3 Creative Ways to Personalize Your Senior Living Apartment

You’re prepared to take one of the biggest steps of your life!

You did your research and found the perfect senior living community that exceeds all your expectations! It fits your needs and you’re ready to relocate.

To make the transition from your old home to the senior living apartment smooth and easy, make sure you design and personalize your space. This way you can feel right at home in your new living space.

No, you don’t have to be an interior designer or hire one just to make the most of your new apartment. All you have to do is follow these tips and turn the foreign place into a familiar and comforting environment.

Let’s now head into discussing some ways you can personalize your senior living apartment.

1. Hang Up Pictures

Getting used to a new living space can be exceptionally hard. It can take a toll on your emotional well-being. The best way to make a foreign place to start feeling like home is to fill it with happy memories you share with your loved ones. You can hang pictures of your children, your grandkids and your friends in your new apartment which will ease up the transition period.

2. Paint the Walls (If Allowed)

A large number of senior living communities allow their residents to paint their apartments with the color of their choice. If the community you’re relocating to provides this flexibility, then you can customize your new living space with a color that’ll help you settle right in.

3. Put Indoor Plants

You can brighten up your new apartment by adding indoor plants to the interior. There are many benefits that come with having plants in your living space; these include improved air quality, lower levels of depression and more feelings of happiness.

Before you personalize your new living space, here are some things that you should keep in mind.


While you’re decorating your apartment, make sure you give extra attention to the aspect of accessibility. If you have fellow senior living residents coming over to your apartment, you should consider that they may have walkers or wheelchairs.


It’s important to keep your apartment well-lit. Install bright lights in the kitchen, bathroom, corners, balconies and wardrobes.


Storage might be limited in the new apartment, so before you move in, make a note of downsizing your belongings, especially your wardrobe, and give away what you don’t need.

Are you looking for a senior living community in Calabasas, CA?  Get in touch with AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care.

We’re one of the most reliable senior living communities in the area, committed to providing senior adults with excellent retirement facilities, and a spectrum of services tailored to the needs of all our residents.

We offer luxurious senior living apartments and a wide range of amenities to make our residents feel loved and satisfied.

Connect with us today!

It’s Never too Late! Smoking Cessation Tips for Older Adults

For a long time, smoking wasn’t considered a dangerous habit. Marketed as cool, the tobacco industry was promoting smoking through television, radio programs, newspapers—basically any medium you could think of.

However, we now have a complete report released by the World Health Organization that goes into detail about the systematic corporate deceit they practiced; how the industry knew that nicotine and tobacco were immensely addictive and dangerous due to their carcinogenic nature but kept on advertising it anyway.

And while the global population understands that now, the damage is done.

America’s Health Rankings reported that there are around 4.2 million smokers in the US who are over the age of 65. And 8.7 percent of these people smoke each day. Many of them understand that smoking damages almost every organ in your body and causes a number of diseases. But old habits die hard. And when that old habit is something as addicting as smoking, it can be almost impossible to let go of it altogether, but only almost!

How to Quit Smoking as a senior

If a senior loved one or you are thinking of quitting your smoking habit, here are some things you can do to get started on the right track:

  • Try Nicotine Patches or Products

Easily available and useful, nicotine gum or patches deliver very small doses of nicotine into your system through your skin, thus feeding your cravings just enough. Typically, your doctor will reduce your doses as you go so you can wean off them completely.

  • Opt for Prescription Medicine

There are actually prescription medications that you can take to treat your smoking habit. But like any allopathic medication, it will have side effects; never take anything without your doctor’s written permission.

  • Take it Nice and Easy

Going cold turkey works for some people, but if you’re used to smoking multiple packs a day, you’ll need to prepare yourself for bouts of cravings and the ensuing symptoms of withdrawal that’ll follow. Your patience and strength will be tested, but if you take things slowly and try getting to smoking once or twice in the morning, then in the afternoon, then at night, you’ll slowly start seeing the difference it can make in your health and energy levels.

  • Find a Companion

This is something we’ve seen a lot at AvantGarde Senior Living in Beverly Hills, CA. Often, one of our older residents will pair up with a friend or family member to quit smoking over time. Similar to how you go to the gym with a friend who encourages healthy living, having someone on the same journey as you will truly help since you’ll hold each other accountable.


The phrase “smoking can be hazardous to your health” is not an empty warning. Smoking causes 1 in every 5 deaths in the U.S. each year. It can cause lung disease, cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems, diabetes, eye diseases and osteoporosis and a number of other illnesses as well.

For your own sake and that of those who love you, take the right steps toward rehabilitation!


What to Do When Senior Loved Ones Refuse to Take Care of Their Hygiene

If a senior loved one doesn’t exercise the most basic forms of self-care, they become more susceptible to physical and mental health problems. However, before you dismiss this neglect as simply a side effect of aging, understand that there might be a much greater underlying problem.

The Root Causes of Self-Neglect and Lack of Personal Hygiene

Not everyone likes to show vulnerability. Especially those who took care of you when you were young. In fact, they’ll be reluctant to show any need for help because their pride might not allow it.

In many cases, the reason why your elderly loved one might not be paying attention to their personal hygiene may be because:

  • They have a fear of falling because of poor balance issues
  • They may have joint pain and might be experiencing issues while standing, sitting, bending, and moving in a small space
  • They might be experiencing a fear of the sound of water or its sensation (common among older adults with Alzheimer’s and Dementia)
  • The water temperature may be too discomforting i.e. too hot or too cold
  • Taking a shower or bathing may be too exhausting for them

Alongside these reasons, there are many other common causes that include depression, memory loss, and sensory decline, among others.

If this is the case, you’ll need to be proactive with your approach so you can be sure they’re paying their health and hygiene proper attention.

Tips on Helping a Senior Loved One with Personal Hygiene Issues

  • Talk to them about it

It might be difficult, given that your loved one might become defensive. But communication during this time is important because you want to get to the root of the problem and not draw conclusions yourself. You can never be sure whether it is pain, forgetfulness, fear, or something else entirely that’s keeping them from their basic care routine.

  • Use a Little Trickery

Dealing with an elderly person who thinks you’re bossing them around or babying them can feel like a power struggle. This is where you need to be tactful. Try to designate a meet-up with a close friend or family member at an outdoor venue, somewhere that requires primping. This’ll be a great reason for them to get cleaned up.

  • Make the Bathroom User-Friendly

Lack of support or fear of injury while bathing or showering is a major issue for most seniors. But this fear can be addressed pretty easily if you just add the right bathing aids and products to the room. Sturdy handrails, automatic sensors for raising the toilet seats, clear labels on bottles so your loved one can use the right products and proper lighting can do wonders for your senior’s care.


When it’s not enough

If your senior loved one is too ill, then the above tips might not be as useful for you.

In this situation, you might want to consider having your loved one shifted to a senior living community, one that specializes in memory care or assisted living and offers 24/7 care, like AvantGarde Senior Living in Beverly Hills, CA.

This way, you’ll be happy knowing that you’ve taken the right steps in ensuring your loved one’s health and care. And they’ll have the chance to socialize without worrying about their extending themselves over basic needs!

Stress Management in Seniors

Experiencing a little stress every now and then is quite common. Everyone has those days when you feel anxious and frustrated when your life isn’t going according to plan. When we’re young, our bodies are well-equipped to handle these stressful situations. But as we age, our resilience and ability to cope with stress decreases.

According to a study published by the Harvard Medical School, our body copes with stress differently as we age. As the fitness of our heart and the capacity of our lung declines, our body finds it difficult to bounce back from stressful situations. Stress hormones can also trigger neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia by flushing out the good hormones from our brains.

The good news is that with proper care and stress-busting tips, you can prevent it from taking a toll on your body. Here are some top tips to get you started:

Meditation and Mindfulness:

Mindfulness means being aware of your surrounding and your inner turmoil. It allows you to focus on the present and let go of the past. It can be done through meditating or through some form of yoga.

Whether it’s breathing exercises, silent meditation, or simple stretches, practicing mindful meditation daily has shown significant positive effects among older adults. It has also shown the physical benefits of helping them feel relaxed and better equipped to handle stressful situations.

Engage More:

Whether it’s expanding your social circle, spending more time with family, or playing with a pet, engaging with others can help improve your move and alleviate the stress levels quickly. Having someone to talk to and understand what you’re going through can have significant positive results. It’s a great way to manage stress and to keep your mental health in check.

Write It Down:

Maintaining a daily journal is a wonderful way to cope up with the daily stress and responsibilities life throws at you. Not only does it help you understand what you’re feeling, but it also provides a different perspective. Writing what’s bothering you can make it clearer for you and help you deal with it effectively.

Be Involved:

Find a new hobby or participate in a social activity. This can help you fill in the idle time that you may otherwise spend fretting about things you can’t control. Try doing volunteer work or add some recreational fun into your daily routine. This will help increase your feelings of happiness by allowing you to be more productive and help you engage with others as well.

AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care provides the best comprehensive care through retirement facilities, senior housing, and assisted living apartments in Calabasas, CA. We offer a range of daily activities and recreational opportunities to help improve the quality of life among seniors in California.

For more details and information about our excellent amenities and comprehensive services, take a virtual tour of our senior living facilities or give us a call at (818) 881-0055.

Senior Living Community Myths: Debunked

The United States Census Bureau stated in a 2017 report that, the number of seniors living in the US is approximately 47 million. By 2050, over a fifth of the country’s population is expected to be of people of over 65 years of age.

When such a rapid increase in the aging population is predicted, it’s imperative to start planning for the residence of the elderly. Currently, there are more than 3,327 senior living communities in the US that provide housing, medical care and personal care to the retired people. But the truth is that the misconceptions surrounding senior living communities have the elderly avoiding them like the plague.

The benefits of living in a senior community are many, which is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to debunk the myths you might have about it.

Here’s what you shouldn’t believe about senior living communities.

Myth 1: People Living in Senior Communities are Dissatisfied

One of the biggest myths about senior living communities is that the residents are unhappy and dissatisfied. This couldn’t be more wrong. According to a survey conducted by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), 94% of the people are satisfied with the quality of life they get to enjoy living in senior communities.

Myth 2: Senior Housing Communities Feel like Institutions

If you imagine long white hallways, bleach odors and bright fluorescent lights when they think of senior living housing, then you should know that can’t be further from the truth. Senior living communities are extremely comfortable, homely and pleasant; they have beautiful décor, luxurious rooms and natural lighting; they’re nothing like a hospital.

Myth 3: Senior Living Communities Have Minimal Care

The residents’ safety, medical care and security are the top priorities at senior living communities. There are highly trained and experienced medical practitioners and caregivers present at the communities, 24/7 in case of any emergencies and to take care of the senior members’ everyday needs.

Myth 4: Senior Living Communities Aren’t Affordable

Senior living communities offer a wide range of amenities, housing, medical care and services at all-inclusive rates. The average cost of living in a senior community is comparatively lesser than living at home.

Looking for a luxurious senior living community in Calabasas, CA? Consider AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care.

We’re a certified Positive Approach to Care (PAC) community, providing excellent retirement facilities, top-notch services and amenities to suit the unique interests and needs of all our residents.

Take a virtual tour of our community and connect with us for more information.

Senior Nutrition: Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet and good nutrition intake is pivotal to leading a healthy lifestyle—especially for elderly people. A World Health Organization (WHO) report shows that improper diet is the main reason behind a majority of the diseases that older people suffer from.

Unfortunately, elderly people often experience micronutrients deficiency, primarily due to reduced appetite and a lack of variety in their diet. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy diet for your loved ones.

Eat a variety of fruit and vegetables

Make sure to add a variety of nutritious and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables to their diet. With fruits, don’t rely solely on apples or bananas, instead, go for color-rich pickings like berries, cherries, and oranges. Moreover, choose leafy greens like broccoli, spinach, and kale as well as colorful ones such as beets and carrots.

The best way to consume veggies is by making a salad. You can add a tablespoon or two of olive oil as a dressing or perhaps add some goat cheese to give it a richer flavor profile.

Be watchful of your carb intake

Try to cut down, if not eliminate, processed and refined carbs such as white flour, white rice, and processed sugar, as they cause an increase in the blood sugar levels, followed by a rapid crash, which ultimately leads to overeating issues and obesity.

Swap the unhealthy carbs with healthier, complex sources of carbs—like brown rice, flour, and pasta—which are rich in nutrients, especially fiber.

Opt for foods that are high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Including fatty acids in a diet can be extremely beneficial for health—particularly for elderly people. This is due to their anti-inflammatory properties that provide protection from serious medical conditions such as arthritis, cancer, and heart diseases.

Some great sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish—mainly Tuna, Salmon, and Mackerel. Other options include flaxseed, walnuts, and soybeans.

Add calcium-rich foods in your diet plan

Calcium plays an important role in keeping our bones strong. It’s so essential for our body that if we don’t get enough calcium, our body starts to reabsorb it from the bones, which can lead to severe medical conditions such as osteoporosis

Foods that are rich in calcium include leafy vegetables and dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt. You should try to meet your daily calcium intake requirements via your diet; but if you’re unable to do so, then you must take calcium supplements, as directed by a medical professional, of course.

Consume foods rich in fiber

As we age, our digestive system tends to slow down; this affects our ability to digest food. To counter this, include foods that are rich in fiber in your diet as they promote proper digestion and facilitate the process of the food moving through the digestive tract.

Moreover, fiber also reduces the risk of heart diseases. As mentioned previously, fiber-rich food includes wholegrain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Also, fruits, vegetables, and nuts also help you meet your daily fiber intake requirements.

Stay hydrated

Water is one of the most—or perhaps the most—important part of our diets; yet, it’s ignored very often. As we age, our body’s ability to conserve water is reduced, so we don’t feel thirsty much. But the body still needs water.

This can lead to dehydration, which may result in confusion and drowsiness, among several other medical problems. Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure that you’re properly hydrated throughout the day.

It’s recommended that you consume at least 8 glasses of water every day. If you find it difficult to drink plenty of water at once; try to keep a water bottle with you and take a sip every now and then.

Looking for a Personalized Care Providing Community?

If you’re looking for a reliable senior living community in Beverly Hills, CA for your elderly loved one, contact AGS Living.

We’re an assisted living community in Beverly Hills, CA who offers customized care to elderly people and highly emphasizes on providing personalized solutions.

For more information, you may give us a call at (818) 881-0055 or visit our website.

Eating Healthy: A Caregiver’s Guide

When it comes to dietary planning, there’s no standard rule that applies to all individuals. Everybody has their own nutritional needs, and it’s important for caregivers to understand these before they can proceed with designing meal plans.

Moreover, eating healthy entails more than just cooking the right set of ingredients. Here’re a few tips for caregivers to implement a healthy eating lifestyle for their senior attendees.

Be Observant During Mealtimes

Mealtimes are a chance for you to obtain valuable insight into your senior attendee’s eating habits and food preferences. By simply observing their eating patterns during breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can pick up a lot about what they like and dislike, as well as their eating concerns.

Take for instance your elderly loved one’s behavior when they’re given porridge for breakfast, as opposed to eggs and toast. Do they seem to prefer one over the other? Do they always refuse a certain item in meals? Do they find it easier to drink milk through a straw instead of directly from the glass?

Being observant during mealtimes also helps you detect any danger signs of them having trouble swallowing or chewing their food. In case they develop a severe and sudden coughing fit or start to choke, you can swiftly help them out in that scenario. Keeping an alert eye out for any possible eating mishaps can help prevent them and make mealtimes easier for your senior loved one.

Make Mealtimes Enjoyable

Mealtimes don’t have to be dull and monotonous! Just because your elderly loved one needs to have their meals at a specific time of the day, due to either personal preferences or medical requirements, doesn’t mean they can’t have fun with their food. In fact, if they enjoy their food, they’re likely to be in a better mood as well and actually look forward to their meals.

To avoid mealtimes becoming a boring and mechanical affair, try mixing up the routine a bit. Have meals together as a family, and don’t hold back from experimenting with new flavors and dishes. Make meal preparation fun for yourself too, so that you may enjoy it as well. You can even involve your loved one in this activity, having them assist you with sorting out the vegetables or peeling the fruits, as long as it doesn’t tire them.

Be Wary of Dietary Restrictions

Know your senior loved one’s dietary needs before you begin meal planning and preparing. If they suffer from a chronic illness or a medical condition that requires them to be extra careful if what they eat, make sure you’re aware of the restrictions and recommendations.

It’s best if you consult with a certified dietician for this. This’ll help you stay on the right track while shopping for ingredients and preparing meals, and ensure that your loved one is getting the healthiest options.

At AvantGarde Senior Living & Memory Care, our skilled nursing staff is very particular about each of our resident’s dietary needs, and provides a pleasant dining environment for them to have their meals at.

Call us at (818) 881-0055 to get in touch with our senior care team in Calabasas!

3 Creative Ways of Keeping Seniors Active

Slowing down physically and mentally is all part of the natural process of growing old. Sometimes, the decline in mobility may be due to joint aches and pains or a lack of friends or family to engage with. However, staying fit is an effective means of retaining independence and enjoying a healthy lifestyle, as stated by the National Institute of Health.

Activity in general – whether it is mental or physical – plays a key role in keeping the mind active and preventing illnesses. In this blog, we’ll take a look at 3 creative ways you can help keep seniors active.


Joining a society or club is one of the best ways of staying active. Community organization runs and special interest groups for the elderly encourage movement and help keep them engaged. Activities such as social events, afternoon teas, and games assist in stimulating both mind and body.

Additionally, socializing via a society or club is a powerful tool in fending off feelings of loneliness and depressions that commonly plague older adults spending long periods of time indoors. It’s also beneficial for seniors receiving care for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Even those living with an in-house caregiver should venture out and enjoy the company of like-minded people.

Physical Exercise

While extreme temperatures can make it difficult to engage in physical exercise, there are still a large number of senior exercises that are less strenuous and can easily be performed on wheelchairs. Seniors with mobility issues benefit the most from consistent exercise regimen.

From simple actions that involve wrist movements and lifting the legs to swimming, physical exercise is a great way to beat depressions, meet new people, and refresh the mind.


With the abundance and easy access to video games, the options for staying mentally active are limitless. Puzzles and board games are also great ways to socialize and keep the mind active. The recent trend of elders playing video games has proven to be a great tool for keeping seniors busy. In fact, one study shows how playing video games actually improved mobility in seniors after a stroke.

Different types of games have different benefits for the brain. For example, playing 3D games increases the visual system’s engagement levels in the brain. Anyone with access to the internet can play such games and be part of an online community.

Other ways of keeping seniors active are to include them in light, household chores and encourage them to actively learn about new things. AvantGarde Senior Living is a senior housing community in Van Nuys, California. Contact us today for more information.


What seniors should know about Varicose Veins

Aging leads to swelling and enlargement of veins – a condition referred to as varicose veins. For some people, the concern is limited to the unsightly appearance but for others, it may point towards a more serious health issue. According to the American Heart Association, 23% of adults in the United States are estimated to be affected by varicose veins.

The emergence of varicose veins in older adults can lead to medical problems and decrease mobility. In this blog, we’ll highlight a few important considerations associated with varicose veins that seniors should be aware of.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Damaged or weak valves can cause varicose veins. The arteries and vessels inside the body are responsible for carrying blood to and from the heart ensuring proper blood circulation. To return the blood back to the heart, veins in the lower part of the body have to work against gravity.

Elastic vein walls and muscle contractions in the lower part of the legs pump blood back to the heart. Miniscule valves inside the vessels act as barriers preventing blood from flowing backward. If these valves become weak or damaged, blood flows backward and pools inside the veins causing them to twist or stretch.

The following factors increase the chances of contracting varicose veins:

  • Being female
  • Being overweight
  • Being pregnant
  • Having someone in the family that already has varicose veins
  • Standing for long periods in the job
  • Being an older adult

The Symptoms

While the majority of cases do not involve pain, the following symptoms associated with varicose veins may appear:

  • Veins that appear lumpy, twisted, or swollen
  • Veins that are dark blue or purple in color
  • Aching legs
  • Swollen ankles
  • A feeling of heaviness in the legs
  • Leg cramps when suddenly rising up
  • Spider veins
  • Restless leg syndrome

Possible Complications

As mentioned earlier, most cases of varicose veins are relatively harmless. However, any condition that compromises blood flow carries the risk of creating health complications. Though rare, varicose veins can lead to:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots that lead to inflammation in the veins in a condition known as thrombophlebitis.
  • Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition in which the skin doesn’t exchange waste products, nutrients, and oxygen with the blood because of weak blood flow. While the disease is not directly a consequence of varicose veins, both conditions are closely related.

All in all, the danger of varicose veins increases with age putting older adults at risk of decreased mobility, pain, and illnesses. Exercise, losing weight, and over-the-counter natural treatments prove effective in combating the disease.

Fortunately, AvantGarde Senior Living provides senior housing facilities in Van Nuys, California. A state-of-the-art senior community with qualified staff that helps seniors combat the negative effects of diseases such as varicose veins and live a happy and healthy lifestyle. Contact us today for more information.

Why Assisted-Living Is Better Than In-Home Care

Most senior loved ones have more than one chronic health issue they’re dealing with. In fact, the National Council on Aging reports that at least 75% of the elderly deal with one or two chronic health conditions in their later years.

When a senior loved one reaches a certain age where they require around-the-clock assistance but also wish to retain their independence, a senior living community proves to be the best choice. Not only do such communities provide engaging social activities, and nutritious and fulfilling food, they also have 24/7 medical care.

Here are a few reasons why assisted-living is better than in-home care:

1. Assistance with Personal Care

For most senior loved ones, a number of daily activities such as brushing their hair or brushing their teeth can get a bit difficult to carry out on their own.  If your senior loved one needs assistance with personal care, assisted living communities have round-the-clock nurses on board that help the residents carry out their daily tasks.

2. Transportation

Many seniors stop driving in old age, either because a medical condition prohibits them or because driving becomes too strenuous. At a senior living community, residents will have access to chauffeured transportation. They can take a ride to their medical appointments and even for leisure activities such as going out to watch a movie or to a restaurant.

3. Home-cooked Meals

As we mature in age, our appetite automatically gets lesser. Proper nutrition is the key to good health, even in old age. A good assisted living community will provide your senior loved one with wholesome nutritious food that’s freshly cooked by their chefs. They can also be provided with meals that are customized to their medical conditions, and some places even offer gourmet dining.

4. Activities for Socialization

Socializing with peers is an important aspect of a person’s life, especially for the elderly. Our senior loved ones need care and company. Assisted living communities are a better option for socialization than in-home care. With many senior loved ones together in one place, it works wonders for mingling with fellow senior residents and engaging in fun social activities with them.

5. A Safe Living Environment

Communal living is much safer than living at home for many senior adults. If 24/7 in-home care is not possible, assisted living communities are a much safer option. With staff members always around to help, senior residents can live in a secured and gated community. They can summon help immediately in case of any emergency situation.

If you’re in search of quality senior care, get in touch with AvantGarde. We are a luxurious senior living community in Hollywood, CA and provide a number of amenities to our residents.