Navigating the Conversation: Discussing Senior Living After the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for joy, reflection, and spending precious moments with loved ones. However, it can also be a period when we notice changes in the health and well-being of our family members, especially as they age. If you’ve spent the holidays with a loved one and observed signs that they may need extra assistance or can no longer live independently at home, initiating a conversation about moving into a senior living community is a delicate but crucial step.

Here are some thoughtful tips on how to approach this conversation with empathy, respect, and understanding:

1. Choose the Right Time and Place: Begin the conversation in a quiet and comfortable environment where you can talk privately without distractions. Ensure there is enough time for an open and honest discussion, avoiding busy or stressful periods.

2. Express Your Concerns with Love: Start the conversation by expressing your love and concern for their well-being. Use “I” statements to share your observations and feelings, emphasizing that your intention is to ensure their safety and happiness.

Example: “I’ve noticed that things seem a bit challenging for you at home, and I’m genuinely concerned about your well-being. I want to make sure you have the support you need to be comfortable and happy.”

3. Focus on Specific Observations: Share specific instances or observations from the holiday season that raised your concern. Be gentle and avoid sounding accusatory. This helps your loved one understand that your suggestion is based on genuine observations rather than assumptions.

Example: “During the holidays, I noticed you struggled with [specific tasks]. It made me realize that you might benefit from additional support and assistance.”

4. Acknowledge Their Feelings: Recognize that this is a sensitive topic, and your loved one may have mixed emotions about the idea of moving into a senior living community. Allow them to express their feelings and validate their concerns without dismissing them.

Example: “I understand that this might be a difficult topic, and I want to hear how you feel about it. Your emotions are important, and I’m here to support you.”

5. Present Senior Living Options Positively: Research senior living communities in advance and highlight the positive aspects of genuine wellbeing. Emphasize the social opportunities, professional care that you might not be able to give or can’t do any more, potential improvements in your relationship with them after going from a care giver to loved one again, and safety measures these communities offer. Discuss how such a move can enhance their quality of life.

Example: “I’ve looked into some senior living communities, and they have fantastic amenities and activities that I think you would enjoy. It could be an opportunity to make new friends and receive the care you need.”

6. Involve Them in the Decision-Making Process: Make your loved one an active participant in the decision-making process. Discuss the available options together, consider their preferences, and address any concerns they may have.

Example: “I want us to explore these options together. Your input is crucial, and we can work together to find the best solution that ensures your comfort and happiness.”

Initiating a conversation about moving into a senior living community can be challenging, but it’s an essential step toward ensuring the well-being of your loved one. Approach the discussion with empathy, patience, and a commitment to finding the best solution for their unique needs. By involving them in the decision-making process and focusing on the positive aspects of senior living, you can help ease the transition and create a plan that prioritizes their safety and happiness.

Food for Thought: Our Memory Care Program’s Approach to Dining

In honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Month, The Ashford spotlights a core aspect of our memory care program– the specially designed menu. With a dedicated focus on active senior living lifestyles, we acknowledge the pivotal role that food choices play in the lives of our residents.

An essential aspect of daily life, food takes center stage, growing in significance as we age and becoming increasingly vital for our overall health. Studies have shown strong links between diet and its potential to support memory.

Mealtime at The Ashford is a delicious blend of nutritious food options and opportunities to bring our residents joy through family-style dining. Here, food supports a greater mission to deliver genuine care that enhances the quality of life for all seniors we serve.

Brain-Boosting Nutrients

The link between healthy eating and cognitive function is well-established in the memory care field. Research consistently highlights the impact of nutrients on reinforcing cognitive abilities and slowing decline.

One example is the MIND Diet, a brain-healthy diet developed by experts at Harvard University. The diet has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The MIND Diet is based on the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

Essential features of this diet include:

  • High intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein. This includes healthy fats, like olive oil.
  • Low intake of saturated fat and cholesterol & added limitations on red meat, sugar and refined carbs.

Another study by Harvard Health recommends five key foods that are linked to brainpower and healthy heart and blood vessels:

  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Fatty fish
  • Berries
  • Tea & coffee
  • Walnuts

Our team emphasizes similar nutritionally dense superfoods for residents’ overall health and well-being.

Enhancing Accessibility

For memory care residents, ensuring meal accessibility is crucial. Each of our communities has its own Executive Chef. Meals are served three times daily in our community dining room, with wide-ranging options to suit individual tastes.

We also apply practical adjustments to our residents’ cuisine, like offering boneless chicken and bite-sized sandwiches, making food finger-friendly and easy to consume.

Alzheimer’s can change perceptions of color. For this reason, mealtimes feature red plates, backed by research findings on the impact of color on eating habits.

Likewise, staff carefully monitors residents’ eating habits, preferences and needs. We work to make enjoyable food that is nutritious and appealing.

Community & Wellbeing

We encourage our residents to savor every moment. This includes mealtimes, which we spotlight as daily highlights.

Aligned in many ways with the Alzheimer’s Association’s recommendations for dining, our evidence-based approach aims to provide the highest quality of life and independence possible. Family-style dining for every meal fosters a social environment where residents enjoy nourishing meals alongside meaningful interactions.

Additionally, the team regularly hosts themed dining events promoting active senior living, such as weekly baking therapy and cooking classes. Activities like these allow residents to experience social engagement, practice fine motor skills and improve cognitive function while making brain-healthy treats.

See an example of our weekly activity schedule here.

Life and Dining at The Ashford

At The Ashford, mealtime is just one example of our commitment to translating wellness into all aspects of daily life. By crafting a dining experience that meets the needs and preferences of our residents, we aim to spark joy in every bite and make meals moments of shared community.

If you are looking for memory care that values a genuine home, personalized care and tasty food choices for your loved one, The Ashford might be a great fit. We invite you to select your community of interest here and contact us to learn more.

Mental Health Recommendations from AARP

At The Ashford, we prioritize genuine wellness. Genuine wellness isn’t solely tied to physical health. It entails social, emotional, and financial health, all of which are cornerstones for the services we offer our residents. Mental health is significantly interconnected with physical health, and being part of a supportive community can greatly relieve stress and combat isolation.

Most people would agree that improved well-being is a desirable goal. Fortunately, there are some ways you can promote well-being for yourself and your loved ones. For practical tips on how to enhance your mental health, check out this AARP article here.

Long-Term Care Planning Month

October is Long-Term Care Planning Month! The Ashford of Beavercreek is proud to join the rest of the community in acknowledging this month as an opportunity to promote the importance of planning for the future.

The Importance of Planning

Whether it is for our loved ones or ourselves, the core focus of Long-Term Care Planning Month is to recognize the need to plan ahead in order to successfully navigate the future together. As we age, unforeseen medical challenges, expenses and care needs can emerge. Recognizing potential long-term care options and associated costs is crucial but can also be daunting.

In the United States, an estimated 8.3 million people require long-term care. Planning for long-term care often involves considering various options, including retirement communities. However, for many of us, senior living is a topic we rarely think about until it directly impacts our lives or those of our loved ones. Regardless of where you stand in the planning process, particularly if you are experiencing this with a loved one, understanding their needs, gaining financial insights and exploring available options are essential.

Exploring Your Options & Planning Ahead

Exploring your options or helping a loved one understand theirs can be a meaningful way to begin thinking about long-term care.

Advocacy for your loved ones goes hand in hand with early needs assessment and developing a customized long-term care plan that suits your family’s unique requirements. If you are helping a loved one plan, advocating for them and grasping their needs can be a valuable way to prepare for potential changes in their circumstances. Communication is key. The best thing caregivers can do is to anticipate and support their aging loved ones through regular check-ins should their needs evolve.

A long-term care plan doesn’t come together overnight – it’s a process, and most times, it’s collaborative. Sometimes the solution is to provide the needed support to age in place. Other times, retirement communities are the most suitable choice.

Care Options

According to A Place for Mom, 7 out of 10 people will require senior assisted living at some point. Nationwide, retirement communities are becoming an increasingly sought-after option for those who need long-term care. Senior assisted living services offer personalized care, providing the necessary support and assistance for older adults.

Based on the level of need, independent living could be ideal if your loved one is seeking the benefits of a community and a maintenance-free lifestyle, but doesn’t need daily assistance.

The Ashford of Beavercreek takes a unique approach by providing comprehensive wellness encompassing physical, social, emotional, and financial aspects to support your loved one and assist your family in the long-term care planning process. We offer individualized care across assisted living, independent living, and memory care, allowing our residents to remain in a supportive community should their needs evolve.

To learn more about our community structure and how we can support long-term care plans, click here.

Balancing Care and Dignity for Your Loved One

Caregivers play a vital role in ensuring the safety and well-being of their loved ones, especially those in need of assisted care. However, they also must balance this priority with the need to respect their loved ones’ dignity and independence.

This isn’t always easy, but there are some things that caregivers can do to strike the right balance. Together, you can navigate a new normal that ensures the best of both worlds.

If you’re looking for further insights on this topic, check out this AARP article, which delves deeper into finding the right balance between care and dignity. Their suggestions include:

  • Open conversations about change
  • Addressing safety concerns
  • Maintaining independence in all aspects of life where it’s possible

The “ideal” caregiving relationship isn’t the same for every family. However, many seniors and their families may find it easier to achieve a fulfilling balance by looking into a senior living community like The Ashford of Beavercreek.

The Ashford of Beavercreek offers a full continuum of care, including maintenance-free independent living for seniors, where cleaning, housework, and meal preparations can be community-managed. Our assisted care provides support from a dedicated nursing team, allowing caregivers to focus on being present and fully enjoy the time spent with their loved ones.

No matter the situation, it’s important to prioritize your loved one’s safety, dignity and wellness, as well as your own. By doing so, you can create an encouraging environment that allows them to live their best life.

For more information about programs that provide assisted care or independent living for seniors, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here.

The Ashford of Beavercreek, Wallick’s Newest Senior Living Community, Featured in Dayton Magazine

“The Ashford of Beavercreek compliments adjoining senior focused communities by offering assisted living and memory care services and completing the continuum of care, allowing the senior residents of Beavercreek and surrounding areas to stay close to home near family and friends.” – Matt Loges, Regional Executive Director, Wallick Senior Living

Dayton Magazine recently featured The Ashford of Beavercreek, Wallick’s newest senior living community, in their Summer 2023 edition. Our community will offer independent living, assisted living and memory care services for seniors in a supportive and vibrant setting. The Ashford Team is thrilled to open doors in the Beavercreek and Dayton area, and we cannot wait to welcome our new residents in the coming months!

Likewise, we look forward to enriching our senior living residents’ experience with on-and-offsite activities that revolve around genuine wellness and actively promote community-based partnerships with local organizations and businesses.

Read the full article here.

Why Moving Your Loved One Into a Memory Care Community is the Best Thing You Can Do – For Them and For You

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a challenging and emotional experience. Over 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. As your family member’s condition progresses, you may find it increasingly difficult to provide the level of care they need while managing other responsibilities in your life. In such cases, it may be time to consider moving your loved one into memory care rather than continuing to live at home.

Our brand-new senior living community at The Ashford of Beavercreek features a specialized memory care program designed to offer services and amenities that help residents maintain their independence and quality of life. Residents will receive optimized care and support through our award-winning cognitive and ability-based neighborhoods.

Here are some reasons why moving into memory care can be the best decision for your loved one if they are displaying signs of dementia:

1. Specialized care

Our Ashford communities across the state are staffed by tenured professionals trained to provide varying levels of specialized senior care. They understand the unique needs of your loved one, and our team personalizes care by weaving your loved one’s story – their hobbies, interests, needs and history – into daily routines.

2. Safety and security

The best senior living communities are designed with safety and security in mind. At The Ashford, we have secure entrances and exits, as well as other safety features to help prevent wandering and other potential risks associated with dementia.

3. Socialization

Dementia can be a very isolating condition, for both your loved one and for you. We offer a variety of socialization opportunities to help residents stay engaged and connected with others. Our on-and-off-campus activities are proven to stimulate residents’ senses and engage their interests, ranging from the soothing power of music and the therapeutic joy of gardening to the simple pleasures of a warm morning coffee and heartfelt conversations.

4. Access to medical care

The Ashford has medical professionals on staff or on-call, which can be a valuable resource for residents who require medical attention. Our caregivers receive 5x more training than the state requires. In addition, we have relationships with local healthcare providers familiar with senior living in Beavercreek and the needs of our residents.

5. Peace of mind

Seeking senior care can be a difficult decision, but it can also bring peace of mind to both you and your loved one. The mental toll of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia runs deep, with almost one-third of caregivers experiencing persistent depression. At a memory care community, you can rest assured they are receiving the care and support they need while enjoying a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle.

If your loved one is displaying signs of dementia, moving into memory care can be the best decision for their health, safety and overall quality of life. It can be a difficult decision, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone on this journey. We are here for you.

The Ashford will provide independent living, assisted living and memory care in Beavercreek when we open our doors in the coming months. Contact us here to receive the latest news and updates from our team.