Why You Shouldn’t Choose Memory Care That’s One-Size-Fits-All

When it’s time to choose a memory care community, it’s important to realize that everyone is different. No one has the same experiences, preferences or tastes. No one shares all the same hobbies, talents or skills. People are unique, and that’s one of the reasons the world is so great. If people aren’t one-size-fits-all, why should your memory care be? Choosing memory care that’s as unique as you are and takes each individual senior into account is one of the best ways to ensure seniors choose the memory care community that’s right for them.

According to Andrea Campisi, Marketing Director at The Reutlinger Community, an assisted living, enhanced assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation community in Danville, CA, many seniors and their families look for the same types of attributes in a memory care community. “Before ever touring, we have an idea in our head about what it is we are looking for. We want it to look appealing, we want there to be a variety of programs and we want the care we need to have the lifestyle we deserve,” said Andrea. “The issue is that we often just visit and tour the community and check these items off the list without looking into it further. The community may be beautiful, the residents may look happy and there may be plenty of programs and a great care plan, but just how personalized is it really? Don’t just check items off the list, this decision is much bigger than that.”

5 Reasons Memory Care Shouldn’t Be One-Size-Fits-All

When you or a loved one are looking into a memory care community, make a list of things you are personally looking for. Consider some of the following:

 

  • Location. If you love being immersed in nature and beautiful surroundings, you wouldn’t choose a memory care community located in the middle of a city just as you wouldn’t move to one in the country if you love hearing the bustle and excitement of the city. Keep in mind that the community you choose doesn’t usually impact outings, as many plan specific trips to local museums and attractions. Be sure to ask for some examples of trips the community has gone on to gauge whether or not you’d be interested. If you or a loved one like to watch sports or go to the theater, see if that’s an option. Being specific about what you are looking for isn’t a bad thing when choosing memory care.

 

  • Person-centered care. Memory loss can impact seniors in a number of different ways and no diagnosis is exactly the same. This makes it crucial for seniors to receive resident-centered care according to their own specific needs and disease. When touring a community, talk to the staff about who will care for you or your loved one, if they will be their dedicated team and if personal care plans are created and agreed upon. It can help to meet with the staff and ask specific questions you have as well.

 

  • Programs and activities. Make a list of things you love to do. If you love to paint, read, garden or exercise, make sure the community has programs that can accommodate this. Have a specific skill or talent you want to share but there’s no club or program available? See if one can be started. It’s important for seniors to have access to activities they love, especially when they have memory loss, because these activities can often entice them to remember past events and connect with who they were. It’s also important to see if the community offers any special programming, like sensory-based therapies and activities that can help soothe those with memory loss while engaging their minds.

 

  • Dining. Do you or a loved one have dietary restrictions or need adaptations in order to make dining easier? Make sure these can be accommodated at the memory care community you choose. Because not everyone has the same preferences, it can also help to make sure the community offers meals throughout different times of the day and healthy snacks and beverages at all times. Try to make sure meals can be tailored to meet their preferences, as well and that there is plenty of choice and variety.

Choosing the wrong memory care community for you can lead to dissatisfaction, isolation and depression. This can make for a costly move down the road and even more disruption in you or a loved one’s daily life. Choosing a community that’s not one-size-fits-all in the first place can help to decrease the likelihood of this and ensure your loved one has access to the engaging, exciting lifestyle and high level of care they deserve.

For more information on choosing a memory care community, or to take a tour of The Reutlinger to see how our resident-centered approach to care and activities can benefit yourself or a loved one, contact us today. We’d be happy to show you how our residents live more engaged, fulfilled and connected lives as a result of a far-from-cookie-cutter lifestyle.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering assisted living, enhanced assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, The Reutlinger provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger’s newly renovated 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

Dementia: One Daughter’s Story

Finding out that your mother is suffering from dementia is devastating news. It unleashes a deluge of emotions ranging from anger to sadness. For daughters, there is often the added burden of making what seems to be an endless number of decisions for mom, including perhaps the most overwhelming one: determining where she will live.

 

Often families will consider caring for mom at home, then quickly realize (like I did) that as time goes on and symptoms worsen, taking on the responsibility of full-time care is a nearly impossible task.  Quite simply, caring for a loved one with dementia becomes a 24-hour-a-day, seven days a week challenge.

 

In my experience, finding a facility that specialized in the care and housing of individuals with dementia was the best decision not only for me, but also for my mom. Knowing that caring and qualified staff members were attending to her needs around the clock lifted a very real burden.  Perhaps most importantly, it allowed my family and me to visit often and truly enjoy the time we had with mom, even when she no longer recognized any of us.

 

For mom, her new home provided not only physical care, but also an environment with consistency, routine, and structure that weren’t possible at home.  I will always look back on those last few years with mom filled by gratitude, for the blessing of a residential facility with expert memory care.

 

For more information on dementia, and to speak with someone who can help with decisions regarding care, call Andrea Campisi, Director of Marketing and Admissions, The Reutlinger Community. We are happy to answer your questions.  (925) 964-2062.

Stroke Recovery for Seniors

by Andrea Campisi, The Reutlinger Community

 

With heart disease being the leading cause of death for men and women, the observance of American Heart Month each February helps raise awareness of ways to recover from a heart attack and stroke that can lead to a lifetime of heart health. According to the American Heart Association, stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability and reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and over.

After a heart attack or stroke, a short-term rehabilitation stay at a skilled nursing facility can provide the sustained and coordinated effort to optimize recovery, including intensive monitoring and recuperation. It’s often said that it takes a village to rehabilitate a stroke patient, one that extends far beyond patient and physician, family and friends. From physical, speech, occupational and other therapists to health aides, psychologists, nurses, nutritionists and social workers, a diverse team is essential in stroke rehabilitation. Communication and coordination among these team members is essential to promote optimum health and renewal.

At Reutlinger, we believe the key to success is not just the amount of rehabilitative therapy, but the focus of rehabilitation that makes all the difference. With our dedicated team of medical clinicians working together, we focus on restoring and maintaining independence by assisting with mobility, strength and improvement of a patient’s ability to navigate daily life. This ensures the patients smooth, positive transition from hospital to skilled nursing/rehabilitation to home.

The support of family members can be critical to effective rehabilitation, so we encourage family involvement, especially since it is often difficult to communicate with patients with cognitive or speech challenges.

Recovering from a stroke is among life’s most challenging experiences because the demands are physical, mental and emotional. For most patients, recovery from stroke takes six months to one year of focused, intensive rehabilitative therapy. The earlier a patient can begin to engage in rehabilitation, the higher the odds of a full recovery.

For more information contact Andrea Campisi, Director of Marketing, The Reutlinger Community (924) 964-2062.

 

Using a Skilled Nursing Facility for Short-term Rehabilitation and Recovery

By Andrea Campisi, Director of Marketing, The Reutlinger Community
Often people use the terms Skilled Nursing Facility – SNF – and nursing home interchangeably. But a true
SNF should offer more “skilled” medical expertise and services and provide care and rehabilitation
services to help patients get back on their feet.
If you are a hospital patient needing more recovery time, hospitals will make arrangements for you to
stay in a SNF for follow-up care. Short-term rehabilitation services offered in a SNF are ideal for injury
recovery, joint replacement recovery, or a post-major medical treatment stay. It can include physical
and occupational therapy, speech and respiratory therapy, health monitoring, and more.
What you can expect during your stay is to see your doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant
frequently. You will be monitored daily or several times a week. Also, SNF staff will be looking out for
drug interactions and side effects from prescribed medications.
You might also receive the following services:
•Help with daily living activities
•Social interaction and spiritual support
•Balanced diet and nutrition plan

Skilled nursing facilities provide a very needed benefit. Whether that be for post-surgery or illness
recovery, or a level of care that your family cannot provide in your home. A SNF can provide a more
comfortable setting for recovery and rehabilitation than a hospital or even your home.
For more information regarding short-term rehabilitation services, call (925) 964-2062.

Tips for Communication Between Seniors and their Adult Children

By Carla Adamic, Director of Marketing, The Reutlinger Community

As people age they often come to crossroads concerning their health and ability to manage their affairs
on their own. These aren’t easy topics to address, but because they are so vitally important they can’t
be ignored. Here is some advice for adult children and seniors for communicating with each other.

For Adult Children:
 Listen to what your parents say and try to understand what is important to them.
 Don’t make assumptions. One incident is one incident. If you see something that concerns you
about your parents’ ability to handle their affairs, recognize that you too could make a simple
mistake. You need to see repeated problems before there’s a real problem.
 Treat your parents like grownups. Infantilizing them is disrespectful and insulting.
 Act in the interest of your parents’ independence when possible, assuming that’s what they
desire. Help them live the lives they want, not the life you want them to live.
 Approach big issues informally or in a light tone.
 Be patient, pose questions, and don’t rush the conversation.

For Seniors:
 Stress what you actually want.
 Don’t avoid important medical visits, and don’t be afraid to share medical issues with your
children.
 Don’t put off getting your financial records in order, make your children aware of where
important information is kept.
 Listen. Talk to your children about their concerns.
 Appreciate the concern your children have for your wellbeing.
 Enjoy your children’s visits.
 Try to stay engaged with mental and physical challenges that keep you engaged with your family
and with the world.

If you are interested in learning more about senior living options, call The Reutlinger Community at
(925)648-2800 or visit our website at rcjl.org.

Fitness and Physical Therapy – Keys to Successful Aging

By Carla Adamic, The Reutlinger Community
According to one expert on aging, “If exercise could be put in a pill, it would be the number one anti-
aging medicine and the number one anti-depression medicine.” Yes, exercise is essential at any age, but
for the elderly, activity is more important than ever.
An exercise plan that is geared for a senior’s individual ability can improve strength, energy, and
appetite. It also benefits cognitive abilities as well as providing a boost to mood and memory.
Gentle exercise programs, such as stretching are especially suited for seniors. These exercises improve
balance, range of motion, and coordination. The slow, fluid movements of exercise similar to Tai Chi
provide a sense of peace and relaxation while strengthening muscle control and balance.
Even seniors who use a wheelchair or who have limited mobility can exercise. Stretching exercises can
be done while in a chair, and the use of light hand weights can improve cardiovascular health and
muscle tone. Water exercise is excellent for the elderly.
For the more active senior, group activities such as line dancing and low-impact aerobics classes couple
a higher level of exercise with the inspiration of a social setting.
Find a senior center or senior living community that offers these types of activities and physical therapy
services. You goal is to maintain or regain your mobility as you age, especially if you are in a short term-
rehabilitation program.
There are exercise options for every senior’s ability level. Find a program that works and stick with it.
Find a senior living community with onsite physical therapy and a fitness center. You'll soon be happy
with the results. There are no age limits to fitness.
The Reutlinger Community welcomes your questions and visits. Please call 925.648.2800 or visit
www.rcjl.org.

Artistic Expression and Its Healing Powers

By Carla Adamic, Director of Marketing, The Reutlinger Community

Learning, creativity, and self-expression are joys that can be pursued
throughout a lifetime. Although aging may place some limitations on
these pursuits, an assisted living community that provides the
opportunity and guidance for creativity can truly enrich the aging
experience.
Instructional programs in music, dance, poetry, writing, and art give
participants broadened opportunities for socialization with their fellow
residents. Communication increases, and support is shared.
Consider the benefits of a fine arts program, which taps into the innate
human need for creativity and self-expression. Making art can give the
elderly an additional “visual voice” through which to communicate,
especially if they are memory impaired. Watching something grow and
develop brings hope and focus on life. The fundamentals of art – color,
light, shape – are the words of that voice that the senior artist can use to
share the uniqueness of who they are and their abundance of
experiences.
The need for self-expression does not diminish with age. Encouraging
the elderly to share the richness of their lives through art brings insight
and joy to both the artist and to those who love them.
Residents of The Reutlinger participate in artistic expression daily
through the Discover the Artist Within program. Their amazing work
can be seen in a professionally printed calendar. For your copy call
(925) 964-2062. The Reutlinger Community is located at 4000 Camino
Tassajara in Danville.

5 Ways to Celebrate Spring

Spring is the season of renewal. It is the time of year where nature transforms into something inspiring. This is the perfect opportunity to pick up a new hobby, restart an old one, or try something you haven’t done before. Here are a few ideas:

Paint Something Beautiful– Spring is a time when nature begins to reveal new colors. So why not work with some colors of your own? Take some time to paint something you find beautiful be it a landscape, a still life or the people around you. Whether you’re an experienced painter or are just picking up the hobby, this season offers new opportunities to stretch your artistic legs… speaking of which…

Take a Long Walk Outside – Spring is when wild flowers begin to bloom and trees begin to blossom. What better time to talk a long walk to appreciate it? Long walks are good for the body and the spirit and help to energize you to make the most out of life. It could also be a great bonding opportunity if you pick up a new hiking partner.

Become a Chef – Spring is a great time to cook foods you haven’t tried before. Some great spring foods include pasta primavera, guacamole, or chicken with spring vegetables. Better yet, why not get a group of people together and have a barbecue outside? It’s a Memorial Day tradition!

Go to A Baseball Game – Few things are as thrilling as a great game of baseball. Major league, Minor League, or Little League, it doesn’t matter. Baseball is the great American past time and is a great way to bond with friends and family while cheering on your favorite team.

Travel – Spring is a great time to travel because there are fewer tourists than usual and the worst of the winter weather has gone. You can consider going somewhere you’ve never been before whether it’s nearby or right next door. Take some time to appreciate how big and exciting the world can be.

For more information call us at (925) 648-2800 or visit www.rcjl.org.

 

Awakening Your Inner Spirit

Many people experience a need for connection with something greater with themselves whether it be religious in nature or simply a sense of connection with the natural world. For some of us, this can be a rewarding, lifelong journey. For others, it can be a way to change our perspective so we can see our best selves. Here are a few ways you can try to awaken your inner spirit.

Guided Meditation – For many of us, meditation can be a way to let the worries of the world pass over us and reengage with our inner selves. This doesn’t have to be religious in nature. Rather it’s simply a way to clear your mind and simply be. Consider doing this with some music or perhaps outside where you can hear the soothing sounds of nature.

Take a Nature Walk – The beauty and scope of nature is limitless. Taking a walk outside, especially in the spring can be glorious. Whether it’s a walk high in the mountains with gorgeous views and crisp air, a walk on the beach, or a simple stroll through the park where you can see the wildflowers bloom, few things are as invigorating as a simple walk outside.

Pray – Whatever your religion, prayer can have a powerful effect on a person’s spirit whether they are looking to simply appreciate life more or connect to something greater. Prayer has been proven to have a powerful positive effect on a person’s outlook and mental health. Psychologists say that prayer reduces the stress of daily life, helps a person’s sense of self-control and even makes them more pleasant to be around.

Listen to Music – Music is a language that can express the inexpressible. The emotional and spiritual effects of music can be profound. This is true of almost any type of music. Happy music can lift us up. Sad music, ironically, can do the same. A scientific study demonstrated that people trying to feel happier while listening to music by Aaron Copland actually works!

To learn more, call us at (925) 648-2800 or visit www.rcjl.org

5 Factors to Look for in a Senior Living Community

One of our greatest fears is that of the unknown. But equipped with the right questions, and knowing what to look for, will make the transition from living at home to a senior living community feel safer. Remember when you moved out of your parents’ house to a college dorm? Moved into your first apartment? Bought your first home for your family? Transitions are part of life and The Reutlinger Community is here to help guide you.

Can adequate care be provided as your needs change?

Everyone has their own unique care requirements. Are licensed care practitioners such as nurses available onsite? Do they offer medication management, physical therapy, and general medical care? At The Reutlinger, we offer a full continuum of care. This means you will never have to move again. Our home is your home now and forever.

How are the dining services?

Ask to have a meal in the dining room. Is it healthy and delicious? Is it vibrant and invites socialization? Can family and friends visit and dine with you? Are there accommodations for dietary restrictions and how they are managed?

What activities, programs and spiritual services are available?

Keeping an active mind, body and spirit are essential as we age. Are there activities that promote social interaction? Physical fitness? Spiritual well-being?

Is the staff kind and caring?

At The Reutlinger, we pride ourselves in being family. We do not just provide care for you, we care about you.  When you visit a community, do you see staff interacting with the residents? Are they having conversations about family, politics, arts and culture? What communication methods are in place to keep families and residents informed?

Is the community investing in upgrades?

Take a look around. Is the community funding upgrades to carpets, wallcoverings, furniture? Technology accessibility? You want to live in a home that is taken of.

For more information call us at (925) 648-2800 or visit www.rcjl.org.