Shenneka Muldrow, executive director of Silver Creek Assisted Living in Garland, Texas (one of the Silvercare Living Communities), talks about exploring the world of hobbies for senior citizens.

Hello, I’m Shenneka Muldrow, the executive director at Silver Creek Assisted Living. Let’s talk about exploring the world of hobbies for seniors and engaging in hobbies for seniors. Citizens not only provide mental stimulation, but they also provide emotional fulfillment that promotes overall wellbeing and a sense of purpose. Let’s dive into the diverse array of hobbies tailored to seniors and their unique performances and abilities. 

Gardening helps cultivate life. Delights. Gardening stands as a timeless pastime, offering seniors a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace. It fosters physical activity, mental clarity, and a deep connection to the earth. Unleashing creativity is also an artistic expression. 

Art knows no age limit. Seniors can explore various forms of artistic expression to unleash their creativity. Seniors can showcase their uniqueness by creating tangible works of art.

And while experiences leave behind lasting legacies for generations to admire, musical melodies can help harmonize life’s rhythm. Music transcends time and space, evoking emotions and memories like no others. The therapeutic effects of music are well documented, offering social joy, renewing a sense of variety, and nourishing the mind. 

Book clubs provide opportunities to fulfill live discussions and social interaction, which fosters a sense of community and shared learning experiences. Likewise, engaging in writing allows seniors to share their thoughts, memories, and dreams, leaving behind a legacy for future generations to cherish.

 There are different outdoor adventures that embrace nature’s bounty. Community nature clubs are guided excursions that provide companionship and support, ensuring that seniors can safely enjoy the balanced beauty of the great outdoors. 

Volunteering can sometimes make a difference in communities. Seniors can enrich their lives and get back into their communities by volunteering their time and talents. Whether mentoring the youth, assisting in local charities, participating in environmental cleanup efforts, volunteering, or fostering a sense of purpose and fulfillment, the journey of aging needs not be devolved to excitement or purposes. 

By embracing diverse hobbies for seniors, individuals can cultivate vibrant lives filled with creativity, connection, and personal growth. So it is good for all seniors to always participate in some type of activity or even their hobbies, to cultivate their minds, and to have fulfillment in life.

Jami Sanchez, the Executive Director for Silver Creek Assisted Living and Lampasas Assisted Living, both Texas-based assisted living communities, discusses the profound benefits of gardening for seniors’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

“Hello, my name is Jamie Sanchez, and I am the executive director for Silver Creek Assisted Living in Lampasas, Texas. And today we will be talking about blossoming wellness, which is the therapeutic power of gardening for seniors. We are currently in spring and will soon transition into summer, during which everyone has begun to plant their vegetable gardens or tend to their flower beds. And things are going to start to bloom, be colorful, and be pretty. And in this podcast, we are going to shine a spotlight on the incredible benefits of gardening, especially tailored, uh, to the wellbeing of senior citizens. So blossoming wellness explores how cultivating a garden can be a transformative and fulfilling activity. Um, it enhances both mental and physical health for our beloved seniors. Um, it cultivates joyful memories. So I know that most of us all have memories of gardening with our parents or our grandparents, whether it’s vegetable gardens or flower gardens.

We delve into the nostalgia and joy that gardening brings to seniors. We discussed the therapeutic impact of reconnecting with nature, reminiscing about past gardening experiences, and how, um, just the act of planting seeds can sow the seeds of beautiful memories, as well as physical exercise tailored for seniors. So we discovered the gentle yet effective physical exercise that gardening offers for seniors. Whether it’s planting and weeding or light pruning, we explore how these activities contribute to improved flexibility in our seniors, enhanced balance, increased mobility, and being tailored to the unique needs of seniors. Also, we can foster social connections. So gardening provides a wonderful, uh, avenue for seniors to socialize and build meaningful connections. We highlight community garden group projects and, uh, the shared joy of cultivating a Green Haven, fostering a sense of comradery, and combating feelings of isolation.

The therapeutic stress relief of gardening for seniors often faces stressors unique to their age group, and gardening emerges as a therapeutic outlet. We delve into how, for seniors, gardening can alleviate stress. It can promote relaxation, and it can contribute to the overall mental wellbeing of our seniors. Cognitive stimulation in the garden. So we will explore the cognitive benefits of gardening for seniors, including the stimulation of memory. So that’s problem-solving and sensory awareness. We also discuss how the strategic planning and nurturing involved in gardening can serve as an engaging mental exercise, promoting, uh, cognitive health. So gardening also gives a sense of purpose and accomplishment. So we know that when we start something, when we see it from the beginning to the end, and when we see what we have done, that gives us a purpose.

And so, we discover the profound sense of purpose and accomplishment that seniors derive from tending to a garden. From seedings to fully bloomed flowers, we explore how gardening provides a tangible and ongoing source of achievement, boosting self-esteem and overall life satisfaction. Join us in celebrating the golden years through the vibrant use of gardening. Blossoming Wellness is your guide to understanding how this enriching activity can be a source of joy, physical activity, and community for our cherished seniors. The blog dedicates itself to the nurturing and wellbeing of the elder members of our community, whether they are seasoned gardeners or newfound enthusiasts.”

Ryan Patrick, Senior Sales Director for Silvercare Management, a Texas-based senior care company, talks about the benefits of activities like gentle exercises, yoga, or meditation for seniors in assisted living.

“Thank you for joining us on our podcast as we discuss the benefits of activities like gentle exercises, yoga and meditation for seniors in assisted living, in the realm of assisted living for seniors, the incorporation of mind-body activities such as gentle exercises, yoga and meditation are not merely a trend, but a profound strategy for enhancing overall wellbeing.

Let’s dive into the specific benefits that these activities bring to the lives of seniors in assisted living communities. Incorporating activities like brisk walking or water aerobics into the routine of seniors promotes cardiovascular health without imposing excessive stress on aging bodies.

These low impact exercises stimulate blood flow, enhancing heart rate, and overall vitality. As we age, maintaining flexibility becomes crucial for everyday movements. Gentle exercises and yoga poses, specifically designed for seniors, contribute to improved joint mobility and flexibility. This not only aids in daily activities, but also reduces the risk of injuries.

The misconception that seniors should avoid strength training is debunked through tailored programs. Light resistance exercises help build muscle strength, improve stability, and balance. This in turn, fosters independence and reduces the likelihood of falls.

Aside from the physical benefits of exercise, there’s also some great mental benefits as well. Engaging in mindful exercises in yoga poses has a positive impact on cognitive function. The focus required in these activities enhances concentration and memory, contributing to the overall cognitive well being of seniors.

The serene nature of meditation and the controlled movements of yoga have profound stress, reducing effects. Seniors and assisted living find solace in these practices, managing stress and anxiety levels, and experiencing a sense of calm. The emotional landscape of seniors is intricate mind-body activities provide an outlet for self-expression, reduce feelings of loneliness and contribute to emotional resilience.

This holistic approach to wellbeing addresses not only the physical, but the emotional needs of seniors. As you search to find the perfect community for your loved one, be sure to ask what kind of activities the community offers to enrich the lives of their residents, and what kind of exercises are offered to keep your loved ones body and mind and balance.”

Daniel Mora, resident liaison at Vista Senior Living in Killington, Vermont (one of the Silvercare Living communities), talks about the secrets of senior nutrition.

“Hello everyone! My name is Daniel Mora, and I’m the resident liaison for Vista Senior Living. This month, we will be speaking in regards to unlocking the secrets of senior nutrition. Navigating the nuisance of nutrition becomes increasingly crucial as individuals age, especially for those residing in assisted living communities. The goal years bring about changes in metabolism, nutrient absorption, and overall health requirements. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss nutrition tips for seniors, emphasizing the unique considerations for those in assisted living. Number one,

Understanding senior nutritional needs. As the years advance, seniors encounter shifts in metabolism and potential challenges in nutrient absorption. It is imperative to tailor nutritional strategies to address these changes effectively. Changes in metabolism. Senior metabolisms undergo alterations, often slowing down, which calls for a focus on nutrient-dense foods to provide sustained energy and support metabolic functions. Nutrient absorption challenges. Age-related changes in the digestive system can pose challenges to nutrient absorption. Addressing this requires a meticulous selection of easily digestible and nutrient-rich foods.

Essential nutrients for seniors. Ensuring seniors receive adequate essential nutrients is paramount to their wellbeing. Understanding specific requirements is key to formulating a targeted nutritional plan. Protein requirements. Maintaining muscle mass is crucial for seniors, and adequate protein intake is instrumental in achieving this. Lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, and plant-based options like beans and lentils should be prioritized. Importance of calcium and vitamin D. Preserving bone health is a priority for aging populations. Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake is crucial in preventing osteoporosis and fractures. Safeguarding skeletal wellbeing. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain health. Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids from sources like fatty fish and flax seeds supports cognitive health, reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline.

Hydration for seniors dehydration. Risk escalates with age, as seniors may be more prone to it due to reduced thirst sensation. Prioritizing optimal water intake is essential to prevent associated health issues. For optimal water intake, establishing a routine of regular, adequate water intake is crucial. Seniors should be encouraged to drink water throughout the day, even if they don’t feel thirsty, to maintain hydration levels and support various bodily functions.

Meal planning strategies. Creating well-balanced meals is foundational to senior nutrition. Understanding meal planning strategies helps ensure a diverse and nourishing diet. Balanced diet principles. A well-balanced diet for seniors should encompass a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. This ensures a comprehensive and nourishing approach to meal planning. Importance of fiber in the elderly diet. Dietary fiber plays a crucial role in digestive health for seniors. To combat potential constipation issues, foods rich in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, should be incorporated into their diet.
Portion control. Adjusting portion sizes is vital for seniors to meet their nutritional needs while considering changes in metabolism and activity levels. The significance of moderation is that emphasizing moderation in food consumption helps prevent overeating and supports weight management and overall well-being.

Incorporating whole foods. Choosing nutrient-dense whole foods is a fundamental aspect of senior nutrition. Fresh produce and whole grains offer a spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When choosing fresh produce, prioritize fresh fruits and vegetables. Ensure seniors receive essential nutrients in their most natural form. Benefits of whole grains. Whole grains contribute to a well-rounded diet, offering a source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and various essential nutrients.

Addressing specific dietary concerns. Tailoring nutrition to address specific health concerns is crucial for seniors, especially those in assisted living environments. Heart-healthy diet tips. Implementing heart-healthy diet tips has become paramount, focusing on low-sodium options, lean proteins, and heart-friendly fats. Managing diabetes through nutrition for seniors, dealing with diabetes, and managing the condition through nutrition is crucial. Monitoring, carbohydrate intake, and choosing low-glycemic food are part of an effective strategy.

Antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidants play a pivotal role in protecting cells from free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic disease associated with aging. In incorporating colorful vegetables and fruits, the vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables often indicate a high level of antioxidants. Encouraging seniors to consume a variety of colors of produce enhances their antioxidant intake.

Supplements for seniors Considering individual needs, the inclusion of supplements can be beneficial for seniors in meeting their nutritional requirements. The role of multivitamins. Multivitamins can bridge nutritional gaps for seniors, ensuring they receive a comprehensive array of vitamins and minerals. Individualized supplement considerations. Tailoring supplement choices to individual health needs is crucial. Factors such as deficiencies or specific health conditions should guide supplement decisions.

Cooking methods for nutrition retention. Adopting cooking techniques that retain nutrients. Ensure seniors get the maximum benefits from their meals. Methods like steaming, roasting, and frying retain more nutrients compared to boiling or frying. Also, reducing reliance on processed foods, which often lack essential nutrients, contributes to a healthier senior diet.

In conclusion, understanding and implementing nutrition tips for seniors in assisted living are essential for promoting wellbeing and quality of life. Tailoring dietary strategies to individual needs and embracing a holistic approach can significantly impact the health of seniors during their golden years.”

SILVERCARE LIVING PODCASTS 2023

Ryan Patrick, Senior Sales Director for Silvercare Management, a Texas owner/operator of assisted living, memory care, and independent living communities, talks about how to find the right home for you and your loved ones.

“Have you noticed a change in your loved ones’ condition? Are day to day tasks becoming increasingly difficult to perform? If so, this might be a good time to start researching Assisted Living options. 

My name is Ryan Patrick, and I am the Senior Sales Director for Silvercare Management. A Texas based owner/operator of Assisted Living, Memory Care and Independent living communities. 

There are plenty of options to choose from when you are looking for an Assisted Living Community. 

The task of trying to find the best one can seem daunting. If you are like most people, this is probably the first time you will be researching and touring Assisted Living Communities.

First and foremost, you want to determine what type of Assisted Living would be the best fit. Assisted Living communities are either a type A or a type B community. 

Type A communities are  reserved for individuals who are capable of self evacuating during an emergency. One thing to keep in mind if you select a type A community is that at some point in the future, you might be faced with having to move your loved one, if they ever reach the point that they are unable to self evacuate. 

A type B community is able to provide care for individuals who can either self evacuate, or require assistance during an emergency evacuation. Type B communities are also what they call, age-in-place communities. This means that they are able to provide the care your loved one needs until the end of life. 

Now that you have decided which type of community is the best fit, it is time to begin your search for the perfect community

I recommend making a list of 3-5 communities that are in the area you are looking for. You will want to contact each community and set up a tour. Google reviews provide a glimpse into how others feel about the community. There are also other websites where you can find reviews from individuals who have experienced the community. These reviews are easily found with a quick google search. 

Here are the top questions to ask the community sales representative. 

1. What kind of training do your caregivers undergo?
Every community is different, but to hear how they train their staff will give you an idea as to how equipped they are to handle the care of your loved one. 
2. How Many residents currently live in the community?
This will provide some insight into how well liked the community is. And if the size is a good fit for your loved one. 
3. Do you have staff on-site 24/7?
You want to make sure that someone is available 24/7 in the event your loved one needs assistance. Be sure to clarify that they are “on-site” and not “on-call”
4. What kind of meals do you offer?
This question is important, you want to make sure that your loved one is going to be receiving 3 well balanced meals each day. Be sure to ask for a copy of the most recent menu. 

5. What type of activities are available?

Social enrichment is a very important aspect of Assisted Living. Most communities will offer some sort of activity calendar. Be sure to ask for a copy of their current activity calendar.   

6. What is your caregiver to resident ratio?

-This information will shed some light on how much one on one time they will be able to provide your loved one. It is important that there is a good balance to this ratio. 

7. What role do the families play?

-It is important that you find a community that encourages family involvement. You also want to make sure that the families have direct contact with dept heads in the event you need to ask questions regarding your loved ones. 

8. What kind of access do families/friends have to their loved ones?

You want to be sure that there is a visitation policy in place and that it aligns with your availability to come visit. This is also a great time to ask about their policy on taking your loved one out for the day or a quick lunch date. 

9. What 3rd party services are available?

Each community will more than likely have some sort of partnership or relationship with a 3rd party company who can provide support for extra care needs. This ranges from visiting physicians, podiatry. Dentistry, Physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. 
10. Does the community provide transportation to and from doctors appointments?

The community will most likely provide this service, check for a price, or if it is included. 

Now that you have toured your selected communities, select your top three. Revisit these communities in person and make sure you are confident in your final selection. 

A couple of tips for your return tour, ask if you can come back for a second tour where you can taste the food, or see first hand one of the activities. Any community should be more than happy to accommodate these types of requests. I hope this podcast is a great tool to help you formulate your questions and helps you find the perfect community for your loved one.”

 

 

Jami Sanchez, executive director of Lampasas Assisted Living in Lampasas, Texas (one of the Silvercare Living Communities), talks about how to discuss assisted living with your loved one.

“Love your parents. We are so busy growing up that we often forget that they too are growing old. This popular quote rings true for most of us. As we get so busy in our own lives, we often forget our parents are growing older, and that often means they may need assistance with activities of daily living. And this leaves a lot of questions. When should you consider assisted living? When is the right time to discuss assisted living with your mom or dad? This discussion can be very difficult, but with the right information, talking with your parents about assisted living care can be a very easy and stress-free experience for both of you. 

One very important thing to remember is to keep your aging parents involved in the decision making process. Adults are adults, and this includes your elderly parents, especially if they still have a high level of independence and you are talking about long-term care in the upcoming years. Allow them to be involved in where they would like to live their life. If your mom and dad are still able to live their lives and have the mental capacity to make their own decisions, then you should respect their wishes. Older children who become primary caregivers for their parents can become obsessed with the idea of control. Maybe they find it too challenging with the communication and would rather just take charge instead of listening and talking to their mom, dad, or loved one. This is not helpful to either side, and it will only cause more stress in the long run and could possibly even fracture relationships in the process. 

Try to keep emotions out of everything and truly think rationally about assisted living and what’s best for your parents. If this means you talk to a doctor, then please do so, but continue to keep your parents in the know and involved. Remember, if you were growing up, your parents were growing old. If you think it might be time for your parents to consider moving to an assisted living community, you should have the talk with them sooner rather than later. Keep them involved in every step of the decision making process. Although this can be a very tough time for both of you, considering the things that are most important to your parents will make this process less stressful for all of you.”

The executive director of one of the Silvercare Living Communities, Vista Senior Living in Killington, Vermont, Luis Marin, talks about the difference between assisted living and home care.
 
“When it becomes clear that an elderly family member needs daily care, deciding what to do next might seem overwhelming. Assisted living and home care are two common options that can provide the additional support needed. The primary differences between assisted living and home care are where an individual receives support and the overall cost associated with each type of care.
Assisted living communities offer care, meals, social opportunities, and housing, all in an apartment-style environment. Home care, on the other hand, provides comparable services directly to the elderly. Home assisted living facilities provide housing and care services to active seniors who aren’t able to live independently. This type of care combines housing, support services, and healthcare if needed. These communities help seniors with activities like bathing, dressing, and eating, but they don’t provide ongoing skilled nursing care. Many assisted living communities for seniors offer numerous supportive care options, including the following: medication management, meal services, housekeeping, laundry services, social activities, and assistance with activities of daily living.
In my opinion, one of the greatest differences between assisted living and home care involves a socialization component, which may be compromised in a home care setting. Research conducted by the University of Hartford, where they analyzed results from 148 studies that included a total of 308,849 participants going back to the early 20th century, has shown how important social relationships are for improving survival. Social relationships are found to help improve health, either by protecting individuals from stressful situations or by creating a norm of healthy behaviors. This information is found to be helpful, and if you need any assistance finding the right place, know that the Silver Care family is here to provide you with the resources and lend a helping hand.”
 
Executive Director Kayla Hanna and Wellness Director Elisha Orozco of Silvercare’s Colonial Lodge Assisted Living talk about how important it is for seniors to stretch every day.
 

“Hi, my name is Kayla Hanna, and I am the Executive Director for Colonial Lodge Assisted Living, a Silvercare community, and I am here with our wellness director, Elisha Orozco. We are going to explain the importance of daily stretching for the senior population.

 As you age, joint movement becomes stiffer and less flexible because the amount of lubricating fluid inside your joints decreases and the cartilage becomes thinner. Ligaments also tend to shorten and lose some flexibility, making joints feel stiff. Muscles and joints weaken, and our range of motion deteriorates as we age. Stretching benefits include the development and maintenance of strength, improved flexibility, and increased circulation and blood flow to promote a greater quality of life and healthy aging. The less mobile joints are used, the less flexible and mobile seniors might be, no matter their level of activity. Stretching exercises for seniors are important. Addition to your routine stretching exercises yields many health benefits for seniors, ranging from injury prevention to mobility maintenance.

 Exercise is the most effective approach to combat immobility. Although a physical therapist who specializes in seniors is highly suggested, there are many exercises that can be learned and practiced without professional assistance to help elderly people improve their mobility. If you have a chronic condition, including osteoporosis, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely. Some examples would be an overhead side stretch held for 10 to 30 seconds per side. You could do shoulder stretches, tricep stretches, hamstring stretches, and also calf stretches. Generally, elderly and senior stretching should be done two to three days per week. Performing each stretch three to five times with a 20- to 32-second hold Try one or two stretches for each body region. If you would like to increase your flexibility, stretches should be performed four to five days per week. Silver Care Management utilizes third-party occupational therapy and physical therapy services to offer in-home therapies to keep our residents active and moving. Call one of our communities today to schedule a private tour and see if assisted living is a good option for you or your loved one.”

Connie Johnson, a resident liaison for Windchime at the Village Assisted Living in Kingsland, Texas, talks about the importance of socialization in assisted living.
 

“Hello, fellow listeners. This is Connie from Windchime Assisted Living out in Kingsland. And I wanted to talk a little bit about the elderly and socialization, especially as it pertains to assisted living. We bring folks in, you know, on a daily basis to come live in our community, and so often the families talk about how isolated they were at home alone or even living with them, because if they’re living with other family members and those folks are busy with work and just their day-to-day lives, it’s hard to give that elderly loved one all the attention that they need. So, we are especially aware of this in the realm of assisted living. We definitely make sure that we find out what their personality is like and if they’re a social person to begin with or if they’re more to themselves, and we adapt accordingly.

We brought a gentleman in a couple months ago, and he is more to himself, but he enjoys his socialization at mealtime, and for him, that’s enough. Other than that, he doesn’t really want to participate in other, you know, activities that we do have going on, but he’s perfectly content, and then we check on him and see him throughout the day. So he is getting, you know, socialization. Uh, a lot of the little ladies though, however, you know, want to be involved in anything and everything, all activities from art projects to bingo, ladies Bible study, you name it, they’re all involved, and they are just like we are. You know, we all need socialization and human touch. I hope this has helped. We just know that we have to value this very much in our assisted living community because we have to know what each individual is like and make sure that they are getting what they need socially.”

Annette Smith, executive director of Windchime at the Village Assisted Living in Kingsland, Texas (one of the Silvercare Living Communities), discusses the distinction between aging and Alzheimer’s disease.
 

Hi, my name is Annette Smith. I’m the executive director here at Windchime at the Village Assisted Living. I just want to talk to you a little bit about aging versus Alzheimer’s and what the difference is. Aging or Alzheimer’s people often mistake the two. Aging is just the mature stage of the human life cycle. The gradual slowing down of internal processes Even with this slowing down, your brain can remain active and sharp by challenging it. Alzheimer’s is a disease process that affects the brain and may cause dementia. Alzheimer’s is common in later years, but it is not, to be mistaken, a normal part of getting older. Dementia can be a symptom of Alzheimer’s. As people grow older, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s increases. Alzheimer’s care is often a common part of the assisted living community service package.”

Brandy Porter, the sales director for Silver Creek Assisted Living in Garland, Texas (one of the Silvercare Living Communities), talks about when it’s time to think about professional care for a loved one with dementia.
 

Hi, I’m Brandy Porter, the sales director for Silver Creek Assisted Living. Are you having a hard time deciding on home care or professional care? It’s common for family members to want to keep their loved ones who have dementia, living at home for as long as possible. In the early stages, that’s often helpful for someone who is only beginning to experience memory loss or confusion. Being in familiar surroundings and having familiar people close by can be of great comfort. As time passes though and the symptoms become worse, it could be time to consider professional care. People with dementia might forget to eat or choose to avoid certain foods, which can lead to malnutrition. They can develop severe depression or anxiety. It can even be dangerous both for the individual and those around him or her. People in the later stages of dementia can become aggressive and lash out at their caretakers.

They can also wander off on their own and get lost even if no one gets hurt. In that scenario, it can cause a lot of emotional trauma. While it can be difficult for one to make, at some point, professional care may be the most loving choice, such as assisted living by ensuring that their loved one is in a safe environment. With structured activities and full-time caregivers, the family is doing the best thing for everyone concerned. At first, family members might feel guilty about even thinking about moving their mother or father or spouse into a place that provides specialized care for people with dementia. They might feel as though they’re shifting their responsibilities, someone else or abandoning someone they care about deeply. But it’s important to realize that this change is more difficult for the family than it is for the individual. People who have more advanced cases of dementia no longer experience the same range of emotions.

The disease limits their ability to process information and respond accordingly. They may be aware that they’re in a different place. They may also know that other people besides their family members are around to help them. At times, they may ask where their spouse or adult child is, but in the advanced stages, these periods of awareness typically grow shorter and less frequent. Much of the time, their mind is not in the present or even in the past as memories continue to fade. So while it’s not unusual for guilt to cause those who are making the decision to put it off until it’s absolutely necessary, that guilt isn’t helping anyone and may be causing harm. Unless people with advanced dementia or in the right kind of living environment where they can receive professional care that addresses their unique needs, the quality, quality of life will continue to deteriorate. It may be helpful to think of it this way. If your loved one’s dementia has progressed to the point where you can no longer provide the level of care, day and night they require to stay as physically and mentally healthy as possible, then you’re actually doing your spouse or parent a favor by making sure they have continuous access to professional care that they need. Here at Silver Creek Assisted Living, we are here for you to provide a helping hand.

Rhonda Sides, executive director of Silvermark Memory Care in Plano, Texas (one of the Silvercare Living Communities), talks about the benefits of pets for residents with dementia.
 

Hi, my name is Rhonda Sides. I am the executive director for Silvermark Memory Care. Today we’re gonna discuss pets and dementia, so we know that pets help, uh, even those without dementia. So the increased research has shown that pet interaction with dementia can reduce tension, stress, or anxiety. A person may be feeling, um, upset or lonely, and the act of brushing or petting and holding a pet actually decreases loneliness and depression also relieves pain by increasing oxytocin in the body. Also increases social interaction and self-worth. So instead of constantly requiring someone to care for them, they actually get to care for something themselves. Also, improving physical health for early stages, dementia, taking the dog out for a walk or playing with the dog of a cat, brushing and petting them, that gives them the motor skills and the exercise, so that actually helps them as well.

 

So then you need to look at the levels of dementia and what different path you can take for what type of pet. So somebody with, um, just starting out with dementia may still be able to take care of their own dog and their own cat, and they can do that with a little assistance. But now we’re gonna look at somebody who has progressed dementia and really does not have the ability to be responsible for a cat or a dog. Um, with that you can do other things. You can get toys, and I know they’re called toys, but we’ll talk about that in a second. You can get toys so they can, you can get robotic cats, robotic dogs, and they actually purr or bark. They actually vibrate when you pet them. They purr when you pet them. They actually can interact with the, uh, your loved one that has dementia as well.



So we don’t wanna look at them as being toys. It’s not demeaning to them at all. It is the, if your loved one feels like that’s their cat, that’s their reality. They love that cat. And so to them that cat is, is their cat. So they’re gonna get the same thing. Petting that cat, loving that cat and having that cat in their lap is gonna make them feel the same way as an actual live animal Would just like, you know, petting, combing their hair, brushing, talking to them, just having something in their lap, that weighted animal in their lap, just comfort them and makes them feel less lonely. Something else you can look at. As far as sensory goes, bird birds work really well. Uh, they are a little noisy, depending on, you know, it depends on the residents. You, you, you have to decide on what, what, you know, kind of things they like as well. So birds are a good sensory pet to take care of for them. But someone, someone else would definitely have to take care of them. But, um, my residents enjoy talking to the birds. They enjoy looking at the birds. Um, we also have a fish tank, which they

 

Enjoy as well. Um, the visual part, I did find the brighter colored fish and they really enjoy looking at the fish and just watching them swim. That seems to really calm some of them down as well. Uh, so depending upon the levels of dementia, um, that’s gonna help you make your decision on whether they can take care of a pet or whether they need a pet that, that they, uh, need assistance with, or whether you just need to purchase them, something that that makes them feel better. Um, that’s just gonna be dependent upon you and dependent upon the residents. Some people don’t want any pets with that. You can actually get a doll or a toy that looks like a doll and they actually love them, believe it or not. You just want to give them something that gives them comfort and gives them something to hold onto. Um, I think that, again, we just have to remember that we are living their reality. And so if it brings them comfort, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Daniel Mora, resident liaison at Vista Senior Living in Killington, Vermont, discusses the benefits of assisted living for seniors.
 

Hello everyone. My name is Daniel Mora, and I’m the resident liaison for Vista Senior Living at Killington, Vermont. And today I wanted to take a couple minutes to talk to you about the benefits of assisted living. One of the greatest benefits of assisted living for your elderly loved ones is social interaction. It’s not uncommon for seniors to become isolated as they get older. Isolation in seniors can lead to a host of problems like depression, poor health, poor mobility, and more. In assisted living, residents become part of a loving, supportive community surrounded by people their own age. Residents engage in activities designed to foster social connection from arts and crafts to social hours. Enjoying the company of peers is one of the most natural and compelling benefits of senior living. We have had multiple cases where seniors will join Vista Senior Living and make new friends.



An assisted living community can also have physical benefits. Increased physical activity. Among the advantages of assisted living are the different activities that we have to maintain the physical health of the elderly and reduced stress as we age. Remaining active can help seniors keep their blood sugar in check, increase circulation, and even improve their heart rate. In assisted living facilities, residents are offered a wealth of indoor and outdoor activities, including walks around the property or morning exercises as we have every morning here at Vista at 10:30 AM Better nutrition. When it comes to mealtime great food and nutrition is so important for seniors, but a welcoming dining experience is critical too. At our assisted living community, we have three full meals a day, which are prepared by our in-house chef. These meals are tailored specifically to our residents’ needs. With the input of all of our residents, we are able to create monthly menus that have both health and craving benefits, making sure that it meets our residents dietary needs.

 

Assisted living communities like Vista Senior Living also offer assistance with activities of daily living or ADLs. Things like bathing, dressing, and eating. But balance is key when it comes to the level of assistance each senior receives. It’s important that seniors retain independence and control over their lives and schedules while still having access to the care that they need. Striking the balance is one of the key benefits of assisted living. Each one of our residents has a care plan that is tailored to their needs. Family benefits of assisted living, peace of mind. Another benefit of assisted living for the family will be that they have the assurance their loved one is in a safe space and in a comfortable environment. Senior living situations can be stressful for any family, whether or not the senior lives with them full-time. When a senior moves into assisted living, family members can rest assured that their loved one is in a safe, supportive environment, eating well, socializing, and receiving the care that they need.

 

The services that Vista Senior Living has to offer, we are able to help families enjoy their loved one’s golden years.

 

With so many options in senior living, it can be hard to understand the benefits of each type of care. The combination of compassionate care that helps seniors with activities of daily living paired with a lifestyle full of social activities and wellness programs will definitely help

our seniors thrive. A special thanks to all the families that have trusted Vista Senior living with the care of their loved ones. Without you, Vista Senior Living would not exist. We hope that this information has been helpful and we look forward to many more years of making memories with our residents and their families, for their family becomes our own when we join this journey together. Thank you and have a great day.

In this podcast, the assistant executive director at Silver Creek Assisted Living in Garland, Texas, Shenneka Muldrow, shared some tips on how seniors in assisted living can keep healthy minds.
 

Hi, I’m Shenneka Muldrow, assistant executive director at Silver Creek Assisted Living in Garland. I’m here to give tips for seniors in assisted living to keep a healthy mind. Today, more and more seniors prefer to spend their golden years in assisted living communities. Did you know that over millions of seniors, age 65 and above, currently reside in a senior home-type setting? It’s not your typical retirement home. It’s a community designed to help senior residents live happier and healthier lives.

Tip 1: Partner with your caregiver. Utilize your caregivers or healthcare providers. Work alongside your caregiver to create a care plan that works. Share your ideas to achieve a better result.

Tip 2: Exercise your mind and body on a daily basis. It not only strengthens the bones and muscles, but it also feeds and activates your brain. So it is important for seniors to engage in some type of exercise daily. It also helps maintain blood circulation to the brain, relaxes the brain, and decreases anxiety as well as depression.

Tip 3: Stay socially connected. Engaging with other residents helps boost brain activity and cognitive functions. It’s also increased senior self-esteem, self-confidence, and a sense of happiness.

Tip 4: Boost your nutrition. A healthy diet affects your physical and mental wellbeing. Foods such as fiber, rich fruits and vegetables, lean protein like meat and eggs, low-fat dairy products, antioxidant-rich foods such as greens and leafy veggies, and omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and tuna help with senior nutritional needs.

Tip 5: Make time for relaxation. As you age, the ability to handle stress decreases. It impacts your mental and emotional health. If not addressed, it leads to more production of stress hormones in the brain. Identify your triggers and work on how you can overcome their effects. Develop a few helpful common techniques to use when you’re frightened of a sudden stressful situation.

Tip 6: Engage in mind-stimulating activities. It can be as simple as talking with another resident or answering a crossword proposal daily. In addition, you may interact in crocheting and knitting classes. A game of poker, bridge, or monopoly that ends your day with a smile speaks to the value of assisted living communities.

Ryan Patrick, Senior Sales Director for Silvercare Management, a Texas-based senior care company, talks about the importance of planning for long-term care.
 
“My name is Ryan Patrick, and I’m the Senior Sales Director for Silver Care Management, a Texas-based senior care company. I wanna share with you the importance of planning for long-term care. Planning for long-term care is crucial because it helps individuals prepare for potential health changes and the associated costs. It allows for informed decision making about care preferences, ensures access to quality services and can help protect assets.
 
Early planning increases the likelihood of receiving desired care while minimizing the financial burden on oneself and family members. The average cost of assisted living in Texas is about $42,000 a year and $63,000 a year for memory care communities in the state of Texas.
 
Medicaid does have plans available for low income seniors to help assist with the cost of long-term care with the limitations Medicaid places on income and net worth in order to qualify for assistance. It makes it close to impossible for most seniors to receive the Medicaid benefits. Even if you qualify, you must choose a community that is enrolled in the Medicaid program. With these limitations, you can oftentimes struggle to find a community that fits your personal wants and needs and desired location, thus making it extremely important to start the planning process as soon as possible to ensure you are not limited, and have the option to explore private pay communities that are more suitable to the lifestyle you want for your golden years.
 
Most private pay communities in Texas will accept VA benefits and also private long-term care insurance policies. Wartime veterans and their surviving spouses 65 years or older may be entitled to a tax-free benefit called aid and attendance provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs. The benefit is designed to provide financial aid to help offset the cost of long-term care for those who need assistance with the daily activities of living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring; these benefits are available to wartime heroes and surviving spouses. The benefit can range from $1,432 to $3,536 per month. I highly recommend using a veteran benefit service to help you along in the process of applying for these benefits.
 
The other option is a private long-term care policy. Traditional long-term care policies work much like the policies you have for auto or home insurance. You pay premiums usually for as long as the policy is in effect and make claims. If you ever need covered services, long-term care can pay upwards of 80 to 85% of your total cost at a private pay assisted living community, which takes your out of pocket costs from an average of 45,000 annually to only $6,750 annually.
 
Oftentimes, finances are the contributing factors when it comes to selecting a long-term care community. It is imperative to pre-plan, so when that time comes, you can make a decision based on what you truly want out of a community and not choosing based solely on affordability. No matter your current age, it is never too early to plan for your long-term care needs. The more informed you are and the more prepared you are, the easier it will be to face the decision to move into a long-term care community, and to find a home for your golden years.”
Rhonda Sides, executive director of Silvermark Memory Care in Plano, a Texas-based senior care company, talks about taking care of someone with dementia during the holidays.
 
“Hi everybody, my name is Rhonda and I work for Silver Mark Memory Care, which is a part of the Silver Care Living family. The holidays are here, right on top of us actually. And so I wanna talk about taking care of somebody with dementia and the holidays and what is the best way to handle that. I think to start off with, if at all possible, plan ahead, that would be the number one thing to do if you can.
 
So, as far as decorating, start out with decorating a little bit at a time. So you wanna put, um, a few things here, a few things there, because anything that changes in the environment, uh, definitely will stress out your loved one. So if you can, maybe let them assist as well. If they’re capable, they definitely can hang a few items on the tree. If they have a specific item that they’ve used for years and years, like a reef or an ornament, let them definitely do that. Um, it, they may not recognize it, but it may still be a little familiar to them.
 
The other thing you wanna do as far as planning ahead is maybe talk to other family members who live out of state, out of town. They may not be around your loved one as often, and so we want to kind of give them a heads up, maybe fill them in on what works and what doesn’t work, uh, as far as communication and interaction with the loved one that has dementia. So that kind of prevents some overwhelming feelings and, and actually fear or, um, you know, some concerns that the family members may have and with the interactions. And so that way they will be prepared as well, especially if they have children.
 
So, you know, we all love children and even people with dementia love children, but we wanna make sure that they’re interacting in a positive way. And so that’s another, uh, another thing you wanna kind of keep in the back of your head. So we also wanna make sure that our loved one with dementia has a quiet area they can go to if they’re feeling overwhelmed. And if they live with you, that’s usually gonna be their room. So we wanna make sure that they have access to that and that nobody can go in there and bother them or disturb them, and that they’re aware that they can go to their room and it’s okay to do so.
 
So we also wanna make sure that, you know, everybody’s comfortable and that they, um, realize that, that your loved one with dementia may not want or reminisce about some certain things. And so give them some heads up on that. Always watch for cues as well. If you are taking care of a loved one with dementia, you recognize, you understand, you know, the cues on what might be upsetting them, so make sure you’re watching them for that in the meantime.
 
So we want to involve them as much as possible, but we also want to let them be able to do that on their terms. And so, uh, having the family members aware of that and having them involved as well helps quite a bit. So you wanna also make sure the home is safe. Make sure that you know, of course, the lighting, everything is safe for your level of dementia. I think one of the biggest things also that I wanna, uh, touch on is if you care for somebody that has dementia, and this is something you do day in and day out and you know what it takes to take care of that person, take care of yourself.
 
We, everybody, want that perfect holiday. We want the tree to look beautiful, we want this beautiful dinner. We want everything to be perfect. Well, please recognize that it’s, it’s gonna be the quality of the time you spend with your family. And so take care of yourself. You wanna make sure you get the rest. If somebody wants to help you, please take their help, let them get involved and just, you know, maybe you can sit back and put your feet up a little bit and enjoy the holidays with your family. So I hope all of you have a great holiday.” 
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