Eat Better, Eat Together

Posted by in Health and Fitness, Food and Nutrition.

October is “Eat Better, Eat Together” Month, and at Senior Lifestyle we want to encourage everyone to celebrate the occasion! Everyone knows that sharing a meal is a great opportunity to socialize, make new friends and share ideas, but did you know that it’s a healthier way to eat as well? For teens, the practice of eating a meal with family has been associated with increased social skills, better eating habits and fewer behavioral problems. For adults, sharing a meal results in lowered stress levels.

Why is Eat Better, Eat Together Month important? At Senior Lifestyle we know that moments matter, and eating a meal together helps create those moments by fostering an environment of friendship and community. Coming together for a meal is a ritual that allows us the time and the atmosphere needed to build relationships. We also understand the importance of making good food choices and know that eating with others reinforces those choices. Beyond the health benefits, we also know that sharing a meal is simply fun!

At Senior Lifestyle we take dining seriously, and while “restaurant style” dining is a current trend, we aim higher. We believe the dining experience should be as meaningful as any other activity in our communities, and our approach to the dining experience, from locally sourced ingredients to menu input from residents reflects our commitment to quality. From the moment a guest, resident or family member enters the dining room to the last bite of dessert and sip of coffee, our goal is to provide an unmatched experience in every community. Additionally, we recognize that fine dining isn’t just about food; nowhere is the word community expressed better than around a dining table in the company of friends.

Residents at Senior Lifestyle communities play an important role in the dining experience, and not just when they join friends for a meal. Resident food committees collaborate with each community’s dining teams to evaluate and improve the dining experience, from food selection to atmosphere, taking a proactive approach to providing a personalized dining experience for every resident. Dining team members meet with residents to discuss and incorporate enhancements to the menu, special requests, and favorite recipes as well.

Dining is a vital part of the Senior Lifestyle experience, one we are proud to share with our residents, families and friends. We’re celebrating our dining experience during Eat Better, Eat Together month just as we celebrate the experience every month, so if you’d like more information on what’s on the menu at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com and schedule a tour. We’d love to share a meal with you!

Healthy for Good

Posted by in Food and Nutrition.

February, American Heart Month, is drawing to a close, and at Senior Lifestyle we hope that you’ve gained some information about heart health as well as some incentive to take care of your heart. Our senior communities are committed to fostering a healthy lifestyle for those we serve, so we’re excited to share information on heart health.

When it comes to heart health, factors such as lifestyle, blood pressure, weight, response to stress and diet all play a part. Making small changes can make a big difference, especially if you are at higher risk for heart disease due to manageable risk factors like hypertension. Lowering your blood pressure can make a substantial difference not only in your heart health, but in your overall sense of wellbeing, leading to even more changes, such as exercising more and better stress management.

Small steps lead to big steps! The American Heart Association has introduced Healthy For Good, a unique program designed to help people make small changes to create healthier lifestyles. The Healthy For Good approach focuses on four simple goals:

EAT SMART

Make healthy, delicious choices wherever and whenever you eat. Change your focus from diets to ditching the junk and learn to enjoy eating healthy, whether at home or out and about. Choose nutrient-dense foods to control cravings.

ADD COLOR

Make life more colorful with fruits and vegetables. Adding fruits and vegetables to every meal and snack is a healthy way to add color to your life. Different colors contain different nutrients, so make your plate as colorful as possible!

MOVE MORE

Infuse more movement into your life for optimal health. Focus on finding a form of exercise you like and sticking with it. The goal is 150 minutes per week; however, adding any amount of activity is helpful as long as you make it a routine.

BE WELL

Create balance, vitality and wellbeing through self-care. Maintaining strong social connections, managing stress and getting enough sleep are as vital to health as diet and exercise.

To Join the Healthy For Good movement, simply visit the American Heart Association’s website and sign up to receive tips, life hacks and great advice on how to integrate small changes that make a big difference into your lifestyle.

At Senior Lifestyle we focus on whole health for our residents, so we strive to provide healthy dining choices, activities tailored to the needs of our senior communities, and endless opportunities for social interaction. We believe that these combinations lead to better health for everyone, so we’re committed to offering the very best to our residents and families. To learn more about programs offered in Senior Lifestyle communities near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

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!

Detecting Alzheimer’s Symptoms & Stages

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness, Food and Nutrition, Expert Advice, Research.

Alzheimer’s disease, a syndrome that affects the brain and cognitive function, can be a challenging disease to learn about, particularly when considering the devastating effects this disease can have on all those it touches. But knowing Alzheimer’s symptoms and Alzheimer’s stages can help prepare you in case someone you love receives this diagnosis or begins to show signs of Alzheimer’s.

Consider this: The Alzheimer’s Association – the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research – estimates that 5.4 million Americans have the disease. Of those afflicted, 96 percent are older than 65. Taken as a whole, dementia is the sixth leading cause of death in America, killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Those are frightening numbers that are only expected to grow.

Senior Lifestyle has developed award-winning programs and care to help cope with the effects of the disease. Senior Lifestyle’s memory care and Alzheimer’s care specialists work directly with staff, residents, and their families to ensure residents receive the comprehensive care and attention they deserve.

But the first step is identifying the diseases stages, symptoms and warning signs.

3 Stages of Alzheimer’s
Detecting the progression of Alzhiemer’s can be challenging because the disease affects everyone differently and there is much overlap between Alzheimer’s stages. Generally, experts divide Alzheimer’s into three stages.
1. Mild or Early Stage: Usually lasts 2-4 years; often undetectable, but characterized by frequent memory loss, especially of recent interactions and experiences, losing track of time and becoming lost in formerly familiar locations.
2. Moderate or Middle Stage: Lasts anywhere between 2-10 years; cognitive decline is easily observed; memory continues to decline and family may become less identifiable; memory, reasoning and basic motor skills continues to get worse; mood swings, delusions, aggression and uninhibited behavior may occur.
3. Severe or Late Stage: Usually last 1-3 years; individuals are unable to care for themselves for the most part as symptoms continue to devolve; Basic verbal communication and motor skills are extremely hindered.

10 Alzheimer’s Warning Signs

1. Memory loss that affects daily life
2. Inability to follow directions or solve simple problems.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
4. Becoming disoriented about space and time
5. Trouble with depth perception, colors or reading
6. Problems expressing thoughts in conversation
7. Misplacing things or putting possessions in nonsensical places
8. Poor judgment with money, clothing or grooming
9. Withdrawal from friends and social network
10. Mood swings

Unfortunately, there is no way to totally prevent or cure Alzheimer’s, but research and medicine continue to progress. By recognizing Alzheimer’s symptoms and identifying Alzheimer’s stages, you or your loved ones can start memory care treatment that can temporarily slow signs of the disease and improve quality of life for those afflicted and for their families.

Tips for Mitigating Fall Risk in Older Adults

Posted by in Health and Fitness, Food and Nutrition, Expert Advice.

Find out how to decrease fall risk in the home and while on the go. Falls in the elderly are dangerous but are preventable with the right planning

Whether at home or on the go, preventing falls in the elderly should be a top priority. Increased fall risk is just another thing that happens when we get older. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year and over 2 million people are treated annually in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. Regardless of their frequent occurrence, falls are often preventable. With the right plan, you can help mitigate fall risk in your home and elsewhere.

Make sure rugs don’t slip. While rugs can add some color to a room, they call also increase fall risk if they’re not put in place correctly. A rug that slips or rolls up can cause falls in the elderly. Throw rugs should be kept in place with the help of two-sided carpet tape. You can also use rubber rug pads to help keep your rugs from bunching up.

Help your eyes out. One of the main risk factors for falling is an inability to see well. Make sure that there is adequate light in your home so that you can see where you are walking well enough to prevent fall risk. Install brighter bulbs where necessary and add nightlights to bedrooms and hallways. For those that have trouble with stairs in particular, adding colored tape to the edge of each stair can make them easier to navigate.

Fall-proof the bathroom. The bathroom is one of the most common places for falls to occur. Begin mitigating fall risk by placing non-slip mats in and around the shower. Adding grab rails can give seniors entering and exiting the tub something sturdy to hold onto. A bonus of having these grab rails is that many are portable, meaning that they can be taken with on trips to be used in hotels or others’ bathrooms that lack railings.

Keep clutter in check. Maintaining a clean home is something you can do to prevent falls among the elderly. Pay special attention to hallways and stairwells for object that can be tripped over and cause falls.

Put handrails by stairways. Because climbing up and down stairs only gets more difficult as we age, installing handrails to facilitate easier climbs and lower the risk of falling is a great choice for a home improvement project.

Fall risk does not have to be a burden for older adults. With careful and diligent preparation, these simple steps can be taken to reduce risks and help keep seniors safe from the danger of falling.