Halloween and Other October Festivities

At American House, providing our residents with the opportunity for intergenerational activities is a key part of our mission. So when Deerfield Elementary chose to American House Elmwood for a trick-or-treat visit, our residents were thrilled. Young and young-at-heart alike had an amazing time, with the students being courteous as residents welcomed them to their home. The students’ costumes were creative and residents loved hearing about how they were chosen.

In the days leading up to Halloween, residents at American House Troy decided to turn their apartments into spooky, haunted residences. Executive Director Debbie Smith explained that senior citizens are often overlooked on holidays like Halloween, but not at our Troy location! The Detroit News stopped by to check out the spooky and fun ways residents decked out their apartments.

Not only did our residents celebrate the fun and exciting times of Halloween, but with October comes Oktoberfest! Detroit Tigers’ mascot Paws stopped by American House Stone to spend time and visit with residents. They had a day full of fun activities!

Want to see a recap from our entire fun-filled month of October? Check out our YouTube video!

Every month at American House brings a host of special and engaging activities. To schedule a tour and learn more about what we offer in our senior living communities, please visit our Web site or call (248) 579-4422. To stay in touch, find us on Facebook and Twitter.

16 Tips for Choosing a Senior Living Community

Deciding where to live is a huge decision, based on so many different factors — including the location, the appearance, amenities (Fireplace? Extra closets?) and sometimes just a feeling that this is the place. Choosing a senior living community can be the same way and sometimes making that decision can be overwhelming. At American House, we’d like to make that decision as simple as possible for you — and we’ve compiled a list of 16 Tips for Choosing a Senior Living Community.

While you are choosing a senior living community, especially if you are looking for a community when you cannot visit personally, keep in mind the needs and wishes of the loved one who will be living there and include them in the process as much as possible.
Here are several questions to keep in mind as you visit and assess senior living communities for your loved one (courtesy of the Assisted Living Federation of America or ALFA):

  1. Do you like its location and outward appearance? Is the decor attractive and homey?
  2. Do you receive a warm greeting from staff welcoming you to the community?
  3. Do residents socialize with each other and appear happy and comfortable?
  4. Is the community well-designed for your needs?
  5. Are there different costs for various levels or categories of personal care? Are there discount programs?
  6. Is there a staff person to coordinate home healthcare visits from a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, etc., if needed?
  7. Does the community provide housekeeping services in personal living spaces?
  8. Can residents arrange for transportation on fairly short notice?
  9. Are barber/beautician services offered on-site?
  10. Does the community provide scheduled transportation to doctors’ offices, the hairdresser, shopping and other activities desired by residents?
  11. Are different sizes and types of apartments available? Are apartments for single and double occupancy available?
  12. Is there evidence of organized activities, such as a posted daily schedule, events in progress, reading materials, visitors, etc.?
  13. Do residents participate in activities outside of the community in the neighboring community?
  14. Do volunteers, including family members, come into the community to help with or to conduct programs?
  15. Does the community create a sense of inclusion by encouraging residents to participate in activities?
  16. Are common dining areas available? May residents eat meals in their apartment? Do dining room menus vary and may residents request special foods?

To schedule a tour and learn more about what we offer in our senior living communities at American House, please visit our website or call (248) 579-4422. We’re confident that you’ll get that this is the place feeling when you visit us!

American House Honored to Remember Our Veterans

It’s been 93 years since Veterans Day was first recognized, to celebrate and thank the millions of men and women who answered the call to serve their country. This upcoming Veterans Day marks another year American House has done what it can to celebrate and thank them too.

“The residents of our community represent decades of service,” explained Bob Gillette, who founded American House in 1979. “To be able to serve them and their families is a privilege and an honor.”

American House Choir performs. Photo Credit: Jason Vaughn/Vaughn Media

Recognizing veterans through song, educating future generations, sharing experiences and giving back to our communities, are just a few of the ways American House knows how to serve our veterans.

Patriotic themes and holidays have always been central to the wellness programs at American House. This year, American House’s patriotic programming focused around the establishment of the American House Choir, which saw its debut at this year’s Flag Day, on June 14.

Lead by conductor Daniel Greig, the choir exhibited their love of music and country by singing patriotic favorites. Throughout the year, members of the choir, many of whom are veterans themselves, have belted out patriotic staples like “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful.”

Bob Gillette, Founder, American House. Photo Credit: Jason Vaughn/Vaughn Media

The debut of the American House Choir program during Flag Day also allowed us time to recognize the veterans of the community, with the help of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 Color Guard, who were kind enough to help us honor our proud residents and combat veterans.

A few weeks after Flag Day, the choir performed for Independence Day, but perhaps the shining moment for the American House Choir would come during Navy Week, on Sept. 7. Their love of music would again be on showcase, when they opened for the likes of the Navy Band, and the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra, at Metro Park in Harrison Township, Michigan.

In addition to singing during Navy Week, many residents were also able to enjoy the spectacular naval vessels, which sailed and docked along Detroit’s riverfront. Among the vessels were modern ships like the USS Hurricane, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard Brig Niagara, which is an exact reconstruction of a wooden-hulled ship that helped win the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie.

Equally as important as celebrating veterans is to empower and educate future generations of Americans. For example, American House resident, invited to speak to the students and staff of Holy Family Elementary, brought his experiences to them. Murphy was a radioman for a Boeing B-17 heavy bomber during World War II.

American House Resident, 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

United States Veteran’s Administration estimates that the population of WWII veterans will dip below 1.5 million, less than one tenth of the population who served our country during those years. Now is the time to pass on firsthand experience, before it is lost.

“I’ve been blessed to know and work with America’s heroes,” said Gillette. “We’ve been given an opportunity to help the remaining veterans pass on their stories. We can all benefit from their wisdom, courage, and experience.”

In addition to education and life enrichment, American House is committed to giving back to our veterans. In efforts to help the Veterans Support Center in Roseville replenish their pantry, American House East II will be holding a food drive through the duration of November. Non-perishable food items can be dropped off at 18760 13 Mile Rd, Roseville, from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., seven days a week.

The term “veteran” has become synonymous with the word “sacrifice.” Throughout this memorial season, remember to thank a veteran, young or old. Everyone is welcome to visit their local American House, view our Wall of Honor, and thank the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives to ensure our freedoms.

Founded over 30 years ago, the goal of American House is to provide the most rewarding life experiences for each and every resident. To find an American House near you this Veterans Day, please visit http://www.americanhouse.com/ or call (248) 203-1800.