Exploring the Lifestyle Benefits of Independent Living at Westminster Point Pleasant

In sunny Bradenton, Florida, there’s a community you’ll want to know named Westminster Point Pleasant. Think of it as a one-stop-shop for seniors—officially called a continuing care retirement community (CCRC)—offering all sorts of living choices depending on where you’re at in your golden years. But here’s the scoop— independent living is a real crowd-pleaser. It’s like having the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the benefits of community living and still hold onto your independence. It’s an ideal setup for active seniors wanting a mix of support and freedom, and for adult kids searching for a lively, warm place for their parents.

Comfort and Convenience

Living independently at Westminster Point Pleasant is all about comfort and convince without compromising personal freedom. The homes here are designed with the highest attention to detail, providing amenities such as maintenance free living and housekeeping services.  This allows residents to spend their time on doing things they enjoy, whether it’s exploring local attractions or participating in communities’ events. No compromises, just pure freedom.

 Vibrant Social Life

One of the highlights of independent living at Westminster Point Pleasant is the thriving social scene. It’s incredibly vibrant, and the community is packed with activities and events that keep life interesting. Whether it’s engaging in a friendly game of shuffleboard, participating in learning opportunities, or socializing while enjoying excellent dining, there’s something for everyone here. You might think getting older can feel a bit lonely, but not here. This bustling community is all about fostering friendships and building genuine connections, making sure nobody feels left out. At Westminster Point Pleasant, they’re proof that age is just a number and that life’s adventures don’t slowdown in our golden years. In fact, they’re just getting started.

Health and Wellness

Physical wellbeing plays a significant role in independent living. You’ve heard the old saying, “Your health is your wealth,” right? Well, Westminster really takes it to heart. We’ve curated a top-tier wellness program that’s all about keeping you on your toes—physically and mentally. It’s like having your personal, fully equipped fitness center right at your doorstep, but better. You’ll find amenities for every type of workout; yoga, Pilates, or something with a bit more oomph. More of a water person? Dive into aquatic activities. Whether you’re keen on unleashing your inner Michael Phelps or up for a casual swim, we’ve got your back. The wellness doesn’t stop at workouts, though. Food here is no afterthought. Westminster’s dining program whips up meals to tickle every taste bud. It’s all about living your best life, knowing you’re in safe hands, no matter what.

Security and Peace of Mind

At Westminster Point Pleasant, safety isn’t an afterthought. The community offers 24/7 security, and the presence of an on-site clinic ensures medical help is close at hand so that you have 24/7 piece of mind. As a CCRC, residents have the reassurance that if their health needs change over time, they won’t have to relocate. The community offers a continuum of care, from independent living to assisted living and skilled nursing, all within the same community.

Natural Beauty and Local Attractions

Nestled along the beautiful Manatee River, Westminster Point Pleasant offers stunning views and easy access to Florida’s natural beauty. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’re going to be like a kid in a candy store. We’re talking pristine beaches perfect for sunset strolls, green parks for picnics or morning yoga, and top-notch golf courses to show off your swing—all just around the corner.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. You’re in the middle of Bradenton, a vibrant town bursting with culture and excitement. There are galleries for art lovers, museums for history lovers, shopping for retail store lovers, the best part is it’s all right down the road. At Westminster Point Pleasant, you’re not just joining a community, you’re stepping into a whole new vibrant lifestyle. Choosing a retirement community can be a daunting task, but with its combination of comfort, community, and care, Westminster Point Pleasant provides an outstanding independent living option. Here, residents can enjoy a lifestyle tailored to their interests and needs, while having access to necessary support and care should they require it. This isn’t a time to slow down. Far from it! It’s a new chapter, teeming with opportunities for growth, discovery, and enjoyment. Places like Westminster Point Pleasant aren’t just retirement communities—they’re launchpads for this exciting adventure. It’s a brilliant reminder that life doesn’t slow down when you retire; it just shifts gears to a new, thrilling 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!

24 Senior Living Terms Family Members Should Know

Senior living has improved greatly over the past several years. There are now resources and communities based around senior living and support for seniors and their families. If you’re just beginning to navigate the world of senior living, you’ll likely encounter some unfamiliar terms. 

It’s important to understand the most commonly used terms to ensure that you and your family are informed.

The Most Common Senior Living Terms

Many senior living communities share the same key terminology, including:

  1. Activities of Daily Living: Basic activities seniors need to complete each day such as eating, drinking, dressing, bathing, getting around, and taking medications
  2. Acute: Typically used to describe a serious health condition, such as arthritis
  3. Advanced Directive: A written statement of a senior’s preferences regarding medical treatment and healthcare
  4. Aging in Place: When seniors spend retirement in the family home versus moving to assisted living 
  5. Assessment: An evaluation of a resident’s health needs and abilities, such as their ability to perform activities of daily living
  6. Caregiver: A person who provides support and care to a resident
  7. Certified Nursing Assistant: A healthcare professional who provides medical treatment under the supervision of a licensed nurse
  8. Co-Insurance: The amount a policyholder must pay after the insurance company approves and pays for their part of the cost of care
  9. Continuing Care Retirement Communities: Senior living communities that offer varying levels of care, including independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care
  10. Dual Eligibility: Describes a senior who qualifies for both Medicaid and   Medicare
  11. Durable Power of Attorney: A legal agreement that allows a person to make health and financial decisions if the senior becomes unable to make those decisions themselves
  12. Exceeds Level of Care: A situation where the care a senior requires exceeds the abilities of their caregiver or community
  13. HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a law that protects sensitive health information
  14. Independent Living: A living style or type of senior living community for seniors who don’t need much help with activities of daily living
  15. Long-Term Care: Care provided to seniors for long durations, usually for those unable to care for themselves due to disability or chronic health challenges
  16. Managed Care: A type of care focused on reducing costs while still maintaining the level of care the resident needs
  17. Medicaid: A type of government insurance available to low-income individuals
  18. Medicare: A type of government insurance available to elderly individuals
  19. Memory Care: A specialized type of care provided to seniors experiencing memory-related challenges
  20. Occupational Therapy: A type of therapy intended to help seniors learn new ways of moving around and performing tasks that can enhance their quality of life
  21. Palliative Care: A form of medical treatment intended to reduce the severity of disease symptoms and improve comfort and quality of life
  22. Physical Therapy: A specialized form of therapy provided to seniors following a health issue. Physical therapy helps seniors recover and regain mobility.
  23. Skilled Nursing Facility: A type of senior living community that provides a high level of medical care 
  24. Respite Care: A type of short-term care provided to seniors that gives regular caregivers a break

Keep in mind that every senior living community is different. As such, there will always be new terms for you and your family to learn over time.

Navigating the World of Assisted Living

Whether you’re looking for assisted living or independent living in St. Petersburg, Florida, there are many resources to help you understand these terms and the options available for you and your family. For more information, contact a local or national support service or consult with the staff at your local senior living community. 

What’s the Best Age to Move into Assisted Living?

Making the decision to move into assisted living is a big one. For seniors, it can be one of the biggest life changes, and the transition can be intimidating. With all of the amenities and services available in assisted living in Bradenton, Florida, seniors are opting to make the switch earlier and earlier in retirement.

This article will discuss the ideal age to move to assisted living and factors to consider when deciding on the right time to move.

Ideal Age for Assisted Living

The spectrum of assisted living communities has expanded greatly over the past decade. Today, seniors can enjoy wonderful amenities, top-quality food, and warm friendships, all just steps from their front door. 

As a general rule of thumb, seniors ages 60+ are the best candidates for assisted living, but there are always exceptions. In fact, the right time to move to assisted living is less about age and more about needs. 

When seniors begin to need help with daily activities or when living at home starts to become a challenge, it is time to consider assisted living. For some seniors, this time comes early on in retirement. For others, it may happen during the later years of life.

Deciding When to Move: Factors to Consider

There can be a lot of pressure on seniors and their families to pick the “right” time to move into assisted living. While there is no universal answer, there are some indicators that can help make the decision clear. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding on the right time to move.

Daily Needs

One of the top factors to think about when you’re considering assisted living is daily needs. When seniors begin experiencing difficulty completing daily tasks, such as cooking, grooming, or taking medication, that’s a good sign your loved one would benefit from assisted living. 

Similarly, seniors who are experiencing challenges with mobility may face difficulty in completing daily household chores and keeping up with home maintenance. Moving into assisted living at this point can relieve a lot of stress and pressure associated with living alone.

Long-Term Needs

Some seniors know they have medical conditions that will progress over time. In these situations, transitioning to assisted living at an early age can be preferable over waiting until the later years of retirement.

No one can predict the future, but if known health conditions are a factor, transitioning to assisted living may be the best course of action.

Family Support

Seniors who have lots of family support may be happy living independently for longer than seniors without support. Family members can help fill gaps and even act as caregivers for seniors as they age. When seniors cannot rely on family for support, transitioning to assisted living at an earlier age is a good idea.

Retirement Goals

Finally, seniors should consider what they want out of retirement. For many seniors, aging in place can mean a growing list of chores and home maintenance that eats into leisure time. 

If seniors value an active lifestyle that includes spending more time exploring hobbies and spending time with friends and family, transitioning to assisted living earlier rather than later can enable them to do that.

Assisted Living in Bradenton, Florida

The Bradenton assisted living options are among the best in the country. Seniors of all ages have many options for assisted living communities that can meet all of their needs and more. 

When deciding what age to move to assisted living, seniors should keep in mind that the decision is ultimately their own, and they should do what makes them feel comfortable and confident.

Best Apps to Keep in Touch with Faraway Family Members This Fall

Living away from your loved ones can be difficult, especially during the holiday season. In communities for independent living in Bradenton, Florida, it is important to stay connected to those who mean the most to you. 

This fall is the time to use technology to your advantage. With high-quality communication apps for your phone or tablet, you can keep in touch with those you love no matter where they are in the world. 

Oscar Senior

Oscar Senior is an application with a user-friendly design. This means that it is easy to use, even for people who are not familiar with technology at all. 

Available on both Apple and Android devices, Oscar Senior is a great way for seniors to stay connected with loved ones. The app features an auto-answering option, so you don’t even have to touch the screen to accept an incoming call. 

This is very effective for helping seniors manage their relationships with friends and family without becoming frustrated over technology. If you like, your loved ones can also track information related to your care.

Overall, Oscar Senior is one of the best senior communication apps available today. 


WhatsApp has been used by millions of people to keep in touch with their loved ones for years. This simple-to-use app is completely free and has a simple layout for those who may be unfamiliar with technology. 

WhatsApp offers phone calling, texting, and video chatting for seniors looking to keep up with their friends and families. The app is secure, meaning your messages and calls are completely private and inaccessible to anyone else. If you value privacy and easy messaging, this is the app for you and your loved ones. 

Facebook Messenger 

Many seniors use Facebook to keep up with the important events in their loved ones’ lives. Facebook Messenger is a convenient feature of this social media platform that allows you to send messages, photos, videos, and emoticons to the people in your life. 

You can even do a voice call or video call using the Facebook Messenger application. It is available for all Android and Apple devices. You can even use Facebook Messenger on a tablet. The layout is straightforward, and they offer a Facebook Messenger Lite version that is even easier to navigate. 


For seniors with Apple products like iPhones, MacBooks, and iPads, FaceTime is one of the best video chatting apps. It comes pre-installed on every Apple device, so you do not have to do any special downloading to use it. 

FaceTime’s layout offers easy-to-use features. You can make and accept video calls with basic options like muting yourself, turning off your video stream, and ending the call. For Apple users who value simplicity and a user-friendly layout, FaceTime is the way to go. 


Over the last few years, Zoom has taken off in terms of popularity among all age groups. Many people use Zoom to communicate with their loved ones via video chat. Zoom is very easy to use and is convenient for group video calls. 

This means you can have family dinners, reunions, and chat sessions, all from your personal device. If you value family and community, Zoom is the app for you and your loved ones to use. 

Independent Living in Bradenton, Florida, and Staying Connected 

If you live in a community for independent living in Bradenton, Florida, you know the importance of staying connected with your loved ones. Using these technology applications can help you stay in touch on a daily basis, no matter how far away a loved one may be. 

Making a Move to Independent Living? Look for These 4 Features

Moving into an independent living community is a big step that involves thorough research and planning. When you’re looking into independent living for yourself or an older family member, it’s important to know what you should consider. 

There are certain features that set one community apart from another, including dining options, health services, and more. These are features that will help you or your loved one lead their best life in independent living. Learn what features are important to look out for when finding a new independent living community.

4 Features You’ll Want for Independent Living in Bradenton, Florida

Are you looking into new independent living options for yourself or a senior loved one? Features like transportation services and housekeeping are essential for older adults in senior living communities. Check out four of the most important features you’ll want to look for in a new independent living community.

1. Health Resources

As you age, you are more likely to develop certain ongoing health concerns. This is why it’s important for older adults to have access to health services in their independent living community. Many of these communities offer certain on-site health services that can assist with overall well-being. 

If you are independent living in Bradenton, Florida, you may also have access to things like nutritional programs, fitness centers, and physical therapy services. Some communities offer home delivery of your prescriptions and transportation to outside doctor appointments.

2. Transportation Options

Another important feature of your independent living community is transportation services. Many senior adults are no longer driving and cannot act as their own transportation. You should look for a community that offers scheduled transportation options. This is essential for making it to doctor’s appointments, visiting with loved ones, and other engagements. 

Before committing to an independent living facility, speak with community representatives about their transportation services. Is there a local bus that stops within the community? Will you have access to taxis and rideshare options? You want to make sure that there are multiple transportation choices to meet your needs.

3. Housekeeping Services

Keeping your home clean is a chore at any age, but it becomes increasingly difficult as you get older. Mobility issues and other health concerns can make it hard to keep your living space clean and organized. While these issues can make housekeeping difficult, it’s still essential to keep a clean home for your overall well-being.

A cluttered, dirty home can lead to a number of health concerns for senior adults, including an increased risk of falls and breathing difficulties. This is why housekeeping services are an important feature of an independent living community. Housekeeping services allow you to maintain a tidy, organized home without struggling to clean it yourself.

4. Dining Plans

One of the best features when you are independent living in Bradenton, Florida, is the multitude of dining plans. When you choose a new independent living community, take a look at what they offer for dining. Are there on-site restaurants and cafes to choose from? Is there a meal delivery program for seniors with limited mobility? 

Many communities will have on-site dining establishments, cafeterias, and grocery stores for their residents. This gives you a wide variety of options to choose from when you’re planning meals. Some communities even provide home delivery of meal kits or groceries so that you can get ingredients and pantry items delivered right to your doorstep!

In addition to on-site dining options, many independent living communities are located close to a large selection of outdoor establishments. This gives you access to nearby restaurants, cafes, and other dining options to explore.

What Is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?

While most people have heard of independent living and assisted living, not many are familiar with continuing care retirement communities. These communities can accommodate a range of needs, transitioning with you as you age. Learn more about continuing care retirement communities in the guide below. 

Continuing Care Retirement Community: What to Expect

A continuing care community is a type of retirement community designed to provide continued care to older adults. Also known as CCRCs or life plan communities, these communities provide senior adults with living options that can meet their specific needs as time goes on.

In most scenarios, an older adult who enters a continuing care community is able to live independently at first. They can perform daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene entirely on their own without assistance. 

As time goes on, medical conditions or cognitive concerns may make it harder to do these things without assistance. At this point, their living arrangements can be adjusted accordingly. This may include the use of home health aides or transitioning into an assisted living facility. 

The following are three types of senior living options that are associated with continuing care communities.

Independent Living

Independent living allows older adults to remain in an individual home, condo, or apartment without any live-in assistance. 

These seniors can perform all or most of their daily tasks on their own. They may have very mild medical concerns or no medical concerns at all. This is where most people start off when in continuing care communities.

Skilled Nursing Care and Memory Care

Aging is correlated with many serious health concerns that can impact your ability to function. As you age in independent living, you may find that medical concerns are affecting how well you can take care of yourself. 

If you have daily medical needs, you may be in need of skilled nursing care. This care refers to medical professionals who can visit your home or remain in the home for a specific amount of time to provide the medical care you need.

Memory care is a specific type of skilled nursing that works with seniors who have some type of cognitive decline. This includes residents with Alzheimer’s or forms of dementia.

Assisted Living

When you or your loved one requires ongoing daily assistance, you may need to transition to assisted living. Assisted living is an essential part of the continuing care spectrum, helping older adults get the care that they need for progressive health concerns or severe cognitive impairment. 

With assisted living, the senior resident lives in a facility with other seniors and on-site care staff who can tend to their needs continuously.

The Benefits of CCRC

Continuing care retirement communities present a variety of benefits for adults as they age. They allow you to begin in a living arrangement that maintains your independence and receive more assistance as you need it. Many older adults enjoy this type of community as it provides the care they need as they need it. 

Is CCRC Right for You or Your Loved One?

Is your parent or other senior loved one ready to transition into senior living? When moving into a senior living community, many people have difficulty determining what type of community is right for their parents. Are they able-bodied enough for an independent living community, or do their needs call for an assisted living setting?  If you are unsure what type of living community is right for your parents, a continuing care retirement community might be the best choice. This type of community transitions with your parents’ needs and abilities, ensuring they get the exact level of care they require.

How Creative Art Projects Promote Healthy Aging in Older Adults

Retirement is a great time for older adults to explore new hobbies and spend more time doing things they enjoy. Many seniors enjoy exploring their creative side through art, whether by drawing, painting, sculpting, or otherwise.

Art is a wonderful hobby because it comes in many different forms and is accessible to nearly all seniors, whether they live independently or in a skilled nursing facility. There are also several ways that creative art projects promote healthy aging in older adults, turning a fun hobby into one that stimulates the mind and body.

Stimulate the Mind

Stimulating both the body and mind is key to healthy aging. Seniors who do not keep their minds engaged are far more likely to experience early cognitive decline and other symptoms associated with poor mental health. But while exercising the body is more straightforward, exercising the mind sometimes takes more creative approaches. 

Art is a great way to have fun and challenge the mind at the same time. Creative activities stimulate areas of the brain that other hobbies don’t, and exploring new forms of art can be both challenging and rewarding.

Improve Mental Health

Many seniors struggle with declining mental health due to a lack of stimulation and less exposure to new experiences that challenge the mind. However, art has been proven to improve mental health in a number of areas, including:

  • Decreasing feelings of depression
  • Decreasing feelings of anxiety
  • Promoting relaxation
  • Boosting mood
  • Improving confidence
  • Alleviating stress

Mental health should be a priority for every senior, and picking up art as a hobby is an easy way to take a step in the right direction. Even short amounts of time spent on creative art projects can have significant benefits. 

Encourage an Active Lifestyle

Another challenge that many seniors face during retirement is declining levels of activity. It’s all too easy for seniors to let their healthy habits slip and fall into a sedentary lifestyle, but seniors who engage in hobbies like creative art are more likely to establish and keep routines and are more motivated to stay active in their day-to-day lives. 

When seniors embrace art as a hobby, it becomes something that they look forward to and something that motivates them to jump-start each day.

Provide a Sense of Purpose

When seniors retire, they often struggle with a lack of purpose that was once provided by a career or raising children. However, finding a new sense of purpose during retirement is an important part of promoting healthy aging. 

Creative art is a great hobby to restore a sense of purpose because seniors are left with tangible accomplishments through their art pieces. Seniors can use art to decorate their space, give away as gifts, or even sell.

Encourage Social Activity

Social interaction is an important part of healthy aging. While it can be embraced as a simple hobby, art is meant to be shared and can therefore promote social activity. It can therefore be a perfect bridge to help seniors engage more with their peers, either by showing off their pieces to friends or by painting/drawing together.

Creative Art Projects in Assisted Living

Seniors do not have to live independently to embrace all that creative art projects have to offer. In assisted living, seniors can fully explore different art projects with the help of staff and family. Seniors can even encourage other residents to join. No matter what art form seniors choose, creative art projects can be a key part of aging in a healthy way.

Assisted Living vs. Continuing Care Retirement Community: What’s the Difference?

Retirement communities have come a long way in recent years. Today, there are more care options for seniors than ever before. 

Two of the most common types of retirement communities are assisted living and continuing care retirement communities. But how do seniors and their families determine what type of care is right for them? There are key differences between these two types of communities.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a community intended to support seniors who need more care than independent seniors but do not need around-the-clock support. Most assisted living communities provide residential-style space for seniors, such as condos, apartments, or even homes. 

Seniors have their own private space but still benefit from the help of staff members who are available 24/7 to assist with activities of daily living. Assisted living also provides a community where seniors can make friends and participate in social events. 

Most communities offer a full calendar of events that provide plentiful opportunities for residents to socialize with one another just steps from their front door. Additional services and amenities in assisted living might include:

  • Fitness center
  • 24/7 security
  • On-site dining
  • Swimming pools
  • Housekeeping 
  • Transportation

In addition, assisted living includes support services to help seniors take a holistic approach to wellness and healthy aging. These may include nutrition services, planning services, mental health services, and more.

What Is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)?

Continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs, are retirement communities that provide a full continuum of care for seniors, from independent living to skilled nursing care, all in one place. CCRCs have staff that can cater to seniors who need very minimal help and also to seniors who need around-the-clock care. 

Importantly, care can be dialed up or down for residents as needed. As seniors age and their needs change, CCRCs can adjust their level of care so that the resident does not have to move to another location. 

Similarly, if seniors are experiencing a temporary health issue or are recovering from treatment, CCRCs can offer additional short-term care, then re-calibrate when the resident recovers.

Key Differences

While assisted living communities and CCRCs offer many of the same amenities, there are a few key differences between the two communities.

Long-Term Needs

One of the key differences between assisted living and CCRCs is the ability to address long-term needs. Seniors may grow out of assisted living as they age and need more care. Assisted living communities are often not able to provide a higher level of care. CCRCs, on the other hand, are equipped to provide long-term care as needed.

Approach to Care

Since assisted living communities usually serve seniors who are of similar needs, the level of care is relatively consistent from resident to resident. CCRCs provide a greater range of care. Each resident has a highly personalized care plan that is evaluated frequently. 

Residents in both types of communities receive individualized care that meets all of their needs. However, since CCRCs provide a greater range of services, their care plans must be more specific.

Range of Residents

In assisted living, most residents are similarly situated in terms of the care they require. CCRCs care for a much wider range of residents, from seniors living independently who require almost no help to seniors who need 24/7 care.

Deciding Between a CCRC and Assisted Living

CCRCs and assisted living communities are very different, and assisted living communities may not be able to meet the needs of all seniors. The best way to decide what type of living is right for a senior is to work with retirement community staff to create an individualized plan that ensures all of the senior’s needs are met.

7 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Family in Assisted Living

If you have a loved one in an assisted living facility, you’re eager to make their holiday season special. However, you may be wondering how to best celebrate the holidays with them.

Being in assisted living shouldn’t make the holiday season more complicated. The following are just seven great ways that you can celebrate the holidays with your family member in assisted living.

1. Watching Your Favorite Holiday Movies

One of the simplest and most fun ways to celebrate the holidays with your loved one in assisted living is by having a movie marathon. Make a list of their favorite holiday movies and bring them over one day to have a Christmas movie party. 

If you don’t have time for a day of holiday movies, schedule a few separate movie nights throughout December to watch one movie at a time!

2. Decorating the Assisted Living Facility

Another way to get in the holiday spirit is through decorating. If the assisted living facility allows it, you can put up holiday decorations together. These may include a small Christmas tree in your loved one’s room or holiday lights and tinsel. 

You could also hang pictures of family and friends taken during previous celebrations on the walls to bring back great holiday memories.

3. Doing Holiday Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts are a popular pastime in assisted living facilities. During the holiday months, you can make Christmas- or Hanukkah-themed crafts with your family. These can include painting, sculpting, or making your own ornaments. 

You can even make creative gifts for other friends and family members and give them a special keepsake for to have years to come.

4. Bringing Grandkids and Other Family to Visit

The holidays are all about spending time with the people you care about. Many residents in assisted living are unable to leave their facilities due to mobility issues and other health concerns. That’s why you should bring the people they care about directly to them for the holidays. 

Bring grandkids, siblings, old neighbors, or other friends to the assisted living community to spend some time celebrating together.

5. Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane

Taking a trip down memory lane is a simple and meaningful way to celebrate the holidays, especially for those in assisted living. 

As it gets closer to the holidays, bring in old photo albums or ornaments to help reminisce about past get-togethers with your loved one. If you have any old home movies, you could watch them with your loved one to relive those great memories together.

6. Organizing a Sing-Along or Holiday Performance

Does your family love to sing Christmastime carols or other seasonal songs? Speak to the staff at the assisted living facility and see if you can organize a holiday music show or sing-along for the residents. You can perform with friends and family members and put a smile on all of the residents’ faces — and your own!

7. Make a Gingerbread House or Bake Cookies

Sweet treats are a major part of the holiday season, and you can make them a big part of the holidays for your loved one in assisted living. Build a gingerbread house together, bake cookies, or decorate a holiday cake. Baking is a fun way to spend a few hours together while reminiscing about preparing for the holidays throughout the years.

Whether you’re creating something new or revisiting past holiday memories, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holidays with your loved one in assisted living!

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