A ‘Presidential’ Sandwich Shop

Posted by in Community Spotlights.

Lunch at Presidential Place, a Senior Lifestyle community in Hollywood, Florida, has become a much-anticipated event, with residents lining up for a buffet-style “sandwich shop” and enjoying hand-crafted creations prepared exactly to their specifications. Like lots of pickles? Light mayo? Spicy mustard? Coming right up! One might wonder what makes these sandwiches so special, and the answer from each resident points overwhelmingly to the service!

Once a month, residents at this senior community are treated to a deli-style lunch served by the Presidential Place management team, with made-to-order sandwiches and sides. Cathleen Pinson, Director of Sales and Marketing for the community, notes, “Deli lunch is always a hit; the residents love it and so do we. It’s fun for us as managers to step away from our desks and we also get to custom create our own sandwiches and dine with the residents!”

Team members at Presidential Place enjoy the chance to share a meal with residents and love the opportunity for engagement in a relaxed setting, and residents agree wholeheartedly. Says resident Pauline, “It’s a bright, joyful change!” Resident Nancie agrees, “It’s wonderful!” Staff members call the monthly event “a fun and interactive time for residents and staff, something we hope to continue for a long time”.

Presidential Place, tucked away on a quiet residential street, offers a warm, inviting atmosphere that feels like home from the moment guests step through the front porch entrance, but the feature that makes this senior community truly unique is the relationship between residents and staff! For more information about this Senior Lifestyle community, or to schedule a tour, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

There’s Snow Place Like Home

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There’s an art project of epic proportions in the works at Lake Barrington Woods, one that sprang from the generosity of a local resident. Lake Barrington Woods Director of Resident Programming Mirka Biegunska shares, “In the beginning of the year I got a phone call from a resident of Lake Barrington wanting to donate snow village figurines. When I went to pick them up I found out they had 10 HUGE containers full of snow village pieces, a total of about 200 pieces! The pieces had been collected over a lifetime but had never been displayed all together.” Although she wasn’t quite sure how to manage the display of the items, Mirka knew that with the creative residents and staff at Lake Barrington Woods, they’d come up with something. And WOW, did they ever!

Mirka took the Lake Barrington Woods bus to pick up all the snow village pieces (all 10 containers!) and brought them back to an excited group of residents and staff. Knowing that buying display tables to house the collection would cost a lot more than they wanted to spend, they came up with a plan to build their own tables using boxes from the kitchen, newspaper, tape, glue and paint. Construction on the tables (which are a total of 24 feet long) began in early September,  the project should be complete right after Thanksgiving, and the masterpiece will be ready to display at an upcoming holiday open house event at Lake Barrington Woods in December. Says residents Julie Roels, “It is amazing what we all came up with. It is truly a piece of art. I’m so happy I was able to be a part of this project and can’t wait to see when it’s all done. I just come here sometimes and sit and think ‘what an amazing and beautiful piece of art’!”

Mirka also notes, “A lot of residents were involved in this process, some by collecting newspapers, some with painting and some with putting on final touches. We started this project in the beginning of September and a lot of labor, a lot of glue, tape, newspapers, paint, sore fingers, and stains on clothes made the process even more fun.” Resident Jean Warren chimes in, “I got paint on my shoes but who cares, it was all worth it! It looks amazing already! I can’t wait to show it to my family when it’s all assembled.”

Lake Barrington Woods residents and staff would like to welcome the local community to come and view their beautiful snow village art project. Says Mirka, “We’d like to give back to the community for this wonderful donation, so we are hosting a holiday open house on December 16th where our friends can visit, enjoy holiday cheer, music, cookies, and hot cocoa while they admire the masterpiece of our snow village!” The event at Lake Barrington Woods will be from 1:30 to 3:30pm on December 16th, with the official unveiling of the snow village at 2pm. Join Lake Barrington Woods in celebrating the holidays and be sure to bring your cameras and snap a photo with Santa Claus during your visit! For more information on this event, please call Lake Barrington Woods at 224-633-2318.

Variety is the Spice of Life

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William Cowper once said, “Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.” At Heritage of Peachtree in Fayette County, Georgia, they’ve clearly taken Mr. Cowper’s words to heart. This beautiful senior community fills each day with activities designed to engage residents of all interests and skill levels, a feat Program Director Angela Henrick says is easy with residents who love to be challenged and try new things. She notes, “Anything I suggest, they are excited to try! We’ve also had a lot of fun activities and events that grew out of a simple suggestion from a resident. I love that we can do so many different things in a short time-span, from putting together an Art Gallery of resident and team members’ works, to hosting a Camping Day with S’mores and singalongs.”

Art galleries and showings often conjure up images of people in fancy clothing admiring works of art that might look (to the casual observer) more like toddler squiggles and random shapes, but not at Heritage of Peachtree. Residents and team members of the senior community submitted works of art as varied as their personalities, from treasured tea sets to one-of-a-kind line drawings of familiar settings, birds and flowers. The Art Gallery at Heritage of Peachtree was a wonderful experience for artists and art appreciators alike, with refreshments provided and plenty of commentary from those whose works were on display!

Camping Day at Heritage of Peachtree dawned slightly overcast, but that didn’t deter the campers, an intrepid group who had looked forward to telling and hearing ghost stories all week. Come rain or shine, camping was happening! Coleman lanterns were set up, a cheery “campfire” was burning, and the library was the perfect campsite, one without bugs or inclement weather. Program Director Angela Henrick notes, “I think everyone’s favorite part was the ghost stories and hot chocolate; however, the sing along was very much loved as well! We will have a Pajama Day in November, so there’s another chance to share stories and singalongs and enjoy hot chocolate and S’mores.

Angela shares, “We also have an ‘Act of Kindness’ activity planned throughout November where we’ll make crafts—one to keep and one to share. We’re making birthday cards for a gentleman in a sister community who will be turning 100 as well.” Says Angela, “Being around our residents fills me with joy every day. I smile coming to work and smile each day when I leave just thinking about how lucky I am to work here with them.”

Built as the first senior community in Fayette County in 1995, Senior Lifestyle community Heritage of Peachtree provides care from Independent Living to levels that include all facets of Assisted Living, respecting each resident’s individuality and preferences. For more information on this community or a Senior Lifestyle community near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

State Fair Royalty

Posted by in Resident Spotlights, Community Spotlights.

Step inside the doors of The Reserve at North Dallas and Wanda (“Fernie”) Winter, the unofficial ambassador for this beautiful Senior Lifestyle community, may well be the first person to greet you. After just a few moments with Fernie, you’ll know you’re in the presence of royalty. 91 year-old Fernie, affectionately referred to as “The Queen” by her four daughters, is actually descended from royalty, but that’s not really her claim to fame. Her celebrity, like most things in Texas, is bigger than that; Fernie is known as the visionary who brought funnel cakes to the Texas State Fair.

According to the Texas State Historical Association, the Texas State Fair’s history reaches back to 1886, when a group of businessmen from the Dallas area chartered a private corporation. The fair officially opened in October of that year. In the early years, cattle sales, displays of farm machinery, and balloon ascents were highlights of the fair, as well as concerts and appearances by such celebrities as John Philip Sousa and Carry Nation. Prizes were also awarded for excellence in baking, preserving and needlework. In 1953, “Big Tex”, a 52 foot tall cowboy, took up residence in the center of the fairgrounds, overlooking guests and attractions.

Fern made her first official appearance at the Texas State Fair in 1969 when she and her husband took on work cooking at the fair to raise a little extra cash for a vacation fund. She had no intention of making it a habit, but she was hooked, and over the years her restaurant, “Doc’s” has become a staple at the fair. In 1980, after a visit to Branson, Missouri, Fern introduced funnel cakes to the Texas State Fair, and Fernie’s Funnel Cakes were an instant hit. Over the years, deep-fried goodies at Doc’s have won numerous awards at the fair, increasing Fern’s royal reputation. Fern still reigns, greeting patrons who come back annually to enjoy the food and the atmosphere. She runs the show, and her four daughters carry on the tradition.

In honor of the Texas State Fair as well as celebrity-in-residence Fern, the Reserve at North Dallas celebrated a Taste of the Texas State Fair last week with corn dogs, deep-fried brownie bites, and of course, funnel cakes. Sales Director Kris Raab notes, “Our culinary team is so great to work with; they re-created amazing “fair food” and it was a big hit!” Residents and team members also took a day trip to the Texas State Fair to enjoy all the sights and sounds of the fair in person on Friday, returning with tales of amazing food and attractions. Many are already looking forward to next year’s fair experience, sure to be bigger and better! To learn more about the activities at The Reserve at North Dallas, or to schedule a tour of this beautiful community, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

The Sterling Aventura: Serving Those Who Have Served

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Service is commonly defined as “Work that is done for others as an occupation” as well as “An act of assistance or benefit.”  Honor is defined as “high respect; esteem” or “to regard with great respect.” At The Sterling Aventura, we understand that service to one’s country reaches well beyond those definitions, and we are proud to honor the service and sacrifice of our residents and other local veterans.

There are many intangible benefits to service; however, a little-known benefit called the Aid and Attendance pension is a very important tangible benefit for those veterans who require assistance with activities of daily living. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website states, “Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension.” This benefit can provide up to $1,794 per month for a single veteran who qualifies; additionally, provisions for veterans with a spouse as well as surviving spouse benefits are included in the Aid and Attendance Benefit.

We are privileged to serve our veteran residents here at The Sterling Aventura. Their stories deserve to be told, their sacrifices recognized, their service honored. Our community is proud to have many veterans in residence and would like to extend an invitation to veterans in the surrounding area to attend an event to learn more about the service-related benefits they’ve earned and deserve.

The Sterling Aventura will host a Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefit seminar on October 25th from 5-6:30 pm at the community. Eric Weitkamp from Freedom Partners will outline the Aid and Attendance benefit, provide information on how to apply, and answer questions about eligibility for veterans and spouses. Veterans, families and friends are invited to attend to learn more about the benefits available to them. To learn more or reserve a seat for this event, please call 305-918-0000. Thank you for your service. It will be our honor to serve you!

Dog Days at Mangrove Bay

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Providing Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care, Senior Lifestyle’s Mangrove Bay community in Jupiter, Florida is known for beautiful views of the Intracoastal Waterway and proximity to gorgeous beaches. Residents enjoy beautiful weather, exceptional services, and locally sourced ingredients for gourmet meals, and while none of those things are changing, Director of Sales and Marketing Lonnie Hoffman claims that one day very soon, Mangrove Bay will, in fact, be “going to the dogs.” Surprisingly, Executive Director Kathy Wise reports that residents, families and team members are looking forward to this “dog day”, and will even invite the public to witness the event!

What is happening at Mangrove Bay? The social event of the season, of course! The community will host a “Pup-tastic Fashion Show” in conjunction with the ribbon cutting for their new dog park on Thursday, October 19th from 2-4 pm and the local community is invited to attend. The new pet play area will be officially opened, light refreshments will be served, and the “pupperazzi” will be out in force, taking pictures of pets and their people. The community will host a “Yappy Hour” from 4:30-5:30 pm following the fashion show that is sure to be a howling success as well! Furry Friends Adoption and Clinic, a local no-kill shelter, will be on hand to help judge the fashion show along with adoptable pets from the shelter. In addition, officer Chad Norman, a bloodhound handler with Jupiter Police Department’s K9 unit will perform a skill demonstration. To RSVP to the grand opening of Mangrove Bay’s dog park or to enter a pet in the fashion show, please call 561-575-3123.

Mangrove Bay is home to more than ten dogs, beloved companions of residents of Mangrove Bay who add to the quality of life experienced in the community. The pets and their people at –Mangrove Bay have a heart for helping others and will be collecting items from Furry Friends’ wish list to help animals at the shelter live happier lives. Programs Director Karen Counts shares that Furry Friends is always in need of the following items:

  • Blankets, towels, comforters, sheets
  • Durable, clean dog & cat toys
  • Pedigree adult, puppy, small bites dry food
  • Pedigree adult and puppy wet food
  • Bleach and non-scented laundry detergent
  • Paper towels
  • Hand sanitizer (pump bottles)

Please consider bringing a donation to the fashion show, or even adopting a pet!

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.

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.

Lake Barrington Woods hosts Adventure Camp

Posted by in Community Spotlights.

Remember camping as a kid? Whether you went to a day-camp or sleepaway camp, rode in an RV with your grandparents, or just pitched a tent in the backyard, it was an adventure! You might have been eating outdoors, encountering wildlife or the neighborhood cat, sleeping in a tent, or watching cartoons in Grandpa’s RV! However you camped, fun and adventure were on the agenda. On a camp adventure, regular rules didn’t apply, so hands could get dirty, feet could get wet, and new experiences were welcomed with open (if somewhat grubby and perhaps bug-bitten) arms.

Adventures aren’t just for kids! At Senior Lifestyle’s Lake Barrington Woods community in the Chicago area, residents and staff alike are an adventurous bunch! In August of last year, as part of Active Aging Week’s challenge to Explore the Possibilities, residents from Lake Barrington Woods attended Adventure Camp, a summer camp experience hosted by Lake Barrington Woods at local Sunrise Lake. The event was so popular that this year the community decided to invite some Senior Lifestyle friends from neighboring communities.

Resident and staff attendance at this year’s Adventure Camp is expected to be approximately 100 people. Adventure Camp will be held on August 30th at Sunrise Lake, which provides a perfect setting for the event with its accessible spaces, ramps, and walking paths. Residents and staff from The Sheridan at Green Oaks, Autumn Green at Wright Campus, Lincolnwood Place, The Sheridan at Tyler Creek, Fox Point, and Prairie Green at Fay’s Point will attend Adventure Camp this year.

Proving that there’s always room for a new experience, no matter the age of the camper, one of last year’s attendees tried the traditional campfire treat, S’mores, for the first time, while another who had never held a fishing pole caught her first fish! Says Mirka Biegunska, Director of Resident Programs at Lake Barrington Woods: “Adventure Camp provides an opportunity for our residents to experience the freedom and independence of their childhood years, and for some, it is the first experience attending a campfire singalong or fishing in the lake. Our residents are so excited to share the adventure with their neighbors this year!”

At Senior Lifestyle communities, our residents love new experiences, and providing those experiences for our residents, whatever their adventure may be, is our goal every day. We believe fun helps to keep us young at heart, and if our Adventure Campers are any indication, we may be onto something! For information about Lake Barrington Woods, Adventure Camp, or any of our communities, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com, and if you get the chance, have an adventure!