Views Senior Living Blog
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
By The Views Senior Living
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Essence of Socialization

Friends and family are important in every stage of life.  Having someone to be there in case you need something or just someone to listen to your thoughts has a huge impact.  This can help with your quality of life, mental & physical health.  This can be even more important as you get older.

Having a social circle can decrease anxiety & depression, reduce stress, and even some physical health concerns.  Socialization can improve mental health and stability which increase memory function.  People that tend to be isolated decrease in memory function and physical health.  Ridgeview and Meadowview offer a wide variety of activities that promote social interaction.  Meadowview's recreation calendar is specifically designed to increase social interaction all day.  Tenants follow each other from one activity to the next so that they are constantly engaged in activities and socialize with each other. 

If you do not live in a senior community currently, their are other ways to get involved and increase socialization.  Join a community/volunteer group, a senior center, or group exercise class.  Take a look at our recreation calendar on our website by clicking here to see what recreation activities you can come join in on! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
By The Views Senior Living
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Choosing Your Community

Inquiring about assisted living communities can be an overwhelming and stressful time for aging adults and their children.  Some may not know where to start their search or the type of questions to ask. 

You will first want to figure out what your budget is and narrow down your options. Then think about what amenities or services you will want or need. Are you wanting convenience services such as housekeeping, laundry, meals, transportation, or an on-site barber or beautician.  Are options for support with activities of daily living like medication management and assistance with bathing important to you? Look down the road and consider future needs such as memory care or long term care.  See that the community has access to services to meet those needs. 

Is it important to have access to multiple apartment home options like a studio, one bedroom, or two bedroom so you can see the differences or are you set on a one bedroom? Is the location convenient to accessing appointments and shopping or guests visiting? Answering all of these questions prior to touring will help ensure you are touring the right places.


Once you have narrowed down your options, start to schedule tours. You may want to bring a family member or a friend to tour with you to be a second set of eyes and ears.  Bring a list of questions or a check off list to find out what communities meet your needs.  Some questions you may want to ask:

  • Do you rent month to month or are you a buy-in community?
  • What is your deposit & community fee if it is not a buy-in community?
  • Do you offer a free moving service?
  • Are all meals included in the monthly rent? (If that is something you want offered)
  • Are all utilities included?
  • Do you offer free wireless internet?
  • Is this community pet friendly?
  • What happens if I run out of money? Do you offer Medicaid (Elderly Waiver) down the road?
  • What would cause a resident to move out of a community or need higher level of care?

Once you have taken your first tour, schedule another tour to join an activity or a meal.  This will provide time for you to get to know some of the other tenants living in the building, the staff, and experience the atmosphere. Like I said before, location is an important aspect in the search for a community, but selecting a community that you can trust and that can meet all your needs should be top priority.  If you need assistance or have questions about what to look for in an assisted living, contact Danielle Helgerson, The Views Senior Living, at 319-540-4787.

Monday, February 04, 2019
By The Views Senior Living of Cedar Rapids
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Keep Calm and Get Your Party On!

Large events can be a stressful time for the elderly and their caregivers.  For someone living with dementia, this time can be extra stressful and overwhelming.  If caregivers, families, and friends know what to do when celebrating special events with someone that has dementia, things may go a lot smoother. 

Informing families, friends, visitors of the progression of the person's disease before the event is always essential.  You can do this by e-mail, letter, in person, or by phone.  It's helpful for families, friends, visitors to understand that they may not be the same person they were a year ago.  The disease may cause some changes in behavior and personality.  It's always key to remember, it's not the person, it's the disease. 

Consider inviting a smaller amount of people to a special event, especially if you are hosting it at your house.  Too many people at once may cause a person living with dementia to be overstimulated and overtired.

If your loved one already lives in a community, take advantage of the many special events they hold.  Birthday parties, seasonal celebrations, gatherings.  It is important to maintain a normal routine and consistency as much as possible.

Decorations are absolutely beautiful during special events, like birthday parties.  You may want to rethink what decorations to put out.  Some look very edible and a person that has dementia may not recognize that.  For example, red holly's on wreaths can look very real.  Someone with dementia may try and pick them off to eat them.

A gift that once may have been useful or beneficial for someone living with dementia may not be safe or beneficial for them now.  Here are some good gifts to consider:

  • Weighted blankets- these blankets help reduce anxiety and insomnia.  With the dementia disease, someone may become restless at night and be up multiple times at night.  Weighted blankets help reduce restlessness.
  • Photo Albums- Put pictures together of family, friends, or old photos of the person living with dementia when they were younger.  In the disease progression, people often refer back to when they were younger.  Some people living with the disease see themselves as a 7 year old and some as a 20 year old serving in the war.
  • Pop up books-  Someone could be engaged in a pop up book for hours!  Especially if it includes sound. 
  • Large piece puzzles
  • A CD or IPOD loaded with favorite songs or artists
  • Diffusers- Aromatherapy has proven to be very beneficial for this population!  Aromatherapy can help decrease anxiety and depression.
  • Baby dolls or stuffed animals (puppies or cats). 
  • Large Coloring books
  • Fidget quilts
  • Latch & Lock board- You can make one of these yourself!

Most importantly enjoy special events with your loved ones.  Stop, take a deep breath, and take in the happy memories created with families and friends.



Monday, January 28, 2019
By The Views Senior Living
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Catching Z's...

Sleep changes and disturbances are common for those living with dementia.  Often caregivers are stressed out and lack sleep because their loved one living with dementia is up many times at night.  A caregiver may become irritable, sleep deprived, and short tempered causing caregiver burnout. It is said as we age, aging adults spend less time in the REM stage of sleeping and also need less sleep.  There are many reasons for sleep disturbances. Listed below are common culprits and suggestions for improving the situation.

1) Medications.  Some medications have side effects that may cause sleep disturbances at night or restless sleeping. Be sure to communicate with your doctor so they can adjust or try a new medication as needed.

2) Medical issues such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. Ask your physician about interventions you can put in place to reduce symptoms so you and your loved one can have a good nights rest.

3) Sleep during the day- up all night! Some people with dementia tend to get their internal body clock switched around.  With less activity at home, they tend to sleep all day and then are more restless or get up more at night.  Staying active with structured activities during the day can help regulate our internal body clock. Programs like the one at Meadowview Memory Care Village provides consistent cognitive and physical engagement helping to improve sleep patterns. If you are not quite ready to transition your loved one to a memory care community, you might consider Milestones Adult Day programs.

4) Reduced lighting.  Reduced lighting causes increased shadows.  Therefore, a person living with dementia might think these are shadows of people or objects which causes them to have a harder time sleeping at night. Consider placing night lights or dim lamps in areas your loved one spends a lot of time in. This may improve their vision and reduce anxiety.

If you notice that your loved one is having sleep disturbances, try some of the above suggestions. Sleep disturbances can be caused by many different factors so it is always appropriate to talk with a medical professional to find the best result. 

Monday, January 21, 2019
By The Views Senior Living
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Activity is key!

Staying active during the winter months is extremely important for the aging adult.  The winter months can make it hard for the aging adult to get out, enjoy fresh air, and move their body!  This can take a toll on someone physically and mentally.  Regular exercise and activity can decrease falls, lower blood pressure, and decrease arthritic pain.  Here are some helpful tips to stay active this winter!

  • Exercise at home!  People can either do exercise seated or standing with light weights or stretch resistance bands.  At Ridgeview, tenants participate in a 30 minute exercise 5 days a week that involves stretching, light weights, resistance bands, and aerobic exercise all while seated!  Only push yourself as far as you can go.  Your body will tell you what your limits are.
  • Join a gym close by.  If you no longer drive, transportation services are offered through local transportation companies or have a family/friend schedule to take you.
  • Join a local senior living community!  Senior living communities, such as Ridgeview and Meadowview, keep tenants moving and active during all seasons.  Different exercise classes, social activities, and mind stimulating activities are offered for tenants to participate in. 
  • Keep your body moving.  There are other ways you can keep your body moving without structured exercise.  Aging adults can stay active with indoor gardening, volunteering, or cleaning around the house. 
  • Brain games.  Keep your mind healthy and active during the winter season if you are unable to leave your home.  Activities such as crossword puzzles, Soduko, or reading a book are good ways to keep your brain fit.  Other activities may include painting, coloring, crafts, or listening to music. 

It's hard to stay motivated and on task especially during the winter months.  If you are running into a roadblock and need some new engaging winter activity ideas, contact Danielle Helgerson at The Views Senior Living.