Wit and Wisdom Blog for Atria Senior Living

      Wit and Wisdom      

a new view on growing older

Why do people move into a senior living community?


Posted on July 16, 2021 by Admin


Nearly every older adult in the U.S. has to answer this question at some point: Is senior living right for me? According to polling data, older adults in the U.S. are more likely to live alone, or with only a spouse or a partner – a living arrangement at odds with the global norm, which is an extended family household. Cultural and economic factors play into household size, but one reason people in the U.S. decide to move into a senior living community is because it provides the comfort and engagement of an extended family. Here are just a few reasons why. 

Home versus community 

Older adults who move into senior living communities choose either independent living or assisted living options that are right for them, and they enjoy the added benefit of being able to call someone on staff to fix any maintenance or upkeep issue. They also benefit from caregiver support and ongoing assessments, which provide the peace of mind of knowing that they have discreet, 24/7 assistance whenever they need it. 

Dining, relaxing, connecting 

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” That’s a quote from Virginia Woolf, and she has a point: Food nourishes our minds as well as our bodies, and a quality senior living community prides itself on the range of its dining options and the caliber of its service.  

Being able to access all-inclusive dining means that residents don’t have to shop or cook for themselves if they don’t want to. Plus, residents stay connected and engaged over chef-prepared meals in the restaurant, or anywhere else in the community – at a happy hour around the pool, relaxing in the salon or spa, or crossing paths in the library or the bistro. Just steps outside the residents’ doors, all of these amenities are thoughtfully designed to promote well-being and a sense of togetherness. 

 The Atria family 

The key benefit of moving into a senior living community like Atria is that it fosters the sense of belonging to a family. Residents become friends with the staff, stay active and go on outings – and they relax in the security that comes with making Atria their home. 

 

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about Atria, visit AtriaSeniorLiving.com/FindACommunity to discover the location nearest you.  


Category: Active Aging, Community, Lifestyle, Wit & Wisdom

The advantages of living in a senior community


Posted on July 9, 2021 by Admin


Right now, around one million U.S. adults live in some type of senior living community – a figure that is expected to double by 2030. Polls taken within the last few years indicate as many as three out of four U.S. adults aged 50 and older want to stay at home for as long as they can, or find some aging-in-place alternative, since home provides a sense of familiarity and choice. Community living, however, offers residents many advantages of home without the burdens of homeownership. Here are just a few of those advantages.  

Finding the right accommodation 

One of the difficulties of living at home as you age is that your house doesn’t change with your needs. Granted, homeowners can remodel with aging-in-place modifications, but those can quickly become expensive.  

When residents move into a senior living community, however, they don’t feel that tension between the size of the space around them and the smaller scale of their needs. Instead, a care professional will evaluate them and recommend moving into either independent living or assisted living options – whichever one fits their lifestyle and preferences the best. In an independent living community, residents might live in an apartment or a villa, with easy access to community-wide events. In an assisted living option, residents enjoy all the perks of independent living with the added benefit of discreet, 24/7 caregiver support. 

Leading an enriched life 

As any homeowner knows, the real burden of a house isn’t the mortgage – it’s the upkeep. Houses seem to generate their own to-dos, which means you’re stuck mowing the lawn every weekend, power-washing the driveway or spending even more money just to keep things in working order.  

At a senior living community, residents don’t have to worry about constant maintenance issues. If anything breaks, the staff can fix it with just a single call. The same convenience applies to household chores – all that is done for you, which frees you up to spend your days doing whatever you want. That might include celebrating holidays, visiting with friends or taking part in workshops and series like guest lectures from renowned professors, exercise classes and happy hours around the pool. 

Pursuing passions 

Part of doing whatever you want means dedicating time to the things that bring you joy – be it writing, painting, exercising, dancing or discovering a new interest. A quality senior living community will foster an environment where residents tap their creativity and rediscover the things that have always brought them meaning. 

 The Atria advantage 

At Atria, we believe where you live can determine how well you live, which is why we build our communities to provide residents all the advantages of home without the burdens of homeownership. Read about residents who welcome the possibilities of each day at Atria, and contact us to tour one of our communities.  

 

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about Atria, visit AtriaSeniorLiving.com/FindACommunity to discover the location nearest you.  


Category: Active Aging, Community, Lifestyle, Wit & Wisdom

What’s it like to live in a senior living community?


Posted on June 29, 2021 by Admin


In 1950, the share of U.S. adults over the age of 65 was 8%. By 2050, that stat is expected to reach 22%. Never before in human history have so many lived so long, and now the question on the minds of many seniors in the U.S. is where they want to live. Research shows that most older adults would prefer to live at home – but they may change their minds if they knew what life was like at a senior living community. Here’s a look into what a senior living community is like.  

Making the switch 

One of the first changes that people are likely to encounter once they move into a senior living community is the community aspect. A quality senior living community will provide workshops and events that offer opportunities for residents to stay connected – going on trips, watching movies or seeing each other in the restaurant. Rather than living on a block where you may or may not know your neighbors, in a community you get to know other residents, their families and caregivers, and other staff. 

Support and freedom 

Residents find the right senior living options for them, whether it’s independent living or assisted living. They enjoy discreet daily support – if needed – or greater freedom in their schedules because the community takes care of household tasks. Plus, senior living communities let families be families again. 

Hospitality-driven experiences 

Another plus that a senior living community provides is the culinary options that await residents. No matter where the community is located, it should provide its residents with menus catered to regional preferences. Many accomplished chefs leave the restaurant world for senior living kitchens because they enjoy the camaraderie they develop with residents – and they delight in the opportunities to craft dishes the community loves. 

Find your community 

When you put all that together – a place where people know each other, living options catered to individual needs and preferences, and outstanding dining experiences – senior living communities come with all the benefits of home without any of the burdens of homeownership. Listen to some of the testimonials from our residents – and contact us to experience one of our communities firsthand. 

 

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about Atria, visit AtriaSeniorLiving.com/FindACommunity to discover the location nearest you.  


Category: Active Aging, Community, Lifestyle, Wit & Wisdom

Would my parent benefit from moving into a senior living community?


Posted on June 16, 2021 by Admin


Many older adults reach the stage where they ask themselves whether they’d prefer to stay at home or move into a senior living community. People enjoy living at home because it’s familiar and they view home as the place where they connect with friends and family. Senior living communities , however, offer all those advantages and more . Here are just a few of the ways that residents benefit from senior living communities .

Staying connected

Perhaps the core benefit of a senior living community is that it fosters an environment where residents stay engaged with other people so much that the atmosphere is like a family. That familial warmth extends to the interactions between other residents, their families and staff members, which helps create a feeling of belonging that anchors an entire community.

Receiving consistent care

Senior living communities assess residents before they move in to determine the care services they could benefit from the most (if they need it). Afterwards, other assessments are conducted regularly to ensure that residents are healthy and enjoying the benefits of the right senior living option . That way, children and family members can enjoy the time they spend with their parents, knowing they are receiving the care they need.

Pursuing passions

Once older adults join a community, they often find their list of daily to-dos shrinks, which allows them to rediscover the passions they always enjoyed. A good senior living community will also provide residents with ample opportunities to explore new interests – listening to guest lectures on a bevy of topics, painting outside or swimming in the pool.

Providing a healthy lifestyle

Research indicates that community living is often a healthier option for older adults, providing a suite of benefits that can’t be found at home. Take a look at our breakdown of the moving vs. staying debate – and contact us to see how Atria can help benefit you.

 

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about Atria, visit  AtriaSeniorLiving.com / FindACommunity  to discover the location nearest you. 


Category: Active Aging, Caregiver Support, Community, Lifestyle, Wit & Wisdom

Independent living, assisted living and nursing homes: What’s the difference?


Posted on June 8, 2021 by Admin


People who aren’t familiar with senior living communities sometimes assume that they are all the same. But the distinctions between three of the major senior living options – independent living, assisted living and nursing homes – can be substantial. So here are some helpful points of clarification on the differences between each one. 

Independent living 

If you are an older adult leading an active lifestyle, you are probably best suited for an independent living community. Your residence options might include an apartment, a villa or a duplex. The staff in the community takes care of household tasks, which frees up your schedule to do  things that you love – whether it’s traveling, hiking in the mountains with your son or getting to know other residents. You can also enjoy community events such as exercise classes, guest lecture series or happy hours. Think of independent living as an option that gives you all the comforts of home without any of the burdens of homeownership. 

Assisted living 

Older adults who choose assisted living housing options want to enjoy chef-prepared meals, group outings and help with household tasks just like independent living options, with the added benefit of caregiver support available 24/7. Residents can select a range of assistance options. Some residents may benefit from living in memory care neighborhoods. Others may ask for assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, grooming and safety checks. Assisted living communities often employ full-time licensed nurses or a physician to serve as another layer of professional, discreet support. 

Nursing homes 

The function of a nursing home is to provide medical assistance to seniors who need round-the-clock monitoring and care. The residents who live in nursing homes often have conditions best treated with long-term palliative care or prescription medication administration. They may also require specialized rehabilitative services such as speech or occupational therapy. The primary focus of nursing homes is to provide 24-hour supervision and medical attention. 

At Atria, we offer independent living and assisted living options customized to individual preferences – whether residents are looking to be free of the burdens of homeownership or need discreet daily support. No matter how much – or how little – assistance any given resident would prefer, contact us to see how we can cater to your individual needs. 

 

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about Atria, visit AtriaSeniorLiving.com/FindACommunity to discover the location nearest you. 


Category: Active Aging, Caregiver Support, Community, Dementia & Memory Care, Lifestyle, Wit & Wisdom

Three ways that senior living communities benefit older adults


Posted on June 2, 2021 by Admin


At a certain point, older adults often have the conversation with their adult children about whether it makes more sense for them to remain in their homes or to join a senior living community. The decision is a crucial one. Considering the emerging research on the importance of social and emotional support from others, becoming part of a community that cares about you can be better for your health and well-being than living in your home. Here are just a few reasons why.  

They’re convenient 

Residents who move into senior living communities often remark that they feel relief after downsizing and moving out of their homes, in large part because being a homeowner means shouldering the responsibilities of mowing the lawn, fixing the gate latch whenever it breaks or calling the plumber when the sink clogs. At a senior living community, the staff does all that work for you, so you can spend your day doing the things you love. Plus, the amenities that might span a town or neighborhood – gyms, movie theaters, patios, pubs, salons – are all located within your new community, and the convenience of that proximity would make anyone feel at home. 

They offer opportunities to learn and grow 

On the subject of convenience: Not only are the amenities nearby – so are other residents. Moving into a new community means finding new opportunities to make friends. People who have lived in their home for decades sometimes realize one day that they don’t know anyone on the street, or they stopped popping by neighbors’ houses years ago. Life at a high-quality senior living community should include a calendar of guest lectures, exercise programs, painting classes and other chances to meet residents who live down the hall or across the courtyard. Those workshops and series foster chances to seek connections with other people, and rediscover interests such as intellectual topics, athletics or other subjects that residents are passionate about. 

They let families be families again 

Older adults also tend to find that when they move into a senior living community, any strain in their family relationships eases up, because the staff provides the care that was previously done by their adult children when they lived at home. Look for a quality of care at a senior living community that empowers older adults to enjoy a high quality of life – which includes reconnecting with their children as children, rather than as caregivers. 

Home means security, comfort and safety. That’s why Atria Senior Living offers residents the familiarity and peace of mind of home with the added benefit of the fun and vibrancy of a built-in community. As we like to say here: People belong together. 

 

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about Atria, visit AtriaSeniorLiving.com/FindACommunity to discover the location nearest you. 


Category: Active Aging, Community, Lifestyle, Wit & Wisdom

Caring for the world’s wisest people


Posted on May 3, 2021 by Admin


Atria Senior Living’s care services are backed by our industry-leading quality standards. In our communities that offer care services, the Resident Services Director – who is also a licensed nurse – assesses each resident’s physical, emotional and functional needs prior to move-in, and then on an as-needed basis following that initial care plan.

How assessments work

Because the well-being of residents is our top priority, we pride ourselves on the rigor with which we conduct assessments. Here’s how the process works:

  • Prior to a new resident moving into Atria, a licensed nurse will visit the resident to review medications and develop an essential drug list.
  • A physician will review the assessment before it’s shared with the resident and his or her family. Atria will conduct another assessment the day the new resident moves in, and add it into our system to help caregivers organize their days and meet residents’ needs.
  • Following those initial assessments, Atria will conduct further assessments to determine whether a decrease or increase in care services is needed.

Discreet care is available 24 hours a day, and services generally fall into these three categories: personal care (bathing, grooming, getting dressed and safety checks); medication assistance (reminders, consultations with physicians and pharmacies and ongoing reviews with a nurse); and incontinent management (daytime and overnight assistance).

Some Atria communities also offer memory care, geared toward older adults experiencing the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Memory care neighborhoods are located in thoughtfully designed, secure spaces within a community.

Care and Engage Life®

The Engage Life department adds another layer of support to the licensed nurses and caregivers within an Atria community.

“Engage Life and care and social work – they’re all interlocked,” Beth Levi, Engage Life Director at Atria Forest Hills, said. “In my role, I have the opportunity to monitor residents through the activities they’re doing. I see them on a daily basis. So if I notice a change in condition, I can coordinate with the care team.”

Engage Life Directors create programs and workshops that enhance residents’ lives through social connection and lifelong learning, which is one reason Levi is looped into the part of the assessment process for new or prospective residents: She learns about a resident’s care needs and assistance levels, and then personalizes the community events calendar so that there are plenty of opportunities tailored to each individual.

“When a new resident moves in, I take all the programs we offer, and then I go over it with them,” Levi said. “They pick out what they like and we make a personalized schedule, so when they move in, it’s all set in their minds – ‘This is what I’m going to be doing.’ The calendar is adaptable and changeable, and based upon their interests and needs.”

The Atria advantage

“The differentiator in Atria’s care is our preparation, our response, our protocols, our internal Quality Enhancement review process,” Joanna Mansfield, Atria’s Senior Vice President of Care and Life Guidance, shared. “We have stringent guidelines. We have checks and balances to make sure residents’ needs are being fulfilled.”

Those stringent guidelines are the result of being so attentive to residents’ well-being. When it comes to a community’s Resident Services Director, Atria only hires nurses with a clinical skill set and management experience who are also familiar with working with older adults. That attention to detail required in their jobs helps give nurses and caregivers the structure necessary to provide the best care for the world’s wisest people.

 

Discover how empowering the right care can be at Atria Senior Living at ExploreAtriaCare.com.


Category: Active Aging, Caregiver Support, Community, Dementia & Memory Care, Our Team, Wit & Wisdom

Home is where the anchor drops


Posted on April 6, 2021 by Admin


St. Catharines, Ontario, about 12 miles northwest of Niagara Falls isn’t exactly known for its abundance of tropical plants, but that hasn’t stopped Gloria – an Atria resident at Anchor Pointe – from surrounding herself with flowers that might better thrive in Costa Rica than Canada.

Gloria has decorated her apartment with philodendrons and coleus, dracaenas and peace lilies, a schefflera tree that’s now over six feet tall – just to name a few – plus a red ceramic pot filled with red anthuriums. “They look like hearts,” Gloria said. “That’s why I love them. And I have six lavender mist orchids with a variety of ferns combined in the pot. I love mixing my colors. It speaks to me.”

“Follow your mind and your heart”

Gloria grew up in Toronto, about an hour north of Anchor Pointe. Her father was a millwright and traveled for work – everywhere from Alaska to Newfoundland and Labrador – and while he was away, the family chores sussed out so that Gloria handled the gardening, a task she loved from the start.

“I would plant onions and vegetables and cultivate them in the backyard. It wasn’t ever work – it was always a joy, and I always brought little flowers inside for my mother,” she explained.

As an adult, Gloria took classes to become a floral designer. At the end of her courses, the instructor told her, “Out of this class of 22 people, you are going to be the one who has a business.”

He was right. In the summer of 1963, Gloria opened a floral shop. “We had the whole kaleidoscope of anything commercial, from your everyday carnations to orchids and everything in between,” Gloria said.

She ran the shop for 39 years, before closing it in 2002. She still tells her children (“and anyone who will listen”) to make sure to love what you do for a living and not let anybody interfere. In Gloria’s words: “Follow your mind and your heart and you’ll be very happy.”

Discovering Anchor Pointe

In the years after she closed her shop, Gloria explored other interests. She freelanced as an interior designer for a close friend (who liked her work so much that he hired her to landscape his backyard). She planned parties. And she watched her kids mature into adults and follow their minds and hearts – her daughter Carla, who started helping around at her shop when she was only three, now manages a floral shop and garden center; another daughter, Andrea, is now semi-retired but worked as a hairdresser; and her son, Michael, an electrical contractor who owns his business.

When Gloria was thinking about moving to a senior living residence, Michael researched some of the nearby communities and found Anchor Pointe first.

They had two other community visits scheduled, but when Gloria walked into Anchor Pointe and looked around – seeing the chandelier, the high ceiling and people dining in an atmosphere of ease and comfort – she said, “Michael, cancel the other appointments. I’ve just found home.”

Coming “home”

Had she known about Anchor Pointe before, Gloria said she would have moved in sooner.

“The grounds are lovely,” she stated. “The backyard has a garden, and beautiful trees. There’s a forest in the back. Having the plants around and the grounds being as they are gives you peace of mind. The place is so well taken care of.”

Gloria has replicated the beauty she finds outdoors at Anchor Pointe inside her apartment with the flowers she’s loved all her life.

“When I open my eyes to greet another day and I see their color, it invigorates me. I touch them. I water them. I clean them,” she said. “I’ve made many friends at Anchor Pointe, but the flowers are also my companions, and they remind me of that part of my life that was so important and vital, and I love with my heart and soul.”

When Gloria was moving into Anchor Pointe, Andrea brought her a momento that she picked up while on a vacation: a coffee mug with the words “Home is where the anchor drops.” To Gloria, it seemed so apropos that she’s now added decorations of anchors throughout her apartment – symbols of home mixed in amid her flowers. “I’ve found home and it’s certainly called ‘anchor,’” Gloria exclaimed. “It’s called Anchor Pointe.”

 

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about Atria, visit AtriaSeniorLiving.com/FindACommunity to discover the community nearest you.   


Category: Active Aging, Community, Wit & Wisdom

Introducing Atria Cary


Posted on April 1, 2021 by Admin


At Atria Senior Livingour mission is to serve the needs of older adults and their families. To that end, one of the ways we deliver on that mission is to develop new senior living communities. Our latest such development in the works: Atria Cary in none other than Cary, North Carolina. 

An idyllic setting in the Tar Heel State 

The township of Cary straddles the line between the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain regions of North Carolina, located roughly in the center of the state and between the Chapel Hill-Durham and Raleigh urban centers.  

“Atria Cary is in a beautiful setting  I mean, stunning,” Jamie Floyd, Vice President of Sales Training and New Developments and Acquisitions at Atria, said. “There are miles of trails and greenways that weave around Cary. The town’s not that big, so there’s a lot of walking space and a strong lean toward wellness and outdoor living and activity.” 

Scheduled to open in winter 2021-22, Atria Cary will be one of Atria Senior Living’s communities designed exclusively for older adults seeking independent living. Atria Cary was planned with the area’s trails and greenways in mind, so that residents can find abundant opportunities to get out, be in nature, ride a bike, go for a walk, and so on.  

Touring the grounds 

Atria Cary residents will enjoy amenities such as a wine bar, a movie theater, an art studio, a courtyard, a worship space and more. Being involved in the development, touring the grounds and poring over blueprints, Floyd can already envision what Atria Cary will look like. 

“There won’t be a bad view from any apartment,” she said. “You’ll look out at tall pines that sway in the breeze or the sunset and the amphitheater across the wayIt’s just amazing.” 

 

To learn more about Atria Cary, visit AtriaCary.com.


Category: Active Aging, Community, Our Team, Wit & Wisdom

Sometimes a short time is just right


Posted on March 25, 2021 by Admin


Diane worried about leaving the hospital. She’d been admitted, again, for losing consciousness due to a health issue that caused her blood oxygen level to drop.  

“It’s scary to wake up on the floor and not realize what happened,” she said. “Since I live alone, my family and I decided I should recuperate at Atria to make sure the new treatment plan from my doctor works. If not, somebody will be there to help.” 

Diane is staying at an Atria community while she recuperates. Short-term stays offer older people like her an excellent way to receive the care and support they need while recovering from an illness or surgery. Short-term stay guests enjoy a furnished, private apartment plus all the same services, amenities and social opportunities available to Atria residents.  

A short-term stay is also a great way to see what senior living is like.  

A better outcome

When an older person is discharged from a hospital or rehabilitation facility, their recovery depends largely on following doctors’ orders. Are they taking medications properly? Adhering to their new diet? Keeping follow-up appointments?  

For people who live alone, no longer drive and may possibly be dealing with a number of chronic health conditions, compliance is often a struggle. As a result, their recovery can suffer and they risk a setback, which could lead to another hospital or rehab stay. 

“A lot of short-term stay guests come to Atria due to health issues,” said Karen Devaney, Atria’s National Director of Care Management.  

“Short stays offer a way for people to recover with trained staff available around the clock to make sure they’re doing everything they need to do,” Devaney added. “We also provide their meals, housekeeping, drive them to appointments and offer opportunities to connect with others. 

“Short-term stay guests go through the same initial care assessment as residents before move-in. The care coordination they receive is also the same.”  

So, instead of juggling instructions from numerous healthcare providers, a short-term stay guest can focus on recovering while Atria manages the rest. Care coordination also makes sure everyone involved in a person’s well-being is on the same page – from doctors, nurses and physical therapists to caregivers and family members. 

A quick solution

A short-term stay often comes to the rescue for families facing a sudden or unexpected situation. An older family member may be discharged from the hospital or rehab sooner than anticipated and needs a place to recover. Families may discover an older relative’s living environment is no longer safe.  

“Our door is always open,” stated Pamela Filby, Atria’s Vice President of Sales. “When a person needs to move quickly, a short-term stay provides a furnished apartment on short notice, with support available around the clock.”

Knowing their older relative is safe and cared for gives family members time to more thoughtfully explore their options.  

A welcome change

When it comes to taking a break, short-term stays go both ways.  

Caregivers occasionally need time off to rest and recharge. Maybe they’re planning a vacation with their spouse and children and need to make arrangements for Mom. Since short-term stay guests enjoy the same services, dining options, amenities and social opportunities as residents, the break can be a welcome change for her, too.  

On the other hand, perhaps an older family member would like to enjoy a long visit with relatives in another state but doesn’t want to stay in a hotel or the family’s home.  

“We have regulars,” said Filby. “We jokingly call them ‘frequent fliers.’ It’s a nice way for them to get to know the community. 

“We even have couples who book short-term stays at communities in Florida, just to get away and have everything handled for them.”

A toe in the water

“Sometimes a family is reluctant to make a move and sell the home, even if they’ve started to realize their parent needs more care,” Filby explained. “We suggest families try a temporary stay while sorting things out.”  

For active older adults who don’t need daily support but are ready to downsize and let go of the cooking, cleaning and home maintenance, a short-term stay is an ideal way to try out senior living. After a short-term stay, many realize how much more fulfilling their lives can be when surrounded by daily opportunities to pursue new interests and hobbies in a community of friendly neighbors.  

“I hope more families take advantage of short-term stays because the benefits can be tremendous,” said Filby. 

 

If you or someone you know could benefit from a short-term stay at Atria, visit AtriaSeniorLiving.com/FindACommunity to discover the community nearest you.   

 


Category: Active Aging, Caregiver Support, Dementia & Memory Care, Wit & Wisdom

-->