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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.

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.

What Aging in Place Really Means

Posted on: April 15th, 2022 by hhmin

A common myth about growing older is that staying in your private home will help retain your quality of life. The truth is, unless you have a plan in place for changes that naturally occur as you age, your quality of life will only go down. There is a better way. By deciding early on how and where you want to spend your time and handle major life events (such as illness, injury, or who will make decisions if you’re  unable to), you and your family can ensure you age in place successfully.

Even if you’re not yet retired, now is the time to put your plan together. To start, it’s important to learn more about aging in place and where to find help for seniors living alone. The more informed you are about your options, the better you and your loved ones will feel about making decisions for your future.

Why Staying Put Is Not Aging in Place

As we age, it’s natural to need more assistance in everyday living. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, approximately 70% of us will need long-term care at some point. This may mean a need for assisted living, skilled nursing, or memory support. Embracing this fact can make all the difference if you’re nearing retirement. After all, what is aging in place if you’re burdened by daily chores such as housekeeping, making meals, home maintenance and transportation, especially if you or your partner have a significant health issue? Retirement is meant to be enjoyed! And no one wants to make healthcare decisions on the spot, during a time of crisis.

To better understand where you may need support, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have mobility issues that make it hard to get around your house?
  • Do you find yourself worrying about paying your bills?
  • Are home repairs or maintenance piling up?
  • Is your house not as clean as it used to be?
  • Do you forget to take prescriptions?
  • Are you getting out and seeing friends/family less often?
  • Do you no longer enjoy driving?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may want to consider an independent living community like Holly Hall, where residents enjoy a vibrant lifestyle of flexible options, no matter what kind of support they need, while staying close to all the best of Houston. Knowing they have continuity of care available on-site, our residents never have to uproot themselves if their needs change. Instead, they can age in place (and spouses can stay together) with peace of mind. Not only that, but imagine how independent you can be without the worries of homeownership holding you back!

Support to Help You Age in Place

Whether you’re exploring future options or remaining in your house as long as you can, there are many services available to help seniors living alone, from grocery and pharmacy delivery to a geriatric care manager (a professional who can help you determine what support you need and how to get it). These offerings become even more valuable if you live far from loved ones. While convenient, these services can add up over time, depending on how much support is needed. For more information, see the following online government resources designed to help seniors living alone:

Whatever your preference is for the future, one thing is certain — the plan you’re sure to regret is the one you don’t make at all. In fact, most retirees say they wish they’d planned for the future sooner!

What Does Aging in Place Mean at Holly Hall?

Independence, convenience, gracious Southern living — at Holly Hall, aging in place is everything you want it to be, without worries about the future.

“It’s been a near perfect fit for me, to live here at Holly Hall. I appreciate the campus itself, which is always maintained beautifully, the services around here are always good, and the people are friendly.”

Paul R., resident

We understand how difficult it can be to start the conversation about how to age in place successfully. To learn how we help seniors living independently plan for health care while enjoying an exceptional lifestyle, contact us to schedule a tour of our community and talk about your options. Remember, your next chapter is up to you, once you make a plan.

Fiber Recommendations by Age

Posted on: April 1st, 2022 by hhmin

Most of us know that fiber, a carbohydrate that can’t be digested, is important for our physical health. But it continues to remain a “dietary component of public health concern,” according to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). More than 90% of Americans aren’t getting the fiber they need. And it becomes even more important as you age. That’s because your metabolism slows down, your muscle mass decreases, and it becomes easier to gain weight. Fiber for older adults can help with all these issues. It can help lower cholesterol, decrease food cravings, and even increase testosterone in men. In fact, recent studies show that people who eat more fiber reduce their risk of death from any cause. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different kinds of fiber — and how much — your body needs. We’ll also share some tips on how to get more fiber in your diet.

What to Know About Fiber

To understand fiber requirements by age, first it helps to know how fiber works in your body. There are two types of fiber that you need, both made from the indigestible parts of plants: Soluble fiber (the kind that dissolves in water to move through your body) and insoluble fiber (remains intact as it moves through your digestive system). Soluble fiber attaches to cholesterol and helps remove it from your body, helping your heart and blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber helps keep you regular and can also reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.

So what are the fiber recommendations by age?  Referencing the 2020-2025 DGA, women age 51 and older need 22 grams of fiber daily, while men of the same age need 28 grams per day. If that sounds like a lot, don’t worry — incorporating high-fiber foods for older adults may be easier (and more tasty) than you might think.

The Best High-Fiber Foods

Incorporating more fiber into your diet doesn’t have to turn mealtimes into a chore. If you’re wondering how to increase your fiber intake, simply browse this list of high-fiber options that are also rich in flavor, and write down your favorites. Then keep your list on the fridge, so you can easily reference it before your next snack or meal and ensure you’re getting all the fiber you need.

  •   Fruits — Adding it to your yogurt, cereal, or salad is an easy way to add more fruit into your diet. By substituting fruit for dessert, especially if you’re diabetic, you’ll also help reduce your blood sugar levels.
  •   Vegetables — Broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, and other green, leafy vegetables are packed with fiber, which is why salads are such an easy way to work fiber into your diet.
  •   Nuts and seeds — Most nuts and seeds are rich in fiber, like these tasty examples:  almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
  •   Oats — An oatmeal breakfast is the perfect way to get fiber for older adults, since oatmeal is one of the healthiest grains you can eat, and popular mix-ins like raisins and bananas are high in fiber, too.
  •   Cereals and grains — Look for whole-grain bread rather than white bread, and use whole-wheat flour when baking. Ideally, you should have one cup of whole grains with each meal.
  •   Legumes and beans — If you’re wondering how to increase fiber intake in a significant way, incorporate more beans into your soups and salads. Just one cup of canned baked beans has 10 grams of fiber!

Here’s an easy way to check your groceries for fiber content: Foods containing a minimum of 2.5 grams of fiber are usually labeled a “good source” of fiber, and those labeled an “excellent source” contain more than 5 grams of fiber per serving. Remember, when reaching your goals for fiber recommendations by age, it’s also important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This has multiple health benefits, but specifically helps keep fiber moving through your body, which prevents constipation and keeps your digestive system working properly.

A Healthy Diet and so Much More

The best high-fiber foods are just one part of our elevated dining experience at Holly Hall. See for yourself why our residents rate our food prepared by our culinary team so highly in their satisfaction surveys. Contact us to get a taste of the delicious lifestyle at Holly Hall today, and learn why generations of our residents are living up to our name. “Holly,” explains President Tamara Jenkins, “is a long-living bush that grows more beautiful with age.”

4 Reasons to Move to Senior Living Before Winter Hits

Posted on: November 16th, 2021 by hhmin

For older adults who live north of the Panhandle, winter can be a tough time of year. The cold temperatures and icy conditions make something as simple as a trip to the mailbox treacherous. As a result, many seniors become isolated in winter. Their activity level falls, which affects their physical and mental health.

 

Fortunately, Houstonians don’t get snowed in during winter as a rule. Which is why most of us don’t have a snow shovel in the garage. Nevertheless, now might be a good time to further explore your senior living options. Here are just a few reasons why you should move before freezing temperatures and gray skies lead to a case of the winter blues.

 

 

1. Stay active all winter long.

When the temperature drops and the north wind blows, outdoor activities you enjoy during warmer months tend to fall by the wayside. No one wants to play golf when it’s freezing or go for a walk when it’s slippery and wet. But at a senior living community, you can saunter down the hall in shorts and shirtsleeves to the fitness center. The resident fitness instructor will create a fitness plan tailored to your goals and wishes. You can work out on your own or join a group fitness class, such as aerobics, yoga, balance, or strength training. Many communities also have a heated indoor pool as part of their fitness center.

 

2. Have more friends and more fun.

 

Winter can be lonely and dull if you’re living alone. Worse, social isolation can put your health at risk. Social isolation is associated with an increased risk of dementia, heart disease, stroke, and depression. At a senior living community, you’ll be surrounded by friends and staff members who make winter more enjoyable. Winter is a festive time at senior living communities, with many holiday parties and seasonal events on the calendar. In addition, there are always classes, clubs, and activities to exercise your mind and energize your spirit.

 

3. Make fewer trips to the grocery store.

 

At a senior living community, transportation is provided for residents to go to the grocery store or run other errands. If your vision isn’t what it used to be, or you just don’t want to deal with the traffic and road conditions, a chauffeured drive to your destination can make the trip less of a chore. Your grocery list should be shorter too since you won’t be preparing as many meals. Of course, you can still cook in your apartment when you feel like it. But you’ll also have the option to enjoy healthy and delicious casual and fine dining on-site. Dining is a big deal at senior living communities; the quality of the food is as good as you’ll find at many local restaurants.

 

4. Be safe and secure this winter.

Last winter, Texans were reminded how much havoc a storm can cause. When the power went out, many homeowners were left without heat or running water. At Holly Hall, we put the health and safety of residents first. It’s why we’ve installed utility-grade generators to provide a reliable source of electricity in the event of a storm. Residents also enjoy 24-hour, on-call maintenance service for emergencies. Our gated community also ensures an extra layer of security for residents — we screen all visitors before entry. To make sure residents are well and doing fine, we check in with them every day. And throughout the year, residents have access to health professionals on-site to monitor their health and provide health services.

 

Don’t let winter cramp your lifestyle.

If winter keeps you from enjoying life to the fullest, why wait for spring to move into a senior living community? To learn how Holly Hall helps banish the winter blues, visit our Independent Living page. Or contact us to schedule an appointment. We love making new friends.

How to set the table for a safe Thanksgiving get-together.

Posted on: November 9th, 2021 by hhmin

This was supposed to be the year we could all get back to celebrating Thanksgiving together at Grandma’s. We knew more about how COVID-19 spreads from one person to the next; we got smarter about wearing masks and keeping our distance; and we had the vaccines to protect us. Then the Delta variant appeared, schools returned to in-person instruction, remote workers returned to their desks, and people grew tired of masking up and not going out on the town.

 

Still, this Thanksgiving promises to be closer to normal than last year. We just have to weigh the risks and set some ground rules. It might not be as big an occasion as in years past, but we can still enjoy each other’s company safely by managing the risks. For tips on having a safe Thanksgiving gathering, read on.

 

Decide whether you’re going to invite unvaccinated guests.

The first thing to think about is the vaccination status of the people on your guest list. Ideally, everyone who’ll be attending should be fully vaccinated (excluding children under 12). But that’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself and the health of any older adults, anyone who’s immunocompromised, and younger children who’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving with you. To further reduce the risk, it may be a good idea for everyone to get tested before the gathering, especially if they’re traveling from a place where cases are on the rise.

 

Limit the size of your guest list.

This is not the year to throw caution to the wind and invite 30 to 40 people for a big reunion. (Next year, hopefully.) Try to limit your get-together to family members and a few close friends. The fewer people attending, the less likely an infected person will attend.

 

Celebrate in a well-ventilated area or outdoors.

If you live in a warm climate like Houston, consider throwing an outdoor party. It’s easier to gather at a safe distance outside, and it will minimize the risk of transmission. Plus, an outdoor gathering is a great excuse to fire up the grill. If you’re planning to have Thanksgiving indoors, choose a location that’s well ventilated. If it’s a bit chilly with the windows open, put a sweater on, or throw another log on the fire.

 

Mask up when you’re not eating.

If you’re in close contact with others indoors, wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. You obviously can’t wear a mask while eating, but mask up when you can, especially if unvaccinated people are present.

 

Consider limiting the celebration to drinks and appetizers.

One way to reduce the risk of spreading the disease to older family members is to limit the length of time you spend with each other. Instead of a large and lengthy Thanksgiving celebration, kick it off with your favorite libations and some festive appetizers, and then go your separate ways.

 

Have a virtual gathering.

The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is virtually. While it can’t replace an in-person gathering, you can still share cooking tips and enjoy family time. If you have friends or relatives who live far away, they may thank you for not having to endure long lines and flight delays to see you.

 

We’re thankful to be celebrating the holidays together this year.

Food is a big deal at Holly Hall, and we’re fortunate to have a world-class chef at the helm. As always, Chef Peter will be cooking up something special for Thanksgiving, and we’re thankful to be able to gather together once again this year. Of course, we’ll be taking safety precautions to protect our residents, but nothing brings our community together like dining at Holly Hall. You can learn more about our proactive approach to safety and how we’re able to weather any storm on our community page. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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.

 

Senior Health Services Available at Holly Hall

Posted on: July 22nd, 2021 by hhmin

As we age, we often don’t bounce back as quickly as we once did. A fall can lead to other complications or may take more time to fully heal. A bout of pneumonia can require a lengthy hospital stay, or a planned surgery may require more recovery before heading home. A stroke may require extensive therapy to regain our cognitive and physical function. Or perhaps a health condition makes it very difficult to meet our health and personal needs.
These are just some examples that might require more specialized senior health services. And the need for health care services for seniors is higher than you might think.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that in 2015, 1.3 million Americans were living in a long-term care setting, receiving some sort of senior health services. If you’re confident that won’t be you or an older adult you care about, you might want to look at the odds. A 2017 study published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that 56 percent of Americans between the ages of 57 and 61 will spend at least one night in a nursing home setting in their lifetime.
And a study by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services showed 70 percent of adults 65 and older will need some sort of long-term services and support.

Conditions in seniors requiring health services & rehab

Many conditions may require some form of rehabilitation to regain independence and improve overall quality of life. Common types are stroke rehab; speech, physical, occupational; and pulmonary rehab.
Stroke: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, with more than 795,000 people suffering a stroke every year. And, the CDC says a stroke reduces mobility in more than half of survivors 65 and over.
Depending on the severity, a stroke can cause impaired movement, slurred speech, and paralysis. Most people have physical therapy, coupled with stroke rehab, to regain their strength and independence, relearn skills like communicating effectively, and improve their quality of life. Speech therapy can help with aphasia, the loss of language abilities after a stroke, and dysphasia, which is problems swallowing food.
Falls: The CDC also reports that every second of every day, an older adult over 65 in the U.S. suffers a fall. Out of every five falls, one results in an injury such as a head injury or broken bone. For older adults who are recovering from a fall, physical therapy can improve their balance and muscle strength and may help prevent future falls. Occupational therapy may help them regain their ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as walking, bathing, or housekeeping. If the older adult has suffered a traumatic brain injury after a fall, speech therapy may be needed to help the adult get back their ability to communicate effectively.
Chronic lung disease: Adults 65 and older are at greater risk of pneumonia, which can weaken the lungs. Older adults may also suffer from chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder, or COPD, which obstructs airflow from the lungs. Pulmonary rehab is often prescribed to improve lung function and reduce breathing problems.

Types of care settings for senior healthcare services

Some therapies and certain types of rehabilitation services can be provided in a short-term care setting. For example, an older adult may have suffered a fall that required a hospital stay. They’re well enough to be discharged from the hospital, but they’re not yet strong enough to return home.
However, some older adults are unable to return home or stay in their homes due to their health condition and may require 24-hour care and extensive assistance with their ADLs.
Retirement communities like Holly Hall in Houston offer a range of five-star-rated health care services for seniors to assist with each resident’s unique health needs.
Short-Term Rehab: For older adults who need a few days or a few weeks to recover after hospitalization, an operation, or a medical event, Holly Hall offers a full range of rehabilitation services to get them back home, doing what matters most to them. Holly Hall’s staff-to-resident ratios exceed state and federal standards. Residents have access to physical, occupational, and speech therapies seven days a week, right on the Holly Hall campus.
Extended Stays: Holly Hall also offers safe, home-like and comfortable extended-stay apartments for people undergoing longer-term therapies, such as immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or other medical interventions. Our proximity to the renowned Texas Medical Center makes our retirement community a convenient choice: It’s just a quick seven-minute drive from door to door. And, extended-stay residents enjoy three meals daily, plus housekeeping, transportation to and from medical appointments, and access to the full calendar of activities Holly Hall offers.
Long-Term Nursing Care: Residents who need 24-hour care and extensive assistance with their activities of daily living find remarkable care with compassion at Holly Hall. Our highly skilled staff includes an on-site medical director. Every resident has an individually focused care plan developed just for them by our certified medical staff.

Discover all the senior health services options at Holly Hall

You may not know which senior healthcare services setting is right for you or someone you love. Our professional team members at Holly Hall are happy to meet with you and your family members to help you understand the differences and discover the benefits between each level of care.
To get more information, contact us or schedule your personal tour of our retirement community.