Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

Posted by in Holidays.

For many Americans, Memorial Day means a long weekend, a cookout, and the unofficial start of summer. There might even be a parade or a car show. School is out, or very nearly, so the air of celebration might even be a notch higher! Block parties with carnival-like atmospheres are common over Memorial Day weekend, and quite often this summer kickoff includes travel plans for families looking to get in some vacation time. These are all wonderful pursuits; however, they quite often lose the real meaning of the holiday. While you’ll most certainly find some of these delightful events happening at Senior Lifestyle communities, look a bit closer and you’ll also see the pride shown by residents, staff and families in honoring those who sacrificed so much for us.

Originally named Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a call to remember those servicemen and women who gave their lives in service of the United States of America. The holiday was originally 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 was chosen specifically because it did not fall on the anniversary of any specific battle. In his proclamation on 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. Prior to World War I, Decoration Day, or Memorial Day, as it came to be called, was primarily a “northern state” holiday, with southern states honoring their war dead on different days. 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 in 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 The “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. Perhaps take a moment around three in the afternoon to reflect on the sacrifices of many to secure our freedom, as well. Senior Lifestyle and all our communities salute the men and women who gave their all for us, and we wish you a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day.

Senior Lifestyle Celebrates National Nurses Week

Posted by in Health and Fitness, Holidays.

May 6th, National Nurses Day, marks the beginning of a yearly, week-long celebration of nurses. The celebration culminates on May 12th, the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. Nightingale was known as “the Lady with the Lamp” due to her propensity for doing nightly rounds while treating wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. She drastically reduced the death rate of the wounded with her strict adherence to handwashing and hygiene practices. Her work in the Crimean War and in establishing St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses paved the way for the profession of nursing as we know it today. Prior to Nightingale’s work, nursing was considered a menial job, looked down upon by the upper classes. Nightingale, however, felt that nursing was a divine calling for her. This sentiment is echoed by many nurses today, who call the profession a vocation. Senior Lifestyle is proud to recognize the contributions of nurses everywhere who answered this call and providing quality care as well as compassion in every setting.

Nurses are the foundation of the medical profession. They often work long hours to assist with care needs both large and small, whether in a hospital setting, a provider’s office, or a senior living community. While on shift, personal concerns take a backseat to patient care. Nurses also spend a great deal of time on charting, paperwork and continuing education, often on their own time. Even with all these factors in play, many nurses, like Florence Nightingale, claim that the profession chose them! Nursing is consistently ranked as one of the most trusted professions, and rightly so; nurses often see us at our worst. They care for us when we’re in pain, frightened and confused; despite nearly impossible workloads, they dispense kindness and comfort along with medications, easing the stress of being a patient.

At Senior Lifestyle, we are continually amazed by the dedication our nurses show each day, providing top notch clinical care and an unmatched level of compassion for our residents and their families. They prove that nursing is as much an art as it is a science, especially in senior living. To learn more about Nurses Week celebrations in a Senior Lifestyle community near you, please visit our website, and of course, be sure to celebrate Florence Nightingale’s legacy by thanking a nurse!

The Longest Day: Embrace the Fight

Posted by in Holidays.

What makes time fly for you? Do you read? Knit? Jump rope? Bake chocolate chip cookies? For some of us, a book, a cup of tea, and a quiet corner can make an entire day disappear; for others, spending time outdoors is the best part of any 24 hours. However you choose to spend your time, be sure to join Senior Lifestyle in making June 21st the BEST Longest Day ever! On The Longest Day, people everywhere are doing what they love, challenging others to join the fight against Alzheimer’s, learning how to love their brains and raising funds for research into a cure.

For families dealing with the challenges of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, every day can seem like the longest day; according to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, with another case developing every 66 seconds. Care for those with the disease is provided by an estimated 15.9 million friends and family members in the U.S alone. These numbers are expected to skyrocket, with an estimated 75 million people worldwide developing the disease by 2030.

At Senior Lifestyle, we’re proud to partner with the Alzheimer’s Association to raise funds for crucial research into the disease, research that we hope will lead to a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. We are honored to support the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission and to be a Global Partner in this year’s The Longest Day event. Our goal is to raise $50,000 to support the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association, to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and to provide support to the residents, families, and communities that call Senior Lifestyle home.

When memories fade, moments matter greatly, and that philosophy is at the heart of our memory care program ‘embrace’ and our passion for The Longest Day. To learn more about The Longest Day event in your area, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website or our website at Senior Lifestyle to find a community near you. We hope you’ll join us in support of those with Alzheimer’s by organizing or joining a team, or just doing what you love to embrace the fight with us!

Helping Is Healthy

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Holidays.

Every day across America, volunteers can be found sharing their time and talents with their communities, supporting causes they find worthwhile, and providing aid to those in need. On April 20th, Volunteer Recognition Day, Senior Lifestyle salutes these helping hands who give time and energy to promote the health of their communities.

While the positive impact volunteers have on their communities is clear, what they may not realize is that they are in fact also helping themselves. Research indicates that we reap numerous benefits when we help others; volunteering can improve one’s physical well-being by reducing heart rate and blood pressure, recharging the immune system, and buffering the impact of stress. Socially, volunteering provides the opportunity to meet like-minded people and form new connections, while also raising self-confidence and self-esteem. Simply put, when we do good, we feel good!

Good news: senior volunteers are highly likely to benefit from volunteering, in part because it provides them with physical and social activity and a sense of purpose. Studies also show that volunteering may actually increase life expectancy while improving quality of life as well. For many seniors, lending a hand can provide an important link to their community at a time when they may be struggling to find meaningful ways to contribute to that community.

More good news: nearly everyone can volunteer in some capacity, whether by lending talents or lending time. Delivering meals to shut ins, making hats and blankets for newborns, and reading to children at a local school or library are all things that may seem small but have a big impact in the community. If you want to volunteer but aren’t sure where to start, call your local United Way or Salvation Army; these local resources can point you in the right direction and may in fact be looking for someone with your exact qualifications!

RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) is a volunteer network for people aged 55 and older. This network matches senior volunteers with diverse service opportunities in their communities, from tutoring and mentoring to renovating homes and assisting victims of natural disasters. Whether you can give an hour per week or an hour per month, it is time well spent and will make a difference in your community!

Volunteer Recognition Day celebrates those who donate their time and abilities for the benefit of others. At Senior Lifestyle, we believe volunteers are a vital part of healthy communities, and while those who volunteer don’t often seek accolades for their service, we believe they deserve to be thanked! To find out more about volunteering, please visit the Senior Lifestyle website and find the community nearest you.

TALK ABOUT IT: National Healthcare Decisions Day

Posted by in Holidays, Special Events, Expert Advice.

If you had a health crisis, would your family know your wishes about your care? Sadly, for many people the answer is no. Families often find it difficult to ask questions about what their loved one would want in the event of a health emergency, and a conversation about advanced care planning is frequently delayed until a crisis occurs. As stressful as this conversation may be, it is an important one to have, and sooner rather than later. Senior Lifestyle proudly supports National Healthcare Decisions Day as a means of empowering our residents and families with information and access to tools to make advanced care planning easier.

National Healthcare Decisions Day, observed on April 16th, encourages meaningful conversations about advanced care planning. This annual event aims to empower people with information on how to discuss and put in writing their wishes should they become seriously ill and unable to communicate those wishes to a loved one or healthcare provider. In addition, the initiative provides healthcare providers with tool kits to aid them in starting a conversation with patients about advanced care planning. The project also focuses on much more than just living wills, inspiring families to discuss the aspects of care that matter most to them and encouraging hospitals and other care facilities to respect those wishes.

For many, the prospect of talking about final wishes is daunting, and the process of making those wishes known to loved ones and healthcare providers may seem mysterious and unnecessarily convoluted. As an initiative of The Conversation Project, NHDD works to make the process of advanced care planning less frightening by providing simple, concise information to families, healthcare providers and communities. This information is free and available in all 50 states, using uniform tools tailored to state guidelines to enable individuals to make their wishes known to their loved ones and healthcare providers.

Provide yourself and your loved ones with peace of mind by taking the time to think about and share your wishes. For more information about National Healthcare Decisions Day, go to theconversationproject.org or visit our website at Senior Lifestyle to find a community near you and start a conversation today.

Doctor’s Day: Celebrating Care Partners

Posted by in Health and Fitness, Holidays.

On March 30, 1933 in the small town of Winder Georgia, Eudora Brown Almond, wife of local physician Charles B. Almond, organized the first-ever Doctor’s Day celebration. With the help of several local physicians’ wives, Eudora planned a luncheon for her husband and his colleagues to recognize their efforts in the communities they served . A fitting way to celebrate local doctors at the time, since it’s quite likely that they missed a few meals while out on calls in rural northeastern Georgia, Doctor’s Day is now nationally celebrated as a way to recognize our valuable care partners.

The celebration of Doctor’s Day has evolved over the years, just as our relationships with our own physicians have evolved. Thankfully, the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” has fallen out of fashion and the family doctor is no longer considered a person to be avoided. In senior healthcare, family doctors are increasingly looked to as valued care partners and patient rights advocates. With an emphasis on maintaining optimum health, doctor/patient relationships are evolving into true partnerships.

As a leader in senior healthcare, Senior Lifestyle celebrates this evolving doctor/patient relationship along with our residents and families. Whether providing care for a loved one at home or searching for senior healthcare communities, families need trusted care partners to help navigate the journey. We’re proud to share the journey as well.

While luncheons remain quite a popular gift idea for busy physicians, hospitals also offer perks like spa services, personalized gifts, and recognition ceremonies on Doctor’s Day. Many health organizations also offer patients the opportunity to send personal messages to physicians, so be sure to thank a doctor on March 30th! Visit our Facebook page at Senior Lifestyle to learn more about how your local communities are celebrating National Doctor’s Day.

Happy Holidays from Senior Lifestyle!

Posted by in Holidays.

The holiday season is always a joyous time of year in Senior Lifestyle communities across the country. ‘Tis the season when residents, their families, Senior Lifestyle staff, and members of the community all come together to celebrate one another and look ahead to the exciting years to come!

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