Take ‘Heart’ in February

Posted by in Mind and Spirit.

February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness of heart disease, learn more about risk factors and work to maintain and improve heart health. Our goal at Senior Lifestyle is to help residents, families and team members attain good health, and sharing information from the American Heart Association is a great way to help us meet that goal.

Did you know that the guidelines for high blood pressure have changed? New guidelines published last November changed the official definition of hypertension to a reading of 130 for the top number or 80 for the bottom number from the former standard of 140/90. That means that the number of American adults with high blood pressure jumped from 32 percent under the old guidelines to almost 46 percent. That’s nearly half of all adults in the United States, a staggering 103 million people at increased risk for heart attacks and stroke. Why are these numbers important?

Cardiologist Dr. Kenneth Jamerson, an author of the high blood pressure guidelines, notes, “Before this guideline, if your blood pressure was at 130, you weren’t supposed to do anything.” Jamerson added, “With the new [high blood pressure] guideline, we’re having patients do something about it.” For his patients, that includes 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week and the DASH diet, plus medication if the patient has additional heart disease risk factors.

What’s this “DASH” diet? DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and it’s a lifelong approach to healthy eating designed to help treat or prevent hypertension. The DASH diet focuses on reducing sodium, being aware of portion size, and eating a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as magnesium, potassium and calcium. Used in conjunction with a healthy exercise plan, the DASH diet can help reduce blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks, and it fits dietary recommendations to decrease the risk of osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes, in addition to heart disease and stroke. The DASH diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy foods along with moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts, aiming to reduce the amount of sodium consumed daily from the average American’s consumption of 3,400 milligrams per day to 2,300 mg per day.

If you’re struggling to get your blood pressure in a healthy range, take heart, there are options to help you get back on track! Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about what strategies will work best for you, including the DASH diet, increased activity, and the possible addition of medication if you have additional risk factors for heart disease.  For more information about heart-healthy activities in a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

INTERGENERATIONAL EVENT AT THE CARLISLE PALM BEACH

Posted by in Special Events.

The Carlisle Palm Beach, a Senior Lifestyle community known for resort-style living just steps from the Atlantic Ocean, provides exceptional care and amenities in a family-oriented environment where residents and team members form lasting friendships. Providing Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care, the community fosters an atmosphere of interaction and enrichment with activities designed to cater to each resident’s personal interests, whether they enjoy strolling on the local beaches or shopping in the upscale establishments on Worth Avenue. Executive Director Chris Kochan shares, “The interactions with residents and the opportunity to listen to their histories is truly priceless. There’s an incredible amount of energy here from both the staff and residents, and I love being a part of the family we’ve built here at the Carlisle.” He says the Carlisle also stands out because of the sense of “home” the Carlisle family creates for everyone who enters.

The family environment in the community is a key component of The Carlisle Palm Beach’s care, and that family environment will be evident on February 2nd when The Carlisle Palm Beach hosts an intergenerational event for residents and staff, Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. The event, designed to give children of team members of The Carlisle Palm Beach an opportunity to envision themselves in the workplace, is highly anticipated by staff and residents alike. Director of Sales and Marketing Jillian Castellano shares, “I have worked at The Carlisle since 2007 and this is the first year I have a child that is of school age and able to participate in this day.  I have looked forward to this since the day I started working here.  Having your child being able to see what you love to do every day can never match you talking about it.” Independent Living resident Theresa Colandreo echoes that sentiment, noting, “I love when I am around children. They make me feel young again.  It will be so nice to have the staff’s children spending the day with us.”

While Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is typically celebrated in April, that date coincides with standardized testing in the Palm Beach County School District, so the district is encouraging businesses to share their workplace practices with students in February. The Carlisle Palm Beach has a busy day planned for its special guests at this special intergenerational event on February 2nd, with breakfast, a petting zoo, lunch with residents, arts and crafts, and a magic show to round out the day of work with Mom or Dad. For more information about The Carlisle Palm Beach, or to schedule a tour of the community, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

National Wear Red Day

Posted by in Holidays.

February is American Heart Month and Senior Lifestyle will celebrate the month by sharing information from The American Heart Association aimed at helping our residents, families and team members live longer, healthier lives.

Wearing bold colors like red can increase your confidence, raise your spirits and brighten your day, but did you know it can also help save your life? At Senior Lifestyle, we are celebrating National Wear Red Day and Go Red For Women. National Wear Red Day, February 2nd, is an initiative of the American Heart Association, aimed at raising awareness of heart disease, specifically in women. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, with 1 in three deaths caused by the disease every year. It affects women differently than men, with different warning signs and symptoms, and even amongst women, the signs vary widely. The Go Red For Women movement advocates for better education and research for heart disease in women and aims to dispel the myths that surround heart disease in women.

Heart disease is often considered a condition that mostly strikes older men, but this is not your father’s heart disease. The myths surrounding heart disease in women are dangerous, as they can delay necessary life-saving treatment for women suffering a heart attack. The American Heart Association breaks down these common myths:

  • Cancer is the real threat for women

While breast cancer causes one in 31 deaths in women yearly, heart disease is responsible for more deaths than all forms of cancer combined, and strikes more women than men, causing one out of every three deaths.

  • I don’t have any symptoms of heart disease

Symptoms of coronary heart disease vary greatly between men and women. We think of the “classic” symptom of heart attack as extreme chest pain, and while that may happen, women are more likely to experience back or jaw pain, shortness of breath and nausea/vomiting. Other signs to look for include dizziness, fainting, extreme fatigue and pain in the upper abdomen or lower chest. Knowing what symptoms to look for and acting quickly when the symptoms are noted is key to surviving a heart attack.

  • Heart disease is for old people

While the risk of heart disease does increase with age, heart disease in women can strike at any age. The risk of heart disease in younger women increases by 20 percent with the combination of smoking and using birth control pills. While a sedentary lifestyle and overeating can increase the risk as well, an underlying heart condition is also a risk factor. To reduce your risk, know your risk factors. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a family history of heart disease, you can take steps to manage these risk factors.

 

Join Senior Lifestyle in observing healthy heart habits during American Heart Month and throughout the year! Join us for National Wear Red Day, educate yourself on heart disease in women, and speak to your doctor about managing your risk factors.

Celebrating the Best in Senior Design

Posted by in Awards.

The results are in and The Sheridan at Creve Coeur is a winner! This beautiful Senior Lifestyle community, located just west of St. Louis, Missouri, has been recognized by Senior Housing News. Each year, Senior Housing News holds an Architecture and Design Awards competition, and with entries from 80 organizations, The Sheridan at Creve Coeur garnered third place honors for outstanding memory care design. Stephen Vicalvi, Executive Director of The Sheridan at Creve Coeur, shares, “The architecture and interior design of our community provide an incredible first impression of tranquility and relaxation for guests, while the sense of family and connection bring peace of mind for families searching for memory care for a loved one.”

The Sheridan at Creve Coeur, architecturally reminiscent of the arts and crafts style, is an elegant yet inviting memory care community that blends seamlessly into the surrounding area with 53 well-appointed private, studio-style memory care apartments. Appropriate to the local community, the two-story, lodge-style design of the building is surrounded by landscaping and outdoor living spaces designed to bring the outdoors in and provide a tranquil backdrop to the craftsman style aesthetic. The interior design promotes serenity with beautifully saturated colors and sumptuous furnishings. Abundant natural light floods apartments, activity spaces and common areas.

Purpose-built specifically to support and utilize all aspects of Senior Lifestyle’s award-winning embrace memory care program, The Sheridan at Creve Coeur optimizes connections between residents and loved ones, providing a serene neighborhood atmosphere that caters to each resident’s interests and abilities. States Executive Director Vicalvi, “Residents feel very connected to one another and to caregivers as well. The atmosphere in our community is one where relationships are built and residents, families and staff take joy in each interaction. It’s a unique environment where the space actually builds a sense of connection.” Each area in the community is designed for meaningful interactions and to support a mind, body and soul approach to memory care. Open, barrier-free hallways connect spaces and allow for unimpeded movement, a key component of the embrace philosophy.

The dynamic design and amenities of The Sheridan at Creve Coeur allow memory care residents and families to create moments that are enjoyable while providing spaces that help to address the unique needs of each resident. The community forms a foundation for the aims of the embrace philosophy, allowing residents to feel worthy, loved and purposeful in a safe, serene environment. For more information about The Sheridan at Creve Coeur or to schedule a tour of this beautiful community, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Senior Support Groups

Posted by in Expert Advice.

What can a support group do for me? When faced with a difficult diagnosis for yourself or a loved one and presented with the opportunity to attend a meeting, you may be asking yourself this question. Different support groups exist for many health conditions, bringing people together who face similar problems and offering a place to share not only problems but solutions as well. At Senior Lifestyle, we’ve seen the positive impact of support groups for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and other illnesses, as well as those focused on the demands of long-term caregiving, and while some people may not need or want the support beyond that offered by family and friends, support groups offer many benefits for members.

Support groups are made up of individuals who share a common interest or health concern. Most groups focus on a specific condition or situation and are often started by a person with the condition or another involved person, such as a family member. The format varies, with some support groups meeting in person, some by telephone, and others on the Internet; the form of support that works best for an individual is often dictated by geographical location, the nature of the condition, and personal preference. Groups may be led by a facilitator with clinical experience in treating a specific illness or by a member of the group. Additionally, the group may be structured, with specific goals and agendas for each meeting, or it may be more oriented toward social connections and shared experiences.

Whatever the structure, support groups provide connections with others who share similar problems, as well as emotional and moral support. Quite often, members also share practical advice and coping skills for those facing a new diagnosis or at the beginning of a caregiving journey.

Benefits of support groups may include:

  • Emotional support, less isolation

Sharing fears and frustrations, receiving support without judgement, and reassurance that others share similar problems provides support group members with an outlet for feelings that friends and family who aren’t in the same situation may not fully understand.

  • Practical advice and information

Members of support group are in the unique position to share advice about treatment, medication and alternative options. Exchanging information about positive outcomes can empower members of the group to take a more active role in their care or seek out treatment options previously unknown to them.

  • Developing coping skills and managing expectations

For someone facing a new diagnosis, having the opportunity to speak openly and frankly with a support group member whose disease and treatment is more advanced can be comforting as well as educational. For many, lack of information on what to expect is frightening, and a “veteran” can provide valuable insight into treatment and progression of the disease.

While support groups are not a substitute for medical care, the old proverb “A trouble shared is a trouble halved” holds true. The benefits of sharing difficulties as well as practical advice can make dealing with a new diagnosis a little less daunting and managing a long-term condition a little less isolating. For more information about support groups in your community, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com to find a community near you.

Fight the Flu

Posted by in Health and Fitness, Expert Advice.

The flu season is in full swing, but that doesn’t mean you have to join the party. At Senior Lifestyle, we know that a bout of influenza is not only miserable with its hallmark symptoms of fever, body aches, cough, sore throat and fatigue, it’s also dangerous for seniors, young children, and anyone with a compromised immune system. The flu can worsen existing chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD, and chronic congestive heart failure. While complications of the flu can happen to anyone, the risk is higher for these groups, so it is critical to avoid infection and remain vigilant during flu season to prevent exposure to the flu.

Flu shots are the first line of defense against seasonal flu, while good hygiene and common sense play a part in avoiding the flu as well. At Senior Lifestyle, our goal is to keep our residents, team members and families as healthy as possible at all times, including flu season, so we’re sharing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Take 3” list of preventive measures, which includes tips to limit the duration and severity of the flu if infection should occur:

  • Vaccinate! First and foremost, getting a yearly flu shot is the best bet in preventing the flu. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older receive the vaccine before the flu season hits their community, ideally before the end of October each year. While no vaccine can prevent every strain of the virus, the yearly vaccine is based on research that indicates which strains are most likely. It is vital that health care workers, those who provide care for infants under 6 months of age, and those at higher risk of complications of the flu be vaccinated.
  • Stop Germs. Good handwashing practices are a great defense against the flu. Wash hands often with soap and water. Limit the spread of germs by avoiding touching your nose, eyes and mouth. If you do become ill, stay home! Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and limit your contact with others until you are fever-free for at least 24 hours to avoid spreading the flu.
  • Take antiviral flu drugs if your doctor prescribes them. Antiviral medications can limit the duration and severity of the flu. For those at risk of complications of the flu, antiviral medications can mean the difference between a mild illness and a hospital stay. According to the CDC, antiviral drugs work best when started within 48 hours of the start of flu symptoms, but they can still be effective if started later, especially for people at risk of flu complications. Antiviral medications must be prescribed by a doctor.

At Senior Lifestyle, we understand that flu season is no fun, but taking commonsense precautions like vaccinating and handwashing can help you avoid becoming ill. If the flu does hit, be sure to limit your interaction with others until your illness abates, and take antiviral medications if prescribed by your doctor. For more information about what we are doing in our communities to combat this illness, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

What is embrace?

Posted by in Programs.

At Senior Lifestyle, our commitment to exceptional care extends to every resident and family member we serve. We focus not only on the physical aspects of care, but also on the emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of those we serve. For families dealing with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the search for senior living can be especially daunting; that’s why we created embrace, a philosophy of connection and inclusion aimed at providing an enriching, fulfilling lifestyle for our memory care residents.

The guiding principles of embrace – Wellness, Enrichment, Challenge, Connection and Creativity – provide the foundation for our memory care philosophy, focused on creating a connection with memory care residents on an individual level. Small-group embrace programming to address the individual needs of these residents includes:

  • Thymeless is a garden-to-table program designed specifically for older adults with dementia, focusing on empowering memory care residents to grow and prepare healthy, fresh food. The ongoing use and development of preserved habits, skills, and passions in the garden or food preparation can help residents to feel productive, successful, and accomplished.
  • Essence is an award-winning sensory stimulation program based on aromatherapy principles and specifically designed to support residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Through the use of essential oils, residents will enjoy a positive sensory stimulation experience that can incite positive emotional and physical results.
  • Bookmarks is a reading program designed to support residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementias through the exploration of the written word. During monthly Bookmarks reading club meetings, residents will have the opportunity to socialize in small group settings, and develop friendships with their neighbors.
  • Spark is a lifestyle enrichment program designed to promote social engagement, cognitive stimulation, and connection among residents. The program offers a variety of initiatives aimed at encouraging physical activity, better nutrition, restful sleep, relaxation strategies, social interaction, and mental stimulation.
  • Snapshots supports the emotional wellness of both the resident and their loved ones. We work to provide opportunity for continued connection between our residents and their loved ones through specially designed programs, support and education. We are committed to supporting residents and families with their emotional wellness at each stage and with each challenge they face.

When memories fade, it’s the moments that matter most, and embrace makes the most of every experience for our memory care residents. Embrace is a direct result of Senior Lifestyle’s commitment to exceptional care, a response to the needs of our communities for inclusive programming for residents with cognitive or memory issues. To learn more about embrace, or any of the programming available at a Senior Lifestyle community near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Hobbies are Healthy

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness.

What’s your hobby? Do you knit, bake, build ships-in-a-bottle? Studies show that hobbies (with the possible exception of things like competitive eating and sword-swallowing) are good for us, and since January is National Hobby Month, we at Senior Lifestyle would like to highlight a few senior hobbies that have proven to help maintain physical, mental and emotional health. Of course, pursuing a hobby is healthy at any age, but has a significant positive impact on health for seniors.

What makes hobbies healthy? For those with busy, stressful lives, hobbies provide an outlet that isn’t stressful or work-related, but just as importantly, isn’t just doing nothing, which can be just as stressful for the person who thrives on order, activity and a busy schedule. Taking time for hobbies offers busy people a chance to recharge as well as to reclaim some time for themselves. Additionally, purposefully choosing the activity instead of feeling pushed toward the next responsibility helps to ease stress.

Why are senior hobbies so important for maintaining health? For many seniors, the retirement years represent a drastic change from busy lifestyles spent working, raising children and being active in the community. At Senior Lifestyle, we believe that retirement doesn’t have to mean inactivity, and that’s why we focus on providing activities and events that spark creativity, foster independence and promote socialization. Residents are always encouraged to share their hobbies and our Senior Lifestyle Programming Coordinators love to incorporate new ideas into our activity calendars, so show us your hobby!

A few of our most popular offerings:

 

  • GARDENING

Do you have a green thumb? From growing fresh vegetables to cutting gardens, you can get your hands dirty and make a beautiful difference in your surroundings!

 

  • VISUAL ARTS

There is something magical in creating a painting or a sculpture. Novices and seasoned artists alike channel creative energy and experiment with different mediums while making new friends.

 

  • OUTINGS

Enjoying a night on the town, a shopping excursion, or taking in a new show at the local theatre is always more fun with friends! If you love to be out and about, we always have a fun trip planned and you’re always welcome to join us.

 

  • FITNESS

Are you passionate about your health? Walking clubs provide company and conversation, classes are offered in Tai Chi, Chair Dancing and more, and our fitness areas in Senior Lifestyle communities provide all the tools to stay in shape!

Senior Lifestyle encourages you to enjoy National Hobby Month by trying a new activity or looking into senior hobbies offered in your area. You may just find a great way to spend your time as well as some new friends! To learn more about activities offered at a Senior Lifestyle community near you or to schedule a tour of your local Senior Lifestyle community, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Quality of Life

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness.

January traditionally symbolizes new beginnings, a time to reflect on your life and its purpose, identify what makes you happy, and make changes. Not so coincidentally, the first month of the new year is also International Quality of Life Month. At Senior Lifestyle, we understand that while many of us focus on resolutions for the new year, we may not often think about how those resolutions will affect our quality of life. Weight loss is often a resolution, but when we tie it to quality of life, THEN we begin to understand that increased health, feelings of accomplishment and the satisfaction of meeting a goal help to contribute to an increased sense of our quality of life. This is especially important for seniors, as their resolutions may often be tied to maintaining or increasing health.

Quality of life is defined as “the degree of satisfaction an individual has regarding a particular style of life.”  But what really constitutes “quality of life”? Much like the pain scale at your doctor’s office, the answer varies from person to person and is completely subjective, and measuring these qualities is an altogether separate issue for each individual. Any evaluation of quality of life depends on how each person feels about relationships, work, health, spirituality, and a host of other factors. For many seniors, being able to live independently is the key; for others, feeling a sense of purpose and belonging is a major factor. Having a sense of life purpose is vital to the concept of quality of life as well.

A positive view of life is vitally important for seniors, resulting in increased energy, less stress and better appetite, amongst other benefits. Quality of life is closely tied to life purpose, the way in which an individual feels that he contributes to his community, and at Senior Lifestyle, we strive to help each resident uncover that purpose and move toward fulfilling their life purpose, knowing that the activities that give one person pleasure and a sense of purpose are unique to that person. We strive to really know our residents in order to help them discover their gifts, the talents and qualities that bring an enhanced quality of life. Staying mentally and physically active and staying connected to family, friends and community are also factors that increase quality of life for seniors.

At Senior Lifestyle, we focus on providing activities proven to help increase the quality of our residents’ lives through social events, outings and opportunities to volunteer in the community-at-large, as well as fostering strong connections with friends and family. To learn more about programs designed to enhance quality of life at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Shoreline of Clinton

Posted by in Special Events, Careers.

The Shoreline of Clinton, newly remodeled in 2015, is a unique senior community providing award-winning Memory Care in a serene setting built to meet the specific needs and wants of each resident. Located in close proximity to New Haven on the southern Connecticut shoreline, the community seeks to add to their current staff of dedicated team members who are passionate about creating an enriching lifestyle for Memory Care residents. Executive Director Kimberly Oliver states, “We are excited to meet with local job-seekers to share opportunities in our community, including key roles such as Memory Care Director, as well as Activities and Care staff. We encourage recent graduates of C.N.A. and L.P.N. programs to visit with our team to learn more about The Shoreline of Clinton and our award-winning approach to Memory Care.”

The community will host a job fair on Tuesday, January 16th from 10:00 am-4:00 pm, with opportunities for job-seekers to meet with the management team and interview for open positions in the community. Candidates are encouraged to bring resumes and copies of any current licensure if applying for clinical positions. Says Oliver, “We look forward to meeting with applicants who share our commitment to exceptional Memory Care and who are seeking careers with personal and professional fulfillment.”

With events, activities and outings tailored exclusively to the needs of Memory Care residents, The Shoreline of Clinton focuses on providing an enriching, fulfilling lifestyle in a homelike atmosphere. With a secure walking path, outdoor courtyard and patio, residents can enjoy moving freely throughout the indoor and outdoor spaces of the community, while families can rest assured that loved ones are thriving in a secure setting that fosters independence and enrichment. Lisa, daughter of resident Marie, shares that her mother is enjoying her home at The Shoreline of Clinton, stating, “She participates in everything.” Lisa also notes of the community, “It turned out to be absolutely perfect for my mom and it was a miracle. I can breathe again. This place is small and feels like home.”

Upcoming events at The Shoreline of Clinton:

  • Wine Tasting & Workout – Thursday, January 11th at 6:30 pm – Join tasting workouts at wine stations throughout the community! Call 860-669-9300 to reserve your glass!
  • Refresh & Reboot – Wednesday, January 24th at 6:00 pm – Start the year off on the right foot with a space for relaxation and a mani/pedi! Call 860-669-9300 to step into serenity!

If the prospect of a fulfilling career and the opportunity to work with a dedicated, passionate team of professionals interests you, please plan to attend the job fair on January 16th. For more information about Memory Care at The Shoreline of Clinton or to learn more about any of our upcoming events, please call 860-669-9300 or visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.