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Savannah Grand of West Monroe
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Companionship and Community in Senior Living
Mounting evidence shows that companionship and community are a key component to overall health. No longer are they seen as sitting a few rungs up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; they are foundational to your well-being. This is true across all ages, including seniors. Feeling extreme loneliness, for example, has been shown to increase an older person’s chances of premature death by 14 percent. 
 
A myriad of factors are weighed when deciding to move into a senior living community. The opportunity for companionship and community should be one of them. When researching different senior living options, investigate the opportunities for social connections and interactions at each community.

Music Therapy
Don’t forget to bring tunes to your next visit with an elderly relative in Senior Living

There is mounting buzz around music therapy as one of the most transformative treatments for seniors. “Music has more ability to activate more parts of the brain than any other stimulus,” says renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks in a recently released documentary about music and the elderly, Alive Inside.

The documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen as he demonstrates music’s ability to combat memory loss. Alive Inside won the Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. 

In a clip from the documentary, one aide describes a bed-bound woman she has worked with for two years that “barely opened her eyes, didn’t respond. Once we put the iPod on her she started shaking her feet, moving her head. It was amazing.” 

Across the country, senior living communities are incorporating music as a form of therapy to uplift and engage their residents. Studies have demonstrated its ability to improve memory, lower agitation, and improve cognitive skills.

To be most effective, music should be chosen based on whatever the person’s preference. So next time you’re planning a visit to your elderly relative, ask them about their favorite songs, bands or albums. Then bring them along to listen and groove to during your visit. 

Fall Proof Your Home

Go through this checklist to help prevent you or your loved one from falling in their home, one of the leading causes of skilled nursing admissions.

FLOORS
Look at the floor in each room. Always keep a clear path through each room of your house, removing any objects, furniture, cords or rugs that may be in the way.

STAIRS AND STEPS
Take a careful look at the steps both inside and outside your home. Clear any objects off the stairs and make sure the carpet is securely attached to every step. Check that handrails are on both sides and run the length of the steps, and show no signs of loosening. Make sure that the steps are well lit, with a switch or light sensor at both the top and bottom. 

KITCHEN AND BATHROOMS
Examine your kitchen and bathrooms: are things you use often on high shelves? Rearrange these items to be lower to the ground, ideally waist level. If you need to use a step stool, find one with a bar.  Add a few safety items to your bathroom, if you don’t already have them: non-slip rubber mat in the tub or shower and grab bars in and beside the tub and next to the toilet.  

BEDROOMS
Is the path from your bed to the bathroom well lit? Add a light to your nightstand and night-lights along the way.

***Checklist modified from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Check for Safety: A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults 

Make your new residence warm and inviting by bringing along the comforts of home! 

Click below for ideas!

1) Organization: Settle into your space by making full use of shelves, cabinets, and closets for your personal items.
2) Socialize: Connect with other residents with like interests. Ask the staff to introduce you to other residents with similar hobbies!
3) Memories: Bring photographs, personal furniture, and more familiar items.
4) Decorate: Don’t hold back on adding your own personal touch!
5) Positivity: Speak of your new residence as home! You’re sure to enjoy the safety, security, and kindness you will find.

Comment with your favorite comforts of home!

It’s officially spring; summer is just around the corner! 

April is the perfect time of year to get outside and seek new adventure. Your community is a great resource for finding new hobbies and exploring the outdoors; discover activities you haven’t yet experienced by looking into the local workshops or excursions. Better health can be achieved by making small life changes.  Breathing the fresh air of new activities, new friends, and the outdoors, is a great way to revitalize the body and mind!

What spring or summer activity are you most looking forward to?  Reach out to your local community to find out or comment below with your ideas!
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