What to Expect When Your Move to Assisted Living Includes a Furry Friend

Having a pet is a great way to stay active during your retirement years. Pets provide companionship and are great to have around at all ages. But what happens when you move into an assisted living community? Here are a few things you should know when you bring your furry friend along.

The Community May Have Pet Rules

If you are looking for an assisted living facility in St. Petersburg, FL, you’ll find that most communities have pet rules. Since you’ll be living near other residents and staff, most communities want to ensure that pets are trained and won’t be a nuisance to other residents. 

They may want to check on whether your pet is house trained or not, how much noise it makes, and the status of its vaccinations. There may also be rules for when you can bring your pet outside and which types of visitors can come to assist you with your pet (like dog walkers or veterinarians).  

Your Furry Friend May Have Trouble Adjusting

Change can be hard, and that applies to pets as well as people. Your pet will be uprooted from a home they know and placed in a new, unfamiliar environment. 

It is not uncommon for some pets to go through a transition period that may include some behavioral issues. But rest assured, most pets get used to their new environment quickly and settle in just fine.

Making New Accommodations

If you have a pet, you probably have a routine established to take care of them, like buying food, walking them, and visiting the vet. When you transition to assisted living or independent living in St. Petersburg, you may need to make some adjustments to this routine. 

You may be located further away from the pet store or vet, and you may have to establish a new walking routine that fits your schedule. If you have a dog walker or other staff that assists you with your pet, you’ll need to check with your new community on the best way to continue to get the assistance you need.

Assisted Living Facility in St. Petersburg, FL

St. Petersburg, FL, is a wonderful place for retirees and their pets to settle in. Today, finding an assisted living facility that is right for you is easier than ever. With an abundance of online resources, including virtual tours, you have all of the information you need – right at your fingertips. 

Why Seniors Are a Prime Target for Health Fraud

Every year in the U.S., millions of seniors fall prey to scams and fraud. Healthcare fraud is one of the most common scams that disreputable businesses use to target seniors. The Federal Bureau of Investigation shares that scammers are masters at exploiting the trust of others. 

Americans who grew up between 1930 and 1950 were generally raised to be polite and trusting, making them ideal prey for scammers. Older people are also more likely to have a nest egg, which makes them even more attractive to con artists.

Seniors in assisted living in Orlando are less likely to be targeted by scammers, but that doesn’t mean they should let their guard down. Con artists are masters at figuring out how to contact people, using phone calls, mail, email, and even dating sites to get their foot in the door.

Types of Health Fraud

Seniors are the focus of health fraud because they are the largest consumers of healthcare products. Con artists take advantage of the fact that older Americans are less likely to be savvy at identifying fraud and that, in general, seniors can have a difficult time saying no. Scammers often portray themselves as kind and sympathetic people who only want to help.

Some of the main types of healthcare frauds seniors need to be aware of include:

  • Medical equipment scams that offer “free” products
  • Insurance billing for services that were not performed
  • “Rolling labs” that give unnecessary tests at fitness centers, malls, and other locations where seniors congregate
  • Medicare fraud – unscrupulous medical supply companies offering free items in exchange for Medicare account information

Anyone can fall victim to fraud, especially seniors who live alone or don’t have anyone to advocate for them. Living in a Winter Park assisted living facility that provides on-site security and lifelong learning classes may decrease a senior’s chances of being contacted by fraudsters. Having knowledgeable staff on-hand for seniors to talk to also provides an extra layer of protection.

Assisted Living in Orlando: Tips for Avoiding Health Fraud

Remember that con artists know how to take advantage of your trust. They may represent themselves as helpful and empathic people who only have your best interests at heart. They may also be threatening by doing or saying things that make you feel unsafe.

The following tips can help you avoid being caught in a scam:

Protect Your Data

Protecting your personal data is the number-one way to protect yourself from scammers. Never give your personal identification number (PIN) for banking or other accounts to another person. Likewise, do not share your Social Security number or any account information with any unfamiliar people.

Flip the Script

The AARP suggests keeping a “refusal script” next to your phone. Saying no can be hard for many seniors, so being prepared with a script to read from can help. Your script may say something like, “No, thank you, I am not interested. I don’t make financial decisions without consulting my accountant or lawyer.”

Secure Your Cards

Keep your Medicare card secure. Provide only trusted health care providers with your card number. Never do business with a door-to-door vendor or telemarketer trying to sell or give away medical goods or medical services.

Check the Number

Do a reverse phone number search if you get a call from a medical provider you are unsure about. You can quickly determine where the person is calling from and if they are legitimate. When in doubt, ask for a number where you can call them back. Most scammers will not provide any call-back information.

If you suspect you have been the victim of health fraud, call your insurance company. If you are in assisted living in Orlando, report your concerns to the facility director. If you are being targeted, other members of your community may also be at risk.   

Meaningful Moments: 3 Creative Ways to Share Your Memories

Life is a journey made up of countless experiences, each one leaving a memory. No two people have had the same journey or carry the same memories, but those experiences are important and form the very core of who you are.

Memories are made to be shared, and who better to share them with than those you love? It can be overwhelming to work out how to share a lifetime of experiences in ways that are meaningful, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Creativity is key to sharing your memories in ways that are both manageable and a lot of fun.

1. Sort Those Photos and Tell a Story

Photos are the most tangible way to ignite powerful memories, but they’re not much good in a box under the bed or in albums tucked away at the top of a closet. Start by sorting the photos by people, years, or events. 

Select those that are the most meaningful and choose one or more of the following ways to share them: 

  • Stick them in a journal and write a short story about each photo
  • Use your words, your thoughts, and your handwriting
  • Scan the photos and have them made into framed pictures or a photo book 
  • Display them on your walls for every visitor to see
  • Arrange them in a beautiful photo book for your coffee table

Winter Park, FL, assisted living has a variety of beautiful apartments which provide the perfect canvas for a photo wall or well-placed photo book.   

2. Feed the Memories

Food is a great way to share memories and experiences, meals bring people together. Diet is so different between cultures, nationalities, and even time periods. With our multicultural population and lineages, many families have an eclectic mix of recipes passed down through the generations.

Here is a creative way to share your treasured recipes:

  • Buy a recipe journal and write down your most beloved recipes to share
  • Add photos and comments to the recipes
  • Describe your favorite memory of that recipe
  • Include who taught you the recipe or why you created it

Other family members can add to the journal over the years while enjoying your favorite recipes.

3. Write Letters

You don’t need to be a professional writer to share your thoughts and memories with loved ones. Everyone loves to receive a hand-written letter from someone they cherish. 

The letters need not be very long – just heartfelt. Start by writing to your children, grandchildren, or your dearest friends. Include photos and any memorabilia that you have collected to add to the experience. These letters will become treasured family heirlooms.

Making Memories in Winter Park, FL, Assisted Living 

Once settled into your beautiful apartment with 24/7 support, it’s the perfect time to start planning how you can share your memories and experiences. 

With the peace of mind and independence that comes from assisted living in Winter Park, you can start a new project that will bring so much joy to yourself and others. At the same time, you are making new memories and having new experiences to enhance the journey.

5 Key Differences between Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living in Winter Park

For elderly adults requiring assistance, there are two main choices: assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities. It’s essential to know the differences, so you can make the best decision for yourself or your loved one. The assistance or medical services, floor plan, living situation, payment options and cost are the most notable variations between these two senior home options.

Services and Care

In most assisted living communities in Winter Park, residents require and receive custodial care. A person who suffers from memory loss and is unable to live alone, for example, may need live-in companionship. A disabled adult may want assistance shifting from their bed to their favorite chair.

Residents in a nursing home, on the other hand, require round-the-clock care and supervision. They usually have more complex healthcare needs that necessitate a skilled nurse or a physical or speech therapist. Some people require respiratory treatment.

The Floor Plan

When touring both a nursing care center and assisted living complex in Winter Park, one notable distinction is their appearance. An assisted living facility, on one hand, resembles an upmarket apartment complex, but a nursing care center seems more institutional due to the type of care provided.

Arrangements for Living

In assisted living in Winter Park, residents typically have their own living space, while nursing community residents typically share their room with another adult.

Payment Options

Some assisted living Winter Park residences are covered by Medicaid, although the bulk of them are for private pay. Meanwhile, the majority of skilled nursing facilities take insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Multiple payment choices are very crucial because these facilities are far more expensive than assisted living, which leads to point five:


It is oftentimes a higher cost to live in a skilled nursing home than to stay at assisted living facilities in Winter Park. Due to the more specialized service of a skilled nursing facility, they may cost more. And you may find that assisted living communities cost less depending on the situation. However, your loved one needs monitoring regularly, it means getting services that require a lower staff-to-patient ratio and ultimately more expensive care. 

Learn More About Winter Park Assisted Living

When choosing a nursing home for your family member, it will be prudent to weigh all the options and make sure you select one that meets both the current needs of your elderly relative and their budget. The more you know upfront, the more confident it can allow you to be in your decision!

Common Myths About Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities have come a long way in terms of the quality of life offered to residents. While assisted living facilities in previous generations were simply a place to stay with medical care, today’s facilities truly offer a lifestyle and sense of community. Assisted living in Winter Park, FL, in particular, is truly special.

Still, there are many common myths about today’s assisted living facilities, including:

Assisted Living Is Like a Nursing Home

Nursing homes of the past did not have a lot to offer their residents. These nursing homes provided good quality of care in terms of meeting daily needs and covering medical requirements, but they did not provide for a fulfilling lifestyle.

Today’s assisted living facilities provide whole-person programs aimed at addressing the overall mental and physical wellness of their residents. These programs include social activities, individualized care, transportation to off-site appointments and events, healthy eating, and more.

Modern assisted living facilities don’t just provide the bare minimum as nursing homes did; they offer much much more to their residents and are an excellent way to spend the next chapters of one’s life.

Assisted Living Residents Aren’t Independent

Even though the name assisted living can imply a lack of independence, today’s assisted living facilities actually promote continued independent living. Assisted living facilities work with each resident to get them the help they need while still allowing them to live independently.

In addition, at assisted living facilities, residents benefit from help with daily activities like cleaning and cooking, so they can spend more time on the activities they enjoy most. 

Assisted Living Residents Don’t Have the Freedom to Go Anywhere

Assisted living facilities aim to give residents the maximum amount of flexibility and freedom. From open visitor hours to transportation to off-site facilities, most facilities do not impose restrictions around traveling.

In addition, assisted living facilities attempt to assist residents in maintaining an active lifestyle and may facilitate even more freedom to do new activities than they had experienced before.

There’s No Privacy

A common myth about assisted living facilities is that there is a lack of privacy. New residents often think that they only have access to one room where staff and other residents can come and go. This misconception is far from the truth.

While every facility is different, many assisted living facilities offer individual apartments or even whole homes for residents. Residents are free to come and go as they please and schedule services as they need.

Assisted living can look a lot like independent living, but with the added benefit of having additional services, like medical services, on-site. Whether you need minimal care or the benefit of a skilled nursing facility in Winter Park, FL, you can find what you need.

Why Assisted Living in Winter Park Could be Right for You

Assisted living in Winter Park offers everything that seniors need as they transition to the next chapter of life. Whether you are looking for a totally independent lifestyle with the benefit of on-site services or you need full-time care, facilities in Winter Park can meet your needs.

Aging and Mental Health: Mindful Habits to Combat Depression

Everybody feels sad from time to time. It’s just an unfortunate but normal part of life. However, many adults getting older find themselves more anxious or depressed for longer periods of time. These people are left wondering whether this is normal. 

What Is Depression?

According to Mayo Clinic, depression is a mood disorder caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. It is characterized by extended periods of sadness or hopelessness and low self-worth. Some symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Decreased energy
  • Inexplicable guilt
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Change in appetite
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Suicidal thoughts

This is not an exhaustive list, but it starts to give you an idea of what depression can look and feel like. 

Is Depression Part of Aging?

Depression and its symptoms have a considerable impact on people’s daily lives and overall quality of life. It is a relatively common disorder, but it is not a normal part of aging and should never be dismissed as such. 

Older people are more susceptible to depression as they feel alone, dismissed, and sometimes lost in the busy world. Older people are also more likely to become depressed as they develop chronic health problems or their mobility decreases. 

The good news is depression is treatable at any age, but the first step is to get help. If you aren’t feeling like yourself, reach out to somebody in your support system, whether it be a family member or a medical professional. 

How to Prevent Depression

Depression is never 100% preventable, but there are mindful habits and healthy lifestyle changes you can utilize to benefit your mental health in the long run. 

Stay Active

Staying active and eating a healthy diet helps prevent a wide variety of diseases and health concerns that may otherwise reduce your quality of life and bring on depression. 

Maintain Close Relationships

Senior citizens need to have close relationships with friends and family. These relationships help people feel more connected to the world around them and cement their place in it.  

Enjoy Your Hobbies

Don’t forget to do what you love in life. Finding something that you enjoy doing一something that brings you happiness in a fun and productive way, fills your free time, and keeps your mind occupied. Whether your hobby is to knit, write, draw, or dance, the fulfillment it brings can help prevent depression. 

Ask for Help

The best way to prevent depression is to ask for help early. If you notice yourself falling into a rut and you can’t easily pull yourself out, it is time to ask for a hand. 

Winter Park Assisted Living 

Living in a Winter Park assisted living facility can help senior citizens at risk of developing depression. In these environments, older adults can receive individualized care and help around the clock from trained professionals. Additionally, assisted living in Winter Park, Florida, can help seniors connect and stay active, which both help prevent depression. 

Orlando Assisted Living: Care Planning With Your Partner

Learn About Memory Care Orlando

Do you or your spouse need memory care Orlando can trust as you age? This situation can be a challenging one to plan for as you get older. As a result, it is important to follow the steps below to ensure that you get the treatment quality that you deserve in your older age.

Assess Your Care Needs 

When deciding on Winter Park assisted living, you must be honest about your needs. It is important to gauge what you can and cannot do and talk to your doctor about what care your spouse may require. Your doctor and your assisted living home can provide you with guidelines here, giving you a better understanding of the level of help you and your spouse will need.

Plan for Long-Term Care

Any memory care Orlando facility worth your time should provide long-term care that keeps you and your spouse happy. For example, if your wife has Alzheimer’s, she’ll need specialized treatment from your new home. If you or your husband have other needs (such as diabetes care), your facility must understand how to provide this care for you to ensure that you’re happy.

Understand Your Treatment Options 

When moving into a Winter Park assisted living facility, it is critical to know what kind of care you and your spouse will need. Do you need hands-on help with day-to-day tasks? Or do you need lighter and less in-depth assistance? You should find it fairly simple to find a home that will help you, depending on what kind of facilities are near you and how much you want to invest in your treatment.

Prepare for a Big Change 

When moving to a memory care Orlando facility, you and your spouse or partner need to prepare for a pretty big change in your life. You’ll be taken care of more heavily than ever and need to make sure that you understand this fact. Just as importantly, you must find a financing option for your care, which may come from your insurance or other types of simple care options.

Understanding Your Winter Park Assisted Living Help 

If you or your loved one need memory care Orlando can trust, it is important to follow these steps. It isn’t always easy to admit that you need help, and many people struggle with needing that extra assistance. Thankfully, it should be fairly easy to reach out if you feel the need, giving yourself a more enjoyable lifestyle.

5 Fun and Accessible Activities for Visually Impaired Residents

Every resident of an assisted living community deserves to have the same opportunities to socialize and stay as active as they can. This is why the Westminster Winter Park assisted living facility staff has taken steps to ensure they make every reasonable accommodation so that everyone can access and use our many recreational options and participate in community activities.

In addition to that, we have five excellent suggestions for activities suited to the needs of visually impaired residents living in our skilled nursing facility in Winter Park, FL.

Activities for Visually Impaired Residents of Winter Park Assisted Living

Consider these five activities to stay active and engaged.

Play with Adaptive Cards and Games

There’s no need to sit out of game night or give up your favorite card or board games. If there is a tabletop game you enjoy playing, chances are there’s an adaptive version of it for the visually impaired.

What are adaptive cards and games? These have simply been modified for people who are visually impaired. This includes games with larger print, textured letters or numbers, or braille. Even jigsaw puzzles have been adapted for the visually impaired. 

Attend a Storytelling or Spoken Word Event

Storytelling isn’t just for children. Some wonderfully talented storytellers can keep audiences of all ages in awe as they spin amazing stories. Similarly, spoken word events involve poets who specialize in reciting poems and rhymes, often accompanied by music. 

There’s an excellent chance that you will be able to find spoken word events near you. Additionally, many spoken word artists are happy to make appearances at various facilities or community centers.

Finally, many classes and lectures are very suitable for the visually impaired. Your options are limitless if you’d like to become a lifelong learner.

Take a Descriptive Tour

There are plenty of things to see along nature trails, in museums, and at the zoo. For the visually impaired, there is also much to hear and feel. Many organizations consider accessibility extremely important and have taken steps to ensure that all can enjoy their exhibits and activities.

For example, many museums offer headsets that allow the visually impaired to listen to audio descriptions of exhibits as they walk. Nature trails often place signage along the trails, including braille, raised letters, or even buttons that play audio recordings.


There are so many benefits to volunteering, especially among people at increased risk of loneliness and isolation. While people with visual impairments may face some limitations, there are nearly infinite opportunities for them to volunteer.

Assisted living facilities in Winter Park, FL, have staff available who can match residents with volunteer opportunities that will allow them to feel needed, socialize, and stay active. Individuals with visual difficulties can tutor others, sit with lonely or recovering patients, help at animal rescues, even mentor people who are just beginning to struggle with their own sight.

Participate in Arts and Crafts

Vision impairment may make it challenging to paint detailed portraits or complete projects that require very accurate sight. Blindness or low vision is no barrier to knitting or crocheting, working with large beads, or doing pottery. However, there are so many other options available.

Boost Brain Health with These 4 Activities

Over time, the brain may naturally start to function less effectively. It’s not uncommon for some older adults to feel symptoms such as memory loss. Thankfully, there are a variety of mental exercises you can do to prevent memory loss and keep yourself sharp. And the best part is that there are plenty of retirement communities near Winter Park, Florida that understand the importance of maintaining brain health and provide special activities for residents. Below are four activities you can add to your daily schedule to improve your brain function and memory and have some fun in the process!

Put Together a Puzzle

Puzzles make you analyze, reason, and encourage problem-solving. As you’re putting the pieces together, you’re also practicing hand-eye coordination, improving dexterity, and color identification. And of course, you feel accomplished when you see the finished product!


Our brains crave connections. Socializing has been scientifically proven to increase gray matter in the brain, improving memory, overall function, and helping to prevent the onset of dementia.

Learn an Instrument 

Pick up a guitar, tickle the ivories, or find another instrument you want to learn and start playing! This activity does wonders for the brain, boosting memory, and increasing reaction times. 

Play a Board Game With Other Residents

Board games like chess and checkers involve lots of mental energy, which gives your brain a healthy workout. These games make you think critically, improve problem-solving skills, promote creativity by using both hemispheres of the brain, develop planning skills, and prevent memory loss.

At Westminster Communities of Florida, we are one of the few independent living facilities in Winter Park, Florida that encourages residents to boost their brainpower, offering an assortment of fun and mentally stimulating activities. Are you interested in learning more about our senior care services and memory care living options? Contact us today and take the next step towards enjoying independent living!

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