Fall is in the Air — Bringing With it Many Fun Activities for American House Residents

Ready or not, fall is here in full swing, and it just so happens to be one of my favorite seasons. As the leaves start to change color and drop to the ground, my thoughts change to the brisk air, pulling out my annuals around the house, and raking the rainbow of color scattered around my yard. With all the fun stuff happening around Michigan, I think of all the things I do with the residents. What would you like to do this fall?

Trips to the local cider mill

There’s nothing quite like having some homemade doughnuts — so warm they melt in your mouth — with a sweet cup of freshly-crushed apple cider.

Lunch and shopping in Frankenmuth

A little taste of Bavaria in Michigan feels just like traveling over to Germany — without the long flight or language barrier.

Oktoberfest and Halloween parties

Nothing brings out the kid in all of us quite like a good old-fashioned Halloween party! Tricks and treats delight kids of all ages.

Making crafts for our November craft shows

For our artsy residents, this is the perfect time to sit down and get those creative juices flowing. Just a few weeks ago, I had the chance to decorate some ceramic ornaments with our residents at East I.

Music hour

Sitting around listening to the sounds of years past with friends and acquaintances is sure to make residents smile while recalling their own wonderful memories.

Wine and cheese socials

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice, sophisticated evening of drinking good wine complimented by the perfect cheese — all in good company?

A play and lunch in Hartland

A day trip to experience the theater is a great excuse to get all gussied up!

Movie night and Detroit Lions games in our theaters

For the sports fans, we’re always following our beloved Detroit teams — so we’ll be tuning in every Sunday to watch the Detroit Lions. And everyone can get comfortable when we have a movie playing on the big screen!

Cider and donut trivia in the lounge

Fall in Michigan is all about cider and donuts — which also make a great snack to go along with trivia challenges.

Come visit me or your local American House for one of our fall activities. Hot cider and fresh donuts are always better enjoyed when they are shared with friends! You can find your local American House Senior Living community at http://www.americanhouse.com/ or by calling (248) 579-4422

By Fran Marable, Executive Director of American House East I.

Bob the Boat Builder Donates 200 Year Old Boat with a Bit of Interesting History

Bob the Boat Builder is making quite a name for himself these days! The American House resident has a story or two that would pique your interest — including the one about his recent auction donation of a 213-year-old boat that was the inspiration for another famous ship: The USS Enterprise, from television’s Star Trek.

Bob the Boat Builder, a 95-year-old American House Riverview resident, went above and beyond the call of duty when he donated an old ship to be auctioned off at the Henry Ford Health Systems Cottage Campus’ annual Clambake fundraiser. The fundraiser raises money for that campus in Grosse Pointe and Bob was thrilled to be able to make such an interesting donation.

The highest bidder, a Grosse Pointe Woods resident named Kathleen, also received a handwritten letter from Bob the Boat Builder when she took possession of her prize. In the letter, Bob made suggestions on how to restore the old boat — named the Enterprise — and also included a bit of history.

“The ship was built in the U.S.A. in 1799 at a shipyard near Boston, and took 2 years to build,” Bob wrote in his letter. “It was assigned to the Navy department to fight pirates from 1801-1815; from 1817-1823 it served in the West Indies until its good fortune ran out as she floundered…”

And, according to Bob, the great-grandfather of the director of Star Trek was actually aboard the Enterprise many years ago!

“That was why in the TV (show) his ship was called the Enterprise,” Bob wrote in his letter.

The winner of the boat, upon reading the letter, decided to take Bob up on his offer of a phone call. The two chatted on the phone for a half hour and Kathleen informed Bob that she had hosted a ladies’ lunch over the weekend and the boat was “all the talk” of her guests!

Jill Harrison, Riverview’s executive director, said Bob was thrilled his daughter was able to attend the Clambake and he felt the event had a great turnout. “Well, I think that it was a success, Boss,” he told her.

At American House, we recognize that all of our residents are truly unique and they each have special talents and bits of information – and history — to share. Check out our blog to read more! Visit us online at www.americanhouse.com or give us a call at (248) 579-4422 to talk about what we have to offer residents in our senior living communities!

Treatments Could Slow Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is complicated and extremely difficult for families and caregivers to endure while they watch their loved ones go through its heart-wrenching effects. But strides are being made, two specifically, that are bringing researchers hope that soon there will be a treatment on the market to halt the progression of deterioration in those with mild symptoms.

Two treatments could slow Alzheimer’s effects

In July, it was announced by experts at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2012 that the first long-term treatment to slow the effects of the disease, Gammagard, is showing progress. Then, in August, it was announced that another treatment, developed by Eli Lilly and Co., is showing promising signs to slow cognitive decline in patients.

An estimated 5.5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, an incurable disease characterized by deterioration of brain cells and dementia. Those with the disease experience diminished memory — both short- and long-term — and slowly lose recognition of everyday people and things.

Strides in research bring hope

According to USA Today, research by the Washington University School of Medicine indicates that Alzheimer’s disease starts changing the brain 25 years before someone even begins showing symptoms. The research, published in July in The New England Journal of Medicine, sheds light on the treatments being tested in trials throughout the country.

One of the treatments being tested, Gammagard, is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat other diseases. The treatment is being tested by Alzheimer’s disease patients and while the studies have not shown any improvement in most of the disease’s symptoms, the important part that USA Today notes is patients did not show any further decline in cognition, memory, mood or daily functioning.

Currently, no treatments stop the brain cell deterioration from the disease.

Another treatment being tested by Eli Lilly and Co. is the first drug in its class that shows positive results in people with Alzheimer’s, according to USA Today. The results indicate the treatment targets proteins in the brain and makes changes that stop or slow the progression of the disease from more debilitating stages.

American House cares

Hopefully, the next decade will bring a treatment that will stop the steady decline of the effects of Alzheimer’s. To help, 30 percent of our sponsorship money through the American House Foundation will go directly toward researching age-related issues, such as Alzheimer’s. At American House, we care about our residents and their loved ones and we strive to bring you the most up-to-date information on research. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask us.

American House Review from Resident Family Member

We are so pleased to share this review from an American House Resident Family Member.

“The outing you arranged for the Navy Veterans was ideal for my father. It has been over a week and he is still talking about it with joyful tears in his eyes! The servicemen who greeted him with a hearty handshake and kind words will remain in his memory forever. And that is saying so much, since his memory is starting to fail him. I have noticed an extra spring in his step and new stories about his days as a Seabee from along time ago. This trip really sparked something inside of him…something that I hadn’t seen in a while.”

– Denice M., Daughter of an American House Resident

Top 10 Principles to Look for When Choosing a Senior Living Community

Making the decision to move a loved one into a senior living community isn’t one that’s made lightly, and choosing the right community should be done with careful consideration. At American House, we are proud to be a desired assisted living community that provides personal care services in a comfortable residential atmosphere.

General amenities of an assisted living community, such as American House, generally include: Three meals a day in a common dining room; housekeeping services; transportation; security; exercise and wellness programs; laundry services; and social and recreational activities. At American House, we are happy to also provide additional amenities, services and care to make our residents as happy and comfortable as possible.

The Assisted Living Federation of American (ALFA) encourages loved ones choosing a senior living community to look for a general philosophy of care based on 10 principles, making residents a top priority:

  • Offering cost-effective quality care personalized for the resident’s needs
  • Fostering independence for each resident
  • Treating each resident with dignity and respect
  • Promoting the individuality of each resident
  • Allowing each resident choice of care and lifestyle
  • Protecting each resident’s right to privacy
  • Nurturing the spirit of each resident
  • Involving family and friends in care planning and implementation
  • Providing a safe, residential environment
  • Making the assisted living community a valuable asset to the surrounding community

At American House, our residents are our first priority. From interaction with our staff to the various amenities and activities we offer, we try our hardest to ensure our residents are happy and engaged with our community.

Check out our blog for updated stories about what our residents are up to — like American House Idol or the Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader spelling bee we had at a local school.

To schedule a tour and learn more about what we offer in our senior living communities at American House, please visit our website at http://www.americanhouse.com/ or call (248) 579-4422.

American House Residents Write Winning Essays About the War of 1812

Alfred displays a model Boeing B-17. He was a radio man for a B-17 during World War II. Photo Credit: Jason Vaughn/Vaughn Media

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 — also known as the “Forgotten War” or the “Second American Revolution.” But for so many, especially those who have served in the U.S. Navy, the War of 1812 ushered in many changes and remains an integral part of our history.

That’s why the U.S. Navy Recruiting District Assistance Council-MI (RDAC), the Michigan Council for History Education and the Michigan War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission — along with American House Senior Living Communities — decided to have an essay contest on why the War of 1812 was important in the development of the U.S. Navy.

We’re proud to announce that Wilbur, a resident at American House Riverview earned first place with his essay and Alfred, a resident at American House Village of Rochester Hills took second place with his essay.

Wilbur, a 97-year-old retired Navy man, enjoyed researching and writing his essay on how the War of 1812 advanced the development of the Navy. He is excited to share his gift of history with others (and just celebrated his birthday last week!).

Alfred, a 90-year-old man retired from the Army Air Corps, is a very spirited and gifted storyteller. (Check out another blog post about him here)

The essay contest, open to U.S. veterans ages 45 and older, aimed to empower folks to learn how the War of 1812 influenced Michigan through naval battles on the Great Lakes and high seas, and how the war shaped the future of Michigan.

You can read Wilbur’s first-place essay here.

You can read Alfred’s second-place essay here.

Congratulations, Wilbur and Alfred, on your wonderful essays — and thank you for sharing them with us!

American House is committed to providing opportunities for our residents to get involved and share their knowledge and interests with others. Check out our blog to read more, and visit us online at www.americanhouse.com or give us a call at (248) 579-4422 to talk about how much we offer in our senior living communities!