Memory Care Therapies in Assisted Living

memory careIt’s safe to say that there are a wide range of assisted living communities available, and finding the right one means making sure it meets all your specifications when it comes to taking care of your loved one. There is no one path to aging. The journey is different for everyone, so how do you make sure an assisted living facility will be able to help your loved one with their unique needs?

Many people looking for assisted living worry about memory care, but not all assisted living communities offer memory care – or the same level of memory care. So how can you make sure your loved one will receive the care they need? Here are some things you might want to look out for (or ask about) when touring assisted living communities.

Color and Visual Aids

Sometimes, something as simple as using a color-ringed plate, or putting the toilet in front of a brightly colored wall can go a long way towards helping seniors with cognitive decline navigate their world and perform their day-to-day tasks. When visiting assisted living communities, look for signs that they make proper use of color and other visual aids to help residents navigate their space.

Architecture and Interior Design

Assisted living communities that make areas distinctive from one another (even if it’s just by using a different color scheme for each area) and clear walking paths make it easier for residents to navigate the building on their own. Exit doors can also be decorated with murals in order to distract residents from leaving (in addition to an alarm that will let staff know if a resident has, in fact, exited through one of the doors).

Light Therapy

Studies have shown that regular exposure to a specific spectrum of light throughout the day can help decrease anxiety, agitation, depression, and other symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. It can also help slow the decline of cognitive abilities for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. As a result, some assisted living communities have started using light therapy programs as a way to help residents regulate their circadian rhythms using dawn simulators inside their apartments, adjusting the colors and level of lights throughout the community during the day, and encouraging residents to go outside and get some exposure to the sun.

Sensory Stimulation

Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten what you came for, then returned to your spot, only to immediately remember what it was you needed? Returning to the location where you originally had that idea can help prompt it. It’s the reason why students are often advised to study in the same room where they’ll be taking the test.

Those same tricks can be used to help stimulate memories in those suffering from memory impairment. Memory boxes containing photos and mementos can be a great way to help residents remember certain events – they can also be placed outside of rooms in order to help residents identify which room is theirs.

Other assisted living communities have added other senses, such as taste, smell, music, and tactile art in order to help residents improve their memory and remain active members of the community. Some have even successfully incorporated residents into the cooking and baking process by using taste and smell to help them recall some of their early days in the kitchen.

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.

The Best Apps for Older People

apps for older peopleTechnology is developing faster than ever, leaving many senior citizens feeling left behind as they try to figure out what an app is, much less how it works. To help them with the transition, here are some of the best apps for older people:

  • Park ‘n’ Forget

We all have trouble remembering where we parked our car, especially as lots and garages get increasingly crowded this time of year. Park ‘n’ Forget for iPhone allows you to do just that – park your car and forget about it. When it’s time to leave, your phone will help you remember where you parked. It can even help keep track of time for metered parking spaces.

  • Lumosity

This app for iPhone was designed by neuroscientists to help keep memory sharp with hundreds of games and puzzles. It has been proven to improve recall and retention, making it perfect for those who worry about losing their memory as they get older.

  • Skype

Many senior citizens were wary of Facebook before they realized they could use it to see pictures of their grandchildren. Skype is the next level in bringing together friends and family members who have been separated by miles. Can’t make it to the assisted living facility to visit grandma this weekend? If she has Skype, you can just dial her number and have a quick face-to-face conversation with her and the kids. It won’t be the same as an in-person visit, but it will be better than a faceless phone call. It’s available for Android, iPhone, and iPad.

  • Pillboxie

This app for iPhone and iPad allows you to schedule the times when you take your different medications, and then it reminds you to take them at those times. You can even customize by color and sort your medications into a pillbox graphic on the app that contains sections to keep the medications separate. It will help you keep your medications organize and make sure you never forget to take your medications again.

  • Blood Pressure Monitor

This app for iPhone and iPad allows you to record and track your blood pressure and weight without a trip to the doctor’s office. It also provides information on health statistics, so you know where you stand and where you need to be in order to meet your health goals. You can even export this information to your doctor so they can have a regular record of how successful you’ve been at managing your blood pressure and weight, rather than the one time they measure it in the office.

  • Voice Reading

This app for Android can read text aloud from the Internet, emails, text messages, and text files. It’s ideal for seniors who might have trouble reading the tiny type presented on their smartphone screens. It can also help prevent further damage to their eyes by allowing them to look elsewhere while they listen to the app read aloud for them instead of spending an extended period of time looking at a backlit screen full of blue light, which is known to negatively affect our health.

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.

How to Make Healthier Choices While Enjoying the Holidays

Healthier Choices While Enjoying the HolidaysThe holidays tend to be a dreaded time of year for all ages who are trying to maintain our weight, or even shed some pounds. When we’re surrounded by so many unhealthy treats, what can we do to make healthier choices while enjoying the holidays?


When going to a holiday party, ask if you can bring a veggie tray or other healthy dish you know you love. That way you’ll know there will be something there you can eat. If you’re going out to a restaurant with some friends, look at the menu ahead of time (not when you’re hungry), choose the healthiest option and stick to it when you get there and place your order. Don’t even consider any other options.

Eating before you go out to a party or restaurant is also a good way to keep your calories and portion size down and make sure you know exactly what you’re eating.

Don’t Stand Next to the Food

Most parties have one room where all the food is laid out. Avoid that room. If you’re hungry, make yourself a plate with the healthiest offerings, sit down and eat it, and be done. The most important thing to avoid is eating all night long, and one of the best ways to avoid that is by loading up on healthy food right away. That, combined with keeping a safe distance from the food table after that will help you avoid all the tempting sweets.

Drink Water

We tend to consume a lot of alcohol around this time of year and that’s not healthy. It’s high in sugar, which spikes our blood sugar, which in turn makes us eat more when the sugar crash comes. It’s also hard on our livers, so if you do decide to indulge in some festive drinks this time of year, keep it to one alcoholic drink per party. The rest of the time, stick to water, which will help keep you hydrated. Make it sparkling water with some lime and it will look and feel like a gin and tonic, but your body won’t punish you for it the next morning.

Three Bites

When indulging in unhealthy foods, some people practice the “three-bite rule,” which means they enjoy three bites of it, and then they’re done. If you’re eating a piece of cake, three bites is usually about half the piece, depending on how big the slice is. Three bites could also be one cookie, brownie, or a couple pieces of fudge. Besides, after three bites you tend to stop really tasting it anyway, at which point you’re just shoving food in your mouth because you’re high on the combination of fat and sugar.


The point of parties is to see friends and family, new and old. Look at holiday parties not as a chance to stuff yourself with food and alcohol, but to talk with your friends and family members and even meet new people. Ask them how they’re doing and what they’re looking forward to next year. If you don’t know them, ask how they know the host(ess). If you’re talking, you can’t be eating.

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.

Top 5 Senior Scams and How to Avoid Them

senior scamsIt’s an unfortunate fact that seniors are prime targets for scammers. They are perceived as being more trusting and many of them have acquired savings and valuable assets to help get them through retirement. The combination is too tempting for many scammers to resist. Below are the five most common scams targeting seniors and how you can avoid them.

Congratulations! You’re a Winner!

Everyone likes to win. With all the stories of big lottery winners taking home millions of dollars, it’s exciting to think about what we would do if we won a lottery or giveaway of some type. Scammers take advantage of this by contacting unsuspecting targets and telling them they’ve won some sort of sweepstakes, but with a catch: the target has to pay to cover the taxes and fees before they can get their prize.

Winners never pay in order to receive their prize. That would defeat the purpose. Legitimate sweepstakes and lotteries have other forms of income to pay their bills, such as the tickets purchased by everyone who enters the lottery. Any time someone tells you that you have to pay to get a prize, hang up and report the incident to the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) right away.

An Exciting Investment Opportunity

Because many seniors are more concerned than ever about saving/investing for retirement, they are prime targets for investment fraud. Scammers will often call the target claiming they have a great investment opportunity for them with little-to-no risk and big returns.

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always consult a reliable, trustworthy financial analyst before making any big investments.

You Haven’t Paid Your Taxes

This scam has been targeting all age groups – not just seniors. Someone calls pretending to be from the IRS, saying the target has not paid their taxes, and if they don’t pay immediately, they’ll face serious consequences, such as a revoked drivers’ license or arrest.

The IRS does not call or email citizens. They use the postal service, and they should never be pushy or aggressive, which scam callers usually are to intimidate their targets into paying up. If you get a call or email claiming to be from the IRS and threatening you for not paying your taxes, feel free to hang up or delete the email, because it’s not legitimate.

I Need You to Bail Me Out

Another common scam is when the conperson calls pretending to be a relative who has been arrested abroad and needs to have money wired to them to bail them out.

In reality, that relative may never have been to that country at all. Be sure to contact other family members to confirm that person is really there and that the situation is legitimate. No one wants to leave a family member hanging in their hour of need, but you should never wire money anywhere without first confirming the person is who they say they are.

We Can Fix Those Windows For You

Some scammers show up on your doorstep offering home repair services you don’t need … or didn’t think you needed. These scammers get their targets to pay upfront for work that will be done at a later date. In reality, the work is poorly done or never done at all.

Never pay for services before you’ve received them. Most licensed contractors don’t go door-to-door soliciting work, but if you’re not sure, you can always ask for their business card and do your own research later.

What To Do When A Loved One Can’t Go Home From The Hospital

When A Loved One Can’t Go Home From The HospitalNo one likes hospitals and every patient is eager to get out of there as soon as possible. Once they escape the uncomfortable, sterile environment full of strangers, they just want to go home – to retreat to their own space. It’s perfectly normal for patients to want that, but what if it’s not an option?

For some aging patients, especially if they’re very sick, they may not be able to take care of themselves, and if they live alone, going home after the hospital could be dangerous. At that point, if you’re the caregiver, you’ll have some tough choices to make. No one can make them for you (though you can certainly ask for advice), but the decision will ultimately be yours and you will have to make it based on the needs of your loved one.

Home Care

In the best-case scenario, you might be able to hire someone to come in and help your loved one around the house. If your loved one needs help cooking and cleaning, but is otherwise healthy and self-sufficient (i.e. you don’t need to worry about them accidentally leaving the oven on or not being able to get out of bed on their own), a home nurse might be a good option. This is also a possibility when your loved one does live with someone (such as a partner or an adult child) who can look after them, but needs some help with the caretaking.

Whether or not this is an option will also depend on your financial situation and where your loved one lives. In some of the more rural areas, it might not be possible to get someone out there.

Assisted Living Facility

The last thing most patients want to do is move from a hospital to another strange environment, but if you’ve decided assisted living is the way to go, you’re going to have to convince your loved one it’s in their own best interests. Assisted living is a great option for people with a variety of needs. Most of them have different levels of care, so if your loved one is still relatively self-sufficient, but needs some help with daily tasks, an assisted living facility can be ideal. If they need more extensive care, they can also probably find what they need in an assisted living facility.

Nursing Home

If/when your loved one gets to the point of needing professional medical attention on a regular basis, they might need to go from the hospital to a nursing home. Like hospitals, nursing homes maintain a nursing staff 24/7. They cannot perform surgeries or run many of the tests that hospitals can perform, but they can help take care of patients with chronic and/or deteriorating medical conditions.


The worst-case scenario is hospice. This is for when it has become clear your loved one will never get better. Their condition will only continue to deteriorate until the end, and while keeping them in the hospital might delay the inevitable, few people would prefer to die in a hospital. Hospice can give them the care they need while helping to make them as comfortable as possible in their final days.

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 Decorating Tips for Assisted Living

Decorating Tips for Assisted LivingJust like you take time to decorate any space you move into, you should be sure to help your loved one to decorate their new space when they move into an assisted living facility. It’s their new home and it should feel like home, but it also needs to be safe. Here are 10 things to consider when helping your loved one decorate.

1) Consider your space.

The first thing you need to do before undertaking any decorating project is to consider the space you’ll be decorating. Take measurements so you know exactly what you’re working with as far as floor space, wall space, etc.

2) Almost anything can be storage.

Moving to an assisted living facility usually means downsizing. If someone has been accustomed to filling a big house with their possessions, moving into a one- or two-bedroom unit will be a big change for them, but you can make it easier by finding clever ways to store things that don’t need to be on hand or on display at all times. Ottomans and trunks can provide storage space while also being decorative and serving another purpose in the space. Storage space doesn’t have to be limited to closets and under the bed.

3) Remember to prevent falls whenever possible.

This means no rugs or anything cluttering the floor, clear visibility and plenty of lighting throughout the unit, and plenty of sturdy things to hold onto as they make their way through the apartment.

4) Colors matter.

The colors we are surrounded by can have a significant, if subconscious, effect on our health and wellbeing. Blues, greens, and yellows are most often associated with healing, so be sure to include those as much as possible in your space.

5) Use round, non-glass furniture.

Falls should be prevented whenever possible, but even the best layout can’t prevent all falls. If they do happen, falling onto sharp corners and/or glass furniture can make the damage so much worse – even fatal. So use round, non-glass furniture throughout the unit.

6) Avoid busy patterns or designs with dark spots.

Busy patterns can cause confusion and agitation in those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, while dark spots can look like holes or splotches of dirt to those with impaired vision.

7) Don’t forget tactile.

Decorating is about more than what we see. Texture plays a big role, so aside from making the resident comfortable, you should also consider using different fabrics, such as felt, denim, and lace. They can excite the senses and help boost memory.

8) Encourage social interaction.

If the resident loves certain games, keep those games readily available so they can be pulled out and played any time a visitor comes. Place interesting artwork and memorabilia in various places to encourage conversation.

9) Bring the outside in.

This is especially important if the resident can’t make it outside much. By including artwork that’s evocative of nature, as well as actual plants (if permissible) you’ll create a more healing environment that has been proven to boost overall mood, as well as health.

10) Have Fun

Decorating is a creative way of expressing yourself and the personality of the person/people inhabiting that space. Above all, never forget to have fun with it and include the input of the person/people who will be living there.

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.

How To Recognize Signs That It’s Time For Assisted Living

time for assisted livingMaking the choice to put a loved one into an assisted living facility can be one of the most difficult choices we have to make as adults. It can be a painful process that’s often met with resistance from those who are most in need of assistance with day-to-day chores and activities, but you must remain firm. In order to do that, it helps to know for sure that it really is time for your loved one to go to an assisted living facility.

You’re Afraid To Leave Them Alone

Even the most capable of us have times when we forget to turn off the oven or unplug the iron, but if it happens regularly, it might be time to consider an assisted living facility. Many people can continue taking care of themselves well into their golden years, but if your loved one appears to be slipping in even the most basic aspects of self-care, you should probably start looking for an assisted living facility for them.

Changes in Housekeeping

Failing to maintain their normal level of cleanliness around the house and/or hoarding can both be signs that their ability to care for themselves is declining and they need help.

The Level Of Care They Need Continues To Rise

Many people try to take care of their senior friends and family members themselves by having them live with them. This can be a great way to make sure they remain an active part of the family, but if the amount of care they need rises too high, it can become a problem for all of you. There’s only so much friends and family can do, and when the level of care needed by the senior citizen starts to rise above and beyond what you can provide, it’s time to start looking for professional help.


Wandering can be one of the earliest signs of cognitive decline if your loved one tries to go to a store that no longer exists or insists on shopping at odd hours. When that starts to happen, their confusion could potentially put them in dangerous situations. You can do your best to keep an eye on them, but you cannot possibly watch them 24/7. What you’ll need instead is an assisted living facility with the resources necessary to care for your loved one and make sure they don’t wander off.


Paranoia can take all sorts of forms, from hiding money in various places around the house to outright accusing friends and family members of trying to harm or trick them. It’s a common sign of aging, as well as cognitive decline from a variety of sources (Alzheimer’s, stroke, etc.). It can be especially difficult to convince a paranoid senior to move into an assisted living facility, but it’s more necessary than ever. Paranoid individuals can often end up hurting themselves by accident and no one wants to take that risk with their loved ones.

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.

How to Keep Holiday Traditions Alive in Assisted Living

holidays in assisted living

As the song says, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. But for some seniors, this season can be stressful. The holiday season is full of traditions and memories that can trigger emotions, even loneliness. It’s up to caregivers to lift the spirits of our seniors and help remember the good times while creating new memories that can be thought upon for years to come.

At Stillwater Senior Living, we are getting in the spirit of the season in much the same way families here in Edwardsville, IL do. We encourage our residents to get involved in the many holiday activities that are happening between now and the end of the year. Time with friends, family and neighbors is really the reason for the season. It can be the best medicine for beating stress and confusion that can be brought on by the holidays.

The following are some tips that will help you to help your loved one get into the holiday spirit and enjoy the season.


One of the best ways to get your loved ones in the holiday spirit is to encourage them to decorate their personal living space. Bring them some special ornaments to hang on their own personal tree. Having grandchildren assist in the decorating can create special memories while making their living space cozy and warm.

Baking and Cooking

Seniors often have special recipes that they have passed down to loved ones. Why not include them in the baking and cooking process? They would find a lot of joy in assisting their grandchildren with baking those special Christmas cookies and decorating them.

Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane

Encourage your loved one to talk about loved ones from their past and share their stories of Christmases past. It can help lift their spirits and keep them feeling happy the whole season long. Look at old photo albums, home movies, and listen to holiday music to help bring back memories of happy holiday memories of the past.

Holiday Cards

Get a box of holiday cards and have your loved one help you address them. Keeping in touch with friends and family during the holiday season can bring your loved one lots of joy. They will also have joy when they get cards in return from family and friends across the country.

Holiday Outings

Take your loved one on a shopping trip. They can buy gifts for their friends and loved ones. The sun during the day will do them so good. Seniors that get out in the sunlight are less likely to suffer from seasonal affective disorder. At night, take them on a drive to look at Christmas lights. If it’s cold outside, bring along a thermos of hot chocolate to keep them warm. A blanket might be a good idea as well.

Holidays are built upon tradition. They strengthen the bonds with our loved ones. They influence our mood and bring us joy. These traditions are meant to be forever. Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we encourage our residents to keep family traditions alive and share them with other residents.

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

Why Technology in a Senior Living Community Matters

technology in a senior living communityToday’s seniors are living longer, fuller lives and it is becoming more relevant as to why technology in a Senior Living Community matters. They, and their families, are looking for housing options that match their wants and needs. Seniors want to live as independently as possible, but have the option of help if they need it. Senior living communities are seen more and more as the perfect solution to have help standing by, as well as the social opportunities that come from such a community.

Technology is a big part of how the senior lifestyle is changing. According to recent research data, almost 60% of today’s seniors go online, and nearly 80% have a cell phone. Even though seniors have been a little slow to jump on the technology bandwagon, their tech savvy continues to grow.

As a matter of fact, state-of-the-art technology services are starting to become a prerequisite when seniors and their families are evaluating housing choices. With technology now being a requirement, communities are being upgraded and built with that in mind. For a newer community, including technology is a given. One way communities are catering to today’s seniors is by making sure Wi-Fi is available.

Technology Is Not Just for Leisure Anymore

Technology is not just for leisure. Many senior communities are incorporating advanced technology to improve efficiency and provide a safer environment for their residents. For instance, some skilled nursing communities are using sensory patches that can monitor how often a person turns while they are sleeping. This helps caregivers to determine when assistance may be needed during the night.

Technology can track caregivers and determine response time when a resident calls for help. It can also monitor who goes in and out of the room. In many places, this technology can be used to monitor a resident’s medication schedule. When a caregiver gives a resident their medication, they can enter the time the medicine was given into the database so the person on the next shift knows when to give the next dose.

An example of our technology would be the R-Care System we use. R-Care is a provider of tested wireless nurse call and personal emergency response systems for the entire spectrum of senior living. R-Care components integrate into a variety of healthcare communication systems to create verifiable and efficient responses to medical emergencies. R-Care works with a distribution partner to build and individualized and flexible system to enhance caregiving and quality of life. We are proud to say that we are the only community in the area that offers such technology.

Technology plays a very important role in how we care for the health and safety of our residents here at Stillwater Senor Living. To find out more about our community and how we use technology to care for our seniors, CONTACT US TODAY for more information and to schedule a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.