Can Social Security Benefits Help Pay for Assisted Living Fees?

For most seniors, assisted living costs are more than what they receive from Social Security. According to a report from the National Center for Assisted Living, the median cost of assisted living is $4,000 per month.

Some seniors may be able to supplement their income with assistance from family members or friends. However, for many seniors, this is not an option. 

Regular Social Security benefits are not enough to cover assisted living costs completely. Optional State Supplements (SSS) may be available to some, but this additional income is often insufficient.

Optional State Supplements: What Are They?

Optional State Supplement (OSS) programs are run by states and provide additional income to supplement the federal Social Security benefits of low-income seniors and those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The exact amount is dependent on the applicant’s income and assets, as well as the state in which they reside, but most OSS programs top out at around $100-$200 per month. Payments are made directly to the assisted living facility on behalf of the senior.

To be eligible for OSS, applicants must:

  • Be 65 years of age or older
  • Reside in skilled nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, FL
  • Receive federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
  • Have low income and assets
  • Meet any additional state-specific requirements

With these programs, it’s important to keep in mind that not all seniors will qualify and that each state has different requirements.

Can Social Security Benefits Help Pay for Fees for Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, Florida?

There are several ways to help cover assisted living in Saint Petersburg, Florida, but Social Security benefits will only make up a small portion of the total cost for most seniors. 

Optional state supplements may be available to some, but these are often not enough to completely cover the costs. For many seniors, help from family and friends is essential to afford their care.

Congratulations To Our Volunteers and Team Members Of The Year

We’re beginning our celebration of Westminster Communities of Florida’s Volunteers of the Year and Team Members of the Year! Over the next two weeks, beginning on Wednesday, we’re holding recognition banquets in Tallahassee, St. Petersburg and Orlando to celebrate these individuals. Be on the lookout for our announcements of the winners prior to each banquet, and fun photos from the event itself.

Congratulations to all the amazing people who make Westminster Communities of Florida a great place to live and work!

Volunteers of the Year

Team Members of the Year

4 Ways to Simplify Video Calls with Older Loved Ones

Staying connected is one of the most important habits to adopt in the later years of life and is important for both physical and mental health. While assisted living in Saint Petersburg, Florida, can provide the community and connection seniors need, it is no replacement for connection with family. 

Video calling is a great way to stay connected with loved ones, even if they live far away. Here are four ways to simplify video calls with older loved ones.

1. Choose Easy-to-Use Apps

There are countless applications and websites that facilitate video calls. Some are easier to use than others. Make sure you have selected an intuitive app so that your older loved one can navigate it without ongoing assistance.

2. Give a Tutorial

Older loved ones aren’t always familiar with the technology that younger generations find obvious to use, so take time to give them a tutorial. If your loved one lives in one of the independent living facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, a staff member may be able to give a tutorial as well. 

3. Stay Patient

Now and then, your elderly loved one may have issues with video calling. The worst thing you can do is get frustrated and angry. Even if using the application seems easy to you, try to understand that it may be a challenge for them.

4. Make Sure They Have an Updated Device

Using an outdated device to navigate video calling applications can be a challenge for people of any age. Modern and easy-to-use video calling tools depend on modern devices to properly display the features. If your loved one has an older device, video calling may be more difficult to execute.

Staying Connected in Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Assisted living facilities in Saint Petersburg, Florida, make it easier than ever to stay connected to loved ones. With dedicated spaces for video calling and staff members who can help seniors navigate technology, residents can always feel supported and included.

3 Important Steps Older Adults Should Add to Their Skincare Routines

Most younger people understand the importance of a regular skincare routine to prevent aging, but in fact, people of all ages should have a thorough skincare routine to keep their skin healthy and looking its best. As skin ages, it’s important to take natural texture changes into account when crafting the perfect skincare regimen.  

Assisted Living in Tallahassee: Why Is a Skincare Routine Important for Mature Skin?

As you get older, one of the biggest changes you’ll experience in your skin is a reduced level of moisture. This is the main reason why most skincare routines for mature skin will include daily moisturization in addition to some of the basics like cleansing and toning. 

3 Steps to Add to Your Skincare Routine

However, there are a few other skincare practices that should be non-negotiables for older adults enjoying their golden years in independent living in Tallahassee, Florida. Let’s take a look at these practices and how they can make a difference in the health and vitality of your skin.

1. Exfoliate a Few Times Per Week

Exfoliation is the practice of removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, and it should be a part of any skincare routine, no matter your age. Regular exfoliation becomes even more important as you get older, as your skin will lose some of its ability to shed its dead cells on its own. 

Daily exfoliation can cause damage to mature skin but performing this step two to three times per week can make a huge difference in the brightness of your complexion.  

2. Include Eye Cream

The skin underneath the eyes and eyelids tend to be some of the most sensitive skin on the body, so this area needs its own special products to cater to its needs. 

This skin also tends to lose its elasticity as you age, creating the appearance of undereye bags. A dedicated eye cream can help keep your undereye skin firm and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines around your eyes.

3. Don’t Forget Sunscreen

If you’re enjoying your retirement in assisted living in Tallahassee, you know firsthand how too much sun exposure can leave your skin feeling dehydrated. Plus, UV rays are one of the most significant causes of visible skin damage as you age. 

You don’t have to give up your fun in the sun, but you can prevent further damage to mature skin by remembering to wear sunscreen each day.

6 Common Aging Myths Debunked

Getting older can be a scary idea for many adults, partly because there are many misconceptions about getting older. Aging does not have to mean that your quality of life or health automatically goes downhill. Today, older adults live longer and are healthier than ever before. 

Read on to learn about six common aging myths.

Myth 1: Loneliness Is Normal

One of the greatest fears and biggest myths about aging is related to loneliness. The myth is that older people live alone and rarely see their family and friends, leading to extreme loneliness. This is, in fact, not true for most older adults.

Whether adults are living in their own home or in assisted living in St. Petersburg, FL, older adults are one of the most active and social demographics in the community. Between meet-up groups, volunteer opportunities, clubs, and more, getting old does not mean loneliness. 

Myth 2: Older People Can’t Learn New Things

Indeed, learning some things, such as learning a new language, during old age becomes more challenging. However, this principle does not apply across the board. 

Some of the most common activities for seniors include learning new skills, from piano to golf to painting. Older people learn things all the time, and learning can make retirement more enjoyable. 

Myth 3: Aging Means Memory Problems

While diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia are certainly real diseases that impact families across the world, aging does not necessarily mean you will experience memory problems. Many older people have memories that are perfectly intact and report no problems with memory at all.

Myth 4: Older Adults Should Slow Down

Your later years in life should be some of the most enjoyable. You have the time you need to enjoy your hobbies, explore new passions, and spend more time with family and friends. Whether you choose to live in your own home or choose independent living in St. Petersburg, FL, aging does not have to mean slowing down.

Myth 5: Older Adults Must Give Up Driving

While there may come a time that health or other issues prevent you from driving, many seniors enjoy driving well into their 70s and 80s. Older adults are perfectly capable of being safe drivers. As you age, you can still drive yourself around, get to appointments, and pursue the things you want at your convenience.

Myth 6: Exercise Is Too Dangerous for Older Adults

There is a myth that older adults should back off from exercise for fear of experiencing an injury. In fact, exercise is perhaps more important for older adults than any other age group. As adults age, exercise keeps them mentally and physically healthy, and is critical to enjoying a long life. There are plenty of exercises that can be done safely without risk of injury.

Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, FL

If you or a loved one is exploring the options for living arrangements during retirement, assisted living in Saint Petersburg, FL, is a great option. The wellness programs, independence, and services and amenities are unmatched. You’ll be able to make the most of your retirement years in style and comfort.

Does My Loved One Need Memory Care? 4 Ways to Know

Memory care is a wonderful type of specialized care that can make all the difference for senior citizens struggling with memory loss. But knowing when it is time to seek memory care for a loved one can be tricky. Every situation and person is different, so the signs of memory problems can be unique and difficult to spot. 

If you are aware of what signs to look out for, you’ll be better equipped to make the decision when the time comes. Here are four ways to know that your loved one needs memory care. 

1. They Have a New Diagnosis

If your loved one has recently received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it is time to consider memory care. Unfortunately, these diseases currently have no cure, and they tend to get worse over time. 

Eventually, memory loss can make it difficult to get around and complete everyday tasks. Seeking memory care for a loved one early on after their diagnosis can help to ease the transition by allowing them to establish a routine.

2. Your Loved One’s Safety Is at Risk

While safety becomes more of a concern as your loved ones age, it might be at a greater risk when an older person is facing memory loss. Dangerous situations can include forgetting to turn off appliances, wandering or getting lost, forgetting to feed pets, or frequent, unexplained injuries.

By seeking memory care for your loved ones, you can ensure that they’ll be supervised appropriately while being supported in a safe environment. 

There are skilled facilities that offer memory care in St. Petersburg, FL. To learn about a particular facility and its safety protocols, you can request information online.

3. Their Health Is Declining

Declining health is not uncommon as your loved ones age, but it is important to keep an eye out for the underlying cause of the change. As people experience increased memory loss, doing everyday things like preparing food or remembering to take medications becomes more difficult. 

Sleep schedules are also often impacted by failing memory. 

If you notice any of the following health-related issues, it may be time to consider memory care:

  • Changes in sleeping patterns, including excessive exhaustion
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Not taking medication
  • Taking too much medication
  • Missing medical appointments
  • Failing to take care of their basic hygiene

At a memory care facility, your loved ones can get the care they need to maintain their health.

4. You’ve Got a Gut Feeling Something’s Wrong

No one knows your loved one better than you do. While doctors can make recommendations, they are not around all the time to witness behaviors. If you have a feeling that it is time to seek memory care, it probably is.

Memory Care in St. Petersburg, FL

If you are looking for memory care for a loved one, be aware that not all assisted living facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida offer memory care. It is a specialized type of care that requires additional training and protocols. By doing your research, you can find a skilled, compassionate partner to provide the care that your loved one deserves.

New Memory Care Neighborhood At Westminster Oaks Recognized For Excellence In Construction

Director of Construction Bill Andersen and Construction Manager Rob Clerici with the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Eagle Award for Excellence in Construction.
Westminster Oaks and Westminster Communities of Florida are delighted to announce that the new Memory Care neighborhood in the Life Plan Community in Tallahassee has been recognized by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of North Florida with its Eagle Award for Excellence in Construction.

The Eagle Award, shared with the project’s general contractor, Cook Brothers Inc., recognizes and celebrates outstanding projects built by North Florida ABC members and the workmanship of those who contribute. Teamwork and cooperation between general contractors, specialty contractors, and material suppliers are prerequisites for building excellence into any construction project.

“It is quite an honor to receive this award,” said Bill Andersen, Director of Construction for Westminster Communities of Florida. “We are very appreciative of this award and are thankful to Cook Brothers for the quality product they produced. The new Memory Care neighborhood is a beautiful building in an attractive setting for the residents at Westminster Oaks, with spacious units, a large, home-like living and gathering areas, country kitchen dining spaces, and a large exterior courtyard setting for getting outdoors. Plus, the facility incorporates some of the newest and most innovative technologies for Memory Care.”

The new Memory Care neighborhood is an expansion of the Life Plan Community, which serves more than 600 residents with Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Nursing Care, Rehabilitation and more. Residents will receive Memory Care and Assisted Living services in spaces custom-designed to support their needs. The building was designed as a set of small, secure neighborhoods with spacious private apartments, a memory garden and more. In addition, it features innovative and sustainable building features, like higher-efficiency HVAC systems, zero VOC paints and sealants, and long life-span construction materials, and was constructed to the National Green Building Standard Silver level.

Congratulations to Westminster Oaks, the Westminster Communities of Florida Construction & Design Department, and Cook Brothers Inc. for this prestigious recognition.

Westminster Oaks is a Continuing Care Retirement Community set amid the rolling hills of Florida’s capital. The community offers Independent Living, featuring Westminster Communities of Florida’s exclusive My W Life program for wellbeing of mind, body and soul, as well as Assisted Living, Nursing Care, Memory Care and more. To learn more about Westminster Oaks, visit us online at www.WestminsterOaksFL.org or call (850) 878-1136.

Westminster-Tallahassee-Drone

5 Tips For Decluttering Before a Move to Assisted Living

If you or a loved one are moving to assisted living in Saint Petersburg, FL, or anywhere else in the world, you surely have a lot to think about. One of the biggest stressors is decluttering your previous residence when preparing to move into your new space, and it can be hard to get started and stay on track. 

Below are five tips for how to declutter your space before your big move. 

1. Get Started Early

One of the best ways to prepare for a big move is to start early and stick to a plan. As soon as you know you or your loved one will be moving to assisted living, come up with a schedule for your decluttering, packing, and moving process. Once you have it all laid out, things will go much smoother. 

2. Use the Twelve-Month Rule

As you’re clearing out your space, a good rule of thumb is this: If you haven’t worn or used an item in a year or more, you probably don’t need it. 

In particular, your closets can accumulate a lot of old clothes and shoes that don’t need to come with you to your new home. If you haven’t worn or used an item in ten years, it may be bound for the waste bin. But if it’s in good condition, consider donating it instead. 

3. Don’t Keep a “Maybe” Pile

If you’re unsure of something, then you definitely don’t need it. A common mistake while decluttering is keeping a “maybe” pile. 

If you or a loved one are moving to assisted living, cutting down on anything extra is the name of the game, so don’t bother keeping something you’re not sure you need. 

4. Set Appropriate Limits

Whether you’re the one moving into a new assisted living community, or you’re helping a loved one make the transition, it’s important to remember there should be some limits when it comes to what’s worth keeping. 

For example, you probably don’t need financial or medical records from 20 years ago. However, it might be a good idea to keep important records from the past five years. 

Once you and your family have decided on the limits that work for your situation, make sure to stick with them and don’t make adjustments. If you have multiple people helping with the move, make sure everyone is on the same page. 

5. Consider Your Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg Space

Whether you’re moving to assisted living, it’s important to keep in mind how much space you’ll have in your new setting. 

There are many skilled nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, FL. Once you find the right one, take time to familiarize yourself with the facility and the type of living space you’ll have by taking an in-person tour. 

If you’re helping a loved one move and they can’t see their new space in person, make sure to take pictures and videos to show them what to expect. This will help everyone plan out how much can be brought into the new space and simplify the decluttering process. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Searching for a Memory Care Community

Watching a loved one with Alzheimer’s or a similar condition can be depressing, frustrating, and overwhelming. Assisted living in St. Petersburg, FL, will help you shoulder some of the difficulties you both may face. These centers will give you peace of mind as they keep your loved one safe, secure, and provided for. 

With that being said, it’s essential to find the right memory care community for the situation. A mistake in the inquiry process can lead to problems down the road. If you’re looking for a new home for your loved one, avoid making these common mistakes:

Failing to Ask the Right Questions

As you search for a memory care center, try changing your perspective. Looking at the situation from every angle and asking plenty of questions about assisted living in St. Petersburg, FL, will help you avoid an unfortunate situation. 

We recommend that you ask these questions as a starting point to your search for skilled nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, FL. 

Is There a Medical Director on Staff?

You want around-the-clock security for your loved one because medical emergencies can strike at any time. Get familiar with the community’s medical staff and make special inquiries about a medical director. 

On that same note, find out about additional medical staff and equipment. Is the facility able to perform labs, therapy, and X-rays onsite?

What Activities Are Available?

What kind of quality of life can your loved one expect at a memory care facility? A big factor will be the kind of activities provided. If your family member can play games, do crafts, and make friends, they’ll be much more likely to enjoy their time at a memory care center.

Are the Rooms Semi-Private or Private?

If privacy is important for your loved one, make sure to check the status of their potential room. Having their own space will allow your loved ones to feel more relaxed and at home in the facility.

What Is the Policy for Emergencies?

You may want to move your loved one to a facility so that they have immediate care in an emergency. With that in mind, make sure to ask about emergency procedures and make sure you are comfortable with how these incidents are handled.

Not Taking a Tour of the Facility

Taking a tour of a potential facility will tell you everything you need to know about whether it’s a good fit for your loved one. While you’re touring the place, check out the layout. Is it easy to maneuver? 

You should also take the time to observe how staff members treat residents. You want your loved one to receive compassion and attention. While you’re there, sample the food, talk to other residents, and participate in activities. Getting a feel for the vibe of the center will tell you if your loved one will feel at home there. 

Ignoring the “Comprehensive Costs” Topic

Before you finish your tour, make sure to ask about all of the costs. Do the standard fees cover housekeeping, nutrition, and medical care, or are those services add-ons? Obviously, you don’t want to commit to a center that is outside of your means. So don’t make the common mistake of failing to calculate all of the costs of memory care in St. Petersburg, FL. 

Saint Petersburg Florida Assisted Living: The Link Between Physical Health and Mental Health

Over the years, assisted living Saint Petersburg homes have provided benefits to many different people. But is it possible that assisted living in Saint Petersburg FL, could improve your physical and mental health? Let’s take a look at this topic to get an idea of what you can expect.

Can Assisted Living Homes Help with Mental Health?

Research has found that physical and mental health are intricately connected. Simply put, stronger physical health is likely to improve your emotional health. For older adults living with physical pain, getting help could potentially make it easier to become a happier and healthier person.

Does that mean moving to an assisted living home will improve your mental health? It is possible – but has not been tested heavily. Simply put, assisted living in Saint Petersburg, FL, may improve your physical quality of life, which in turn could help enhance your emotional health.

This process depends on several factors. For instance, combining the benefits of medical treatment and medication with a stronger and healthier living environment – like your assisted living home – might be key to improved mental health!

How to Pick Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, FL

If you want to find an assisted living Saint Petersburg home, it is important to consider a few different facets. These ever-important elements may impact the experience you receive. They include:

  • The overall costs of your care facility, including their accepted insurance options 
  • Their location, such as their proximity to loved ones near you 
  • Resources and care options they provide you, such as physical therapy 
  • Recreational options are provided for you by the center 
  • Each center’s reputation with the community 

When gauging which of these centers is right for you, it is important to take a little time researching your various options. Doing so will ensure that you get a great experience and minimize potential complications. Just as importantly, it will keep you focused on a better life. Westminster Palms aims to be your premier choice for assisted living in Saint Petersburg, FL!

Take Care of Yourself

As you can see, an assisted living Saint Petersburg home could provide some benefits for your physical and mental health. Talk to your doctor about the potential benefits of assisted living in Saint Petersburg for your needs.

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