Wit and Wisdom Blog for Atria Senior Living

      Wit and Wisdom      

a new view on growing older

Billie Jean King and Atria residents team up to redefine aging


Posted on November 16, 2021 by Admin


People are living longer than ever before, and more older adults than ever are reimagining their next chapter of life. Together, legendary tennis champion Billie Jean King and Atria Senior Living residents are harnessing their wisdom and fervor for pursuing passions and goals to be bold in authoring the next chapter of their life story – regardless of age.   

American sports icon, humanitarian and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Billie Jean King recounts in her recent book, All In, the many hurdles she has overcome in writing her own life story. “There’s no greater satisfaction and joy than boldly being yourself or redefining a life chapter – at any age,” King said. “I am inspired by the thousands of older adults who champion their own life story.”   

Atria residents writing their next chapter 

Billie Jean King recently sat down with three Atria residents to talk about their inspiring life stories, their hopes for what’s next in life and their shared wisdom.  

For 94-year-old Sarah, she reflects most on staying true to herself and her chapter of supporting her family as an artist and sculptor. It’s a theme that King connected with as the women’s movement was the cultural moment for many highlights of her long career. Both Billie Jean and Sarah, who is a resident at Atria on Roslyn Harbor, continue their passions by picking up a tennis racket and a paint brush, respectively, every week.   

In Queens, New York, Ira failed music class as a student. But today at 77years old, he leads the Music & Memories program at Atria Forest Hills. His adventurous spirit means artists along the likes of Lady Gaga, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, and Louis Armstrong are featured in each of his classes.   

At Atria Tanglewood, Nanci most enjoys discovering what each day will bring. In retirement, she learned to paint, founded a short story writing group with her neighbors, serves as Resident Council President and volunteers often with elementary school students, who she considers her grandchildren.   

Inspiring others to rewrite their lives 

“We believe people belong together. It is awe-inspiring how the older adults who call Atria home arerewriting what it means topursue passions, regardlessof age or the perception of age,”saidJustin Guest, VicePresident of Resident Engagement at Atria Senior Living. “Weapplaud their boldness, celebrate theiraccomplishments and encourage others tobravely author their life chapter – at whatever age.”  

Share your story 

Atria invites older adults to share how they’re embracing each day to rewrite life asthey know itand redefine what it means to pursue passions later in life. Share your#AtriaNextChapter story on social media and visitAtriaNextChapter.comfor your chance to wina gift package, including an autographed copy of All In by Billie Jean King.  


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

Flu and Cold Prevention for Seniors


Posted on November 12, 2021 by Admin


Fall marks the beginning of flu season in the United States, and adults who are 65 and older are one of the groups at higher risk of developing flu-related symptoms. Because immunity tends to decrease more quickly in older adults, it's important to talk to a physician about getting a flu shot for seniors this fall. Read on for an overview of how to prevent getting the flu and the common cold, symptoms of each, and ways to treat yourself if you do get sick. 

How to Prevent Getting the Flu and Colds 

The best way to prevent getting the flu or a cold is to schedule an appointment for a vaccination. No vaccine is completely effective, but studies suggest that a standard flu shot reduces the risk of contracting the flu by 40–60%Flu vaccines for seniors are recommended for people ages 65 and older.  Medicare, and most insurance plans, cover flu shots, but prices will vary according to the type of vaccine administered. 

When you get your flu shot, ask about being vaccinated against pneumonia, which can become a serious health concern. Pneumonia accounts for 30–40% of all hospitalizations among older adults, and often occurs during a patient’s recovery from the flu or a cold – people start to feel better, only to develop a cough and a fever. In addition to flu and pneumonia vaccines, maintaining these hygienic habits are excellent prevention measures: 

  • Wear a face mask. 
  • Exercise regularly and eat healthy foods. 
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes. 
  • Keep away from sick people and crowded areas. 
  • Disinfect surfaces in your home or apartment – doorknobs, counters, telephones, etc. 

Signs and Symptoms 

Both flu and cold are contagious respiratory illnesses, but while influenza viruses cause the flu, a broader range of viruses – parainfluenza, rhinovirus, and seasonal coronaviruses – can cause the common cold. The signs and symptoms vary, as well. Let’s start with symptoms of both: 

  • Coughing 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion 
  • Runny nose 

These are flu symptoms, which are often more intense than the symptoms of a common cold: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Headaches 
  • Fever and Chills 
  • Unsteadiness or Weakness 
  • Muscle Pain, Body Aches, Chest Discomfort 
  • Worsening of Preexisting and Chronic Conditions 

This list is not exhaustive, but merely a sampling of some flu symptoms that may present, which generally come on quickly – sometimes 1–4 days following exposure to the virus. (Symptoms of a cold tend to develop more slowly and include sneezing and coughing, but not a fever.) If you’re over 65 and notice these symptoms, call your doctor at once. If you consult with a physician within 48 hours of your first symptom, your physician may prescribe an antiviral medication, which can help alleviate the severity of your illness. 

How to Treat Flu and Colds 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the flu or the cold, so consult with a medical professional regarding the best course of action to treat those viruses. A physician may prescribe over-the-country medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) for symptoms of pain and fever, or other medications to treat secondary infections like pneumonia, bronchitis, or ear and sinus infections. Doctors also generally recommend getting plenty of sleep, drinking lots of liquids, and even eating a bowl of chicken soup. 

Stay Prepared 

At Atria, safety is our first priority. Healthy dining and fitness classes are part of every Atria community, and we provide on-site clinics and flu vaccines to residents during the fall and winter. Furthermore, 99% of Atria’s US employees are vaccinated from COVID-19, and our communities are enrolled in the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program. That ensures Atria residents receive top priority – and it means Atria is a safe place for older adults who want to live with peace of mind this winter. 

Visit AtriaWinterWellness.com to learn more about how we’re keeping residents safe this winter. 


Category: Community, Lifestyle, Our Team, Wit & Wisdom

How living in a senior community can help you enjoy retirement


Posted on October 29, 2021 by Admin


There are many articles and even entire books devoted to helping you enjoy your retirement. While the specific guidance they offer for active senior living varies, they generally have these two points in common: the importance of relationships and of finding purpose in daily life.  

At Atria, our vibrant senior living communities provide daily opportunities for the kind of meaningful connection and expanded learning that support creating a purposeful life. These topics are discussed in our Next Chapter series, which explores how residents are making the most of their retirement – and how Atria fosters their ability to do what they love. Here’s a look at how these older adults are enjoying retirement. 

Colorful connections 

“When you live as long as I have lived – for 94 years – you live many lives within one life.”  

That 94-year old is Sarah, a passionate artist and Atria on Roslyn Harbor resident. Her many lives include raising a family and being an accomplished illustrator, teacher and fine artist specializing in sculpture and painting. 

Sarah says she lives her life as though she’s going to live forever, because she doesn’t want to think that her age is holding her back from pursuing what brings her joy. For Sarah, this joy includes spending time with family and her continued passion for painting. 

Atria is delighted to support Sarah’s interests and to offer our community as a venue for her upcoming art show. Living at Atria has also helped her develop some very dear friendships. As Sarah explains, she was living alone, but the wonderful friends and community staff bring her a sense of security and make her feel like she’s part of a family. 

The power of music 

“Music is life itself,” is a Louis Armstrong quote that resonates deeply with Ira. When he made the move to Atria, music was Ira’s key to making new friends and renewing his sense of purpose. 

Music was a powerful bond between Ira and his father, and it’s what inspired him to create a music appreciation group called Musical Memories. Beth, the Engage Life Director at Atria Forest Hills, encouraged Ira every step of the way. Soon, others were looking forward to tapping their feet, clapping their hands and singing along to Ira’s playlist at the group’s regular gatherings. 

Atria helped Ira share his childhood joy and fostered meaning in his life through the many new friends he’s touched with his love of music. 

Inspiring others 

“I’m finally the person I’ve always wanted to be.” 

Nanci, a resident at Atria Tanglewood, expressed this sentiment while reflecting on her life – a life filled with great joy and the intense challenges she faced after being diagnosed with Lupus in her 20s. After raising a family as a single mother, Nanci later remarried. When her second husband passed, she made Atria her home. 

The person Nanci has become is one who is sharing her love of the written word by reading to the first-grade students at a local school. She is finishing up a very special storybook – a gift to the many enthusiastic children who so enjoy her regular visits. 

Nanci appreciates the support Atria provides and regards the community staff as family. In addition to volunteering at the school, she has found meaning in serving on the resident counsel and helping new residents discover the many opportunities her vibrant community offers. 

personal pursuit 

Retirement is a time to learn fun new things and share one’s passions with others. Atria is delighted to support the interests of so many of the world’s wisest people, like Dorothy, who recently fulfilled a lifelong dream of publishing a second book.   

Then there’s Sarah’s community neighbors Eleanor, Doris and Phyllis, New York natives who became fast friends at Atria but have very different interests; Shirleywho enjoys sharing her love of film with her neighbors; Bob, a veteran who just took the flight of a lifetime; and Linda, who loves teaching her Atria neighbors how to make beautiful watercolor paintings. 

As these residents’ experiences show us, retirement is truly a time to begin writing your next chapter. Atria is dedicated to providing the support and opportunities to make retirement as enjoyable and gratifying as it can be. 


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

How to prepare a parent for assisted living


Posted on October 19, 2021 by Admin


Helping your parents transition into senior living starts with an open discussion that keeps their needs, wishes, and best interests at the forefront of the conversation. This decision can be challenging, but unthreading the intricacies involved will ultimately help everyone feel more stable. Here are some questions for your family to consider: 

  • How do your parents feel about where they live now? 
  • What are their current care needs, and how much will those services cost? 

Perhaps the most important question to address, however, is whether your parents should move into an assisted living community, independent living community, or a nursing home. In this article, we’ll discuss assisted living communities specifically – how to choose the right one, which questions to ask, and how to make the move. 

Touring 

As you’re researching assisted living communities, one of the first considerations that you’ll encounter is location. What makes sense for your parents? (Do they want to stay in the city where they’ve always lived, or, if you live a few states away from them, does it make more sense for them to be closer to you?) Then research the community that’s right for them in that area. Come up with a few options, and go visit those communities – because even though their online photos will most likely look welcoming, you’ll want to walk the corridors and feel the atmosphere yourself.  

Visit at least three assisted living communities. Schedule a tour during mealtime, so you can sample the restaurant fare. Talk to the staff. Mingle with the other residents and sit in on an activity – anything from an exercise class to a lecture series – to gauge how deeply those workshops have been planned and how effectively they’re presented. Ask questions. Take notes. Try to wander off the tour circuit, if possible, observing the gardens, taking in the views and walking around the on-site amenities and the surrounding neighborhoods. 

Bear in mind that even if a certain community seems ideal – great price-point, stellar amenities, friendly reception, excellent kKey lime pie – it may not match up with your parents’ personalities. Some people prefer a patio with plenty of sunlight and a pineapple-beetroot amuse-bouche. Others of us are library-and-fireplace people who look forward to rainy nights with a novel and a glass of scotch. Your parents might like the food in one location, the residents in another, and the amenities and ambience of a third. Weigh all those options equally as your family decides which one is ultimately best for them. 

Care services  

Yes, you want to choose a community that matches your parents’ personalities, but one of the most important considerations to weigh is the community’s care services. You have most likely chosen assisted living, because, while you want your parents to continue their independent lifestyle, you also want them to benefit from living somewhere that can help with activities of daily living (or “ADLs”) if needed – such as bathing, getting dressed, and assistance with medication management. Be sure to discuss how the community will assess the level of care that your parents require. Take time to meet the nurses or caregivers on staff, if possible. Make sure that, if you do move your parents into a certain community, all the services and ADLs that they require will be provided and will be within your budget.  

Packing and downsizing 

Now that you’ve visited the communities in your area, you’re ready to commit to a decision and complete the transition – which involves packing. 

Budget some time for this step, because it may take a while for your parents to consolidate their possessions. Remember how attached they may be to certain items in their house. Pictures or letters they’ve stored away and haven’t seen in years may evoke memories, so listen to them as they decide what they’re willing to part with – and what they want to hold on to. Be prepared to make lists of people to contact in case your uncle or cousin might want an armoire or a children’s book that’s belonged to your family for generations. 

As you pack, be thinking about how you’re going to make the move. Will you transport your parents’ belongings to their new community one carload at a time? Will you hire movers? Decide on the date and time of the move, and the resources you’ll need, way ahead of schedule, so that you don’t run into any surprises come moving day.  

Getting involved in activities 

Once your parents are all moved into their new homes, it may be a good idea to visit them more frequently for the first few weeks or months, just to make sure they’re enjoying their new surroundings. Review their care assessment to stay apprised of any changes to their health. Encourage them to attend events in the community, so they can meet other residents. Talk to the staff and ask how they’re acclimating, and what arrangements or modifications might be made to make them feel more comfortable.  

Staying involved 

Do whatever you can to help your parents become well -situated, and if the usual 90-day acclimation period has passed and they feel as if a certain assisted living community isn’t the right fit for them, it’s okay to start the process over. Follow the steps we’ve listed above and listen to how your parents feel about the communities you visit. If this process sounds overwhelming, that’s okay, too. Contact us today to talk to a director of a community near you, so we can answer any of your questions about assisted living. 

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


Category: Caregiver Support, Lifestyle, Our Team, Wit & Wisdom

What activities can you do in senior living?


Posted on October 15, 2021 by Admin


One of the benefits of moving into a senior living community is the opportunity to stay active and engaged. Communities use an assortment of names to describe these opportunities — “senior activities,” “elderly enrichment,” or Atria’s Engage Life® programs — but they generally refer to a customized calendar of events where residents can connect with each other, pursue their passions and express themselves creatively. Let’s delve into the types of activities you can do in most senior living communities and why they’re vital to the well-being of the residents. 

Why activities are important 

Recent studies have provided an insight about human behavior that cultures have known (or sensed) for countless generations: People who stay physically active and maintain strong social connections are healthier than people who are isolated or inactive. The more opportunities that we have to connect and get to know the people around us, the better our health, outlook, memory and brain function — and our capacity to continue to learn — will all be. 

Common activities available in senior living 

The activities offered in a senior living community can differ substantially, but here are a few of the mainstays that you typically find: 

  • Exercise Classes and Games 

Bowling, yoga, golf, lifting weights, playing bocce, ballroom dancing, taking boxing lessons — a vibrant senior living community should foster opportunities for residents to engage in a range of physical activities.  

  • Workshops and Classes 

Participate in a book club. Learn Sanskrit or sign language. Start an embroidery class — or a new discussion group on current events. Residents who love learning, discussing complex subjects, and broadening their skills can enjoy the insight and intellect of their peers with these self-hosted courses. 

  • Creative Talents 

Some of us are driven to create, whether we’re painting a summer garden on the patio or filling page after page with a story that keeps running through our minds. A quality senior living community will provide residents with the space and schedule to tap into their creative energy and connect with likeminded artists. 

  • Interaction and Engagement 

A great senior living community should also support an environment where residents play cards or Mahjong tournaments deep into the night, or enjoy some “grape therapy” — that is, a wine and cheese social — or run into each other at a happy hour in the patio or around the garden. 

  • Group Outings 

Another advantage of being a resident at a senior living community is the opportunity to go on trips to different cities or places of interest — a museum in Manhattan, for instance, or a scenic route through a canyon in California, as well as sporting events, lunches in the park, and shopping trips. 

How activities foster community and friendship 

Meeting new people, lifting weights, or playing a late-night bridge session help people feel like they belong. That, in turn, can lead to many other positive outcomes — improved self-esteem, peace of mind, and an investment of time into deepening the network of support that improves everyone’s quality of life. 

Engage Life® at Atria 

At Atria, we consider activities to be among the most important features of a senior living community, but we don’t call them “activities.” Our term is the Engage Life® program, which we’ve set up to foster interactions and bring new opportunities for residents to achieve their goals. Each community at Atria has an Engage Life® director who takes the interests of the residents into account to create a calendar of events and outings tailored to what they want to do. Learn more about Engage Life® and reach out today to learn more about what Atria has to offer. 

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

Customer satisfaction at Atria


Posted on October 8, 2021 by Admin


The health, wellbeing and happiness of Atria residents and their families are of the utmost importance to us – which is why we take their feedback seriously. To that end, we send out surveys to our communities twice a year to gauge the opinions and insights of the world’s wisest people.  

We’re excited to share some of the Atria reviews that we received from five communities who took our Spring 2021 survey, and we’re proud to announce that we earned excellent scores in the following categories:  

  • Safety and well-being of residents 
  • Courtesy and friendliness of staff 
  • Responsiveness of community leadership to concerns 
  • Desire of caregivers to accommodate requests 

Read on to learn more about the recent senior living reviews, and how our staff and caregivers go above and beyond for the residents every day. 

Atria Tarzana 

Shak Rafat, the Executive Director of Atria Tarzana in Los Angeles, California, ensures that the Atria mission statement is top of mind for each employee at the community, and instills the core company values of trust, integrity and respect into his team. Shak takes the time to get to know each new employee. He also meets every week with the Resident Council president. That way, he can absorb the residents’ feedback and then take that feedback to the community directors so that they can implement it. 

For Shak, and the culture that he has helped create at Atria Tarzana, the emphasis is on continuous improvement. Everyone on staff puts in extra effort to provide an optimal experience for residents. Carlos, the valet, dedicated an entire day to helping a widowed resident find his wife’s wedding ring, which had gone missing. That’s just one example of how the staff at Atria Tarzana go above and beyond for the residents. 

Here’s a quote that seems to sum up how residents feel about Atria Tarzana: “The people that work there are amazing! They help make Atria a happy place.” 

Atria Windsor Woods 

Located in Hudson, Florida, Atria Windsor Woods was ranked second among Atria communities according to the recent senior living ratings. Executive Director Janet Brown attributes that placement to the hard work of everyone on staff – and their mindset of viewing feedback as an opportunity to improve. One example of acting on this attitude is the proactive steps that Windsor Woods took after residents discussed the food selection. The new staff members in the kitchen implemented the residents’ recommendations into new and improved menus. Their “Taste of food” scores went up around 10 points.  

The quotes that we received from the residents indicate that Atria Windsor Woods is a supportive community. “Everyone is so kind. This is now my home,” said one resident. Another resident said: “During the pandemic, all department heads helped out in the community. Very nice management decision to support front-line staff.” 

Atria Forest Hills 

For Jill Draggota, the Executive Director at Atria Forest Hills in Queens, New York, customer satisfaction starts with hiring compassionate team members who love what they do. Focusing on the details helps Jill and her team improve lives every day, and has led to results large and small. An Engage Life Director at the community, for instance, worked tirelessly to livestream a resident’s grandson’s wedding during COVID-19. Draggota’s team has also established an open-door policy with the Resident Council to absorb and build upon their feedback on an ongoing basis. 

A key quote from the recent survey: “The building is immaculately clean. The activities bring people together. They do everything they can for all of us. I love this place.” 

Atria Crestavilla 

Brian Keys, the executive director at Atria Crestavilla, follows the same plan whenever he receives survey scores: He asks his directors to report each month on areas where the survey indicated they could improve. Addressing those improvement areas have always led to increased resident satisfaction. The consistently excellent work that Brian’s team has demonstrated, in turn, inspires him to continue going above and beyond. 

As an extension of the culture of improvement and open communication that Brian has encouraged at the community, families have access to Brian via his cell phone, and he and his team work to resolve any issues within 24 hours. That approach, it seems, has led to some of these expressions of resident satisfaction: “The people who are part of the Crestavilla Team offer outstanding support. They may have a title, but in addition, these people wear a lot of hats! When an extra pair of hands is needed, they jump right in.” 

Atria Rancho Peñasquitos 

Spring 2021 was the first time that Atria Rancho Peñasquitos in San Diego, California, was among Atria’s top rated senior living communities according to the customer satisfaction survey, which came as no surprise to Executive Director Quinn Hernandez, who felt like his team shined during COVID. Hernandez witnessed his directors working in different departments, helping out at the front desk, and pitching in wherever they were needed. 

Hernandez instills in his team the idea that they are working in the residents’ homes, which helps put everyone’s job – including his – into perspective. He also addresses the feedback from the Resident Council right away and works with his directors to formulate improvement plans.  

According to feedback from one of the residents’ children, Hernandez’s assessment of how his staff exceeded the expectations of their jobs is accurate: “The staff is wonderful. They did an excellent job during COVID with keeping the residents and staff as safe as possible.”  

Outro 

Atria values its senior living ratings because of our commitment to quality and our mission to create vibrant communities where extraordinary older adults can thrive and participate. When you choose Atria, your voice is heard. Learn about some testimonials from residents about their experiences – and contact us today to find a community that listens to 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, Community, Lifestyle, Wit & Wisdom

Billie Jean King’s autobiography, All In, is a look at the chapters that have defined her life


Posted on October 5, 2021 by Admin


At Atria, we admire sports icon and champion of equality Billie Jean King not only for her spectacular achievements in sports, but for how her indomitable spirit inspires us to create a more inclusive world. Her beliefs and life experience make her the perfect spokesperson for our Next Chapter series that explores how older adults are redefining aging. 

Now a New York Times bestseller, Billie Jean’s new autobiography, All In, is a spirited account of her life’s journey filled with insights and advice on leadership, business, activism, sports, politics, marriage equality, parenting, sexuality and love. Here are a few highlights that show how living honestly and openly can have a transformative effect on relationships and happiness.  

Meeting Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, tells a story of resilience, grace and resolve – one that Billie Jean holds dear. So, when she received a call one morning with an offer to meet the world leader, she jumped at the opportunity and hopped on a plane to Johannesburg. 

Mandela embodied qualities that Billie Jean cherishes most: Kindness. Generosity. Freedom. Equality. Forgiveness. She also shares his belief in transcendence and redemption. 

 “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion,” Mandela wrote. “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can learn to love.” 

At their meeting, Mandela talked about his imprisonment at Robben Island. Despite the difficult living conditions, he sought out the humanity in his captors. Through persistence and humility, he managed to break down barriers and convinced the guards to make the prisoners’ lives less onerous. 

It was a wonderful experience, and Billie Jean still marvels at how Mandela “reimagined the country in ways people had doubted were possible.” She goes on to say, “For me, nothing has compared to meeting the man himself and walking in some of the same places he tread.” 

Making Black lives matter in the 1970’s 

Motivated by her childhood admiration for Althea Gibson, Billie Jean worked with her former husband, Larry King, to make tennis an equal opportunity sport. But despite the efforts of the Kings and others, it was still an uphill climb for the players of color on the Virginia Slims Tour in the early ‘70s.  

“Our crowds in Philadelphia were filled with American Tennis Association members (a Black-run organization) who gave them a warm reception,” recounts King. In Houston, the Black staff told the players they’d never seen Black women play professional tennis before, and it made them proud. But a stop in Florida was a different story. 

To the players’ dismay, they saw Confederate flags flying from every other flagpole around the grandstand at Miami’s Jockey Club. Ann Koger, one of the tour players, climbed the pole that evening and removed one of the flags. After informing Tour Director Peachy Kellmeyer that the remaining flags were an insult to the players and every other American, the flags were all taken down. 

Tournament housing also became an issue. Available rooms suddenly disappeared when Black players showed up at the tournament desk. Billie Jean approached the desk and, in a calm but direct manner, said, “You know, there must be some mistake. My friends here told me that you have no housing for them. And if that is true, I can assure you that I will not play in this tournament. And neither will anyone else. So, what are you going to do about that?” 

Moments later, rooms were found at a nice hotel. 

Billie Jean King’s legacy of equality 

In All In, Billie Jean writes, “Sports consistently reminds us how talent comes from all places, and how much we can achieve together, especially when we can accept each other without prejudice and recognize that our differences make this a richer world.” 

Billie Jean is creating a legacy that will endure and shape future generations. Working with others, she has helped create the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, a non-profit undertaking that promotes equality and inclusion and advocates for equal pay. 

She says that we must continue asking ourselves whenever we consider any undertaking, When this is done, will we have helped make this world a better place? She feels we should define success as both doing well and doing good. 

Ed Woolard, Billie Jean’s dear friend and business mentor, helped her refine three guidelines to help us do well – and do good – by becoming happier, more successful human beings. 

  1. Be a problem solver and an innovator, and realize that once you identify a problem, it’s important to be a part of the solution. 
  2. Never stop learning, and never stop learning how to learn. 
  3. Relationships are everything.

For more insights into these and other stories, read All Inavailable here. And for inspiring stories about how older adults are breaking personal barriers, visit our Next Chapter website where you can watch Billie Jean interview Atria residents about how they are redefining aging. 


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

Benefits of living in a community for seniors vs. living at home


Posted on September 13, 2021 by Admin


Currently, around one million Americans live in some type of senior living community – a figure that’s expected to double by 2030, in part because senior living communities provide abundant mental, physical and emotional benefits that often allow older adults to thrive. Let’s walk through the process of deciding between staying at home or living in a community and touch on some of the benefits of making the switch. 

Staying vs. moving 

Weighing your options regarding whether to live at home or in a community can feel daunting. For that reason, it’s helpful to consider those options side by side to think through what the important aspects of your life will be like at home or in a community – aspects such as your social life, your dining options, your exercise routine, or the emergency assistance that you’ll be able to access.  

Take, for instance, something as simple as housekeeping. At home, you may dedicate a lot of your time to household maintenance, whereas at a senior living community, the staff may provide all the housekeeping and linen services for you. 

A change for the better 

Once residents move into senior living communities, they often discover that they’ve made the right decision. Listen to Claudia, an Atria resident, who shares her story about how the stresses of being at home convinced her to move into a senior living community – and she’s loved it ever since. 

“I don’t have to worry about anything, because everything’s taken care of for me,” she says. At home, she mostly watched TV. At Atria, she engages with other residents, enjoys “five-star meals,” and says that her daughter never worries about her. In Claudia’s words: “Come to a place where, anything you can think of, you have right here in front of you.” 

The cost of waiting 

Moving into a senior living community is a serious decision, and it only makes sense to be selective when it comes to choosing the right community. But waiting too long to arrive at a decision can also come with certain costs. Once residents and their families weigh the benefits of moving into a senior living community, the conclusions that they reach tend to point them in the direction of moving, after all. Benefitting from ongoing support and professional caregiving tends to revitalize residents and help them thrive. 

Why moving makes sense 

Residents who move into a senior living community often find that they enjoy the advantages that a home offers without having to shoulder the burdens of homeownership. Contact us today to learn why Atria might be the right option for 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, Community, Lifestyle, Wit & Wisdom

Senior life lessons from Atria centenarians


Posted on September 10, 2021 by Admin


Ruth, Edith, and Lorraine, the centenarian “Golden Girls” of Atria West 86 in the Upper West Side of New York, have received a lot of media attention since celebrating their 100th birthdays together. Featured in PeopleABC Newsthe New York Post, and other major outlets, the three friends raised three glasses of champagne together – commemorating the occasion, as well as having lived through the pandemic safely. As Ruth told People: “I think I was born under a lucky star. We’ve gone through this together. I’m just thankful I was here to get a vaccine.”  

We decided to sit down with Ruth, Lorraine, and Edith to learn their secrets to leading a long happy life. 

Ruth 

After graduating from NYU’s School of Education, Ruth worked as an elementary-school teacher. Later in her career, she studied braille and taught visually impaired and disabled children. She’s passionate about golf, travel, opera, ballet – and all that New York City has to offer. Since she’s been at Atria West 86, Ruth has made lots of friends with both residents and employees alike. (“The staff is great!” she said.) 

When asked about her greatest accomplishment, Ruth said, “My two children, of course.” Ruth – a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother – moved from Florida to Atria West 86 to be closer to her family. During the celebration at the community, which featured banners, balloons, a giant cake, and the Atria staff singing multiple renditions of “Happy Birthday,” Ruth was reunited with her son, Andrew, who flew in from California and saw his mother for the first time in two years because of COVID-related travel restrictions. 

Ruth never misses an Atria West 86 social hour on the penthouse terrace, and she loves marveling at the New York skyline. This social butterfly’s senior lifestyle includes outings to concerts, guest lecture series, and opera recitals. “Life goes by too fast, so enjoy each day to the fullest,” Ruth said. “You have to laugh!” 

Edith 

Edith (AKA “Mitzi”) graduated from Brooklyn High School and the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn. She started her career as a secretary in the office of her future husband, an attorney, and is a lifelong lover of theater, traveling, concerts, and museums – especially the Museum of Natural History in New York. 

Edith advised to not waste any time complaining. When asked what her most cherished accomplishments are, she answered immediately – her two daughters, who she said are devoted, kind, and loving. To Edith, family has always been her top priority. 

Lorraine 

An accomplished mezzo soprano with the Metropolitan Opera chorus in New York for 20 years, Lorraine performed with all the top singers of her day – including Robert Merrill, Renata Tebaldi, and Luciano Pavarotti. Today she remains an avid bridge player. Like Ruth, Lorraine is grateful for all the friendships she’s made at Atria, including with her Resident Services Assistant, Felicia, who she refers to as her “angel.” 

The centenarian celebration also afforded Lorraine the opportunity to reconnect with her niece, who, due to the pandemic, she was only able to talk to over the phone or via Zoom. Lorraine also enjoyed going to a birthday lunch that her friends from the New York tennis circuit threw in her honor.   

So what’s Lorraine’s advice? “Do what you love, what you’re passionate about, and commit to it – it should bring you tremendous joy!” she said. “It’s been a wonderful life.” 

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 benefits of right-sizing for older adults


Posted on August 2, 2021 by Admin


It’s the entryway into the American dream – a home, a mortgage, a yard with a fence and hydrangeas blooming in the shade. Houses are now becoming harder to afford in many U.S. counties, so anyone who has put 20% down on a house and paid it off should feel proud to sit atop a lifetime of equity. The idea of right-sizing might seem counterintuitive, but right sizing can provide many benefits to older adults and their families. Read on for just a sampling of those benefits. 

Less stress 

Right-sizing can help you rescale so you no longer have to wrestle with the burden of home maintenance. In a senior living community, all of that work is taken care of for you, so you spend every day doing the things that bring you joy, whether that might be painting, playing cards or visiting with friends and family. 

A safe lifestyle 

One of the burdens of living at home is that it may become unsafe. A rambling, multilevel corner house where your kids grew up can now seem intimidatingly vast once those kids move out – and if you need to climb those stairs, the risk of a fall or an injury might go up. Right-sizing can help you move into a new space that’s more accessible and better suited to your needs and level of mobility. 

 An organized space 

Live in a house for thirty years and it’s easy to fill up hundreds of bankers’ boxes of memorabilia – letters, wedding photos, toddler rocking chairs. You’ll want to keep some of those things. But right sizing can help you rescale so you have just what you need. Throwing out clutter that piles up in rooms can help you rediscover the clarity that comes from living in a simple, organized space. 

The benefit of senior living communities 

When older adults are ready to right size, many of them choose to move into a senior living community like Atria, which provides all of the benefits that we’ve already mentioned – and more. Contact us today to learn why Atria might be the right option for 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, Community, Lifestyle, Wit & Wisdom

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