Welcome to LifeMinded.com
Live engaged &
with a purpose.
We believe senior housing should be a positive change, one that opens new doors, keeping people happy, healthy and engaged. LifeMinded™ is an approach to senior living that we know works. It is not an approach that everyone follows even though we wish they did. This site is dedicated to helping those considering a change in lifestyle or housing by giving them honest information and knowledge to help decide what the right living situation is for them.
LifeMinded is a holistic approach that addresses every aspect of life.
The physical, the mental, the spiritual and the social aspects of life are all important part of LifeMinded lifestyle. It is an approach and a philosophy that sets the best communities apart. At a LifeMinded residence every resident has the opportunity to develop a personal program for living a complete, satisfying and active life—typically a more active life--regardless of age. In other words, it is retirement living as it was meant to be lived, full of life.
At the root of living LifeMinded
LifeMinded promotes the benefits of engaged living. Using special, proven practices designed for senior living, LifeMinded is based on the "Seven Dimensions of Wellness" model endorsed by the International Council
on Active Aging.®
Physical fitness is critical at every stage of life. Almost every retirement community will offer some form of fitness program. The breath of options will very from yoga to dancercise to walking and so on but the key is to find activities that you can enjoy. The more variety, the easier it is to keep your routines fresh and your motivation high as you maintain your all-important balance, core strength, heart health and flexibility.
Science increasingly shows that a honed and vigorous mind is the key to healthy brain functioning later in life. The LifeMinded philosophy mixes learning in a social atmosphere with fun physical fitness exercises to help keep your mind limber and lucid.
Living at a LifeMinded residence means being embraced by a community. They will offer many opportunities to build meaningful new relationships and nurture longstanding ones. They will also offer group discussions and other structured support for residents seeking camaraderie and connection. Whether just a friendly exchange or building a lifelong friendship social interaction is a key to emotional balance.
Your life’s passions should be for life. A LifeMinded approach means support from staff to help you stay relevant and to keep making an impact. Residents redefine retirement by volunteering, mentoring, creating, and more. Share your vision, and your LifeMinded community will support you and make the connections that make it possible.
ADD IT UP.
When you add these elements together the result is living with purpose, and engaged as you choose. It means multiple options for living each day fully, in the company of others who savor life as much as you do.
Seven things to include in your choice
of a senior living community.
COMMUNITY VS. FACILITY
Attitude matters. At a LifeMinded community you will never hear the word “Facility.” Facility is an institution which is not what most people looking for a full vital life are interested in. If someone describes their senior housing as a facility we suggest you go someplace else, they are not thinking or living LifeMinded.
HAVE A POOL?
What you need and what you don’t. Senior residences offer varying degrees of amenities. Pools are nice but not every place has one. It’s also an activity you can engage in easily at a health club or YMCA. Decide what amenities are critical for you and focus on those as you decide where to live.
Decide what amenities are critical for you and focus on those as you decide where to live.
Longevity of staff, management and ownership. Stability is important in any relationship and it’s a good tell to go by when looking at different residences. If staff is constantly changing and no one has been around for more than a few years you can’t be sure things won’t continue to change. You want to move to a place where you know what it’s like today and in the future. The ideal senior residence will be staffed by a mix of people who have been there for a decade or more and by a few that are new. This mix keeps it fresh, up to date yet stable. (Hint: ask about the ownership, long term ownership and management is a great bellwether of stability.)
Of course this is an important one. First any LifeMinded residence will be very upfront about costs. If they aren’t move on to your next option. You will also find many residences that want you to put down a deposit when you first visit. Again move on. Asking for a deposit is a way to start to put subtle sales pressure on a perspective tenant and you don’t need any additional pressure. Again if you find yourself being told you must make a deposit to secure your space, you probably want to look elsewhere.
be sure to stay for a meal or two, it’s a good indicator of the approach they take to everything they do.
THE BASICS, WHAT’S FOR DINNER?
When you visit a residence be sure to stay for a meal or two, it’s a good indicator of the approach they take to everything they do. Is the food great. Is it served in a dining atmosphere or is it more of a cafeteria? If you live there the odds are good you’ll be dining there often, you want the food AND the experience to be wonderful.
Some pretty common questions
As seniors we have different needs and concerns,
here is some information many have found helpful.
HOW DOES AGING IMPACT NUTRITION?
Nutritional needs change as we age, but eating well doesn’t get any less important. Sadly, poor nutrition and malnutrition can easily be mistaken as illness. Consuming healthy food and key nutrients are a valuable preventative medicine for all seniors, and should be made a high priority.
Many issues can get in the way of this goal. Bodily changes, such as dental and gastrointestinal conditions, can effect what foods are satiating and appealing. Lack of interest in cooking and eating alone, financial concerns, and the ability to access the grocery store also play a role.
We also tend to use less energy as we age (staying active can help offset this), therefore a senior’s caloric needs are lower. That is why it’s important to be efficient in getting key nutrients into our systems. Common nutrient deficiencies include inadequate intake of vitamin A, B, C, D, E, folic acid and niacin. Focusing on healthy whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high protein foods such as meat, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, will help pack the nutrition you need into your daily caloric intake. Partaking in low nutrient foods like solid fats and added sugars doesn’t leave enough room in your diet for the nutritious foods. A daily multi-vitamin can also help fill in any gaps you may have, but is no substitution for healthy, nutrient-dense foods.
A LifeMinded community will help seniors meet their nutritional needs by providing easy access to healthful, well-balanced meals. Everyone gets sick of cooking and eating the same meals over and over again, but it’s difficult to meal plan and try new things. The best senior housing and retirement homes will have a full-time chef on site that can bring spice to your life, and more nutritious foods to your table.
IS BEING “SOCIAL” REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?
As we age, our worlds tend to get smaller. There are many reasons for this but studies have found that it’s not good for our health. Staying social is associated with heart and immune system health, lowering depression risk and overall longer life. Being isolated triggers feelings of loneliness that can put your body into a chronic stress response, and constant presence of stress hormones leading to poor health outcomes.
Shrinking social circles, poor health, life changes, and transportation issues can all inhibit your ability to have an active social life. That’s why living in a senior living or senior housing community that promotes health and activity, while making socializing easy and convenient, is critical to living a vibrant and engaged senior life.
Here are some suggestions for how to stay social
One-on-one time: Meet up for coffee or tea with a friend. Make it a regular date so you don’t have to remember to schedule it again and again. Invite someone over for a meal at your home. Take your pet (or just yourself) on a walk to somewhere where people congregate. Video chats or phone calls can be good substitutes when distance is a factor, but it’s worth the effort to get face-to-face in the same room whenever possible.
Group activities can be beneficial because they have structure and usual meeting times so you can meet new people and develop friendships by seeing people on a regular basis. It’s one of the advantages of living at a senior housing or senior apartment community, but you can still be social even if you aren’t part of a retirement community. Explore the options at your local religious organization, or non-profit to be a part of group studies, choirs, book clubs, or service projects. Even if you don’t like big groups, there are lots of activities that are ideal for 3, 4 or 5 people; take that walk together, play a board game, or maintain a communal garden, a little company goes a long way in keeping you healthy.
HOW CAN I AVOID LOSING MY INDEPENDENCE?
Independence is something we all hold dear. We desperately wanted our independence as teenagers and hold on to the concept even more dearly as we age. Nobody wants to give up their independence. It’s the number one reason people state for staying in their own home instead of moving to a senior apartment community yet there’s a problem with that logic. Staying in our homes tends have the opposite effect on our independence. Instead of giving us freedom, it tends to restrict us. Visiting friends and staying active can be difficult when living in one’s own home with limited access to transportation and activities. Maintaining and cleaning a house also requires time and money, which can limit many people’s choices and activities. Independence should not mean isolation but that’s often the result of “staying in my home.” People who move to an assisted living or Independent Senior Living Community have fewer logistical barriers and tend to become more active, have more social interaction and live fuller more purposeful lives. Most residents at a LifeMinded community will tell you they resisted moving from their own homes as long as possible, but they will also tell you after making the move, they wish they had done it sooner.
CAN I AFFORD THIS?
For many seniors, living on a fixed income brings concerns of outliving your retirement savings. There are many things you can do to ensure you are living within your means, hiring a financial advisor, developing a budget, and preparing for the possibility that you may become unable to handle your finances. A large portion of your nest egg will be spent on living expenses, so it’s important to consider housing related daily, monthly and yearly costs.
ISN’T STAYING IN MY HOME LESS EXPENSIVE?
When making the important decision of where to live as you age, you need to take into account your overall health and well-being along with the finances. Many seniors think that staying in their homes is more affordable than joining an assisted living or senior living community but fail to take into account the various costs that can accrue. While you may not be paying rent or a mortgage, living at home can require basic home maintenance, like a new water heater or yard care, or projects to keep the home accessible based on your abilities. These improvements can include installing a stair lift, wheel chair ramps, or remodeling a bath (to include a curbless shower and installing hand rails, for example). All these projects have a cost, and it’s important to research to see if they will add to your home value or not.
There are also costs associated with independent living and retirement home communities, here are a few things to consider when researching to see what’s included in your monthly rent or joining fee: waiting list deposit, move-in fee, housekeeping, meals, TV, utilities (phone, internet, electricity), transportation, parking, field trips, wellness programs. Also ask about assisted living services, how are they provided and how are costs established. What are the maximum costs for such services. Assisted living services are available in private residences as well but can be higher than those at a retirement community. Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you are satisfied you have the information you need.