This special live event celebrates the June 18 opening of MorningStar Senior Living in Hillsboro, Oregon. In this segment, Suzanne Newman joins Emily Hoover, Life Enrichment Director, to talk about the opening. Hoover oversees activities and events at the community, working with residents to create events they love and want to participate in and engage in, and finding the things that people love and help them grow their passions, whether it’s something new or something they’ve done for a really long time. She also helps with private events like book clubs, garden clubs, Bible studies, and hopes to build a community outreach club that works with food banks, local schools to have a volunteer program. It’s important for seniors to have social interactions because our brains need successful community stimulation, and it’s important to have that purpose in their life and feel loved while doing it. Schedule a tour! For folks outside the Portland, Oregon area, MorningStar has communities from the midwest through the Pacific states. Find a community near you at MorningStar Senior Living.com.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Welcome to the answers for elders radio show. meet the trusted experts who will give you straight answers and we’ll health guide you on the path of later life care. Now here’s your host, founder, caregiver and CEO, Susan Newman, and welcome back everyone. Answers for others radio network. And we are doing our final interview for today. I am so thrilled to have spent the day with this amazing organization that just opened this week and that is morning star senior living in Hillsboro, Oregon. And for those of you that are in the Greater Portland area, please, if you just didn’t even think about what it was like. I mean you guys got to see this community. It’s amazing. It’s so vital and fresh and fun and and, boy, Oh boy, I tell you, it’s amazing. And Kamila, you are the sales manager. Or what is your official title? So my official title is community relations associate. Okay, and the past eight months my job listening to fill this building. Oh well, I think it’s going to be great. Now you are obviously before we start with that. To Meula, tell me a little bit about your background. Yeah, so I started actually in the senior industry when I was fifteen, sending my weekends volunteering at a local senior community and sale or again kind of assisting the life internship program and has spark my interest into Oh, this is a fun job, this could be a career. And then, you know, want to turn sixteen. I was like, all right, I’ll start the dining room. You know, I hated serving, but I was like, okay, maybe this is okay, not too much stressed. And then next I do three years later I joined a regional team with another organ based seeing the living community company. And then I wanted to challenge a thought. What better ways than just doing the morning Star for new building. And here you are. You know, since your first morning start community that you’ve been with. Yeah, so this is my first building with morning star. Well, I’m so honored to see part of this journey with sure, yeah, sure. So you obviously are kind of the ambassador to the community and you go to vent and you share a lot of the community, but you probably meet with a lot of different people. What are I guess my question for you, Kamula, was what are some of the questions people are asking about senior living? These days. Yeah, so I think, you know, going back to an originally senior living first started, there’s that misconception of kind of what senior living even is. You know, of course, you know most key news opera three levels of care, independent, assisted in memory care, and people you know most commonly always know if us is a memory care. Of course, because it’s a need basis. But really independent living is really a lifestyle choice that most seniors, to they five up, can choose from. You know, people who don’t want to do a laundry anymore. Maybe want a housekeeping taking care of want to cook anymore? Do you want to take care of all that meanss of a house? Yeah, there’s so many options of you know, independent living, where it’s a carefree lifestyle. You know, I always joke with my new residencing hey, it’s a cruise ship on land and opportunity. Yeah, anyway, it’s really you have the freedom to do what you want in these buildings. It’s really it’s amazing that we can offer them. It’s kind of this whole new concept of living, I think, independently, which means authentically. It’s being yourself and and in but it’s also giving you a community to be around. And you know, earlier were spoken with Emily and she talked a lot about, you know, why it’s important for the brain to interact and have sense of community. And I’m sure you know, like I heard a story today about a lady that toured today that just lost her husband. Right, that’s a very overwhelming time and yet to have the ability to be freed of all the responsibilities go along with being a homeowner. Right. And maybe maybe it’s just maybe she’s living someplace where she doesn’t have she’s not close to family, and all of a sudden families here. So you have the opportunity to have all of these things taken care of where you’re not, quote unquote, burdening your kids. I think that’s a lot of things that seniors tend to feel like, I don’t want to burden my children with stuff like that. I are do you get some of that? Yeah, we have quite a few people who, you know, might have recently loss of spouse and you know, they realize, you know, you know coming from a huge house, you know, multiple bedrooms, staircases, they can’t maintain it anymore. You know, they don’t want to keep the burden of going to their children, you know, each day, as they hay, need a little bit of help. Yeah, you know, they’re all of course you’re willing, but it really is you know, I want, you know, I want to live as independently as I want, but I want them to live the life to the fulles at the same time. Yeah, it’s a great way where they the kids just, you know, to their heart. You know my mom’s who taken care of yeah, and she has friends around here at all times. Yeah, and I think you’re absolutely right in the fact that, you know, no parent wants to burden their children and I think a lot of us, as adult children of, you know, senior parents, we don’t feel like it’s a burden, right, but there’s still that element of, you know, the dignity and the purpose and I think you know, we talked about the bill of rights of you know, residence in senior living and I think there’s a one I just found from some organization. It was so amazing. The number one bill of rights is dignity and a sense of purpose and, you know, having those those pieces in place to make sure that they have, you know, that sense of belonging and that they’re accomplishing something and they have staff around them support them to do that. I think that’s really that it’s worth every penny in the world when you think about it in that way. So are do you get any really like tell me about some of the requests you get from people. You know, people come from, you know, the most custom houses you could ever hear of, you know. So, you know, I’ve had my first depositor, you know, part of the founders club, people who deposited without touring the building. You know, a couple them are saying, you know, hey, I need, you know, a custom kitchen. When out, I know, of course it’s absolutely you know, what does that look like to you? Next thing I know, you know, it’s a whole different layout than we’ve ever would have thought of. You know, this here, this, there, counters like this, kind of was like this, and of course, you know, we do the best we can because, you know, we like to think of morning started up. This is your home and we’re here to serve you in your home. You know, didn’t your home is not just your apartment, it’s the whole building. And so if that means I’m going to get you a custom shower, we got you a cust of shower. That’s awesome. You Want California cliots, will get through California closets. Yeah, some people are simple as I just want to act at wall and I’m like, you’re done, we got an accident. So we really do try to customize as much as possible. Yeah, because we are here to serve them and it’s their home, you know, not not just in our partner their apartments, but the whole community. So this also is a pet friendly building. Tell me a little bit about that. Yeah, we are very fortunate to be a friendly so we have pet you know, cats and dogs move it in. So far, no roadtown so far. Now that, though, not yet. Yeah. One of my future residence, though, does have a little bird, so I’ll be your first little birdie. I just work. We’re with the family. She’s got a huge tenzero dollar hyacinth macaw, Yep, parrot, and she needed a that was her biggest concern is, how do I, you know, have space for this bird? And, believe it or not, the community she were moved in, it just so happened that there was like a bay window area exactly was perfect. Yep, it was like yes, but they had to be moved. The wooden shell a little big reading tild down this, but let’s see, that’s those things can can. And the thing that was so amazing about the community that they did do is they actually, because it was carpeted there, they actually pulled back the carpet and they laid down flooring. Yeah, so it was easy to clean up around the cage, which is Great. Absolutely. Now, if somebody has a dog, is here dog area? I didn’t even ask. Yeah, there is. So most people who drive by, you know it, visit us. You know we were construction trailers, so that kind of took up the lot next to us. God, we are so blessed to be able to start transforming part of it into a dog part. Oh, that’s wonderful because we have quite a few residents who I already saw, want dogs and sorely. All right, let’s get ready. I saw some people tour today with their dog. I know I was like families here, ready’s move. I love that, though. It’s that it’s so amazing. So you’ve got that and then you also have obviously people have hobbies. How do you? How do you accommodate that? Right? So I love how you mentioned, you know, a sense of purpose. And so, you know, part of the process of, you know, getting to know someone to move in is really sitting down, taking the hour and saying what are you looking for, what are you interested in, and kind of learning more about them. So, you know, one of our founding members, you know, King stay to view the her apartment for the first time and you know, she kept raving about how she’s going to miss her gardens. It’s for us. So we said, you know what, we have a garden bed. If you want to be the you know, the manager of this garden bed, we will make it happen. We will let you do it. And finding purpose for them, you know if that means, you know, we do charity work with the community. That means having them help us put gift basses together. That’s we know. We will find things for them to feel like they’re giving back to the community and having a purpose, you know, within our walls as well. And you know that’s so important. It’s happening, that that ability that every day you wake up and you know that there’s something of you. They’re absolutely and you know that you’re feel like you’re contributing and having a garden is contributing to the beauty or if somebody is a wood shop, maybe you make a bench or something like that. I give them a project, right. You know that they would love to be a part of. So when you if people are calling you, obviously you have studios. When bedrooms and two bedrooms correct? Tell me just briefly, yeah, about the amenities any in your in your living situation, like, what do they get for the for the rent? Right? So, you know, of course, beautiful brain new apartments. You know, mornings are really dead. told of everything from the custom touches, you know, to walk in closets and even one bedrooms, to the luxury vinyl to all new, all new, brand new GE appliances, Washer and drives and every single unit. That’s I mean. I tell them, don’t limit your mind to just what’s in your room. Thinking about the community. You know, this library were sitting in, that’s for the residence to sit. Bring friends, you know, done different dining venues. That’s for them. Class A line, bring a blossom line. I said, bring Your Cup of coffee by the fireplace. Enjoy yourself. Yeah, there’s fireplace right there. Yeah, I was like, use the arts to you bring your friends and your grandkids. If they we have basketball in our fitness that I bring your grandkids. Let’s do some swimming. Go Right. I mean it’s really is, you know, everything they would want. Yeah, and of course weekly housekeeping, a meal points system. So if you want two meals a day, one meal a day, whatever that is, you could purchase what you want. You all your utilities are paid for. I’m just include cable TV, if you TV. So there’s just a million things that you can do here and and we’re so excited. So, Camellia, how do we reach you? Yeah, well, you know, as busy as I am, I’m more than how we to take any calls or in quies anytime. We just calling our community deligne and asking for Cilo. You know, I may be on a tour, but you know usually I responder my associates. Yeah, back to you with it about fifteen or twenty minutes. Yeah, and and for those of you that are looking online, it’s morning star senior Livingcom forward Hillsborough. And also, if you live outside the Greater Portland area, please look at the other communities. Morning Star has communities all throughout pretty much the western sector of the USA and so I know that there may be a community near you if you’re on that side and on our world and Kami, look, thank you so much for sharing the time with me. Well, thank you for having me, Yay. Well, I just can’t wait to see how you guys are going to fill up a really quick I have a feeling I was. Matt just told me the first week and you already have thirty residents moved in. Yeah, so that’s like a quarter. Yeah, the paperwork was heavy, but we did it and we were so happy during our event today to secure so any more apartments for very happy family. I love that. Well, you know what, I’m very excited to be a part of that and I hope that we can reach out and do a lot more for just getting having a greater sense of awareness and purpose for our seniors. So to signing off right now. It’s our last interview for today and we’re so pleased to be here in Hillsborough. And you know what, you never know where else serviuce up next. Right. Thank you, community, you so much, but we at answers for elders. Thank you for listening. Did you know that you can discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care? So visit our website and discover our decision guides that will help you also navigate decision making. Find US AT ANSWERS FOR ELDERS DOCUM
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
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