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OUR FAVORITE EMOTIONAL WELLNESS APPS FOR SENIORS

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A senior woman sits on a couch listening to music with her headphones

Most of us appreciate the importance of physical wellness both now and as we age. Intellectual wellness too has garnered more attention as we learn about the effects aging can have on our cognitive functions. But what many of us never consider is our emotional wellness and our ability to reduce anxiety, boost happiness, and enjoy sharper mental focus.

Yet, within the ever-growing list of apps with which you can decorate your home screen are a slew of mental health apps that can help all of us in our quest to achieve emotional wellness and improved mental health. Each of these apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or on Google Play. Our list of favorites includes:

6 Emotional Wellness Apps for Seniors

Headspace

If you’re new to meditation, Headspace is a great place to start with easily digestible ten-minute sessions for beginners. You can then subscribe to thousands of hours of content available whenever you feel the need for Zen arise. The cool thing about Headspace is you can partner up with other Headspace users to encourage and motivate each other to stay on track to a happier, more focused mental state.

Ten Percent Happier

The idea behind Ten Percent Happier is that you don’t have to reorganize your life around meditation for it to make a difference. The ten percent number isn’t scientific. It’s meant to represent the idea of small, yet noticeable, improvements. Whereas Headspace features a single teacher, for all your meditations, Ten Percent Happier taps a multitude of experienced meditation experts with varied approaches to lead your sessions.

Calm

Another one of the best mental health apps for emotional wellness is Calm. It’s filled with hundreds of meditation practices and stories to help you sleep that are written and recorded by some of the top experts in cognitive behavior therapy. But Calm is much more than meditation. Calm also features sessions for training your mind to focus – including one led by NBA superstar Lebron James.

Happy Not Perfect

For a science-backed meditation and emotional wellness app, check out Happy Not Perfect featuring seven steps that are proven to boost happiness. But the best part? Each of the seven exercises are pretty fun. You may even find yourself looking forward to them every day. You can take advantage of up to five happiness workouts and five daily doses for free, but a subscription is needed to unlock more content.

Jour

Unlike the meditation apps listed above, Jour is a journaling app featuring daily reflections and “Journeys.” Daily reflections asks users to answer a series of questions about their feelings, what they’re excited about, a recent success and so on. “Journeys” are guided journals that include self-affirmations, dreams, travel, future goals, positivity, etc. Finally, those who are comfortable journaling on their own can do so in an open journal space. All entries are encrypted so your most private thoughts stay that way.

Relax Melodies

One of the most important factors to better mental and emotional wellness is a good night’s sleep. Relax Melodies lets you select the sounds and melodies you like and mix them together for a playlist. Easy, right? Plus, you can set it to turn off after a certain amount of time to save your battery. But it’s not just for sleep. Because you can customize it to your preferences, you can use it to set the mood during your next meditation or yoga session. 

Wellness programs are important.

While apps are a convenient way to boost happiness and mental focus, they’re no substitute for more substantial wellness programs that help seniors cope with, and adapt to, life’s changes in a healthy, positive way. Research on healthy aging continually shows that seniors who embrace wellness as part of everyday life receive significant benefits. That’s why senior living communities that provide a robust wellness program, are attracting people who understand the importance of wellness on overall health, happiness, and quality of life.

Emotional wellness is also one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellness That Can Enhance Seniors’ Lives that Life Care Services® nurtures and promotes through the Life Care Services Lifestyle and Health Services wellness program. Emotional wellness support can take the form of grief and mental health counseling, peer groups, informal circles of friends, and interactions with staff members. For seniors, emotional wellness includes support for the challenges that come with aging and can result in increased comfort and strength in difficult times.

If you’re considering a senior living community and you understand the importance wellness plays to enjoying all that life has in store, find a community near you.

 

2021 AND BEYOND: THE FUTURE OF SENIOR LIVING

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2021 AND BEYOND: THE FUTURE OF SENIOR LIVING

Two seniors hold fun drinks with umbrellas and look at the laptop for a virtual call

Predicting the future has always been a risky business. Ancient oracles whose predictions turned out to be false didn’t last long. TV meteorologists who forecast floods and snow days that never happen see their ratings fall. So while we’ve identified four senior living trends for 2021 and beyond, don’t throw us into a volcano if they don’t all pan out. After all, no one saw the pandemic coming. But how the senior living industry has responded to it has helped bring the future of senior living into focus. Let’s take a closer look.

 

The future of senior living is connected.

Zoom meetings, virtual tours, virtual Happy Hours, and video chats with friends and family have become standard operating procedure during the pandemic. That trend is likely to continue long after the coronavirus has been contained.

Virtual tours make it easy to visit a community from any location connected to the internet. Pre-recorded video tours and 360° virtual tours that allow you to “walk through” a community similar to Google street view maps are becoming more prevalent. Sales tools like OneDay videos allow communities to provide a richer picture of senior living to prospective residents. Zoom meetings and FaceTime chats have made connecting face-to-face as easy as answering your phone. And that’s just the beginning. New technology tools are on the horizon that will make life easier, safer and more engaging for residents:

  • Motion controls or voice controls that allow residents to navigate communities without pressing buttons or grabbing handles.
  • Voice assistants such as the Amazon Echo (aka Alexa) and Google Home help seniors remember their daily schedules, take medicine, or visit their doctor.
  • Virtual reality systems that offer more immersive community tours, travel experiences (especially for those with mobility issues who are no longer able to travel), and reminiscent therapy (seniors can take a trip down memory lane, back to the places they used to live).
  • Robotic pets that respond to sound, light, temperature and touch. PARO pet therapy is already in use in memory care neighborhoods across the country.
  • GPS trackers that can locate dementia patients who wander; sensors that keep track of how active a resident is (if a person isn’t getting out of bed at a certain time, a notification is sent via text or phone); personal robots to track sleep patterns, heart rates and location.
  • Wearable smart technology, like smartwatches, that allow seniors to monitor their health, track their fitness level, and contact emergency services automatically when the wearer is unresponsive or suffered a fall.

 

Telehealth: The doctor will see you now on screen.

Telehealth went from a nice-to-have service to a necessity in 2020. With seniors reluctant to risk their health by sitting in a waiting room with other people during a pandemic, telehealth became a safer, faster and more convenient option. Instead of having to drive to your doctor’s office, you could connect by video chat and get seen by your doctor without leaving home. Health care providers now offer online telehealth visits that are HIPAA-compliant and easy to use. Going forward, telehealth is poised to become more user-friendly and more widely adopted. More importantly, it may lead to more seniors being evaluated sooner at the first sign of symptoms.

 

A healthier future with a focus on wellness.

For some years now, senior living communities have been moving away from a care-first mindset to a wellness lifestyle, with options for care available. We don’t see this senior living trend changing. If anything, the focus on health and wellness will become stronger.

According to a survey by the International Council on Active Aging, 60% of respondents said their retirement community will be based in a wellness lifestyle by 2023. To accomplish this goal, five types of wellness programs will increase within communities:

  • Education and lifelong learning
  • Exercise (led by both instructors and technology)
  • Health education and disease management
  • Food and nutrition education and preparation
  • Intergenerational programs linking youth and older adults

The future of senior living looks bright.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid changes in the senior living industry. Technology is playing a leading role in how seniors stay connected, both inside and outside retirement communities. High-rise communities may be next in line for change, with floors being divided up into small neighborhoods. Two things we don’t see changing are the sense of community senior living offers older adults and the focus on offering opportunities for a fulfilling lifestyle.

During the height of the pandemic, residents were grateful for the support of staff members who delivered meals to their door, along with grocery orders, prescriptions and anything else they needed. The camaraderie and creativity shown by staff and residents at LCS communities buoyed spirits and bonded neighbors. Communities stepped up to provide opportunities for engaging mind, body and spirit in new ways: online, on in-house TV channels, outdoors, and in large spaces where limited numbers could gather safely at a distance.

What the future of senior living will look like five to 10 years from now remains to be seen. But we’ll continue to adapt to the changing needs and wishes of older adults, and provide new opportunities for living life to the fullest.

 

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T STOP YOUR ASSISTED LIVING SEARCH IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

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Don’t let uncertain times stop your search for assisted living.

If you or someone in your family is considering an assisted living apartment or assisted living facility — you shouldn’t allow uncertainty to slow or stop your efforts to choose the best assisted living community. Why? For one thing, the clock is ticking on preserving your independence. Typically, the best assisted living communities have a waiting list for their assisted living homes and apartments. The average wait time is 6 months. And with the options of virtual tours and virtual visits available to you now, there’s no reason to let precious time slip away without making progress on your search.

 

It takes time to compare.

Choosing the assisted living community that’s right for your specific situation will likely take time for legwork and homework. Assisted living apartments, assisted living contracts and assisted living facilities, in general, can vary broadly. Some are home to just a small number of people, and others may have hundreds of residents. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to assisted living communities. They vary in size, appearance and the types of services they offer. There are also differences in the levels of assistance and care they offer and their associated costs.

Checking with your state or local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) or visiting the websites of LeadingAge and Argentum (formerly the Assisted Living Federation of America), can help you develop a short list of assisted living communities in your area to compare. Once you have specific communities in mind, you’ll need to gather relevant information about each of them.

 

First comes research.

Gathering information starts by calling to begin learning about the community’s location, size, types of services and more. You can request brochures, a price list, a site map and floor plans. You may also request copies of all documents that will need to be signed before admittance, including the residency contract. You can review everything carefully, bearing in mind that marketing literature and a residency contract are different in nature. The contract is legally binding.

When you’re ready, you should visit the community. In fact, you should have several visits over the course of time. Some of these visits should be unannounced on a weekend or in the evening.

These visits, in addition to having your financial advisor and attorney review the occupancy contract, will provide vital information on which to base your comparisons. Then, of course, there are the costs of assisted living to consider. Medicare does not cover assisted living. Most people pay for these services out-of-pocket. And though some states cover certain services under Medicaid, for the majority of people, assisted living costs must be paid through private resources.

 

Questions in need of answers.

When evaluating options for assisted living, there are questions that most people will have concerning the physical accommodations, amenities, and the level of service and care available. Then there are questions that probe a little deeper about the staff, their training and level of experience, the availability of clinical professionals on-site, and more. Finally, there are questions germane to your personal situation. You should spend time considering all this with your family to develop a checklist to keep in a notebook and refer to during an on-site visit or virtual visit. Here is a printable checklist from AARP on what to ask when comparing assisted living communities.

For a more comprehensive overview of key points to consider, as well as specific questions to ask when searching for the right assisted living facility, refer to this Life Care Services article, How to Spot a Great Assisted Living Community.

 

Experience is everything.

If you believe that you or a loved one could benefit from the environment and services of an assisted living facility, don’t allow the uncertainty of any unexpected situation to squander your precious time. Call a Life Care Services community to arrange a personal virtual appointment. Life Care Services communities offer a continuum of care that will let you move in and out of care levels as needed, often at no additional cost. That’s guaranteed care for life. But if you prefer convenience and flexibility, and don’t find an entrance fee to be appealing, a rental retirement community may be the best choice for your needs.

As you explore your options, use our Find a Community locator tool. With over 140 rental and Life Care communities around the country, Life Care Services is sure to have the right option for you and your family.

Let us help you explore your living options. Experience is everything. Just contact us through our website, or call 515.875.4500

Opening Up Our Community

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Federal and state governments are releasing plans to reopen the economy to essential business. While this is an encouraging sign to our country’s response to COVID-19, please know this process will be taken thoughtfully at Arboria of Long Grove. We will implement a three-phased approach when reopening our community. Decisions for each phase will be based on state and regional criteria, advice from public health officials, and the health status of our community. 

We are all looking forward to the day when we can resume our lives as a community and gather with our friends, yet the health and safety of our residents and employees must remain our highest priority. From the beginning, we have taken on this challenge as a marathon rather than a sprint. There are no short cuts or easy answers to how we reduce our risk to COVID-19 and it’s as important as ever that we continue to remain focused on protecting ourselves and supporting each other. 

In the upcoming weeks, and until further notice, Arboria of Long Grove will continue to follow the heightened precautionary measures currently in place. These practices include following social distancing protocol and restricting non-essential visitors. We understand the risks posed to our community from COVID-19 and remain committed to our processes. We’ll only begin to shift our protocols after we know our community is no longer at risk, and with careful consideration of the guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and local and state health departments. As the situation develops, and we make changes to our protocols, residents, employees and families will be notified first —but to reiterate, we will not be modifying our precautionary measures at this time. 

Thank you for your patience, your support, and for embodying that hopeful spirit that Arboria of Long Grove is known for as we continue to navigate this process together. For detailed information regarding our community policies and updates to our reopening efforts, please contact our community directly. For more information regarding the national response efforts taken by LCS communities, visit https://www.lcsnet.com/covid-19-update/.

Coronavirus Update – March 18

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After careful consideration for the health and safety of residents, employees, and family members, our community amended its visitor policy on Monday, March 16, and is restricting visitors from entering our community.

Please bookmark the LCS website for future updates and information regarding our community COVID-19 response and prevention measures already implemented, such as:

  • Educating all staff and residents in social distancing guidelines
  • Increasing the frequency and rigor of cleaning and disinfecting common community areas
  • Implementing temporary visitor restrictions, including deliveries
  • Canceling on-site large group social events and recreational activities
  • Reviewing and executing our emergency preparedness and response program
  • Asking residents and employees to reschedule travel plans and remain in our community
  • Deploying an updated visitor advisory for communities and to campus
  • Coordinating best practices across the broad, LCS partner network
  • Making the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 prevention resources and recommendations available to all employees

All future updates regarding the COVID-19 response, including visitor policies, social distancing guidelines, and prevention recommendations, can be found here. LCS has also opened a national hotline for information. Call 855-998-4934. For local information about our community, please use (847) 383-6737.

Coronavirus Update – March 15, 2020

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Hello Arboria of Long Grove community,

The health and safety of residents living in our community is our top priority, and we are closely monitoring the ongoing situation regarding the coronavirus (COVD-19). We understand that COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind, and we want to be communicative and transparent in the steps Arboria of Long Grove is taking to prepare our community during this unprecedented event. Our team has been working tirelessly to prepare for possible scenarios related to COVID-19.

We’ve developed a series of precautionary steps that our community is implementing to help reduce everyone’s risk of COVID-19. Additionally, you can access updates at the following website.

Our community is:

  • Continuing to follow the guidance from both the CDC and local health authorities
  • Increasing the frequency and rigor of cleaning and sanitizing common community areas
  • Encouraging a temporary reduction in visitation and deliveries
  • Reducing on-site group social events and recreational activities
  • Reviewing our emergency preparedness and response program
  • Asking residents to communicate any travel plans
  • Coordinating best practices and across our large partner network
  • Making the CDC’s COVID-19 prevention resources and recommendations available to all residents

According to the CDC, many of our residents are at a higher risk for serious illness, and we’re providing all residents and their families with the most up-to-date guidance from the CDC and local health officials on the steps they can take to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

We are strongly encouraging all our residents to follow the CDC’s guidelines for individuals at higher risk, which includes:

  • Avoiding crowds and large social gatherings
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting personal spaces
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Regularly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Stay in your residence if you are showing flu-like symptoms or are sick with respiratory illness, including fever, and coughing

These are simple yet important steps that we should all be taking to protect ourselves and our community.

Our teams are staying in communication with local health officials and will share regular updates on COVID-19. For more the most up to date information and personal health recommendations, please visit the websites below:

Updates from LCS: https://www.lcsnet.com/covid-19-update/

COVID-19 Prevention Recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html

COVID-19 Symptoms: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

What To Do If You Think You Are Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet.pdf

Coronavirus Update

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The health, safety and well-being of our residents, employees and families is always a priority at our community.  With the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the news and in the minds of many, we want to address actions, which are taking place related to this concern.  

Some of the actions we are addressing include:

  • Consistent updates and communication to those who live and work at the community.
  • Evidence-based precautions that align with guidelines provided by the CDC.
  • Reviewing emergency preparedness and response measures in the event that a virus impacts our community or the surrounding area.
  • Changes to our travel and visitation guidelines for all employees, partners and guests.

We are closely monitoring local, state and federal health agencies to ensure we can respond quickly and effectively to protect our community and mitigate risks of an outbreak.

We will continue to remain vigilant in our efforts to preserve the health and safety of our community. 

If you have questions, concerns or need more information, please contact ArboriaofLongGroveLIFE@ArboriaofLongGrove.com or (847) 383-6737

 

Helpful Resources

Centers for Disease Control

World Health Organization

Illinois State Health Department

 

Arboria of Long Grove Management Company Nets Top Ranking in J.D. Power Study

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Arboria of Long Grove received some exceptional coverage in the Daily Herald recently regarding the a recent U.S. Senior Living Study by J.D. Power.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

Arboria of Long Grove’s management company, Life Care Services, has been ranked highest in customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Senior Living Study.

Life Care Services, an LCS company, achieved the highest score in all seven study factors: resident services and activities; community staff; food and beverage; new resident orientation; resident cost; community and grounds; and resident apartment unit. Life Care Services, the nation’s second-largest senior living operator, scored 843 on a 1,000-point scale, a full 49 index points above the second-highest performing senior living organization.

To read the article in its entirety, CLICK HERE.

Arboria of Long Grove Named 2018 Choice Community Award Winner by Holleran Consulting

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Arboria™ of Long Grove is pleased to announce it has been named a 2018 Choice Community Award Winner by Holleran Consulting, the premier research and consulting organization offering employee and resident engagement benchmarks to senior living communities across the country. Arboria of Long Grove is one of only 13 communities announced in the first round of awards, and is one of 5 communities announced that are managed by Life Care Services®, An LCS® Company.

Winners of the 2018 Choice Community Awards have exceeded Holleran Engagement Benchmark scores for either employee engagement or resident engagement in the past six months.

“We are excited to recognize the Holleran 2018 Choice Communities,” states Michele Holleran, CEO, and founder of the research firm. “It is important to have an industry gold standard such as the Holleran Benchmark, by which to measure and recognize top employee and resident engagement communities. This designation was created because Holleran knows the value of being a Choice Community. These communities boast strong cultures of employee and resident engagement where employees feel their workplaces honor them, and residents feel they are supported in their successful aging,” expresses Michele Holleran.

Holleran has the largest benchmark of senior living engagement scores by which campuses can compare performance relative to their peers. “Choice Communities earn this designation – this is the one that really counts and is legitimate. It is not an award communities apply for; it is more than a marketing technique,” explains Michele Holleran. Backed by 26 years of solid research and uncompromised measures, Holleran provides campuses with the data they need to increase their employee retention and provide a culture of engagement to their residents.

The second round of Choice Community Award Winners will be released in January 2019. Holleran is the premier provider of employee and resident engagement and satisfaction research and benchmarks, serving more than 750 not-for-profit senior living providers nationally.

Arboria of Long Grove is a rental community managed by Life Care Services—a leading manager of senior living communities nationwide. Included in the monthly rent, residents enjoy three chef-prepared meals served 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year—with an ever-changing breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. In addition to residential living with fulltime assisted living and memory care, the community offers a short-term stay option for seniors that benefits the entire family—called The Caregiver Relief Program.

For more information about Arboria of Long Grove, seniors and families may call (847) 383-6737 or visit www.ArboriaofLongGrove.com.

About Life Care Services®

Life Care Services, An LCS Company, established in 1971 and based in Des Moines, Iowa, is the third largest manager of full-service senior living communities. Life Care Services currently provides operations, and marketing and sales management services for not-for-profit and for-profit Life Plan Communities, formerly known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), and rental independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities nationwide. For more information, visit lifecareservicesLCS.com.