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.

Pine Trails at Castle Rock

Posted by in Community Spotlights.

With the recent addition of apartments for assisted living, Pine Trails at Castle Rock now provides even more options to families looking for exceptional senior care in the Castle Rock area. The community, formerly providing memory care only, held a Grand Re-Opening event on July 20th, attended by the mayor of Castle Rock, representatives from the local Chamber of Commerce, and guests from the surrounding communities. A highlight of the event was the dedication of a butterfly pavilion and the release of butterflies into their new habitat, a fascinating feature at Pine Trails.

Kimberley Backes, Executive Director of Pine Trails at Castle Rock, shares that she has received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the local community, with many sharing the same sentiment: “Thank you for giving the people of Castle Rock another care option.” Kimberley notes that the gifted and caring staff at Pine Trails have welcomed new residents to the community with a dedication to care that families notice as soon as they walk through the door, a dedication that has even allowed for a resident to transition from memory care to assisted living as the resident’s condition improved with daily care. The options of assisted living and memory care will also provide an easier transition in the event that a resident requires additional care.

Pine Trails at Castle Rock is committed to the pursuit of lifelong learning, a commitment represented by an upcoming seminar scheduled for Thursday, September 21st. This informational presentation will highlight positive approaches to topics such as finances, how to determine when a senior should discontinue driving, and recognizing when a loved one would benefit from assisted living. The presentation begins at 6 PM, and reservations may be made by calling 720-457-1200. Dinner for four to go is included as a gift for attending the presentation.

To learn more about assisted living or memory care provided by dedicated caregivers in a beautiful setting, visit Pine Trails and see for yourself what commitment to care looks like. Scheduling a tour of Pine Trails at Castle Rock or any of our Senior Lifestyle communities is as easy as visiting our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

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.

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.

The Senior Lifestyle Dining Experience

Posted by in Food and Nutrition.

Almost everyone enjoys a good meal. Food is fuel, but it’s also a catalyst for connection, relaxation and, for many, an outward symbol of love. We provide food for most of the important events and milestones in our lives: cake for birthdays, casseroles when a new baby arrives, chicken soup for an illness, and, of course, all manner of pies and whipped cream/gelatin concoctions at family reunions. In some cultures, daily meals can last three hours or more! In Italy, for example, the main meal of the day has at least four courses, providing plenty of time to savor the food and company. While meals at our communities may not last quite that long, at Senior Lifestyle we understand that a meal is more than just the food on the table; a meal is an event to be celebrated with friends and family.

Senior Lifestyle communities understand the vital role of the dining experience in our residents’ lives. Each meal represents an opportunity to socialize, make connections, and build relationships with neighbors. Residents at each community play an important role in the process as well, meeting at resident councils to provide feedback on the dining experience and providing recipes to be included in the weekly menu. David Cyplik, Corporate Director of Dining Services for Senior Lifestyle relates that the incorporation of resident recipes has become a popular feature at many communities, along with the use of locally sourced products.

David shares that the secret of a top-notch dining experience comes down to good rapport between the team and residents, stating that “the best experience we can provide happens when dining teams have a close relationship with residents and know their preferences and habits, how they take their coffee, what their regular breakfast order is, and even what dessert is a favorite!” He also notes that interactive features such as taco bars, carving stations, and made-to-order omelets are popular with residents and the dining team, allowing them to interact with one another and build relationships. Tableside preparation of desserts like Cherries Jubilee and Bananas Foster are also a big hit in many Senior Lifestyle communities, providing each chef with a chance to step out of the kitchen and spend time with residents.

Hungry yet? For more information on the dining experience, or to schedule a tour of a Senior Lifestyle community near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com. Join us for a meal and we think you’ll see why we consider the daily dining experience an event worth sharing!

Downsizing

Posted by in Expert Advice.

The decision to move to a senior community has been made, the community chosen and a suitable living space secured; what happens next? Most families face this question after the initial decision-making is complete. At Senior Lifestyle, the goal is to make each move as seamless and stress-free as possible for new residents and their families, and with over 30 years of experience helping families manage the move-in process, we’ve identified some tips that may provide additional guidance during the potentially trying process.

Quite often, the most daunting task that faces seniors or their loved ones when contemplating a move to senior living is tackling the issue of “stuff”. Identifying what stays and what goes is a difficult process for many, and most times this difficulty is magnified by the years and memories attached to each treasure. For most, the process is an emotional one to begin with, and this sorting just adds to the burden. Even the home itself holds memories and can be hard to leave. It can help to have family members step in to move this process forward, especially those who understand the emotional attachment to certain items.

 

Some key tips for downsizing

 

 

  1. Be clear on the size and layout of your loved one’s new living space. Keeping an item only to find that it just doesn’t fit into the new home’s area can be frustrating and time-consuming.

 

  1. Start with the least-used areas of your loved one’s home. The items in these areas may have slightly less sentimental value; therefore, decision-making will be a bit easier.

 

  1. Have a family get-together! If certain items are to be distributed to family members, sharing the history and memories attached to each object can be a meaningful way to pass them to new owners.

 

  1. Take photos. In addition to sharing the sentimental value of items shared, photos of the item with its new owner can ease the burden of parting with that item. Knowing that a cherished treasure will be well-loved may also aid in the “letting-go” process for your loved one.

 

Remember, making a move can be a stressful event for seniors, but with some patience and a clear understanding of your loved one’s needs in a new home, the downsizing process can be a positive experience for everyone involved. Sharing memories is a wonderful start to a new beginning in a senior community, so make the most of this opportunity! For additional information on any aspect of the move-in process, or to learn more about a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Be Our Guest

Posted by in Mind and Spirit.

One of the most difficult aspects of providing care for a loved one is dealing with the need for occasional breaks in care. Whether those breaks are dictated by the caregiver’s need for time off to recharge, help after a surgery or illness, or a trip out of town, the change in routine can be troublesome to manage. Short term care is often a great option in these situations, especially when a caregiver doesn’t have a back-up, or an unexpected situation arises. A respite stay at a Senior Lifestyle community can provide peace of mind for family members, a change of scenery and social stimulation for a loved one, and a much-needed break for a primary caregiver.

Senior Lifestyle Short Term Care offers excellent solutions for a number of circumstances, whether planned or unexpected. Senior Lifestyle communities provide quality respite care for our guests, no matter the length of their stay. Short term guests enjoy the same amenities as long term residents, including delicious meals, activities, and a caring clinical staff that utilizes a Personalized Service Plan to meet each guest’s unique needs. A short term stay at a Senior Lifestyle community can also serve as a delightful introduction to the carefree lifestyle enjoyed by our residents for those considering a move to a senior community.

Short term care doesn’t have to be specifically for a respite stay; sometimes a short term visit to a Senior Lifestyle community can provide a guest with a sneak peek into the benefits of life at a senior community! The decision to move to a senior community can be difficult, even for those who feel ready to make a lifestyle change. Variables such as the location of the community, the level of care provided, and financial considerations will need to be factored in to a final decision on where to call home.

With over 30 years’ experience in senior living, Senior Lifestyle understands the factors that make a move successful and has developed the “Be Our Guest” program which allows a trial stay opportunity to “test drive” the lifestyle. Guests can join us for a few days’ visit before making a move to see if the community feels right to them, enjoying activities and events, dining with new friends, and meeting our team. The program truly allows guests to get a complete picture of life in a senior community and to see what daily life looks like for residents.

For more information on the “Be Our Guest” program or any of our short term stay opportunities at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit the Senior Lifestyle website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Lake Barrington Woods hosts Adventure Camp

Posted by in Community Spotlights.

Remember camping as a kid? Whether you went to a day-camp or sleepaway camp, rode in an RV with your grandparents, or just pitched a tent in the backyard, it was an adventure! You might have been eating outdoors, encountering wildlife or the neighborhood cat, sleeping in a tent, or watching cartoons in Grandpa’s RV! However you camped, fun and adventure were on the agenda. On a camp adventure, regular rules didn’t apply, so hands could get dirty, feet could get wet, and new experiences were welcomed with open (if somewhat grubby and perhaps bug-bitten) arms.

Adventures aren’t just for kids! At Senior Lifestyle’s Lake Barrington Woods community in the Chicago area, residents and staff alike are an adventurous bunch! In August of last year, as part of Active Aging Week’s challenge to Explore the Possibilities, residents from Lake Barrington Woods attended Adventure Camp, a summer camp experience hosted by Lake Barrington Woods at local Sunrise Lake. The event was so popular that this year the community decided to invite some Senior Lifestyle friends from neighboring communities.

Resident and staff attendance at this year’s Adventure Camp is expected to be approximately 100 people. Adventure Camp will be held on August 30th at Sunrise Lake, which provides a perfect setting for the event with its accessible spaces, ramps, and walking paths. Residents and staff from The Sheridan at Green Oaks, Autumn Green at Wright Campus, Lincolnwood Place, The Sheridan at Tyler Creek, Fox Point, and Prairie Green at Fay’s Point will attend Adventure Camp this year.

Proving that there’s always room for a new experience, no matter the age of the camper, one of last year’s attendees tried the traditional campfire treat, S’mores, for the first time, while another who had never held a fishing pole caught her first fish! Says Mirka Biegunska, Director of Resident Programs at Lake Barrington Woods: “Adventure Camp provides an opportunity for our residents to experience the freedom and independence of their childhood years, and for some, it is the first experience attending a campfire singalong or fishing in the lake. Our residents are so excited to share the adventure with their neighbors this year!”

At Senior Lifestyle communities, our residents love new experiences, and providing those experiences for our residents, whatever their adventure may be, is our goal every day. We believe fun helps to keep us young at heart, and if our Adventure Campers are any indication, we may be onto something! For information about Lake Barrington Woods, Adventure Camp, or any of our communities, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com, and if you get the chance, have an adventure!