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The Village at Brookfield Common
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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. 
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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. 

Skilled Nursing - Editing pls do not use yet

Establishing a New Normal After Your Stay in a Skilled Nursing Facility

Life can be quite different after a major injury or illness. Whether you’ve suffered a brain injury or are adjusting to life with dementia, here are a few tips to establishing a new normal after your stay at our skilled nursing facility. 

Give yourself time to process. It is natural to go through a period of grief that includes feelings of loss, sadness and anger after a life-altering illness or injury. Allow yourself and those around you time to go through this process.

Gather information to understand the road ahead. Realistic expectations to what your recovery will look like will serve as a compass as you adapt to your new normal.

Remember your Role Models. Learn about others in your community or in the news that have crafted an inspirational life after experiencing a similar injury or illness. Keep them in mind as you heal. Abraham Lincoln (thrown from a horse), actress Sharon Stone (stroke), and current Miss Oregon are all brain injury survivors with inspirational stories, for example. 
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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.

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.

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. 

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.  

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 
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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!
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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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Stay Active and Get Involved in Your New Home

It is important that you stay active and involved in your new senior living environment. This is a great time in life to make new friends, get involved in activities that you did not have time for in your pre retirement years and enjoy life. Here are some ideas to help get you more involved after getting settled in your new home.

Start Small: Rome wasn't built in a day. You do not have to change everything. Just start with something. Do something little today that is different than yesterday.
Do Something You Enjoy: This time of your life is meant for you to do things that you truly enjoy and want to do. Remember that bucket list of places you wanted to see? Maybe a list of books you wanted to read? Take some time for you.
Meet Someone New: There are many new faces in your home. Take some time to really get to know them. You just might make a new friend.

These are just a few ideas to get your started. What have you done recently to mix up your new lifestyle?
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Staying Safe this Winter
Winter can be an especially dangerous time for those over 65. Here are some safety tips to keep you or your loved ones safe this winter. 
1. Avoid Slipping on Ice -With the colder weather comes snow and ice.  These conditions can lead to roads and sidewalks becoming slippery, and in turn cause hard falls.  These falls can be very dangerous to men and women over the age of 65, causing severe and long term injury.  Make sure to wear shoes or boots with good traction and non-skid soles, replace worn cane or walker tips, and stay inside until the roads and sidewalks are clear.

2. Fight the Winter Blues -Dangerous driving conditions means you or your loved ones may not be able to partake in all your usual activities or visit with friends and family. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. To fight these feelings family members can check in on seniors as often as possible.  A short phone call can make a big difference. You can also arrange a check-in system with neighbors, friends, or nearby relatives. 

3. Check the Car-Driving during the winter can be dangerous for everyone. Older people who may not drive as much as they used to are especially at risk. Please get your car serviced as soon as possible, or ask a family member to bring it to a garage for you. Have the technician check things like the oil, tires, battery, windshield wipers, and heating system.

Do you have any winter safety tips of your own? Include them in the comments below!
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Thanksgiving is a holiday that has many different family traditions that seniors and their families hold dear. Our residents may even learn a new tradition or two by participating in group activities, crafts or just socializing with friends and family members to share what they are thankful for this season.

It is also a reminder to reflect on the ongoing support of our community and our ability to provide warm, welcoming, and compassionate care for our residents. Comment with what you’re thankful for this season!
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Our senior living facilities focus is to provide our residents time to relax, recuperate, and rejuvenate. We help our residents by providing high quality services and amenities to make life enjoyable. Here are a few features you can expect at our facility:

* Professional and caring staff
* Full activity program
*On-site maintenance

Visit our website to learn more about our different services!
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Foods that help you sleep - what foods to eat and to avoid before bedtime.
As we age sleep patterns can change. If you ever have a hard time falling asleep consider what food you are eating in the latter part of the day. Here are a few foods with nutrients and vitamins to help you get a full nights rest. 
Fruits – Replace high sugar desserts with a small amount of naturally sweet fruit. Try a spoonful of peanut butter on a Banana, mangoes or kiwis if you have a sweet tooth. 
Complex Carbohydrates – Magnesium rich whole grains like oatmeal, cereal, popcorn, jasmine rice, whole-grain crackers and sweet potato.
Lean Protein – An egg on whole-grain toast, beans, greens, lean turkey or fish (especially salmon, halibut and tuna) are satisfying and will help you sleep.  
Healthy Fats – Avocados, peanut butter and other nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios.
Drinks – Stay away from caffeinated beverages in the evenings and stay hydrated with water throughout the day. Before bed relax with a cup of warm milk or decaffeinated herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint with optional valerian root. 

If you have had success with something different please share it with us! 
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