Celebrating the Best in Senior Design

Posted by in Awards.

The results are in and The Sheridan at Creve Coeur is a winner! This beautiful Senior Lifestyle community, located just west of St. Louis, Missouri, has been recognized by Senior Housing News. Each year, Senior Housing News holds an Architecture and Design Awards competition, and with entries from 80 organizations, The Sheridan at Creve Coeur garnered third place honors for outstanding memory care design. Stephen Vicalvi, Executive Director of The Sheridan at Creve Coeur, shares, “The architecture and interior design of our community provide an incredible first impression of tranquility and relaxation for guests, while the sense of family and connection bring peace of mind for families searching for memory care for a loved one.”

The Sheridan at Creve Coeur, architecturally reminiscent of the arts and crafts style, is an elegant yet inviting memory care community that blends seamlessly into the surrounding area with 53 well-appointed private, studio-style memory care apartments. Appropriate to the local community, the two-story, lodge-style design of the building is surrounded by landscaping and outdoor living spaces designed to bring the outdoors in and provide a tranquil backdrop to the craftsman style aesthetic. The interior design promotes serenity with beautifully saturated colors and sumptuous furnishings. Abundant natural light floods apartments, activity spaces and common areas.

Purpose-built specifically to support and utilize all aspects of Senior Lifestyle’s award-winning embrace memory care program, The Sheridan at Creve Coeur optimizes connections between residents and loved ones, providing a serene neighborhood atmosphere that caters to each resident’s interests and abilities. States Executive Director Vicalvi, “Residents feel very connected to one another and to caregivers as well. The atmosphere in our community is one where relationships are built and residents, families and staff take joy in each interaction. It’s a unique environment where the space actually builds a sense of connection.” Each area in the community is designed for meaningful interactions and to support a mind, body and soul approach to memory care. Open, barrier-free hallways connect spaces and allow for unimpeded movement, a key component of the embrace philosophy.

The dynamic design and amenities of The Sheridan at Creve Coeur allow memory care residents and families to create moments that are enjoyable while providing spaces that help to address the unique needs of each resident. The community forms a foundation for the aims of the embrace philosophy, allowing residents to feel worthy, loved and purposeful in a safe, serene environment. For more information about The Sheridan at Creve Coeur or to schedule a tour of this beautiful community, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Senior Support Groups

Posted by in Expert Advice.

What can a support group do for me? When faced with a difficult diagnosis for yourself or a loved one and presented with the opportunity to attend a meeting, you may be asking yourself this question. Different support groups exist for many health conditions, bringing people together who face similar problems and offering a place to share not only problems but solutions as well. At Senior Lifestyle, we’ve seen the positive impact of support groups for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and other illnesses, as well as those focused on the demands of long-term caregiving, and while some people may not need or want the support beyond that offered by family and friends, support groups offer many benefits for members.

Support groups are made up of individuals who share a common interest or health concern. Most groups focus on a specific condition or situation and are often started by a person with the condition or another involved person, such as a family member. The format varies, with some support groups meeting in person, some by telephone, and others on the Internet; the form of support that works best for an individual is often dictated by geographical location, the nature of the condition, and personal preference. Groups may be led by a facilitator with clinical experience in treating a specific illness or by a member of the group. Additionally, the group may be structured, with specific goals and agendas for each meeting, or it may be more oriented toward social connections and shared experiences.

Whatever the structure, support groups provide connections with others who share similar problems, as well as emotional and moral support. Quite often, members also share practical advice and coping skills for those facing a new diagnosis or at the beginning of a caregiving journey.

Benefits of support groups may include:

  • Emotional support, less isolation

Sharing fears and frustrations, receiving support without judgement, and reassurance that others share similar problems provides support group members with an outlet for feelings that friends and family who aren’t in the same situation may not fully understand.

  • Practical advice and information

Members of support group are in the unique position to share advice about treatment, medication and alternative options. Exchanging information about positive outcomes can empower members of the group to take a more active role in their care or seek out treatment options previously unknown to them.

  • Developing coping skills and managing expectations

For someone facing a new diagnosis, having the opportunity to speak openly and frankly with a support group member whose disease and treatment is more advanced can be comforting as well as educational. For many, lack of information on what to expect is frightening, and a “veteran” can provide valuable insight into treatment and progression of the disease.

While support groups are not a substitute for medical care, the old proverb “A trouble shared is a trouble halved” holds true. The benefits of sharing difficulties as well as practical advice can make dealing with a new diagnosis a little less daunting and managing a long-term condition a little less isolating. For more information about support groups in your community, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com to find a community near you.

Fight the Flu

Posted by in Health and Fitness, Expert Advice.

The flu season is in full swing, but that doesn’t mean you have to join the party. At Senior Lifestyle, we know that a bout of influenza is not only miserable with its hallmark symptoms of fever, body aches, cough, sore throat and fatigue, it’s also dangerous for seniors, young children, and anyone with a compromised immune system. The flu can worsen existing chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD, and chronic congestive heart failure. While complications of the flu can happen to anyone, the risk is higher for these groups, so it is critical to avoid infection and remain vigilant during flu season to prevent exposure to the flu.

Flu shots are the first line of defense against seasonal flu, while good hygiene and common sense play a part in avoiding the flu as well. At Senior Lifestyle, our goal is to keep our residents, team members and families as healthy as possible at all times, including flu season, so we’re sharing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Take 3” list of preventive measures, which includes tips to limit the duration and severity of the flu if infection should occur:

  • Vaccinate! First and foremost, getting a yearly flu shot is the best bet in preventing the flu. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older receive the vaccine before the flu season hits their community, ideally before the end of October each year. While no vaccine can prevent every strain of the virus, the yearly vaccine is based on research that indicates which strains are most likely. It is vital that health care workers, those who provide care for infants under 6 months of age, and those at higher risk of complications of the flu be vaccinated.
  • Stop Germs. Good handwashing practices are a great defense against the flu. Wash hands often with soap and water. Limit the spread of germs by avoiding touching your nose, eyes and mouth. If you do become ill, stay home! Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and limit your contact with others until you are fever-free for at least 24 hours to avoid spreading the flu.
  • Take antiviral flu drugs if your doctor prescribes them. Antiviral medications can limit the duration and severity of the flu. For those at risk of complications of the flu, antiviral medications can mean the difference between a mild illness and a hospital stay. According to the CDC, antiviral drugs work best when started within 48 hours of the start of flu symptoms, but they can still be effective if started later, especially for people at risk of flu complications. Antiviral medications must be prescribed by a doctor.

At Senior Lifestyle, we understand that flu season is no fun, but taking commonsense precautions like vaccinating and handwashing can help you avoid becoming ill. If the flu does hit, be sure to limit your interaction with others until your illness abates, and take antiviral medications if prescribed by your doctor. For more information about what we are doing in our communities to combat this illness, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

What is embrace?

Posted by in Programs.

At Senior Lifestyle, our commitment to exceptional care extends to every resident and family member we serve. We focus not only on the physical aspects of care, but also on the emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of those we serve. For families dealing with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the search for senior living can be especially daunting; that’s why we created embrace, a philosophy of connection and inclusion aimed at providing an enriching, fulfilling lifestyle for our memory care residents.

The guiding principles of embrace – Wellness, Enrichment, Challenge, Connection and Creativity – provide the foundation for our memory care philosophy, focused on creating a connection with memory care residents on an individual level. Small-group embrace programming to address the individual needs of these residents includes:

  • Thymeless is a garden-to-table program designed specifically for older adults with dementia, focusing on empowering memory care residents to grow and prepare healthy, fresh food. The ongoing use and development of preserved habits, skills, and passions in the garden or food preparation can help residents to feel productive, successful, and accomplished.
  • Essence is an award-winning sensory stimulation program based on aromatherapy principles and specifically designed to support residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Through the use of essential oils, residents will enjoy a positive sensory stimulation experience that can incite positive emotional and physical results.
  • Bookmarks is a reading program designed to support residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementias through the exploration of the written word. During monthly Bookmarks reading club meetings, residents will have the opportunity to socialize in small group settings, and develop friendships with their neighbors.
  • Spark is a lifestyle enrichment program designed to promote social engagement, cognitive stimulation, and connection among residents. The program offers a variety of initiatives aimed at encouraging physical activity, better nutrition, restful sleep, relaxation strategies, social interaction, and mental stimulation.
  • Snapshots supports the emotional wellness of both the resident and their loved ones. We work to provide opportunity for continued connection between our residents and their loved ones through specially designed programs, support and education. We are committed to supporting residents and families with their emotional wellness at each stage and with each challenge they face.

When memories fade, it’s the moments that matter most, and embrace makes the most of every experience for our memory care residents. Embrace is a direct result of Senior Lifestyle’s commitment to exceptional care, a response to the needs of our communities for inclusive programming for residents with cognitive or memory issues. To learn more about embrace, or any of the programming available at a Senior Lifestyle community near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Hobbies are Healthy

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness.

What’s your hobby? Do you knit, bake, build ships-in-a-bottle? Studies show that hobbies (with the possible exception of things like competitive eating and sword-swallowing) are good for us, and since January is National Hobby Month, we at Senior Lifestyle would like to highlight a few senior hobbies that have proven to help maintain physical, mental and emotional health. Of course, pursuing a hobby is healthy at any age, but has a significant positive impact on health for seniors.

What makes hobbies healthy? For those with busy, stressful lives, hobbies provide an outlet that isn’t stressful or work-related, but just as importantly, isn’t just doing nothing, which can be just as stressful for the person who thrives on order, activity and a busy schedule. Taking time for hobbies offers busy people a chance to recharge as well as to reclaim some time for themselves. Additionally, purposefully choosing the activity instead of feeling pushed toward the next responsibility helps to ease stress.

Why are senior hobbies so important for maintaining health? For many seniors, the retirement years represent a drastic change from busy lifestyles spent working, raising children and being active in the community. At Senior Lifestyle, we believe that retirement doesn’t have to mean inactivity, and that’s why we focus on providing activities and events that spark creativity, foster independence and promote socialization. Residents are always encouraged to share their hobbies and our Senior Lifestyle Programming Coordinators love to incorporate new ideas into our activity calendars, so show us your hobby!

A few of our most popular offerings:

 

  • GARDENING

Do you have a green thumb? From growing fresh vegetables to cutting gardens, you can get your hands dirty and make a beautiful difference in your surroundings!

 

  • VISUAL ARTS

There is something magical in creating a painting or a sculpture. Novices and seasoned artists alike channel creative energy and experiment with different mediums while making new friends.

 

  • OUTINGS

Enjoying a night on the town, a shopping excursion, or taking in a new show at the local theatre is always more fun with friends! If you love to be out and about, we always have a fun trip planned and you’re always welcome to join us.

 

  • FITNESS

Are you passionate about your health? Walking clubs provide company and conversation, classes are offered in Tai Chi, Chair Dancing and more, and our fitness areas in Senior Lifestyle communities provide all the tools to stay in shape!

Senior Lifestyle encourages you to enjoy National Hobby Month by trying a new activity or looking into senior hobbies offered in your area. You may just find a great way to spend your time as well as some new friends! To learn more about activities offered at a Senior Lifestyle community near you or to schedule a tour of your local Senior Lifestyle community, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Quality of Life

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness.

January traditionally symbolizes new beginnings, a time to reflect on your life and its purpose, identify what makes you happy, and make changes. Not so coincidentally, the first month of the new year is also International Quality of Life Month. At Senior Lifestyle, we understand that while many of us focus on resolutions for the new year, we may not often think about how those resolutions will affect our quality of life. Weight loss is often a resolution, but when we tie it to quality of life, THEN we begin to understand that increased health, feelings of accomplishment and the satisfaction of meeting a goal help to contribute to an increased sense of our quality of life. This is especially important for seniors, as their resolutions may often be tied to maintaining or increasing health.

Quality of life is defined as “the degree of satisfaction an individual has regarding a particular style of life.”  But what really constitutes “quality of life”? Much like the pain scale at your doctor’s office, the answer varies from person to person and is completely subjective, and measuring these qualities is an altogether separate issue for each individual. Any evaluation of quality of life depends on how each person feels about relationships, work, health, spirituality, and a host of other factors. For many seniors, being able to live independently is the key; for others, feeling a sense of purpose and belonging is a major factor. Having a sense of life purpose is vital to the concept of quality of life as well.

A positive view of life is vitally important for seniors, resulting in increased energy, less stress and better appetite, amongst other benefits. Quality of life is closely tied to life purpose, the way in which an individual feels that he contributes to his community, and at Senior Lifestyle, we strive to help each resident uncover that purpose and move toward fulfilling their life purpose, knowing that the activities that give one person pleasure and a sense of purpose are unique to that person. We strive to really know our residents in order to help them discover their gifts, the talents and qualities that bring an enhanced quality of life. Staying mentally and physically active and staying connected to family, friends and community are also factors that increase quality of life for seniors.

At Senior Lifestyle, we focus on providing activities proven to help increase the quality of our residents’ lives through social events, outings and opportunities to volunteer in the community-at-large, as well as fostering strong connections with friends and family. To learn more about programs designed to enhance quality of life at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Shoreline of Clinton

Posted by in Special Events, Careers.

The Shoreline of Clinton, newly remodeled in 2015, is a unique senior community providing award-winning Memory Care in a serene setting built to meet the specific needs and wants of each resident. Located in close proximity to New Haven on the southern Connecticut shoreline, the community seeks to add to their current staff of dedicated team members who are passionate about creating an enriching lifestyle for Memory Care residents. Executive Director Kimberly Oliver states, “We are excited to meet with local job-seekers to share opportunities in our community, including key roles such as Memory Care Director, as well as Activities and Care staff. We encourage recent graduates of C.N.A. and L.P.N. programs to visit with our team to learn more about The Shoreline of Clinton and our award-winning approach to Memory Care.”

The community will host a job fair on Tuesday, January 16th from 10:00 am-4:00 pm, with opportunities for job-seekers to meet with the management team and interview for open positions in the community. Candidates are encouraged to bring resumes and copies of any current licensure if applying for clinical positions. Says Oliver, “We look forward to meeting with applicants who share our commitment to exceptional Memory Care and who are seeking careers with personal and professional fulfillment.”

With events, activities and outings tailored exclusively to the needs of Memory Care residents, The Shoreline of Clinton focuses on providing an enriching, fulfilling lifestyle in a homelike atmosphere. With a secure walking path, outdoor courtyard and patio, residents can enjoy moving freely throughout the indoor and outdoor spaces of the community, while families can rest assured that loved ones are thriving in a secure setting that fosters independence and enrichment. Lisa, daughter of resident Marie, shares that her mother is enjoying her home at The Shoreline of Clinton, stating, “She participates in everything.” Lisa also notes of the community, “It turned out to be absolutely perfect for my mom and it was a miracle. I can breathe again. This place is small and feels like home.”

Upcoming events at The Shoreline of Clinton:

  • Wine Tasting & Workout – Thursday, January 11th at 6:30 pm – Join tasting workouts at wine stations throughout the community! Call 860-669-9300 to reserve your glass!
  • Refresh & Reboot – Wednesday, January 24th at 6:00 pm – Start the year off on the right foot with a space for relaxation and a mani/pedi! Call 860-669-9300 to step into serenity!

If the prospect of a fulfilling career and the opportunity to work with a dedicated, passionate team of professionals interests you, please plan to attend the job fair on January 16th. For more information about Memory Care at The Shoreline of Clinton or to learn more about any of our upcoming events, please call 860-669-9300 or visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Changing Needs

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness.

The holidays are a wonderful time to re-connect with loved ones, enjoy family traditions, and recharge for the coming year. They also provide a unique opportunity to spend quality time with elderly relatives. At Senior Lifestyle, we understand that once the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has passed, you may have concerns about changes noticed in your senior loved one over the holidays. According to a study by the National Alliance of Caregiving and AARP,  roughly 15% of the estimated 34 million family members who provide care for an elderly loved one live more than an hour from their care recipient, so holiday visits often provide the clearest view of the changing needs of senior loved ones.

Since age-related decline can progress quickly, it is vital to use the time spent in person with elderly loved ones to assess any changes seen, paying close attention to their living situation as well as physical and mental health. Since seniors can be quite adept at minimizing any worsening or new problems, time spent face-to-face is an important factor in assessing emerging or changing needs of senior loved ones.

During gatherings, be sure to look for the following signs that your loved one may be in need of additional help such as in-home caregiving or assisted living:

  • Changes in balance and mobility

Changes in gait or a reluctance to walk may indicate muscle, joint or neurological problems. Decreased mobility also increases the risk of falls, so it is vitally important to seek medical advice if you see these changes. Keeping the home free of clutter may also help your loved one feel more confident in getting around.

 

  • Home Environment

If things appear to be out of place in a normally tidy atmosphere, it may be an indication that your loved one is struggling to keep up with the responsibilities of living at home. Check the refrigerator: are items out of date or spoiled? Look at incoming mail: are unpaid bills piling up? Noticeable changes in appearance such as lack of personal grooming or wearing unwashed clothing are also signs that additional help may be needed.

 

  • Weight Loss

Weight changes can be a sign of depression, unaddressed medical conditions or even dementia. Weight loss is often the first visible sign of a decline in condition. For many seniors, the prospect of preparing and eating a meal alone is emotionally draining, and the effort required to do so may be physically exhausting as well. If you see evidence of weight loss or a dramatic loss of appetite, it is vital to address the issue with your loved one as well as a doctor.

Did you notice changes in your senior loved one over the holidays? Be sure to share your concerns with your loved one and any caregivers involved in their activities of daily living, as well as your loved one’s doctor. At Senior Lifestyle, we understand that it can be disconcerting for seniors to admit the need for additional help, but it is imperative to address the changing needs of senior loved ones. Helping seniors maintain an enriching and healthy lifestyle is our goal, so if you have questions about a Senior Lifestyle community near you or you’d like to learn more about senior care options, we invite you to visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Resolutions

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness.

Are resolutions part of your New Year’s ritual? If so, you’re in good company, as the practice of making New Year’s resolutions, thought to have been instituted by the ancient Babylonians, is still traditional for many. The Babylonians felt that making promises would bring favor from the gods and start the new year in a positive way, with resolutions often involving paying off debt and returning borrowed farm equipment. Today, resolutions range from personal health and fitness goals to random acts of kindness, each one as unique as the person who makes it. At Senior Lifestyle, we understand that each new year brings new opportunities to build, learn and improve, and resolutions are always a part of the plan. According to StatisticBrain.com, the top 5 resolutions for 2017 were as follows:

  1. Lose Weight/Healthier Eating
  2. Life/Self Improvements
  3. Better Financial Decisions
  4. Quit Smoking
  5. Do more exciting things

Did you know there’s actually a Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day? There is, and it falls on January 17th in 2018, so if you’ve found yourself regretting any hasty promises, this is the day for you! Only 44.8 % of people polled by StatisticBrain.com claimed to have maintained their resolutions past the 6-month mark. At Senior Lifestyle, we’ve found that the secret to making New Year’s resolutions you’ll actually keep is to set achievable goals and break those goals into manageable steps. Those resolutions that are set aside before February are often crafted from great aspirations, they just ask too much too soon and we become overwhelmed. Studies show that people who make detailed resolutions are far more likely to keep those resolutions than those who set vague or unfocused goals, so if you’re looking to stay the course, make a plan!

Each year at Senior Lifestyle we resolve to actively seek out innovations that help our residents live their best lives, to consistently approach senior living modeled on person-centered care, and to provide opportunities for team members in each of our senior communities to grow and succeed. All lofty goals, of course, but all worthy of our attention and all achievable! Our resolutions are defined and refined yearly, and best of all, shared by every member of our organization. To see our New Year’s resolutions in action, we encourage you to visit a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, or visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Posted by in Holidays, Special Events.

The new year is almost here, and at Senior Lifestyle we can’t think of a better way to “ring in the new” than by expressing our gratitude to those who keep our communities running smoothly day after day and year after year, from the vital behind-the-scenes team members to the frontline, first-contact staff who strive to make the first impression exceptional for residents, guests and families.

Many thanks to the personal care and nursing staff in our communities, providing peace of mind for residents and families who know that clinical needs will be met in a caring professional manner. Thank you for treating our residents with dignity and respect while providing a compassionate listening ear and the expertise to manage medical needs from simple to complex.

Kudos to the dining teams in each community for making mealtimes an event to be eagerly anticipated with delicious offerings and an unmatched atmosphere. Every member of the dining team strives to make the dining experience an exceptional one for residents, families and guests; we see their dedication on display every day.

Maintenance and housekeeping staff in our communities are truly the glue that keeps everything together and moving forward. Their care and dedication is evident to everyone who enters, as they keep each community sparkling and perform tasks that make our residents’ lives easier and hassle-free.

No community would be complete without an imaginative, creative and energetic activity staff! From weekly craft projects to well-planned outings, these dedicated team members provide a creative outlet for residents as well as a vibrant social scene, always working to find ways to include every resident in the fun.

Management teams in each community deserve thanks for their leadership and for guiding and mentoring staff. Their role in helping to develop skills that advance careers and open doors to opportunities at every level of employment is vital. Many thanks to our marketing and sales teams, who are dedicated to helping families find the lifestyle that works for them and identifying ways to help them achieve that lifestyle. Their guidance has made the difference for countless families!

Last, but certainly not least, we’d like to thank our residents and families for their confidence in us, and for their inspiration. They are the heart of what we do and we pride ourselves on meeting and exceeding their expectations with every interaction, every event, and every activity, every day. We are honored to be a part of their lives.

We at Senior Lifestyle wish you the happiest of New Years! For information about any of our communities, to schedule a tour, or to learn more about joining our team, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.