What Is A Sonata Star?

What Is A Sonata Star?

Stars are magical, glowing, twinkling, celestial spots of beauty that have inspired humans since the beginning of time. When you look into the night sky, there’s usually a star that shines brighter than the others. One that stands out from the rest. We call ours a Sonata Star.

Sonata Senior Living Core Values

From the start, Sonata was founded on the idea that care and service to our residents and families should be personalized and extraordinary. Today, this mindset is always manifest in our servant hearts and passion for serving seniors.

At Sonata, what motivates and unites our team members is a shared desire to enrich the lives of older adults. Each of us has given selflessly of ourselves to senior living. Many have gone above and beyond to serve residents with a heartfelt devotion rarely seen in the workplace. These are the stars that shine brightly at Sonata. These are the Sonata Stars.

Just as we admire luminosity in stars, a Sonata Star radiates positive energy and brightens the lives of Sonata’s residents, families, and team members. They have in some unique or special way exhibited the core values that are foundational to Sonata’s culture. They are, in short, deserving of recognition.

The shared characteristics a Sonata Star will possess is a demonstrated and genuine enthusiasm for Service, Teamwork, and Respect (the STAR in our Sonata Stars).

  • Service – A Sonata Star actively seeks way of exceeding expectations by placing customer service at the center of everything they do. They never stop at “good enough” and challenge themselves and others to provide outstanding service to everyone at all times.
  • Teamwork – A Sonata Star is unstinting about coordinating and communicating to assure the sum of their efforts is greater than the parts. They give selflessly for the greater good.
  • Respect – A Sonata Star believes that every individual, without exception, deserves respect and is treated with dignity in an environment of safety, security, and supportive understanding.

Demonstrated integrity and passion in team members are also qualities that align with Sonata’s core values and are recognized in a Sonata Star with equal zest.

Sonata Star vs Celestial Star Qualities

Stars have been essential to humans since the beginning of time. They helped our ancestors measure time, make discoveries, and chart a safer course.

Much like a Sonata Star leads others by example, constellations would light up the night sky, guiding sailors in search of new worlds. Because they are considered lucky, to this day, people make a wish when they see a shooting star. Many believe astrological signs have influence over our destiny. And scientists continue to research how we might harvest stars as an energy source.

While they may look small, most stars are in fact larger than earth, like the impact a Sonata Star makes on all those around them. Sometimes, star clusters form by gravitational forces that bind them together. That happens at Sonata Senior Living, too. When one Sonata Star is formed, others sit up and notice, attracting similar energies focused on improving quality of life for seniors.

Among scientists, stars are known as the building blocks of galaxies. We feel that way about Sonata Stars. Great cultures are formed and sustained not by the skills of individual members, but by between members working toward one shared goal. Explore the stars in our universe using the Hubble Space Telescope.

Please Congratulate Our 2022 Stars

Together, our Sonata Stars form the building blocks of a culture that rewards and celebrates those most true to our core values.

September Stars

  • Sybil Ross, Resident Assistant, Sonata Vero Beach
  • Heather Stump, Wellness Nurse, Sonata Viera
  • Quatina Orr, Resident Assistant, Serenades at The Villages

October Stars

Coming Soon!

November Stars

Coming Soon!

Expect More At Sonata


Visit a Sonata community and find out why putting service first has allowed us to continually raise the bar in senior living and exceed our residents' expectations.

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Sonata Senior Living Announces Reorganization

Sonata Senior Living Announces Reorganization with Dual Operational Strength

ORLANDO, FL—July 5, 2022—Orlando-based Sonata Senior Living has announced a corporate reorganization plan to position the company for future growth and expansion.

As part of the plan, Co-Founder, Former President, and CEO Stuart Beebe has been named Managing Partner of Sonata Senior Living. Co-Founder and Former COO Shelley Esden has assumed the role of President and CEO, effective immediately.

Reorganization at Sonata assures operational excellence across the development and management company’s senior living portfolio, while promoting rapid expansion with successful execution.

“Shelley has played a pivotal role in the expansion of Sonata’s footprint throughout Central and South Florida,” said Beebe. “This reorganization emphasizes operational excellence at the top and will position Sonata for accelerated growth and value creation for our partners.”

In her new role, Esden will focus on exploring growth opportunities and oversee all strategic initiatives related to product and service innovation in senior living.

“I am excited to continue building Sonata’s legacy as an industry leader and innovator while embarking upon this next phase of growth,” added Esden. “Stuart and I have carefully planned this transition by strengthening Sonata’s expertise in operations with the addition of a like-minded, top-performing industry leader.”

Jamie Merrill will succeed Esden as Sonata’s COO. Merrill arrives at Sonata from Brookdale Senior Living, where she compiled a record of success as VP of Operations for 72 senior living communities across Florida. Merrill was also named a 2022 McKnight’s Woman of Distinction.

At Sonata, Merrill’s top priorities will be to steward the company’s service-oriented culture and develop leadership to support sustained growth at a level of high performance.

“Jamie will help Sonata embrace innovation and leverage operational best practices to ensure Sonata’s high standards of service and care are sustained during this next phase of accelerated growth,” said Esden of her successor.

Esden added, “The future is bright for Sonata and our partners. With the demand for housing and quality operators on the rise, Sonata’s new, dual operational strength in leadership roles combined with Sonata’s ability to provide ongoing exceptional services while maximizing ROI for investors is a perfect alignment for partners.”

About Sonata Senior Living

Sonata Senior Living is a regional owner, developer, and operator of independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities. Founded in 2008, Sonata currently operates over 1,090 units throughout Florida. The tenured Sonata team has earned a longstanding reputation as a trusted and proven provider of new development and turnaround acquisitions. Recipients of multiple Argentum Best of Best Awards, innovation, and service awards, Sonata’s pursuit of service excellence, unwavering commitment to its core values, and investment in top talent have made Sonata a provider of choice.

For more information about Sonata’s management or development services,
visit www.sonataseniorliving.com or call Shelley Esden at 407-286-6490.

Stuart Beebe, Co-Founder and Managing Partner

Shelley Esden, Co-Founder, President and CEO

Jamie Merrill, COO
Sonata Senior Living


How Games Help Senior Health

How Games Help Senior Health

If there is one thing we do well in Florida, it’s to have fun. It’s one of many reasons why Florida retirement communities offer everything from physical activities like pickleball, water aerobics and golf to group games and activities for virtually any age and ability level.

The Impact of Games on Senior Health

Florida senior living is about healthy aging, and games are at the heart of that endeavor. At Sonata Senior Living, we see games as an opportunity to socialize, prevent loneliness, and improve longevity, among other benefits. That’s because the physiological act of play is vital to relieving stress, reducing depression and anxiety, improving cognition, and most importantly, connecting with other people.

How Learning New Skills Keeps You Sharp

Any form of social interaction will yield positive emotional and physical results, according to scientists. That’s not all! The research also shows that learning new games can significantly improve cognitive ability.

Challenging your brain leads to higher mental functioning. In fact, one study found that older adults who interacted with people beyond their usual social circle of family and close friends were more likely to have higher levels of physical activity and fewer negative feelings.

In a retirement community like Sonata Senior Living, the opportunities for learning new skills while forming new friendships are extraordinary. We examined a few of the more popular games at our independent living and assisted living communities to see how they engage the mind and body.

Brain-Boosting Games For Seniors

Using your brain, laughing, and socializing all contribute to health and cognition. Laughter enhances the immune system, relieves stress and pain, and improves mood. There is some evidence to suggest that brain activity and positivity can also delay or have a preventative effect on dementia.

Card games and trivia are very popular activities in senior living communities:

  • Trivia: Trivia is a type of game in which players, either individually or on a team, are asked questions about different topics, and they must get as many correct answers as possible.
  • Mahjong: A classic Chinese game played with 136 or 144 rectangular pieces called tiles. The objective is to collect winning sets of these tiles.
  • Rummikub: Players take turns placing numbered tiles in runs or groups. Similar to Rummy, the first player to use all of their tiles wins.
  • Hand Knee and Foot: A card game where each player is dealt two sets of cards – the hand, which is played first, and the foot, which is played when the hand has been used up.
  • Lucky 7: Lucky 7 is a fast completive game of solitaire played with coasters.

Senior Games For Social Engagement

Social interaction and engagement are a byproduct of almost any game. But complex games that require more attention may not encourage as much conversation.

Some games never get old. These classic games have been around for years, and for a good reason. Games that can be played on a table, aka “tabletop games,” are fun for everyone and promote group interaction and socialization.

  • Bingo: A game in which players mark off numbers on cards as the numbers are drawn randomly. The winner is the first person to mark off five numbers in a row.
  • Dominos: The object of dominoes is to score the most points by putting your tiles down in the most strategic way.
  • Scrabble: A board-and-tile game in which two to four players compete in forming words with lettered tiles on a 225-square board.
  • Puzzles: Individual pieces are joined together to form an image and offer a great way to engage and relax simultaneously. Puzzles can be adapted to accommodate an individual’s cognitive ability.

Senior Games For Mind and Body

Exercise is vital to healthy aging and longevity. It is the key to remaining active and independent as we age.

There are many reasons why Florida is the retirement capital of the world. Outdoor games are ideal for Florida’s year-round warm weather and sunny disposition.

In retirement communities, we love games that move the body and engage the mind while promoting balance, flexibility, and eye-hand coordination.

  • Wii Bowling: A fun video game where you use a controller to mimic the action of bowling.
  • Drum Fit: A fast, fun way to get mild cardio using hand-eye coordination. Participants sit and use drumsticks on exercise balls, drumming to songs.
  • Lawn Bowling: Not quite as active as indoor bowling, lawn bowling in perfect for those with limited mobility who still want to enjoy Florida’s outdoor lifestyle.
  • Pickleball: A popular sport in Florida that combines elements of ping-pong, badminton and tennis, without requiring as much strength as regular tennis.

Responding to the popularity of Florida’s growing pickleball community, Sonata Lake Mary residents will enjoy a new state-of-the-art pickleball court with no membership required!

Senior Games For Mind and Mouth

In senior living, food is so much more than a means to better health and nutrition. It is fundamental to comfort, socialization, and satisfaction of older adults. In short, food makes us happy.

It’s no wonder games and social events tend to be more enjoyable whenever food it involved. People of all ages love food. Plus, food gives us more energy to carry on having more fun!

More “activity” than “game,” these activities at Sonata Senior Living engage the senses while stimulating the mind.

  • Armchair Travel: An opportunity to learn about exotic destinations while enjoying the native foods, music and culture of the chosen country.
  • Painting with a Twist: Residents enjoy a group painting lesson where you sip a beverage or cocktail of your choice.
  • Chopstick Challenge: Racing against the clock, players must transfer the items from their food bowl to the empty bowl by using the chopsticks. The player who does this first is the winner.

Sonata Senior Living: Your Gateway to Health and Life-Enrichment

When it comes to fun, Sonata Senior Living in Florida has you covered with variety and engagement built into our lifestyles programing. Life enrichment activities incorporate games designed to stimulate the mind and body while promoting socialization, independence, health and happiness.

Schedule a visit or call to learn more about life enrichment activities at Sonata Senior Living.

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Visit Sonata Senior Living and find out how personalized programming in assisted living promotes independence and well-being.

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Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Activities For Home

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Activities For Home

As a dementia or Alzheimer’s disease caregiver, you know how important it is to keep your loved one occupied and engaged in activities to prevent restlessness and other unwanted symptoms and behaviors.

Even though you may often feel overwhelmed at times, a combination of indoor, outdoor and social activities, and eventually memory care support, will restore your faith in your loved one’s ability to thrive.

In this post, the dementia care experts at Serenades Memory Care have some great suggestions for Alzheimer’s activities you can do at home and how to decide when it’s time for help.

Why Dementia Activities are Important

Activities that prioritize movement and mental stimulation are beneficial to people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The trick as a caregiver is to find activities that your loved one can do without getting overwhelmed.

The activities you choose should be simple without being tedious or overly challenging. Otherwise, your loved one may become frustrated, causing more stress and anxiety. The same holds for activities that are too hard. It is best to find what works for you and be flexible as the disease progresses and abilities change.

Dementia activities are important for many reasons, including:

  • Improved balance, strength and endurance
  • Improve cognition and mood
  • Reduced stress, anxiety and depression

Outdoor Activities for Alzheimer’s Disease

Outdoor activities provide a much-needed change of scenery, but also allow your loved one to relax and reconnect with nature, which is proven to improve one’s mood.

The Alzheimer’s Association offers some great suggestions to get outside and get moving:

  • A walk in the sun provides both exercise and vitamin D!
  • Gardening, planting, raking, or weeding can be adapted to your loved one’s abilities
  • Going to the park and feeding the ducks
  • Watching the grandkids play in the yard or at the local playground
  • Going for a picnic

Indoor Activities for Alzheimer’s Disease

Simple household tasks fulfill a need for people with Alzheimer’s disease to keep their hands busy. Helping around the house can tap into the need to maintain independence and provide meaning and purpose.

Games are a useful strategy for relieving stress, but it is important to choose games that are not highly structured to prevent anxiety and frustration.

  • Simple games such as cards, Bingo, puzzles, dominoes, or checkers
  • Sorting or folding laundry
  • Looking at photo albums
  • Listening to music on headphones
  • Simple crafts like painting or play dough
  • Massage, pedicures and manicures
  • Easy and safe meal prep like washing vegetable

Use these five expert tips from certified dementia practitioners at home to build a more meaningful relationship with your loved one.

Social Activities for Alzheimer’s Disease 

According to the experts at Serenades Memory Care, finding the best activities for someone with dementia can be a process of elimination in a quest to find tasks that are not too challenging. Sometimes a simple social outing or modification in surroundings can help provide a distraction when you begin to see signs your loved one is becoming agitated.

According to a study in the Journals of Gerontology, social engagement offers protection against cognitive decline in older adults. So, instead of avoiding social interactions, adjust them.

Many people with dementia become restless later in the day due to sundowning. Plan social visits for the time of day your loved one feels most relaxed and alert friends and family about your loved one’s disease in advance to avoid surprises at social outings.

  • Take your loved one to lunch
  • Invite a friend over to bake cupcakes
  • Ask a grandchild to read to your loved one
  • Include your loved one in a visit to a friend’s house
  • Put on your loved one’s favorite playlist and sing songs together

Explore more ways to help reduce stress and anxiety in people with dementia from dementia care experts.

When is it Time for Memory Care?

Deciding to seek memory care support can be a difficult decision. You may even wonder if your loved one will qualify for memory care. But as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease progresses, caregiver stress can become overwhelming and eventually impact your own health. Here are some of the signs that signal the time in right to seek help:

  • Your loved one wanders and gets lost
  • Your loved one becomes increasingly agitated
  • Your loved one’s safety is a concern
  • Activities are overwhelming and time-consuming
  • Your stress level as a caregiver is high
  • You are depressed and exhausted
  • The cost of memory care outweighs the financial burden and lost wages of caregiving

The Benefits of Memory Care in Florida

As a busy and harried caregiver, you may not be aware of all the benefits memory care in Florida can offer you, your family, and especially your loved one.

Despite the challenges of caregiving, help is at your fingertips. Activities that engage and promote a healthier lifestyle are always the foundation of excellent dementia care. A memory care community can offer all the activities, amenities, and safety you desire for your loved one.

Memory care in Florida provides a high staff-to-resident ratio focusing on Alzheimer’s and dementia care for all levels. Activities are designed to provide stimulation and improve physical and mental health while reducing agitation and frustration.

Serenades Memory Care by Sonata offers many of these benefits and more, including:

  • Purpose-built design features that promote independence in a safe and supportive environment
  • A focus on individualized “person-directed care” that accommodates activity, dietary and personal care preferences
  • Secure access to both indoor and outdoor areas to help reduce agitation while improving physical fitness and supporting the urge to wander safely
  • Music interventions to improve mood, memory and cognition

Making the choice to move your loved one to a memory care community is never easy. But, in the end, you’ll find that reducing your caregiver stress will be better for everyone. You can focus on your own needs while gaining the assurance and peace of mind that your loved one is safe and cared for.

Find a Serenades Memory Care in Florida or call to learn more about activities in memory care.

EXPECT MORE PEACE OF MIND


Visit Serenades and find out how a person-centered approach to care has allowed us to continually raise the standard in memory care assisted living.

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The Connection Between Diet and Dementia

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN DIET AND DEMENTIA

The connection between eating habits and brain health has been studied for decades, but until recently, little was known about how diet and nutrition affect the aging brain.

A groundbreaking study published in NeuroImage in 2019 linked nutrients in food to greater efficiency in brain networks and cognition performance, emphasizing the impact of diet on dementia prevention. Intelligence, memory, and executive functioning were all correlated with the nutritional biomarkers commonly found in whole foods.

Other research published in Neurology shows certain foods may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. One diet in particular—the Mediterranean diet—is attributed to providing protection against protein build-up in the brain that can lead to memory decline while also extending life!

THE MIND DIET FOR MENTAL FITNESS

Healthier eating habits are proven to prevent memory loss and every day researchers are gaining more insight into the link between nutrition and dementia.

Specifically, a recent study published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia found that people who follow the Mediterranean diet or the MIND diet are up to 54% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease!

That’s because the Mediterranean diet and its hybrid MIND diet are high in foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and nuts. Each of these diets offer greater protection against memory decline in older adults!

  • Leafy green vegetables. Spinach, kale, collards, and lettuce have been associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline.
  • Solanaceous fruits. Eating lycopene-rich foods such as tomatoes, watermelon and eggplant can reduce inflammation, a hallmark contributor to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Berries. Flavonoids, such as those found in blueberries, are known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics and neuroprotective properties.
  • Whole grains like oats, brown rice and whole wheat contain more fiber, B and E vitamins, and antioxidants than refined grains, plus antioxidants have been shown to reduce plaques in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Oily Fish. According to Harvard Medical School and other sources, fish is the single most important dietary factor in lowering the risk of cognitive impairment and may actually make you smarter!
  • Legumes, such as black beans, peas, chickpeas, peanuts and lentils offer more fiber and folate than any other food group while fueling the brain with magnesium, zinc and antioxidants.
  • Nuts and Seeds. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower, flax, chia and pumpkin seeds are high in omega fatty acids which aids in building cells required to maintain brain function.

While there is much to learn about how nutritional interventions can reduce or slow cognitive decline, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and heart-healthy fats in an important part of maintaining mental fitness at any age.

BRAVO DINING BY SONATA

If you are a caregiver, you know how challenging it is to maintain health and nutrition in those with dementia.

In the person with dementia, one’s sense of taste often diminishes over time. The feelings associated with hunger are no longer interpreted by the brain the same way they were in the healthy brain. Favorite foods may no longer be appealing. Vision may become impaired, making is more difficult to locate food on the plate. Fine motor skills decline, making eating more challenging. Even sense of smell wanes, reducing the effects of sweet and savory aroma molecules on the appetite.

The dementia diet used by Serenades Memory Care combats weight loss associated with dementia by incorporating research-based techniques proven to increase food intake and nutrition.

As part of the Bravo Dining Signature Program, certified dementia caregivers at Serenades are trained to leverage the powerful sense of smell, sight, hearing and taste to encourage eating and prevent weight loss. Special techniques are used to trigger neuron connections in the brain and reinforce the connection between hunger and food, including family-style meal preparation, visual cues, finger foods and aromatherapy.

Memory care programming based on science and research can greatly enhance quality of life in those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Find a Serenades Memory Care in Florida or call to learn more about dining services at Sonata Senior Living.

EXPECT MORE PEACE OF MIND


Visit Serenades and find out how a person-centered approach to care has allowed us to continually raise the standard in memory care assisted living.

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Setting Retirement Goals: Independent Living in Florida

Setting Retirement Goals: Independent Living in Florida

Retirement has a different meaning now than 20 or even 10 years ago. The idea of “resting” after work has been replaced with concepts of purpose and passion.

For many, raising children and building a fulfilling career gave life meaning in the years leading up to retirement. As you age, replacing that sense of purpose is vital to both your physical and emotional well-being.

Retirement as a Second Act

As you think about retirement in Florida, you may have several goals in mind. Whether they are financial or fitness-related goals, most of us have a shared desire to stay happy and healthy.

It’s important to remember, retirement is not just about retiring from work; it is about enhancing your life in ways that improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Independent senior living in Florida is a great way to transition from a long list of responsibilities to a carefree lifestyle with new meaning and purpose.

Think of retirement as the second act where you can create a journey completely unique to you and expand as your interests evolve. This mindset is the key to healthy aging and longevity.

Another significant advantage to independent living is social connection. According to the World Health Organization, loneliness and social isolation are risk factors for increased mortality, cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, depression, and anxiety.

Independent living is the perfect opportunity to combat loneliness and other risk factors while opening the door to explore new interests, passions, and pursuits.

Why Independent Living in Florida?

Independent senior living in Florida is all about choice, healthy aging, and stress-free living.

Most people choose independent living because they aren’t ready for personal care and assistance but want to stay active and socially connected. Not to mention the freedom that comes from not having the responsibility of maintaining a home!

Independent living in Florida typically offers:

  • Diverse activities for a wide range of interests, including golf, swimming, movies, classes, and more
  • Social clubs and daily opportunities to meet new people and form new friendships
  • A variety of nutritional meal choices and dining venues
  • Amenities such as internet, cable, 24-hour security, and concierge services that make life easier

Music, art, culture, fitness classes, educational lectures, entertainment and social events are also common activities in independent living. For example, Sonata Senior Living offers signature programming that integrates the latest research in healthy aging to nurture emotional, intellectual, physical, and social wellness – all with the personal interests and preferences of residents in mind.

Some senior living communities provide priority access to on-site health care, including assisted living and memory care support so you’ll never have to move again.

While not all independent living communities offer continuing care, many in Central and South Florida do, including Sonata Lake Mary,and Sonata East at Viera independent living communities.

Setting Retirement Goals Guides Your Journey

People who have activities in mind to pursue before they retire are more likely to do them. Hobbies, self-care, learning new technology and skills contribute to a healthy body and mind.

Research has proven that staying active and engaged keeps older adults both happy and healthy.

According to The National Institute on Aging, participating in a social and leisure lifestyle helps you:

  • Lower your risk for health problems
  • Improve your happiness and prevent depression
  • Enhance your thinking ability
  • Cope more effectively with loss and grief
  • Live longer and in better physical and mental shape

How Independent Living Helps You Reach Your Retirement Goals

Most everyone wants to remain healthy and vibrant as they age. With a retirement plan in place, it is possible to avoid some of the typical problems associated with aging. Here’s how:

  • Exercise and Fitness
  • Social Engagement
  • Cognitive Stimulation
  • Amenities

Retirement Goal #1: Exercise and Fitness

According to the National Council on Aging, exercise has far-reaching and long-lasting benefits:

  • Exercise helps prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure
  • Exercise improves mood and can prevent depression and anxiety
  • Exercise prevents bone loss and bone loss or osteoporosis is a risk factor for fractures
  • Exercise improves the immune system

Some seniors won’t have the stamina for an aerobics class, but they will benefit from yoga, Tai chi, or weight-bearing exercises. Independent living offers a variety of fitness programs to fit most anyone’s ability level.

Retirement Goal #2: Social Engagement

In addition to all the senior-friendly activities in Florida, independent living activities offer another way to engage with like-minded people and make new friends both on and off-campus.

Social engagement is vital to cognitive and physical health and independent senior living in Florida provides ample opportunities to meet new people. From friendly card games and museum outings to history lectures and pool parties, the social events are as varied and diverse and they are meaningful and fund.

Retirement Goal #3: Cognitive Stimulation

Cognitive decline is complex in its causes, and research is looking at ways people can prevent memory loss, including music.

We know that the more you engage in activities that challenge your brain to think in new ways, the less likely it is that you will experience cognitive decline. In an independent living community, there will never be a shortage of ways to learn new things, whether you are renewing old hobbies or pursuing new passions.

Retirement Goal #4: Amenities

If you enjoy an active retirement lifestyle, independent living in Florida is a gateway to developing and achieving your retirement goals. In fact, there are at least five ways senior living communities can lead to a longer, healthier life.

But not everything can be about health and wellness. New construction in senior living features a level of luxury that has never been seen before by previous generations, creating more ways for older adults to enjoy their retirement years. Along with innovative safety technology, amenities at Sonata’s newest independent living communities take resort-style retirement living to another level. These include:

  • Poolside bar and grill
  • Bistro and wine bar
  • Rooftop terraces
  • Gas fire pits
  • Zero-entry heated pool and lounge areas
  • Off-leash dog park and pet spa
  • Golf cart parking and charging stations
  • Putting greens

Whether your retirement goals include better health and nutrition or simply more ways to write the script to your second act in life, resort-style living at Sonata means freedom to enjoy a worry-free lifestyle and social opportunities that make each day a richer experience.

Create your path to a healthier and happier retirement at Sonata Senior Living.

Call or schedule a visit to Sonata Senior Living to learn more about resort-style retirement living in Florida.

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Find out how rent-based independent living at Sonata provides financial freedom and more time to live life to the fullest!

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Nursing Home vs Assisted Living: Understanding The Differences

Nursing Home vs Assisted Living: Understanding The Differences

Most of us, at some point in our lives, will need long-term care. According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, people 65 and older have a 70 percent chance of needing long-term care services.

But senior living and care communities come in many different shapes and sizes. Choosing between an assisting living and a nursing home community can be tricky if you don’t fully understand the differences.

This article highlights the key differences between assisted living and nursing homes so you can make an informed decision for your loved one or yourself.

What Is Assisted Living?

In short, assisted living offers a more independent lifestyle while nursing homes offer medical assistance to those that need more advanced levels of care.

Assisted living is a great choice for seniors that cannot safely live alone but want to maintain an active lifestyle. They can stay active and independent while benefiting from support with daily activities like dressing, bathing, cleaning, or using the toilet.

Seniors in assisted living also benefit from more nutritious meals, personalized care, and socialization in a safe, comfortable environment.

What Is a Nursing Home?

A nursing home, also called a skilled nursing facility, provides the highest level of senior care outside of a hospital. Oftentimes, seniors move to a nursing home to recover after a hospital stay.

Skilled nursing facilities have 24-hour care for seniors with more complex medical issues, including those who may need more hands-on assistance and constant medical monitoring.

For example, some residents who need skilled nursing care may rely on tube feeding or may be confined to bed. Licensed physicians supervise the care and a nurse is available around the clock.

Nursing homes may also have the same medical equipment found in hospitals such as adjustable electric beds and X-ray machines.

 

Similarities and Differences Between a Nursing Home and Assisted Living Community

There are some similarities along with differences between the two types of senior care communities. Both types of facilities offer personal care for Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as dressing and bathing as well as assistance with meals, housekeeping and laundry. They both focus on keeping their residents happy and healthy.

In addition, both assisted living and skilled nursing facilities offer a safe environment for seniors. The architecture and floor plans may differ, but each are designed for senior safety and security.

Both types of facilities also provide some form of medication management. Seniors living alone may forget to take medication or take the wrong dose, so caregiver assistance with medications is vital to a senior’s health and well-being.

In addition to personal aides and caregivers, other medical professionals such as physical therapists are also involved in providing care at both skilled nursing and assisted living communities in the form of supplemental services.

Senior Health Considerations

The unique health considerations of older adults are emphasized in both assisted living and skilled nursing communities.

Nutrition is important for seniors and many older adults struggle to eat properly when living at home alone. Both types of facilities prepare well-balanced meals designed to meet the nutritional needs of older adults.

At communities like Sonata Senior Living, a registered dietician plans and reviews every menu for nutritional value and features options for those with special dietary needs.

Seniors who live alone are also at greater risk for health problems such as depression. Aging and social isolation also increases our risk of developing chronic illnesses and health conditions.

Assisted living underscores the importance of socialization by offering activities that support the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of older adults.

Differences Between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing

One of the biggest differences between nursing homes and assisted living is the physical layout. Nursing homes typically look and function more like a hospital or medical facility due to the around-the-clock medical care they are designed to deliver.

Residents of assisted living communities need some assistance, but generally not 24-hour care. In fact, an assisted living facility is more likely to resemble an apartment or residential community. Some rent-based assisted living communities even offer luxury amenities like those found in an upscale resort.

In contrast, nursing homes emphasis medical monitoring according to a plan of care ordered and supervised by a physician. Residents are less likely to have the acuity level needed to engage in social or recreational activities.

Another key difference between the two types of senior living is cost. Rent at a nursing home can be almost twice as expensive as assisted living due to the extra care provided. Many older adults who can remain independent find renting an assisted living apartment more affordable.

What Services Do Assisted Living Communities Provide?

An assisted living community offers services and amenities to encourage all aspects of senior health and wellness. They focus on more than physical health and may offer:

  • Outings to local theaters, museums, and stores
  • Housekeeping, laundry, and apartment maintenance
  • Restaurant-style dining, social activities, and events
  • Wellness services such as fitness classes and nutrition counseling
  • Entertainment and activities such as games, fitness classes, painting, etc.
  • Amenities such as hair salon, art studio, library, and theaters
  • Caregiver assistance with dressing, grooming, medication, and bathing
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments
  • Accommodations ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments
  • Safety features like emergency alerts, ADA-accessible doorways, and grab bars
  • Access to continuing care such as memory care assisted living, home care and hospice

Some assisted living facilities offer supplemental care such as visiting physicians, therapy, home care and hospice as well as licensed nursing supervision to help with the transition to a higher level of care.

Keep in mind, services and amenities will vary largely by community and location, so it is important to explore all your options.

What Services Do Nursing Homes Provide?

The goal of a nursing home or nursing care center is to provide comfort and safety to older adults that need the most care, often following a health event. In addition to many of the same services provided in assisted living, nursing homes offer more advanced medical care and resources, including:

  • Care by licensed health care professionals, 24-hour nursing and supervision
  • Assistance with prescription medication, including administration of injections and wound care
  • Monitoring of a written plan of care ordered and supervised by a physician
  • Meal options to meet special dietary needs like tube feedings, liquid, and pureed diets
  • Skilled therapy and rehabilitative services such as vocational, speech, occupational, respiratory, cognitive, and physical therapy
  • Access to palliative or end-of-life (hospice) care

Senior care aides at assisted living communities are trained to provide some assistance with personal care, but generally not medically certified to provide advanced levels of care. For this reason, the licensed health care professionals at a nursing home may be better suited for those recovering from an injury or surgery.

Senior Care Licensing and Regulation

Another big difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities is the regulation and licensing.

Both federal and state laws govern nursing homes. Since they receive funding from Medicare and Medicaid, skilled nursing facilities must follow the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. This Act states that nursing homes must offer a written plan of care for each resident.

In contrast, assisted living facilities are regulated at the state level. For example, in Florida, assisted living facilities must be licensed by The Agency for Health Care Administration to provide personal care services.

Some communities such as Sonata Senior Living are also licensed to provide limited nursing services, which can be helpful to those who qualify for assisted living, but may need nursing services for a short time.

How to Determine Which One Is Right For You

Determining which senior care facility is right for you or your loved one depends on your health and how much support and care is needed.

For more serious health conditions that require advanced medical care, many doctors will recommend a nursing home. For older adults who are independent, but require some assistance, assisted living may be the best solution.

Choosing a senior care community can be one of the biggest decisions your family will make, so don’t hesitate to talk to a doctor, social worker or friend, and consider scheduling a home visit from Sonata Senior Living. We can help you determine which type of senior living is right for you and your loved one.

In the meantime, if you are wondering if your loved one will qualify for assisted living, take our short quiz.

Schedule a visit to Sonata Senior Living or call today to learn more about our independent living, assisted living and memory care communities throughout Florida.

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This is Not Your Father’s Old Folks’ Home!

This is Not Your Father’s Old Folks’ Home!

In 1988, Oldsmobile came out with the slogan, This is Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile.

We could say the same today, only Baby Boomers—a few decades older—are now looking for more horsepower in their retirement lifestyle.

Like the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, modern retirement communities were conceived to meet the ambitions of Baby Boomers: a special group with a very different outlook on retirement than their counterparts from previous generations.

For about a decade, builders have been tuning up the retirement community to attract this unique demographic with an unrelenting zest for life.

When it comes to retirement living today, This is Not Your Father’s Old Folks’ Home.

Senior Living Reinvented

Seemingly overnight, modern communities were reinvented based on the tastes and preferences of Boomers, and for good reason. By 2050, the 65-plus age group will exceed 85 million, a more than 50 percent increase over the 2020 population.

By 2050, the 85-plus population will increase 177 percent over what it is today, or an estimated 18 million more 85-year-olds! In fact, industry luminaries have been referring to it as the “silver tsunami” for about a decade.

In anticipation of the tsunami, the people who build retirement communities set out to rewrite the narrative on aging, changing up their approach to everything from architecture to care to services, activities, and amenities.

Today, seniors choose from rent-based and lifecare communities, urban towers in city centers and sprawling campus-like communities, retirement “resorts” with luxury amenities and retirement communities without walls.

Retirement living has been reimagined and reinvented in too many ways to list, all to appeal to Boomer’s ambitions, desires and egos.

Life Expectancy and One Stop Shopping

Back in the 1980s, life expectancy was 74. Today, people who survive to age 65 can expect to live an average of 19 more years according to The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics 2020 report.

Enjoying the prospect of a longer lifespan, Boomers are changing the way we live out our retirement years, oftentimes not content to stay home and lead sedentary lifestyles.

These days, older adults living well into their 80s prefer to spend those “bonus” years keeping busy. Research shows they shun the increasingly dated image of old and frail, instead preferring to focus on health and wellness. They feelyounger than their actual age and tend to lead healthier lifestyles with a shared goal to become a better version of their selves and extend life as long as possible.

Media has coined the term, age confusion, which has to do with how we perceive ourselves as we age.

In response to “age confusion,” senior living communities shifted the perception of retirement communities away from old and frail and placed it squarely on wellness. Today, the standardization of wellness programming and state of the art wellness centers embody Boomers’ desire to stay healthy longer.

Yet the consequence of a longer lifespan is an increased prevalence of heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses. A longer life fuels demand for long-term care, so retirement communities expanded health care services, now offering different versions of telemedicine, electronic medical records, pharmacies, medical equipment, lab and X-ray services and supplemental health care services from therapies to visiting specialists—all conveniently located within the walls of the retirement community.

Ultimately, the goal is to enable seamless integration with the larger healthcare ecosystem to deliver more health care services at the community. A one-stop shopping experience if you will.

From Reward To Rebirth

Inevitably, a longer lifespan requires more funds, so seniors are also looking for communities that offer more value for the dollar, including rental-based communities that offer all-inclusive services and amenities as well as life enrichment programming that enable older adults to keep learning new skills and remain sharp.

While former generations looked at retirement as a reward for a lifetime of hard work, modern seniors view retirement as a rebirth of sorts. The old folk’s home in years past may have spent long, lazy afternoons in bingo competitions, but today, senior living communities emphasize diverse life-enriching activities such as woodworking, foreign language classes, ballroom dancing and tai chi.

Boomers won’t settle for anything less, so developers reinvented programming to suit varying abilities and interests, often employing a lifestyles director to keep residents engaged, entertained, and constantly growing.

Technology in Retirement

Like the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, technology is a signature feature of modern retirement communities. Smart homes equipped with virtual assistants and safety features, digital health interventions and artificial intelligence that both predicts and prevents injuries are just a few ways technology will ultimately meet Boomer’s demands for healthy aging and longevity.

Technology and safety innovations in senior living communities were accelerated at an unprecedented rate during the pandemic. Cleaner air and surfaces, touchless technology and live Zoom sessions define the new normal in senior living.

According to Senior Living Foresight, customized, engaging technology will be considered the new norm in 2022.

Technology has been integrated across the board to support social and recreational activities, such as online community information platforms that offer the daily activities calendar and menus at the touch of a screen.

Top Amenities in Retirement

Retirement communities that encourage social interaction and activity as well as ample choice and variety in amenities and programming is not only the latest trend, but the expectation among Boomers.

In terms of luxury, urban offerings in senior living are setting the bar higher than ever with larger apartments, open floor plans with upscale finishes, integrated technology, concierge and hospitality services, walkable locations, and other luxury amenities.

According to New Home Source, top amenities that older adults want in retirement communities are:

  • Low maintenance all-inclusive living
  • Socialization opportunities, activities, and events
  • Health and wellness opportunities
  • High-quality accommodations and finishes (think quartz countertops)
  • Convenient locations connected to the greater community
  • Access to continuing education (classes and lectures)
  • Outdoor recreation and amenities (dog parks and community gardens)

In its 2021 State of Senior Living report, Perkins Eastman, a leading architect of senior living communities, found that modern seniors value flexibility and integration over all other features.

They suggested the pandemic was the impetus for a renewed affinity for nature and access to the outdoor world.

Baby Boomers’ collective pursuit of holistic wellness, whether indoors or out, is the primary motivation behind retirement communities today.

Out With the Old…

Boomers have figured out aging is inevitable, but quality of life is a choice. Old retirement communities that were designed around the sedentary idea that everyone is retiring to relax are going the way of the dinosaur. In a quest to remain healthy and young, more communities are building walking and biking paths, dog parks, community gardens and expansive outdoor recreational spaces.

For example, independent living at Sonata Senior Living in Florida incorporates many of the features that support this mindset, including rooftop terraces, outdoor fire pits and walking paths; off-leash dog parks, zero-entry resort-style heated pools, and fully-equipped wellness centers and spas; and chef-inspired, farm-to-table dining, bistro cafes, and pubs and bars, just to name a few.

In addition to building amenities that align with the modern senior’s lifestyle, Sonata emphasizes concierge and hospitality services that make retirement living easier. It’s signature program, At Your Service(SM), appeals to independent seniors who value maintenance-free, active retirement living underscored by service, variety and more choices.

Rethinking the aspirations of the modern senior, the planned community of Viera on the East Coast of Florida and Sonata Lake Mary just north of Orlando have been strategically built a stone’s throw away from vibrant shopping, entertainment and dining destinations to establish that essential connection to the greater community at large.

Mealtime challenges can be overwhelming and exhausting to both people living with dementia and the caregivers who love them. Call or visit Serenades Memory Care to find out how memory care can help.

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Connecting The Dots Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Weight Loss

Connecting The Dots Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Weight Loss

Dementia caregivers take on a huge responsibility when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Unfortunately, even the most dedicated will struggle with mealtime.

Weight Loss and Dementia

There are many reasons why weight loss occurs in people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia—some even scientists don’t fully understand.

About 40% of all people with dementia experience significant weight loss. Despite popular belief, it’s not all about memory and nutrition. Physiology plays an important role, and in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, brain cells.

Both Alzheimer’s and dementia are progressive diseases, and because the brain regulates hunger through a complex system of hormones and chemicals, one’s appetite and tastes change as the disease progressives.

In the person with dementia, the sense of taste often diminishes over time. Favorite foods may no longer be appealing. Vision may become impaired, making is more difficult to locate food on the plate. Fine motor skills decline, making the physical act of eating more challenging. Sense of smell wanes, reducing the effects of sweet and savory aroma molecules on the appetite.

Many people with dementia lack appetite or the ability to interpret hunger. In later stages, they may struggle to chew or lack the motor skills required to hold utensils.

All of these add up to a dangerous weight loss spiral in the person with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Why Do People With Dementia Lose Weight?

While there are many contributing factors, the cognitive and behavioral changes, hormone dysregulation and sensory dysfunction in the body and brain all converge to disrupt appetite, leading to weight loss in people with dementia.

Various reasons for weight loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia include:

  • Medications. The side effect of medications used to ease the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease may cause unwanted weight loss.
  • Medical Conditions. Coexisting medical conditions such as depression, diabetes, thyroid disease, constipation, cancer, dysphagia, heart and kidney disease and even dental issues can cause weight loss.
  • Behavioral Disorders. Easily overwhelmed and frustrated due to changes in the brain, common dementia symptoms can prevent people from getting proper nutrition while demanding larger amounts of energy. 
  • Cognitive Changes. Neurological symptoms such as memory loss and confusion occur when communication networks in the brain are damaged or destroyed. For this reason, people with dementia often forget to eat and drink or recognize the food on the plate. 
  • Hormone Dysregulation. When the body need nourishment, neurotransmitters are released, sending messages to the brain that signal hunger and stimulate appetite. When brain cells are compromised by dementia, the chemicals and hormones of the hypothalamic system are disrupted.
  • Sensory Dysfunction. Changes in visual and spatial abilities and diminished gustatory perception (taste) discourage eating. Food on the plate may be difficult to see or smell differently.

The cascading effect of progressive brain disease can alter the nervous and endocrine systems as well as other essential functions of the body, including those that impact taste and other senses.  

The Sensory Nervous System and Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease changes the brain in many ways and interferes with the complex systems that regulate the human sensory system, including vision, hearing, somatic sensation (touch), taste and olfaction (smell).

In the person with Alzheimer’s disease, molecular and cellular changes in the brain block essential brain neurons (nerve cells) and damage their synaptic connections. According to The National Institute on Aging, these neurons are essential to healthy brain function and a major factor in the central nervous system.

The result? Feelings associated with hunger are no longer interpreted by the brain the same way they were in the healthy brain. Each of the five senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste and sense of touch—are dramatically affected in the person with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Those affected may not realize that they’re feeling agitated or sleepy due to low blood sugar or skipped meals. They may not recognize the smell of a favorite food. They may not be able to hold a fork or a spoon. Or they may not even see the food on the plate well enough to eat it.

Sensory Dysfunction Caused By Dementia

Vision, for instance, serves an important role in reducing weight loss. As early as 2004, researchers from Boston University correlated the level of food intake to visual-cognitive deficiencies in people with dementia. The breakthrough findings from the “red plate study” led to the introduction of brightly colored flatware and other products that use color to assist with eating.

The red plate study findings suggested that people with Alzheimer’s disease will eat 25% more food on a red plate than on a white plate!

Modifications to the environment, meal preparation and delivery are also used to increase appetite and reduce weight loss caused by dementia.

Dementia can interfere with the human sensory system in various ways:

  • Vision and Dementia – People with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia struggle to process visual data, including contrast and depth perception.
  • Smell and Dementia. Sense of smell is often diminished, further contributing to weight loss. The aroma of a pie baking or roast may not smell as good as it once did.
  • Touch and Dementia. People with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia may lack motor coordination and making the physical act of eating difficult and frustrating, further derailing eating.
  • Taste and Dementia. When taste sensitivity declines, people with Alzheimer’s disease are less likely to eat food they once enjoyed, ultimately leading to nutritional deficiencies and loss of body mass.
  • Hearing and Dementia. While not as obvious a connection as the other senses, distracting noise can deter and disrupt an eating routing in a person with dementia.

Dementia caregivers often find it necessary to adapt food choices and eating strategies to meet a person’s changing needs, preferences and abilities and offer higher calorie items more frequently to help them maintain a healthy weight.

While there is still much to learn about the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and weight loss, leading memory care communities incorporate the latest science and research into innovative dining programs for better nutritional outcomes.

For example, Bravo Dining by Serenades Memory Care helps residents maintain a healthy weight by engaging all five senses.

Bravo Dining at Serenades

As part of Bravo Dining, certified dementia caregivers at Serenades Memory Care are trained to leverage the powerful sense of smell, sight, hearing and taste to encourage eating and better nutrition.

Special techniques are used to trigger neuron connections in the brain and reinforce the connection between hunger and eating, including:

  • Domestic kitchens and dining rooms to minimize stimulation. Large dining rooms have been linked to reduced food intake and weight loss.
  • Higher calorie food choices to help maintain weight.
  • Colorful dishware and placemats to create color contrast and help food stand out on the plate
  • Smaller food portions to reduce anxiety caused by a crowded plate.
  • Offer favorite foods and choices to appeal to changing preferences.
  • Offer frequent snacks and lots of choices to increase feeding opportunities and nutritional intake.
  • Aromatherapy, including use of essential oils and scented washcloths to engage the sense of smell.
  • Family-style meal prep which serve food out of pots to stimulate appetite and get the gastric juices flowing.
  • Serve warm foods. Waiting for food to cool might be a deterrent to eating.
  • Limit utensils to one or service meals in a mug to minimize frustration caused by loss of motor skills.
  • Chop food into smaller bites or serve one food at a time and offer finger foods to help coordination challenges.
  • Play calming music during mealtime to minimize any anxiety and frustration caused by eating difficulties.
  • Offer finger foods such as fish sticks or chicken nuggets to combat coordination challenges.
  • Offer soft foods such as applesauce, cottage cheese, yogurt and pudding to mitigate chewing and swallowing challenges.
  • Reduce and remove distractions such as TV and radio.

Mealtime challenges can be overwhelming and exhausting to both people living with dementia and the caregivers who love them. Call or visit Serenades Memory Care to find out how memory care can help.

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The Value of Renting in Retirement

The Value of Renting in Retirement

Florida consistently ranks among the top retirement destinations in the country. Along with year-round sunshine, Florida has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country, making it that much more appealing to baby boomers. In Florida, there is no income tax, no estate tax, no inheritance tax and property tax exemptions for seniors, widows, and veterans!

Florida has always attracted retirees, but the great pandemic-fueled migration south has brought with it a home-buying frenzy and housing shortage. Home prices have risen dramatically in response to a major influx of cash buyers seeking warmer weather and extra space to enjoy during extended periods of confinement. In fact, according to the Florida Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, more than half a million people moved to Florida during the pandemic with no sign of cooling down in 2022!

This is great if you’re looking to sell. Not so great if you’re buying.

From Retirement Home To Retirement Resort

There are many advantages to renting in your senior years. For starters, you won’t need to spend your entire savings account on a down payment. What’s more, service-enriched retirement communities like Sonata Senior Living include access to amenities much more likely to be found in a holiday resort!

Retirement living today is very different than the retirement “homes” of the past. New and remodeled communities today look and feel like a resort with upscale, four-star, hotel-quality hospitality and service.

Modern senior living communities in Florida aim to engage not only the mind, body and spirit, but the ego, too, incorporating luxury amenities such as wellness centers equipped with fitness studios, spas and massage services. Concierge and valet services that will take you anywhere you want to go. And not one, but multiple on-site dining venues, including restaurants, lounges, bistros and cafes. Live theater, music, entertainment, and cultural experiences. The list goes on and on.

In addition to your residence, rent at all-inclusive independent living communities like Sonata West also includes chef-prepared meals, chauffeured transportation, housekeeping, laundry, life enrichment activities, entertainment, educational seminars, and social events.

All the things you need in life–and many you didn’t know you needed–bundled into one single, predictable, and convenient monthly rental fee.

The Value of Renting in Retirement

After a lifetime of working, you deserve a permanent vacation. It is the universally shared reward for working hard and growing “old.”

Think about it. Renting is a retirement rebirth of sorts. It represents freedom in every sense of the word. Freedom to enjoy friends and family. Freedom to celebrate important milestones, birthdays, and holidays with loved ones. And finally, freedom to focus on yourself.

Free from the demands of work and worry of home upkeep, it is a time to discover or renew your passions and personal pursuits, whether it be traveling, golfing, painting, learning a new language or simply reading a book. It is a good time to focus on what makes you happy.

It is not a good time to worry about finances.

From Financial Worries To Financial Freedom

When it comes to finances, many older adults in Florida prefer renting over home ownership and other types of senior housing options. That’s because when you rent, you know what your monthly expenses will be and get to keep more of the money you’ve worked hard to acquire over your lifetime.

Renting a senior apartment is much more affordable than buying a house, particularly during the peak of Florida’s cyclical real estate market. Plus, home ownership comes with a stack of bills to pay every month not to mention unforeseeable upkeep expenses and property taxes.

Renting is also more affordable than an entry fee retirement community. Sometimes called a “continuing care retirement community,” “lifecare” or “life plan community,” an entry fee senior living community typically requires a Type A contract to move in. Unlike renting, the lifecare contract requires a substantial upfront fee, often in excess of $200,000.

That’s because, in a sense, you are pre-paying for your future health care, whether you’ll need it or not. Entry fee communities justify higher community fees by offering a discount on the cost of care in the future.

There are variations on the Type A contract, but ultimately and inevitably, you pay more up front while you are still active and independent, hedging your bets against the future and hoping it will be an investment that yields a return, albeit in unknown and unforeseeable expenses.

On the other end of the spectrum, rent-based independent living, assisted living and memory care communities also require a one-time community move-in fee, but at a much lower rate of around $3,000. You’ll still have access to health care as you age, but you’ll only pay for the care you need, when you need it.

At first glance, renting appears to cost far less. However, you will eventually reach a break-even point. Personal health, lifetime expectancy, and inflation all factor into long-term projections. For example, if you end up needing years of care, the care discount may work in your favor. If you never need any care or need care for only a short time in later life, renting will work out better financially.

Both types of contracts, lifecare and fee-for-service, require a monthly fee, but at the end of the day, renting allows you to keep more cash in your pocket while you are still able to fully enjoy it.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Florida

In 2022, according to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey projections, the average monthly rent for assisted living in Florida, based on inflation, is around $46,000 a year. This is around 25% less than the monthly cost for home care and around 18% less than the national average cost of assisted living!

Not only is senior living more affordable in Florida, is works out to be a better value than owning a home and aging in place, particularly if you live on a fixed income or prefer to have more financial freedom while you are independent.

The Advantages of Renting

Renting gives you more time and more money to enjoy your retirement years without the burden of home maintenance. It gives you financial freedom and flexibility to travel, learn something new, explore new hobbies, make new friends, and best of all, live life at your best.

Consider these advantages of renting an independent living or assisted living senior apartment in Florida:

  • No large upfront buy-in or long-term contract
  • Flexibility and freedom to move out and fewer restrictions
  • Freedom from home maintenance, cooking and other “chores”
  • Convenient all-inclusive rent (varies by community)
  • Predictable monthly expenses and lower monthly fees
  • Maintain control over your financial future
  • Keep your estate and assets liquid
  • Access to built-in health and wellness services
  • Life-enriching activities, seminars and special events
  • Daily socialization opportunities and built-in community
  • Convenient on-site services, such as a salon and market
  • Access to wellness services that remove the need to coordinate doctor’s visits and other appointments

Keep in mind, contracts, services, apartment floor plans and other features will vary by senior living community. When visiting rental communities, always be sure to ask about your contract options. While not all communities offer all-inclusive pricing, many do bundle essential services with the monthly rental fee.

Call or visit Sonata Senior Living to learn if renting a senior apartment is right for you.

Call Sonata Senior Living to learn more about senior living in Florida or
 schedule a visit to a community near you.

Expect More At Sonata


Visit a Sonata community and find out why putting service first has allowed us to continually raise the bar in senior living and exceed our residents' expectations.

SCHEDULE VISIT