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.

4 Birthday Celebration Ideas for Seniors in Assisted Living Communities

Every birthday is cause for celebration, no matter what age. If your loved one moves into an assisted living facility, there are plenty of ways you can continue to celebrate them in their new home. Here are 4 birthday celebration ideas for seniors in assisted living communities.

1. Host a Decade-Themed Party

Many assisted living facilities in St. Augustine, FL, are more than happy to allow visitors to plan gatherings, as long as it’s done ahead of time. A fun idea is to plan a decade-themed birthday party. Pick your loved one’s favorite decade, then decorate and dress accordingly. Set the mood by playing music hits from that decade. 

The assisted living community staff may even be able to help you organize so that fellow residents can partake in the festivities.

2. Organize a Special Meal

Everyone should have a special brunch, lunch, or dinner on their birthday. You can invite other residents and visitors to a meal where guests can give toasts or simply enjoy each other’s company. Visitors can bring in special food, so the birthday boy or girl enjoys their favorite meal with the ones they love.

3. Bring Entertainment to Them

As part of their amenities, many St. Augustine assisted living communities have common areas that can host an entertainer and crowd. You can hire a musical act, a magician, or another entertainer to visit the assisted living community. 

By bringing the entertainment to the community, all the residents can join in on the fun. Even something as simple as a play performed by kids in the family can be a fun way to spend an afternoon. 

4. Keep It Simple

Not everyone wants to have an over-the-top birthday celebration each year. Some seniors prefer to keep it simple and spend quality time with family. Celebrating with a small family group over a meal or simply enjoying each other’s company can be just as fulfilling as hosting a large party.

You can also plan a simple outing for a change of venue. Taking your loved one out to a restaurant, to the movies, or shopping are additional ways to make new memories.

St. Augustine Assisted Living

For seniors, St. Augustine is a great place to celebrate birthdays in assisted living. St. Augustine assisted living communities cater to their residents by providing homey environments that will accommodate both small and large birthday celebrations.

What Level of Senior Living is Right For You?

Older homeowners may one day find that St. Augustine assisted living is the better living choice going forward. Sometimes, there exists the question of whether assisted living, independent living, or skilled nursing is the right choice. Assisted living in Saint Augustine offers residents access to amenities and helpful services that can make for comfortable, affordable, and safe living. Read on to learn more about these communities so you can make the best choice.

Independent Living 

You’ll want to consider your priorities before making a choice. If access to amenities is more important than receiving regular medical care, then assisted living in St. Augustine might be your preferred residential option. Independent living in Saint Augustine provides many amenities, including:

  • A well-being program to encourage emotional and mental stability.
  • A library filled with titles for hours of reading enjoyment.
  • 24-hour security and routine housekeeping services.

These offerings can make a stable stay more comfortable. But if you have medical issues, severe pain, or other chronic conditions requiring ongoing monitoring, assisted living would be more helpful considering the resources that are available.

Assisted Living

Health monitoring is done regularly. Medical staff will use equipment and devices meant to monitor residents’ heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. Whereas independent living focuses on access to more amenities and perhaps increased freedom, assisted living requires a focus on basic medical care.

Skilled Nursing

For residents with more advanced conditions, medical professionals with skilled experience will work with residents to get their health stable. These living communities may be intended to provide either short-term or long-term rehabilitation. In skilled nursing, living arrangements will revolve around rehabilitation for most of the time a resident lives at the facility. The goal is to help the residents recover and get back to their normal lives rather than remain in the program for the rest of their lives.

You should always consider your goals, future, and current needs when deciding whether assisted living, independent living, or skilled nursing is right for you. Each of these living options differs from one another in their intended purpose and long-term goals. Either way, when choosing assisted living in St. Augustine, you’ll receive quality care and access to services that will make your life more comfortable.

A Walk Through a Normal Day of Assisted Living

From looking around a beautiful campus to relaxing at a table and gazing at an amazing view, assisted living facilities in St. Augustine, Florida have plenty to offer. Not only that, retirement communities near St. Augustine, Florida are comfortable environments you need to see. Keep reading to get a look at what a walkthrough of this St. Augustine retirement community looks like.

Lovely Dining Amenities

Three meals a day is an understatement for many retirement communities near St. Augustine, Florida. The meals are both healthy and heart-warming, with dining available all day in a cozy dining room meant for eating and conversing. Whether you arrive for breakfast or dinner, the staff are sure to prioritize excellent food with plenty of menu options.

Participate in Wellness Programs

Practicing self-care is an important part of living comfortably in St. Augustine assisted living facilities. That’s why a wellness program goes the extra mile to make sure your mental, emotional, and physical health needs are met. You may even meet a special friend or enjoy a regular conversation with staff while working on enjoying your life to the fullest.

Clean Environments

Health and safety are two cornerstones of assisted living. That’s why St. Augustine retirement homes have housekeeping staff working throughout the day. Floors are swept, mopped, and shined, and every room is carefully cleaned. When you walk into Westminster St. Augustine, you’re bound to be impressed by what you see.

Swim in Warm Pools

There comes a time when you want to relax and enjoy a hot bath. Fortunately, St. Augustine, Florida retirement communities have heated outdoor swimming pools with lakeshore views. This means that whether you’re stressed and overwhelmed or happy and comfortable, you’re guaranteed to be enticed by the water and its accompanying views.

Continued Education

There is no end to learning. That’s why while walking through your new retirement home, you’ll hear about residents studying and participating in ongoing learning opportunities. Continued education is an important part of living well, and the staff and friends you’ll meet will encourage you to brush up on a new skill, learn a new language, or simply enjoy life through ongoing study.

When you come to retirement communities near St. Augustine, Florida, you should expect nothing but the best. These programs are meant to keep people happy and living well, so we hope taking a walk through our community will encourage you to live your life comfortably and happily.

10 Major Facts About Aging and Dental Health

When it comes to medical concerns, older adults often focus on their heart health and cognitive strength. A commonly overlooked aspect of physical well-being is mouth health. Dental health is just as important as other aspects of well-being, so it is essential for seniors to take care of their oral hygiene. 

Important Dental Facts for Seniors in Assisted Living in Saint Augustine, Florida

With age, your oral health needs can change significantly. Learn ten major facts about aging and dental health below!

1. Your Risk of Gum Disease Is Increased

While gum disease is a risk at any age, it is significantly more common in older individuals. Issues like periodontitis and gingivitis can have a major impact on the overall health of older adults. Therefore, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, is critical.

2. Certain Medications Can Cause Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is incredibly common among seniors in assisted living facilities in St. Augustine, FL. While dry mouth can occur as a result of age, many older adults struggle with dry mouth due to the medications they take. Medications used for health concerns like heart disease can increase the risk of developing dry mouth.

3. Flossing Is Essential

Even diligent brushing cannot reach every area in the mouth. To decrease the risk of gum disease, seniors should floss at least once daily to remove food particles and bacteria from between their teeth.

4. Root Decay Is Common with Age

Many older individuals experience root decay as they continue to age. If root decay becomes severe, root canals and other extensive dental procedures may be needed.

5. Poor Oral Health Increases Pneumonia Risk

Pneumonia is a common concern for older adults, as it can have dire consequences. Many people do not realize that poor dental health can actually increase the risk of developing pneumonia.

6. Worn Enamel Is More Likely

With age, the enamel is more likely to become worn and broken down from years of friction. For this reason, it is important for seniors to practice appropriate dental hygiene and use products that are made for sensitive enamel to prevent further damage.

7. Dentures Must Be Left Out Overnight

Many adults in assisted living in Saint Augustine, Florida, wear dentures, but some are not aware of proper denture maintenance. Dentures must be cleaned daily with specialized toothpaste and not worn overnight. Regular toothpaste should be avoided, as it is too abrasive for dentures, causing breaks and cracks where bacteria can enter. 

8. Mouthwashes Should Be Used

Due to joint pain and stiffness, brushing properly can be tricky for some older adults. Seniors should use mouthwash to reach the spots they may miss during brushing. Mouthwash can reach between the teeth to help dislodge small food particles and kill bacteria. Ideally, seniors should rinse with mouthwash at least once a day.

9. Cavities Are Common

The risk of developing cavities increases with age – even if you have dentures. Cavities can develop in your natural teeth or dentures, which means proper oral hygiene is essential at all ages. Excessive sugar should also be avoided to lower the risk of cavities forming.

10. Electric Toothbrushes Are Easier to Use

Many older adults struggle with joint pain, stiffness, and aches in their hands. This can make using a manual toothbrush difficult. With rotating bristles, electric toothbrushes do much of the work on their own. This makes them easier to use for seniors who struggle to use manual brushes.

Dental health is an important part of life at any age. By taking the right steps and precautions when it comes to maintaining dental hygiene you can minimize the damage or risks associated with poor oral hygiene.

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