How to Communicate with Non-Verbal Seniors

Communicating with a loved one who is unable to use verbal communication can seem incredibly challenging. No matter what is preventing their communication, the fact is that it has changed the way that we deliver information to them and the way that they receive it.


Read more to see how you can communicate with the non-verbal senior in your life:


Physical Touch

Touch is quite possibly the most powerful sense of all. As we grow older, we still have a desire for comforting contact. This is especially effective if they are unable to communicate with you in other conventional ways. Individuals living in senior or assisted living communities may not experience regular comforting touches from a spouse or family member which could result in an increase in feelings of anger, aggression, depression, or loneliness. Consider holding their hand, massaging their shoulders, or offering a hug. Research has shown that individuals who are touched regularly could exhibit greater levels of oxytocin


Facial Expressions

The human face is extremely expressive and is often the first indication as to how someone is feeling. Even non-verbal seniors are able to convey messages and understand what you are saying based on the emotions you are displaying, and facial expressions are considered to be the most reliable non-verbal source of communication. The facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust are the same universally, so use facial expressions to display your emotions to enhance the relationship with your loved one.


Eye Contact

When speaking with someone who is unable to communicate, be sure that you give them your full attention. When speaking, make consistent eye contact with them at eye-level to ensure you are not intimidating them. Avoid unnecessary confusion by making sure that your body language and expressions match what you are saying. After you finish your thought, allow them time to gather their thoughts even if they are unable to speak. Try observing their non-verbal cues and watch for signs of anger, frustration, or fear, then adjust your responses and actions as needed. 


Be Mindful of Personal Space

How we interact with others using personal space can change the way that our message is communicated. When approaching them, approach them from the front to avoid startling them. It may also be a good idea to always get permission before touching or invading their space. The way that you display body movement can also alter their perception so try moving slower so that they are able to understand what you are doing. 

Tealwood Senior Living provides a vast array of senior care options focused on the specific needs of the individual. Our unwavering commitment to enrich the lives of those we serve is because we truly believe that the journey matters! Visit our website to discover why our residents love living at Tealwood Senior Living!

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Top 5 Physical Activities Designed for Seniors


Whether it’s salsa, ballroom, jazz, or any other genre, dancing to your favorite music is an excellent way to stay in shape, as it combines endurance, cardio, and flexibility exercises into one routine.


Millions of Americans are engaged in dancing as an exercise every year, and our passionate staff and caregivers are more than happy to turn any room into a dance hall for you and your new friends.



Looking to step outside your living center and enjoy the fun activities that your community has to offer? Why not try scattering a few pins at your local bowling alley?


Bowling is an excellent exercise for seniors to be a part of because it can help improve balance and upper body strength. Another great reason to try bowling is that almost all bowling alleys have their own leagues, with mAre you or a loved looking to step outdoors and have some fun, but worried about over-exerting yourself? Tealwood Senior Living understands these concerns and wants to help our guests stay as healthy as they wish and have as much fun as possible while they’re at it!


Here are the top 5 physical activities that are perfect for senior citizens.


ost also catering to senior visitors.



Swimming is an activity that everyone enjoys, as there is no better feeling than floating and moving through the water while getting a full aerobics exercise.


The best part of swimming? Thanks to water’s buoyancy, your joints will be supported so you can enjoy a gentle, full-body workout without any jarring movements that can occur during other types of exercise.


Whether you enjoy the peace and quiet of a leisurely swim or the company of your friends and family, you’ll be having a great and active time!



Getting physically fit doesn’t always require a facility or special equipment. Sometimes all that you need to improve your physical and mental wellbeing is a leisurely walk through your community!


Whether you’re walking with a group and doing circuits at a local mall, or you’re taking a leisurely stroll through your community and stopping to smell the flowers, walking is a critical exercise that gets you out in the fresh air and exposes you to Vitamin D on warm and sunny days.



Gardening may not be the first activity that people think of when they’re trying to come up with physical activities, but the acts of planting, pruning, watering, and picking fruits and vegetables from your garden are extensive activities.


Gardening also has other health benefits that people normally don’t consider, as the flexibility that is built up and required can help prevent osteoporosis while providing gardeners with fresh-from-the-garden produce to eat healthy too.


These activities are only some of our favorites to do, but there are dozens of other physical activities and hobbies designed to improve seniors’ mobility and health. Give our care experts a call today at 800-783-7390 or visit us online to see what other activities you or a loved one can start doing today.

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5 Ways Community Living Helps Seniors


Being independent and free is a value that we all cherish, but whether it’s because of new-age or we’re just looking for a change of scenery, many of us begin to look into the benefits of living with others. Tealwood Senior Living is founded on community support and positive senior experiences, and we pride ourselves on how our complexes bring new friends together.


Here are just 5 of the ways that community living can benefit you or a loved one.


Helps Support Mental Health

Strong social connections are one of our greatest features as humans, and this helps us enjoy our lives and accomplish more feats than we could on our own. 


This also works the other way, however, as social isolation can have a severe impact on our mental health and can make diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia even worse.


Studies show that if a person maintains strong social connections with their families and friends, their mental health can improve and better fend off mental illnesses and diseases.


More Likely to Be Physically Active

Physical activity is important no matter what age you are, but as you get older and your energy levels lower, it can be hard at times to muster up the strength to go outside for a walk or to get some exercise.


Having friends around you and people who you can chat with during physical activities will make the experience more enjoyable and can help keep up your strength and self-esteem for years to come.


More Likely to Eat Healthy Options

When seniors spend large amounts of time with friends and family, they are more likely to eat larger and healthier meals while boosting their overall nutrition.


This particular benefit is critical for seniors because as we grow older, our ability to tell when we are hungry or thirsty diminish, leading some seniors to unintentionally skip important meals.


Enjoying mealtimes with other seniors isn’t just a fun social event, but it also presents perfect opportunities to keep your nutrition levels healthy and your body strong too.


Greater Sense of Safety

As humans, we tend to take every precaution we can to make sure we stay safe and free from any illness or injuries, but if an accident happens at home and we aren’t able to get help right away, these problems can worsen and become dangerous.


When you are settled down in an assisted-living community or group home with other seniors, you have a strong safety net around you of people who understand the types of risks you face. 


They will also know when something is wrong and how to get you healthy again as quickly as possible.


Make New Social Connections

As much as we’ve talked about how social interactions can boost your mental health, your physical activity, and your body’s nutrition, we haven’t talked about the best benefit of them all: it’s just plain fun!


Looking to watch your new favorite show with someone? Ask one of your new friends down the hall. Want to go out for a walk in your area? Somebody in the building will be just as interested.


Friends and family are the spice that makes life so wonderful and activities that much more enjoyable, and there is no better opportunity to make friends with similar interests than through community living.

Interested in seeing these benefits for you or a loved one first-hand? Call the staff at Tealwood Senior Living today at 800-783-7390 or visit us online and book your tour of excellent facilities today!

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How to Decide Which Level of Care Your Loved One Needs

People come to seniors homes for many different reasons, but one of the most common ones we see at Tealwood Senior Living is our guests and their family members wanting the very best care and attention for their health concerns. Different issues require different treatments, however, and that can impact your lifestyle and suite choice at your care home.


Let’s go over the 4 major factors in deciding which level of care works best for you.


Memory Disorders

Memory disorders are on the rise in America and they are often the major reason that individuals move in with us. These conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, can require support as medication, meal preparation, cognitive therapy, or assistance.

Whether you’re just starting to see the symptoms like misplacing objects or forgetting words, or you’re further along with the condition and need regular assistance, you need a community with a simpler layout so you don’t get lost and a team of experts who will make sure you are comfortable and safe.



Managing medication can be a challenge for anyone, especially if it requires multiple doses at different times of the day. If you are an especially social person who enjoys staying busy, then you may even forget to take your medications altogether.

Missing medications can have serious consequences, though, so look for a care home that has a medication management program and relax in your new suite as a professional manages your dosages for you and takes all the stress out of maintaining your medication regime.


Physical Therapy

Going outside and enjoying the sun on your face and wind in your hair can be all it takes to make your day great. If you need a hand to travel and enjoy all that life has to offer, though, you need a team that is dedicated to helping you maintain your physical strength and freedom.

If you are struggling with mobility issues or need regular physical therapy to stay active, be sure to find a care home with plenty of wellness classes and opportunities to help you experience the great outdoors.


Assistance with Daily Chores

We all need help from time to time to get through the day, whether it’s because a shelf is too high, the pots and pans are too heavy, or the laundry machines are too low to reach. Just because you don’t need regular medical attention doesn’t mean you couldn’t use a helping hand, and that’s what Tealwood Senior Living is all about.

If all you need to get through the day is the occasional help with preparing dinner, doing laundry, or any other chores, your best bet might be an assisted living home that focuses on independent living and providing you with occasional assistance to help you enjoy your day.

Nobody has the exact same medical needs as anyone else, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for a community that has plenty of amenities but none of the medical services you require. If you’re looking for a dedicated medical staff who will help you with all your needs, give the team at Tealwood Senior Living a call today at 800-783-7390 or visit us online and speak to a staff member about the many different levels of care we are happy to provide.

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Caregiver Burnout and How Assisted Living Can Help

Our parents cared for and loved us for years during our childhood. As they grow older, we are often tasked with caring for them in return. This can be a challenge to balance their care with our lifestyles and can sometimes result in caregiver burnout. Assisted living can help alleviate that burnout and allow you to have a less stressful relationship with your parents during their later years.


Causes of Caregiver Burnout


Caregiver burnout can be a very real result of providing full-time care to a loved one. Knowing the causes of burnout can help you identify them and address them as soon as they occur. 

  • Emotional exhaustion – Watching a loved one’s physical and mental health decline can be one of the hardest aspects of caregiving because you want to ensure that they are well taken care of. Accomplishing this may come at great personal expense to you as you sacrifice time with friends and family members.
  • Physical exhaustion – The longer you are a caregiver, the more physically exhausted you may become. You realize that you have less energy than you once had. You may experience increased sleep disturbances, or despite a good night’s sleep, you wake up exhausted, and may also get sick more often due to the lack of self-care.
  • Stress increases – Stress creates its own symptoms. You may feel less tolerant of daily events and obstacles, and have physical symptoms that can range from headaches to backaches. Stress can make you feel impatient, anxious, depressed, isolated, and worried, and can also make you begin to feel alone and that you have no support.
  • Lack of respite – Caregivers often believe they can’t leave a senior to take a break. This can result in loneliness, isolation, and despair which, in turn, results in apathy and hopelessness.
  • Lack of support – Caregivers will often care for a loved one without a support network. This is often manageable at the beginning of the caregiving duties, but as your loved one’s condition worsens and responsibilities become more intense, support is necessary.

Signs and Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout


Those who have surpassed their limit of caregiver stress without taking preventive or curative action often end up burning out and becoming less effective caretakers. Here are some signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout:

  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
  • A constant sense of feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, even after rest.
  • Self-neglect due to lack of interest or not having enough time.
  • The inability to relax and unwind, even when someone else is handling the caregiving duties.
  • You become increasingly irritable and impatient with the person/people you are caring for.
  • When you find no joy or satisfaction in caregiving anymore.
  • You seem to have low immunity and catch colds frequently.


How Assisted Living Can Help


There’s no reason you need to feel guilty or ashamed about experiencing caregiver stress. Everyone has their limits and it’s okay to recognize them. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to seek help. Consider the benefits of a long-term care solution for your senior loved one, such as an assisted living community. In assisted living, your loved one will have access to support 24/7 from caring, trained professionals in a safe, welcoming environment. Assisted living brings peace of mind to both residents and their families, helping caregivers avoid burnout.

Are you or someone you know in need of additional help when caring for a family member? Visit our website and see how Tealwood Senior Living can help give your loved one the care and attention they need.

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How to Support Someone Moving into a Senior Community

A decision to move into a senior community is not a small one. Moving is always difficult and it can be made especially challenging because of all the complex emotions that often accompany a move made later in life. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can do to make this transition smooth and comfortable for your loved one before, during, and after the move.


Before the Move


When it comes to moving into a senior care home, packing is a two-step process. First, you want to help them prioritize what they actually want to bring. Then, you can start thinking about how to move their most prized possessions. If your loved one is having trouble deciding what to bring, provide them with some gentle advice to help them choose.

One thing you can do to get your loved one excited about their move is to have a celebration to help bridge the gap between their old and new lives. This gives them a chance to share their favorite memories and even tour the old home with you, creating a sense of closure. Don’t forget to talk about how excited you are about their new home, including all the fun things you will do together. 

Before the final move takes place, be sure to go with your loved one to the community. Visit often so you both can learn the layout, meet new people, and become familiar with the schedule. Become acquainted with the staff and get assurance that your parent will be well taken care of.


During the Move


If moving day is particularly stressful for your loved one, have someone in the family take them out for a day trip to do something fun. When they return in the evening, you can have their new place set up, complete with photos and memory-evoking possessions. Sometimes it helps to not see the transitions that come with moving into a new place. 

On the other hand, if your loved one is excited, definitely bring them along for the ride and allow them to tell you exactly where they want everything to be set up!


After the Move


It’s important to make the first few weeks as comfortable as possible for your loved one. You can do this by visiting often while also giving them the space they need.  

Once your loved one’s basic needs are taken care of, it’s time to help them get social. Walk with them around the community’s grounds and introduce them to their neighbors. Make sure they get to know and feel comfortable with the staff. The last thing you want is for your mom or dad to feel nervous to leave their home. So, help them establish some pleasant rituals like having coffee outside in the morning or going for an afternoon walk. If you do these things for several days and establish a habit, your loved one will be more likely to stick with them.


Tealwood Senior Living is proud to provide senior care options focused on the specific needs of the individual. Visit our website to see why our residents love living at Tealwood Senior Living! 

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Is Dementia Preventable?

Many of us do our best to stay strong and healthy as we enter our golden years, but whether it’s because of lifestyle or family history, many of us might find ourselves at a serious risk of Alzheimer’s or dementia. As much as we’d like to believe that these memory disorders are entirely preventable, the truth is that it’s not that easily said and done. Don’t despair, though! There are four simple strategies that everyone can use to greatly reduce your risk of developing these unfortunate illnesses. 


Let’s review them one by one: 


Train Your Brain 

As you might imagine, preventing dementia starts with training your brain! If you don’t challenge your brain, it gets used to the same recurring tasks and activities and limits your cognitive expansion. It’s important to continuously introduce new opportunities to test your gray matter and keep it sharp for any new challenges or ideas you might face.


Learn a new language or instrument, refine your sudoku solving skills, or play card and board games for a fun brain-challenging activity and stronger cognitive health.


Eat Well

A healthy body is key to maintaining a healthy mind. That’s because every organ in our bodies, including our brains, requires the right nutrients to function properly. Some experts believe that a Mediterrean-style diet, filled with fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and low in saturated fats, sugar, and red meats, can help prevent the risk of developing some memory and thinking problems, or dementia. If you want to increase your chances of avoiding dementia, it’s time to rethink your weekly menu!


Get Moving

New research suggests that physical exercise is just as good for your mind as it is for your body. Even for those at highest risk of developing dementia, exercise helps increase the number of synapse connections which improves vascular health, enables more nutrients to get to your brain, and reduces your likelihood of developing the illness. Take up swimming, Tai Chi, or yoga to get your muscles moving and to keep your brain healthy. 


Start Being Social

That’s right! Going out and having fun with your friends won’t just help you make lasting memories, it can also help you stave off dementia. According to the National Institute of Health, even just 10 minutes of social activity per day can force your brain to engage multiple neural networks which lead to better brain health.

Consider joining a bridge club, start a gardening group, or find a travel buddy to keep your emotional recognition and regulation aptitudes sharp. 

Although it’s impossible to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s entirely, there are many steps you can adopt that will improve your brain health and increase your chances of maintaining full cognitive abilities. At Tealwood Senior Living, we’re always looking for ways to improve the lives of the individuals in our communities and help make their golden years happy and memorable. For more information on our services, take a look at our website or give us a call at 800-783-7390.

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The Best Midwest Destinations to Visit with Seniors

It’s been said that traveling is the only thing we can buy that actually makes us richer and that’s still true for seniors. Traveling is a great way to keep seniors’ minds and bodies active. It can also increase confidence as senior travelers are able to overcome fears and get out of their comfort zone. If an overseas trip isn’t on the agenda, we have some great senior-friendly destinations to visit right here in the midwest.



Start off your Iowa trip by spending the day at Amana Colonies, where you can immerse yourself in the seven villages full of rich German heritage. Don’t forget to stop into Dubuque, where you can hop on one of the many river cruises on the Mississippi. No trip to Iowa would be complete without a stop in Mason City, the home of Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture. Here you can visit one of the many places he designed that makes up this beautiful city.



Known for its wild beauty and friendly people, you can get your fill of natural and cultural heritage in Minnesota. Visit a settler town in Dakota City or a pioneer village in Noble County to step back in time and see how the earliest settlers lived. Due to its northern proximity, Minnesota is one of the best states in the lower 48 to view the northern lights so grab a spot on the shore of one of the state’s 10,000 lakes and look north to enjoy these natural phenomena.



Full of warm-hearted people, Nebraska is a state often overlooked but full of things to see and do. Stop at one of the many farms, guest ranches, wineries, or breweries to taste and tour. Nebraska also encourages you to take the road less traveled, with plenty of scenic byways full of stunning natural scenery to enjoy. While driving, you’ll have a chance to see some of Nebraska’s best cultural sights in many of the small towns along the way.


South Dakota

Natural beauty and historical wonders await as you explore South Dakota. Venture west towards the Black Hills and Badlands, stopping in the town of Deadwood to step back in time to the Wild West. Further into the Black Hills lies America’s ode to democracy, Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Follow the Missouri River to DeSmet, the original Little Town on the Prairie, where Laura Ingalls Wilder called home.



Despite being known for its cheese, Wisconsin’s food scene is exploding thanks to the popularity of the farm to table food movement. Of course, a trip to Wisconsin wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a dairy farm! Speaking of farms, have you ever heard of a pizza farm? Wisconsin is famous for this new agritourism trend and you can find them concentrated along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway

At Tealwood Senior Living, we love encouraging our residents to live their best lives, which includes hitting the road with the ones they love! For more information on the other services we offer, visit our website.

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The Importance of Visiting Family Members in Senior Living Communities

Moving a loved one into a senior living home is never an easy decision, so it’s important that you make a significant effort to help them feel at home by visiting them frequently. As they adjust to a new routine with different surroundings, they will look forward to the days that they get to see a familiar face. These visits allow you to monitor their health, keeps them socially connected, creates positive memories, and lets them know that you care.


Continue reading to see why visiting family members is so important! 


Evaluate Health, Safety, and Well-Being

If you have a loved one with an illness or chronic medical condition, it’s important to see them regularly to stay up to date with their health concerns. While you’re there, ensure that you ask them how they are managing with their medications, or if they need additional assistance with chores. During your visit, you can determine if they are sleeping well, eating nutritious meals, or if there are any concerns about their living environment. If you notice any changes with your loved one, talk with their care provider and doctor on how to proceed.


Create Positive Memories with Them

As we age, we face more significant life changes that can increase our chances of developing depression, isolation, reduced sense of purpose, fear, and anxiety, or untimely death. Visiting frequently helps to prevent these feelings and can help you to recognize the early signs of depression in your loved one. Give them something to look forward to and leave them feeling happy, even after you go. Take the time to plan your visit ahead of time to ensure that it’s a successful one!


Keep Them Socially Connected

Remaining socially active is just as important for seniors as it is for anyone else. Visiting your loved one can be a great opportunity to catch them up on what’s happening in your life and to ask them about theirs. Together you can share meaningful conversations about their past experiences. Feelings of loneliness and isolation among seniors can contribute to a decline in mental health, and an increased risk for illness, while social isolation can result in reduced social skills. They also have a four in five risk for hospitalization. Who knew social connection could be so beneficial for their health?


Show That You Care

It can be difficult to find time to spend with your loved one amidst your busy schedule but it doesn’t have to be an elaborately planned event. They appreciate the effort you make to stop in for a visit, so be sure that you have enough time to avoid being rushed. Your intention is everything. Go with a calming presence and be ready to encourage and listen to them. Try not to change the subject abruptly and after you speak to give them enough time to consider a response. Keeping these social connections strong will increase their self-esteem which is vital to their happiness

Whether you are looking for independent or assisted living, memory care, short term rehabilitation, or skilled nursing, we have a community to meet all of your needs! Visit our website to find out more about our lifestyle options.

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The Importance of Taking Medications as Prescribed

Seniors’ healthcare is a complex industry with many different methods of treatment for elderly patients who have certain needs or illnesses. If a person is suffering from an injury or is feeling unwell, doctors can recommend anything from specific exercises, seeing a specialist, having surgery, or most commonly, prescribing a specific medication to treat the imbalance from within.


There are major reasons why everyone should take their medications as prescribed, but this can be difficult for older individuals as their memory may have deteriorated over the years. Here’s why it’s so important and how we can help:


They Are Prescribed by a Doctor With Years of Experience


For a doctor to earn a medical license and legally treat patients, they need many years of experience. All of these years mean that your loved one’s doctor understands how the human body works and when problems can be solved with medication, surgery, or certain therapies.

Every person’s physiology and brain chemistry is different, so it might take a unique combination of medicine to control or treat your condition. Because healthcare providers and pharmacists are very knowledgeable, they will provide the most accurate suggestions to best handle your loved one’s concern.


Certain Medications Are Designed to Work Together


One of the great things about medicine is how different chemicals can work together to restore balance in our bodies. However, if a person decides to ignore even one of their medications, it can disrupt the delicate balance and lead to complications. 

Although it can be easy to think of some medications as more important than others, it’s crucial that your loved one trust their doctor’s recommendations and communicate any side effects experienced so that their prescriptions can be adjusted as needed.


You May Be Feeling Better Because of the Medication


Some might think, “I feel better now. I can stop taking my prescription.” While it is always important to be involved with your health care, we all need to understand that the reason this is happening is that the prescription is accurate and the recommended dose is working.

Sticking to prescribed medications may seem like a chore at times, but individuals should never abandon their medication without speaking to their doctor first.

Keeping track of and regularly taking medications can be difficult. That’s why we’re proud to offer personalized care to each and every one of our residents. Our medication management service can help you and your loved one mitigate any concerns relating to medication errors, overuse, and thorough quality reviews. Give our staff a call today at 800-783-7390 or visit us online to see how we can offer your family peace of mind for your loved one’s well-being.

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