How to be an Advocate for Your Parents During the Assisted Living Search

As a family caregiver for your aging loved one, you probably play many roles. Some days you’re a chauffeur, driving your mom to her doctor appointment. Other days you’re a financial adviser, making sure your dad’s bills are paid on time.

The most important role you play is that of advocate, says Bianca Syriac, marketing director at the Ivy at Ellington.

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Topics: Amenities and Features, Employee Feature Stories

How Do Assisted Living Communities Accommodate Couples?

You parents promised to be with each other in sickness and in health. Now your mom has Alzheimer’s and needs memory care, but your dad, who is still playing golf every Wednesday, doesn’t want to leave her side.

Fortunately, there is a growing movement among assisted living and memory care communities to cater to couples who have opposing senior care needs, says Lindsay Redin, executive director or the Ivy at Ellington.

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Topics: Amenities and Features

How Couples Can Live Happily Ever After in Assisted Living

Ruth and Henry met as graduate students in the German department at Cornell University in 1964. He was studying German literature with minors in philosophy and linguistics and she Germanic linguistics with minors in general linguistics and German literature.

“I had been there as a graduate student for a couple years before Henry,” Ruth recalls. “I was working for the professor, and I knew there was only one new male graduate student coming that year, and that was Henry.”

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Topics: Resident Feature Stories

What’s on the Calendar at an Assisted Living Community?

When you think about the activities calendar at an assisted living community, there are a few standards that probably come to mind: Bingo, board games, chair yoga.

What about indoor volleyball, hot apple cider socials, “Manicures & Music,” Sunsets & Spirits,” comedy night, and pumpkin picking? These are just a few of the hundreds of events on the October activities calendar at the Ivy at Ellington.

They’re not just random activities chosen by the activities director, either. Rather, Lorelei Dubowski spends countless hours getting to know her residents’ passions and interests so she can match the assisted living community’s activities and programs to what the residents want.

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Topics: Activities and Recreation, Employee Feature Stories

5 Reasons to Love Living in Ellington, Connecticut

Ellington, Connecticut, is a tiny town about 77 miles outside Boston and 18 miles from Hartford.

Nestled in the Connecticut River Valley and set against the backdrop of the Shenipsit State Forest, Ellington is best known for its roots as an agricultural community and remains one of the largest agricultural production towns in Connecticut.

In recent years, Ellington has also become known as a resort community thanks to the Crystal Lake section of town, which was, for a while, a popular summer resort location. Today, about 15,725 people call Ellington home, giving it the sixth-fastest growth rate of all the towns in Connecticut.

So, what is there to love about living in Ellington?

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Topics: Activities and Recreation, Amenities and Features

How Do I Deal with the Guilt of Moving My Parent to Assisted Living?

As your parents age, there are a lot of emotions you’ll probably experience. Maybe you feel resentment toward siblings who are not helping provide care. Perhaps you feel lonely because the longer you are a caregiver, the more isolated you become.

One of the common emotions Carrie Wilson sees in her role as memory care director of Reflections at Ivy at Ellington is guilt.

“For the majority of the population, most seniors would choose to remain in their home and be self-sufficient, and their family would choose to remain a loving family and make that happen for them,” Wilson says. “We see families in those stages of having their life change, and that brings on different emotions — guilt being one of them.”

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Topics: Activities and Recreation, Reflections Memory Care

Will Memory Care Be Too Stressful for My Parent with Dementia?

If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, you might start to notice them behaving in ways that surprise you.

Maybe your mom once loved listening to James Brown, but now anytime loud or energetic music comes one, she seems more agitated than inspired. Or perhaps your dad was always up for a dinner party, but now when 6 p.m. rolls around, he becomes impatient, even unruly.

So how, you might be asking yourself, how will they fare in a memory care community, where there are a lot of stimulating things going on?

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Topics: Reflections Memory Care, Amenities and Features

From Hotel to Assisted Living Hospitality

For 11 years, Lindsay Redin worked as a front office manager for big box hotels in downtown Boston. Empathetic and caring, Redin loved interacting with guests as they arrived tired from their travels and was willing to go above and beyond to make the guests happy. But the hours were tough, and when Redin and her husband decided they wanted to adopt a child, she knew it was time for a change.

Redin grew up in Western Massachusetts and knew her cousin was running a successful family business in the area. Her cousin? Sara Robertson, co-owner of The Arbors.

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Topics: Employee Feature Stories

Finding the Right Assisted Living for Mom

Michelle Branco knew that, as an only child, she and her husband, Ken, would be the ones to take on the caregiving responsibilities for her mom, Marie Munger, after her dad passed in June 2018.

When the Brancos asked Marie what she wanted to do — stay in Texas, where she had spent the past 30 years, or move to Connecticut to be near them — she said she wanted to closer to family. “Mom’s main goal was to be within striking distance of her daughter and I,” Ken says.

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Topics: Resident Feature Stories

Family Owned Leads to Family First Philosophy

Bianca Syriac’s day starts with Sesame Street and a muffin. The Sesame Street is for her 1 1/2-year-old son Oliver; the muffin for her. She drops Oliver off at The Arbors Kids at East Longmeadow and then drives south LuAnn’s Bakery & Cafe, where she picks up a $1 coffee, before heading to the office.

As the marketing director at The Ivy at Ellington, Syriac is dedicated to the health and wellness of the residents. On a typical day at work, she:

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Topics: Employee Feature Stories

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