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!

 

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!

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

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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.

Our American House Communities: Fun Facts About Various Locations

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With 31 communities to choose from (and growing all the time), chances are high that American House is already in your neighborhood! Check out these Fun Facts About Communities Where American House is Located while you’re deciding which community you’d like to live in:

MICHIGAN

American House Carpenter — Ypsilanti, MI
michigan-senior-livingHome of Eastern Michigan University, just six miles east of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, “Ypsi” is home to the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum. Here sits an original Fabulous Hudson Hornet race car, the inspiration behind the Doc Hudson character in the Pixar movie “Cars.”

American House Charlevoix — Charlevoix, MI
This locale is surrounded by Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix, in a beautiful resort community that was once a popular respite for Chicago’s gang members during the Prohibition!

American House Dearborn Heights — Dearborn Heights, MI
This community is located close to The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in nearby Dearborn. Travel through time and view the history of the auto industry up close and don’t forget to visit the village that has preserved America’s past.

American House East I — Roseville, MI
It may be hard to believe that Michigan’s first commercial airport once sat where the Eastgate Shopping center is now located at Frazho Road and Gratiot Avenue.

American House East II — Roseville, MI
Because of the strong Irish population when Michigan became a state, the area became Erin Township — before finally becoming Roseville in 1926.

American House Elmwood — Rochester Hills, MI
The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm is a registered historic place that showcases five generations of the Taylor-Van Hoosen families with the 1840 Van Hoosen farmhouse, 1850 red house, 1927 dairy barn and 1848 schoolhouse — along with 16 acres of gardens and historic grounds.

American House Farmington Hills — Farmington Hills, MI
Michigan’s only Holocaust museum, The Holocaust Memorial Center details the contributions and history of the Jewish community. Plus, there’s the popular Founders Festival every summer in neighboring Farmington.

American House Grand Blanc — Grand Blanc, MI
The Heritage Association Museum in Grand Blanc preserves historical information (and hosts a historical quilt-making group!). For sports fans, the annual Buick Open PGA tournament used to take place here.

American House Hazel Park — Hazel Park, MI
There’s live harness racing at the Hazel Park Raceway during the warmer months — and live simulcast racing all year long! The Budweiser Clydesdales have even been known to stop by here around the holidays.

American House Lakeside — Clinton Township, MI
Clinton Township is home to The Mall at Partridge Creek, a dog-friendly outdoor shopping area with a movie theater, restaurants, seasonal live entertainment, bocce courts and a children’s play area. Also, the Clinton-Macomb Public Library’s main branch is one of the biggest and nicest libraries in the area with lots of free events and activities.

American House Livonia — Livonia, MI
Watch your speed when you’re driving through here! Apparently the National Motorists Association in 2012 named Livonia the second worst city in the United States and Canada for speed traps (The worst? Flower Mound, Texas).

American House Milford — Milford, MI
Think Milford is a small town with not much going on? Think again! There are 250 specialty boutiques and restaurants, a YMCA, Central Park, bike paths, parades and more!

American House North — Flint, MI
Flint isn’t just known for its connection to General Motors — the Flint cultural center includes plenty of opportunities for learning at the Sloan Museum, Buick Automotive Gallery, Longway Planetarium, The Whiting, Flint Youth Theatre, Flint Institute of Arts and Flint Institute of Music.

American House Oakland — Pontiac, MI
The Michigan Fallen Heroes Memorial, the only memorial in Michigan to honor law enforcement members and fire fighters who lost their lives in the line of duty, is in Pontiac.

American House Petoskey — Petoskey, MI
Take some time in this beautiful resort community and head to the shores around Petoskey to reach in the water and find the Petoskey stone, Michigan’s state stone!

American House Riverview — Riverview, MI
As recently as the 1950s, Riverview was home to active missile silos, set to protect metro Detroit and its automobile and steel industries.

American House Royal Oak — Royal Oak, MI
Royal Oak is a bustling city, with a lively downtown area, the annual Labor Day Arts, Beats & Eats festival and home of the Detroit Zoo! The zoo offers a polar bear exhibit, journey through the Outback and plenty of attractions and events for all ages.

American House Southfield — Southfield, MI
Many of the area’s television studios and radio broadcast facilities are located in Southfield — along with the Miracle League of Michigan, Michigan’s first baseball field for children with physical or cognitive disabilities.

American House Southgate — Southgate, MI
Looking to have some outdoor fun? Southgate offers nine neighborhood parks and playfields, plus two community parks. In addition, there’s there are programs through the recreation department, events through the senior center, a municipal golf course and the Southgate Civic Arena — which offers two sheets of ice!

American House Southland — Taylor, MI
Got a little (or big) sports fan in your life? The Junior League World Series baseball tournament takes place in Taylor’s Heritage Park every year!

American House Sterling Heights — Sterling Heights, MI
Sterlingfest — an annual festival offering plenty of local and national musical acts, arts and crafts vendors, a carnival and more — takes place here one weekend each summer.

American House Sterling Meadows — Sterling Heights, MI
Macomb County boasts a large Polish population, so the annual American-Polish in Sterling Heights festival brings in lots of fellow Polskis to enjoy the food, music and atmosphere. Did we mention the food?

American House Sterling Woods — Sterling Heights, MI
As Michigan’s fourth-largest city, Sterling Heights was ranked the safest city in the state in 2010 according to FBI statistics and in the top 100 best places to raise a family according to Best Life magazine.

American House Stone — Rochester, MI
During nearly all of December, the businesses in downtown Rochester participate in The Big, Bright Light Show, a glorious display of holiday lights adorning the façade of every building. It’s a breath-taking sight to see!

American House The Village — Rochester Hills, MI
Take a swim or rent a paddle boat to enjoy the water at Spencer Park — or head out to the fishing pier and then have a picnic while you’re at it.

American House Troy — Troy, MI
The Troy Historic Village is an interactive museum that chronicles the city’s journey through time. If you’re more into present-day fun, head over to the Somerset Collection, an upscale shopping mall with plenty of stores and restaurants.

American House West Bloomfield — West Bloomfield, MI
Diversity is key: Here, you’ll find the state’s third-largest Japanese population, along with the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit and the Chaldean Cultural Center.

American House Westland Hunter — Westland, MI
Westland boasts 36 parks, offering activities including picnic areas, horseshoe pits, walking trails, scenic river overlooks, pavilions, tennis courts and more for the whole family to enjoy.

American House Westland Joy — Westland, MI
The Nankin Mills Nature Center in Westland is now a historic and nature interpretive center, but was originally a gristmill before Henry Ford took over and used it for workers to make stencils for Ford Motor Company.

American House Westland Venoy — Westland, MI
The Norwayne Historic District is a historic residential subdivision that was originally built after World War II to house returning soldiers who were heading back to work. The area has parks, a church and a community center.

Park Place, A Signature American House Community — Warren, MI
The city isn’t just about the General Motors Technology Center, TACOM and TARDEC; the Warren Community Center invites residents to enjoy plenty of events and activities hear year-round.

Regent Street, A Signature American House Community — West Bloomfield, MI
The West Bloomfield Woods Nature Preserve, with 162 acres containing more than 100 bird species and various other animals, joins several other parks and trails for the outdoor enthusiast.

FLORIDA

florida-senior-livingAmerican House Bonita Springs — Bonita Springs, FL
If you’re looking for a beach town with plenty to do, you’re in luck: Bonita Springs offers 10 beach access areas, several parks, the Everglades Wonder Gardens, the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track, Lover’s Key State Park and so much more!

AMERICAN HOUSE

Which location seems most interesting to you? Give us a call today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to set up your tour today so you can start enjoying your community tomorrow!

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.