5 Meditation Practices to Calm the Mind and Uplift the Spirit in Tallahassee Assisted Living

Here at Westminster Oaks, we’re all about promoting healthy, active aging for our residents. And over our many years serving Tallahassee seniors, we’ve learned meditation can have incredible benefits for mind, body and soul. From reducing stress to improving sleep, focusing attention to lifting mood, the advantages of regular mindfulness practice almost seem endless!

So we make meditation a central part of life in our assisted living community. We’ve experimented with all sorts of contemplative practices to find those best suited for seniors, landing on a “greatest hits” of our residents’ 5 favorites. These accessible, impactful techniques help our retirement home residents enjoy vitality at any age.

In this blog, we’ll walk through each beloved method, from classic breathwork to innovative walking meditations. We’ll share the specifics on how to meditate for beginners and enthusiasts alike. Consider it your guide to integrating mindfulness seamlessly into your days here at Westminster Oaks. Our hope? That the following practices awaken deep peace and joy available inside us all.

Tune Into Your Breath, Tune Out Anxiety

We pretty much consider breath awareness the foundation of meditation here at Westminster Oaks. It’s simple, straightforward and offers incredible physiological and emotional benefits for seniors. By gently bringing attention to the rhythms of inhaling and exhaling, we calm our nervous system, lower blood pressure, stabilize mood and gain laser mental focus.

It’s the perfect antidote to anxiety and stress. And in the fast pace of today’s world, couldn’t we all use a little more chill?

Here’s how our residents practice daily:

Find a comfortable seat, settling into a posture that’s upright but not stiff. Allow your eyelids to gently close and relax any frowning muscles in your face. Now bring attention to the subtle sensations of breathing. Feel the gentle rise and fall of your chest and belly without manipulating your breath in any way. Thoughts will come and go like passing clouds. Note them briefly, then redirect your attention back to your breath.

Aim for 5-10 minutes once or twice per day. Easy as that! With regular practice, you’ll soon find yourself more centered, focused and flooded with inner peace.

Harness the Power of Mantras

Repeating a meaningful word or phrase over and over is such a simple, powerful way to short-circuit anxiety and overthinking. By giving our bustling minds something positive to chew on, mantra meditation leads to all sorts of great outcomes for seniors.

Science suggests that vocalizing in this way can reduce blood pressure, lift mood and sharpen cognitive skills. On top of those perks, we find chanting mantras incredibly soothing and comforting during stressful times. The repetitive practice keeps our worrying minds occupied with an uplifting message rather than an anxious one.

You can experiment with classic mantras like “Om” or create one with personal meaning. The right option generally uplifts, centers and produces a calming vibration through the body. Once you’ve selected your mantra, find a quiet spot to sit erect but relaxed. Seal your lips and repeat the phrase in your mind, focusing only on the mantra. When thoughts inevitably distract you, return ever-so-gently back to your chosen words.

For most fruitful results, mantra meditation guides recommend 15-20 minutes twice per day. But start slow with 5-10 minutes once a day – the benefits will amaze you!

Sweep Away Aches with Body Scans

It’s no secret that aging bodies sometimes introduce new aches or pains. Chronic discomfort can easily dampen our spirits and prevent us from fully participating in life. So here at Westminster Oaks, we equip residents with tools to mitigate physical suffering and tune into our bodily needs. Our secret weapon? The powerfully soothing body scan!

Body scans involve slowly sweeping your attention from head to toe, observing sensations in different regions without judging them as good or bad. It’s a way to tune into messages from your physical form and gently release built-up tension in muscles. Regular practice leaves us more attuned to early warning signs while alleviating nagging back pain, arthritis and neuropathy.

Want to give it a go? Follow these step-by-step instructions:

Find a quiet space to lie down or sit upright comfortably. Close your eyes, taking a few deep breaths. Bring attention to the crown of your head, noticing any sensations present. After a few slow breaths, shift focus to your forehead. Slowly progress across your whole face: eyes, jaw, neck. Scan downward through your shoulders, arms, chest and torso. Make your way down the legs all the way through the feet. The whole process takes 10-20 minutes.

Remember not to tense up or try to change what you experience. The goal is simply to observe with compassion. Over time, this builds body awareness and incredible physical relaxation. Regular body scans can work wonders if you suffer from pain, tension or uneasy sensations.

Envision Your Happy Place

In progressive senior living communities like Westminster Oaks, life stays fast-paced with a wide variety of stimulating activities. While we wouldn’t trade our jam-packed schedules for anything, all that excitement can occasionally leave residents feeling drained or overstimulated.

That’s why we make time for guided mental vacations each day through visualization meditation! This refreshing practice ushers your mind away from reality into imaginative scenes specially crafted to relax and restore you. Studies confirm visualization reduces anxiety, blood pressure and inflammation in older adults while enhancing mood and sleep.

Our residents’ favorite guided journey? Transporting to a personal sanctuary, perhaps located beside the ocean, a trickling stream or flowering meadow. This special place exists only in your mind, filled with sights, textures, sounds and scents to delight your senses. Every detail engages your imagination, drawing you into profound serenity.

We recommend start with a short 5-10 minute visualization once or twice a day. Over time, build up to 15-20 minutes in your special sanctuary. Don’t be surprised if you find real-world stresses melting away after regular visits! For extra relaxation, try a 30-minute body scan followed immediately by visualization.

Walk Your Way to Mindfulness & Wellbeing

We all know physical activity keeps our bodies spry and nimble into old age. And living at Westminster Oaks, you better believe we stay active with walking, strength training and balance classes! But there’s a special kind of walking we always make time for – walking meditation.

As the name suggests, this is meditation in motion. By tuning into sensory details involved with slowly, mindfully moving from place to place, walking meditation unclutters the mind and settles frayed nerves. Staying completely aware during movement teaches us to anchor in the present, key for aging folks dealing with memory challenges. We find integrating walking meditation into our days leaves us sharper, calmer and more upbeat.

Interested to try this moving mindfulness practice? Follow these steps:

Stand comfortably still, closing your eyes. Bring all your attention simply to the physical sensations present in your body. After a few slow deep breaths, open your eyes and begin strolling a short distance slowly. Keep the pace quarter speed, focusing intently on each micro-movement made to shift your weight fully from foot to foot. Tune into sounds, physical sensations and environment details as you walk with complete awareness for 5-15 minutes. If thoughts distract your attention, gently return focus to sensory aspects of moving mindfully through space.

When it comes to aging vibrantly, we firmly believe the journey counts as much as the destination. By integrating meditation into everyday living here at Westminster Oaks, our residents relish each moment while working toward healthier, happier futures. We’d love to welcome you into our compassionate community soon to begin your own contemplative journey!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A facet of our Mission

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

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

6 Assisted Living Myths Debunked

Assisted living facilities help many seniors receive the care they need while maintaining their quality of life. With an estimated 1.5 million seniors in assisted living homes throughout the United States, these facilities have become a popular way to care for loved ones as they age.

Unfortunately, there are many myths about assisted living that can scare those who are researching facilities. Understanding which claims are misconceptions helps seniors and their loved ones make informed choices.

Common Myths About Assisted Living in Tallahassee

Are you concerned about your parent moving into assisted living? To ease your worries, take a look at some of the biggest myths and misconceptions about assisted living facilities.

Myth 1: Residents Lose All Independence

A big misconception about assisted living facilities is that residents will lose all of their independence while living in one. While assisted living facilities are designed to help residents with daily needs and medical care, seniors maintain a level of independence. 

Residents have their own rooms and can spend the day doing what they please. They can enjoy hobbies, group activities, and more while in assisted living. 

Myth 2: They Resemble Institutions

One of the darker myths about assisted living homes is that they resemble institutions. Many people fear that their parents will feel suppressed and confined. In reality, assisted living in Tallahassee allows residents to feel comfortable and at home. 

Rooms are designed in a way that helps residents feel safe and comfortable. Residents are able to spend time with others, have frequent visitors, and participate in a wide range of activities

Myth 3: There Is No Socialization

A common misconception about assisted living is that the residents are completely isolated. You may be worried that your parent, friend, or family member will be secluded in their room. 

The truth is that many social activities are provided in assisted living homes. Things like games, movie nights, and more are offered as opportunities for residents to interact and socialize with their peers.

Myth 4: Residents Are Completely Sedentary

Before your loved one moves into an assisted living community, you may worry that they will become sedentary and no longer lead an active life. This could not be further from the truth. The staff members who provide care for residents understand that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of physical and mental health concerns. For this reason, residents are encouraged to stay active and participate in various activities.

Myth 5: They Are Too Expensive

While there are certainly assisted living homes that are on the expensive side, there are many affordable options as well. Tallahassee, Florida, assisted living homes include affordable options that provide residents with skilled nursing care and recreational programs. These facilities can meet all of your loved one’s needs without costing an exorbitant price.

Myth 6: There Isn’t Proper Medical Care

A common concern about assisted living facilities is that they do not provide adequate medical care. Most residents who are in assisted living have chronic or progressive medical concerns, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive decline. 

Giving these seniors proper medical care is essential for maintaining their health. This is why assisted living homes have on-site medical care with a team of skilled nursing professionals. Residents get daily medical care and assistance with medications and other needs. 

Your Loved One’s Assisted Living Facility Experience

If your parent, friend, or family member is moving into assisted living, rest assured that they will receive high-quality care. When you choose the right community, your senior loved one will be able to interact with their peers, maintain an active lifestyle, and have their medical needs met.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

Making the choice to place a parent or other senior adult into assisted living can be difficult. Once you realize that your loved one requires daily assistance, you must begin the search for a quality facility that can provide the care they need. 

When searching for assisted living facilities in Tallahassee, Florida, it’s not unusual to make certain mistakes. Learn more about these mistakes and how to avoid them.

Mistakes to Avoid When Looking at Assisted Living Facilities in Tallahassee, Florida

Are you looking for an assisted living community for your parent or another senior adult? Take a look at some common mistakes you will want to avoid when researching potential living facilities.

Not Using Available Resources

When it comes to finding an assisted living facility in Tallahassee, there are many resources that can help. These resources are designed to help seniors move into a facility that is the right fit for them. Not taking advantage of these resources will only make your search harder and increase the odds of choosing a home that is not ideal for your loved one.

Waiting Too Long

Many people make the mistake of putting off the search for an assisted living home. They may wait until their parent or another family member is in dire need of constant care. Unfortunately, getting into an assisted living facility can take some time. The process will not happen overnight. You will want to begin before your loved one is in serious need of placement in an assisted living home.

Another common mistake people make when looking for an assisted living facility is waiting too long to decide. Many assisted living facilities are at capacity and cannot accept any new residents. When you find an assisted living community ideal for your parent, you will want to get them on the waitlist as soon as possible.

Underestimating Your Loved One’s Needs

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when choosing an assisted living facility is underestimating your parent’s needs. This leads people to place their loved ones in a home that cannot provide their required care. You’ll want to take an honest look at what your parent needs assistance with each day. Also, take medical concerns into consideration and seek an opinion from their medical team, if necessary.

Focusing Only on Aesthetics

A mistake that some people make when choosing an assisted living facility is focusing entirely on what the establishment looks like. While appearance is important, it is not the only thing that matters. You will want to choose an assisted living facility that is clean, meets all health codes, and can provide your loved one with comfort and safety. 

Some facilities may look pretty on the outside but provide subpar care. You will want to research testimonials and reviews of the facility to ensure that they can give your parent the care they need.

Not Physically Visiting Facilities

One of the most common mistakes people make when choosing an assisted living facility is not looking at facilities in person. With the rise of social media, Google, and other virtual resources, you may think that you can see everything you need to see strictly online. The reality is that social media and websites only give a glimpse into each assisted living facility.

To find out more about a potential facility for your loved one, visit in person and arrange for a tour of the establishment by calling ahead of time. Staff members can give you a guided walk-through of the facility, showing you the building’s living spaces, recreational areas, and other important aspects. This will help you make an informed decision about where your parent will be living.

Learn More About Assisted Living Facilities in Tallahassee, Florida

Searching for a quality assisted living facility for your loved one can be overwhelming. However, using available resources, starting the search early, knowing your loved one’s needs, and visiting the facility in person can make the search much smoother.  

5 Surprising Benefits of Lifelong Learning

A lifelong learner is anyone who continues to learn and educate themselves after their formal schooling is complete. Whether you learn a new skill, a new language, or just more information on a subject that has always fascinated you, continuing your education throughout your life is a fun and easy way to preserve your mental acuity. 

In addition to preventing cognitive decline, lifelong learning has other benefits that might surprise you. Keep reading to learn how lifelong learning can enrich virtually every aspect of your life. 

1. Improves Mental Health 

When it comes to mental health, anxiety and depression are major concerns for many senior citizens today. Many people feel like they don’t have much to do or are stuck in a rut inside their homes. 

Learning a new skill or subject—whether at home or at a local community center—is a fantastic way to stimulate your mind and stave off the boredom that can lead to depression. In this manner, lifelong learning can help you have a more positive outlook on life and lower your stress levels. 

It’s also worth noting that reduced stress levels are associated with lowered risks for several health complications, including stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure. 

2. Provides a Sense of Fulfillment

The comforts of modern living make it easy for retirees to spend the day relaxing, especially if you reside in one of the many assisted living facilities near Tallahassee. However, that’s not what your brain is programmed for. 

Part of human nature is our natural drive to explore and learn. When you engage this part of yourself, it fills you with a sense of fulfillment and pride that’s hard to beat. 

You may surprise yourself with what you can do when you gradually push yourself beyond your comfort zone and explore new facets of the human experience. 

3. Improves Your Discipline and Self-Motivation

Trying something once is easy enough. But making the decision to be a lifelong learner can improve your overall discipline and dedication to bettering yourself. 

On a biological level, when you learn something new, your brain releases endorphins that improve your mood. This creates a feedback loop in your brain that motivates you to continue learning.  

An improved sense of discipline and self-motivation can prove beneficial in other aspects of your life too, such as sticking to a healthy diet or committing to a regular age-appropriate exercise routine.  

4. Contributes to a Better Night’s Sleep

If you struggle to sleep soundly at night, it may be because your brain hasn’t been properly stimulated during the day. Just like the rest of your body, your brain gets tired when you use it. By exercising and engaging your brain during the day, you make it easier for your brain to power down and rest at night. 

This behavior translates to more sleep, better quality sleep, fewer nighttime interruptions, and overall, more restful nights. 

5. Helps You Stay Connected with Peers 

Humans are naturally social creatures. As such, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy social life and surround yourself with good friends as you get older. Taking a class at your local community center is a great way to meet new people and build and maintain friendships. 

Challenge Your Mind in Tallahassee, Florida, Assisted Living 

If you crave structure and community, a Tallahassee, Florida, assisted living community might be right for you. Many facilities offer continuing education classes on everything from history to painting and poetry to fill your days with exciting exploration and help keep your mind sharp. 

Staying Organized in Your Senior Years: 5 Tips and Trick to Make It Easier

Maintaining a clean and organized living space is essential for your overall health and well-being. This is especially true as you get older. A tidy, uncluttered home can help senior adults avoid falls, chronic lung infections, and other potential health concerns. 

Keeping your belongings organized can also make it easier to find the things you need, especially if you struggle with clarity or cognitive issues. 

When you’re an older adult in independent or assisted living, you may find it difficult to get your home clean and organized. Things like reducing clutter and enlisting the help of others can make a huge difference. Below you’ll find five great tips and tricks for getting and staying organized.

Organization Tips for Independent and Assisted Living in Tallahassee

Have you been trying to improve your organizational skills and keep a cleaner living space? Check out five tips and tricks for older adults who want to stay organized in assisted living in Tallahassee, Florida.

1. Reduce Clutter

The first step in getting organized and staying organized is reducing clutter. Go through all of your belongings and discard any excess things you no longer need. This may involve parting with some older items you’ve been holding onto. You’ll need to determine what is worth keeping and what needs to be discarded. 

Having fewer belongings will make it easier to keep things tidy and organized. If you’re having a hard time sorting through your items, there are organization professionals who can be enlisted to help you work through the process.

2. Invest in Storage and Organization Tools

To keep your belongings organized and easily accessible, invest in quality storage and organization tools. Things like containers, dividers, and cabinets are all great ways to organize your items. Other organization items include:

  • Food storage containers
  • Drawer dividers
  • Filing cabinets
  • Rolling storage carts
  • Woven baskets
  • Plastic storage tubs
  • Shower or bathroom caddies
  • Closet organizers

Storage containers are available in countless sizes and materials, so you’ll be able to find the perfect containers for your belongings. Drawer dividers keep your clothing items and accessories in their own spaces. Filing cabinets are an excellent way to keep important papers in an organized place where you can access them quickly.

3. Find Outside Storage Options

If you’ve already gone through your belongings to reduce clutter and you still have excess items, you may be in need of outside storage options. This is often the case for people who have many family belongings and items they cannot discard. 

If you have boxes or tubs of additional belongings, you may need to rent a storage unit to house them in. This will allow you to hold onto these items while still keeping your living space clean and free of clutter.

4. Use Any Housekeeping Services

Sometimes staying organized requires a little professional help. If you’re in independent or assisted living in Tallahassee, there may be housekeeping services available to you. 

Taking advantage of these housekeeping services can help keep your living space organized and tidy. This may involve weekly visits from a housekeeper or more regular cleaning services from other cleaning professionals.

5. Enlist Help from Friends and Family

Cleaning and organizing aren’t always simple. Tasks like reducing clutter or re-organizing your space may require multiple people to get the job done. 

If you’re struggling to clear out your living space and get more organized, don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. This can make the process much easier and speedier, helping you achieve a tidier home before you know it.

Debunking Myths About Assisted Living

Are you looking at assisted living facilities for a parent or other family member? The transition to assisted living is often clouded by the common myths and misconceptions surrounding these communities. Learn more about these myths and why they simply aren’t true.

Myth: There’s No Independence 

One of the most pervasive myths about assisted living facilities is that residents have no independence or forfeit the ability to do things themselves. While assisted living is designed to aid residents with their daily functions and medical needs, they can still maintain a relatively high level of independence.

Residents of assisted living facilities typically have their own living spaces and the freedom to do what they want, when they want, and only receive assistance for the tasks they need a little help with.

Myth: It’s Too Expensive

Another common myth that can take assisted living off the table for those who need it most centers around the fear of breaking the bank — many people believe that assisted living facilities are too expensive for them to move their loved ones into.

While there are certainly pricier communities, many assisted living facilities in Tallahassee, Florida, are quite affordable. There are also helpful resources that can offer financial aid if you’re having trouble getting your loved ones into assisted living.

Myth: Residents Are Isolated

Some people are worried about placing their loved ones in assisted living due to worries about loneliness or isolation. But the idea that these facilities are desolate places where residents are confined to their rooms all day is simply untrue.

The reality is that residents in assisted living have the opportunity to spend time with fellow residents and staff members every day. In fact, these communities can be great places to make new friends.

Myth: It Worsens Cognitive Decline

Many older adults transition to assisted living because they struggle with cognitive decline. Naturally, their loved ones might be concerned that their condition could worsen if they enter assisted living since they wouldn’t be performing daily tasks on their own.

Despite this belief, the assistance and stimulation these facilities afford generally enables residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia to lead a better quality of life than they could on their own.

Myth: There’s Nothing to Do

If you’re concerned that your loved one will have nothing to do in assisted living, you’re not alone. This is one of the most harmful myths surrounding assisted living facilities, and it’s far from reality.

Assisted living communities provide residents with many opportunities to engage in various recreational activities, including arts and crafts, hobby groups, exercise classes, movie nights, and more.

Myth: It Promotes Illness

Assisted living facilities are often thought of as places full of people who are severely ill or dying. In reality, patients who are especially ill or close to death are often in hospice care. Assisted living communities are simply for older adults who need help with their daily needs due to physical impairment or cognitive slowdown.

Myth: The Care Is Inadequate

One of the ugliest misconceptions about assisted living is that the standard of care for residents is subpar. While there are heartbreaking stories concerning certain facilities, most assisted living communities provide excellent care to their residents.

The staff at these facilities are all highly trained professionals who go above and beyond to assist residents with their medical needs, day-to-day tasks, and basic hygiene. What’s more, many caregivers form genuine, caring relationships with the residents they help look after.

Experiencing Assisted Living Facilities in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, it’s important to remember that you’ll likely encounter many inaccurate myths and misconceptions about what senior living communities are like. To get the truth for yourself, take the time to explore your options for assisted or independent living in Tallahassee.

Top Benefits of Technology for Seniors

There are many benefits to using technology throughout your everyday life, but for seniors, the newest innovations can make all the difference in how they communicate, get around, and receive care. Advancements in technology can be used to give seniors the ability to live independently for longer and get the assistance they need at the click of a button. 

Many new age advancements in recent years, from digital analytics to face-to-face communications, can be specifically tailored to the needs of senior care, giving the elderly the support they need to live out their later years in comfort.

What Are Some Technologies Used for Seniors?

Though it may be harder for seniors to adapt to changes in technology, solutions are coming out all the time that are designed to make it easier for them to take advantage of such life-saving services. With a little help, seniors can use a variety of modern tools to live happier, healthier lives.

Some examples of technology that can benefit seniors include:

  • VR
  • Robotics
  • Memory aids
  • Alerts systems
  • Smart sensors

Whether on their own or in an assisted care facility, these devices bring together the latest advancements in both tech and medicine to help seniors combat the negative effects of aging.

What Are the Benefits of Using Technology for Seniors?

The ongoing changes to technology mean that seniors have more opportunities than ever to take advantage of new tools and services designed to improve their personal well-being. Still, for many seniors, the advantages of certain technologies may not be immediately apparent.

Advancements in technology are changing how seniors approach their personal care options. From keeping up with current events to staying healthy and safe, there are many ways that technology can improve their lives.

Communication

One of the most basic ways technology can improve the lives of senior citizens is by expanding their ability to communicate with others. Cell phones make it easier than ever to stay in touch with friends and family while also being able to keep up with ongoing news and events. Video chats let seniors communicate with their relatives across vast distances, which can also impact an individual’s sense of social well-being, allowing them to live happier, as well as healthier, lives.

Healthcare

The great thing about modern technologies is that they are exceptionally good at helping seniors maintain their personal health. Smartwatches and other types of personal trackers can provide important metrics and alert their users when it’s time to take medication or complete physical therapy regimens. 

These types of technologies are fundamentally transforming how healthcare is delivered to seniors (and all patients, for that matter), allowing providers to stay on top of their patient’s physical well-being at all times.

Security and Safety

For seniors living at home, personal safety and security are a big priority. If someone has an accident, a break-in occurs, or something else unexpected happens, it can be hard to notify the right people in the right amount of time.

Modern technologies make it easier than ever for seniors to contact someone when an incident occurs. With real-time monitoring, wearable alert systems, and voice-activated assistants, seniors are much safer on their own. 

Finding the Right Technology for Tallahassee Memory Care

For senior citizens, having access to the right technologies can make all the difference. Whether it’s for staying in touch with family, keeping safe, or getting access to better care, there are several ways that technology can improve the lives of seniors. For those who need Tallahassee memory care, it’s worth looking into how technologies can impact your assisted living experience.  There are many skilled nursing facilities in Tallahassee, Florida, but not all of them are adept at leveraging the latest technologies to improve the lives of their residents. Technology is transforming how assisted living works, allowing seniors to discover lifelong learning and wellness.

6 Safe Activities for Seniors with Limited Mobility

Just because your body isn’t as young as it used to be doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy fun activities. Although your activities may not look the same as they used to, there are still plenty of ways for you to amuse yourself and pass the time in fulfilling ways. 

Here are 6 ideas for activities that are safe for seniors with limited mobility.

1. Yoga — Specifically Chair Yoga

Yoga is held in high regard for its physical and mental benefits. It helps you relax, lowers your blood pressure, increases your mobility, and also builds strength.

But even the simplest of yoga poses can be challenging if you have limited mobility, and that’s where chair yoga comes in.

Here are some chair yoga moves you can do with limited mobility:

Candle Pose to Raised Hands Post

While seated in a chair, raise your arms up over your head, pressing your palms together like you’re making an A with your arms.

Hold this pose (Candle pose) for 30 seconds. Then, transition to Raised Hands Pose, turning your arms from an A to a Y. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.

Spinal Twist

While seated in a chair, bend over so that your belly lays as close to your thighs as possible. Let your left hand hang down toward your left foot, and open your right hand straight up to the sky. This allows you to get a twist in your spine, aiding in overall spinal health. Make sure to repeat on both sides.

2. Gardening

Gardening is another activity for seniors with limited mobility. Like yoga, gardening has positive mental and physical effects.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to keep up with a large garden. In fact, even a small indoor herb garden can help keep you engaged!

If you live in an assisted living facility, the facility may have a garden you can tend to. Otherwise, consider getting a small box or pot for your home to garden on a small scale.

3. Reading or Audiobooks

Reading is beneficial because it keeps your brain active, allowing you to improve both your concentration and your memory.

You can keep your mind engaged by reading from the comfort of your favorite chair or listening to an audiobook while taking a walk.

4. Walking

Speaking of walks, if you have enough mobility to take short walks here and there, you definitely should. Walking not only keeps you active, but it also improves the health of various aspects of your body, such as your muscles and your heart.

5. Car or Bus Tours

To get out and about without demanding too much from your body, try a car or bus tour. These are guided tours where you don’t have to walk or move much at all. Instead, you can learn about historic locations while seated comfortably and safely.

6. Music and Movies

Going to a movie or watching a movie at home is another way to pass the time safely. Music is also an enjoyable way to stimulate your brain. Most cities have concert series at their local performing arts center, perfect for anyone who enjoys live music.

Assisted Living in Tallahassee

Tallahassee, FL, assisted living facilities are always trying to bring fun activities and events to their senior residents, offering excitement while maintaining safety and comfort.

When done right, assisted living in Tallahassee doesn’t have to be boring. Even if you have limited mobility, there are still many activities you can enjoy to engage your mind and body.

Remembering Anne Snyder – A Legacy of Helping Others

Anne Snyder lived for more than 24 years at Westminster Oaks, which made her friends and our team members into her extended family.  As a final gift to the community she so loved, she provided a generous $158,000 bequest to support her fellow Westminster Oaks residents.

Anne’s donation to the Benevolent Assistance program will help residents who have outlived their resources, through no fault of their own, to continue living at Westminster Oaks. Executive Director Shannon Sauls said, “The residents who receive financial assistance are extremely grateful, and their families are too.”

Anne, who lived to be 105, was a key part of the Tallahassee community and was known widely as a person who helped others in need. She was a charter member of both Covenant Presbyterian Church and Fellowship Presbyterian Church, where she was much-loved for her personal charm, leadership and work ethic. 

Ken and Anne Snyder met at The Ohio State University and were married in 1940. Both served in civil service after World War II. Anne retired after 15 years as the secretary to Judge Harold Carswell, the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, and then moved to Westminster Oaks in 1997. She gained a wonderful community of friends who joined her in reading, gardening and strolling the neighborhood.

The recipient of Anne’s significant bequest, the Westminster Communities Foundation, was founded with a Mission to enhance the lives of Westminster residents and team members. The Foundation provides approximately $1.9 million each year in Benevolent Assistance for residents who have outlived their resources. Currently, sixty-eight Westminster residents benefit from benevolent assistance support. Jeff Coates, Vice President of Philanthropy, said that “being able to help our neighbors and friends continue to live in their communities, regardless of their resources, would not be possible without the enduring support of caring, generous people like Anne. Our community owes a debt of gratitude to her for the generous legacy in support of others that she left behind.”

Since 1974, Benevolent Assistance at Westminster Communities of Florida has been 100% funded by donors to the Westminster Communities Foundation.

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