College Park Retirement Blog

Religion creates a sense of meaning in one’s life that becomes especially significant in our golden years. Through studies, this significance suggests that participants who identify with various religious affiliations, beliefs and practices likewise improves overall health.

Indianapolis retirement homeHere’s the breakdown of studies:

48% seniors go to religious services on a regular basis.

As opposed to the millennial generation, seniors are more likely found in a church pew on any given Sunday, as they were raised at a time when church was absolutely central to American life.

71% of Southerners portray themselves as "sure beyond a shadow of a doubt" that God exists. Almost all seniors reported that they relied on religion when confronted with troublesome circumstances. This may include a decline in health, lack of mobility, or loss of a spouse. It is also reported that religious participants bounce back more quickly as opposed to non-believers.

65% say that religion is very important to them.

Whether this takes place in fun group activities, congregational services, singing hymns together, scripture study, or just prayer in one’s own apartment, expressions of faith are vital to the lives of most seniors.

67% of seniors said that having a spiritual existence in their lives offers more joy.

For many people, religion is not just a matter of spirituality but also a means of social connection. In our experience, religion is indispensable to the joy and wellbeing within a senior community.

The Key Takeaway from these statistics? Religious and spiritual practice in seniors promotes the wellbeing and happiness of individuals, families, and the community.

Within our senior community, it is evident that religion has positively affected resident satisfaction and general prosperity. Religion offers a higher physical and mental wellness, and extending health longevity and lifespan.

At Morningside, spiritual prosperity can be found in mutual respect between caretaker, staff, and senior residents. To offer peace and prosperity, we welcome all religious beliefs within our community. Regardless of belief, we encourage communal activities, motivational gatherings, field trips, and many more.

Being a Christian company, we do understand the incredible importance for each individual to be able to experience and express their religious values and rituals, and we do everything we can to provide them opportunities to worship and carry out their customs and practices.

Written by: Katie Hanley

Published in Retirement Communities

As we pack away the Christmas decorations and think of our New Year’s Resolutions, we reflect on this wonderful year and the new year upon us. We look forward to seeing the many familiar smiling faces and meeting the new ones that will join our Regency family in 2017. If you are considering assisted living for your aging parents whom have expressed concern with the idea, let’s take a minute to evaluate a new perspective on senior living along with the four ways of overcoming objections to senior care changes. 

Do Research First – Before approaching the conversation of senior care with your loved ones, first observe their health condition and carefully evaluate their specific needs. For example, do they require help with mobility? Or do they require memory care from the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s? If they object to senior care, our experts suggest consulting with their primary health care professional for further recommendations. Once you have gathered your information regarding senior care, respectfully present your findings in a way that shows your concerns come from a place of love instead of frustration.

retirement community Indianapolis

Use Your Resources – It’s not uncommon for older adults to object to change, especially when those changes involve senior living. If you and your family are not in agreement about future plans, use your resources and ask for outside help. Seek advice from someone that knows your loved ones well, whether it be their physician, nurse practitioner, minister, or friends. Getting a new perspective from a trustworthy source can weigh heavily on the matter when it comes to swaying opinions.

Begin Now and Take it Slow – When is the best time to begin planning for the future? We get this question all the time. The answer is now! Don’t wait until it’s too late to make important decisions like family estate planning and medical wishes. While the conversation is never a fun topic, it is important to plan ahead for hypothetical and inevitable situations. While it is a good idea to start sooner than later, don’t do it all at once. Suggest the idea of senior care gradually and without forced acceptance. This is a very sensitive time for everyone involved. To avoid arguments and hurt feelings, remember to take things slowly when discussing important life decisions and give them ample time to decide. Doing so will allow them to weigh the options and help them to have a more positive perspective towards senior living.

Offer Valid Reasons to Consider – By suggesting multiple options for the future and letting your aging loved ones pick, they will be less likely to feel as if they were forced into the final decision without their consent. Begin by telling them the reasons why you would like them to be at a senior health care facility and not at home. The conversation should be brief, precise, and articulate. To do so, evaluate the pros if they choose to move into Regency senior living community. For example, our senior living facility offers many things that they cannot get living at home. These may include: regular senior interaction, daily campus activities and events, freshly prepared meals, and constant daily care from health care professionals and staff. Once you have gone through the list of pros together, list out the cons, and then compare to living at home. Doing so will help narrow down the options and pick the right one for you and your loved ones. 

It’s important to discuss the idea of transitioning into senior living with your aging loved ones. When and if possible, always involve them in every aspect of the conversation and planning. It is very common for older adults to resist senior care changes to some extent because no one wants to lose their freedom, no matter the age. Our Regency family understands that while things will change, we still encourage our residents to live as independently as they were before. 

If you are interested in learning more about our services or to receive a free, no obligation consultation with one of our Regency specialists, please schedule an appointment today. We would love to welcome you and yours into our Regency family. 

Written by: Katie Hanley

Published in Retirement Communities

Indianapolis retirement facility

It’s normal to collect too many assets, some of which may be junk, through the years. But there often comes a time to cut the clutter and to downsize. For most senior empty nesters, their adult children have long out with families of their own. Sometimes due to health reasons, the senior may not capable living at their current home any longer.

When downsizing, paring down items comes with the territory. While some of us are excellent "dejunkers", others have a harder time. Lifehack.org says the best way to downsize is to start small. For example, begin by starting with a simple space to make significant progress. If not, it can start to feel overpowering if approached wholly– so work in moderation. Remind yourself that it has likely taken years to get everything, so you likely won’t finish in the first day, especially if you are suffering from issues with mobility. 

The Top Dos and Don'ts for Downsizing

•      Do Prioritize

•      Don't Wait/Avoid Procrastination

•      Do Be Aware of Hoarding Behavior

•      Don't Be Too Sensitive

•      Do Transform

•      Don't Just Throw It Away

Do Prioritize

Before you assess your belongings, plan out your next move. Set manageable goals weekly for yourself. Start by sorting belongings into one of three boxes – give, keep, and discard. Begin sorting things to discard, as these items should be obvious, such as: old garments, dusty books, etc.

Try not to Wait

Whatever you do, avoid procrastination. Regardless if you think you have enough time. It will be a long, enduring process that requires several weeks and even months to complete – even with the assistance of family and friends. Tip: To avoid delaying, mark your calendar with each weekly goal to accomplish. This can help tremendously when in planning for the big move. 

Do Be Aware of Hoarding Behavior

This often times unsanitary and unsafe lifestyle can be risky in seniors who are experiencing issues in mobility, as the possibility for falling is increased. While hoarding items is sometimes harmless, it can be an indication for underlying health issues, most commonly dementia or Alzheimer's in seniors.

Try not to Be Too Sensitive

Naturally, we become be attached to things that we find meaningful. So, discarding these items that are special to us can be incredibly challenging. With most difficult choices, do your best to take it moderation and carefully assess everything and it's level of significance. For questionable items, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Slanting questions with a closed-ended, yes-no answer will help make difficult decisions a bit easier.

To family and companions of seniors, understand the hard decisions ahead during this transition. Have patience, support, and encourage positive change amid this difficult time.

Do Transform

Transitioning into a downsized space means every inch counts! To adapt to your new, smaller home, transform each space with personal items. For example, photographs of family, work of art from the grandkids, and remembrances from your sweetie pie. At Regency Senior Living people group with Memory Care administrations, occupants are urged to keep their unique things in a memory box for safekeeping. Speaking of putting away, rather than tossing out your cherished things, save them in a new way, so you can keep them free from mess or harm. This technique works incredible for free photographs, music, and movies.

Don't Throw It Away

If you have things you wish to throw away, be aware of waste disposal options. Ask yourself, can this thing be reused, repurposed, or recycled? Don’t simply junk it! Recollect that one man's junk is another man's fortune.

It's critical to begin decluttering sooner than later to allow the move to Assisted Living to be a consistent and pleasant process. For more tips on scaling down seniors, visit: http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/15-9-5-senior-cutting back tips/

Written by: Katie Hanley

Friday, 29 August 2014 12:19

Regency Morningside Offering Respite Care

Indianapolis retirement communityMorningSide of College Park is proud to offer Respite care among our services. Respite refers to short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home. Respite gives family members a break and support so they can continue to take joy in providing care to their loved ones so they can remain at home.

MorningSide opened our new memory care unit, Reflections, earlier this year. “We offer respite for families who need somewhere for their loved one to be safe and cared for while they take a vacation, go to a business meeting, etc.  Our respite rooms are beautifully furnished and those who participate in our program receive the same love, care and support as our residents,” said Susan Albers, the Executive Director of MorningSide of College Park.

She said families feel comfort knowing they aren’t in their situation alone. “Many families have faced the challenge of seeing a loved one decline due to dementia.  There is a great deal of support, encouragement and care for both the person with dementia and his or her loved one(s) dealing with it,” Albers said.

The first step to providing compassionate care to those needing respite care is understanding what’s happening. It is such a challenge because often the people we love who become forgetful aren’t aware.  The greater opportunity is understanding. 

“The brain is amazing. The one thing it isn’t is a library,” Albers said. “I remember hearing a geriatrician speak one time about this. He offered the following analogy: ‘There is no Dewey Decimal System in our brain.  When our brain hears a piece of information, it stores it anywhere it can find a place.  As we age our brain becomes increasingly filled with all sorts of information, helpful or not. When we try to retrieve that information, it just isn’t there. Later — and it can be even hours or days — that word or name you were trying to remember suddenly pops into your mind. And you didn’t think you were still trying.  It just took longer to find!  All of that time your brain was searching.’

A person’s thinking process changes when they develop dementia. “The way they understand and communicate information becomes foreign to us, so it is hard for us to accept.  They find it hard to make decisions, put the correct combinations together or follow a process.”

She said some ways the staff at MorningSide can help include offering them a choice of two things (“Would you like to wear the green blouse or the yellow one?”). Or helping them make choices or cue them on a process. 

“And all through this transition, we as family members and friends are grieving the person he or she once was. The journey doesn’t have to be dismal. There are wonderful times to be had… especially if you don’t try to go it alone. A lot of stress is placed on a family that is facing a loved one diagnosed with dementia. As the disease progresses it becomes a 24/7 job. However, there are great opportunities for assistance and support.”

For a list of support groups, go to www.alz.org/indiana. For information about MorningSide’s Reflections Memory Care, please call us at (317) 872-4567 or see our website at http://www.morningsideofcollegepark.com.

Published in Memory Care
Thursday, 31 July 2014 16:52

Coping with an Alzheimer's Diagnosis

memory care IndaianapolisThey are referred to as “senior moments”, but everyone is forgetful some of the time.

In contrast, Alzheimer’s and dementia cause significant impairment of memory, ability to communicate, ability to focus and pay attention, reason and judgment, and visual perception. People suffering from dementia have problems with their short-term memory, keeping track of their wallet, remembering doctor’s appointments, or taking care of themselves.

Other symptoms include withdrawing from social activities, confusion with time or place, difficulty completing familiar tasks, and changes in mood and personality.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with the Alzheimer’s disease, two-thirds of them female. About 11% of Indiana seniors have Alzheimer’s disease.

By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's may nearly triple, from 5 million to as many as 16 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease.

The diagnosis of dementia is scary and tragic, but there is hope and you aren’t alone.

At Morningside of College Park Senior Living Community, we operate a special unit for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. We call it the Reflections Centre.

The specially trained, compassionate caregivers at Reflections listen to family members and learn as much as possible about their loved one so we can create a program of care and support for them. Research shows that people with memory impairments function better in an environment of simplicity, with less confusion and a structured routine.

The Reflections Centre offers a safe, secure environment, complete with an enclosed outdoor courtyard. Visitors may only enter through our front atrium entrance. All the side doors are locked and secure. The main entrance is open until 10 p.m. each day. Our building is staffed 24-hours a day. This is important because people with Alzheimer’s disease have been known to wander off in a confused state and end up in places they did not plan to go.

Reflections Centre helps the person with dementia keep track of things in the absence of good judgment. Residents enjoy three delicious meals and snacks daily, assistance with dressing, bathing & grooming, medication management, weekly housekeeping and laundry services, and daily activities.

Family members are invited to participate in a thorough evaluation of a resident’s physical needs when we talk with the primary care physician or specialist to learn about any recent or long-standing medical conditions. Some treatable conditions such as depression can occasionally be mistaken for dementia, so a thorough evaluation and the proper care plan are vital.

For more information about our Reflections Centre, call our director, leasing and marketing at 317-872-4567 or visit http://morningsideofcollegepark.com/index.php/indianapolis-retirement-home-amenities/memory-care-retirement-facility-indianapolis for more information.

Further reading:

Alzheimer's Association: http://www.alz.org/

The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center: http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers

Alzheimer's Reading Room: http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/

The New York Times "New Old Age" Blog: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/

Photo Credit: Kyrre Gjerstad via Compfight cc

Published in Memory Care

Indianapolis senior livingWe rely on all sorts of medicines to relieve pain, lower blood sugar, improve circulation, and boost our immunity, but life gives us a natural way to help achieve all of these – and best of all, it’s free!

I’m talking about laughter.

It’s not just something most of us don’t do nearly enough – it’s strong medicine!

Here’s just a few ways a good chuckle affects our mind and body:

  • The Brain – Laughter dissolves distressing emotions because it is impossible to feel anxiety at the same time as joy. It restores our sense of balance, gives us perspective, keeps us grounded, increases intimacy with friends, increases creativity, and generally keeps us focused and alert. When the mood is light, we also tend to let go of disagreements and disappointments, which can manifest in physical stress on the rest of the body.
  • Hormones – Those good feelings are the result of the body releasing chemicals called endorphins that temporarily relieve pain.
  • Muscles – Laughing causes muscles to relax for up to 45 minutes after a chuckle ends. The human body normally experiences physical tension, so the release has a big impact.
  • Immune System – Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. This makes the body more resistant to disease.
  • The Heart – When we react with laughter, our blood vessels experience better functioning, which leads to increased blood flow, which can help guard us against cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks.
  • Sleep – With reduced stress, the body is better able to heal and renew while we enjoy a deeper sleep.

These are just a few of the ways that watching a funny movie or TV show may be just what the doctor ordered for Indiana seniors. 

Photo Credit: Isengardt via Compfight cc

Friday, 30 May 2014 13:39

Making Your Next Doctor's Visit Count

Indianapolis senior livingMedical students learn the phrase "First, do no harm". As a patient, you can greatly help her Indianapolis physician do a better job of managing your care. 

Health care can be complex and confusing for doctors because they have so many patients with histories to keep straight in their heads and their records. It can even be confusing to the patients from across the state of Indiana to keep track of. 

Multiple prescriptions can mean a larger possibility for drug errors, for example, including drug-to-drug interactions; under- or over-utilization of a drug; duplication of therapies; and incorrect dosages.

Communicating clearly about your medical history with your doctors is essential to your wellbeing. 

Make the most of your time with your physician and leave knowing you have asked all of the right questions and are aware of next steps regarding your follow up treatment.

Keeping your health information all together, perhaps in a notebook or binder, to bring to your next doctor’s visit is critical.  All doctors’ names, phone numbers, copies of insurance cards, a list of current medications, etc. should be included in case these need to be referenced. 

Ask someone to come with you at your next appointment.  A friend or relative can ensure that you know when your appointments are and keep notes regarding doctor’s instructions.  They can also help you keep your medications in order.

Be sure to ask your doctor whether any of the medications that they have prescribed will interact in any way with medications that you’ve previously been prescribed. Failing to ask or share this information can have serious consequences. 

Lastly, don't be intimidated by your doctor. If have questions about anything you discussed during your appointment, don’t be afraid to ask if your doctor will explain it to you again.

Photo Credit: Walt Stoneburner via Compfight cc

Published in Active Senior Living
Thursday, 01 May 2014 09:56

Fit Fitness into Daily Routines

Wanting to stay fit and healthy, but not sure how to do it?

active retirement living IndianapolisStaying in motion brings a lot of benefits, particularly reducing the symptoms and slowing the progress of a number of chronic conditions. Fitness doesn’t require a gym membership. In fact, you can find ways to incorporate a basic workout into the things you already do every day.

For example:

Walk instead of Riding in a Car: When you are traveling a short distance, the path of least resistance is moving your car from one parking spot to another closer to your destination. Instead, if you’re physically able, trying walking.  Sure, it’s more effort, but walking helps us lose weight and build muscle, plus you won’t have to burn gas circling a parking lot in search of a vacant space.

Take the Stairs instead of an Elevator: Unless you’re needing to get from the ground to the observation deck of the Empire State Building, it’s not unreasonable to consider climbing the hard way if you don’t have mobility issues.

Turn everyday objects into Weights: As long as you are able to securely grip something you improvise for a dumbbell, you can grow stronger. Don’t overdo it because you don’t want to strain muscles or injure yourself by accidentally dropping something heavy on your feet. Think lighter, but with more repetitive movements.

Take advantage of Settings: If you are visiting family and the grandkids want to swim this summer, the pool can be a great place to do low-impact exercise. Use local walking trails for a leisurely stroll. And walk the halls of MorningSide of College Park, taking the opportunity to exercise while socializing.

Of course, you never want to start an exercise regimen without first consulting your physician to make sure you avoid injury.

 

Talk to us at Morningside of College Park Senior Living Community about ways we help keep seniors healthy and physically active. 

Published in Active Senior Living
Thursday, 28 March 2013 12:02

Your Role as a Caregiver

retirement communities IndianapolisBeing a caregiver can take many forms. For some it means tending to a loved one at home themselves, for others it means hiring an in-home aid, and for still others a retirement home or assisted living community. There are innumerable ways to approach caregiving, varying with income, medical conditions, physical and mental ability, time, and the number of family members or professionals involved. Anyone can be a caregiver, from wealthy celebrities to everyday Joes working multiple jobs. What unites all caregivers across these differences is the compassion, empathy, and effort that comes with taking care of a loved one. There are several ways that you can make your unique approach to caregiving more effective, no matter the specifics:

  1. Emphasize communication. Of course you want to be clear and transparent with your loved one about meeting their needs and how they feel day to day. But you also want to fully understand physicians and outpatient providers, in-home aids, assisted living professionals, insurance agents, lawyers, and anyone else involved in managing your loved one’s affairs. Ask any questions you might have, no matter how ridiculous or basic they may seem. The more you know the more you can advocate for your loved one and act quickly when needed.
  2. Turn a negative into a positive when you feel like caregiving is a second (or third, or fourth!) job. You might be wearing a lot of hats already as a mother or father, wife or husband, employee or volunteer. But if you approach caregiving consciously aware of the skills you already use every day at work or at home, you’ll realize you’re more on top of things than you thought. Apply the delegation and scheduling skills you use at work to finding the right therapists and aids, or to develop regular medication management. Apply your meal planning skills to addressing unique dietary needs, such as avoiding Vitamin K for a husband or parent who takes Coumadin. You’ll find you’re better prepared than you thought!
  3. Always try to be encouraging. It can be easy to get frustrated as a caregiver, both with yourself, the situation, and the person you love. Focus on the positive, from your loved one’s abilities and daily triumphs to your own successes as a caregiver. Encouragement can also come in the form of urging your loved one to exercise more or adhere to new nutritional guidelines like low salt intake. You might even want to encourage yourself by offering yourself treats after big hurdles or simply scheduling in downtime for your own hobbies and peace of mind. By focusing on the good, pleasant, and fun things about caregiving, you won’t sweat the tough and negative as much.

No matter what caregiving looks like in your family, these tips will help you excel, and better balance your new role with the rest of your life. While change (even positive change) can be stressful, the right mindset and preparation can work magic both emotionally and practically.

Written by Meghan O'Dea

Published in Caregivers

After years of taking care of a sprawling home top to bottom, wouldn’t it be a relief to spend your time on something more fun than housework? After years of working hard to pay off your mortgage, get the latest lawn mower to keep up your yard, and repaint the place every few years, wouldn’t it be a relief to into retirement without the extra effort and expense? These are just some of the reasons than many people decide to downsize at some point during retirement. Without work and kids in the house, it can be the perfect time to create a new living situation to suit your new lifestyle!

This is the time in your life that is all about you, and how you want to spend your time. Many people pick up new hobbies and a new sense of adventure during retirement, and love the extra freedom and time on their hands. Many retirees also choose to join a retirement community so they can even further reduce the daily burden of housekeeping in exchange for more social opportunities and fun. Downsizing is a great way to save money and time for all these things.

It can be simple to start—just open a closet door. Pick a room that’s used primarily for storage of things you don’t use often—old sports equipment, guest sheets and towels, old VHS tapes, or whatever you might have piled up. Decide what you absolutely need to keep or would genuinely miss and what can go. As you go through your things room by room, keep separate boxes or bins available for each category to help you visualize your downsizing project. It would be very frustrating to move and realize you’d brought too much and have to further sort while trying to get settled!

It doesn’t need to be a stressful process. By going room to room and sticking to just a few categories to sort, you can quickly clear out your home without much hassle. As you finish sorting a room, drop the things you aren’t keeping off at charity shops, consignment stores, friends’ houses or wherever its final destination might be. Pack the rest into boxes to move. That first closet you started with can be the place you keep your boxes leading up to the move so they don’t get in your way day to day. Save the rooms with major essentials for last—rooms like the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.

Be sure to set the essentials you’ll need right away in your new home aside to pack into a special box to come with you on moving day. That will be things like your pillow, toothbrush, toilet paper, sheets, a few changes of clothes, light bulbs, scissors, your medications, and anything else you can’t go a day without or will need to make moving easier. That way you won’t be regretting packing something important up or hunting through boxes as you downsize.

With a little organization a big life change can become a huge life benefit. Downsizing is exciting and can set you up to do all the things you want, and spend less time on the things you don’t. So go ahead—free yourself from the burden of the house and open yourself up to new adventures!

Written by Meghan O'Dea

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