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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.

How to Tell If It’s Time for Assisted Living

Posted on: July 26th, 2022 by hhmin

Deciding to move to assisted living can be difficult, but it can also be a positive step. Assisted living communities provide people finding it harder to live independently with care and support with daily living activities based on individual needs and wishes. Here are 5 signs it may be time to consider moving to a community that offers continued care.

5 Signs It’s Time for Assisted Living

Safety concerns

Safety concerns are often a major factor in the decision to move to assisted living, especially if you or a loved one is living alone or has recently become prone to accidents. Assisted living can provide extra support and supervision to stay safe if you are worried about falls, wandering, being forgetful and confused about time and place, or having difficulty walking or using the stairs.

Trouble managing daily tasks

When daily tasks become too much for an aging loved one to handle alone, it could indicate that it is time to receive regular assistance. This could look like:

– Needing assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting

– Difficulty cooking and preparing regular meals

– Help with activities of daily living such as housekeeping, taking medication, and laundry

Inability to keep up with a household

An inability to keep up with a household can be frustrating and overwhelming. If you find yourself or your aging loved one neglecting home or yard work, it may be time to consider a retirement community that offers:

  • Maintenance-free living
  • A variety of social and recreational activities

Forgetting to take medication

What’s worse than forgetting medication or not taking it at all? Skipping doses. This can lead to dangerous consequences, like a condition getting worse or requiring more severe treatment. Luckily, services in assisted living communities like Holly Hall Retirement Community provide a place where residents will be monitored or reminded about their prescribed medications to take them on time every single day.

Neglecting proper nutrition 

Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining good health. If you are struggling to eat a balanced diet, an assisted living community can help by providing:

  • Healthy and nutritious meals
  • Regular nutrition counseling
  • Alternative and delicious options to accommodate dietary needs
  • Flexible dining times

How Holly Hall Helps Aging Parents Transition to Assisted Living With Peace of Mind

The majority of people that move to our assisted living community have recently had a change in condition or experienced a distressful incident. For example, one resident who lived alone went through a major security scare from a burglary. Moving to Holly Hall gave that person a sense of peace as our property is gated and has security guards 24/7.

Our proactive emergency preparedness also gives aging loved ones peace of mind because they never have to go through a hurricane, flood, or severe winter weather alone or without power. Holly Hall is the first retirement community with on-demand electric reliability that keeps the power on at all times, so our residents are safe and comfortable no matter the storm. 

We have heard many times from family members that their loved ones bounced back and improved after moving to our assisted living community. Many factors contribute to this improvement as a result of our care, such as daily check-ins from a Licensed Nurse, three daily meals sourced from local and fresh vendors; everyday housekeeping; weekly laundry services; transportation services, and social and physical activities. 

Tour Holly Hall Retirement Community’s Assisted Living Units

We know it is a huge transition moving to assisted living, but it may be the best option if the person is experiencing any of these signs above. Holly Hall’s assisted living units are the largest in the market and offer support, assistance, and opportunities for independence, socialization, and recreation. Our Southern lifestyle helps people feel like they are right at home. Contact us today to learn more about our gracious continuing care community or to schedule a tour. We are here to help!

The Importance of Proper Nutrition for Seniors

Posted on: July 21st, 2022 by hhmin

As we age, our bodies change in a variety of ways. We may lose muscle mass, our bones become thinner and more fragile, and our metabolism shifts. These changes can make getting the nutrients we need from our food more difficult. Another factor that can affect people as they age is chronic conditions, which can impact appetite and nutrient absorption. This is why receiving proper nutrition is essential for seniors, as it helps maintain their independence, protect their cognitive function, and prevent falls and other injuries. Eating a balanced diet can also help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. For all these reasons, it’s paramount that seniors eat various nutrient-rich foods and receive regular consultations with a nutritionist or healthcare professional to ensure their specific needs are met as they age. At our close-knit retirement community, we make sure of this for our residents.

Holly Hall’s mission is “adding years to life and life to years.” Our culinary, healthcare, and dietician staff exemplify that statement in how our dining services are operated. From vibrant food plating to proper nutritional counseling, our residents are happier and more engaged–adding life to years–with fresh, locally sourced, healthy, and delicious meals. At Holly Hall, we feed body, mind, and soul, enhancing our residents from the inside out. Read more about how we offer essential ingredients for a happier, healthier life in our retirement community.

Nutritional Counseling

Nutritional counseling and meeting residents’ dietary needs are important initiatives at Holly Hall Retirement Community. Our team records every allergy and nutritional need for each of our residents, and they are followed closely on a continual basis by their care plans. Our Healthcare Administrator and Dietician assess residents weekly for nutritional care, and our Culinary staff ensures everyone has an elevated dining experience no matter the dietary restriction.

Just because someone has a restriction doesn’t mean they can’t still enjoy their meals. For instance, there is an amazing gluten-free resident in our community. She ate chicken and veggies every day because she thought she was limited in what she could eat. Through nutritional counseling, our staff was able to introduce and serve her cauliflower-crusted pizza so she could still enjoy pizza while meeting her healthcare needs.

If residents are on a renal diet of no tomato sauce, our culinary team can make pizza and pasta dishes with alfredo or pesto sauces, so they can still have the dignity of the original meal item. The same level of consideration and coordination applies to our residents who might be on a puree diet; there is attention to detail, and food textures are modified, so their meal is appealing, satisfying, and nutritious.

Enjoy Chef-Prepared Menus at Holly Hall Retirement Community

We pride ourselves at Holly Hall Retirement Community on serving our residents and staff members with premium produce and the freshest ingredients. Our local produce vendor never ceases to amaze, and our menus are strategically crafted to entice the senses and indulge your appetite. It is always our goal to meet and exceed our residents’ expectations. Our new seasonal rotation menu will provide the diversity and inclusion of all residents, families, and staff. Be on the lookout for exciting new options and vibrant plating, and check out what’s cooking at Holly Hall this summer. Bon Appetit! To learn more about our dining or if you want to come to see our senior living community for yourself, contact us here.

What’s Cooking at Holly Hall This Summer

Posted on: July 1st, 2022 by hhmin

Dining is an essential aspect of life for seniors in retirement communities. It provides a social opportunity to interact with others daily. This communal gathering can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, which are common among older adults. Having an incredible dining experience can also stimulate mental activity, keep residents active and provide an opportunity to enjoy the company of others while savoring delicious food. When residents feel connected to others and can enjoy tasty meals, they are more likely to be satisfied with their overall experience in the retirement community.

At Holly Hall Retirement Community, we pride ourselves on providing an elevated dining experience that nourishes our residents and allows them to enjoy their meals, whether it’s together with their community or from the comfort of their homes. Our facility spans a beautiful 20 acres and boasts three formal dining rooms. We also offer take-out meals plus a private dining room for family meals and special occasions.

Savor the Flavors of Summer

When it comes to summertime on the Upper Gulf Coast, there is nothing quite like cold, refreshing, crisp meals and treats to cool down during those high temperatures. At Holly Hall Retirement Community, our chef-inspired summer menu items allow residents to enjoy a lighter fare during those hotter months while enjoying various seasonal favorites. These meals bring out summer’s bright and vibrant colors that get the senses going! Here are some of the menu options residents are savoring this summer.


  • Eggs benedict
  • Bagels topped with smoked salmon, lemon butter, and a caper sauce
  • Spinach and goat cheese frittatas

Watermelon Salad

This salad has an arugula base and is topped with watermelon, feta cheese, cold-boiled shrimp, and fresh dill. The watermelon and dill sure bring a burst of flavor that is refreshing and light.

Strawberry Sensation Salad

A mix of lush greens is combined with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, yogurt chips, and honey-roasted almonds. It’s topped with a raspberry walnut vinaigrette, and there is an option to add goat cheese or other natural aged cheeses. 

Seasonal Main Courses

  • Jumbo lump crab cakes
  • Hawaiian fried rice
  • Korean BBQ short ribs
  • Pulled pork and slaw sandwiches
  • Blackened salmon topped with mango salsa 

Dining Options to Meet Any Needs

Holly Hall is a close-knit community that offers independent living, assisted living, and short-term rehab. Our residents are always given the best possible culinary experience at every level of care. If you’re a foodie considering our living accommodations, you can rest assured that every meal is made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and cooked to order. 

Our variety of dining options is designed to meet the needs of all our residents. We have formal dining, take-out, and a la carte options so residents can choose what’s best for them. In addition, our nutritionists are available to provide counseling and guidance on making healthy choices that fit each resident’s individual needs and preferences. Whether you are looking for a gourmet meal or comfort food, Holly Hall has something for everyone.

Visit Our Community

Tour our beautiful grounds and meet our kind and caring staff; you’ll see what makes us so special. Our community is designed to provide seniors with the care and assistance they need to live happy, healthy lives. But we don’t just stop there; we also offer a wide range of amenities and activities to keep our residents engaged and active. Whether it’s enjoying a delicious meal in our dining rooms or participating in one of our many social events, there’s always something to do at Holly Hall. Contact us or call us today at (713) 799-9031 to schedule a tour. We can’t wait to show you everything that Holly Hall offers.


Hurricane Preparedness at Holly Hall Retirement Community

Posted on: June 23rd, 2022 by hhmin


Hurricane season is nothing new for Houstonians. However, when it comes to finding a retirement community for your loved ones (or yourself) on the Upper Gulf Coast, you want to ensure specific standards of safety in the event of hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, or even extreme winter weather. At Holly Hall Retirement Community, our residents’ well-being and protection are of the utmost importance at all times, including having extra measures of protection for natural disasters.

Since June 1st officially kicked off hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic seaboard, we wanted to share a preparedness checklist and more about our retirement community’s backup generation that can withstand inclement weather. No matter what storm comes in the path of Holly Hall Retirement Community, you can have peace of mind.

Holly Hall is the first retirement community with On Demand Electric Reliability

Even a light flickering can be unsettling when a big storm is projected to hit. At Houston’s Holly Hall Retirement Community, residents can relax knowing there is a consistent power supply. You might be wondering how our community that spans 20 acres can have backup generation. Using Enchanted Rock’s proprietary natural gas microgrid design and Texas Microgrid’s services, Holly Hall has full electrical reliability in all weather conditions and emergencies. 

Before the On Demand Electric Reliability service, Holly Hall experienced around four eight-hour outages yearly due to storms. Electricity is an absolute necessity for residents who rely on medications that require refrigeration, breathing machines, and other life-dependent power-operating devices. Since this installation, Holly Hall hasn’t lost power or even experienced a light flicker. The microgrids provided assurance, heat, and power during the Winter Storm Uri in February 2021, while millions were without electricity.

At Holly Hall, we ensure our residents have a peaceful environment, and providing reliable power is just one of the many measures we take to make this happen. 

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Hurricane season is a time of year when residents of the Houston area need to be extra vigilant. Although the hurricane season officially runs from June 1st to November 30th, the peak of hurricane activity usually occurs between August and October. Utilizing a hurricane preparedness checklist can help you and your loved ones stick to a plan in the event of a storm. 

  • Make sure all doors and windows are securely shut; consider using storm shutters.
  • Secure or remove any outdoor furniture and plants.
  • Have plenty of non-perishable food and water on hand and a manual can opener.
  • Fill up your car with gas in case you need to evacuate.
  • Charge all of your electronic devices and have backup batteries handy.
  • Keep cash on hand in case ATMs are down or power is lost.
  • Have a first-aid kit and any necessary medications readily available.
  • Know your community’s evacuation routes if you need to leave quickly.
  • Stay tuned to local news and weather reports for the latest updates on the hurricane.
  • Put important documents like your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate in a waterproof bag.

Click here to download the 10-page METRO Hurricane Preparedness Checklist and Guide from the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, the City of Houston OEM, and the METRO Office of Emergency Management.

Add Years to Life and Life to Years at Holly Hall Retirement Community

If you are looking for a place that feels like home and offers peace no matter the storm, consider moving to Holly Hall. Our Christian retirement community provides a full spectrum of options, including independent living, assisted living, and short-term rehab. Call us at (713) 799-9031 or contact us for more information.


What is a Caregiver and When Should You Consider Senior Housing?

Posted on: May 18th, 2022 by hhmin

For many families dealing with an aging parent who needs help, caring for them in their home makes the most sense. And as their care needs increase, it can become more and more challenging to be a caregiver. But what is a caregiver? Does care have to be provided by a family member, or are there other options? If you’re trying to decide the best way to look after your family member, this blog post will provide a caregiver definition and look at the best way to provide caregiver services to your loved one. 

What is a Caregiver?

There are two types of caregivers: professional caregivers and family caregivers. Professional caregivers are paid for their services and have had training and education in providing care. Family caregivers care for an aging parent, spouse, other relative, or someone else who is ill or disabled, without payment. 

In the U.S., most long-term care is provided by family and friends in the home; only 11% of care is provided in a nursing home or an assisted-living community. According to AARP, there are currently 53 million family caregivers. About 86% of caregivers are related to the care recipient, with about a third caring for a parent. The average age of a caregiver is 49, and 66% of caregivers are women. 

What are a Caregiver’s Duties?

A caregiver assists with activities of daily living including bathing, getting dressed, walking, eating and assistance with going to the bathroom. Caregivers can also provide help with instrumental activities of daily living including shopping, meal preparation, medication management, housekeeping, transportation and managing finances.

Are You Ready to be a Primary Caregiver?

Deciding to care for a loved one is not something to be taken lightly. While undoubtedly rewarding, it can be a huge strain on your life and the lives of your family members. Before you decide what to do, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I physically able to provide the needed assistance? Could I continue doing this work for weeks? Months? Years? Do I have physical limitations for the work involved?
  • How much time is needed to help care for my loved one in their home? Is this likely to increase or decrease over time?
  • What skill level is necessary to provide the best care for them in their home?
  • Are other family members and friends able to share the necessary care without any one individual becoming overburdened?
  • Am I prepared to perform intimate caregiving chores like bathing and helping with using the toilet?
  • Am I able to keep from getting upset and angry? Am I able to stay calm and treat family members with patience and kindness, even when I feel tired and overworked with the responsibilities of being a caregiver?
  • Can I be available for caregiving duties when needed?
  • Can I afford to reduce or stop working? Or do I need to continue to work to meet my family’s and my current or future financial needs?
  • Am I willing to reduce my other obligations to give the care needed? If other people depend on me (children, etc.), can I find alternative care for my loved one to free up my time to take care of others who also need me?
  • Am I confident that other family relationships (e.g., with my spouse) won’t be negatively affected by the stress of caregiving?
  • Do I have a list of contacts to ask for help when I need a break? Am I willing to ask for help if I need it? How will I protect myself from getting so involved that I never take a break or get help?
  • Would I be willing to hire outside care to supplement what I can give? Do I have the financial resources for supplemental care? Would I be willing to pay someone to help me provide the care that is needed?
  • Do the people around me support me in my decision? Are they willing to share some of the responsibilities?  

If you answered “No” to two or more of these questions, you may want to consider other options for your family member. 

Finding the Best Option for Your Loved One

At Holly Hall, we’ve been helping seniors lead more active lives for over 70 years with an engaging lifestyle tailored to their unique wants and needs. To learn how our independent living and assisted living communities can provide peace of mind to your loved one and your family, contact us here.

What are Flavonoid-Rich Foods and How Can They Improve Your Memory?

Posted on: May 4th, 2022 by hhmin

Did you know there’s something you do multiple times each and every day that could help improve your health, wellness and memory? Research shows that eating flavonoid-rich foods could help protect your brain and even help with other areas of your overall health. If you’re asking yourself, “What foods contain flavonoids?” and “What foods are high in flavonoids?” This blog post can help. It will define flavonoids, discuss their benefits and show you what foods contain flavonoids.

What are Flavonoids?

Flavonoids is a term for a group of potent natural antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables. There are six types of flavonoids: Anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavanones, flavones and isoflavones. Flavonols are the type of flavonoids most common in our diets.

Research by Harvard Medical School, has shown some flavonoids appear to have protective effects on the brain:

  • Flavones are associated with a 38% lower risk for self-reported cognitive decline
  • Flavanones have a 36% lower risk for self-reported cognitive decline
  • Anthocyanins have a 24% lower risk for self-reported cognitive decline

Benefits of Eating Food High in Flavonoids

One of the important contributors to cognitive decline is damage to the brain’s blood supply. People’s brain functions begin to decline in our 20s and 30s, but we usually don’t notice it until we reach our 70s. But the anti-inflammatory properties of flavonoids could help protect our brain’s blood supply, which in turn makes the downward slope less steep.

Foods high in flavonoids can help:

  • Manage high blood pressure
  • Lower your risk of heart attack or stroke and decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Decrease your risk of getting certain cancers
  • Fight inflammation
  • Keep blood vessels healthy
  • Increase the production of chemicals that repair brain cells, strengthen their connections, promote new brain cell growth and enlarge the size of your hippocampus

In fact, after adjusting for age, total food intake, major nondietary factors and specific dietary factors, a higher intake of total flavonoids has been associated with lower odds of Subjective Cognitive Decline.

How Much Flavonoid-Rich Foods Should You Eat Per Day?

The amount of flavonoids in the foods you eat can vary greatly; many fruits and vegetables contain several types of flavonoids, along with many other phytochemicals (chemical compounds produced by plants). So instead of trying to track a certain amount of flavonoids, you should just aim to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Recent evidence suggests that the most effective combination is two servings of fruits plus three servings of vegetables per day.

According to the Harvard Medical School study, the top 20 flavonoid-rich foods most associated with beneficial cognitive effects, listed from strongest to weakest, are:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Strawberries
  • Cauliflower
  • Raw spinach
  • Yams/sweet potatoes
  • Blueberries
  • Yellow/orange winter squash
  • Cooked spinach
  • Cooked carrots
  • Peaches/apricots/plums
  • Cantaloupe
  • Tomato juice
  • Applesauce
  • Green/red/yellow peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Tomato sauce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapefruit

What About Flavonoid Supplements?

Flavonoids are made up of around 6,000 compounds so it’s difficult to know if the positive properties of flavonoid-rich diets can be replaced by purified flavonoids supplements. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), plant sources of flavonoids contain a complex mixture of secondary plant metabolites, not just flavonoids alone. This complex mixture of secondary plant metabolites can’t be simply exchanged by single purified compounds as dietary supplements. The NIH report also cautions that if flavonoids supplements are taken, potential toxicity issues, as well as potential nutrient/drug interactions, need to be taken into account. If you’re considering a flavonoid supplement, consult with your health care provider first.

We Offer the Essential Ingredients for a Happier, Healthier Life

At Holly Hall, one important aspect of both physical and social health is enjoying a good meal with friends and neighbors. That’s why our dining experience offers lots of delicious menu options prepared by our culinary team to help meet your health and wellness goals. To learn more or to come see our senior living community for yourself, contact us here.