drinking a lot of fluid quickly.

If dehydration is not corrected, heat exhaustion becomes a real possibility. Early warning signs of heat exhaustion include excessive sweating, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache and muscle cramps. Heat exhaustion and lead to nausea, vomiting and fainting, which can rapidly lead to a heat stroke. Symptoms of heat stroke are high body temperature, absence of sweating, confusion, seizures and coma. Heat exhaustion and especially heat stroke are extremely dangerous. If you see someone who appears to be in trouble it is important to get help for him or her a quickly as possible.

Whether or not you are older than 65 there are things you can do to avoid heat-related issues. Some suggestions are wearing light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Wear a wide-brimmed hat. Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day and limit outdoor activities to the early morning hours. Watch the heat Index. If there is a lot of moisture in the air, the body’s ability to sweat is diminished leaving you with less ability to cool down. Seek air-conditioned environments if you do not have air-conditioning in your home. Cooling centers are set up and ready for folks to come in and cool off if the temperature is over 100 degrees. Sierra View Homes is one of the cooling centers in Reedley. From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., we’re open for you to come cool down!

Heat-related issues are real and can be serious. Everyone, especially those over age 65, need to be extra careful and pay attention for the warning signs of heat-related trouble. Take steps to keep cool by dressing in light clothes, drink plenty of fluids and monitor your indoor thermostat to keeping it no higher than 82 degrees. We live in an area that can have extremely hot temperatures; consequently, it is important to understand how you deal with the heat and have a plan to cool down.

Laughter Is Good For You

Laughter is contagious. It is a way to create friendships and give everyone the opportunity to be part of something. Recently, I visited the Sierra View Homes Kings Canyon Dining Room during the evening meal. As I encountered the people at each table, I asked for a “good Joke.” I said I was writing an article about humor and its effects on people and I needed some jokes to add to the mix. There were smiles all around and then the person who always has a joke ready responded “You know I have had several good years in my life.” but they were all tires.” It took a moment for that one to sink in but as each person at the table got the meaning of the joke, you could hear the groan and laughter. All of us knew about Goodyear Tires. I thought it was a good joke and repeated it at several tables that evening. Each time we all enjoyed the laughter.

Laughing makes people feel good. Studies show that laughter boosts the immune system and triggers the release of pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain. The brain then releases powerful endorphins, which are morphine-like compounds that reduce pain, increases our sense of well-being and improves the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream.

Laughter helps to create a positive mood. You cannot stay angry while you laugh. Anxiety and tension release giving way to good feelings. Laughter can become a temporary vacation from everyday problems. Your sense of humor is one of the most important tools you have to enhance your mood and support good health.

If you laugh easily and are pleasant natured you will find people will want to be around you. Being able to laugh at yourself adds to your appeal to those around you.

Laughter stimulates memories and improves mental acuity in the population that have a dementia diagnosis. Studies show clowns clowning around with people help improve memory, language and communication. Maybe it is the red nose that enables these folks to reach back in their memories and bring those memories to the present.

Some of us have to work at laughing and some of us laugh easily. I have a few suggestions on how to work on increasing your ability to laugh.

Do you smile often? If you smile easily, you have a good start in a great sense of humor. Smiling is contagious just like laughter and instantly creates a warmth and a feeling of enjoyment. People gravitate towards people who are smiling. Practice smiling at the people you meet. See if they will smile back at you. You might be surprised at how good this makes you feel.

Counting your blessings helps you look on the brighter side of life. I encourage you to write down your blessings and add to the list as you encounter new ones. This activity will keep you from dwelling on what is wrong in your life and encourage you to search for positive things to add to the list.

You can watch movies or TV shows that make you smile. “I Love Lucy” is a TV show that comes to mind. Some people make a hobby of collecting jokes. I found out the resident who is always ready with a joke collects jokes so he is ready to tell a new one. There are humorous books to read and then there documentaries such as the one Carl Reiner hosted. The documentary is titled, “If you are not in the obituary, eat breakfast.” Famous elderly people talk about how humor has kept them heathy and has helped with their longevity. Mel Brooks, 93, and Betty White, 97, are a couple of the people interviewed.  

I have noticed if I am in a jovial mood with a ready laugh the people I meet easily and quickly relate to me. It is easy to strike up a conversation and people feel comfortable talking with me. They are ready to share a laugh with me. It seems like everyone is waiting for a smile and/or a laugh.

So, have you heard this one?An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor and the doctor had him fitted for a set of hearing aids. This allowed the gentleman to hear very well. The elderly gentleman came back to see the doctor a month later. The doctor said, ‘Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.’ The gentleman replied, ‘Oh, I haven’t told my family yet, I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I have changed my will three times!’

P.S. If you need another emergency dose of good feels, just spend some time scrolling through the Creative Commons image search category “LAUGHTER.” So joyful it’s impossible not to smile!