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Looking Into The New Year: Downsizing and Moving to Senior Living

Posted on: December 14th, 2022 by hhmin

As we embark on a new year and take stock of our lives, many of us start to reflect and evaluate making changes. For some, that might look like downsizing and considering senior living options. If you are looking into independent living, assisted living, or even skilled nursing care for a loved one in the Houston area, we wanted to share some helpful advice to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Downsizing to a smaller space to better suit needs

The new year is a time to embrace changes, and for many seniors, that means carefully selecting their dream retirement community. Downsizing and moving from a larger home to something smaller can feel like an overwhelming change, but it could provide more comfort and convenience in the long run. Your loved one considering independent or assisted living may find downsizing a more efficient use of energy and time, freeing up time for fun activities, travel, and more community.

Benefits of downsizing and moving to a retirement community 

Moving to a retirement community and downsizing can be an attractive option for many in their later years. Here are a few of the many benefits.

1. Fewer Maintenance Responsibilities

One of the primary benefits of downsizing and moving to a retirement community is that you will have fewer maintenance responsibilities. Many retirees experience less stress when they downsize, lessening their worries about managing large properties that may come with unexpected costs or repairs. 

For example, you will no longer need to mow the lawn, shovel snow, or worry about hurricane preparedness. Additionally, there is less to clean and maintain. This can free up your time to do the things you enjoy, such as spending time with your grandchildren or traveling.

2. Greater Sense of Security

Moving to a retirement community can also give you greater security. It’s essential to look for a retirement community that offers security features such as gated entrances, security guards, and surveillance cameras – all of which Holly Hall Retirement Community provides for residents. 

3. More Opportunities to Socialize

There is a comfort to be found in joining a larger community of peers who share a common understanding of similar life experiences. Moving to a retirement community can provide you or your loved one with more social opportunities you may not have in your current living situation. 

For example, you can get involved with daily or weekly organized activities such as group exercise classes, game nights, and outings to local attractions. Additionally, living in a retirement community can help to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, which are common among older adults.

Moving into a senior living facility can be a big step and should be considered carefully. Before committing to a residence, consider its location in proximity to family, friends, and other support systems. Assess the quality of care it provides and tour the facilities. Be sure to inquire about available activities, additional fees, and whether pets are allowed. Additionally, consider whether independent or assisted living is right for you or your loved one. Ultimately, researching options thoroughly and having conversations with professionals and other residents can make the process easier when deciding on the best option for you or your loved one.

Schedule a tour of Houston’s First Choice in Retirement Living 

Choosing a retirement community is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But if you’re looking for an independent or assisted living community in Houston offering security, amenities, social activities, elevated dining experiences, and beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds, look no further than Holly Hall Christian Retirement Community! Contact us to schedule a tour.

Holiday Happenings at Holly Hall Retirement Community

Posted on: December 7th, 2022 by hhmin

You might wonder what makes Holly Hall Christian Retirement Community the best choice for you or your loved one. For some, it’s the vast array of social activities and the natural beauty of the 20-acre walkable gardens. For others, it’s the sense of security knowing they are in a gated entrance community with 24-hour security and surveillance cameras. One thing that everyone loves about Holly Hall is the people. Our residents and caring staff make our Houston retirement community the best, especially around the holidays. We wanted to share our annual holiday traditions and hope you visit our property if you are considering moving to assisted living or independent living in the Houston area.

The Holidays at Holly Hall


We begin decorating our grounds, building, community gathering areas, and dining hall for the holiday season around the first week in November. There is an assortment of fall colors and beautiful decorations for our residents to start enjoying the fall season. 

Around the third week of November, the Christmas decorations and trees are displayed, filling the campus with beauty. “The time, patience, and love put into decorating definitely reflects throughout the campus in our Christmas trees, door wreaths, centerpieces, and an array of decor to remind us ’tis the season,” said Tomeka Thomas, LVN, Director of Assisted Living at Holly Hall. 

Our residents join in decorating and even offer some of their special ornaments to add to the tree. One of our residents would make wooden ornaments every holiday and pass them out to the staff.

The happiest time of the year

Christmas time is our residents’ favorite time of year at Holly Hall. You can feel the joyous spirits overflowing and a sense of gratefulness and festivity filled throughout the campus. A fun annual tradition that many of our residents take pride in is caroling throughout the facility. This is a cherished memory for our staff and residents alike. 

Our Annual Silver Tea Fundraising Event is Steeped in Tradition

On December 7, 2022, Holly Hall Christian Retirement Community is celebrating its 70th Annual Silver Tea fundraising event. The Silver Tea is a longstanding tradition at Holly Hall that helps give our residents peace of mind by raising funds to support them financially. This year, we gathered in a beautiful custom-built home to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season. The Silver Tea is a lovely affair where everyone is invited to this “open house” style event. Holly Hall is so appreciative of everyone that was able to join us this year and for the Silver Tea Honorees that helped make this one of the most successful fundraisers in Holly Hall’s history.

At this time, we have already raised over $197,000 with Silver Tea this year. We hope to raise over $200K for our Resident Subsidy Assistance Program. This program allows us to help out residents who may have run out of retirement funds or have to move to a higher level of care they can no longer afford. We use these funds to pay their rent and allow them to live out their days at Holly Hall. Learn more about our 2022 Silver Tea Fundraising event and give here.

Come Tour Houston’s First Choice in Retirement Community

At Holly Hall Retirement Community, we make sure our residents know and feel that they are a part of a family. Our team cares passionately about our residents, and we want the holidays to be filled with special memories.  

“The holidays here at Holly Hall give me time to reflect on God’s goodness. This time of the year shows how much our staff honor and respect our residents and their passion for caring for them,” said Thomas.

Schedule a tour of our beautiful facility, especially during the holidays. Please contact our team today. We look forward to meeting you.

Immune-Boosting Tips for Seniors During the Holidays

Posted on: November 30th, 2022 by hhmin

The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, but it’s also when our risk of getting sick increases. From large gatherings to travel and stress, germs have many opportunities to spread. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying the holidays! You can take several simple steps to protect your aging loved one’s (or your own) health during this festive time of year.

Immunity-boosting foods for seniors

Our immune system becomes less effective at fighting off infections as we age. This can leave seniors vulnerable to various illnesses, from the common cold to more severe conditions like pneumonia. 

To help keep your senior loved ones healthy, ensure they include immunity-boosting foods in their diet. Some great options include leafy green vegetables and brightly colored fruits. Yogurt is also a food to opt for in the winter months as it contains probiotics, which are live bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut. These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that help to keep the immune system strong. 

Boost your immune system with these drinks and dishes

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to boosting immunity, nutrition plays a key role in supporting a healthy immune system. To help fight off infections, start by stocking your pantry or opt for meals with immune-boosting ingredients like garlic, ginger, turmeric, citrus, and green and ginger tea. These ingredients can be used to make delicious dishes and drinks that will help keep your immune system strong. 

  • For example, add garlic to roasted vegetables or ginger in a homemade soup. 
  • You can also take advantage of the potent anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric by adding it to smoothies or using it as a seasoning for meat and poultry. 
  • For an immunity-boosting beverage, try sipping on green tea throughout the day. 
  • Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are also suitable for boosting immunity, as they’re high in vitamin C.
  • Ginger tea is another excellent drink; it can help soothe an upset stomach and fight inflammation.

Tips for staying healthy during the holidays

The holidays are a time for family, fun, and indulgence. But all that celebrating can take a toll on your health. From overeating to increased stress, there are several ways that the holiday season can jeopardize your well-being. Here are a few tips for staying healthy during the holidays:

  • Watch your portions. It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of indulgence during holiday meals. But resist the temptation to overindulge. Eating smaller portions will help you avoid weight gain and the health problems that come with it.
  • Get moving. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, promote circulation, and stay in shape. Make time for a walk or some other form of exercise every day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
  • Keep your hands clean. Holiday gatherings mean increased exposure to germs. To avoid getting sick, wash your hands often and carry hand sanitizer when you’re out and about.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for good health. It can be hard to get enough rest during the busy holiday season. But make an effort to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and you’ll be less likely to get sick and more likely to have energy for all those holiday festivities.

The holidays are a time for celebration, but they can also be when your immune system is tested. By following these tips, you can enjoy the festivities while keeping your immune system strong.

Eat The Freshest Ingredients and A Well-Balanced Diet at Holly Hall

At Holly Hall Christian Retirement Community, we pride ourselves on serving our residents local, farm-to-table ingredients and foods that are flavorful and immune-boosting. Learn more about our chef-prepared and seasonal menus. Interested in booking a tour of our beautiful, Southern-charm facility? Contact us to schedule a tour.

3 Healthy and Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes for Seniors

Posted on: November 2nd, 2022 by hhmin

grandmother with grandchildren around the table for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food! But as we age, we must be mindful of our health and eating habits and remember that seniors have different nutritional needs. As we age, our digestive system becomes less efficient at breaking down and absorbing nutrients. We also tend to lose muscle mass and bone density, which can lead to problems like frailty and osteoporosis. For these reasons, seniors need to eat a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

While it’s okay to indulge occasionally, especially during the holidays, seniors should be careful not to overdo it. Many people let their healthy eating habits slide in favor of indulgent foods and holiday gatherings. However, too much fat, sugar, and sodium can worsen health problems and lead to weight gain. If you’re planning on celebrating Thanksgiving with a traditional feast, try balancing the heavier dishes with lighter options.

We’ve compiled a list of three healthy and delicious Thanksgiving recipes that are perfect for seniors. Whether you’re cooking for your immediate family or hosting a large feast for loved ones, these recipes are sure to be a hit!

Healthy Thanksgiving Appetizer: Cranberry Sauce

Enjoy this healthy cranberry sauce as an appetizer or side dish.


– 1 cup whole fresh or frozen cranberries

– ½ cup orange juice

– ¼ cup honey

– 1 teaspoon grated orange zest


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  5. Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dish: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans

This healthy and delicious side dish is perfect for your Thanksgiving feast.


– 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

– 3 tablespoons olive oil

– ½ teaspoon salt

– ¼ teaspoon black pepper

– 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

– ½ cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  4. Remove from oven and stir in cranberries and pecans.
  5. Roast for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until Brussels sprouts are tender and cranberries are heated through.
  6. Serve warm.


Healthy Thanksgiving Dessert: Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without dessert. Instead of a traditional pie, try this Pumpkin Spice Cake.

Cake Ingredients:

– 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree

– ¾ cup almond milk

– ¼ cup olive oil

– 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

– 2 cups whole wheat flour

– 1 teaspoon baking powder

– 1 teaspoon baking soda

– ½ teaspoon salt

– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

– ½ teaspoon ground ginger

– ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Frosting ingredients:

– 6 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened

– ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

– ¼ cup honey

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour in a 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Whisk together pumpkin puree, almond milk, oil, and vinegar in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in another bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
  7. To make the frosting, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in yogurt, honey, and vanilla extract until combined.
  8. Spread frosting on top of the cooled cake.
  9. Enjoy this healthy and delicious pumpkin spice cake for dessert this Thanksgiving!


Enjoy Healthy, Seasonal Meals at Holly Hall Christian Retirement Community

Holly Hall is committed to providing our residents with a healthy, well-balanced diet and elevated dining experience. Our professional Executive Chef at Holly Hall works passionately to offer residents delicious, unique dining options. Our menus are inspired by our residents and the seasons. Check out this example of our summer season menu. Contact us today at 713-799-9031 to learn more about the dining features and amenities at Holly Hall or to set up a tour.

What Makes Holly Hall The Best Retirement Community in Houston

Posted on: October 24th, 2022 by hhmin

Moving a loved one into an Independent or Assisted Living facility can be difficult. You want to ensure they will be in a safe and comfortable environment, receive the best quality of life possible, and have plenty of activities and social opportunities. At Holly Hall Christian Retirement Community, we understand the importance of making this decision and want to help you every step of the way. Our staff is dedicated to meeting the needs of your loved ones. Here are four ways our retirement community offers the best senior care.

  1. Entering Holly Hall, you are immediately greeted with the sights and sounds of a Southern village. The architecture is warmly welcoming, showcasing our rich heritage mixed with new light for tomorrow’s generation.
  2. The community spirit here at our wonderful retirement home has been carefully curated to offer each resident an exceptional lifestyle filled with comfort without compromise! Our residents enjoy locally grown, healthy foods prepared by our talented culinary team and have a robust calendar of social and wellness activities to participate in.
  3. Our beautiful grounds span 20 acres of lush green and offer a wide range of Independent Living (cottages or apartments) and Assisted Living options so that you can find the perfect fit for your loved one. We also offer short-term and pulmonary rehab, extended-stay apartments, and long-term nursing care.
  4. Holly Hall Christian Retirement Community is a top-notch facility that provides top-quality care for its residents. We do this by hiring a highly-skilled and compassionate staff dedicated to providing the best possible care for our residents and ensuring their needs are met. We want to introduce you to a few of the many staff members that make out retirement community the best choice in Houston and the surrounding areas.

Meet Some of the Friendly Staff Members at Holly Hall Retirement Community

Earnestine Bell

Earnestine Bell, Special Events Manager, has been a beloved employee at Holly Hall for over 30 years. She is a joyful spirit that exudes fondness for everyone she encounters. She says she enjoys coming to work daily “just to see the happy faces and the joy she can bring to residents.”

Earnestine came to be a part of the mission to take care of the residents in their retirement. She wanted to positively impact their lives and be instrumental in providing for their comfort, needs, and well-being. Earnestine lives with a purpose in life to be a role model for her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. She strives to be an example of how you should work hard, be fair when dealing with people, and know that you can achieve anything you want. It is not surprising that Earnestine is well-loved. She truly thinks of her fellow employees as family and is always appreciative of how Holly Hall has supported and loved her over the years.

Lillian Lankford

Lillian Lankford, Certified Medical Aide in Assisted Living, has worked at Holly Hall for more than 23 years. She has always enjoyed helping others and giving back to the community. She started at Holly Hall as a CNA for certain shifts, and over time she became truly valued for her work effort and was asked to come on full-time. The supervisors at Holly Hall saw Lillian’s excellence in all of her work and soon asked her to take the courses she needed to become a Certified Medical Aide. 

When you talk to Lillian, you can easily see the joy she has working at Holly Hall. She speaks fondly about all of the residents that she helps and will be quick to tell you that the residents are the ones that bring her joy in life. Over the years, she has always tried to be an example and to do her part to provide the best care possible. She believes that the first impression is the most important in life and that you should always show Christian values toward others.

Receive the Best Senior Care at Houston’s Holly Hall Retirement Community

Our residents and staff make Holly Hall the close-knit, caring, and genuine retirement community it is. If you are interested in setting up a tour of our beautiful campus and facilities, please contact us or call us at (713) 799-9031. We look forward to showing you how Holly Hall Retirement Community adds life to year and years to life.

Purpose Full: The 2021-2022 Annual Impact of Holly Hall Retirement Community

Posted on: October 13th, 2022 by hhmin

Moving Forward With Purpose

Not many people contemplate their purpose or how they can help give purpose to others. Here at Holly Hall, we believe our purpose is to help those that feel they have limited purpose find their true purpose. Mark Twain gave us poignant words to live by when he said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Holly Hall was founded to add years to life and life to years. 

Over 70 years later, it is still pretty easy to see that our purpose is to inspire service and provide excellent, compassionate care while respecting the individual. I feel that my role as CEO of Holly Hall is to steward our purpose. I am honored to be a part of the team that continually looks for ways to improve this community, respects our history, and upholds the needs of all vested individuals. This year we are looking to the future of Holly Hall and what we need to do today to help ensure we continue to provide a safe and loving home for our seniors. We are already working on plans for both interior and exterior improvements.  

Our Dining team is working hard to further enhance our dining program. The Wellness team plans to add activities and life enrichment programs to enhance the quality of life and provide even more purpose for our residents. These are just some of the things we are working on to guarantee Holly Hall is here for years and years to come. As I continue to learn about the legacy that Holly Hall has provided for many generations in the Greater Houston area, I am truly grateful to be given the mission to provide Holly Hall with a bright and purposeful future.

With the help of the dedicated staff at Holly Hall, we will carry on the core values of providing our residents with peace, excellence, compassion, and respect.


Peter Drew, CEO at Holly Hall Retirement Community

Holly Hall Retirement Community By The Numbers

The following data shows the impact of Holly Hall from 2021-2022.

Residents Served

Healthcare: 363

Assisted Living: 73

Independent Living: 102

Total volunteers: 111

Total volunteer hours: 1,911


Fundraising Revenue 

Churches/foundations/corporations | 49%

Fundraising events | 28%

Individual giving | 23%



Healthcare services | 88%

General & administrative | 8%

Fundraising | 4%


A Grateful Heart

We count our many blessings as we prepare to exit the worst of a worldwide pandemic. Like most retirement communities, we are grateful that Holly Hall survived Covid without a major outbreak or any Covid-related deaths. Although the pandemic took its toll, isolating our residents, they bounced back with resilience, renewed purpose, and passion for life.

We are grateful for our residents. We have the most special residents in the world; they strive to keep their minds sharp, their bodies strong, and their spirits filled with God’s love. Caring for one another and our staff and residents, offer encouragement and wisdom by sending thoughtful cards, making calls to check in on a friend, and delivering hot meals to those who feel ill.

We are grateful for our one-of-a-kind staff. Although Holly Hall has long been known for its loving and attentive staff, they have surpassed the highest expectations these last couple of years by devoting extra hours to keep our residents safe and comfortable during Covid. How our staff truly cares about our residents sets Holl Hall apart from other communities.

We are grateful for our enthusiastic community, who attended numerous fundraising events using a virtual format. From the Book Reviews and Games People Play to a Silver Tea at Jan and Tyson Greer’s historic Victorian home, all events successfully raised funds and strengthened close-knit friendships. We are grateful for our dedicated Board members who give selflessly of their time yearly. We are grateful for our donors, friends, and partners; your support and generosity enable Holly Hall to continue its mission to “add years to life and life to years.”


Jerry L. McNeill, Board President at Holly Hall Retirement Community


Discover Purposeful Living at Holly Hall

Holly Hall is a nonprofit retirement community offering Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Rehab, and Long-Term Care for individuals 65 and older. Founded in 1949, Holly Hall was Houston’s first retirement community. To discover more about purposeful living at Holly Hall, contact us. We’d love to show you around and answer any questions you may have.

2022-2023 Upcoming Book Review Series at Holly Hall Retirement Community

Posted on: September 16th, 2022 by hhmin

Book Series Review speakers for 2022-2023

The annual Holly Hall Book Review Series is a longstanding tradition and fundraiser for the Holly Hall Retirement Community that features reviews and discussions about current best sellers or noteworthy books. Guests enjoy a quick 30-minute discussion about the book without the pressure of reading it beforehand; however, many attendees state that they plan to read it after the event.

This season is inspired by the gathering power of food and how it brings us together. The entire season includes three local speakers from October to April who will bring you a new perspective on food and its role in our lives. And what would a book series about food be like without enjoying some fine cuisine? Brunch will also be served at all three of these events. We hope you will join us for these carefully curated speakers at Holly Hall. 

“I am truly thrilled about this year’s Book Review Series. We are exploring the passion that is put into everyday meals and how food can create a community in exciting and new ways,” said Hayley Hall, Director of Development at Holly Hall Christian Retirement Community. “I hope everyone attending will find a renewed vigor for the food they eat each day and possibly learn how to cook a few new meals.”


October 25, 2022

Johnny Carrabba | Texas Restaurateur/Author

Discussing his book: With Gratitude

If you’re a fan of Carrabba’s Italian Grill, you’ll love With Gratitude by Johnny Carrabba, celebrating 30 years of recipes, stories, and family. This coffee table-style cookbook is a must-have for anyone who loves good food. This cookbook features more than 100 of Johnny Carrabba’s favorite recipes from Carrabba’s, Grace’s, Mia’s, and Common Bond, as well as treasured family dishes that have been passed down for generations and are sure to please. 

In addition to the delicious recipes, you’ll also find Johnny’s family history and his remarkable success story in running a restaurant business. The cookbook includes spectacular photographs from Houston’s best food photographer, Debora Smail, and designers Linda Limb and Elise DeSilva. So whether you’re looking for a new recipe to try or want to learn more about the man behind the restaurant, be sure to check out With Gratitude.


January 10, 2023

Anita Jaisinghani | Founder & Executive Chef of Pondicheri

Discussing her book: Masala

From her roots in Gujarat, India, to the heart of Houston, Texas, award-winning chef Anita Jaisinghani has created Masala: Recipes from India, the Land of Spices, an exciting cookbook with simple recipes that celebrates ancient Ayurveda food as it should be: seasonal, textured and colorful. Using only spices for flavor without overwhelming you or your taste buds–this book is perfect if you’re looking forward to bringing more Indian cuisine into your home this year!

The flavor of an Indian meal is rich and complex, with fresh spices that give it a snap. But how do you know which spice to use and when? Masala will teach you the wisdom behind cooking like a pro! The book includes detailed information about cooking with fresh whole spices, when to use them properly, and much more! 

April 11, 2023

Dolores Woods, MA, RD, LD | Nutritionist, Nourish Program UTHealth/Contributing Chef

Discussing the book: How Good Food Works from Seed to Plate

The Nourish cookbook, How Good Food Works from Seed to Plate, is a beautiful book with award-winning food photography. Recipes were developed by Dr. Wesley McWhorter, Director of Culinary Nutrition for Nourish, and tested by Chef/RD Dolores Woods – a Nourish team member and lecturer for the program. How Good Food Works from Seed to Plate begins with Laura Moore, MEd, RD, LD, showing us how food can be an empowering force in our lives. She shares the vision and mission of the UTHealth School of Public Health Nourish program and how they educate the next generation with tools to unlock the potential of what we eat while celebrating the functional and emotional role that food plays in our lives.

If you are looking for a cookbook to help you make healthy, delicious, and easy-to-prepare meals in your kitchen, this book is for you! Inside, you will find more than 100 recipes that are perfect for any occasion, as well as helpful tips and advice on preparation techniques, entertaining ideas, and interesting facts on many vegetables, spices, and herbs. So whether you are looking to impress your guests at your next dinner party or simply searching for some nutritious and flavorful meal ideas, this cookbook is sure to have something for everyone. Bon appetit!

Dolores will also be giving a cooking demonstration during this presentation from the book How Good Food Works from Seed to Plate

A Fundraising Tradition

Holly Hall has been a constant in the Houston community for over 70 years, and the Book Review Series has raised funds for the Resident Subsidy Program since it began in 1949. Proceeds from the annual Book Review Series help cover the cost of care for residents who outlive their retirement savings and can no longer afford the total amount of their care as they transition from Independent Living to Assisted Living and then to Healthcare. As a sponsor or ticket holder, you will give residents the peace of mind that they will receive the same level of support, regardless of individual circumstances. If you have questions about the Book Review Series event or would like to tour our retirement community with a friendly neighborhood feeling, contact us here or call us at (713)-799-9031.

Celebrating Friendship Month at Holly Hall

Posted on: September 9th, 2022 by hhmin

Friendships are some of the most important relationships we will ever have in our lives. Since September is Friendship Month, we want to take a moment to share how friendships blossom and grow at Holly Hall Retirement Community. This month, we’re featuring three unique friendship stories from our residents–one that developed when residents worked together before coming to Holly Hall, one that grew out of family relationships over the years, and one between residents who met for the first time at Holly Hall.

Work Friends: Diana Bertrand and Ruth Moore

Friendships blossom at Holly Hall Retirement Community

It was around 1968 when Holly Hall residents Diana and Ruth’s professional paths began to cross. Both women received their Bachelor’s degrees and worked as Medical Technologists. Diana, Ruth, their friend Patti Harrison, and other colleagues car-pooled to professional meetings across Texas. At various times, the friends served as local and state officers of the Medical Technology Society and were members of the Medical Center bowling league. 

Their professional relationship gradually turned into a personal friendship. They both loved to travel and signed up for numerous adventures – northern Italy, a Baltic cruise, the St. Lawrence River, the Danube River, and even a cruise across the Atlantic from Barcelona to Galveston!

In 2013, after retiring, Diana moved to Holly Hall. She had no family to care for and wanted a safe and comfortable place where she could continue traveling. Patti Harrison joined her at Holly Hall in 2018 (sadly, she has since passed away). Ruth and Diana continued to see each other and travel together until finally, in 2021, Ruth decided that she, too, should move to Holly Hall. She had visited Diana and had attended an Open House before Covid shut those down. 

Their last trip together was an Alaskan cruise in 2019, and they are not likely to take more, given their ages and the uncertainties of Covid. But the strong friendship that grew out of their shared profession continues at Holly Hall, where Diana and Ruth eat together, go to activities, and enjoy swapping tales about their trips and mutual friends.

Family Friends: Calista Schneidau and Anne Chatoney

Friendships blossom at Holly Hall Retirement Community


Residents Calista Schneidau and Anne Chatoney became friends through their children around 1995 when Calista’s son Stephen began dating Anne’s daughter Mary. The large Schneidau family became so fond of Mary that they decided to ask her to marry them all if Stephen didn’t make a move soon! Stephen took the hint, and the couple married in 1997, much to the delight of both mothers. The combined families shared holidays, took beach vacations, celebrated birthdays and weddings, and attended cocktail gatherings. Anne says that Calista was always welcoming to her whole family.

In 2012, Anne’s husband became ill, and they both moved to Holly Hall Assisted Living, where he could receive palliative care. After he died, Anne left for a brief period but moved into Independent Living in 2013. In 2019, Calista also moved to Holly Hall, first into Independent Living and, more recently, into Assisted Living. She says it has been enormously helpful to have Anne here and assist her in adjusting to life at Holly Hall.

The Holly Hall connection extends further: resident Lucy Ruiz’s son Joseph is married to Calista’s daughter Lauri, so Lucy attends the same family functions as Calista and Anne. These relationships have led to multiple intertwining friendships among multiple generations of the Schneidau, Chatoney, and Ruiz families. How fortunate the many grandchildren and great-grandchildren are to be the beneficiaries of the love stories that came before them and to form friendships with aunts, uncles, and cousins!

New Friends: Sonia Townsend and Donna Coulson

Friendships blossom at Holly Hall Retirement Community

Sonia Townsend moved to Holly Hall in 2016, briefly into healthcare after an accident, and now she resides in Independent Living. She didn’t know any residents but found it a friendly place. Sonia had led an eventful life – growing up in Austin, attending the University of Texas for a degree in fashion design, then to New York to the Parsons School of Design. She returned to Texas for a job at Houston’s new Sakowitz store, but she took a temporary position with Exxon and never gave fashion design another chance. Sonia had married “the boy next door,” whom she had known since they were eight. The couple adopted two at-risk infants. Sonia’s husband died when the boys were young, so she was a single working mother for years. By the time she retired, Sonia was administering a program that managed healthcare for 600 sailors on off-shore tankers and was ready for a quieter life when she moved to Holly Hall.

Meanwhile, Donna Coulson had led a relatively quiet life. She was brought up in Virginia in a large family of six children, then attended college in Florida to obtain a library science degree. In 2000, Donna moved to Houston to become the administrator of Houston Community College’s library systems. After retirement, many of her friends began to move away, and Donna realized that she would eventually need help as she aged. She had friends who had heard good things about Holly Hall, so she visited, saw an apartment, and thought it looked like home. Donna liked that it was not a high-rise, so she could look out her windows and see the trees and gardens. She moved into Independent Living in 2017.

Donna remembers meeting Sonia first at lunch, and Sonia remembers seeing Donna in their Independent Living cluster. Their schedules meshed, and they walked together to meals and activities. They gradually learned they liked many of the same things and had similar values, including a strong Christian faith. Donna says that her friendship with Sonia has been significant during this last year when three of Donna’s siblings died. Holly Hall brought Sonia and Donna together and enriched each other’s lives. But as Donna says, “Really, everybody at Holly Hall is a friend – that’s a benefit you don’t expect.”

Friendships Blossom at Houston’s Holly Hall

Friendship month is a time to celebrate our friends and nurture the relationships important to our happiness and well-being. After all, studies have shown that close friendships can have several benefits, including improved mental health, increased life satisfaction, and even a longer lifespan. Schedule a tour for our Assisted Living or Independent Living to see just how friendships grow and add life to years at Holly Hall Retirement Community.

Tips to Stay Cool and Beat The Houston Heat

Posted on: August 10th, 2022 by hhmin

It’s no secret that Houston summers are brutally hot. With the scorching heat wave currently sweeping across Texas that might break record temperatures, it is essential to take precautions for senior citizens and aging loved ones to stay cool. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help keep you safe and beat the heat. Whether you’re staying at home or heading out for the day, these helpful hints will ensure you don’t overheat.

Stay hydrated

As any Houstonian knows, the summer months can be brutally hot. The key to beating the heat is to stay hydrated. Cold water is best, and you should aim to drink eight glasses daily. Other fluids like unsweetened iced tea or fruit juice can also help keep you hydrated. 

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee or soda, as they can cause you to lose water. 
  • Alcohol and sugary drinks should also be avoided, as they can cause you to lose water. Stick to cold water or unsweetened iced tea to help beat summer’s heat.

Avoid hot foods and heavy meals

When the weather is hot, it’s important to pay attention to what you eat and drink. Heavy meals, hot foods, and spicy dishes can make you feel even hotter, as your body has to work harder to digest the food. 

  • Stick to light meals and snacks that are easy to digest.
  • Some foods that are good for keeping you hydrated include melons such as watermelon, honeydew, and cucumber. 

Get an idea of the light and refreshing meals we serve in the hot Houston summer months at Holly Hall.

Best clothing options

Always dress for the weather. Tight clothing can trap heat and make you feel even hotter. Loose-fitting, light-colored clothes allow your skin to breathe and help keep you cool while dark colors absorb heat. It’s best to wear light colors that reflect the sun’s rays. 

  • Opt for lightweight materials like cotton or linen.
  • Wear a hat and bring your sunglasses when going outdoors. 

Apply sunscreen

As we age, our skin becomes thinner and less elastic. We also become more susceptible to damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. That’s why it’s crucial for everyone, especially senior citizens, to use sunscreen during the summer. UV radiation is a known risk factor for skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. It can also cause skin damage, including wrinkles, sunspots, and dryness. And while UV exposure can occur year-round, seniors are especially vulnerable during summer when the sun’s rays are strongest. 

  • Applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can help protect against UV damage. 
  • Be sure to apply sunscreen evenly over all exposed skin, including the back of the hands, ears, and feet. 
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more often if you’re sweating or swimming. 

Carefully plan your time outdoors

The heat can be dangerous, particularly for vulnerable populations such as young children, the elderly, and those with chronic medical conditions. Limit your time outdoors to stay safe during the summer months.

  • Try to stay in the shade as much as possible.
  • Take breaks often in a cool place with air-conditioning.
  • Plan your outdoor activities for cooler times of day, such as the early morning or evening hours. 

Stay active indoors 

There are plenty of ways to stay active indoors at Holly Hall Retirement Community. From social activities to friendly fitness classes, you don’t have to sacrifice being active in our community in the summer.

  • Attend one of our many fitness classes, including Tai Chi, Zumba Gold, Exercise with Tape, or Sit & Fit.
  • Play a game of cards, bridge, Mahjong, or Bingo. 
  • Attend Bible study, Communion, or worship service.
  • Take a relaxing evening stroll around the community grounds after the sun has simmered down.

Holly Hall Retirement Community Keeps Your Loved One Comfortable

Our trained staff has the resources and knowledge to help your loved ones stay cool and beat the summer heat. All our residents can still get an outdoor feeling with exquisite views of our lush green campus that spans 20 acres during the high summer temperatures. Put your trust in Holly Hall Retirement Community. Schedule a tour if you are an independent senior looking to live in an active and gated community or if you are looking for assisted living for an aging loved one.

Your Off-Campus Dining Guide Near Holly Hall Retirement Community

Posted on: August 1st, 2022 by hhmin

Houston is a mecca for foodies. As one of the most diverse cities in the country, there is every type of cuisine to fit your craving–Tex-Mex, Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, Moroccan, seafood, BBQ, and so much more. This is a huge perk for Holly Hall Retirement Community residents and their visiting guests if they are venturing off campus to dine out. There is something for everyone’s cravings, and you don’t have to go far to find it. Our 20-acre campus is situated near the Houston Astrodome, Texas Medical Center, and Rice Village, so you have plenty of options!

Since August 1st kicks off Houston Restaurant Weeks, we figured this was the perfect time to share some of our residents and staff members’ favorite eateries nearby our campus and around town. Houston Restaurant Weeks is an annual tradition that allows people to dine out for a good cause. Hundreds of restaurants participate in offering pre-fixe menus at a discounted price to benefit the Houston Food Bank. So, without further ado, here are our top restaurant recommendations in the Houston area.

Must-Try Restaurants in Houston Near Holly Hall Retirement Community

Pastry from Common Bond Bistro and Bakery

Delectable mousse pastry with gold leaf from Common Bond.

Pastry from Epicure Cafe

Oyster platter at Goode Seafood Co.

Oyster platter at Goode Seafood Co.

Cheeseburger-Dining Guide Near Holly Hall Retirement Community

Cheeseburger at Goode Co. Taqueria.

Cake-Dining Guide Near Holly Hall Retirement Community

  • Pondicheri – Must try: Their bakery is fabulous for Indian seasoned pastries and cakes (pictured above).
  • Prego – Must try: Crab cakes and creme brûlée

Dining Options for Everyone at Holly Hall

There is something for every foodie when it comes to dining at Houston’s Holly Hall or enjoying some local eats. Proper nutrition, delicious dining, and overall satisfaction are significant factors one should consider when it comes to assisted living or independent living communities. Come see how Holly Hall offers an elevated dining experience and puts healthy nutrition at the forefront of every culinary decision for our residents. Schedule a tour or contact us at (713) 799-9031 to learn about residency in our vibrant community.