How you can stay in touch with family and friends after moving to a senior living community

Are you considering a move to a senior living community but worried about how you’ll keep in touch with family and friends? You’re not alone. Many future residents have the same concerns.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to stay connected and keep in touch with the people you care about. From FaceTime to card nights to private dining parties, residents have plenty of options to stay connected with their loved ones.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best ways to keep in touch with family and friends after moving to a senior living community.

Enjoy a video call to have a virtual visit with family or friends whenever you like

A virtual visit can help maintain ties even when residents and their friends are separated by thousands of miles. Modern technology for video calling like FaceTime makes visiting easier than ever. Video calls allow residents to enjoy a face-to-face conversation with family or friends anywhere in the world, from the comfort of their living room. No expensive travel required!

Residents can use FaceTime or video chat services like Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom to stay in touch with those who matter most. Grandparents can share stories with grandchildren who live far away or have regular catch-ups with distant relatives. Video calling also makes it possible for to host a virtual event, like a game night or movie watch party.

Enjoy a card or board game night and mix the “old” and “new” friends

With many social connections in their current neighborhoods, the prospect of moving to a senior living community can be daunting for many older adults. Fortunately, there are plenty of in-person social opportunities at senior living communities — some of them more informal than others.
Many senior living communities have groups of residents who enjoy a night of card games or board games. Play poker, Clue, Settlers of Catan or whatever you prefer, and enjoy having social opportunities and good friends at your fingertips.

These social events offer a reason for residents to invite their friends and family members over for a night of fun and laughter. It also provides an informal setting for guests to meet other residents and engage in meaningful conversations.

For older adults who want to make sure they stay connected to their friends, one surefire way to make things more fun is to invite their “old” friends to meet the “new” at a game night. It can make for a memorable evening filled with laughter and good company — all while bonding deeper relationships with fellow residents at the same time.

Host a dinner party and let someone else do all the work

Dining is an important part of life at a senior living community. But a special event may call for having a few friends over for dinner, and who wants to do all the cooking and dishes?

That’s why many senior living communities offer residents a variety of catered dining options, to invite guests over for a special dinner party. A special menu developed with the Dining department makes it simple and convenient to plan an event. Enjoy a luxurious meal without lifting a finger!

Inviting friends and family over to experience their community is also great to help those who may be considering making the move themselves. Guests get an up-close look at the lifestyle offered at their friend’s new home. Private dining options allow potential new residents to get an idea of what life would be like for them.

From poker nights to private dinners, there are plenty of ways for residents of senior living communities to keep in touch with family and friends. To learn all about how additional socialization opportunities abound at a Westminster community, find the community that suits you today on our Web site!

Simple Tips to Stay in Shape After Retirement

Staying active is crucial at any age in life, but it’s especially important for seniors to make an effort to stay in shape as they get older. Older adults are at higher risk of many ailments and physical issues. Remaining active can help minimize these risks and enable them to live long, healthy lives. 

Staying in shape doesn’t have to demand a lot of time or effort. Here are some simple ways to stay in shape after retirement, whether you’re living on your own or taking advantage of assisted living in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Walk Every Day

Many people equate fitness with intense workout classes or hours spent pumping iron in the gym. But one of the most effective ways for seniors to stay in shape is simply walking. Going for a walk every day offers endless health and wellness benefits, including:

  • Improved circulation
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved muscle strength and coordination
  • Disease prevention

In addition to these perks, walking has mental health benefits like boosting mood and enhancing clarity of thought. Seniors who walk daily are more likely to live longer and stay capable.

Find an Active Hobby

Retirement is the ideal time for seniors to explore new interests, and finding a hobby that promotes physical activity is like killing two health-related birds with one stone. 

Examples of active hobbies include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Golfing
  • Yoga or tai chi
  • Volunteering for public service

Active hobbies make exercise more fun, and seniors are more likely to stick with pastimes they actually enjoy.

Make Exercise Social

Getting your daily exercise in doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. There are plenty of ways for seniors to make exercise social, from participating in clubs to signing up for group exercise classes to simply joining a friend for a rousing game of pickleball.

Adding a social element to exercise increases its benefits even more, as it allows seniors to get the social interaction they need.

Staying in Shape in Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Seniors have many excellent options when it comes to staying in shape in assisted or independent living in St. Petersburg, Florida.  No matter how fit, strong, or mobile you are, there are always opportunities to stay active and in shape. With some creative thinking and a little effort, older adults can stay active — and therefore healthy — through retirement and well into their later years.

How to Help Seniors Keep a Clean and Clutter-Free Space

For many seniors, keeping up with daily household tasks like cooking and cleaning can become challenging. When a senior’s living space becomes dirty or cluttered, it can quickly turn into an unsafe environment. 

Whether seniors are living alone, in assisted living, or in memory care in St. Petersburg, Florida, there are several ways you can help seniors keep a clean and clutter-free space.

Invest in Organization Solutions

If seniors do not have a simple and easy way to store all of their items, keeping a space clean and clutter-free can be a real challenge. With proper organization, keeping a tidy living space becomes much easier. Consider investing in organization solutions such as:

  • Kitchen drawer organizers
  • Dresser drawer organizers
  • Cabinet organizers
  • Pantry labeling
  • Additional closet storage

Working with a professional organizer can be a great way to make the most of a senior’s space. However, setting up organizational solutions doesn’t have to be expensive. Purchasing simple storage products can go a long way, and taking time for DIY organization projects can be a fun way to spend quality time together.

Get Rid of Unused Items

When seniors hang on to items they no longer need, their living space can quickly become cluttered. No matter how organized you are, there are only so many items that can fit into a space before it becomes messy. 

Help a senior plan a garage sale or help them donate items to someone in need. Getting rid of unused items can transform a space from cluttered to clean and organized. 

While some seniors struggle with giving away sentimental items, donating or selling them gives them a new home where they will be used and given a new life.

Encourage Cleaning Habits

There is no one-time solution for keeping a clean space. Seniors must invest time each day in keeping a clean living environment. The best way to do this is to develop good cleaning habits. 

Encourage a senior to adopt these habits by making charts or taking time to clean with them. Once they make cleaning a habit, it will be ingrained in their daily routine, and keeping a clean home will be much easier.

Clean and Clutter-Free Spaces in Assisted Living Facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida

Assisted living facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida, offer a healthy environment where seniors can enjoy clean and clutter-free living spaces. Through housekeeping services and the help of staff, seniors won’t have to struggle to keep their living areas clean.

3 Tasty Fall Treats to Bake This Season

Autumn is here, and with that comes delicious fall treats! Many independent living facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida, are celebrating fall with cooking classes and yummy meals. Baking can be a great way to connect with your loved ones and keep your mind occupied. Make these three fall treats to get into the autumn spirit this season. 

1.      Pumpkin Bread

This fall treat is one of the most popular every autumn. With delectable blends of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pure pumpkin, you are sure to get in the fall spirit after eating tasty pumpkin bread. 

Pumpkin bread doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Pumpkin itself is a healthy vegetable with plenty of beneficial nutrients. You can enjoy this tasty fall treat in your assisted living facilities in Saint Petersburg, Florida. 

2.   Caramel Apple Pie

Craving a delicious pie but want something different from the usual pumpkin pie? Make a caramel apple pie instead. This type of pie brings all of the delicious flavors of caramel apples with brown sugar crisp toppings. 

You can make your own salted caramel sauce to go with this pie. This will add more depth and flavor to the finished treat. Feel free to enjoy it with your family and fellow resident friends. Everyone will love this crunchy, sweet pie!

3.   Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is a classic recipe that many people remember from childhood. Eating carrot cake has two benefits: it helps you get your serving of vegetables in, and it tastes delicious. 

Feel free to top your moist, warm carrot cake with walnuts or other nuts of your choice. You can skip the nuts in the recipe if you need to accommodate allergies or taste preferences. Baking a carrot cake with your loved ones is a wonderful way to get in the holiday spirit and enjoy fall this season. 

Baking at Assisted Living Facilities in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Baking is a great hobby to enjoy solo or with your loved ones. If you are in the mood to share delicious fall treats with the people around you, bake these three delectable autumn treats this season. Assisted living facilities are vibrant communities full of residents who love to share ideas, hobbies, and joy. Celebrating autumn can be an opportunity for socializing and connecting with the people around you. Baking tasty treats is always a good experience for both the chef and the guests!

Is My Elderly Loved One Sleeping Too Much?

Getting quality sleep is essential at all stages of life, especially for the elderly. Lack of sleep is known to cause a multitude of negative effects. However, getting too much sleep can also cause problems. 

Whether your loved one is living at home or receiving care in assisted living facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida, monitoring their sleep habits is important.

How Much Sleep Is Normal for the Elderly?

Each person is different, so the amount of sleep required for each individual will vary. However, experts suggest that seniors should get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. 

Some seniors enjoy naps during the day, but nap time should be taken into account when calculating the total hours of sleep. If seniors sleep nine hours each night and take a one- to two-hour nap, an underlying issue is probably causing excessive sleep. 

Getting too much sleep increases the risk of developing a number of health issues, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • Obesity

Too much sleep has even been linked to premature death. If you notice your elderly loved one is sleeping more than normal, it is worth exploring the underlying cause and consulting a doctor.

Causes of Excessive Sleep 

There are many reasons a senior may sleep more than normal, and it may take some investigative work to pinpoint the reason. 

One common cause of excessive sleep among seniors is the side effects of medication. Some medications can cause drowsiness, making it harder for seniors to wake up and stay awake. 

Another common reason is mental health challenges, like depression or anxiety. Seniors struggling with these issues tend to sleep more than their peers with better mental health. Other possible reasons could include:

  • Poor sleep quality
  • Sleep apnea
  • Other sleeping disorders
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Boredom
  • Underlying health problems

A medical professional can help you and your loved one determine the cause of the excessive sleeping and work toward a healthier sleeping schedule.

Care for Your Elderly Loved One at Assisted Living Facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida

For some seniors, staying at home will become unhealthy or unsafe. Hazards at home and feelings of isolation can lead to sleep disturbances for seniors. 

In these cases, moving to assisted living or utilizing skilled nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida, is a good option. The staff in senior communities work with seniors to ensure they maintain a routine and are on top of healthy sleep habits.

3 Surprising Causes of Falls in the Elderly

Falls are one of the most common reasons older adults visit the hospital each year. As we age, falls become more dangerous and can result in serious injury. In addition, seniors can face long recovery times from even minor slips and falls. 

Many hazards, environmental factors, and behavioral habits can contribute to falls. Here are three surprising causes of falls in the elderly.

1. Stubbornness 

As seniors age, many of them want to hang on to old habits and routines, even if they are no longer safe. For example, seniors experiencing declining mobility may not be able to get around the house as easily anymore, particularly with stairs. 

Some seniors can be stubborn and refuse to change their home or routine. Unfortunately, this stubbornness creates an accident waiting to happen, often leading to falls and serious injuries.

2. Confusion

It is common for seniors to experience some cognitive decline during their later years. Confusion is a common symptom of cognitive decline and can indicate the early onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Many people don’t realize that confusion can lead to falls in the home.

When a senior becomes confused about where they are or what they are doing, they can get disoriented and be highly susceptible to tripping in an environment they are normally familiar with.  

3. Medication Side Effects

Most seniors are on some sort of medication, and it is not uncommon for medications to be adjusted or changed over the years. Unfortunately, doctors can’t always predict how medications will impact seniors, and there can be some unanticipated side effects. 

Medication management can also become more difficult, leading to missed or double doses.

One side effect is diminished balance or dizziness, which makes seniors much more susceptible to falls. It’s important to work closely with your doctor and alert them immediately if you or a loved one starts experiencing negative side effects with medication.

Stay Safe at Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg 

Seniors who live alone are at a higher risk of experiencing serious injury after a fall simply because there is no one around to help them. Assisted and independent living facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, provide a safety net for seniors because they provide a dedicated staff on-site, 24/7.

Assisted living in Saint Petersburg is a great option if you or a loved one have experienced a fall or are simply looking for a bit more support.

4 Simple Heart-Healthy Habits to Add to Your Routine

During the later years of life, seniors become more susceptible to chronic health issues, and heart conditions are no exception. Seniors are more prone to experience heart disease, heart attacks, heart failure, and more. Taking care of your general health is important, but it’s a good idea to pay particular attention to your heart health.

Here are four simple heart-healthy habits to add to your routine.

1. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is important for overall wellness at any stage in life, and it is especially important for seniors. Seniors who do not exercise regularly are at a significantly higher risk of developing serious ailments, including heart-related diseases. 

Keep heart disease at bay by exercising — it improves blood flow and makes your heart stronger. Whether you go on walks near your home or take advantage of the gym or pool at assisted living facilities in Saint Petersburg, FL, make your daily exercise routine a priority.

2. Eat Heart-Healthy Foods

Eating nutritious food is the best way to keep your body and mind in good health for as long as possible. Consider adding heart-healthy foods to your diet, including:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Berries
  • Walnuts
  • Avocados
  • Beans

These are just a few examples of heart-healthy foods, and many of them can easily fit into your existing daily diet. You can also switch out your regular snacks for more nutritious, heart-healthy snacks. Before making any drastic changes to your diet, always consult with your doctor.  

3. Get Regular Sleep

Getting consistent, quality sleep is important to your health, particularly your heart health. Poor sleep has been linked to a greater risk of high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol and an increased chance of developing heart disease. 

One theory behind the association between poor sleep and heart disease is the fact that your blood pressure goes down at night. When you are awake for more hours or getting poor quality sleep, your blood pressure stays higher for longer. Sustained high blood pressure is a leading risk factor for developing heart disease. 

If you are having trouble sleeping, don’t ignore it. Consider changing your schedule, altering your eating habits, or consulting a professional.

4. Take Advantage of Heart-Healthy Activities at Assisted Living Facilities in Saint Petersburg, FL

With onsite walking paths, pools, gyms, and healthy dining options, maintaining your heart health in assisted living is easier than ever. Whether you are living an active lifestyle or are in need of nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, you can find what you need and focus on your heart health. 

Home Care vs. Assisted Living: What Are the Differences?

If you or a loved one has decided to explore care options for later in life, you’ll find that there are several options. From home care to assisted living to independent living facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, there are many choices for seniors.

It can be hard to know exactly what type of care you’ll need. Read on to learn more about the differences between home care and assisted living. 

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities in Saint Petersburg, FL, provide housing and care to seniors who can’t or have chosen not to live independently. They receive support services and health care services, including bathing, dressing, and eating, if necessary. 

Seniors also receive assistance with medication, meals, and laundry, and can benefit from structured social activities and transportation. Assisted living facilities provide the care that seniors need, and also offer a sense of community that keeps them active.

Home Care 

Home care is a service provided by a caregiver that takes place in a senior’s home. A caregiver may visit once a day or spend many hours each day providing care, depending on the level of need. 

Home care offers transportation, companionship, and daily assistance with various tasks, including:

  • Meal preparation
  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • Toileting
  • Dressing
  • Housekeeping 

Home care offers a convenient option for seniors who aren’t ready to leave their homes. It’s also a highly customized form of care that gives seniors everything they need.

Finding Assisted Living Facilities in Saint Petersburg, FL

Saint Petersburg is home to some of the best assisted living facilities as well as home care providers around. No matter what level of care you or your loved one requires, there is a skilled caregiver or expert community to provide it. With a little research, you can find the perfect fit and ensure your loved one is taken care of through retirement.

Congratulations To Our Volunteers and Team Members Of The Year

We’re beginning our celebration of Westminster Communities of Florida’s Volunteers of the Year and Team Members of the Year! Over the next two weeks, beginning on Wednesday, we’re holding recognition banquets in Tallahassee, St. Petersburg and Orlando to celebrate these individuals. Be on the lookout for our announcements of the winners prior to each banquet, and fun photos from the event itself.

Congratulations to all the amazing people who make Westminster Communities of Florida a great place to live and work!

Volunteers of the Year

Team Members of the Year

4 Signs It’s Time to Change Your Elderly Parent’s Caregiver

Caregivers are generally highly professional, compassionate people who work every day to improve the lives of the elderly. The services for in-home care and assisted living in St. Petersburg, FL, are some of the best around. However, just like any profession, not every caregiver is perfect.

Sometimes caregivers suffer from stress, and other times, caregivers may just not have a personality that is compatible with your elderly parent.

No matter what the reason, there are a few signs to look for that indicate it is time to change your elderly parent’s caregiver.

1. Your Parent Expresses Concern

While this sign may seem obvious, make sure you listen to your parent when they express concerns about their caregiver. Even things that sound trivial, such as forgetting to take out the trash or cooking a meal incorrectly, can be signs of a bigger underlying issue. 

2. Sudden Change in Attitude

Sometimes elderly people feel too ashamed to admit trouble with a caregiver and will instead act out. If you notice a sudden and inexplicable change in attitude with your elderly parent, it may be time to explore alternative care options.

3. Mismanagement

If you are using a service company to coordinate in-home care for your parent, the management of the staff and the agency itself is critical. If you notice that your parent’s caregiver has been changed a number of times, or if there is high turnover or other signs of mismanagement, it may be time to consider switching caregivers.

4. Disengaged Caregiver

Caregivers should always be attentive and thorough. If you notice that your parent’s caregiver is distracted or can’t answer basic questions about care for your parent, that’s a sign that another caregiver may be a better fit.

Find Care Through Assisted Living in St. Petersburg, FL

St. Petersburg is home to a number of care facilities that cater to the elderly in all stages of life. From in-home care to skilled nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, you can find a solution that meets your parent’s needs.

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