3 Common Fears of Assisted Living and How to Address Each with Your Parents

Making the move to an assisted living facility is not easy for aging parents or their children. There are a lot of fears that surround these communities, and this can prevent your loved one from enjoying their stay. 

If your parents will be moving into one of the high-quality Orlando retirement communities soon, it is time to talk to them. Follow these tips to make independent living near Orlando a positive experience for your loved ones. 

1.      Feeling Lonely

Many older adults feel upset, betrayed, and anxious when transitioning into assisted living. They worry that they will be alone and their loved ones will not check up on them. 

This could not be further from the truth. Assisted living communities have wonderful networks of residents that spend their days socializing and enjoying activities together. 

How to Address It: Show Them a Calendar of Events

If your parents are scared of feeling lonely in assisted living, show them the facility’s calendar. Plenty of events and community classes will connect them with other residents. 

This will help them feel better about the social aspect of moving into independent living. They may even become excited about the move!

2.  Losing Communication with You

Your parents may express the fear of losing touch with you and your siblings once they move. This is an understandable fear. Some older adults feel that they are a burden, and that is why they must move into assisted living. 

How to Address It: Make Plans to Keep in Touch

Reassuring your parents that you will stay in touch with them may not work. Instead, try to make solid plans with specific timelines to prove that you will keep in touch once they move. 

For example, you could set aside a specific day of the week to call them. This will show your parents that you have a plan and will follow through on it. 

3.  Losing Their Dignity

Many aging adults fear assisted living will take away their freedom and dignity. This is a common misconception. Any high-quality retirement community will be filled with enriching activities and allow for your parents’ healthy level of independence. 

How to Address It: Discuss What They Can Do

Instead of focusing on what they are losing, talk to your parents about what they will be able to do once they move. Assisted living facilities have numerous amenities and free activities to enjoy. Your parents will not lose their sense of self and purpose. 

Enjoy Orlando Retirement Communities to the Fullest

Your parents can happily retire and enjoy their lives as older adults at a nice assisted living facility. Their medical needs will always be met, and they can socialize with other friendly residents. 

It is normal to have fears, but once you discuss them with your parents, everyone will feel better about the move. 

Thinking About Moving When You Retire? Here’s Why Orlando Is So Popular

Deciding where to move during retirement is a big decision. There are many great options for retirees, no matter their hobbies or goals. Orlando has been a popular choice for seniors for years. 

Orlando retirement communities are some of the best in the country, and more seniors choose this part of the country every year. This article will discuss why Orlando is so popular for retirement.


Weather is a huge factor when it comes to retirement. Warm weather makes it easier to stay active and get outside throughout the year, and it’s easier on the joints and bones. Orlando is home to pleasant weather year-round. 

While summers can get quite hot, winters are mild with plenty of sunshine. Retirees can enjoy outdoor recreation all year and never worry about extreme winter storms.


Retirement is a time for seniors to enjoy themselves, explore new hobbies, and have fun. Another reason Orlando is so popular is because of the ample activities for seniors in the community. Whether seniors are looking for a highly active lifestyle or to embrace a leisurely retirement, Orlando has activities that can fit their preferences. 

The community features a variety of spaces and activities for recreation, including:

  • Open spaces
  • Parks
  • Hiking trails
  • Biking trails
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Golf

In addition, the Atlantic Ocean is just an hour’s drive away, making a beach day very accessible for most seniors.

Health Care

Access to quality health care is more important than ever during retirement. Even seniors in good health never know what the future holds. Orlando is home to several high-quality medical centers and hospitals that cater to seniors. 

The hospitals are home to experts that know how to diagnose and treat the most common senior ailments. Whether it is managing a chronic condition, handling regular checkups, or providing emergency services, there are quality health facilities in Orlando.

Abundance of Orlando Retirement Communities

Finding the right retirement community can make it possible to enjoy retirement to the fullest. Orlando is home to some of the country’s leading retirement communities, and seniors have many communities to choose from. 

For seniors looking to stay very active, there are Orlando independent living retirement communities that offer an abundance of activities. For seniors looking to relax during retirement, there are communities that focus on leisure and wellness.  No matter what a retiree is looking for in their senior years, there is a community in Orlando that can meet their needs. These are just a few reasons Orlando is a popular choice. To learn more about Orlando, you can contact a local retirement community to learn more about your options.

3 Tips to Help Older Adults Maintain Healthy Habits

As you get older, it can be difficult to maintain good health as easily as you may have in the past. Older people can be more susceptible to getting sick, and illnesses can often be more severe in old age than in youth.

Ways to Stay Healthy and Happy in Orlando Retirement Communities

Staying healthy into your golden years can be a challenge, but when you’re a resident of Orlando retirement communities, there are many more resources at your disposal when it comes to keeping up good habits. 

Here are 3 tips for seniors who want to keep prioritizing good health as they enjoy independent living in Orlando, Florida.  

1. Keep Up an Exercise Routine

Most people know that regular exercise is a key part of a healthy routine. Exercise can provide a huge variety of benefits, including better mobility, deeper sleep, and a healthier heart. 

Did you know that regular exercise can also boost the immune system? As you age, keeping up some physical activity can help your immunity fight against infection and keep you healthy. Even if you can’t participate in strenuous exercise, regular walks and stretching can have significant health benefits.

2. Find Mentally Stimulating Hobbies

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and the best way to keep your mind healthy as you age is to stimulate it regularly. There are so many enjoyable ways to expand your mind, including:

  • Reading
  • Journaling
  • Playing or listening to music
  • Socializing with friends
  • Taking a class
  • Playing word games like crosswords or Sudoku
  • Playing board games like chess or checkers

Fortunately, many of the best ways to keep your mind healthy and active are also great ways to enjoy some free time or connect with your community. Maintaining multiple hobbies that you enjoy can help to reduce stress, which can cause a variety of health issues.

3. Eat a Balanced Diet

Even if you keep up a regular exercise routine and find multiple ways to keep your mind stimulated, good health will be difficult to maintain if you aren’t eating a well-balanced diet. 

Easy access to plenty of healthy, nourishing food is one of the most important benefits of independent living communities — many older folks struggle to cook healthy meals for themselves on a regular basis. 

Make sure you include plenty of vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and protein sources in your diet to stay healthy and enjoy your retirement lifestyle.

3 Ways to Make Daily Walks More Fun This Fall

Staying active is one of the most important parts of retirement. Whether you’re on your own or taking advantage of the many perks of Orlando, Florida, independent living, it’s critical to get some exercise every day.

Walking is undoubtedly one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy, but it can sometimes get a little dull. Here are three ways to make your daily walks more stimulating this autumn.

1. Listen to a Podcast

Putting on a podcast while you’re walking can make the time fly by.

There are millions of podcasts out there covering just about every topic under the sun. From art to gardening to celebrity gossip, there’s literally a show for everyone.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to your daily walk just so you can listen to your new favorite podcast.

2. Try Bird-Watching

There’s so much to do on an outdoor walk other than just moving your feet.

The great outdoors is teeming with animals and wildlife to ooh and aah over. Start researching the birds in your area and see how many you can spot on your walk. You might be surprised at how much wildlife there is all around you.

Giving yourself a new focal point is a good way to distract yourself from the mundane nature of a walking routine. If you start bird-watching during your walks, you’ll begin to learn more about these fascinating creatures, including their habits and routines.

3. Take a New Route

One of the main reasons walks get boring is that many people follow the same path day in and day out. While it’s normal to find a route you like and stick with it, there’s no harm in switching things up.

Take a left instead of a right, go the long way for a change, or try walking in a different part of town. A new route will refresh you and allow you to take in new sights and sounds. You never know — you may even find a route you like better than the old one.

Staying Spry in Orlando Retirement Communities

Orlando retirement communities offer wonderful amenities and opportunities for seniors to explore new ways to stay active. Whether you decide to join a walking group or simply explore new routes on community grounds on your own, making sure your daily walks are invigorating is easier than ever.

Alzheimer’s Care: How to Prevent Wandering

When a loved one develops Alzheimer’s, wandering can become a significant concern. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that up to 60% of those with dementia will wander at some point. Unfortunately, wandering can increase a senior’s risk of falling, injuring themselves, or experiencing illness due to elemental exposure. 

The only way to ensure your loved one doesn’t wander and injure themselves or others is to provide full-time supervision. Orlando retirement communities can offer a comfortable, home-like setting while providing the necessary security to keep those with dementia safe. 

If you care for your loved one who’s experiencing dementia at home, there are technologies and strategies to reduce the occurrence of wandering. And if they do wander, they will be more likely to return home safely. 

Prepare Your Home

You can take steps to deter your loved one with dementia from leaving your house unsupervised. These steps include:

  • Installing door and window locks and alarms
  • Hiding keys, purses, and wallets
  • Camouflaging doors that lead outside
  • Labeling interior doors to explain the purpose of each room

Many of those with Alzheimer’s may wander outdoors looking for a kitchen or bathroom. Labeling the interior doors to show the available rooms clearly can reduce outdoor wandering and provide a safe indoor space.

Reduce Confusion

Overstimulation can increase confusion in those with dementia. Loud noises, chaos, and new environments can lead to agitation, causing your loved one to feel like they need to escape the situation. Instead, try to create a calm, soothing atmosphere, especially during times of day when they’re more prone to wandering.

Plan Ahead

Preparing for your loved one to wander can ensure they return home quickly and safely. You can mitigate the dangers and locate your senior before they get too far or experience an injury by:

  • Asking your neighbors to call you if they see the person wandering
  • Keeping a recent photo in case you need to contact the police
  • List places where your loved one may go while wandering
  • Buy your senior a wearable GPS tracking device

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return program, formed in partnership with the MedicAlert Foundation, can help you quickly track down your loved one if they’ve wandered away. Consider enrolling them in this nationwide emergency response service.

Consider Orlando Retirement Communities

At some point, your loved one will require full-time supervision, especially if they develop a habit of wandering. Unfortunately, most caregivers aren’t capable of providing that level of care. 

Facilities providing memory care in Orlando can support those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by providing them with support and security at all times. 

How Do Our Nutritional Needs Change as We Age?

As we age, our nutritional needs change. A healthy diet in our younger years may be inadequate for maintaining good health as we age. This is because as we age, our bodies undergo many changes, including:

  • Decreased digestive function
  • Lower Calcium absorption   
  • Decreased metabolism
  • Increased risk of disease and infection
  • Changes in hormone levels

The older we get, the more sensitive our bodies become to certain nutrients and vitamins. 

Vitamin B12 is a common example of this. Vitamin B12 is essential for normal nerve function and red blood cell production. As we age, our ability to absorb vitamin B12 can decrease, so many older people take supplements or eat foods fortified with the vitamin.

Since our nutritional needs change as we age, it’s important to know how to meet those needs to stay healthy and avoid many common age-related health concerns.

Increase Dietary Protein and Exercise

Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build and repair tissues in the body. It also plays a role in transporting substances through the bloodstream and is needed for healthy hair, skin, nails, and muscles.

As we age, muscle mass decreases due to less physical activity and muscle protein synthesis. Increasing your dietary protein intake, exercising, and stretching help to prevent this muscle mass loss. Protein helps build and repair damaged tissue, making it an essential nutrient for people over 50.

Increase Vitamin and Micronutrient Intake

You may have trouble absorbing certain vitamins and minerals because of dental problems or medications that interfere with digestion (like antacids). You might also have trouble digesting food properly if you’re taking medications that affect the kidneys or liver function.

Your body processes vitamins and minerals differently than it did when you were younger. As we age, our bodies are less able to absorb nutrients from food such as vegetables and fruits. That’s why older adults take vitamin supplements or multivitamins daily.

Decrease Sodium Intake

As we age, our kidneys might not work as well as they once did. This could make it more difficult for your body to remove extra salt from your diet — especially if you’re eating processed foods high in sodium.

Watch out for these hidden sources of sodium:

  • Processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and sausage
  • Canned vegetables and soups
  • Frozen dinners such as pizza or chicken nuggets
  • Salty snacks like chips and pretzels

Opt for low-sodium foods whenever possible. Carefully check nutrition labels when shopping for groceries.

Maintaining Good Nutrition as You Age — Tips from Orlando Retirement Communities

Eating healthy as you grow older is achievable. With a bit of planning and an open mind, you’ll be able to meet your nutritional needs without sacrificing taste or enjoyment. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change — it’s about making small changes for long-term gain.

Choosing from the area’s Orlando retirement communities can make it easier to maintain good nutrition as you age, as independent living near Orlando offers dining options and wellness programs that make it easy to maintain a healthy diet. 

What Makes Orlando Retirement Communities So Popular?

It’s practically a cliche at this point: Are you looking to retire? Then move to Florida — specifically, Orlando! There’s even a famous Jerry Seinfeld routine about it

Here’s the thing, though… Orlando retirement communities are incredible. The best thing about independent living facilities in Orlando is that, well, they’re in Orlando. And why is Orlando an awesome place to retire? 

No Snow

Check out any pictures from an Orlando retirement community, and you won’t see a flake of snow. A winter with temps below 50 is an outlier. All year you can take in the sights and enjoy everything that Orlando has to offer! You can truly live your best life, staying active and getting involved without getting trapped by a blizzard.

Theme Parks

Even if you’re not a theme park fan, chances are your kids and grandkids are. Want them to visit? Tell them you live minutes from Disney World, Universal Studios, and Seaworld. And if you enjoy theme parks yourself, you can live minutes away. Some parks even offer discounts to residents, in addition to any senior discounts you may already enjoy.

Low Taxes

Florida taxes are low — and not just income taxes, which probably don’t apply to you as a retiree. Sales tax in Florida is only 6%Laws also state that tax assessment values for Florida homes can’t increase by more than 3% per year. 

How about state inheritance or estate taxes? Not in Florida. If you want to leave possessions or income to the next generation, Florida is the place to do it.

A Large Retiree Population

People like to be around others who understand them. Orlando has millions of retired residents who call the city their home. If you’re looking for plenty of like-minded people in the same phase of life, Orlando is it. Tourists may come and go, but your fellow retirees have found a new home.

Services that Cater to Specific Needs

Because of the high influx of retirees, businesses cater to their needs. Medical providers abound in the city. And the entertainment is better than anywhere else. Do you want to see that band you love? They’ll probably be playing nearby at a venue with assigned seats. Do you like golfing? You’ll find the best golf courses in the world in Orlando. 

Finally, and unsurprisingly, Orlando has an impressive number of beautiful, spacious retirement communities!

What’s the Best Age to Move into a Retirement Community?

If you or a loved one is considering moving into a retirement community, you may be wondering what’s the best age to move. There’s no magical age to transition. Some seniors are eager to settle into a community, while others prefer to stay at home.

The decision is ultimately up to you, but there are a few factors you should consider that can help you make your decision.

Daily Activities

If daily activities are becoming more difficult to complete, it’s time to start thinking about assisted living or independent living facilities in Orlando. 

You should spend your retirement enjoying hobbies and socializing with friends and family, not struggling to complete daily chores like cooking and cleaning. Moving to an assisted living community can free up your time and take some of these responsibilities off your plate.

Home Maintenance

One of the most important factors to consider is at what age home maintenance becomes too overwhelming. For seniors living alone, home maintenance can easily become too much to take on. 

Between cleaning the inside of your home and maintaining the outside with landscaping and routine repairs, there’s a lot to stay on top of. If home maintenance is starting to become a burden, it may be the right time to transition.


In most communities, driving is a big part of independence and also necessary to complete daily tasks like grocery shopping and getting to medical appointments. If it’s becoming unsafe for you to drive, transitioning to assisted living is a good option. 

Many Orlando retirement communities offer transportation options that still allow seniors to travel wherever they need to go.

Moving into Orlando Retirement Communities

There’s no perfect age to move into a retirement community, and the right time is ultimately up to you. Talk to friends and family and the community you’re considering before making your decision.

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

Aging Adults with Alzheimer’s: Do They Need a Special Doctor?

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating. As there is still no cure, aging adults with Alzheimer’s and their families are often left with few options to cope with the disease. A specialized doctor can help patients and their families understand their options and what to expect. 

Types of Alzheimer’s Specialty Doctors

There are two primary types of Alzheimer’s specialty doctors: neurologists and neuropsychologists. 

Neurologists are medical doctors who specialize in brain and nervous system disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. Neurologists perform brain imaging tests and in-depth evaluations that may include testing vision and speech. 

These tests can help determine whether there are other medical complications present and measure the severity of Alzheimer’s. 

Neuropsychologists specialize in evaluating and treating the brain’s cognitive functions such as language, memory, and attention span. 

For seniors experiencing difficulty with thinking, speech, or other symptoms interfering with daily life, a neuropsychologist can perform several tests to determine the severity and prognosis of the disease.

How a Specialized Doctor Can Help

While specialized doctors can’t make Alzheimer’s go away, they can help seniors and their families better manage it. They can recommend medications that may slow the disease’s progression or help alleviate related symptoms such as stress and anxiety. 

They can also provide a baseline for tracking disease progression, which can help guide future medical decisions. Florida is home to many specialized doctors, and some even make house calls to Orlando retirement communities.

Alzheimer’s Care in Orlando Retirement Communities

Just because a senior is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease does not mean that they can’t keep learning, explore new hobbies, and enjoy their retirement. Orlando is home to some of the best care communities for seniors. 

Whether you need minimal assistance or long-term memory care in Orlando, you can find a community that suits your needs.

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