Understanding The Difference Between Independent Living and Assisted Living

You’ve decided that senior living is your next big adventure. After much consideration, you’ve chosen a retirement community, like The Kenwood by Senior Star. As a continuing care retirement community, you’re offered different levels of care, including Independent Living and Assisted Living, among others. How do you know which option is best suited for you?

There are a few key differences between Independent Living and Assisted Living, and it’s important to understand these variances when making your decision:

Independent Living (IL)

Just as it sounds, IL is for those who can live independently, but enjoy having access to assistance when needed. It is also a great option for those looking to lessen the responsibility that comes with owning a house or condo. In many cases, IL offers you convenient access to dining and entertainment options, while also providing some basic services like socialization, housekeeping or transportation.

Assisted Living (AL)

AL is designed for residents who require additional support or a helping hand with daily life activities such as bathing, dressing and preparing meals. Here, you can receive help from a community staff member when performing these tasks. Most retirement communities have different levels for AL with additional costs per level, so it is important to figure out what each provides.

If you’re still unsure of the difference between IL and AL, or are struggling to determine which option would be the right fit, give us a call at (513) 823-3029 and we can help you assess your ideal level of care.

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Caring for Caregivers All Year

While November is National Family Caregivers Month, our appreciation doesn’t need to be limited to one month of the year. The Kenwood by Senior Star’s executive director Tom Rotz recently discussed ways to honor caregivers year round.

There are several ways — both big and small — that senior living professionals can honor caregivers while encouraging others to honor them and thank them for their hard work. A few of my favorites to pass along to families of our residents include:

  • Send flowers, a card or something sweet to show you are thinking of them.
  • Prepare dinner – and make plenty enough for leftovers.
  • Run a few errands on their to-do list.
  • Offer to help with yard work, get their house cleaned or water their flowers.
  • Organize a local fundraiser to help with caregiving costs.
  • Pick up a few items at the grocery store to save them a trip.
  • Spend time looking after their loved one while they visit a caregivers support group or take time to recharge.
  • Walk their dog, or watch their children.
  • Treat them to a night out with movie tickets or dinner while making arrangements for someone to look after their loved one.
  • Give a stress-relief care package, full of aromatherapy oils, lotion and more.
  • Offer to wash their car or fill up their gas tank.

Read more from Tom at McKnight’s Senior Living.


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January’s Creative Corner – featuring Phyllis Rubinstein

Each week, many of our residents meet for Creative Writing Group with Lisa McKenzie. The class offers a creative outlet and the opportunity to flex their writing muscles.

This month, we’d like to highlight a humorous meditation, written by resident Phyllis Rubinstein, regarding social media acronyms.

For years I have accepted the jumble of letters indicating the days of the week that appeared on the calendar above the numbers of the month. These abbreviations of the days were a help for me. MON was short for Monday, and so on. I liked that. But then came Facebook and Twitter—and even more abbreviations.

LOL— means Laughing Out Loud.

OMG — means Oh My G-d.

I know what a dictionary is!

I know what a thesaurus is!

But is there anywhere I can find what those few letters mean when punched out on a cell phone?

Now let’s move on to the TV.

TV is short for television.

Raise your hand if you know what CEO stands for.

Do you know what FBI stands for?

How many TV watchers know (or care) what DCOF stands for? Dental Center of Florence!

I try to read the abbreviations that quickly move across the screen under the main pictures, like PM for Prime Minister, Pres. Elect for President Elect, WH for White House.

I must admit that I called my youngest son who lives in Florida to ask him this question: I didn’t have the slightest idea what the meaning of these letters was. I called him because I figured he wouldn’t tell his brothers about my call and his friends don’t know me. I asked what POTUS means. Of course, now I should feel stupid, or really dumb, but I don’t! I can’t imagine that five letters are used to represent the real term for the President of the United States. What can I do when the whole world is too busy (or too lazy) to use real words, just abbreviations? My family has an answer—maybe buy a computer or try Facebook or Twitter. My acronym is TBNT. Thanks—but—NO THANKS.


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2017 Golden Globes Fashion Insight

The 2017 Golden Globes, the first major fashion event of this new year, featured many elegant gowns – as well as a few risky designs. Residents Evelyn Johnston and Gerri Lewin shared their unique insight regarding their favorite and least favorite fashions.

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Kenwood Employee Powers Holiday Baking Frenzy for Residents

Many of our staff members go above and beyond to make our residents feel special – especially during the holidays.

One, Kathy Evans, is an avid baker and bestows sweet goodies on residents. Every holiday season since 1999, Kathy has taken a week of vacation to bake homemade treats and distribute them to Senior Stars at The Kenwood.

This year, with the help of her “elves” (her daughter-in-law, friends and co-workers), Kathy compiled 215 holiday bags, each with 11 homemade goodies inside, for independent living residents, as well as 54 boxes for health services residents.

The treats usually take 4-5 hours to bag and 5-6 hours to personally deliver. One health services resident, Willie Redmond, was up bright and early to help deliver the cookies at 7 a.m.

“It gives residents a happy heart – and it gives me one, too,” Kathy said.

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The Difference Between Aging and Dementia

During the aging process, our parents and elderly relatives may experience incremental changes in their cognitive abilities. While some of these changes are completely normal, others could be early signs of dementia. Below is a graphic that illustrates some common symptoms of normal aging:


If you notice that someone you love is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to speak up and encourage them to see a doctor. Though loved ones may show resistance, a doctor will help you evaluate your parent’s or loved one’s health and offer them help, guidance and information they need.

If you’re interested in speaking with an expert at The Kenwood by Senior Star regarding the difference between aging and dementia, please contact (513) 212-6290.

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December’s Creative Corner – featuring Edith Samuels

Each week, many of our residents meet for Creative Writing Group with Lisa McKenzie. The class offers a creative outlet and the opportunity to flex their writing muscles.

This month, we’d like to highlight a poem written by resident Edith Samuels, which tackles the troubling subject of Alzheimer’s disease.


Introducing the Eradicator

There he is

The faceless, hooded sorcerer

Cloaked in his flowing cape

Thick and black

As a moonless, starless night.

He moves imperceptibly at first

Like a specter, nearly invisible

Selecting his unsuspecting subjects

Seemingly at random.

Silently, surreptitiously

Without flourish or abracadabra

He makes their memories vanish

One by one by one.

Slowly, he grows more adept

With sleight of hand

Erasing words and thoughts

Ultimately smothering

Words and thoughts and memories completely

In the folds of his shroud-like cape,

Transforming them into the disappeared

Never to return.

Where do they go?

Does he have secret deep pockets

Concealed in the lining of that capacious cape

Where he collects and hide them?

Oh, he is patient.

He bides his time.

He grows

He expands

Relentless and wily

Until there is nothing left

But him.

Nothing stops him.

Not hate

Not even love.

He always wins.

At least, for now.


The Kenwood Writing Circle at one of their weekly meetings.

The Kenwood Writing Circle at one of their weekly meetings.


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Fleeing the Castro regime: A local woman’s journey

Ida Zinam grew up the daughter of a produce seller in Louisville. An affinity for the Spanish language led her on a journey that would end with a hurried escape from Cuba and regime of Fidel Castro.

The death of Castro has been celebrated and mourned since Saturday when news left Cuba that the 90-year-old had passed away.

“This man who caused so much suffering and took everything away from families is gone, just the fact that he’s gone and passed away is worth celebrating,” Zinam said, but also is convinced nothing will change.

For Zinam, news from Cuba is personal. She lived on the island and raised a family there for 15 years, a pivotal 15 years that saw Castro rise to power.

Ida Zinam, one of our residents at The Kenwood by Senior Star, was recently featured in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Read more about her journey here.





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In the Kitchen with The Kenwood This Thanksgiving

While it’s important to celebrate what we’re thankful for year-round, our team at The Kenwood by Senior Star especially enjoys gathering with residents, family and friends annually for our special Thanksgiving dinner. This extraordinary meal is one of our favorite traditions here at The Kenwood.

Chef Marshall Burke gave us a sneak peak of what you can expect on the menu this Thursday, Nov. 24:




Interested in joining us? Give us a call to RSVP. We’re looking forward to sharing food, friends, family and fun with you this year.


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Understanding Dementia: Symptoms, Diagnosing, Treating and More

Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, more than 5 million Americans are living with it currently.

Despite its ubiquity, both Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often surrounded by misconceptions and confusion regarding their symptoms, treatments and more. Because dementia and all of its forms impact so many, it is important to understand the disease and know how you can seek help.

So what is dementia, and how does it differ from Alzheimer’s?

“Dementia” is an umbrella term. It develops when nerve cells in the brain die or no longer function normally and can cause changes in the person’s memory, behavior and ability to think clearly. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is always categorized as dementia, however, dementia is not always Alzheimer’s disease.

What are symptoms of dementia?

Symptoms can vary greatly depending on the underlying cause. Dementia is not merely a problem of memory; it reduces the ability to learn, reason, retain or recall past experience. There is also loss of thought patterns, feelings and activities. A person experiencing dementia may have new problems finding the right words to express themselves, misplacing things, feel confusion with time/place or find it difficult to complete familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.

How do you diagnose and treat it?

If you suspect that a family member is exhibiting several signs of dementia, a physician evaluation may be necessary to identify the underlying cause and perform further tests. While physicians can usually diagnose dementia, it may be difficult to determine the exact cause. Among the tests the doctor might perform: a thorough medical history; medical status testing; and a complete physical and neurological exam

To learn more about Alzheimer’s and dementia, visit our Guide to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care – or, call The Kenwood by Senior Star at (513) 823-3029 today to schedule your personalized tour of our Memory Care offerings.



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