Make a Smooth Move into Senior Living

You’ve figured out how to downsize before moving into senior living. You’ve finally let go of many of your cherished items, knowing they will find second lives with new owners. Now, you’re faced with your final big hurdle: calming your nerves to make that big move into your new senior living community.

Thankfully, The Kenwood by Senior Star is dedicated to making move-in day as smooth as possible. With a designated move-in coordinator, Nancy Grant, and countless other staff members to help before, during and after your move, our team is always in reach to ease your transition.

Before your move: First, The Kenwood prepares soon-to-be Senior Stars with a “Smooth Move” checklist to help you think about your transition and know what resources are available to make the move easier. This includes connecting you with a moving company that specializes in senior moves.

Dedicated to handling your items with care, movers will even take pictures of your shelves and household items to make sure they are set up the same way in your new apartment. With a quick call to check in the day before move-in, you’ll feel confident and supported.

During your move: Most moves are a two-day process: the first day is spent packing, while on the second day, the moving van arrives and all items are loaded, delivered to your new home and unpacked. Because the movers are both experienced and highly qualified, you’re able to step away from the process knowing they have everything under control.

Once at The Kenwood, you can join a staff member for lunch in our dining room to unwind while the movers unload. When they’re finished, you can head to your apartment to start making it your own.

Because unpacking can feel a bit overwhelming, The Kenwood staff is happy to bring you dinner to enjoy in your apartment, or can join you in the dining room if you prefer. With staff by your side to help wherever needed, you’re able to relax and get settled with some comfort food, a little bit of laughter and a friendly face.

After your move: Though it might feel as though your move is over once you’re entirely unpacked, The Kenwood staff knows that your transition into senior living may take more time to allow you to feel completely comfortable.

With a resident liaison from The Kenwood’s Welcoming Committee to answer questions and offer support post-move, new Senior Stars will always have a friend in the community. The committee’s detailed approach provides each resident a customized welcoming based on their personalities and interests. In time, The Kenwood by Senior Star will feel like home, and its staff and residents your family.





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Individually Inspired – Frank and Connie Smith

It’s no surprise that many of our residents enjoy living an active, social lifestyle within our Kenwood by Senior Star community. This Sweetest Day, we are happy to highlight an Individually Inspired couple – Frank and Connie Smith.

While Frank enjoys the aquatic classes, Connie spends time at knitting class, book club, the aquatic classes and more. They’ve lived at The Kenwood for the past three years and love meeting other residents through activities, events and programs.

“The moment we walked up to The Kenwood, we knew it felt like home… From its beautifully decorated community to its hands-on staff, no other senior living community compares.”



Frank and Connie Smith at The Kenwood by Senior Star.


One of Connie’s creations from knitting class at The Kenwood.


A scarf Connie made, held together by a piece of jewelry she created during another Kenwood activity.


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3 Easy-to-Use Resources to Give Downsized Items New Life

A few months ago, our blog discussed the ins and outs of downsizing when moving into senior living. A big challenge many seniors face when downsizing is letting go of their cherished belongings – especially if they are still in good condition.

However, what if you were able to give these belongings a new life? Would you feel better knowing your favorite sofa or dining room table were finding a new home, appreciated by a new owner?

There are many resources in the Greater Cincinnati area that accept used goods to make use of your prized possessions. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Vietnam Veterans of American (VVA): VVA is a national organization that helps improve the lives of our nation’s veterans, assisting with community involvement, PTSD awareness, counseling and more. Seniors can donate their reusable clothes and household items to Veterans by following three easy steps:

1) Schedule a pick up from your house (online or by phone)

2) Place your items in bags or boxes clearly marked “For VVA”

3) Leave items on your porch by 7:30 a.m. on your scheduled pick-up day

VVA will leave a receipt on your front porch, too. To see a full list of accepted items, visit its website.

  • New Life Furniture (NLF): NLF is a furniture bank that operates like a food bank. It accepts gently used furniture to donate to families coming out of homelessness or abusive situations. Serving more than 70 zip codes and 18 agencies/shelters, the organization gives hope to those starting over – making their homes more comfortable so they are able to focus on their families and jobs. NLF will even pick up your furniture, for a fee. Its website notes a list of acceptable items for donation.
  • Second Story Auctions (SSA): A community-focused, online auction company, SSA’s headquarters are in Cincinnati. It sells furniture, collectibles, jewelry, art, antiques and more. SSA’s goal is to take the stress out of selling and offers a free consultation with a personal auction assistant to help you figure out what to donate and what to sell. Therefore, while VVA and NLF are purely charitable organizations, you are able to make a profit from selling your items with SSA. With service tailored to your needs and preferences and a local warehouse to store your items, SSA is an easy-to-use service. And those items that don’t sell in auction? They’re donated to NLF.

Though saying goodbye to your beloved items can be difficult when downsizing in preparation for moving into senior living, it sure is nice to know that these possessions can continue to make another person, or family, happy and comfortable.




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September’s Creative Corner – featuring Ida Zinam

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 touching short story written by Ida Zinam.

Put it on the Tab, Mr. Joe

Our Dad was a boxer and wrestler, a Lightweight Champion of the South. But when I was a child, he was noted for his store, “Dattlo’s Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.”  He would pass out small samples of cantaloupe one day, pear or honeydew melon the next.

Like so many others, Dad lost a fortune when the stock market crashed. If I told you the sum, you wouldn’t believe me. Throughout the Great Depression, we six kids were no longer able to go to the movies every Saturday, nor could Mom buy us all new clothes at Christmas and Easter.

One night at dinner Dad announced that the McCarry boy had been in the store. When Dad added up the total of his meager purchases, the boy just said, “Put it on the tab, Mr. Joe.”

This became a common practice. Some families would drop by occasionally to pay down their tab, but other customers simply couldn’t. Parents too ashamed to ask outright for charity just sent their children to do their shopping.

Years after my father retired, Vincente McCarry sought him out. “Remember how, after you’d bagged the produce, I’d say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Joe, put it on the tab’? Mom always found extra beans, some ripe bananas or a couple of apples in the bag. Well, I’ve come to pay off the tab.”

My father said, “Listen, we all have tabs in heaven.  Let it go at that.”

“OK, Mr. Joe, I won’t quibble. I’ll just pass it on.”





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Creating a Home at The Kenwood

Our Kenwood by Senior Star staff aims to create a home for each and every one of our residents. By enriching the lives of our Senior Stars, they are able to have a better day and a better senior living experience.

From our superb level of staffing to our flexible programming and our delicious dining options to our high quality of life, The Kenwood is proud to offer outstanding care at every level of service.

“After the first day I was hired, I was terribly excited. Within the first week, I knew that I was home,” says Annette DeCamp, manager of programs and events at The Kenwood. “If you’re looking for a community that embraces senior living, that will make a difference in your loved one’s life, pick The Kenwood. There isn’t a person here who isn’t going to try to make a difference in that person’s life and give them a fulfilling experience.”

To learn more about how our community makes a difference, call (513) 823-3029 to schedule a tour.

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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.

Want to learn more about our programs? Call 513-258-2815, come visit us, or request a brochure.

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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.


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 email Shelley Goering or call 513-823-3029.

Want to learn more about our programs? Call 513-258-2815, come visit us, or request a brochure.


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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.




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.


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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?


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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:


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.



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