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Dunwoody Retirement Community Shares: Summer is Good For Your Health

Category Archives: Community Stories

Summer Isn’t Just Fun in The Sun; It’s Good For You, Too

Many people name summer as their favorite season. And it’s completely understandable; from the time we start school, we associate summer with time off, swimming pools, vacations, and pleasant weather. But summer has benefits beyond simply providing a stage for our yearly adventures—the summer season brings with it numerous health benefits, as well.

Safe Sun Exposure Has Health Benefits

Anyone who has experienced a nasty summer sunburn may be tempted to swear off the outdoors from May to September. But sitting in the sun has its health benefits, so it’s worth slathering on the sunscreen and heading outside for some safe sun exposure.

First, exposure to sunlight is known to improve our mood. Being outside in the sun is associated with the production of serotonin, a hormone that improves mood and helps you feel calm and focused.

Sun exposure also has other health benefits. Safe sun exposure allows the skin to produce Vitamin D, which promotes bone health by aiding in the absorption of calcium. Research has suggested that sun exposure could also lower blood pressure and curb appetite. It may also reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and possibly some autoimmune diseases.

Summer Produce Packs a Nutrient Punch

Because of the beautiful weather, mounds of delicious fruits and vegetables come into season in the summer. Enjoy crisp, juicy produce like tomatoes, berries, melon, greens, avocados, squash, cherries, peaches, peppers, cucumbers, and more. They’re all at peak freshness during the summer months, so you can load up your refrigerator with the best product for a lower price than at other times of the year.

The freshness and availability of produce during the summer make it easy to get the necessary nutrients in your diet. Juicy berries provide antioxidants in a low-sugar, bite-size package. Leafy greens provide Vitamins A and K as well as fiber. And watermelon, a true summer staple, is not just a sweet treat—it’s a fantastic hydrator. Watermelon is 92 percent water and contains natural sugars and minerals that replenish what we lose when we sweat. It’s like nature’s sports drink!

Longer Days Improve Our Sleep

For those struggling with poor sleep or sleep disorders, the summer season may help. Summer daylight hours are longer, and the day-night cycle more closely mimics our sleep patterns than the dark winter months. That means the summer sun can help us get our circadian rhythm back on track. Early morning exposure to the sun helps us wake up with more energy. Sun exposure during the day, as well as a later sunset, help us ease into sleep at a more natural time than in the winter months.

We’re More Active in Summer Months

Because of the gorgeous summer weather, we’re more likely to get outside and be active in the summer. There is a multitude of enjoyable physical activities to choose from this season, so it’s easy to get daily exercise. And you will probably have so much fun that it won’t even feel like a workout! Whether you choose swimming, hiking, volleyball, walking your pet, gardening, waterskiing, or one of the other hundreds of summer activities, you can have fun and stay active more easily during this season.

There are many reasons to love summer. Aside from enjoying the great weather, time off, and entertainment, it’s easy to be healthy and active during the season. It’s one of the many reasons summer makes us feel so good!

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Dunwoody Pines, contact our friendly team today.

Make Summer Your Healthiest Season Yet With These Tips

We associate summer with fun in the sun. But did you know that summer is a great time to add some healthy practices to your routine? Because of the great weather, slower pace, and availability of lighter, healthier foods, summer can be a wonderful time to not only have fun, but also get healthier.

These tips from Marshall Pines Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Evans, Georgia, can help you boost your health this season.

Get Some Sun, but Make it Safe

Sunshine doesn’t just feel nice—it’s good for you, too! Safe sun exposure has many benefits. The first, and perhaps most well-known, the benefit of sunlight is that it allows our skin to produce Vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium and promotes bone health. Sun exposure is also a mood-booster; it is associated with the production of serotonin, a hormone that improves mood and helps you feel calm and focused. Spending time in the sun also leads to improved sleep, and research suggests that it could also lower blood pressure, curb appetite, and reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and possibly some autoimmune diseases. Sunshine may even help people live longer!

But too much sun can be harmful. It can lead to sunburn, skin damage, or heat exhaustion. It is best to make sure that your sun exposure is safe. Wear plenty of sunscreens and reapply according to the package instructions. If you’re sensitive to heat, make sure you enjoy the sun in the early morning, before the hottest part of the day.

Wear the Proper Clothing for Your Activity

When the weather heats up and the sun beats down, it’s even more important to choose your clothing wisely. Make sure that your clothing is appropriate for whatever activity you’re taking part in. In general, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen will help keep you cool in the summer heat, while synthetics like acrylic and polyester can trap heat and feel abrasive on the skin. Clothing that fits well is important, too. Make sure your clothes are sized correctly but do not cling to your body. And if you’re going to be in the sun or near biting or stinging insects, you may want to wear long sleeves or pants to protect your skin.

Ensure that you’re wearing the proper footwear, as well. Flip flops are convenient, but they’re often not very supportive. Save the sandals for the pool or when you won’t be walking around. If you’ll be hiking, exercising, or walking a lot, choose breathable, supportive shoes like athletic sneakers to protect your feet and ankles.

And remember your sunglasses! Just like your skin, your eyes can accumulate damage from sun exposure. Bring along a stylish pair of shades to protect your eyes.

Stay Hydrated in the Heat

In warmer weather, we tend to be outdoors and sweat more than in the fall and winter months. That means more water loss. It’s important to drink plenty of water every day, but even more so in the summer.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the typical recommended water consumption for the average adult is 64-80 ounces of water per day. However, depending on your level of activity and exposure to heat in the summer, you may need to drink extra water—up to 100 or more ounces per day. You can also increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, and other water-filled produce to help you meet that goal.

If you’ve been outside for a long period of time or have been exercising, you may also want to take in extra electrolytes to ensure you stay hydrated. Have a sports drink handy if you’re planning one of these activities.

With these tips, you’ll not only have a fun summer but a healthy one, too!

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Marshall Pines, contact our friendly team today.

When the Weather is Too Hot to Handle, Chill Out with These Activities

Summer can be amazing, but when the temperature creeps up and borders on the triple-digit territory, you have to find ways to beat the heat. Whether that means choosing indoor activities or finding ways to cool yourself down while outside, there are plenty of ways to enjoy summer without overheating. Ashley Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care Community is sharing some great ways to stay cool—and safely socially distanced—this summer.

Start a Virtual Book Club

Sometimes when the weather gets hot, the best thing to do to cool down is to stay inside. Instead of vegging out in front of the TV, connect with friends, and exercise your mind by starting a virtual book club. Choose an old classic or one of this summer’s newest releases, and set a date to discuss your thoughts with your friends. Inside of a book, you can travel to far-off places from the comfort of your own air conditioning.

Host a Movie Marathon

Even if you don’t want to commit to a monthly book club, you can still enjoy amazing stories by hosting a movie marathon. Have each member of the family choose a film for everyone to watch, or choose a series together. Stay cool while watching your favorite superhero flicks or thrillers. Pop some popcorn and make sure everyone has their favorite movie theater candy to top off the experience.

Make Fresh Fruit Popsicles

Nothing is better than a cooling sweet treat on a hot day. Skip the sugary, preservative-laden popsicles at the supermarket and make your own healthier versions at home. Not only will making the popsicles serve as a cooling indoor activity, serving them up is sure to cool you down when the weather is hot. Get creative with your combinations; add juices, coconut water, bits of fresh fruit, and even herbs to your popsicles for a one-of-a-kind flavor.

Create Your Own Art

The dog days of summer are the perfect time to head indoors and flex your creative muscles. Bust out your forgotten craft supplies and let your creative juices flow! Whether you dabble in photography, knitting, painting, drawing, paper crafts, pottery, or all of the above and more, you can create your beautiful arts and crafts in the A/C. And when you’re done enjoying your creative time, you’ll have something lovely to display or give as a gift.

Turn on the Waterworks

When you were a kid, you probably loved running through the sprinkler on a hot day. Why stop just because you’re an adult? If you’re at home (and there’s no drought in your area) you can turn your yard into your very own water park. Fill up water balloons, set up the hose and sprinkler, and fill up some water guns with ice water. If you love the idea, you can even kick it up a notch by purchasing a Slip N’ Slide or other water toys for your yard. Throw on your swimsuit and head outside for some cooling fun in the sun.

Take the Cooking Out of the Kitchen

When it’s hot outside, the last thing you want to do is heat up the kitchen by using the stove or oven. Instead of stirring your meals over a hot burner, fire up the grill. Cooking your meals outside leaves the heat where it belongs! Not in the mood to stand next to burning charcoal? Order a variety of takeout from different restaurants, and have a taste-testing party so everyone in your home can discover their local favorites.

Don’t sweat the heat this summer. Try these ideas to stay entertained—and cool—during the hottest months of the year!

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Ashley Gardens, contact our friendly team today.

Social Distancing Doesn’t Have to Stop The Summer Fun

During normal times, summer fun usually includes theme parks, beaches, boardwalks, and other crowded spaces. But with this summer’s social distancing rules in place, those activities are not an option. But that doesn’t mean the summer fun is canceled! Belleview Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Aurora, Colorado, is sharing some safe, socially distanced ways to make Summer 2020 as much fun as any other.

Enjoy a Movie Marathon

Summer blockbusters are as synonymous with summer as beach umbrellas. But this year, skip the movie theater and host your own movie marathon at home. Choose your favorite movie or movie series, or let each member of the family choose a film for everyone to watch. For that extra movie theater touch, pop lots of popcorn (complete with all of the flavorings, or course) and pick up some theater-style boxes of your favorite candy. Get comfortable on the couch, turn off the lights, and press play!

Explore Your Local Hideaways

Long distance travel is not an option this year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t explore new places! No matter how many years you’ve lived in your city, there are always new places to discover. Don your mask and check out the farmer’s market, a local monument or attraction, or a historical site you’ve never visited before. Or simply enjoy your area’s natural scenery by taking a hike or visiting a new park you haven’t had the chance to see.

Throw a Board Game Tournament

When the weather heats up too much to head outside, it’s tempting to plop in front of the TV for hours on end. Mix things up instead by rounding up the family for a board game tournament. Have everyone choose their favorite game, and play a round of each. If you want to raise the stakes, play for points and offer a prize for first place. Whoever wins the most games can choose dinner one night or skip their chores for a week. Make sure everyone wins by including lots of snacks, music, and laughs.

Camp in Your Own Backyard

Your favorite campground might be too crowded to visit or closed to the public. But you can still enjoy the outdoors in your own backyard! Include all of the classics of camping; pitch a tent, start a fire, make s’mores, and tell ghost stories. Cook dinner over the fire (or fire up the backyard grill to make it safer for the kids). The best part? Having the great indoors just a few feet away.

Taste-Test Local Takeout

Restaurants are still under restriction, so dine-in options and even outdoor dining may be unavailable or undesirable this summer. Many restaurants have adapted by providing incredible takeout options. Why not make your own at-home buffet by ordering options from several local restaurants and taste-testing everything? Keep it casual by ordering anything that sounds good. Or make it competitive by comparing the dishes to find your favorites! Find out which local restaurant has your favorite appetizers, chicken dish, pasta, or dessert by taste-testing all of your options.

Try Out and Perfect New Recipes

Now is the time to experiment with new recipes. Since you won’t be hosting parties or having people over for meals, you get the opportunity to practice some wow-worthy recipes at home before unleashing them on your friends once restrictions are lifted. Find recipes to try by picking up your favorite magazine, searching the internet, or browsing Pinterest. Pick up the ingredients on your next grocery trip and add the new recipe to your meal rotation.

Social distancing is still in play, but so is summer fun! Use these ideas to entertain yourself and your family while remaining safe this summer.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Belleview Heights, contact our friendly team today.

Virtual Reality Program Allows Memory Care Residents To Transcend Their Environment

In 2020, now that travel has become increasingly restrictive (at least for the short-haul) it’s refreshing to learn that seniors living with dementia at Sunshine Retirement Living communities can now tour the world via virtual reality (VR). Their virtual adventures have included everything from swimming with sharks to going on an elephant safari to visiting the Louvre Museum in Paris or attending an opera for the first time.

Not only is VR therapy a stimulating and enjoyable way to spend the afternoon, but it also seems to unlock memories in people with dementia. Through VR, residents have had memory breakthroughs and recalled experiences from their childhood and important family memories that were previously lost because of their dementia, says Sarah Peters, Sunshine’s Director of Marketing. Although some residents choose simple virtual experiences, like walking on a beach or through a forest, that too often helps them connect to memories of family camping trips or other past events, she notes. In addition to its VR Bucket List program, Sunshine offers a weekly group VR program, which also has therapeutic benefits, she says.

Helps residents feel more connected

The timing of Sunshine’s virtual reality initiative could not have been better, given that its communities have had to temporarily halt outside recreational trips and family visits to prevent the spread of COVID-19. VR therapy has helped relax and alleviate the anxiety of some residents, says Peters, adding that in a time of social restrictions, feelings of isolation and seclusion can be a big danger to residents. “Virtual reality allows the residents to get experiences away from the community. The group VR setting also gives them that sense of a shared adventure.”

This cutting-edge therapy integrates real-time computer graphics, body tracking devices, visual displays and other sensory inputs that resemble real-life situations, giving users the sensation of being in a different place than their actual physical environment. In a VR session at Sunshine, residents wear headsets while the Life Enrichment Director guides the experience with a handheld device. If families give permission, the hardware can be connected to a display for other residents to also watch and follow along in the experience.

Sunshine has expanded VR therapy to all assisted living, transitional assisted living and personal care communities as well as to some independent living places, with a goal of rolling it out to every community. “The response from residents and family caregivers to VR therapy has been fantastic,” says Peters.

Promising research on VR and dementia

Although research about the benefits of virtual reality on people with dementia is in the early stage, a 2019 study by the University of Kent indicates that it has huge potential. “It provides a richer and more satisfying quality of life than is otherwise available, with many positive outcomes,” said one of the researchers, Dr. Jim Ang, in this press release.

In the study, eight patients living with dementia used a VR headset to virtually visit a cathedral, a forest, a sandy beach, a rocky beach, and a countryside scene. One key finding was that VR helped patients recall old memories by providing new stimuli. For example, one patient recalled a holiday after seeing a bridge that reminded them of that trip. At an art session, some weeks later, one patient was inspired to draw a seaside picture.

To get a sense of just how exciting virtual reality can be, check out this video and article about the VR program at Sunshine’s Azalea Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care in Tallahassee, Florida. In the video, resident Bobye Townsend virtually experiences a space shuttle ride and re-experiences a SCUBA adventure on the Great Barrier Reef from decades ago. She absolutely beams with joy as she describes her VR excursions: “It was the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me, and I’ve done a lot of things and been a lot of places,” she is quoted as saying.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Azalea Gardens, contact our friendly team today.

Knowledge is power when it comes to caring for a loved one with dementia

Your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Of course, you want to give them the best care and quality of life possible. That means it’s time to educate yourself and learn how to prepare and what to expect. Luckily for you, the memory care experts at Marshall Pines Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Evans, Georgia, are helping to educate families caring for a loved one who is experiencing memory challenges.

Learn about your loved one’s condition

Since every human is a unique individual, no Alzheimer’s or other dementia experience will be identical. It is important to regularly speak to your loved one’s doctor about their condition, its progression, and the recommended treatments and medications. You may also want to ask about what changes in behavior you should be aware of or what physical and cognitive limitations they may begin to experience. Learn whether there are any symptoms or behaviors you should be on the lookout for and which situations warrant a medical visit. Make sure you have all the information you need to care for your loved one, deal with any changes, and give them the best possible quality of life.

Create routines to improve your loved one’s quality of life

Your loved one will likely do best when their environment and lifestyle are familiar, calm, and safe. One of the best ways to implement such a lifestyle is to establish daily routines. To the extent possible, keep your loved one’s days as similar as possible. Include activities they enjoy as well as productive tasks they can perform on their own or with minimal assistance. Such actions will give them a sense of independence and accomplishment.

Implementing a daily routine can help your loved one enjoy their day and avoid the frustration and discomfort that can occur when they are confronted with new things. But a routine will not necessarily prevent all such frustration. Like anyone else, your loved one will likely have good days and bad days, and they may react differently to the same stimuli from one day to the next. Therefore, it is important to not place rigid expectations on your loved one. Instead, be flexible and accept your loved one’s experience day by day.

Seek out a memory care community when you need help

Being the sole caregiver for someone experiencing memory challenges can be stressful. Caregiver burnout is a well-known phenomenon that occurs when caregivers spend too much of their time and energy caring for their loved one and end up struggling to maintain their own routines and responsibilities.

It may also be time to relocate your loved one to a reputable memory care community when their condition becomes harder to manage, when they have multiple other health concerns in addition to dementia, or when their quality of life can no longer be maintained without consistent, frequent help from professional caregivers.

Marshall Pines offers both temporary and long-term solutions for families. If you’re going away on business, planning a vacation, or simply need a break from caregiving, respite care at Marshall Pines is the perfect solution for providing your loved one with the Person-Centered Care that they need.

And when it’s time for a long-term solution, Marshall Pines is happy to welcome new residents. The community’s extraordinary location, memory care-specific programming, and experienced and dedicated staff make it the perfect place for your loved one. The community offers floorplans to fit every resident’s needs, as well as personal care options for health monitoring like medication management or assistance with dressing, bathing, grooming, and oral care. Your loved one will experience the highest quality of Person-Centered Care at Marshall Pines.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Marshall Pines, contact our friendly team today.

Residents can experience the world from the comfort of their community

Although virtual reality technology has been around since the late 1960s, it’s still a technology that most people don’t use on a daily basis. It may even sound futuristic or like it’s reserved for video game enthusiasts. But virtual reality has surprising benefits for a population not commonly associated with using new technology—seniors in assisted living and memory care communities.

Belleview Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Aurora, Colorado, recently launched a virtual reality therapy program for its residents, which uses an Oculus headset to allow them to experience places and events outside of their community.

Virtual Reality Can Entertain Residents

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, visitation, and activities at many retirement communities have been limited to protect residents and staff. But with the new Oculus headset at Belleview Heights, residents can travel to foreign destinations, visit museums and historical sites, and attend events such as concerts—all from the comfort and safety of their community. Residents can even choose to experience the same event or destination as other residents, giving them a brand-new topic of conversation with their neighbors and staff. This provides a welcome break from the temporary limitations due to virus protection.
How Virtual Reality Can Help Those with Memory Challenges

Virtual reality experiences can not only entertain residents but also offer therapeutic benefits for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

In a small study led by Dr. Chee Siang (Jim) Ang, a senior lecturer from the University of Kent, researchers found that virtual reality experiences could help people living with memory challenges. As part of the study, Dr. Ang’s team used virtual reality devices on eight participants with a mean age of 69 and living with some type of dementia, including Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. Each participant used a virtual reality headset and chose to visit one of five virtual locations via the headset. Their choices were the countryside, a sandy beach, a rocky beach, a cathedral, and a forest.

Each participant was monitored during the 15-minute virtual reality sessions, and Dr. Ang’s team subsequently reviewed feedback from patients and their caregivers. The research team noted that some participants chose the same virtual environment repeatedly, while others explored multiple virtual locations.
The study found that virtual reality may help participants recall old memories by offering new stimuli that they could otherwise not experience while living in their community. Because of the increased recall, caregivers were also able to learn more about the participants’ lives, so it improved their social interaction and relationships.

VR experiences may also improve mood. Dr. Ang’s team reported that “at an art session some weeks later, one of the patients who had taken part commented that it had been ‘brilliant’. He appeared to enjoy reminiscing about the experience and was inspired to draw a seaside picture, suggesting that his VR experience had had a positive effect on his mood and motivation to engage with the art session.”
Is Virtual Reality the Future of Memory Care?

As more studies are conducted and more assisted living and memory care communities provide virtual reality experiences for their residents, we hope that the therapeutic benefits of virtual reality for memory care will become clearer. Some experts and caregivers are excited about the possibility of creating custom experiences for residents, including scenes from their childhood, era-specific music, or destinations that individual residents find particularly soothing or enjoyable.

For now, the staff at Belleview Heights is happy to offer Oculus Virtual Reality Therapy for its residents’ enjoyment and quality of life.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Belleview Heights, contact our friendly team today.

Choosing to relocate your loved one is tough; let Copper Canyon help

If your loved one is experiencing memory challenges or needs assistance with the activities of daily living, you may be caring for them by yourself, or you may have already taken the leap to hire an in-home caregiver. Although in-home care is a great choice for many, there are instances where relocating your loved one to a retirement community can drastically improve their care and quality of life. But how do you know when that is the right decision? The experts at Copper Canyon Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Tucson, Arizona, are here to help you decide.

When in-home care is no longer enough

Your in-home care has served your loved one well. But as your loved one ages or their condition progresses, they may need more assistance than in-home care can provide. You or their in-home caregiver may not be able to be with your loved one around the clock. That means multiple people—family, friends, or hired caregivers—must be available when your loved one needs medication, assistance with house chores, meals, or other help.

When your loved one needs round-the-clock assistance or more than one person to help them, a retirement community may be the best option. At an assisted living or memory care community, your loved one is never alone, and you have complete peace of mind. Copper Canyon’s trained and licensed staff is available 24/7, ensuring that your loved one receives the assistance that they need at any time of the day or night.

When you cannot manage their care and treatment yourself

If you’ve been the sole caregiver for your loved one, you’ve done your best to ensure they get the best care. But if you’re not a professional caregiver, it can be difficult to manage their care and treatment plan on your own. There are medications, appointments, lifestyle factors, and personal care activities to assist them with, in addition to the responsibilities of your own life. If you’re finding it difficult to implement your loved one’s recommended care and treatment plans, it’s time to get help.

The professionals at Copper Canyon are experts at ensuring that your loved one adheres to all their medical and lifestyle recommendations. You can rest easy knowing that your loved one is receiving customized, Person-Centered Care.

When you experience caregiver burnout

Because we love our friends and family, we do everything we can to help them. We cook for them, clean their homes, go shopping for them, take them to appointments, and keep them company when they’re no longer able to attend social events like they used to.

But all these additional activities, coupled with the emotional strain of caring for a loved one, can lead to a phenomenon called Caregiver Burnout. According to WebMD, Caregiver Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t receive needed support, or if they repeatedly exceed their physical or financial capabilities. Caregivers can experience fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression, and often feel guilty if they spend time on themselves rather than with their loved ones.

If you ignore the signs of burnout, you risk decreasing the quality of your loved one’s care, resenting your loved one, or otherwise damaging your relationship. If you are experiencing Caregiver Burnout, it may be time to relocate your loved one to a retirement community.

When you want to upgrade their quality of life

While in-home care may keep your loved one in an environment with which they’re familiar, there are distinct lifestyle advantages to relocating them to a retirement community. At Copper Canyon, they’ll experience spacious, comfortable accommodations, deliciously prepared meals, beautiful grounds, and friendly, caring neighbors and staff. This can be a major upgrade from the monotony and potential loneliness of in-home care.

And you can still see and speak to them as often as you like! Copper Canyon staff will happily help you arrange a video call or safe in-person visit with your loved one once state and local mandates allow.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Copper Canyon, contact our friendly team today.

This community shares its methods for keeping residents and staff safe

If you or a loved one lives at a retirement community, you have likely been extra cautious during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the coronavirus, like all viruses, spreads in close quarters, extra precautions have been taken to protect residents and staff at retirement communities.

The staff at Stone Valley Assisted Living and Memory Care in Reno, Nevada, has been successful in keeping the community COVID-19-free. They’re sharing their effective virus prevention methods. Here’s how they did it:

Keeping the Community Clean

The staff at Stone Valley has always been diligent about maintaining a clean and healthy environment for residents. But now, the cleaning staff is going above and beyond. The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily. The Stone Valley staff has taken this recommendation very seriously and are diligently cleaning surfaces throughout the day to prevent germs from spreading.

Limiting Visitation and Public Contact

Like many other illnesses, the coronavirus spreads between humans in close quarters. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. People in the area can possibly contract COVID-19 if the person coughing or sneezing is infected.
As you can imagine, this can cause problems in a tight-knit retirement community like Stone Valley. Therefore, it’s important to prevent the virus from entering the community in the first place. To prevent both staff and residents from exposure to the coronavirus, Stone Valley temporarily altered its visitation policies according to the recommendations from the CDC. While the community is normally open for family and friends to visit, visitation is currently restricted. The community’s visitation policy continues to be subject to state and local regulations. In addition, all people entering the community are being screened at the entrance to the building for symptoms or exposure to the virus, including residents and staff.

The community is still welcoming new residents. However, virtual tours of the property are recommended. For those who wish to have an in-person tour, such tours are being conducted by appointment only, for no more than two people at a time. All touring visitors must be screened at the entrance, wash their hands, and wear a mask while inside the community. While in the building, the touring visitor must remain with their tour guide staff member and to stay six feet away from each other and others within the community.

Keeping Up With Official Recommendations

It seems new information about the virus is being discovered every day. Luckily, there are official organizations responsible for staying updated on the latest statistics and research. It’s important to maintain familiarity with the recommendations of these official organizations, namely the CDC and WHO. Stone Valley has kept up with and implemented the safety recommendations from both the CDC and WHO, including disinfection procedures, social distancing, hand washing, masks, and other virus prevention measures. In addition, the community remains in contact with state and local health officials for any updates on local regulations and information.

Internally, the community’s leadership has made certain that every single member of the community’s staff is knowledgeable about the community’s virus precautions and procedures, as well as any changes.

Testing for Residents

Stone Valley’s parent company, Sunshine Retirement Living, partnered with Vikor Scientific to bring Respira-ID tests to all communities. Any residents or staff with symptoms are given a test to determine their viral status. Any new residents are also tested and screened prior to move-in in accordance with CDC guidelines.

The diligence of the Stone Valley team has protected residents and staff throughout this pandemic, keeping the community free of COVID-19.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Stone Valley, contact our friendly team today.

Routines Are Grounding And Calming For Stone Valley Community Residents

As humans, we love routine and predictability. And for seniors who have had the same routines possibly for decades, those routines are even more comforting. In particular, those with memory challenges benefit immensely from routines. Routines can help someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s know what to expect throughout their day, as well as continue to perform tasks and activities on their own for longer, leading to greater confidence.

At Stone Valley Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Reno, Nevada, Person-Centered routines are central to resident life. The community is set up to provide residents with stable routines focused on wellness and cognitive support.

Individualized Care and Resident Routines

Familiar routines are essential to memory care residents’ quality of life. Since people experiencing memory challenges find routines to be calming and grounding, Stone Valley ensures that residents’ familiar routines are maintained to the extent possible. These routines include their sleep schedule, hygiene routines, clothing preferences, and eating schedule.

At Stone Valley, the community’s trained and licensed staff ensure that they get to know every resident as an individual, which makes it possible to provide residents with personalized care. Staff members are also available 24/7, ensuring that residents the individualized assistance that they need at any time of the day or night. Residents’ families and friends can have complete peace of mind that their loved one is never alone.

Socialization and Activities

Many retirement communities plan weekly events and outings to entertain their residents. But Stone Valley plans events specifically for residents with memory challenges, which are intended to nurture cognitive function as well as provide socialization. Regular positive interactions with others can not only improve residents’ mood but also provides residents with a sense of inclusion as well as a strengthened sense of time and place. Social interactions also boost residents’ self-esteem, which in turn supports better sleep habits, healthier eating habits, and more interest in exercise.

The activities are planned by an experienced Life Enrichment Director, who specifically chooses activities to support cognition. These activities include table games and word games, which research suggests are beneficial for maintaining cognitive function. Residents also enjoy music therapy, where the community focuses on providing era-specific music to bring back fond memories and decrease anxiety.

Unique 24/7 Dining Program

Mealtimes are one of the cornerstone routines that residents rely upon every single day. That’s why Stone Valley’s unique 24/7 dining program, like everything else at the community, is built to support residents’ well-being. The community’s daily menu incorporates foods from the Rush University Medical Center MIND diet, which research suggests fosters brain health. Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and lean proteins regularly make an appearance on the menu. The chef is also trained and happy to accommodate residents with dietary needs due to various health restrictions, such as low gluten and sugar-free diets, and much more. And how meals are served matters. Entrees are served on colored plates to stimulate appetite and increase food recognition. A server greets each resident individually with multiple daily menu choices.

Community Design

Understandably, moving from one’s home to a retirement community can cause a disruption in daily routine. Luckily, Stone Valley’s community has been designed to make the transition as smooth as possible, allowing residents to settle into a safe, comfortable routine as quickly as possible. All of the residents’ living spaces are specifically designed with consistent, flat flooring, accessible bathroom safety features, and safety pull cords. Residents also wear location-based pendants for an extra layer of security. Finally, the community common areas and outdoor grounds are designed to be both safe and secure as well as conducive to residents living a full, engaged life.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Stone Valley, contact our friendly team today.