Kudos To The Carrot: Celebrate A Secret Superfood At Westminster Palms

We live in the age of the superfood: aka, ingredients that are packed with such a nutritious (and delicious) punch that we can’t help but honor them with their own special category. There’s no official classification system, of course, but a few fruits and veggies that often get the label include avocados, blueberries, and chickpeas, to name just a few.

Superfoods are often trendy ingredients that restaurants have fun incorporating into their menus in new, exciting ways. But what about the powerful produce that’s been enjoyed — but maybe not fully appreciated — for decades, to little fanfare? We think the humble carrot belongs in this category.

Here at Westminster Palms’ life plan community in St. Petersburg, FL, we’re passionate about nutrition. It’s one of the key pillars of our My W Life wellness program, and is an essential part of our mental and physical health! So just read on as we explore some of the delicious benefits of the carrot.

Count Your Colors

If you’ve ever been told to “eat the rainbow,” there’s a good reason for that! It doesn’t just make plates more appealing to the eye — it makes them better for the body, too, because a diversity of colors means you’re getting a vibrant blend of phytonutrients from the produce when you add them all together as part of a wholesome diet. And what’s so unique about carrots is that while orange may be the most popular color, there are many more varieties out there — including, as Tufts notes, lycopene-rich red and anthocyanins-rich purple.  

Feel-Good Fiber

Fiber is an important component of produce — and according to Tufts, carrots’ pectin can help lower cholesterol! Fiber in general supports digestive health and helps you feel satisfied after a meal, to name just a few key benefits. This is why carrots dipped in hummus or yogurt makes for such a fulfilling snack! (Of course, as we’ll see later, there are even more ways to enjoy carrots as part of your everyday meal plan.)

Vitamin A-mazing

Carrots come with many vitamins and nutrients you can feel good about, but they are most famous for their vitamin A. Carrots’ beta-carotene converts into this powerful vitamin, which is associated with white blood cell activity, bone health, and cell growth, per Harvard Health. And, yes, it promotes healthy vision as well!

Tufts also notes that carrots have anti-inflammatory properties and promote cardiovascular health, too — while studies are still happening to determine whether compounds in carrots might even be able to inhibit cancer cells’ growth. That’s a lot to feel good about in one little veggie!

Countless Ways To Enjoy

One of the especially great things about carrots is their versatility. Many of us keep frozen peas and carrots in our freezer as a go-to kitchen staple. Carrots can be chopped up and used in soups as part of an Italian soffritto — aka, an aromatic blend of celery, onions, and carrots that just makes every dish a bit better. Raw carrots can make for a handy snack — but they also come to life when prepared alongside a hearty Sunday roast dinner. There are so many different colors and styles to choose from, and you can even put them into a wholesome dessert like carrot cake or go-to breakfast bars. In other words, the sky is the limit when it comes to his colorful superfood!

We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s ode to the carrot — a surprising, nutritious powerhouse! Enjoy this delicious ingredient and many more when you enjoy a meal at Westminster Palms’ resort-style dining or put together a colorful spread at home.

Celebrate The International Day Of Happiness From Our Life Plan Community In St. Petersburg, FL

Sure, we may be a few months into 2024 — but can’t the arrival of bright, sunny spring serve as a “new year” of sorts, too? That’s what makes the International Day of Happiness on March 20 such a special holiday: It’s an excuse to prioritize cheer and make mirth a built-in part of your life!

 Fortunately, from Westminster Palms’ life plan community in St. Petersburg, FL, you’re in the perfect position to hone in on happy. From our beautiful bayfront to fitness center and delicious dining opportunities every day, there’s always something going on — and as you’ll see below, each of these provides an opportunity to smile. Just read on to learn more. Spend Some Quality Time With Nature Studies have long linked outdoor time — especially exposure to natural blue and green spaces — to improved mental health. And according to an observational study featured in Harvard Magazine, certain features of outdoor spaces, such as scenic overlooks, shade, water, and wildlife, were especially positive for promoting well-being. So when you enjoy a walk through Westminster Palms’ waterfront community, you might just be doing something great for your mental health along the way! Work It Out Speaking of exercise… A workout session or fitness class promotes the release of feel-good endorphins, which is why your spirits tend to lift after working up a sweat! Of course, your exercise doesn’t need to be intense to reap the happy benefits. Through My W Life, you can find a fitness routine that perfectly suits your physical and emotional needs with ease. Call An Old Friend According to a recent study featured in Psychology Today, the simple act of reaching out to a loved one can help you feel mood-boosting effects like optimism and less stress — well after you’ve finished your conversation. The study pointed out that even short interactions can make you see the quality of your day in a more positive light, too. If 5 minutes can transform your day, then we’re willing to believe continuing that habit can transform your life. Volunteer Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine reports myriad benefits of volunteering and sharing your time with others — including feelings of connection and gratitude, which are sure to make you a little bit happier! Not to mention the physical benefits that have been observed in people who practice generosity. Finding a volunteer activity through My W Life’s wellness program can be a great way to get to know your community and do something great for your mind and body in the process. Make A Plan For Your Future Happiness doesn’t just have to be a fleeting moment in your day — it can be something you plan for, too, by building a wellness routine or charting your next getaway. It doesn’t have to be a grand plan — a staycation exploring beautiful St. Petersburg is a dream weekend any way you slice it! — but the mere act of having an activity to look forward to can help you feel more content and excited about your everyday life. We hope today’s guide helps you harness the power of happy for an everyday life you love! According to the American Heart Association, an optimistic outlook provides a host of health benefits in the long term — so there’s more than one reason to smile, this spring and all year long.

Celebrate Take A Walk In The Park Day At Your Independent Living Facilities In St. Petersburg, FL

Happy Take a Walk in the Park Day! March 30th is a fun holiday for anyone who enjoys taking a stroll to soak in the beautiful weather outside. Of course, here in our corner of the Sunshine State, you don’t really need a special reason to do that — our weather is walk-friendly 365 days of the year!

At Westminster Palms’ independent living facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, walking is a way of life — a just-for-fun activity for the sake of it, as well as a means of getting around our stunning bayfront grounds. In honor of Take a Walk in the Park Day, join us as we explore some of the biggest benefits of taking a stroll — plus, how to make your next walk even more fun.

(Tip: As usual, your medical team can help you approach new exercises safely! But these are just a few basic benefits you might notice as you work walking into your fitness regimen.)

Feel-Good Fitness

You probably already know that walking, as movement, is good for the body — but did you know that it can help with joint pain and immune function, too, according to Harvard Health? The National Institutes of Health also note that walking is good for overall heart, bone, and muscle health too. Because it’s such a simple, down-to-Earth (literally) means of transport, walking might seem like nothing special — but studies prove that it’s quite the powerful form of movement.

Serious Stress Relief

Developing a regular walking routine can help with a host of benefits — but according to a study featured in the National Library of Medicine, even a 10-minute “brisk” walk had the ability to improve participants’ mood. That’s something to feel good about, especially since it doesn’t take long to lift your spirits with a stroll!

Studies have also shown that exposure to blue spaces in the forms of natural bodies of water can have a stress-reducing effect. This is great news for Westminster Palms residents, who can enjoy unparalleled views of Tampa Bay 365 days a year.

Give Your Walk A Special Theme

Now that you know the big benefits of taking a walk, you might be wondering how to motivate yourself to get out and do it — or if you’re already a big walker, how to make your next stroll more fun. Might we recommend a walk with a special theme? Throw on a fun throwback outfit, for example, or theme your walk around wildlife or birding. By making your walk a fun challenge (i.e., see how many seabirds you can spot and identify in 30 minutes) you give new purpose to your leisurely stroll.

Social Stroll

Nearly everything is more fun with a friend or family member by your side — and, well, walking is no different! One of the best parts of living at Westminster Palms is the community aspect, so consider starting a regular walking group or meeting with a neighbor for a stroll at the same time every week. No matter how you go about it, it feels good to reap not just the physical benefits of walking but the social ones, too.

Find Creative Inspiration

If you’re an artist or budding creative, you can find inspiration on your walk! That might mean bringing a small sketchbook with you to draw up a scene whenever the moment strikes, or perhaps writing about your stroll in a dedicated journal that’s all about the sights and sounds of the paths you travel. Either way, there are plenty of options for blending your love of walking with your passion for creative endeavors!

We hope that these ideas lend a flair of inspiration to your next Westminster Palms walk! No matter where you’re headed, there’s always something exciting to do or see in our bright, balmy St. Petersburg community.

Bird-Watching Bliss: Discovering St. Petersburg’s Bird Life Near Our CCRC

Here at Westminster Palms, we’re fortunate to be situated right next to vibrant natural areas that attract a wonderful variety of birds. As a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in St. Petersburg, FL, we enable our residents to enjoy comfortable independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care while still having access to the natural splendors of this region.

For those who love birdwatching, our proximity to places like Boyd Hill Nature Preserve and Sawgrass Lake Park means there’s always an opportunity to spot beautiful native and migratory birds right in our own backyard. As avid birders ourselves, we delight in guiding Westminster residents of all activity levels to prime birdwatching spots nearby. We’ve discovered nearly 200 species that either call this area home or make migratory pit stops in the bountiful wetlands and forests surrounding us.

Join us as we uncover some of best places near our St. Petersburg CCRC to spot gorgeous herons, egrets, woodpeckers, warblers, and even the occasional bald eagle!

Sawgrass Lake Park

One of our community’s favorite birdwatching spots is Sawgrass Lake Park, a 715 acre county park with a rich variety of ecosystems. Located just over a mile away from Westminster Palms, it’s easily accessible for our residents. The park contains Florida’s largest hectare of wetlands under single ownership – a major draw for diverse water birds and waders. Embarked on one of the park’s boardwalk trails through marshy areas lined with tall grasses, you’re likely to spot stately great blue herons stealthily spearing fish. Look upwards, and you may catch sight of a bald eagle coasting on air currents, keeping an eye out for unwary prey below.

During winter months, the park receives migratory visitors like the tricolored heron, little blue heron, reddish egret, and snowy egret feeding alongside year-round inhabitants. The park provides critical resting habitat for species traveling to and from North and South America. Residents have cataloged over 150 species at Sawgrass Lake, making it one of the best local birding sites. Its mixed environments attract both wetland species and forest dwellers like the pileated woodpecker and red-bellied woodpecker.

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, spanning 245 acres, contains a hardwood hammock, pine flatwoods, lake and marsh habitat frequented by over 150 species of birds. Westminster residents adore exploring the park’s trails and spotting feathered locals like the anhinga, belted kingfisher, and barred owl.

The park’s lake attracts diving birds like the pied-billed grebe and horned grebe during winter. Birders can observe these water birds’ fascinating hunting behaviors, like the “water dance” ritual grebes perform when courting mates. Migratory duck species common to Boyd Hill lake are ring-necked ducks, ruddy ducks and hooded mergansers.

During spring and fall migrations, the park becomes especially lively with neotropical migrants. Warbler species like the Cape May warbler, prairie warbler, palm warbler, yellow warbler and American redstart can be seen flitting through trees and feeding on insects. Late April brings peak viewing opportunities. Local birding enthusiasts organize weekly outings, sharing sightings and welcoming residents of all experience levels to join.

Weedon Island Preserve

Weedon Island Preserve contains miles of unpaved trails showcasing coastal hammock, mangrove swamp and an extensive system of boardwalks perfect for birding. This preserve comprise over 4,000 acres of Tampa Bay habitat. Birders willing to make the trip might glimpse the striking reddish egret fishing in shallows or a sooty tern resting on an empty stretch of sand after journeying all the way from the Caribbean. Birding tours are an easy way for Westminster residents with limited mobility to access these rich birding hotspots.

Fort De Soto Park

Fort De Soto Park occupies five interconnected islands with over 1,100 acres of unspoiled beaches and wetlands attracting over 340 documented bird species. Although it’s one of the most popular recreation destinations in Pinellas County, many visitors stick to the main beaches, leaving expansive natural areas quiet for avid birders. The park is another convenient go-to locale favored by our residents.

Fort De Soto features crucial stopover habitat during spring and fall migrations, when flocks numbering in the hundreds of brown pelicans, cormorants, terns, gulls, sandpipers and plovers descend upon its shores and mud flats to rest and feed. Birders might spot rarer species like the reddish egret or buff-breasted sandpiper mixed amidst large congregations of shorebirds.

The park’s inland mangrove forests, tidal pools and scrub habitat boast entirely different species from the beaches, like white ibis, roseate spoonbills, black skimmers and the striking painted bunting.

Birding at a St. Petersburg CCRC with Westminster

Here at Westminster Palms, we feel incredibly fortunate to reside minutes from St. Petersburg’s most beautiful birdwatching hotspots and migration flyways. As a CCRC enabling comfortable living across all levels of care, we empower our residents to continue pursuing lifelong hobbies they feel passionate about, even when daily activities might become more challenging.

Birding opportunities will never run out living beside places like Sawgrass Lake Park, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve and Fort De Soto Park. For seniors seeking an engaging lifestyle surrounded by nature’s splendors, Westminster Palms provides living accommodations paired with easy access to the region’s vibrant habitats and conservation initiatives.

Learn more about our CCRC by visiting our website or calling to speak with a retirement living consultant today. We can’t wait to see you discovering your new home’s natural side!

Simple Tips for Staying Active as the Weather Cools Down

As the weather gets cooler in St. Petersburg, many of our residents at Westminster Palms ask how they can stay active when it’s not as easy to get outside. While Florida winters are mild compared to other parts of the country, you may notice your energy levels fluctuate more as the temperatures drop. The key is finding creative ways to keep your body and mind engaged all season long.

Staying physically and mentally active provides many proven benefits for seniors. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. It can also boost your mood, improve sleep, and preserve your mobility and independence. Social activities keep your mind stimulated and lead to lower rates of depression and dementia. 

Here are some more in-depth tips for seniors to stay active during the cooler months:

Walk Earlier in the Day

While Florida remains relatively warm all year, early mornings tend to be more comfortable for outdoor exercise in the fall and winter. By walking first thing in the morning, you’ll avoid the hottest part of the day. Our tranquil courtyards and walking paths make for a peaceful morning stroll before breakfast. Just be sure to wear light layers you can remove as the day warms up.

Try Indoor Cycling  

Stationary cycling is a low-impact cardio workout you can do year-round. We have stationary bikes available in our fitness center, or you can invest in a simple portable cycle. Pedaling works the major muscle groups while keeping stress off your joints. Cycling while listening to music or watching television makes the time fly by! 

Go For a Swim

Take advantage of our spacious heated indoor pool for year-round aquatic exercise. Water offers great resistance for a full-body workout but is gentle on your joints. Try swimming laps, walking through the water, or aqua aerobics classes. The social atmosphere helps motivate you to keep moving. Just be sure to stay hydrated while in the warm pool area.

Work Out with a Friend 

Having an exercise buddy provides accountability and encouragement to stick to your routine. Recruit a friend with similar fitness levels to join you for walks, strength training or group fitness classes. You’re more likely to stick to a routine when meeting a friend. Working out together is also a great opportunity for social connection.

Garden Indoors

Caring for houseplants provides light activity along with a mood boost. Potting, pruning and watering plants gets you up and moving. Having fresh greenery and flowers indoors lifts your spirits during dreary winter months. We have a lively gardening club that works in our greenhouse and would love new members!

Stretch Daily

Flexibility exercises become even more important as we age. Stretching improves mobility, posture and balance. Always warm up muscles before stretching with light movement. Focus on major muscle groups including hips, back, shoulders and hamstrings. Stretch gently, avoiding bounced or jerky movements. Yoga and Pilates are ideal low-impact choices.

Try Chair Exercises

There are countless exercises that can be done in a seated position, ideal for those with limited mobility. Chair aerobics improve strength, balance and range of motion. You can find pre-recorded chair exercise routines online or work with our trainer to develop a custom routine. Moving your body, even while seated, keeps you limber.

Dust Off Your Dance Shoes

Dancing engages the body and mind while being tons of fun. Play your favorite upbeat music and let loose in the comfort of your home. More structured dance styles like ballroom dancing offer light cardio and boost coordination. We frequently host dance parties and recitals that all residents are welcome to participate in. 

Join New Activities 

Learning new skills and hobbies promotes brain health and social connections. Consider joining one of our many activity clubs like woodworking, puzzles, painting, cooking or book club. Or explore fresh hobbies like jewelry making, card playing, quilting or bird watching. The excitement of new activities makes staying active enjoyable.

Volunteer Locally

Contributing your time and talents helps the community while keeping you engaged. Look for local volunteer opportunities that align with your interests and abilities. Possibilities include reading to children, helping at animal shelters, serving meals, mentoring youth or visiting homebound seniors. Giving back provides a sense of purpose.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to remaining physically and socially active during cooler weather. Be creative and try new things – your body and mind will thank you! Let the Westminster Palms staff know how we can support your active lifestyle all season long. We are here to help you stay healthy, happy and connected.

‘God put us here for a reason’: Serving the residents during Hurricane Idalia is part of our Mission

When a hurricane or tropical storm threatens Florida, like Hurricane Idalia this week, team members at Westminster Communities of Florida have a top priority: Ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents we serve. Our Mission is to serve from the heart and inspire older adults to enjoy happy, healthy and purposeful lives.

What impact has Hurricane Idalia had? Some of our dedicated team members are living out our Mission, today, by evacuating with residents or sheltering at their communities through the storm. Regardless of their normal jobs, their principal responsibility right now is to provide for the residents’ needs.

Today we caught up with five of these team members to learn about their experiences, why they chose to stay at their community or evacuate with residents, and what is inspiring them to stay hard at work during a storm.

Jackie Walker Ellison, Cook, Westminster Shores, temporarily at Westminster Winter Park

In St. Petersburg, Westminster Shores was forced to relocate residents out of the path of the storm. Jackie Walker Ellison always knew she would be with the residents, from the moment she first heard. “The residents said to me, ‘Jackie, are you coming with us? I know we’ll be OK if you come with us.’ So I had no doubt,” Ellison said. “I knew for sure I would be evacuating, I called my husband and my mother and I told them, ‘I’m going with my residents, I’ll see you whenever.’ ”

The group of 24 residents was accompanied by Ellison to Westminster Winter Park, where they’re enjoying the hospitality of the residents and team members there. The Westminster Shores team is occupied with providing for the needs of the residents during Hurricane Idalia. “I think it brings everyone together as a team,” she said.

Ellison has worked at Westminster Shores for 29 years, and “I love my residents. I wouldn’t have been here so long if I didn’t love this place and my residents. God put us here for a reason,” she said. “Right now, the residents are happy, we’ve been watching movies and playing games, and everything is going smoothly.”

Michele McCann, Assisted Living Activities Coordinator, Westminster Palms, sheltering in place

“I choose to be with the residents during the most emotional time, like a hurricane, because that’s my quality as a caregiver,” said Michele McCann, Assisted Living Activities Coordinator at Westminster Palms. “Challenging times like this bring out the best in people, and I get to see it and share it.”

McCann was sheltering in place at the community in St. Petersburg, along with residents from Westminster Palms and residents from Westminster Point Pleasant in Bradenton. She has lived in Florida for more than 7 years, and has experienced three hurricanes in St. Petersburg so far. McCann said she feels that the way the team bonds, whether through an evacuation or sheltering in place, makes the team stronger. “We are going to come out better on the other side of this! We always do. We are so lucky that we are here, in our home, together, instead of relocating like so many had to. I have come to feel like this is my home, too.”

Carlos Santiago, Maintenance Engineer, Westminster Point Pleasant and Tiffany Mestre, Administrative Assistant, Community Support Services, temporarily at Legacy Pointe at UCF

A group of residents from Westminster Point Pleasant were also with Maintenance Engineer Carlos Santiago and Tiffany Mestre, an administrative assistant at our Community Support Services office in Orlando. The residents had evacuated from Bradenton due to the risk of storm surge and flooding, and were enjoying the hospitality of Legacy Pointe at UCF.

Santiago, the maintenance engineer, said that he had been through the worst in 2017 when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. “We were there with no power for 60 days, and we weren’t able to do anything,” he said. By comparison, he felt that everything was under control and being well maintained for the residents through both of his hurricane experiences as a Westminster team member.

“This job is personal for me,” Santiago said. “The residents are my family and I want to make sure that they are well taken care of.” In 2022, Santiago was recognized as Westminster Point Pleasant’s Team Member of the Year for his dedicated service to the residents. He said it was his honor to serve the residents.

Evacuating with the residents is just another extension of his commitment to the community, Santiago said. “This is my second time evacuating with the residents, and it doesn’t matter how many more. I will always volunteer to be there for them. We are here for each other and for the residents.”

Countless storms had also affected Mestre, a Florida native. But she had never had an experience like today’s. “It’s wonderful to help the residents and hear about their interests and stories. This is a great way to see how the residents live,” Mestre said. “I am getting to know what a day in the life of a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and an ADON (Assistant Director of Nursing) are like. It has opened my eyes. Bless their souls for doing all of this.”

The effects of the storm had been mild in Orlando, but Mestre said that nevertheless, she and the residents felt more secure and had been brought closer together by the experience – and the residents were thankful for the security. “This has really brought our Mission to life for me in a way I had not experienced it,” said Mestre.

For Santiago, part of living in a hurricane zone meant more practice – and that he had found that the team is getting stronger through the experience. “The more we do this together, the more we become comfortable with each other, and the better organized we become. When you send a group of people together for one purpose and for our Mission, we get the opportunity to grow together and learn from each other,” said Santiago.

Beth Szabo, Services Coordinator, Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, sheltering in place

Another part of the Westminster Mission is to serve residents with low to moderate incomes, in our affordable Rental Retirement Communities. Beth Szabo, services coordinator at Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, was sheltering in place at the community to ensure that the residents were well cared for throughout the potential effects of the storm in Jacksonville.

“I’ve lived in Jacksonville since 1976, so I have lost count of how many hurricanes I’ve been through now. In 2004 they were coming so frequently we all said, ‘I’m over it, just let it go,’ ” said Szabo. “We have had to evacuate a few times over the years, like for Hurricane Matthew in 2016. But we did not have to this time.”

For Szabo, serving during a hurricane is a natural extension of her choice to work at the community, because the residents are like her extended family. “I have a heart for seniors, and the residents here mean a lot to me,” she said. “If something happens then I want to be here to help them.”

Szabo added that she feels safer riding out a storm at Riverside Presbyterian Apartments than at home. “Here at the community, I know that we have a great team looking out for everyone. We’re very small but we support each other.”

A facet of our Mission

While a hurricane is unexpected, serving the residents and supporting their fellow team members wherever we are and however we can is just another facet of the Mission of Westminster Communities of Florida: We serve from the heart and inspire older adults to enjoy happy, healthy and purposeful lives.

Be sure to learn all about how you can make a Westminster community your home to live or to work – find a community near you or follow us on Facebook and on LinkedIn!

Creating a Home Away from Home: Customizing Our Residences

Choosing a retirement community is quite a big deal, isn’t it? It can feel like a huge change and bring up all sorts of questions about keeping that cozy, at-home feeling in your new space. Here at Westminster Palms, right in the heart of sunny St. Petersburg, Florida, we’ve got you covered. We’re all about making our place feel like your place.

Your Style, Your Way

Our residences – be it independent living, assisted living, or skilled nursing – are like chameleons. Whether you’re a minimalist, an antique lover, or a bit of both, we can match your style. Think of each space as your personal canvas, ready for your favorite couch, that artwork your grandkid made, or the souvenir from your world travels. And don’t worry, we’re here to help every step of the way to create a space that says “you.”

Comfort First

But it’s not all about looks, right? Comfort is king, and we’ve got it in spades. If you’ve got specific physical needs, we’ll make sure your room’s layout is easy to navigate. Plus, our apartments are chock-full of convenient features like a full kitchen, plenty of closet space, and even a washer and dryer right in your home. We’re about making sure you’re as cozy as can be.

A Place for Everyone

So, we all know that a home isn’t just about us, right? It’s about the people we share it with – our families, our friends, and yes, even the adorable grandkids who always seem to find the cookie jar. You’ll want your place to be the hub of all those fantastic get-togethers, the spot where memories are made. That’s what we’re here for.

Your place can be that go-to spot for those relaxed afternoon chats. We’ll help you set up a cozy, welcoming lounge area where everyone can kick back, sip on their lattes, and chat about everything from yesterday’s game to the latest book club pick.

The bottom line is, we’re all about making your space work for you and the people you love. We understand that your home isn’t just about you—it’s about the community you build within it.

Our Community

Let’s talk about community. Finding the right one is like a huge, warm, comforting blanket, right? It’s about belonging, sharing, and feeling connected. And a big part of that is the spaces we hang out in. We’re not just talking about your private residence here at Westminster Palms; we’re talking about the shared spaces where you’ll meet, mingle, and make memories with your neighbors. From fitness center space to lounges for entertaining – along with amenities like our library and computer center – you’ll find plenty of community spaces for added fun and excitement each day.

In a Nutshell

At Westminster Palms, we want to ensure your place feels like a home. We want to help you create a vibrant, fulfilling environment where your preferences and style are center stage. Whether you’re a young senior trying to scope out the perfect retirement spot or helping your parents find their next home, we’ve got the community, comfort, and customizations. Westminster Palms is excited to welcome your family into our community.

How you can stay in touch with family and friends after moving to a senior living community

Are you considering a move to a senior living community but worried about how you’ll keep in touch with family and friends? You’re not alone. Many future residents have the same concerns.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to stay connected and keep in touch with the people you care about. From FaceTime to card nights to private dining parties, residents have plenty of options to stay connected with their loved ones.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best ways to keep in touch with family and friends after moving to a senior living community.

Enjoy a video call to have a virtual visit with family or friends whenever you like

A virtual visit can help maintain ties even when residents and their friends are separated by thousands of miles. Modern technology for video calling like FaceTime makes visiting easier than ever. Video calls allow residents to enjoy a face-to-face conversation with family or friends anywhere in the world, from the comfort of their living room. No expensive travel required!

Residents can use FaceTime or video chat services like Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom to stay in touch with those who matter most. Grandparents can share stories with grandchildren who live far away or have regular catch-ups with distant relatives. Video calling also makes it possible for to host a virtual event, like a game night or movie watch party.

Enjoy a card or board game night and mix the “old” and “new” friends

With many social connections in their current neighborhoods, the prospect of moving to a senior living community can be daunting for many older adults. Fortunately, there are plenty of in-person social opportunities at senior living communities — some of them more informal than others.
Many senior living communities have groups of residents who enjoy a night of card games or board games. Play poker, Clue, Settlers of Catan or whatever you prefer, and enjoy having social opportunities and good friends at your fingertips.

These social events offer a reason for residents to invite their friends and family members over for a night of fun and laughter. It also provides an informal setting for guests to meet other residents and engage in meaningful conversations.

For older adults who want to make sure they stay connected to their friends, one surefire way to make things more fun is to invite their “old” friends to meet the “new” at a game night. It can make for a memorable evening filled with laughter and good company — all while bonding deeper relationships with fellow residents at the same time.

Host a dinner party and let someone else do all the work

Dining is an important part of life at a senior living community. But a special event may call for having a few friends over for dinner, and who wants to do all the cooking and dishes?

That’s why many senior living communities offer residents a variety of catered dining options, to invite guests over for a special dinner party. A special menu developed with the Dining department makes it simple and convenient to plan an event. Enjoy a luxurious meal without lifting a finger!

Inviting friends and family over to experience their community is also great to help those who may be considering making the move themselves. Guests get an up-close look at the lifestyle offered at their friend’s new home. Private dining options allow potential new residents to get an idea of what life would be like for them.

From poker nights to private dinners, there are plenty of ways for residents of senior living communities to keep in touch with family and friends. To learn all about how additional socialization opportunities abound at a Westminster community, find the community that suits you today on our Web site!

Needs Assessment: Why Is It Important for Assisted Living Residents?

The level of care assisted living residents need can vary greatly from one individual to the next. That’s why most residents receive a needs assessment before settling into their communities. A needs assessment will be important if you’re considering independent living in St. Petersburg, Florida.

A needs assessment may involve physical examinations, mental tests, and interviews aimed at providing a better understanding of the level of support a senior needs. This type of evaluation fulfills several key functions.

It Identifies Gaps

Seniors don’t always ask for the help they need; some may not even realize they need help. A needs assessment identifies gaps in a senior’s daily life, like difficulty completing tasks, or missing medications. Filling these gaps is critical to ensuring residents’ health, safety, and comfort.

It Indicates the Appropriate Level of Care

It’s crucial that seniors receive the appropriate level of care. When they don’t receive adequate care, their safety and well-being can be at risk. 

Conversely, when seniors receive too much care, it can threaten their sense of independence and take valuable resources away from other residents. A needs assessment can point to the appropriate level of care.

It Allows Caregivers to Develop a Plan

Developing thoughtful care plans is one of the most important aspects of serving residents in senior living communities. Care plans are developed with input from medical professionals, family members, and of course, the residents themselves. 

Care plans ensure everyone is on the same page and that the individual in question gets the exact type and scope of care they need. They can also lay out goals for seniors receiving therapy or rehabilitation or working toward long-term physical goals.

It Uncovers Health Concerns

A needs assessment is also a way for caregivers and medical professionals to uncover health issues.

Seniors and their families don’t always know what signs to look for when underlying medical issues are present. With a needs assessment, the examining professional can detect early warning signs and refer the senior to a doctor.

Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, Florida

All seniors should undergo a needs assessment prior to transitioning to assisted living in Saint Petersburg, Florida. This evaluation will ensure a smooth transition and make the individual, their loved ones, and their caregiver more prepared.

With a proper needs assessment, seniors can immediately settle into their new assisted living accommodations and look forward to the next chapter in life.

Questions to Ask Before Picking a Retirement Community

Choosing a retirement community is a big decision.

Every community has its own unique structure, characteristics, and amenities, and not every one may work for you. Whether you’re exploring assisted living facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida, or leaning more toward an independent living arrangement, there are a few important questions you’ll want to ask.

Question One: What Kind of Amenities Are Offered?

The amenities are one of the best parts of retirement communities. They make everyday life easier and more enjoyable and are usually available for you to utilize at your leisure.

Look for a retirement community offering amenities that match your needs and interests. Examples may include:

  • On-site dining
  • Libraries
  • Computer rooms
  • Game rooms
  • Spas
  • Common areas
  • Outdoor areas
  • Fitness centers

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the amenities available to you before making a decision.

Question Two: What Are the Care Options?

A central feature of retirement communities is the care they offer to residents. Even if you don’t need much support today, ensuring staff is available should an accident occur is highly prudent.

Additionally, if your health or mobility changes over time, you’ll want the peace of mind that you’ll get the care you need in your current community.

Question Three: How Much Does It Cost?

The living expenses associated with retirement communities encompass a broad range. Since you’re unlikely to want to move again later on, you’ll want to ensure you have the financial capacity to stay in your preferred community for the long term.

Most communities are willing to work with you and your family to find an agreeable financial solution. It’s also a good idea to consult a professional financial advisor who can help you budget and plan for the coming months and years.

Question Four: What Is Daily Life Like?

Before selecting a retirement community, you’ll want to have some idea of what you can expect on a day-to-day level.

Ask the staff or current residents how they spend their days and what they think about the community they work or live in. Make sure you focus on the specifics, such as daily dining options, scheduled activities, transportation, and other perks. The answers you receive should give you a better sense of what your life could look like in a particular retirement community.

Exploring Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, Florida

There are numerous options for both independent and assisted living in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Florida is home to some of the best retirement communities in the country, so at least one is bound to fit your needs and interests. Take your time making your choice. When you find the right match, you’ll feel right at home from day one.

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