10 Activities to Enjoy with your Grandchildren this Summer

10 Activities to Enjoy with your Grandchildren this Summer

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The summer season is upon us: rays of sunshine, chirping birds and blooming flowers! This time of year also brings more daylight hours to enjoy with your grandchildren and loved ones. So, what are some ideas to enjoy both the great outdoors and the company of your grandchildren? Read below!

Lemonade Stand

Set up a lemonade stand! You’ll be able to make the refreshing summer drink together and share it with others! Not only will passersby enjoy a fresh glass, but you’ll enjoy every moment of the experience with your grandchild!

Cloud Watching

Who needs a book when you can glance up at the sky on a warm, summer day and make stories out of the clouds? Encourage the children to use their imaginations!

 Ice Cream Sundae

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Nothing says summer like an ice cream sundae! Gather your grandchildren together to create the wonderful treat – don’t forget the whipped cream, cherries and chocolate syrup!

Picnic in the Backyard

You don’t have to go far to have a picnic… try your backyard or local park! Pack a picnic basket full of your favorite lunch items and head outdoors!

Art Projects

Get out your art supplies! How about painting a birdhouse or even painting watercolor portraits of each other – the sillier the better!

Teach your Grandchild a Hobby

Do you have a favorite hobby you want to pass on to your grandchild? If so, share your talents such as crocheting, woodworking, cooking, etc. Your grandchild will hold these memories for a lifetime!

Sidewalk Chalk

This is a summer favorite for many children. Head outdoors with a bucket full of chalk and make designs on the sidewalk! The more colorful the better!

Fly a Kite

Did your grandchild come to visit, but it’s extra windy outside? Make the most of it by flying a kite high in the sky! Take turns guiding the kite through the air.

Watch a Sunset or Sunrise

Grab a blanket, head outdoors and watch one of nature’s most beautiful scenes!

Pictures

During all of your adventures, be sure to take as many photos as possible so that at the end of summer you and your grandchild can create a scrapbook together!

 

American House Coconut Point Groundbreaking Ceremony

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On April 29, 2015, the REDICO and American House Senior Living Communities team hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to symbolize the official start of construction on American House Coconut Point, the second community located in the Southwest Florida region.

According to Dale Watchowski, president and CEO of REDICO and American House Senior Living Communities, “Put simply, we like it here and we have established a platform that will allow us to effectively serve our senior living communities throughout the state of Florida.”

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American House Coconut Point will be a 194-unit independent living, assisted living and memory care community located on the border of Estero and Bonita Springs, Florida. The community will include 54 independent living, 76 assisted living and 64 memory care units, ranging in size from 327 to 879 sq. ft for studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom/den and two-bedroom/two bath apartments.

The community will offer three levels of care:

Independent Living: Offering a comprehensive array of services and programs, independent living residents will enjoy restaurant-style dining in a beautifully appointed dining room. Other services include all utilities, high-speed internet (telephone is not included), weekly housekeeping services, scheduled and group transportation services, life enrichment director, spa and salon, gourmet coffee bar, library, game room, heated pool and covered parking.

Assisted Living: Assisted living residents will receive three (3) full meals a day plus snacks, daily maid service, morning and evening care, medication management program, showering assistance, escorts (if necessary), on-site therapy and will enjoy all amenities offered to independent living residents.

Memory Care: Memory Care apartments will serve residents with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or those requiring one-on-one assistance. This area will have more staffing/aids and will provide all meals plus snacks, a calendar of activities geared for cognitive development and the same level of care services as provided in assisted living. The memory care community is a secured space, providing safety and security to residents who may wander.

Some of the on-site activities, included in monthly fees, will include fitness classes, water aerobics, yoga, internet lessons, book clubs, current events groups, Wii activities, discussion groups, guest speakers, movies, art classes, various entertainers and several clubs which will reflect residents’ interests. Off-site activities will be available and will include trips to museums, movies, theatre, concerts and other points of interest in Southwest Florida.

“This community will enable seniors to declare their independence living free from the worries, responsibilities and demands of home ownership and opening new doors of relaxation, socializing, activity and health,” said Rob Gillette, COO of American House Senior Living Communities.

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Hearing Detroit with American House

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By: Bryn Bliska, MIT Media Lab

Photos by: Rebecca Kleinberger, MIT Media Lab

Bryn Bliska is a Master’s student and Research Assistant in the Opera of the Future group at the MIT Media Lab. She is excited to be facilitating collaboration between the Opera of the Future team, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and many amazing Detroit residents and community institutions for Symphony in D.

We recently returned from another amazing visit to Detroit – my fifth time in the city over the past six months. As Symphony in D has developed, I’ve met a huge range of inspiring people. One of the partner organizations that I’ve most enjoyed collaborating with is American House, a collection of senior living communities across the state of Michigan with several locations in the Detroit metropolitan area. We were first approached by three women on the American House team – Kristen Keller, Angie Kadowaki and Veronica Fiegel – back in November at Symphony in D’s official press launch. They were excited at the prospect of getting their residents involved, and we were equally excited at the opportunity to learn about Detroit from some of the people that know it best: those that have spent decades, if not their entire lives, calling it their home. After some dialogue and brainstorming, we landed upon a wonderful idea for our collaboration that has unfolded in a very powerful way over the ensuing months.

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During the early part of 2015, the American House team worked with their residents to collectively generate lists of unique historic sounds of Detroit. We were introduced to so many sounds we might never have otherwise come across that speak to Detroit’s rich and complex culture: the voice of legendary Detroit Tigers sportscaster Ernie Harwell; the implosion of the famed Hudson’sdepartment store building in 1998; and the popping noise that marks the opening of a jar of Sanders Fudge, to name just a few. In February, Tod and I then had the chance to sit down with about a dozen residents from different American House communities to review these incredible lists. Hearing first-hand about the personal meanings embedded in each of these sounds, I was moved by the passion with which everybody spoke about their city, and their memories truly deepened my appreciation for Detroit. The residents’ openness and generosity in sharing their stories with us is representative of the great hospitality and kindness that so many other Detroiters have extended to all of us from the Opera of the Future team.

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After this wonderful discussion, the American House team proposed a perfect culminating event for this phase of our partnership, which took place during our visit last week. Tod and I, as well as Opera of the Future graduate students Rebecca Kleinberger and Charles Holbrow, met a number of American House residents (including many familiar faces) at the Detroit Historical Museum. The American House residents and staff had synthesized their ideas of important historic sounds into a “Top 20” list, and had actually tracked down audio and video footage of each of these to share with us. Kristen gave a presentation of the items on this list, which included the whistle of the boat that used to carry Detroiters to their beloved Boblo Island Amusement Park (open from 1898 until 1993), the theme songs of Better Made chips and Faygo soda, and footage from the 1967 riot.

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Once again, we had the great fortune to hear individuals’ reflections on these sounds during the presentation, and also got to continue some of these conversations as we explored the museum afterward. Kristen, Angie and Veronica also bestowed upon us some very decadent, absolutely delicious Detroit-made goods, including all of the iconic foods we’d heard so much about. Tod, Charles, Rebecca and I all left the museum with our hands full, literally, as well as with our hearts full of gratitude for the people of American House and appreciation for the incredible city that we have felt so welcomed into. Through their creativity and dedication, the American House residents and staff have already brought so much to Symphony in D – and, personally, to my experience and understanding of Detroit. So to all of these wonderful people, and to the many others I’ve had the great fortune to interact with, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart! It is a pleasure and honor to work with you, and I am excited for what’s to come as Symphony in D continues to grow and take shape.

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Welcome to American House West Bloomfield

Have you recently toured our American House West Bloomfield community? If not, you’re highly encouraged to do so! Many renovations have occurred to include the addition of an Anytime Café and upgrades to the dining room, activity room, lobby fireplace, furniture and much more.

Here’s a sneak peak of the renovations!

Anytime Café

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Lobby 

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American House West Bloomfield is ideally situated near family, friends, shopping and familiar medical professionals in West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills and Novi. Hospitals in the area include Henry Ford Bloomfield Hospital, Beaumont and Botsford Hospitals. The community provides independent living with assistance available.

Floor plan options include studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments with full kitchens, living rooms and private baths. We also have a community dining room – restaurant-style dining is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Residents also enjoy an on-site beauty salon/barber shop, fitness/wellness center, computer room and more.

In addition, a life enrichment director plans a wide range of cultural, social and recreational programming. Resident services also include 24-hour on-site staff and scheduled transportation. Laundry and housekeeping services are also available.

Schedule a tour today – call (248) 436-4097

Are you or your loved one already living at American House West Bloomfield? If so, remember the Resident Referral Program! Refer someone to American House and when they move in, get $500 off your rent for the month!

Small Donations. Big Impact.

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During the 8th Annual Chili Cook-off, American House East I raised $1,107.00 in only two hours!

For the past eight years, American House East I has sponsored a chili cook-off to raise money for the American House Foundation.

Each year great care is taken to ensure that the event is fun, delicious, entertaining and charitable. This year was no exception! Delicious aromas of warm chili lingered, and jovial conversations could be heard throughout the dining area.

Participants sampled over 15 chilis paired with cornbread, fresh cut onions, sour cream and cheese. After trying the spectacular chili varieties, participants voted on their favorite. The people’s choice winner received a $50 visa gift card and two Detroit Tigers baseball tickets. Additionally, a panel of judges chose winners in the categories of White Meat, Red Meat, Vegetarian and Wild Game. Each winner also received a $50 visa gift card and two Detroit Tigers baseball tickets.

And, guess what? The official Detroit Tigers mascot, Paws joined the fun! He was sure to meet, greet and dance with American House East I residents, as well as take photos with the many children in the crowd!

Thank you for putting on a spectacular event to benefit local seniors in need!

American House Foundation

For more than 30 years, American House has been an advocate for the elderly in their own communities, but in 2007, the founding family wanted to reach beyond their own borders to support seniors in need outside the safety and care of American House communities.

Many older adults in the Detroit area are suffering needlessly. They are left alone and forced to choose between food and heat, medication and housing. These are choices no one should have to make, especially in later life. American House, created the American House Foundation in partnership with the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University, to help put an end to these significant aging issues.

Gifts that are generously donated to the American House Foundation will provide hope and preserve the dignity of older adults enduring hardship. 70% of gifts received by the American House Foundation will go directly to helping seniors today. 30% of gifts received by the American House Foundation will fund research for a better tomorrow.

Make American House Bonita Springs Your New Home!

Are you a Florida resident? If so, we will soon be opening the perfect new home for you… American House Bonita Springs!

Over time, the financial costs and physical strain of owning a home or condo can become overwhelming. Making the decision to move into a rental senior housing community can go a long way in helping to alleviate some of that stress. Most often, many utilities that are additional monthly expenses, like water, gas and electric, are included in your rent. There are no maintenance costs, like mowing the lawn, fixing a leaky roof or replacing a hot water heater. Moving into a senior living community means that all those maintenance issues – indoor and outdoor – are taken care of for you! This means less stress and more time to enjoy your family and friends. And those social gatherings you’re always hearing about? Well, those are usually free too!

The decision to transition to a senior housing community can be a difficult one – you’ve spent many years in your family home and created special memories that last a lifetime. Let American House Bonita Springs help you create new memories!

Maintenance-free Living

American House Bonita Springs is a completely maintenance-free senior housing community:

  • Full-time, on-site maintenance: Consider the on-site maintenance staff as your personal ‘handyman’ ready to take care of any task big or small.
  • Kitchen appliance upkeep: Most apartments in American House Bonita Springs have full kitchens. So what happens if you’re having problems with your stove or refrigerator? Don’t worry! These big ticket items won’t put a strain on your budget, rather the on-site team will do what’s necessary to repair or replace your appliances!
  • Worry-free travel: Leaving on vacation to travel across town or to a different state? You’ll have peace of mind knowing your home will be just as it was when you left.

Life Enrichment

There’s never a dull moment at American House Bonita Springs. Someone is always there to share a laugh with you, catch up on the latest TV show, or take a walk around the neighborhood. Moving into a senior living community allows for plenty of socialization and new friends! At American House Bonita Springs, the community is full of things to do: swimming, cultural outings, crafts, music, food – it’s limitless.

The perks of living at American House Bonita Springs outweigh the potentially difficult decision of moving into a senior housing community. With maintenance-free living and several options to keep you active and engaged, American House Bonita Springs may be the perfect place for you!

American House Joins in the Woodward Dream Cruise — And Hosts Several Community Car Shows

In Metro Detroit, we’re all about the cars — especially in August, which is highlighted by the world-famous Woodward Dream Cruise! At American House, we’re certainly jumping in on the action. How? By having our very own car shows and participating in the biggest one around.

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Did you know our American House Royal Oak residents have the unique pleasure of being able to join in the annual Woodward Dream Cruise? It’s true! With the help of Executive Director Chris Laymac, we’ll be decorating the American House bus and cruising up and down Woodward so our residents can oooh and aaah at all the classic cars.

Our residents love to reminisce about their younger years while admiring all the cars. They talk about what they drove and what their spouse drove. What are their favorites? Everyone usually loves all the convertibles — especially the men — and the younger residents seem to like the Ford Mustangs.

If you’re a car aficionado, too, you can stop by any — or all — of our car shows at several American House communities to admire the cars or bring your own for others to appreciate. Here’s a list of our American House Car Shows:

AMERICAN HOUSE CAR SHOWS

* Saturday, August 9: From 1-3 p.m. at American House Farmington Hills (24400 Middlebelt in Farmington Hills)
* Wednesday, August 13: From noon to 2 p.m. at Park Place (29250 Heritage Parkway in Warren)
Stop by for a special appearance by Elvis! There will be a 50/50 raffle, prizes for the top three cars, hot dogs, popcorn and other goodies.
* Monday, August 18: From 5-7 p.m. at American House Elmwood (2251 W. Auburn Road in Rochester Hills)
Enjoy oldies music and delicious food while checking out the classic cars!
* Thursday, August 21: From 5-7 p.m. at American House Stone & Village (This event is at Stone: 3741 South Adams Road in Rochester Hills)
We’ll be having a BBQ, refreshments, goodie bags for everyone who brings a car, music by the DJ Crashers, a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and prizes for the top three cars — plus you can ride the Big Wheel!
* Friday, August 22: From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American House Sterling Meadows (33433 Schoenherr in Sterling Heights)
* Friday, August 29: From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American House Southfield (27577 Lahser Road in Southfield)
* Friday, September 5: From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American House East Two (18760 13 Mile Road in Roseville)
There will be a food tent, a 50/50 raffle and Happy DJ beats for all to enjoy.

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And while you are out enjoying all the fun, know that you are helping a GREAT cause. Proceeds benefit the American House Foundation, which partners with local nonprofit organizations to identify seniors in need in Metro Detroit.

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We have plenty of unique activities and outings for our residents in addition to the adventure of the Woodward Dream Cruise! Call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a tour and see for yourself why residents have so much fun.

American House Begins Family Care Coordinator Program To Ease Burden For Residents And Their Loved Ones

At American House, we understand that managing health care for you and your loved ones can be tricky and time-consuming. And there may be concerns about what to do if a hospital visit or rehabilitation is necessary. That’s why we’ve partnered with Area Agency on Aging 1-B to initiate a pilot program at our American House Oakland Senior Living community to make things a bit easier.

Our on-site Family Care Coordinator Nicole Terry is your go-to person for coordinating medical care — in AND out of American House. She’s here to assist residents who come into the American House community and residents who need to go out to the hospital.

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Family Care Coordinator Nicole Terry of
American House Oakland Senior Living

“The ultimate goal of the coordination is to make sure (residents) can stay here at American House and that they return,” Nicole said. Since generally family members are the ones responsible for coordinating care and making endless phone calls, Nicole said this program lifts the burden from family members so they can spend more time with loved ones.

“Plus, a lot of families aren’t knowledgeable on what services are available through Area Agency on Aging,” Nicole said. Many also don’t know about onsite rehabilitation available in the American House building and some don’t understand that skilled care is provided through a resident’s medical team. In addition, there’s also a wellness program for residents. So, the Family Care Coordinator can take care of finding – and passing along — all that information for you!

“I do think the residents are really benefitting from it,” Nicole said. “They are very happy. In some situations, they really thought there were no other options but to move out and we’ve been able to put a plan in place so they can stay here and maintain the best quality of life.”

Laura Broecker, the regional and executive director for American House Oakland Senior Living, understands that it can be very difficult to navigate through the health care system. She’s pleased that the program is making things easier on residents and their loved ones.

Having a Family Care Coordinator is helpful with controlling readmissions — or admissions — to the hospital and is in line with our goal of keeping residents healthier and well in our community.

“It can really help them with getting on that path to get the services they need,” Laura said. “It’s so overwhelming, so it’s nice to have that one person to do it.”

AMERICAN HOUSE

All residents at American House Oakland Senior Living are eligible for this free program. There is information available in the lobby, along with brochures, and Laura and Nicole are always available for any questions. To find out more about life at American House, call us at (248) 579-4422 or visit us at www.americanhouse.com to schedule a tour.

American House Honors Our Own Tuskegee Airman

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Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. Washington Ross, an American House Resident

At American House, we’re fortunate to have a whole lot of history behind our doors! We even have our very own Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. Washington Ross. Ross, who lives at American House Southfield Senior Living, always knew he wanted to be a pilot. He was born in Mississippi, the fourth son in a family of five children, and then spent his youth in Kentucky.

In the 1930s, Lt. Col. Ross said there were barnstormers who went around Kentucky, city to city, with their Ford Trimotor planes. One Sunday, these barnstormers came to his city and offered rides on the planes — for a penny per pound! So, Lt. Col. Ross paid his fare, went up in the air and was instantly smitten.

“I told my parents if I ever got the opportunity to be a pilot, I was going to take that opportunity,” Lt. Col. Ross said. And he did.

At American House, we love honoring our residents who are veterans – and we have quite a few!

FLIGHT TRAINING

In 1936, Lt. Col. Ross was a freshman in college and decided to join a program at the university to learn to fly — because the country couldn’t legally train military pilots since it was not in the war yet. He earned his pilot’s license and, although he received word from Washington, D.C. in 1940 that he was to report for the draft, he still had one year left of school and got a deferment — because he didn’t want to go to war.

After completing school, Lt. Col. Ross began teaching and noticed a sign for aviation training over in Tuskegee, Ala. So he went there and got his training.

“I wanted to be a fighter pilot,” he said. He knew that if he was drafted, he didn’t want to be with the infantry on the ground, plowing through the mud all the time. He wanted to fly.

FIGHTER PILOT

In 1943, Lt. Col. Ross graduated and became part of the 332d fighter group — which moved him to Selfridge Air National Guard Base. His first assignment was to patrol the harbor in Naples, Italy. He flew a P-47, an aircraft with eight machine guns on it. He said this was the plane he liked most to fly for actual fighting.

“You didn’t need to use your gun sight,” he said. “If you got on those Germans’ tails, you’d just start shooting and you were bound to hit it.”

In all, Lt. Col. Ross flew 63 missions in World War II. He flew P-40, P-39, P-47, P-51 and B-25 aircraft.

“My aim was to fly my missions and come home,” he said. “I only fired my gun one time.”

He was fighting for 11 months and then the war ended. He spent 20 years in the Air Force and joined the reserves, retiring from the reserves in 1981. During this time, Lt. Col. Ross also taught in the Detroit Public Schools for 29 years until he retired in 1984. Following that, he spent time talking to schools about his experiences in the Air Force and as a fighter pilot.

Lt. Col. Ross remembers there was a high-ranking government official who said, “blacks would never fly,” and when questioned why, said, “because they’re too dumb.” Pressure was put on Congress and the rules changed, and Lt. Col. Ross was able to see his dream of flight fulfilled.

THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN

In the early part of the 1970s, Lt. Col. Ross said he and three of his comrades formed the Detroit chapter of the Tuskegee Airman. His wife was also part of the Tuskegee Air Force, Lt. Col. Ross said, as a secretary — because for every pilot, there was at least 10 other people who supported them and composed the group as well.

Our very own Tuskegee Airman had four children — one girl and three boys — with his wife. We are honored to have Lt. Col. Ross at American House, sharing his bit of history with us.

AMERICAN HOUSE

We love to hear the stories our residents at American House have to tell! Call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a tour and talk to our residents yourself.

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?