How To Stay Cool While Exploring Your St. Petersburg Assisted Living Community

Spring is finally here, and summer won’t be far behind! Truth be told, this is one of the most beautiful times of year to explore your St. Petersburg assisted living community — especially for those who enjoy balmy weather and tropical swirls of sunset that come alive over the Gulf Coast. With all of that being said, of course, climbing temperatures can also pose certain health risks that you’d rather avoid in order to enjoy a safe, comfortable day.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of ways to stay cool even when the weather is anything but. Just read on as we share a few great tips for a refreshing outing in and around Westminster Suncoast!

Plan Your Perfect Day

A little planning goes a long way when it comes to crafting a fun-filled outing! This is especially true when it comes to navigating warmer weather — not just because you might want to bring along helpful cooling tools (more on those later), but because you might want to frame your day by the temperatures outside. That is to say, consider saving outdoor activities like walking, gardening, or a meal with friends for earlier or later in the day. This leaves the hottest, sunniest portion of the day for relaxing at home or checking out air-conditioned amenities.

Dress Accordingly

When we think about dressing for the weather outside, we often make simple decisions like sleeves or sleeveless, pants or shorts, sneakers or sandals. But as it turns out, the decision of what to wear on a warm day is actually a little bit more involved than that! You’ll also want to take into consideration factors such as the knit and weave of your clothing (lightweight or heavy, for example) which can affect how breezy a garment feels to wear. Air flow can help you feel cooler on warm days!

Tote Around A Personal Mister Fan

Now, for some fun accessories! It certainly doesn’t hurt to bring a lightweight battery-powered fan — preferably with a mist function, so you can get a cool spray of H2O when you need it most. Ideally, of course, when the temperature gets too high, you’ll be able to step inside to cooler surroundings — but a mister fan can be handy backup.

Go For A Swim

Westminster Suncoast’s swimming pool is a great option for those warm spring days, when you crave the refreshing sensation of moving through the H2O.

Enjoy The Shade

Westminster Suncoast’s beautifully manicured walkways are designed with cool, comfortable shade in mind. You may also find it helpful to pull up under one of our poolside umbrellas for instant comfort when you need relief from the sun’s strongest rays!

Stay Hydrated

It’s important to keep up with your water intake at any time of year, of course. But warm weather prompts more perspiration which, in turn, requires you to drink up and replenish those fluids! You might find it helpful to keep a running tally of the water you drink throughout the day, since it’s easy to lose track when you’re having fun. Adding fresh-cut fruits can make an icy pitcher of water even more refreshing. Plus, fruit itself has H2O, so it’s worth snacking on during spring and summer (and, well, all year long).

Check Out Indoor Activities, Too

Fortunately, there are plenty of air-conditioned activities for those times when it’s simply too hot to safely (and comfortably) enjoy the great outdoors. Here at Westminster Suncoast, these include everything from our library and computer center, to our fitness center, to our variety of restaurant-inspired dining destinations that emulate the feel of your favorite dinner spot or snack-y bistro.

We hope that today’s tips and tricks help you enjoy your Westminster Suncoast spring and summer days to the fullest! After all, keeping cool during high temperatures is an important part of overall health and wellness — which is what we’re all about! Just ask about our My W Life wellness program to learn more about meaningful ways to stay happy and healthy when you call our community “home.”

Staying Protected From Spring Sunshine At Our Independent Living Facilities In St. Petersburg, FL

Here at Westminster Suncoast’s independent living facilities in St. Petersburg, we love our share of spring sunshine. After all, the name of our community comes from the local moniker for our slice of Florida — a gorgeous Gulf Coast paradise characterized by dazzling white-sand beaches and blue horizons that match the crisp hue of the sunny sky above.

With all that being said, it’s important to protect your skin from those sunny rays — especially as we head into Daylight Saving Time, and you might be preparing to spend even more time outside than usual. Fortunately, there are many great ways to cover up while still enjoying outdoor time, whether you’re swimming in our on-site heated pool or simply exploring the gorgeous grounds.

Here are a few of our trusted go-tos!

Start With Sunscreen

Slathering on the sunscreen may seem like an obvious step — but it’s a worthwhile reminder, given all the sunshine we experience here in Florida! Once you’ve chosen a sunscreen that meets all dermatological guidelines, apply it anywhere you might get sun exposure — including easy-to-forget places like your ears and hands.

Let your sunscreen dry before heading outside or jumping in the pool. (This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.) Just as important as applying your sunscreen at the start of your day, however, is reapplying it throughout — at intervals of 2 hours, and more frequently if you’re spending time in the H2O.

On that note…

Bring Some SPF For The Road

Even the most prepared outdoors explorer might forget to reapply throughout the day. To avoid running into sunburn on the road, simply pick up a travel size of your favorite SPF product and bring it along for your adventures!

Clothing Counts, Too

While you should always sport a “base layer” of SPF, you can supplement your sun protection with specially made UV clothing.

Don’t Forget To Accessorize

Accessorizing is another great way to bolster your sun protection this spring! A trusty wide-brimmed hat and polarized sunglasses can help you navigate your outdoor time in practical comfort.

Enjoy Some Shade

You’ll find plenty of umbrellas throughout the outdoor oasis that is Westminster Suncoast — so feel free to use them to add some cool comfort to your picnic or pool day.

Switch Up Your Routine

One of the best ways to protect yourself from the sun this spring is to simply reconsider your routine. The sun’s rays are strongest in the hours building up to and following midday — approximately 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — so whenever possible, plan your outdoor time outside of this window. You should still follow the above sun protection tips whether venturing out at 8 a.m. or 5 p.m., of course, but you can take comfort in the fact that rays aren’t quite as strong at these “off-peak” times.

Take Rest & Hydration Breaks

It’s important to take rest and hydration breaks when spending any amount of time outside — but it’s especially essential on hot, sunny days when you’re likely sweating, tired, and more prone to dehydration and other physical stressors.

We hope that today’s brief guide gives you some helpful tips on how to safely enjoy the sunshine, this spring and all year. Because, well, let’s face it — Florida’s bright and balmy weather means you’ll be spending plenty of time outdoors throughout the seasons.

Looking Up: The Big Benefits Of Birding At Your St. Petersburg Assisted Living Facility

Thanks to its renowned biodiversity, the Sunshine State is a great place to go birdwatching (aka birding). And our corner of Florida, located on the shimmering Gulf Coast, is particularly filled with birding opportunities thanks to our unique ecosystem — a confluence of beautiful bays and mangrove-lined shores that provide an attractive home for birds of all types.

Of course, that’s great news for birders who live at Westminster Suncoast, where St. Petersburg independent and assisted living facility provides endless opportunities for scanning the skies. Whether you’re taking a stroll through our 30 manicured acres, or hanging out at our outdoor heated swimming pool, there’s always a fluttering friend to see in the vicinity. Just read on as we share some of the biggest benefits of birding at Westminster Suncoast!

A Chance To Enjoy The Great Outdoors

Any reason to spend more time in Florida’s bright, balmy sunshine is a good one in our book! As long as you make sure to cover up (and slather on the SPF) accordingly, birding can be a great, organic way to encourage outdoor time and exercise. After all, you can certainly see many birds from your patio — but you’ll spot even more feathered friends by strolling Westminster Suncoast and keeping your eyes on the skies.

In this way, birding can help you with the popular trend known as “habit stacking,” or combining healthful practices (such as walking) in the same timeframe.

Social Skies

Birding is easy to enjoy on your own, but you’ll probably find that it actually has the effect of connecting you with friends and neighbors! That’s because birding brings you out of the house and into the community, where you might stumble upon fellow birders — or people who become birders after being inspired by you! Either way, this is certainly an activity that lends itself to social connection. You can even start or join a hobby group of friends to help each other identify hard-to-find birds, or organize fun outings to spot them in the wild.

Boost Your Mental Health

As is the case with so many outdoor activities, birding comes with the added benefit of being a boon for your mental health! According to a recent report from the New York Times, listening to birdsong can be good for your mental wellbeing. Plus, birding brings you closer to nature, and studies have shown that access to blue and green spaces (like our beautiful bay or tree-lined shores) can have similarly positive effects on your mind and body. So, bird away!

An Accessible Hobby

Everyone who has a hobby knows that supplies — whether they be running gear, or arts and crafts materials — can add up! However, birding is refreshingly easy on the wallet and your hobby closet. That is to say, anyone can observe birds with their naked eye — but of course, you can pick up a pair of special binoculars to spot them more easily out in the wild.

Looking for new a new activity to fall in love with? Birding might just be your best bet for a fun hobby that encompasses mental health, social togetherness, and, of course, a love of the great outdoors. We hope you enjoy it from the comfort of your great “backyard” that is Westminster Suncoast!

‘God put us here for a reason’: Serving the residents during Hurricane Idalia is part of our Mission

When a hurricane or tropical storm threatens Florida, like Hurricane Idalia this week, team members at Westminster Communities of Florida have a top priority: Ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents we serve. Our Mission is to serve from the heart and inspire older adults to enjoy happy, healthy and purposeful lives.

What impact has Hurricane Idalia had? Some of our dedicated team members are living out our Mission, today, by evacuating with residents or sheltering at their communities through the storm. Regardless of their normal jobs, their principal responsibility right now is to provide for the residents’ needs.

Today we caught up with five of these team members to learn about their experiences, why they chose to stay at their community or evacuate with residents, and what is inspiring them to stay hard at work during a storm.

Jackie Walker Ellison, Cook, Westminster Shores, temporarily at Westminster Winter Park

In St. Petersburg, Westminster Shores was forced to relocate residents out of the path of the storm. Jackie Walker Ellison always knew she would be with the residents, from the moment she first heard. “The residents said to me, ‘Jackie, are you coming with us? I know we’ll be OK if you come with us.’ So I had no doubt,” Ellison said. “I knew for sure I would be evacuating, I called my husband and my mother and I told them, ‘I’m going with my residents, I’ll see you whenever.’ ”

The group of 24 residents was accompanied by Ellison to Westminster Winter Park, where they’re enjoying the hospitality of the residents and team members there. The Westminster Shores team is occupied with providing for the needs of the residents during Hurricane Idalia. “I think it brings everyone together as a team,” she said.

Ellison has worked at Westminster Shores for 29 years, and “I love my residents. I wouldn’t have been here so long if I didn’t love this place and my residents. God put us here for a reason,” she said. “Right now, the residents are happy, we’ve been watching movies and playing games, and everything is going smoothly.”

Michele McCann, Assisted Living Activities Coordinator, Westminster Palms, sheltering in place

“I choose to be with the residents during the most emotional time, like a hurricane, because that’s my quality as a caregiver,” said Michele McCann, Assisted Living Activities Coordinator at Westminster Palms. “Challenging times like this bring out the best in people, and I get to see it and share it.”

McCann was sheltering in place at the community in St. Petersburg, along with residents from Westminster Palms and residents from Westminster Point Pleasant in Bradenton. She has lived in Florida for more than 7 years, and has experienced three hurricanes in St. Petersburg so far. McCann said she feels that the way the team bonds, whether through an evacuation or sheltering in place, makes the team stronger. “We are going to come out better on the other side of this! We always do. We are so lucky that we are here, in our home, together, instead of relocating like so many had to. I have come to feel like this is my home, too.”

Carlos Santiago, Maintenance Engineer, Westminster Point Pleasant and Tiffany Mestre, Administrative Assistant, Community Support Services, temporarily at Legacy Pointe at UCF

A group of residents from Westminster Point Pleasant were also with Maintenance Engineer Carlos Santiago and Tiffany Mestre, an administrative assistant at our Community Support Services office in Orlando. The residents had evacuated from Bradenton due to the risk of storm surge and flooding, and were enjoying the hospitality of Legacy Pointe at UCF.

Santiago, the maintenance engineer, said that he had been through the worst in 2017 when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. “We were there with no power for 60 days, and we weren’t able to do anything,” he said. By comparison, he felt that everything was under control and being well maintained for the residents through both of his hurricane experiences as a Westminster team member.

“This job is personal for me,” Santiago said. “The residents are my family and I want to make sure that they are well taken care of.” In 2022, Santiago was recognized as Westminster Point Pleasant’s Team Member of the Year for his dedicated service to the residents. He said it was his honor to serve the residents.

Evacuating with the residents is just another extension of his commitment to the community, Santiago said. “This is my second time evacuating with the residents, and it doesn’t matter how many more. I will always volunteer to be there for them. We are here for each other and for the residents.”

Countless storms had also affected Mestre, a Florida native. But she had never had an experience like today’s. “It’s wonderful to help the residents and hear about their interests and stories. This is a great way to see how the residents live,” Mestre said. “I am getting to know what a day in the life of a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and an ADON (Assistant Director of Nursing) are like. It has opened my eyes. Bless their souls for doing all of this.”

The effects of the storm had been mild in Orlando, but Mestre said that nevertheless, she and the residents felt more secure and had been brought closer together by the experience – and the residents were thankful for the security. “This has really brought our Mission to life for me in a way I had not experienced it,” said Mestre.

For Santiago, part of living in a hurricane zone meant more practice – and that he had found that the team is getting stronger through the experience. “The more we do this together, the more we become comfortable with each other, and the better organized we become. When you send a group of people together for one purpose and for our Mission, we get the opportunity to grow together and learn from each other,” said Santiago.

Beth Szabo, Services Coordinator, Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, sheltering in place

Another part of the Westminster Mission is to serve residents with low to moderate incomes, in our affordable Rental Retirement Communities. Beth Szabo, services coordinator at Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, was sheltering in place at the community to ensure that the residents were well cared for throughout the potential effects of the storm in Jacksonville.

“I’ve lived in Jacksonville since 1976, so I have lost count of how many hurricanes I’ve been through now. In 2004 they were coming so frequently we all said, ‘I’m over it, just let it go,’ ” said Szabo. “We have had to evacuate a few times over the years, like for Hurricane Matthew in 2016. But we did not have to this time.”

For Szabo, serving during a hurricane is a natural extension of her choice to work at the community, because the residents are like her extended family. “I have a heart for seniors, and the residents here mean a lot to me,” she said. “If something happens then I want to be here to help them.”

Szabo added that she feels safer riding out a storm at Riverside Presbyterian Apartments than at home. “Here at the community, I know that we have a great team looking out for everyone. We’re very small but we support each other.”

A facet of our Mission

While a hurricane is unexpected, serving the residents and supporting their fellow team members wherever we are and however we can is just another facet of the Mission of Westminster Communities of Florida: We serve from the heart and inspire older adults to enjoy happy, healthy and purposeful lives.

Be sure to learn all about how you can make a Westminster community your home to live or to work – find a community near you or follow us on Facebook and on LinkedIn!

4 Ways for Seniors to Stay Mentally Active

If you have a loved one in St. Petersburg assisted living, you probably worry about their mental health. After all, cognitive problems can start to plague aging adults if they do not keep their minds sharp and active. 

There are plenty of mental exercises for seniors that are fun and help keep their cognition healthy over the years. Use this guide to help the senior in your life stay mentally sharp and engage their mind regularly. 

1. Maintain an Active Social Life

Part of healthy aging for seniors is stimulating their minds through social connections. Regularly socializing with others will keep them mentally fit and improve their emotional health. 

As humans, we rely on social interaction for health and happiness. It is common for older adults to feel isolated and lonely, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Help your loved one maintain their social life by encouraging participation in community events and classes. 

2. Play Word Games

Technology is available almost everywhere. Seniors now have a unique opportunity to keep their minds sharp: word games. Popular word games include Scrabble, Words With Friends, and crossword puzzles. 

Your loved one can use their smartphone or tablet to play online word games with other people. This has the added benefit of social interaction as well. There are even online crossword puzzles to help them keep up their vocabulary and language skills! 

Games that involve thinking, language, and strategy keep older adults in good cognitive shape. It makes it easier to think quickly and clearly, which will help protect their aging brains. Additionally, these games are fun!

3. Take Interesting Classes

Lifelong learning is essential for seniors’ mental health. If your loved one is independent living in St. Petersburg, chances are they have access to continuing education. These classes are geared toward aging adults who want to learn more about the world around them. 

Your loved one can enjoy interesting courses about other languages, world history, culture, and science. Who says learning has to stop after college?

The human brain generates new connections between neurons when you learn new information, which is what makes education so important for mental fitness. Continuing education exercises your loved one’s critical thinking skills and general cognition. This helps them stay mentally active and sharp as they get older. 

4. Participate in New Hobbies 

Hobbies are activities that are done for fun in someone’s free time. Many seniors feel afraid to try new hobbies because they think that they are too old. This couldn’t be further from the truth; retirement is one of the best phases of life to learn new hobbies!

Most hobbies involve both physical and mental exercise. For example, knitting requires fine motor skills and pattern recognition. Both of these things keep your loved one’s mind active over the years. This will help prevent memory loss and other symptoms of cognitive decline. 

Hobbies also bring personal pleasure and joy into seniors’ lives, which is important for maintaining a healthy brain. Encourage your loved one to try a new activity with you the next time you visit them. They may be surprised at what they discover about themselves!

Staying Healthy in St. Petersburg Assisted Living

Mental health is just as important as physical health. You can help your loved one in St. Petersburg assisted living to stay mentally fit by trying new things, learning new information, and connecting with others.  Cognitive decline can be disheartening for both seniors and their family members. Luckily, mental exercises like the ones listed here can have protective effects on the human brain. Next time you see your loved one, mention some of these ideas to help keep their mind healthy and sharp!

Celebrate Your Loved One’s Birthday in Assisted Living with These 4 Party Ideas

Do you have a loved one in an assisted living facility in St. Petersburg? Now is the time to start planning their next birthday party! 

Birthdays in assisted living don’t have to be dreary. In fact, you can use the services and amenities in the community to your advantage. Try one of these party ideas for your loved one’s next birthday at one of the skilled nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

1.      Trivia Night

Many seniors love a good game of trivia. When you’re planning their next birthday, consider all of the random knowledge they keep in their back pocket. What better way to celebrate them than with a fun night of trivia, food, and friends?

You can invite your loved one’s friends within the community to attend your trivia night. The more people, the better when it comes to game nights. Try to make the questions relevant to your loved one’s favorite movies, music, television shows, and pop culture figures.

Include light refreshments for your party guests (and your loved one’s favorite sweet treat, of course) to make trivia night fun for everyone!

2.   Old Hollywood Movie Night

Is the senior in your life a Hollywood movie enthusiast? Spice up their viewing experience by throwing an Old Hollywood Movie Night party. This is the perfect way to engage with their interests and help them spend quality time with friends and family. 

You can get a cheap projector to make movie night feel more professional. Most projectors can be used on a blank wall or a physical screen of some kind. 

Ask your loved one what their favorite old Hollywood films are and prepare them for the projector in advance. Then gather your loved one’s friends together and serve plenty of popcorn to set the movie night mood!

3.   Travel-Themed Birthday Party

If your loved one has traveled the world and spoken about their adventures often, they would love a travel-themed party. Ask them about their favorite travel destinations and plan the party around them. 

For example, if your loved one enjoyed their trip to Greece, center the party around Greek themes. Order Greek cuisine and decorate with ancient Greek symbols and other art. This will take them back to the joys of traveling and seeing the world. 

You can take it a step further and tape pictures from their trip on the walls. There is nothing more sentimental than seeing their favorite vacation come to life. Your well-traveled loved one is sure to remember this birthday party for life!

4.   Group Crafting Session

Many seniors enjoy crafting, knitting, and doing other creative hobbies. This gives you the perfect scene for a birthday party: a group session!

Ask your loved one’s friends and other family members to join in for an afternoon of fun instruction. Most assisted living facilities have group classes for different creative hobbies. You can bring refreshments and sweet treats to celebrate your loved one. 

This shows the aging adult in your life that you care about their interests. It also gives them a chance to learn more about their hobby and improve their skills. Everyone will walk away from the party with new knowledge and an interesting hobby to enjoy!

Make Birthdays Meaningful at Your Assisted Living Facility in St. Petersburg

Your loved one’s birthday is a very special day. It represents the day that they came into the world and started sharing their love with those around them. Birthdays never have to be forgotten when your loved one is in assisted living. You can make their day extra special by following this guide to the perfect senior birthday party!

Top Tips for Making New Friends During Retirement

Staying in touch with old friends, and making new ones, can be a challenge in your later years. People change, schedules get in the way, and health issues can make it difficult to get out as much.

With that being said, having friends is crucial for staying well and maintaining good mental health. As such, it can be helpful to know how to make new friends during retirement.

Join a Club

Clubs are one of the best ways to easily and naturally connect with others in your community. Whether you’re living alone or enjoying retirement in St. Petersburg assisted living, becoming a member of a club is a surefire method for making new friends. 

Examples of clubs you might find in your community may include: 

  • Book clubs
  • Walking clubs
  • Church groups
  • Charity organizations
  • Card players
  • Bakers clubs

Clubs meet regularly and change membership often, giving you a new wave of people to connect with each time you get together.


Volunteering is another great way to link up with peers with common interests. It’s also beneficial to your community, as it allows you to give back. Regardless of your abilities or level of mobility, there are bound to be many volunteer opportunities in your area.

Consider walking dogs in your neighborhood, reading to bed-bound patients in the hospital, or offering a helping hand at a local soup kitchen. Doing so will give you a chance to form meaningful relationships with fellow volunteers, charity staff, and the people you’re helping.

Host a Party

Many people think you can’t have a party without friends, but hosting a party is actually a great way to meet people. You might invite casual acquaintances from the community who you’re close to or even open up the invitation to the whole neighborhood.

As the host, you’ll have a perfect opportunity to get to know your guests — and possibly make some lasting friends along the way.

Take a Class

One of the best ways to spend your retirement years is by embracing lifelong learning

Take advantage of your newfound free time by picking up a new hobby or skill, such as painting, baking, ceramics, or a second language. Learning can be a great way to make new friends, as you’ll already have at least one thing in common with your classmates.

Some community colleges and organizations even have senior-focused classes, providing an ideal environment for older adults to mingle.

Set Goals

It may sound like advice meant for the young and ambitious, but setting goals is an excellent way to make sure you’re getting out there and creating the possibility of making new friends. Without concrete goals, you’ll have nothing to aim for.

For instance, you might set a goal to go to a community event once a month or perhaps once a week. You might also resolve to introduce yourself to one new person each time you attend an event.

While not every interaction will result in friendship, you’d be surprised how many exciting new connections you can make by setting and following through on incremental goals.

Stay Open

Lastly, you’ll need to stay open if you want to make new friends in retirement.

You’ll frequently need to put yourself out there to spark a new relationship, and you may be unaccustomed to this kind of boldness if your social circle has been relatively small over the past years. Now is the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone and try new things.

Another way to stay open is to give everyone a chance. Not all of your friends have to be your age or even have much in common with you — great friendships can form no matter how different two people are.

Make New Friends in Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, Florida

There are many benefits of entering assisted living in Saint Petersburg, Florida, but one of the biggest is the built-in social network. With group dining, communal areas, and activities open to all, senior communities make forging new friendships easier than ever.

4 Best Places to Shop for Christmas Gifts in St. Petersburg

Shopping for Christmas gifts in the Tampa Bay area is always a fun and exciting time, especially considering the wealth of amazing shops that specialize in assortments of unique and affordable gifts. 

Given the sheer number of options, shopping can be a little overwhelming. Fortunately, this article will list some of the best places to shop for Christmas gifts in St. Petersburg. If you still have some Christmas shopping left to do, this should be more than enough to help you out.

1. Simply Perfect

If you are shopping for someone who loves beach-themed gifts, look no further than Simply Perfect. This nautical-themed store has a variety of gifts for the beach lover in your life. Check them out if you are looking for any of the following:

  • Candles
  • Framed art
  • Vases
  • Baskets
  • Jewelry
  • Greeting cards

Simply Perfect is located in the Corey Avenue Shopping District, which houses several other boutiques. It’s the perfect place to find a unique and special gift for just about anyone.

2. Corey Avenue Sunday Market

Whether you live in a local residential neighborhood or in assisted living in Saint Petersburg, Florida, the Corey Avenue Sunday Market is a must-see. This lovely market has an assortment of homemade goods, crafts, and produce from over 80 local vendors. These unique items make perfect gifts for just about any setting.

Here is a glimpse of some of the Christmas gifts you will find:

  • Salsas
  • Spice blends
  • Handmade clothing
  • Handmade jewelry
  • Sauces
  • Candles
  • Plants
  • Houseware
  • Artwork

Whether you’re shopping for unique, homemade clothing, jewelry, or even produce, you’re likely to find that and more at the Corey Avenue Sunday Market. Additionally, it’s a great way to support local businesses in St. Petersburg.

3. Coastal Cottage

Located in the Corey Avenue Shopping District, Coastal Cottage is the perfect place to find custom furniture. They specialize in handmade pieces but carry vintage pieces as well. The custom pieces are crafted by local artists, while the vintage items have been restored by thrifters who understand the intricacies of the Florida landscape.

The items available at Coastal Cottage include the following:

  • Dressers
  • Desks
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Mirrors
  • Hutches
  • Artwork
  • Jewelry
  • Collectibles

All of the items they stock have a distinct beach vibe that is uniquely suited to the Florida landscape. If you’re shopping for someone who wants a gift that has been curated for the Florida landscape, this is the place to look.

4. Betty Shop

Betty Shop is a quaint, family-owned business specializing in stylish clothing and accessories. Even better, the shop donates a percentage of all profits to marine education and conservation. 

You can find the following gifts at Betty Shop:

  • Shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Accessories
  • Other clothing
  • Shoes
  • Small gifts
  • Decor

In addition to their regularly stocked items, Betty Shop also offers a selection of retreats and workshops. So if you can’t decide on a physical gift, you can always give an experience instead!

Additional Shop Ideas for Someone Living in Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, Florida

St. Petersburg assisted living has its own unique flow. If you have a friend or relative who lives in one of these facilities, there are a variety of unique gifts available at any of the shops listed above that they are sure to love. Here are some suggestions:

  • Gift baskets
  • Coffee or tea
  • Slippers
  • Warm socks
  • Bird feeders and birdseed
  • Craft supplies
  • Artisanal desserts

When searching for an ideal gift, it’s almost impossible to go wrong if it comes from the heart. Any of the shops listed above are sure to have something unique and exciting for any of your loved ones.

Low-Impact Exercises You Can Do at Any Age

Exercise is important at all points in life, but it is especially important for seniors. When seniors do not exercise regularly, they are at a higher risk of developing various negative health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and more. 

For seniors experiencing health challenges or changes in mobility, low-impact exercises are a great option. Low-impact exercises are still effective in getting the heart pumping and building muscle without straining the body. This article will discuss several low-impact exercises you can do at any age.


Swimming is one of the most gentle yet effective exercises and is perfect for seniors. The resistance of the water exercises the body without the strain of gravity or weightlifting. 

Swimming can be utilized as both a cardio and strength training exercise. Swimming laps or participating in a water aerobics class works the entire body in just one session. Swimming can be done alone as a freestyle activity, or seniors can take an exercise class with friends or neighbors.


Walking is universally considered to be one of the best forms of exercise. Even better, it is low impact and does not negatively impact the body like some other forms of exercise. Walking can keep a whole host of negative health outcomes at bay, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Many seniors enjoy walking in a club to make it a social event. If you live in assisted living in Saint Petersburg, Florida, you can grab your friends and neighbors for a group walk around the grounds or at a nearby park.

Tai Chi

Tai chi is an ancient martial art that involves movement in a series of exercises and stretches. It is an exercise that uses movement and breath to align the body and mind. Tai chi is slow, relaxing, and low-impact, making it a perfect exercise for seniors. 

Tai chi can be tailored to different ability types, so seniors in all mobility ranges can enjoy the exercise.

In addition to the physical health benefits, tai chi can also have great mental health benefits and significantly decrease the chances of developing feelings of depression and anxiety. Seniors can learn tai chi through a live or virtual class or independently.


For seniors who want to get regular cardio exercise without the negative impact of running or other activities, cycling can be a great option. Cycling is a fun and challenging way to get the heart pumping but be gentle on the joints and bones. 

Cycling is often enjoyed on a stationary bike which creates a safe and comfortable environment for a long ride. Finally, cycling is versatile and can be as easy or as challenging as you want it to be.

Seated Exercises

Even seniors with significant mobility limitations can stay active through exercise. Moving the body doesn’t always mean walking or moving about. Many seated exercises are challenging yet low impact.

A few popular seated exercises include:

  • Leg kicks
  • Knee extensions
  • Neck turns
  • Arm lifts
  • Overhead stretches

Seniors can work with an instructor, personal trainer, or therapist to find a seated routine that works for them. Seniors can also look up free tutorial videos online or simply discover a routine through trial and error. A daily seated exercise routine can still be very challenging and work out the heart and muscles.

Exercise in Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Saint Petersburg is a wonderful place for seniors looking to stay active and healthy during retirement. The Saint Petersburg assisted living facilities are some of the best in the country and make it easy to stay active. Exercising each day can help add years of wellness to any life and can help make retirement more enjoyable.

Assisted Living Levels of Care: Everything You Should Know

Moving to assisted living is an exciting time for many seniors. However, seniors and their families want to ensure they get the right level of care when they transition to an assisted living facility in St. Petersburg, Florida. Depending on needs, most communities offer different levels of care for residents.

What Are Assisted Living Levels of Care?

Assisted living levels of care define how much care a particular resident receives daily. They can define the type of care received and how often care is provided. 

Seniors must be assigned the right level of care. Residents who don’t receive enough care can find themselves in dangerous situations and may not have all their basic needs met. Residents that receive too much care are taking resources away from other residents. 

While there is no nationwide standard for levels of care, most communities use a leveled system that generally ranges from level one to level three.

Level One

Level one care generally refers to a basic level of care for seniors who still have a lot of independence. Care may include things like wake-up visits, supervision with certain tasks, and some help with activities of daily living.

Level Two

Level two is a higher level and is reserved for residents who need more hands-on help with daily activities, such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Mobility
  • Grooming
  • Cooking
  • Household chores

A staff member caring for a level two resident will generally provide a mix of care that includes supervision for some tasks and hands-on support for others.

Level Three

Level three care is intended for seniors who need help with most activities of daily living. These residents require hands-on support most of the time, and care may be provided by more than one caregiver.

How Level of Care Is Determined

The level of care is determined through a detailed assessment test that takes place before a senior enters St. Petersburg assisted living. A new assessment may be given over time to ensure that residents continue to receive the care they need. New assessments may also be triggered by a medical event.

Assessments are performed differently depending on the community, but tests generally include observation and interviewing residents and their families.

Level of Care Can Change over Time

Generally, the needs of residents in assisted living change over time. Residents may start at level one but need more support over time. Changes in health and mobility are two of the most common reasons for a change in the level of care. 

Changes in care needs may also be temporary. For example, a resident may need rehabilitation or therapy support after surgery. 

Sometimes, a need for more care is obvious, but other times, it is less obvious. If a senior becomes uncomfortable with their current level of care, it is important that they speak up and advocate for a new assessment. 

Level of Care Can Impact Cost

Every assisted living community is different, and costs vary greatly depending on a number of factors. In some communities, the level of care can be a factor that impacts the overall cost of staying in the community. 

Level one care will generally be less expensive than level three since less staff work is required. It is important to discuss the cost before moving into an assisted living community. 

Care in an Assisted Living Facility in St. Petersburg, Florida

Receiving the correct level of care in assisted living is critical for the safety and well-being of residents. Residents and their family members should be involved in the care assessment to ensure the senior’s needs are met and that they can comfortably enjoy retirement. 

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