Can I Have Visitors in an Independent Living Community?

Moving to a retirement community brings up a lot of questions about daily life in independent living facilities. Orlando independent living communities provide beautiful residences without the hassle of maintaining them. You get assistance at every turn, from lawn care to household cleaning. 

You may be wondering if you can have visitors in your home in independent living communities. It is important to keep connections with family and friends after you move to independent living near Orlando. Some facilities may or may not allow visitors. At Westminster Baldwin Park, we welcome your guests with open arms. 

Your Home Is Yours

In an independent living community, your home is your own private space. You can choose to have guests over if they are not infringing on other properties. Just as you would in an average home, you can invite friends and family to your place whenever you would like. 

Independent living communities are designed to give you the comfort and independence of having your own residence without the hassle of maintaining it. Independent living does not require giving up your social circle. 

Social Connection Is Important

It’s incredibly important to keep in touch with your loved ones. While most seniors in assisted living communities get plenty of interaction with their fellow residents and community members, most still need contact and visitation with their friends and family.

What’s more, the transition to independent living communities can be hard for some seniors. It is understandable that such a big move would cause feelings of sadness and loneliness. To avoid these feelings, seniors should connect with whoever makes them feel supported whenever they get the chance.

Residents Support Each Other

Perhaps your loved ones live farther away now that you have moved to independent living. If it is not possible to have visitors in the near future, remember that assisted living communities are built for senior support. You have plenty of neighbors with whom you can make friends with and enjoy activities.

If you become close with other residents, that gives you a support system right in your own community. When visitors are not available, you can lean on your fellow seniors in our independent living facilities. 

Your Healthcare Needs Come First

If you receive services from our in-home healthcare aides, nurses, and other professionals, there may be different guidelines on visitation. For example, if you moved to our community because you need memory care in Orlando, your visitors may need to work around your schedule. Your nurses and other health professionals will need to adhere to your treatment plan to help you stay happy and healthy. 

Westminster Orlando Independent Living Community

At Westminster Baldwin Park, we have curated a supportive, friendly community of seniors who reside in independent living facilities. You have access to our wealth of amenities and health services to help you thrive. If you want to enjoy an active social life while still including your loved ones, independent living may be right for you. 

5 Easy Exercises to Support Mobility for Seniors

As you get older, you may notice your joints ache more, and your mobility is not what it used to be. If you are looking to improve your mobility, gentle daily movements can help you. We have compiled a list of five easy, joint-friendly exercises to help you regain your mobility. 

Disclaimer: Please consult with your doctor for approval before beginning a physical activity program.

  1. Exercise Ball Leg Lifts

Exercise balls are very useful tools for gentle mobility exercises. 


  1. Sit on your exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Brace your core and tighten your abdominal muscles. It is important to let your abs support your back during this exercise. 
  3. Slowly raise and straighten one leg forward at a time. 
  4. Alternate legs until you feel comfortable discontinuing the exercise. 

This exercise will help you with everyday mobility. Exercise ball leg lifts are great for strengthening your abdominal wall and hip bands. 

  1. Hold the Sun

This exercise is known as “holding the sun” or “catching the moon.” These movements have roots in tai chi practice, which emphasizes soft fluid motion. 


  1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. 
  2. Slowly extend your arms outward in front of you while raising them towards your head.
  3. Raise your outward-facing palms above your head so that your arms form a circular shape. 
  4. “Hold the sun”; imagine you are pushing upward and using your palms to support the sun above your head. 
  5. Slowly lower your arms back to your sides. 
  6. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable with. 

The “hold the sun” exercise is excellent for strengthening your core muscles and stretching your back. 

  1. Side Hip Raises

This is a simple but effective move to increase hip mobility. 


  1. Stand straight up with your feet hip-width apart. 
  2. Extend one leg out to the side with your hands on your hips. 
  3. Keep your back straight and toes pointed forward if possible.
  4. Raise your leg as high as feels comfortable, then lower your foot back down.
  5. Repeat on each side as many times as you feel comfortable with. 

Side hip raises will help with walking, joint pain, and daily activities. 

  1. Leg Lifts On Your Back

You can do these leg lifts straight from your bed. If you have very low mobility and need a very gentle exercise, this will do the trick.


  1. Lie flat on your back. 
  2. Bend one knee so that your foot is flat on the surface beneath you.
  3. Straighten the opposite leg and lift it as high as you comfortably can.
  4. Hold the straight leg up in the air for ten seconds.
  5. Repeat on each side as many times as you feel comfortable with.

Back leg lifts strengthen your core, knees, and leg muscles. 

  1. Walking

This one is simple. Take a walk around your neighborhood or on a treadmill. Walking improves mobility, boosts circulation, and has a myriad of other health benefits. The best way to get your mobility back is to incorporate walking into your daily routine. 

Winter Park Independent Living

Are you a senior looking for independent living near Orlando? Westminster Baldwin Park is a beautiful, scenic retirement community with numerous convenient amenities. Winter Park independent living allows you to work on your physical challenges while enjoying the company of fellow retired seniors. 

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Swimming for Older Adults

To maintain good health, doctors advise exercise and other physical activities. This can be a difficult challenge for everyone, but remaining active in retirement can be incredibly challenging. The importance of good health increases as we get older, especially as other aspects of our health begin to decline naturally. Older adults must get sufficient exercise to keep themselves healthy and happy for as long as possible. 

Swimming is an excellent choice of exercise for many reasons for older adults. It can be hard to find a sufficiently active exercise regimen that’s not too strenuous on older bodies. Many Orlando, FL, independent living communities offer swimming amenities, among others. 

Here are five health benefits for older adults who choose swimming as a form of exercise. 

Offers Low-Impact Exercise

Swimming is a low-impact exercise because it is non-weight-bearing. You don’t have to hold up your weight as you float in the water, so there is no pressure on the knees, hips, or spine. As you float, you may also find relief from the regular strain on certain joints. Adults who have arthritis or other similar conditions may see reduced pain symptoms and improved quality of life.

Improves Flexibility

As you float and swim in the water, you will move your limbs throughout the entire range of motion. Using your body’s full range of motion is more intense and challenging on foot, so swimming will help move your body in ways you might not be able to out of the water. Moving your body in this way will increase and improve your flexibility, as your limbs will move in directions they may not be able to on land. 

Reduces Fall Risks

Swimming works all of your major muscle groups. This means your upper body, core muscles, and leg muscles will generally be stronger. These muscles are considered important muscle groups for posture and stability. Working these muscles and keeping them strong will help reduce your chances of becoming a fall risk. Reducing fall risks is an important aspect of Orlando independent living. 

Improves Sleep

Though fun, swimming is a demanding form of exercise. It works every muscle in your body and burns through a lot of calories, both of which cause you to feel tired. Additionally, swimming can be a repetitive action that can help relax the mind. Together, these two elements can lead to a good night’s sleep, which is especially important during retirement years.

Promotes Cardiovascular Health

Swimming is known to be an aerobic exercise, which means it increases the body’s oxygen consumption. Consider the way you breathe when doing exercise; your heart rate will increase when you breathe more. Working out in this way promotes heart health, as well as increases stamina. Just make sure you check with our doctor before swimming if you have any heart-related health concerns.

Orlando Independent Living

If you’re considering looking for Orlando, Florida, retirement communities, Westminster Baldwin Park should be at the top of your list. Our amenities will keep you or your loved ones active, healthy, and happy. 

Assisted Living vs. Independent Living: Is There a Difference?

It’s easy to be confused by the myriad of options available for post-retirement living. Different retirement communities are classified based on the type of living arrangements they provide, and two of the most common options are independent living and assisted living. If you want to make the best choice for yourself or your loved one, it’s important to understand the difference between the two living situations. 

Here is a breakdown of the two different types of living arrangements. Analyze the key differences and make an informed decision for your loved one.

Independent Living 

Independent retirement living is exactly what it sounds like. This type of living arrangement aims to give retirees as much freedom and independence as possible. 

Ideally, seniors in independent living communities can take care of themselves and their basic daily tasks. These living arrangements don’t typically offer medical care services. When searching for independent living facilities in Orlando, FL, pay attention to the services provided and determine what’s appropriate for your specific situation. 

Assisted Living

Assisted retirement living refers to any amount of care needed by the resident to maintain daily life. If a resident needs help bathing, grooming, making food, or keeping their house, they would be a good candidate for an assisted living program

Key Differences

Though both types of communities offer similar amenities, there are two critical differences between these programs: cost and health services. 


Independent living communities are arranged so that residents take care of their own affairs. That being the case, these programs are typically less expensive than assisted living situations. Assisted living communities provide care to residents. In addition to paying to live in the community, there will also be a cost for any caregivers. 

However, keep in mind that some of these costs may be paid for by insurance and Social Security. Consult your insurance provider to see what is covered. Make sure to ask about tax deductibles.

Health Services

Independent living communities may offer health classes and courses, but the general assumption surrounding independent living is that the resident is healthy enough to pursue these activities solo. There may be facilities available for exercise, but it’s likely the residents will be encouraged to use these facilities at their leisure. 

Assisted living facilities are more likely to have fitness training and exercise specialists on the premises. As these residents are being assisted with their daily tasks, one would expect them to need extra care to maintain fitness. 

The exercise options available may also be more tailored for the resident’s individual needs, such as memory care and mental exercises. Make sure to look for these services when researching memory care in Orlando.

Independent Living Facilities in Orlando, FL 

There are plenty of options for independent living near Orlando. Westminster Baldwin Park strives to provide quality care as well as enrichment for active seniors in their retirement years. Through our various amenities and active lifestyle, our goal is to help residents maintain their independence and freedom as long as possible.

Staying Active: 4 Hobbies to Explore in Your Golden Years

Many seniors have the misconception that getting older means you cannot enjoy fun, active hobbies. The truth is quite the opposite. Independent living facilities in Orlando have an abundance of fun activities and amenities. You can use these resources to your advantage in your retirement community. 

We have compiled a list of four enjoyable, easy hobbies that you can explore during your senior years. Getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop living life to the fullest. If you’re considering moving into independent living in Orlando, Florida, this list absolutely still applies to you!

  1. Kayaking

If you’re at a shoreside facility like Westminster Baldwin Park, there are plenty of wide-open waters to explore. Lake Baldwin borders the community, allowing you to get out and paddle. Kayaking can be a fun solo activity or a social hobby. Some kayaks seat more than one person, making it a fun group outing if you choose to bring along others. 

Along with the gorgeous view of Lake Baldwin, kayaking affords you the chance to get in enjoyable physical activity. You will build strength very quickly as you haul your paddle to maneuver your kayak through the lake. Staying active is an essential part of having a quality senior experience. 

  1. Biking

Biking is a wonderful way to stay active while exploring and sightseeing. The bike trail in the Westminster community runs through Winter Park and into downtown Orlando. You can hit the course any time you want, whether it’s for a trip downtown or a leisurely bike ride in the evening with no end destination. 

Biking is easy on your joints and suitable for even low-mobility adults, unlike some other forms of strenuous exercise. If you have trouble with leg movement or joint problems, biking is a great way to ease back into physical activity. 

  1. Fitness

Some seniors thoroughly enjoy working out and building strength. Fitness can be a hobby of its own with many health goals to aim toward. If you’re thinking about an assisted living facility, know that most include fitness centers with high-end gym equipment. You can get your cardio in, lift weights, and more.

Some facilities offer general wellness programs that address your fitness and nutritional needs and teach you how to make nutritious food choices and stay active in enjoyable ways.

  1. Swimming

Want to retire and live in a place with a heated outdoor pool? Facilities like Westminster Baldwin Park offer that. You can kick back and lounge by the poolside or get in and swim laps to stay active. Swimming is one of the best forms of low-impact exercise for seniors that’s easy on your joints. 

A heated outdoor pool can allow for winter swimming and daily aqua exercises. If you need a way to stay active without straining your joints, swimming is a great option. You can also do gentle water exercises for your knees, hips, and thighs. 

Independent Living in Orlando, Florida

Westminster Baldwin Park is a classy, luxurious senior community in Orlando. We have plenty of ways to stay active that don’t harm your joints. Our amenities and lifestyle activities allow you to keep up with your favorite hobbies, even in old age. 

Understanding Memory Care and When It’s Time

As we age, our brains begin to have more difficulty keeping up with the world around us. If there is a history of degenerative memory loss issues in your family, you should pay particular attention to your loved ones as they age and watch for signs of severe memory loss. If the disease progresses far enough, you may need to start looking for assisted living near Orlando.

Signs of Memory Loss

There is a difference between normal memory lapses and severe memory loss. If you’re a caretaker for an elderly loved one, it’s imperative that you understand the differences and can recognize more serious warning signs for severe memory loss diseases. 

Be on the lookout for these signs: 

  • New or worsening issues with communication
  • Trouble with familiar tasks
  • Misplacing important items
  • Mood swings, particularly dealing with agitation or paranoia
  • Poor hygiene and judgment
  • Wandering
  • Repetitive actions or speech

These symptoms might be signs of memory diseases that can progressively get worse. Sometimes these symptoms (especially mood swings) can be triggered by outside sources. Learning what prompts these symptoms can help you assist your loved one.

Types of Memory Care

The type of care your loved one needs depends on what kind of memory loss disease they suffer from, as well as its severity. The most common memory loss disease in older adults is Alzheimer’s. 

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disorder that destroys the brain’s ability to remember things and perform basic tasks. Early stages of Alzheimer’s include memory problems and finding the right words, vision issues, and impaired judgment. Those with this condition may need any, some, or all of the following memory care accommodations: 

  • Medication management
  • Transportation
  • Memory-enhancing activities
  • Laundry
  • Personal care assistnace
  • Mobility assistance
  • 24/7 care and supervision

If you catch the disorder early enough, you can manage most symptoms with medication. However, as time passes, it may become apparent that medicine and care are not enough to ensure their safety and independence, and your loved one could eventually need 24/7 supervision. 

When to Call for Help

When a loved one suffers from a memory loss disease, it can be challenging to care for them. They may become violent during mood swings, or you may have difficulty keeping an eye on them if they are prone to wandering. When you can no longer safely care for them, it may be time to bring them to a retirement care community. 

Winter Park Independent Living

Here in Winter Park, we aim to keep your loved ones safe and cared for with various levels of personalized care. Our assisted living program includes services that will keep your loved ones safe, enriched, and healthy through their retirement years. 

Services include: 

  • On-site security
  • Medication management
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Restaurant dining
  • And much more!

Winter Park independent living services aim to help you feel comfortable about the tough decision to let someone else look after your family. If you’re looking for independent living facilities in Orlando for your loved ones, we hope to be your first choice. 

Tax Deductions for Assisted Living Expenses

Caring for loved ones as they age can be a complex and complicated undertaking. The realities of providing care can be challenging; work may not be accommodating, you may need to relocate, and your loved one may be dealing with a degenerative memory loss disease. Putting your loved one in a retirement community might feel out of reach due to the cost of the facilities. 

However, plenty of tax deductions are available for independent living in Orlando, Florida, to help defray the cost. Here is a quick rundown of tax deductions available for assisted living. 

Assisted Living Expenses

The biggest cost of assisted living is the cost of the living space per year. Depending on what state you’re in, the price of living in a one-bedroom apartment in an assisted living community ranges between $99 and $220 per day. This cost adds up to roughly $4,000 per month and $50,000 per year.

What’s Deductible

Luckily, there are several deductible items that you can claim during tax time to help offset this price tag. Some everyday medical expense items include:

  • Prescription costs, including insulin 
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Mental health expenses, including the cost of therapy
  • Dental expenses, including dentures, x-rays, and fillings
  • Costs related to medical needs, including parking fees and money spent on travel for care
  • Nursing services (this can be claimed even if the caretaker isn’t a nurse)
  • Fees to enter into assisted care

There are plenty of other tax deductions available to you if the cost of caring for your loved one is substantial. Consult a tax professional for a personalized list of applicable deductions. 

Requirements for Deductibility

Some deductions may have additional requirements you must fulfill in order to be valid. In these cases, your loved one may need to meet the following criteria:

  • Certification of illness by a doctor, nurse, or other licensed healthcare professional
  • Inability to perform basic daily living tasks alone, such as bathing or dressing
  • Need substantial supervision due to memory loss disease

In addition to these criteria, your loved one must also have a plan of care prescribed to them by a social worker or doctor. Even if your loved one doesn’t meet the definition of “chronic illness,” they may still be able to qualify for certain deductions. Consult with a tax professional for guidance on deductions.

You can also get financial assistance in most states if you have Social Security as long as you meet certain requirements and criteria. Ask a financial advisor about Optional State Supplements and whether you qualify. 

Independent Living in Orlando, Florida

If your loved one is becoming challenging to care for on your own, it may be time to consider looking for independent living facilities in Orlando. Westminster Baldwin Park, and our assisted living division in Winter Park, are committed to helping your loved ones maintain their independence for as long as possible. We offer both memory care in Orlando as well as active lifestyles for our residents.

The Best Lifelong Learning Classes for Seniors

When you think about conventional retirement after your career, you may not imagine going back to school as part of it. However, some Orlando retirement communities offer lifelong learning classes that allow residents to continue their education. Learning can be fun, interesting, and intellectually stimulating. Some may want to relive their college years. Whatever your reason, why should you stop learning just because our time in school is over?

So, what type of classes should you take through your Orlando, FL, independent living community? There are so many to choose from, and it all depends on your interests. You may find after taking one or two courses that you’d like to keep learning! Here are a few suggestions from The Rollins Center for Lifelong Learning, available to Westminster Baldwin Park residents:


In Intro to East Asian Brush Painting at Rollins, you will get introduced to the more spiritual side of Asian brush painting. Are you ready to dive into the history of the practice and learn about the traditional brush stroke techniques? Many students find it to be relaxing and engaging. 

Your instructor will guide you through the Four Treasures (the ancient materials used in painting) and the Four Gentlemen (the traditional brush strokes used by the Chinese masters of the craft).


Consider taking a history class if you’re a history buff or love learning about different time periods and historical events. Rollins offers Westminster Baldwin Park residents courses that explore important touchstones of American history. 

A great example of this is their course on Prohibition in the US. This course will begin with the laws that put Prohibition in place and follow the rise and fall of the practice, ending with the 21st Amendment that ended Prohibition throughout the country. You will learn about the Temperance movement, alcohol’s influence in the Roaring Twenties, the rise of mafia activities, and the subsequent IRS response. 


Culture is a huge part of our lives, and there are endless ways to learn, engage, and have new experiences with different ways of being. This type of education can really expand the mind and keep you stimulated and excited about life. 

In the Culture, Politics, and Family class at Rollins, seniors from Westminster Baldwin Park will have a chance to begin a dialogue about family and culture across multiple generations. In this course, you will consider the definitions behind the words “kinship” and “family,” as well as examine the many different ways society interacts with these concepts. 

You’ll also explore how culture, medical innovation, reproductive technology, and politics have redefined our perception of what makes a family. Join anthropology professor Ashley Kistler and explore how “family” is changing in the 21st century.

Orlando, Florida, Retirement Communities

If you’re searching for stimulating and exciting Orlando, Florida, retirement communities, look no further! At Westminster Baldwin Park, we aim to create an active retirement community where residents have opportunities to enhance their lives. We prove Orlando retirement communities can be fun.

Through lifelong learning, residents can continue any educational goals they may not have achieved due to work obligations. Residents may also be interested in lifelong learning just to expand their minds and learn something new. The best part is there are no grades!

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