5 helpful suggestions when acclimating to a new senior living community

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Last month, we presented 8 helpful questions to ask when visiting a senior living community—questions that will help you get at the heart of a community. Your research is now complete, and you’ve made the decision where you want to spend the next chapter of your life.

Let’s fast forward. The movers have unpacked the last box and positioned your furniture just as you want it. It’s finally time to really get comfortable and acclimated to your new community.

5 Helpful Suggestions
A successful move—especially to community living—involves much more than just getting used to a new apartment. You’re transitioning into a whole new lifestyle! There’s bound to be stress. Hopefully, the following suggestions will help you settle in quickly and avoid the emotional challenges of such a major life change.

      1. Be true to yourself and what you’re experiencing. Excitement, nostalgia, sadness, fear of the unknown, loss of independence, sense of relief. Experts will tell you these emotions are NORMAL. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling the way you do. As for “loss of independence,” just look at it this way: Consider all the decisions you’ll soon make about the new opportunities, friendships, activities, and life experiences awaiting you in your new home.
      2. Say a proper goodbye to your current home. This is important. After all, the years you spent there provided you with wonderful lasting memories. Take time to create one last special memory for yourself. Maybe it’s some quiet time in your favorite chair by the fireplace. A glass of wine at sunset on your porch. One more leisurely stroll through your garden. It might be fun to leave a secret message or time capsule for the next residents. Hide an artifact in your yard as an exhilarating way of proving your own existence there. Yes, I used to live here…and now I’m on to something better!
      3. Make your new home your own. You’ll probably be rightsizing into a home smaller than where you were before. Be selective in what you take to your new home. You’ll want the important things that reflect your unique personality and needs—the small touches. Leave the outdated or damaged items you kept only because there was “space for it.” New furniture and décor may even be a possibility. Integrate the old with the new and enjoy a refreshing—and very personal—new living environment. The Carrington offers a wide array of floor plans to choose from in making your living space uniquely yours. Each residence at The Carrington has been designed for an independent, maintenance-free lifestyle with security and comfort.
      4. Get familiar right away. Your move to community living is truly a “journey.” Keep a travelogue for your exciting trip. A place to record answers to your questions about daily routines, availability of services, dining, the community calendar, worship services, and planned excursions you’ll not want to miss. Make a few personal notes on the layout of the community, as well. Pay close attention to common areas and where to secure transportation if needed to stay connected with family and friends in the area. The highly desirable Lincolnwood area offers multiple opportunities for dining, shopping, and cultural enrichment for residents of The Carrington. You’re going to meet so many new people—community neighbors, new friends, and staff. You’ll want to remember the names and details about their lives. Your travelogue is the perfect place for these notes. Arrange for a “buddy” to travel with you—a current resident to show you around, answer your questions, and introduce you to other residents who will play a major role in your new memories.
      5. Mix and mingle—daily. Socialization is key to getting quickly acclimated, and the common areas of your new community offer the best opportunity to socialize. Find out if your new community has a happy hour—if not, host one yourself. Don’t eat alone—always invite others to join you. Involve yourself in community activities and amenities. At The Carrington, the amenities, coupled with endless programs, activities, and events support a vibrant, independent, social lifestyle. While you’re busy meeting new friends and neighbors, don’t forget to maintain attachments to your previous neighbors, friends—and family members, too. Share your new lifestyle with them. Invite them to join you for dinner, special activities, and events. They all want to know you’re doing well—and it’s possible if you take these five suggestions to heart.

To experience the life of active independence at The Carrington at Lincolnwood, call (847) 744-9469 for a personal tour and complimentary lunch. You’ll see how easy it is to settle in with us.

What to ask when you visit a senior living community:
8 questions to get you started

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Many people research senior living communities by reading brochures or visiting websites—like you’re doing now. Those are great starting points, but if you want a full picture of your options, it’s worth taking the time to visit communities in person. That way, you can zero in on the facts—all the details that distinguish each community. Just as important, your visit helps you understand the heart of each community—the unique feeling residents have when they live there.

To get the most out of your visit, it helps to have a list of questions in mind before you visit. Ask the same questions at each community, so you can easily compare the answers.

8 questions to ask during your visit
Think of these as starting points—with one question leading to another. You may have other questions that apply to your particular situation. The goal is to dig deep and get a complete picture of each community.

Question #1: Who owns and manages the community?
> Was it specifically designed for this area?

These questions will help you get a feel for the overall vision and direction of the community. For instance, The Carrington at Lincolnwood was designed and built specifically to meet the needs of seniors in Lincolnwood, Skokie and the surrounding Chicago neighborhoods, as well as seniors with adult children living in the area.

Question #2: What services are included in the monthly fee?
> What costs extra?

Senior living communities typically offer a range of services as part of the monthly fee. For instance, independent living services at The Carrington include maintenance, restaurant-style dining, planned events, social activities, and more. (As a rental community, there’s no entrance buy-in fee at The Carrington.)

Question #3: How does the meal plan work?
> Is it flexible for people who want to dine at different times or at different dining venues?
> How many entrée choices are on a typical menu?
> Is there an emphasis on special dietary needs?

Some communities, including The Carrington, offer a flexible dining program for independent living that includes a monthly credit for residents’ choice of meals and dining venues.

Question #4: What programs are available to help residents stay well?
> Is there an on-site fitness center and/or pool?
> Does the typical resident participate in wellness activities?

Wellness is a hot topic among senior living communities. The key is to determine if the community actively engages residents to participate.

Question #5: What safety features does the community have?
> Does someone check on residents each day?
> How do residents get help in case of an emergency?

Recognizing that peace of mind is a key reason why residents and their families choose a senior living community, The Carrington makes security a top priority, with 24-hour staffing, personal security response pendant service, and other optional safety features.

Question #6: Who are the typical residents?
> Are they from the area or have family in the area?
> Are they out-and-about and actively involved in the community?

You’ll discover these answers simply by observing residents during your visit.

Question #7: What types of activities are offered at the community?
> How is the activities program at this community different from other communities?
> What are some of the community’s most popular activities?

Find out if the community offers unique and interesting activities that entice residents to participate.

Question #8: What health services are available on-site?
> Do current residents have priority access to on-site care?
> What is the staff-to-resident ratio in each level of care?

These questions will vary depending on the care options available at each community. For example, The Carrington offers assisted living with an emphasis on helping residents remain as independent as possible. The community also offers a progressive approach to memory care in a neighborhood-style environment.

Compare your answers.
Write down the answers to each question as you visit communities. You might even want to create your own comparison chart or spreadsheet, so you can easily see the similarities and differences. All of this information will help you make a smart and informed decision. Try our cost calculator to compare the cost of senior living options.

The Carrington welcomes your questions—contact us! Call (847) 744-9469 to schedule an appointment for a tour and complimentary lunch.

Independent living vs. assisted living: What’s the difference?

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For those considering the idea of a senior living community, it’s great to live in a time when there are so many options. The challenge is determining which option is the best fit for you or your family member. That’s why we always recommend starting with a basic understanding of the terminology. Specifically, what’s the difference between independent living and assisted living? The answer is actually pretty straightforward once you understand the terms.

Independent living:
For those living on their own.
Just as the name implies, independent living means seniors reside in their own private dwellings–often apartment-style homes. Most seniors choose this option to have freedom from the hassles of home maintenance and upkeep, plus the opportunity to participate in a calendar of on-site activities with other active seniors.

Assisted living:
For those needing help each day.
Unlike independent living, residents in assisted living require some help with normal activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and taking medications. Residents typically have a small living space and eat with other residents in a community dining room for each meal. While residents are encouraged to participate in activities, the emphasis is on care.

These definitions provide a good starting point for determining what type of living arrangement is best suited for your specific situation.

Both living options under one roof. Some communities offer several options at one location. For instance, The Carrington at Lincolnwood offers independent living and assisted living–each with an emphasis on helping residents lead a healthy, fulfilling life while remaining as independent as possible. The community also offers memory care, if needed. As a rental community, there’s no entrance buy-in at The Carrington.

Variety of services offered for both levels of living. Senior living communities typically offer a range of services as part of the monthly fee. For instance, at The Carrington, independent living services include maintenance, restaurant-style dining, planned events, social activities, and more. All services are designed to give seniors the freedom to continue their active, independent lifestyle.

As a key element of assisted living services at The Carrington, residents receive help with activities of daily living based on customized levels of care. In addition, the community provides three meals per day, weekly housekeeping, laundering of personal items, and more.

The Carrington recently announced a new partnership with Hansa Medical Groupe offering on-site visits to residents by specialists in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Nephrology, Pulmonary, Urology, and Neurology. Plus, residents may utilize the services of Open Arms Solutions–a fully licensed local company whose caregivers provide the highest quality in-home personal care and nursing services.

A focus on maintaining and improving overall wellness. Recognizing the importance of whole-person wellness for overall quality of life, The Carrington offers an innovative campus-wide Encompass Wellness Program. Popular among residents at all levels of living, Encompass combines both physical and emotional aspects of wellness for a healthier, fulfilling life.

To learn more about the possibilities for independent senior living or assisted living at The Carrington, call (847) 744-9469. Potential residents and family members are invited to visit for a no-obligation tour and complimentary lunch.

The Carrington at Lincolnwood and Residents Featured in Chicago Tribune Prime Time

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The Carrington at Lincolnwood, and two of its residents, Marvin and Sandra Weisenberg, were recently featured in an article in the Chicago Tribune Prime Time publication by reporter, Jane Adler.

Here is an excerpt from the article…

“Several weeks ago, Marvin Weisenberg and his wife Sandra moved to the Carrington at Lincolnwood, a new retirement community in the north suburb. After 30 years in a three-story townhouse, they were ready for something a bit easier to manage. They looked at other retirement communities, but one with an entrance fee was out of their financial reach.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

The Carrington at Lincolnwood Hosts Education Sessions on How Best to Assess Senior Living Care Options

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The Carrington at Lincolnwood recently hosted several educational events for professional audiences and prospective residents and their families, offering facts about care options for assisted living and memory care. The programming was designed to help attendees and their families be prepared, protected, and best equipped to determine the right fit in communities and services.

The guest speaker for the events was Dr. Joan Roche, Ph.D., RN, GCNS-BC, a Board Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist in Gerontological Nursing. 

Dr. Roche covered a wide range of topics during the presentations, including:

• Major factors to consider when evaluating assisted living and memory care communities and services 

• Assisted living and memory care – dispelling the myths and misconceptions 

• How to determine the most appropriate care and support option 

• How “memory care” assisted living differs from traditional assisted living 

• A guide to understanding the various stages of Alzheimer’s disease and the major benefits of specialized memory care assisted living environments for those with cognitive impairment 

• Understanding the various assisted living and memory care pricing models 

• A comparison of assisted living costs to living at home 

• Little known ways to make needed care more affordable, including a Veterans Affairs pension ranging between $1,176 and $2,169 per month that veterans and their surviving spouse may be eligible for 

If you’d like to visit with a representative from The Carrington at Lincolnwood to learn more about the tips and recommendations shared in this presentation to help with your decision making, please contact us at 847-973-6262.

The Carrington at Lincolnwood Hosts “First Tour” Event

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Once the doors to The Carrington at Lincolnwood senior living community opened, it was time for a fabulous First Look event unlike any other!

Guests from near and far arrived for this special occasion, held May 3, to receive a first look at the fresh interior design, the wide array of services and the outstanding, multiple dining venues available to residents. It included tours of the entire campus, offering a perfect opportunity to experience the lifestyle that will forever change your view of senior living.

If you weren’t able to make it to the event but would like to schedule a personal tour of The Carrington at Lincolnwood, call us today at 847-232-6192.

Being Social is Easy at The Carrington – and Good for You!

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When you start envisioning your retirement lifestyle, what do you see?

A vibrant atmosphere filled with good friends, stimulating activities and lots of opportunities for pursuing lifelong wellness? Do you see yourself meeting new people and building new relationships?

Or do you wonder if you’ll be primarily alone, isolated from the “action”, feeling set apart and lonely? When you consider that many people will spend 25 percent of their life in active retirement years, it’s an important topic to consider. Statistics will tell you…social interaction is not only a lot more fun than sitting alone, it’s imperative for your good health and wellness. In fact, people 60+ are most likely to cite “loving family and friends” as extremely important to their happiness.

According to The National Institute on Aging, social relationships are consistently linked to health and wellness.Having a positive social life has been associated with lower levels of an inflammatory factor implicated in age-related disorders such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of cancer. The Harvard School of Public Health found evidence that older adults in the U.S. who have an active social life may have a slower rate of memory decline.

Being around people you care for also can boost your immune system and raise your “feel good” hormones, giving you focus, energy and optimism. It also can reduce stress and pain.  Studies show holding hands or even a brief hug can lower blood pressure and the positive effects last all day!

Social isolation and loneliness, on the other hand, can affect an older individual on both a physical and emotional level, even serving as a risk factor for morbidity and mortality.

It’s just better for you to be around people who care about you, and have friends close by who share your experiences. That’s why at The Carrington at Lincolnwood, we have created a carefree lifestyle for those who enjoy active independence with more fun, more friends and more freedom—and fewer daily worries.

In our community, engaging in social interaction is easy to do. And it’s more than just saying hello in the hallway! Think wine tastings in our sports bar. Visiting area attractions as a group. Discussing a bestseller in the library. Meeting a neighbor each day for a morning walk. joining other dog owners in Carrington’s dog park. Dining with friends in the Bistro.

Here, every individual has the opportunity to realize his or her greatest potential for positive, self-directed living—and have fun doing it! The Carrington at Lincolnwood sets the stage for you to stay connected to the people, places and pleasures that you cherish, while offering you new opportunities for growth, connection and choice.

A Little Assistance, a Lot of Wow! Assisted Living is a Whole New Ballgame.

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As the population ages, and nearly 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day over the next 15 years, it’s good to know that lifestyle choices for those needing some assistance with daily living are changing too. You can toss out that idea of an institutional environment or a boring routine with nothing to do. Today’s seniors are discovering a world of opportunities and inspiration in an environment that often calls to mind a fine hotel.

And why not? At The Carrington at Lincolnwood, positive, potential-filled senior living helps residents remain as self-reliant as possible, even when health challenges arise. Simply put, you might need a hand now and then, but you are eager as ever to learn, laugh and enjoy new experiences, make new friends and stay in control of your life.

This kind of next-generation assisted living offers an array of advantages that are all part of Carrington FIRST—putting our residents first in every way.

For example:

  • Familiar comfort. You haven’t lost your sense of style. That is why each of the beautiful 88 assisted living residences is well appointed and designed to make it easy to add your personal touch, calling it home. It’s reassuring to relax and enjoy the day knowing everything The Carrington at Lincolnwood offers is nearby. Striking studios and apartments with one or two bedrooms are available and feature thoughtful details such as a half-kitchen, walk-in closets, a large bath and more.
  • Ease of living. At the Carrington, the stress of daily household chores, preparing meals or even getting to physician’s appointments, the hairdresser or other services is gone. The Carrington provide all this and more for one monthly rental fee, so you can turn your attention to something much more fun like learning to paint, giggling with your grandchildren, or watching your dog play in The Carrington dog park. here will be neighbors to meet, birthdays to celebrate, or simply time to bask in some welcome sunshine.
  • Safety & security. Enjoying day-to-day hobbies and new pastimes is a breeze when you feel safe and secure. At The Carrington at Lincolnwood, assisted living residents know a highly professional staff is on hand to help with bathing, dressing, mobility and other personal needs. What’s more, it feels good to spend your days knowing what you need is right at your fingertips. No more need to rely on family, friends or paid caretakers. At The Carrington, there is even an EMT on-site as well as 24-hour security.
  • Friends & social interaction. Regularly engaging in fun and relaxing activities can lower your blood pressure, help you avoid weight gain and lower cortisol, the stress hormone that has a negative effect on your health. The Carrington offers a full calendar of fun and stimulating activities and events that keep you engaged, entertained and looking forward to each day.
  • Lifelong wellness. This is the key to successful aging, and living in a senior living community that focuses on all eight dimensions of wellness like The Carrington at Lincolnwood gives you a tremendous advantage towards staying active, healthy and inspired.

These are just a few of the reasons why assisted living can be an exceptional choice. There are many more. One thing is for sure: you don’t have to compromise at The Carrington at Lincolnwood retirement community—you can enjoy a rich, supportive lifestyle that puts you FIRST!

The Perks of Renting

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“This model of senior living truly eliminates what can be a significant barrier for older adults wanting to make a move,” said Stephen Kennery, executive director of The Carrington at Lincolnwood. Under construction and slated to open later this year, The Carrington, which is located on a scenic campus in the heart of Lincolnwood, will offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care, all with simple monthly payments and no entrance fees.

“The fact that there’s no buy-in is key. With many retirement communities, residents have to make an enormous deposit to move in. That’s not the case in our rental community. Prospective residents no longer have to sell their home in order to be able to afford to move,” said Kennery. “Furthermore, they won’t have to tap into their retirement funds, and won’t lose any investment growth or tax deferments.”

Kennery said that despite the significant financial advantages there’s no trade-off in terms of diminished services. “We offer an amazing array of amenities including an indoor pool, fitness center, game room, hair salon, patios and courtyards, choice of dining venues, indoor and outdoor parking, scheduled housekeeping, transportation, 24-hour security, a city-operated EMT station and more.”

Moreover, unlike many rental communities, The Carrington offers different levels of care. “We provide independent living, assisted living, and memory support, all under one roof,” Kennery said. “Having advanced levels of care means that residents don’t need to look elsewhere should their healthcare needs change.”

Kennery pointed out that the fact that The Carrington is a rental community means that the staff will have to be on their toes. “We can’t woo prospects to move in and then not maintain our standards high once they’re here. We will have to keep providing the very best in services and amenities to ensure that our residents keep loving The Carrington, the place that they’ll be calling home,” said Kennery.

The first depositors at The Carrington will be members of the First Keys Club, and will receive a $1,500 credit towards moving expenses, a $1,500 credit applied to the community fee, and a $1,500 credit off the second month’s rent. In addition, members will receive a two-year lock on the rental rate as well as a capped increase thereafter for their entire residency. Other perks include the opportunity to host a welcome party, referral rewards of $1,000, free visits to the Style Salon, complimentary meals, and the ability to become a Carrington at Lincolnwood Ambassador.

See the story in Chicago Tribune.