Becoming a Savvy Holiday Shopper

Melissa, the Bargain Shopper Mom, & Kathy, American House Executive Director.

Many families spend time preparing for Thanksgiving and the holidays by planning meals, decorations and guest lists — but how many have strategies when it comes to shopping for holiday gifts? We’re guessing not many. That’s why our staff in the American House Memory Care Unit partnered with notable blogger Melissa Buckles of The Bargain Shopper Mom to give our residents, families and friends a chance to learn her savvy secrets in a special holiday savings workshop.

Kathy, an American House Executive Director, being interviewed by Local4 about the evening’s holiday savings workshop by Melissa Buckles.

With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday coming one after the other, the Thanksgiving weekend certainly brings with it plenty of opportunities to go out and get that holiday shopping done. But navigating the sales, determining what deals are the best ones and saving as much money as possible can be daunting on these major – and busy – days of the year.

Shoppers learned all kinds of money-saving tips at the workshop, which was designed to help everyone navigate the Black Friday sales and get the most bang for the buck. Melissa offered strategies to develop a plan for in-store shopping and for making the most of sales online, in addition to providing other holiday shopping tips.Holding the workshop at American House Elmwood was a unique opportunity for residents to share in some of the holiday shopping tips and fun with family. Kathy Porman and the rest of the Elmwood staff explained how integral a rich activities program was to the success of her community.

Kathy, an American House Executive Director, sharing stories about the family environment at American House.

Check out the story about the event that was featured on Local 4 WDIV.  At American House, we know saving money is important — especially around the holidays. We want to make sure our residents and their families have all the advantages possible when spending their hard-earned money. Contact us today – or visit us on Facebook and Twitter — to see what other fun and informational activities we offer for our residents and their families!

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 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.

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

American House Residents Write Winning Essays About the War of 1812

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

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 — also known as the “Forgotten War” or the “Second American Revolution.” But for so many, especially those who have served in the U.S. Navy, the War of 1812 ushered in many changes and remains an integral part of our history.

That’s why the U.S. Navy Recruiting District Assistance Council-MI (RDAC), the Michigan Council for History Education and the Michigan War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission — along with American House Senior Living Communities — decided to have an essay contest on why the War of 1812 was important in the development of the U.S. Navy.

We’re proud to announce that Wilbur, a resident at American House Riverview earned first place with his essay and Alfred, a resident at American House Village of Rochester Hills took second place with his essay.

Wilbur, a 97-year-old retired Navy man, enjoyed researching and writing his essay on how the War of 1812 advanced the development of the Navy. He is excited to share his gift of history with others (and just celebrated his birthday last week!).

Alfred, a 90-year-old man retired from the Army Air Corps, is a very spirited and gifted storyteller. (Check out another blog post about him here)

The essay contest, open to U.S. veterans ages 45 and older, aimed to empower folks to learn how the War of 1812 influenced Michigan through naval battles on the Great Lakes and high seas, and how the war shaped the future of Michigan.

You can read Wilbur’s first-place essay here.

You can read Alfred’s second-place essay here.

Congratulations, Wilbur and Alfred, on your wonderful essays — and thank you for sharing them with us!

American House is committed to providing opportunities for our residents to get involved and share their knowledge and interests with others. Check out our blog to read more, and visit us online at www.americanhouse.com or give us a call at (248) 579-4422 to talk about how much we offer in our senior living communities!