valentines hearts decoration

The Best Valentine’s Crafts for Seniors

How do you spread the love on Valentine’s Day? The holiday itself serves as a heartwarming reminder to show those closest to you just how much you love them – and in our opinion – handmade Valentine’s Day crafts are much more meaningful than flowers and chocolates.

At Freedom Village, senior living residents take part in many fun activities, including arts and crafts, during different holidays. Do you need some ideas when it comes to fun Valentine’s Day activities for seniors? Below is a list of crafts and activities and the benefits that come with them.

Follow along and embrace your creativity!

The Benefits of Activities and Socialization for Seniors

Did you know that partaking in activities – especially in the company of others – can help ease the aging process? According to the National Institute on Aging, older adults who live an active and engaged lifestyle “are less likely to develop certain diseases like dementia, heart disease, and stroke, have a longer lifespan, and are happier and less depressed.”

Additional benefits include:

      • Improved sleep
      • A greater sense of purpose
      • Reduced stress
      • An overall improved quality of life

What are some of the ways in which you look forward to interacting with friends and family? How about introducing one of the following easy and fun Valentine’s Day activities into the mix?

14 Easy Valentine’s Day Crafts for Seniors

Creating Valentine’s Day crafts can be a wonderful and enjoyable activity for seniors. Here are 14 easy Valentine’s Day crafts that are suitable for seniors:

1. Create a Heart-Shaped Wreath

Placing a homemade Valentine’s Day wreath at your front door lets neighbors know you’re in the spirit of spreading love.

      • Materials: Foam or cardboard in a heart shape, silk flowers, and ribbon. And feel free to add your own flair with tissue paper or stickers!
      • Instructions: Attach silk flowers to the heart shape using glue and add a ribbon for hanging.

2. Make Valentine’s Day Cards

This is a traditional part of Valentine’s Day that you can add your own personalized style to for each recipient.

      • Materials: Colorful construction paper (or any paper of your choice), markers, stickers, and glue.
      • Instructions: Create personalized Valentine’s Day cards with drawings, messages, and decorations. Protip: Cut out a card in the shape of a paper heart!

3. Add Candy Jar Decor

Make your sweet treats more inviting with some fun candy jar decor.

      • Materials: Glass jar, candies, and ribbon.
      • Instructions: Fill a glass jar with Valentine’s Day candies and decorate it with a festive ribbon. Bonus points if the candies are wrapped in reds, pinks, and whites.

4. Create a Romantic Movie Watch List

Aside from paper and colorful markers, no other materials are required to create a list of your favorite romantic comedies. This list can act as a fun reminder to pull out the lovey-dovey classics on Valentine’s Day and to enjoy them during a movie night with your spouse, friends, or family members. “Love Actually,” anyone?

5. Hang a Valentine’s Day Garland

You can use this garland for table decor, to hang from doorways or windows, or even to wear!

      • Materials: Colored paper, twine, and scissors.
      • Instructions: Cut out heart shapes from colored paper and string them together to create a festive garland.

6. Curate a Love Songs Playlist

What are some of your favorite love songs? “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra? How about “At Last” by Etta James? Put together a list of the classics and enjoy a listening – or even a dancing – session with those you love!

Smiling senior woman receives present box and kissing her husband for giving her a present at home

7. Put Together a Valentine’s Day Collage

Think of this activity as a sort of mood or vision board, but with  elements that are Valentine’s Day-related. It’s a creative way to brainstorm a theme and put together a unique piece of artwork while using your hands to cut out shapes, letters, and pictures.

      • Materials: Magazines, scissors, glue, and poster board.
      • Instructions: Cut out images and words related to love and create a Valentine’s Day collage by pasting them to the poster board.

8. Construct Aromatic Valentine’s Day Sachets

Smells of flowers and sweets fill the air on this holiday, and this craft is the perfect way to put together these elements for the home or the car. They make great gifts, too!

      • Materials: Fabric scraps, needle, thread, and dried lavender (other dried plants optional).
      • Instructions: Sew heart-shaped sachets filled with dried lavender and other scents.

9. Create a Valentine’s Day Centerpiece

Whether you’re preparing a romantic dinner with your spouse or a fun dinner with friends, creating a themed centerpiece ties in the spirit of the holiday.

      • Materials: Vase, artificial flowers, and heart-shaped decorations.
      • Instructions: Arrange artificial flowers in a vase and add heart-shaped decorations for a lovely centerpiece.

10. Amplify the Reading Experience with a Love-Themed Bookmark

If you or someone you love enjoys a good romantic read, add some excitement to this delightful hobby.

      • Materials: Cardstock, markers, stickers, and ribbon.
      • Instructions: Create heart-shaped bookmarks with personalized messages.

11. Assemble an Inviting Valentine’s Day Door Hanger

Another way to show off your warm and inviting personality on Valentine’s Day is to create a door hanger. Bonus points if your door has a window – as you can create a hanger that makes it look like a stained glass window!

      • Materials: Foam or cardboard, paint, tissue paper (for the stained glass effect), and ribbon.
      • Instructions: Cut out heart shapes, paint them, and attach a ribbon for hanging on doors.

12. Sew, Knit or Crochet Heart-Shaped Pot Holders

Baking a special dish for Valentine’s Day, hosting a tea party, or know someone who loves to bake and you’d like to make them the perfect gift? Look no further than a Valentine’s Day pot holder.

      • Materials: Yarn or fabric, sewing machine, batting, and crochet or knitting needle.
      • Instructions: Sew, crochet, or knit heart-shaped pot holders for a practical and heartfelt gift.

13. Impress with Love Letter Stationery

Who says the art of letter and card writing is dead? Tell someone just how much you love them with homemade, love-filled stationery.

      • Materials: Decorative paper, pens, and stickers.
      • Instructions: Design personalized stationery for writing love letters or notes.

14. Add Flair to Your Home with Valentine’s Day Pillowcases

This is another wonderful way to showcase love throughout your home on Valentine’s Day.

      • Materials: Plain pillowcases, fabric paint, and stencils.
      • Instructions: Decorate plain pillowcases with Valentine’s Day-themed designs using fabric paint and stencils.

Feel the Love in a Lifestyle Filled With Warm Connections.

At Freedom Village, an Active Life Plan Community, there’s so much to love, from the lifestyle to the people and the experiences.

Call us today at (949) 423-6653 to schedule a tour of our community or join us for one of our upcoming events so you can see everything residents enjoy taking part in each day.

Senior lady looking at a tablet

Downsizing Checklist for Seniors

The Most Helpful Downsizing Checklist for Seniors  

When your retirement plans involve moving to a senior living community, you’re likely looking forward to all the social gatherings, community amenities, and the new lifestyle you’ll lead. 

Part of the process is downsizing so you can move comfortably into your new senior living apartment. Downsizing is liberating and transformative – and is often referred to as “rightsizing” because you’re creating a more manageable and enjoyable lifestyle. 

But how do you get started? Our downsizing checklist for seniors is the perfect guide to take you through the downsizing process to move-in day. 

1. Set Clear Goals

Initiate your downsizing journey by establishing clear goals and a realistic timeline. Address concerns of potential isolation during this process by involving supportive family members, friends, or even a professional organizer.

2. Create a Room-by-Room Plan

Break down the process into manageable steps by focusing on one room at a time. This targeted approach helps alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed and allows you to concentrate on specific areas of your home.

3. Prioritize Decluttering

Embrace the power of decluttering to simplify your living space. Distinguish between items with sentimental value and those that are no longer essential. Consider how decluttering can positively impact your daily life and well-being.

4. Donate Thoughtfully

Give back to the community by thoughtfully donating items that no longer serve your needs but may benefit others. This step not only streamlines your possessions but also contributes to a sense of generosity and purpose.

5. Organize a Yard Sale

For items with value that you no longer need, consider having a yard sale. Not only are garage sales a great way to get rid of items you don’t want, but you can also make some money. Whether you save it for a rainy day or  put your earnings toward hiring movers is up to you. 

6. Safeguard Valuables and Important Documents

Handle valuables and crucial documents with care. Ensure appropriate insurance coverage for items you plan to keep or pass down to loved ones, providing peace of mind during the downsizing process.

7. Digitize Important Records

Take the opportunity to digitize important items like records and documents. Records can include: 

    • Birth certificates
    • Contact information
    • Durable powers of attorney
    • Federal and state income tax returns

    • Social Security and Medicare cards 

Having your information digitized ensures easy access to essential information.

8. Evaluate Your Furniture

Assess your furniture and determine what will fit into your senior apartment. Consider the floor plans to view the layout of your new space and decide which pieces will complement the new arrangement.
Senior man packing

9. Pack Strategically

Begin packing strategically by starting with items you use less frequently. Label boxes clearly to streamline the unpacking process in your new home.

10. Seek Emotional Support

Acknowledge and address emotional attachments to possessions. Seek support from friends, family, or a counselor to navigate the emotional aspects of letting go and moving on to a new chapter.

11. Organize a Donation Pickup

Schedule a donation pickup service for larger items, making the process more convenient and efficient. Many charitable organizations offer this service to support your downsizing efforts.

12. Update Your Address and Services

Notify relevant parties, including the postal service, utilities, and health care providers, of your upcoming move. Ensure a seamless transition by updating your address and service providers.

13. Enlist Professional Movers

Consider enlisting the services of professional movers to ease the physical demands of the move. Research reputable moving companies and secure their assistance in advance.

14. Embrace Change

As you settle into your downsized living space, embrace the change and focus on the positive aspects of simplifying your life. Celebrate the accomplishment of achieving a more manageable and fulfilling lifestyle.

With this checklist as your guide, you’ll be well on your way to managing your downsizing journey. As you go through the process, you may find that you’re already enjoying some of the benefits of downsizing, and you have many more benefits to look forward to in the future.
Senior lady enjoying a relaxing cup of coffee

What Are the Benefits of Downsizing?

Living in a peaceful, decluttered environment can benefit your well-being, but downsizing has more benefits you may not have thought about. One of the best perks of senior living is the maintenance-free lifestyle. With your home maintenance taken care of, you’re going to have more time for enriching activities and relaxation.

You can set your schedule to revolve around what you want to do and when you want to do it. This is the perfect opportunity to explore your interests, try new hobbies, and spend quality time with friends and family

Your community will also ensure a safe and accommodating living environment. Both you and your family can have peace of mind that there are people who can help you should the need arise. 

Downsizing marks a new beginning in your life, providing an opportunity to redefine priorities and foster stronger social connections within your new community. In essence, downsizing becomes a personalized journey, shaping a living space that resonates with the distinct character of senior living.

Join the VIP Club at Freedom Village 

As you prepare for retirement, it’s important to know where you’ll want to spend your golden years. Call us today at (949) 423-6653 to learn more about the Freedom Village waitlist, called the VIP Club, so you can enjoy all the perks and get to know the community before you move in. 

As part of the VIP Club, you can take advantage of our most popular amenities, such as our heated pool, state-of-the-art fitness club, and elegant dining options. You will receive invitations to special VIP events throughout the year and can stay one night for free in one of our guest suites.

senior couple laughing together on bridge.

What Is a Life Plan Community | Freedom Village

What Is a Life Plan Community?  

Retirement is a significant chapter in one’s life, and choosing the right type of community to spend this time in is a crucial decision. One option that’s rising in popularity is a Life Plan Community.

What Is a Life Plan Community: By Definition

A Life Plan Community is a residential senior living community designed to cater to the diverse needs of older adults. This unique concept integrates various levels of care within one community, providing a continuum of services that adapt to residents’ changing needs over time.

You may also have heard of a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC. If you have and aren’t sure if there’s a difference between a CCRC and a Life Plan Community, you should know the only difference is in the name. These are essentially the same, with CCRCs offering the same health care services and perks as a Life Plan Community.

Exploring the Levels of Care in a Life Plan Community

One of the defining features of a Life Plan Community is its ability to provide different levels of care under one roof, ensuring residents can age in place with comfort and dignity.

Independent Living

This lifestyle choice allows seniors to maintain their independence, freedom, and overall quality of life in a community setting. This housing arrangement is designed for older individuals who are healthy, active, and can live without extensive assistance or medical care.

Elderly man talking with woman

Assisted Living

Assisted living supports and assists seniors who may require help with daily activities but do not need intensive medical care. Assisted living facilities aim to balance independence with the necessary support to enhance the quality of life for older adults.

Memory Care

Memory care is a specialized form of long-term care designed to meet the unique needs of individuals dealing with memory-related conditions, most commonly Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. This type of care provides a secure and supportive environment that focuses on enhancing the quality of life for older adults with memory impairments while addressing their specific cognitive and behavioral challenges.

Skilled Nursing

Skilled nursing is a level of care that offers 24-hour medical supervision and assistance to individuals who require more advanced health care services.

The Costs of a Life Plan Community

Understanding the costs associated with a Life Plan Community is crucial in making an informed retirement decision. Let’s delve into the financial aspects, shedding light on the fees and contract types that characterize these communities.

Entrance Fees

One of the defining features of a Life Plan Community is the entrance fee, a significant up-front investment made by residents. This fee helps fund the community’s infrastructure, amenities, and health care services. These fees can vary widely based on factors such as location, the size of the residence, and the specific amenities offered.

Monthly Costs

In addition to the entrance fee, residents are typically required to pay monthly service fees. These fees cover the day-to-day operational costs of the community, including maintenance, utilities, and various services and amenities. The range of monthly service fees can vary based on the level of care needed and the size of the residence. Don’t forget to inquire about what services are included in the monthly fee and if additional features are not covered.


man reading book and talking with friends

Contract Types

Life Plan Communities offer different contract types, each with its own financial implications. This ensures older adults can choose the plan that’s best for their needs and finances.

Type A | Life Care Contract

This comprehensive contract covers unlimited care services without a significant increase in the monthly fee. While the entrance fee and monthly fees may be higher, residents have peace of mind knowing their future care needs will be met without having to pay market rates.

Type B | Modified Contract

This contract includes a set number of care services in the monthly fee. If additional care is needed, residents may incur additional charges. These contracts offer a lower entrance fee compared to Type A contracts, making them more cost-effective for some.

Type C | Fee-for-Service Contract

With this contract, residents pay for care services as needed. Entry fees and monthly fees may be lower, but the potential for higher care costs exists. This option provides more flexibility but may require careful financial planning.

Why Choose Freedom Village as Your Loved One’s Life Plan Community?

The decision to choose a Life Plan Community like Freedom Village boils down to the desire for an independent, active retirement lifestyle, coupled with the assurance of future care services if or when they may be needed. This provides many families with peace of mind, ensuring higher levels of care are available and a move won’t need to be made should care needs change.

Aside from this, Freedom Village also offers a range of services and amenities, ensuring residents can live independently while enjoying activities and events tailored to their preferences.

Explore our pricing and what our lifestyle offers by visiting our website.

We’re Here to Help

If you or your loved one is considering a Life Plan Community for retirement, or you’re looking for more information, now is a great time to explore what Freedom Village has to offer. Our community provides a diverse range of benefits, including independent living residences, various levels of care, and a vibrant community atmosphere. We invite you to learn more for yourself.

Call us today at (949) 423-6653 to schedule a tour of our community.

Senior Accepting Gift

Gift Ideas for Seniors

As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to start thinking about the gifts you’ll be giving loved ones. If you’re having trouble figuring out what to give your older family members, we have some excellent gift ideas for you.

At Freedom Village, celebrating the holidays is very important to our Active Life Plan Community. We understand how much it means for loved ones to spend quality time together, as well as the positive effect both practical and thoughtful gifts have on older adults.

Choosing gifts for your favorite senior will make their holiday season extra special. Check out our list below.

13 gift ideas for senior citizens

Choose from any of the following gift recommendations for the special senior in your life.

1. A cozy, weighted blanket

Don’t just gift any blanket to your senior family member or friend. Instead, try a soft and warm weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are therapeutic tools used to provide  comforting pressure to those who use them, and according to Healthline, they can actually relieve the perception of pain, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve sleep quality.

2. Digital photo frames

With digital photo frames, you don’t have to worry about digging through old photos and purchasing several styles of frames. Now, you can create a personalized photo album by uploading photos of cherished memories that rotate throughout the day for your senior to admire.

3. Tea or coffee set

There’s something relaxing about preparing and drinking your favorite cup of coffee or tea. A high-quality tea or coffee set can make the process even more inviting, especially if your loved one enjoys having guests visit. Get inspired with these fun designs!

Senior listening to headphones

4. A subscription service

These days, there are many subscription services to choose from. There are streaming services like Netflix and Hulu that make it easy for your loved one to watch shows and movies, book-of-the-month subscriptions, meal prep delivery kits, craft kits, clothing subscriptions – you name it. Take into account what your senior loves and see if a subscription exists to pique their interest! 

5. Reading material 

Large print books, audiobooks, and e-readers help seniors stay connected to their imagination and the world around them. Reading never goes out of style, so this is a tried-and-true way to make your loved one smile.

6. Indoor plants

For the senior who enjoys the presence of greenery but doesn’t want to spend too much time tending to plants, low-maintenance houseplants can bring life to their home. Plants like the peace lily and aloe vera, or even herbs like mint and basil, are easy to grow and take care of. 

7. Puzzles or board games

Is your loved one’s favorite pastime playing games or doing puzzles? These types of gifts are great for engaging the mind. There are now jigsaw puzzles with large pieces and thought-provoking games like Scrabble, Scattergories, and Clue to make spending time with your senior more fun. 

8. Cozy slippers or socks 

This gift idea is practical, especially during the winter months, but who doesn’t love a pair of comfortable slippers or socks? 

9. A personalized calendar 

Somewhat in line with the idea of a digital photo frame, creating a custom calendar with family birthdays, special dates, and personalized photos will put a smile on your family member’s face and help them remember what’s coming up.

10. A therapeutic massager 

A little relaxation goes a long way! If your loved one has aches and pains they’re trying to relieve, a handheld massager or a heated neck wrap can make the perfect gift.

11. A gourmet food basket 

Does your loved one have a sweet tooth or a curiosity for trying new foods? A beautiful gift basket filled with a selection of gourmet snacks, chocolates, or fruit is always fun to receive!

Excited senior couple using a Virtual Assistant at home

12. Digital assistant or smart speaker

Smart devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home can do so much for seniors, like play music, share the weather forecast, update them with the latest news, provide recipes, make phone calls, and answer their most-burning questions. There’s no information or capability that’s off-limits with a digital assistant.

13. A personal safety device

While not the most fun gift, a personal emergency response system or a medical alert bracelet for added safety and peace of mind will still show your loved one that you have their best interest at heart. SafeWise shares some of the most popular devices.

No matter what, when selecting a gift for a senior, it’s important to always consider their preferences and needs, as well as their level of mobility and independence. Personalized gifts and spending time together can often be the most meaningful presents for seniors.

Experience the joy of the holiday season at Freedom Village

With valued traditions and an exciting lifestyle, the holidays are always cherished at Freedom Village. Call us today at (949) 423-6653 to learn more about our vibrant community.

spare bedroom at Freedom Village Senior Living

Our Favorite Ways to Utilize a Spare Bedroom

Our Favorite Ways to Utilize a Spare Bedroom

When you’re moving into a senior living community, you may have a choice regarding apartment sizes. One key difference in some apartments is the number of bedrooms. While you may think you only need one, you should consider the perks of having a spare bedroom.

“Having a spare room opens a lot of opportunities to make your apartment as unique and versatile as possible,” says Jennifer Suckiel, Executive Director of Freedom Village, a senior living community in Lake Forest, California. “Our Delaware floor plan is the perfect option for someone who wants to live in an apartment with a spare room.”

You may enjoy having a spare room for the space–but how can you use it? These ideas for a spare room will give you inspiration on how to choose the perfect use for your spare bedroom.

Home Theater

If you love watching movies, hosting movie nights, or streaming live events like sports, then having a room designated for it would be a great use of your spare room.

You can get black-out curtains to see the screen – something you may not want in your standard living room so sunlight gets in. Depending on your preference, you can pair a projector or large TV with a quality sound system. Add a mini fridge to store drinks and other snacks.

Decorating a home theater can be so much fun. Framed movie posters, ticket stubs, and the classic red and white striped popcorn boxes will tie the room together.

Library

Book lovers often have shelves stacked with their collections. Having your own reading room with your books can offer you a quiet and cozy oasis. Be sure to add a reading lamp and a comfortable chair.

You can also add speakers to the library to play audiobooks and podcasts. Placing your speaker or a record player in the corner could be a fun accent that also gives use to the the room as a music room. Or, add in an Amazon Alexa device and just ask for your favorite tunes to be played!

Art Studio

Do you love expressing your creativity? You can turn your spare room into your personal art studio.

Hobbies like sewing or arts and crafts are so much fun – but they do require equipment and supplies. With a spare room, you have plenty of storage space to organize your crafting tools neatly and have a spacious work table.

Office

Having a home office is often associated with working from home and is one of the most popular room ideas when you have extra space. If you like a designated area to use a computer, journal, or take care of tasks, then having a quiet and tidy home office is something you should consider.

A home office will likely still have some space left over. You can use one half of the room for your desk and the other as a yoga studio. You’ll have plenty of room to roll out your yoga mat and have a quiet space to meditate and stretch.

If you have a furry friend, you may want to place a bed for your pet in the office. This way, they’re not in the middle of your living space, and they have a quiet space to go to if you have company.

Guest Room

Many people use a spare room as an extra bedroom. When you have overnight guests, they have their own designated space that makes it easy to host, as everyone has their own spot to sleep.

This will make it so easy for family members to visit–and you can even plan regular sleepovers with the grandchildren. Being able to share your apartment with visiting friends and family will be so special, and you’ll never have to worry about space.

If you don’t want to make the room a guest bedroom, you can make it an extra sitting room and put a sofa bed that can turn into an extra sleeping option when you have guests.

Dining Room

You can convert your spare room into a separate dining room. This gives you a place to host guests for meals and conversation. You can also use the space as a game room where everyone can gather around the table with plenty of space for a game board, cards, snacks, and drinks.

When it comes to decor ideas for a dining room, you can make it as formal or casual as you want. You may like neutral tones, a dining table set, and curtains that accent the color scheme. Or you could create an eclectic dining area with mismatched furniture, antiques, and jewel tones.

Explore the Apartments at Freedom Village

Freedom Village has different residence options, so you can find the one that suits you best. No matter what your needs or your hobbies are, there are plenty of reasons a two-bedroom apartment is perfect for your senior living experience.

Having a spare room gives you an opportunity to be creative and design a unique space that you can enjoy each and every day. You’ll love showing your friends and family members how you’ve made the space your own–and they’ll look forward to when you invite them back! Call us to learn more.

senior women setting up Amazon Alexa at home

How Does Amazon Alexa Help Seniors?

How Does Amazon Alexa Help Seniors?

Smart-home devices like smart speakers or a tablet are becoming more common in households. For Amazon, this device is called the Amazon Echo, which has several different versions depending on your needs and preferences.

Amazon smart devices use artificial intelligence called Alexa as a virtual assistant. Many commonly refer to these devices as an Amazon Alexa.

Since the Amazon smart devices are voice activated, you can use voice commands to ask Alexa for a number of things, which can help empower seniors to remain independent.

Seniors can use the Amazon Alexa to help them with everyday tasks, as well as an added layer of security. Take a look at all the uses of Alexa for seniors and how they can simplify life and provide more peace of mind.

Amazon Alexa Together for Seniors

Amazon has a program called Alexa Together, a subscription service you can add to your Alexa device. This service is designed for seniors, caregivers and families to stay connected.

  • With the Alexa Together subscription, you get the following:
  • 24/7 urgent response
  • Customized alerts
  • Fall detection response (with an Alexa-compatible device that can detect sounds of falling or be manually alerted via a wearable device)
  • Activity feed
  • Photo sharing

Alexa Together also allows you to create a routine so you don’t have to reset everything each day. This can include reminders to eat, take medication, or get up and walk around at the same time each day.

Caregivers and family members can use remote assist to set reminders or manage lists on their loved one’s Alexa device. Up to 10 people can access the Amazon device through the Circle of Support feature. This ensures that there’s always someone who can check on you.

You can also have peace of mind that if you need to make a phone call to emergency services but cannot access your phone, you can tell the Alexa device to call for help. This will connect you with trained professionals who can contact emergency services for you.

How Alexa Can Help Older Adults

Amazon Echo devices are helpful to older adults even without the Alexa Together subscription. As a virtual assistant, Alexa can do a number of tasks. Using voice commands also means you can use the devices hands-free, making it more accessible to anyone who has mobility issues or visual impairments.

Set Reminders

You can set reminders via Alexa so your smart device will let you know of an upcoming appointment or to take something out of the oven.

This can be helpful for medication reminders, due dates to pay bills, or for anything you don’t want to forget that day. All you have to do is say, “Alexa, set a reminder for my aqua class at 10 a.m. today.”

You can also use Alexa as an alarm clock, and you can set it to tell you the day’s weather or play your favorite song as the alarm sounds.

Ask Questions

You can ask Alexa questions like, “Alexa, what’s the weather today?” or “Alexa, what movies are playing at the theater?”

If you have a question that’s trivia related and you need to know the answer, you can ask the smart device. “Alexa, when was the Dodgers baseball team founded?” Your Alexa will tell you the answer.

Create Lists

Whether it’s a to-do list or a shopping list for the week’s groceries, Alexa has you covered. You can create ongoing lists to make sure you don’t forget anything. It’s as easy as saying “Alexa, add coffee to my grocery list,” or “Alexa, add water plants to my to-do list.”

Provide Entertainment

You can use the Amazon Echo device as entertainment as well. Tell Alexa to play music, play a podcast, or you can even ask Alexa to tell you a joke.

You can be as general or specific as you want. If you want to hear a particular song, you can ask Alexa to play it, but you can also ask for songs of a certain genre or era. The Amazon Alexa may introduce you to entertainment you never knew you enjoyed.

Make Calls

You can use your Amazon Echo Dot to make phone calls. If you have the Amazon Echo Show, the tablet device, you can make video calls to chat with your friends and family while seeing their faces.

But before you make calls, you need to sync your contacts with the Amazon device through the Alexa app on your phone.

  • Select “Communicate” and then “Call.”
  • Type in your phone number.
  • You will receive a verification code. Enter that code and continue.
  • Your Alexa can now access your contacts to place calls.

older man talking to his amazon alexa for seniors and setting an appointment reminder

Devices for Amazon Alexa

There are all types of devices for Amazon Alexa with different generations. When you look at the various devices, you’ll see the following:

  • Amazon Echo – smart-home speaker with hub that can connect and control compatible devices
  • Amazon Echo Dot – smart-home speaker that can pair to other smart devices; less expensive than the Echo
  • Amazon Echo Pop – compact smart speaker
  • Amazon Echo Show – tablet with visual display

There are all kinds of smart devices you can connect to your Amazon device. Smart light bulbs, smart plugs, and Amazon Echo products like Echo buds are a few examples of what you can control through Amazon Alexa, so then turning on your living room lights is as easy as asking Alexa.

How To Set Up Amazon Alexa

Setting up your Amazon Alexa is a simple process. After you have your device plugged in, download the Alexa app onto your phone. Then do the following:

  • Open the Alexa app
  • Open the More tab. It will look like three horizontal lines and will provide you with more options.
  • Hit Add Device.
  • Select your Amazon device. It may prompt you to also select the type like Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, etc.

Your app will provide you with the rest of the instructions to complete setting up your device. And then you’re ready to enter a new era of technology to improve your life. Seniors can truly benefit from the safety, entertainment and connectedness Alexa has to offer.

Set a Reminder To Visit Freedom Village

Residents at Freedom Village live robust, engaging lives where they make the most of every day. The lifestyle here in Orange County is all about staying active and as independent as possible.

Using a device like the Amazon Alexa is a fun way for residents to stay connected with family and friends, look up new recipes, play favorite music, and also give peace of mind that they’re always one voice command away from anything.

You can live an active, fulfilling life at Freedom Village. The next time you’re creating reminders for your Amazon Echo device, say, “Alexa, remind me to call Freedom Village for a tour!”

senior women laughing on a walk together outside

5 Ways To Create and Maintain Social Connections in Independent Living

5 Ways To Create and Maintain Social Connections in Independent Living

When you move into Independent Living at a senior living community, you have so much to look forward to. You’ll have a new, maintenance-free lifestyle; access to exercise classes and fitness equipment to stay active; and all kinds of social events.

However, when you first join the community, you may wonder how to break the ice with others as a new resident, as well as keep up with your friends and family. Read on to learn about five easy ways to create and maintain social connections in Independent Living.

1. Join a Club

Bonding over similar interests and hobbies is a great way to meet new people and spend time doing something you love to do – or try something new. There are all kinds of opportunities to join a club that resonates with you.

Here are a few examples of clubs you can join:

  • Walking Club – Twice a month, residents enjoy local walking areas such as the Lake Forest Sports Park, the Rancho Santa Margarita Lake, and Woodbridge South Lake.
  • Sunshine Craft Club – Residents create holiday greeting cards and crafts for the Assisted Living residents next door.
  • Billiards Group – The Billiards group meets twice a month for practice and holds a monthly billiards tournament.
  • Men’s Club and Ladies’ Club – These separate groups allow the men and women in the community to meet and discuss interesting topics within their clubs.
  • Book Club – Residents meet to discuss their ideas about the book they’re reading.

You could also form a new club if you found residents with similar interests in a subject or activity and would like to establish an official group.

senior woman in the billiards club at freedom village

2. Go to Events

Even the most vivacious people who love to be the life of the party can be nervous to attend an event where they don’t know many people – or any. Your community may host a new resident event or a social where you can get acquainted with fellow residents.

Events that include an activity or theme are fun to attend, and all you need to do is introduce yourself to a few people. Your fellow residents may also continue to introduce you to others, and before you know it, you’ll have new friends by the end of the event.

Exercise classes, trips, games, music – there are all kinds of activities and events planned in your community. You’ll have so many options to choose from to fill your day with fun and engaging activities.

3. Stay Connected With Loved Ones

Set time aside to connect with your loved ones. Planned phone calls, video chats, and in-person visits will help you stay up to date with everyone – and they’ll all be very excited to hear about all you’ve been up to in your new home.

It’s also good to connect with your support system so they can provide encouragement for you to be as involved as possible with your community – or you may find that you’re encouraging others to do the same in their community.

Peggy, a resident of Freedom Village, reached out to her sister Jeanne’s senior living community Facebook page, asking about the kinds of activities they offered. After doing her research, Peggy encouraged her sister to be more involved and recommended activities for Jeanne to try. Both sisters lead active and fulfilling lifestyles at their communities.

4. Make Plans

You don’t have to wait for a community event or activity to fill your social calendar. Making plans with friends gives you the chance to change up your daily routine and spend quality time with others.

  • Watch a movie
  • Cook a meal
  • Meet for coffee
  • Plan a trip outside the community

Having some plans on your calendar for the week gives you something new to look forward to. If you need a change of scenery, look at all the fun things the Lake Forest area in Orange County has to offer.

seniors chatting at a restaurant

5. Stroll Through the Community

You never know who you’ll run into when you go for a walk in your community. Not only will you get exercise and become an expert on every nook and cranny of the campus, but you’ll likely see some familiar faces from previous clubs or events.

A spontaneous walk can lead to new interactions and you may end up chatting with a friend for the next hour. The gorgeous location of Freedom Village allows for perfect walking weather year round.

For pet owners, this is a great opportunity to take your furry companion for a walk. Freedom Village is a pet-friendly community and you’re sure to meet other pet owners and make new friends when you’re walking your dog.

The Benefits of Socialization

Having an active social life where you regularly spend time with friends greatly benefits your physical and mental well-being.

Studies show that valuing friendships is related to better functioning in older adults. Socializing leads to benefits like:

  • Lowering blood pressure and inflammation
  • Helping get restful sleep
  • Decreasing the risk of heart disease
  • Improving mental health

With all the opportunities to make new friends and maintain those friendships in Independent Living at Freedom Village, you can create the retirement you’ve always dreamed of.

Visit Us at Freedom Village

Independent Living at Freedom Village helps you connect with friends new and old. We invite you to join us for an upcoming event and see for yourself! Schedule a tour today.

senior woman with a sleeve tattoo

A Senior’s Guide to Getting a Tattoo

A Senior’s Guide to Getting a Tattoo

Tattoos are an amazing art form of self-expression. There’s no limit to what you can do – especially when you have a talented tattoo artist who can bring your vision to life. And these days, more and more people are choosing to get ink.

While there are different types of tattoos, most people think of permanent tattoos that are applied with a needle and ink. It’s becoming more common for people to have permanent tattoos, and older adults are getting in on the fun.

If you’re interested in body art, our senior’s guide to tattoos will help you know the basics of getting tattoos as an older adult and prepare for everything so the process will go as smoothly as possible.

tattoos on aging skin can still have sharp lines if cared for

Aging Skin and Tattoos

When you’re older, getting a tattoo may look a little different than someone in their late teens and early twenties. Younger people getting a tattoo may have more selection regarding where they want the tattoo. As you age, your skin becomes thinner and less elastic, making the healing process take longer.

You can certainly still get a tattoo, but you’ll need to consider the best spot for your tattoo. Typically, bony areas of the body where there’s not a lot of fat are the most painful places to get a tattoo. Choosing an area with more fatty skin can provide cushioning, making it less painful.

These areas include:

  • Forearm
  • Outer arm
  • Outer thigh
  • Shoulder
  • Parts on the back away from your spine

When you have an idea of where you’d like your tattoo, you can start thinking about what kind of tattoo you want.

a senior's guide to tattoos includes choosing the right area for the tattoo and after care. This older man's tattoo is beautiful on aging skin

How to Choose the Right Tattoo for Older Skin

When you’re getting a tattoo, you’ll likely want it to have the following characteristics:

Having bolder lines and less detail will give your skin a better chance to heal. Intricate, fine-line designs can be more difficult for older adults because of thinning skin. Of course, if you’re interested in a more complex design, you just need to be prepared for multiple sessions.

While you’re finding the right tattoo for you, it’s just as important to find the right tattoo artist. You want a reputable tattoo shop and artist, preferably one who has tattooed older adults. They’ll know how to tattoo thinning skin and can make informed recommendations for you regarding aftercare. An online search can help you find the perfect tattoo artist in your area.

Medication and Tattooing

If you take any medication, it’s important to speak with your doctor before you decide to get a tattoo. The medications you take could have an effect on your tattoo process.

For example, it’s common for older adults to take blood thinners to avoid issues with clotting. Common blood thinning medications include:

  • Aspirin
  • Eliquis
  • Brilinta
  • Pradaxa
  • Xarelto

However, when you get your tattoo, you may experience some bleeding and bruising around the area. Taking medications like the ones above can exacerbate those symptoms.

You may also want to avoid substances that can cause blood thinning, like caffeine and alcohol, for two days before your scheduled tattoo appointment.

tattoos for older people include careful planning and aftercare

Tattoo Aftercare

People with tattoos will tell you that aftercare is vital to the tattoo process to avoid infection. Taking care of your tattoo will keep your skin healthy and allow you to show off your new ink as soon as possible. Follow these tips to help your tattoo heal:

  • Clean the skin with plain soap and water
  • Avoid water hitting the tattoo directly
  • Pat dry
  • Moisturize the tattoo
  • Keep the tattoo out of direct sunlight
  • Don’t swim while your tattoo is healing
  • Don’t pick at the tattoo

The process can take about two weeks before your skin is healed.

Why Should You Get a Tattoo?

People get tattoos for a variety of personal reasons. Maybe to commemorate an important person or event, to highlight a personality trait or document a memory, or perhaps just because it’s something fun and exciting to try. No matter the “why”, tattoos have become increasingly popular, with more than 30% of the US population having at least one tattoo.

Today’s seniors are living their best lives and trying all sorts of new things. If you think a tattoo is your next adventure, we hope our guide has helped provide some good advice. And let’s face it – there’s probably no better way to convince your teenage grandkids of how cool you are!

Live Your Best Life at Freedom Village

Here at Freedom Village, we believe this list of things to do in retirement is endless! Give us a call today to learn more about our active community, where our seniors are living their best lives.

senior couple deciding when to make the move to senior living holding boxes

When Should I Make the Move to Senior Living?

When Should I Make the Move to Senior Living?

Retirement is a time for you to use all your free time to explore your interests and do activities that appeal to you. When you live alone, it may be difficult to have the active social life you want.

Exploring your options in Independent Living could provide you with the community and support you need to make the most of your retirement. Now is the time to make the move to senior living to get all the benefits and access to services and amenities only available in these types of communities.

Senior Living Covers Home Maintenance

One of the best aspects of being in a senior living community is how the living options help you simplify your life. You no longer have to worry about maintaining the lawn or dealing with issues like fixing appliances. Your community takes care of repairs and covers lawn maintenance.

You also no longer have to worry about meal planning and cooking – you get access to delicious dining options at your senior living residence. Here at Freedom Village, our residents have four different dining venues to choose from.

With these time-consuming responsibilities out of the way, you have more time to take advantage of everything your community offers.

Independent Living Offers Socialization Opportunities

Staying active and social are paramount to an older adult’s quality of life. Communities offer a plethora of activities where you can fill your schedule with great ways to benefit your mind and body – and spend quality time with friends. Some of these activities include:

  • Learning something new with a continued education course
  • Joining any and all clubs that interest you
  • Taking an exercise class
  • Seeing a movie with friends

seniors enjoying the benefits of a senior living community with exercise classes

There are likely all kinds of special interest groups that get together for things like a book club, line dancing, or games like bridge or bingo. The best part about being in the community is that you can change up your schedule whenever you want.

Do you want to start trying your hand at painting in the art studio? Would you like to use some of your time to volunteer? Freedom Village offers those activities, ballroom dancing, daily movies, and more. These are all available to you in your active retirement community – and you decide when and what you want to do.

Trying something new or even being new to a community could make anyone a little bit anxious, but with all these opportunities to get involved, you’ll make friends with your neighbors in no time.

Make the Most of Your Community’s Location

You also get to enjoy the surrounding area of your community. Freedom Village is located in the beautiful city of Lake Forest, CA. Residents enjoy being close to a city that offers opportunities for shopping or planning a night out on the town. You would also be within driving distance of gorgeous parks or lakes, creating the perfect environment for an afternoon walk and picnic with friends.

women having a drink together at an outdoor cafe in Lake Forest, CA

You Gain Security and Peace of Mind

Retirement communities have several safety measures to ensure that residents and the grounds of the community are secure, including:

  • 24-hour desk reception
  • Security service and gated parking
  • 24/7 nursing staff and emergency medical technicians

In addition to safety, you also have long-term peace of mind because of what the care community offers. You can access higher levels of care should your health needs change, so you know your future healthcare needs are covered.

Live Your Best Life at Freedom Village in Lake Forest, California

If you or a loved one is trying to find a community that suits your needs, Freedom Village is here for you. Many of our residents say they only wish they had moved in sooner!

Call today to schedule your tour and learn more about how Freedom Village can accommodate you or your loved one as they age actively.

classic sports car parked over the ocean in california

The Best Sports Cars for Seniors

The Best Sports Cars for Seniors

When you’re enjoying your retirement, part of that may be getting the dream car you’ve always wanted. During this time of your life that’s all focused on you, there’s definitely space for you to have fun in the fast lane. Gone are the days of minivans and mid-size sedans – now’s the time to get a car that’s fun to drive

But which sports car is right for you? There are so many factors to consider – does the vehicle’s fuel economy mean a lot to you, or are you more concerned with the vehicle’s sleek appearance? Do you want a car with rear seats, or is a small two-seater all you need? Are those seats comfortable, and do they offer back support? Do you want all the modern safety features like lane-keeping assist, driver assistance, and automatic emergency braking?

With so many options at hand, it can be difficult to find the car that speaks to you. We’ve narrowed down the best sports cars for seniors to give you a strong starting point in getting the car you’ve always wanted. 

chevrolet stingray parked outside with palm trees in california

Classic Sports Cars for Seniors

Sports cars exude luxury and character. The sleek design, focus on speed, and smooth ride will make you want to go for a drive every day. Here are some of the best classic sports cars for senior drivers

  • Mercedes-Benz AMG SL Roadster. When you’re driving, you’ll be able to feel this vehicle’s horsepower – this engine is designed for driving performance. Mercedes-Benz has a long racing history, so any car enthusiast will be excited to drive a Roadster. Remember to put down the soft top and enjoy the convertible. There are different selections of this car – with the base model starting as the 2022 AMG SL 55 Roadster. 
  • Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet. Whether it’s the C-Class Cabriolet or the E-Class Cabriolet, these convertibles seat four people, making them the perfect car to take for a Sunday drive. These cars have all-wheel drive, so you can enjoy each season without worrying about how your car will fare in different types of weather. 
  • Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The classic Corvette introduces speed, precision, and a luxurious driving experience. The newest models of the Stingray are the most powerful performance-wise. This car also has features that allow you to personalize the driving performance. 
  • Porsche 718. In the Porsche category, there are at least two models you should take a look at: the 718 Cayman and the 718 Boxster. When you think “sports car,” these should be at least on the test-drive list. The Cayman has a covered roof, while the Boxster is the classic convertible. Both cars have a 2.0 liter turbo flat engine with direct fuel injection and boast an acceleration of 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. If you want to feel a car with power, this is the car for you. 

a porche is a great sports car for seniors because of the speed and comfort

Many of these cars have a variety of customization options when it comes to design, so you can truly make your car your own. As you learn more about these cars, you may want to consider the range of car options when it comes to the base model and most expensive.

Let’s take a look at some other car options if the classic sports car wasn’t quite what you had in mind. 

Budget Sports Cars for Seniors

When you’re examining the top-of-the-line vehicles, you may experience some sticker shock. While it’s no surprise that classic sports cars can be expensive, the reality of spending that much on a car and paying for car maintenance may not be practical for you.

Luckily, there are plenty of budget sports cars that incorporate luxurious design and vehicle performance but still fit in your budget so you’re comfortable with the price. Older drivers seeking budget-friendly sports cars should take a look at the following vehicles. 

  • Mazda MX-5 Miata. If you’re looking for a car that looks and feels like a classic sports car, the Miata is for you. Mazda incorporates the driver’s experience in its design, making the vehicle user-friendly and intuitive.
  • 2023 Subaru BRZ. The Subaru 2023 BRZ combines the benefits of having a sports car – rear-wheel drive, 228 horsepower – with the spacious characteristics of other Subaru models. If you’re thinking about having storage space in your car, you can fold the back seat for extra room. 
  • Toyota GR 86. This two-seater sports car has all the physical characteristics of a high-end sports car without the price tag. The Toyota GR 68 also has helpful safety features like rear parking sonar and reverse automatic braking. 
  • Chevrolet Camaro. Available as a coupe or convertible, the Chevy Camaro has a high-powered engine and  an affordable base model. As a sports car and a muscle car, the Chevy Camaro has a strong presence on the road.

chevrolet camero driving outside

With these cars as a starting point for your budget sports car, you’ll have plenty of options to start your search. Before you know it, you could be driving off the lot with the sports car you’ve always wanted.

Drive Into Your Dream Community at Freedom Village

Freedom Village is an Active Life Plan Community in Lake Forest, California. In our community, your freedom to live the life you want comes first. 

Our Independent Living community is thriving with activity and fun things to do. Residents enjoy amenities that include:

  • Planned social and recreational programs
  • Wellness classes
  • Swimming classes
  • Monthly music concerts
  • Weekly cultural outings

You can safely store your sports car in the reserved covered carports so you can participate in everything that interests you. When you call Freedom Village your home, you’ll be a part of a vibrant, friendly community that will support you in every way. 

We want to welcome you to our senior living community. Call us today at 949-423-6653 to schedule your tour and learn more about retiring to a life you love at Freedom Village.