Accreditation is an official “approval” given by an independent governing body to a senior living community and/or their staff, showing that they provide senior care to very high standards.
We are thrilled to announce the winner of our Company-wide Grandparent's Day Essay Contest, Rory C.!
Rory's Granny, Donna S., is a resident at Inspired Living Ivy Ridge.
His submission is below. Rory will receive a $500 Grand Prize!
They say smells are the strongest memory triggers. Apparently, there’s plenty of science behind it. Smells travel from the nerves in your nostrils to the olfactory bulb, which is hardwired to your hippocampus, the brain’s memory center. The other senses (touching, tasting, seeing, and hearing) have to go through the thalamus to get there. So while your other senses are taking the back roads to your memory center, the sense of smell is on the interstate, making it there in quick time.
There are a million and one scents that trigger memories for me, like the smell of grass clippings and gasoline on my Papaw’s shirts. That school bus yellow, Craftsman riding lawnmower probably had more miles than an actual school bus. He’d cut grass all day if it wasn’t for that riding lawnmower—he was cutting for family members who lived close by. Any weekend I was with my grandparents, I would hope he’d need those lawn mower blades sharpened because he’d always take them to a hardware store that had a model train running on a track hanging from the ceiling.
I grew up knowing the smell of chlorine in a freshly shocked pool because Papaw knew I would want to swim. I grew up knowing the smell of Chanel No5 because Granny never missed a chance to take me to church. I grew up knowing how Crisco vegetable shortening smells when you heat in on the stove because Papaw popped popcorn on the stove with a pot and mesh grease screen. He wouldn’t be caught dead with microwave popcorn. Nor would he forget a caffeine-free Pepsi for himself and a grape soda for me to go with it.
But grass clippings, gasoline, chlorine, Chanel No5, and Crisco only mean something to me because of who they’re connected to. They’re connected to the two people who molded and shaped me into the man I am today. Everything I am, I owe to my grandparents.
The most important lesson my grandparents have taught me is that the greatest inheritance you can leave behind is not money, possessions, real estate, investment portfolios, or timeshares (definitely not timeshares)—the greatest inheritance you can leave behind is memories. King Solomon wrote something similar to his own son almost 3,000 years ago: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1). The world will remember them as Charlie and Donna S.—I will remember them as Granny and Papaw.
My Papaw passed in the summer of 2017. My Granny is living with dementia, like her father, Solomon, before her. Over time, it will slowly take her memories from her, including the memories of me. In some ways, I have left her mind, but she will never leave mine. And like the smells that conjure all these memories in my mind, their names will live forever in my heart. I think that’s a lesson worth remembering.
GLOSSARY OF SENIOR LIVING TERMS
If you’re new to the concepts of Assisted Living and Memory Care, trying to understand all the terms related to these types of care can feel a little overwhelming. We understand! That’s why we put together this glossary of key terms related to the senior living industry.
PRIVATE PAY VS. GOVERNMENT ASSISTED
There are a variety of ways to pay for the costs of senior living communities. The two main options are private forms of payment or various government assistance programs. Need help finding the one that’s right for you? Continue reading below to learn more about each program so you can make a more informed decision.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR BUDGET
When considering private pay senior living, budgeting is among one of the most significant things you must consider. In this budgeting guide, we have listed several factors to consider when planning a budget for senior living expenses:
Your Monthly Cost of Living
Whether you are just getting started or have done your research, this guide is here to help you understand your budget and if private pay senior living is the right choice for you.
RIGHTSIZING PERKS & TIPS
Downsizing is a key part of simplifying your life and cutting costs. Explore the tips below for help on making the transition as easy as possible, and learn more about the advantages that proper downsizing can bring to your life.
BENEFITS OF SENIOR LIVING
Most seniors want to live in their own homes as they continue to age, preferring to age in place with in-home care. It’s very understandable, as you are likely more comfortable in a familiar place and don’t want to deal with the difficulty of moving. But there are many advantages to senior living communities. Here’s why living in a senior living community might be the best option for you:
The organizations listed below are good resources:
To better understand and cope with the changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, we offer monthly support groups and educational sessions for residents, family members, and friends at each of our communities. These include specialized support groups such as one for men who are unaccustomed to their new role as a caregiver and one for men who are unsure of how to cope with their feelings surrounding a loved one’s loss of memory or end of life.
Memory Care support groups are led by trained professionals and former caregivers at each community. These groups present family members the opportunity to ask questions, express concerns and share their personal experiences.
These sessions are free and open to everyone. Family and friends are always welcome. Please check our calendar for particular sessions.