Senior Living Blog

Eating Healthy During the Holidays

The holiday season is that wonderful time of year when we get to spend time with our families, travel, and create memories with friends and loved ones.

While it is easy to get lost in the fun, the holidays can also mean big meals with tons of calories. Large meals coupled with weather that can lessen the desire to get outside and be active can lead to a period of unhealthiness for many. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the holidays without compromising your health.

  • Don’t overeat – This one sounds simple, but people tend to eat way more than they normally do during holiday meals. Using a smaller plate, filling your plate with vegetables and salad, and waiting at least 10 minutes before going back for seconds to see if you’re actually hungry can all help prevent overeating.
  • Don’t skip meals – Many of us skip eating during the day as a way to prepare for a big holiday meal. While these people believe they are smartly making room for a lot of food, in reality they are encouraging themselves to overeat. It is especially important to have breakfast, as research shows that people who eat breakfast tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day. Eating fiber-rich foods that are high in volume and will satisfy hunger, but won’t overload you with calories.
  • Get some physical activity – Just had a big, satisfying meal? This is a perfect time to go for a walk or do something else active you enjoy doing. Physical activity is a great way to offset a higher calorie intake, or a slice (or two!) of pie.

At ISL communities, our Elevate culinary program creates meaningful connections through cuisine, transforming the dining experience into a celebration that inspires the engagement of our residents, families and friends. It all starts with making sure we are preparing the healthiest, most nourishing food possible.

As our mission implies, we don’t want to merely put food in front of our residents, but connect with them in impactful ways through cuisine.

Elevate addresses not only our residents’ palates, but their desire for purpose, recognition of a lifetime of memories, lifelong growth and learning opportunities, and occasions to showcase their individuality through their own culinary signature items.

To learn more about our Elevate culinary program and everything else ISL communities have to offer, please give us a call or come take a tour. You may also visit our Communities page to find the community closest to you.

We hope everyone has a safe and healthy holiday season – just make sure you are more focused on spreading joy than you are spreading butter!

Knowing When To Make the Move to a Senior Living Community

The decision to move into a senior living community can be a difficult and, oftentimes, a stressful proposition. For many, the decision to become a resident, or to have a loved one move into a community, is an emotional experience that requires a delicate balance of compassion and resolve.

There are some signs that may help you make the decision for a loved one, including if they are having difficulty with basic tasks, are experiencing more frequent injuries – like increased episodes of falling – if they see significant weight loss, or if they seem to be leaning toward isolation and loneliness. These are just some signs, not all, and ultimately the decision to transition to a senior living community is based on a unique set of factors for each person.

If you’re still wondering whether senior living is right for you or a loved one, our ISL communities are here to help you every step of the way.

We encourage those who are just beginning the process of looking into senior living to take a tour and ask very specific questions about the community when they call or visit. We know it may feel overwhelming at first, but asking a lot of questions is the best way to figure out whether a community is right for you or your loved one.

Some sample questions include:

  • What type of care do you provide, such as Independent, Assisted Living and Memory Care?
  • What additional services are available if the needs of a resident change?
  • Are all services included in the monthly fee? If not, what and how much are additional services?
  • Do you have care staff around 24/7?
  • Do you have experience with Alzheimer’s? Parkinson’s? Diabetes? (or the specific diagnosis of you or your loved one)

For those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, the loved ones who are making the decision to move to a senior living community need to have the comfort and assurance that the community they are moving to is a place of personalized care and professional service. Having a highly trained staff is crucial.

Knowing when the time is right to make the transition is different for everyone. At ISL, we are always ready to help any family through this period, and each of our communities is designed to ensure an inspiring and fulfilling quality of life for our residents, no matter what level of care they need.

The associates at our ISL communities would love to answer all your questions. Gives us a call or come take a tour. We’ll give you all the time you need to see that our communities are a great place to call home! You can visit our Communities page to find the community closest to you.

September Is Healthy Aging® Month

September is Healthy Aging® Month and a terrific reminder that maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is important to our quality of life as we age. At ISL, one of our main priorities is making sure our residents are living an active lifestyle because we know keeping the calendar filled with engaging activities can keep everyone feeling and looking great!

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.

Healthy Aging® lists some tips that can help you and your loved ones live a healthier life – both physically and mentally. Here are five to help you get started:

  1. Don’t act your age, or at least what you think your current age should act like.
  2. Be positive in your conversations and your actions every day.
  3. How’s your smile? Research shows people who smile more often are happier!
  4. Start walking, not only for your health, but also to see neighbors and friends. Walking can be a social activity, not just exercise!
  5. Make this month the time to set up your annual physical and other health screenings if you haven’t already.

Following these simple tips can make improvements in your overall health. Plus, they can be fun!

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!

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!

National Arthritis Awareness Month

 Spring is setting in after a much longer than usual winter. While most people take advantage of the nicer weather to get outside and be active, some experience lingering, unexplained pain. It is easy for anyone to think pain is due to the aging process, but sometimes it can be attributed to arthritis. May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, so we want to take this opportunity to talk a little more about how to protect your joints.

Though we’ve probably all heard of arthritis, many don’t know exactly what it is. Arthritis is not a single disease, but instead refers to joint pain or disease. In fact, there are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions.

Arthritis can cause stiffness, swelling and severe joint pain, and lead to a loss of motion and mobility. Many people also don’t realize just how many Americans live with arthritis. It’s a condition that affects about one in four adults overall, and is the nation’s No. 1 cause of disability. That’s equates to over 54 million men and women.

Though you can’t always prevent arthritis, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of getting painful joints as you age.

  • Exercise and keep a healthy weight – Obesity causes unnecessary stress on joints. You should stay active and make sure you are taking care of your body. According to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, being just 10 pounds overweight means the force on your knees increases by 30 to 60 pounds when walking.
  • Eat fish – Fish can be rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have a number of health benefits, including reducing inflammation in the body.
  • Be mindful of your joints – Work to protect your joints from injury. Lift with your knees and hips when picking up objects; don’t use your back. If you sit for long periods at work or home, make sure that your back, legs and arms are well-supported.
  • See your doctor – As with most diseases and conditions, identifying them early on can be key to getting treatment that can slow the progress of arthritis and preserve mobility.

At ISL communities, we make sure all of our residents are staying active, eating high-quality food, and living fulfilling lives that promote mental and physical health.

 

Don’t Let Allergies Ruin Your Spring

Spring is here! Flowers are blooming, the sun is out, and the snow is gone. People are spending more time outside and enjoying nature. However, the change in seasons also brings along the boogie man of spring: allergies.

Dealing with allergies can be frustrating, but you can take steps to make sure they don’t ruin your spring.

No matter if you’ve been dealing with allergies your whole life or you’re feeling the symptoms for the first time, doing the following can help you get through the season with as little sneezing as possible!

  • Wash your hands frequently, and especially after being outdoors. If you’ve been outside for a long time, taking a shower will help wash any allergens away and prevent you from spreading them around your home.
  • Wear sunglasses when you’re enjoying everything nature has to offer. Sunglasses provide protection against irritants.
  • Make sure you’re checking the pollen levels in your area daily. You should try to plan your outdoor activities for when the pollen count is lowest.
  • It’s not the most fun way to experience the season; but you should avoid opening your windows as much as possible, as it will increase the amount of allergens entering your home or vehicle.
  • Make sure you eat foods that are known to fight inflammation. Foods that can help combat allergy symptoms include apples, flax seed, ginger, leafy greens, walnuts and anything high in vitamin C.
  • Talk to your doctor. There are a variety of prescription and over-the-counter medications that could help bring you some much-needed relief.

At all ISL communities, we emphasize an adventurous lifestyle that gets residents outdoors and enjoying all that life has to offer. Itchy eyes and sore throats shouldn’t stand in the way of a beautiful hike or day at the park!

Don’t Fall for Tax Season Scams

It’s April, and for many, the month brings warmer weather and beautiful spring flowers. For others, April is marked by the always-looming tax deadline, this year coming Tuesday, April 17.

Unfortunately, seniors – because they are most likely to have a “nest egg,” to own their home and/or to have excellent credit – are one of the more vulnerable populations for tax-related scams and fraud schemes.

To protect yourself and your loved ones from being a target, there are a few things the IRS and FBI suggest you look out for. Here are a few key ones.

  • Telemarketing scams often involve offers of free prizes, low-cost vitamins and health care products, and inexpensive vacations. If you receive a call from someone offering any of these, they are most likely a scammer.
  • Some scammers pretend to be IRS agents, demanding money for unpaid taxes. To recognize a con artist when you get a call, it’s important to remember that the IRS will never:
    • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. All tax payments should be made payable only to the U.S. Treasury, and checks should never be made payable to third parties.
    • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
    • Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
    • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • If you suspect a scam, do not give out any information. Hang up immediately and call 800-366-4484 to report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Following these tips can help you steer clear of danger.

Come tax season, all you should be worried about is what you’re going to spend your refund on!

National Caffeine Awareness Month

Who doesn’t like a nice cup of coffee to start the day or a soda with their lunch? While caffeine can provide an often necessary boost of energy, it’s important to remember that it is a stimulant, not a nutrient, and that too much caffeine is unhealthy.

March is National Caffeine Awareness Month and serves as good reminder to always be careful of how much caffeine you are consuming per day. If you’re on a first-name basis with your local barista, it may be time to rethink your daily intake!

According to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for America, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most of the caffeine consumed in the United States comes from coffee, tea and soda.

About 400 milligrams of caffeine a day – or about four cups of coffee – is considered safe for most healthy adults, though you should always keep in mind that caffeine content in beverages varies widely and that caffeine affects each of us differently.

Mixing caffeine with alcohol should always be avoided. Mixing the two may lead to drinking more alcohol and becoming more intoxicated than you realize, increasing the risk of alcohol-related adverse events.

In general, a good rule of thumb is, if you feel jittery or overly restless after drinking a caffeinated beverage, you should stop. Too much caffeine may lead to sleep problems, migraines and other health issues – not to mention coffee breath!