If you’ve been wondering whether a move to a senior living community is the right thing, you’ll be pleasantly reassured to hear that life at Beatitudes Campus comes with fewer risks and many more rewards. We’ve reimagined senior living to enhance everyday life, even in a pandemic.
Healthy All Year Long
As experts in healthcare, senior living communities understand how to safeguard your health and well-being. The staff, including ours, follows strict protocols for safety and cleanliness, and most communities have the capabilities and resources to respond quickly and efficiently to any issues.
At well-planned communities like Beatitudes Campus, older adults are healthier year-round. Opportunities to take fitness classes, swim, dance, walk, garden, paint, learn a language, socialize, volunteer and participate in an array of activities and programs help keep bodies and minds sharp. Regardless of your age, being healthy is the best defense against any illness, especially colds and flus.
“I love the life here,” said Anita Shehi, who moved to Beatitudes Campus in 2019. “For me, there’s a sense of renewed purpose being active in the community, making new friends, volunteering, taking classes and getting back into learning.”
Social Distancing Without Social Isolation
Social distancing to stay safe has affected everyone. Not being able to enjoy the familiar routines of our favorite activities or the simple social interactions that come from dining out or gathering for meals has taken a profound toll on our cognitive abilities and mental and emotional well-being, not the least of which our healthy eating habits and waistlines. It’s been especially difficult for older adults who may be retired and live in one- or two-person households.
Building on years of experience developing social, recreational and educational opportunities, senior living communities are working hard to help residents stay active and connected. At Beatitudes Campus, staff and resident volunteers work together to create enjoyable virtual activities, physically distanced indoor festivities and carefully planned outdoor events that keep people engaged and moving.
As for eating healthy, senior communities make it easy to enjoy a variety of delicious and nutritious meals at on-campus restaurants. Beatitudes Campus, for example, has several restaurants, from a bistro and coffee bar to a steakhouse and grille to a gourmet dining room. Throughout the pandemic, the community’s staff has delivered made-to-order restaurant meals, groceries and essentials to residents’ homes.
“There’s nowhere we’d rather be than right here, especially now. We feel safer and more secure at Beatitudes. The staff handles everything,” said Dan and Marge O’Horo, who moved to Beatitudes Campus in 2016. “They’ve worked really hard to keep life fun and engaging as we stay home to stay safe.”
Access to Healthcare and Help at Home
In addition to enjoyable activities and convenient services, many senior living communities offer access to onsite healthcare, making it easier to treat illnesses and chronic conditions so they don’t escalate to a bigger issue. At Beatitudes Campus, you’ll find onsite health services, from certified 24/7 security response and an outpatient clinic for primary care and podiatry services to rehabilitative therapies and specialized care such as skilled nursing care and memory support.
While we’ve seen on the news how many people across the country have to wait in line for care, at Beatitudes Campus, you can make an appointment for a doctor’s visit, a vaccination or physical therapy session, for example. If you’re not feeling well enough to come in, we’ll send medical staff to your home so you never have to go without care. As we’ve mentioned before, Beatitudes Campus was part of the early vaccine rollout and continues to help get vaccines to those who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Beyond in-home care, Beatitudes Campus also offers in-home support and assistance with a variety of tasks, including meal prep, pet care, errands, laundry, medication reminders and more — all helpful services whether there’s a pandemic or not.
“While we’re looking forward to getting back to our normal routine, we’re extremely grateful to be here during this difficult time. We can’t imagine trying to face this ourselves,” said Robert Andrews and Cynthia Cielle, who moved to Beatitudes Campus in 2019. “When deciding where to move, it was important to us to feel completely safe. We didn’t realize how very important that decision would become.”
Let’s talk about it!
Want to experience Beatitudes Campus for yourself, call us today at 602.883.1358 or send us a note using the form below.
Broaching the topic of your future care with adult children can be awkward and difficult for both parties. Each may feel a bit of denial about the realities of aging. For the elder loved one, it’s that they are no longer as independent as they’ve always been or considered themselves to be, and for the adult children, it’s that their parents still exist in their minds as strong, self-reliant figures, and this image is being turned on its head.
Here are some topics to touch on with your children when you decide it’s time to share your thoughts about your future care.
Educate your children on the reality of the current state of your health and what you know about the trajectory of your health in the near future. Perhaps you are still in good health but are planning for the future. However, if your health or independence has begun to decline, this may be a good time to share it, especially if it could be hereditary. It can be jarring to learn that a parent is no longer completely healthy, so make sure the conversation is open, answer any questions, and consider providing resources for your children to learn more.
If you have already made arrangements to move into a retirement community or even an assisted living community, tell your children about how and when you came to this decision. Keep in mind: They may be blindsided but also potentially pleased by aspects of the conversation, including the idea that they will not be your caretaker as they may have anticipated. Share informational materials about the community with them and let them know why you are excited about this place. This move could alter how you currently spend time with your family, so discuss how visiting will work now. Let them know that this decision will free the family up to focus on the most important things without having to worry about potential care needs. If you haven’t yet made solid plans, ask your children for their opinions and ideas about your future care.
Future Care Wishes:
This can be a hard conversation to have, but it is important to discuss end-of-life choices and other related official matters. Discuss long-term care, your will (if this applies), and how to handle medical decisions if it becomes pertinent. Again, this can be a delicate topic for adult children to discuss with their parents, so keep the conversation light and candid. Let them know that you are not discussing this because it is relevant at the current moment, but because it is relevant for your future as you plan out your aging process.
We want your family to be a part of the most important conversation; your future! Our team is happy to discuss with you and your loved ones the details of your plan for successful aging at Beatitudes and are happy to provide resources, such as brochures, pricing, services and amenities. We would be delighted to give your family a virtual tour of our campus and your potential new home.
To learn more about your vibrant senior living options at Beatitudes Campus, call us today at 602.883.1358 or contact us online at BeatitudesCampus.org.
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Staying Active Offers Big Benefits for Older Adults
In honor of National Senior Health and Fitness Day on May 27, we invite you to mix more motion into your routine. Whether you’re learning to exercise for the first time or are a fitness enthusiast, now is a great time to take the next step toward better health.
Physical exercise offers significant benefits for all older adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other well-respected researchers. Being active helps maintain your ability to live independently and reduces your risk of developing diabetes and some cancers. It can help control arthritis pain, reduce your blood pressure, and improve your stamina and strength as well as your mood and emotional well-being.
Given those benefits and so many more, it’s essential that we stay physically active as we age. It’s also why Beatitudes Campus proudly fosters an engaging, active lifestyle. And, because everyone enjoys different types of activity, we offer a wide variety of fitness and wellness opportunities. From line dancing and tai chi to walking and water aerobics, from putting on the golf green to Wii bowling and more, there’s something for all ages and all fitness levels.
CDC Fitness Fast Facts
- Improve your energy and stamina by doing activities and exercises that get your heart beating faster several times a week.
- Get stronger by making your muscles work harder at least twice a week.
- Virtually all types of motion counts as exercise, including walking the dog, doing laundry, taking the stairs and playing catch with grandchildren.
- Among adults aged 65 years and older, walking and gardening or yard work are, by far, the most popular physical activities.
Try a Class
If you’ve ever played sports or enjoyed playing outside with your kids or grandkids, you know that exercising with others can be a lot of fun. It brings laughter and camaraderie and provides motivation and social support.
The best fitness classes bring together all of those elements plus an experienced instructor who takes the guesswork out of what to do, how to do it and when. If you’re looking for motivation and expert guidance while staying at home or want to try a class before taking it in person, check out the free exercise videos on the Beatitudes Campus Fitness YouTube channel.
Beatitudes Campus’ fitness trainers Mike Smallwood and Camille Beaubien lead you through a variety of exercises that promote strength, balance, mobility and flexibility. You’ll also find instructor-approved tai chi and yoga videos posted by residents. You can follow along in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
For most exercises, all you need is a chair and hand weights. If you don’t have hand weights, you can use something around your home that has some weight and is easy to grip. For example, try a filled water bottle, canned goods, a book, or bag of rice or beans.
Beatitudes Campus is all-in with fitness and wants to help you stay active and motivated. Be sure to join our fitness trainers Mike and Camille as they guide you through various wellness activity YouTube videos from home!
If you’re looking for additional research and education on the benefits of physical activity, check out this science-based guide from the CDC for the benefits, how to track your progress, and more.
To learn more about all of Beatitudes Campus’s fitness and wellness opportunities call us today at 602.883.1358 or contact us online at BeatitudesCampus.org.
Whatever you call it — downsizing, rightsizing or KonMari — simplifying and organizing your belongings offers tremendous benefits, from financial advantages and less maintenance to energy efficiency and greater happiness.
Making your surroundings fit what matters most to you is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your family. But, as we all know, sorting through a lifetime of accumulated stuff isn’t easy. That’s why we’re offering some simple tips and tricks for downsizing to help you on your way.
Where Do You Begin?
- Start sooner rather than later. Moving in general is a busy time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re moving in a month or thinking about five years from now. Start the process of downsizing now before you add the stress of a move. Starting long before a move is in your sight is even better. Whether you’re 45 or 75, you’ll immediately benefit from all that streamlining and simplifying.
- Moving takes good planning. Prepare for it as you would any other important experience in your life such as going to college, getting married, starting a business and retiring. Senior living expert Brad Breeding offers a few important issues to consider as you go through the process, including understanding that you can’t keep everything and your kids may not want your stuff.
- Accept your emotions. Your belongings have become a part of your life and your memories. While culling the clutter can feel incredibly freeing, it can also bring up emotions akin to grieving. As you’re sorting through it all, let the laughter, tears and memories flow. For the things you won’t be keeping, take photos to help you recall those special memories anytime.
- Downsizing is also a gift to your family. Although they may not realize it now, you’re relieving your children of the future responsibility and burden of culling through your belongings. Take all of their comments — good and bad — in stride. Their opinions are important, but this is your life and your choice.
- Think of downsizing as a new beginning. When your belongings and space realistically fit your current lifestyle, your world opens up to new possibilities. For starters, less maintenance, more money, more time and more energy add up to more me-time for traveling, exploring your interests, and visiting friends and family. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can savor it all.
Making Your Move
So you’ve conquered downsizing your stuff and now you’re ready to choose a new downsized space that matches your lifestyle? There are additional factors to consider beyond the size of the floor plan—so you can make the best decision for you.
Consider The Importance of:
- Having a strong social network of friends
- Finding purpose and fulfillment
- Taking care of my mind, body and spirit
- Having quality health care available if I need it
- Having predictable living expenses
- Making my own choices
- Feeling true peace of mind about the future
- Protecting my estate for my loved ones
- Not burdening my family with becoming my caregiver
As you evaluate your options, we invite you to explore Beatitudes Campus. You’ll discover a vibrant community of friendly neighbors who share your interests. Plus, you’ll enjoy an array of convenient services that make life easier as well as amenities, learning programs and volunteer opportunities that bring a rewarding sense of fulfillment and purpose. Best of all, our attentive, caring staff and 5-star health services provide the ultimate peace of mind today and in the future.
We’re Here for You
To ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible, we’ve partnered with Moving Station® to bring you expert moving advice and coordination through their Moving Made Easy® program at no cost. It’s our gift to you.
As part of the program, you’ll have a Personal Relocation Manager with you every step of the way. They’ll answer your questions and help you find trusted resources for selling your home for the best price, organizing and downsizing your belongings, planning your move and more.
To learn more about Beatitudes Campus and our free moving program, call us today at 602.883.1358 or contact us online at BeatitudesCampus.org.
At Beatitudes Campus, we’re leading the way in memory care and support. But, it hasn’t always been that way. Like so many other places, we took a traditional medical approach focused on organizational goals rather than each individual’s routines and preferences.
That all changed in 1997 when a team of caregivers at Beatitudes Campus began a multi-year journey of researching and developing Comfort Matters®, an innovative, person-centered way of supporting those who have trouble thinking.
“Advocacy and social justice are fundamental principles of Beatitudes Campus because of our roots in the United Church of Christ. We started with those commitments and beliefs,” explained Tena Alonzo, Director of Education and Research and Director of Comfort Matters at Beatitudes during an interview with ACCESS Health International, a healthcare think tank and advisory group.
In working with health experts around the country, what they learned changed everything about how to support people with dementia.
“We discovered that we didn’t know much about taking care of people with dementia. It took time to develop the culture, policies, and procedures to become as radically person-centered as we are today. It was a labor of love for everyone.”
Taking A Holistic Approach That Respects Autonomy
Tena and her team, which included Karen Mitchell, Registered Nurse and Comfort Matters Educator, realized that engagement, autonomy, and choice bore huge benefits for individuals with dementia—as they do for all people.
“If we can help people sleep when they are tired, they can wake refreshed and more often be their best selves. If people can eat what they want when they want—day or night, they tend to be healthier, happier, and live longer. If they’re able to enjoy their favorite and familiar activities, they feel content and calm,” said Alonzo.
The team found that caregiving in such a holistic way dramatically reduces the number of medications, which in turn reduces side effects and helps people feel better overall. With Comfort Matters, individuals experience lower rates of incontinence, less sundowning, and decreased hospitalizations. The Beatitudes Campus staff is happier, too. Less employee turnover means more continuity of care and more familiar faces for residents—a win-win for everyone.
Truly Knowing Each Person
The concept of serving people in such a profound way that respects their personal attachments to routines and preferences and honors the individual and their life experience became the mission. To make it happen, the team upended and recreated the existing care model that had been ingrained in society for 100 years. They pressed forward, educating and collaborating with Beatitudes Campus management and staff, doctors, regulatory agencies, and families.
Today, the entire Beatitudes Campus staff is empowered to engage and provide comfort to residents. From housekeepers and maintenance crews to the nurses and everyday caregivers, every single person is encouraged to be innovators and share ideas so we can all meet residents where they are.
With families as our partners, we can be better caregivers and help guide and educate families through this time, according to Alonzo. Because we see dementia in a different way, everyone—families, staff, and other residents on campus—feel more empowered and less afraid.
Translating What We Learned Into A Dementia-Friendly Place To Live
Beatitudes Campus serves people with all levels of physical and cognitive ability. Some live in their own apartment or patio homes while others live in suites designed for skilled nursing care, memory support, or assisted living. Because we care and respect each other, you’ll find residents of all abilities laughing and enjoying time together—eating lunch, putting on the miniature green, tapping their toes to a musical performance, and more.
Hard work, unyielding devotion, and the willingness to innovate—that’s how Beatitudes Campus transformed into a dementia-friendly community, and why we’re different.
“Most residents have 65 or more years of life behind them. We honor that person because of their life experience,” said Alonzo. “We must have a culture that allows people to be themselves. That is the heart of person-directed living.”
Here, you can read more about Tena Alonzo and her team’s innovative approach to helping people live with dementia. To learn more about Beatitudes Campus’ extraordinary memory support options, call us today at (602) 833-1358 or submit a contact form on our website.
At the heart of any great community is a thriving, active resident population. With opportunities to laugh, to learn and to lead, people flourish, nowhere is this truer than at Beatitudes Campus. We’re deeply proud of how engaging our community is and especially grateful to share it with others.
We’re pleased to announce that Beatitudes Campus recently received the Holleran Choice Community Award for Independent Living Engagement. The honor recognizes the most engaging senior living organizations in the nation — where both residents and staff feel deeply and passionately engaged with their community.
To earn the award, communities had to score 85 or higher on a 100-point scale. The score was based on more than 160,000 resident and employee surveys from over 700 communities.
Top 15% of communities to create a deeply engaging atmosphere
The Holleran Choice Community Award places Beatitudes Campus in the top 15% of the hundreds of communities surveyed. It’s easy to see why.
The residents and staff at Beatitudes Campus collaborate enthusiastically every day to create an active, engaged community where everyone feels welcome to participate, contribute and truly enjoy life in a myriad of ways. Residents enjoy musical events and spiritual services, games and neighborly get-togethers, and fitness classes and clubs of all sorts.
Related article: How to evaluate a senior community’s life enrichment program
Beyond participating, residents actually lead the way here, deciding on the activities and programs. They manage the Beatitudes Center for Lifelong Learners as well as its three-semester curriculum. Collectively, they volunteer thousands of hours every year to help others. They operate the community gift shop and secondhand store, show new residents the ropes, visit homebound seniors, and offer help and hope to those in need.
We’re truly honored to accept this award on behalf of the amazing residents and staff at Beatitudes Campus. We’d love to show you what makes our community so special and, indeed, award-winning. To schedule a visit or request a FREE Life Enrichment & Activities Guide, call us today at (602) 833-1358. We hope to see you soon!