Kale Power Smoothie Recipe and 9 Smoothie-Making Tips

Kale Power Smoothie Recipe and Smoothie Making Tips from the American House Blog

Why make a smoothie every day? Sometimes it may be difficult to fit all the necessary nutrients into your daily diet. Or you may not be a breakfast person but you need that morning fuel. Or, maybe you find that you generally have the 3 p.m. slumps and need a boost of energyWhatever your reasons, we’ve got a beneficial Kale Power Smoothie Recipe and 9 Smoothie-Making Tips that will help you start making tasty, energy-boosting smoothies every day (Think of having a smoothie as #5 on these 6 Resolutions that Will Change Your Life):

SUPER KALE SMOOTHIE

  • 8 oz. almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 cup blueberries

Blend ingredients well and enjoy!

9 SMOOTHIE-MAKING TIPS

If you’re new to making smoothies, that’s OK. There’s no need to make the same power smoothie recipe every day because there are so many choices out there! Experiment with these smoothie-making tips to find out which way you most enjoy your smoothie.

4 Basic Smoothie Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of a liquid – Water, or almond milk for a little more flavor. Almond milk is a healthier alternative to cow’s milk and easier to digest.
  • 1 Banana - For sweetness, thickness and nutrients. Did you know bananas can help lower high blood pressure with their high potassium and low sodium content? And they can aid in digestion, too.
  • 1 protein - For that good energy boost. Try spinach or kale (it won’t taste like you’re drinking a spinach shake, we promise). Fresh is always best, over any kind of protein powder — but if the powder is your thing, go ahead and add it.
  • 1 cup ice – As needed, to thicken up the smoothie.

5 Easy Smoothie Add-ins:

  • ½ cup of yogurt. Plain, Greek yogurt is the best. It gives you tons of protein and adds a thickness to the shake without all the added sugar of the mixed-fruit variety.
  • Fruit. Whether blueberries, strawberries, pears or kiwi (or whatever you have on hand), tossing fruit into a smoothie is a great way to add sweetness naturally – and get those nutrients!Staff_serving_2_residents_2011
  • Ginger. Shaving some fresh ginger into your smoothie helps aid digestion and quiet tummy troubles while giving your smoothie more of a sweet flavor.
  • Nut butters. These pack heart-healthy fats, protein and flavor into your smoothie. Choose almond, coconut, hazelnut or peanut butter (without the added sugar). Bonus: You can grind up your own almond butter in a food processor!
  • Flaxseeds. These may help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes — and they have Omega-3 essential fatty acids and fiber, both of which are crucial to your diet.

AMERICAN HOUSE

At American House, www.americanhouse.com, we value nutrition as an important part of staying healthy inside and out. Give us a call today at (248) 579-4422 to schedule a visit to see all the steps we take to keep you healthy and vibrant in your golden years!

If you’ve got a favorite smoothie recipe, we’d love to know! Share it with us here!

Loneliness and Health Complications In Seniors

We’ve all felt lonely at some point in our lives. Usually, it is fleeting and resolved rather quickly, but loneliness poses a real problem for some senior citizens. It’s important for friends and family members to reach out to each other often, especially since seniors can see increased health problems stemming from loneliness.

So, be sure to visit your senior friends and family members. If you’ve ever felt unsure what to say to your loved one to keep the conversation flowing, that’s OK. Use some of these great Conversation Starter Tips for talking to your senior loved ones. And loneliness is often worse on the weekends and at night, so be sure to send a card or bring pictures for your loved one to look at long after your visit is over (or even make a nightly phone call after dinner!).

HEALTH COMPLICATIONS FROM LONELINESS

Lower Immune System

There are many theorized biological reasons why a lonely person suffers from a lower immune system than someone happy and surrounded by loved ones. The bottom line is this: Those who are socially isolated have an immune system that is working in overdrive and can’t seem to fight off every infection and virus that comes across. That means lonely seniors have higher instances of cancer and other sickness that make them ill far too often.

Loneliness and Health Complications In Seniors - American House Blog

Loneliness is often worse on the weekends and at night for seniors, so be sure to send a card or bring pictures for your loved one to look at long after your visit is over.

High Blood Pressure

Interestingly, loneliness raises levels of cortisol in the body — the stress hormone — and in turn, blood pressure goes up. Therefore, those who aren’t lonely are happier and as a result, generally have less stress and lower cortisol levels — and lower blood pressure.

Strokes and Heart Attacks

Along with elevated blood pressure comes the increased risk of strokes and heart attacks, as well as other coronary issues. When the blood pressure is high, the heart is pumping harder and less is actually accomplished. Blockages can’t be pushed open and clots can form.

Disrupted Sleep

A lonely person likely isn’t having good, contented sleep at night. As a result, that person’s body doesn’t have the best chance at using that sleep for all its restorative purposes. Plus, lonely folks often have more interrupted sleep.

Depression

It’s no surprise that loneliness breeds depression. And with depression comes a slew of other less-than-ideal health conditions: Lack of care for self (as in follow up appointments with doctors) and poor hygiene (which can lead to dental problems and more) are just a few.

AMERICAN HOUSE COMBATS LONELINESS

At American House, we do everything we can to make sure your loved ones are happy, having fun and anything but lonely. Give us a call at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a visit and see for yourself all the unique activities and events we have planned in our communities and interesting facts about the nearby areas.

How To Prevent Falls: 3 Simple Prevention Exercises For Seniors

BH_Exercise_2011Are you worried about falling? Just because you’re growing older doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to take a spill or two — it’s all about strengthening your core balance. Many senior citizens fear falling and unknowingly alter their posture to compensate. However, that could be what is making you MORE susceptible to falls.

Do you find yourself leaning forward when you walk so that in case you do stumble, you can fall forward and catch yourself on your arms? This poor posture isn’t the ideal form for your body to take and your center of gravity is off-kilter — leading to a higher chance for you to become off-balance. Your hips and knees are enduring a stronger and unnatural strain, plus the front of your feet are now bearing much of your weight. As a result, your stride becomes more of a shuffle because you are taking smaller steps with your feet not leaving the ground as much. Our 3 Simple Fall Prevention Exercises for Seniors can help!

Eliminating all other factors that can cause instability, such as medications that make you dizzy and underlying conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, etc., the easiest way you can prevent falls is by incorporating a light exercise and stretching routine. And you don’t have to work hard and break a sweat; the point of this is to strengthen those muscles and keep them in tip-top shape to be able to support you!

3 SIMPLE FALL PREVENTION EXERCISES FOR SENIORS

So are you ready to begin? At American House, we are committed to helping seniors live their best lives. In fact, several of our locations have iBalance machines to help our residents exercise and reduce the chances of falling.

If you don’t have an iBalance machine at your disposal, you can still start stretching:

TOE RAISES

This exercise will strengthen the back of your legs, helping your balance and comfort leaning backward.

  • Stand behind a chair, with your hands on the back.
  • Using the strength in your legs, stand up and down on your toes. Repeat 10 times.
  • Try not to balance with your arms; the ideal goal is to do this without using the chair for support.

SIT AND REACH

This exercise strengthens your core muscles, which helps improve your balance.

  • Sit on a chair and place your feet flat on the ground.
  • Extend your arms straight in front of you and reach forward (not down).
  • Focus on using your hips, not your shoulders or your back, to stretch forward.
  • Sit back, straight up. Repeat 5 times.

HIP STABILIZER

This exercise will help strengthen your hip movements, which will help stabilize your walking.

  • Stand behind a chair, with your legs on the back of it.
  • Lift and extend your right leg to the side. Keep your knees straight and your toes pointed forward.
  • Slowly return your leg back to the ground.
  • Repeat 10 times. Switch legs and repeat 10 times.

BEFORE YOU EXERCISE 

  • ALWAYS check with your doctor before starting any new exercise or stretching program.
  • Wear proper attire: Loose clothing and shoes with support.
  • Hydrate. Drink water before, during and after any workout.
  • Stretch — before and after you exercise.

LEARN MORE

Want to learn more about staying healthy as you age? Check out the programs and amenities we have at American House Senior Living Communities! Give us a call today at (248) 579-4422 to schedule a tour or visit us online at www.americanhouse.com.

Residents And Their Families Get Connected Online Through Social Media

Last month American House launched ConnectedLiving, an interactive, cloud-based social networking platform aimed just for seniors. The platform will help our residents connect to their friends and families through social networking, email, photo and video sharing, games and even Skype!

The simple and secure web-based application uses a combination of color, images and words to simply display all the site has to offer. Its exchange features no technical jargon making it intuitive to use – residents can easily communicate with one another, get entertainment or access community information.

American House Connected Living

American House recently launched ConnectedLiving, an interactive, cloud-based social networking platform just for seniors.

Last month, American House celebrated the launch of ConnectedLiving in five of our Metro Detroit communities: Sterling Woods, MilfordDearborn Heights, Village and Baldwin House.

“Launching ConnectedLiving into our communities will bring a new way for our residents and their families to connect and safely explore the web,” said Rob Gillette, chief operating officer. “We hope this will make it easier for our communities to stay in touch with one another and their families.”

Each community celebrated the new addition of the platform with its own launch party. The events consisted of a full introduction to the network by the ConnectedLiving operations team and a ceremonious ribbon cutting of the front lobby’s interactive digital display screen. A few reporters had a chance to stop by and see everything in action as well. You can read more at the Milford Times or the Advisor & Source.

The latest stats show that as many as 43 percent of all seniors are now using social media to share photos and connect with their families. In fact, seniors are quickly becoming the fastest growing adopters to social networking and new technology!

To complement the launch of ConnectedLiving, American House will hold training programs for residents and families on the social networking platform, as well as some tips for browsing the web. Residents will learn how to view daily events and menus, read the latest news around the world, listen to music or watch their favorite movies, and even play games.

Best of all, you can access ConnectedLiving from any computer, tablet or smart phone, connecting you wherever you go. Learn more about ConnectedLiving or get connected with us by visiting any one of our five communities.

American House Begins Family Care Coordinator Program To Ease Burden For Residents And Their Loved Ones

At American House, we understand that managing health care for you and your loved ones can be tricky and time-consuming. And there may be concerns about what to do if a hospital visit or rehabilitation is necessary. That’s why we’ve partnered with Area Agency on Aging 1-B to initiate a pilot program at our American House Oakland Senior Living community to make things a bit easier.

Our on-site Family Care Coordinator Nicole Terry is your go-to person for coordinating medical care — in AND out of American House. She’s here to assist residents who come into the American House community and residents who need to go out to the hospital.

Nicole Terry

Family Care Coordinator Nicole Terry of
American House Oakland Senior Living

“The ultimate goal of the coordination is to make sure (residents) can stay here at American House and that they return,” Nicole said. Since generally family members are the ones responsible for coordinating care and making endless phone calls, Nicole said this program lifts the burden from family members so they can spend more time with loved ones.

“Plus, a lot of families aren’t knowledgeable on what services are available through Area Agency on Aging,” Nicole said. Many also don’t know about onsite rehabilitation available in the American House building and some don’t understand that skilled care is provided through a resident’s medical team. In addition, there’s also a wellness program for residents. So, the Family Care Coordinator can take care of finding – and passing along — all that information for you!

“I do think the residents are really benefitting from it,” Nicole said. “They are very happy. In some situations, they really thought there were no other options but to move out and we’ve been able to put a plan in place so they can stay here and maintain the best quality of life.”

Laura Broecker, the regional and executive director for American House Oakland Senior Living, understands that it can be very difficult to navigate through the health care system. She’s pleased that the program is making things easier on residents and their loved ones.

Having a Family Care Coordinator is helpful with controlling readmissions — or admissions — to the hospital and is in line with our goal of keeping residents healthier and well in our community.

“It can really help them with getting on that path to get the services they need,” Laura said. “It’s so overwhelming, so it’s nice to have that one person to do it.”

AMERICAN HOUSE

All residents at American House Oakland Senior Living are eligible for this free program. There is information available in the lobby, along with brochures, and Laura and Nicole are always available for any questions. To find out more about life at American House, call us at (248) 579-4422 or visit us at www.americanhouse.com to schedule a tour.

American House Honors Our Own Tuskegee Airman

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Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. Washington Ross, an American House Resident

At American House, we’re fortunate to have a whole lot of history behind our doors! We even have our very own Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. Washington Ross. Ross, who lives at American House Southfield Senior Living, always knew he wanted to be a pilot. He was born in Mississippi, the fourth son in a family of five children, and then spent his youth in Kentucky.

In the 1930s, Lt. Col. Ross said there were barnstormers who went around Kentucky, city to city, with their Ford Trimotor planes. One Sunday, these barnstormers came to his city and offered rides on the planes — for a penny per pound! So, Lt. Col. Ross paid his fare, went up in the air and was instantly smitten.

“I told my parents if I ever got the opportunity to be a pilot, I was going to take that opportunity,” Lt. Col. Ross said. And he did.

At American House, we love honoring our residents who are veterans – and we have quite a few!

FLIGHT TRAINING

In 1936, Lt. Col. Ross was a freshman in college and decided to join a program at the university to learn to fly — because the country couldn’t legally train military pilots since it was not in the war yet. He earned his pilot’s license and, although he received word from Washington, D.C. in 1940 that he was to report for the draft, he still had one year left of school and got a deferment — because he didn’t want to go to war.

After completing school, Lt. Col. Ross began teaching and noticed a sign for aviation training over in Tuskegee, Ala. So he went there and got his training.

“I wanted to be a fighter pilot,” he said. He knew that if he was drafted, he didn’t want to be with the infantry on the ground, plowing through the mud all the time. He wanted to fly.

FIGHTER PILOT

In 1943, Lt. Col. Ross graduated and became part of the 332d fighter group — which moved him to Selfridge Air National Guard Base. His first assignment was to patrol the harbor in Naples, Italy. He flew a P-47, an aircraft with eight machine guns on it. He said this was the plane he liked most to fly for actual fighting.

“You didn’t need to use your gun sight,” he said. “If you got on those Germans’ tails, you’d just start shooting and you were bound to hit it.”

In all, Lt. Col. Ross flew 63 missions in World War II. He flew P-40, P-39, P-47, P-51 and B-25 aircraft.

“My aim was to fly my missions and come home,” he said. “I only fired my gun one time.”

He was fighting for 11 months and then the war ended. He spent 20 years in the Air Force and joined the reserves, retiring from the reserves in 1981. During this time, Lt. Col. Ross also taught in the Detroit Public Schools for 29 years until he retired in 1984. Following that, he spent time talking to schools about his experiences in the Air Force and as a fighter pilot.

Lt. Col. Ross remembers there was a high-ranking government official who said, “blacks would never fly,” and when questioned why, said, “because they’re too dumb.” Pressure was put on Congress and the rules changed, and Lt. Col. Ross was able to see his dream of flight fulfilled.

THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN

In the early part of the 1970s, Lt. Col. Ross said he and three of his comrades formed the Detroit chapter of the Tuskegee Airman. His wife was also part of the Tuskegee Air Force, Lt. Col. Ross said, as a secretary — because for every pilot, there was at least 10 other people who supported them and composed the group as well.

Our very own Tuskegee Airman had four children — one girl and three boys — with his wife. We are honored to have Lt. Col. Ross at American House, sharing his bit of history with us.

AMERICAN HOUSE

We love to hear the stories our residents at American House have to tell! Call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a tour and talk to our residents yourself.

More seniors are joining online, but what’s there to do? Here’s 4 of our favorites:

2residents_ComputerMore and more seniors are getting online – are you one of them? For the first time ever in 2012, more than half of all seniors were using the internet, and even more so in 2013. By the end of 2014, who knows how many seniors will be plugged in and online!

So with more and more older adults getting online, what is there to do? Here’s a few of our favorites:

  • Staying in touch: There’s plenty of ways to stay in touch with your family online. Social media accounts can keep you involved in your loved ones’ lives. Try creating a Facebook account (or you ask a grandchild to help). Miss seeing their face and talking in person? Be sure to plug in to Skype and have a voice call with your whole family!
  • Find your inspiration: How’d you like to have a front row seat to thousands of the world’s smartest most influential people? TED puts you right in the midst of the latest and greatest ideas, and the people behind them. These short videos are accessible to anyone, and will challenge and inspire you!
  • Flint_Computer_2011Keep it personal: Sure, all this technology is great, but who doesn’t like getting snail mail every now and again? We do too! Surprise your family by sending a personalized postcard with a photo and a click and it’s mailed away. You can take a photo of anything you want to share – maybe your new American House apartment or one with your newest friends at community parties.
  • Learn something new: You’re never too old to stop learning! Ever wanted to take a class at Princeton University? How about Stanford? Now you can online. Whether you wanted to brush up on your math skills or learn psychology, you can browse courses to find something that interests you and enroll totally free. Study up!

Of course we’re just scratching the surface. Online is a great place to spend some time. How do you like to spend your time online? Did we miss one of your favorites?

4 ways to keep your senior loved ones looking – and feeling – their best

Just because they’re not in their 20s anymore doesn’t mean your senior relatives shouldn’t still be looking their best, right? When you look good, you feel good — so here are some tips on how to help keep your senior loved ones look stylish all year long!

1. Give a manicure.

manicureYour mom or grandma may not have the dexterity in her hands that she used to and it might be awkward and/or painful for her to paint her nails. Pick out a pretty polish (ask her what she likes or become a stealth observer the next time you visit her). Then, gather up your manicure tools: Nail polish remover, cotton balls, cotton swabs (for any off-the-nail messes), nail file and clippers. The next time you visit, spend some quality girl time doing her nails!

It will give you a great opportunity to talk up a storm! (Be sure to read these Conversation Starter Tips for Your Senior Loved Ones to have some topics ready to go.) TIP: Men enjoy having their nails cut and shaped, too! Just ask!

2. Cut, color, style.

You’re probably not a hairdresser (even if you are, keep reading!) but you can still help keep your loved one’s hair looking good. If your lovely lady or gentleman has a stylist they already treasure, go and get a gift certificate. Or, you can put some cash in an envelope (lovingly decorated, if you so choose) and hand it over with the express direction that it be used on a day of pampering at the hair salon.

3. Shop ‘til you drop.

shoppingbagsClothes make the man (or woman), right? If your senior loved one has a birthday coming up, or there’s a special holiday or event on the agenda, be sure to stop by and offer to take him or her shopping for some new clothes. Whether you pay or not, going shopping together is a great way to lift both of your spirits while you spend time together. But what if your loved one isn’t up for walking around the big stores and shopping malls for a few hours? Then bring the mall to them! There’s this great thing called the Internet, where you can browse tons of clothes in a fraction of the time – boot up your laptop or tablet and start shopping!

4. Bring on the skin care regimen.

Men and women experience dry and dull skin at any age, so help your loved ones brighten up their skin! Stock up on their favorite facial moisturizer, hand cream, body lotion and foot cream and they’ll start to experience that glowing skin all year long. For the ladies, try a special scented body lotion, or even some lavender-scented creams to help promote calmness and relaxation. Don’t forget a simple, but deluxe, face wash and body wash that your loved ones probably wouldn’t purchase.

VISIT AMERICAN HOUSE

At American House, we’re committed to helping our residents feel and look good! Call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a tour and find out all the exciting activities and amenities we offer for your loved ones.

American House Ranked Among Top 1% of Care Providers Nationwide

senior-advisor-guest-blogThree American House communities were presented with SeniorAdvisor Excellence Awards for receiving consistently high ratings from residents and their families in 2013. American House Southland Senior Living, American House Village Senior Living, and Park Place Heritage Village were all recognized for being rated by families as the best of the best in senior living nationwide.

SeniorAdvisor.com is a consumer reviews web site established by A Place for Mom (APFM), the nation’s largest senior living referral service, as a way for seniors and their families to share feedback on senior living communities and services. The inaugural SeniorAdvisor Excellence Award identifies the top senior living communities who have received an overall average rating of at least 4.5 stars on the site. The award winners were recognized for having the best customer ratings and reviews out of more than 100,000 senior care providers currently on SeniorAdvisor.com.

Winners of the Excellence Award are located all over the country and represent the top tier of independent living, assisted living, and Alzheimer’s care communities on the SeniorAdvisor.com website. This exclusive designation places the winners in the top one percent of senior living communities nationwide according to consumers.

“We wanted to put a spotlight on those companies who have invested efforts to deliver excellent customer service to potential and existing customers, as evidenced by their high ratings,” said Eric Seifert, President, SeniorAdvisor.com. “The recipients of the first SeniorAdvisor.com Excellence Awards set a high bar of quality for other senior care providers to follow.”

Common themes among the reviews for these award-winning independent and assisted living communities in Detroit are the safety, affordability, welcoming atmosphere, and dining experience offered by American House. The reviews ring true to the American House vision of a “vibrant senior lifestyle in superior facilities” within a compassionate and caring environment at a “price affordable for retirees and their families.” What else about these three American House communities makes them award-winning, according to families? We’ll let them tell you in their own words:

American House Southland Senior Living

  • “Mom’s New Home”
  • “Really seems to offer a lot for a good price”
  • “Maria was very friendly and informative. The option of a furnished apartment was the deciding factor for me.”
  • “The food was delicious… My mom really liked it and it seemed to fit in with her lifestyle which is a little more active… She has been there almost a month and is very happy.”

American House Village Senior Living

  • “Stopped at this one… and liked it the best.”
  • “Very interested… Not a full meal plan, which might be interesting to my mom.”
  • “Very nice… This is the best.”

Park Place Heritage Village

  • “The entire staff has been very helpful and has welcomed my mother into this community. It’s a pleasure to see her in a safe and friendly environment.”
  • “When I saw this I was like, this is it, it was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.”
  • “Park Place is absolutely beautiful. You have to see it for yourself. Mom thanks me every day that I found her new home. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. The assistant director Lindsay is a pleasure to work with. The dining room has linen table cloths; the waiters know the residents and what they like to eat and drink. Mom is meeting new friends and enjoying the outings.”

To see the full list of winning, please visit SeniorAdvisor.com.

Google authorship tag: Amelia Willson

American House Offers Certified Dementia Practitioner to Help Families and Staff Members

Having a loved one with dementia is tough. Having someone around who truly understands all sides of the effects of the decline in mental ability — for the afflicted, their family and caretakers — is absolutely necessary. At American House, we are proud to have someone who can help: Angie Kadowaki, our corporate life enrichment director and certified dementia practitioner.

NCCDPAngie received her designation from the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners after meeting several qualifications: She had to have a college degree; a minimum of five years of experience in a health-related field; a minimum of three years of experience presenting in services or seminars to health care professionals; and have numerous hours in the field before she could qualify for the extensive training program.

Part of Angie’s training means she is now able to offer family members a game plan on how to visit their loved one and not feel so sad and how to share moments in time with them. She provides valuable insight on how to communicate with someone who has dementia, how to make them more comfortable and how to make the journey less painful for family members. If you have a loved one with dementia, you know it can be hard to know what to do and say.

Angie offers some tips for families coping with these issues:

119547888“The best advice I would have for any family members is do what you need to do to enter their world,” Angie said. “Don’t expect them to become part of yours anymore. If you enter into their world, their reality, it’s so much easier for the family members and the person they love.”

This may seem a bit awkward at first, but you’ll soon catch on to the best ways to enter your loved one’s new world.

Says Angie: If your loved one says they are wearing a purple shirt when they are really wearing a blue shirt, don’t argue with them. Let it go. Trying to correct a loved one with dementia is lose-lose, she says.

“What have you gained by arguing over that?” she says. “You’ve created distrust.”

Angie said it helps to remember that family members are being invited on the loved one’s journey. Some key phrases to keep in mind:

  • “I can’t fix this.”
  • “I’m sorry it’s so painful.”
  • “Let me help you along the way.”

In addition, Angie is now able to conduct seminars with American House staff about thoughtful ideas on how to address the needs of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

AMERICAN HOUSE UNDERSTANDS DEMENTIA

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The American House Elmwood and Regent Street communities are official memory care communities, but Angie said training is offered throughout all American House communities for family members who have loved ones with dementia.

Anyone is welcome to call Angie at (248) 496-1791 with any questions regarding dementia.

To schedule a tour of any of our communities, call us at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com.