Senior Living Blog

Elevate your senior living meals and share love this Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with your significant other or your family, or if you’re just taking some time to practice self-care, the day is all about love.

“Love is a condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” –Robert Heinlein

One great way to celebrate is to partake in fellowship over a meal. Our communities will be offering special menus just in time for the holiday that you won’t want to miss.

With our Elevate® dining program, we make sure every meal is as delicious as it is nutritious; but we go above and beyond on special occasions. The program is designed to go beyond traditional senior living meals by making most things from scratch and focusing on tailoring each menu to the needs of the residents. By enhancing the presentation of menu selections to accommodate dexterity challenges and modified diets, we strive to promote dignity and independence while providing residents the opportunity to enjoy the meals they love.

Want to know more? Visit our Facebook page or website to get a glimpse into the daily lives of our residents as well as the Elevate® dining program.

Integral Senior Living offers nontraditional resolutions for seniors

Each time January rolls around, we take time to assess the past year and work harder toward our life
goals, one small step at a time. But New Year’s resolutions can be hard to decide on. Should you work on
your health? Your personal life?
Here are some nontraditional resolutions you could make:

  • Make a new friend – Friendships help us all stay connected and give us someone to spend time
    with. Friends can help us process emotions, engage us in thought-provoking conversations and
    make us laugh. When you really think about it, friendship helps us stay mentally and emotionally
    healthy!
  • Do a puzzle a day or find other ways engage your brain – Keeping your brain busy helps it stay
    healthy. A great goal is to strive to do something that really makes you think every day.
  • Learn something new – There are always new things we can learn, no matter how much we
    think we know. This is a great time to learn something you’ve always wanted to.
  • Write letters/keep a journal – Journaling can help you understand your thoughts and feelings
    more clearly and can improve your mental health. And who doesn’t love receiving a letter from
    a friend or loved one? Writing and receiving letters can be a great way to keep in touch and
    show someone that you’re thinking of them.

At Integral Senior Living, our New Year’s resolution is to continue to support and encourage our associates to the best of our
ability. This is something we’re always working toward, but it’s never a bad idea to begin pursuing
something with renewed passion at the beginning of the year.
So to start off 2020, this month we’re celebrating our Vibrant Life directors! This month includes
National Activity Professionals Week, which is observed in order to recognize the contributions made by
activity professionals in nursing homes, retirement communities and senior centers throughout the
nation. We are so thankful to have such amazing associates supporting us in our mission to help each of
our residents live a Vibrant Life.

End of the year offers chance to remember, be grateful

Happy December! This final month of the year gives us an opportunity to look back at 2019 and remember all of the incredible things that happened. We have so much to be grateful for, and it’s good to take a moment and think about the people and things that have brought you joy. Here at ISL, we are thankful that our coworkers and residents are both friends and family to us.

“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 love you know matter what.” –Unknown
We believe this quote is so true! Our residents and team members have the best families, from the people who are related to them by blood, to the people who care for them, and those who would do just about anything to see them smile.

The feeling of family is what makes living and working at ISL so fun. By keeping to our “Culture Keepers,” we ensure that every day we can look forward to coming to work and seeing our favorite people. We work hard, but we have so much fun doing it!

Want to learn more about our communities? Visit our Communities page, or find us on Facebook! We hope that you have a safe and happy holiday season!

Thanksgiving Celebrations

Thanksgiving is a special time spent giving thanks with friends and family. When you have a
loved one who is in a senior living community, the holiday can be become more challenging. If
you are in charge of organizing the festivities, it is important to make sure that you go about your
usual traditions as much as possible. One way to do this is through your Thanksgiving meal.

The ISL signature Elevate program transforms the dining experience into a culinary celebration
that inspires the engagement of our residents, families and friends. We create dishes inspired by
residents’ cherished recipes and time-honored traditions, which allows the rest of the community
a glimpse into their cherished culinary memories. The Elevate program allows residents to
engage in creating new memories based on lifelong experiences created around the dinner table.

Is your loved one facing dietary restrictions? Do they have trouble cutting certain foods? You
may need to alter your Thanksgiving menu to accommodate his/her needs. These are questions
the chefs at our community consider every day. We make sure to provide nutritious meals that
are tailored to the needs of the residents we serve, despite their dexterity challenges and modified
diets.

From all of us at ISL, we want to wish you and your family and friends a safe Thanksgiving!
Tune in to our Facebook page, as we will be posting all the fun Thanksgiving celebrations at our
wonderful communities all over the country. We encourage you to gather and celebrate all of
life’s gifts this November.

Five tips for avoiding the flu

October is the beginning of the much-dreaded flu season. At Integral Senior Living, we want to make sure our residents and their families are living their healthiest lives, which is why we are sharing a few tips and tricks on flu prevention.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 9.2 million and 35.6 million cases of flu arise each year in the United States.

The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness that is caused by influenza types A and B viruses. Flu activity often begins in October and can last until as late as May. It is important to take preventive steps to minimize your exposure, build up your immunity and reduce your risk of infection.

See the list below for our top five tips for staying clear of the flu!

  • Get a flu shot – While seasonal flu shots do not protect against all strains of the virus, the vaccine does trigger antibodies to develop in the body which then provide protection against that specific virus strain.
  • Stay home when you are sick – If you are feeling under the weather, is it better to stay home and regain your strength. The bacteria and viruses that can be found at your office, school, etc. can actually worsen your symptoms.
  • Cover your mouth and nose – Find yourself coughing and sneezing constantly? Use a tissue or the corner of your elbow to cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. This will not only prevent those around you from getting sick, but also help by keeping your hands clean.
  • Wash your hands regularly – Use soap and warm water when available. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer will also do the job.
  • Maintain your immune system – Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep, and exercise regularly.

Want to know more about our communities and our outstanding level of care? Visit our Facebook page to get a glimpse into the daily lives of our residents, then visit our Communities page to find the community closest to you.

We look forward to meeting you and helping everyone live a healthy life!

Healthy Aging Month – Tips on staying healthy as we get older

September is Healthy Aging Month and the perfect time to start practicing habits with positive health benefits!

At Integral Senior Living, we pride ourselves on creating an environment for our residents to age happily and healthily. We are always creating opportunities for our residents to get active and stay engaged through our Vibrant Life program.
Nevertheless, healthy aging is about more than just staying active. If you aren’t practicing good, healthy habits, this month is the perfect time to start! It’s never too late to make positive changes. See our list below for healthy habits you can start today for a healthier tomorrow!

1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet – This is an easy one! Adding more fruits, leafy greens like spinach and kale, and omega-3-rich fish like salmon, tuna and halibut into your diet can have remarkable health benefits. Not only do these foods contribute to better overall health, they also can directly benefit eye health. Our Elevate dining program helps residents maintain a healthy diet with an enhanced culinary experience, integrating fresh cooking and our residents’ favorite home-style meals.

2. Get enough sleep – Your mind cherishes sleep the same way your body cherishes food. The amount of sleep you get each night becomes more important the older you become. Older adults should aim to get seven to eight hours of asleep a night. Developing a regular bedtime can make falling asleep easier. Lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk and memory problems.

3. Get active, be active, stay vibrant – Strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day! Regular exercise tends to lead to notable health benefits and may delay or improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. ISL residents achieve this through our signature Vibrant Life program designed to enhance and enrich each day through personal schedules based on their interests, preferences, routines and abilities.

4. Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat when outdoors – Protecting your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays when you are outdoors is vital for your eye health. Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

5. Cultivate relationships – Meeting new people and forming a connection with them can have a positive impact, not only on life experiences, but also on mental health! Staying socially engaged has been shown to keep the mind active. Additionally, it’s important to have a support system and social network you can rely on each day.

These simple tips can have a positive influence on aging for both physical and mental health. For more tips on ways to make the most out of Healthy Aging Month, check out Healthy Aging!

If you would like to see firsthand what our ISL communities are all about, we’d love to show you around! Please visit our Communities page to find the community closest to you.

We look forward to meeting you and helping everyone live a healthy, active lifestyle!

Summer Safety Tips

At ISL, we love encouraging our residents to stay active and get outside, but we always make sure they’re doing it safely. Our residents are like family to us, and our care professionals are there with them every day to make sure they’re happy and well taken care of, whether our residents are independent living, assisted living or Generations Memory Care residents.

Warmer weather means cookouts, picnics, festivals, gardening and lots of other outdoor activities. While these may seem harmless, spending time in the heat can be especially dangerous for seniors. In fact, according to the EPA, people age 65-plus are several times more likely to suffer from heat-related cardiovascular disease than the general population. However, this doesn’t mean you should hide indoors. We’re here to give you some tips to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable summer!

  1. Stay hydrated – Did you know seniors are more prone to dehydration? Compared to when they were younger, seniors aren’t able to retain as much water, and their sense of thirst gets less precise. Make sure you’re constantly drinking water when you’re out in the sun, and try to avoid dehydrating drinks like alcohol and coffee.
  2. Avoid the sun in peak hours – Depending on where you live, the sun is strongest from about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., so try to limit your sun exposure during these hours. Aside from its being the hottest part of the day, the UV index is higher than usual during these times, which increases your risk of getting a sunburn.
  3. Apply SPF – On that note, make sure to wear sunscreen every day, even if you won’t be in the sun for very long. Look for sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and reapply frequently. Remember to also protect your eyes from sun damage by wearing sunglasses!
  4. Know the signs – It’s important to know when the heat is making you sick. Heat stroke symptoms include high body temperature, dizziness, headache, confusion and nausea. If you’re feeling any of these symptoms, move to a cool, shady place and call 911 immediately.
  5. Keep the bugs off – Seniors are more susceptible to West Nile virus, so if you’re in a place with a lot of mosquitos, especially at night, be sure to protect yourself with bug spray to reduce your risk of getting bitten by a mosquito carrying this virus.

Want to know more about our communities and our outstanding level of care? Visit our Facebook page  to get a glimpse into the daily lives of our residents, then visit our Communities page to find the community closest to you.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month – prevention

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and during this month especially we want to show support for the millions of people worldwide struggling with Alzheimer’s or dementia and the caregivers who provide care and meaningful connections for them every day.

Throughout our communities, our Generations Memory Care program is designed to provide the highest quality of care to each of our residents based on an individual approach designed specifically for them. We know firsthand how difficult it is to deal with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and although there is no conclusive research on prevention, there are certain lifestyle choices that promote a healthy body and mind that can help prevent Alzheimer’s and other related diseases. Here are some changes you can start implementing today!

  1. Keep your heart healthy – Research suggests that there is a connection between cardiovascular conditions and your brain, with conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol increasing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Maintain a healthy heart by incorporating cardio exercises and a heart-friendly diet, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and fish.
  2. Grab your friends and family – As humans, we crave social interaction, and our brain does too! Having regular face-to-face interaction with people who care about you and staying socially engaged may help protect you against Alzheimer’s and dementia. There are many ways to meet others and make new friendships! Try volunteering, taking a group class, getting to know your neighbors or even joining a club.
  3. Exercise your brain – The brain is just like a muscle – if you don’t challenge it regularly, it will get weaker. Continuing to learn new things and engaging your brain as you get older is one of the most effective ways at preventing Alzheimer’s or dementia. Look for activities that require communication, interaction and organization, and practice them every day. Some great ideas are studying a new language, learning to paint or sew, practicing memorization, and playing strategy games or brain teasers. You can even choose to improve an existing skill, like getting better at golf or learning a new song on an instrument you already know.

Our Generations Memory Care program aims to maintain a sense of home for your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, making sure that he or she receives the highest level of comfort and care. Read more about what sets our innovative program apart!

Staying Active

No matter your age, staying active and healthy is one of the most important aspects of your life. Keeping an active lifestyle has a variety of physical benefits, like lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke, and improving your strength and balance to prevent injuries. The best part about exercise is that it also has a huge impact on your mental health!

Staying active not only helps improve your mood, but helps improve your ability to think and make decisions. Our Vibrant Life program focuses on a well-rounded approach to healthy living specifically tailored to each of our residents, combining all types of activities for our residents to choose from.

We want to share some of our favorite fitness tips for seniors that can be adapted to all levels of fitness.

  1. Find your niche – The best way to get motivated to exercise is to find an activity you like, and these can be even better if you do them with friends. Set up a weekly walk with your friends to combine a workout with a social activity, or sign up for a class to make new friends!
  2. Find your groove – Cardio activities are great both for your mood and, you guessed it, for your heart. Cardio also helps you feel less fatigued throughout your day. Walking, swimming, aerobics and cycling are all great activities to choose from.
  3. Find your strength – Strength training helps prevent loss of bone mass and improves balance, both very important as you get older. It’s important to listen to your body in these types of exercises, so don’t be afraid to use your own body weight instead of exercise equipment if you have no experience with strength training! Be sure to talk with your doctor or a trainer to find the exercises that are right for you.
  4. Find your flex – Working on your flexibility can help improve your range of motion for daily activities, so it’s important to include some flexibility and balance exercises. Try yoga, stretching exercises or dancing to stay limber!
  5. Find your moment – At the end of the day, just making small changes to get moving will make a big difference. You can pick a farther parking spot to get a few more steps in, go for a hike with family or play with your grandchildren to help get your body moving and healthy. Find the activity you enjoy the most, and go with it!

Our Vibrant Life program throughout our communities helps our residents stay active by offering a wide variety of different activities for all fitness levels. With so many types of activities and exercises to choose from, it’s easy for our residents to stay active while having fun. If you want to learn more about how we help our residents reach their fitness goals through Vibrant Life and our fitness centers, visit our Facebook page or website. We’d love to help you start your health journey!