Let’s Get Social!

Posted by in Technology.

While nothing replaces the comforting aspect of face-to-face conversation, social media, when used correctly, is a valuable tool that enhances the quality of life and aids communication. At Senior Lifestyle, we use various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to share information with our residents, families, team members and the communities we serve. One of the most delightful advantages of sharing the pictures of an event in a senior community in Pittsburgh or Peoria on social media is that a family member in Potosi or Petaluma can enjoy those pictures as well! Families may be separated by geography, but social media can help to erase some of the distance, a worthwhile benefit for our residents and families.

While seniors have traditionally not been large consumers of social media, that seems to be changing. In an article written for Huffington Post, Anita Kamiel, R.N, M.P.S., founder and owner of David York Home Healthcare Agency, shares that in a two-year span, Internet use among those 65 and older grew 150 percent, the largest growth in a demographic group. 34 percent of those seniors are users of social media such as Facebook. Seniors are using these tools to connect with family across the miles, to research issues that impact them, and in many cases, to re-visit destinations they’ve traveled to in the past through pictures and online “travelogues.”

While many seniors are joining the online world, some continue to say that they just don’t see the benefit of social media and having an online presence. Some feel intimidated by technology, but with the advent of computer systems designed specifically for seniors, this no longer has to be a hindrance for those interested in learning more about social media.

Some benefits of using social media for seniors include:

  • FAMILY CONNECTIONS

For seniors thinking “I wish I heard from my family more often,” social media is a great tool. Feelings of isolation have often been a leading cause of depression for seniors, and in a world where seemingly everyone has a phone on their person, this can be remedied. Skype calls, shared photos on Facebook and video “home movies” on Facebook can bring families closer across the miles.

  • ONLINE COUPONS & DISCOUNTS

With the prevalence of online savings through sites like Groupon, discounts offered by businesses on their Facebook pages, and other online opportunities to save, the days of clipping coupons may be past. For seniors on a fixed income, these discounts can add up.

  • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Whether a loved one lives at home or in a senior community, a sense of belonging is vital to well-being. Socializing with like-minded friends, online or in person, brings a feeling of involvement for seniors, especially if the senior is unable to leave home or their community on a regular basis.

At Senior Lifestyle, while we remain advocates of in-person social interaction with our families and friends with daily activities in our communities, we also see the benefits of social media, especially when a resident is able to connect with family across the miles or friends are re-connected online. We encourage you to connect with us online as well. To learn more about our online presence, visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter; we’d love to connect with you!

embrace Autumn

Posted by in Expert Advice, Awards, Programs.

Autumn is in the air and on the calendar, which means leaves are falling, the days are getting a bit shorter, and school is back in session. For many, this means a return to the regular routine after a long, lazy summer where schedules were flexible and plans changeable. Returning to a set schedule is comforting for some and a hassle for others, but for seniors with dementia a routine is vital. At Senior Lifestyle, our award-winning memory care philosophy, embrace, is built around comforting daily rhythms and activities that foster a sense of purpose for the individual with dementia.

For families caring for a senior loved one with dementia at home, a routine is vital as well. It is critical that all family members know what plans are in place in order to maintain the level of care needed and to lessen the stress not only on the caregivers but the senior with memory loss as well. Knowing the routine and the schedule of care can bring a sense of security to a senior who is dependent on others for his or her care. Back-up plans are also a necessity; planning for emergencies helps to keep things running smoothly. When the need arises for care beyond what can be provided in a home setting, Senior Lifestyle is here to provide memory care in a homelike atmosphere dedicated to honoring each resident’s individuality and personal story.

When memories fade, it’s the moments that matter most. Memory loss is difficult to navigate, and the aim of embrace is to provide a lifestyle that is in harmony with the interests and abilities of each resident while addressing the unique challenges arising from memory loss and cognitive impairment. To achieve that goal, each new resident meets with a team member to share their personal history, an embrace narrative that details specific life experiences, allowing caregivers the opportunity to truly connect with residents. This narrative and our innovative, award-winning small group programs provide a comprehensive approach to memory care that is unique to Senior Lifestyle.

While the needs of our residents change, our dedication to providing exceptional care for our residents in any season of life is perennial and constant. Senior Lifestyle’s commitment to providing innovative approaches to memory care is the foundation of the embrace philosophy, and it’s a commitment we’d love to share with those looking for exceptional care for a loved one. To learn more about embrace or any of our Senior Lifestyle communities, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Good Neighbors

Posted by in Holidays.

What makes a good neighbor? Is it a never-ending supply of sugar to borrow? The best recipe for chocolate cake? Perhaps open invitations to every cookout? National Good Neighbor Day, observed on September 28th, celebrates the qualities that define good neighbors everywhere. The effort to make Good Neighbor Day a national holiday began in the 1970’s in Lakeside, Montana, and in 1978 President Jimmy Carter announced the creation of this holiday focused on building thriving communities.  While Good Neighbor Day has been celebrated in various ways through the years, the passage of a resolution in 2003 made the holiday official.

At Senior Lifestyle, we believe being a good neighbor is simple; it’s giving back to the community, sharing resources, and most importantly, meeting the needs of those who rely on us for exceptional care. Our Senior Lifestyle neighborhoods, whether Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing or Memory Care, foster a sense of community between team members, residents and families, creating relationships that benefit each member of the community.

Like any neighborhood, Senior Lifestyle communities thrive because of the diversity and creativity of our residents. Neighborhoods are stronger when people come together to share their interests and many of our most popular senior activities have been suggested by residents. From gardening to book clubs to appreciation for the arts, Senior Lifestyle residents prove every day that being a good neighbor starts with sharing talents and passions with those closest to us, and our Programming Directors are always available to help implement a new idea, plan an outing or even schedule a Wii bowling tournament!

We’re proud of the thriving neighborhoods created at our Senior Lifestyle communities and we encourage resident suggestions that contribute to the innovative senior activities we offer in each community. To learn more about any of our communities, events or activities, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com. We’d love to share our vision of being a good neighbor with you, and the door is always open to new neighbors!

The Carlisle ROCKS in Palm Beach

Posted by in Community Spotlights.

Palm Beach County really rocks, and so does The Carlisle! Located a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean in the gorgeous community of Lantana, Florida, the Carlisle offers all the amenities of a 5-star resort. With local highlights that range from a beautiful forest preserve to high-end shopping, the area has something for everyone.

Karen Delgado, Director of Resident Programming at the Carlisle, shares that residents are what makes The Carlisle such an innovative senior community. With a taste for activities that go “well beyond Bingo”, residents at The Carlisle seek out opportunities to participate in and give back to the community-at-large. Karen states, “Our residents enjoy the creative process, and love to express themselves and their pride in the community with projects that benefit our local area.” Palm Beach County Rocks is just such a project.

According to the Facebook page of #PBCRocks, the project is “meant to inspire creativity in all ages, energize people to explore the beautiful area we live in, and bring happiness to ALL of Palm Beach County. The plan is simple; paint a rock, inscribe it with #PBCRocks, seal it, then hide it somewhere in Palm Beach County”. The group’s page goes on to explain that “if you find a rock, you can keep it or re-hide it for someone else to find. Who knows, you might find yourself re-discovering parts of our community you haven’t appreciated in a while.” When a rock is discovered, the finder snaps a picture and posts it to the Facebook page to share the discovery.

Residents and staff at The Carlisle have joined the community-wide Palm Beach County Rocks project with a great deal of gusto, from sharing their artistic flair painting rocks as an activity to hiding the rocks while on outings, shopping, or just walking along South Palm Beach. As in other communities across the country, the project has grown larger than the community, connecting people and promoting the area, providing a unique experience not only for visitors, but for locals as well.

If you find yourself in Palm Beach County, be sure to look for colorful rocks while out and about; if you find one, share your discovery at #PBCRocks! For more information on The Carlisle Palm Beach or to schedule a tour of this or any of our Senior Lifestyle communities, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Circle of Friends

Posted by in Special Events, Community Spotlights.

On Sunday, September 17th, Atrium Village residents widened their circle of friends, hosting an intergenerational event at the community that included members of The Friendship Circle, a local organization for children and young adults with special needs. Approximately 30 senior residents from Atrium Village, and 15-20 youngsters from The Friendship Circle joined together to make special challah bread to commemorate the Jewish New Year which begins on Wednesday evening September 20, 2017. The Friendship Circle leadership team taught both young and old participants about the holiday, and provided them with a special recipe to make their own bread. At the end of the program, the community baked each loaf, providing each resident with a special treat to commemorate the event.

Friendship Circle Program Director Chana Solomon said, “We want to thank the Atrium Village for this beautiful opportunity to link generations and form meaningful friendships!”

The philosophy of The Friendship Circle is one of inclusion, stating “Everyone in this world has a unique purpose. When we focus on abilities instead of disabilities, those with special needs can be part of the strongest friendships and influence people in positive ways that others can’t. Unwavering acceptance, positive thinking, honesty, and commitment are just a few of the important lessons these individuals teach by example.” The organization aims to create meaningful friendships between volunteers and children with special needs, increasing confidence and redefining worldviews for both parties, a goal that Atrium Village is delighted to share.

Reuben Rosenfeld, Executive Director of Atrium Village, noted, “Atrium Village was honored to host this intergenerational event, bringing our residents and The Friendship Circle together for an event that held special meaning for everyone. We look forward to hosting events like this on a monthly basis.”

Residents of Atrium Village shared how much they enjoyed having young people join them to participate in an activity, noting that they look forward to the next event with The Friendship Circle. By all accounts, it looks as if this friendship is built to last!

For more information about events at Atrium Village, or to schedule a tour, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Ignite Your Passion During Active Aging Week

Posted by in Holidays, Special Events.

Residents at Autumn Green at Midway Village are passionate about living life to the fullest. Every week residents in this beautiful community near the heart of Chicago learn new things and explore new opportunities, and Active Aging Week is no exception! Active Aging Week, celebrated from September 24th through September 30th, encourages seniors to take part in activities they love and to learn more about activities that spark their interest, and Autumn Green at Midway Village shares that goal. The theme for Active Aging Week in 2017 is Ignite Your Passion, and the International Council on Active Aging states that the goal of this weeklong campaign is to call attention to the positive aspects of aging by challenging the expectations of society and highlighting the capabilities of seniors.

Autumn Green at Midway Village invites you to join them for Active Aging Week events and Ignite Your Passion! Director of Sales and Marketing Thalia Barrow says, “Our residents are always open to new experiences; they often bring ideas to team members that we can then incorporate into our activity schedule.” Thalia also notes that Active Aging Week is a great time to explore what Autumn Green at Midway Village has to offer, sharing that many of their Active Aging Week activities are open to the public. Neighbors, friends and families are invited to attend the following events during Active Aging Week:

  • Monday, September 25th at 3 PM: Join us for a Ballroom Dance demonstration and instruction that will get your toes tapping!
  • Tuesday, September 26th at 11 AM: Our own Chef Antonio Ruiz will tempt your taste buds with a cooking demonstration that proves food is much more than just fuel.
  • Wednesday, September 27th at 1 PM: Ignite your inner artist with ceramic painting and share your talent with friends and family!

Active Aging Week is a perfect time to get a glimpse of the exceptional care and ease of life in a Senior Lifestyle community and Autumn Green at Midway Village would love to share their passion for Active Aging and their beautiful community with you. To save your spot for any of the exciting events scheduled for Active Aging Week, or to schedule a tour of Autumn Green at Midway Village, please call 773-432-4050.

Pine Trails at Castle Rock

Posted by in Community Spotlights.

With the recent addition of apartments for assisted living, Pine Trails at Castle Rock now provides even more options to families looking for exceptional senior care in the Castle Rock area. The community, formerly providing memory care only, held a Grand Re-Opening event on July 20th, attended by the mayor of Castle Rock, representatives from the local Chamber of Commerce, and guests from the surrounding communities. A highlight of the event was the dedication of a butterfly pavilion and the release of butterflies into their new habitat, a fascinating feature at Pine Trails.

Kimberley Backes, Executive Director of Pine Trails at Castle Rock, shares that she has received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the local community, with many sharing the same sentiment: “Thank you for giving the people of Castle Rock another care option.” Kimberley notes that the gifted and caring staff at Pine Trails have welcomed new residents to the community with a dedication to care that families notice as soon as they walk through the door, a dedication that has even allowed for a resident to transition from memory care to assisted living as the resident’s condition improved with daily care. The options of assisted living and memory care will also provide an easier transition in the event that a resident requires additional care.

Pine Trails at Castle Rock is committed to the pursuit of lifelong learning, a commitment represented by an upcoming seminar scheduled for Thursday, September 21st. This informational presentation will highlight positive approaches to topics such as finances, how to determine when a senior should discontinue driving, and recognizing when a loved one would benefit from assisted living. The presentation begins at 6 PM, and reservations may be made by calling 720-457-1200. Dinner for four to go is included as a gift for attending the presentation.

To learn more about assisted living or memory care provided by dedicated caregivers in a beautiful setting, visit Pine Trails and see for yourself what commitment to care looks like. Scheduling a tour of Pine Trails at Castle Rock or any of our Senior Lifestyle communities is as easy as visiting our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

AN ADVENTURE FOR ALL AGES

Posted by in Special Events.

On August 30th, Lake Barrington Woods hosted its highly anticipated second annual Adventure Camp, an event that drew attendees from neighboring Senior Lifestyle communities for a day of perfect weather, paddle boating and picnic fare. More than sixty residents and team members from Fox Point, The Sheridan of Tyler Creek, Lincolnwood Place, and Prairie Green at Fay’s Point joined Lake Barrington Woods at Bartlett Park District’s Sunrise Lake for a day celebrating friendship, new experiences and outdoor adventure.

Mirka Biegunska, Director of Resident Programs at Lake Barrington Woods, described Adventure Camp as an “end-of-summer recharge” for residents and caregivers alike, noting that the individual groups from each community came together seamlessly to make the day a success. She shared that the line for paddle boat rides provided a perfect opportunity for residents from different communities to mingle, noting that the ever-popular paddle boats cemented a few new friendships throughout the day.

A day of outdoor fun wouldn’t be complete without food, and Adventure Camp was no exception. Burgers, hot dogs, watermelon and other treats were served family-style at Adventure Camp, with each community bringing provisions that were cooked over campfires by chefs wearing unique “Body By Bacon” aprons that brought more than a few laughs. Lake Barrington Woods also provided a very special chef, a resident named Benny who donned an apron and jumped right in, grilling burgers and sharing laughs with everyone he met. Mirka shares that Benny “loves to be outside” and that it was a special treat for him to man the grill, a pastime he has always enjoyed.

From fishing to singalongs, and from archery practice to learning the correct way to hold a chicken, (see Youtube video for clarification!) residents and team members agree that Adventure Camp 2017 was a complete success. Everyone in attendance looks forward to next year to meet new friends from different communities, share new experiences and make memories. As Mirka states, “Who says adventures are just for kids? Not us!” To learn more about activities and events at a Senior Lifestyle community near you or to schedule a tour, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Family is Forever: National Assisted Living Week

Posted by in Holidays, Special Events.

At Senior Lifestyle, our residents are like family, so we’re celebrating National Assisted Living Week family-style with a host of special events in our communities. From social hours to family dinners, Senior Lifestyle celebrates and honors the bond between our team members and the residents they care for, a bond that is as strong and lasting as any family bond. This unbreakable bond serves as the inspiration for the theme of National Assisted Living Week, Family is Forever. The theme “Family is Forever” was inspired by a poem by Maya Angelou, which reads:

“Family isn’t always blood, it’s the people in your life who want you in theirs: the ones who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”

NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle said in his announcement of this year’s theme, “Anyone who has spent valuable time in an assisted living community has seen how staff can come to think of their residents like family. It takes a special person to work in our profession, and often, caregivers form bonds that can never be broken. This National Assisted Living Week, we want to recognize these amazing individuals who give their heart and soul to their residents, as well as those seniors…who leave a lasting imprint on their caregivers.”

National Assisted Living Week, established by the National Center for Assisted Living in 1995, provides an opportunity for communities across America to recognize and celebrate the vital role assisted living plays in caring for our seniors. This week also helps assisted living communities to educate the public about assisted living by sharing events and activities with their surrounding communities. Senior Lifestyle’s assisted living communities throughout the United States will share the stories of their residents and team members during this week, highlighting the relationships built in these communities between residents, caregivers, families and volunteers.

At Senior Lifestyle, we celebrate our residents and the caregivers who love them like family. If you’d like more information about how Senior Lifestyle communities celebrate quality family time, or follow us on social media to see how our communities across the country are celebrating family.

Grandparents: Aren’t They Grand?

Posted by in Special Events.

Grandparents Day is September 10th, a day set aside to celebrate and honor those who’ve provided us with years of wisdom, hugs, and some exciting – or at least interesting – gifts on special occasions! Our Senior Lifestyle communities are especially blessed with grandparents, or as some people say, grandfriends. We celebrate intergenerational bonds every day in our communities, learning and connecting with this incredible group of people. As Shanda from Barrington of Oakley states, “I work the front desk, help with activities, and have been known to be the IT person (helping residents with cell phones, iPads, televisions, etc.). I no longer have my grandparents but tell people I have a whole building full and treat them like my own!”

According to the Legacy Project’s website, Grandparents Day was initiated by Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade with three purposes in mind:

  1. To honor grandparents
  2. To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children
  3. To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer

Mrs. McQuade started her campaign to honor grandparents in 1970, envisioning Grandparents Day as a family event and a time to affirm the important role grandparents play in our families and communities. The day became an official holiday in her home state of West Virginia in 1973, and in 1979 President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday following Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The proclamation reads, in part:

Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our mobile society, our senior generation also provides our society a link to our national heritage and traditions.

Mrs. McQuade’s vision of a day of giving, sharing, and caring has become a reality for many families who honor prior generations on Grandparents Day, and has led to the formation of grandfamilies as well. Grandfamilies may not be family, but they share a bond nonetheless, just as Senior Lifestyle’s team members share a bond with our residents.

Generations United in Washington, D.C. shares this vision and encourages people of all ages to become involved in intergenerational activities. Generations United also sponsors contests and events such as #TakeAGrandie, which is a wonderful opportunity to capture an intergenerational moment!

We encourage you to join us in celebrating Grandparents Day this Sunday and every day! To learn more about events at a Senior Lifestyle community near you or to schedule a tour, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.