How Floral Fun Can Enhance Your Jacksonville Florida Assisted Living Space

Spring is right around the corner — and even though Sunshine State plant life blooms all year long, the switch of season is still a great time to bring some floral flair into your home! Westminster Woods’ Jacksonville, Florida assisted living facility is surrounded by the colors of nature everywhere you look — whether you’re strolling by the shores of Julington Creek or hanging out on your own patio. Why not use that vibrant backdrop as inspiration for your own floral arrangements?

Just read on as we explore some of the big benefits of adorning your home in florals — and our favorite tips on how to do exactly that!

Learn About Nature

Getting into floral arrangements can be a great, sneaky way to learn about science and nature — even if it feels like you’re just having pure, good-old-fashioned fun! As you start to care more about the health of your flowers in their vase, you’ll find yourself wondering about things like how plants respond to light (have you ever watched tulips bend and grow toward a window?) and the difference water acidity can make on cut flowers. Caring for plants inspires a spirit of organic curiosity that you can’t replicate just anywhere!

Inspiration Is Everywhere

You might feel like you aren’t equipped to make your own stunning floral arrangements, but think again! Inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere you look — from your favorite magazine, to the flowers that abound throughout Westminster Woods. No one gets it right on the first try, but you’ll have fun experimenting with different arrangements and discovering what looks best in your home.

Take A DIY Approach To Vases

Another unsung perk of getting into floral arrangements? You have an excuse to use various vases, jars, and containers you’ve been saving for a day when they might come in handy. This is that day! Working with flowers inspires you to get creative when finding the perfect home for a new, freshly cut bouquet.

Go Dramatic… Or Thematic

There are so many different options when it comes to putting together fun, thoughtful floral displays. They can be a statement piece at the heart of your home, or follow a unique motif that flows throughout your space — like, for example, flowers of the same color (there are so many beautiful yellows to work with!) or flowers that double as natural air fresheners, such as hyacinths.

Make It A Community Effort

Like so many activities, florals are even more fun when you add a friend or family member to the mix! You can your neighbor can even combine your flower finds and have fun arranging them in a breezy weekend get-together, seeing how you take different approaches to the same set of stems.

Feel-Good Florals

Even a few minutes of exposure to colorful flowers can have a positive impact on your mood, according to a study featured in the National Library of Medicine. Interestingly, the study found that one color — bright and cheery yellow — was the most powerful at producing positive results! So if you’ve been thinking of bringing the happy color into your space, you definitely should give it a try.

Leave The Maintenance To Us

Westminster Woods is a maintenance-free community, so you don’t need to worry about plants outsidegiving you more time to devote to fun activities like arranging flowers in your home!

You’ll find gorgeous flora throughout Westminster Woods — so it only makes sense to continue the bright, springtime motif in your own home. We hope that today’s guide gives you inspiration on how to liven up your space with colorful flowers that don’t just look good but make you feel good, too.

Deck Out Your Independent Living In Jacksonville With These 10 Spring Décor Ideas

Spring is right around the corner here in the Sunshine State. And even though we’re lucky enough to enjoy bright, balmy weather all year long, the arrival of a new season still gives us a fun excuse to reexamine our surroundings — starting with our abodes!

When you call Westminster Woods’ independent living in Jacksonville “home,” you can enjoy the comfort and convenience that comes with a thoughtfully designed space: one that’s no smaller (or bigger) than the perfect square footage for your needs, whether that means a gorgeous studio or spacious villa.

Our homes are designed to make life fun and effortless — the ideal backdrop to any style or sensibility you might bring to it. When the seasons change, like they will again this March, you can switch up your décor and accessories to celebrate a time of renewal and natural beauty. Just read on for a few of our favorite ways to do exactly that!

Brighten Your Space With Floral Arrangements

Nothing says spring like fresh flowers — and by adding some to your kitchen countertop, nightstand, or dining room table, you can bring the beauty of the outdoors in! Seasonal blooms such as daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths are just a few fun options that will instantly brighten any room. Want a longer-lasting option that brings all the beauty without the regular water changes? High-quality silk flowers can mimic the beauty of real ones, minus the need for maintenance.

Swap Out Your Linens

Changing heavy, winter fabrics for lighter, spring alternatives can transform the look and feel of your space. While you’re at it, consider replacing bedspreads, throw blankets, and pillow covers with wares in pastel hues or floral patterns. This simple switch can make your space feel lighter and more appropriate for the season. Let the plaid and flannel do its thing in fall and winter!

Create A Nature-Inspired Centerpiece

A centerpiece inspired by nature can serve as a focal point for springtime decor. You can do this on your own, or invite a friend or family member to get involved for a fun craft session! Some of our favorite such centerpieces incorporate branches, leaves, and flowers to create a stunning (but seemingly effortless) natural display. Adding thematic elements like fake bird nests, eggs, or even a small potted plant can enhance the centerpiece for spring holidays, making it a unique conversation starter.

Refresh Wall Art

Swapping out wall art is an easy way to reflect seasonal changes, too. Spring-themed prints — whether floral, landscape, or abstract — can add a fresh vibe to any room. You don’t need to run out and purchase new artwork for this subtle swap! Get creative by framing seasonal greeting cards or making your own art. This is your space, after all — so shouldn’t it reflect the person who calls it “home”?

Introduce Pastel Accents

Incorporating pastel accents through decorative pillows, vases, candles, or even tableware can infuse a room with the soft palette of spring — not to mention, it practically screams classic Florida. These subtle touches can make a significant impact without overwhelming the space, creating a serene and inviting atmosphere.

Maximize Your Windowsills

Despite just taking up a sliver of square footage in your home, the tiny windowsill can have a mighty impact. It provides the perfect spot to celebrate spring with small potted plants or herbs, — which, depending on the species, can often thrive in the ample sunshine.

Embrace Light & Airy Curtains

Just like you swapped your bedroom linens, it’s time to replace last season’s heavy drapes with light and airy options! Sheer fabrics allow more natural light to enter while still providing privacy, making the space feel brighter and more open — a perfect match for the spirit of the season.

Get Creative With Spring Symbols

Incorporating spring motifs through accessories can add a playful touch to your décor — think birds, butterflies, and flowers. These elements can create a cheerful theme that resonates with the season’s themes of rebirth and renewal. Have fun with it!

Savor The Sunshine

Don’t just think about the view of your living area, but from it. That is to say, a fresh look starts with shifting your viewpoint! Rearranging furniture can help you make the most of natural light, making your space feel brand-new even if you don’t buy a thing. Consider positioning seating areas near windows to enjoy the view, or creating a cozy reading nook that takes advantage of the spring sunlight. Daylight saving time is almost here, and you deserve to soak in every extra minute in style and comfort.

Grow Delicious Herbs

An indoor herb garden is not only decorative but super functional (and delicious), too. You just need a tiny patch of counterspace, or a spare windowsill, for small containers to grow powerhouse herbs like basil, mint, and cilantro. These tiny green additions bring life to the kitchen area, offer fresh ingredients for cooking, and fill the room with pleasant aromas.

Decorating for spring is a great way for Westminster Woods residents to embrace the season’s spirit of renewal and joy. We can’t wait to see what you do with your one-of-a-kind space!

7 Big Benefits Of Outdoor Time At Independent Living In Jacksonville, FL

From your cozy home in Westminster Woods on Julington Creek, you are perfectly positioned to experience the best natural beauty that Jacksonville (and the Sunshine State as a whole) has to offer. After all, Jacksonville may be Florida’s largest city — but our corner is delightfully removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, providing a serene natural backdrop for your everyday life and fun-filled activities.

That’s good news in more ways than one! Independent living in Jacksonville, FL takes on an all-new meaning when you don’t need to travel far — or even get in a car — to experience the restorative benefits of some quality outdoor time. Our lush walking paths, heated outdoor pools, and expansive waterfront views give you plenty of room to relax, reflect, and unwind in a truly singular Sunshine State paradise. Just read on as we explore some of the big benefits of outdoor time in and around our community — and why it’s worth getting out there this spring!

Improved Mental Outlook

It probably won’t surprise you to find that one of the biggest benefits of spending time in nature is stress relief. After all, don’t we all feel a little bit better after a walk through the trees or a trip to the beach?

However, the benefits aren’t just in your head — they’re purely scientific! A study in the National Library of Medicine, for example, found that proximity to both the coast and to greenery can decrease inhabitants’ stress and improve well-being.

The tranquil waters of the St. Johns River and its offshoots, like Julington Creek, provide Westminster Woods residents an endless blue backdrop perfect for daily walks, birdwatching, or simply kicking back and enjoying the view. It’s a sonic pleasure, too, with the gentle hum of the moving water delighting the ears and providing a welcome alternative to street and city noise.

Enhanced Physical Health

Regular outdoor activities such as walking, gentle yoga, or swimming in our heated pools can improve physical health by increasing mobility, flexibility, and endurance. The mild climate of Jacksonville encourages year-round outdoor exercise, which is helpful for maintaining muscle strength and cardiovascular health.

Don’t worry — our fitness center means you can reap all the benefits of a fitness regimen, rain or shine. But when the weather permits — as it so often does, here in the Sunshine State — there’s a lot to be gained from even a few minutes outdoors. (As always, throw on your sunscreen, shades, and protective gear to show your skin some love in the strong spring sun.)

Connection With Friends, Family, & Neighbors

In our community, outdoor communal spaces foster social interactions and create opportunities for neighbors (and visiting loved ones) to connect. Participating in group activities like birdwatching, gardening, or outdoor fitness can lead to meaningful relationships and a strong sense of belonging. But even if you’re not taking part in an organized get-together, you’re still sure to run into several friends while you’re out and about on your daily travels!

Cognitive Benefits

Spending time in nature has been shown to improve cognitive function, too — particularly in areas such as attention, memory, and creativity. The diverse landscapes of Jacksonville and, specifically, Westminster Woods provide stimulating environments that can enhance mental clarity and encourage cognitive engagement through exploration and discovery. In short? Be curious, and stroll somewhere new. It pays off!

Better Sleep

Natural light exposure during the day helps regulate sleep patterns by reinforcing the body’s circadian rhythms. Engaging in outdoor activities can lead to better sleep quality and duration, which is good for mental health and general well-being, too.

Connection With Nature

The act of connecting with nature, has inherent psychological and physical benefits. The diverse ecosystems in Jacksonville, from coastal beaches to riverfront promenades, allow locals the chance to experience a deep connection with the natural world — fostering a sense of peace and contentment.

Inspiration & Creativity

Just take a look around you: The beauty of the natural world can spark creativity and inspire artistic pursuits, if you’re the crafty type. Or maybe you’re just not one yet! Jacksonville’s scenic landscapes provide a wealth of inspiration for painting, photography, writing, and other creative activities that stimulate the mind, and help you express personal experiences and emotions. So if you’re a creator in a creative slump, well, take a mental break outside. You never know where it will lead, both literally and emotionally.

The great outdoors offers a world of benefits that contribute to a happy, healthy life — and in our corner of the state, there’s an especially abundant selection of landscapes and activities to enjoy. From the stress-relieving properties of waterfronts to the social and mental advantages of communal green space, nature provides a therapeutic and enriching backdrop for whatever’s on your daily schedule.

5 Big Benefits Of Taking A Fitness Class At Your Jacksonville Independent Living Facility

We all know the importance of fitness and working movement into our everyday lives. This only becomes more essential as we grow into our golden years — however, you don’t have to tackle your entire exercise routine alone. In fact, if you call the Jacksonville independent living facility of Westminster Woods “home,” you have access to a wealth of community resources designed to promote your overall wellness — including fitness classes.

As part of the My W Life wellness program, we offer fitness classes that aim to teach participants about reaching their potential, avoiding unhealthy habits, making educated health decisions, and getting medical support when needed. To that end, you’ll always want to check with your medical team before starting a new workout regimen. But in the meantime, read on for a taste of what to expect from Westminster Woods fitness classes!

Social Connection

Any form of movement is a good thing — and solo walking and workouts can definitely be a part of your overall routine! However, at the same time, there’s something special to be said about the fun of working out in a group environment. You might find it’s easier to laugh and show yourself some grace, for example, because you realize in real time that no one else is perfect their first time trying a new workout either! Alternatively, if you’re someone that thrives on a bit of healthy competition, having friends join you for your workout can inspire you to do your best.

Either way, the social connection that comes with a fitness class is a benefit unto itself — a way to bond with others and your body. We call that a win-win!

No Motivation Needed

Sometimes, it can be hard to motivate yourself to do a workout — even when you know it’s good for you. But when that workout is part of a group commitment on your calendar, you might feel even more compelled to get out there and get moving.

Guided Movement

We’ve all been there — it can certainly be daunting to try a new workout routine or form of movement with your body. That’s one of the ways a fitness class can help! You’re never alone and are always learning from an instructor who’s happy to help guide you through new or confusing steps, removing some of the nerves that can come with a new exercise regimen.

Making Fitness Fun

Above all, a fitness class makes movement fun! When you’re working out as a group, it might feel more like a classic PE class from your school days rather than another task on your to-do list. There will be lots of laughs and feel-good endorphins released, making you that much more excited about physical fitness in the long run.

Lasting Changes Well Beyond The Class Itself

Speaking of the long run, the benefits of a Westminster Woods fitness class aren’t contained to the class itself! Things you learn — whether they’re inspirational quotes or practical movement tips — will linger in your mind as you continue your fitness journey, and that’s definitely something to be happy about.

When you sign up for a fitness class at Westminster Woods, you’re also signing up for all of the benefits and lasting memories that come with it! Get in touch to learn more about My W Life and other ways you can embrace overall wellness from the comfort of our Jacksonville community.

A Seamless Transition: How Life Plan Communities Cater to Your Evolving Needs

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. As we navigate this unpredictable course, each phase brings new challenges and experiences that shape our needs and desires. Although your senior years present a unique set of aspirations and requirements than your youth, here at Westminster Woods on Julington Creek, we seek an environment that can keep up with your changing circumstances. We aren’t just another senior living community. We champion the philosophy of a Life Plan Community. This approach caters to your every need. Our residents are assured that your transition through the stages of senior living is filled with warmth and understanding.

Comprehensive Care Under One Roof

Life Plan Communities or Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), like Westminster Woods, provide a continuum of care. We offer different levels of care from independent living to skilled nursing. Residents don’t need to worry about relocating or the logistics of finding a new facility if your needs change. A Life Plan Community offers the luxury of having diverse levels of care all within one single community – which means a familiar environment, known faces, and a consistent quality of service to ensure peace of mind for both residents and their loved ones.

A Financially Sound Decision

We all know that planning for the future can be a daunting task, especially when you’re considering the unpredictable nature of possible healthcare costs. Westminster Woods provides a simple solution to this by offering monthly fees that cover a range of services and care levels. This forward-thinking financial structure shields residents from fluctuating market rates and makes the future more manageable and less stress-inducing.

A Community That Celebrates Life

This is more than just a place to live – it’s a way of life. Westminster Woods is a community that fosters connections, nurtures hobbies, and encourages personal growth. With an extensive calendar of events and a plethora of amenities, our residents can really dive into their passions. Whether it’s art, fitness, or gardening, Westminster Woods offers it all! It’s a place where neighbors become close friends, and friends turn into an extended family – family that shares laughter, offers support, and celebrates every milestone, big or small.

Wellbeing is a Priority

Although physical health is a large benefit of joining a Life Plan Community, it extends beyond that as well. Westminster Woods is committed to ensuring the mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of our residents. We have programs that focus on lifelong learning, spiritual nourishment, and emotional health. We strive to enable our residents to lead a balanced and enriched life.

Simplifying the Lives of Family Members

Making the decision to transition a loved one to a senior living facility can weigh heavily on families. The goal of Life Plan Communities is to alleviate these concerns. Family members can have peace of mind knowing that Westminster Woods provides comprehensive care that has a future-focused financial structure and also emphasizes our residents’ well-being. Rest assured that your loved ones are in a nurturing environment and are equipped to meet their evolving needs.

You deserve your golden years of life to be filled with an enriching and supportive environment. A Life Plan Community like Westminster Woods on Julington Creek is a place that adapts as seamlessly as possible while the different chapters of your life unfold. We anticipate the ever-evolving needs of seniors and craft solutions that cater to these changes. We stand as a testament of what senior living can, and should, aspire to be. Join us, and witness how we’re redefining senior living, one resident at a time.

‘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 to Keep Children Connected to Relatives in Assisted Living

It can be tough for kids when their loved one moves into Jacksonville, Florida, assisted living. This is a transition that takes time to get used to. However, there are plenty of ways to keep children in touch with their senior relatives. 

Follow this guide to keep the kids in the family in the loop with their loved ones in assisted living facilities in Jacksonville. 

Frequent Video Chats

Children love hearing their loved ones’ voices and seeing their faces. One of the best ways to keep in touch on a regular basis is to video chat. Many children have tablets and smartphones of their own, but they can also use their parents’. 

Video chat is beneficial for seniors in assisted living facilities. They may not get to visit their relatives often, but they can see them and hear them in real-time through video calls. 

Plan a time for your children to video chat with their loved ones each week. This will give both the kids and the seniors in your life something to look forward to on a weekly basis. 

Making Crafts and Other Gifts

Kids love to use their creativity to show their love. Set aside a few hours for your children to make special gifts for their senior relatives in assisted living. This will produce plenty of smiles all around. 

If you are able to visit the assisted living facility that your loved one resides in, have your children bring crafting materials there. This way, they can make crafts with their senior relative and enjoy quality time with them. 

Plan Meals Together

One of the ways people connect to one another as a society is through eating. Shared meals keep people close and give them the chance to socialize while enjoying good food. 

Children will love the opportunity to visit their loved one’s community and dine with them. Most assisted living communities have high-quality dining options that everyone can enjoy. Plan shared meals with your children and the seniors in your life to keep them connected over time. 

Visiting Jacksonville, Florida, Assisted Living with Children

Most assisted living communities allow visitors at almost all times. Children are welcome to visit their relatives, explore their residences, and enjoy quality time with their loved ones. 

Read the facility’s visitation policy to make sure you can bring your children at the times you plan to visit. Your loved one will be overjoyed to see them!

Commonly Asked Questions About Assisted Living Answered

If you’re approaching your golden years or have a family member of retirement age, you’ve probably heard about assisted living or looked into it yourself. As you’re researching assisted living facilities near you, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options available.

What You Should Know About Assisted Living Facilities in Jacksonville, Florida

If you’re on the lookout for great assisted living facilities in Jacksonville, Florida, here are the answers to some of your most pressing questions. Having useful answers will help you to make an informed decision for yourself or on behalf of a loved one.

Assisted Living vs. Independent Living in Jacksonville

One of the first questions that most people looking into assisted living ask is about the difference between assisted and independent living.

Assisted living involves 24/7 care and support to the degree that it is needed based on the resident’s current health and mobility status. Independent living embraces a more hands-off approach to elder care while still providing support when needed. 

Most assisted living facilities also offer independent living options for residents, and independent living residents can always transition to an assisted lifestyle when needed.

Who Is Assisted Living Right For?

Assisted living provides an elevated lifestyle for seniors that could benefit from some assistance with daily tasks such as taking medications, getting around the house, cleaning, cooking, and other responsibilities. 

At assisted living facilities, seniors can get the help they need while also joining a community of people enjoying their golden years together. 

Many seniors who need help with daily tasks don’t want to rely on family members for assistance or don’t have family nearby. This is where a great assisted living facility can provide immeasurable value. 

Additionally, many residents move to assisted and independent living facilities primarily because they want a sense of community and kinship with other residents.

Why Are Seniors in Assisted Living Often Happier and Healthier?

There are many reasons why seniors living in assisted or independent living communities tend to be healthier and happier. One obvious reason is the fact that any medical needs they might have can be tended to by professionals on-site right away, keeping seniors safe and in optimal health. 

Additionally, assisted living facilities feature a wide variety of activities, clubs, and enriching experiences for residents to enjoy. Seniors who maintain an active social life while continuing to do things they enjoy on a regular basis are much more likely to be happier and healthier into their golden years.

Exploring the Classics: 5 Books to Read This Winter

Getting lost in a great book is one of the best ways to pass the time during the winter months in a Jacksonville, Florida, assisted living community. Not only does it provide an escape from reality, but it also engages and stimulates your mind to help keep you sharp. 

But which book should you reach for? Rest assured, you can never go wrong with these five classics. 

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

The Great Gatsby does a great job of transporting you back in time to the unique atmosphere of the roaring ‘20s. The titular Gatsby is a tragic hero and is widely regarded as a metaphor for the American dream. Full of romance, adventure, style, and wealth to spare, this book is the perfect escape during winter. 

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 

Little Women is a coming-of-age story with a little something for everyone. Despite taking place in the reconstruction era following the Civil War, many of the characters are still highly relatable to this day. 

3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 

Great Expectations follows an orphan named Pip throughout his life in the United Kingdom. His constant desire to ascend the social ladder leads him to learn some tough life lessons that are still just as poignant today. 

4. The Fellowship of The Ring by J. R. R. Tolkein 

If fantasy is more your style, it’s hard to beat The Fellowship of The Ring. From the Shire to the volcanoes of Mordor, it’s easy to get lost in the fantastical and immersive world Tolkein creates. But don’t let that distract you from the great character development along the way. 

5. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Who says you can’t enjoy a good modern classic? Mexican Gothic is a thrilling horror novel that will keep you guessing at every turn. When a young woman is invited to an isolated castle by her newlywed, ill cousin, it’s a race against time to find out what’s really going on in this modern page-turner. 

Pick Up a Great Book in Your Jacksonville, Florida, Assisted Living Community

If you live in one of the many assisted living facilities in Jacksonville, Florida, there’s a good chance you already have access to many of these books at your fingertips. All you have to do is explore your community’s library to find your next literary adventure.

Passing Down Traditions: How to Make Thanksgiving Memorable in Your Senior Years

As you reach your golden years, you’ve earned the right not to have to plan Thanksgiving dinner! Still, you can enjoy the holidays with some wonderful new traditions that won’t take as much time and energy as planning an entire get-together. 

Whether you’re sticking to your Jacksonville, Florida, assisted living community or heading out to see family, you can take these ideas with you!

Be a Helper

Maybe you’ve never been the type that can sit around and watch others do work. If that’s the case, offer to help to the best of your abilities. If you’re still physically fit enough to do some cooking, go for it! If setting the table is more your speed, that’s okay, too. The point is to be involved with your loved ones and friends.

Be a Storyteller

Whether it’s your children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren or others living in assisted living facilities in Jacksonville, you can entertain and connect through stories. 

For the kids, this might be acting out a book or moments from your own life. For adults and seniors, this could be more about sharing what you’re thankful for in your own life. This will form that sense of bonding that is so important.

Give

Take part in the spirit of Thanksgiving through the act of giving. This can mean donating to a charity, but it’s more than that. It can be giving a loved one a special object that connects you to them, such as an old photograph or piece of jewelry. It can also mean giving wisdom or sharing a skill. 

Perhaps you have a grandchild who wants to know how you did woodworking crafts, sewed quilts, or played a musical instrument. You have the experience they crave.

Play

Get out the board games, cards, and even video games if you’re into them! Watching the football game on TV is great, but participating in a game is even better. Find some games you know everyone will love and break them out to enjoy.

Celebrate New Thanksgiving Traditions in Jacksonville, Florida, Assisted Living Facilities

As you age, you’ll have to work at keeping your mind fresh and young, and that means starting to let go of your past routines. Maybe you’ve slowed down, and your home isn’t the de facto Thanksgiving gathering place anymore, and you may even be in assisted living now. 

Wherever you find yourself on Thanksgiving, make sure you engage in some meaningful traditions for yourself and those you love.

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