Category Archives: Uncategorized

DOWNSIZING – IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME?

With summer behind us, now is a time that many rethink the downsizing idea and utilize the fall to begin the process. Downsizing is daunting at best but can be especially important for seniors, whose homes have often been the repository of decades of collecting – and living. What may appear to just be clutter can indeed also be a trap. Many seniors feel they can’t leave their homes because they have so much stuff, so now may be the time to start working through the years of collecting so seniors can experience more freedom in their lives.

Here are some tips to help begin the process of helping older adults get rid of “Stuff”.

  1. Start Now- or better yesterday

No one thinks they should have waited longer to start the task, especially when knee deep in boxes.

  1. Questions require answers

When going through items before just trying to get rid of an item- ask the older adult about it- when did you last wear it? Is it sentimental? Does it work?

  1. Take a picture of it before it goes

What is important is the memory that the object evokes. With this in mind, take photographs of precious items that can be reviewed when needed.

  1. Junk or Treasure

What is one man’s treasure is another man’s junk. We are all familiar with this- take the time to evaluate and categorize items.

  1. Put in a nice box

OK, we all have items we just can’t get rid. For these get some nice, new boxes and put the items in them. Label them well with the contents. In 6 months or year’s time – revisit whether the post was even looked into- if not you may have the opportunity to get rid of it.

  1. Not all at Once

No one gets rid of all the stuff in one session. So be easy on yourself and the homeowner, knowing that it will take time and several visits to sort through years of accumulation.

  1. Don’t do it all on your own

You may not be able to do this all on your own- ask for help from family, friends, and professionals. Here is one group to check out that may be of assistance: National Association of Senior Move Managers http://www.nasmm.org

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.

 

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 http://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

http://islllc.com/communities.