10 Activities to Enjoy with your Grandchildren this Summer

10 Activities to Enjoy with your Grandchildren this Summer

Grandmother playing with grandson

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!

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!

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Brings Music to American House Residents’ Ears

i3_jvPUpwz_K5wkPrRDKzL3Fib5YzAILzgySvI5xcCoBeing able to experience the wonderful culture of the area — especially the Detroit Symphony Orchestra — is one of the great benefits of living at American House Senior Living Communities! We’re very proud to have deepened our partnership with the DSO to present 36 engagements in 2013 where musicians will perform for residents at more than 20 of our American House locations.

“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.”

Each month, three American House communities will host the DSO sessions for residents. Three to four DSO musicians will play for one hour at the community and residents have the opportunity to talk to the musicians during a meet and greet afterward. American House sponsors the sessions so residents are able to enjoy the DSO free of charge.

DSO musicians will also 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.

DSO PERFORMS AT AMERICAN HOUSE

Here is a list of American House Senior Engagement locations, where the Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians will perform. April and May locations have been confirmed, but look for DSO ensembles to visit your local American House throughout the coming year!

APRIL 2013

  • Sterling II: 2 p.m. Monday, April 8 at 33433 Schoenherr, Sterling Heights, MI 48312.
  • Baldwin House: 2:30 p.m. Monday, April 15 at 200 Chester, Birmingham, MI 48009.
  • Riverview: 2:30 p.m. Monday, April 22 at 20300 Fort St, Riverview, MI 48193.

MAY 2013

  • Carpenter: 2 p.m. Monday, May 13 at 3470 Carpenter Road, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
  • Hazel Park: 2:00 p.m. Monday, May 20 at 777 E. Woodward Heights, Hazel Park, MI 48030
  • Sterling I: 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 31 at 11255 15 Mile Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48312
  • **INSPIRATION DAYS: 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 28 at Dearborn Heights: 26600 Ann Arbor Trail, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

** “Inspiration Days” are visits where residents learn about the artists’ paths to becoming professional musicians, hear and watch them demonstrate their instruments and have the opportunity to ask questions.

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

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.

Halloween and Other October Festivities

At American House, providing our residents with the opportunity for intergenerational activities is a key part of our mission. So when Deerfield Elementary chose to American House Elmwood for a trick-or-treat visit, our residents were thrilled. Young and young-at-heart alike had an amazing time, with the students being courteous as residents welcomed them to their home. The students’ costumes were creative and residents loved hearing about how they were chosen.

In the days leading up to Halloween, residents at American House Troy decided to turn their apartments into spooky, haunted residences. Executive Director Debbie Smith explained that senior citizens are often overlooked on holidays like Halloween, but not at our Troy location! The Detroit News stopped by to check out the spooky and fun ways residents decked out their apartments.

Not only did our residents celebrate the fun and exciting times of Halloween, but with October comes Oktoberfest! Detroit Tigers’ mascot Paws stopped by American House Stone to spend time and visit with residents. They had a day full of fun activities!

Want to see a recap from our entire fun-filled month of October? Check out our YouTube video!

Every month at American House brings a host of special and engaging activities. To schedule a tour and learn more about what we offer in our senior living communities, please visit our Web site or call (248) 579-4422. To stay in touch, find us on Facebook and Twitter.

American House Review from Resident Family Member

We are so pleased to share this review from an American House Resident Family Member.

“The outing you arranged for the Navy Veterans was ideal for my father. It has been over a week and he is still talking about it with joyful tears in his eyes! The servicemen who greeted him with a hearty handshake and kind words will remain in his memory forever. And that is saying so much, since his memory is starting to fail him. I have noticed an extra spring in his step and new stories about his days as a Seabee from along time ago. This trip really sparked something inside of him…something that I hadn’t seen in a while.”

– Denice M., Daughter of an American House Resident