Posts Tagged ‘Bonaventure’

Bonaventure Senior Living Says the Great Omani Inspired a New Generation of Daredevil

In Lifestyle on July 25, 2013 at 7:47 am

Ronald Cunningham was 92 years old when he passed away in 2007, says Bonaventure Senior Living. In his nearly 10 decades of life, the Great Omani, as he was known, served as a reminder that time was just a man-made calculation. Bonaventure Senior Living pays tribute to the global inspiration—a man known as the World’s Oldest Escapologist.

The man without a plan

According to Bonaventure Senior Living, Ronald Cunningham did not come from a showbiz family. He was born in 1915 in Windsor, England. His father was a wine importer, his mother a homemaker. Cunningham attended the Dorset Public School and lived a privileged life until his father’s death. According to Bonaventure Senior Living, the senior Cunningham passed away unexpectedly and his wine and spirits company dissolved, leaving Ronald uncertain about his future.

With a blazing spirit unquenched by despair, Ronald Cunningham signed up for military service in World War II, says Bonaventure Senior Living, but was rejected due to a congenital heart defect. Bonaventure Senior Living explains that Cunningham had no particular plan until a chance encounter with gravity at a local bookstore gave him an idea. The Secrets of Houdini was haphazardly placed on a top shelf; it fell, hitting the Great Omani in the head. When Cunningham recovered from the literary ambush, he bought and read the book, says Bonaventure Senior Living.

Cunningham, explains Bonaventure Senior Living, was captivated by the contents of this then-controversial work. Fortunately for him, he was able to read it before the Magician’s Circle pulled it from shelves for divulging too many of magic’s greatest secrets, explains Bonaventure Senior Living.

A natural showman

Bonaventure Senior Living reports that the book was Cunningham’s constant companion. In 1950, says Bonaventure Senior Living, Cunningham was ready for his public debut.

It was evident early in his magic career that Ronald Cunningham was a showman at heart. Bonaventure Senior Living says he was always his best in front of the crowd. Cunningham spent a great deal of time on Brighton’s West Pier, diving into a bed of flames and being padlocked during high tide. Bonaventure Senior Living says that the great magician notably highlighted his career in 1977 during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Bonaventure Senior Living reports that Cunningham stood on his hands almost literally on the end of the world—on the precipice of Beachy Head—with a Union Jack clenched tightly between his bare toes.

The Great Omani performed until 2005. As Bonaventure Senior Living notes, Cunningham explained that magic was “a very hard profession to leave.” An endless exhibitionist with a crowd-pleasing personality, Ronald Cunningham’s last act was eating fire for a television crew a week before he opened the eternal trapdoor. The Great Omani passed away two weeks before Halloween in 2007. Bonaventure Senior Living says even in his final days he maintained a great sense of humor and left this final note for family and friends:

They lay the Great Omani in this box…

They have done it up with nails, not locks.

But at his funeral, do not despair,

Chances are, he won’t be there.

Bonaventure Senior Living has been serving exceptional seniors on the West Coast for more than 10 years. Boasting the tagline “life on your terms,” Bonaventure Senior Living breaks the barriers of retirement care by providing customizable housing options spanning from independent living to intensive memory care services. Bonaventure Senior Living, with 37 locations in six states, provides residents with a family-like environment and is managed by industry experts who hold themselves personally accountable for each and every member of the Bonaventure Senior Living family.

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO, Suggests Dancing for Seniors

In Lifestyle on May 26, 2013 at 6:38 pm

PamGraySeniorLIving_DancingPam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO, believes that dancing is a prime activity for the physical and emotional health of seniors. For those who might be tentative about trying a new exercise, Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO, gives a brief summary on how learning the two-step or the tango will reap benefits.

Presentation Solutions: What mental benefits do seniors derive from dancing?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Dancing improves memory and cognitive function while fighting off Alzheimer’s and memory loss.

Presentation Solutions: Is dancing difficult to learn?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Once immersed into their routines, seniors often forget that dancing is exercise altogether—even though they are moving more parts of the body than when walking.

Presentation Solutions: How so?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Dancing rePresentation Solutionsuires both upper body and lower body movements and also expands an individual’s aerobic capacity.

Presentation Solutions: How does the mental effect of dancing compare to other exercise?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: In contrast with other activities such as walking or swimming, dancing coerces participants into training their brain muscles as well. Seniors who dance regularly score better on cognitive tests.

Presentation Solutions: Why is that?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: There are two main factors. First, the stimulation of maintaining an active social life instantly improves their mood. Second, dancers must memorize a series of steps and other physical movements necessary to learning a dance.

Presentation Solutions: Will seniors be overwhelmed when first starting?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: On the contrary, dancing classes give seniors a sense of belonging, and continued participation leads to long-lasting friendships with fellow dancers.

Presentation Solutions: What specific parts of the body are worked?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Most notably, dancing increases strength in the legs and supports overall bone health.

Presentation Solutions: What about contributing to weight loss?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Dancing often makes a significant impact on body fat. It has a dramatic effect on midsections and gives the body more flexibility.

Presentation Solutions: Can dancing help prevent diseases?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Seniors who suffer from type 2 diabetes have used dancing to lose weight and lower blood pressure. Consistent exercise routines reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer-related illnesses.

Presentation Solutions: Is dancing hard on the body?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Dancing is easy on the joints, which makes it an attractive exercise for seniors with arthritis or chronic pain.

Presentation Solutions: What are some additional benefits?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Other positive effects also include improvements in coordination and balance.

Presentation Solutions: Are dance classes easy to find in the community?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Yes. Dancing is a hot commodity in today’s marketplace, and more gyms and studios are offering classes designed for all ages.

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO, has served in this capacity since 2007 and has more than 20 years of experience in the retirement community field.

Pam Gray of Bonaventure Speaks about Seniors Who Reject Traditional Retirement

In Lifestyle on April 26, 2013 at 11:06 am
Pam Gray Bonaventure

Pam Gray Bonaventure

Pam Gray, Bonaventure COO, says the Bonaventure family is about one thing: life on your terms. Bonaventure is dedicated to providing a comfortable, caring, affordable place to call home by providing the amount of expert help and care you desire—from a little to a lot. Recently, the staff of Presentation Solutions sat down for a conversation with Pam Gray of Bonaventure.

Presentation Solutions: Everyone gives up working at some point in order to retire and relax, don’t they?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  Not everyone. Some senior adults have started a successful career when they were long past retirement age.

Presentation Solutions: Successful? You mean they continue working in established careers, don’t you?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  No, I mean completely new careers. A wonderful lady who goes by the name, “Grandma Moses”, worked on a farm until she was too frail to do manual labor. She taught herself to paint when she was 78 years old. She then went on to become one of the most successful folk artists of the last century, perhaps because no one could convince her she was too old to do it.

Presentation Solutions: But isn’t that just one individual who beat the odds?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  Well, there’s also Peter Roget. He was a retired doctor who liked to make lists. He published his giant list of words as a book at age 73. Maybe you’ve heard of it: Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. Most people just call it “The Thesaurus.”

Presentation Solutions: Okay, okay. But those two are exceptions, right? Don’t all seniors eventually retire and settle into a sedentary lifestyle?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  At Bonaventure we encourage our residents to do what they enjoy. You’d be amazed at what senior adults can do with a little encouragement.

Presentation Solutions: So, amaze me…

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  How about great grandmother Mary Armstrong? On her 90th birthday, she celebrated by making a 12,000 foot skydiving jump. Or maybe biker chick, Bess Tancrelle, who celebrated her 102nd birthday by taking a ride on a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Presentation Solutions: That is amazing!  They must have never had any serious injuries or illnesses to allow such incredible feats, right?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  I can’t speak to that particular question, but one lady I know about named Tao Porchon-Lynch had surgery for a broken hip at age 87. Her doctor told her that her body would never be the same and to take it easy from then on. She thought about it, said no way, and at age 93 went on to ballroom-dancing competition. She also teaches yoga classes twelve times a week.

Presentation Solutions: That is one determined woman! Does that kind of thing happen often?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  It isn’t that uncommon in today’s world. Geriatric specialists tell us that longevity is the new normal. I expect more and more people will achieve surprising physical and mental accomplishments well into their 90s and beyond.

Presentation Solutions: Isn’t this a rare occurrence in the retirement community?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  Actually, it’s becoming relatively common to see seniors participating in physically-taxing events like marathons and long-distance cycling.

Presentation Solutions: So it is an individual undertaking and not a community thing?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  It can involve a group of senior adults with the same interests. Senior leagues for softball, baseball and swim teams are forming across the country.

Presentation Solutions: What is driving this change in the way seniors spend their retirement years?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  Baby Boomers are often mentioned when the topic of so called over-achieving seniors are mentioned. Baby Boomers have been accused of not wanting to grow old and are determined it isn’t going to happen to them. But the 80-, 90-, and 100-year olds we’ve discussed today aren’t Baby Boomers. Some of them are even older than the parents of Baby Boomers.

Presentation Solutions: But it seems a little strange that it is happening now across the country. Is something else driving these extraordinary changes in retirement attitudes?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  I would say, yes. It is a very recent phenomenon and there are definitely extenuating factors.  People are more aware of how much lifestyle changes affect their health and longevity. Advances in medicine also play a major role.

Presentation Solutions: Even with those considerations, we’re talking about some serious physical exertion that demands unwavering dedication. How do they do it?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  For the majority, the simple answer is they love the activities they have chosen. The pleasure of their accomplishments more than outweighs the monotony of the daily effort it takes.

Presentation Solutions: We’ve talked about physical prowess. What about mental agility and senility?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  I’m glad you asked that. Often, people make a broad assumption about older adults. They are old, therefore they are mentally deficient. This is a harmful myth. The belief that cognitive function declines with age has not been proven.

Presentation Solutions: Are you saying that aging doesn’t affect our ability to learn and communicate effectively?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  Well, for example, many people don’t remember that Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of England—twice. He served a second time in 1951 when he was 77 years old.

Presentation Solutions: No, I confess I didn’t know that.

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  Much like Peter Roget and his Thesaurus, there’s Noah Webster. He didn’t publish his first dictionary until he was 69 years old.

Presentation Solutions: I suppose there are numerous authors we could name. What about other professions?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  Barbara McLintock, the discoverer of genetic transposition, or cell mutation changing DNA, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine at the age of 81.

Presentation Solutions: I didn’t realize there were so many older adults who had made such an impact on our lives. I thought most people retired early to relax.

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  In today’s world, sixty-fix is not very old.  While early retirement before the age of 65 does seem to be a trend, that doesn’t mean those retirees stop working. They often leave the work they’ve done all their lives to start a new career or pursue other interests that may not have been possible for them in their earlier life.

Presentation Solutions: These facts are definitely food for thought. It’s encouraging to know there is life after retirement. And it sounds like a lot of fun.

Pam Gray, Bonaventure:  There are a lot of senior adults who agree. Getting older is inevitable, but how we handle it makes all the difference. Our outlook on aging has changed drastically in recent years and it continues to evolve.

Pam Gray of Bonaventure is passionate about offering senior adults the best in retirement accommodations and assisted living. Bonaventure communities are located in the Western United States. For more information, visit