Saint Simeon’s Senior Living Blog

Explore our senior living community blog for resident stories, community happenings and helpful resources about Saint Simeon’s. Contact us today to schedule your visit!


Saint Simeon’s Foundation is thrilled to announce that Western Days 2017: Seasons of Change was a huge success, raising $463,000 in support of Saint Simeon's. The event, held on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at Cox Business Center, marked the 21st annual milestone of the fundraising event.

Carol and Shawn Lawhorn served as Event Chairs, with Lisa and Tom Schooley serving as Patron Chairs. Marcia and Ron MacCleod served as Auction Chairs. Ellen C. and Donald B. Atkins were celebrated as Honorary Chairs. The Atkins are among the most long-standing, loyal, and committed supporters of Saint Simeon’s. 

The Pioneer Spirit Award was presented to Saint Simeon’s Resident Anne Evans. Saint Simeon’s applauds Anne Evans for her pioneering spirit in seeing her husband, the late Father Bob Evans, through his call to ministry and many changes in life.

Hundreds attended Western Days 2017: Seasons of Change, which featured a marvelous silent auction, as well as the always entertaining live auction.  Live auction items ranged from a vacation for two in Charleston, South Carolina, a six-night stay for up to 10 in Angel Fire, New Mexico, an elegant evening at Polo Grill for 10 with paired wines, and a dinner for 10 prepared and served by local Episcopal priests.

The evening also featured the traditional General Store stocked with handmade items from Saint Simeon’s residents, and a delicious dinner. In addition, Western Days attendees were entertained by musical performances from Shelby Eicher and his band mates.

Wildcatter Underwriting sponsors of Western Days were Caron and Shawn Lawhorn.

Oil Baron Presenting Sponsors included The Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma – The Rt. Rev. Dr. Edward J. Konieczny, E. L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation/David Hogan, and William S. Smith.

Tool Pusher sponsors included Phyllis and Steve Anderson, Ellen C. and Donald B. Atkins, Phyllis and George Dotson, John W. and Jerry E. Marshall Foundation, Ralph and Frances McGill Foundation, ONE Gas, Sherman E. Smith Family Foundation, and Trust Company of Oklahoma.

Driller sponsors included gifts from Mandy and Blake Atkins, Bank of Oklahoma, John and Lucy Barker, William L. Berry, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Debra Cadieux, H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trusts, The DeKraai Family Fund, Don Carlton Honda, The Hille Foundation, Kelly and Tony Jezek, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Mary and Rob Martinovich, ONEOK, and Lisa and Tom Schooley.

Dealing with major life changes is difficult at any age. For seniors who intend on remaining in their homes for as long as possible, moving to an assisted living community might present certain extra challenges.

However, if you’ve started to notice that your loved one’s health has been declining, that social isolation is an issue or that his or her memory is not what it used to be, these are all clear signs that an assisted living community could improve quality of life. It’s important to note that your loved one’s health and safety should not be at risk if the individual wishes to continue living independently in the home.

5 Tips for a Successful Move to an Assisted Living Community

Even when moving to assisted living is the best option to allow loved ones to continue to thrive, the decision to make the transition was undoubtedly not one that was taken lightly. It’s common for new residents to go through an adjustment period as they get settled into their new lifestyle, getting accustomed to a new routine, meeting their neighbors and the staff and getting used to the change in their living conditions.

Remember that your loved one may be going through a mourning period of sorts. However, missing their long-time home and all the memories attached to it will dissipate in time. Some seniors may even be worried their independence will become compromised, not realizing at first all the ways the daily help they’ll receive will actually improve their quality of life.

Here are five tips to ensure your loved one successfully adapts to life in the assisted living community:

  1. Stay positive. Although moving to assisted living was a major life change for all parties involved, it’s important to encourage your loved one to fully embrace his or her new lifestyle. Studies show that seniors who receive the right level of assisted living care ultimately feel a boost in their independence.
  2. Personalize the living space. Ease some of the feelings of loss your loved one is experiencing by ensuring the new accommodations feel as homelike as possible. Bring favorite items from their old home, such as favorite photos, a few knick-knacks, the cozy blanket from the bed, etc. Replicating the space as much as possible can help create a familiar space that makes the transition easier.
  3. Encourage participation in social activities. Social engagement is vital to a happy, healthy life, and assisted living communities truly go above and beyond by offering activities for all interests. While you want to allow your loved one the opportunity to make their own decisions, you should still encourage participation in the activities the community offers.
  4. Make frequent visits in the beginning. After the move, provide your loved one with a little extra attention, support and TLC throughout the initial adjustment period. Let loved ones know you’re right there with them every step of the way, and take some time to visit more frequently during the first month or so.
  5. Try to avoid being overprotective. At the same time, it’s important to allow new residents ample time on their own to settle in. This provides the opportunity for them to feel in charge of their own decisions, even if it’s about something as simple as what activity they’d like to join in or where to place personal items in their new space. Becoming too overprotective may prevent loved ones from adapting successfully on their own.

Discover the Right Level of Assisted Living Care at Saint Simeon’s

At Saint Simeon’s you’ll find a variety of senior housing options designed to meet you or your loved one’s specific needs. Check out this video to discover which area is right for you, from independent living in our charming cottages to skilled nursing care for short-term stays.

The Dotson Family Assisted Living community at Saint Simeon’s offers three levels of care based on you or your loved one’s specific needs. Additionally, we offer a fourth level of care, Assisted Living Plus, the highest level of assisted living care in Tulsa. For more information about applying for admission to our assisted living community, please watch this video or contact us today.

It happens to the best of us as we get older. We get all the way to the grocery store, realize we’ve left our shopping list at home and are unable to recall more than two items on that list. Or, we walk out of the mall and wander from aisle to aisle, with no idea where we’ve parked the car.

These momentary lapses in memory are jokingly referred to as “senior moments.” Experts agree that in general, there is no need to become alarmed over these instances of minor forgetfulness. However, when memory loss is combined with other issues, such as changes in personality or mood, or when it begins to disrupt daily life, there is a strong chance something more serious is occurring.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. A progressive disease, Alzheimer’s symptoms gradually worsen over time as brain function continues to decline. According to the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60-80 percent of all dementia cases.

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, healthy lifestyle choices and certain new treatments may delay some of the symptoms. Receiving the proper amount of care can also improve quality of life in individuals with Alzheimer’s.

Normal Memory Loss vs. Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Normal aging leads to changes in the brain, especially in regard to memory and learning. Molecules known as free radicals may damage neurons, while other neurons simply shrink as you age. High blood pressure can also damage brain neurons. These conditions can make it difficult to recall recently-learned information, like remembering your daughter’s new friend’s name.

However, the damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease is more severe and affects larger regions of the brain. This specific type of dementia occurs when high levels of proteins inside and outside brain cells make it difficult for the cells to stay healthy and communicate correctly with each other. Alzheimer’s ultimately leads to the death of nerve cells and the loss of brain tissue.

As a comparison, normal memory loss associated with aging includes:

  • Walking into a room and forgetting what you needed
  • Misplacing items, like your glasses, purse, etc.
  • Forgetting the name of a person you just met
  • Becoming easily distracted, moving from project to project without ever completing one
  • Missing an appointment because it was not written down on a calendar
  • Calling a loved one by the wrong name- like addressing your daughter by your sister’s name
  • Trouble retrieving information that’s on the tip of your tongue

Alzheimer’s symptoms, on the other hand, include:

  • Getting disoriented or lost in familiar places
  • Mixing up the words for everyday objects
  • Difficulty performing everyday tasks, like balancing a checkbook or putting on clothes
  • Forgetting how to do activities you’ve always enjoyed
  • Displaying poor judgment, or falling prey to a senior scam
  • Forgetting a loved one’s name altogether
  • Withdrawing socially from friends and family
  • Difficulty recalling information about a very recent event

In this video, John H. Schumann, M.D., President of the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa shares more about how to tell if your loved one is experiencing these signs of Alzheimer’s disease or is just aging normally.

Nationally-Recognized Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care at Saint Simeon’s

Find compassionate, individualized memory care and support at the memory center at Saint Simeon’s. We offer a comfortable, home-like setting staffed by professionals specifically trained in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, with innovative services and amenities that allow residents to thrive. For more information about applying for admission to our memory center, please contact us today.

Saint Simeon’s recently unveiled a new program called Music and Memory, sponsored by LeadingAge. Life Enrichment staff members interview Memory Center Residents about their musical tastes, and they then load iPods for the Residents with the exact songs and artists the Residents enjoy. “It is very personalized,” said Chris Gruszeczki, Administrator.

Music is used every day in Residents’ lives as a calming technique, a way to help them wake up in the morning, or even a way to get them to come out of their shell. “One Memory Center Resident wasn’t talking at all,” Gruszeczki said. “We gave him a CD player with some of his favorite music in it, and afterwards, he conversed for the first time with our staff.”

Gruszeczki said that while former Residents enjoyed music from the ‘20s and ‘30s like big band, today’s Residents span a number of decades and like music from the ‘40s and ‘50s, and even the Beatles and ‘70s rock and roll.

“Music touches everyone – no matter what their condition or cognitive status,” Gruszeczki said. “Residents in the late stages of dementia may not talk anymore, but they can still sing. People who can’t do anything for themselves will still tap their toe along to music.”


benefits of assisted livingStarting the conversation with an aging loved one about moving to an assisted living community can sometimes present a difficult or uncomfortable situation. This is especially true when the individual has been living independently in his or her home for many years, and may have no intention of moving until it is absolutely necessary.

However, sometimes family caregivers become so overwhelmed by their caregiving responsibilities that they begin to experience a decline in their own health. And, there are certain signs an aging loved one could truly benefit from a higher level of care provided by a team of compassionate professionals. In these cases, an assisted living community can not only improve quality of life for the older adult, but for the caregiver, too.

Signs a Loved One Needs Assisted Living

While every journey down the path of aging is unique, research shows that up to 70 percent of all seniors over the age of 65 should expect to need some form of long-term care in the future. Assisted living is one of the fastest-growing options for senior housing. Although at first many seniors fear losing their independence in a community setting, many residents report that the daily supportive services they receive actually leads to a boost in their health, allowing them to be more independent than they were when living alone in their previous homes.

The next time you visit your aging loved one, try to pay attention to the following signs to determine if an assisted living community could improve his or her quality of life:

The home or yard looks neglected. Are dishes piling up in the sink? Is the lawn overgrown? It may be getting difficult for aging loved ones to properly maintain the home due to some chronic conditions or mobility issues. Also, look at your loved one’s appearance. Is he or she wearing clean clothes, have washed hair, etc.?

Escalating health issues. It’s not uncommon for chronic conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis to worsen with age, causing health issues to escalate. With increasing health issues comes the possibility of more serious concerns for your loved one’s overall safety and quality of life.

Trouble moving around the home. Daily routines may become difficult as chronic conditions worsen, and your loved one may need assistance simply getting out of bed or down a flight of stairs.

Signs of forgetfulness. Even mild cognitive impairment can be problematic for seniors, who may begin to display signs of forgetfulness that put them at risk (for example, forgetting to turn off the stove or skipping medications and meals).

Being alone in the home for extended periods of time. Staying engaged and connected with others by continuing to build relationships is so vital for seniors to thrive. However, when seniors live alone, social isolation can lead to depression, cognitive decline, and other health concerns.

Family relationships suffering. As time goes on, the relationship once enjoyed as mother, son, father, daughter, etc. may evolve to that of caregiver and recipient of care. This leaves little time for you to enjoy spending quality time together.

How Moving to an Assisted Living Community Improves Quality of Life

The caring staff at an assisted living community quickly becomes a part of your loved one’s extended family. The team stays on top of all aspects of your loved one’s health and wellness and provides peace of mind to family caregivers that all his or her needs are being met in a timely manner. Plus, should an emergency occur, help is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Residents no longer worry about housekeeping, yardwork, cooking meals or even driving to doctor appointments. Plus, assisted living communities recognize the impact social engagement has on residents’ wellbeing, as socially active seniors maintain more cognitive function and have a lower risk for depression. Your loved one will enjoy a wide variety of social events, lifelong learning opportunities and more to keep them entertained and engaged in life.

4 Levels of Senior Assisted Living Care at Saint Simeon’s

Experience the difference of the assisted living community at Saint Simeon’s! With no hidden or additional fees for services like medication management and incontinence care and no buy-in fee, your loved one will have the option to age in place, with four levels of assisted living care provided under one roof. We also offer Assisted Living Plus, the highest level of assisted living care in Tulsa. Some individuals who may require nursing care at another facility may qualify for Assisted Living Plus.

Other services and amenities for assisted living residents at Saint Simeon’s include access to our Wellness Center with a warm water therapy pool, massage room and more, plus specialized memory care and Parkinson's care. Learn more about our assisted living community by contacting us today.









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