All posts by Integral Senior Living

Vibrant Life® and Getting Residents Outdoors

At all of our communities, we believe getting our residents outside to take in the beautiful surroundings and planning adventures everyone can participate in are important for our residents’ well-being. Whether it’s hikes, aerobic exercise or simply a trip to a lovely garden, we are always designing outdoor activities that activate both the mind and the body!

ISL’s signature Vibrant Life® program fuels these adventures. The program is dedicated to organizing the perfect activities to enrich the lives of our residents. Vibrant Life® makes the health of our residents a priority by promoting a happy and meaningful lifestyle with abundant opportunities to connect with one another at each of our ISL communities.

The program consists of seven core components to nurture the well-being of our ISL residents.

  1. Be Inspired
  2. Be Well
  3. Be Challenged
  4. Be Adventurous
  5. Be Family
  6. Be Social
  7. Be Connected

These components work together in creating communities filled with healthy living and fun, with plenty of activities that get ISL residents outside, active and enjoying nature.

At ISL, we place the well-being of our residents at the top of everything we do. It’s why we have such passion for care and why we created a program that focuses on our residents’ living their most vibrant lives. We want our residents to be embracing all that life has to offer!

Please visit our Communities page to find the community closest to you. We can’t wait to meet you and show you how our communities can be your new home!

The Importance of Independent Living

July is here, and that means one of the best holidays of the year is coming up. Independence Day is a summertime institution, with cookouts, family time and fireworks always making for a memorable and fun holiday! July 4 is a time to celebrate what makes our country great, as well as honor those who have served and sacrificed to make it so.

With Independence Day right around the corner, what better time to talk about the importance we place on independent living for our residents?

At ISL communities, high-quality, independent living is key to creating a place where residents and their family members feel at home. We make each of our communities a desirable location for those seeking independent living by providing our residents an amenity-rich environment.

We know that comfort is a huge factor when deciding on a community. That’s why our independent living accommodations have beautiful, well-appointed and comfortable rooms for our residents. We ensure that our services promote relaxed, carefree living, whether that’s by providing our residents with fine-dining experiences and luxury common areas, or having quality transportation ready for any activities happening outside a community.

ISL also provides our assisted living and memory care residents with services and amenities to help enrich their lives. Our communities have highly trained staff, safe rooms, and calendars filled with engaging activities that keep the mind engaged and allow everyone to participate at a level they desire. No matter what kind of care you or your loved ones need, we have a loving community and compassionate staff that fit your needs.

Take a look at our “communities” page to find a location near you. We’d love to welcome you for a visit and show you one of our amazing communities!

Everyone here at ISL would like to wish you a safe and happy Independence Day.

Having a Fun and Safe Summer

Summer is almost here! It’s time to get outside and enjoy everything that your community and nature have to offer. Whether that means going on a nice hike, exercising outside or simply relaxing by the pool, summer is all about taking in some sun and good weather. ISL’s Vibrant Life® program takes full advantage of the summer months by incorporating tons of fun outdoor experiences for residents.

 

However, summer’s hot temperatures can be potentially dangerous. Excessive exposure to heat can result in dizziness, sickness and even more serious conditions. By taking the steps below, you and your loved ones can stay out of harm’s way and still revel in all of summer’s goodness.

 

  • Always check the heat index
    • The heat index is basically how hot you feel on a given day. It factors in the amount of humidity in the air, which affects how easily your body can cool itself. Always check weather websites or your local TV and radio weather reports during the summer.
  • Don’t overdo it
    • If it’s particularly hot outside, don’t do anything over-the-top. Stay inside or relax in the shade. No need to exercise too hard or do something overly adventurous that could cause harm.
  • AC is your friend
    • There’s nothing wrong with cranking up the air conditioning! ISL communities all have quality, air-conditioned rooms and areas. If you’re outside your community, you can always seek out places with good AC, like malls and movie theaters.
  • Stay inside in the midday
    • Temperatures tend to peak in the early afternoon hours, so it’s advisable to stay indoors during these times. If possible, plan on running your errands or exercising outside before or after these hours.
  • Liquids, liquids, liquids
    • Staying hydrated is key to battling the summer heat. Always drink plenty of water or juice, and remember that alcohol and caffeinated drinks can often result in even more dehydration.
  • Dress for the occasion
    • What you wear is important too! Make sure you are outfitted with light, free-flowing and light-colored clothes. Hats and sunscreen should always be part of your outdoor accessories, too.

Now it’s time to get back to having fun in the sun!

Senior Citizens and the Opioid Crisis

The opioid epidemic is a serious health crisis for our country, and senior citizens are not immune to what’s happening. Every day, more than 90 Americans die of an opioid overdose. This includes overdoses on illegal heroin as well as the abuse of prescription pain relievers like hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, morphine, codeine, fentanyl and others.

A recent analysis from Stanford University found that seniors covered by Medicare have “among the highest and most rapidly growing prevalence of opioid use disorder.” The report found that more than six out of every 1,000 Medicare patients are diagnosed with an opioid disorder, compared to one of every 1,000 patients covered by commercial insurance plans.

Unfortunately, abuse of opioids isn’t the only way seniors are contributing to the crisis. Many have become what is known as an “accidental drug dealer.” These are seniors whose prescribed medication is stolen or periodically taken from their homes. Sadly, many times this is done by friends and family members who have access to their medicine cabinets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 percent of people who abuse opioids get them from a friend or relative.

So what can you do about it?

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, getting immediate professional help is crucial to not falling victim to further abuse or even to an overdose. Treatment options that are available include:

In order to safeguard any prescription pain reliever you use from theft, we advise you to follow these rules:

  • Store your medications in a secure location like a home lock box.
  • Count your pills regularly so you’ll know if a pill is missing.
  • Never share your medications with anyone.
  • Dispose of unused medications.

There are many drop off locations around the country to securely get rid of unused or expired medications. Visit the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Controlled Substance Public Disposal locator to find the one nearest you.

ISL to Oversee Operations for Travanse Living Communities

Integral Senior Living, one of the nation’s leading providers of management services for senior living communities, has been selected to oversee operations at Travanse Living’s three properties. The Travanse Living communities are located in Grayslake, Ill., Wheaton, Ill., and Olathe, Kan.

“The alignment of values and beliefs between ISL and Travanse Living will make this transition and relationship successful and beneficial for both parties,” said Collette Valentine-Gray, Integral Senior Living’s CEO and COO. “Travanse Living is looking forward to providing the level of quality care and lifestyle services that we believe our residents deserve.”

With the addition of the Travanse Living communities to its portfolio, ISL has expanded its umbrella of high-quality care to over 18 states. “This is a perfect fit for us, and we look forward to being part of these communities,” Valentine-Gray said.

The managerial change was effective Jan. 2. Ownership remains the same with CA Ventures located in Chicago, Ill.

The Travanse Living communities pride themselves on providing a vibrant lifestyle along with an elevated dining program, as well as upgraded apartment suites for residents to enjoy. The communities focus on providing individualized care through their programming in assisted living and memory care.

About ISL

Integral Senior Living (ISL), headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., manages a progressive selection of more than 85 senior residences to meet the growing needs of today’s aging population. It manages independent, assisted living and memory care properties in more than 18 states. Ranked among the nation’s largest senior living providers, 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 associates at each community are 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.

About CA Ventures

Headquartered in Chicago, Ill., CA Ventures is a real estate investment, development and management firm focused exclusively on creating and maximizing real estate investment value. Founded in 2004, CA Ventures is the parent company of CA Student Living, CA Office, CA Residential, CA Hospitality, CA International, CA Asset Services and CA Senior Living, which specializes in delivering affordable luxury communities in desirable locations for residents to live independently and receive quality personal care.

Mandy Luther Promoted as Regional Director of Sales and Marketing of SSL

Integral Senior Living (ISL) has promoted Mandy Luther to the position of regional director of Sales and Marketing for its new venture, Solstice Senior Living (SSL). She was previously the regional director of Sales and Marketing for ISL-managed communities.

In her new role, Luther will oversee SSL’s West division, leading the sales and marketing efforts for a portfolio of 12 communities.

“Mandy has been an invaluable member of our team for quite some time now, and her most recent promotion is only further proof of her abilities,” said Carrie Delaney, divisional vice president of Sales and Marketing. “We’re excited to see her continued growth and confident she will be successful in her new role.”

Luther began her career at ISL in 2013, and she was instrumental in the opening of the Lantern Crest Senior Living community. Since then, she has helped open and build community support for five different ISL communities.

Luther and her husband, Jeffrey, have two daughters, April and Carly, both of whom are currently in college.

About Integral Senior Living:
Integral Senior Living (ISL), headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., manages a progressive selection of senior residences to meet the growing needs of today’s aging population. It manages independent, assisted living and memory care properties throughout 18 states. Ranked among the nation’s largest senior living providers, 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 associates at each community are 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.

Valentine’s Day and National Heart Month

Many people have hearts on their minds as they move into February. This month not only holds the holiday built to celebrate love, Valentine’s Day, but also marks American Heart Month, which is an excellent time to educate yourself on heart health.

Led by the American Heart Association, this federally designated awareness month sets out to remind people to focus on maintaining healthy hearts and to help raise heart disease awareness with their families, friends and communities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.3 million deaths each year. And that number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.

Keeping a healthy heart is key to continuing to have a high quality of life as we age. Here are a few simple ways you can help prevent heart disease.

• Eat healthy
• Stay active
• Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
• Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
• If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
• Manage stress

We place special emphasis on getting nutritious meals and promoting an active lifestyle at our communities because we know how important it is to overall health, especially in regard to the cardiovascular system.

It’s also important to make regular visits to your doctor. Early diagnosis of any heart disease or irregularities can help save your life.

We wish you all a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day! Make sure you remember to wear red on Feb. 3 to celebrate National Wear Red Day as part of American Heart Month!

Managing Type 2 Diabetes in Older People

The number of seniors with diabetes is growing, but there are ways to control the disease

More than 29 million Americans are living with diabetes, reports The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 86 million are living with prediabetes, a condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

People get diabetes when their blood glucose level, sometimes called blood sugar, is too high. There are two main kinds of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, the body makes little or no insulin. Adults can develop this type of diabetes, but it occurs most often in children and young adults.

In type 2 diabetes, the body makes insulin, but doesn’t use it efficiently. The most common kind of diabetes, type 2 occurs most often in middle-aged and older adults, but it can also affect children. Your risk for type 2 diabetes rises as you age, if you are overweight or inactive, or if you have a family history of diabetes.

Many people who have prediabetes may be unaware of their condition. Prediabetes means glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes although the onset can be prevented or delayed with weight loss, healthy eating, and being physically active.

Living with diabetes as you age

As people get older, their risk for type 2 diabetes increases, says the American Diabetes Association. In the United States, about 1 in 4 people over the age of 60 have diabetes.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your doctor can help you choose the best treatment for you. Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise alone. Others need diabetes medicines or insulin injections. Over time, some people may need both lifestyle changes and medication.

Tips for managing type 2 diabetes:

  • Track your glucose levels.Very high glucose levels or very low glucose levels (called hypoglycemia) can cause serious health risks. Your doctor can show you how to check your glucose levels at home.
  • Make healthy food choices.Your doctor can refer you to a dietitian to help you learn how different foods affect glucose levels. Focus on establishing and maintaining a healthy weight, and developing balanced, nutritious meal plans that will stabilize glucose levels.
  • Get regular exercise.Daily exercise can help improve glucose levels in older people with diabetes. Ask your doctor to help you plan an exercise program that’s right for you.
  • Take your diabetes medicines as prescribed.You might feel tempted to stop taking your medications if you feel well. But uncontrolled diabetes damages essential systems in your body, and can lead to higher risk for serious complications such as heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, nerve damage, and neurological disorders such as dementia.

 

November Is National Family Caregivers Month

This year’s theme is “Caregiving Around the Clock”

The Caregiver Action Network (http://caregiveraction.org/), the nation’s leading family caregiver organization that advocates for the more than 90 million Americans who care for disabled, sick, or elderly loved ones, cites these tips about family caregiving and this year’s theme.

 

  • Caregiving can be a 24-hours a day/7-days a week job. Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s or a child with special needs can be non-stop. Providing care around the clock can crowd out other important areas of life. And you never know when you will need to rush to the hospital or leave work at the drop of a hat. What challenges do family caregivers face, and how do they manage them day and night?
  • Morning:Getting off to work. The average family caregiver is a working mother of school-aged children. Mornings become a tricky balancing act of getting the kids ready for school, making sure your loved one has what they need for the day before getting yourself out the door for work.
  • All Day Long:Managing medications. Up to 70% of the time, the family caregiver – not the patient –manages the medications. The more serious the condition, the more likely it is that the family caregiver manages the medications for the patient. This means ensuring your loved one is taking their medication correctly and maintaining an up-to-date medication list.
  • During the Workday:Juggling caregiving and work. Six out of 10 family caregivers work full- or part-time in addition to juggling their caregiving responsibilities at home. And most of them say they have to cut back on working hours, take a leave of absence, or quit their job entirely.
  • Evening:Family time and meal time. Ensuring that you get proper nutrition will help you maintain strength, energy, stamina, and a positive attitude. Nutrition is as important for you as the caregiver as it for your loved one. Caregiving affects the whole family.
  • Late at Night:Taking time for yourself. Late at night might be the only time you get a few minutes for yourself. Make sure you take time to rest and recharge. The chance to take a breather and re-energize is vital in order for you to be as good a caregiver tomorrow as you were today.
  • The Middle of the Night:Emergency room visits. Have you ever had to take your loved one to the emergency room in the middle of the night? Be prepared ahead of time with what you need to know and what you need to have with you.

During National Family Caregivers Month, we recognize the challenges family caregivers face when their loved ones need
Caregiving Around the Clock!

Celebrating Thanksgiving with Residents in a Senior Living Community

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday when families come together to celebrate life’s many blessings. When a loved one is in a senior living community, it can make gathering a little more difficult. Below are tips for celebrating Thanksgiving in a way that is enjoyable for the whole family.

  • Bring the holidays to those in senior living communities. If your family member in a senior living community isn’t able to come home for the holidays, then bring the festivities and family traditions to them! Decorate their residence with Thanksgiving garlands or gourds to enhance the holiday atmosphere. Make plans to join your loved one and establish new traditions. Most senior living communities offer Thanksgiving events.
  • Send a care package. If you live too far away to visit your loved one for Thanksgiving, put together a special package from the whole family. You can include letters, photos, flowers, homemade treats and anything else to remind them you are thinking about them. Make sure to give them a call or video chat on Thanksgiving.
  • Plan activities that anyone can enjoy. If you can bring your family member home for a visit, plan some holiday activities that entertain the whole family. Low-key activities, such as watching a football game or a movie, are an easy and fun way to gather the family together. Other suggestions for holiday fun include writing letters to friends, veterans or family members, completing a puzzle, listening to music, or doing a Thanksgiving-themed craft. Don’t feel that you need to plan every second of their visit. They will probably be happy to just relax and enjoy time with the family.
  • Adhere to dietary requirements. Thanksgiving is a fun time to indulge, but it is important that you prepare foods that take your loved one’s dietary restrictions into account.

Above all, the holidays are about spending time with loved ones, regardless of what you do or where you celebrate. Your senior family member will be grateful to celebrate Thanksgiving with you, wherever you are!