All posts by Integral Senior Living

ISL Communities Celebrate National Assisted Living Week®

Communities recognize deep connections between staff, residents during national observance

The ISL communities that offer assisted living for residents take part in the annual week long festivities celebrating National Assisted Living Week®. From September 10-16, ISL communities embrace this year’s theme, “Family is Forever” through a variety of activities.

The “Family is Forever” theme for National Assisted Living Week was inspired by a quote from the famed poet Maya Angelou: “Family isn’t always blood, it’s the people in your life who want you in theirs: the ones who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”

“When moving a loved one into an assisted living community, you want the peace of mind that they will receive the utmost care by professionals who will treat them like their own family. At our communities, we could not take this responsibility more seriously,” said Collette Valentine-Gray, CEO/COO of ISL. “We want to take this National Assisted Living Week to thank our amazing staff who consistently go above the call of duty and innately develop deep connections with our residents.”

National Assisted Living Week was created by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) in 1995 to recognize the role of assisted living in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities. The annual observance inspires assisted living communities around the country to offer a variety of events and activities to celebrate the individuals they serve, as well as to help educate members of the public about this distinct aspect of long term care.

For more information on National Assisted Living Week, visit www.nalw.org, and to find an ISL community in your area which offers assisted living visit www.isl.com/communities.

 

ISL Embraces Theme of Active Aging Week

Older adults “Ignite Your Passion” September 24-30, 2017
The eyes of the world are watching as older adults transform outdated concepts about “seniors” into the new realities of active aging, the philosophy that people can optimize their physical, social and mental well-being throughout their lives. As older adults progress on their journey through life, they have many choices. Active Aging Week September 24-30, 3027 is organized by the International Council on Active Aging®, as a national observance to highlight the diverse opportunities available to older adults. ISL is embracing the theme “Ignite Your Passion” by encouraging tours throughout the week for those interested in learning more about how senior living communities makes active aging a reality at any age.

 

Established in 2003, Active Aging Week highlights the passion that people have for life and new experiences at any age. This is right along the lines of ISL’s very popular Vibrant Life® program. Vibrant Life® is an innovative approach designed for enhancing and enriching residents’ lives across seven core components for well-rounded and meaningful experiences.

While the week-long campaign calls attention to and wholeheartedly celebrates the positivity of aging today, Vibrant Life does it 365 days a year. Both showcase the capabilities of older adults as fully participating members of society and spotlights the role models that lead the way.

A Vibrant Life Celebrated at Mountain Ridge Senior Living

 

Mountain Ridge Senior Living knows a thing or two about making life vibrant for its residents through its innovative Vibrant Life® program developed by ISL. The Vibrant Life program consists of four Signature Programs developed as a way to help ensure the community provides quality programming that contributes to the overall well-being and self-worth of its residents. One component of the program is “Livin’ the Dream” designed to take residents dreams and make them a reality. Well, the staff at Mountain Ridge did just this recently for one resident, Belle Willis.

Belle’s 94th birthday was on the horizon, and staff asked the bright presence and Marine veteran at the assisted living community what she wanted for her birthday.
“I said I wanted to drive the Mountain Ridge bus, never dreaming ever that there would be a chance,” Willis explained.
Cheryl Schmid, senior vibrant life director at Mountain Ridge started working on making her wish come true through their “Livin’ the Dream” program. Schmidt contacted the local high school for permission to use one of their parking lots as the driving course. The family was notified with more than a dozen showing up, and residents were bussed over to cheer Willis as she drove.
With a seatbelt secured over her bright red blouse, Willis adjusted her driving cap and reached to grip the gearshift lever, pulling it toward her. Willis hit the horn twice and let her foot off the brake letting out a loud “yahoo,” starting her first lap around the parking lot.
The Ogden Police Department even took part in the day presenting Belle with a certificate in recognition of “her completion of the Mountain Ridge Driving Course.”
After her drive, Belle sat in her wheelchair taking photos and visiting with family.
“This is all so wonderful, and the people there — they are just top notch,” Belle said of the Mountain Ridge staff.
As for any future plans of adventure, she isn’t so sure. “I wanted to live to be 100, but I don’t know,” Willis said with a grin, “If I keep pulling stunts like this, I won’t be able to make it.”

To learn and see more about Belle’s “Livin the Dream” check out the wonderful video at https://www.facebook.com/MountainRidgeAssistedLiving/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

ISL communities are assisting residents to live the Vibrant Life®! To learn more about Vibrant Life, contact any ISL community near you https://islllc.com/communities.

Reverting Back to the Past

Why do people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias retain older memories?

Caregivers and family members of adults with Alzheimer’s and other dementias notice their loved ones often talk about the distant past—and sometimes believe they’re still living in those times long ago.

People with dementia start to lose the ability to capture, retain, and retrieve recent memories—sometimes things that happened just a few moments ago. But longer-term memories, which are well encoded in a person’s brain, tend to remain strong longer than recent events. And memories of children, work, childhood, and other past events that are happy ones have likely been revisited often during the person’s life, so they’re more entrenched in the brain, and more easily recalled.

As the disease progresses, long-term memories will be affected as well, and the person will have greater difficulty accurately recalling things that happened a long time ago.

How should you respond?

Families and friends of those with dementia often do not know how to respond when their loved ones keep talking about times long in the past—especially when the older adult believes that those times are taking place right now.

Instead of correcting, criticizing, or arguing, families and caregivers might try to enter their older loved one’s reality, thereby building trust and empathy, and reducing anxiety. Known as “validation therapy,” many families and caregivers use this technique instinctively without knowing its name.

Another technique called “reminiscence therapy” can enliven mood, increase well-being, and promote pleasant behavior in adults with dementia as well as those around them. This technique emphasizes active discussion of past activities, events, and experiences—often with help of photographs, music, and familiar items.

Here are some tips for connecting with those with dementia when they’re “living in the past.”

  • Encourage reminiscing. People with dementia (like the rest of us) want to connect and talk. Sharing memories is a happy activity.
  • Try not to force the person to remember things that happened recently. Doing so often creates frustration and agitation—for both of you.
  • Try using a familiar object to prompt conversation: a favorite book, a souvenir from a vacation, a “vintage” item of clothing.
  • Consider making a photo album that tells the person’s life story. You can make it together and revisit it often. Perhaps keep adding recent photos.

How to Stay Hydrated During the Hot Summer Months Tips for helping seniors get enough fluids in warmer weather

Everyone need water for countless physical reasons- from keeping joins moving to protecting organs. In hot weather, our bodies lose water more rapidly than usual and seniors are especially at risk. Senior adults have risk factors, such as a reduced sense of thirst and decreased kidney function, that can hinder the body’s ability to cope with warm temperatures or low hydration.

If you know a senior who shows signs of confusion, dry mouth, slurred speech, and altered behavior, especially in hot weather, you might mistake these as normal symptoms of age. But these signs might indicate the health-threatening effects of dehydration.

Studies show that even a 2 percent reduction in body water weight (only 3 pounds on a 150-pound person) can impair short-term memory, attention span, and visual-motor tracking.

For good health and optimal cognitive function during the summer months, these tips can help your senior loved ones stay well hydrated.

All fluids help. All fluids contribute to hydration, not just plain water. Tea, coffee, juices, milk, and soups add fluids—but not alcohol, which is severely dehydrating. The amount of caffeine in tea and coffee does not discount the fluid in them, even if they have a slight diuretic effect, says the National Research Council’s Food and Nutrition Board.

Get water from foods. Eat foods that naturally contain water. Research shows that only 70 to 80 percent of our daily hydration needs to come from water; 20 to 30 percent can come from foods. All whole fruits and vegetables contain water, but these contain the highest amounts:

  • 97% water: Cucumbers
  • 96% water: Celery
  • 95% water: Tomatoes, radishes
  • 93% water: Red, yellow, green bell peppers
  • 92% water: Cauliflower, watermelon
  • 91% water: Spinach, strawberries, broccoli
  • 90% water: Grapefruit

Infuse water with natural flavors. Add slices of lemons, limes, oranges, berries, or cucumbers to pitchers of fresh water, and then refrigerate. You’ll have a refreshing, flavorful, natural beverage with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives.

Use a refillable water bottle. Avoid throwaway plastic water bottles that harm the environment. Of the 50 billion plastic water bottles Americans buy each year, 80 percent end up in landfills. Instead, buy a BPA-free refillable water bottle, and keep the bottle nearby so your senior is more likely to sip throughout the day. Also, using just one refillable bottle helps seniors keep track of daily fluid intake.

Remember to stay hydrated this summer!

A Vibrant Lifestyle in Stonecrest of Troy’s Generations Community

At Stonecrest of Troy Senior Living, the community aims to give its residents the best and most meaningful life through Vibrant Life®, an innovative program developed by ISL. Vibrant Life® uses recreational therapy, pet therapy, art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy and much more to restore, remediate and rehabilitate the quality of life of residents.

“We are connected with the local community and provide exciting outings to our Troy Community Center and Troy Historical Village. We also have a wonderful Wellness Program made possible by our very own Vibrant Life Director, Sue Wilkins who is also an avid yogi.  But we like to keep our residents connected with our staff and community as well, so we also have Church services, Coffee with a Cop, Chat with our Concierge, musical entertainment by local artists, and not to mention Music and Memory,” said Jessic Peyerk, Stonecrest of Troy Generations Vibrant Life Director.

Music and Memory is a music therapy program where residents in the community’s Generations memory care area have the opportunity to access their own personal playlists using iPod shuffles.  And the Crafting Corner in Generations is always a big hit.

“Just the other day, the residents made a banner for our Fathers Day BBQ made out of ties!” adds Jessica.

ISL’s Vibrant Life® program consists of seven core components that foster the overall well-being of residents.

  1. Be Inspired— Gain a deeper sense of spirituality & feed the soul!
  2. Be Well— Intellectual stimulation, get moving & stay active!
  3. Be Challenged— Ignite competitive spirit, learn, grow & motivate!
  4. Be Adventurous— Try something new every day, explore & experience the unique!
  5. Be Family— Cherish family connections, share & continue family traditions!
  6. Be Social— Embrace friendships, celebrate the moments, talk, laugh & listen!
  7. Be Connected— Engage in meaningful community involvement, share experiences & expertise!

The community, like all ISL communities have four Signature Programs to ensure residents experience a Vibrant Life®.

  1. PATH TO WELLNESS is a program that encompasses all aspects of wellness with tiers of achievement to encourage participation and provide the satisfaction of personal accomplishment.
  2. LIVIN’ THE DREAM is a program designed to take our residents dreams and make them a reality.
  3. THIS IS YOUR LIFE encourages social connectivity. Individual residents are showcased throughout the year to share their life stories and personal accomplishments.
  4. VIBRANT LIFE® INSPIRES promotes the ability to give back to the local community through charitable endeavors.

ISL communities are assisting residents to live the Vibrant Life®! To learn more about Vibrant Life, contact any ISL community near you

https://islllc.com/communities.

Who Says Summer is Just for Kids?

Summer can be the best season of all for seniors

The summer is a wonderful time for seniors to go outside, enjoy the fresh air and engage in events and activities, many of which bring back thoughts of favorite childhood memories. Now that the long, hot summer days are in full swing seniors should seize the moment. ISL communities celebrate summer with events and activities that take advantage of the season.

ISL suggests some ideas to make summer enjoyable for seniors

  • Pools, Lakes, and Oceans: If you are trying to plan for summer fun begin with a list of nearby watering holes where you can cool down.
  • Collecting Memories: Often times we only think of the holidays as a time to reminisce. But since so many memories come from summer, write down and share your summer memories with loved ones.
  • Museums: When you think of a cool indoor site you may not immediately think of a museum, but if there is one near you it’s worth checking out summer season specials.
  • Jams, Jellies and Preserves: Seniors were a part of a generation that didn’t allow summer’s bounty to slip through their fingers. Enjoy making jams, jellies, and preserves this summer, and think about teaching someone younger how to do it.
  • Family get-togethers outdoor style: The summertime is a good time to invite family over because you can use the outdoors as part of your entertaining space. Make it easy and ask everyone to bring a favorite dish.
  • Cold Drinks/Cool Cubes: It is especially important for seniors to drink plenty of liquids in the summer heat. Make ice cubes out of your favorite juices or coffee to add a real zip in your next cool drink.
  • Walks: With warm weather and extended daylight, take a walk in the early to mid morning or around dinnertime, avoid midday heat.
  • We all Scream for Ice Cream: Buy a box or two of your favorite ice cream at the grocer or head out for this all American cold treat, it is truly one of life’s pleasures. The all time favorite is still vanilla.
  • Light Reading: Visit the library and pick up a hearted book that fits the mood of the season- light and easy or full of old time summer nostalgia.

Integral Senior Living Adds Regional Director

Integral Senior Living (ISL), a premier senior living management company, is pleased to announce it has hired Allison Singler as a new Regional Director of Sales and Marketing. In her role, Allison is responsible for overseeing the sales and marketing efforts of several ISL communities.

“We are excited to have Allison join our management team, she brings energy, expertise and compassion to her role,” said Collette Valentine, CEO/COO of ISL. “Allison’s extensive sales and marketing experience in senior living is a benefit to the communities she works with and to ISL.”

Allison has nearly 20 years of experience in the senior living and real estate industries. Most recently she was a Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Harbor Retirement Associates. Prior to which she was a Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Enlivant for three years.  Allison started her senior living career with Emeritus in 1998 and returned to the industry with them in 2012 after 10 years in residential real estate working for Coldwell Banker and Virginia Cook Realtors. She is a board member of the YMCA/camp Grady Spruce and has a passion for senior living and growing the teams she supports.

About ISL

Integral Senior Living headquartered in Carlsbad, CA, manages a progressive selection of senior residences to meet the growing needs of today’s aging population. It currently manages 60 independent, assisted living and memory care properties throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Washington. It is ranked the 20th largest senior living provider in the U.S. according to Senior Living Executive. ISL is founded on a care philosophy that fosters dignity and respect for residents and promotes their independence and individuality. The dedicated staff at each community is trained to maintain the highest standards of senior care services. For more information about ISL, visit Integral Senior Living’s website, blog and Facebook page.

Father’s Day Activities for Senior Dads

Instead of buying a gift, accompany your dad on an outing

If your senior dad lives in a longtime residence or in a senior-living facility, he likely lacks the space—or the interest! —In accumulating more stuff. For this Father’s Day on Sunday, June 18, how about taking your dad on a “date” for a fun activity? Here are suggestions for places he might love to visit.

Drive him to visit a friend.

Especially if your dad doesn’t drive much anymore, he’d likely enjoy getting out of the house and being chauffeured to see an old friend, a sibling, or someone he’s fond of but hasn’t seen for a while. Consider bringing a basket of foods to snack on: fresh fruit, cut veggies, cheese, sparkling water—and, if appropriate, beer or wine.

Root for the home team.

If your dad’s a baseball fan, take him to a Major League game. Some cities have minor league teams that are fun to watch and the crowds are not as overwhelming. Or maybe a grandchild, nephew or niece, or neighborhood kid has a nearby Little League game. Enjoy the sunshine, the roar of the crowd, and the salted peanuts.

Head for the water.

Is there a nearby beach, lake, or river? Pack a picnic basket, spread out a blanket, set up portable beach chairs, and watch the sunrays dance on the water.

Visit a winery or microbrewery.

Dads who like an occasional taste of a hard beverage would probably appreciate a tour of a local winery or microbrewery. Many of these places serve lunch or offer snacks—along with free samples of their wares.

Fore!

If your dad’s in fine health and golf is his sport, treat him to a round on a local course. Depending on how good your game is, this excursion might be more fun for him than for you—but maybe he’ll let you zoom around in the golf cart.

June Is National Audiobook Month

Discover the benefits of audiobooks for seniors

Sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association in the month of June, National Audiobook Month promotes the pleasures of experiencing books through listening. Summertime, with its relaxed pace and longer days, is perfect for diving into good books, a lifelong diversion that seniors might reluctantly set side because of physical and cognitive challenges such as vision loss, arthritis, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating. But through the use of audiobooks, many seniors continue the joy of “reading” a good book.

The experience of listening to gifted “voice actors” narrate a book can be captivating for readers of any age, and the format of audiobooks can be especially suited to older folks’ needs and lifestyles. Here’s why audiobooks can be an amazing resource for seniors.

Hands-free reading.

Seniors with vision impairment or other health-related issues that make traditional book reading difficult can enjoy the ease of putting on favorite headphones and getting immersed in a fascinating narrative. Small, portable electronic devices give seniors the option of listening while moving around living areas doing chores or stepping outside for a walk.

An uplifting distraction.

Getting lost in a good audiobook can be a diversion from pain, boredom, loneliness, anxiety, and other conditions common to seniors. Bibliotherapy, which has long been used with traditional book reading but can be as effective with audiobooks, has been linked with positive cognitive, social, and psychological outcomes, including alleviating depression. Listening to audiobooks provides cognitive stimulation and a delightful way to “see the world” when other options are not as accessible.

The joys of being read to.

Listening to a book being read aloud is a calming, comforting, and engaging experience that most of us remember from our younger days, and its soothing effect endures throughout our lives. Often seniors relish the company of a relative or friend who sits nearby and reads aloud, but listening to an audiobook can replicate some of the benefits of connecting with the sound of a human voice.

Downloading books can be free.

Seniors on a fixed income can download audiobooks to electronic devices at no cost from the local library or from a variety of websites like Project Gutenberg. Google the term “free audiobooks” and you’ll find links to sites offering free downloads or streaming.

Here’s to picking up a good summer read today!