A New Year

Posted by in Holidays.

Whether you’re a resident, family member, team member or volunteer, you’re part of the Senior Lifestyle family! 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.

Holiday Stress Management

Posted by in Holidays.

The holidays are coming. Where did the time go? Between decorating, baking, shopping and entertaining, it’s easy to get a bit frazzled this time of year. At Senior Lifestyle we know that holidays can become even more difficult to manage when your loved ones are aging, whether you are a caregiver or a relative traveling to Mom’s house for a short visit. Either scenario can be wonderful and memorable, but they can both be equally stressful as well. If you’re a caregiver you may struggle to enjoy the time together while managing your loved one’s medications and daily schedule, and if you’re traveling to visit, you may notice changes in your loved one that weren’t apparent at your last visit, overshadowing the joys of the season. Holiday stress shouldn’t detract from the joy of the season, and it doesn’t have to if you follow some simple guidelines. 

The excitement having friends and relatives visit often comes with an increase in anxiety for seniors and their caregivers. Everything from changes in routine to meal planning for a crowd can cause holiday stress. If you’re a caregiver, there are ways to keep the holiday season from becoming overwhelming for both you and your loved one. Mayo Clinic provides some practical holiday stress management tips to help keep the joy in the holiday season while minimizing holiday stress: 

  • Grief can be a stressor for seniors during the holidays. For seniors who’ve lost a loved one, the holidays can trigger difficult memories. Many find that talking about those loved ones who are no longer present and reminiscing about holidays spent with them can be a joyful experience. Acknowledging the loss helps to ease the pain and can become a meaningful activity. 
  • Dietary concerns seem to affect nearly everyone over the holiday season. The temptation to overindulge is ever-present and can be especially worrisome for seniors who are on multiple medications or need to follow a restricted diet. Eating a healthy snack prior to a large holiday meal can help to ease temptation and the effects of overeating. Staying hydrated and avoiding excessive alcohol intake also helps maintain healthy habits. 
  • Upholding traditions can become a point of contention and stress for seniors and their family members. When a senior can no longer take charge of the holiday meal or the decorating, it may be time to create new traditions that allow your loved one to remain an active participant. Going “potluck” for holiday dinners can limit the stress on one family member; additionally, scaling back on decorations can keep the tradition from becoming overwhelming. Gift-giving can even be accomplished with online shopping for those who can no longer manage the chaos of holiday-season malls. Keeping things simple and sharing responsibilities helps to ease holiday stress and adds joy to the time spent together! 

Holiday stress is manageable. With some extra forethought, the holiday season can be a joyful occasion for seniors and caregivers, as well as visiting friends and family. Simplifying, planning ahead and managing expectations can ease anxiety for everyone involved. At Senior Lifestyle, we believe building new traditions and finding new ways to celebrate can add meaning to the season! For information about a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Gift Ideas For Senior Loved Ones

Posted by in Holidays.

Are you struggling to find the perfect thoughtful-yet-practical holiday gift for an aging parent, grandparent or loved one? At Senior Lifestyle we understand that buying gifts for seniors can be a challenge. If your loved one has down-sized or moved to a senior living community, there may not be room for decorative items; in this instance, practicality often outweighs novelty when looking for the best gift for a senior. For loved ones struggling with decreased mobility or cognitive decline, gifts that improve quality of life, add comfort, or help maintain health are always a great idea. For families separated by many miles, gifts that allow seniors to maintain connections are a wonderful option. We’ve compiled a short list of gifts for seniors that we think you’ll find helpful as you do your holiday shopping. 

Does your loved one struggle with mobility, low vision or hearing loss? Adaptive devices like Audiobooks and television headphones or speakers can bring enjoyment back to reading or watching favorite shows, while a large button universal remote like the Doro HandleEasy simplifies the operation of a TV or home stereo for those with low vision or limited dexterity. Adaptive clothing options include MagnaClick shirts which replace buttons with easily fastened magnetic closures and Hickies, a lacing system which turns any shoe into a slip-on. Walker bags and belt bags are also great gifts to provide hands-free storage for seniors. 

Products that provide comfort are practical and thoughtful gifts for seniors. Innovative new products such as a Mosaic weighted blanket have been proven beneficial in alleviating insomnia. Weighted or heated lap blankets are quite popular. Desktop UV lamps that mimic sunlight can help to alleviate Seasonal Affective Disorder for seniors who are unable to get outside, while a sound/white noise machine can help your senior loved one sleep soundly. Many additional ideas can be found at Modern Senior Products. 

Gifts for seniors that help to maintain social and family connections are as easy as creating a photo book through one of the many services like Shutterfly and Snapfish or even presenting a digital photo from such as the Aura, which allows updates remotely and eliminates the need for a memory stick. Does your loved one wish to share family lore but isn’t sure where to start? StoryWorth makes the process easy for seniors to share stories, emailing a question/story prompt each week to your loved one. They then simply write their answers and the stories are compiled into a beautiful keepsake book. 

For gifts that keep giving, a subscription to a meal ingredient/delivery service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron are a healthy option. Seniors who still enjoy cooking but aren’t able to get out for fresh ingredients may find these subscriptions or a subscription to a grocery delivery service helpful and practical. “Item of the month” clubs include options such as fruit, cheesecake, coffee, flowers and more and can be found at www.amazingclubs.com. For those seniors who love movies, consider a subscription to Netflix. If your senior loved one has a pet, a subscription to a pet food delivery service such as Chewy.com or NomNomNow.com can ease the burden of purchasing and transporting food, treats and toys for a beloved pet. 

At Senior Lifestyle we’ve learned that regardless of circumstances, seniors overwhelmingly agree that it’s the thought that counts. They also share that the gift of time is always most welcomed. No matter what your budget is, a phone call, a visit, or an email providing updates on family members can bring joy to the season for your senior loved one, whether they live at home or in a senior community. We’ve found that the gift goes both ways, providing the giver with joy as well, and residents in Senior Lifestyle communities love to welcome family and friends for visits! For more information on a Senior Lifestyle community near you please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Honoring Our Veterans

Posted by in Holidays.

Sunday, November 11th is Veterans Day, an occasion often marked by parades, speeches and flag ceremonies to celebrate and offer our thanks to those who have served. At Senior Lifestyle we’re proud of the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, so our senior communities across the United States will honor residents, family members and Senior Lifestyle team members for their service as well. With celebrations ranging from pinning ceremonies and Veterans Day recognition meals at local schools to care package packing parties for deployed service members, our celebrations are as unique as the wonderful people we honor. 

The history behind Veterans Day is a story worth knowing; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs notes that while World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, it’s the “story before the story” that gave rise to the holiday we know as Veterans Day. Fighting ceased seven months prior to the Versailles Treaty when an armistice temporarily halted hostilities between the Allied Nations and Germany. This accord took place on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month and was originally known as Armistice Day. President Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 the first commemoration of Armistice Day, a holiday honoring veterans of the first World War, known as “the war to end all wars.” The day would most likely still be known as Armistice Day if World War II had not occurred; however, with the large number of American casualties, it seemed only fitting to make the day a time to give thanks to veterans of all wars, as well as those who served in peacetime. The day has been known since 1954 as Veterans Day, when President Eisenhower signed legislation designating November 11th as a day to honor American veterans of all wars. 

While veterans have recently been the grateful recipients of free meals, services and discounts on Veterans Day, many say that a heartfelt “Thank you for your service” would be just as welcome. The Corporation for National and Community Service also lists several ways to support and honor veterans on its website, including mentoring the children of veterans, providing educational opportunities to veterans, and assisting them in finding employment. Each veteran and family is unique, with different storiesand unique needs. Being able to share their stories and receive support is empowering for veterans, as well as those who provide support. 

In Senior Lifestyle communities everywhere, we’re honored to serve those who have served our country. Additionally, we feel it’s vital to recognize the sacrifices made by families of service members, those who manage households, careers and family life during the deployment of a loved one. We hope you’ll join us, on Veterans Day and every day, in thanking a veteran for their service and sacrifice. To learn more about Veterans Day events at a Senior Lifestyle community near you, please visit our website atwww.seniorlifestyle.com 

 

Celebrate 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 for many, 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, giving the holiday a federal stamp of approval.

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 of these communities.

However you choose to 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 staff, whose efforts show every day in the satisfaction of our residents and families! For more information on celebrations at a Senior Lifestyle community near you, or to schedule a tour, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

 

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. 

Memorial Day

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For many Americans, thoughts of Memorial Day center on picnics, parades, and perhaps an extra day off work or school, and while these activities are important facets of the day, they don’t speak to its true purpose: the remembrance of those who sacrificed so much for us, helping to create the freedoms we enjoy today. More than just the unofficial start of summer and an opportunity to fire up the grill, Memorial Day is a call to remember the men and women who gave their lives in service to the United States of America, a call that we at Senior Lifestyle are proud to answer as we honor those who’ve served and sacrificed. 

Originally named Decoration Day, Memorial Day was first conceived as a solemn day of honor for Civil War dead, proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic General John Logan, the date chosen particularly because it did not fall on the anniversary of any specific battle. In his proclamation on the date of Decoration Day, Logan stated, “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” 

While there is some confusion as to when and where Memorial Day actually began, New York was the first state to recognize the holiday in 1873, with all northern states following by 1890. At the close of World War I, the holiday transformed from a day to honor Civil War dead to a day to honor all Americans who died fighting any war. The National Holiday Act of 1971 established our current Memorial Day, falling on the last Monday in May. Additionally, in December of 2000, a “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed. This resolution asks that at 3 pm local time all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.” 

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend! Catch up with friends, eat a perfectly grilled burger and make the most of your extra day off, but remember the origin of the holiday, and perhaps take a moment around three in the afternoon to reflect on the sacrifices of many to secure our freedom. While you’ll most certainly find picnics and parties happening at Senior Lifestyle communities this Memorial Day weekend, look a bit closer and you’ll also see the pride shown by residents, staff and families in honoring those who sacrificed so much in the name of freedom. Senior Lifestyle salutes the men and women who gave their all for us and we wish you a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day! 

Employee Appreciation Day

Posted by in Holidays.

Appreciation is a word that comes to mind when we think of the employees at Senior Lifestyle; for this reason it is the A in our new core value statement acronym HEART. Every Senior Lifestyle team member creates the value we offer our residents and families; these individuals live out our mission and values every day. Employee Appreciation Day is a day we celebrate all for the hard work, compassion and dedication shown in supporting our residents and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This dedication and commitment to excellence is demonstrated daily in each of our Senior Lifestyle communities across our team members’ many areas of expertise:

  • We appreciate our personal care and nursing staff in our communities for 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Thank-you to our regional support teams who are committed to traveling wherever they are most needed to ensure our communities have the support they need to be successful.
  • To our Chicago Home office team, we also say thank-you for all you do to support our communities from afar! Whether you work in asset management, benefits, IT, accounting, billing, payroll, sales, marketing, training, human resources, recruiting, design, vendor management, capital expenses, business strategy, financial analytics, operations, dining and more, we appreciate your commitment to serving our teams and residents.

Happy Employee Appreciation Day! At Senior Lifestyle we are honored to recognize the talents and contributions of team members in each of our communities as well as our home office. Their dedication to our core values and their compassion for those we serve provide the foundation for our accomplishments in 2018, making Senior Lifestyle a great place to live and a great place to work!

History of Mardi Gras

Posted by in Holidays.

Do you celebrate Mardi Gras? While Mardi Gras only enjoys official legal holiday status in Louisiana, our Senior Lifestyle communities find unique ways to celebrate the holiday, so if you’re eating King Cake and sporting purple, gold and green on the Tuesday just prior to Ash Wednesday, you’re certainly not alone! Mardi Gras, literally “Fat Tuesday”, is the traditional time of merrymaking that precedes the season of Lent. The tradition of Mardi Gras is celebrated across the United States and around the world with parades, traditional meals and other festivities.

Contemporary observations of Mardi Gras evolved from pre-Lenten celebrations in medieval Europe aimed at enjoying foods that would be forbidden during the 40 days of Lent, with the Mardi Gras celebration taking place before Ash Wednesday. Traditionally, rich foods were consumed on Fat Tuesday, removing the temptation of eggs, cheese, meat and other fatty foods from homes before revelers commenced with the different types of fasting required during the Lenten season. The tradition of Mardi Gras in Europe was especially popular in areas with significant Roman Catholic populations.

The tradition of Mardi Gras spread from Europe to the United States, with the earliest known celebration occurring in 1703 in the tiny settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile. By the 1730’s, revelers in New Orleans celebrated with lavish dinners and masquerade parties. The earliest recorded parade in New Orleans took place in 1837, and that tradition continues yearly, with different organized groups of revelers called “krewes” creating more fantastic and elaborate floats every year. While Fat Tuesday is the high point of the celebrations, many Mardi Gras celebrations begin the week before the actual date and culminate in a parade.

At Senior Lifestyle, we hope you enjoy knowing the history of your Mardi Gras celebration! To learn more about celebrations and activities at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area or to schedule a tour, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Senior Independence Month

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness, Holidays.

What does independence mean to you? The answer may well depend on your age and life circumstances. At Senior Lifestyle, one of our goals is helping the seniors in our communities maintain their independence. We do this by creating environments that encourage social interaction, providing innovative programming that fosters creative thinking, and helping seniors find the right fit for their care needs, whether that is Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care or Skilled Nursing.

February is National Senior Independence Month, a perfect time for seniors to celebrate the independence they enjoy and to plan ahead to maintain that independence. Since maintaining independence is a major factor in the quality of life our seniors experience, Senior Lifestyle is sharing some practical tips from Seniors Speak Out, a senior advocacy group, to help seniors maintain independence at home and in the community:

Declutter

An organized environment is great for both body and soul! Clear, well- lit walkways in the home help decrease the risk of trips and falls, while keeping necessary items like cell phones close at hand and readily accessible is vital in the event of an emergency.

Upgrade

A little preventive maintenance can be a lifesaver. Have banisters on stairs and railings on decks checked for looseness. Light up dark hallways and closets with motion-sensor lights to prevent falls. Installing grab bars in the bathroom is a great idea as well, provided they are installed before they’re needed. A little foresight goes a long way!

Get Tech Savvy

That cellphone can literally be a lifesaver. Set up with speed-dial for favorite contacts, it’s a senior’s link to the world. Cellphones can also serve as location devices as well as maps and navigations aids. Most are even equipped with a fairly bright flashlight. Home security systems can protect against theft and property damage, but their value doesn’t end there; motion sensing lights can detect intruders and fend off any unwanted guests, while providing welcome light when you need it.

At Senior Lifestyle, we understand that maintaining independence can be tricky for seniors. Knowing what to hold onto and what to let go of is a tough road to navigate, especially for someone who has lived independently for many years. Giving up a driver’s license or accepting in-home help is a big step for many seniors, and leaving home for a senior community is an even bigger step. When changes need to happen, family members can and should focus on the positive aspects of those changes and the increase in quality of life. Asking for and accepting help when it is needed is a positive step toward staying independent.

National Senior Independence Month is a great time for loved ones to help seniors make changes that help increase quality of life. Do you have questions about the level of care you need or programs available at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area? To learn more about how we help our residents maintain their independence, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.