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Last Minute Tips for Independence Day at your Living Community

4thofjuly

Independence Day is upon us and its time to make plans to celebrate. While it is often customary to have a barbecue or head over to a relative’s house on this day; Some seniors in your community may not have that option, and we don’t want them to miss out on all of the fun. Here are a few things you can do at your community to celebrate the Fourth of July!

Red White & Blue!
Ring in the Fourth of July celebration by decorating your community with a red, white and blue theme. Decorate with balloons, American Flags and other patriotic adornments. You can even host an arts and craft time where your residents can make Independence Day inspired paintings, pottery, lanterns or candles.
 
Be flexible with your activities
Every senior is different, so it is important to host activities that can cater to all of the residents in your community. If your senior living community hosts transportation services, plan a trip to participate in your local Independence Day parade or fireworks. For the seniors who may not want to participate in outdoor activities you can plan a patriotic movie night. “The Best Years of Our Lives,” “1776,” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” are all good choices to get in the Independence Day Spirit. Don’t forget the snacks!
 
Get creative with food!
We all know the 3 staple menu options for the Fourth of July, Hotdogs, Hamburgers and potato salad. And even though these options are tasty, some seniors have dietary restrictions that stop them from enjoying certain foods. So be sure to adhere to seniors needs when creating the menu. Try foods such as grilled fish, sweet potatoes, fresh fruit or grilled veggies. Don’t forget the desserts and snacks! Try healthier Independence Day inspired treats such as Watermelon Fruit Pizza, red white and blue parfaits and fresh fruit pies.
In all, planning Fourth of July fun at your community gives your residents fun activities to look forward to. Let us know some of the activities your community participates in during Independence Day!

3 Books for the Caregivers’ Journey

adultcaregiver

Being a caregiver for your loved one has numerous ups and downs. When my family and I became caregivers we often relished in times of fulfillment, and high levels of stress or confusion. During our downtime we often took solace in reading books on caregiving.

Here are three books that can educate, inspire and assist you in your caregiving journey.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers: 101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice, and Bonding By: Joan Lunden 

Sometimes you may start to feel alone and misunderstood by your friends or family who cannot seem to relate to your caregiving lifestyle. In Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers: 101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice, and Bonding, you will learn that you are not alone. Many caregivers have experienced the exact same feelings that you are undergoing. The book outlines the true meaning of caregiving, which is love, compassion, strength, and tenacity. Each of the stories depicted in the book will uplift your spirit and provide you with insight into caregiving. 

Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter’s Memoir By: Martha Stettinius

Many caregivers are faced with watching their loved one’s health and memory decline through the many stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In this book, the author takes the reader on a poignant journey that outlines her own personal caregiving experience with her mother who suffered from worsening dementia.

When the Time Comes: Families with Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions By: Paula Span 

As more and more people are living longer lives, many children are faced with the reality that they must become their parent’s primary source of care. Some children opt to place their parent in a retirement home or assisted living facility. Some are choosing to become their parent’s sole caregiver or choose home care options. This book outlines the struggles and decisions that children often face taking care of their parents as they age.

Caregiving is a rewarding but tough journey. With a little assistance from caregiving books and online resources with information on supplemental caregiving services such as respite care and home care, my family and I were able to adjust and move forward gracefully in our caregiving journey.

Sometimes You Want To Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name

livingcommunity

As the senior living industry grows, so does the competition. In todays market, the prospective resident is likely to already be informed about senior living before they walk through your doors for a tour; and instead of looking for answers to basic questions they are looking for a wow factor.

As an informed prospect touring your community they are searching for something special that sets you apart from the other five or six businesses they’ve visited already. So how do you make sure that you’re at the top of their list? Personalize their experience! Here are a few ways to get started.
 
Welcome them by name!
The Cheers theme song rings especially true for prospects coming to tour your community. A simple way to personalize your guests experience is to know their name. Arrange for a place card with the guests’ name to displayed on a reserved parking space. When they enter the building greet the prospect by name and a firm hand shake. Before the tour starts give the guest a personalized welcome folder with their name on it; be sure to include your email and other contacts as well as additional information about your community.
 
Personalize the tour!
When the prospect schedules the tour be sure to ask them what amenities are important to them. Also inquire about their hobbies or interests. By doing this, you can be sure to highlight the features that are most important to them so it doesn’t feel like a generic tour. For example, if a potential resident states that she enjoys exercising and trying different foods. Be sure to visit your community recreation center and highlight the different exercise courses and equipment your community offers. Also be sure to put emphasis on the type of food your chef serves and bring the resident in to sample a bit of the cuisine. Adding this type of personalization will be sure to make your community memorable.
 
Be personable in the follow-up
After they have toured, don’t just follow up with a generic phone call. Write a hand written note. Sending the potential resident, a hand written note thanking them for viewing your community is a great way to show your wow factor. Be sure to include personal aspects of conversation you may have had, or a joke that was said. Don’t forget to sign the bottom and thank them again.
When you add a little personalization to your tours you can make your community memorable to prospects. When potential residents see you as a community that cares about their needs, they start to see YOUR community as THEIR new home.