Moving to a Senior Living Community? Add these 5 things to your “to-do” list!

check mark, list, boxes, check list, to-do list A version of this article originally appeared on Angie’s List

If you or a loved one are preparing to make a move to a senior living community, your head is undoubtedly buzzing with errands to run, appointments to make, and papers to complete before the big day. In the flurry of tasks, there are often a few simple but essential things that get overlooked.

Remember to get these five items squared away before the bustle of moving day – you’ll be pleased you did!

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15 Gift Ideas for a Loved One at a Senior Living Community | Make the holidays bright with a thoughtful gift

The season of giving is upon us, and while many of us find joy in giving gifts, sometimes the task of figuring out the perfect item can be a stressor. For that special loved one who lives in a senior living community, perhaps it seems that they already have everything they could possibly want, or maybe they’ve downsized and the last thing they need is more “stuff.” This can make the conundrum of what to give particularly puzzling.

In an effort to help minimize the stress associated with this gift decision, here are 15 great ideas that we think would be very much appreciated by someone who lives in a senior community:

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brain, knowledge, understand, memory, memory care, alzheimer's, dementia

5 Things You Need to Know About Memory Care

A version of this article originally appeared on Angie’s List.

Ibrain, knowledge, understand, memory, memory care, alzheimer's, dementiaf you’ve ever known someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you know that there is no cure or simple way to overcome it. Since the memory loss can alter personality and/or abilities to perform basic everyday tasks, a special kind of supportive care is often required. Loved ones must learn to adapt their interactions and expectations, which can be emotionally and physically draining.

Thankfully, there are specific types of communities that cater to people with memory loss, and they can be a life saver for the individual and their loved ones. Memory Care communities provide supportive care in a secure environment. Caregivers are present 24/7, and they are specifically trained not only in caregiving, but in working with people who experience memory loss.

So what else is there to know about Memory Care? Here are five biggies:

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Not Your Grandmother’s Senior Living Community | 7 amenities that today’s communities boast

This article originally appeared on Angie’s List

Holz Pavilion FireplaceSenior living communities are not nursing homes. They’re not places where older adults are sitting around in front of a TV all day. They’re not old buildings with tiny rooms and ancient furnishings. In short, they’re just not what you may remember if you are still carrying memories of visiting your grandmother back in the day.

If you haven’t been to visit a senior living community in the past couple of years, you’d be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find these days. Senior communities have evolved to be vibrant hubs of livelihood, full of luxurious amenities and catered options galore. If you’re up for it, go take a tour of the senior community in your town. Chances are, you’ll find the following:

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Dealing with the Dollars | 6 simple tips for navigating the cost of living at a senior community

This article originally appeared on Angie’s List

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You’re familiar with a senior living community in your town, know people who currently reside there, and maybe have been onsite for a program or meal with a friend. Have you found yourself considering a move but wonder about the costs?

For most people, cost is one of the biggest uncertainties when making the decision. What does it cost? Will senior communities divulge that information or will I have to dig for it? Can I afford it?

We’re going to let you in on a few things to consider when it comes to tackling cost.

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3 Tips for Making the Most of Family Dynamics during a Move to a Senior Living Community

This article originally appeared on Angie’s List

Multi Generation Family Enjoying Picnic TogetherEvery family has their quirks – good and bad. There’s the one family member who never ceases to voice their opinion. There’s the one who keeps quiet and lets the others dominate decisions. There’s one who just doesn’t seem to understand where you’re coming from. And then there’s you, feeling completely overwhelmed by it all.

As a leader in the senior living industry for over 100 years, we’ve seen our fair share of unique types of family dynamics. We understand that moving to a senior community can be a tough decision and a stressful time, and rightfully so – it’s an extremely important life change. More often than not, those unique family dynamics can increase the strain. Pat Tomczyk, Certified Social Worker on our campus since 1998, shares three tips for dealing with and embracing unique family dynamics. Continue reading

How Coffee Hour Makes a Happy Senior Citizen

10 easy ways to combat senior isolation

snow fallingDepending where you live, the late winter months can be frigid, dreary, and seemingly endless. The snow is not quite as white and sparkling as when it was freshly fallen in December. It’s rare to see the sun peeking out through the gray abyss of a sky. The sound of birds singing and children running around outside seem like distant memories – it’s just quiet, frozen, and gray.

For many senior citizens, inability or uneasiness about going outdoors in the cold and snow constricts them to their home, magnifying the lackluster feel of the season. Additionally, at this stage of life, they are likely living alone or with just one other person, often lacking the simplest day-to-day chatter.

Socialization is an impactful factor that can turn that desolation into delight.

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2014 In Review

The stats team prepared a 2014 annual report for our blog, and we thought it was pretty interesting!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 580 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 10 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report, and as always, leave us a reply if you have any thoughts or questions! We look forward to connecting with you more in 2015.

No Longer Driving? No Problem | Putting Myths to Rest

What if you were no longer able to drive? Would you feel like life as you know it is over, or can you think of a few transportation alternatives in your area?

Well guess what; we live in an innovative world chock-full of resources. No matter where you live, not driving doesn’t need to hinder your day-to-day life. You’ve got options. Lots of them. Let us put a few myths to rest when it comes to no longer driving.

Myth #1) My community doesn’t have a public transportation system so I don’t have any alternatives if I give up driving.

Just because you don’t have a bus, subway, or ample taxis doesn’t mean you don’t have alternative options for transportation. There are multitudes of websites and agencies you can turn to for options and lists of even more resources. To get you started, ABC News put together this list of national and state resources that help provide car services for older adults.

Here in Waukesha County, for example, our local Aging and Disability Resource Center is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to identifying a solution for transportation needs. They have a dedicated transportation department and offer a Ride Line program for older adults who are no longer driving or drive on a limited basis. After application to the program is completed, participants enjoy discounted rates to get where they need to be via safe, secure vehicles and drivers.

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Five Strategies for Having “The Money Talk” with Parents

Money. It’s a sensitive topic. You don’t discuss paychecks at work, you don’t talk about your mortgage with friends, and you certainly don’t ask your parents what’s in their savings account. They likely grew up in a family where finances weren’t openly discussed. Their pride, privacy, and sense of independence may also be strong factors.

Gift box

Having “The Money Talk” is a gift to parents and children.

However, think of the peace of mind that could come from understanding your parents’ financial situation. One of our Social Workers, Pat Tomczyk, has had many a discussion with our residents’ family members where they’ve mentioned how lucky they are that their mom or dad were receptive to having “The Money Talk” with them well before they needed help with finances or assistance with applying to a senior community. If finances and important documents are not organized, it can be a puzzle nearly impossible to put together at the time when it’s needed most. Having this discussion is a gift to both parents and children.

When you’re ready, here are some strategies for guiding the conversation.

  1. Have your own finances in order & use yourself as the icebreaker.

filing cabinetTo lead into the conversation, let your parents know that you’re proactive about your finances too. You wouldn’t ask them to do something that you don’t. Share that you have a good grasp on your finances and have your important documents in place, as well. Explain what steps you’ve taken and why it’s helped you feel stable.

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