Dog Days of Summer

Posted by in Health and Fitness.

The dog days of summer are upon us! From July 3rd to August 11th, the period of oppressive heat is known as the “dog days.” This time is so named because the hottest days of summer are associated with the dog star Sirius, the brightest star in the Canis Major constellation. The dog star rises and sets with the sun in summertime, specifically in conjunction with the sun on July 23rd. Since the ancient Romans believed that Sirius gave off heat and actually added to the warmth of the sun, they called this period of hot weather “dog days.” Over time, the period of 20 days before and 20 days after Sirius’ alignment with the sun, July 3rd to August 11th, became known as the dog days of summer.

At Senior Lifestyle, we know that the hot, humid weather of the dog days of summer can make dogs (and people!) feel sluggish and lazy. If the very thought of moving around in the heat makes you feel sweaty and tired, don’t despair; there are ways to keep your cool while staying active:

 

Swimming or Water Aerobics

You no longer have to find a secret swimming hole or brave the local community pool! Many fitness centers (as well as many Senior Lifestyle communities!) have a pool available. While swimming laps is still a great option, water aerobics and other water-related exercise classes are a wonderful alternative and can provide fun and friendship in addition to a great workout. Swimming is low impact so it’s easy on joints, and many active seniors find the warm water to be therapeutic as well.

Yoga or Pilates

Both yoga and Pilates are great for restoring and maintaining physical and spiritual balance. With a range of experience levels for everyone from the novice to the seasoned yogi, these classes provide gentle stretching, focus on breathing and the added benefit increased mobility. At Senior Lifestyle communities, our Health and Wellness and Activities teams focus on providing an array of options including yoga and Pilates to help our residents remain active seniors.

 

Walking

Walking provides an immense cardiovascular benefit and is a great exercise for those with arthritis or other joint diseases. Walking paths are available at local parks, senior centers and shopping malls; many of these locations offer walking clubs as well, pairing participants with partners of similar abilities and interests, making for a great social opportunity for active seniors. Our Senior Lifestyle communities are designed to provide walking areas both inside and out so that a nice brisk walk or a leisurely stroll is a great idea no matter what the weather outside looks like!

Whatever the weather, exercise is an option at Senior Lifestyle, even during the dog days of summer. With options for every fitness level and interest, we help our residents maintain health and wellness, building endurance and strength along with building friendships! For more information about health and wellness options at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

 

Raising Their Voices: Music Is Connecting Residents to New Possibilities

Posted by in Community Spotlights.

Music has a unique ability to spread joy and bridge barriers. The special magic of song has taken root in one of Senior Lifestyle’s premier communities and is shaping the future possibilities for resident programming in the company and beyond. The Village Voices is an inspiring dementia-inclusive acapella choir consisting of seniors from the Independent, Assisted, and Memory Care communities at Atrium Village in Owing Mills, Maryland. Created as a therapeutic tool for residents with dementia, this program has been expanded to include residents from all backgrounds and abilities. This successful program is a testament to the power of music, helping residents – even those with advanced dementia – find joy and connection through the gift of song.

 

Inspired by positive responses to music during individual therapy sessions with dementia patients, the community’s Speech and Language Pathologist, Ellen Fromm had an idea. She approached Activities Director, Joelle Campbell about creating a larger choir among all of Atrium Village’s community residents. An enthusiast “Yes!” followed, and so did the creation of one of the community’s most beloved programs.

 

Co-creators Ellen and Joelle knew they were onto something special from the first day. They watched friendships blossom within their group, most importantly without regard to member’s care level or cognitive ability. Practices often saw more abled persons turning pages for Memory Care residents, and concerned friends asking about others unable to participate that day. They were amazed to see Memory Care residents who often paced or became agitated, sit for long periods of time, engaged and enjoying their moment of song. And they continually saw their residents find a connection to their past and with each other; spending many moments reminiscing as a group about their pasts, friends, and family.

 

Careful to create an environment where everyone can participate and feel connected, the leaders use clinical tools and research to help involve every resident in the choir’s activities. They choose traditional, familiar songs to help engage the resident’s long-term memory, understanding that for many learning new words and tunes is not possible. The group’s practices encourage interaction among the participants giving them plenty of time to chat and connect; with Ellen and Joelle believing the social, emotional, and physical stimulus of being part of the group is just – if not more – important than the songs themselves. And finally, Ellen and Joelle along with their community leadership, seek out opportunities for the residents to perform within The Atrium Village community as well as the larger Baltimore area, knowing that these types of events provide fulfillment and a sense of purpose for their residents.

 

The positive response from the involved residents, The Atrium Village community, and the resident’s family and friends has been immediate and overwhelming. The group has forty members and interest in the program and its potential in other communities is growing. The Village Voices have been able to hold several holiday concerts within the community, have performed at Ellen’s wedding, and are slated for a performance at Artscape on July 21st in Baltimore.

 

Atrium Village and its care team are so happy to start educating the greater community about this program! They hope to encourage more music and interaction in senior programming and share a little of the joy and connection being felt throughout their own Atrium Village Senior Living Community.

 

Find out more about Atrium Village and Senior Lifestyle’s award-winning programs today!

Be Our Guest at Senior Lifestyle

Posted by in Mind and Spirit.

One of the most stressful aspects of providing care for a loved one is dealing with the need for occasional breaks in care. Whether those breaks are necessitated 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 difficult 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 need 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 see to each guest’s unique needs during their stay. 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 lifestyle feels right to them, enjoying activities and events, dining with new friends, and meeting staff. 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.

Embrace Social Connections

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness.

We’re celebrating Social Wellness Month at Senior Lifestyle. Social Wellness Month is a time to nurture relationships and focus on healthy social connections, but what happens when a loved one isn’t able to maintain those connections? When facing a diagnosis of dementia, families often find themselves struggling to find ways to help foster and maintain true connectedness with their loved one. Senior Lifestyle’s embrace memory care philosophy focuses on helping families stay connected. By creating a unique life narrative for each resident detailing their specific life experiences, we are able to create a lifestyle attuned each resident’s personal nature—familiar and uniquely their own. This life story becomes a touchstone for friends and family members to aid in communication and connection.

Researchers have found that social connections are healthy in ways we didn’t previously understand. Strong social connections have proven to lessen the risk of some forms of dementia, as well as mitigating the early effects of cognitive impairment in some people. Unfortunately, in the early stages of dementia, the person suffering from dementia often withdraws socially due to fear of humiliation, isolating themselves in an effort to “cover” the emerging symptoms. It is especially important for friends and family to continue to stay connected and engage their loved one during this time, but quite often difficult to do so in the face of the progressing illness. At Senior Lifestyle, we create a welcoming embrace neighborhood that balances structure with freedom of movement, encouraging residents to interact at their comfort level not only with fellow residents, but with friends and family as well.

In many instances, communication becomes stressful for the person with dementia as they struggle to interpret verbal cues, so non-verbal communication in the form of touch and eye contact becomes vitally important. Our small-group programs are designed to address the unique needs that arise from memory loss and impairment, with simultaneous activities bringing energy to each neighborhood throughout the entire day. We are there every moment of the day to ensure that the daily rhythm of life is filled with joy and serenity. We help family members become attuned to this daily rhythm and take opportunities to connect with loved ones.

Can an individual maintain social connections after a diagnosis of dementia? At Senior Lifestyle, we help memory care residents do just that. Our award-winning memory care philosophy, embrace, focuses on daily interactions which bring purpose and joy to life, giving residents the opportunity to be part of a thriving community. To learn more about our embrace memory care philosophy, or to schedule a tour of a community near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Social Wellness Month

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness.

July is Social Wellness Month, a time to focus on nurturing oneself and one’s relationships. Social wellness focuses on the giving and receiving of social support, identifying the network of friends and family an individual can turn to in times of crisis as well as times of celebration, and ways to keep relationships healthy. Since social support acts as a buffer against adverse life events, it is especially vital for seniors to have a strong social network in place and to have ways to grow and nurture that social network. Volunteering, pursuing a hobby, or joining a local senior center are all ways for seniors to gain valuable social interaction and grow relationships. 

At Senior Lifestyle, we understand that social wellness may be more difficult to attain and maintain for seniors, especially those who are homebound or who don’t live near family and friends. Since studies have shown that social interaction provides a multitude of health benefits for seniors, one of our main goals at Senior Lifestyle is to expand the social options available to our residents and families. We know that by providing increased opportunities to socialize, we can enhance and enrich the lives of those we serve.  

Seniors reap the benefits of positive social interaction in a number of ways, from increased social and emotional well-being to improvements in physical and cognitive functions. Research shows that: 

  • People who have a strong social network tend to live longer. 
  • The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships respond better to stress. 
  • Strong social networks are associated with a healthier endocrine system and healthier cardiovascular functioning. 
  • Healthy social networks enhance the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases. 

 

At Senior Lifestyle we encourage our residents to take part in activities and events designed specifically to increase social interactions and social wellness, and we strive to improve the well-being of our residents by providing creative outlets, clubs tailored to individual interests, outings designed to entertain and educate, and opportunities to simply socialize in a comfortable, welcoming environment. To learn more about social opportunities available at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com and schedule a tour today! 

Celebrate Your Independence!

Posted by in Holidays.

At Senior Lifestyle, we celebrate our residents and their spirit of independence not only on July 4th, but every day of the year with senior living options designed for their lifestyle preferences. Independent living means that our dedicated staff is there to accommodate the unique lifestyle our residents choose so that they can enjoy the freedom to do what makes them happy. The flexibility afforded by this lifestyle option often has residents wondering why they didn’t make the decision to move sooner!  

We believe the key to a positive independent living experience lies in having a well-trained and dedicated service staff to anticipate the wants and needs of our residents, so naturally, one of our top priorities at Senior Lifestyle is to empower our team of professionals to deliver the highest standards in hospitality services. Your Life, Your Style means just that; tell us what you’d like and how you’d like it, and we’ll deliver! 

Every Senior Lifestyle Independent Living community has its own unique identity, but in general the following services and amenities are included in the base rental rate: 

  • Fine dining with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients prepared by an Executive Chef and served restaurant-style by our professionally trained service staff. 
  • Stimulating and engaging Life Enrichment Programs 
  • Private Dining Accommodations for Special Occasions 
  • Routine Housekeeping Service 
  • Transportation Service to Local Shopping Centers, Physicians’ Offices or Local Attractions 
  • 24-Hour Emergency Call System and Up and About Checks 
  • On-site Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy Services 
  • On-site Beauty Salon and Barber Shop* 
  • *Billed a la carte 

Support your loved one’s independent streak! Families can help senior loved ones maintain independence by practicing interactive caregiving, partnering with the senior to accomplish activities of daily living instead of “taking over.” Additionally, when needs change, loved ones can help seniors navigate the senior living journey by having open conversations with senior family members that focus on long-term needs and maintaining a level of independence that fits those needs. When changes need to happen, family members can also focus on the positive aspects of those changes.  

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