Top 10 Benefits of Pet Ownership for Seniors (And P.S.: American House is Pet Friendly!)

Think back to your childhood. Chances are some of your favorite memories involve your cherished family pet (or pets). Days spent playing fetch in the yard with Fido, cuddling with purring fur ball Fluffy or talking walks around the neighborhood with Rover likely make you reminisce with a smile. Well, those same warm feelings can be yours all over again!

Benefits of Pet Ownership for Seniors - American House BlogAMERICAN HOUSE IS PET FRIENDLY

Cats and dogs are wonderful additions to your life — and at American House, we understand and encourage that type of bond! Many of our communities are pet friendly, so don’t worry about bringing your furry friends along with you when you move.

Or, if you don’t already have a pet, perhaps you should consider getting one! Pets offer plenty of benefits, not the least of which is constant companionship. You’ll look forward to spending time petting your new cat or dog, and you’ll be able to relax and find comfort with your new-found friend.

The Top 10 Benefits of Pet Ownership for Seniors:

  1. Pets help lower YOUR blood pressure
  2. Animals help relieve stress
  3. Four-legged friends ease the pain of loss after a loved one passes away
  4. Pets offer security and unconditional love
  5. You’ll be more active with a pet around
  6. Furry friends provide comfort when you’re sad
  7. Those who have pets have less depression
  8. They’re a great opportunity for social interaction
  9. Pet owners have fewer doctor visits
  10. Having a pet helps you establish a routine and responsibility

AMERICAN HOUSE

We want American House to feel just like home and that includes allowing your pet to live with you, too. Call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to find out which of our communities welcome pets. Then, picture all the things you and Fluffy or Fido will do here!

How To Be A Lifelong Learner

One of the keys to longevity is to seek learning opportunities that challenge your mind. We know you’ve learned A LOT in your life, but there’s always room for more. Not sure what to learn about? If you have access to a computer with Internet, you have an entire WORLD of learning at your fingertips!

Here are some ideas on How to be a Lifelong Learner using online resources:

A COLLEGE DEGREE

Is one of your life goals to earn a college degree — but maybe you’ve given up hope of achieving it? Don’t! It’s never too late! You may have heard the University of Phoenix commercials on the radio or watched them on TV, but did you know YOU can enroll and start earning credits toward a degree…at ANY age? It’s true. There are plenty of online college courses now that anyone can enroll in, whether you want a degree or just the knowledge gained.

How To Be A Lifelong Learner - American House BlogLEARN A NEW LANGUAGE

Hola! Bonjour! Guten tag! Ni hao! In how many languages can you say “hello?” Well, if you want to learn how to say even more popular words and phrases — and even converse in another language — look no further than your computer. If you want to learn how to say a simple phrase, just search for “Google translate” in your search bar. You simply type a word, pick what language you’d like it translated to, and viola — it will appear.

Even if you’d like a more thorough immersion into a language, that’s available, too. There are online courses, YouTube videos and DVDs to order so you can learn at home, at your own pace. You can even gather a few friends and have a weekly language lesson! Spice things up by making a cultural day of it, including snacks, clothing and music from the country whose language you are learning. Fun AND educational!

SEW, KNIT OR CROCHET

If you’ve always wanted to make yourself a cute and cozy hat, give some homemade scarves to your loved ones for holiday or birthday gifts, or even lovingly create an heirloom blanket for that new baby in your life, now’s your chance! Whatever you want to make, chances are there’s a YouTube video to help you through each step.

All you have to do is type in “How to make a scarf: YouTube” into your favorite search engine (or on the YouTube page) and dozens of results will come up. You may have to watch a few of them to see which one is the best for your skill level and design needs, but you’ll be on your way to creating something lovely — and learning a new skill — in no time.

LEARN ABOUT BUSINESS, MENTAL HEALTH, BODY LANGUAGE AND MORE

Have you ever heard of TED Talks? TED is a nonprofit geared toward spreading information via powerful speakers. You can watch thousands of different talks online, on a myriad of subjects.

Visit www.ted.com to see their full overview. Browse through and watch videos on technology, entertainment, design, business and global issues. Or, if you’re looking for a particular subject matter (like “How I Beat Stage Fright”), type that and “TED Talks” into your search bar and see what pops up.

The things you learn will surely make great conversation topics when you meet up with your friends!

HOW TO BE A LIFELONG LEARNER AT AMERICAN HOUSE

At American House, our residents never stop learning! We have plenty of opportunities for learning new skills and more with the activities we plan. Call us today at (248) 579-4422 to schedule a tour and see all the benefits life at American House has to offer!

5 Tips To Keep Seniors Safe From Fraud and Scams

Unfortunately, there are people out there hoping to take advantage of the kindness of senior citizens. But don’t worry, with these 5 Tips to Keep Seniors Safe from Fraud and Scams, your loved ones can learn how to protect themselves and avoid being scammed.

1. Don’t ever give personal information in response to an email.

The amazing thing about technology is that anyone can make a pretty close duplicate of anything online — meaning there could be a fake website and email that looks EXACTLY like the real one, except you can’t tell at first glance. That’s why you never want to respond to an email with any personal information; even if the email looks like it’s from your cable company/financial institution/health care provider/etc. No bank or other reputable company will ask you to give personal information in an email.

Tips To Keep Seniors Safe From Fraud and Scams2. Don’t trust links sent to you.

On that same note, don’t click on a link from an email and enter your personal information on that website you’re sent to — because it could be a fake site. This is especially true when you come across something on social media. It bears repeatingthat scammers create scams to “phish” for information from you. They’ll make you think you’re at a real website, but when you enter your personal information — bank account number, Social Security number, etc. — it leads straight to the scammer who now can use that information fraudulently. If in doubt, open a new window and perform a search for the business, then go to their website from there (and make sure the web address starts with “https” when entering personal information; the “s” means secure).

3. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. You’re not being given a million dollars just because.

Haven’t entered a sweepstakes or the lottery? Then you didn’t win one. And unless you actually have family across the pond, some lovely person in Nigeria doesn’t need you to help them transfer money (with a huge reward payment for you for doing so). Sure, sometimes people are lucky. If someone really wants to give you money, they will — no strings attached. Don’t ever give out any personal information (including bank details) to someone who says you’ll get tons of money in return.

4. Trust your gut.

If alarm bells are ringing in your head and your instincts are telling you something isn’t right, trust that feeling. Even if you may not be able to specifically pinpoint what seems amiss. Your grandson Johnny is calling and asking you to wire him money to Portugal — but you swear that doesn’t sound like him and you really didn’t think he was out of the country? Yeah, it’s probably not him. Call his mom or talk to someone else before sending him any money.

5. Don’t give personal information to anyone who calls you. Even to “verify” or for “security purposes.”

If you didn’t call them, you cannot be certain the person is really who they say they are. They could be posing as an insurance adjuster, relative, utility employee or someone else who “needs” your bank account number/Social Security number/other personal information.

This includes NOT giving out your address, your middle name, your last name, your maiden name, etc. If they are calling you from the company they say they are, they will have all that information at their disposal. If, however, you do call them at a trusted number, you can give out your security codes if necessary — without revealing all of your personal information.

AMERICAN HOUSE

At American House, your loved ones are taken care of. We talk to our residents about scams they may encounter, because we want to keep them safe in all matters — such as with these 5 Tips to Keep Seniors Safe from Fraud and Scams. Visit us today at www.americanhouse.com to find a community near you and schedule a visit!

American House Named Most Responsive Senior Living Community By SeniorAdvisor.com

Everyone at American House Senior Living Communities is honored to be named the MOST RESPONSIVE SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY by SeniorAdvisor.com. The site gave us a responsive rating of 91 percent for all our communities! The next most-responsive community had an 88 percent rating; but the third- and fourth-place finishers? They only had mere 43 and 38 percent responsive ratings, respectively.

What you have to say matters. Period. That’s why everyone at American House Senior Living Communities makes it a priority to read your online comments and reviews — and RESPOND to them. So you know you’ve been heard. Because when you know you’re being heard, you know your loved one is in excellent — and attentive — hands.

Read about the ratings here.

Like what you read? Visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a tour of an American House Senior Living Community today!

The Most Responsive Senior Living Providers on SeniorAdvisor.com [Infographic]

Infographic posted with permission from SeniorAdvisor.com.

4 Signs That It’s Time To Move Into A Senior Living Community

Moving into a senior living community is NOT being sentenced to an “old folks” home anymore. New retirement communities are chock full of socializing and fun, enriching activities. It’s about shedding the homeowner responsibility for the freedom of living in your own place without all the constraints – and upkeep. Not sure it’s time to move, though? Go through this checklist of 4 Signs That it’s Time to Move into a Senior Living Community (and use these 5 Important Steps to Find the Best Assisted Living Community when you decide it’s time).

Signs That It's Time To Move Into A Senior Living Community1. Do days go by without any in-person interaction?

It’s lonely if you don’t have anyone at home to talk to. There’s no one to share a laugh with at a new TV show, or to take a walk around the neighborhood. Isolation isn’t healthy, especially for seniors who are dealing with the loss of a spouse. But more importantly, staying connected with others is one of the key points in How to Lead a Longer, Healthier Life (Plus 10 Longevity Tips). Moving into a senior living community allows for plenty of socialization and new friends!

2. Having a hard time with all the interior and exterior home maintenance?

Cutting the grass and shoveling snow can be a difficult task and paying someone to come over may be a headache in itself. It’s understandable. And you can forget about roof repairs or fears of the hot water heater giving out — ouch! Moving into a senior living community means that all those maintenance issues — indoor and outdoor — are taken care of for you. Less stress, more time to enjoy your abode…and decorate it with memories! Don’t forget to use these 16 Tips for Choosing a Senior Living Community  during your search!

3. Getting bored?

You don’t have to be bored! That’s one of the 10 Misconceptions about Growing Older! Luckily, senior living communities are FULL of things to do: Sports, crafts, music, food – it’s limitless. There are trips to fun events, regularly scheduled outings such as grocery shopping or doctor’s appointments and in-house programming for everyone to participate in during the week.

4. Have you fallen? More than once?

One of the good things about senior living communities is the varied level of care they’re able to provide. This means you can have easy access to a medical team and staff to take care of certain things that you may not be able to do for yourself. And if you’re at American House Senior Living Communities, we use iBalance Machines to Reduce the Risk of Falls  for residents. Need a little extra help? We’re here with you.

AMERICAN HOUSE

Deciding when to move into a senior living community can be a difficult one — but at American House Senior Living Communities, we’re here to help you through the process. Visit www.americanhouse.com to find a location near you and schedule a visit today. You can take a tour and talk to our team of caring staff members about your transition into a senior living community.

American House Joins in the Woodward Dream Cruise — And Hosts Several Community Car Shows

In Metro Detroit, we’re all about the cars — especially in August, which is highlighted by the world-famous Woodward Dream Cruise! At American House, we’re certainly jumping in on the action. How? By having our very own car shows and participating in the biggest one around.

woodwarddreamcruise1

Did you know our American House Royal Oak residents have the unique pleasure of being able to join in the annual Woodward Dream Cruise? It’s true! With the help of Executive Director Chris Laymac, we’ll be decorating the American House bus and cruising up and down Woodward so our residents can oooh and aaah at all the classic cars.

Our residents love to reminisce about their younger years while admiring all the cars. They talk about what they drove and what their spouse drove. What are their favorites? Everyone usually loves all the convertibles — especially the men — and the younger residents seem to like the Ford Mustangs.

If you’re a car aficionado, too, you can stop by any — or all — of our car shows at several American House communities to admire the cars or bring your own for others to appreciate. Here’s a list of our American House Car Shows:

AMERICAN HOUSE CAR SHOWS

* Saturday, August 9: From 1-3 p.m. at American House Farmington Hills (24400 Middlebelt in Farmington Hills)
* Wednesday, August 13: From noon to 2 p.m. at Park Place (29250 Heritage Parkway in Warren)
Stop by for a special appearance by Elvis! There will be a 50/50 raffle, prizes for the top three cars, hot dogs, popcorn and other goodies.
* Monday, August 18: From 5-7 p.m. at American House Elmwood (2251 W. Auburn Road in Rochester Hills)
Enjoy oldies music and delicious food while checking out the classic cars!
* Thursday, August 21: From 5-7 p.m. at American House Stone & Village (This event is at Stone: 3741 South Adams Road in Rochester Hills)
We’ll be having a BBQ, refreshments, goodie bags for everyone who brings a car, music by the DJ Crashers, a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and prizes for the top three cars — plus you can ride the Big Wheel!
* Friday, August 22: From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American House Sterling Meadows (33433 Schoenherr in Sterling Heights)
* Friday, August 29: From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American House Southfield (27577 Lahser Road in Southfield)
* Friday, September 5: From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American House East Two (18760 13 Mile Road in Roseville)
There will be a food tent, a 50/50 raffle and Happy DJ beats for all to enjoy.

woodwarddreamcruise2

And while you are out enjoying all the fun, know that you are helping a GREAT cause. Proceeds benefit the American House Foundation, which partners with local nonprofit organizations to identify seniors in need in Metro Detroit.

AMERICAN HOUSE
We have plenty of unique activities and outings for our residents in addition to the adventure of the Woodward Dream Cruise! Call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a tour and see for yourself why residents have so much fun.

4 Tips To Help Seniors Stay Safe In The Summer Heat

Help Seniors Stay Safe In The Summer Hear - American House Blog

When the temperature rises, it’s easy to want to spend all your time outdoors. But everyone — especially seniors — must pay attention to the heat and its effects. Here are 4 Tips to Help Seniors Stay Safe in the Summer Heat:

1. Sunscreen: 30+ SPF.

You’ll need at least a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher whenever you’re outdoors — even on cloudy days. Why? The sun emits UVA and UVB rays that penetrate clouds and those rays can cause skin cancer (and sunburn).

UVA rays contribute to the Aging of your skin as far as wrinkles and dry skin are concerned and UVB rays are the rays that Burn your skin. Both types of rays are responsible for contributing to skin cancer, so it’s important that your sunscreen blocks both.

2. Hydrate more than 8×8.

You may not even realize it, but you need to make sure you’re drinking more water while you’re dealing with the heat in order to prevent dehydration. That means water — not coffee, soda or other sugary drinks (especially alcohol) that could actually speed up the dehydration process. Remember that sweating means water is leaving your body, so you need to replenish it.

So, how much water should you drink? We’ve heard the eight 8 oz. glasses per day rule — which is good to startwith. If you’re exercising, doing anything strenuous or dealing with hot weather, you’ll need to up your intake. Note: Ideally, you want your urine to be as close to clear as possible; the darker yellow it is, the more water you need (barring any medical conditions or medications that change the color).

3. Use cooling towels and fans.

There are these terrific, inexpensive inventions called cooling towels. These towels are made of a high-tech fabric that holds moisture but stays dry to the touch. You wet the towels under a faucet, wring them out slightly and then place them around your neck (or your head, or your wrists, if you have the headband or wristband variety). These special towels will cool you off, leave you dry and all you have to do to reactivate them is to run them under water again in a couple hours. And they really work!

Portable fans, whether they’re the type you hold in your hand or wear around your neck or clipped to a chair, can help take the edge off the heat. The hotter it is, the harder your body works to cool itself off — so why not help it out every little bit you can!

4. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

If you’ve ever visited a tropical locale in the Caribbean or Hawaii, you’ve surely noticed that even professionals wear “relaxed” clothing (including short-sleeved shirts) during the day. That’s because it’s just easier to embrace the heat. The same is true for the weather no matter where you live: If it’s hot and you’re going to be outside, be sure to dress in flowy skirts, shorts, short-sleeved shirts and loose tops in breathable fabrics. This allows your skin breathe and the air to flow over the sweat, cooling you off. Make sure your clothes are not dark browns and blacks, because the sun holds onto the heat in those colors more than white and other light colors.

AMERICAN HOUSE

At American House, we love to be able to enjoy outdoor activities, especially during the summer – and we surely keep in mind these 4 Tips to Help Seniors Stay Safe in the Summer Heat! Schedule a tour of a community near you today by calling us at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com. We’d love to show you all the activities and events we have planned!

American House Brings Music to Residents’ Ears in Many Ways

American House Music

What’s the one thing that no matter where you are, who you’re with or how old you are, can make you smile and take you back in time to a place that made you happy? Music! At American House, music is a great way to unite residents and staff and create a lasting feel-good vibe throughout the community! And, best of all, it’s known that music benefits our physical AND mental health.

Here are some of the ways American House incorporates music into life around our communities and how residents can revel in the music, too:

Join the American House Choir

We have our very own choir that residents can join — and then travel to other communities to perform! Or, just attend performances to listen to the beautiful harmonies (and sing along if it’s that kind of performance (like during one of our Christmas Carol appearances)!

Visit with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

We’re proud to have partnered with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to have some of the very talented musicians drop by American House to play for and interact with our residents. We’ve also taken residents to downtown Detroit to watch a DSO performance. Outstanding!

Sing on your own

You don’t have to be part of a group to get your groove on! Take it from American House resident Will, who we dubbed our own American House Idol because of his lovely ability to serenade residents with his wonderful voice! If you’ve got it in you, sing it!

Turn up the radio

You don’t need a stage, a microphone or even an audience to enjoy the benefits of music! Just turn on a radio and let the music flow until you start humming a little under your breath and dancing to the beat. You’ll be singing your heart out before you know it!

AMERICAN HOUSE

At American House, we do all we can to keep our residents happy and healthy and having fun — and music is a large part of that! Stop by an American House location close to you for a tour and you can see for yourself all the ways our residents enjoy themselves. Call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule your visit!

American House Residents Share Advice and Wisdom for 2014 Graduates

Wisdom for 2014 Graduates - American House Blog

Congratulations, graduates! With lots of hard work, you did it!

Whether you’re graduating from high school or college, our residents at American House Senior Living Communities wanted to share some of their wisdom with you, to help you along your next journey in life! They’ve seen a lot and have tons of life experiences to guide you.

Here’s some advice our residents would like to share withnew graduates:

“It’s a big world and it’s rough — get a good education and put your best foot forward. Stay ahead of the crowd.” -Mary Kay

Great life advice! No matter what situation you’re in, do your best and work hard to be the best YOU possible.

“If you graduate from high school and have good grades, go to college. If you don’t have good grades, learn one of the trades or go to vocational school.” -Aileen

It’s always a good idea to have a plan for your life after school.

“Always be true to your friends, because they’ll be with you for a long time.” –Rita Boyer

Your friends may just seem like someone to hang out with now, but over time, they’ll become so much more: A support system, family, networking unit, advice-givers, vacation buddies, parenting friends…the list is endless! Be good to them and they’ll be good to you.

“Go to college and become a professional now so you’ll have money when you retire.” –Elaine Meyer

Take it from someone who’s been there: Planning a way to have funds down the line means you can retire comfortably and won’t have to spend your golden years working too hard.

“Study.” –Claudia Daugustino

Isn’t that the key to success? Study: Not only for good grades, but because you want to learn a plethora of information that will guide you through your professional career – and life in general.

“You have a whole new life ahead of you – live, love, laugh and enjoy it.” –Jessie Fields

Don’t forget to take some time to stop and smell the roses! After all, what good is being in the “real world” if you can’t enjoy what you’ve earned?

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Share it here!

AMERICAN HOUSE

Our residents have so many wonderful stories to share! Call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a tour to see what it’s like — and you may even be able to listen to interesting stories from our residents about “the good old days” and more!

5 Unique Father’s Day Gifts For Dad

Unique Father's Day Gifts - American House Blog

This Father’s Day, don’t scour the shopping malls for the perfect gift to get Dad or Grandpa. Instead, give him something special and full of love – something priceless! Particularly for our aging relatives, the best gift is the gift of time. “Things” clutter the house and may not even be used — and really, does Dad really need any more ties?

Father’s Day is all about celebrating the man who taught you how to throw a mean fastball and who taught you how to change a flat tire. Here are 5 Unique Father’s Day Gifts for Dad (and Grandpa):

1. A memorial trip. Did he serve our country in the military? Take him to a monument or memorial service, have some lunch and talk to him about what it was like. Even if he doesn’t open up, you can talk about how he became the man he is or discuss the beautiful weather. Either way, you’re spending time together, which is what matters!

2. Tickets to a sporting event. Has dad always wanted to go to the Super Bowl? Or does he enjoy rooting on his favorite baseball team? Then get him some tickets — and go with him to a game! Even if the game isn’t soon, you can always give him an IOU for something to look forward to…and take him out for a nice meal in the meantime.

3. Create a production. Do you remember the episode on “The Cosby Show” where the kids put together a lip-syncing dance performance for the grandparents’ anniversary? Not only will you have fun with other family members rehearsing, you can have someone capture it on video and your dad can look at the video as much as he’d like!

4. A round of golf. Even if he doesn’t get out and play as much as he used to, he’d still love some time with his sons or grandsons on the back nine. Or, there’s always a good game of putt-putt with the grandkids! The point is to go out and have some fun together.

5. A picnic at the park. Put together a nice lunch of sandwiches and fruit and take Dad to the park with the grandkids. He’ll love spending some time outdoors with the family and he’ll surely treasure watching the little ones have fun on the swings. Don’t forget the handmade Father’s Day cards.

AMERICAN HOUSE CELEBRATES ALL FATHERS

We treasure all the dads and grandpas (and other father figures) who are a part of our American House family — and we’re sure they’d enjoy any of these 5 Unique Father’s Day Gifts for Dad. Stop by to see all the ways we celebrate, on Father’s Day and every day, by visiting www.americanhouse.com or calling (248) 579-4422 to schedule a tour.