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.

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.

AN ADVENTURE FOR ALL AGES

Posted by in Special Events.

On August 30th, Lake Barrington Woods hosted its highly anticipated second annual Adventure Camp, an event that drew attendees from neighboring Senior Lifestyle communities for a day of perfect weather, paddle boating and picnic fare. More than sixty residents and team members from Fox Point, The Sheridan of Tyler Creek, Lincolnwood Place, and Prairie Green at Fay’s Point joined Lake Barrington Woods at Bartlett Park District’s Sunrise Lake for a day celebrating friendship, new experiences and outdoor adventure.

Mirka Biegunska, Director of Resident Programs at Lake Barrington Woods, described Adventure Camp as an “end-of-summer recharge” for residents and caregivers alike, noting that the individual groups from each community came together seamlessly to make the day a success. She shared that the line for paddle boat rides provided a perfect opportunity for residents from different communities to mingle, noting that the ever-popular paddle boats cemented a few new friendships throughout the day.

A day of outdoor fun wouldn’t be complete without food, and Adventure Camp was no exception. Burgers, hot dogs, watermelon and other treats were served family-style at Adventure Camp, with each community bringing provisions that were cooked over campfires by chefs wearing unique “Body By Bacon” aprons that brought more than a few laughs. Lake Barrington Woods also provided a very special chef, a resident named Benny who donned an apron and jumped right in, grilling burgers and sharing laughs with everyone he met. Mirka shares that Benny “loves to be outside” and that it was a special treat for him to man the grill, a pastime he has always enjoyed.

From fishing to singalongs, and from archery practice to learning the correct way to hold a chicken, (see Youtube video for clarification!) residents and team members agree that Adventure Camp 2017 was a complete success. Everyone in attendance looks forward to next year to meet new friends from different communities, share new experiences and make memories. As Mirka states, “Who says adventures are just for kids? Not us!” To learn more about activities and events at a Senior Lifestyle community near you or to schedule a tour, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

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.

Grandparents: Aren’t They Grand?

Posted by in Special Events.

Grandparents Day is September 10th, a day set aside to celebrate and honor those who’ve provided us with years of wisdom, hugs, and some exciting – or at least interesting – gifts on special occasions! Our Senior Lifestyle communities are especially blessed with grandparents, or as some people say, grandfriends. We celebrate intergenerational bonds every day in our communities, learning and connecting with this incredible group of people. As Shanda from Barrington of Oakley states, “I work the front desk, help with activities, and have been known to be the IT person (helping residents with cell phones, iPads, televisions, etc.). I no longer have my grandparents but tell people I have a whole building full and treat them like my own!”

According to the Legacy Project’s website, Grandparents Day was initiated by Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade with three purposes in mind:

  1. To honor grandparents
  2. To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children
  3. To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer

Mrs. McQuade started her campaign to honor grandparents in 1970, envisioning Grandparents Day as a family event and a time to affirm the important role grandparents play in our families and communities. The day became an official holiday in her home state of West Virginia in 1973, and in 1979 President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday following Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The proclamation reads, in part:

Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our mobile society, our senior generation also provides our society a link to our national heritage and traditions.

Mrs. McQuade’s vision of a day of giving, sharing, and caring has become a reality for many families who honor prior generations on Grandparents Day, and has led to the formation of grandfamilies as well. Grandfamilies may not be family, but they share a bond nonetheless, just as Senior Lifestyle’s team members share a bond with our residents.

Generations United in Washington, D.C. shares this vision and encourages people of all ages to become involved in intergenerational activities. Generations United also sponsors contests and events such as #TakeAGrandie, which is a wonderful opportunity to capture an intergenerational moment!

We encourage you to join us in celebrating Grandparents Day this Sunday and every day! To learn more about events at a Senior Lifestyle community near you or to schedule a tour, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Our Team Members Embraced the Fight against Alzheimer’s

Posted by in Special Events.

Senior Lifestyle is proud to share the philosophy and goals of the Alzheimer’s Association and proud of our designation as a Global Team. The Longest Day event, which took place in June across America, provided us with an opportunity for total engagement in this important cause. Our corporate and regional team members as well as our local senior communities pulled out all the stops this year to meet our fundraising goals for this event, with 106 Senior Lifestyle teams and 254 participants taking part in the event. Additionally, families and residents at our communities always play a vital part in local events, pledging to spend time raising awareness on The Longest Day.

Our fundraising goal this year was $50,000, and we’re proud to say that we met and far exceeded that goal, with a current total of $87,732.28 in funds raised by all Senior Lifestyle teams! We’re proud to have such a committed group of people working to end Alzheimer’s, and until there’s a cure, our goals will remain high and we’ll do our best to exceed them every year. Planning for The Longest Day begins early each year, with many of our teams already looking forward to outdoing themselves at next year’s event. It’s this team spirit and sense of commitment that makes our Senior Lifestyle fundraisers so successful.

Whitney Lane, a Divisional Director of Health and Wellness for Senior Lifestyle, captained our top fundraising team this year. Whitney has been involved with the Alzheimer’s Association for some time, most recently as Engagement Chair for the Mid-South Alzheimer’s Association chapter. She says that while she has been involved in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in the past, this is her first experience with The Longest Day. She certainly made an amazing first impression! Whitney and her team put together a gala event, A Night to Remember, held on April 24th, with a silent auction, a photo booth, great food and entertainment. Local businesses provided sponsorships and the silent auction featured Walt Disney World passes as well as a vacation at a time-share in Hawaii!

Whitney says she had never attempted an event of this magnitude before, and was anxious about making everything work, but things came together well. We, at Senior Lifestyle, congratulate Whitney and her team for an amazing first effort and can’t wait to see what they do next year. When asked about an annual event, Whitney smiles and states that “people approached me after the gala and said they’d like to help next year because they want to keep this event going!” She also notes that she’s happy to accept the help and the opportunity to delegate a few of the gala-related tasks next year, as she’s still recovering from the event.

For information on a Senior Lifestyle community near you taking part in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and what you can do to support the goals of the Alzheimer’s Association, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is happening soon in your area, so join a team and support the cause!

We Embraced “The Longest Day” and Memory Care

Posted by in Special Events.

June, Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, has come and gone. At Senior Lifestyle, we supported The Alzheimer’s Association’s commitment to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s by participating in The Longest Day, a fundraiser that focuses on participants doing what they love to raise money for research into treatments and a cure for this disease. At our Senior Lifestyle communities, we celebrated and raised funds with activities such as parades, car shows, strawberry festivals, and concerts, with team members, residents and families taking part!

As a global team, Senior Lifestyle has raised $48,926.01 toward our goal of $50,000, with more donations still rolling in after events are completed. For quite a few team members, it’s personal; many have had loved ones struggle with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Whitney Lane, captain of Senior Lifestyle’s top fundraising team A Night to Remember, says, “I have worked with seniors for 14 years, many of whom have been affected by Alzheimer’s. My own grandmother passed away summer of 2015 after a long battle with this disease.”

While June is specifically designated as Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness month, Senior Lifestyle supports those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers year-round. We support the Alzheimer’s Association by participating in The Longest Day, as well as other community events such as Walk to End Alzheimer’s, because we believe a cure can be found. Until that day, we embrace the challenge to enrich the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer’s by providing exceptional memory care.

Senior Lifestyle’s memory care philosophy, embrace, isn’t just a memory care program, but a real place in the communities where our team members connect with residents on a personal level to honor their experiences and improve their quality of life. For more information on our unique approach to memory care, or to learn more about a Senior Lifestyle community near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Posted by in Special Events.

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a time to go purple to show support for the millions of people worldwide struggling with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. It’s also a time to recognize caregivers for the unwavering support they provide to those suffering with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. At Senior Lifestyle, we support The Alzheimer’s Association’s commitment to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s by participating in The Longest Day, a fundraiser that focuses on participants doing what they love to raise money for research.

The Longest Day may seem like every day in the life of a caregiver; providing aid for activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, and eating can become sources of frustration for the person providing the aid as well as the loved one with dementia. Quite often the only thing in the caregiver’s control is their response to the frustrating circumstance.

Effective communication techniques can help limit some of the frustration felt by the caregiver and the person with dementia. It is incredibly important to remember that your loved one is not in control of their behaviors; the disease dictates the behavior. In addition, every behavior is an attempt to communicate; once you decipher the need behind the behavior, you will be in a better position to meet that need.

Wondering about The Longest Day? There’s still time to participate! Contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association or visit our website to find the Senior Lifestyle community closest to you. Learn about The Longest Day events in your area, and then vow to make every minute of The Longest Day count!

Memory Care and EMBRACE at the Amethyst

Posted by in Special Events.

What happens when compassion meets commitment? embrace.

A memory care philosophy combining the most recent research in the field of memory care with real world best practices, the embrace memory care program recently garnered an Argentum Best of the Best award for its Essence sensory stimulation program, a vital component of embrace programming. For residents, families and team members at The Amethyst, embrace is now the guiding philosophy for the daily events in memory care, providing a framework for building connections with residents in varying stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. A Grand Opening event was held on June 1st to celebrate embrace at The Amethyst and to share the philosophy with the local community.

For residents of the memory care unit and their families, the embrace Grand Opening celebration was a much-anticipated event. Many even said that it “gave them goosebumps!” to share the activities that give purpose and pleasure to memory care residents. Sharing The Amethyst’s vision of award-winning care was exciting for Associate Executive Director Shari Lefevre and her team. It was a culmination of their hard work and dedication to their residents and families.

Over 50 guests visited The Amethyst to learn about embrace and participate in activities designed to show how the philosophy guides daily interactions. Essence, an award-winning component of embrace, was a big hit with guests, who had the opportunity to receive hand massages and experience the positive effects of aromatherapy for themselves. Another highlight was Andrew Eaker’s Drum Circles for Seniors program, an energetic and wildly popular activity that brings people together through the magic of music.

Of the many activities offered at The Amethyst’s celebration, perhaps the most popular was a simple craft activity that involved making birthday cards. Guests joined residents and The Amethyst team to create birthday cards with a unique purpose: to bring a smile to the face of a very special young man in Arizona. Jacob Priestley is battling mitochondrial disease, a debilitating illness, and he says that the cards brighten his days and give him hope. “They make me feel better and they just make me happy.” Jacob started receiving birthday cards after his mother Britney posted a request on Facebook and the request went viral. His birthday is in August and he hopes to receive even more cards this year! Guests added twenty cards to those previously made by residents and team members, and The Amethyst hopes to increase that number over the summer before sending the handmade cards to Jacob for his August birthday.

Interested in learning more about embrace at The Amethyst? Call to request a visit, or better yet, join The Amethyst for The Longest Day, a celebration to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. The event will feature a vendor fair, a bounce house, dunk tank, and the local police department, as well as a chance to create a special birthday card for Jacob Priestley! The event will be held from 8am until 1pm on June 21st, with food, fun and family friendly activities!

Raise Awareness for Alzheimer’s on The Longest Day

Posted by in Special Events.

Have you heard? The Longest Day is approaching and we’re absolutely PURPLE with excitement! June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, a time to GO PURPLE to end Alzheimer’s, raise awareness, and share the love on June 21st by participating in The Longest Day. Worldwide, 47 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Senior Lifestyle is spreading the word in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Our goal is to share the important mission of the Alzheimer’s Association, and we hope to raise awareness with each person we reach.

Our commitment to supporting those who live, support, care for, and walk alongside others on this journey is also a personal one. Like so many others around the country, our employees are personally impacted by this disease; we are sisters, brothers, daughters and sons of people battling Alzheimer’s. One team member summarized this impact perfectly when they said, “Watching my Dad’s face when he was given the diagnosis of Early Stage Alzheimer’s was one of the hardest days of my life. From that day on, my commitment to the Alzheimer’s Association and to improving care and treatment for those living with this disease became more than a profession, it became my personal mission.” Our participation in The Longest Day is for our family, and it is Senior Lifestyle’s way of uniting to support other families around the nation, so that no family is alone in their fight.

At Senior Lifestyle, we are proud to partner with the Alzheimer’s Association to raise funds for crucial research into Alzheimer’s Disease, research that we hope will one day reveal a cure for this 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. As of today, we’ve raised over $17,000 toward our $50,000 goal!

Join the fight! To learn more about how our communities are celebrating The Longest Day and how you can get involved, visit the Senior Lifestyle website. Remember, each person who learns more about Alzheimer’s disease inspires action, so GO PURPLE for the Alzheimer’s Association, spread the word, and support Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month this June!