Plan For The Future

Posted by in Personal Finance.

October is Long-Term Care Planning Month, a time to assess plans for future care needs and the financial options available to seniors to cover the cost of care. One of our goals at Senior Lifestyle is to make the transition to senior living as seamless as possible for new residents and families, and we know that one of the most difficult aspects of making new living arrangements for senior loved ones is the “financial conversation.” We understand that discussions about money can be emotionally charged, and although the conversation itself may seem intrusive to both parents and adult children, it is a necessary one.  

Understanding what funds and financial options for senior living are available is vital to the search for senior housing. Having solid financial information at the outset of the senior housing search can help streamline the process and will save a great deal of time and frustration, not only for seniors but for their families as well.  

At Senior Lifestyle, we care about not only the physical and emotional wellbeing of our residents, but their financial health as well, and that’s why we recommend the services of companies like Elderlife Financial. A leading senior solutions company, Elderlife Financial helps families understand their financial options for senior living and locate and finance senior housing needs, offering a variety of services to facilitate the moving process, including: 

Financing Senior Living 

A bridge loan can help fund senior living while waiting for Veteran’s benefits or insurance payments to begin or waiting for the sale of a home. This service allows families the peace of mind of an immediate move. 

Veteran Benefits Assistance 

Many veterans are unfamiliar with the benefits available to them. Elderlife Financial can assist in the process of gathering the necessary information to apply for the “Aid & Attendance” pension benefit, as well as providing short term funding while waiting for benefits to be approved. 

Assistance with Insurance  

If a long-term care policy is in place to pay for care, Elderlife financial can help navigate the often-complex process of making a claim and qualifying for benefits. Additionally, life insurance policies are a potential source of funding for senior living and can be sold or borrowed against to pay for care.  

 

At Senior Lifestyle we know that the search for senior housing can be daunting, but our community advisors are here to help you navigate the journey and understand your financial options for senior living. For information on a Senior Lifestyle community near you, visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com to schedule a tour and meet with an advisor. Financial resources are available on the Senior Lifestyle website as well, so help is just a click away!

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!

How Are We Doing?

Posted by in Expert Advice, Technology.

There’s a common saying that notes, “If customers are happy with your service, they’ll tell you; if they aren’t happy, they’ll tell everyone else,” and with the prevalence of online review sites today, that idea can seem uncomfortably accurate for some businesses. However, online reviews give customers the opportunity to point out not only what’s wrong, but what’s right as well. They also give the reviewee an opportunity to make things right by reaching out to the customer when a negative experience is reported. At Senior Lifestyle we look at reviews as a vital tool in our plan for continuous improvement and encourage everyone we interact with to share their experience.

Are we doing well? What can we do better? Every business asks these questions, but without feedback from customers, it’s often hard to judge the answers. Any business with a long-range plan wants to hear the bad reviews as well as the stellar ones; continuous improvement depends on knowing what needs to be improved upon. Reviews provide companies with valuable information that may not be evident at the point of sale. Consumers can leave online reviews for nearly any business, product or service, from a hospital stay to a pet grooming experience. Review sites like Indeed and Glassdoor even provide a forum for job-seekers to learn more about companies for whom they hope to work.

Why do people leave online reviews? Everyone likes to be heard; we share our opinions every day in conversations with friends, family and co-workers, so it makes sense to share those opinions with the companies from which we purchase products and services. Oftentimes, online reviewers can remain anonymous, an aspect which may pave the way for more honest evaluations. Honest feedback, whether positive or negative, not only helps the organization being reviewed, but helps fellow consumers make decisions as well.

Senior Lifestyle believes that informed consumers and potential team members make better choices, and we truly want feedback from our senior community residents, families and team members. We gain valuable insight from visitors in our communities as well, whether they volunteer, provide a service for our residents or come to the community for a tour. Our goal is to provide the best possible experience for everyone we interact with, so don’t hesitate to let us know how we’re doing! For more information on how Senior Lifestyle works to provide an exceptional experience or to learn more about any of our communities, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Active Aging Week

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Special Events.

It’s Active Aging Week, and at Senior Lifestyle we’re celebrating in style! Our residents provide us with inspiration daily, choosing lifestyles of purpose and joy, breaking down barriers and changing our idea of aging. From dance classes to book clubs to group meditation, they bring fresh ideas for activities that do so much more than occupy time; they occupy hearts and minds and create lasting friendships, bringing positivity and fun to the aging process 

Active Aging Week, celebrated yearly on the last week in September, was initiated in 2003 by the International Council on Active Aging. The aim of this special week is to showcase the potential of older adults to live full lives throughout the aging process and to challenge our expectations of aging, not only physically, but mentally, spiritually, intellectually and socially.  

At Senior Lifestyle, we encourage the spark of creativity and the thirst for knowledge in so many ways; the following are just a sample of the innovative activities we offer our residents during Active Aging Week and every week: 

 

BRAIN HEALTH UNIVERSITY 

If you’re ready to stretch and strengthen your mind while having fun with your friends and neighbors, our award-winning Brain Health University program is for you. Featuring unique courses designed to exercise your brain, BHU is often fully enrolled and always a fantastic way to meet new friends in your community. BHU fosters personal growth as residents take courses that intrigue and excite them. Once residents complete 18 classes, they are granted a certificate of graduation from BHU and rewarded with a celebratory event. 

 

COOKING 

Food is at the heart of our community. Share meals and conversations with your neighbors as you bond over your favorite meals. Residents love getting together with friends and neighbors to swap family recipes and share their culinary creativity! If you really want to test your mettle in the kitchen, you can compete in one of our popular “Iron Chef” cooking competitions. Or, if you’re just looking to learn some new tricks, attend a hosted cooking demonstration! 

 

SENIOR SIDEKICKS 

Senior Sidekicks is an intergenerational program designed exclusively for our residents and local students. Through Senior Sidekicks, local students visit the community and join our residents for entertaining senior activities. The program offers amusing activities for seniors and students alike. Senior Lifestyle communities brim with energy as students from local schools chat and engage with residents. These events are always highly anticipated by residents and students alike. 

 

At Senior Lifestyle, Active Aging is a way of life. We encourage our residents to bring their activity ideas to the table so that we can offer a wide variety of programs that foster engagement as well as purpose. For more information on a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, or to hear more about our lifestyle opportunities, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

Time to Embrace Autumn

Posted by in Mind and Spirit.

Autumn is just around the corner, which means leaves are falling, the days are getting a bit shorter, and school is back in session. For many, the changing season means a return to the regular routine after a long, lazy summer where schedules were flexible and plans changeable. Returning to a set schedule is comforting for some and a hassle for others, but for seniors with dementia a routine is vital. At Senior Lifestyle, our award-winning memory care philosophy, embrace, is built around comforting daily rhythms and activities that foster a sense of purpose for the individual with dementia. 

For families caring for a senior loved one with dementia at home, a routine is vital as well. It is critical that all family members know what plans are in place in order to maintain the level of care needed and to lessen the stress not only on the caregivers but the senior with memory loss as well. Knowing the routine and the schedule of care can bring a sense of security to a senior who is dependent on others for his or her care. Back-up plans are also a necessity; planning for emergencies helps to keep things running smoothly. When the need arises for care beyond what can be provided in a home setting, Senior Lifestyle is here to provide memory care in a homelike atmosphere dedicated to honoring each resident’s individuality and personal story. 

When memories fade, it’s the moments that matter most. Memory loss is difficult to navigate, and the aim of embrace is to provide a lifestyle that is in harmony with the interests and abilities of each resident while addressing the unique challenges arising from memory loss and cognitive impairment. To achieve that goal, each new resident meets with a team member to develop a personal history, an embrace narrative that details specific life experiences, allowing caregivers the opportunity to truly connect with residents. This narrative and our innovative, award-winning small group programs provide a comprehensive approach to memory care that is unique to Senior Lifestyle. 

Autumn in the air and on the calendar means change is inevitable, but while the needs of our residents may change, our dedication to providing exceptional care for those we serve in any season of life is perennial and constant. Senior Lifestyle’s commitment to providing innovative approaches to memory care is the foundation of the embrace philosophy, and it’s a commitment we’d love to share with those looking for exceptional care for a loved one. To learn more about embrace or any of our Senior Lifestyle communities, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

See For Yourself – Tour A Senior Lifestyle Community

Posted by in Community Spotlights.

At Senior Lifestyle, we want your first impression to be a great one, so when you step through the door of any Senior Lifestyle community for your first tour, we strive to meet and exceed your expectations. We understand that making decisions about a loved one’s care can be stressful for all involved, so our goal is to make each step of your senior housing journey seamless and hassle-free.  

Not sure what to expect when you tour a senior community? Our list can help! 

What can I expect when I visit a Senior Lifestyle community? 

  • You can expect a professionally trained sales team whose main goal is to understand your situation and create options for you and your loved ones. We’ll ask questions about your senior housing search to gain an understanding of your unique interests and your care needs so that we can address those needs. 
  • You can expect a tour of our community tailored to your needs and interests. We want you to enjoy your new home, and the best way to do that is to discover activities and social settings that are of interest to you. Whether you enjoy bingo, music, arts and crafts, or outings to nearby attractions, we have something for everyone and we’ll make sure we highlight what interests you on your tour. 
  • You can expect to meet some of the team members you’ll see daily as a resident. We want you to feel comfortable and welcomed, and those familiar faces will be available to help you with your daily needs. You may even meet a soon-to-be new neighbor on your tour! 
  • You can expect the utmost in professionalism. We understand that looking for senior housing can be daunting and the process can be confusing, especially when you’re comparing communities, amenities, pricing and location. We’ll do our very best to help you make sense of your options so you can make the most well-informed choice possible, whether that choice is our community or another on your list.  
  • You can expect clear, easy-to-understand financial and payment information. Our aim is to assist you in finding and attaining the lifestyle you choose. Your financial health is as important to us as your physical and emotional well-being, and we’ll provide information on any benefits available to help you afford the lifestyle you’re looking for. 

Each Senior Lifestyle community has a highly trained, skilled sales and marketing team with the expertise to help guide a family through their unique journey to senior living. To learn more about what a Senior Lifestyle community in your area has to offer or to schedule a tour, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com. 

Capture The Moment

Posted by in Special Events.

At Senior Lifestyle, we believe that it’s the moments that matter most, so this year’s National Assisted Living Week theme is truly special to us. Everyday interactions between families, residents and team members are vital to the wellbeing of those we serve, with moments from the past, often in the form of photos, videos and letters, providing a keystone for these interactions. From social hours to family dinners, Senior Lifestyle celebrates and honors the moments that help to create a bond between our team members and the residents they care for.  

National Center for Assisted Living Executive Director Scott Tittle said in his announcement of this year’s theme, “We want this year’s National Assisted Living Week to help overcome the stigma that older adults in assisted living communities, and other settings for that matter, don’t have a purpose in life anymore. No matter your age, we should all be living life to its fullest. Assisted living caregivers help seniors realize this by supporting them with everyday tasks, while maximizing their independence and honoring their individuality.”  

National Assisted Living Week, established by the NCAL in 1995, provides an opportunity for communities across America to recognize and celebrate the vital role assisted living plays in caring for our seniors. This week also helps assisted living communities to educate the public about assisted living by sharing events and activities with their surrounding communities. Senior Lifestyle’s assisted living communities throughout the United States will share the stories of their residents and team members during this week, highlighting the moments that create relationships in these communities between residents, caregivers, families and volunteers. 

At Senior Lifestyle, we celebrate the moments shared in our communities and truly believe that our residents Capture the Moment every day, living lives that are vibrant and filled with purpose. If you’d like to learn more about a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, or if you’d like to schedule a tour and see for yourself, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com 

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Posted by in Special Events.

Senior Lifestyle is proud to share the philosophy and goals of the Alzheimer’s Association and proud of our designation as a Global Team in the effort to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease. The Longest Day event, which took place in June across America, provided us an opportunity for total engagement in this important cause. Our corporate staff, regional staff, and our local senior communities pulled out all the stops this year to meet our fundraising goals for this event, with 107 Senior Lifestyle teams and 268 participants taking part in the event. Families and residents at our communities always play a vital part in local events as well, pledging to spend time raising awareness on The Longest Day. 

Our fundraising goal for The Longest Day this year was $50,000, and we’re proud to say that we met and far exceeded that goal, with Senior Lifestyle teams raising a total of $100,797.56 for The Longest Day! We’re proud to have such a committed group of people working to end Alzheimer’s, and until there’s a cure, our goals will remain high. Planning for The Longest Day begins early each year, with many of our teams already looking forward to outdoing themselves at next year’s event. It’s this team spirit and sense of commitment that makes our Senior Lifestyle fundraisers so successful. 

With planning already underway for next year’s The Longest Day, we’re now looking forward to participating in local Walk to End Alzheimer’s events in the next few weeks. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.” Team members, residents and families in our Senior Lifestyle communities are lacing up their walking shoes and taking steps to eliminate Alzheimer’s, and we hope you’ll join us! 

For information on a Senior Lifestyle community near you taking part in Walk to End Alzheimer’s and what you can do to support the goals of the Alzheimer’s Association, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is happening soon in your area, so join a team and support the cause! 

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.

 

Downsizing Tips For Seniors

Posted by in Expert Advice.

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

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

Some key tips for downsizing:

  1. Be clear on the size and layout of your loved one’s new living space. Keeping an item only to find that it just doesn’t fit into the new home’s area can be frustrating and time-consuming.
  2. Start with the least-used areas of your loved one’s home. The items in these areas may have slightly less sentimental value; therefore, decision-making will be a bit easier.
  3. Have a family get-together! If certain items are to be distributed to family members, sharing the history and memories attached to each object can be a meaningful way to pass them to new owners.
  4. Take photos. In addition to sharing the sentimental value of items shared, photos of the item with its new owner can ease the burden of parting with that item. Knowing that a cherished treasure will be well-loved may also aid in the “letting-go” process for your loved one.

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