Sixth Annual Holiday Hope for Seniors

Holiday Hope for Seniors - American HouseSmall Donations. Big Impact.

Many families are starting to prepare for the holiday season: purchasing ingredients for holiday meals, cleaning homes, buying presents off of wish lists and getting ready to receive visits from family and friends.

Not often do you hear it on the news or see it firsthand, but many senior citizens in the metro Detroit area won’t be receiving gifts. They won’t be celebrating with family. Some don’t even have suitable accommodations that allow family or friends to visit.

But with the help of American House Senior Living Communities and the American House Foundation, we are working to change that one senior at a time.

At several American House communities, a tree lighting ceremony will kick-off the season of giving. On Thursday, December 4, from 5-7 p.m. please join us as our residents and their loved ones purchase magical bulbs that will make a difference in senior’s lives. Approximately $20,000 will be raised from the tree lighting ceremony to benefit individual senior needs. When seniors help seniors, there’s a bit of magic to be found.

In addition, the American House Foundation will be helping over 850 senior citizens in need this holiday season by hand-delivering bags containing personal and household items. This is an incredibly humbling experience for those on the ‘Route of Gifts.’ So please, come on this journey with American House and be the difference in a senior’s life!

For more information on how you can help, please visit the American House Foundation website.

~Chief Operating Officer, Rob Gillette

5 Ways To Thank A Veteran

Ways to Thank a Veteran - American House Blog

Have you thanked a veteran lately? Veteran’s Day in November is a designated day we appreciate and thank veterans for their service and dedication — but you can honor veterans in your life all year long! Here are 5 Ways to Thank a Veteran that you can easily implement any time of year:

5 WAYS TO THANK A VETERAN

1. Call

Make it a point to call your grandparent, parent, uncle, aunt, family friend or other loved one who served our country. You don’t have to talk about their military service, but reaching out and checking in means more than you can imagine. And who knows, maybe you’ll get to hear about some fabulous stories about days gone by (like this one from our very own Tuskegee Airman)!

2. Visit

Nothing is more precious to anyone — especially a veteran — than the gift of time. Your schedule is certainly hectic, but carve out some time to visit some veterans (either ones you know or even ones you don’t!) whenever you find the opportunity. It’ll be worth your time, promise. One American House resident’s visit with Navy veterans had him talking for weeks!

3. Offer assistance

Is your neighbor a veteran? Offer to stop by and do any light maintenance that may be needed – such as moving furniture or cleaning those hard-to-reach corners. Take the lawn mower or snow blower over before you do your own yard and save your neighbor the hassle. Or maybe there are veterans living at a nearby senior living community who would be delighted to have a little household help. (There are many veterans at American House; chances are, there is a location near you!)

4. Reach out

Don’t know any veterans personally? Reach out to your local American Legion chapter to find out ways your help would be most appreciated. If you see a service member while out and about, take time to say thank you. Offer military discounts if you have a business and spread the word on Facebook about any offers for veterans you may find.

5. Stop by American House

We are honored to have so many veterans living in our American House communities and we’re thrilled to be able to remember our veterans during ceremonies throughout the year (not just on Veteran’s Day!). You, too, can stop by and show your support for these men and women who displayed such courage and sacrifice in the name of our freedom. Call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a visit and fulfill these 5 Ways to Thank a Veteran.

What other ways can you think of to thank a veteran?

How to Cook Acorn Squash and Other Simple Recipes for Fall Foods (Plus the Biggest Mistake Most People Make When Cooking Vegetables)

How to Cook Acorn Squash and Other Simple Recipes for Fall Foods

Many people associate summer with fresh fruits and vegetables. But, did you know the fall season has just as many? According to Executive Chef James Nickleberry, there are plenty of fresh foods to use in recipes once the air turns crisp: zucchini, squash, beets, broccoli, pumpkins, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, turnips, collard greens, kale, pumpkin, onions, rosemary, parsley and sage.

“It’s a gourd and greens season,” Chef James said. “People think about cauliflower, but they don’t realize you can eat the greens off the cauliflower!”

Don’t forget about the fall fruits, too. Apples, of course (especially in Michigan!), grapes and pomegranates are fall fruits.

So, what to do with all these fresh ingredients? Here’s some simple inspiration from Chef James, including one of his very favorite fall recipes – sweet potatoes and apples.

HOW TO COOK ACORN SQUASH

“I’m a huge fan of baked acorn squash,” Chef James said. So, how does a professional chef prepare acorn squash? It’s pretty simple, actually: cut the squash in half, lather with butter, sprinkle brown sugar on both halves, wrap in foil and place in oven for an hour. When it’s done, take the foil off, stick a spoon in and eat it off the shell — Chef James style.

COOKING ZUCCHINI

According to Chef James, you can cook zucchini any old way you’d like! But, he says he prefers to cut the zucchini in slices, sauté with onion in the pan, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste (plus a little dash of sugar). For more flavor, add cherry tomatoes.

A CHEF JAMES’ FAVORITE: SWEET POTATOES AND APPLES

For a side dish that tastes like a dessert (or a dessert that seems like a side dish?!), cut some sweet potatoes into cubes and boil them until they are soft. Meanwhile, sauté some sliced apples with a dash of sugar, and perhaps some walnuts or cranberries.

Put the cubes of sweet potatoes in a pan with butter and brown sugar, add the apples, and bake together at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

“It goes great with turkey and stuffing,” Chef James said.

VEGETARIAN ENCHILADAS

For a quick and easy substitute to a “regular” enchilada, try some seasonal mushrooms and spinach with potatoes instead of the beef or beans! Put the fall ingredients into corn shells, with some shredded mozzarella, and bake just like you would a regular enchilada — including your normal enchilada sauce. Yum!

…AND THE BIGGEST MISTAKE MOST PEOPLE MAKE WHEN COOKING VEGETABLES

What’s the biggest mistake people make when they cook vegetables, according to Chef James? They overcook them. Vegetables should be sautéed not boiled, he said, or steamed if they can’t be sautéed. TIP: When the veggies start to lose their bright color, you’re cooking all the vitamins and nutrients out of the vegetables.

AMERICAN HOUSE

At American House, www.americanhouse.com we have nutritionists and chefs who work together to create healthy AND tasty menus for our residents! Call us today at (248) 579-4422 to schedule a tour and have a slice of apple pie!

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s in Recognition of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Signs of Alzheimer’s - American House Blog

Did you know that more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease? In fact, every 60 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s, a debilitating disease. It’s the most common form of dementia that erases a sufferer’s memory slowly; nearly two-thirds of those sufferers are women, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and at American House Senior Living Communities, we’re following the latest research to help residents and their loved ones stay informed when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, including tips for families.

It can be scary when a loved one starts acting differently. Here are 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s (from the Alzheimer’s Association), along with typical age-related changes:

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life

Forgetfulness is common – when it happens sporadically. But forgetting recently-learned information is one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s. Forgetting about important events, increasingly needing devices to help memory (such as new sticky notes or electronic reminders) and repeatedly asking for the same information may indicate memory loss. In addition, the need to rely on loved ones for things usually handled alone is also an indicator.

Typical, age-related changes: Forgetting names or appointments sometimes, but remembering them later.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems    

With early signs of Alzheimer’s, sufferers may find it difficult to develop or follow a plan — including recipes or a monthly budget. Working with numbers may become a struggle, especially when it comes to handling the bills each month. Concentration may lag — and distractions abound — and completing tasks may take longer.

Typical, age-related changes: Occasionally making errors when balancing the checkbook.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure

With Alzheimer’s, it may become hard to do daily activities like remembering the rules to a game, driving somewhere familiar or managing a work budget. It’s the act of forgetting something that was once routine that is alarming. Try these 8 Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s.

Typical, age-related changes: Technology issues, such as sometimes needing helping using the settings on the microwave or DVR.

4. Confusion with time or place

Losing track of the date — the passing of time as a whole — can be pretty commonplace for people who have Alzheimer’s. It’s also not uncommon for those with Alzheimer’s to forget where they are, or to even forget how they got there.

Typical, age-related changes:  Momentarily forgetting what day of the week it is (like feeling like it is Friday when it’s only Thursday), but figuring it out eventually.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships       

Vision problems — such as reading, judging distance and even determining color — may signal Alzheimer’s. Problems driving may then follow suit, which is obviously a dangerous activity at that point.

Typical, age-related changes: Cataracts and the accompanying vision issues.

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing       

The inability to follow a conversation and calling objects by the wrong name are common symptoms of Alzheimer’s. For someone who used to be a chatterbox, the sudden trouble keeping up with a discussion among friends can be a warning sign.

Typical, age-related changes: However, we’ve all had a word on the tip of our tongue slip our minds — no reason to fret, as long as it’s not a common occurrence.

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps        

This is more than just forgetting where you put that warranty for the oven. With Alzheimer’s, someone may place their keys somewhere strange — like the freezer — and not be able to figure out where they are. Repeatedly. The person may even accuse others of stealing them.

Typical, age-related changes: Intermittently misplacing things, but being able to retrace steps in order to find the missing items.

8. Decreased or poor judgment

Have you questioned the actions of a loved one lately? Such as handing out large sums of money, or maybe even forgetting to comb their hair when going out in public? Alzheimer’s affects people’s decision-making skills and clouds judgment.

Typical, age-related changes:  Occasionally making a bad decision.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities         

When someone who normally loves to watch the World Series or Super Bowl suddenly has no interest in the games — or even what teams are playing — Alzheimer’s may be a factor. Keeping up with hobbies and social interactions becomes difficult and changes from the disease may make a person want to avoid others.

Typical, age-related changes: Sometimes not wanting to go to a party or fulfill other social obligations.

10. Changes in mood and personality       

Alzheimer’s is a neurological disease that greatly impacts mood and personality. As a result, sufferers can become depressed, suspicious, fearful, confused or anxious — and new situations and people may lead to increased frustration and unease.

Typical, age-related changes: On the other hand, over time it’s not unusual to develop specific routines — and if those routines are disrupted, it can be typical to become irritated.

AMERICAN HOUSE

Not only are we working with residents and their loved ones to keep them informed on Alzheimer’s disease research, but American House also offers memory care for residents. Call us today at (248) 579-4422 to schedule a tour!