The Kenwood by Senior Star Brings Mobile Virtual Dementia Tour to Cincinnati

The Kenwood by Senior Star team joined forces with Second Wind Dreams, an international nonprofit organization, to bring a mobile version of the Virtual Dementia Tour® to Cincinnati. It is the third U.S. mobile offering of the program, launching first in Florida and Nashville.

The tour, which simulates common Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms and impairments, is a scientifically proven educational tool to help improve individuals’ understanding of dementia behaviors. As caregivers, this plays a key role in bridging our caregiver-care recipient divide and helping those impacted by the disease.

This past week, our staff and PK Beville, founder and CEO of Second Wind Dreams, visited news stations within the Cincinnati area to administer the mobile tour. Media were surprised – and touched by the VDT – which helped them understand what it’d be like to perform everyday tasks while experiencing both mental and physical restrictions.

 

 

If you’re interested in experiencing a VDT for yourself, please email Shelley Goering or call 513.823.3029

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Mobile Virtual Dementia Tour: What You Need to Know

Imagine a slow, steady prickly sensation at the bottoms of your feet. You lift your head to observe your surroundings, only your vision is dark and blurry around the edges. You feel as though you’re looking through small slits, and when your caregiver tries to speak, the words are jumbled and the voice is inaudible. You both try to understand each other, to communicate, to connect, but there are so many obstacles…

While an estimated 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, in 2015, more than 15 million caregivers provided an estimated 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care. On top of that, nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rated the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high.

This stress could in part stem from a lack of understanding for what a loved one affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia regularly experiences.

The Virtual Dementia Tour®, created by P.K. Beville, founder of Second Wind Dreams, aims to build sensitivity and awareness in individuals and caregivers – helping them better understand and empathize with those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

111IMG_20160805_152005149_HDRgood

The patented program simulates changes associated with cognitive decline by taking participants through a virtual dementia tour. It has been experienced by more than 1.5 million people in 17 countries and has been implemented in over one thousand health care facilities in the United States, Canada, UK, Israel and other countries around the world.

By using ordinary objects, such as dark goggles to reduce vision, or thick gloves to decrease grip and sensitivity, to mimic the disease, participants can feel what it is like to perform everyday tasks while tethered by certain physical and mental restrictions. This can allow participants to better sympathize with those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The VDT also helps caregivers comprehend why a loved one might be acting a certain way. Signs of frustration might not be caused by apathy or stubbornness, but instead by pain or confusion they are unable to express. This helps many caregivers realize there might be a deeper-rooted cause for Alzheimer’s or dementia behavior, which increases their ability to help those affected.

The Kenwood by Senior Star trains each and every staff member with the VDT to ensure they are fully equipped to assist residents coping with the disease. Not only does it improve each individual’s understanding of dementia behaviors, but it also helps bridge our caregiver-care recipient divide in order to become better caregivers.

This month, The Kenwood is proud to team up with Second Wind Dreams to bring a mobile version of the VDT to Cincinnati, in the hopes that many people – especially caregivers and family members of those with Alzheimer’s or dementia – experience the tour to better understand and empathize with those affected by the disease.

If you’re interested in experiencing a VDT for yourself, please complete the form below:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daunted by Downsizing? These Quick Tips Will Help

As many can attest, moving can be an emotional experience regardless of age. Downsizing to move into senior living can be especially challenging, though, because it can be difficult to leave your home filled with memories and tokens of a life well-lived.

The good news? The Kenwood by Senior Star strives to make this process as easy as possible by providing new residents with tried and true tips. After all, new beginnings should be an exciting adventure – not a stressful burden.

 

file0001683814762

 

Envision yourself in your new home and community

Helping new residents understand what life will be like at our community is key when it comes to downsizing.

Though many seniors are used to entertaining in their living rooms, dining rooms and more, their socializing space can extend beyond the walls of their home to outside of it. At The Kenwood, we have many shared spaces where seniors can meet with one another and participate in socially and mentally engaging activities.

On top of that, our community also offers a gourmet dining experience – not only for our residents, but for residents and their friends and families.

Because of this, our Senior Stars can feel at ease letting go of their large china sets, kitchenware, excess furniture and other necessary items for hosting.

Consider the size of your new space

A simplified way to determine which items to keep and which to leave behind is to consider what space you’ll have at your new home, and which items belong in said space. If you have one room for dining, you won’t need both a kitchen and a dining table. If you have only have space for two couches in the family room, you won’t need to hold on to furniture that decorated your basement.

Ask for a helping hand

While this might seem easy to decide, we know it is especially tough to let go of items that are close to our hearts. For those who feel overwhelmed by downsizing, or could benefit from an extra boost, we recommend hiring a company to help move.

One of The Kenwood’s favorites, Golden Transitions, provides services for older adults that will help them transition into their new home. The company keeps seniors on task and offers an objective perspective that can help older adults determine what they need. From cleaning to packing and more, a professional helping hand can go a long way.

Prioritize your prized possessions

Most importantly, when it comes time to downsize, we encourage residents to abide by a certain rule of thumb: “Bring what you love.” Doing so will always help residents feel at home.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Defeat The Heat With These Summer Tips for Seniors

Summer can be a fun time for everyone – including seniors. However, with temperatures in the triple digits, humidity levels rising and the hot July sun beating, summertime can be dangerous for seniors if proper precautions aren’t taken. Here are some tips that will help seniors and their caregivers defeat the heat this summer.

  1. Drink plenty of water – As you get older, your awareness of thirst and ability to conserve water decrease. Make a conscious effort to drink several cups of water a day to stay properly hydrated.
  2. Let your clothing cool you down – Remember that your clothing can be an integral component in lowering your body temperature. Wear natural fabrics and loose fitting close to help you be cool and comfortable.
  3. Wear sunscreen – Seniors can use sunscreen, as well hats and sunglasses, to protect their skin from the sun.
  4. Check your medications – Some medications can make you more sensitive to UV rays, and others are rendered useless if stored in a place higher than 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Talk to your doctor today in order to take preventative measures.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        person-1461909_1920

What are your tried and true smart summer tips for seniors?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creative Corner – featuring Myra Ehrke

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 essay written by Myra Ehrke, a former travel writer:

Oops!

I’m at Club Med Tahiti, where all meals, all beverages and all activities are included in the price. My family has finished breakfast. Daughter Maxine has headed off on a two-man sailing catamaran with a cute guy. Hubby Chuck, daughter Lori, and son Jim have boarded a charter boat to fish for marlin. They have been joined by a Japanese party of five.

That leaves me. I’m hoping all will go well for Jimmy as he practices his Japanese language skills. The last time he’d tried was at his girlfriend’s home in Tokyo. He’d joined the family and some VIP’s from the Mitsubishi Corporation at the dinner table, raised his glass on high for a toast, and shouted, “BONZAI.” This toast was met with hostile looks and an uncomfortable silence. His girlfriend, Akiko, whispered in his ear that although that word was close to the word for “cheers,” it was actually a war chant, used when attacking an enemy. A red-faced Jim had apologized in Japanese, something he’d had to do many times.

I wander around the harbor, snorkel and mask in hand, looking for a boat to go shell-hunting. Only one problem; no one speaks English. I pass three boats with skippers barking destinations in French. At the fourth, a sailor looks directly at me and yells what sounds like “shelling.” Isn’t that nice, I think. He knows I am American.

I board the boat, going somewhere, for an unknown amount of time, and think, “This is fun!” I like surprises.

Twenty minutes later, I find myself ready to disembark with 30 plus other shell seekers, but wait, something’s… wrong. Shouldn’t the other people have net bags to carry the shells they find? And shouldn’t they have brought snorkels and fins?

Oops. As soon as the other resort guests hit the beach they strip ‘till they are completely naked. It isn’t a pretty sight. Let’s just say I feel better about my body but very embarrassed to be the only person wearing a bathing suit. I remember my mom’s advice to look before I leap. Too late.

I want to hide behind a coconut tree or bury myself in the sand. Instead, I put on my gear and snorkel in four feet of water. After all, that’s what I came here for.

I am following the shoreline, hands outstretched, when I bump into a soft object. I look down and see two human legs. I stand up and come face to face with a naked, very amused Frenchman. Of course I apologize; my face the color of a boiled lobster. Thank goodness people are getting dressed and boarding the boat. I board the cruiser with as much dignity as I can muster and sit without making eye contact with anyone. I daydream about being with my family this evening, digging into some wonderful French cuisine, sipping wine, and telling them about my adventure.

 

QKNVDENHQP
 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Innovative Memory Care Programming at The Kenwood

The Kenwood by Senior Star prides itself on offering a holistic approach to memory care, with many programs that create a calm and positive environment, foster a sense of community and mentally stimulate residents.

Two of these special offerings include our Snoezelen® Therapy and Dakim® BrainFitness™ programs.

Located in our memory care wing, the Snoezelen® Room multi-sensory environment is filled with soothing lights, sounds, scents and textures providing residents with a relaxing atmosphere away from challenges, confusion and agitation. A great resource for residents who struggle with high anxiety, the room radiates a calming effect. From a bubble machine and dim lights to soft music and a cozy recliner, residents become comforted and tranquil. Not only is Snoezelen® Therapy a good tool for residents to take a break, but it also helps our staff engage residents to improve their day.

Meanwhile, our Dakim® BrainFitness™ is a self-adjusting, easy-to-use touch screen that is the only clinically-tested brain fitness software designed specifically for adults over the age of 60. Not every residents enjoys group activities, but many desire mental stimulation. Dakim® engages a resident at their level – adjusting questions based on the resident’s answers. With puzzles, sorting and memory games to choose from, Dakim® keeps Senior Stars’ brains active and engages all, no matter what Alzheimer’s or dementia stage they are in.

If you think your loved one could benefit from Snoezelen® Therapy, Dakim® BrainFitness™ and/or some of our other memory care offerings, please contact us to schedule a personalized tour.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Miss USA 2015 Visits The Kenwood to Celebrate The Longest Day

This summer solstice, The Kenwood by Senior Star joined together for its fifth annual celebration of the Alzheimer’s Association’s The Longest Day.

While those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their caregivers face a challenging journey, The Longest Day is meant to commemorate their endurance and passion. Hundreds of teams nationwide gathered to participate in activities all day long.

2015 Miss USA winner, Olivia Jordan, visited The Kenwood to help our residents, employees, family and friends celebrate.

From a 16-hour trek around the community campus and a cook-out, to a benefit Concert by Ebony Strings, it was a long day. However, every day is a long one – not only for those facing Alzheimer’s, but also for those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

If you’re interested in helping The Kenwood by Senior Star fight Alzheimer’s disease, you can donate to our ongoing fundraising efforts for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, taking place in October.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Five Questions with Miss USA 2015, Olivia Jordan

Miss USA 2015, Olivia Jordan, will join us at The Kenwood by Senior Star this upcoming Monday, June 20 for our Longest Day festivities. In advance of her visit , which will include a special presentation for residents, she answered five questions for us on the importance of raising awareness for Alzheimer’s research and her time as Miss USA.

  1. Tell us more about your experience lobbying beside the Alzheimer’s Association in Washington D.C.

I was able to lobby twice this year as Miss USA. First, in September during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, a group formerly called OCNA. I was amazed that simply by wearing the Miss USA sash that elected representatives were interested in me and what I had to say. The title was very new to me at the time and I didn’t realize the power it could have, at the very least, to get people’s attention. I was so empowered by the experience that I pushed to go back again with the Alzheimer’s Association, a cause I have known and have worked with more extensively. I felt I could reach out to my contacts from the fall and speak more about the needs of the NIH. My dad (who has been a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association for 20 years) and I traveled together. With our combined knowledge and the intrigue of the Miss USA and father duo, we were able to get many senators to sign on to a bill that would improve healthcare for Alzheimer’s patients and push the needle forward on the need for research funding.

  1. What was the biggest lesson you learned while lobbying?

I had always heard that one person can make a difference, and I believed that. I had seen how President Obama, Mother Theresa, and Oprah had changed the world in my lifetime. What I learned from lobbying, though, is that every voice can make a difference; you don’t have to be the president, a saint or have your own network. Everyone’s voice matters. When you use your voice, you inspire others to do the same, you can create a ripple effect that evokes positive change. I was just one ripple this year, but it’s the combined efforts of a few dedicated people that can truly change the world. Find your passion and speak to it! Be part of creating good in this world.

  1. Why is it important to advocate for Alzheimer’s disease at the community level? 

Alzheimer’s disease affects so many people. Beyond the 5.4 million diagnosed, this disease requires caregivers. Many people have to give up their job to become the necessary full-time caregivers. This is detrimental to not only the economy with our aging population but also for the quality of life for patients and their families. We need more support for patients and families. We need to fight for a cure.

  1. Tell us why you think it’s important for someone – millennials in particular – but at any age level, to join the fight against Alzheimer’s and use their voice to support the cause. 

Every 66 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s disease. This disease is affecting more and more people each day. We have to band together and use our voices to create positive change. We can be the generation that finds a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But we need people talking; we need funds being allocated to that end.

  1. What are you looking forward to most when visiting The Kenwood by Senior Star for The Longest Day?

I am excited to be part of the festivities to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. The Longest Day is a fantastic opportunity to get people talking and thinking about Alzheimer’s. Being at The Kenwood for the Longest Day is a fantastic way to kick off my two-week tour spreading positivity and sharing my experiences of my past year as Miss USA.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sunrise-to-Sunset, The Kenwood Celebrates The Longest Day

On June 20, The Kenwood by Senior Star team will gather for its fifth annual celebration of the Alzheimer’s Association’s The Longest Day, a sunrise-to-sunset team event held on the summer solstice.

The day is meant to symbolize the challenging journey of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their caregivers – and to celebrate their strength, passion and endurance. The Kenwood is one of hundreds of teams nationwide participating in activities for The Longest Day.

This year, we’re excited to welcome 2015 Miss USA winner, Olivia Jordan, who will help our employees, residents, friends and family honor those facing Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers with a 16-hour trek around the community campus.

A schedule of our celebration is as follows:

  • 6:10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. – walking around The Kenwood’s campus
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – community cook-out on the patio of the Bluffs
  • 1:30 p.m. – Release of 500 balloons to honor caregivers
  • 7:00 p.m. – Alzheimer’s Benefit Concert by Ebony Strings

For those interested in participating, you can RSVP by contacting Jan Rieder at 513-272-7926. Or, you can help fight Alzheimer’s disease by donating to The Kenwood by Senior Star’s ongoing fundraising efforts for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, taking place in October.

 

11151072_1115335475150391_2236849364594591740_n

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Residents Welcomed Home with The Kenwood’s Unique Committee

At The Kenwood by Senior Star, we strive to ensure each resident’s transition into senior living is as smooth as possible. Our Welcoming Committee, co-chaired by residents Gerri Lewin and Win Swormstedt, supports incoming Senior Stars so they feel comfortable and excited about moving to their new home.

The widely-received committee is part of the Residents Council, which works closely with many of The Kenwood’s departments. The collaboration with The Kenwood’s marketing team allows the committee to properly welcome and pair each resident with a similar committee member, who will serve as a guide throughout the transition process.

Due to the committee’s detailed approach, each resident experiences a customized welcoming. All new residents will get to know their guide over lunch or dinner – a one-on-one session to answer any questions, learn more about one another and enjoy each other’s company. From there, members of the Welcoming Committee introduce new Senior Stars to other residents, participate in The Kenwood’s activities and events together and check-in to see how each resident is adjusting.

For new Senior Stars moving from out of town, the welcoming process extends beyond The Kenwood’s walls. The committee arms each new resident with a map of Madeira and guides them on a tour of the surrounding area. This helps out-of-town residents acclimate not only to The Kenwood by Senior Star, but also to the Cincinnati area.

Map - Welcoming Committee

 

Gerri and Win enjoy leading the Welcoming Committee, a task force they feel is both necessary and beneficial to new residents.

“I’m a people-person and like interacting with others,” Gerri said. “It’s especially satisfying to see others adjust and know you’re doing something helpful for them.”

Win, a natural nurturer, enjoys meeting and aiding others without judgement. The women’s successful partnership plays an integral role in transforming incoming Senior Star’s lives by making each feel welcomed and at ease.

For more information about The Kenwood by Senior Star’s Welcoming Committee, contact Chris Blair at cblair@kenwoodbyseniorstar.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment