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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.

Sincerely,

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%

 

Expenses

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.”

Sincerely,

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.

How Much Does Independent Living Cost?

Posted on: March 9th, 2022 by hhmin

You’ll have some important homework to do if you’re contemplating a move to independent living. First, you’ll want to think about where you’d like to live. Second, consider what’s important to you when it comes to lifestyle, services, and amenities. And then there’s the big question: How much does independent living cost? There is no standardized pricing when it comes to senior living communities. Not only do the types of communities differ, but costs can vary widely based on the state where the community is located, and even the city, as well as the services provided.

Defining Types of Independent Living

There are three primary types of communities that offer independent living; each type is  distinct when it comes to services and amenities, as well as care options offered. 

No Assistance Needed: 55+ Apartments

You’ve likely seen advertising for active adult communities. In simplest terms, this is apartment living like any other, except that all the residents are “of a certain age,” typically 55 and up. These complexes may or may not have on-site dining options, along with amenities that encourage social gatherings like pickleball courts, putting greens and BBQ pits, as well as a pool and fitness facilities. And the monthly fee may include maintenance of your unit and the exterior. Rents vary depending on location and unit size. As an example, one club in Florida offers a two-bedroom, 1,300-square foot apartment for $2,000 a month.

This option is the least expensive type of independent living for older adults in good health, primarily because it doesn’t typically include access to higher levels of care if your health needs change. The responsibility falls on the residents to pay for nursing help and other care. Much like any apartment rental, residences in a 55+ community feature standard, long-term leases with rent due each month; if there is any upfront fee to join the community, such a fee isn’t likely to be too substantial. 

Built-In Active Social Life: Retirement Communities

This option is closer to what most people envision in a place to retire. The fees in a typical free-standing senior living community generally include at least two meals a day in a communal dining room, along with laundry and housekeeping services, activities and events, and amenities such as a fitness center, pool, movie theater, and game room.

Typically, residents have access to 24-hour emergency assistance and security (and apartments are equipped with emergency pull chains and/or speakers). Some, but not all, free-standing independent living communities have medical staff and aides available to monitor changes in a resident’s health. But if higher-level care or continuous care is needed, the resident is usually responsible for hiring caregivers to provide them or must move elsewhere to get them. As to the question of how much independent living in a free-standing retirement community costs,  the fee to live in one averages around $2,500 a month. Not surprising, that’s higher than in a 55+ community because of the additional staffing, as well as the added services and amenities provided. That generally includes maintenance, dining services and transportation often at a monthly cost that is less than what you’d pay to maintain your own home.

The Ultimate Worry-Free Option: Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

In examining and comparing the cost of independent living, you also need to look at CCRCs. Like other retirement communities, CCRCs (sometimes called Life Plan Communities) offer on-site dining options, with laundry, housekeeping, and maintenance all included in the monthly fee. Similarly, CCRC residents enjoy a full slate of activities and events, as well as a host of resort-style amenities.

The significant difference between the other options and CCRCs is the breadth of care services and living options offered, as well as the potential for an entrance fee. Some CCRCs charge a one-time entrance fee and an ongoing monthly fee. Holly Hall in Houston is a nonprofit rental CCRC offering independent living and a full spectrum of care, including assisted living, skilled nursing care, and rehab, all on one campus. For residents, this affords the opportunity to move to one location, engage in a vibrant, carefree lifestyle, and have peace of mind  knowing that long-term care will always be readily available and included in their monthly fee.

With the array of services and highly trained staff available, the cost of living in a CCRC community is at the high end of retirement community options. About three-quarters of all CCRCs charge an entrance fee in addition to the monthly fee, Holly Hall, a Christian Retirement community, has NO buy-in or entrance fee.  

For those communities that do have an entrance fee, the national average is around $300,000 – $350,000,  but it can vary widely depending on the location, the state, and the breadth of services. These CCRCs use the fee as a prepayment for care and living arrangements, as well as to fund operating costs. It’s worth noting that about 80% of  CCRCs/Life Plan Communities will refund between 50% and 90% of the entrance fee to you or your beneficiaries when you leave the community. But that’s a question you need to ask when you research your options.

Additionally, CCRCs typically offer a choice of contract types to help residents with budgeting. Be sure to ask the representative what contracts are available.  

While Holly Hall does not require entrance fees (they rent month-to-month) other CCRCs may typically offer up to three contract options. Here’s a look at those options and their associated costs:

Type A — Life Care

In addition to enjoying premium amenities and services, residents of Life Care communities can count on access to high-quality on-site care at predictable rates for the rest of their lives, generally with little to no increase in monthly fees over what they paid in their independent living residence. And they’ll pay far less for these services than they would on the open market. They know where they’ll get this care, who will provide it, and how much it will cost.

Type B — Modified Plan (aka Modified CCRC or Modified Agreement)

These communities include housing, services and amenities, with health care provided one of two ways: 1) a limited number of free days included as part of the entrance fee, with additional care billed at per diem market rates, or 2) an ongoing, minimally discounted rate. Health care services may be delivered on- or off-site, and two monthly fees may be incurred if couples require different levels of care.

Type C — Fee-for-Service

Housing, services and amenities are provided, but any available long-term care is charged based on fee-for-service market rates. If a resident requires short-term care, that resident must continue paying the monthly fee on their independent living residence, plus the costs of housing and health care received in an assisted living, memory support or skilled nursing residence, which may or may not be on the same campus.

Live at Holly Hall and Choose Peace of Mind for Life

Gaining an understanding of how much independent living costs is an important first step in what type of community is best. Holly Hall, in Houston, Texas, has a clear advantage over many CCRCs in that we don’t charge an entrance fee, yet we offer all levels of living and care to our residents, including independent living in beautiful cottages and  spacious apartments.

As a CCRC, we offer residents a home and a welcoming neighborhood in which to make a lifetime of memories with the security of knowing their health care needs will always be met. To arrange a tour, simply complete our request form and we’ll be in touch shortly.

Smart-Home Devices for Seniors to Maintain Independence

Posted on: February 15th, 2022 by hhmin

As technology continues to advance, everything around us keeps getting smarter and — more importantly — easier to use. One place that’s making a huge difference is around the house, where smart-home devices are making everyone’s life more enjoyable.

 

This blog post will take a look at some of the available senior smart devices and show how they can help you live a more convenient, efficient, healthy, and safer lifestyle.

Add IQ Points to Your Home

Smart devices make it easier for seniors to maintain their freedom and independence while providing peace of mind for themselves and their families. Although we haven’t quite attained the ease and convenience enjoyed by the Jetsons, today there are robot vacuums and smart speakers, lights and locks, and more. Please note, in general, you don’t have to be tech-savvy to use these devices, but you may want some help setting them up.

 

Convenience

Turn your home into a voice-activated marvel that allows you to feed the dog, make a call to a friend or family member, or turn the radio on with just a few words.

  • Smart-home hub: These devices use Alexa, Siri, or Google Home to set up timers, reminders, or calendar events, or to listen to music, hear  the news, or get updates on weather and traffic. They also allow you to connect your smart-home devices together. So you can use voice control for your television, light, thermostats, locks, doorbells, security cameras, and more. 
  • Robot vacuum: Put away your upright vacuum and let one of these devices autonomously navigate your home’s floor plan. Robot vacuums are capable of moving around and underneath furniture, reaching dust and dirt in tough-to-clean spaces.You can even instruct the vacuum to clean when you’re not at home. They usually can be controlled remotely using a smartphone or your smart hub.
  • Smart pet feeder: Here’s an easy way to automatically dispense the same amount of pet food and water every day. 
  • Smart outlets: These are one of the most economical and simplest ways to convert your home into a smart home. Connect a lamp or a coffee maker to a smart plug, and you’ll be able to control and schedule these devices through your smart hub or phone.
  • Smart kitchen appliances: With your phone or smart hub, you can preheat your smart oven, change the temperature and turn it off. Smart refrigerators provide an easy way to set timers, create lists, and track expiration dates for perishable items. 
  • Smart clothes washer and dryer: Track your wash and dry cycles, monitor energy usage, and be alerted when dryer ducts start to become dangerously clogged. 
  • Smart air filter monitor: These air filter attachments can alert you when your heating and cooling systems are at risk of clogging, which produces poor home air quality, higher energy bills, and is the leading cause of heating and cooling system failure. 
  • Smart leak detector: Placed in your water pipes, a smart leak detector monitors for changes in water pressure and usage that can indicate a running toilet, water heater, outdoor hose or faucet, and sends an alert to your phone. 

 

Savings

Installing smart devices can be a good way to cut down on costly utility bills by allowing you to monitor your energy usage. Some smart devices can even learn from your habits to help save you money.

  • Smart-home thermostat: Control your home’s temperature directly from your phone, tablet, or smart hub. If you’re returning home and you want to turn on the heat  beforehand, you can do this directly from your smartphone, allowing you to come back to a nice warm home. Some types of smart thermostats will learn your heating habits and start to program themselves. They can also sense when your home is empty and turn the heat down, helping reduce unnecessary energy usage. Plus, you can check your energy history to see how much you’ve used.
  • Smart bulbs: These can be controlled via your phone/tablet, as well as through a smart hub, allowing you to turn your lights on/off with your voice. That way it can help prevent you from tripping over objects in the dark. Plus, you can set it up to turn your lights on and off at particular times throughout the day. Smart bulbs are also long-lasting and use 80% less power than an incandescent bulb. 
  • Smart water heater: Remotely manage your water temperatures and monitor energy usage with a smart water heater.

 

Health

Today’s technology can help you stay motivated and remind you when you need to do things like take medication or go for a walk.

  • Smart pill dispenser: Good for managing multiple medications that need to be taken at different times throughout the day. Just load your medications and program them to be dispensed and available according to the prescribed schedule. Some smart pill dispensers even have locking mechanisms that prevent theft or accidental overdoses.
  • Activity trackers: Today’s wearable trackers for seniors can count steps and calories burned and audit sleep patterns. Some even have tracking features like heart rate monitoring and offer battery life that lasts a whole year without recharging.  

 

Safety 

Smart devices are a great way to create a safety net around your home, giving your family members peace of mind knowing you’re safe and secure. 

  • Smart doorbell: When someone rings the smart doorbell on your front door, it will stream the video footage directly to your phone or tablet, allowing you to identify who’s visiting. You can also speak to them via a two-way microphone.
  • Smart locks: These pair well with smart doorbells because they can allow you to lock and unlock your doors remotely using your smartphone or smart hub. If you have visitors who come over at specific times, you can also schedule your door to unlock automatically before they arrive. Some models can be paired with other phones so a trusted friend or family member can get inside without a key.
  • Smart indoor camera: Many indoor cameras feature motion sensors that start recording the moment they detect any movement, so you can be notified with an alert on your phone. You can also control some cameras through your smart hub. 
  • Smart garage door controller: This smart device allows you to open and close your garage door with your phone whether you’re at home or traveling.

Discover a Smarter Way to Enjoy Life at Holly Hall

If you’re looking for an active, vibrant lifestyle, consider independent living at Holly Hall. Our 20+ beautifully landscaped acres offer easy access to the best activities and amenities central Houston has to offer, including NRG Stadium, Rice Village, Hermann Park, the Museum District, and great restaurants and shopping. To learn more about our smart independent living lifestyle, contact us here.

Adaptive Equipment Can Make Life Easier

Posted on: October 4th, 2021 by hhmin

Today’s seniors are living more vibrant, fun, and independent lives than ever before. Improvements in healthcare, the science of diet and exercise, and the increase of transportation options have all contributed. With all the breakthroughs in so many areas related to aging, there’s never been a better time to be a senior!

One of the areas that has evolved quickly in recent years is the technology of adaptive equipment. These are pieces of equipment that provide assistance to older adults who value their independence, but could use a little help in some areas of their day-to-day life. 

 

This list will break down  the areas of your life where adaptive equipment can be helpful. From the mechanical and basic to the most technologically advanced, here are some available assistive devices: 

Movement Around the Home

  •     Railings for stairways and bathrooms
  •     Walker
  •     Motorized scooter
  •     Cane
  •     Lift chairs to stand from a seated position
  •     Stair lift
  •     Ramps at entryways

Hearing and Seeing

  •     Hearing aids
  •     Wearable microphone
  •     Computer screen magnifying software
  •     Telephone speaker
  •     One-touch or large-button telephone
  •     Smart phone text magnification
  •     Talking clock
  •     Talking wrist watch
  •     Voice-activated alarm clock
  •     Large-button TV remote control
  •     TV headphones
  •     Night lights

Bathroom Assistance

  •     Toilet seat riser
  •     Bidet attachment
  •     Handrail  around toilet and shower
  •     Shower bench
  •     Hand-held shower head
  •     Walk-in bathtub
  •     Bath water level alarm

Kitchen Assistance

  •     Mechanical can opener
  •     Jar opener tool
  •     Reacher/grabber for cabinet items
  •     Adaptive eating utensils and dining aids
  •     Automatic shut-off systems for kitchen appliances

Self-Care Assistance

  •     Medication organizer
  •     Medication dispenser with reminder alarm
  •     Appointment reminder alarm
  •     Adjustable bed
  •     Over-bed table
  •     Waterproof mattress pad

General Home Maintenance and Safety

  •     Security system
  •     Emergency services phone presets
  •     Wearable medical alert device
  •     Video doorbell
  •     Robotic vacuum
  •     Voice activation technology for lights, TV, door locks

Research Before You Buy

There’s so much adaptive equipment to choose from that it may be hard to decide what to buy at first. Start with online searches about what your needs may be, and then see which specific assistive devices look like they could be helpful to you.

Then read customer reviews, but don’t rely on one customer opinion or sales websites alone for information about usefulness, quality, and value. Look at credible review sources like Consumer Reports. And talk to any healthcare professionals and people you trust who may be using adaptive equipment in their lives.

When you’ve made your decision about what to buy, you can look at online retailers like Amazon or visit the websites of the manufacturers of the items. You may also be able to find technological adaptive equipment at tech stores like Best Buy or big box stores for low prices. And make sure you learn about the return policies, so you can get a refund if an item doesn’t work out for you.

 

Incorporate Services

Along with the adaptive equipment and assistive devices listed above, it’s important to take advantage of any services that may be available in your area. Transportation services are commonly available now to help you get to appointments, social events, family gatherings, shopping, or anywhere you’d like to go.

It’s important to remember that getting out of your home and socializing is one of the most important activities for your physical and emotional health. Isolation can lead to depression, anxiety, and lack of exercise. With all the technology and services available to you, it’s never been easier to get out and have fun!

Research other in-home services that may be available in your area. Caregiver visits, grocery or meal delivery, cleaning services, and home and lawn maintenance services are all available.

  

Consider Any Possible Downsides to Adaptive Equipment

Assistive technology can be extremely helpful for anyone who needs it. But, you may not be entirely comfortable with items such as motion sensors that alert loved ones or video surveillance technology that records your movements. Being tracked so closely may leave you feeling like you’ve lost your privacy. 

Motion sensors, alarms that sound when a door is opened, and wearable GPS trackers may only be desirable for seniors who live with some form of memory loss or dementia that might cause them to wander or potentially get lost.

You may also consider a piece of adaptive equipment like an assistive eating device if you have arthritis or some degree of tremors. But they could overcomplicate what should be the simple task of feeding yourself. These items can be wonderfully helpful, but you’re the only one who can ultimately decide if they’re right for you.

 

Using Adaptive Equipment at Holly Hall

You can enjoy more independence at the Holly Hall assisted living community. We’re experts in the use of adaptive equipment, including assistive eating devices as you enjoy your dining experiences prepared by our world-class chef. We have all the expert knowledge, tools, and technology to maximize your freedom and help you find joy in your life every day.

 

Maintaining Freedom with Independent Living at Holly Hall

Posted on: April 2nd, 2021 by hhmin

It’s easy to take independence for granted. We enjoy different forms of independence throughout our life: We learn how to walk, earn a driver’s license, get a job, and make our own way in the world. How we lead our independent lives defines us, and everyone should have the opportunity to live independently with dignity.

Maintaining independence in old age is equally as important to our physical and mental well-being. As more and more boomers retire, they’re transforming what it means to be a senior in this century. This, in turn, has transformed the notion of retirement. In this blog post, we describe how senior living communities are satisfying the demands of the new generation of older adults like yourself.

Say Hello to More Freedom

If you think moving into senior living means giving up control, think again. Communities nowadays offer a full-service, maintenance-free lifestyle that can be more liberating than living in your current home. Maintaining independence in old age is easier when you don’t have to clean rooms you no longer use, fix appliances, or mow the yard. You can live much as you did in your house, but with security, amenities, and services walking distance away. If you work full time, your residence can still be your home base. When you want to travel, simply lock the door and leave. It’s a modern, flexible lifestyle you can tailor to your liking.

Set Your Own Schedule

The ability to make our own choices throughout the day has a big impact on maintaining independence in old age. Independent living in a senior living community allows you to stay in control of your surroundings and schedule. You live in a private residence that you’ve personalized, with belongings that you care about and enjoy. You can choose to cook meals at home or walk over to a dining room where you have an array of chef-prepared meal choices. (For an idea of what we mean, check out our menus here.) You come and go as you please. At the same time, you can choose to participate in a wide variety of daily activities when you feel like it. Here’s a great example of the monthly events, classes, and celebrations we provide at Holly Hall.

Keep Your Body Healthy

A big part of maintaining independence in old age is tied to physical fitness. However, fitness routines that worked for us in our 40s or 50s no longer work for us in our later years. Factors such as core strength and balance come to the forefront in helping us avoid the risk of a dangerous fall. Special attention must also be paid to maintaining muscle mass and bone density, as these decline with age. Senior living communities support these findings by offering fitness classes and wellness programs designed specifically for seniors. Our Fit and Friendly fitness classes accommodate all fitness levels and interests — take a look.

Claim a Sense of Purpose

Independence gives us a sense of purpose. We’re able to set and achieve goals and contribute to the lives of our family, friends, and neighbors. Seniors who are living alone at home can feel isolated or lonely, but in a community setting, they find opportunities to make new friendships and engage with others in meaningful ways. Join a resident-run club, help maintain our community garden, fundraise to help others, deepen your faith — all these activities and more provide a sense of belonging essential to maintaining independence in old age.

Defy the Expectations of Aging

What is the average age of a senior in a retirement community? Well, it used to be that someone who moved into a retirement community was either very elderly and/or they needed health care of some kind. While senior living communities such as ours provide a very high level of professional senior care on campus, we also cater to young and active seniors. We’ve seen that the earlier seniors move into our community, the more they get out of the activities and amenities on campus, and they maximize their enjoyment of our maintenance-free independent lifestyle.

Explore Spirited Independent Living

At welcoming, inclusive Holly Hall, we’re highly invested in independence and autonomy for older adults. We invite you to learn more about our community, a place where it’s easy to make friends, and there’s a host of events, committees, and activities to pique your interest. Call us today, and we’ll be glad to tell you more about our spirited senior lifestyle.

Independent Living vs. Assisted Living

Posted on: March 16th, 2021 by hhmin

Independent Living vs. Assisted Living: Which is Right for You?

Deciding it’s time for senior living is an exciting, life changing experience. When you choose to make the move, you will get the opportunity to embark on a new chapter of life. The hardest part of this new chapter, though, will be deciding which level of care is right for you.

Choosing between independent living and assisted living usually depends on how well you can manage your daily activities without assistance. On one hand, independent living is ideal if you can handle daily tasks with ease and move around freely. On the other hand, if you struggle with day-to-day tasks, assisted living may be best. Knowing the differences between the two can help you choose the right level of care for your unique needs.

What is Independent Living for Seniors?

Independent living is ideal for individuals who are still able to live an independent lifestyle but could benefit from having access to assistance when needed. When you join an independent living community, you will be able to continue to live freely, with easy access to healthcare options. Independent living communities provide you with a safe living environment that includes minimal assistance and hospitality services.

What is Assisted Living for Seniors?

Assisted living is designed to help those who struggle with daily activities of living. When you join an assisted living community, you will still be able to live independently, but you will also receive support with a range of daily activities.

Depending on which assisted living community you choose, there will be a variety of care services available meant to enhance your quality of living. For example, you can receive assistance with medication management, dressing and moving around, if needed.

Independent Living vs. Assisted Living at Holly Hall

Jeff Luna, Admissions Coordinator for Independent and Assisted Living at Holly Hall, put it simply when discussing how Holly Hall approaches the two different levels of senior living: “We really want residents to be happy where they are, but the most important thing is that they have a good quality of life while they’re here.”

At Holly Hall, we strive to provide all residents with the same opportunities and possibilities. No matter which senior living option you select, you will be able to experience all of our services and amenities to some degree.

“We try to provide the same experience for all of our residents, because we really want everyone to participate in every aspect of our community,” explained Jeff.

Independent Living Residences at Holly Hall

Holly Hall offers spirited independent living to seniors in the Houston area. Our active, vibrant community empowers you to live as independently as possible. With our delicious dining options, uplifting programming and variety of social events and activities, you will have the opportunity to live the lifestyle you’ve always wanted without worrying about home maintenance and housekeeping.

Benefits of Independent Living at Holly Hall

Here are just a few of the reasons our independent living residents love living at Holly Hall:

  • Pet-Friendly Campus – Your BFF (best fuzzy friend) is welcome to come with you when you join the Holly Hall independent living community. Your furry friend will love our spacious, scenic outdoor areas on campus. Our walking paths are also a great place to unwind and take in some fresh air together.
  • Secure Living Environment – Our independent living option provides you with a secure, gated community in a welcoming neighborhood. When you’re a member of our independent living community, you will feel an increased sense of safety for peace of mind.
  • On-Site Amenities – Our independent living residents can enjoy delicious dining options, a variety of exercise classes and an ever-changing event calendar to fuel their mind, body and spirit. You will never be bored when you become a Holly Hall resident.
  • Freedom to Live Your Life How You Want – With the maintenance-free lifestyle our independent living community offers, you won’t have to spend your time doing anything you don’t truly want to. Forget about household chores and spend your time pursuing your interests and hobbies.

Assisted Living at Holly Hall

Assisted living at Holly Hall is unlike any other assisted living experience. You’ll find the help and care you need while being surrounded by beautiful views, a welcoming community and a safe, comforting lifestyle.

Benefits of Assisted Living for Seniors

Here are just some of the reasons our assisted living residents thrive in our community:

  • A Full Activities Calendar – Being an assisted living resident means you have the opportunity to participate in daily activities and programs. You will be surrounded by friends and staff members who will encourage and help you participate in social activities and keep you active.
  • On-Site Team of Health Professionals – When you become a member of our assisted living community, you can have peace of mind knowing you will have easy access to a variety of healthcare professionals right on our campus. You will always be able to receive the care you need, when you need it.
  • Spacious Apartment Options – Living in our assisted living community means living comfortably. We offer both one-bedroom apartments and two-person rooms for spouses or family members. Our spacious apartments boast nine-foot ceilings, abundant closet space and large windows.
  • 24-Hour Service – Being an assisted living resident means feeling safe in your community. Holly Hall provides 24-hour, on-call maintenance service for emergencies. No matter what happens, someone will be there to assist you and help ease your mind.

No matter which senior living option you ultimately select, know that Holly Hall can offer you the home you’ve always wanted in your golden years.

“We are a big family here,” Jeff said. “Someone is always going to be looking out for you or your loved one, whether it’s a staff member or another resident.”

Find Vibrant Senior Living Options at Holly Hall

Whether you’re looking for independent living, assisted living or another form of senior living, Holly Hall has a variety of options available to suit your unique needs. In addition to independent and assisted living, we also offer respite care and a multitude of health services.

Contact us today to learn more about our senior living options and to determine which one is the right selection for you.