‘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. 

6 Reasons to Look Forward to Retirement Living

Many seniors work their entire lives saving for retirement. Retirement should be a time for seniors to relax, enjoy leisurely activities, and pursue passions they never had the time for before retirement. 

Retirement living allows for a lifestyle that isn’t possible for many seniors who choose to live independently. There are many reasons to look forward to retirement living in Saint Petersburg assisted living facilities.

1. More Time for Hobbies

Many seniors who live independently find themselves busy with daily chores and the responsibilities of taking care of a home. Retirement living removes many of these responsibilities, leaving much more room to explore new hobbies and spend more time on existing ones.

2. More Time for Friends and Family

Socialization is a key part of a healthy retirement. It is easy for seniors who live alone to stay busy with daily chores and neglect spending time with family and friends. The services and amenities in retirement living open up a lot more time that seniors can use to see their friends and family. 

3. Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle

One of the biggest benefits of retirement living is how easy it is to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Retirement living encourages activity, healthy eating, and overall wellness. 

Between onsite dining that offers daily nutritional meals and a slew of activities to participate in, maintaining a healthier lifestyle is easier than ever. What’s more, retirement living focuses on all aspects of wellness, including:

  • Physical
  • Nutritional
  • Learning
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Vocational
  • Spiritual 
  • Community

The support offered in retirement living does not compare to what seniors have access to living on their own.

4. Added Convenience of Amenities

One of the biggest perks of transitioning to retirement living is the added convenience of services and activities. Residents can eat, receive medical care, socialize, exercise, and even get haircuts, all within the community. 

The time saved by utilizing all of these services on-site is significant. Seniors no longer have to travel all over town to complete their chore list.

5. Opportunities to Make New Friends

Over time, it is not uncommon for the friend circles of seniors to grow smaller. Friends pass away, move, or simply experience lifestyle changes that make them less available. Since socialization is so important for seniors, making new friends is always a good idea. Making connections in retirement living is simple. 

Seniors will be among peers with whom they already have things in common. In addition, residents have access to frequent social events that make it easy to connect and make new friends. 

In retirement living, seniors will never find themselves feeling lonely or isolated. Being surrounded by new peers is one of the primary reasons seniors opt for retirement living earlier in life.

6. Enjoy Less Stress

Even though retirement years are supposed to be relaxing, seniors face a number of challenges that can induce stress. Taking care of themselves and a home can be a lot of responsibility, especially as seniors experience cognitive and physical changes. 

Transitioning to retirement living takes a lot of responsibility off of a senior’s plate. From cooking and cleaning to transportation, residents have a lot less to worry about. Transitioning to retirement living can have an immediate and significant positive impact on stress levels for seniors.

Look Forward to Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Assisted living in Saint Petersburg, Florida, is among the best in the country. Seniors have access to a variety of communities, each offering its own unique services and amenities. With so many options, seniors have a lot to look forward to in retirement living.

4 Books that Are Perfect to Read This Fall

The leaves change color and begin to drop; the air takes on a crispness, and the days shorten — fall has arrived. The mood of the autumn season is slower than that of spring and summer, and the activities you enjoy will reflect this. 

Easygoing strolls by a pond, a game of cards on the porch, and of course, a stack of good books to enjoy in a comfy chair are just some of fall’s simple luxuries.

Books are one of the best ways to keep your mind sharp. Narratives will reinforce connections in your brain and help you stay mentally active. As you make your reading list to enjoy your fall in assisted living in Saint Petersburg, here are four books you should consider. 

1. “The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman

A thrilling piece of crime fiction, “The Thursday Murder Club” takes place in rural England. A group of inhabitants from a retirement village in the fictional Fairhaven, near the nonfictional Kent, meet together to solve a mysterious murder. Will the group catch the killer before he strikes again?

“The Thursday Murder Club” is Richard Osman’s first book, which he wrote after being inspired by his visit to a retirement village. Two sequels are also available — “The Man Who Died Twice” and “The Bullet That Missed” — should you be a fast reader and need more action to dive into!

2. “The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones” by Wendelin Van Draanen

This one will take you back to your youth. “The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones” focuses on the eponymous Lincoln, a sixth-grade student with a massive imagination. Never seen without his notebook, he’s crafting a story full of wheelchair zombies, ghosts, psychic vampires, and plenty of crazy characters. 

However, a fellow sixth-grader named Kandi has become obsessed with finding out what’s in Lincoln’s notebook, and she won’t rest until she does.

The book is full of humor but conveys an excellent lesson about breaking out of one’s shell and letting others see the person inside. If you remember the Hardy Boys fondly, you’ll enjoy the world Van Draanen creates.

3. “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman

At first glance, the curmudgeonly Ove appears to be a stereotypically grumpy old man. His neighbors don’t enjoy interacting with him, and he exudes bitterness, strictness, and a short temper. 

When new neighbors move into the house next door, they accidentally destroy Ove’s mailbox. While not usually a promising start to a friendship, their interactions with Ove slowly melt away his gruff exterior and expose the sadness that turned him into the curmudgeon he’s become.

Swedish author Fredrik Backman took inspiration from his own life. In line to buy tickets to an art museum, Backman witnessed an actual man named Ove have a fit in the line,  which spurred Backman to recreate the man as a character who has difficulty relating to people.

4. “Notes from the Midnight Driver” by Jordan Sonnenblick

Alex is a teenager frustrated by his parents’ divorce — along with all of the typical problems that come with being 16 years old. After he runs afoul of the law, Alex performs community service at the local senior center. Specifically, he is the new helper for Solomon Lewis, an elderly Jewish man known for being difficult and spouting colorful Yiddish. 

Over time, Solomon’s advice to Alex wears down the rough edges of their relationship, and they must both come to terms with the decisions they’ve made.

Jordan Sonnenblick’s first book was “Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie,” and several characters cameo in this book, his second. Music lovers will enjoy this novel, as it focuses much on Alex and Sol’s mutual love of guitar.

The Perfect Fall Reading for Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg

If you’re retired and enjoying a leisurely lifestyle in Saint Petersburg assisted living facilities, it’s time to kick back in your chair, sip some cocoa, and enjoy some books. But even if you don’t get to them all, that’s okay — just put them on next year’s reading list!

The Benefits of Exercise for Adults with Arthritis

If you or a loved one suffer from arthritis, you’re familiar with the pain and frustration it can cause. Fortunately, along with other treatments, exercising can ease arthritis symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis affects the joints, causing swelling, tenderness, and pain. Two common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes the cartilage in joints to wear down over time. This type of arthritis can affect any joint, but it most often occurs in the spine, hands, hips, and knees.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a bit different, as it is an immune disorder that causes inflammation and damages the lining of the joints. RA can result in fatigue and joint deformity.

While arthritis can have an impact on your life, there are several ways to manage symptoms.

Exercise Can Benefit Adults with Arthritis

Treatments for arthritis vary, but arthritis sufferers can benefit greatly from exercise. 

It is well known that exercise can have a significant and positive impact on your physical and mental health. Those who suffer from arthritis can benefit from regular exercise in several ways, including the following.

Exercise Strengthens Joints

Arthritis affects the joints, and engaging in regular physical activity can strengthen joints over time.

When you exercise, you strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding your joints. Strengthening these tissues protects your joints and lessens the pressure on weak joints, which could result in less pain.

Exercise Helps Control Weight

Being overweight causes you to put more pressure on your joints, as they must carry the extra pounds. Regularly exercising can lead to weight loss, thereby relieving unnecessary pressure on the joints. 

If you’re at a healthy weight, exercise can also help you maintain your weight and promote joint health.

Exercise Allows for Better Range of Motion

Arthritis can limit your range of motion, but exercising can help you improve your joint mobility and flexibility. Performing exercises that help with your range of motion can ensure you don’t lose mobility in your joints.

Exercise Can Replace Damaged Cells

Osteoarthritis damages cartilage, wearing it down and limiting the amount of cushioning in the joints. Exercising can activate a process that causes the body to clear out damaged cells and replace them with new, stronger cells.

Regular exercise can also help rebuild cartilage, improving overall joint health. 

Exercises Tips for Adults with Arthritis

If you have arthritis and wish to start reaping the benefits of exercise, here are some tips:

  • Start slow if you’re a beginner
  • Engage in low-impact activities rather than high-impact workouts
  • Warm up before any exercise to limit injuries
  • Don’t overdo it
  • If you experience joint pain while exercising, stop the workout

The best exercises for individuals with arthritis include:

  • Low-impact aerobic exercises, like walking or cycling
  • Exercises to strengthen muscles
  • Exercises for flexibility, including stretching
  • Balance exercises

Before engaging in any exercise regimen, you should always speak to your doctor first. Your physician can provide valuable information and recommendations to help you avoid injury or worsening your condition.

Live an Active Lifestyle at a St. Petersburg Assisted Living Community

When you live in a St. Petersburg assisted living community, you can expect to be surrounded by staff and other members of the community who will encourage you and guide you through your fitness journey. 

Exercising is always better and more exciting with others. Independent living in St. Petersburg allows you to live your life to the fullest while having the support you need along the way.

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