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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!

8 Hobbies to Pick Up in Retirement

Entering retirement opens up free time to pick up new hobbies that enrich your days. The possibilities are endless when it comes to finding fun new pastimes suited to your interests and abilities. Here at Westminster Suncoast, we encourage residents to explore their passions. Learning new skills and sharing activities with others fosters a vibrant lifestyle.

Consider picking up these engaging hobbies to fill your calendar with joy in your retirement years:

1. Gardening

From planting flowers to pruning trees, gardening provides light activity and contact with nature. Utilizing raised garden beds can be perfect for growing vegetables, herbs and ornamentals without bending down. Joining in gardening groups at any experience level is a great opportunity to share tips and enjoy the outdoors together. Adaptive tools can make gardening possible even if you have mobility limitations. It can be wonderful to see the outdoor beauty you’ve nurtured flourish while getting your hands in the soil.

2. Arts & Crafts

Tap into your creative side by taking up arts and crafts. Options include painting, pottery, sewing, knitting, stamping, jewelry making and more. Arts and crafts provide cognitive stimulation along with producing decorative and practical items. You might even aim to showcase your creations at a community craft fair!

3. Music

Music has therapeutic effects that make it an ideal hobby. Listen to your favorite genres, learn a new instrument like piano or violin, join a choir or community band, or attend concerts for enjoyment. Singing improves mood and breathing while playing an instrument challenges your brain and coordination. You might consider sharing your musical gifts with others during open mic nights. 

4. Reading

Reading exercises your mind while transporting you to new worlds. Visit your local library, which is stocked with books including large print editions. Joining a book club can be an exciting way to discuss interesting reads with neighbors. Kindle and audiobooks make reading accessible whether at home or on excursions to the beach, park, or library. Writing your own poems, short stories or memoir lets you express yourself creatively.

5. Cooking

Cooking allows you to get creative in the kitchen and sample nourishing dishes you prepare. Whip up favorite recipes from your heritage or experiment with new cuisines from around the globe. Enjoy the fruits of your labor with friends and family – as you know, cooking is one way to demonstrate love through food.

6. Photography

Capture life’s beauty around you through the lens of a camera. Digital photography makes the hobby easy and instant. Learn new techniques like lighting, composition through classes, in-person or online. Go on photo-taking excursions to gardens, beaches and parks. Use your images to craft unique cards, calendars or photo books. Photography promotes mindfulness, visual expression and preserving memories.

7. Woodworking

Express your craftsmanship through woodworking projects. Woodworking can be an exciting way to build furniture, whittle sculptures, construct birdhouses or refinish antique pieces. Locating a skilled instructors can help you learn proper use of tools for all levels. Join a small group class and collaborate on larger pieces like benches. Take pride in handcrafted wood pieces.

8. Sports

Maintaining physical fitness through sports contributes to healthy aging. Enjoy low-impact activities like golf, tennis, bocce ball or pickleball on our courts and putting greens. Go for a swim, join a walking club or take exercise classes. Enter local senior games and competitions. Cheer on favorite professional teams. Being part of a team or fan club provides camaraderie. Adapting equipment and rules allows you to keep playing the sports you love.

The opportunities to learn new skills are endless. Our community offers the facilities, equipment and supportive environment ideal for pursuing hobbies that fulfill you. Sample new activities to add excitement to your days. Staying engaged and passionate about the things you enjoy most results in a retirement lived to the fullest.

‘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!

How you can stay in touch with family and friends after moving to a senior living community

Are you considering a move to a senior living community but worried about how you’ll keep in touch with family and friends? You’re not alone. Many future residents have the same concerns.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to stay connected and keep in touch with the people you care about. From FaceTime to card nights to private dining parties, residents have plenty of options to stay connected with their loved ones.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best ways to keep in touch with family and friends after moving to a senior living community.

Enjoy a video call to have a virtual visit with family or friends whenever you like

A virtual visit can help maintain ties even when residents and their friends are separated by thousands of miles. Modern technology for video calling like FaceTime makes visiting easier than ever. Video calls allow residents to enjoy a face-to-face conversation with family or friends anywhere in the world, from the comfort of their living room. No expensive travel required!

Residents can use FaceTime or video chat services like Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom to stay in touch with those who matter most. Grandparents can share stories with grandchildren who live far away or have regular catch-ups with distant relatives. Video calling also makes it possible for to host a virtual event, like a game night or movie watch party.

Enjoy a card or board game night and mix the “old” and “new” friends

With many social connections in their current neighborhoods, the prospect of moving to a senior living community can be daunting for many older adults. Fortunately, there are plenty of in-person social opportunities at senior living communities — some of them more informal than others.
Many senior living communities have groups of residents who enjoy a night of card games or board games. Play poker, Clue, Settlers of Catan or whatever you prefer, and enjoy having social opportunities and good friends at your fingertips.

These social events offer a reason for residents to invite their friends and family members over for a night of fun and laughter. It also provides an informal setting for guests to meet other residents and engage in meaningful conversations.

For older adults who want to make sure they stay connected to their friends, one surefire way to make things more fun is to invite their “old” friends to meet the “new” at a game night. It can make for a memorable evening filled with laughter and good company — all while bonding deeper relationships with fellow residents at the same time.

Host a dinner party and let someone else do all the work

Dining is an important part of life at a senior living community. But a special event may call for having a few friends over for dinner, and who wants to do all the cooking and dishes?

That’s why many senior living communities offer residents a variety of catered dining options, to invite guests over for a special dinner party. A special menu developed with the Dining department makes it simple and convenient to plan an event. Enjoy a luxurious meal without lifting a finger!

Inviting friends and family over to experience their community is also great to help those who may be considering making the move themselves. Guests get an up-close look at the lifestyle offered at their friend’s new home. Private dining options allow potential new residents to get an idea of what life would be like for them.

From poker nights to private dinners, there are plenty of ways for residents of senior living communities to keep in touch with family and friends. To learn all about how additional socialization opportunities abound at a Westminster community, find the community that suits you today on our Web site!

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.

Volunteer

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.

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