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!

3 Essential Questions to Ask on an Assisted Living Tour

Heading to your first St. Augustine assisted living tour? No matter where you’re located, there is important information you should ask about during these tours. 

Assisted living in St. Augustine can be a wonderful option for aging adults who want to remain independent and dignified. When you go on your tour, don’t forget to ask these 3 important questions. 

1. What Amenities Do You Offer?

Amenities can be the difference between an enjoyable living experience and a bored, unsatisfying one. Assisted living communities frequently offer amenities like pools, dining areas, and social spaces. 

The answer to this question will help you gauge whether the facility is right for you or your loved one. Try to find assisted living communities that align with your hobbies and interests. 

For example, if you value swimming, a community pool is a must-have at your assisted living facility. Others may enjoy resident crafting classes or other educational opportunities. You can learn about the community’s events and amenities by asking your tour guide upfront. 

2. What Are Your Residential Options?

Many assisted living communities have several types of residences to choose from. You will want to know your options so you can choose the best living space for you or your loved one. Most retirement communities offer independent living, assisted living, and rehabilitation spaces. 

Independent Living

Independent living is for aging adults who want to retire with excitement, joy, and plenty of opportunities to thrive. You gain access to all of the community amenities and services while maintaining your own residence. If you or your loved one does not need assistance with basic daily living, independent living is likely the right choice. 

Assisted Living

Assisted living is a blend between independent living and 24-hour nursing care (like what you would find in a nursing home). You get help with basic daily tasks like dressing, bathing, and cleaning. However, you can still remain independent. 

3. Do You Have a Health and Wellness Program?

Staying physically, mentally, and socially healthy as you get older is essential for graceful aging. Health and wellness programs help you thrive and stay informed about the best ways to care for yourself. These programs often include information about nutrition, cultural learning, and physical fitness. 

Find the Right St. Augustine Assisted Living Facility

By asking these essential questions, you will find the best St. Augustine facility for yourself or your loved one. Don’t be afraid to ask additional questions — the staff is there to help.

3 Fun Attractions to Visit Close to St. Augustine

Some of the perks of St. Augustine assisted living include the numerous attractions around the area. 

Of course, there are gorgeous sandy beaches, such as Vilano Beach and St. Augustine Beach, but perhaps you’re looking for something a little more mentally stimulating. How about taking in one of St. Augustine’s more interesting sights? There are plenty of activities that can be enjoyed solo, with friends, or with your whole family. 

1. St. Augustine Wildlife Reserve

Since 1981, the St. Augustine Wildlife Reserve has taken in abused and unwanted exotic animals. This is not a place where animals are bred or sold; instead, it’s a place of rescue. 

So what’s the difference between this reserve and a zoo? At the Wildlife Reserve, seeing the animals is a much more educational experience that allows visitors to get closer to the animals. While the center won’t let guests get hands-on, the goal is to instill a sense of wonder and awe toward the incredible variety of nature. 

2. Castillo de San Marcos

This 17th-century Spanish fort was built to protect trade routes, but now it’s a breathtaking historical landmark. While at the fort, guests can enjoy the gorgeous view of Matanzas Bay and take in a bit of history.

The holes that bullets during one of the many sieges that failed to take over the fort — one such attack in 1702 lasted for two months! — are still visible today. In fact, cannonballs from invading forces are still lodged in the fort’s walls. 

Thanks to its construction from coquina, a sedimentary rock, the walls are far less brittle than similar walls constructed from harder materials, such as granite. This allowed the fort to absorb impacts that would have destroyed lesser structures.

The fort is located in the historic district near the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum and a few blocks north of the Lightner Museum.

3. World Golf Hall of Fame Museum

Celebrating the greatest champions of the sport, the World Golf Museum features exhibits with interactive storytelling, important artifacts, artwork, and plenty of video footage, audio, and photos. See the moments that define golf retold through displays, and enjoy exhibits such as the Member Locker Room and The Players Experience.

There’s also The Challenge Hole, where guests can try out a complimentary shot on a recreation of the 17th hole of TPC Sawgrass. The museum also features a 275-seat 3D IMAX theater and space for weddings, meetings, and corporate events. If you’re a fan of golf, this museum is a must-visit. 

The Benefits of St. Augustine Assisted Living

St. Augustine is a wonderful place to live, with unbelievable weather and plenty of sights and sounds to experience. Whether you have family visiting or want to enjoy quality time with friends in assisted living in Saint Augustine, you’ll never run out of things to do.

What to Discuss with Aging Parents Before Choosing an Assisted Living Community

Transitioning to assisted living is one of the biggest decisions that seniors and their families will make. Most seniors have a positive experience, but it is still important to have the right conversations before choosing a community. You should discuss several topics before your loved one transitions to St. Augustine assisted living.

How They Feel About Transitioning to Assisted Living

One of the most important topics to discuss with aging parents before a transition to assisted living is how they feel about the move. Some seniors embrace assisted living and are excited to move, while others have more hesitation. 

Knowing how your parents feel about the transition will be important when choosing a community. The staff in assisted living communities can be very helpful in easing any worries. 

What Type of Residence Do They Want to Maintain?

The residences provided by assisted living range from modest apartments to whole homes. A number of factors should be considered when selecting a residence size, including the number of people living in the unit, whether there are pets, and what type of upkeep is required. 

Not all assisted living communities offer every type of residence, so it is important to keep this in mind during your search.

The Types of Activities and Amenities that Are Important to Them

One of the biggest differences between assisted living communities is the amenities offered. Some of the services or amenities that you can consider ahead of time include:

  • On-site dining
  • Fitness center
  • Dining room
  • Clubhouse
  • Outdoor activities
  • Beauty salon
  • Library
  • Housekeeping
  • Security
  • Transportation

Amenities can make a big difference in a person’s quality of life, so make sure to discuss this with your parents before making a decision.

The Financial Situation of Your Parents or Family

The cost of assisted living communities can vary greatly. Cost is something that you should discuss with your parents before they decide which community they want to join. 

Assisted living communities also differ in the forms of payment they accept, including insurance. Some also offer flexible payment options to make assisted living accessible to more families.

Choosing a St. Augustine Assisted Living Community

Assisted living facilities in St. Augustine, Florida, offer some of the best care and amenities in the country. With the right conversations and help from assisted living staff, you can make an informed decision with confidence.

6 Tips to Help Seniors Smoothly Transition from Home to Independent Living

Whenever a senior experiences a significant life change, they often experience confusion, stress, and unhappiness. Moving from a home to a community for independent living can be one of those stressful experiences for seniors and their family members. 

But that stress can be minimized by following some helpful tips. It even has the potential to turn into a time of excitement and adventure with as little anxiety as possible.

Moving to St. Augustine Assisted Living or Independent Living

When a loved one transitions from living at home to St. Augustine assisted living, there is much you can do to ensure a smooth transition. Take an active role in the move as you keep in mind the following tips:

1.      Plan Ahead

A significant amount of the stress seniors can go through is due to sudden changes for which they are unprepared. Give them time to adjust to the idea of living somewhere new, and don’t try to push things along too fast. 

2.   Start Smart

Don’t start packing sentimental items first. Begin by packing up an area or room that does not hold great sentimental value, such as a bathroom. 

3.   Give Seniors Space

While helping your loved one pack, give them the time they need to work through it if they find something that stirs up emotion. Be patient, listen to their stories, and allow them time and space to adjust.

4.   Create a Layout for Their New Home with Them

Change is difficult for many seniors, especially when the entire layout of their home will be different. It helps to decrease anxiety and apprehension if you obtain (or create) a layout of their new space and sit down with them to plan where their belongings will go.

5.   Pack a Special Box the Night Before

Pack up some items your loved one will need to use during the day in a special box. They can keep this box close at hand so the items are easy to find, which will alleviate stress instead of creating more of it. These items might include medications, mementos, and medical devices.

6.   Take Photos

Often, the senior has lived in their home for a long time. There are likely to be many precious memories within the walls of their home. Take photos they can keep with them forever to help ease their apprehension about leaving.

Make the Day a Little Easier

Be ready to offer your loved one plenty of support and love when the day comes to move to assisted or independent living. With your help, the transition doesn’t have to be quite as stressful.

The Importance of Social Connections for Seniors

Social connection is a critical part of the human experience. People are naturally social beings, and a lack of social interaction can have negative health effects. Social interaction is important at every age, but it is especially important for seniors.

Read on to learn why a social connection is so important for seniors.

Encourages an Active Lifestyle

Regular social interaction and physical wellness are closely linked. When seniors engage with friends and family regularly, they tend to be more motivated to get out of the house and stay active. 

Seniors who engage in group activities like walking clubs or workout classes get the health benefits of activity and the mental benefits of social interaction simultaneously.

When seniors don’t socialize, they can easily fall into a rut, which leads to a sedentary lifestyle. Staying active is critical for both the mental and physical well-being of seniors.

Prevents Feeling of Loneliness

Even though many seniors find joy in retirement, feelings of loneliness are more common than you might think. Lonely seniors often feel isolated and can develop depression. Unfortunately, more seniors today are experiencing loneliness, and some experts even consider it an epidemic.

Feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression can have serious negative health consequences, including:

  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Body aches and pains

When these symptoms are caused by depression, they are usually resistant to medication and can be difficult to treat. 

Physical Health Benefits

Just like social isolation can have negative health side effects, the reverse is also true. Regular social connections can translate into real health benefits. Seniors who connect with friends and family regularly are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors like regular exercise and healthy eating.

In addition, studies have shown that social interaction boosts mood, increases confidence, and keeps motivation levels high.

Find Social Connection in St. Augustine Assisted Living 

Seniors who live alone are less likely to regularly experience natural social interaction. That’s why transitioning to St. Augustine assisted living can be a great option for many seniors. 

Assisted living facilities in St. Augustine, FL, offer many opportunities for social connection, including regularly scheduled social activities and friendly neighbors just around the corner. If you are concerned about social connection for you or a loved one, consider exploring the options for assisted living.

Love to Golf? Take a Trip to These Must-Visit Courses near St. Augustine

Hardcore golfers dream of being on the links whenever they possibly can. 

If you’re golfing, you’re happy. If you’re not golfing, you’re happy to think about the next time you will be. It’s even better if you can bring a friend along, and it’s perfect if you’re on a great golf course. 

Here are a few of the most highly recommended golf courses near St. Augustine.

Cimarrone Golf Club

Just under 7,000 yards, this par-72 championship-layout golf course was designed by David Postlethwait and has its own pro shop and restaurant. 

Though it is a pro course, it’s accessible and enjoyable for all levels of play, from beginner to expert. The fairways are great, with well-manicured greens and good definition. You can book your tee time online or by phone.

Dye’s Valley Course

Ranked 21st in the “Best Courses You Can Play” by Golfweek in 2017-18, Dye’s Valley at TPC Sawgrass is no stranger to elite-level tournaments. Book a tee time here, and you won’t regret it.

Julington Creek Golf Club

Just 45 minutes from St. Augustine and formerly known as Champions Club, Julington Creek features 18 holes of championship-level golf that will surprise and delight any golfer at any level. You won’t be bored here. 

Julington Creek is a club that’s actively growing, so you know it’s good, and it’s open to the public. Most folks get around all 18 holes in just over four hours.

King & Bear Golf Course

Two greats, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, came together to design and create this masterpiece located in World Golf Village. It’s the only course on the globe designed with input from both masters. Better yet, King & Bear is open to the public and has lots of entertainment options at its world-class restaurant when you’re done on the links. 

Golfing and Assisted Living in Saint Augustine

Golfing is a great option for staying active in independent living in St. Augustine, FL. There are many more great courses out there to explore, especially if you’re looking for courses near facilities with assisted living in Saint Augustine. 

The best thing to do is enjoy life; what better way to accomplish that than on the golf course? With a course designed by a legend (or two!), there may not be anything more pleasurable than just getting out there and hitting the links with a friend or three.

3 Top Safety Devices for Seniors

Aging naturally comes with increased safety concerns. Between health issues and decreased mobility, things that were once safe can become hazardous. Luckily, with modern technology, there are several devices that can make daily life safer for seniors.

Whether living in St. Augustine assisted living or living independently in the family home, seniors can benefit from these top 3 safety devices.

1. Wearable Heart Monitor

Health device manufacturers offer lightweight, wearable sensors that monitor heart activity in real time. If the sensor detects an abnormality, it can alert the person wearing it as well as a doctor or medical facility.

When it comes to heart issues, the ability to detect them fast can make the difference between life and death.

2. Emergency Alert Device

Emergency alert devices have been around for decades and have saved many lives. These devices allow seniors to call for help if they’ve fallen, gotten lost, or found themselves in another dangerous situation where they can’t call 911. 

Some emergency alert devices even have automatic features that can detect abnormal activity and call for help without a prompt.

3. Medication Managers

Taking daily medications can be easy to forget about at any point in life. As seniors age, forgetfulness may become more common, and failing to take medications on time can be dangerous. Today, there are sophisticated devices on the market that alert seniors if they have not taken their meds. The devices can alert a doctor as well.

Stay Safe in St. Augustine Assisted Living

One of the major benefits of residing in an independent living, assisted living, or skilled nursing facility in St. Augustine, FL, is the added layer of safety. Between 24/7 staff available to help in an emergency and physical community security, all residents can remain safe and sound.

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

3 Tips to Help Seniors Adjust to Long-Term Care

Long-term care communities can significantly improve the quality of life for seniors. Communities that provide assisted living in Saint Augustine can provide support with daily activities, medication management, housekeeping, transportation, and much more. 

However, change can be hard for seniors, and adjusting to long-term care is not a process that happens overnight. Here are three tips to help seniors adjust to long-term care.

1. Find the Right Community Fit

No two St. Augustine assisted living communities are the same. The services offered may not meet all of the needs of a particular senior, or the community may not be in a location close to family. It is important to do ample research when searching for long-term care. 

Today, you can request information online, tour facilities in person, or even request a virtual tour. Finding a community that meets all of the senior’s needs and preferences will go a long way in making the transition easier.

2. Create a Comfortable Environment

Moving out of a family home and into a long-term care community does not mean that seniors have to give up the comfort and familiarity of their own space. Take time to decorate their new accommodations, organize their belongings, hang art, or anything else to make the space feel like home. 

3. Plan Daily Activities

Adjusting to a long-term care community is not only a change in physical environment but also in daily schedule. Loved ones can make the move much easier by planning daily activities for the senior, especially in the early days.

Make a plan to visit them, take them out to lunch, and sign them up for activities. Having a plan in place will remove feelings of uncertainty and make the adjustment easier.

Care in St. Augustine Assisted Living

St. Augustine is home to some of the best assisted living communities around. With dedicated staff and a little help from family, seniors can adjust to long-term care in no time.

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