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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