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!

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.


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.


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.

The Link Between Chronic Pain and Depression in Seniors

Chronic pain and depression are two of the most common problems reported by people over the age of 65. Unsurprisingly, many people suffer from both conditions at the same time. Often, the development of chronic pain can actually lead to depression — and vice versa.

Chronic Pain

The likelihood of persistent pain increases with age. This is due to all manner of different causes, including:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Low back pain
  • Injury
  • Neuropathic pain

Importantly, the experience of persistent pain is a general mental health stressor. It taxes the mind to constantly be experiencing pain, which can lead to other mental health concerns. It can also interfere with practices that are mentally beneficial, such as sleep and exercise.


Depression is an increasing problem among people over the age of 65. Again, there are several different factors that can lead to depression, including:

  • Social isolation
  • Loneliness
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Physical illness

Depression has several consequences of its own and can cause people to pull away from others and experience chronic fatigue and feelings of hopelessness.

How Pain and Depression Are Interconnected

Pain and depression can both lead to older adults feeling as though they don’t have the capacity to participate in everyday life and activities, which can cause them to develop symptoms of the other condition.

For example, a person with chronic knee pain may turn down the opportunity to go on a walk with their friends or family. By missing this activity, they can begin to feel sad, isolated, and alone. These feelings, if they persist for a significant amount of time, can contribute to a diagnosis of depression in the future.

Similarly, a person who is depressed may turn down the walk with their friends and family. By doing so, they miss the chance to exercise and strengthen their body. They may eventually be more vulnerable to injuries and illnesses that can lead to chronic pain.

Treating Pain and Depression at a Jacksonville, Florida, Assisted Living Facility

One way to ensure that chronic pain and depression are dealt with is to join a Jacksonville, Florida, assisted living facility

Assisted living facilities in Jacksonville help older adults stay active both physically and mentally and can provide additional support when seniors need it most. In this way, the symptoms of both chronic pain and depression can be minimized, and seniors can live long and fulfilling lives.

What Is Sundowning?

Sundowning is a common behavior among people with dementia. It refers to a phenomenon that can begin in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other forms of cognitive impairment. Sundowning behaviors include wandering, agitation, confusion, and even aggression or violence.

Sundowning is not caused by medications or any other medical condition. Instead, this condition is often related to stress and anxiety about the coming nightfall and all that it represents for someone living with dementia. The term “sundowning” comes from the fact that these behaviors often occur around sunset.

Jacksonville, Florida, Assisted Living Experts Weigh in: Why Do People Experience Sundowning? 

Even though there are no definitive answers about what causes sundowning symptoms, there are a few theories about why it occurs. 

When people with dementia become anxious or stressed, they may exhibit signs of sundowning. This could be because when it gets dark outside, they become confused about where they are and what time it is.

Some experts believe that sundowning is related to circadian rhythm disorders. People with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia tend to have disrupted sleep patterns, which can contribute to sundowning behaviors.

Symptoms of Sundowning

People with sundowning may:

  • Become agitated or anxious at night
  • Have hallucinations or delusions
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Fail to recognize family members or caregivers
  • Wander or sleepwalk
  • Feel depressed or irritable
  • Cry or exhibit mood changes

People with dementia may show these symptoms during the day, but with Sundowning, this behavior often worsens at night. This can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep. And if they’re unable to sleep well, it can cause even more confusion and agitation the next morning.

Coping with Sundowning — Tips from a Leading CCRC in Jacksonville, Florida

Sundowning can be very difficult for both the person suffering from it and their family. However, there are some things you can do as a caregiver to help make this process easier.

Help your loved one manage a daily routine. A healthy routine can help individuals with memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease feel less stressed daily. Moving to a Jacksonville, Florida, assisted living community can help, as trained staff members help residents confidently navigate their daily routine.

Try not to ask your loved one too many questions at once; it may overwhelm or confuse them. Instead, ask one question at a time and wait until they’ve answered before asking another.

Don’t force your loved ones to do anything they don’t want to do. Instead, try suggesting fun activities that won’t make them feel stressed or anxious.

If your loved one becomes agitated, stay calm and try not to argue. If you lose your temper, it could make matters worse and lead to an escalation of aggressive behavior.

If possible, plan your outings to avoid late-afternoon hours, and try to keep your loved one inside during these hours. This prevents them from getting lost or wandering away from home. If you must go outside during this time of day, make sure someone is always with your loved one.

Top Books for Independent Living in Jacksonville, Florida, This Summer

With plenty of time to enjoy leisure activities, part of the enjoyment of independent living in Jacksonville is the ability to grab a good book and enjoy it without interruption or responsibilities. Here are some excellent reads you should put on your list this summer:

The Hotel Nantucket

New York Magazine calls Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Hotel Nantucket, the “queen of beach reads.” If you’re a fan of fast-paced stories full of drama between gossipy characters, this book is for you. 

The Hotel Nantucket is written from the perspective of the ghost of a teenage chambermaid who died in a suspicious hotel fire in 1922. The book is as intriguing as it sounds, and the reviews are glowing.

City of Orange

Author David Yoon might be more familiar to young-adult readers, but he’s transitioned into an excellent writer of adult stories. 

City of Orange takes place in a postapocalyptic setting and centers on a man coming to grips with how to survive in this newly destroyed world. If you like your stories a bit darker, the LA Times raves about this novel of “humor and dread.”


Perhaps you want to get away from darker subjects and instead delve into an exciting caper. 

Kirstin Chen’s Counterfeit focuses on a Chinese-American lawyer who accidentally gets embroiled in a scheme importing counterfeit handbags. It’s a fun story that works to buck stereotypes and builds up to a compelling twist ending. Make sure you only check out reviews that won’t spoil the end for you.

Normal People

If you’ve heard about the BBC/Hulu adaptation, read Normal People before you watch it! This novel by Sally Rooney is all about the relationship between two teenagers in Ireland during the 2008 economic downturn. As they grow up, their relationship dynamic changes, matures, and intensifies. 

One incredible quality of this book is that it seems to grip readers of every age. Yes, even if you’re retired and enjoying independent living in Jacksonville, Florida!

Remarkably Bright Creatures

If you enjoy stories told from the perspective of animals, Shelby Van Pelt’s Remarkably Bright Creatures may be up your alley. The book centers on Marcellus McSquiddles, an octopus who escapes his aquarium captivity and becomes, to quote the Washington Post, “the town’s secret matchmaker.” It’s funny, engaging, and touching. 

The Benefits of a Daily Routine for Seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s can experience difficulty in many areas of their lives. Managing these diseases isn’t always easy, and seniors can quickly experience stress and feelings of despair. 

One thing that can make a big difference in learning to live with memory loss is a daily routine. Whether a senior lives in assisted living or in a skilled nursing facility in Jacksonville, FL, a routine can help take the guesswork out of daily life and make them less dependent on their memory. 

Here are a few benefits of a daily routine for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Prevents Distraction

Seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s can become easily distracted, which can cause confusion and make daily life more difficult. Without a daily schedule, there can be endless distractions that get the day off track. 

A daily routine keeps the senior’s attention focused, and can take some of the uncertainty out of the day.  

Reduces Stress

The stress of daily life can affect people at any age. However, for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s, the uncertainty that comes with not being able to recall information can lead to a perpetual state of stress. 

Stress is known to cause negative health side effects and can really take a toll on senior health. A daily routine introduces stability and predictability that can minimize anxiety. 

Improves Sleep Quality 

Sleep is critical for health at all ages, but especially for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Without a schedule, seniors may lose track of time, which can take a toll on their sleep schedule as well as their quality of sleep.

Daily Routine in a Skilled Nursing Facility in Jacksonville, FL

One of the primary benefits for seniors living in a skilled nursing facility is the daily routine established by the staff. A community that offers memory care in Jacksonville, Florida, can be the best place to establish routines and cope with the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Congratulations To Our Volunteers and Team Members Of The Year

We’re beginning our celebration of Westminster Communities of Florida’s Volunteers of the Year and Team Members of the Year! Over the next two weeks, beginning on Wednesday, we’re holding recognition banquets in Tallahassee, St. Petersburg and Orlando to celebrate these individuals. Be on the lookout for our announcements of the winners prior to each banquet, and fun photos from the event itself.

Congratulations to all the amazing people who make Westminster Communities of Florida a great place to live and work!

Volunteers of the Year

Team Members of the Year

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