3 Benefits of Assisted Living for Wheelchair-Bound Seniors

Wheelchair-bound seniors may have to make some adjustments to their way of life, but they should still have access to everything they need to enjoy retirement. Transitioning to assisted living in Orlando can make it much easier to get around and access not only daily necessities but also fun activities. 

Living at home or in an independent living community can be comfortable, but it can also be difficult to move from place to place in a wheelchair. Assisted living facilities are often constructed to better accommodate wheelchairs and seniors with limited mobility.

Here are three benefits of assisted living for wheelchair-bound seniors.

1. Safe and Accessible Spaces

Unlike family homes or some independent living communities, assisted living facilities are built to be easily accessible. You’ll never find a doorway or hallway that cannot fit a wheelchair. In addition, individual living spaces are often outfitted to accommodate wheelchair-bound seniors, so they can access anything they need without help.

This type of environment not only gives seniors access to services and amenities, but it also allows them to maintain a level of independence that just isn’t possible in most other living situations.

2. Help from a Caregiver 

One of the major benefits of assisted living in Orlando is access to caregivers. Even with accessible spaces and thoughtfully constructed living spaces, sometimes wheelchair-bound seniors need a little extra help. No matter what time of night or day it is, a caregiver is available to provide assistance. 

Caregivers in assisted living facilities are highly skilled and trained to accommodate seniors of all mobility levels. They know how to assist seniors while still allowing them to have their independence.

3. Transportation

For wheelchair-bound seniors, leaving their homes can be quite a challenge. Between accommodations that may be needed to access the outdoors and modifications that need to be made to vehicles, transportation is out of reach for many wheelchair-bound seniors.

Assisted living facilities are set up for wheelchair transportation and have all of the tools needed to make transportation easy and seamless. Seniors can get to and from appointments, family visits, entertainment, or other activities stress-free. 

Enjoy Retirement in Assisted Living in Orlando

With the help of dedicated staff, seniors who are wheelchair-bound can still enjoy all of the benefits that retirement has to offer in an Orlando skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility. From socializing with other residents to enjoying on-site and off-site activities, nothing is off-limits.

Admission Requirements: How to Qualify for Assisted Living

If you or your loved one is considering moving to an Orlando assisted living facility, there are a lot of factors to consider. You want to make sure that the facility can meet all of the needs of your loved one, employs quality caregivers, and is overall a good fit. 

If you have not explored assisted living options before, you may be surprised to know that there are admission requirements that must be met prior to transitioning to the community.

Read on to learn more about admission requirements and how to qualify for assisted living. 

Daily Assistance Is Necessary

While seniors can sometimes benefit from assistance when their mobility starts to decline, assisted living facilities cater to seniors who truly need help. In order to be eligible to live in an assisted living facility, seniors must need assistance in “activities of daily living.”

Activities of daily living include: 

  • Grooming
  • Bathing 
  • Dressing
  • Making meals and eating
  • Transitioning from sitting to standing, lying to sitting, etc. 
  • Handling basic toileting needs

Of course, determining when assistance is necessary is subjective, and it can be hard to know when exactly to make the move. The best thing you can do is talk to your loved one — along with the staff at an assisted living facility — about their daily living situation. 

Residents Must Be Predictable and Stable

To qualify for assisted living, residents must be predictable and stable. But what does that actually mean? 

Generally, predictability and stability mean that the senior can be looked after on a set schedule, even if it requires a high level of care, but they don’t require 24/7 care or monitoring. 

Residents who have medical conditions that are not under control may not be approved for assisted living. Similarly, seniors who have a history of violent or disruptive behavior may not qualify.

Qualifying for Orlando Assisted Living

If you or a loved one is looking into assisted living in Florida, the best thing you can do is talk to a health care provider and the staff at an individual assisted living facility during a tour

Staff can help walk you through the specific requirements for qualifying, and a healthcare provider can make recommendations on what type of living arrangements are best. You may find that an Orlando skilled nursing facility or another type of accommodation is more appropriate. 

With a little research, you can find a facility that is a good fit for the long term.

Congratulations To Our Volunteers and Team Members Of The Year

We’re beginning our celebration of Westminster Communities of Florida’s Volunteers of the Year and Team Members of the Year! Over the next two weeks, beginning on Wednesday, we’re holding recognition banquets in Tallahassee, St. Petersburg and Orlando to celebrate these individuals. Be on the lookout for our announcements of the winners prior to each banquet, and fun photos from the event itself.

Congratulations to all the amazing people who make Westminster Communities of Florida a great place to live and work!

Volunteers of the Year

Team Members of the Year

Should You Sell Your Home to Pay for Assisted Living?

Housing cost is often a significant part of a senior’s monthly budget. Whether you’re living in your own home or in Orlando assisted living, you need to plan for housing expenses. One big decision that seniors often face is whether they should sell their homes to pay for assisted living.

Selling a family home is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. If you’re thinking about selling your home to pay for assisted living, here are a few considerations that may help you decide.

How Urgent Is the Need?

If you’re experiencing sudden health problems or have reached a point where it’s no longer safe to live on your own, you may need to transition to assisted living sooner rather than later. 

If you haven’t planned on transitioning to assisted living, selling your home can be a good option to fund the transition and make the move as soon as possible.

What Are the Other Options?

If you haven’t saved for costs associated with assisted living, selling your home isn’t necessarily the only way to pay for it. You can consider renting your home as a source of income or explore government programs that may be able to assist in covering the costs.

Long-Term Considerations

While selling your home can provide a large sum of cash upfront, that doesn’t always mean it will be enough to pay for assisted living in the long term. 

Before you sell your home, consider whether it will yield enough profit to cover your long-term assisted living expenses. If it won’t, then selling your home will only be a short-term solution.

Lifestyle Considerations

Some seniors put off selling their homes because of emotional attachment, despite the fact that they will be safer and more comfortable in assisted living. Assisted living facilities in Orlando, Florida, can provide a lifestyle that includes convenient dining, help with everyday chores, and social events that can improve your quality of life. 

Cost of Orlando Assisted Living

Orlando is a wonderful place to enjoy retirement in assisted living. Some seniors think that the cost of assisted living is out of reach. However, with flexible pricing options and government assistance programs, the cost of high-quality assisted living may be more affordable than you think.

Whether to sell your home to pay for assisted living can be a difficult decision. Lean on friends, family, and your trusted financial advisor to make the best long-term decision for you.

3 Financial Options All Seniors and Their Families Should Know About

Paying for retirement and planning for the future can seem like a daunting task. Finances should not keep seniors from living how they want to live, whether that’s independently at home or in an Orlando, FL, assisted living community. Luckily, there are several programs and ways to leverage assets to help cover costs.

Here are 3 financial options all seniors and their families should know about.

1. Social Security Income

Most people have heard of Social Security, but few families know the specifics of how it can work for an elderly loved one.

Social Security was created to support the older population by paying retired workers a continual income (from a fund they’ve likely already paid into).

Seniors can apply for benefits online from the comfort of their homes. Eligible workers receive a monthly stipend that can be used to pay for everyday expenses like housing, utilities, and food.

While Social Security income payments can be helpful in covering expenses, most seniors find that the payments alone are not enough to cover all of their costs. Families should consider whether supplemental income will be needed.

2. Medicare

As seniors age, health care can become a significant expense. Between routine visits, unexpected health issues, and managing long-term diagnoses, health care costs add up quickly. Seniors and their families should be familiar with the Medicare program.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program serving certain individuals, including those over 65. Medicare can cover most, if not all, of the costs associated with hospital visits, routine doctor appointments, and medications. 

Medicare offers a number of different options that seniors must opt in to. Seniors and their families should work with a financial advisor or government official to determine what Medicare covers and which plan is best. 

3. Leveraging the Family Home 

Not all seniors have assets that they can leverage in retirement. But for those who own a home, it can provide meaningful income during retirement. 

There are several ways seniors can use the family home to provide income, including:

  • Renting part or all of it
  • Getting a home equity loan
  • Taking out a reverse mortgage

Decisions about real estate can have long-term impact, so it’s important to carefully consider the options and work with a professional who can offer honest advice.

Paying for Orlando, FL, Assisted Living

 

Many seniors miss out on the benefits of assisted living because they think they can’t afford it. However, with access to assistance programs and a variety of pricing options, even specialized services like memory care in Orlando can be affordable.

4 Benefits of Tai Chi for Older Adults (and How to Get Started)

Tai Chi is a slow, calm form of exercise performed by breathing and moving through a series of motions. It is low-impact yet still has health benefits. For this reason, it’s a valuable form of exercise for seniors. 

Because of tai chi’s popularity, some Saint Petersburg assisted living facilities offer tai chi classes onsite. Here are 4 benefits of tai chi for older adults. 

1. Enhances Concentration

While tai chi is a low-impact form of exercise, it still requires strong focus to perform. The practice of tai chi focuses on connecting your mind, body, and breath. To align all of those things takes concentration. 

Older or retired adults can fall into routines that don’t require much daily concentration, so this is a great way to ensure that the brain’s focus muscles don’t get ignored.

2. Helps Improve Balance

Some have compared tai chi to yoga, particularly because of the moves that require balance. Tai chi targets all the body parts and skills necessary for balance: core, arms, legs, flexibility, range of motion, and reflexes. 

These things tend to decline with age, which is why seniors are more prone to falling. Tai chi can help strengthen muscles and improve balance, decreasing the risk of falls.

3. Helps with Arthritis Pain

There’s a reason doctors often prescribe movement for arthritis pain—it’s one of the most effective ways to relieve it. Unfortunately, high-intensity forms of movement can be difficult for seniors with arthritis to perform regularly. 

Since tai chi is both low-impact and caters to a range of skill levels, it’s an activity that many seniors can stick with, even if they have mobility issues. Doing tai chi for even a few minutes a day can help ease arthritis pain considerably.

4. Relieves Stress

Tai chi is more than just movement; it’s a practice that integrates breathing and relaxation into every part of the exercise. In that manner, tai chi promotes a relaxed state of mind through gentle movements that connect the mind and body. 

It’s customary to listen to relaxing music while performing tai chi to enhance the experience of relaxation. The breathing exercises performed during tai chi movements have been shown to relieve stress. 

Stress contributes significantly to mental and physical disease, particularly for seniors, so engaging in a daily stress-relieving activity is critical.

How to Start Tai Chi

It can seem overwhelming to pick up tai chi if you’ve never tried it. However, it’s easier to learn than you think. There are a few ways you can get started. First, look for an instructor near you. Instructors can offer private lessons, and some may even travel to a St. Petersburg assisted living facility to teach you. 

Second, you can look for a local class. Many gyms and activity centers offer tai chi sessions on a weekly or monthly basis. 

Finally, you can learn tai chi in the comfort of your own home through video or online options. You can buy or rent a tai chi DVD or sign up for an online beginner’s class to learn the basics. You can even find programs specifically designed for seniors.

St. Petersburg Assisted Living

If you or a loved one is looking to transition to assisted living, St. Petersburg is a great community. You’ll find warm weather, like-minded seniors, and plenty of opportunities to stay active. 

Whether it’s tai chi or other activities, St. Petersburg communities prioritize wellness for their residents and help older adults make the most out of their retirement. Please talk to your health care physician before making any changes in exercise routines.

Senior Scams: How to Protect Your Loved Ones from Fraud

Sad tales about elderly victims losing their money online are on the rise. Coercion, trickery, and badgering lead to older adults losing billions of dollars each year. The National Council on Aging estimates over five million seniors fall into financial scams annually. 

The Cost of Elder Fraud

The consequences of senior scams can be devastating. Forbes estimates that elder financial fraud losses total over $36.5 billion annually. With only one in every 44 incidences reported, the figures may be significantly higher. Some of the common elder fraud scams include:

  • Health insurance fraud
  • Telemarketing scams
  • Counterfeit drug scams
  • Reverse mortgage scams
  • Investment schemes
  • Lottery scams

Senior citizens are easy targets for scammers due to their financial position. Most older adults own homes and have fixed incomes, meaning they have a large pool of funds to extort. Additionally, loneliness in old age results in seniors lowering their guard in identifying red flags. Declining cognitive ability worsens the situation. 

Protecting Your Loved One from Elder Fraud

These expert tips can protect your loved one from financial exploitation:

Maintain Regular Contact 

Isolation as your loved one ages may increase their risk of falling for romance scams. Maintaining regular contact with your parent can help you notice sudden changes in their behavior. Mentions of new companions, unsolicited offers, or sweepstakes may alert you before they give out personal information to their new “friend.”

Enroll Your Parent in a Licensed St. Petersburg Assisted Living Facility

A failing memory among dementia or Alzheimer’s patients can increase the risk of falling for scams. You can secure the interactions that your parent has daily by placing them under memory care in St. Petersburg, FL. 

Caregivers can assist your loved one in opting out of fraudulent calls, emails, and promotions. Additionally, a St. Petersburg assisted living facility’s social functions can help minimize isolation and keep your older adult active. 

Discuss the Topic with Your Loved One

You may have to speak to your elderly relatives or friends about the risk of financial scams. Discourage your loved one from conducting business over the telephone. Remind them always to ask questions, no matter how urgent the issue sounds. 

Teach your loved one the signs of a scam. Mention a recent fraud incident and inquire how your parent may protect themselves against such. Remind them never to give away their personal information, including Social Security numbers or bank account details, online or over the phone. 

Sign Up Your Parent on a “Do Not Call” List

You can access multiple sites that place your loved one on a “do not call” list. Engage the phone company to learn about the measures they have in place to regulate robocalls and “unknown callers.” Consider customizing your loved one’s smartphone to block unidentified calls. 

Obtain Power of Attorney

If you fear that your elderly family member can no longer handle their finances, you can seek a legal route to prevent senior scams. Power of attorney may give you greater control over their finances, keeping your loved one safe. 

Report Suspected Cases of Elder Fraud 

You can teach your loved one how to file complaints with Adult Protective Services (APS). Every state has an APS program responsible for receiving and investigating elder abuse cases.  

The program also educates seniors on common scams spreading within their locality. These can keep your loved one informed and less likely to get caught off-guard. 

Protecting Your Loved Ones

Cases of elder financial abuse are on the rise, especially with online scams. The six tips above can help keep your loved one’s monetary possessions safe. 

Ensuring your loved one is up to date with the latest scams and what to do when they identify scammers can help keep them protected. 

5 Simple Ways to Keep Seniors Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential at any age, but it is particularly vital for seniors. Proper hydration can help prevent many common medical concerns that affect senior citizens. 

These include hypertension, coronary heart disease, and urinary tract infections. It is crucial for elderly individuals to drink enough water each day to avoid these issues and other health concerns.

Getting Hydration in Assisted Living in Orlando, Florida

As important as it is to remain hydrated, many seniors fail to drink enough to get the recommended daily water intake. How can you encourage seniors to stay well-hydrated? Below are five easy ways to keep seniors in assisted living in Orlando, Florida, stay hydrated and healthy.

1. Make Water More Flavorful

One of the easiest ways to encourage anyone to drink enough water is by making it more appealing. Many seniors struggle with the lack of flavor when drinking water. To make it more appetizing, you can add pieces of real fruit to infuse a light flavor into the water. 

Water can be paired with watermelon, berries, grapefruit, pineapple, or oranges. This approach is especially effective if you add the fruit hours in advance and allow the flavor to be infused into the water beforehand.

2. Set Reminders

Nowadays, we rely heavily on phones, watches, and other technology to give us daily reminders for important tasks. There’s no reason staying hydrated can’t be one of these tasks! Set an hourly reminder on your phone, smartwatch, or other device to give a reminder that it’s time to drink some water. 

This approach is particularly helpful for seniors who are enjoying independent living in Orlando. When a caretaker cannot always be present to remind them to stay hydrated, technology can step in and provide a gentle reminder.

3. Provide Hydrating Snacks

For seniors who are strongly resistant to drinking enough water, hydration can be provided through food as well. Providing hydrating snacks can help compensate for some of their daily water intake. Hydrating snacks include the following and more:

  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Watermelon
  • Applesauce
  • Snap peas
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Grapes

You can get creative with these snacks by making veggie trays with hummus dips or fruit salads with various types of melon. Fruit cocktails with softer fruits are particularly beneficial for seniors who have difficulty chewing or who have dentures.

4. Create Small Goals

When you reside in a facility for assisted living in Orlando, Florida, you will find many seniors who are goal oriented. For these seniors, setting small goals can help them stay on track with their hydration. 

To surpass the daily recommended intake of 64 ounces, you can set a goal of drinking 8 ounces per hour. This amount is a small, achievable goal for many seniors that will help them stay motivated when keeping up with their hydration.

5. Use Straws or Lidded Cups

Keeping seniors hydrated may be as simple as changing what they drink from. Many seniors struggle with shaky hands and certain motor skills. These ailments can make it difficult to hold a cup or drink from something with a wide lid. Providing drinks with straws, lids, or narrow openings can help make drinking water easier for elderly individuals.

Staying hydrated is essential for many seniors. With these steps it will be easier to remain hydrated while having fun.

Motivation and Healthy Aging Go Hand in Hand: Here’s What We Know

Most people hope to live to old age, but not everyone makes a plan for navigating those years. However, healthy aging largely depends on having good self-care habits, including getting enough exercise and eating nutritious food. Whatever age you are right now, it’s not too late or too early to improve your vitality and lower your chances of developing health problems.

A recent study by the Gerontological Society of America found that motivation is the key to staying healthy as you grow older. That means overcoming short-term pleasures like over-indulging on sweets or napping instead of taking your daily walk. Seniors in assisted living in Orlando, Florida, may have an easier time staying motivated, as many communities provide health-boosting activities.

Understanding Your Motivation

Some motivation is external. Many people get up in the morning and go to work because they are motivated to keep their jobs and make their house payments. But getting up an hour earlier to exercise requires internal motivation. There’s no immediate consequence if they don’t do it. In fact, staying in bed for an extra hour may even be seen as a reward.

If you don’t know what your goals are or how to achieve them, it’s almost impossible to activate your internal motivation.

Setting Goals

Staying “healthy” is a somewhat ambiguous goal, especially because there are many factors you cannot control when it comes to health. For example, one of the biggest contributing factors to health is genetics. It may be more helpful to create specific goals, such as, “I want to stay healthy enough to play with my grandchildren.” That goal requires you to stay flexible, maintain bone and muscle strength, and have enough energy to remain active for 30 minutes or more.

If your goal is to stay healthy enough to travel, you might focus on taking long walks to build your stamina.

Stay Adaptable

Healthy aging doesn’t mean you will never face a health challenge. Adapting to your new normal when challenges come is part of staying mentally healthy. Being open to assistive devices or medical interventions that can make life easier will help you meet your goals. Accepting help when it’s needed can make it easier for you to maintain your health.

When asked, most seniors say they want to remain in their own home, but upon further examination, their ultimate goal is to remain independent. Moving to one of the independent living facilities in Orlando, FL, can increase your level of independence, not hamper it. Having easy access to wellness programs, nutritious food, and social activities could improve your health and help you reach your goals.

Can Assisted Living in Orlando, FL, Help You Stay Motivated?

Too often, people think of moving into a senior living facility as the end of something, when it can be a fresh new beginning. With amenities like housekeeping, a fitness center, a computer center, and plenty of opportunities for socializing, living in an assisted living community can increase your motivation to stay healthy. When life is filled with new experiences and friends who are living life to the fullest, staying motivated to meet your healthy aging goals may be easier than ever before.

3 Low-Impact Exercises to Maintain Flexibility

Flexibility is an important part of life, no matter how old you are. However, it’s more important than ever to practice flexibility as you age. 

In older folks, flexibility can help with chronic pain and encourage steady balance, which decreases the risks of falls and injuries. Here are three low-impact exercises that can help you maintain flexibility.

What Does It Mean to Be Low-Impact?

A low-impact exercise is a movement that is gentle on your joints. Examples of low-impact exercises include swimming, Pilates, Tai Chi, and yoga.

Needless to say, low-impact exercises are less stressful to the body than high-impact exercises like running and jumping. These are activities that have a greater impact on your joints and feet. Some folks need to avoid high-impact exercises because they can lead to injuries and fractures.

How Exercise Improves Flexibility

“Exercise” is an umbrella term that can encompass a variety of movements and training styles, including weight training, aerobics training, and flexibility training. An example of flexibility training is stretching.

However, some strength-training exercises and movements can increase your flexibility, even if the movement itself isn’t considered stretching. Exercise can make you more flexible when you perform an exercise correctly and move through the full range of motion.

3 Low-Impact Exercises

These three low-impact exercises that improve flexibility combine resistance training with static stretching for optimal results.

1. Yoga

Yoga might be the most obvious out of all of these examples because it’s commonly associated with flexibility and stretching.

However, yoga is so much more than simply stretching. This form of exercise uses various positions (called “asanas” by yogis) to challenge your strength and balance.


A proper yoga routine will hit all major muscle groups and strengthen your core. While there are plenty of athletic-style yoga classes, many classical styles of yoga (in Orlando, skilled nursing facility programs practice classical yoga) safely take you through a variety of low-impact exercises that will get you stronger and more flexible in no time.

2. Pilates

Pilates is often confused with yoga, but they are extremely different disciplines. While they share some elements, Pilates has a different focus.

Pilates teaches you to relax your muscles and only focus on strengthening certain muscles at a time. The common phrase repeated by Pilates teachers is, “Can you move [insert body part] and nothing else?”

By training in this style, Pilates encourages better balance while strengthening and conditioning tight, weak muscles. By lubricating your joints and strengthening your muscles, Pilates also increases your flexibility.

3. Walking

Walking is not such an obvious flexibility-increasing exercise, but it indirectly leads to stronger and more flexible muscles.

Walking is a low-impact, weight-bearing exercise. Because it is weight-bearing, it increases the delivery of nutrition to your joints and the lubrication of your joints.

Uphill walking is low-impact while stretching your calf muscles. Take longer strides to help stretch out your hip flexors. Swing your arms as you walk to lubricate your upper body joints.

Do not underestimate the power of walking!

Finding Optimal Health at Assisted Living Facilities in Orlando, FL

Many older folks struggle with maintaining a healthy exercise routine as they get older due to fear of risk or injury.

In Orlando, skilled nursing facility programs include wellness portions to help safely guide you to a full-body health routine and thrive in your golden years.

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