Memorial Day

Posted by in Holidays.

For many Americans, thoughts of Memorial Day center on picnics, parades, and perhaps an extra day off work or school, and while these activities are important facets of the day, they don’t speak to its true purpose: the remembrance of those who sacrificed so much for us, helping to create the freedoms we enjoy today. More than just the unofficial start of summer and an opportunity to fire up the grill, Memorial Day is a call to remember the men and women who gave their lives in service to the United States of America, a call that we at Senior Lifestyle are proud to answer as we honor those who’ve served and sacrificed. 

Originally named Decoration Day, Memorial Day was first conceived as a solemn day of honor for Civil War dead, proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic General John Logan, the date chosen particularly because it did not fall on the anniversary of any specific battle. In his proclamation on the date of Decoration Day, Logan stated, “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” 

While there is some confusion as to when and where Memorial Day actually began, New York was the first state to recognize the holiday in 1873, with all northern states following by 1890. At the close of World War I, the holiday transformed from a day to honor Civil War dead to a day to honor all Americans who died fighting any war. The National Holiday Act of 1971 established our current Memorial Day, falling on the last Monday in May. Additionally, in December of 2000, a “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed. This resolution asks that at 3 pm local time all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.” 

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend! Catch up with friends, eat a perfectly grilled burger and make the most of your extra day off, but remember the origin of the holiday, and perhaps take a moment around three in the afternoon to reflect on the sacrifices of many to secure our freedom. While you’ll most certainly find picnics and parties happening at Senior Lifestyle communities this Memorial Day weekend, look a bit closer and you’ll also see the pride shown by residents, staff and families in honoring those who sacrificed so much in the name of freedom. Senior Lifestyle salutes the men and women who gave their all for us and we wish you a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day! 

Engage at Every Age

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness.

May is National Older Americans Month, a time to recognize the contributions of seniors in our communities and encourage continued engagement. Every year, the Administration on Aging, part of the Administration for Community Living, leads our nation’s observance of Older American’s Month. This year’s theme, Engage at Every Age, focuses on the importance of involvement in activities that enrich the lives of seniors, whether those activities promote spiritual, emotional or physical wellness. Additionally, the theme highlights the contributions seniors make in their communities across the country, a positive impact that strengthens each community and provides a link between generations.  

At Senior Lifestyle, we see the positive impact of active seniors every day as our residents participate in intergenerational activities, share their life stories, and engage in mentorship programs that benefit not only youth, but every individual involved. Our communities support active, engaged seniors with programs designed to keep our residents involved in whatever form of activity they enjoy and we’re proud to provide an atmosphere in each Senior Lifestyle community that fosters a sense of engagement and purpose for our residents, truly a place to Engage at Every Age!  

 

Lance Robertson, ACL Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging, released the following statement in celebration of National Older Americans Month: 

Everyone has their own story. And telling those stories is an outstanding way to engage with other people. It’s how we pass wisdom to others, get to know each other, learn about the past and advocate for a brighter future. Everyone – young and old alike – enjoys hearing a good story.  And there are lots of important stories to tell about older Americans. 

I encourage Americans young and old – and, best of all, young with old! – to take a moment this month to share your stories. By sharing the stories of aging and older Americans, we celebrate our triumphs, share our wisdom, advocate for each other, and build stronger communities for all of us. 

One easy way you can share your story is through the Older Americans Month Selfie Challenge. Show us how you “Engage at Every Age” by posting a selfie (or groupie) of you participating in activities that improve your well-being using the hashtag #OAM18. 

As we celebrate Older Americans Month, why not make a personal choice to stay engaged? Get involved, take an active role in your care, pick up or continue a beloved hobby, or just make your goal one of increased social activity! Want to know more about how we Engage at Every Age at Senior Lifestyle? Check out our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com for a community near you and add your voice to the growing number of seniors who are actively choosing what aging looks like. 

National Skilled Nursing Care Week

Posted by in Community Spotlights.

It’s National Skilled Nursing Care Week, and at Senior Lifestyle we want to celebrate the dedicated, compassionate caregivers who staff each skilled nursing community and provide continued care to our residents. Established in 1967 by the American Health Care Association, this celebration honors the contributions of individuals who strive daily to create a unified senior living environment as vibrant and diverse as it is beneficial to the community at large.  

This year’s theme for National Skilled Nursing Care Week is “Celebrating Life’s Stories” and each of our skilled care communities will celebrate the stories of its residents, families and team members in a unique way. The theme aims to highlight the unique perspectives each person brings to the skilled nursing environment, as well as to foster engagement across generations by sharing those perspectives.  Mark Parkinson, AHCA President and CEO, notes, “We are proud to honor the unique stories of those in the long term and post-acute care communities.” He also shares, “This National Skilled Nursing Care Week, we hope centers and community members alike take the opportunity to join us in this celebration of life.” 

Senior Lifestyle is proud to provide exceptional care to our residents and their families at every level of care from independent living to skilled nursing in our communities. Whether you need short-term care following a hospital stay or long-term nursing supervision due to chronic health issues or disabilities, Senior Lifestyle’s skilled nursing communities will not just meet your needs—we’ll exceed your expectations. Our skilled nursing communities are equipped to provide individuals with 24-hour nursing needs, post-operative recuperation, or complex medical care demands, as well as to care for individuals with chronic health issues who can no longer live independently.  

Senior Lifestyle’s skilled nursing communities accept residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and work closely with hospitals to coordinate care. Prior to admission, our admissions team will work directly with the Social Worker or Discharge Planner at the hospital to obtain and review medical records to ensure the most appropriate program placement and preparation for new residents. 

At Senior Lifestyle, we celebrate the stories of every resident, family, and team member in our communities, knowing that each story is as unique as the person who shares it. Join us in celebrating National Skilled Nursing Care Week from May 13th through May 20th. Our communities look forward to “Sharing Life’s Stories” and we encourage you to learn more about a community in your area by visiting our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com. 

Nurse’s Week

Posted by in Community Spotlights.

We’re celebrating National Nurses Week at Senior Lifestyle and we hope you’ll join us in honoring the men and women for whom caring is as much a calling as a profession. Nursing staff at each Senior Lifestyle community form a bond with residents, families and fellow team members that not only creates trust, but also fosters independence and encourages fulfilling lifestyles for those we serve. Nurses across America provide compassion as well as care and are often the first encounter for those entering a healthcare setting. Additionally, for the past 16 years, nursing has been rated by the public as the most honest and ethical profession. 

National Nurses Week starts on May 6th and ends on May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, known as the founder of modern nursing. This week of recognition was designated by the American Nurses Association’s Board of Directors in 1993 as a permanent observance and includes special recognition for student nurses as well as school nurses. While the first National Nurses Week was celebrated in 1954, commemorating the 1ooth anniversary of nurse Florence Nightingale’s mission during the Crimean War, national recognition did not occur until 1982, when President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation declaring May 6th “National Recognition Day for Nurses”.  

 The “Florence Nightingale Pledge” embodies the spirit of nursing. This modified “Hippocratic Oath” was composed in 1893 by Mrs. Lystra E. Gretter and a Committee for the Farrand Training School for Nurses in Detroit, MI. It was called the Florence Nightingale Pledge as a token of esteem for the founder of modern nursing.  

I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE MYSELF BEFORE GOD AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THIS ASSEMBLY, TO PASS MY LIFE IN PURITY AND TO PRACTICE MY PROFESSION FAITHFULLY. I WILL ABSTAIN FROM WHATEVER IS DELETERIOUS AND MISCHIEVOUS, AND WILL NOT TAKE OR KNOWINGLY ADMINISTER ANY HARMFUL DRUG. I WILL DO ALL IN MY POWER TO MAINTAIN AND ELEVATE THE STANDARD OF MY PROFESSION, AND WILL HOLD IN CONFIDENCE ALL PERSONAL MATTERS COMMITTED TO MY KEEPING AND ALL FAMILY AFFAIRS COMING TO MY KNOWLEDGE IN THE PRACTICE OF MY CALLING. WITH LOYALTY WILL I ENDEAVOR TO AID THE PHYSICIAN IN HIS WORK, AND DEVOTE MYSELF TO THE WELFARE OF THOSE COMMITTED TO MY CARE.  

At Senior Lifestyle, we understand the importance of creating an environment of trust and compassion and we know that our nurses are a vital part of that environment. Whitney Lane, a Senior Lifestyle Divisional Director of Health and Wellness, notes, “We could not care for our residents without our nurses. The nurses are the heart of the community. The nurses care for other’s loved ones from the beginning of their journey into senior living until the end of their journey. The residents and families put all of their trust in our nurses during their stay with us. The nurses become an extension of their family. They impact the lives of so many.” We hope you’ll join us at Senior Lifestyle in celebrating nurses and all they do to help those we serve live fulfilling lives. For more information about National Nurses Week and the lifestyle available in a community near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com 

Arthritis Awareness Month

Posted by in Health and Fitness.

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, a time to learn more about this condition that affects 1 in 5 adults in America, a number that includes many of those we serve at Senior Lifestyle. According to the Arthritis Foundation, this debilitating disease is the leading cause of disability in our country, affecting older adults, working-age people, and even children. The word arthritis is an all-encompassing term that refers to over 100 types of joint pain and joint disease, and while the condition is common, it is not well understood. For many arthritis sufferers, symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion, and while these symptoms may come and go, they tend to progress over time. The disease affects more women than men and the risk of arthritis increases with age.  

At Senior Lifestyle we’re committed to providing timely information on conditions that affect seniors, and we know that for the roughly 53 million Americans living with arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease, with risk factors that increase with age. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is most common in people over the age of 65 and often occurs in the knees, hips, lower back and neck. The condition arises when the cartilage that normally provides a cushion for bones breaks down, causing pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joint. This can cause a “bone on bone” condition in the affected area that leads to increased pain and joint damage, often resulting in the need for joint replacement. 

If you’re living with arthritis, there are ways to minimize the pain as well as the long-term effects of the disease: 

EXERCISE  

While it may be difficult to think about exercise when joints are stiff and painful, studies show that a simple exercise plan that includes activities like walking and strength training is an important part of any arthritis treatment plan. Movement increases flexibility in the joint, while strength training helps to build muscle strength, providing support for the affected joint. Yoga, water aerobics and tai chi are excellent forms of exercise that incorporate slow stretching to improve flexibility and ease pain. Exercise also helps maintain a healthy weight, an important factor in decreasing symptoms of osteoarthritis.  

DIET  

Maintaining a healthy weight limits stress on arthritic joints and helps to increase mobility. Decreasing caloric intake while increasing physical activity helps to achieve a healthy weight. Research also shows that diets high in saturated fats such as those found in processed foods can weaken cartilage, increasing the risk of damage. Red meat, sugar and refined carbohydrates also increase inflammation, a condition that worsens symptoms like swelling. An anti-inflammatory diet based on whole grains, fish, and fruits and vegetables is recommended. 

PAIN MANAGEMENT 

While exercise is helpful in managing pain and stiffness, medications are also available to help decrease symptoms of osteoarthritis. Drugs called analgesics are available in pill form as well as creams, lotions and injections, and include acetaminophen and opioids. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) are also an option used commonly to decrease swelling and pain. These include drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen and are available over-the-counter and by prescription. Stronger drugs called corticosteroids are taken by mouth or injected into the joint by a doctor to ease pain and inflammation. Additionally, hyaluronic acid, a natural component of joint fluid which breaks down in people with osteoarthritis, can be injected in the affected joint by a physician. Remember, it is important for those with arthritis to discuss pain management with a medical provider to be certain that maximum relief is obtained in a safe manner and side effects are minimized as much as possible. 

At Senior Lifestyle, one of our goals is helping our residents maintain health and wellness, so we provide activities, education and support for those living with arthritis as well as other chronic conditions. To learn more about activities designed to help residents achieve health and wellness goals at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com and schedule a tour today! 

The Social Scene

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness.

At Senior Lifestyle, we understand that for many, social interaction is a basic part of everyday life, but we also know that for some seniors, socialization can be hard to find. For a senior who doesn’t drive and lives alone, social interaction can become nearly non-existent if family or friends are not available for visits or to help with transportation. For a senior acting as caregiver for a spouse, the result is often the same. While they may have the means to leave the house, performing the duties of a caregiver may limit the time they are able to be away. Loved ones who are homebound may also miss many of the benefits of social interaction for seniors. 

Since studies have shown that social interaction provides a multitude of health benefits for seniors, one of our main goals at Senior Lifestyle is to expand the social options available to our residents and families. We know that by providing increased opportunities to socialize, we can enhance and enrich the lives of those we serve. 

Seniors reap the benefits of positive social interaction in a number of ways, from increased social and emotional well-being to improvements in physical and cognitive functions. Some of the benefits of social interaction for seniors include: 

RENEWED SENSE OF PURPOSE 

Interacting with other seniors in meaningful ways allows seniors to feel engaged and involved in the world around them. While caregivers are a wonderful source of company and comfort, studies show that our senior loved ones need to socialize with their peers as well. Sharing conversation or an activity with someone who shares similar interests not only provides positive interaction but may also spark a friendship. Seniors with physical limitations can still provide companionship and conversation with others who may be lonely, with both reaping the benefits of a purposeful social interaction and fostering a feeling of connectedness within their social circle. 

AN INCREASE IN MEMORY AND COGNITIVE FUNCTION 

Social activity reduces the risk of age-related memory loss, improving cognitive function and providing a boost to self-confidence. Seniors who feel confident that their wit and memory remain sharp are more apt to continue with social activities and to have a positive attitude toward social interaction. Even as mobility declines, this confidence in the senior’s ability to socialize helps to drive more interaction with peers, which in turn boosts the cognitive function of all involved, giving socially active seniors and their peers even more reason to attend group functions. 

POSITIVE IMPACT ON PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH 

Research shows that socially active seniors have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease as well as rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. While isolation has a negative impact on our immune systems, social interaction and a feeling of connectedness provides a positive effect, a boost that helps us avoid illness as well as emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression. Creating opportunities for social interaction provides the benefit of overall improved health for the senior population of any community. 

At Senior Lifestyle, our goal is to help those we serve live life to the fullest, so we strive to improve the well-being of our residents by providing creative outlets, clubs tailored to individual interests, outings designed to entertain and educate, and opportunities for our residents to simply socialize in a comfortable, welcoming environment. To learn more about social opportunities available at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com and schedule a tour today! 

What to Look for in a Senior Living Community

Posted by in Mind and Spirit.

At Senior Lifestyle, we know that the search for exceptional senior care can be difficult; many families are uncertain about what is available for their loved ones, what level of care is appropriate, and what to look for in a senior living community. As a leading provider of senior care for over 25 years, we understand the frustrations many families face when looking for senior living arrangements, so we’d like to share some tips on what to look for in a senior living community:
ACTIVITIES
Social interaction is a vital part of any senior living community, and a variety of activities helps residents and families maintain a balance between privacy and socialization. Since every resident has different tastes and needs, we strive to provide a wide array of activities from book clubs and gardening to tai chi and aqua aerobics. In fact, at Senior Lifestyle we often find that our most popular offerings are those brought to our attention by a resident or family member who wishes to share a favorite hobby or pastime.
LOCATION
Does your loved one wish to live close to a family member? Are they looking to move to specific geographical area such as Florida or Arizona? Is the community close to shopping, medical care, and entertainment? Whether looking in your local community or in another state, you and your loved one should feel comfortable with the location of the senior community within the larger geographical area.
ENVIRONMENT
Is the senior living community attractive and clean? Is it easily accessible? Whether the community is brand-new or an established landmark in the area, it should be well-maintained and comfortable, from the common areas to the private living areas. At Senior Lifestyle, we pride ourselves on the dedication of our staff to the maintenance of each building and its grounds.
ATMOSPHERE
Do you feel welcomed when you enter the community? Communities should convey a sense of warmth from the first visit. Make a point of speaking with residents and staff as well as watching their interactions with one another when visiting a senior living community. Mutual respect and friendship give our Senior Lifestyle communities the family atmosphere that our residents and families expect and enjoy.
AMENITIES
Does the community have a library? Is there a space for family and friends to gather? Are you looking for a pet-friendly senior community? At Senior Lifestyle, we know that when looking for a place to call home, it is important to consider not only your personal living space, but the common areas of the community as well, both inside and outside. If you or your loved one enjoy walking and other outdoor activities, look for a community with well-lit paths or a courtyard. If swimming is something you enjoy, be sure to ask if there is a pool for resident use. Since each resident has unique needs, we make an effort to create a variety of common areas for residents to enjoy in our Senior Lifestyle communities.
Founded in 1985, Senior Lifestyle offers independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing communities with consultants at each community to help families define their personal needs and what to look for in a senior living community. Senior Lifestyle has been routinely recognized as a leader in the delivery of innovative programs and hospitality services for all levels of care. For more information about a Senior Lifestyle community in your area or to schedule a personal tour, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.