How Old Do You Have to Be for Senior Housing?

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At Senior Lifestyle, our goal is to act as a resource for those learning more about senior housing, particularly concerning areas of the industry less familiar to our residents and their families. Today we’re taking a closer look at one aspect of a topic we often hear questions about from families and residents: legal age requirements for senior housing.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), the 1995 legislation that governs senior housing and 55-and-over communities, addresses key aspects of the rules surrounding senior housing economics. Outside of HUD senior housing rules, there are a lot of additional questions about age requirements for senior housing, but determining the economics of living in a Senior Lifestyle 55-and-over community doesn’t have to be one of them.

HOPA was designed to provide affordable housing and safe living arrangements for qualified senior citizens. It is technically an age exception to the Fair Housing Act, which protects people from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap or familial status.

When it comes to the communities themselves, HOPA has three primary provisions. The first provides for places that provide general assistance to elderly persons. The other two deal with specifics about age. The first age-specific rule is simple: A community must be solely inhabited by persons 62 years of age or older. The other regulates 55-and-over communities and is a little more complicated.

In order for 55-and-over communities to qualify for HUD senior housing support, they must satisfy three additional requirements. First, at least 80 percent of the units must have one occupant who is older than 55. Second, the community must publish policies and demonstrate its intention to be a 55-and-over community. Finally, the community must verify the ages of its residents to remain eligible.

All of this is handled by Senior Lifestyle communities, so you can focus on making the best living decision for you or your loved one. While each of Senior Lifestyle’s lively 170-plus communities are operated independently of one another, all are bound by HUD senior housing rules. The majority of Senior Lifestyle communities are limited to 62-year-olds, but you can check for senior housing in your area for specific details.

If you think becoming a Senior Lifestyle resident is right for you or your loved one, we also encourage you to check out our Senior Lifestyle’s Senior Suites program. Nationally recognized as a leading prototype for affordable senior housing, Senior Suites distinguishes itself from traditional affordable housing options by offering daily residential programming, weekly transportation services, diverse dining options and daily check-in programs.

To learn more about our vibrant senior housing options, check out our elder care services. You can also check out our financial planning calculator to see which senior caring options are right for you. Whatever you’re considering, you can be sure that Senior Lifestyle is here to help and happy to assist you and your family.

Planning for and Navigating a Senior Move

Posted by in Expert Advice, Programs.


The transition into senior living can be a daunting prospect. These senior moves can take both a physical and mental toll on both the moving senior and their support system. Often times, elderly individuals are leaving behind a home with dozens of emotional attachments associated with it. At Senior Lifestyle, we are acutely aware of what a stressful time this can be. To help you through this period, Senior Lifestyle has put together a guide to help both moving seniors and their loved ones.

The decision to undertake a senior move into a Senior Lifestyle community can mean a lot of change, and it’s normal to have some anxiety around that. For that reason, we offer the “Be Our Guest” program, which allows potential residents the chance to “test drive” the lifestyle and our facilities. While staying in a furnished guest apartment, you will be afforded a chance to meet our residents and staff as you participate in all of our programs and events.

If you decide that Senior Lifestyle is right for you, there are several steps you can take to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Stay Open
Staying open to all of the possibilities in front of you is imperative. A sense of excitement and adventure helps mitigate the stress you will inevitably encounter in your senior move.

This is also important to keep in mind if you are in the support network of a moving senior and are helping with the transition. While the benefits of a senior’s transition may seem obvious to you, you will need to remain receptive to the emotional gravity that can come with this great change.

Moving with Grace
It helps to have familiarity around you when going through any kind of transition. Rather than “starting over” with all new furniture or décor, many of our residents find some comfort in bringing a piece of their old home to their new home. Once you can determine the floorplan of your new living space, you can decide which items to bring with for your senior move.

Loved ones can help greatly in this process as well. Don’t just provide your moving senior with guidelines on what to bring or leave. Actively participate in the selection process if you can; talking things through with your moving loved one can be a great help.

Senior Lifestyle communities offer a number of activities for our residents. We provide numerous ways for the moving senior to fully embrace their new home and community. Integration is key in a successful transition.

Similarly, we always encourage our residents’ loved ones to come by for visit. However, we also recommend support networks remain sensitive to seniors’ need for independence. Holding hands with a moving senior can be a great comfort, but be sure to allow them the space they need to grow and fully participate in their new community.

No matter which of our six different lifestyle options you or your loved one chooses, a senior move requires patience and adjustment. But if you keep in mind these helpful tips, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying everything Senior Lifestyle has to offer you.

Detecting Alzheimer’s Symptoms & Stages

Posted by in Expert Advice, Food and Nutrition, Health and Fitness, Mind and Spirit, Research.


Alzheimer’s disease, a syndrome that affects the brain and cognitive function, can be a challenging disease to learn about, particularly when considering the devastating effects this disease can have on all those it touches. But knowing Alzheimer’s symptoms and Alzheimer’s stages can help prepare you in case someone you love receives this diagnosis or begins to show signs of Alzheimer’s.

Consider this: The Alzheimer’s Association – the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research – estimates that 5.4 million Americans have the disease. Of those afflicted, 96 percent are older than 65. Taken as a whole, dementia is the sixth leading cause of death in America, killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Those are frightening numbers that are only expected to grow.

Senior Lifestyle has developed award-winning programs and care to help cope with the effects of the disease. Senior Lifestyle’s memory care and Alzheimer’s care specialists work directly with staff, residents, and their families to ensure residents receive the comprehensive care and attention they deserve.

But the first step is identifying the diseases stages, symptoms and warning signs.

3 Stages of Alzheimer’s
Detecting the progression of Alzhiemer’s can be challenging because the disease affects everyone differently and there is much overlap between Alzheimer’s stages. Generally, experts divide Alzheimer’s into three stages.
1. Mild or Early Stage: Usually lasts 2-4 years; often undetectable, but characterized by frequent memory loss, especially of recent interactions and experiences, losing track of time and becoming lost in formerly familiar locations.
2. Moderate or Middle Stage: Lasts anywhere between 2-10 years; cognitive decline is easily observed; memory continues to decline and family may become less identifiable; memory, reasoning and basic motor skills continues to get worse; mood swings, delusions, aggression and uninhibited behavior may occur.
3. Severe or Late Stage: Usually last 1-3 years; individuals are unable to care for themselves for the most part as symptoms continue to devolve; Basic verbal communication and motor skills are extremely hindered.

10 Alzheimer’s Warning Signs

1. Memory loss that affects daily life
2. Inability to follow directions or solve simple problems.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
4. Becoming disoriented about space and time
5. Trouble with depth perception, colors or reading
6. Problems expressing thoughts in conversation
7. Misplacing things or putting possessions in nonsensical places
8. Poor judgment with money, clothing or grooming
9. Withdrawal from friends and social network
10. Mood swings

Unfortunately, there is no way to totally prevent or cure Alzheimer’s, but research and medicine continue to progress. By recognizing Alzheimer’s symptoms and identifying Alzheimer’s stages, you or your loved ones can start memory care treatment that can temporarily slow signs of the disease and improve quality of life for those afflicted and for their families.

Choosing a Retirement Home: How to Choose a Retirement Community for Yourself or a Loved One

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When choosing a retirement home (or any other kind of senior living arrangement), it’s often too easy to feel overwhelmed. With so many options available and with so many factors to consider, our goal is to help you find a starting place so you can learn how to choose a retirement community or other senior care community for yourself or for your loved one.

Your first step is to consider the type of community you or your loved one needs: are you choosing a retirement home with independent living, an assisted living facility or memory care services? Senior Lifestyle offers all three of these lifestyle options. Browse our options for independent living, assisted living and memory care to help you learn how to choose the right retirement community for you. Each category of community provides a variety of amenities, activities, and services to help you ease into new surroundings.

The next aspect you should consider when deciding a retirement community or other senior care community is location. Are you looking to live close to the rest of your family, or would you prefer to be in a new part of the country? With over 100 different locations, you’ll be sure to find a Senior Lifestyle community that suits all of your needs. Whether you are looking to live in the hot and dry southwest, the sunny northeast or anywhere in-between, we have a location that will give you what you’re searching for.

Finally, choosing a retirement home or other elder care facility means finding the one with the best opportunities for a holistic and enriching resident experience. At Senior Lifestyle, we believe in a culture of care, where everyone on our staff values the importance of serving and caring for others. Additionally, the life enrichment programming we offer allows our residents to follow their passions and explore their interests.

From gardening, new hobbies with technology, or dreams of learning to paint, our communities offer a wide variety of programs to help you or your loved one pursue their passion.

To get started on your journey for choosing a retirement home or senior care options, visit the Senior Lifestyle website. You’ll find plenty of resources to help you choose the right senior care community.

Independent Living & Assisted Living Services

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Across the country, Senior Lifestyle communities offer six different senior living and care options : independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, affordable senior housing, and short term care. While each community is unique and has its own personality, they all provide residents with a variety of assisted living services.

From fun health and fitness programs to creative senior activities and life enrichment programs , Senior Lifestyle provides all residents the opportunities they need to continue living independent lives while connecting with one another. Please feel free to take the time to look at a few of the independent and assisted living services available at our communities.

Delicious Dining
Eating is an important and delicious part of everyone’s day. At any one of our communities, we make sure your daily dining experience is comfortable and nutritious. Dining experiences are included as a part of our independent living services. Our executive chefs and professionally trained staff members create dining experiences in restaurant-style environments. And not only do they prepare meals for residents, they extend their service to the whole family when they want to visit. Our dining teams often amend menus to accommodate our residents’ favorite dishes for a home-cooked meal in their new home.

If residents enjoy cooking themselves, Senior Lifestyle’s assisted living services offer opportunities to compete in cooking competitions or learn new recipes and kitchen tricks at our cooking demonstrations.

Life, Fun and the Pursuit of Your Passions
At our independent living and assisted living communities, residents keep busy with recreational, leisure, and creative activities. Residents can express their artistic talents by painting and drawing, singing in a choir, or performing musical numbers for their fellow residents and community members. Residents can even perform or watch shows put on by their peers.

Beyond creative activities, assisted living and independent living services staff host regular Wii bowling competitions – residents are also welcome to play Wii sports at their own leisure. In addition to playing the Wii, residents can spend their spare time in our spacious recreation rooms available at many of our communities: the library, movie theatre, billiards room, business center, gaming lounge, and fitness center.

Healthy Body, Fit Mind, and Happy Spirit
Senior care services – such as our 24-hour emergency call system, up-and-about checks, and fitness classes – help keep residents healthy. Our award-winning Brain Health University program fosters personal mental growth and enhances memory function. Our community gardens also allow residents opportunities for self-reflection while they relax outdoors.

Social Connection
Fitness classes, leisure activities, and happy hours allow residents the opportunity to mingle and connect with one another. Senior Lifestyle offers transportation to local shopping centers, physicians’ offices, and local attractions, as well as planned outings to museums, theaters, restaurants, and more to help residents stay connected with the community. We also have a program called “Senior Sidekicks” that lets residents interact with local students.

… And More!
Our dedicated professional staff members don’t only provide fun and social independent living services, but they also provide residents with supportive living services, such as housekeeping and laundry services, as well as on-site beauty salons and barber shops. In our assisted living communities, bathing, dressing and medication assistance is available as needed.

Here at Senior Lifestyle, it is our pleasure to serve you and your family with attention, care and compassion. Looking for more information about Senior Lifestyle senior care services, independent living services, or assisted living services? Contact us today.

Assisted Living Costs: How to Afford & Plan for Long-Term Senior Care

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Some of the most frequently asked questions related to senior care revolve around the financial elements; our residents and families begin the decision-making process often unsure about assisted living costs and how to manage the costs of assisted living over the long haul.

We offer a list of financial resources on Senior Lifestyle’s website and this blog post, where we include resources to help clarify any questions you may have about assisted living costs while providing a few additional tips on long-term financial planning.

Just as every resident is different, we recognize that each financial situation is unique; there simply is no one-size-fits-all cost calculator. With that in mind, we have created a comparison calculator tool to help you figure out how assisted living costs associated with living in one of our communities would affect your bottom line. While this tool cannot provide an exact price, many of our families have found it to be a fantastic guideline for planning and budgeting purposes.

If you require more detailed assistance, or are curious about your particular situation, our solutions experts are happy to help. Just check for one of our communities in your area or contact a Senior Lifestyle community adviser online. In addition, Senior Lifestyle has partnered with Elderlife Financial, a company that helps families craft financial plans suited to their individual needs. Our corporate partner is recognized as “the nation’s leading senior financing and solutions company [for] … home care, downsizing, senior housing and payment needs.”

Senior Lifestyle has also partnered with Life Care Funding, a company that aids in the process of using life insurance policies to defray the cost of assisted living. Keep in mind that there is no fee or obligation associated with applying for this helpful and unique service.

The government is another great resource for assisting families with the cost of moving into a retirement community. The Department of Veterans Affairs may be able to provide assistance, and we always suggest checking the IRS’s guide on medical expenses.

We also have many residents who find companionship to be the best way to support assisted living costs. Living with a roommate can help cover costs, and many of our residents have become friends for life by sharing their daily routines. Senior Lifestyle can help match you or your loved one with another resident based on compatible interests, backgrounds, and personalities.

The decision of transitioning into a new home is multifaceted, and our goal at Senior Lifestyle is to assist in that process by providing as many resources as possible to help you prepare and to ease any financial burdens. We also invite you to reach out if you have specific questions about the cost of assisted living.

Senior Care Services & Assisted Living Levels of Care

Posted by in Expert Advice, Programs.


Whether you or a loved one are considering moving into a senior living facility, it’s a complicated decision accompanied by plenty of questions: What senior care services do facilities provide? What senior care services are right for my situation? What assisted living levels of care can I expect?

Our mission is to provide you with the resources you need to decide which senior care services and levels of care are right for you, regardless of whether or not you decide to join Senior Lifestyle’s nationwide network of family owned senior communities.

Senior Lifestyle classifies its levels of care under six different options for senior care services: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing, Affordable Housing, and Short-Term Care.

Independent Living
Independent Living services offer residents the freedom to live their lives as they see fit. Our dedicated staff work to accommodate their residents’ unique needs. Independent Living is meant to combine the familiar comforts of home with the excitement of new experiences, and then some. After settling into a Senior Lifestyle Community, our residents often wonder why they did not make the decision to move sooner.

Assisted Living
The Assisted Living plans at Senior Lifestyle add another layer of service to our Independent Living program. Our Assisted Living Services are designed for residents who value their independence but could still use a hand with everyday activities. Senior Lifestyle’s trained staff is available to help with every need; our team can assist with bathing, with dressing, and with medication. Residents in the Assisted Living program all meet with a licensed nurse to create a personalized service plan so we can support them as they continue to pursue their passions.

Memory Care
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia take a heavy toll on those battling the devastating disease and their loved ones, but Senior Lifestyle has dedicated specialists that work with residents, their families, and staff to ensure care is comprehensive and tailored to the individual. Residents who benefit from our memory care services live in communities specifically designed to strike a balance between safety and engagement in common areas and exterior courtyards.

Skilled Nursing
Most Senior Lifestyle communities are equipped to offer senior care services and levels of care to fit a wide range of needs. Our staff members care for residents that need post-surgical rehab, wound care, cognitive and pain management, and general practitioners services. Please call your local community or visit the skilled nursing page on our website for a complete list of services.

Affordable Housing
The Senior Suites program is a nationally recognized prototype for affordable senior housing. The communities are designed for independent, older adults. Unlike traditional programs, our affordable housing offers daily programs, transportation services, a la carte dining and daily check-in programs. The program is made possible by private donations and a combination of municipal, state, and federal funding. Please visit our website to see if you or a loved one is eligible to receive these services.

Short Term Care
Designed for those wishing to give our communities a try without a more long-term commitment, short-term senior care services are perfect for introducing someone to the Senior Lifestyle community, temporary rehabilitation assistance, or to lend a hand if a regular caregiver is unavailable. We also offer trial stays to test if long-term care is right for you or your loved one. The guest program is an immersive experience that allows people to get a feel for Senior Lifestyle’s level of care.

Every community has its own unique identity, but each level of care, even at the base rate, typically supplements a variety of amenities, some of which include a delicious dining experience, stimulating and engaging life enrichment programs, optional routine laundry and housekeeping services, transportation service to local attractions and physicians, and so much more.

No matter what level of care you or your loved one requires, Senior Lifestyle is here to welcome you and your family home. Visit our website or stop by your local Senior Lifestyle community to get more information.

Senior Housing & Assisted Living Rules: What Are The Age Requirements?

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Some of the most frequent questions we hear revolve around what age requirements we uphold at our communities. While we’ll be the first to admit that the answer to this question varies from person to person, we also have some general guidelines we share with all of our families when they ask about senior housing rules regarding age.

Each of Senior Lifestyle’s 170+ communities have their own unique identity and assisted living rules that dictate how they operate. Some have programs for people as young as 55, while others require residents to be at least 62-years-old.

One of our many differentiators is our nationally recognized Senior Suites program, a leading prototype for affordable senior housing. Unlike traditional, affordable housing, Senior Suites also offers its residents daily programs, weekly transportation services, à la carte dining options and daily resident check-ins. To be eligible, residents must be at least 62 years of age and fall within certain income guidelines established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Considering such a significant move can easily generate stress, but we have frequently found our residents asking themselves why they had not moved into one of our communities sooner once they’ve taken time to get settled – regardless of age.

Whether you’re 17, 38, 57, or even 85, it’s never too early or too late to think about the next chapter of your life. Senior Lifestyle offers a number of independent and assisted living services to fit the exact needs of you or a loved one. For more information, please check out our website or give us a call.

My Mom Doesn’t Know It’s Mother’s Day

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For many families around the country with moms who are living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, Mother’s Day is as much a time of great sadness as it is celebration. The realization that your Mom may not know it’s Mother’s Day, or worse yet, may not recognize you as her child, becomes all too real, leaving children unsure of how to connect with their Mom on this special day. Despite the emotional challenges this day may present, we want you to know that connection is still possible; we want you to know that connection can be as much about a moment as it is a memory.

There are many beautiful and special ways to honor and connect with a mother living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, we wanted to provide a few that we think are quite special and likely to create that memorable moment with your Mom.

– Plant a potted herb garden for Mom. The fragrance is something she can enjoy for months to come and caring for the herbs may become a joyful part of her every day.
– Create a play list. Try to think of Mom’s top 10 favorite songs, use those to create a playlist for Mom that you can enjoy together on Mothers’ Day.
– Bring in a small box or album of old photos from your Mom’s childhood, and yours. Reminisce about those days together.
– Bake Mom her favorite sweet treat and bring it to enjoy together.
– Bring in Mom’s favorite lotion and connect with touch. Offer her a gentle hand or foot massage. Pamper your Mom!

Lastly, share your love. Love, appreciation, and kindness can be given and received freely. The disease might have stolen memories from your mom, but you can still honor and celebrate her. To all the mom’s walking through Mother’s Day with Alzheimer’s and dementia, the Senior Lifestyle family honors you today and every day.

Tips for Mitigating Fall Risk in Older Adults

Posted by in Expert Advice, Food and Nutrition, Health and Fitness.

Fall Risk

Find out how to decrease fall risk in the home and while on the go. Falls in the elderly are dangerous but are preventable with the right planning

Whether at home or on the go, preventing falls in the elderly should be a top priority. Increased fall risk is just another thing that happens when we get older. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year and over 2 million people are treated annually in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. Regardless of their frequent occurrence, falls are often preventable. With the right plan, you can help mitigate fall risk in your home and elsewhere.

Make sure rugs don’t slip. While rugs can add some color to a room, they call also increase fall risk if they’re not put in place correctly. A rug that slips or rolls up can cause falls in the elderly. Throw rugs should be kept in place with the help of two-sided carpet tape. You can also use rubber rug pads to help keep your rugs from bunching up.

Help your eyes out. One of the main risk factors for falling is an inability to see well. Make sure that there is adequate light in your home so that you can see where you are walking well enough to prevent fall risk. Install brighter bulbs where necessary and add nightlights to bedrooms and hallways. For those that have trouble with stairs in particular, adding colored tape to the edge of each stair can make them easier to navigate.

Fall-proof the bathroom. The bathroom is one of the most common places for falls to occur. Begin mitigating fall risk by placing non-slip mats in and around the shower. Adding grab rails can give seniors entering and exiting the tub something sturdy to hold onto. A bonus of having these grab rails is that many are portable, meaning that they can be taken with on trips to be used in hotels or others’ bathrooms that lack railings.

Keep clutter in check. Maintaining a clean home is something you can do to prevent falls among the elderly. Pay special attention to hallways and stairwells for object that can be tripped over and cause falls.

Put handrails by stairways. Because climbing up and down stairs only gets more difficult as we age, installing handrails to facilitate easier climbs and lower the risk of falling is a great choice for a home improvement project.

Fall risk does not have to be a burden for older adults. With careful and diligent preparation, these simple steps can be taken to reduce risks and help keep seniors safe from the danger of falling.