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.

CARRIAGE COURT CELEBRATES RESIDENT’S 108TH BIRTHDAY!

Posted by in Resident Spotlights.

Ethel Klein of Carriage Court of Marysville will be 108 years old on April 29th, and Carriage Court will plant a redbud tree in honor of the occasion! The tree-planting ceremony and birthday celebration will take place on Arbor Day, April 28th at 3 pm at Carriage Court. Well-wishes may be sent to Ethel at Carriage Court, 717 S. Walnut Street, Marysville, OH 43040.

Born on April 29th, 1909, in Willard Kentucky, Ethel was one of 5 siblings born to John and Lily Fleming, a minister and housewife. Ethel completed 11th grade and went on to work as a desk clerk for 20 years, marrying her husband Ernest in 1950 in Ashland Kentucky. They were happily married for 43 years. Ethel and Ernest enjoyed traveling and were particularly fond of seeing the southern states during their jaunts.

Ethel still enjoys reading her newspaper daily, watching basketball, and listening to Billy Graham and The Gaithers. She loves holidays, especially Thanksgiving, and attributes her long life to “good clean living” and taking the time to eat three healthy meals each day at Carriage Court. Ethel has been a resident of Carriage Court since June of 2015.

World Health Day

Posted by in Mind and Spirit.

Each year on April 7th, the World Health Organization (WHO) spotlights a health issue that affects people worldwide. This year, Senior Lifestyle is joining the conversation, which is focused on depression with the theme “Depression: Let’s talk.” WHO estimates that over 300 million people worldwide struggle with depression, an 18% increase from 2005 to 2015.

Why the increase? Several factors may be responsible, including the fear of stigma, a generalized misunderstanding about what depression really is, and for some, a lack of access to support for the condition. Many people delay seeking treatment due to a combination of these factors. While statistics often focus on the effects of depression on young people, older adults are often found to be at an increased risk for depression as well.

For older adults, additional ailments such as arthritis and heart disease often complicate treatment for depression in seniors, giving rise to the notion that it is a normal reaction to the life changes associated with aging and illness. However, depression in seniors is NOT a normal part of aging, but is common and treatable with medications and psychotherapy, according to the CDC. At Senior Lifestyle, our focus is not just on physical health, but the emotional, mental and spiritual health of the seniors we serve; we get to know our residents on a personal level to provide the best care possible.

Caregivers need to be aware that changes in circumstance can be quite stressful and difficult for a senior to accept, and watch closely for symptoms of depression. Knowing the signs of depression in seniors allows for early intervention and positive outcomes for loved ones. For more information about World Health Day, or for information on resources for depression in seniors, please visit the Senior Lifestyle website to find the community expert nearest you.

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.

Wonderfully Wellderly: Celebrating Senior Health & Wellness

Posted by in Health and Fitness.

We often hear that age is just a number, but what that number signifies varies widely. For seniors, a life filled with purpose and meaning can make all the difference. At Senior Lifestyle, we believe age does not have to limit learning, growth, or vitality – which is why we’re celebrating Wellderly Week.

Wellderly Week redefines “acting your age” by encouraging seniors to pursue a passion, take up a new hobby, and do what makes them happy. For many seniors, their retirement years present an opportunity to develop interests that were shelved during their working years. Often this shift in thinking helps to maintain physical and mental health, providing a social outlet as well as a rise in physical activity.

Well and elderly need not be mutually exclusive! Today’s senior living communities have moved beyond Bingo, providing events geared toward the social and physical activity levels of their residents, including social outings as well as lifelong learning opportunities. Many college campuses also offer courses geared to the needs of the aging population, and community service organizations boast a vibrant senior membership focused on giving back and sharing their life experiences with younger members.

Experts agree, maintaining senior physical health through exercise tailored to your level of ability can also help to maintain mental and emotional health. What exercises fit best into a senior’s health program?

Walking. No special equipment required! The biggest investment may be a pair of comfortable shoes. Walking helps maintain mobility, and decreases muscle loss.

Swimming. Swimming promotes heart health, provides low impact aerobic benefits and helps maintain flexibility.

Seated Flexibility.
For seniors with decreased mobility, seated exercises can be beneficial. These exercises focus on maintaining joint health, function and range of motion.

Seniors today are an amazing group of people. Through active senior lifestyles, better nutrition, and the pursuit of purpose-filled lives, they are living proof that “80 is the new 70”. Celebrate Wellderly Week and senior health with the words of poet Robert Browning: “Grow old with me! the best is yet to be!” For more information on how your local community celebrates our “Wellderly” residents, visit our site to find the location nearest to you.

Books and Support Groups for Caregivers of Elderly Parents

Posted by in Mind and Spirit.

Being the caregiver for your mother, father or both can be a tough task. From rolling around wheelchairs to making sure medications are taken properly, caring for elderly parents can be both physically and mentally draining. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to you to help you through this time in your life. Many other caregivers have experienced the same joys and struggles as you have. Check out our recommended books and support groups for caregivers of elderly parents:

Books
When the Time Comes: Families with Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions by Paula Span
Described by the author as “a support group in print,” this book contains stories, interviews and other relevant information for caregivers of elderly parents.

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents — and Ourselves by Jane Gross
In this book, Gross describes moving her mother into an assisted living facility and the valuable lessons she learned in the process.

Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide — Practical Advice You Can Trust from the Experts at AARP by Hugh Delehanty and Elinor Ginzler
From locating quality health care to making your parents’ house elder-friendly, this book contains in-depth advice from experts at the AARP for caregivers of elderly parents.

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chas
This quirky, cartoon-style memoir humorously recounts the author’s experience of dealing with elderly parents, along with all of the laughs and tears that come along with it.

The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices for Those Who Can’t by Viki Kind
It’s hard making decisions for another person, especially if that person is your parent. This book contains tools and techniques to help you make decisions as a caregiver.

Coping With Your Difficult Older Parent: A Guide for Stressed-Out Children by Grace Lebow and Barbara Kane
Being the caregiver isn’t always easy. This book contains advice on how to de-stress when your elderly parents are driving you crazy.

For information on support groups:

The National Family Caregiver Support Program
Family Caregiver Alliance
Alzheimer’s Support Association
Caregiver Action Network
National Alliance for Caregiving

Independent Living vs. Assisted Living: What’s the Difference?

Posted by in Expert Advice.

In the exploration of senior living options, it can be hard to compare independent living versus assisted living or determine whether you or your loved one requires memory care. It’s important to be aware of the difference between independent living and assisted living in order to make your transition more seamless.

Independent Living
For seniors who are looking for a retirement community, or would still like to live on their own but among people their own age, independent living versus assisted living is the way to go. If you are still able to care for yourself, independent living allows for the freedom and flexibility to do whatever you like, with a few added perks to make life hassle-free and enjoyable.

At Senior Lifestyle, the experience of senior independent living includes a well-trained and dedicated staff providing the highest standards of hospitality services. Many of our residents began the process of transitioning to our communities by asking why you would want to move into an independent senior living community in the first place. Having someone on hand in case of emergencies can provide peace of mind, even if you don’t end up needing it. In addition, you have the freedom to do what makes you happy while living in a private studio, a one-bedroom apartment or a two-bedroom apartment.

Assisted Living

When looking at the difference between independent living and assisted living, one big difference is clear: assisted living honors your independence while providing an added level of care, service and security personal to you. This added level of care may including help with bathing, dressing, medication assistance and more as needed.

Assisted living communities from Senior Lifestyle offer a range of social and active lifestyle opportunities. Residents can decide how they’d like to spend their time every day, with activities supported by licensed nurses and aids who are available 24 hours a day. Though you’ll have help with everyday tasks, you’ll also have the freedom and support to socialize and pursue your interests just as you always have.

Memory Care
For residents and their families dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s or similar forms of dementia, Senior Lifestyle provides memory care neighborhoods. These neighborhoods go beyond simply independent or assisted living and provide a balance between safety and engagement to suit the lifestyles of our memory care residents. We strive to make our memory care neighborhoods supportive and comfortable, so that you can rest easy knowing that your loved one is safe but not confined or kept from enjoying their favorite activities.

In addition to stimulating and engaging life enrichment programs, Senior Lifestyle offers a variety of services and amenities to all of our residents regardless of level of care. Whether you’re looking at independent living versus assisted living or even if you’re seeking memory care for your loved one, Senior Lifestyle can provide a level of support to help you live out your best life.

Who Are Senior Living Advisors?

Posted by in Expert Advice.

When considering senior living arrangements for yourself or your loved ones, whether you’re looking into independent living, assisted living or memory care, getting help from senior living advisors can be incredibly beneficial. These advisors have the knowledge and expertise to help you or your elderly loved ones transition into senior care. So who exactly are senior living advisors?

Senior living advisors are experts in senior care arrangements. Not only can they provide objective advice on the best level of care for you or your loved ones, but they can also save you a huge amount of time. Instead of visiting senior communities and sifting through all the information by yourself, senior living advisors can provide you with a list of options and amenities to help you make your choice.

Senior living advisors are also experts local to the community where you’re looking to live. They can provide you with a wealth of knowledge regarding the ins and outs of relocating to a new community, and they will provide you with all of the options within the area.

In general, senior living advisors will take the time to get to know you and your family so that you can make the best decision. If you are feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices and want to remove some of the stress of the situation or if you are simply seeking someone who is more informed on senior care, using a senior care advisor will benefit your entire family.

At Senior Lifestyle, we have senior living advisors at each community who are trained to be a resource to you and your loved ones throughout the transition into senior care. For more advice on looking into senior living, be sure to visit the Senior Lifestyle website and explore our resources.

What Makes Senior Living and Retirement Apartments Special?

Posted by in Expert Advice.

In a sense, a senior living apartment is like any other apartment: a place to live, a place to recharge, a place to entertain, a place to call your own. But at Senior Lifestyle, our retirement apartments are vibrant and full of life.

Each of Senor Lifestyle’s 170-plus communities are run independently, so features and amenities differ from place to place, but most of our senior living apartment communities include a variety of services in the base rental rate, such as restaurant-style meals, therapy services, check-up procedures and routine housekeeping services. The majority of our communities are for ages 62 and above , so you’ll be surrounded by neighbors with similar interests.

If those interests involve reading, watching movies, playing pool, playing games or exercising, you’re also in luck. Our senior living apartments also feature a variety of recreation rooms, including libraries, movie theaters, billiards rooms, business centers, gaming lounges, fitness clubs and hospitality suites. We also have in-house life enrichment programs , ranging from gardening to acting to happy hours.

At Senior Lifestyle, our family-first philosophy puts the well-being of our residents and their families at the forefront of everything we do. We know the unnerving feeling that can accompany the decision to uproot and move to a new home. It can feel like you’re leaving behind a part of yourself and the memories that have been built throughout years. But a new home also represents new beginnings and the chance to create new memories and friendships. Senior Lifestyle is always here to help you and your family in any way we can.

Residents at our senior living apartments pay monthly rates based on apartment type. Most locations offer three basic floor plans: private studios, one-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom apartments. Check retirement communities near you for availability. The features included in our rates are a significant reason Senior Lifestyle’s senior living apartments is set apart from traditional senior housing and retirement apartments; we try to provide all the familiar comforts of home and then some.

Anything we don’t offer on the premises of our retirement apartments can be reached through our transportation to local shopping centers and attractions. And if you ever want to play host, while still offering your visitors a little space of their own, we also have guest apartments that can be reserved.

We hope we’ve given you a sense of what our lively and spirited senior living communities are all about. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Senior Lifestyle team for any more information .