Health Care and Hospitality: Life Enrichment Through Assisted Living
Is senior living about providing premium healthcare — or exceptional hospitality? How would you choose which type of community might be best for your loved one? This health care/hospitality debate has been intensifying for years, but it doesn’t have to be an either-or equation.
Here at The Kensington Falls Church, we subscribe to a more inclusive view: senior living that creates a seamless blend between premier hospitality and world-class health care.
We don’t think a senior should have to decide between these two essentials, and at The Kensington, there is no need to do so. “Lifestyle” includes health and well-being as well as life enrichment. This is the goal of superlative senior living.
An Active Social Life
Research has repeatedly shown that seniors who stay socially connected are healthier, both mentally and physically than those who live in isolation.
An epidemiologist from the Drexel University School of Public Health who studies the effects of social capital on seniors found that those who were more socially connected had significantly better mobility than those who lived in less social communities. By the same token, people who were more socially connected were also more likely to engage in health-enhancing behaviors, such as not smoking and getting recommended health screenings.
The Kensington Falls Church understands the value of social capital; it’s the very lifeblood of what we do. We offer our residents a kaleidoscope of enriching activities and events, seven days a week, from morning till evening.
As the studies validate, the interaction and friendships that develop from these connection opportunities help reduce stress, maintain wellness, keep our residents’ brains sharp, and boost feelings of self-worth. Our full-time Life Enrichment coordinators work tirelessly to keep our activities schedule diverse and interesting.
How Life Enrichment Promotes Health
At The Kensington, our life enrichment events are designed to support senior health and well-being. For example, our weekly Parkinson’s Communications Club provides a wellness and prevention program for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners, with a focus on maintaining communication skills.
A collaboration between The Kensington and the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area (PFNCA), our Communications Club supports our senior living residents who have Parkinson’s in being heard in social settings. Speech-language therapist Susan Wranik, who leads the Communications Club, is trained in LSVT LOUD therapy, a type of voice training that stimulates the muscles of the voice box and speech mechanism through systematic exercises.
We also collaborate with PFNCA and Genesis Rehab to bring the community Energized Fitness for Parkinson’s, a high-energy fitness program geared towards improving seniors’ strength and mobility in a social setting. Physical therapist Sheetal Yadav, who leads the program, holds a Master’s degree in physical therapy and has worked extensively with seniors, especially those facing neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s.
We offer numerous Assisted Living Special Events. In March, for example, 16 different events highlighted restaurant visits, movie and museum outings, musical events, and, lest we appear overly sedate, a men’s pizza and beer event, and a ladies’ bagels and lox breakfast. Not to mention the O’Neill James School of Irish Dance and Happy Hour, beginning, appropriately, at 4 pm, just a few days before St. Patrick’s Day.
Supporting the Families Of Our Senior Living Residents
Of course, family and friends are an integral aspect of senior living at The Kensington Falls Church, where we actively encourage you to be as involved on a day-to-day basis as your schedule and proximity permit.
Our Kensington Family Support Group is open to everyone who has a loved one living at The Kensington. Led by licensed clinical social worker and gerontologist, Margaret Comisky, it’s a supportive, discussion-based group in which we explore topics relevant to your loved one’s aging journey. As a geriatric care manager, Margaret brings extensive professional experience in identifying the opportunities and challenges related to life transitions, mental health needs, and the aging process.
Another vital family-centered event is Memory Café at Famille, which meets twice each month and is designed for residents of our Memory Care neighborhoods and their families to meet in a safe, supportive, engaging environment. Memory Café is a partnership between The Kensington Falls Church, Falls Church Arts, and Insight Memory Care Center, because, as The Kensington has always understood, creative arts are a boon for mental health in a senior living community.
A crucial aspect of healthcare and hospitality is ensuring family caregivers have the support they need. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, more than 34 million Americans provide unpaid care to an adult aged 50-plus. Approximately half this number (15.7 million caregivers) care for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.
As a longtime provider of best-in-class memory care, The Kensington values and respects our residents’ care partners with the same dedication we bring to those who reside in our community.
We understand that caring for someone with memory loss is demanding. Taking care of yourself is paramount, which is why we created Caregiver Connect, a monthly program to inform, comfort and support you. Led by Anya Parpura, MD, Ph.D., an expert on aging and dementia, Caregiver Connect is your opportunity to share time with other caregivers and discuss common challenges. As is true for our senior residents, social support makes this situation more manageable, knowing there are others in your corner.
Life Enrichment Is Every Day
At The Kensington Falls Church, we pledge to care for your loved ones as we do our own. Because the comfort of familiarity is as precious as our senior residents themselves, we offer a full spectrum of clinical support, including end-of-life care, along with the Life Enrichment activities and events described above — and much more.
We view every day as an opportunity to enrich and enliven the lives of the seniors we are privileged to serve here in our senior living community. As our many testimonials confirm, life at The Kensington is akin to “a 5-star hotel, but with better, more personalized service.”
We look forward to meeting you, answering your questions, showing you around our well-appointed community, and welcoming you to The Kensington family.