Skilled Nursing at Westminster Shores: Ensuring Your Loved Ones Get the Care They Deserve

If you’re like us, you know that finding just the right spot for a loved one in their golden years isn’t always a walk in the park. That’s where Westminster Shores comes in. Nestled in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida, we’ve got everything from top-notch medical care to stunning waterfront views. Let’s dive in and explore what skilled nursing at Westminster Shores means for you and your family.

Skilled Nursing: What’s It All About?

So, what’s this “skilled nursing” we’re talking about? It’s more than just medical care. Think of it as a special friend ready to lend a hand whenever it’s needed, whether that’s with daily tasks or more serious medical conditions. Our skilled nursing staff is a group of superheroes in disguise, trained and ready to make life easier. Whether your loved one needs a little extra assistance with daily routines or specialized medical attention, we’re here to help, making every day brighter and more comfortable. It’s like having a team of friendly, professional caregivers right by your side, day in and day out.

A Seamless Transition

Life’s full of twists and turns, isn’t it? At Westminster Shores, we’ve made it our mission to help folks navigate those bends with grace. We’re a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), which means you or your loved ones can glide smoothly from independent living to skilled nursing without skipping a beat. No need to pack up or say goodbye to friends; it’s all about making sure you feel right at home. With us, it’s like having different chapters of life’s journey all in one friendly neighborhood, so you can keep enjoying life’s adventures without a hitch.

Exceptional Amenities and Comforts

Who says that skilled nursing has to be dull? Not us! Imagine spacious rooms, exciting activities, and meals that’ll make you say “yum.” Westminster Shores is here to make sure that skilled nursing feels like a pleasant stay at a cozy resort. And did I mention the waterfront views? You can take a stroll by the water or enjoy the sunset from your room. Our activities are geared towards keeping everyone engaged and entertained, from art classes to movie nights. It’s like living in a vacation spot where the staff knows you personally and caters to your every whim. Now, that’s the way to live!

Family Involvement and Support

Family is the heart of everything, right? We think so too! We love seeing families get involved and stay connected. Pop in anytime, join us for a meal, or simply catch up with your loved ones. At Westminster Shores, you’re not just a visitor – you’re part of the family. Whether it’s celebrating a birthday together or just sharing a simple Sunday brunch, your presence is always cherished. After all, it’s about creating memories and bonds that last. So, bring the grandkids, tell your stories, and let’s make every visit a special occasion.

Safety and Compliance

Now, we all want to be sure that everything’s up to snuff, especially when it comes to safety. You can rest easy knowing that we’ve dotted our i’s and crossed our t’s. From cleanliness to emergency readiness, we’ve got everything handled. You focus on living the good life, and we’ll take care of the rest. And hey, if you ever want to chat about our protocols or take a look at how we run things, we’re all ears. Our doors are always open, and transparency is our motto. We want you to feel as comfortable with us as you do in your favorite recliner, knowing that we’ve got your back every step of the way.

So, there you have it! Finding the right care option doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Westminster Shores is all about top-quality care, smooth transitions, a splash of fun, family connections, and peace of mind. It’s like finding a treasure trove of joy, care, and comfort all wrapped into one beautiful waterfront community. If this sounds like just what you’re looking for, why not check us out at Westminster Shores? We’d love to meet you and show you around the place. Grab a coffee with us, share your stories, and let’s see how we can make life’s next chapter a thrilling adventure for you or your loved ones. See you at the shore!

‘God put us here for a reason’: Serving the residents during Hurricane Idalia is part of our Mission

When a hurricane or tropical storm threatens Florida, like Hurricane Idalia this week, team members at Westminster Communities of Florida have a top priority: Ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents we serve. Our Mission is to serve from the heart and inspire older adults to enjoy happy, healthy and purposeful lives.

What impact has Hurricane Idalia had? Some of our dedicated team members are living out our Mission, today, by evacuating with residents or sheltering at their communities through the storm. Regardless of their normal jobs, their principal responsibility right now is to provide for the residents’ needs.

Today we caught up with five of these team members to learn about their experiences, why they chose to stay at their community or evacuate with residents, and what is inspiring them to stay hard at work during a storm.

Jackie Walker Ellison, Cook, Westminster Shores, temporarily at Westminster Winter Park

In St. Petersburg, Westminster Shores was forced to relocate residents out of the path of the storm. Jackie Walker Ellison always knew she would be with the residents, from the moment she first heard. “The residents said to me, ‘Jackie, are you coming with us? I know we’ll be OK if you come with us.’ So I had no doubt,” Ellison said. “I knew for sure I would be evacuating, I called my husband and my mother and I told them, ‘I’m going with my residents, I’ll see you whenever.’ ”

The group of 24 residents was accompanied by Ellison to Westminster Winter Park, where they’re enjoying the hospitality of the residents and team members there. The Westminster Shores team is occupied with providing for the needs of the residents during Hurricane Idalia. “I think it brings everyone together as a team,” she said.

Ellison has worked at Westminster Shores for 29 years, and “I love my residents. I wouldn’t have been here so long if I didn’t love this place and my residents. God put us here for a reason,” she said. “Right now, the residents are happy, we’ve been watching movies and playing games, and everything is going smoothly.”

Michele McCann, Assisted Living Activities Coordinator, Westminster Palms, sheltering in place

“I choose to be with the residents during the most emotional time, like a hurricane, because that’s my quality as a caregiver,” said Michele McCann, Assisted Living Activities Coordinator at Westminster Palms. “Challenging times like this bring out the best in people, and I get to see it and share it.”

McCann was sheltering in place at the community in St. Petersburg, along with residents from Westminster Palms and residents from Westminster Point Pleasant in Bradenton. She has lived in Florida for more than 7 years, and has experienced three hurricanes in St. Petersburg so far. McCann said she feels that the way the team bonds, whether through an evacuation or sheltering in place, makes the team stronger. “We are going to come out better on the other side of this! We always do. We are so lucky that we are here, in our home, together, instead of relocating like so many had to. I have come to feel like this is my home, too.”

Carlos Santiago, Maintenance Engineer, Westminster Point Pleasant and Tiffany Mestre, Administrative Assistant, Community Support Services, temporarily at Legacy Pointe at UCF

A group of residents from Westminster Point Pleasant were also with Maintenance Engineer Carlos Santiago and Tiffany Mestre, an administrative assistant at our Community Support Services office in Orlando. The residents had evacuated from Bradenton due to the risk of storm surge and flooding, and were enjoying the hospitality of Legacy Pointe at UCF.

Santiago, the maintenance engineer, said that he had been through the worst in 2017 when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. “We were there with no power for 60 days, and we weren’t able to do anything,” he said. By comparison, he felt that everything was under control and being well maintained for the residents through both of his hurricane experiences as a Westminster team member.

“This job is personal for me,” Santiago said. “The residents are my family and I want to make sure that they are well taken care of.” In 2022, Santiago was recognized as Westminster Point Pleasant’s Team Member of the Year for his dedicated service to the residents. He said it was his honor to serve the residents.

Evacuating with the residents is just another extension of his commitment to the community, Santiago said. “This is my second time evacuating with the residents, and it doesn’t matter how many more. I will always volunteer to be there for them. We are here for each other and for the residents.”

Countless storms had also affected Mestre, a Florida native. But she had never had an experience like today’s. “It’s wonderful to help the residents and hear about their interests and stories. This is a great way to see how the residents live,” Mestre said. “I am getting to know what a day in the life of a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and an ADON (Assistant Director of Nursing) are like. It has opened my eyes. Bless their souls for doing all of this.”

The effects of the storm had been mild in Orlando, but Mestre said that nevertheless, she and the residents felt more secure and had been brought closer together by the experience – and the residents were thankful for the security. “This has really brought our Mission to life for me in a way I had not experienced it,” said Mestre.

For Santiago, part of living in a hurricane zone meant more practice – and that he had found that the team is getting stronger through the experience. “The more we do this together, the more we become comfortable with each other, and the better organized we become. When you send a group of people together for one purpose and for our Mission, we get the opportunity to grow together and learn from each other,” said Santiago.

Beth Szabo, Services Coordinator, Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, sheltering in place

Another part of the Westminster Mission is to serve residents with low to moderate incomes, in our affordable Rental Retirement Communities. Beth Szabo, services coordinator at Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, was sheltering in place at the community to ensure that the residents were well cared for throughout the potential effects of the storm in Jacksonville.

“I’ve lived in Jacksonville since 1976, so I have lost count of how many hurricanes I’ve been through now. In 2004 they were coming so frequently we all said, ‘I’m over it, just let it go,’ ” said Szabo. “We have had to evacuate a few times over the years, like for Hurricane Matthew in 2016. But we did not have to this time.”

For Szabo, serving during a hurricane is a natural extension of her choice to work at the community, because the residents are like her extended family. “I have a heart for seniors, and the residents here mean a lot to me,” she said. “If something happens then I want to be here to help them.”

Szabo added that she feels safer riding out a storm at Riverside Presbyterian Apartments than at home. “Here at the community, I know that we have a great team looking out for everyone. We’re very small but we support each other.”

A facet of our Mission

While a hurricane is unexpected, serving the residents and supporting their fellow team members wherever we are and however we can is just another facet of the Mission of Westminster Communities of Florida: We serve from the heart and inspire older adults to enjoy happy, healthy and purposeful lives.

Be sure to learn all about how you can make a Westminster community your home to live or to work – find a community near you or follow us on Facebook and on LinkedIn!

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

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