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!

 

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!

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?

5 Festive Halloween Door Decorating Ideas from Pinterest

If you’re looking to get into the Halloween spirit without (or in addition to) carving the ol’ jack-o-lantern, there are oodles of ideas out there on how to decorate your door. Scary? Funny? Crafty? Colorful? We’ve collected 5 Festive Halloween Door Decorating Ideas from Pinterest that will have your neighbors asking you for ideas next year!

And, there’s a door decorating idea for everyone — from the person who doesn’t have the time or energy to do much detailed decorating to the person who turns their home into an orange-and-black tribute:

Because You Don’t Want to be Left Out:

Photo credit:  pinterest.com

This Halloween door decoration idea is SIMPLE. As in, grab some scissors, construction paper and tape and you’re done — plus, it’s not time-intensive. If you’re not really sure how to decorate your door or you aren’t really a Halloween-y person, this is the one for you. Surprise all who come to your door by cutting out big googly eyes and a startled mouth to create a Ghost Face.

In the Spirit, but Not Too Crafty:

Pinterest Door MummySay you love the season leading up to Oct. 31 every year, but you’re not the type to accumulate glitter pumpkins or make intricate Halloween scenes. No worries — just take a roll or two of toilet paper and turn your front door into a Mummy.  Grab some black, white and purple (or yellow, or orange, or green) construction paper and make some really big eyes for your mummy.

Creative, Whimsical and Comical:

Pinterest Door WitchBetween miscellaneous items you already have and a quick trip to the dollar store (or Halloween costume shop), you can create an entertaining door decoration sure to bring smiles to your guests’ faces! Items needed: Witch hat; gloves; a black cape (or garbage bag), some colorful striped tights and a pair of black ballet flats or witchy boots. Arrange and adhere the items to your door and — presto! — it looks like the Wicked Witch crashed into your door! Don’t forget the broom.

Martha-Stewart-in-Training:

Pinterest Door BooIf you’re the crafty type, it’ll probably take you no time at all to create this darling “BOO” door hanging . The best part is, every person who makes this will create a completely different look. Head to your local craft store to pick out some wooden letters, and then use Mod Podge to stick some decorative scrapbook paper to the letters. Once you have turned the letters into your own style, tie them together and you have a cute Halloween door hanging to use for years to come.

Wreath Lovers Unite:

Pinterest Door WreathAre you a fan of holiday wreaths? Then this one is for you! Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.” — A wreath paying homage to Edgar Allan Poe speaks to the more intense side of Halloween. It’s classic, yet meaningful and stylish at the same time. And, it’s just the kind of thing you can create yourself with this detailed tutorial.

Halloween at American House

AH haunted house blog picAt American House Troy, residents and staff members are working together for the fourth year in a row to create a haunted house inside their community! Executive Director Debbie Smith said everyone is working on turning one apartment into a real haunted house for residents, their friends and family, and the public to enjoy. Stop by later this month and see what the collaborative effort cooked up!

We have plenty of fun activities at our American House communities that make us unique. Give us a call at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a tour today!

American House Foundation: Small Donations. BIG Impact

images-1We’re honored at American House to be able to have a hand in helping raise more than $101,000 for the American House Foundation during the 5th annual Celebration of Dignity and Hope fundraiser on May 2, 2013! We had a fantastic time mingling and enjoyed great food and an auction and raffle. Saying THANK YOU to all our volunteers and generous donors doesn’t cover how proud we are to be able to help out local seniors.

The American House Foundation

542575_10151164225876121_2110734856_nIn 2007, the American House Foundation began as a way to invest in outreach for older adults in need of assistance — in addition to funding research opportunities through a partnership with the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University. The foundation joins forces with other local non-profit organizations — including Lighthouse of Oakland County and Macomb County Habitat for Humanity — to identify and provide local seniors with basic needs. Too many older adults are deciding between paying for food or medication, which shouldn’t happen. The foundation works to prevent those tough choices.

How the foundation helps

943273_10151449445361121_144047577_nDonations raised through the American House Foundation are used to help local seniors in many ways, including:

  • Giving a walker to an 82-year-old grandmother
  • Providing transportation for a 79-year-old man who’s fighting to make ends meet
  • Paying for health screenings that diagnose problems before they progress
  • Uncovering the causes of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Providing community health forums that bring resources to those in need
  • Keeping an elderly couple from having to choose between medication and meals

Where donations go

Many of our own American House employees volunteer their time with the American House Foundation and because of the wonderful volunteers, the foundation runs with little overhead and administration fees. As a result, more funding is able to go directly to outreach and research. Most importantly, none of the money collect goes toward American House Senior Living Communities – all of it goes directly back into the community.

About 70 percent of donations go directly to outreach and helping seniors meet vital needs, including:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Medication
  • Medical Equipment

The remaining 30 percent of donations go to helping Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology research critical areas of aging, such as:

  • Homelessness
  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Hypertension

Donate to the American House Foundation

wGVwiKVKU3e0A3JiPoifZNppPzTBOFfCtvJIpgD7iL4Be sure to read about the Holiday Hope for Seniors campaign, which is also run by the American House Foundation! The event continues to grow each year and our seniors love helping out.

You can help out, too! To donate to the American House Foundation today, call Danielle Bruce at (248) 203.1800 or email her at dbruce@americanhouse.com.

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.

Tips to Ease the Transition into a Senior Living Community

We are pleased to share that American House Senior Living Communities has been featured as a guest blogger on New Lifestyles.

Please check out our latest post for their blog, “Tips to Ease the Transition into a Senior Living Community.”

Skype for Seniors Comes to American House

It can be hard when the kids and grandkids move away and you can’t see them as often as you’d like, right? Luckily, technology is making it easy to chat face-to-face with far-flung loved ones! If you haven’t heard about Skype, you’re not alone — but at American House, we’re out to change that, thanks to the help of Tony and David at 50 Plus Prime.

Skype is an easy online program for people to make video calls for FREE to anywhere in the world! It’s FREE to open a Skype account and FREE to make video and voice calls to anyone else on Skype (and FREE to use the Skype instant messaging and file sharing systems, too!). We think Skype is such a fantastic way to stay connected — especially for senior citizens — that we’re teaching some of our residents how to use Skype.

50 PLUS PRIME AND DEVIN SCILLIAN TEACHES SKYPE AT AMERICAN HOUSE

Devin Scillian, news anchor for WDIV Local 4 in metro Detroit, in January 2013 had a big part in helping some of our residents try their hand at making video calls on Skype. Devin, Tony, and David were able to show the residents just how easy to is to make video calls.

Residents at American House Troy Senior Living used the computers for a session on Skype for Seniors. They took turns setting up accounts on computers and Devin Scillian, who already has a Skype account, talked to the residents via Skype on their computers!

“It was great to hear some of the residents share their questions and connect with Devin Scillian,” explained Debbie Smith, Executive Director at American House Troy. “I’ve watched Devin anchor the news since he came to Detroit, so it was a treat for me as well!”

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Before he worked with the American House residents, Devin Scillian talked excitedly about the project on Paul W. Smith’s program on WJR 760 AM. He said Skype seems to be tailor-made for senior citizens — and we have to agree.

“It’s a really cost-effective, easy way to connect with not just grandkids, great-grandkids and your children, but also other seniors and your old friends from all over the country — wherever they may be,” Devin Scillian said.

To listen to the podcast of the program, click here.

We’re thankful to Devin Scillian and 50 Plus Prime for Skyping with our residents and we are currently working on setting up more opportunities for all our residents to learn how to Skype.

HOW TO SKYPE

If you’d like to learn how to use Skype, here are the basics:

  • All you need to be able to Skype is a computer — OR Smartphone, tablet or television — with a microphone and speakers, and a webcam for video chats (If you’re using a computer that doesn’t have a webcam already installed, you can purchase one separately and just plug it into the computer.).
  • Once you’re online, go to Skype.com and register for a FREE account. You’ll need to give your name (and other information) so your friends and family can look you up. It’s a fairly quick and easy process and then you’ll be set to make Skype calls.
  • Once you’re logged into your account, use the search function under “Add a contact” to find friends and family with Skype accounts and add them to your contacts list.
  • If you don’t see the person you’re searching for, give them a call on the phone and help them set up their own FREE Skype account, too!
  • Once you’ve created a list of contacts that are on Skype, check to make sure the person you want to Skype is online — there will be a symbol next to their name to let you know if they’re available.
  • Click on their name, then click “video call” and start Skyping!

To find out more about what other fun activities we’re offering for our residents at American House, call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com.