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There’s a lot to love about life at Grand Oaks. Browse our gallery to see some of our residents, living spaces, activities, and dining options.

Get to Know the Grand Oaks Team: Jill Youens

Get to Know the Grand Oaks Team: Jill Youens

The Grand Oaks team’s main goal is to improve the quality of life for all residents by prioritizing physical, social, and spiritual activities, as well as top-tier care, services, and medical care. They form deep connections with residents, promoting a sense of family amongst those who live and work at Grand Oaks.

Behind the scenes of Grand Oaks’ Oasis Neighborhood is Jill Youens, RN, CDP. Jill is the Oasis Coordinator, a Certified Dementia Practitioner, Certified Musical Therapist, and a Certified Wound Care Nurse. Read the following Q&A to learn more about Jill and her role at Grand Oaks.

Grand Oaks: How would you describe your role and the care you provide residents? 

Jill Youens: My role is to guide, nurture, teach, embrace, and love each resident and staff member and to help them be their best every day.

Grand Oaks: Why do you enjoy working at Grand Oaks? 

Jill Youens: I show up to Grand Oaks truly because I want to be there. Grand Oaks is a place where residents are not treated as residents but as family.

Grand Oaks: How does being a Certified Musical Therapist benefit your work? (How does music aid memory care?)

Jill Youens: Music is a door to the soul.  When you play music, even for the most severely impaired, you make a connection with that person that comes from somewhere deep within.

Think about how you feel when you hear your favorite song or music genre; you find your foot tapping, you hum, or even show off some dance moves. We see this happening with our residents, which is why music is so important. It helps them feel joy, and when they feel joy, their personalities really show.

Grand Oaks: What differentiates the Oasis Neighborhood at Grand Oaks from other memory care facilities?

Jill Youens:  The Oasis staff are Trained and Certified Dementia Practitioners. We allow the residents to be themselves. We work in their world; their reality becomes our reality. We treat them as the intelligent people they are, not were, and that truly makes a difference in their lives.

Grand Oaks: What is your advice for families considering memory care for their senior loved ones? 

Jill Youens: Don’t wait! You must put your feelings about memory care aside and be open to seeing how wonderful a place like Oasis can be for them. If you think your loved one may need more specialized care, it is most likely time to make a move.

Grand Oaks: Share a favorite moment or memory at Grand Oaks. 

Jill Youens:  My first time meeting the team was a favorite moment because I felt immediately welcomed and accepted. I knew from the beginning that I was in the right place.

Meet Beth Abate

Learn more about Grand Oaks’ Nurse Practitioner.

The Early Signs of Dementia

The Early Signs of Dementia

The number of people living with dementia is quickly expanding. According to the World Health Organization, more than 55 million people live with dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases yearly. Dementia kills more people than prostate and breast cancer combined—1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

Often, loved ones attribute common symptoms of dementia to growing older. But dementia is not a normal part of aging. An early diagnosis gives you a better chance of benefiting from treatment and slowing progression. Learn to watch out for the early signs of dementia in your loved one.

  • Memory loss: Your loved one continuously forgets important dates, names, old memories, or recently learned information and increasingly relies on memory devices like notes or electronic devices.
  • Difficulty with daily tasks: Your loved one has trouble accomplishing everyday tasks like bathing, dressing, eating, oral hygiene, and going to the bathroom. These tasks may be done halfway, poorly, or not at all.
  • Difficulty following or developing a plan: They may have trouble following a recipe they’ve made many times or keeping track of recurring bills. They find it hard to concentrate on these tasks and get confused easily.
  • Getting lost in familiar places: They get lost going to a familiar place like the grocery store or on a walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes, they may not realize they’re lost or ask for help until someone approaches them.
  • Problems speaking and writing: Your loved one has trouble following or joining in a conversation or using the correct vocabulary. They stop in the middle of a sentence or repeat something they’ve said a few moments prior. Their handwriting looks shaky or increasingly indecipherable.
  • Repetition: Your loved one asks the same question or repeats a story multiple times in a short period of time. They may seem confused when you tell them you’ve already answered their question or heard their story.
  • Losing track of time: They have trouble understanding something if it’s not happening immediately. They may be confused about what day of the week or season it is. They sometimes forget where they are or how they got there.
  • Misplacing things: Your loved one sometimes puts things in odd places or loses something and cannot retrace their steps. They also may collect or hoard things like papers, receipts, food, garbage, plastic bags, and old clothes.
  • Changes in mood or personality: They don’t quite seem themselves and instead seem unusually anxious, confused, suspicious, depressed, or fearful. They are easily upset and sometimes become aggressive.
  • Troubling behavior: Your loved one shows a decrease in judgment, such as being reckless with money, driving aggressively, or refusing to wear a jacket in the middle of winter.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any warning signs of dementia, don’t ignore them. Make an appointment with your doctor.

How Grand Oaks can Help

When you or your loved one lives with Alzheimer’s Disease or other memory-related disorders, you deserve a residence specializing in memory care. The Oasis Neighborhood at Grand Oaks offers an experienced staff that provides attentive support grounded in respect and compassion and personalized care routines as unique as the person receiving them.

Memory Care at the Oasis Neighborhood

See how we tend to the needs of our residents.

Get to Know the Grand Oaks Team: Beth Abate

Get to Know the Grand Oaks Team: Beth Abate

Every day, the Grand Oaks team goes above and beyond to make aging in place a healthy, safe, and rewarding experience for our residents. This new blog series introduces the faces behind the scenes at Grand Oaks—the staff and healthcare providers that care for and comfort residents daily.

For our first Q&A, meet Beth Abate, DNP, MSN, AGPCNP-BC, ANP-BC, RN-BC. Beth is a nurse practitioner providing medical services to senior living residents who target their physical, mental, and overall well-being.

Grand Oaks: How would you describe your role and the care you provide residents? 

Beth Abate: I provide onsite, urgent clinical care and manage residents’ chronic health conditions to prevent hospitalizations. I coordinate care with primary care providers (PCPs), consultants (cardiologists, pulmonologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other providers), families, and the assisted living nursing staff. I also provide nursing and training for the nursing staff.

Grand Oaks: Why do you enjoy working at Grand Oaks? 

Beth Abate: Working with the Grand Oaks community is a privilege. I love what I do. It is based on the dual values of professionalism and compassion. Grand Oaks allows me to provide all-inclusive, quality medical care and meet the growing healthcare needs of the geriatric population. Bringing healthcare to residents, without having them leave their home environment, is rewarding. I also enjoy the close relationship and open communication I have with our residents, their loved ones, and the staff.

Grand Oaks: What are the 3 most important factors to aging well? 

Beth Abate: Addressing physical, mental, and cognitive healthcare needs.

Grand Oaks: What are the most common health concerns that might indicate your senior loved one needs senior living?

Beth Abate: Look for multiple chronic health issues that require coordination of clinical care. For example, this may include an inability to perform daily activities or a decline in memory requiring supportive memory care.

Grand Oaks: What is your advice for families considering Grand Oaks for their senior loved ones? 

Beth Abate: There are so many reasons Grand Oaks is the best choice for your loved ones’ senior living care. We have an onsite full-time nurse practitioner (myself) attending to the healthcare needs of residents in collaboration with the resident’s primary care provider. We promote patient- and family-centered care; provide access to services for physical, mental, and cognitive needs to residents; and foster aging in place. We’re also located on the campus of Sibley Memorial Hospital, which is convenient for residents that require a higher level of care.

Grand Oaks: How can families assist their senior loved ones in aging well?

Beth Abate: Families are the backbone of their loved ones’ care, and often many become caregivers because they want to see their loved ones age well. They can help their loved ones by being attentive and mindful of their physical, mental, and cognitive needs and helping them identify a provider and/or a setting that supports both an individualized care plan and aging well in place.

Grand Oaks: Share a favorite moment or memory at Grand Oaks.

Grand Oaks residents are amazing. Each has a story to tell. One of the many memorable events I had was with a resident with dementia. I received a call on a Sunday morning. She asked if I would be able to see her play the piano. She is very talented. It was an honor and privilege to come see her and enjoy the moment with her. It was a rewarding experience to see her happy and share the experience with her family.

Meet the Rest of the Team

Get to know the staff improving our residents’ quality of life.

15 Activities for Seniors with Limited Mobility

15 Activities for Seniors with Limited Mobility

senior man in a wheelchair standing up with the help of a nurse

With age come conditions like arthritis and injuries that can limit mobility. Seniors with limited mobility may find it challenging to do some of the things they once did, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun, engaging in activities and hobbies that enhance their quality of life.

There are many ways to have fun, boost your mood, stay healthy and fit, and socialize without needing to move around a lot. If you or your senior loved one find yourself less mobile, try these 15 activities.

1. Music

Pick up an instrument, read about music history, learn to play a new instrument, or sing along to your favorite songs. Music has the power to reduce pain, stress, and anxiety. Plus, it’s great for helping to improve memory.

2. Art and Crafts

Get creative. Make a photo scrapbook of your favorite trips or family memories. Draw, paint, color, or write. Exploring arts and crafts isn’t just a fun way to spend your time—it promotes better health and wellness, too.

3. Gardening

While gardening can be straining on the body, there are many ways for seniors with limited mobility to adapt. You can raise garden beds to waist level or consider smaller, indoor gardens. Plant herbs for cooking in smaller containers.

4. Reading

Reading is a great way to keep the mind active and engaged. Immerse yourself in a compelling story or learn about an interesting new topic. Join a book club or reading group to socialize and discuss with others. If you have vision trouble, buy or borrow an audiobook from the library.

5. Games and Puzzles

Brain fitness is just as important for seniors as physical fitness. Activities like chess, quizzes, word searches, classic card games, and more stimulate the brain, plus they can be fun, rewarding, and interactive. Play with friends or family members or join a bridge or games club.

6. Chair Exercise

With just a few modifications, you can stay fit and exercise with limited mobility. Consider chair exercises focusing on the upper body like lifting light weights. Chair yoga or light stretching is good for the mind and body, too. Plus, you can do this on your own without instruction.

7. Group Exercise Classes

Senior living communities like Grand Oaks offer group exercise classes tailored to seniors’ health and mobility needs. Stay fit and socialize with others during Tai Chi, gentle yoga, and more. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. Check out our physical activities here.

8. Walking Clubs

Depending on your ability, walking is one of the best outdoor activities for seniors. However, if you have limited mobility, follow your doctor’s orders, do not walk alone, bring along a walking aid or assistive device if you need one, and do not push yourself too hard.

9. Massage

You’ve likely spent a lot of time caring for others, but senior self-care is just as important—even more so with limited mobility. Try a therapeutic or gentle massage, depending on your body’s needs. Massage relieves muscle tension, boosts the immune system, and helps you feel more relaxed.

10. Swimming

Water aerobics or swimming are low-impact and perfect for seniors with limited mobility. Water makes it easier to move your body and improves stamina, which is especially great for seniors with back or joint pain. Plus, water aerobics classes are fun and a great way to socialize.

11. Spend Time with Friends and Family

Invite a good friend or family over for coffee or dinner rather than going to their home. Or better yet, explore one of your new activities from this list with them. Reconnect and reminisce without extending too much physical activity. If you can’t visit a loved one in person, video chat or write and mail a letter.

12. Go Outside

Nature does wonders for the mind and body. You can even tailor your outside activities to your body’s unique needs. For example, instead of taking a long nature walk, visit a park and sit on the bench viewing the scenery. Bring a book and sit outside on a nice fall day.

13. Pets

Playing with pets is a great way to reduce stress and brighten your day. When a friend or family member visits, encourage them to bring their dog along. Or, if your senior living community has a therapy dog, schedule visits often.

14. Meditate

Mindful meditation is excellent for your overall mental health and well-being. It’s a therapeutic activity that doesn’t require much movement. You can sit or lie in a quiet place like your bed or sofa, breathe deeply, and focus on managing stress and promoting calmness. You can download mindfulness apps on your phone to bring the meditation to your fingertips, when and where you need it.

15. Cooking or Baking

With limited mobility, some seniors can’t go out to eat as often, but that doesn’t mean you should give up your love of food. You likely have a family favorite you haven’t made in a while. Or why not try a new recipe? Grand Oaks offers cooking groups, perfect for seniors with limited mobility.

 

Engage Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

As a Grand Oaks resident, you will enjoy lively activities that boost your quality of life.

Get a Taste of Life at Grand Oaks

See these plans and pictures come to life when you schedule a tour and walk through your future home at Grand Oaks.

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