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Posts Tagged ‘help seniors to get involved’

Making the Transition to Assisted Living

Making the Transition to Assisted LivingMoving is never easy, and the older we get, the harder these transitions can become. The combination of having accumulated a lifetime of personal belongings and the physical challenges that come with old age and illness can make it hard to move one’s entire life into another, smaller living space. It takes planning and work, so we’ve come up with a few hints to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Plan Ahead

Know what your loved one can and cannot bring with them into assisted living. If your loved one has pets they can’t bring with them, make arrangements for the pet to go to someone who will care for it. Your loved one will almost certainly be downsizing from their current home into assisted living, so you’ll need to decide what to bring along and what to leave behind. Get a list of everything that will be provided by the assisted living community so you can get an idea of what gaps will need to be filled in. Then you need to decide what to do with everything that stays behind. Will it go into storage? Get sold at an estate sale? Whatever you and your loved one decide to do, you’ll need to make arrangements, not only for them, but for all their stuff.

Pro tip: if the assisted living community is helping with laundry, be sure to label all your loved one’s clothes and sheets so they don’t get lost.

Get Help

We know how tempting it is to try to do everything on your own, but that’s a recipe for burnout and resentment. Avoid falling into that trap by getting help. Make a list of everything that needs to be done (ideally you would have already done that during the planning phase) and ask friends, family and neighbors for help. The assisted living community that will become your loved one’s new home has had lots of practice with this, so be sure to ask them. If it’s not something they can help with directly, they’re sure to know someone who can.

Personalize It

Your loved one should be involved in every step of the process. Moving is always hard, so make it as easy as possible for them by letting them help you pack so you can ask them about keepsakes. Having them tell stories about their collections and pictures can be not only therapeutic for them, but eye opening for you.

When you’re moving everything into their new apartment, try to make it look as much like their former home as possible. Make sure the furniture, lamps, wall hangings, and knickknacks are all in the same or similar arrangement. Making the place feel as familiar as possible can help ease the transition.

Get Active

Not only has your loved one just been placed in a new home, but they have also moved to an entirely new community where they might not know anyone. The effect can feel a lot like the first day of school, so help them adjust by reviewing the list of available activities and helping them pick out a few they like to make it easier for them to find people with similar interests. You can even attend a few events with them to see how it goes.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.


Can Grandparenting Help Prevent Alzheimer’s?

Can Grandparenting Help Prevent Alzheimer’sAlthough no one knows for sure what really causes Alzheimer’s or dementia, there have been a number of studies showing that staying active, both physically and mentally, can help prevent Alzheimer’s, dementia, and a host of other chronic illnesses. Well, guess what tends to keep us physically and mentally active? Children.

So, it stands to reason that looking after grandchildren could help ward of Alzheimer’s and dementia, right?

In fact, the science supports this theory. In 2014, the Women’s Health Aging Project (WHAP) published the results of their study looking at the cognitive function of more than 180 women, from the ages of 57 to 68, who regularly helped look after their grandchildren. The WHAP gave the participants three different mental acuity tests throughout the duration of the study in order to measure the women’s working memory and mental processing speed. The study found that the women who helped look after their grandchildren one day per week performed significantly better on the mental agility tests, suggesting they might have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.

The women who helped look after their grandchildren for five or more days per week performed worse on the mental agility tests, which initially suggested that they might be at a higher risk of developing some sort of neurodegenerative disease. But on closer inspection, researchers noticed that the participants who looked after their grandchildren more often tended be older and have lower levels of education, both of which tend to contribute to mental decline. Once those factors were taken into account, they found the women looking after their grandchildren five or more days per week actually performed better on verbal fluency tests. The only area where they suffered a decline was in their ability to conduct numerical reasoning, which could be a symptom of fatigue or stress resulting from caring for children on a daily or near-daily basis.

Although no one is sure why this link between grandparenting and Alzheimer’s exists, some have suggested that the increase in social interaction is key to warding off a sense of isolation, depression, and other mental disorders.

The Institute on Aging at Boston College conducted another study that looked at the habits of almost 400 grandparents and more than 300 grandchildren over a span of 19 years. They found that the important factor appeared to be the bond between the grandparents and grandchildren – the stronger the bond, the better off the grandparents were. This remained true of grandparents who both gave and received support, so if you have an aging parent or loved one who needs a little help in their day-to-day activities, getting your kids or nieces and nephews to help out could turn out to be beneficial for everyone.

There aren’t as many studies showing how grandchildren benefit from spending time with their grandparents, but there are plenty of studies showing that having close ties to family and a strong support group at home tends to lead to better performance in school and more success later in life. There’s no reason grandparents can’t be a part of that equation.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Fun Activities for Children Visiting Their Grandparents in Assisted Living

children visiting grandparents in assisted livingChildren visiting their grandparents in assisted living can be a challenge. While you want to make sure the grandparents have a chance to play an active role in the lives of their grandchildren, kids (especially small kids) are easily bored and are not always able to understand why grandma and grandpa can’t participate in certain activities. In order to avoid this pitfall, we’ve come up with a list of fun activities that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Arts and Crafts

Who doesn’t love arts and crafts? It’s a chance for everyone to express themselves creatively. You can draw pictures, make masks, make ornaments, make a bird house out of popsicle sticks and then paint it. This is not only fun, but the end results will show off everyone’s individual personality. They can make great conversation starters by giving you an opportunity to ask each person why they made the creative choices they did.

When the holidays come around, you can buy a gingerbread house kit that everyone can assemble and decorate together.


Games are a great way to bring families together, and there are so many different kinds that it’s easy to find something everyone can manage. If the grandparents enjoy card games, many of those are easy to teach to kids. You can even have the grandparents teach the kids older card games that they might not be familiar with, such as Bridge or Go Fish.

Board games like Chutes and Ladders and Scrabble are also great for family members of all ages. Who knows? The kids might even learn something while having fun (it’s OK, we won’t tell them).

Go for A Walk

Walks are great for everyone and they’re an especially good idea when the little ones start getting restless. Discourage the kids from running ahead by asking them to spot certain plants and animals. You can use a book or just your smartphone to identify the kinds of birds, trees, and flowers you spot on your walk. Make it into a game by seeing who can name more than anyone else.

Bake Something

Who doesn’t love cookies? Kids love learning how to make their favorite foods from scratch, and you can include the grandparents by asking them to show everyone how to make one of their signature recipes. For some extra points, you can decorate the cookies afterwards.

Cakes and cupcakes are also a lot of fun to decorate together. You can either bring a pre-made cake or cupcakes without frosting, or you can choose a simple recipe that’s easy for the kids to follow as active participants in the process, then decorate afterwards.

We even have a full kitchen in our fireside lounge where you can do this together!

What Does Your Family Like to Do?

Every family has their own traditions, so think about some of the things your family has always done together. They’re usually things that people of all ages can enjoy together, so you can help keep the tradition alive by introducing it to the new generation, while including the past generation.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

10 Healthy Hobbies for Seniors

hobbies for seniorsHobbies are a great way for retired citizens to stay active, both physically and mentally and the importance of having a hobby in our golden years is backed up by an increasing body of evidence. If you or a loved one are considering what to do with your retirement years, here are 10 healthy hobbies seniors can start/develop.

1) Volunteering

One of the most detrimental effects of retirement is it tends to make people feel like they are no longer useful. It often leads to them feeling cut off from society, which in turn leads to depression and a variety of health issues. Volunteering can combat those feelings by giving seniors a purpose again and a way to become active in the community.

2) Exercise

We’re all told to exercise and maintain physical activity throughout our lives and it’s even more important to continue doing so as we age. From walking to yoga there’s something for everyone, including those whose mobility is limited as they get older. Swimming is especially popular among seniors who often suffer from joint pain as a result of lost cartilage.

3) Gardening

Many studies have been done on the health benefits of gardening. To start with, it gets you outside and moving, both things that are known to boost mood, immune system function, and overall health. You can make it an even healthier activity by growing some of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

4) Music

Whether singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, or all three, music is a great way to keep minds and bodies feeling young. It’s enjoyable, provides mental and physical stimulation, and can be done with a partner or in a group for an added social aspect.

5) Games

Psychologists have long known about the long-term health benefits of things like crossword puzzles and that continues to be true for all mentally challenging games. People of all ages who play games like Scrabble and chess exhibit enhanced cognitive function.

6) Arts and Crafts

There’s nothing like creating something with your own hands. Arts and crafts can keep seniors active, maintain/improve their coordination, and provide a creative outlet for their thoughts and feelings.

7) Learn a New Skill

They say you learn something new everyday and that should remain true right up until the end. If you’ve always wondered how to identify birds or poisonous plants, your retirement years just might be the perfect time to find the answers to all those questions that have been plaguing you your whole life – or the last five minutes.

8) Fermentation

If you’ve always wanted to try making your own beer or wine, there’s no time like the present.

9) Creative Writing

Writing is another form of expression and a great option for people of any age. Whether you want to use your retirement years to put together that novel you’ve always wanted to write, or just short stories for your own amusement, creative writing has proven benefits for cognitive and emotional health.

10) Keep a Pet

There’s nothing like have a living, sentient being literally depend on you for survival to make you feel needed and useful. It’s also a symbiotic relationship because having a pet is known to improve mood and immune function while reducing stress and blood pressure.

The need to stay active is so important in the life of a senior. There are many options for seniors to stay active. Here at Stillwater Senior Living, our staff can provide stimulating activities to keep our seniors engaged and occupied. 

CONTACT US TODAY to find out ore and take a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Four Ways Assisted Living Helps Seniors to Get Involved

help seniors to get involvedIt is so important that seniors find meaningful things to do during their golden years. They tend to have more time on their hands than they had in the past. It has been proven through research that a sense of purpose may improve a senior’s physical and emotional health. This in turn could lead to a longer life. Today’s assisted living communities know how important socialization and activities are to the needs of their residents. They are doing their best to offer several different options, including community involvement, socialization, and entertainment. This can help their residents live longer and happier lives.

Assisted living communities encourage seniors to get involved by realizing the varying degree of their abilities. They offer several kinds of activities so there is something for everyone to get involved in. This will allow a resident to choose an activity that is both interesting to them a fitting to their needs and abilities.

Here are four different ways that senior communities are getting their residents involved:

Field Trips– It can be a shopping trip, a sports game, or a trip to a local museum to soak up culture and history. Besides entertainment, these trips can be helpful in keeping senior’s minds young and engaged, which will improve their mental health.

Classes– What better way to sharpen a senior’s mind than learning a new skill or hobby! The possibilities are endless including painting, cooking classes, book clubs, and computer classes. Computer classes can teach seniors to keep in touch with friends and relatives through social media. Learning to use the internet also helps them to keep up with current events in the news. Book clubs are great for avid readers and encourage conversation among the residents. It’s a great way to make new friends. Cooking classes are great for learning a new skill and exchanging cherished recipes.

Fitness– Many assisted living communities offer classes like yoga or tai chi. Some communities even have personal trainers and physical therapists to help create senior-friendly workouts to encourage healthy living habits. Dancing is also a great way for seniors to get exercise. You can hold a Friday night dance party to get seniors to socialize and stay active. It keeps residents social and physical fit.

Volunteering– Many seniors find meaning and purpose through volunteering. They can hand out brochures to prospective new residents, help to give tours of the community, help others wrap gifts for the holidays, and sit with a sick friend so they don’t have to be alone. Putting a smile on the face of a neighbor is sure to put a smile on their own face.

The need to stay involved is so important in the life of a senior. There are many options available to help a senior stay involved. Here at Stillwater Senior Living, our staff can provide stimulating activities to keep our seniors engaged and occupied.

CONTACT US TODAY to find out ore and take a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.