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Moment of Joy

A trademark SeniorCare Homes “moment of joy” was created at Waveny House this afternoon. One of our residents was able to relive his yell leading GLORY days to a house full of multiple generations, fresh popcorn and lot’s of Rock Chalkin’! Hearts are full tonight and the vision of care for our residents is alive and well.

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February 25th, 2016 |   Add comment

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The Importance of Taking Time to Play

bingo

As family members and loved ones at SeniorCare, there are times when life never seems to stop. The culmination of our regular day-to-day activities, care of our families, and general work commitments mean that the treasured quiet moments that can keep us going often turn out to be few and far between. When the minutia of life begins to pile up, it’s important to take a close look at how we spend the free moments we do have, whether those are times for ourselves or time spent at one of the SeniorCare Homes. More often than not, the solution comes through building in more margin for ourselves by simplifying the kind of activities we do as well as the number of activities we choose to partake in.

A Back-to-Basics Approach

Interestingly, a simplified approach often includes returning to the activities that made us happy in the past as we do with the residents. This back-to basics trend shows wide-spread adoption as more and more people look to rediscover the simple pleasures of cooking, coloring, DIY crafts and playing board games. Whether these choices reflect a desire to escape the grown-up world for a while or just to allow oneself to become absorbed in a pleasing activity, all of the possibilities, particularly board games, provide a great benefit to the brain.

The Many Benefits of Play

When it comes to board games, there’s no end of options to choose from. Bingo has recently made a popular comeback at both Hanover and Vineyard houses. You can also take your pick from the old-school favorites of Monopoly, Sorry or Uno or try out something new like Run Wild, Telestrations or Word on the Street. One thing all the games have in common is their ability to bring people together for a learning opportunity that helps stimulate relationship and brain development. One of the greatest benefits of board games is the idea that learning wrapped within an element of fun can take place in many different ways.

Board Games Inspire Boosts of Recognition for:

  • Numbers
  • Shapes
  • Letters
  • Words
  • Colors

What’s in a Game?

Game playing also improves hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, verbal communication, sharing, frustration management, and social skills, all within the guise of a simple game. Research studies show playing board games at least twice a week has the ability to increase brain speed and further develop inquisitiveness and creativity. During these cold days and long, dark nights of January, SeniorCare Homes regularly hosts Bingo nights and encourages impromptu games around the kitchen table with a pot of coffee. Please bring in an old game collecting dust at your house to play with the residents. The winter evening events are a fun way to beat the winter blahs and keep the brain active by learning new things.

SeniorCare Homes Activities

  • Exercise and stretching each day
  • Improving hand-eye coordination by playing ping pong, basketball and golf
  • Whipping up favorite foods in the kitchen
  • Receiving manicures, pedicures and hair styling
  • Watching In-house entertainment on Netflix
  • Playing Wii and iPad games
  • Welcoming entertainers and performers for special occasions

SeniorCare Homes in Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas, offer the most comfortable and stable assisted living environment to seniors with dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Phone (913) 236-0036 to learn more about neighborhood living for the memory impaired.

January 28th, 2016 |   Add comment

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Building on the Human Connection

Young girl's hand touches and holds an old woman's wrinkled hand

Looking for an escape from everyday stresses, even if it’s just for a moment? There are things that are easy, quick and free that we use at SeniorCare on a daily basis to transform how we look at and feel about a particular moment in time. If you’re finding life stretching you too thin, you might find temporary-to-long-lasting relief from one or two simple actions. Curious what these might be? They are the simple-yet-powerful actions of giving a smile and receiving touch from another human being.

Basic Human Needs

It can be argued that the human desire to feel the connections achieved through smiling and touch are just as important as the need for food, drink and a safe place to rest our head. We work to build relationships between residents and Care Specialists so that connection comes naturally in ways that are genuine. Numerous studies back this up, including a 30-year study from the University of California, Berkeley that examined the power and predictive qualities of a smile. Through the measurement of a smile, the Berkeley researchers had the ability to predict the success of a marriage, level of achievement on standardized tests and perhaps the most important, the long-term happiness and general well-being of an individual.  Isolation and depression are so prevalent in the larger institutional facilities where residents rarely come out of their rooms. As a result, basic human needs must be met to encourage the quality of life needed to create moments of joy and purpose on a daily basis.

Connection through the Senses

Physical touch that occurs outside the realm of natural care like shaking hands or assisting with an activity can also provide great health benefits including decreased pain, lower cortisol (stress-induced) levels, lower blood pressure and lower heart rates. Touch can also be effective in calming our residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The level of touch needed can be a simple as rubbing hand lotion into hands after washing, having someone comb or brush the hair, or enjoying the gentle touch of a hand during a manicure. Each activity provides an important element of gentle, physical touch and imparts a feeling of connection or bonding between two individuals. During the cold winter months, these touch-related benefits also serve to increase circulation in the parts of the body (toes and fingers) that never seem to get warm despite keeping the houses warm and cozy.

We’ve also incorporated massage into our music therapy program after seeing the relaxation benefits from even the simplest touch or warm soak. Residents love to be pampered and just a little lotion and a loving touch seem to always do the trick!

Putting Theory into Practice

While it’s well and good to have the information, it’s worth little if it’s not put into practice on a regular rotation. At SeniorCare Homes we understand these touch opportunities help our residents in a number of ways from establishing a bond between resident and caretaker, creating a level of well-being, and generating a feeling of family and community within each Memory Home. Throughout the month, these planned activities include backrubs, hand rubs, shoulder massages, manicures and visits for hair styling. We’ve even designated Monday as Hug Monday. When you think about it, whose Monday couldn’t be brightened if it started with a hug? To learn more about the SeniorCare Homes advantage, contact us today!

SeniorCare Homes in Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas, offer the most comfortable and stable assisted living environment to seniors with dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Phone (913) 236-0036 to learn more about neighborhood living for the memory impaired.

January 25th, 2016 |   Add comment

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Taking Advantage of the Sights, Smells and Sounds of the Holiday Season

Holiday Season Smells

Each season has its distinctive sights, sounds and smells. The summer is a time of long, sunny days, barbecue on the grill and the bounty of the farmer’s markets. Depending on where you live, autumn can be a gentle shift into cooler nights that trigger colorful changes in the leaves and the first hints of fireplace smoke in the air. By the time December arrives, the nights are growing significantly shorter, particularly during the mid-month stretch toward the winter solstice. This year, the winter solstice will fall on Tuesday, Dec. 22, the shortest day of the year. The good news after this point is the days will grow longer, leading to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year on Monday, June 20, 2016.

Scent, Evoking a Powerful Memory

In addition to the scents of the seasons, this time of year often prompts scent-related memories for many people. Scent triggers could include cookies baking in the oven, the pine wafting from a Christmas tree or garland, or the toasty warm smell of a fire crackling in the fireplace. Each of these scents are capable of resting deep within our personal memories and have the ability to guide us back to special times spent with friends and family. Considering smell is the first of the senses to develop in the womb, the possibilities to “transport” ourselves back in time become even more amazing.

Iconic Christmas Smells

  • Pine trees and garland
  • Eggnog, with or without bourbon
  • Cookies baking in the oven
  • Burning wood in the fireplace
  • Cinnamon, clove and orange-spiced wine
  • Gingerbread cookies and houses
  • Roasted Ham or Turkey
  • Dry, crisp winter air
  • Peppermint candy canes
  • Bayberry and beeswax candles

Sounds Symbolizing the Season

Considering we live in a world packed with sounds courtesy of the various forms of technology, picking out the more gentle sounds of the season can require some effort. Some of the more iconic sounds include the bell of the Salvation Army bell ringers, church bells chiming on the hour, holiday tunes on the radio, the melodies of holiday carolers and sleigh bells. While not too many neighborhoods still boast holiday carolers, they do still exist, often dressed to impress in their holiday best. This month, the residents of SeniorCare Homes welcomed a group of local holiday carolers to the SeniorCare Home Memory Homes. The carolers entertained the residents with old Christmas favorites as well as some newer holiday arrangements.

Another iconic sound of the season is one of gatherings of friends. In an effort to replicate the restful tones of the winter season, the caregivers at SeniorCare Homes use this time of year to offer relaxing activities such as in-home cooking demonstrations, watching old movies wrapped in cozy layers, and serving mid-morning coffee in front of the picture windows while watching the birds outside in the garden. In order to make the most of this Christmas season, we hope you’ll take a moment to savor the sights, sounds and smells and create some new memories of your own. Happy Holidays!

SeniorCare Homes in Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas, offer the most comfortable and stable assisted living environment to seniors with dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Phone (913) 236-0036 to learn more about neighborhood living for the memory impaired.

December 21st, 2015 |  

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Re-live the Child-Like Pleasures of the Holiday Season

Re-live Childlike Pleasures

Perhaps it’s our imagination, but each year it seems the first hints of the Christmas holidays appear earlier and earlier. This year, even the advertising for Black Friday sales, the unofficial kick-off of the holiday season, started at the beginning of November. With this level of commercialization it’s easy to lose sight of why we celebrate the season of giving. As an adult, this seasonal reminder can arise in the delight we see on the face of a young child. Spontaneously unscripted, this blissful moment could be in response to a nighttime viewing of holiday lights, a visit to see Santa Claus, or in the happy anticipation of the unexpected.

A Holiday Reminder

Amidst the commercialism of the holidays, there are some old friends to help remind us of the true reason for the season. These include childhood favorites such as a Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and classic holiday movies such as It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. At these times, life can appear to imitate art.

How many times throughout the holiday season do we resemble Charlie Brown, feeling overwhelmed during the season of excess when things don’t go the way we expect? In the case of Charlie Brown this could involve a sub-par Christmas tree or for others, keeping up with the ever-growing holiday to-do list. It’s nice to have someone like Linus to remind us with simplicity and earnestness the real reason for the season, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:8-14 KJV.

Channeling the Inner Child

The sweetness of these little reminders can be a good way to step back from the hustle and busyness of the holiday and truly remember to pause to observe the wonders of the unknown. At SeniorCare Homes, we are taking advantage of the classic wonders of the season. With or without a winter wonderland outside, the SeniorCare residents are filling the days with some classic seasonal favorites. These include activities such as afternoons spent mixing and decorating holiday sugar cookies, floating mini marshmallows across a comforting cup of hot cocoa, and sitting within the glow of the holiday lights, listening to holiday music.

Rekindling Memories and Making New

This month, we’re also enjoying viewings of classic and new holiday movies as well as anticipating a visit from Santa Claus. With each event and activity, SeniorCare Homes looks to create an opportunity where the child within can experience the magic of the holiday season, whether that’s through a holiday sing-along or finding the surprise within a beautifully wrapped gift. During the busyness of the season, we hope that you’ll take a moment to remember why we celebrate the season of giving, the pleasure of the present and the memories of holidays gone by. From all of us at SeniorCare Homes, we wish all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

SeniorCare Homes in Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas, offer the most comfortable and stable assisted living environment to seniors with dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Phone (913) 236-0036 to learn more about neighborhood living for the memory impaired.

December 14th, 2015 |  

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Making the Most of the Time Change Adjustment

Time Change Adjustments

Sunday, Nov. 1, marked the end of Daylight Savings Time for 2015. Despite continued debate about the worthiness of continuing the practice of moving back the clock in the fall and springing it forward in the spring, we are once again making the best of another season of darkness ahead. One good thing about the initial fall back is the extra hour of sleep it affords. Another side effect to this time of year is the necessary adjustment to a slower pace as the daylight hours grow shorter and the winter draws closer.

Preparations for the Upcoming Winter Solstice

Following Thanksgiving celebrations at the end of the month, we’ll be approximately three weeks away from the Winter Solstice on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The Winter Solstice, which marks the shortest day of the year, offers a turning point in the seasons. From the Winter Solstice forward we will gradually gain more light each day leading us back to the beauty of spring and the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in June.

Taking a Cue from the Seasons

Even though the calendar shows changes it can be difficult to get the body to adapt quite as quickly. During these times, the caregivers at SeniorCare Homes look to incorporate elements of the season as appropriate for the Memory Care Home residents. This includes slowing the pace to adapt to longer periods of darkness, preparing nourishing and warming foods to eat, and engaging in physical activity that gently warms the body from within. Activities in the Memory Home might also include spontaneous bingo nights with hot chocolate or a visit from a local church for Bible study.

During this time of year, we also add in seasonal activities that are quintessential to the holidays such as making hot cider, whipping up a batch of quick bread or decorating sugar cookies with colored frosting and sprinkles. These dual-purpose activities not only add a measure of additional coziness to the home, but the foods scent the air with the delicious goodness of that feels unmistakably like home during the holidays. Other warm treats include meals featuring nutritious soups and hearty chili designed to warm the body and forget the weather outside.

Welcoming in the Family

Year-round and particularly during the family-centric winter holidays, SeniorCare Homes welcomes friends and family to visit their friends and loved ones at the Memory Care residences. Our Memory Care Homes, which include Hanover House, Vineyard House, Waveny Park House and Newport House all feature a private family dining availability. This feature allows friends and family to gather with their loved ones in a familiar environment to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and the holidays in comfort.

Additional Features of the Memory Care Homes

  • Natural light
  • Family-style dining
  • Golden Sneakers fitness program
  • Cable TV
  • Netflix for watching movies
  • Wii games to build eye motor coordination
  • House car for group outings
  • Walking paths
  • Gardens
  • Certified Memories in the Making Alzheimer’s Association program
  • Piano
  • Safety and motion monitoring systems
  • Salon for hair and nails

SeniorCare Homes in Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas, offer the most comfortable and stable assisted living environment to seniors with dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Phone (913) 236-0036 to learn more about neighborhood living for the memory impaired.

November 23rd, 2015 |  

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Making a Pause for Thanks with SeniorCare Homes

thanksgiving

At this time of year, the idea of gratitude takes center stage, creating a special moment before the craziness of the December holiday making begins. Much like love, gratitude has an endless well of possibility, one that expands each time we show appreciation to another or when someone returns our gesture of kindness. Throughout the day, week, month and year we have multiple opportunities to demonstrate this to others. Too often we aren’t able to adequately express the gratitude we feel. This is not an intended action or because of a personal slight, but more likely can be attributed to the day-to-day aspects of life finding us running from one point to another. These days we’re only thinking of the next thing to do and how to fit everything into a single day.

Inserting a Natural Pause

Thanksgiving, a time when many of us gather with friends and family over an abundant spread of food, is an excellent reminder to pause for a moment and be thankful for our many blessings in life. These can be the so-called small things, a smile delivered to a stranger, the pay-it-forward gesture at the local coffee shop, or the words or notes of gratitude shared with a friend or co-worker. Taken separately, it’s sometimes hard to imagine how these small things can make a difference but they do, particularly when it feels this gesture is the only moment of kindness or softness in an otherwise demanding day.

A Note of Gratitude

Here at SeniorCare Homes, we are in a special place be able to offer family-style living for individuals dealing with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. In order to lessen the effects of depression and disorientation associated with memory diseases, SeniorCare Homes caregivers work to create a warm living environment that includes the small touches not available in larger memory care facilities. During this time of Thanksgiving, we would like to offer our sincere thanks to the caregivers and families who tirelessly love and care for our residents. We understand that caring for someone with a memory-related disease can be physically and emotionally challenging. It is with sincere appreciation that we want to recognize these tireless individuals who give heart and soul in all that they do.

A Thanksgiving Wish from SeniorCare Homes

This year before you gather around the table with your loved ones or set off on a journey to visit friends and family, we hope you’ll find a moment to show appreciation for the many personal kindnesses received and even some gratitude for the challenging days that bring evolution and growth. With blessings of sincere gratitude and recognition for all that you are and all that you do, the staff at SeniorCare Homes wishes you and your loved ones a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

SeniorCare Homes in Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas, offer the most comfortable and stable assisted living environment to seniors with dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Phone (913) 236-0036 to learn more about neighborhood living for the memory impaired.

November 16th, 2015 |  

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The best fans are at SeniorCare Homes!

SeniorCare Homes LOVES the Royals! We are cheering and enjoying every game with friends, family and ballpark snacks. Cheers to the boys in blue from everyone in the SeniorCare family!

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October 22nd, 2015 |   Add comment

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Enjoying the Comradery of the Hometown Team

Throughout our lives we often develop ties between particular events and certain foods and drinks. This could be a meal made for special days like birthdays or the holidays or it could be something you eat each time you visit a particular place. For some people, the connection between food and memories might be the smell of warm cookies as you arrived home from school or the scent of a fruit pie coming from the oven before a holiday meal. When it comes to classic food memories, one of the most iconic may be the combination of hot dogs, popcorn and Crackerjacks enjoyed at a baseball game.

Take me out to the Ballgame

Even the most casual baseball fan can get behind the idea of enjoying a game at the ballpark or in front of the TV while consuming the trifecta of baseball foods. As with most iconic things, there are more than few stories related to how these foods came to be such an integral part of the baseball experience. So with that in mind, let’s take a food-centric trip down memory lane.

Hot Dogs – At an estimated annual consumption of 20 billion, the hot dog is regularly enjoyed throughout the year. Consumption of the portable dog peaks in the summer months from Memorial Day to Labor Day at 7 billion dogs, according to History.com. Depending on who you believe, the origin of the hot dog could date back all the way to 64 A.D. during the reign of Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar. Historians credit immigrants with bringing the non-bun dog to America in the early 19th century. The later joining of the dog and bun have potential origins in St. Louis and/or Brooklyn’s Coney Island, depending on your hot dog historian source.

Crackerjacks – During the 7th inning stretch of every baseball game is a rendition of the 1908 Take Me Out to the Ballgame song. As we sway and sing to the iconic tune, we’re reminded how much Crackerjacks are an integral part of the baseball culture. Created in 1893 for the Chicago World Fair, Crackerjacks were the invention of Frederick and Louis Rueckheim. The Rueckheim’s looked to give popcorn a new twist with the addition of molasses and peanuts. In the vernacular of the day, a crackerjack was something today we might call awesome or great.

Popcorn – According to one source, we can thank the Native Americans for the tasty tradition of popping corn. Other historical perspectives show popcorn as an integral part of Aztec Indian ceremonies as a way of honoring the gods. No matter the historical truth, we can all agree that it’s a welcome addition to any night of TV snacking.

Today the traditions of baseball, food and culture remain an important part of the fun and memory making of watching a baseball game. At SeniorCare homes, we are happy to continue this important cultural phenomenon by enjoying hot dogs, popcorn and Crackerjacks among friends when we gather at the SeniorCare Memory Homes watch the Royals tackle the post-season run.

SeniorCare Homes in Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas, offer the most comfortable and stable assisted living environment to seniors with dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Phone (913) 236-0036 to learn more about neighborhood living for the memory impaired.

October 19th, 2015 |  

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The Benefits of a Team of Caretakers

At SeniorCare Homes, we strive to set ourselves apart by creating a sense of community and belonging for our residents living with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and dementia. One of the most important differentiators is creating a home-like atmosphere for our residents. Examples of this include hosting group activities and spontaneous opportunities that make the most of current events. These can include our regular monthly gatherings at the Memory Homes where the residents come together for planned activities or spur-of-the-moment fun such as a trip out to get ice cream or an evening cheering the Royals on to victory.

Enjoying another Wave of Forever October

Much like the rest of Kansas City, the SeniorCare Home residents are riding the wave of Royals fever. In recognition, we’ve enjoyed a number of mini celebrations including dinners with favorite foods and baseball-themed gatherings featuring ballpark-inspired hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn along with other fun activities. On these occasions, the SeniorCare residents wear their blue with pride as they gather together in the Memory Homes to cheer on the Royals, who just captured another American League division 7-2 win in mid-October against the Houston Astros. In order to share these events with others, our activities coordinator regularly shares photos and emails of these events with family members. Guests are also invited to join our monthly gatherings and activities.

Other SeniorCare Home Activities

  • Supervised stretching and daily exercise
  • Digging and planting in the enclosed yard
  • Visual entertainment (watching old movies on Netflix and playing Wii and iPad games)
  • Enjoying games and videos designed to enhance memory
  • Taking part in hand-eye coordination games (basketball, golf putting and ping pong)
  • Joining automobile outings in one of the three SeniorCare Homes vehicles
  • Partaking in nurturing spa treatments (manicures, hair styling, pedicures and hand massage)

Improving Interactions

At SeniorCare Homes, we believe regular social interaction is one of the best ways to decrease the signs of depression that often accompany a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or dementia. Because of the complexity of these diagnoses, we take many steps to create a safe and comfortable environment that promotes each resident’s independence and creates a sense of family. If a loved one is no longer able to live in their own home because of complications from Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to have teammates who are ready and able to assist in any way possible. SeniorCare Homes, a provider of neighborhood living for the memory impaired, offers a personalized approach to memory care. The family-like setting of our Memory Homes offers a comfortable living place for up to eight people. The downsized approach allows an enhanced level of natural interaction in a home setting along with the easy proximity to make friends. To learn more, contact SeniorCare Homes.

Signs of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Changes in behavior, mood and/or personality
  • Decreased judgment
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Disorientation to time and place
  • Misplacing things
  • Problems with abstract thinking
  • Problems with language

SeniorCare Homes in Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas, offer the most comfortable and stable assisted living environment to seniors with dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Phone (913) 236-0036 to learn more about neighborhood living for the memory impaired.

October 14th, 2015 |  










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