Category Archives: Events

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!

 

Veterans Benefits for Senior Living and Home Care Costs

Many families are unaware of financial aid for vets and families

Memorial Day is May 29, a special day for honoring Americans who served in the country’s armed forces, so this month is ideal for veterans and their families to research their eligibility for financial support.

The Veterans Aid and Attendance (VA&A) Pension provides benefits to veterans and their spouses to help pay for costs of care—both in-home care and senior housing. Unfortunately, many families are not aware of the benefit and miss out on key financial support to help pay for senior living and home care expenses. The benefit is anticipated to change in the coming year, which could affect the number of new families eligible, so families are encouraged to take action now to determine their eligibility.

Veterans benefits provide financial assistance to those who have served their country, as well as their spouses, during their retirement years. Veterans who are at least 65 years old and who served during war time (though not necessarily in combat) may be eligible for financial assistance through the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to help pay for care. Spouses and surviving spouses of wartime veterans are also often eligible. For many families, veterans benefits can make a significant difference for those struggling to pay for care.

Senior housing benefits from the VA

The VA provides nursing home care through different types of facilities:

  • The VA’s own nursing homes
  • Private nursing homes that contract with the VA to care for veterans
  • The VA’s Community Living Centers that provide short-term residential care and outpatient care
  • State Veteran Homes for vets not eligible for direct VA nursing home care

Community and home care benefits from the VA

The VA has long-term community and home care programs for vets who don’t qualify for nursing home care or who want to live at home but need regular assistance with activities of daily living.

  • Community Residential Care provides many of the types of care and services in assisted-living facilities. Veterans who don’t require nursing home care are provided with room and board, plus limited personal care and supervision.
  • Hospice/Palliative Care offers supportive services for veterans with end-of-life medical conditions.
  • Home health care enables long-term medical care in the veteran’s own home supervised by a treatment team.
  • Homemaker/home health aide services are provided by a home care agency.
  • Adult day health care that provides medical and rehabilitative services is available to veterans in a group setting during daytime hours at a VA or community facility.

How to get help applying for VA care benefits

Through a VA Vet Center (https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/vetcenter.asp), located in every state, you can get free assistance by phone or in person. Assistance is also available by contacting the Veterans Benefits Administration office (https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/division.asp?dnum=3) nearest you. The VA also has a toll-free telephone help line at 1-800-827-1000.

 

New Website Helps Navigate Senior Housing

There is a new website called Where You Live Matters which is a great resource for individuals to learn more about the many aspects of seniors housing. It was created by ASHA (American Senior Housing Association), an organization that has helped seniors and their families navigate housing and lifestyle choices since 2001.

“We believe it’s very important to provide the public with information regarding seniors housing and options available. On this website, you’ll be able to read informative articles. We share resident and family stories and their experiences. And we’ll also provide you with data and research related to senior living options,” said David Schless, president of American Seniors Housing Association. “We’ve assembled leading experts in successful aging from across the United States who will share their professional insights with you. These are nationally known experts who work with families as they make decisions about lifestyles, including the possibilities about moving to a senior living community.”

Topics covered on the website include:

  • Choose well to live well.
  • Compare the lifestyle options.
  • Learn about life at a senior living community.
  • Form a plan to live well, longer.
  • Make a family decision.
  • Prepare and manage your finances.

The website helps you live well, live better and live where you maximize the possibilities. Whether you are a senior searching for answers or a caring family member eager to assist, you’ll find the site’s unbiased, research-based, thought-provoking resources will guide you toward smart, confident decisions.

Visit the site today at http://www.whereyoulivematters.org/

Simple and Creative Mother’s Day Gifts That Are Sure to Please

 After decades of choosing Mother’s Day gifts for your mother or grandmother, coming up with new ideas can be challenging. Whether your special senior is still active in the workforce or enjoying a well-deserved retirement, there are plenty of gift options for you to consider for this year’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 14.

Here is a list of suggestions that our ISL staff members know would be appreciated by moms in their senior years.

Gripper socks. A colorful assortment of warm and fuzzy socks with nonskid treads can keep Mom’s feet cozy while helping prevent slips and falls. These socks come in various heights, materials, and patterns—and there are even double-sided gripper socks with treads on the top and bottom so they’ll provide traction whichever end is up or if they get twisted.

Customized gift baskets. Buy a decorative basket and fill it with items you know she’ll love. Tuck in some fuzzy gripper socks (see above!), her favorite lotion and lip balm, scented soaps, an assortment of tea packets, a book of postage stamps, a flameless candle, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers … small, handy, pleasant items your mom or grandma will appreciate having nearby.

Over-the-ear headphones. Many seniors who didn’t grow up using modern earbuds find them confusing and annoying. For enjoying music or audiobooks, your mother or grandmother might prefer larger, padded listening devices that fit over the ears. There are many lightweight, comfy, and easy to use ear-covering headphones that come in a variety of colors.

Puzzles and coloring books. Nowadays you can find sophisticated, beautiful, and challenging tabletop activities like jigsaw puzzles and coloring books that are not childish and provide hours of amusement. There are choices for all levels of ability and and all sorts of interests: flowers and gardening, nature scenes, pets and animals, art and design. These activities are fun distractions for helpers of all ages when family and friends gather.

Gift cards. Practical, thoughtful gift cards or certificates allow your loved one to plan a visit to a favorite restaurant or department store, or indulge herself at a beauty salon or health spa. Consider a gift card to an online superstore like Amazon. Don’t forget that less glamorous (but necessary!) venues like gas stations, grocery stores, post offices, pharmacies, pet stores, and hardware stores also offer gift cards.

May Is Older Americans Month

 This year’s theme is “Age Out Loud”

Each May, our nation celebrates Older Americans Month. This year’s theme, “Age Out Loud,” encourages all of us to learn from what today’s older adults have to say. More than ever, older adults are living their lives with boldness, confidence, and passion while serving as an inspiration to people of all ages. We see this example everyday in our ISL communities, where seniors are engaged and making a difference. This is particular evident through our innovative Vibrant Life® program, offering a pioneering approach designed for enhancing and enriching residents’ lives through core components for well-rounded and meaningful experiences.

The seven main components to living a Vibrant Life:

  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!

Currently older Americans are working longer, trying new things, and engaging in an active life. They’re taking leadership roles, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others.

A New Phase of Life

Getting older doesn’t mean what it used to. For many Americans, it’s a crucial phase of life where interests, goals, and dreams can get a new start. Today, aging is about eliminating outdated perceptions and living the way that suits each person best.

ISL communities offers several recent examples of vibrant, forward-thinking older Americans who are loud about their Vibrant Life.

  • Leonard E. McCord, who is soon turning 95 recently displayed his paintings in a first-ever Vibrant Life ‘Living the Dream’ Art Show at The Arbors at Rancho Penasquitos Senior Living. At the art show his beautiful works were viewed, enjoyed and some even purchased.
  • Terry Scholderer, a resident at the Groves of Tustin Senior Living was crowned at the Miss Newport Coast USA/Miss Irvine USA Pageant 2016 as part of her Vibrant Life ‘Livin’ the Dream’ moment. She was given her official “Memories Matter” sash and crowned by the outgoing Miss Irvine Teen USA, Monica English.
  • 92-year-old Dorothy Williams of Shavano Park Senior Living took to the sky, taking part in an indoor skydiving experience with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter. What a day they had together.

This May we hope you celebrate Older American’s Month and live a Vibrant Life!

Happy New Year!

We at ISL are ringing in the New Year with a story of love. Over the holidays, a couple that met at one of our communities decided to tie the knot.  Bob Segal and Joan Cimino are residents at Mission Hills Senior Living in Rancho Mirage, California. Bob moved in May 2016, and Joan one month later. At a summer event, the two danced for the first time and the rest you might say is history. Bob proposed and the two celebrated a lovely wedding at Mission Hills with friends and family in attendance. Both Joan and Bob are very social in the community. They regale the residents with stories from their past just to entertain. Joan often tap dances at musical engagements while Bob supports and adores her from the audience. Everyone enjoys their vibrant energy as they smile and laugh, encouraging others to do the same.

We wish this happy couple the very best in the new year!

To see more about the couple and their nuptials visit:

http://www.kesq.com/news/valley-couple-get-married-at-a-rancho-mirage-senior-center/235317485

Walk to End Alzheimer’s Raises Awareness and Funds For Alzheimer’s Care, Support, and Research

September events spotlight Alzheimer’s and other dementias 

The month of September has become a special time for focusing on research, awareness, and fundraising for Alzheimer’s disease nationwide and throughout the world.

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) sponsors the fifth global World Alzheimer’s Month (https://www.alz.co.uk/world-alzheimers-month) in September to educate about the disease and challenge stigma. Worldwide, 35 million people and their families are affected by dementia. This year’s theme is “Remember Me,” for which ADI asks everyone to get involved by sharing their own favorite memories, or memories of a loved one, on social media during September with the hashtags #RememberMe #WAM2016.

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, is the world’s largest fundraising and awareness event for Alzheimer’s. In fact many ISL communities take part in these walks. Participants of all ages and abilities gather for these local 2- to 3-mile walks, most of which are held on a day in September. To find a walk near you, go to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s website (https://act.alz.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=walk_homepage) and type in your zip code.

ISL Celebrates National Assisted Living Week with a commitment to “Keep Connected”

assisted_living_weekToday’s seniors are expecting more from every aspect of their lives.  The senior housing industry has responded by creating assisted living communities, a place where senior residents thrive. To celebrate the way more than one million people live, there is National Assisted Living Week® taking place September 11-17, 2016. This year’s theme “Keep Connected” showcases the integral role technology plays in assisted living communities such as those managed by ISL.

The theme celebrates the countless ways assisted living communities are integrating technology into resident care. In fact, seniors are the fastest growing internet and social media users today. They typically use it to reconnect with people from their past, bridge generational gaps, and find online support for people living with chronic diseases.

ISL takes enormous pride in finding new ways to enhance the services we provide in assisted living.  “Incorporating 21st century technology whenever possible truly enhances are resident care in so many ways and helps them enjoy a better quality of life.

“Keep Connected,” recognizes the increasing opportunity technology can offer to enhance the care and overall experience in assisted living communities. During this week we encourage our communities to support opportunities for residents to use the latest communication tools to engage with the world around them. Furthermore, “Keep Connected” acknowledges the many ways assisted living staff and supporting business partners are revolutionizing the care provided in these communities through innovations in technology.  

Happy Assisted Living Week!

A Resident at The Groves of Tustin is crowned at the Miss Newport/Miss Irvine USA Pageant

In April, ISL put into place in its communities a program that is truly enhancing the lives of residents called Vibrant Life®. One component of the program is called  “Livin’ the Dream,” designed to take residents dreams and make them a reality.

terry-scholdererRecently The Groves of Tustin made a dream come true for one of their residents, Terry Scholderer. She was recently crowned at the Miss Newport Coast USA/Miss Irvine USA Pageant 2016 as part of her “Livin’ the Dream.”

The pageant was held at the Red Lion Resort in Anaheim with over 300 people in attendance. Terry got her hair done at the community’s salon and then had her makeup professionally done by an artist at the pageant. She wore a custom purple evening gown that was made just for her for this event and was escorted on stage by her son Mike. She was then given her official “Memories Matter” sash and was crowned by the outgoing Miss Irvine Teen USA, Monica English! There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Terry waved to the audience and soaked in her moment in the spotlight!

The event was inspired when a group of beauty queens visited The Groves at Tustin. Terry was simply infatuated with them and enjoyed interacting with the group. This sparked an idea with the community’s Sales and Marketing Director Anna Gounev, who personally runs the Miss Irvine/Miss Newport Coast USA Pageant.

“We thought that it would be a great opportunity for Terry to live her dream and take part in the pageant,” adds Anna.

 ISL’s Vibrant Life Program consists of four Signature Programs that were developed as a tool to help insure  communities provide quality programming that contribute to the overall well-being and self-worth of our residents. ISL is assisting residents to find their purpose, to search out how each can better incorporate the seven components to living: Be Inspired, Be Well, Be Challenged, Be Adventurous, Be Family, Be Social and Be Connected.