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Making Your Assisted Living Apartment Feel Like Home

One of the biggest reasons why a senior may hesitate to move into Assisted Living is because they don’t want to leave “home.” This can be both a practical matter (I don’t want to move my stuff, the house is paid off, it’s nice to have the extra space) or it can be an emotional matter (this is where we raised our kids, it’s belonged to the family forever, I simply don’t want to give it up). Whatever the reason, it mainly stems from the fear of losing “home.”

“They say home is where the heart is, and for many people, their heart is linked to the physical structure,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “Moving away from that very personal place is a step that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s okay to grieve the loss of ‘your home,’ since it has played such an important role in the past.”

But that shouldn’t stop you, Andrea says, from moving into a new “home” to begin a new chapter of your life. “There are lots of ways you can decorate your Assisted Living apartment to honor your past while still making it new,” she says. “It’s all about balance, looking at your needs and recognizing what’s really important to you.”

Here are nine tips to making your new home feel like, well, home.

  1. Remember “Something Old”

Downsizing doesn’t mean getting rid of everything. Sure, you can’t take the 12-foot dining room table or the room-sized wraparound couch. But you can take the things that mean the most to you, because they’re your link to the past. Your breakfast table, your antique lawyer’s bookcase, a few favorite pieces of Wedgwood® china – pick and choose your favorites, and then sell the rest or gift items to friends and family.

  1. Buy “Something New”

Who doesn’t love getting new stuff? One of the best parts of moving into an Assisted Living apartment is that you get to play interior designer and create a brand-new space that’s totally your style. Have fun and buy new rugs, curtains, throw pillows, coffee tables – whatever will make your home a home. It’s an excellent time to go a little wild and buy something that you’ve always wanted but never got for whatever reason, like a French press coffee maker or a wine fridge.

  1. Get Creative with Your Storage

No matter how much you downsize, you’ll probably still have a lot of stuff. And depending on your new place, you may not have a whole lot of storage space. In order to maximize your square footage, consider furniture that serves a double-purpose, like an ottoman that opens up to store blankets (and can become a low table by adding a tray).

  1. Use Photos for Decoration

Your family and friends are what’s important in life, so why not use them to really warm up the space? Place photos around your new place, similar to how they were arranged in your old home. Print a big family photo and hang it on the wall. Change out photos every once in a while (or every time you get new ones) to keep things fresh and interesting.

  1. Add Foliage

A living plant or two is a great addition to any Assisted Living apartment. If you have a large potted plant that you can’t take with you, consider potting some cuttings and taking them. Not only are plants pretty, but they also help improve air quality.

  1. Make Space for Guests

One of the benefits of an Assisted Living community is making new friends and compatriots. You probably enjoyed entertaining friends, family and other guests at your old place, and we imagine you’ll want to do the same in your new apartment. As you’re decorating, make sure there’s a space where you can entertain a few people for game night or a cozy dinner party. Don’t forget extra chairs or tables so that guests have a natural place to sit and relax.

  1. Make Room for Hobbies

Yes, Assisted Living communities have a full schedule of events and activities that you can take part in. That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re not going to have a place where you want to escape to read a book, do embroidery or knitting or whatever other hobbies you enjoy. Mark off a corner or a space that’s dedicated to your hobbies so you have a space for your materials and tools – as well as a way to keep everything organized and neat so things aren’t just scattered across the counter or the kitchen table.

  1. Consider Your Abilities

It’s annoying to recognize it, but it’s possible that you may need a little “extra” from your décor now that you’re getting older. Like that favorite comfy chair you use to watch TV? It may not be the best fit, since the deep, soft cushions can be difficult to climb out of. Think about things that will make your life easier: brighter lighting in the bathroom, or contrasting colors in the kitchen to help delineate what goes where. The more you can take care of before you settle in, the easier it will be.

  1. Name It & Own It

The easiest way to make a new place feel like home? Start referring to it as that. Yes, it can be a bit of a psychological stumble at the beginning, but the more you can name your apartment as your “home,” the more you’ll be able to internalize it. Using all the tips listed above, we imagine it won’t take very long before the word “home” comes naturally.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’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.

Understanding the Aging Process: Helping Your Aging Parent Cope with Loss (Part 4 of 4)

At The Reutlinger, we are experts in the aging process and strive to educate our residents, future residents and adult children about what to expect as a parent ages. In this four-part series, we explore the aging process and provide tips to help adult children navigate and manage these changes.

Our lives are marked by constant change. Graduating college, finding employment, getting married, becoming a parent – all these and more are the milestones by which we measure our lives. As we age, we find ourselves changing as well, sometimes in large ways and sometimes in smaller but no less significant ways, retiring, moving into a senior community or requiring caregivers. The change that comes with age is often defined by a sense of loss: loss of identity, purpose, independence, mobility, functionality – all these things and more add up to a shifting reality.

“Seniors are bombarded with constant change, from the physical and emotional to mental and situational,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “Caregivers and loved ones play an important role in helping seniors and aging adults work through these difficulties and reaching acceptance of their new reality. There’s a grieving process that must be worked through in order to get to the other side to cope with and accept these everyday losses.”

The Stages of Grief

Many of us are familiar of the Five Stages of Grief developed by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross . These stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – were originally developed to explain the grieving process that an individual goes through when dealing with a terminal diagnosis.

“We usually associate the five stages of grief with dealing with external losses, like the death of a parent or loved one,” says Campisi. “However, Kübler-Ross never intended them to be used in that way. The stages were specifically developed to deal with personal, individual journeys of loss, whether that be the diagnosis of a terminal illness or something smaller, like not being able to drive in the evenings anymore. At The Reutlinger Community, we’ve found that these stages of grief can be used to help seniors internalize and accept the everyday personal losses they face as they age.”

Our society generally doesn’t tend to view everyday losses and transitions as something that should be grieved over. How many times have you heard someone say this: “Just get over it!” or “It’s not so bad – other people have it so much worse! What are you complaining about?” or “It’s time to move on!” In order to transition in a healthy way, we need to give our aging parents and other loved ones the space and the ability to adequately grieve these small but important losses and get to the other side.

The Stages of Grief for Everyday Losses

Here’s an example of how an aging parent may exhibit the five stages of grief as they’re experiencing an everyday loss, like mobility issues.

  • At first, your parents may react as if everything is fine. “I can do this myself! I don’t need help!” they may say as they refuse the help you’ve offered. It’s easy to view this as simply being stubborn or not facing facts, but denial stems from fear of the unknown. What does it mean if they accept they need help? Will they be forced to leave their home or give up something they love, which is another loss on top of this loss? It’s frightening and vulnerable, which is why the first reaction is to sweep it under the rug, so to speak.
  • As the issue can no longer be easily ignored, your parent may experience outbursts of anger as their body continues to betray them. This can result in anger at completely unrelated things, or they start to “fly off the handle” more easily. They may blame others for issues, or begin saying things like “It’s not fair!” While it seems counterintuitive, the best way to move forward is by encouraging them to embrace the anger and express it instead of trying to mitigate it or calm them down. The more your parents can feel that anger, the sooner they will be able to work through it and move forward.
  • “I’ll let someone come and help for a day a week, but I won’t give up my car!” If a phrase like that sounds familiar to you, that means your parents have entered the “bargaining” stage of grief. They’re trying to negotiate and regain a semblance of control over the situation. It can be frustrating for you as their child to have them do this “halfway acceptance” because in many ways they’re still in denial about the problem. If your parents are in this stage, it’s important to listen to them and accept the terms they can offer, no matter how ridiculous or small they may seem.
  • Depression. Depression has often been defined as “anger turned inward.” This manifests in feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, abandonment and loss of purpose. Your aging parents may seem dull and apathetic, not experiencing any interest or joy in the things they love to do. The most important thing you can do for them is to listen, to be there and let them know you care and they’re not alone. Medications and therapists may be able to help lessen the severity of this stage.
  • Acceptance. Oftentimes we see this stage as a destination, but it’s actually more like a beginning. At this point, your aging parent may finally accept that they need help and begin making plans and changes to address the new normal. However, it’s important to note that true acceptance takes time, and it’s possible your loved one will be accepting one day and then bounce back to another stage of grief the next. Eventually, though, your aging loved one will be able to face their new reality with honesty and acceptance and move forward.

How You Can Help Your Aging Parents Cope with Loss

The five stages of grief are not a rigid progression and can easily shift back and forth for a long time. As an adult child, it’s more important to think of them as guidelines for how your aging parent is feeling. By understanding what they are feeling and going through, you can better assist, support and help them through this journey.

The biggest gift you can give your parents at this time is acknowledgement. Our first reaction when there’s an issue is to provide advice, or try and fix it or, even worse, try to take over because we “know better”. But what your parent needs at this time more than anything is acknowledgement of their pain and what they’re feeling. Although it seems like something small and simple, it’s the biggest thing you can do to help make things better.

Here are some ways you can show your acknowledgement and support of your aging parents’ struggles:

  • Give them the space they need to be sad without attempting to cheer them up. It’s painful to experience loss, but it’s okay to let things hurt for a while.
  • Remind them as much as possible that it’s okay to grieve, and that it takes time – as much as they need.
  • Listen to them and allow them to vent their emotions and feelings as much as possible.
  • Tell them you hear them, that you’re sorry for what’s happening and ask if they would like to talk about it.
  • Encourage them to grieve in whatever way they wish. Encourage them to seek out support groups so they can speak with others who’ve gone through similar issues.
  • Be there for them, and if you’re concerned about how they’re coping, speak to a medical professional to see what resources may be available.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering assisted living, enhanced assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and

rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community 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.

The Reutlinger Community: An Extension of Your Home Now and Forever

At The Reutlinger, we were specially designed and built for living. Newly renovated and offering a true continuum of care, we are a community that not only looks and feels like home, but can truly be home for all of seniors’ different care needs. Whether they need Assisted Living, Memory Care or Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, they never need to worry about making a move from the community that provides them with the engaging lifestyle, beloved traditions and dedicated care they deserve.

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, The Reutlinger has been serving seniors throughout the area for over 60 years. “Recent renovations have been completed to provide better service, comfort, care and connection for our residents,” says Andrea. “This allows for an engaging lifestyle where up to 180 residents can thrive. Even better, our dedicated and seasoned specialists can now provide even more of the care that our residents deserve.”

At The Reutlinger, we believe it’s a combination of our programming, heritage and care that creates the lifestyle seniors deserve. Here, our residents can be at home and feel at home, enjoying the services they need.

The Dedicated Care You Deserve

No matter what care needs your loved one may have, The Reutlinger can always be home. Here, we provide an array of care options that can fit a range of needs, including:

 

  • Assisted Living. Residents in our Assisted Living program benefit from services and amenities that help them life worry-free lives. From chef-prepared meals, scheduled transportation and assistance when needed to weekly housekeeping, laundry and engaging programming, residents can enjoy each day.

 

  • Memory Care. We have been designed to take care of various Memory Care needs, no matter what level your loved one may be at. For those requiring minimal Memory Care to more advanced, our range of capabilities can help residents live their best lives. We even provide sensory-based therapies and programming adapted to meet the changing needs of residents with Memory Care needs.

 

  • Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation. To end our continuum of care, we also offer Skilled Nursing, allowing the peace of mind of knowing you’ll never need to make a move because The Reutlinger has you covered. With personal assistance, support from an expert team of professionals and an array of on-site services, our residents and families can enjoy everything The Reutlinger has to offer with complete peace of mind.

The Engaging Lifestyle You Desire

Residents of The Reutlinger enjoy a range of activities and programs designed to enhance and enrich their lives. These offerings allow them to connect and engage with others, find purpose and meaning and feel at home right where they are.

 

  • Art classes. Taught by our artist-in-residence, Betty Rothaus, our residents can enjoy learning how to paint or simply watch. This program gives resident artists multiple opportunities to explore art therapeutically, or just enjoy a calming creative outlet right in their own home.

 

  • Scheduled transportation. We worry about taking your loved one places so you don’t have to. We provide transportation each day to doctor’s appointments, nearby shopping, special events and more.

The Traditions You Love

At The Reutlinger, not only do we treat your family like our family but their traditions are upheld. We cherish the Jewish lifestyle and its beliefs, and believe that their values should be honored. As the area’s only Jewish community, residents of The Reutlinger can enjoy:

 

  • Rabbi on site. Rabbi Debora Kohn holds weekly Shabbat and holiday services, conducts spiritual and religious programming, provides guidance and ensures the spiritual needs of residents are met.  

 

  • Kosher kitchen. The Reutlinger provides kosher meals to fit the needs of our Jewish residents. With the area’s only kosher kitchen, our residents enjoy three restaurant-style meals plus snacks and beverages.

 

  • Jewish Heritage Museum. Residents and their families can find our Jewish Heritage Museum on site. Our museum features Jewish artifacts that have been donated. This is open for residents, families, staff and visitors to enjoy.

To learn more about The Reutlinger, or to experience it for yourself, contact us today. We would be happy to take you on a tour, have you attend an art class or meet with our rabbi.

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.

Spring Awakens the Body and Mind – Keys to Successful Aging

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 and movement is more important than ever.

A physical activity program geared to 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.

A senior living community such as The Reutlinger, that offers multiple levels of care, is perfect in being able to tailor exercise opportunities to a wide-range of residents.

The stimulation of our mind is also of great importance as we age. We want to be sure that we keep learning, stay interested in life, and create.

Listen to music. Music is a language that can express the inexpressible. The emotional and spiritual effects of music can be profound. Happy music can lift us up, and calm music can relax us.

Paint. 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.

Meditate or pray. Meditation and 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. Psychologists say that meditation and prayer reduce the stress of daily life, helps a person’s sense of self-control and even makes them more pleasant to be around.

At The Reutlinger Community, our residents find comfort from our onsite spiritual leader, self-expression in our Discovering the Artist Within program, joy through music therapy, and lovely grounds to awaken their senses. For more information call Andrea Campisi, Director of Admissions and Marketing at (925) 964-2062.

Beginning a Discussion About Assisted Living and Long-Term Care

By Andrea Campisi, Director of Marketing, 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.

Supporting Seniors in Chronic Pain

The Reutlinger Community: Carla Adamic

By Carla Adamic, The Reutlinger Community

 

Half of all seniors in the United States suffer from some form of chronic pain. Despite this staggering statistic, that pain often goes untreated. The first step to getting treatment is, of course, reporting it, but there are often barriers that prevent that from happening. Many seniors live on fixed incomes and are afraid to report chronic pain out of fear that it will lead to expensive medications and treatments. Other seniors are suffering from conditions that make communicating their pain difficult like memory or hearing loss. Despite these obstacles, chronic pain is often easily and inexpensively treatable. It’s important for seniors to report chronic pain to their physicians and loved ones.

Signs of Chronic Pain

Signs that a senior (or anyone) is in pain and might not be willing or able to tell you include:

 

  • Tightly closed eyes
  • Grimacing
  • Lowered levels of activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Insomnia or troubled sleep
  • Rigid movement
  • Clenched fists
  • Groaning when moved
  • Inexplicable Tears

 

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If you see any of these symptoms, it’s important to encourage seniors to explain what is going on. Pain that goes unreported and untreated can have significant consequence including depression and anxiety.

Managing chronic pain can be handled in a variety of ways:

  • See a doctor who is certified in board certified pain management.
  • Look into interventional therapy programs that could help you manage the underlying cause of the chronic pain. For example, certain exercises can help reduce back pain.
  • Walking, yoga and meditation can help.
  • Dialog with other people who have experienced the same pain and ask how they’ve managed it. Support groups can help.
  • Believe it or not, simple love and care can help someone feel better. Isolation can make pain feel worse.

 

 

At the Reutlinger Community, we work with residents to make sure that they don’t suffer in silence. Part of that is simply having a knowledgeable and personable staff that knows each resident well enough to be able to talk with them about how they are feeling and to recognize signs of chronic pain when they are reticent.

To learn more about how we manage pain, visit us at rcjl.org or call us at 925-648-2800.

 

Keeping Our Communities Current: How Modern Technology Can Improve Assisted Living

The Reutlinger Community: Carla Adamic

By Carla Adamic, The Reutlinger Community

 

Despite easily available evidence to the contrary, there is a persistent myth in our culture that seniors don’t do technology. The reality is that a majority of people over sixty-five have cell phones, use the internet, and use at least some form of social media. Seniors aren’t merely more tech savvy than people assume, they actively want the technology in their homes to be current. It’s important for senior living communities to keep their capabilities up to date and incorporate the latest technologies into their design.

 

Computer Access

Computer and technology centers are becoming more and more essential parts of senior living communities. Computers provide a way for seniors to keep in touch with their loved ones, catch up on news, work on personal projects, manage their finances and more.

 

Wi-Fi

Wireless internet has gone from a luxury to a necessity. While having access to a desktop or laptop computer allows for more in-depth interactions, more and more people are accessing the internet through cell phones and tablet computers. Indeed, the simple interfaces and easy portability of these devices often make them the preferred devices by many seniors who don’t need or want the complexity of a desktop PC.

 

Instruction

For many seniors the reason they avoid technology isn’t because they aren’t interested, but because they need patient instruction. At the Reutlinger Community, we have volunteers and speakers who help seniors learn instead of mocking their lack of prior knowledge.

 

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There are numerous benefits to giving seniors access to modern technology.

 

Connection

Some seniors live hundreds, even thousands of miles away from their families who live in different time zones and can’t readily interact in real time. E-mail and social media make it quick and easy to communicate whether it be about the latest 49ers game, holidays, family events or even just the weather. Programs like Skype and Facetime allow face to face communication across the country and even the world. Engagement is often said to be as important to graceful aging as keeping your body healthy.

 

Mental and Physical Health

There are numerous video games that provide both physical and mental benefits. The Nintendo Wii console, for example, offers simulated sports activities like tennis, bowling and golf which allow for physical exertion in a fun and safe environment at home or with friends. Other games help with hand-eye coordination, spatial recognition, fact recall, memory and more. Even better, many games can be played online with family and friends, stacking social benefits on top of mental and physical benefits.

 

Medication Management

While at the Reutlinger Community, we are able to take a hands-on approach to medication management, many seniors must manage on their own. There are numerous apps that can help seniors (and anyone else) track their medication use to prevent over or under-dosing. Learning how to use these apps can have a significant impact on a senior’s overall health.

 

Emergency Response

Many seniors have access to a PERS or a Personal Emergency Response System that allows them to summon medical help with the touch of a button. Other useful emergency technologies include GPS devices or global positioning systems that help seniors locate where they are and get directions to where they are going. These GPS systems can be linked to alert systems so that caregivers can easily find seniors when they need our help.

 

To learn more about how technology helps seniors and how we handle it in an assisted living environment, please visit our website at rcjl.org or call us at 925-648-2800.

Consider services, programs, and enhanced care when choosing an assisted living community

When selecting an assisted living facility for yourself or a loved one, there are many factors to consider, some of which can be evaluated during a personal tour. Is the facility clean and orderly? Are residents engaged in activities? Does staff provide assistance, if necessary, with daily needs such as medication management, bathing, and dressing?

Along with basic services, consider the program of activities available to residents. Learning does not stop with aging, and opportunities for art classes, acting workshops, dancing, and other stimulating pastimes encourage seniors to maintain their many interests and perhaps even develop new ones.

In addition, consider the benefits of a facility that also provides a residence with skilled nursing care should the need arise. The ability to “age in place” minimizes the stress of change for a senior with increasing health needs.

Through thoughtful communication and careful planning and investigating, a move to assisted living can prove to be a welcome lifestyle change.

September 13 -19 is National Assisted Living Week!

With the percentage of the U.S. population over age 65 steadily increasing, specialized residences and health care must be available for the growing and varied needs of seniors. Residences offering appropriate levels of care based on an individual’s need are often the solution. Here are various senior living options:

Assisted Living is for seniors who require the least amount of care. Meals are provided along with assistance in medication management, bathing, and dressing. Housekeeping and laundry services may be available; community social activities or outings offered; and depending on preferences and budgets, residents may have the option of choosing a private room or a shared apartment.

The concept of Enhanced Assisted Living can vary, but essentially these facilities, in addition to the services of Assisted Living, offer opportunities for “aging in place” by providing higher level care, services, and therapies as a senior’s needs increase.

Although some Assisted Living residences may provide services for seniors with cognitive impairment, a Memory Care residence is a specialized community for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Providing 24-hour supervision and security, the Memory Care environment is designed to meet the unique challenges of Alzheimer’s patients.

A Skilled Nursing Facility, sometimes known as a nursing home, provides the highest level of care as well as round-the-clock availability of medical care. Skilled Nursing usually provides long-term care for seniors who are too sick or frail for other types of residences.