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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October’s Creative Corner – featuring Joan D. Sattler

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 an insightful short poem written by resident Joan D. Sattler.


Thoughts and Attitudes

When we get tired and start to sleep, do we count our blessings or our defeats?

Upon awakening do we return to our slumbering pose, or are we eager and ready to go?

Just remember, and it’s true, our thoughts and attitudes tell our feelings what to do.




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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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