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

Elmwood_Gazebo_2011

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.

Families Rate American House Communities Among the Nation’s Best

Guest Blog for American House
By Luc Bergevin, Caring.com Author

CaringStars2013_ProviderBadgeWhat goes into a great senior living community? Is it the friendly staff? A clean, safe, welcoming environment? The food? The best communities strike a precise balance between these and a multitude of other factors.

Residents and their families expect the highest-quality care, and are expressing their feedback more and more on reviews sites — not just in private conversations. Comments range from how well communities are serving basic needs to opinions about the menus, décor, activities, and other personal preferences for living. As American House puts it, “You’ll enjoy life on your terms.”

To raise awareness about the best assisted living and memory care communities in America, and recognizing the importance of consumer reviews in its Senior Care Directory, Caring.com launched the “Caring Stars” program in 2012. Caring Stars now represent the top 1% of providers nationwide.

Seven American House communities were among the honorees for superior service in 2013. These communities make up more than a third of the Caring Stars in Michigan, and serve as a testament to the power of actively engaging with and encouraging reviews from residents and families.

Below are some of the great things folks have said about American House on Caring.com:

American House Westland Hunter Senior Living: “Their staff is amazing, they really take care of residents. . . . They offer good advice for residents’ families about programs that could help out for whatever kind of situation you may come across with your family member.”

Regent Street, A Signature American House Community: “Anything my grandmother needed, she received efficiently and accurately. She needed a great deal of assistance and it was very difficult for her to let go of some of her control. The staff did an amazing job of making her feel as though she still had some self-control and dignity.”

American House East II Senior Living: “The staff seemed very attentive to the needs of the residents and I came away feeling very confident in the level of care that my great- aunt was receiving. It is a wonderful, clean, and friendly environment that I highly recommend.”

American House Lakeside: “The staff is very accommodating and they know everybody. They will call me immediately about any concerns. I have no problems and I would recommend them. We’re really happy with our choice.”

American House North Senior Living — Flint: “American House North Senior Assisted Living has been great for me too. It is close to where I live, so I can easily visit my mom. It has also given me a sense of peace. . . . She is in a loving, safe community with great staff, activities, and friends.”

American House Farmington Hills Senior Living: “I think all American Houses are very dependable. Everyone was very friendly and helpful.”

American House Sterling Heights Senior Living: “My mother is given very good care at American House. We know she cannot live alone. . . . It gives us great peace of mind knowing she is there.”

We recently interviewed Ann Marie Folland, executive director of American House Sterling Heights, and asked about what makes her community so successful. She credited the genuine care of her team. “We embrace an attitude of not only providing a comfortable and safe living environment, but also of making a positive impact on the lives of seniors.”

As these award-winning American House communities have shown, delivering exceptional service is noticed by residents and families, whose reviews help spread the good word about special senior living communities. You can share your American House feedback on Caring.com too. Be sure to check out “Facts Every Reviewer Should Know” before doing so, and be proud of the fact that you’re helping other families to make the right senior care decision for their loved ones.