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Embracing Your Inner Artist: 3 Ways to Grow Creatively in Your Senior Years

Your senior years should be spent doing the things you love. They also present you with time to expand your skills and get creative. Sometimes growing your creativity and artistic skills can take a little work and thinking outside of the box. 

Whether you have been in touch with your creative side your whole life or you’re new to the process, you can find ways to grow in an assisted living facility in Tallahassee.

Here are 3 ways to grow creatively in your senior years.

1. Start a Journal

Journaling has often been thought of as keeping a diary, or a daily entry of what’s going on in your life. However, journaling can be a useful tool for unlocking creative inspiration.

You can use a journal to write down goals, record dreams, draw, or write down whatever comes to mind. For many, the simple act of writing down what they’re thinking can inspire creativity. 

If you are new to journaling, you might try a journal with prompts to try out different methods and find one that works for you.

2. Meditate

Meditation is often associated with peace of mind and calm. While that’s generally true, meditation is also an effective tool for unleashing creativity. Meditation is one of the most effective ways to clear your mind of the clutter that may be distracting you from your artistic side. 

Meditation also takes many different forms, so you can use the time to daydream or envision what you hope to achieve through your creativity. In assisted living in Tallahassee, it’s easy to find places to meditate, or even find a friend to meditate with.

3. Take a Class

If you’re looking to tap into your creative side and also learn a new skill, taking a class might be a good choice for you. In Tallahassee, there are weekly opportunities to take classes that teach painting, pottery, or poetry. 

These classes not only unlock your creativity but also challenge your brain and keep you active. Signing up for classes is an easy way to embrace lifelong learning and spark new interests.

Grow Creatively in Assisted Living in Tallahassee

Tallahassee is a lovely place to spend your senior years, and it’s also a choice environment for growing creatively. Ample outdoor space, a population of like-minded seniors, and opportunities to unleash your creative side all contribute to a retirement you’re sure to enjoy thoroughly.

Dementia Care: What Is Validation Therapy?

There’s no way around it; managing the symptoms of dementia is challenging for both the seniors experiencing it and their loved ones. Dementia symptoms can be unpredictable and lead to big swings in good days and bad days. 

This variety in symptoms, along with the stress of the disease, can sometimes cause seniors to act out or experience feelings of depression and loneliness. 

Tallahassee memory care communities can help provide a comforting environment and help seniors stay active, but ultimately, there is no cure. There are, however, therapies that can help manage the disease. One type of dementia treatment is called validation therapy. 

What Is Validation Therapy?

Validation therapy is not an intensive therapy but rather a way to approach seniors with understanding as they navigate dementia. It is used to comfort and reassure people who are living with the disease and help them feel safe and understood.

Validation therapy is more than listening and validating a senior’s feelings. It focuses on helping them work through the emotions they are feeling and how these emotions may be translating to behaviors.

How to Practice Validation Therapy

Validation therapy can be practiced with a specialist, but it can also be practiced by family members and caregivers. One way is to match and acknowledge feelings. You can do this by acknowledging how the senior is feeling and joining them in experiencing these feelings.

Another way is through speaking and rephrasing. Rephrasing a senior’s feelings back to them can provide reassurance that you truly understand what they are experiencing. 

Does Validation Therapy Help?

Research on dementia therapy is limited, and that is true for validation therapy as well. There are limited and mixed research results on the effectiveness of this type of therapy, but it has proven helpful to some older adults. 

While there’s not a definitive conclusion on the helpfulness of validation therapy, it can still be an effective tool in communicating with seniors in an effective way.

Validation Therapy in Tallahassee Memory Care

If your loved one is suffering from dementia, there are many memory care and skilled nursing facilities in Tallahassee, FL, that can provide the care they need. Working with experts can help in creating routines and experimenting with different types of treatment, including validation therapy. 

With the skilled staff in a memory care community, along with effort from loved ones, seniors with dementia can live very comfortable and fulfilling lives.

Congratulations To Our Volunteers and Team Members Of The Year

We’re beginning our celebration of Westminster Communities of Florida’s Volunteers of the Year and Team Members of the Year! Over the next two weeks, beginning on Wednesday, we’re holding recognition banquets in Tallahassee, St. Petersburg and Orlando to celebrate these individuals. Be on the lookout for our announcements of the winners prior to each banquet, and fun photos from the event itself.

Congratulations to all the amazing people who make Westminster Communities of Florida a great place to live and work!

Volunteers of the Year

Team Members of the Year

3 Low-Maintenance Houseplants for Seniors Living in Small Spaces

Plants are a wonderful way to add life and personality to any living space. For seniors, plants can make a space feel more homey or comfortable. When living in their own home independently, a senior has more room for various plants. 

However, it is important to research which plants are most appropriate when seniors transition to smaller spaces — whether independently or through assisted living in Tallahassee. Read on to learn about three low-maintenance houseplants for seniors living in small spaces.

1. ZZ Plants

ZZ plants are native to Eastern Africa but have become popular houseplants all over the world because they can thrive in a wide range of environments. ZZ plants have shiny leaves that turn from lime green to emerald green as they mature. 

ZZ plant leaves are typically one to three inches long, making this a small plant that seniors can easily place on a windowsill, desk, or table. Finally, ZZ plants are a great low-maintenance option for seniors because they don’t need a lot of sunlight or water.

2. Cast-Iron Plants

Cast-iron plants are a perfect low-maintenance option for seniors looking for a decorative plant to fill out a corner or a foyer. Cast-iron plants grow lush leaves, so they are bigger than a table plant but small enough to fit in tight living quarters. 

Importantly, cast-iron plants require almost no light, so they do not have to be strategically placed near a window. Cast-iron plants are so easy to take care of that some experts even call them “indestructible.”

3. Snake Plants

Snake plants are succulents that are known for their vertical growth. Snake plants can grow from six inches to several feet tall and are perfect for small spaces since they do not grow horizontally. 

Snake plants can be potted in very narrow pots and require little water, so they are one of the most low-maintenance plants.

Snake plants have also become more popular in recent years because they come in a variety of sizes and colors. Snake plants can truly fit into any design scheme, as well as very small spaces.

Decorating Your Room in Assisted Living in Tallahassee

Tallahassee is a wonderful place for retirees of all abilities. Whether seniors simply want to enjoy the convenience of assisted living or need Tallahassee memory care or nursing care, there are options for everyone.

Nature’s Calling: The Benefits of Seniors Spending Time Outdoors

Spending time in nature is one of the most versatile and healthy activities around. Outdoor activities come in all shapes and sizes and can cater to people of all abilities and preferences. 

Whether a senior is living alone independently or living in one of the assisted living facilities in Tallahassee, Florida, there are ample opportunities to get outside.

Spending time outdoors is a wonderful way to clear the mind and stay active at any age, but there are particular benefits of spending time outdoors that seniors can enjoy.

Stress Relief

Even though seniors should be enjoying a stress-free retirement, some seniors experience new forms of stress, like financial worries, medical bills, or feelings of loneliness. Spending time outdoors has been shown to relieve stress and encourage feelings of relaxation and calmness.

Even a few minutes outside a day can act as a stress reliever and help keep the negative symptoms of stress at bay.

Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Unfortunately, many seniors are prone to experiencing anxiety and depression in the later years of life. The potential complications of getting older, as well as feelings of loneliness, can contribute to the development of these disorders.

While there are medications that can help with anxiety and depression, spending time outdoors is a natural way to address these concerns. Whether it is outdoor activities or simply sitting on a bench in the park, spending time in nature can contribute to overall mental wellness and help keep seniors’ mental health in check.

Stay Active

One of the most important but sometimes difficult habits to keep up as a senior is maintaining a healthy level of activity. Physical exercise and movement are key to holistic health, can prevent disease, and improve the overall quality of life of seniors. 

Spending time outdoors encourages activity in ways that staying indoors does not. Making an effort to stay active outdoors is also a great way for seniors to stay involved in their community.

Improved Capacity for Concentration

In today’s connected world, constant stimulation can have a real impact on our ability to concentrate and keep our attention on one topic at a time. Spending time outdoors is an effective way to unwind, disconnect, and let your mind rest. 

Outdoor Activities at Assisted Living Facilities in Tallahassee, Florida

Opportunities to stay active and get outdoors in Tallahassee, FL, assisted living communities are endless. Through group outings, serene natural spaces, and organized outdoor activities, seniors can experience a holistic approach to wellness and thoroughly enjoy their retirement.

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. 

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