Activities Program Provides Pulse of a Senior Living Houston Community
I asked my 80-year old Mom what she would look for in a retirement community. It surprised me that she wanted to make sure there was a robust activities program. As an avid attendee of seminars and events at her local Senior Center, Mom wanted to make sure her senior living community would continue its robust activities program long after she moved in. She was concerned that the retirement home might run out of funds and skimp on this important item. Many communities have a “community fee” to support a wide range of activities for their residents. Activities for Seniors in Assisted Living can transform a senior living Houston community into a loving home.
When people retire, they have the opportunity to devote time to hobbies and develop new interests. An active assisted living facility can provide the opportunity for both socialization with new people and the simple joy of playing bridge, mah jong or bingo. As you search for an assisted living community in Houston, TX it is important to ask about the Activities Program and seek out what might interest you. It is also an opportunity to “volunteer” one’s talents to the community at large, in the gift shop, in calling bingo, to working the Front Desk to helping with a Life Transitions Group. One long-time gardener has helped to beautify her independent living community campus which has provided a source of pride for the residents and staff who have worked side-by-side with her. Listen to residents talk about the Social, Friendly Environment at their assisted living Houston community.
Holiday Activities. You might ask what types of activities occur around the holidays. Are there opportunities to celebrate with fellow residents? In general, senior living communities come alive during the holiday season. Read more about residents who forge close friendships and happily spend the holidays at their ”new” home with friends that have become family. Does the independent living community have a holiday dinner or meal? Do they schedule parties with dancing and entertainment? Is there a room to invite your family for a dinner party?
Year-Round Parties & Celebrations. What happens year-round? Does the community plan Mardi Gras, Halloween, Valentines Day, Sock Hop and other celebrations? At Treemont Retirement Community, there is no shortage of “excuses” to bring in the Good Times Band for an evening of music and dancing. The community has a dance floor in its auditorium and all residents are invited to put on their dancing shoes. Ask if there a budget for this type of entertainment? Do they celebrate their “quiet veteran heroes” during Memorial Day and Veterans Day? Read about the storied veterans at Treemont who are celebrated with a bi-monthlyGreatest Generation Luncheon.
Weekly Entertainment. Does the community offer weekly professional music entertainment on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays? Independent living communities often bring in professional entertainment a few days a week. For one community, talented residents often launch into a spontaneous entertainment. See story about the Nelda Sims Trio with son and daughter, who perform often at their assisted living Houston TX residence.
Educational Seminars. There should be the opportunity for experts in health and leisure, elder law and tax issues, current events, doctors and health officials, to host a public event to visit and share their ideas in an informative way. Many of these experts will conduct free educational seminars as it is a way to introduce themselves to the communities’ residents in a low-key, educational way. A community might have a Healthy Hints class weekly that brings in speakers to discuss topics ranging from “Alzheimers vs Dementia,” to “Healthy Eating,” to “Essential Legal Documents,” “Benefits of Chiroprator,” “Navigating the Medicare Maize, including Prescription Drug Coverage,” and “Veterans Benefits seminars,” and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. View a sample Activities Calendar.
Daily Activities. What is a typical monthly Activities Schedule? Does the community offer exercise and other programs to keep seniors active and engaged? The Houston Chronicle did a story on assisted living Houston TX activities, see “Community Provides Indoor Activities as Summer Heats Up." View a sampling of healthy classes offered at one community: Does the community offer bingo, bridge, gardening, crafts and other programs that residents enjoy? Are there opportunities to garden? Is there an active religious program that includes Bible studies, religious services at community. Treemont, for example, offers many types of religious programs throughout the week. Pastor Tom Ellis and wife Violet and Pastor Nick Babineaux and wife Anita minister weekly to residents. Are there other outreach efforts to the religious community provided? Treemont honored its clergy with a breakfast this past summer.
Resident Talents. Often times the talented residents share their musical talent, wood carving, art and other expertise with the community. Activities Director Aimee Dubuisson (in middle of photo on left) says: “"Our seniors are certain that their contributions are not just brushed aside or a thing of the past. We honor their accomplishments by hanging their accomplishments on our walls, buying their handiwork at craft sales, featuring them in our marketing stories and showcasing them every day," Dubuisson said. "What they did in the past is important to us, but not nearly as important as how we honor them now and in the future. Sharing the talents of our residents gives us tremendous pride. We welcome and celebrate the gifts of their passions."
I’d recommend asking to meet the Activities Director. This is often a key individual at the senior living community in terms of setting the tone for the community. Does he or she have a warmth and love for seniors? Is this their calling? There is so much to learn about senior living in Houston, TX before you make a final decision. Meet the residents and meet the staff and Activities Director to see if they have the passion to make a retirement community “home.” See what Aimee has to say about why Treemont is a fascinating senior living community in Houston, TX.