Minimize Holiday Visit Stress

Posted by in Holidays, Expert Advice.

The holidays are here, and at Senior Lifestyle we know that holidays can become difficult to manage when your loved ones are aging. Whether you are a caregiver or a relative traveling to Mom’s house for a short visit, either scenario can become stressful. If you’re a caregiver you may struggle to enjoy the time together while managing your loved one’s medications and daily schedule, and if you’re traveling to visit, y0u may notice changes in your loved one that weren’t apparent at your last visit, overshadowing the joys of the season.

The excitement of having friends and relatives visit often comes with an increase in anxiety for seniors and their caregivers. Everything from changes in routine to meal planning for a crowd can cause holiday stress. If you’re a caregiver, there are ways to keep the holiday season from becoming overwhelming for both you and your loved one. Mayo Clinic provides some practical tips to help keep the joy in the holiday season while minimizing holiday stress:

  • Grief can be a stressor for seniors during the holidays. For seniors who’ve lost a loved one, the holidays can trigger difficult memories. Many find that talking about those loved ones who are no longer present and reminiscing about holidays spent with them can be a joyful experience. Acknowledging the loss helps to ease the pain and can become a meaningful activity.
  • Dietary concerns seem to affect nearly everyone over the holiday season. The temptation to overindulge is ever-present and can be especially worrisome for seniors who are on multiple medications or need to follow a restricted diet. Eating a healthy snack prior to a large holiday meal can help to ease temptation and the effects of overeating. Staying hydrated and avoiding excessive alcohol intake also helps maintain healthy habits.
  • Upholding traditions can become a point of contention and stress for seniors and their family members. When a senior can no longer take charge of the holiday meal or the decorating, it may be time to create new traditions that allow your loved one to remain an active participant. Going “potluck” for holiday dinners can limit the stress on one family member; additionally, scaling back on decorations can keep the tradition from becoming overwhelming. Gift-giving can even be accomplished with online shopping for those who can no longer manage the chaos of holiday-season malls.

Holiday stress is manageable. With some extra forethought, the holiday season can be a joyful occasion for seniors and caregivers, as well as visiting friends and family. Simplifying, planning ahead and managing expectations can ease anxiety for everyone involved. At Senior Lifestyle, we believe building new traditions and finding new ways to celebrate can add meaning to the season!

Moments Matter

Posted by in Holidays.

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, designated by Ronald Reagan as a time to show support to dementia sufferers and their caregivers in 1983, when less than 2 million Americans suffered from the disease. That number has grown to nearly 5.4 million today and the need for awareness and support is greater than ever before. With this in mind, Senior Lifestyle supports  Go Purple with a Purpose for Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month and we invite you to do the same. The Alzheimer’s Association shares ways to show your commitment to a world without Alzheimer’s:

  • Educate your colleagues about Alzheimer’s
  • Encourage friends to wear Purple
  • Host a Purple with a Purpose Event
  • Decorate your office or home door Purple
  • Light your building Purple
  • Send communications in Purple
  • Turn your Facebook icon Purple
  • Hang Purple ribbons or a banner on your building or home

There are currently close to 15 million individuals in the United States serving as caregivers for loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s, and while showing support for the Alzheimer’s Association’s goals and honoring those caregivers is a great place to start, there are also tangible ways to show support for families dealing with the reality of a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s disease. Learn how to help manage the disease and its effects, as well as how to respond to the person with dementia.
  • Stay in touch. Visits, calls and notes are meaningful.
  • Offer support in the form of a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. The stress of a dementia diagnosis affects the entire family.
  • Engage the person with dementia. Even as the ability to communicate lessens, the dementia sufferer benefits from contact and familiar faces.
  • Offer to help with tasks on the family’s to-do list. Prepare a meal, offer a ride or help with errands.
  • Provide a reprieve for the caregiver by spending time with the person living with dementia.

 

At Senior Lifestyle we understand that when memories fade, it’s the moments that matter. Families facing a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease need support and patience in order to adjust to the reality of living with the disease and its effects. We offer support to caregivers by providing respite care and connections with support groups as well as providing education for families and caregivers. Additionally, our embrace philosophy offers a holistic approach to care for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about support for caregivers or our unique approach to memory care at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Honored to Serve: Veterans Day

Posted by in Holidays.

Saturday, November 11th is Veterans Day, an occasion often marked by parades, speeches and flag ceremonies to celebrate and offer our thanks to those who have served. At Senior Lifestyle we’re proud of the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, so our senior communities across the United States will honor residents, family members and Senior Lifestyle team members for their service as well. With celebrations ranging from pinning ceremonies and Veterans Day recognition meals at local schools to care package packing parties for deployed service members, our celebrations are as unique as the wonderful people we honor.

The history behind Veterans Day is a story worth knowing;  the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs notes that while World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, it’s the “story before the story” that gave rise to the holiday we know as Veterans Day. Fighting ceased seven months prior to the Versailles Treaty when an armistice temporarily halted hostilities between the Allied Nations and Germany. This accord took place on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month and was originally known as Armistice Day. President Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 the first commemoration of Armistice Day, a holiday honoring veterans of the first World War, known as “the war to end all wars.” The day would most likely still be known as Armistice Day if World War II had not occurred; however, with the large number of American casualties, it seemed only fitting to make the day a time to give thanks to veterans of all wars, as well as those who served in peacetime. The day has been known since 1954 as Veterans Day, when President Eisenhower signed legislation designating November 11th as a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

While veterans have recently been the grateful recipients of free meals, services and discounts on Veterans Day, many say that a heartfelt “Thank you for your service” would be just as welcome. The Corporation for National and Community Service also lists several ways to support and honor veterans on its website, including mentoring the children of veterans, providing educational opportunities to veterans, and assisting them in finding employment. Each veteran and family is unique, with different stories and unique needs. Being able to share their stories and receive support is empowering for veterans, as well as those who provide support.

In Senior Lifestyle communities everywhere, we’re honored to serve those who have served our country. Additionally, we feel it’s vital to recognize the sacrifices made by families of service members, those who manage households, careers and family life during the deployment of a loved one. We hope you’ll join us, on Veterans Day and every day, in thanking a veteran for their service and sacrifice. To learn more about Veterans Day events at a Senior Lifestyle community near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Good Neighbors

Posted by in Holidays.

What makes a good neighbor? Is it a never-ending supply of sugar to borrow? The best recipe for chocolate cake? Perhaps open invitations to every cookout? National Good Neighbor Day, observed on September 28th, celebrates the qualities that define good neighbors everywhere. The effort to make Good Neighbor Day a national holiday began in the 1970’s in Lakeside, Montana, and in 1978 President Jimmy Carter announced the creation of this holiday focused on building thriving communities.  While Good Neighbor Day has been celebrated in various ways through the years, the passage of a resolution in 2003 made the holiday official.

At Senior Lifestyle, we believe being a good neighbor is simple; it’s giving back to the community, sharing resources, and most importantly, meeting the needs of those who rely on us for exceptional care. Our Senior Lifestyle neighborhoods, whether Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing or Memory Care, foster a sense of community between team members, residents and families, creating relationships that benefit each member of the community.

Like any neighborhood, Senior Lifestyle communities thrive because of the diversity and creativity of our residents. Neighborhoods are stronger when people come together to share their interests and many of our most popular senior activities have been suggested by residents. From gardening to book clubs to appreciation for the arts, Senior Lifestyle residents prove every day that being a good neighbor starts with sharing talents and passions with those closest to us, and our Programming Directors are always available to help implement a new idea, plan an outing or even schedule a Wii bowling tournament!

We’re proud of the thriving neighborhoods created at our Senior Lifestyle communities and we encourage resident suggestions that contribute to the innovative senior activities we offer in each community. To learn more about any of our communities, events or activities, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com. We’d love to share our vision of being a good neighbor with you, and the door is always open to new neighbors!

Ignite Your Passion During Active Aging Week

Posted by in Holidays, Special Events.

Residents at Autumn Green at Midway Village are passionate about living life to the fullest. Every week residents in this beautiful community near the heart of Chicago learn new things and explore new opportunities, and Active Aging Week is no exception! Active Aging Week, celebrated from September 24th through September 30th, encourages seniors to take part in activities they love and to learn more about activities that spark their interest, and Autumn Green at Midway Village shares that goal. The theme for Active Aging Week in 2017 is Ignite Your Passion, and the International Council on Active Aging states that the goal of this weeklong campaign is to call attention to the positive aspects of aging by challenging the expectations of society and highlighting the capabilities of seniors.

Autumn Green at Midway Village invites you to join them for Active Aging Week events and Ignite Your Passion! Director of Sales and Marketing Thalia Barrow says, “Our residents are always open to new experiences; they often bring ideas to team members that we can then incorporate into our activity schedule.” Thalia also notes that Active Aging Week is a great time to explore what Autumn Green at Midway Village has to offer, sharing that many of their Active Aging Week activities are open to the public. Neighbors, friends and families are invited to attend the following events during Active Aging Week:

  • Monday, September 25th at 3 PM: Join us for a Ballroom Dance demonstration and instruction that will get your toes tapping!
  • Tuesday, September 26th at 11 AM: Our own Chef Antonio Ruiz will tempt your taste buds with a cooking demonstration that proves food is much more than just fuel.
  • Wednesday, September 27th at 1 PM: Ignite your inner artist with ceramic painting and share your talent with friends and family!

Active Aging Week is a perfect time to get a glimpse of the exceptional care and ease of life in a Senior Lifestyle community and Autumn Green at Midway Village would love to share their passion for Active Aging and their beautiful community with you. To save your spot for any of the exciting events scheduled for Active Aging Week, or to schedule a tour of Autumn Green at Midway Village, please call 773-432-4050.

Family is Forever: National Assisted Living Week

Posted by in Holidays, Special Events.

At Senior Lifestyle, our residents are like family, so we’re celebrating National Assisted Living Week family-style with a host of special events in our communities. From social hours to family dinners, Senior Lifestyle celebrates and honors the bond between our team members and the residents they care for, a bond that is as strong and lasting as any family bond. This unbreakable bond serves as the inspiration for the theme of National Assisted Living Week, Family is Forever. The theme “Family is Forever” was inspired by a poem by Maya Angelou, which reads:

“Family isn’t always blood, it’s the people in your life who want you in theirs: the ones who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”

NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle said in his announcement of this year’s theme, “Anyone who has spent valuable time in an assisted living community has seen how staff can come to think of their residents like family. It takes a special person to work in our profession, and often, caregivers form bonds that can never be broken. This National Assisted Living Week, we want to recognize these amazing individuals who give their heart and soul to their residents, as well as those seniors…who leave a lasting imprint on their caregivers.”

National Assisted Living Week, established by the National Center for Assisted Living in 1995, provides an opportunity for communities across America to recognize and celebrate the vital role assisted living plays in caring for our seniors. This week also helps assisted living communities to educate the public about assisted living by sharing events and activities with their surrounding communities. Senior Lifestyle’s assisted living communities throughout the United States will share the stories of their residents and team members during this week, highlighting the relationships built in these communities between residents, caregivers, families and volunteers.

At Senior Lifestyle, we celebrate our residents and the caregivers who love them like family. If you’d like more information about how Senior Lifestyle communities celebrate quality family time, or follow us on social media to see how our communities across the country are celebrating family.

Celebrating Labor Day

Posted by in Holidays.

Monday is Labor Day, a time when many Americans enjoy a day off, spending the time away from work with friends and family at picnics and parades across the United States. The holiday has also become the unofficial end of summer, a final celebration before school kicks into high gear and many areas of the country see cooler temperatures take over. Many Senior Lifestyle communities have special Labor Day celebrations planned with residents, staff, and family members joining together for food and fun. As a country, we celebrate Labor Day every year, but how many of us know the history of the holiday?

According to the United States Department of Labor, the first Monday in September is “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” Labor Day celebrates the contributions workers have made to “the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Municipal ordinances passed in 1885 and 1886 gave rise to the first official local Labor Day celebrations, while Oregon passed a state bill in 1887 to make Labor Day an official holiday in that state. On June 28th of 1894, Congress passed an act declaring the first Monday in September a holiday for workers across the United States and its territories.

There is still some mystery surrounding the actual founder of Labor Day, with some accounts showing that a general secretary for the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners first proposed the holiday, while others believe that it was a machinist and secretary for Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists who actually founded the celebration. What we do know is that the first unofficial Labor Day celebration took place in New York City in 1882, organized by the Central Labor Union.

The form of our contemporary Labor Day celebrations is very similar to the day envisioned by the first Labor Day organizers, who planned street parades to show the “strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” in each community, followed by community-wide parties organized “for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.” In many communities across America, we see these same celebrations, with some lasting the entire Labor Day weekend. Parades, carnivals, and town-wide Homecoming-style events are popular in many places.

However you celebrate your Labor Day, be sure to take a moment to reflect on the contributions of those who work to make our communities wonderful places to live. Senior Lifestyle celebrates the work ethic and team spirit of our team, whose efforts shows in the satisfaction of our residents and families! For more information on celebrations at a Senior Lifestyle community near you, or to schedule a visit, please visit our website.

Senior Lifestyle Celebrates August Holidays

Posted by in Holidays.

Poor, lonely August, sandwiched between its neighbors, the superstar holiday months of July and September, with their fancy fireworks, parades, and picnics. It is a much-maligned month with no special attributes or fancy talents, known only as “Back to School” month by millions of children who blame August for a summer vacation cut woefully short. We at Senior Lifestyle feel for August, we really do. If the months had a talent show, it seems that August would recite some boring piece of prose while the other contestants composed and sung their own operas and twirled flaming batons. It just isn’t fair. What did August ever do to deserve this kind of disrespect?

Sure, it’s hot and muggy in August and the vegetable garden is nearly played out, except for those darn zucchinis, which we all know are like fruitcake, just passed from neighbor to neighbor because no one knows quite what to do with them. Sure, in August the kids are an odd mix of crabby and excitable because school starts soon and they can’t quite decide if the prospect of new school clothes cancels out the summer math homework that they are frantically trying to finish. Sure, parents are frazzled in August because school starts soon and they don’t even know how to help with the summer math homework, much less navigate the mall for all the new school clothes that must be bought before the first day of school. Wait, where were we going with this? Oh yes, that’s right, poor August, the space filler between July and September.

Wait, space filler? Poor August? We think not! August is not only Family Fun Month and National Picnic Month, but also Peach Month and Romance Awareness Month. August holidays abound! August is a superstar! In fact, there seems to be a wacky, wonderful holiday nearly every day in August, not to mention weekly holidays like National Simplify Your Life Week, National Smile Week, Friendship Week, and Be Kind to Humankind Week. What more can we expect from any month? According to Holiday Insights, there’s a bumper crop of August holidays. Speaking of bumper crops…remember that zucchini that keeps piling up on your picnic table? Well, August 8th is Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day, so feel free to celebrate accordingly.

Senior Lifestyle will certainly celebrate Senior Citizen’s Day on August 21st because our seniors are a great reason to celebrate! Many of us will also celebrate Left Hander’s Day on August 13th and some might even compose a few lines for Bad Poetry Day on the 18th. However you choose to celebrate August holidays, remember to make the most of each day, and if you’re exhausted from all that zucchini-picking, take heart friends, because August 10th is Lazy Day!

At Senior Lifestyle, we believe each day should be a celebration! To schedule a tour or learn more about any Senior Lifestyle community or any of our wonderful August events, please visit www.seniorlifestyle.com, and celebrate August with us!

A Season for Independence

Posted by in Holidays.

America is a nation of independent thinkers, generations of people who have worked to be self-reliant, self-sufficient and self-governing. We declared our independence in dramatic fashion over two hundred years ago and we continue to do so on an annual basis in some form in most every community in America. From backyard barbecues to parades and fireworks, Senior Lifestyle celebrates our residents and their spirit of independence not only on July 4th, but every day of the year with senior living options designed for their lifestyle preferences. Independent living means that our dedicated staff is there to accommodate the unique lifestyle our residents choose so that they can enjoy the freedom to do what makes them happy. The flexibility afforded by this lifestyle option often has residents wondering why they didn’t make the decision to move sooner!

At Senior Lifestyle, we understand that maintaining independence can be tricky for seniors. Knowing what to hold onto and what to let go of is a tough road to navigate, especially for someone who has lived independently for many years. Giving up a driver’s license or accepting in-home help is a big step for many seniors, and leaving home is an even bigger step. Loved ones can help navigate these obstacles by having open conversations with senior family members that focus on long-term needs and maintaining a level of independence that fits those needs. When changes need to happen, family members can also focus on the positive aspects of those changes.

Asking for and accepting help when it is needed is a positive step toward staying independent. Families can help senior loved ones maintain independence by practicing interactive caregiving, partnering with the senior to accomplish activities of daily living instead of “taking over.” Quite often, in the interest of efficiency, caregivers complete tasks for the senior only to discover that the performance of these tasks is vital to the senior’s sense of purpose and overall quality of life.

Support your loved one’s independent streak! Our senior living options at Senior Lifestyle are designed to promote optimum levels of independence for our residents, along with the freedom to enjoy the lifestyle they deserve! To learn more about Independent Living and the senior living choices at a Senior Lifestyle community near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Honoring Older Americans Month

Posted by in Holidays.

Along with a host of well-known holidays like Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, and some other not-so-well-known holidays like National Escargot Day and Lumpy Rug Day (sounds like a great hiding place for the escargot!), May was Older Americans Month. Among other days for recognizing seniors, this month rounded out the holidays with National Senior Health and Fitness Day on May 31. Here at Senior Lifestyle, we love to celebrate our seniors in any way possible, and regardless of what our residents at Senior Lifestyle communities chose to celebrate, they did so in style!

In 2017, Older Americans Month focused on the theme “Age Out Loud.” Seems quite fitting when one considers just how much our seniors have to say! Not so long ago, aging was seen as a passive activity, something that just took its course. Not so today; with seniors staying active far later into life and partnering with health care professionals to take an active role in their care, the face (and voice) of aging is changing. Senior Lifestyle strongly supports the new look of aging with programs designed to keep our residents engaged in whatever form of activity they enjoy.

What exactly does Age Out Loud mean? For many seniors, it means advocating for themselves and others, remaining engaged in their communities, and sharing wisdom won by years in the workforce by mentoring younger people. For others, Age Out Loud is about physical and mental fitness, and a conscious decision to stay active. Aging Out Loud promotes a sense of purpose and pride for seniors, and quite often changes others’ attitudes toward seniors in their community.

Having just ended Older Americans Month, why not make a personal choice to Age Out Loud? 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. Looking to learn more about how we “Age Out Loud” at Senior Lifestyle? Check out our website for a community near you and add your voice to the growing number of seniors who are actively choosing what aging looks like.