American House and Detroit Symphony Orchestra Expand Partnership Into 2013

imagesPartnership to bring world-class musicians to over 20 American House communities

DETROIT – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and American House Senior Living Communities have announced plans to deepen their partnership, which will bring individual musicians and small ensembles from the orchestra to engage with residents at over 20 American House locations in the metro Detroit area throughout 2013. An extremely broad geographic area will be served, spanning Roseville to Westland and Riverview to Pontiac.

In the fall of 2011, the DSO launched its Neighborhood Residency Initiative (NRI), comprised of orchestra concerts, chamber music, educational and social service partnerships, and senior engagement programs focused in and around six metro Detroit communities: Beverly Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Dearborn, Grosse Pointe, Southfield, and West Bloomfield. In early 2012, a series of customized small ensemble performances were piloted at three American House locations in these communities. In 2013 over 20 of these concerts will be presented in and around these areas.

In addition to providing an intimate musical experience for American House residents, a growing body of research has concluded that music has therapeutic effects on older adults, including: strengthened memory and cognitive function, chronic pain management, improvement in mood, and overall improvement in quality of life.

“We’re committed to enriching the lives of our senior citizens throughout the area,” said Rob Gillette, Chief Operating Officer of American House. “Countless studies have shown the benefits of both music and a rich social life in older adults. We are confident this partnership will prove beneficial for both our seniors and the DSO musicians themselves.”

This partnership is a collaborative initiative of the DSO’s Neighborhood Residency Initiative, and American House’s own life enrichment program, which is a holistic combination of rich experiences as wellness, including group outings, community exercises, and healthy food options. Music initiatives are becoming an increasing part of the culture at American House. In addition to this partnership, residents of American House formed a traveling choir in mid 2012, led by conductor Daniel Greig.

“At American House residences, we are able to deeply engage with music lovers that are unable to travel to performances,” said Kareem George, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Managing Director of Community Programs. “Our musicians are making personal connections with former decades-long subscribers as well as seniors new to classical music. We are so thankful to American House Senior Living Communities for this opportunity to provide a special service to our seniors.”

In addition to the tailored small ensemble performances, DSO musicians will present “Inspiration Days,” in which American House residents will learn more about these artists’ paths to becoming professional musicians, hear and watch them demonstrate their instruments, and have the opportunity to ask questions.

These programs will span across over 20 metro Detroit area American Houses, where the aim is to reach over 1,000 senior citizens and their families. The majority of these audiences would not otherwise be able to experience live classical music performances.

For more information about the partnership or current performance schedule, please call 248-203-1800, or visit www.americanhouse.com or www.dso.org.

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Founded over 30 years ago, American House Senior Living Communities provides the most rewarding life experiences for each and every resident. The company offers maintenance-free apartment and villa living, restaurant-style dining, activities, education, wellness, transportation, housekeeping, and third party medical and personal care services. By combining the independence seniors and their families want with the assistance they may need, American House has helped thousands transition into the next phase of their lives with ease. For more information, please visit www.americanhouse.com or call (248) 203-1800.

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in December 2012, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season and acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik was appointed Principal Pops Conductor in November 2012. The DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with chart-topping musicians from Smokey Robinson to Kid Rock. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922 when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit dso.org or download the free DSO to GO mobile app.

5 Important Steps to Find the Best Assisted Living Community

All homes are not the same and all assisted living communities are not the same, either: They each offer their own specialized care options and varied levels of care. At American House, we know choosing the right assisted living community for you or your loved one can be a daunting process — but we’d like to make things easier.

When searching for the best assisted living community, we urge you to take the following five steps:

1. SPRING A SURPRISE VISIT

Do some research and find a few assisted living communities to check out. Ask for recommendations from friends, family and co-workers. Once you’ve scoped out a few communities online or by phone, gathering information on prices, services and amenities, you can also visit their Facebook pages to see what others have to say.

Don’t forget to read online reviews as well. You can read some reviews from American House residents here and here.

Then, to really get a feel for the community, ask if you can make an unannounced visit or schedule a tour. Stay for a meal in the dining room to taste the quality of the food and see what the everyday dining experience is like. Pay attention to cleanliness, how the staff interacts with residents and whether residents appear relaxed.

At American House, we’d love to have you stop by anytime! When you schedule a tour, you can enjoy our delicious apple pie as you dine with residents.

2. ASK IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

Arrive armed with a list of questions and don’t be afraid to demand answers! Ask if the community is licensed to do business as an assisted care center — and follow up with the state health department to confirm. Another important question to ask is whether there is security in the community.

Find out if there is a doctor on site or if you can receive care from your current provider. Ask if on-site physical, speech and occupational therapists are available — and if not, if transportation to your particular specialist is provided.

At American House, we know that figuring out what to ask can be overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a list of the Top 16 Tips for Choosing a Senior Living Community, along with the Top 10 Principles to Look for When Choosing a Senior Living Community.

3. FIND OUT ABOUT HIDDEN FEES

Some services offered by assisted living facilities are not apparent upfront, and fees related to such care are not always covered by services like Medicare or Medicaid. Long-term care insurance will often reimburse for assisted care, but you’ll have to check the terms of your policy.

Find out what exactly is included in your rate: Charges for medications given per day; admission or community fees; a la carte fees; rate raises. Use our list of the Top 16 Tips for Choosing a Senior Living Community to help guide your questions about hidden fees.

At American House, we offer varying services and would love the opportunity to talk to you about options.

4. ASK ABOUT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

According to the Fox Business article, Nancy Thompson — a spokeswoman for AARP — said many seniors overlook the importance of transportation when comparing assisted living communities.

While some communities have their own vans to transport residents to weekly trips and social outings, some charge extra for other trips — so ask what is included. At American House, we offer personal and scheduled transportation — including trips to malls, banks, grocery stores and pharmacies, along with trips to senior centers, museums and other group outings.

5. DOES THE COMMUNITY MEET YOUR NEEDS

HP_Exterior_2011Each person wants and requires different amenities — and with their assisted living communities. You may need specialized care, certain kinds of medical attention, plenty of socialization options or other preferences for your new home.

The best way to find out if a community fits your specific needs is to investigate several of them before deciding. That way, you can feel confident you made the best decision and move forward with getting comfortable in your new home!

To find out more about becoming a resident at American House, call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com.

American House Choir performs Christmas carols all around town

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa-la-la-la-la, la la la la.” Admit it: You started singing along in your head, didn’t you? There’s just something about music that makes people smile — it doesn’t matter if you are making it or listening it.

Our American House Choir, comprised of all American House residents who love to sing, was thrilled to showcase its talent and go on a seven-stop Christmas Carols Tour throughout metro Detroit in December. The choir sang everyone’s favorite carols in hopes of spreading some cheer and bringing smiles to many people of all ages.

One of the highlights of the American House Choir’s Christmas Carols Tour was a stop at Children’s Hospital in Detroit. The children and staff were so excited to listen to the cheery tunes float down the hallways and it made our residents happy to be able to bring a little bit of the Christmas spirit to them.

Other stops included performances at Henry Ford Cottage Hospital in Grosse Pointe Farms; the Auburn Hills Community Center in Auburn Hills; the Macomb County Senior Services building in Mount Clemens; the Livonia Civic Center and the Livonia Senior Center in Livonia and Deerfield Elementary School in Rochester Hills.

Our American House Choir debuted earlier in 2012 and has already performed for residents on several occasions, including Veteran’s Day and 9/11. This was the choir’s first tour around town and we are very excited and proud of the accomplishments of our choir! You can watch some of their performances (and other American House videos) here.

Don’t forget you can follow us on Facebook to keep up with all our events and have a chance to see the American House Choir perform.

At American House, we offer a variety of activities for our residents to showcase their talents and passions. To find out more about becoming a resident at American House, call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com.