Downsizing to an Assisted Living Facilty

Downsizing to an Assisted Living Facilty

How can you make a smaller space feel like home?

A new book coming out by on January 5, 2015 by Marni Jamison documents how to sort through all the stuff in the family home and downsize into a much smaller home in Independent or Assisted Living Apartment or a Nursing home. Downsizing the Family Home contains pointers that will help families decide what to keep, what to take.

Downsizing to an Assisted Living Facilty

“Downsizing the Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go,” comes out from Sterling Publishing Jan. 5, and chronicles how to sift through a parent’s belongings as they move to smaller quarters. (Marni Jameson.)

  1. It is tempting to keep too much. If you must, do a storage facility for those items you can’t part with yet, but that will not fit in the space you are moving to.
  2. Try to recreate the look and feel of their previous home by using their belongings.
  3. Think about the items and how they will be used in the new place. Put those items used most in easy to access places.
  4. Don’t crowd the space. Remember that there are common areas to sit when guests visit. If the space is too small for more than one chair or loveseat don’t try to add more.
  5. A standing or table lamp will add lighting that is warm and cozy, like home. The over-head lights can make the space feel institutional.
  6. Keep walkways wide enough for walkers, canes, and wheelchairs. If you want rugs, secure the edges down with carpet tape to avoid a tripping hazard.
  7. The rooms in the new home will most likely be painted a neutral color. Bring some familiar colorful things with you. Crazy patterns may confuse someone with dementia, keep patterns simple. Soothing warm colors is best.
  8. Remember the afghan or the shawl or lap quilt to keep them warm, and display it over the arm of a chair or the end of the bed.
  9. Pictures of course. Trigger good memories with pictures and wall art from the family home.

Our staff at Kiva Assisted Living are available to advise you on how best to make the transition for your loved one.

If your loved-one has dementia it is best to have them otherwise occupied while you quickly move those items that will make the new place feel like home.  Set up their new apartment first with familiar objects and then bring them in.  Visit often in the first week while they transition into the activities, facilities, and social interactions that make Kiva Assisted Living a comfortable and enjoyable home.

Adjust Your Holiday Expectations For Seniors with Dementia

Adjust Your Holiday Expectations For Seniors with Dementia

Adjust Your Holiday Expectations For Seniors with Dementia

The Alzheimer’s Organization put together some recommendations to help family members adjust their activities to better help those with dementia and their caregivers during the holiday season.

If Mom always hosted the family gatherings, but now is the main caregiver for Dad who has dementia, it is time for you to step up and do more.

Don’t expect a person with Dementia to travel.  Those in the very early stages can handle travel well, but as the disease progresses the familiarity of home is comforting and travel can bring on anxiety.  If your family has always eaten out for the holiday, maybe this year you need to re-think what you do.

Here is a fact sheet from the Alzheimers organization to help you plan for this and future holidays with your loved ones.

You may discover when spending time with your loved ones over the holiday that it is time to look into a living place that will offer more security and assistance with the tasks of daily living.  Or you may discover that the healthy-care giving parent needs a break.  Kiva Assisted Living facilities offer a variety of levels of care including secure memory care, day care and respite care.   Respite care can help provide a safe, active and caring environment while the care-giver takes a break.

Adjust Your Holiday Expectations For Seniors with Dementia

And when it is time to move a loved one with dementia, remember to bring a bit of “home” to the new location to make that feel like home.  We encourage family members to bring familiar items with their loved one when moving them into their new home at Kiva Assisted.  The transitions will be smoother and you may be surprised at how the activity and social interaction at Kiva will benefit your loved one in a very short time.

Many new residents report that if they had known how enjoyable it would be they would have made the move to Kiva sooner.

Study Shows Shingles Can Be Deadly, Vaccine Shown to Reduce Your Odds

Study Shows Shingles Can Be Deadly, Vaccine Shown to Reduce Your Odds

Have you had your shingles vaccine yet?

Study Shows Shingles Can Be Deadly, Vaccine Shown to Reduce Your OddsResearchers reported on December 15, 2015 that a study found that shingles isn’t just painful.  It can cause death through heart attack and stroke.

We have all heard of or known someone who got Shingles.  It is a very painful illness that can do more than cause pain in the elderly that contract it.  Researchers found that the elderly were more than twice as likely to have a stroke and almost twice as likely to have heart attack in the first week of symptoms.

Shingles is also called herpes zoster and is caused by the same virus that causes childhood chicken pox.

Currently there is a vaccine that can reduce your risk of contracting the illness by 51%.  An NBC article reported that Zostavax is only about 70% effective and this efficacy drops to below 40 percent in people 70 years old or older.  This vaccine has very little side effects.

On the horizon is a new vaccine that seems to work better than the current vaccine, protecting more than 97% of people against the condition – even the very oldest.

The vaccine, made by GlaxoSmithKline, isn’t on the market yet.  More advanced trials are still needed.  This new vaccine has some side effects that some in the study reported as severe.

But with the new information about the dangers of Shingles, it is probably a good idea to get your vaccine soon.  Your risk of shingles and PHN increases as you get older. CDC recommends that people 60 years old and older get shingles vaccine to prevent shingles

Research, Senior Health and Alternative Treatments

Research, Senior Health and Alternative Treatments

The National Institute of Health sponsors research on complementary health practices used to maintain health or reduce symptoms of disease.

Some examples of these research projects are aimed at practices that work or claim to work on conditions common among seniors.


NIH STATES “The Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) study, a 6-year trial of the herb Ginkgo biloba in more than 3,000 older adults, showed that ginkgo did not prevent Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia or slow cognitive decline.

Research, Senior Health and Alternative TreatmentsBut a study in older women showed that those with higher consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids (the kind found in olive and canola oils) had slower cognitive decline.

Some studies currently in progress are researching the possible value of mindfulness meditation in older adults who have both cognitive impairment and/or depression.


Right now an NIH sponsored study is investigating whether yoga may help to improve risk factors for heart disease in older women.

Studies have shown that people with heart failure that practice tai chi can relieve some of their sleep problems and improve their mood.


Research, Senior Health and Alternative TreatmentsPreliminary research shows that massage can provide short-term benefits in relieving pain and improving mood in patients with advanced cancer.

Saw Palmetto, often promoted for prostate health has been shown in studies to have no more effect on relieving urinary tract symptoms associated with prostate enlargement in older men than a placebo.

Research, Senior Health and Alternative TreatmentsArthritis

A NIH-sponsored study of glucosamine and chondroitin in people with knee osteoarthritis showed that these supplements did not relieve pain or slow joint damage. However, a subgroup of participants did have significant pain relief when they took both supplements in combination.”

We look forward to sharing the results of future studies of complementary activities and supplements. In the meantime…
walk daily if you can.

Many studies have shown walking to benefit health and mood in many ways.

Kiva Assisted Living

Creativity in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care

Our staff at Kiva Assisted Living have been trained in Dementia Care.  We use creative ways to communicate with those with dementia in our Day Care and Assisted Living resident care.

Many families are helping to care for their loved one at home.  We’d like to share an opportunity for family members and caretakers to learn more about Creativity in Dementia Care.

Elder Options is sponsoring a workshop in Gainesville, Florida. “Creativity in Dementia Care” is about using Art and Poetry and more in the care of those with Dementia.

The event is a FREE.  It will be held on November 12th, 2015 at 8:30 to 2 p.m. in Gainesville.

Sounds like a fun time! Register by calling Tom at 352-692-5226

Read more

Kiva Assisted Living

Alzheimer’s Awareness — Getting to a diagnosis….

The process of getting dementia and then a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s…

is a journey that requires journals, observation by yourself and another close to you, tests, doctor visits and …. patience.

It has happened to all of us – memory loss.

It could be as simple as losing our keys — or as serious as forgetting where we live. Read more

Kiva Assisted Living

Kiva Announces the Launch of Their New Website

Kiva is pleased to announce the launch of their new website at

This new website, with its responsive design and clean modern look, better meets the needs of the rapidly growing number of consumers using smartphones, tablets, iPads, and other devices to go online.

Website features: Read more