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

Celebrating Father’s Day


Posted on June 20, 2021 by Admin


Many Atria residents are expert parents, helping to raise big and happy families or serving as role models and community pillars. To celebrate Father’s Day, we’re talking to a couple dads in the Atria family about what it’s like to be a proud father, and any words of wisdom they wish to share.

“Be as involved with your kids as you possibly can”

Tom, a resident at Atria at Cranberry Woods in Pennsylvania, raised two boys and his philosophy toward parenting could be summed up in two words: Stay engaged.

“I tried to spend time and do new things with my kids as much as I could, mainly through outdoor adventures – fishing, hunting, camping,” Tom said. “We continue to do that together.”

This past winter, Tom and his sons – who are now semi-retired – drove up to a plot of land they own about 30 miles north of Atria at Cranberry Woods. They planted 15 fruit trees to start an orchard and then built a campfire, and some of his sons’ friends, who looked upon Tom as a father figure back when they were growing up, joined them and reminisced about old times.

“Even when they were little kids, we always stayed engaged, and we still do,” Tom said. “Just be as involved with your kids as you possibly can.”

“Family is everything”

“The best advice I can give is to play with your children, laugh with them, love them and give them attention,” Mel, a resident at Atria Seville in Nevada, offered. “That’s the kind of parent I was. I love my children so much.”

Mel is the author of eight published books and taught as a college professor, and in certain ways his interests have rubbed off on his kids. His son is a teacher of philosophy in Minneapolis and his daughter, a baker who worked at Mandalay Bay and won awards at the Culinary Olympics, recently made a career move to teach at technical schools near Atria Seville. Whenever she has a teaching question, Mel’s daughter comes to him and asks for his advice.

“It’s really wonderful when she comes to me for help with teaching and when she gets her arms around me and tells me she loves me,” Mel said. “I have that kind of relationship with my kids. Family is everything.”

 

To read more stories of Atria residents, visit AtriaSeniorLiving.com/Wit-And-Wisdom.


Category: Community, 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

“Be thankful for every day”


Posted on May 15, 2021 by Admin


Atria is home to the world’s wisest people, and we’re always eager to hear the stories of those in the Atria family. One such story that continues to encourage us comes from Paula resident at Atria Westminster in Colorado who survived warfaredisplacement and other hardships – and is now an inspiration to everyone around him. 

From Yugoslavia to Austria 

Paul was born in 1929 in Yugoslavia. He had one younger sister and two older brothers, and he described his younger self as a soccer player, a hard worker and a devoted youth leader in his church. When Paul was 12 years old, Germany invaded Yugoslavia. In less than two weeks, Germany had defeated the Yugoslavian army, and the country was under Nazi control. 

Not long thereafter, Paul and his family were taken to a concentration camp. He endured horrors for two years until his family escaped and made their way to Hungary. Once again, they were captured and put in a prison in Budapest, but the Hungarian government gave them a two-week pass to leave the country, and they made their way to Austria – traveling in train boxcars until they arrived at a refugee camp in Vienna. 

From Austria to Chicago

Paul and his family spent several months in the refugee campwith the exception of his brother Jacob, who had been taken to a separate campJacob was released before the rest of Paul’s family, and he started to make a life for himself in Austria. After Paul and his family left the camp, they worked for a local farm owner through the harvesting season before making their way to Jacob’s one-bedroom apartment, where they all stayed. 

During these years as the war was ending, Paul fell in love with the mountains, learned the trade of cabinetmaking and met his future wife, HildaEventually, a family member sponsored them to come to the United States, and after the birth of their son, Paul and Hilda moved to Chicago. 

From Chicago to Colorado

Paul mastered his trade as a cabinetmaker, and he and Hilda had another child, this time a daughter. After spending 14 years in Chicago, the family moved to Colorado. Paul loved the mountains ever since he lived in Austria, and after moving to Colorado, he’s never left.

Today, Paul loves watching soccer and baseball – he’s a huge Colorado Rockies fan – and his favorite place on earth is Rocky Mountain National Park. He and his family spend a lot of their free time hiking and camping, and the outdoors invigorates him 

He talks openly about his war stories and even gave a presentation to his church, which was filmed and later presented to his friends and neighbors at Atria Westminster, with Paul answering questions afterward. 

“Paul always thinks of others,” Jessica Romito, the Engage Life Director at Atria Westminster, said. “He believes in paying forward the kindness and compassion that was shown to him by the people who helped his family escape the concentration camp and make their way to Vienna.” 

Paul’s experiences as a concentration camp survivor taught him to never give up.  

“There is always something worth pushing forward for,” he said. “You should live with what you have been given and be thankful for every day on this planet.”

 

To read more stories about Atria residents, visit AtriaSeniorLiving.com/Wit-And-Wisdom.


Category: Community, 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

Keeping the Atria family safe


Posted on April 9, 2021 by Admin


The health and safety of our residents and employees is our highest priority, and to deliver on that promise, we launched the “Sleeve Up Atria” initiative in late December – ever since COVID-19 vaccines became available.  

 As of April 9, we have administered more than 50,000 doses of the vaccine to nearly 90% of our residents and employees in the U.S.

“In early January, Atria was the first large senior living provider in America to mandate the vaccine for our staff,” John Moore, Atria’s Chairman and CEO, said. “The results make us glad we made up our minds early. So far, the breakdown is that more than 92% of our U.S. residents and 85% of our staff have taken the vaccine.” 

How vaccinations benefit residents

For the more than 20,000 residents who call Atria home, the success of “Sleeve Up, Atria” has translated into the confidence to enjoy meals and programs together. 

“Knowing we are no longer in the thick of it and that we’re getting back to normal makes me sleep better at night,” Beverly, a resident at Atria Rancho Peñasquitos in San Diego, California, stated. “I’m still staying safe, but now getting out and about again, and feeling freer. My next stop is our salon.” 

The vaccinations, along with state approvals, have enabled Atria to expand resident gatherings from 15 to 20, and expand the number of visitor– including families, guests and older adults interested in moving in to Atria – from three to five at a time. 

“The pandemic is not behind us yet, but now I feel safe to be with people, even though I still have to be careful,” Jansie, a resident at Atria at Foster Square in Foster City, California, said. “I have plans to visit my family in Seattle and see my grandchildren again.” 

 

Learn more about how Atria is protecting the health of our residents and staff at AtriaSafeTogether.com.


Category: Community, COVID-19, Our Team, Wit & Wisdom

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