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Dining Options in Assisted Living: What Can Your Loved Ones Expect?

If you are considering moving your loved ones to an assisted living facility in Tallahassee, you may have questions about their dining options. Diet is important at all stages of life, but there are special considerations for seniors. It is critical that your loved one always has access to nutritious dining options.

A major benefit of assisted living is the help with meals. Your loved one will no longer have to handle grocery shopping, food prep, and cooking alone. Your loved ones have several options for dining in assisted living facilities.

On-Site, Full-Service Dining

Most assisted living communities have full-service dining services on-site. These facilities employ full-time chefs, servers, and sometimes dieticians who produce breakfast, lunch, and dinner for residents. 

Menus often feature a variety of seasonal items and options to cater to all diet restrictions. Residents who have specific dietary needs can always work with the staff to find dishes that meet their needs. Dining halls are generally centrally located within the community so that all residents have easy access. 

Residents can enjoy the company of their fellow retirees in the community or host visitors in the dining area. Full-service dining makes it easier than ever for your loved one to have access to nutritional meals without the hassle of grocery shopping and cooking.

Grab-and-Go Options

Full-service dining is not the only option for food without the hassle of cooking. Your loved one can also benefit from grab-and-go options like sandwiches, salads, and pastries. Grab-and-go options are perfect for active seniors who do not have time to sit and dine. To-go options are also great for in-room dining without the need to cook.

Oftentimes, to-go food options are prepared by the same staff and with the same care as full-service dining food. You can rest assured that your loved one has access to fresh and nutritious food no matter where they dine on-site.

Independent Cooking

Assisted living in Tallahassee offers residents the ability to dine on-site or cook for themselves in their unit. Many assisted living facilities offer full-service kitchens in resident quarters where they are free to cook for themselves at their leisure. 

Residents needing a little extra help can arrange for staff assistance with food preparation and even grocery shopping. In addition, residents are free to host family and friends to help them with meals or have them gather for dinner. 

Off-Site Dining

Just because your loved one has transitioned to an assisted living facility does not mean that they must give up dining at restaurants. Residents are free to leave the facility at their leisure and enjoy all the dining options in the local community. Some assisted living communities even arrange outings where they organize transportation to a restaurant on a select date. 

Residents of assisted living communities have more time to explore their local community, including local restaurants, since they are no longer bogged down with daily chores like grocery shopping and cleaning.

Assisted Living in Tallahassee

If you are considering assisted living for your loved one, Tallahassee is a wonderful place with lots of options for retirees. 

Tallahassee is home to beautiful weather, tight-knit communities, and dedicated staff throughout the area’s assisted living facilities. Retirees spend their golden years enjoying the weather, picking up new hobbies, and making new friends.

Assisted living communities have come a long way since the nursing homes of previous generations. Today, retirees can keep an active lifestyle and spend their days enjoying hobbies in a supportive, healthy, compassionate community. Your loved one will be well taken care of, with healthy dining options for every meal.

How to Help Seniors in Tallahassee Memory Care Stay Active

Staying active is important during all parts of life, but it becomes especially important as we age. Active seniors tend to experience fewer health problems, live longer lives, and keep feelings like loneliness at bay. 

For seniors in Tallahassee memory care, it can be easy to let activity levels drop. Sometimes, seniors in memory care need a little help to find ways to move around that they enjoy. Here are four ways to help seniors in Tallahassee memory care stay active.

1. Ensure They Have Planned Activities

One of the easiest ways to ensure seniors stay active is to plan activities for their day. Fun activities can come in many forms, including visits or walks with fellow residents, attending events at the facility, or going out and about for off-site activities. 

Family members can help their loved ones put together a monthly or weekly calendar that has a healthy amount of activity. The goal is to keep the senior busy without overwhelming them.

Planned activities not only keep seniors active, but they give them something to look forward to and plan their day around. Families, friends, and memory care staff can help plan activities for seniors.

2. Encourage New Hobbies

It is a common misconception that seniors in memory care cannot pick up new hobbies or learn new skills. Seniors should be encouraged to engage in lifelong learning, regardless of their memory issues, as memory loss does not occur in a straight line. 

Sometimes seniors fail to remember names but can perfectly remember a new skill they learned. Furthermore, introducing new hobbies to seniors experiencing memory issues can stimulate brain activity and may even lessen memory loss symptoms. 

Seniors can also be encouraged to pick up new hobbies that don’t rely on learning a new skill. For example, dog walking or volunteering at a soup kitchen can be fulfilling for seniors and are great ways to stay active while benefiting the community.

If a senior takes an interest in a new hobby, try to encourage them to incorporate it into their everyday life and stay active.

3. Plan Frequent Visits

When seniors are in memory care facilities, frequent visits from family and friends are a wonderful way to keep them active. The visitors can partake in events and activities or simply take a walk with their loved ones. 

Frequent social interaction will not only keep the senior’s mind stimulated, but it can also boost their mood, encouraging further activity and preventing them from falling into a rut.

4. Encourage Exercise 

Exercise is critically important for seniors with memory loss. Lack of exercise can lead to a host of health problems, including acceleration of memory loss. 

For seniors, particularly seniors with memory loss, getting an adequate level of exercise each day can be a real challenge. Oftentimes, seniors experience declining mobility, which can discourage exercise. In addition, seniors in memory care may simply forget whether they’ve taken their daily walk or not.

Exercise can be encouraged by signing seniors up for exercise classes, which staff can help them attend. In addition, family and friends can plan visits around exercise. Taking a walk around the facility together is a chance to stay active and connect with loved ones.

If a senior has severe mobility issues, they may benefit from care at one of the many skilled nursing facilities in Tallahassee, FL. Skilled nursing services can help seniors manage their mobility and address health concerns with therapy and rehabilitation. Be sure to talk to a skilled physician before changing exercise habits for the best care.

Tallahassee Memory Care

Tallahassee is a wonderful place to seek memory care for a loved one. The warm weather makes it easier to keep seniors active year-round, and Tallahassee has a strong community of dedicated memory staff to keep your loved one healthy and safe.

Westminster Oaks Residents Enjoy Performance By The Atlantic City Boys

On April 5, Westminster Oaks residents enjoyed a lively performance by the Atlantic City Boys! This fun event was made possible by the Westminster Communities Foundation’s Cultural Endowment Fund. Donors who supported the Cultural Endowment Fund were invited to a meet-and-greet in the St. Andrews Pub prior to the event, where they enjoyed delicious appetizers and wine.

The Atlantic City Boys stopped by to thank the donors for making the event possible. The lead singer, Sammi, was happy to meet resident Patsy, as he knew of her late husband, Ray. Ray was an exceptional choral director known all over Florida.

During the program, the Atlantic City Boys pulled Gail, Joyce and Bob out of the crowd to participate in the show. After the show, Judy said, “It was a fun evening, and our folks being a part of it, made us feel like they were a part of us.”

To learn more about how you can support the Westminster Oaks Cultural Endowment Fund, please contact Gail Alexander, Director of Philanthropy, at (850) 878-1136, or visit the Foundation web page.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living: The 8 IADLs Explained

If you have spent any time in assisted living in Tallahassee or other places in the country, you may have heard the term ADL or IADL used by staff. Both terms are shorthand for essential tasks that every person must be able to perform for basic well-being. ADL stands for “activities of daily living,” and IADL stands for “instrumental activities of daily living.” 

Instrumental activities of daily living are considered more complex than ADLs. They affect a person’s social and financial life and focus on interaction with your environment. Activities of Daily Living focus on basic survival needs where a failure could endanger the person’s life. 

The 8 IADLs

ADLs are tasks that a person must be able to perform without assistance in order to live safely at home alone. They encompass:

  1. Cognition
  2. Medication assistance
  3. Eating
  4. Toileting tasks
  5. Mobility
  6. Transferring
  7. Bathing
  8. Dressing

The instrumental activities of life impact the quality of a senior’s life but do not pose physical harm. Other people, such as a spouse, friend, or professional care provider, can complete IADLs to help make the person’s life more complete. These may include:

  • Meal preparation
  • Housekeeping
  • Managing finances
  • Running errands
  • Providing transportation to church or other social events

The main difference between ADLs and IADLs is survival. If a person cannot perform one or more ADLs, they may not be safe to live independently. However, if they cannot perform an IADL, someone else can do it for them.

Do I Need Assisted Living in Tallahassee If I Can’t Perform IADLs?

An inability to perform one or more IADLs may lead to poor life quality. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living help individuals flourish and stay connected to their communities. The reason why a person can no longer fulfill their own IADLs is important to consider.

Not every person struggling to meet their IADLs needs assisted living, but if medical issues or memory loss is the root of the problem, moving into a Tallahassee memory care center or independent living facility can be a positive step towards a more meaningful life.

IADLs are considered an indicator. The inability to fulfill them now and then is normal for everyone. Asking friends or family members to pitch in during times of illness or when schedules get busy is a part of life. However, if you are consistently unable to take care of IADLs independently, it may be a warning that other things are going on.

If you notice yourself or your loved one slipping, it may be time for a complete check-up, including a cognitive evaluation.

Talking to Your Loved One About IADL Dependence

Whether it’s your parents, spouse, or other loved ones, talking to them about how they manage their lives is difficult. They may view your questions as an unwelcome personal intrusion. However, there are many resources that can help. It may be helpful to discuss your concerns with an aging-care expert who can tell you more about assisted living in Tallahassee

Seniors shouldn’t wait until they “can’t” take care of all their own needs in order to benefit from a new living situation. Remind your loved one that many active seniors enjoy their life more once they are no longer solely responsible for all the chores associated with everyday life.  

How to Encourage Seniors to Stay Involved with Their Community

As seniors prepare to move into assisted living in Tallahassee, they may worry about maintaining their independence. Encouraging your loved ones to stay involved with community activities will help them remain more independent and able to enjoy the benefits of assisted living. Community involvement is not only good for seniors, but it also helps communities grow stronger.

Assisted Living in Tallahassee: Ways to Keep Seniors Engaged

Verbal encouragement may not be enough to help seniors stay involved. It’s possible they do not have the resources, transportation, or knowledge needed to help in ways they once did. They may even believe they don’t have anything of value to offer. You can help them stay involved by arranging opportunities to volunteer or help with a community project on whatever level they are able.

Consider the following projects for fun and meaningful involvement.

Make Blankets or Hats for Newborns

Knitting and crocheting are still valued and useful art forms. If your senior knows his or her way around a skein of yarn, help connect them with an organization that makes items for newborns, hospitalized children, or others in need. While women of a “certain age” may be more likely to have experience with needlework, it is a fun and relaxing pastime that can help anyone feel more useful.

Assist at a Community Garden

Many seniors are excellent gardeners with plenty of green-thumb wisdom to share. Moving into an assisted living facility in Tallahassee may make it difficult to grow flowers and vegetables on the level they once enjoyed. Helping out at a community garden is a great compromise. It doesn’t require the physical demands of gardening alone, and seniors can help novice gardeners have more success.

Read to Children

Some local libraries, schools, and daycare programs welcome volunteers to read to children once or twice a week. Getting involved with a reading program not only keeps seniors active, but they also benefit from intergenerational interaction. Sometimes seniors in assisted living in Tallahassee have limited interaction — visiting only with staff and other seniors most days. Involvement with children of any age can help them stay engaged with current culture and trends.

Volunteer

Few seniors want to work five days a week, even if they are able. Volunteering can meet their needs for social interaction, variety in their schedule, and feeling like they still have something valuable to contribute.

Volunteers can typically choose their days and hours, so there’s no concern about scheduling interfering with other activities or responsibilities. Look for volunteer opportunities at churches, hospitals, libraries, and shelters.

Take Classes

There are many opportunities for seniors to continue their educations. Emeritus classes at community colleges are typically free or low-cost. Senior centers, libraries, and other community organizations may also offer a schedule of one-time or ongoing classes specifically geared toward the interests of seniors.

Get Involved and Stay Involved

After a lifetime of working, helping, and caring for others, the quiet life of retirement can soon become monotonous for many seniors. Enjoying the amenities offered at an independent or assisted living facility provides even more free time to fill. Community involvement offers opportunities for seniors to exercise their bodies and minds, pass on wisdom to future generations, and stay connected with current culture. 

Can Daily Walks Help to Keep Your Heart Healthy?

It’s easy to get caught up in the “more is more” mentality of exercise, but the truth is, it doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. In fact, one of the simplest types of exercise — walking — is one of the most beneficial exercises, especially for anyone in their golden years. 

For this reason, many communities for assisted living in Tallahassee encourage walking and provide beautiful grounds for doing so. Whether you live in an assisted living facility in Tallahassee or not, it’s a good idea to learn about some of the ways walking each day can help to keep your heart healthy.

Critical Benefits of Walking for Heart Health

Daily cardiovascular exercise like walking elevates your heart rate, which can reduce issues like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. In addition, walking can help lower your risk of diabetes by 40% and stroke by 35%. 

All of these benefits, along with many others, work to improve the health of your heart. In addition to heart health, other benefits of daily walking include:

  • Reduced back pain
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Lowered blood sugar
  • Improved mental health
  • Elevated mood
  • Improved immune system health

As for your heart, research has found that walking 30 minutes per day, five days per week can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by almost 20%.

How Does Walking Each Day Improve Your Heart Health?

When you are engaged in aerobic activity like walking, your heart rate increases because your body requires more blood and more oxygen in order to keep going. The heart is a muscle; the more it works, the stronger it becomes. 

The pressure that your heart is under on a daily basis will also decrease with regular exercise. Walking can alleviate many health conditions that are associated with stress. These conditions can negatively impact your heart health. Some of these conditions include obesity, metabolic syndrome, blood lipid abnormalities, and high blood sugar. 

For people who already have a degree of heart disease, walking can prevent further disease and damage from happening. 

Walking in Communities for Assisted Living in Tallahassee

In addition to reducing direct stress on the heart, daily walking lowers the overall stress on a person’s body and mind. This is another reason why so many communities for assisted living in Tallahassee encourage the activity so much.

Stress hormones add quite an extra burden to the heart. Exercises like walking can help reduce stress by increasing endorphins in your body. This supports the heart by reducing the workload that it has to manage.

Walking Improves Blood Flow

Physical activity like walking enables the heart to achieve improved blood flow throughout the small blood vessels that surround it. Blockages of fatty deposits can otherwise develop in these vessels over time. 

By walking, you can encourage better circulation and reduce the risk of heart attacks. In addition to preventing blockages, walking also creates more physical connections between small blood vessels, so the blood has more ways to travel where it needs to go. 

In addition to all of these benefits, walking can reduce the incidence of heart arrhythmia, promote other heart-healthy habits, and more. Ready to get out on the sidewalks or head to your favorite park? Grab your sneakers and get going!

3 Incredible Day Trips for Seniors in Tallahassee, FL

Seniors who live in assisted living facilities in Tallahassee, Florida, are privy to an expansive variety of exciting day trip ideas. Tallahassee is in a location that is perfectly situated within easy driving distance of many fun, cultural, entertaining destinations.

Whether you’re in the mood for legendary food and iconic music, spending the day at a wildlife refuge, relaxing at a lovely park, or anything else, the chances are good that the opportunity to do so isn’t far away.

Here are three incredible day trips that are popular for seniors who live in facilities for independent living in Tallahassee.

1. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

Just 25 miles from Tallahassee is a refuge that spans 80,000 acres across Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor counties in Florida. 

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1931 to provide a winter home for migratory birds. More than 17,000 acres are protected under the Federal Wilderness Act, and it’s registered as a Globally Important Bird Area.

At St. Marks, you’ll find much more than migratory birds, though. Any lover of nature will be in awe of this gorgeous, pristine area. 

There is a visitor center there and the adjacent Nature’s Classroom as well, which hosts a fun variety of educational programs for the public on a regular basis. Make sure to visit St. Mark’s Lighthouse and take a tour of the lightkeeper’s house there, too.

2. Bradfordville Blues Club

This place is not your average blues club! Bradfordville Blues Club is located in a stunning building just north of Tallahassee, off the beaten path. This hidden gem has hosted many blues greats over the years and has an authentic middle-of-nowhere feel. 

The concrete block building is flanked by Spanish moss-covered oak trees. Patrons and musicians gather around a bonfire throughout the nights as fried catfish and mullet are cooked with legendary aplomb. 

Whether you’re a fan of the blues or you just like to sit back and relax for hours in good company with good music, Bradfordville Blues Club is a popular day-trip destination for many seniors.

3. Spend the Day at Apalachicola

Apalachicola is a little town that is often overlooked, but it’s a fabulous area that has a ton of history, fun activities, and interesting attractions for people of all ages. 

Spend a day at the Apalachicola Maritime Museum, and explore the area’s barrier islands on a sunset cruise. Hop on over to the Chapman Botanical Gardens that adjoin Orman House Historic State Park. 

Perfect for seniors, their friends, and their families, there are beautiful walking paths, a dedicated butterfly garden, and wide-open green spaces. Make sure to also check out nearby Lafayette Park, and if you’d like to really get out on the water, head to Battery Park’s boat ramps. This little town has it all!

The Best Day Trips from Assisted Living Facilities in Tallahassee, Florida

No matter what you’re in the mood to spend your day doing, you won’t have to travel far from your community in Tallahassee in order to do it. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of options out there. Enjoy!

How to Evaluate a Potential Senior Living Community

Moving to independent living in Tallahassee can be equal parts thrilling and intimidating. If you’re worried about an upcoming transition, we recommend that you take the time to find the perfect community.

This process doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’re willing to take your time and check these steps off your list, you’ll discover a whole world of exciting options for senior living. 

  1. Take a Tour of the Facility

Virtual tours are more common than in-person excursions in these unprecedented times, especially for assisted living in Tallahassee. But that doesn’t mean the visit needs to be any less educational. In fact, you can learn a lot about a facility via a virtual visit. 

While you’re taking a tour, make sure to get a feel for the layout. Is there plenty of space, or do the communal rooms feel cramped? Are there outdoor areas for exercise or socialization? These are the kind of details that will make a difference in your ability to get to know other members of the community.

While you are taking a look around, feel free to inquire about the property’s security. Ask questions like:

  • Is the medical staff on-hand 24/7?
  • Are there emergency alert systems?
  • When and how are staffing changes implemented?

The more you know, the better. That way, you can make an informed decision about the best community for you.

  1. Understand Your Needs for Assisted Living in Tallahassee

You can’t choose the best care community for you if you don’t understand your own specific needs. Consider whether you’ll need services like full-time nursing and housekeeping. 

Are you looking for independent living with access to fun amenities like a heated pool, an exercise facility, or an on-site library? Once you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be better able to identify the perfect spot when you see it.

  1. Get Familiar with the Staff

The staff of an assisted living facility really sets the tone for the community. When you take a tour, get a feel for the people working around you. Are they friendly and helpful or cold and distant? It may also help to ask questions like:

  • What is the resident-to-staff ratio?
  • What kind of training does the average staff member have?
  • Is there a registered nurse on staff 24/7?
  • How many staff members are on-site at night vs. during the day?

Answering these questions will give you a better idea of what you can expect from caregivers and staff members. 

  1. Check Out the Activities Calendar

A big appeal for seniors moving to assisted living is the increase in social opportunities. Does the potential facility host daily activities for its residents? A full calendar will tell you everything you need to know about your new community. 

  1. Talk to Other Residents

As a final step to picking the best assisted living community, ask around! Do current residents seem happy with their chosen abode? If you have friends and acquaintances who recommend the facility, it may be just the spot for you.

How to Make Yourself Feel More at Home After a Move to Assisted Living

Moving is difficult at any age. But as you get older, it can become even harder to abandon the familiar and start a new adventure. If you’re worried about adapting to your new digs, we have some tips. Try these four steps to feel more at home in assisted living facilities near Tallahassee. 

  1. Decorate Your New Abode

Before you make the move, ask about the dimensions of your new room. Or better yet, visit yourself to get a feel for the layout. Once you understand the space, you’ll have a better idea of what furniture and decor can make the transition with you. 

You might even need to invest in some new pieces that will fill the space and help you feel at home in Tallahassee, FL, assisted living. Make sure you leave room for some shelving or a cabinet that will allow you to display photographs of your friends and family. If you have familiar throw pillows or quilts, bring those, too.

Other fixtures that will make your home feel familiar could be a TV (so you can watch your favorite shows) and a cozy recliner. These final touches will truly make the space your own. 

  1. Get to Know Your Neighbors in Tallahassee (FL) Assisted Living

The best way to settle into your new living space is by getting to know your neighbors. To do that, you must be willing to put yourself out there. Start by signing up for activities and social events. Playing games, joining groups for outings, crafting, and visiting restaurants will give you ample opportunity to make friends.

You can also get to know others by spending your free time in common areas rather than your room. If you see another loner or newbie, invite them to join you.

  1. Settle Into a Routine

Settling into a daily routine will help you quickly adapt to assisted living facilities near Tallahassee. If you start your mornings at home with a cup of coffee and a walk, don’t hesitate to do the same in your new digs. In the best-case scenario, you’ll find other like-minded residents who follow the same routines.

If you want to meet more people, try implementing community routines into your own schedule. That way, you can continue to expand your circle of friends. If the center has a weekly book club, a morning exercise group, or a monthly cooking class, try working those new events into your routine. 

The goal is to settle into a familiar routine. But it’s important to know that you’ll need to make certain adaptations. The center may have specific schedules for housekeeping and mealtime. Try to be flexible while settling into your routine. 

  1. Ask for Help

If you have tried all of these tips and are still struggling, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Your new community should have plenty of resources for new residents, and staff members would love to help. 

You could also try calling a family member or loved one. Increased visits could help you feel at home while you adjust skilled nursing facilities in Tallahassee, FL.

5 Ways to Get Involved at Your Parent’s Tallahassee Memory Care Community

At a Tallahassee memory care facility or a center for assisted living in Tallahassee, Florida, your parents will receive care that may help improve their capacities. You can also engage with your center to get involved in the memory care process. Here are five steps to take in this often emotionally-challenging caregiving situation.

  1. Visit Your Parents Regularly 

Paying a regular visit to Tallahassee memory care facilities can be a great way to assist the memory care process. Regular visits may help to keep your parents more active and engaged and make their recovery easier. Sometimes, it could jog their memory of you and provide help with their recovery.

  1. Attend Memory Practices

You’ll find assisted living in Tallahassee, Florida, often focuses on day-to-day tasks and memory exercises designed to engage residents and keep them learning. By attending these practices, you can engage with your parents, learn more about their limitations, and give them a little extra help and companionship.

  1. Participate in Games 

Many Tallahassee memory care centers set up fun games for their residents and family members. These games include simple puzzles and much more, all of which seek to provide engaging activity for your loved ones. Join your family member for a few exciting games to bond and help improve their memory!

  1. Volunteer for Holidays 

Did you know that homes for assisted living in Tallahassee Florida, often need a lot of help during the holidays- and year-round? Whether that means helping with activities, dining, visiting, or more, there’s so many ways you can help! Try out volunteering at your parents’ memory care center and you’ll also find the pleasure of giving back to the community.

  1. Learn More About Memory Treatment 

Lastly, it is a good idea to learn more about Tallahassee memory care and how it works to help your parents. Talk to their care specialists, learn more about tips and tricks you can use (such as mnemonic devices that may work with your parents), and other tips to help boost your loved one’s recovery. 

Help Your Parents Recover with Tallahassee Memory Care 

If your parents are thriving with assisted living in Tallahassee Florida, it is important to do what you can to encourage them. Memory care can be a rather challenging and fraught treatment option, one that requires a good understanding of your loved one’s needs and potential for recovery.

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