The Benefits of Lifelong Learning at Westminster Oaks

At Westminster Oaks, learning never stops. We believe in the importance of continuous growth, exploration and mental stimulation at every age. That is why cultivating an inquisitive spirit is a central component of our exclusive My W Life wellbeing program. Challenging your mind is one of the eight dimensions we focus on to foster fulfillment and vibrancy. 

We encourage our residents to keep expanding their awareness by providing a rich curriculum of educational courses, outings, lectures and more. There are always opportunities to gain fresh knowledge, insights and skills with us. Westminster Oaks aims to challenge your mind with creative ideas and activities daily.

One way we make lifelong learning accessible is through our innovative partnership with Florida State University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. This affiliation gives our residents access to a myriad of university-level noncredit courses taught by distinguished professors across diverse disciplines. Here are just a few engaging course examples:

French Baroque and Rococo Architecture – Discover the fanciful architectural expressions that defined the reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI. This class will cover not just seminal buildings but also allied arts like ornate painting, sculpture and furniture design that had lasting impacts on European aesthetic sensibilities.

World War II in Europe – Take an in-depth look at how the last four years of the war played out after the 1941 German attack on Russia and US entry. Follow the key strategic movements and personalities that shaped events in Europe through VE Day. Gain new appreciation for the scale and complexity of operations.

Are You My Mummy? – This introduction to the scientific field of paleopathology teaches how analysis of remains can reveal the common injuries and illnesses ancient humans endured, and what they tell us about how our ancestors lived. It’s a fascinating look at the realities of health in antiquity.

These represent just a sample of over 300 engaging courses offered across dozens of topics. This program allows our residents to delve into subjects captivating to them and connect classroom lessons to personal experiences. Learning alongside fellow residents with shared curiosities also forges rewarding friendships.

Cognitive Health Benefits

Enriching the mind isn’t just stimulating – it also strengthens the brain and enhances cognition. Research shows that ongoing learning and mental challenges can help minimize age-related declines.

When we exercise our minds by acquiring new information and skills, we bolster crucial functions like:

– Memory – Storing and retrieving new data builds neural pathways. Review and repetition of what we learn reinforces recall ability.

– Concentration – Listening to lectures and absorbing unfamiliar material improves our focused attention span.

– Speed of Information Processing – Learning new things well into old age keeps our processing sharp.

– Visuospatial Skills – Interpreting graphs, artwork or diagrams activates visual intelligence.

– Logical Reasoning – Grasping complex concepts involves critical analysis and problem solving.

– Multitasking – Learning often requires us to synthesize information from multiple sources simultaneously.

Regularly using our brains in these ways preserves acuity and mental agility. Continuing education can even reduce risks of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s truly the adage “use it or lose it” when it comes to our cognitive resources. Proactively enriching our minds pays dividends as we age.

Social and Emotional Gains

In addition to making us mentally sharper, lifelong learning also delivers social and emotional benefits. The collaborative nature of education creates valuable connections and feelings of fulfillment.

Specifically, learning with others enables our residents to:

– Form friendships with classmates who have shared interests. Group learning facilitates camaraderie.

– Have thought-provoking discussions about lesson topics that are enriching.

– Feel a sense of community through cooperating productively with peers.

– Gain confidence through encouragement and growth in courses.

– Share their accumulated wisdom and life experiences with younger students.

– Make new acquaintances through conversations during field trips or social mixing breaks.

As humans, we are wired to crave social bonds, rapport and support. Combining personal growth with relationship building heightens the rewards of lifelong learning exponentially.

Self-Actualization Through Learning 

In addition to keeping our brains sharp and facilitating connections, continuous learning also promotes self-actualization. No matter our age, focusing on self-improvement and expanding horizons brings deep fulfillment.

For Westminster Oaks residents, educational offerings impart:

– A sense of purpose from acquiring expertise. Mastery in subjects grants confidence.

– Opportunities to express creativity through arts learning. Crafting and performance taps innovation.

– Exposure to diverse cultures, philosophies and epochs that expand worldviews.

– Chances to explore faith traditions, values and morality.

– Motivation to keep achieving goals and greater well-roundedness.

Truly, wisdom and personal expansion have no limits when pursued with an open and curious frame of mind. Our community of lifelong learners finds enrichment, understanding and growth through our programs.

Modeling Lifelong Curiosity

At Westminster Oaks, we believe nurturing curiosity and engaging the mind is important at every age. Our community models that learning is lifelong. We continually expose residents to new ideas, cultures and perspectives to foster growth.

The quest for knowledge lights a spark within the human spirit. As we embrace learning’s joys, discovery leads to expanded worldviews. We hope you are inspired to feed your inner scholar and join us in the lifelong learning journey. Please contact Westminster Oaks to learn more about our community and educational offerings. The riches of wisdom await!

Navigating the Transition: A Guide for Adult Children Seeking Care for Aging Parents

We know that taking on the role of finding the right living situation for your aging parents can feel like trying to solve a puzzle with a hundred pieces. But we’re here to help you put those pieces together for the picture of a beautiful tomorrow.

Let’s take a closer look at Westminster Oaks in Tallahassee, Florida. This community has a full spectrum of care; from independent living to skilled nursing, we’ve designed our programs for seniors to truly feel at home. As adult children take on the role of helping to determine care for their aging parents, it becomes imperative to find the right living situation to fit their loved ones’ unique needs and preferences.

Figuring Out the Right Fit

First thing’s first: understanding what different types of senior living mean. Independent living? It’s all about active seniors having their perfect living setup without worrying about mowing the lawn. Assisted living offers a helping hand with daily needs like meals and medications, while skilled nursing is there for those who need medical care 24/7. Westminster Oaks offers all these options, so it’s more about what suits your loved one best.

Discussing Finances

Next up is the financial side of things. How much does it cost? What are the payment options offered? Westminster Oaks offers different payment plans such as entrance fee plans and monthly plans, so there is something to fit everyone’s budget. A robust financial assessment will help identify the best strategy for your family and ensure that your parents can age in comfort without financial stress.

One payment plan Westminster Oaks offers is the entrance fee plan. Think of it like a one-time, upfront cost that guarantees your parents’ residence and care in the community. This is a common model for many Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). The fee can depend on the size and type of the living accommodation your parents choose, and some or all of it might be refundable. Alongside the entrance fee, there’s usually a monthly service fee. This covers ongoing services like meals, housekeeping, transportation, and access to amenities and activities. The cost can vary based on the level of care your parents require. Remember, the goal is to make sure your parents can enjoy their golden years without financial worry.

Navigating the Emotional Side

When we talk about moving into senior living, it’s much more than just a physical move – it’s a significant lifestyle change, and that can bring up a few emotions with it. On one hand, your parents might feel excited about stepping into a new chapter of their lives. They’ll no longer have to worry about house chores or maintenance – those are taken care of at Westminster Oaks. Plus, the prospect of becoming part of a vibrant community can be a thrilling prospect. There’s a world of new social interactions, activities, and hobbies waiting for them to explore.

This is where the compassionate and experienced staff at Westminster Oaks steps in. They understand these mixed feelings and have helped many seniors navigate this emotional journey. They take the time to get to know each resident, understand their concerns, and make the transition as smooth as possible.

Quality of Care: Top of the List

The quality of care provided is a critical factor in choosing a senior living community. You want to know your parents are in good hands. Westminster Oaks prides itself in providing exceptional care that is personalized to each resident, whether they’re living independently, require assistance, or need skilled nursing.

In an independent living scenario, staff members are always on hand to provide help if needed, while still ensuring that residents can lead an active and independent lifestyle. In an assisted living setting, care can encompass help with day-to-day activities like bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and medication management. For those in need of skilled nursing care, Westminster Oaks provides round-the-clock medical attention and therapeutic services.

In short, the Westminster Oaks approach to care aims to provide peace of mind for you and a high-quality life for your parents. You can rest easy knowing they’re not just looked after, but they are truly cared for.

Living the Life at Westminster Oaks

Let’s not forget the fun stuff! Westminster Oaks had a heap of amenities to choose from. Starting with the fitness center, packed with all the equipment your parents might need to stay in shape, or if they just want to meet new people with the chance of possibly starting a fitness group. You aren’t just limited to the fitness center though; we also offer a pool where you can do laps or just cool off, the pool offers relaxation or exercise. For those who enjoy reading, our library is a real treat, it’s a quiet comfortable space where you can lose yourself in a good book or even join a book club. It’s one of the examples of Westminster Oaks lifelong learning opportunities.

And let’s not forget the social activities! These can range from organized events like game nights and craft sessions to informal gatherings among residents. There’s always something going on, making it easy for your parents to make friends and stay socially engaged. If you want to explore downtown Tallahassee, residents are a short trip away from all the attractions our city has to offer from museums and art galleries to shopping centers and restaurants.

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!

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