Sopris Lodge at Carbondale to Host Community Food Drive

CARBONDALE – Sopris Lodge at Carbondale announced it will partner with local nonprofit LIFT-UP to host a community food drive benefiting individuals and families in Carbondale from December 12-21.

The public is invited to bring donations of non-perishable food items to the Sopris Lodge campus, located at 295 Rio Grande Avenue. Donations will be accepted daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. in holiday-wrapped collection boxes located at the community’s main entrance.

“Sopris Lodge is excited to be partnering with LIFT-UP this holiday season to collect non-perishable food donations for members of our community facing hardships,” said Marie Herr, Sopris Lodge’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “We are appreciative to our residents, team members and Carbondale friends for supporting this cause and helping community members in need.”

About Sopris Lodge at Carbondale
Located at 295 Rio Grande Avenue,
Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is a Colorado-based retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory care residences in the Roaring Fork Valley. Set in the picturesque Rocky Mountain town of Carbondale and nestled between the historic destinations of Aspen and Glenwood Springs, Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is managed by WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

Nutrition and Dementia Talk

CARBONDALE — Sopris Lodge at Carbondale Senior Living will host Lisa Paige, a local Registered Dietitian, to present “Nutrition Care and Cognitive Decline” on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. MT.

This event is free, but an RSVP is required, and attendance will be limited to 25 registrants. Visit https://soprislodge.com/events/ to RSVP.

The presentation will focus on dietary needs as we age and information on nutrition care for someone with cognitive decline.

Sopris Lodge is located at 295 Rio Grande Ave. Refreshments will be served during the presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

About Sopris Lodge at Carbondale
Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is a Colorado-based retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory care residences in the Roaring Fork Valley. Set in the picturesque Rocky Mountain town of Carbondale and nestled between the historic destinations of Aspen and Glenwood Springs, Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is managed by
WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

A keepsake box for an elderly loved one living with dementia containing an old pocket watch, picture locket, and cameo among vintage photographs and a fountain pen

People living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia may remember their far-off past but might not be able to remember an event that happened yesterday. That’s why building a memory box can be a great way to connect with your loved one as they recall different people and events from their past.

By providing concrete, tangible items that start conversations and spark memories, memory boxes can help family members, friends and care providers to engage individuals living with memory loss in a healthy, meaningful way. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind before creating your own memory box:

Choose the right container

Find a suitable container to serve as your memory box. It should be sturdy and easy to store and lift. Your container can be as simple as a shoebox or Tupperware container, or more ornate like a basket or a chest. You can also decorate the box with drawings, small glued-on items, or photos to make it even more unique.

Find meaningful objects

Find objects to put in your memory box that have a specific memory attached to them. These can be objects that reflect your loved one’s interests and hobbies, or just ones with personal significance. Some ideas would be family photos, a favorite book, sports memorabilia, CDs or tapes, artwork from grandchildren, vacation souvenirs, a favorite recipe, old newspaper clippings, or a favorite piece of jewelry or clothing.

Pick stimulating and safe items

Senses like touch and smell can help spur memory just as much, or even more so, than sight, so consider choosing items with different textures and fragrances. If you include a CD, be sure to play it with your loved one. And be sure to choose memory-related items that are not sharp, dangerous, or heavy to handle.

Considering including notes and clues

The significance of certain items might not come to your loved one right away. Try labeling items with cues and include a notecard or list in the box detailing all the items with a short description or context clues to suggest why they are meaningful.

Memory boxes are a simple tool for spurring connection and engagement, but the most important part of making a memory box is what happens after you hand it over to a loved one. Both you and your loved one will cherish the process of going through the box, talking about each item, recalling memories, and enjoying the conversations that arise.

At Sopris Lodge at Carbondale, we’re committed to supporting seniors in our community to live well and age well. Call us at 970-251-1708 to learn more about our independent and assisted living and memory care services for those 55+.

CARBONDALESopris Lodge at Carbondale, the newest retirement community in the Roaring Fork Valley for seniors aged 55-plus, announces that Marie Herr has been named Director of Sales and Marketing.

As Sopris Lodge’s official community liaison, Herr will cultivate relationships with local businesses and charitable and governmental organizations, network with community groups, oversee and participate in events, and conduct tours to introduce prospective residents and their families to Sopris Lodge’s elevated senior lifestyle.

Herr has been a resident of the Roaring Fork Valley for over 30 years. She holds bachelor’s degrees in art history and English and previously built a career in retail sales spanning 22 years in Aspen.

About Sopris Lodge at Carbondale
Located at 295 Rio Grande Avenue, Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is a Colorado-based retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory care residences in the Roaring Fork Valley. Set in the picturesque Rocky Mountain town of Carbondale and nestled between the historic destinations of Aspen and Glenwood Springs, Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is managed by 
WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

The Cleveland Clinic defines caregiver burnout as a state of “physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion,” which can negatively impact your ability to continue caring for your loved one. When caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, it’s essential to learn how to cope with daily challenges, protect your own health and avoid burnout.

Here are five tips from the Alzheimer’s Association to help you manage the demands of caregiving and avoid burnout.

1. Prioritize Your Health

Caregivers often get caught up in monitoring the health of their loved ones, and they neglect their own health. If you get too sick and rundown to care for your spouse or family member, their health could also suffer. See your doctor annually and be attentive to your health. If you have a cough or aches and pains that linger, be sure to tell your physician. Don’t ignore a persistent headache or chronic sleeplessness. Report any unusual symptoms to your doctor and prioritize your health and well-being.

2. Eat Well and Exercise

Making sure your diet is healthy and balanced like you do for your loved one will help you maintain your energy levels and overall strength. Take time for regular physical exercise, and don’t skip meals or resort to the drive-thru. Instead, plan to eat the same healthy meals you serve your loved one and find small breaks in the day when a loved one is napping to get in a few minutes of yoga or stream a workout class. There are also ways you can be active with the person with dementia like going for a walk together, doing seated exercises at home, or dancing in the living room.

3. Manage Stress

You cannot avoid stress entirely, but you don’t have to let it overwhelm you. One of the best stress relievers is to give yourself a break. You are doing the best you can and deserve time for yourself! Constant stress leads to poor mental and physical health and can cause your loved one to feel stressed, too. For both your sakes’ find ways to relax and unwind every day.

4. Accept Things for What They Are

Alzheimer’s and dementia are progressive, and you cannot change or control that. All you can do is your best and not feel guilty that you should be doing more. Your loved one’s needs are going to change, and a day may come when you can no longer care for them at home. Accepting this and planning for when that time comes will give you peace of mind about their future. A memory care community like Sopris Lodge at Carbondale provides families guidance and information to begin their memory care search and holds events to share resources so caregivers realize they are not alone and it’s okay to ask for help and support.

5. Ask for Help

No matter how hard you try, you cannot do everything by yourself. You will need help sometimes. Family members, neighbors, church members, or in-home care providers are people you can, and should, reach out to for help now and then. Another good option to explore is short-term respite care. At Sopris Lodge, we provide a quality respite care solution for caregivers’ temporary needs. Whether you need a few days off for a family vacation, a work trip or just to recharge, our furnished apartments offer a safe, comfortable environment with 24/7 care staff, life-enrichment activities, and all the comforts of home.

Respite care is also an excellent way to prepare yourself and your loved one for the time when their needs may be better served in a memory care community. Becoming aware of local resources and exploring options ahead of time, can help make the transition easier for you and your loved one.

At Sopris Lodge at Carbondale, we help families find the best living situation to meet their loved one’s needs. Call 970-876-6008 or visit soprislodge.com if you have questions about our memory care program or respite care services.

Team Member Selina Sims-Steele

CARBONDALE — Sopris Lodge at Carbondale, the newest retirement community in the Roaring Fork Valley for seniors aged 55-plus, announces that Selina Sims-Steele has been named Executive Director. In this role, she will oversee Sopris Lodge’s day-to-day operations.

Sims-Steele joined Sopris Lodge’s leadership team in 2020 and previously held the position of business office manager and human resources manager before being promoted. 

“Selina is a valuable asset to the team, and we are thrilled to elevate her position within the organization,” said Elizabeth Girling, Vice President of Operations and Development for WellAge Senior Living.

Sims-Steele has three decades of experience in senior care and is well-versed in every department, from nursing to administration. She previously worked as an executive director at another senior living community. She has a bachelor’s degree in applied science and is a certified Dementia Specialist and Assisted Living Administrator, and she has also sold real estate in the Roaring Fork Valley.

About Sopris Lodge at Carbondale
Located at 295 Rio Grande Avenue, Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is a Colorado-based retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory care residences in the Roaring Fork Valley. Set in the picturesque Rocky Mountain town of Carbondale and nestled between the historic destinations of Aspen and Glenwood Springs, Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is managed by 
WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

Five Things to Consider When Seeking the Best Memory Care Program for Your Loved One

When looking for a memory care community that meets the needs of your loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the best possible place for them to be is in a community where they will have the proper support and care necessary to maintain a high quality of life even as their cognitive issues progress.

Research has shown that residents in memory care communities experience a multitude of benefits. They generally take less medication, have a reduced risk of falls and injuries, have improved wellness and nutrition, enjoy more independence and socialization, and visit the hospital less often.

Here are five important factors to consider when searching for the right memory care community and program for your loved one:

1. Staffing

It’s important to ask yourself whether the team at the community you’re evaluating appears to be knowledgeable and caring. Find out their level of training and experience and whether any team members are certified dementia care managers. Another important factor to consider is the staff-to-resident ratio, both during the day and at night. At communities like Sopris Lodge at Carbondale, team members are trained in person-centered care and on-site 24 hours a day.

2. Safety

Six out of 10 people living with Alzheimer’s have the tendency to wander, so it’s a good idea to find out if the memory care community you’re considering has safeguards and electronic safety features against residents leaving the premises. Some communities offer residents a wander-prevention wristband system, while others implement access-controlled, video-monitored entry or emergency call systems and pendants in resident apartments.

3. Services

Think about what level of care your loved one needs, from basic services like meal prep and laundry to specialized medical care and assistance with activities of daily living. Find out a community’s standard procedures for medical emergencies, especially if your loved one has underlying conditions. You may also want to ask what kinds of therapies the community offers, such as pet, music, reminiscence, light, art, or another type of specialized therapy.

4. Levels of Care

Other important information to gather is whether the community’s Resident Services Director and memory care team develop an individual care plan for residents upon moving in, and how residents are engaged by team members with verbal queues and prompting. If necessary, ask whether the community can care for residents who exhibit disruptive behavior. If your loved one is not quite ready for memory care, you can also ask whether they have an assisted living to Alzheimer’s support bridge program for early-stage residents.

5. Amenities

Finally, determine what the living arrangements are in the community you are considering: are there memory care neighborhoods? Are the apartments arranged around shared common areas like a homelike living room or dedicated activities space? At Sopris Lodge, we offer a memory care dining program and outdoor courtyards, walking spaces, and gardens to encourage movement and fresh air. Other amenities include concierge services, weekly housekeeping and laundry services, and an on-site beauty salon.

Before deciding, determine your loved one’s personal needs and then evaluate the memory care program and community as much as possible: schedule a tour, read reviews online, talk to residents, families, and team members, and most importantly, ask questions!

At Sopris Lodge at Carbondale, we help families find the best living situation to meet their loved one’s needs. Call  970-876-6008 or visit soprislodge.com if you have questions about memory care or would like to schedule a personalized tour.

Sopris Lodge at Carbondale Seeks to Fill Two Director Positions

CARBONDALE – Sopris Lodge at Carbondale Senior Living will host Lisa Paige, Volunteer Community Educator from the Alzheimer’s Association, to present “Dementia Conversations” on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 10:30 a.m. MT.

This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required, and attendance will be limited to 20 registrants. Visit https://soprislodge.com/events/ to RSVP.

Paige’s educational presentation will offer tips on how to have honest and caring conversations with family members about going to the doctor regarding a diagnosis, deciding when to stop driving, and making legal and financial plans.

Sopris Lodge is located at 295 Rio Grande Ave. Refreshments will be served during the presentation followed by a guided community tour.

About Sopris Lodge at Carbondale
Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is a Colorado-based retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory care residences in the Roaring Fork Valley. Set in the picturesque Rocky Mountain town of Carbondale and nestled between the historic destinations of Aspen and Glenwood Springs, Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is managed by WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

A handful of residents at Sopris Lodge have pets, and in addition to brightening up the community with their personalities, we now learn there are physical, social and mental benefits to having pets. In fact, studies indicate folks with pets enjoy better mental and physical health, especially later in life, as older adults with animal companionship tend to be more active, more social and have a lower risk of depression. These same studies have found great health benefits too, like lower blood pressure, less anxiety and chemical body changes that lead to increased happiness!

For seniors with dogs, the daily walks, belly rubs and ball-tossing all add up to increased activity. Cats too need attention and cause us to move more often, from head rubs to scratches, even keeping the litter box tidy. In return for these small favors, pets shower their owners with unconditional love and affection while providing constant companionship.

At any stage of life, purpose is essential. And for older adults, caring for a pet can be very satisfying and fulfilling. Pets also need a regular schedule, and many older adults enjoy the structure that brings to their days. Since pets naturally attract people, they often serve as a social bridge between their owners and others in the community where they live. The pets at Sopris Lodge are often a magnet for affection and social engagement between residents and staff as well as fellow residents.

Studies have found when seniors with pets get out in the community, they feel a stronger sense of community. Being that we are in Carbondale, with a relaxed mountain vibe, Sopris Lodge knew from the outset having pets on site would be appropriate. Our resident pet owners have lots of lovely outdoor spaces in the community to spend time with their canine companions. They are also just steps away from the Rio Grande trail where they can interact with other dog owners while getting fresh air and sunshine along with a healthy dose of physical activity.

Pet owners living at Sopris Lodge will find downtown Carbondale to be very pet friendly and only a short walk away. Several restaurants have patios where dogs are welcome to join their owners for a meal. There are plenty of veterinarian services, pet groomers, and locally owned RJ Paddywhacks has all the pet essentials like food, dishes and toys.

Even non-pet owners benefit from living in a pet-friendly community. While a pet may not be part of everyone’s lifestyle just being around them occasionally can boost your mood by lowering stress hormone levels and blood pressure. They are also a source of humor and encourage those around them to live in the moment.

We made the most of the dog days of summer by continuing to support our pet owners and welcome the positive energy their furry companions bring to the community keeping us all a little healthier and happier.

If you’re considering a move to 55+ living, please give us a call at 970-876-6008 or schedule an in-person or virtual tour to learn how you can make our pet-friendly community your new home.

Sopris Lodge at Carbondale Seeks to Fill Two Director Positions

CARBONDALE – Sopris Lodge at Carbondale Senior Living will host Lisa Paige, Volunteer Community Educator from the Alzheimer’s Association, to present “10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s” on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at noon.

This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required, and attendance will be limited to 20 registrants. Visit https://soprislodge.com/events/ to RSVP.

Based in the Roaring Fork Valley, Paige helps families understand the difference between normal aging and Alzheimer’s and to identify common warning signs. This educational program will focus on what to watch for in yourself and others and highlight the importance of early detection, benefits of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis as well as next steps and expectations for the diagnostic process.

Sopris Lodge is located at 295 Rio Grande Ave. Refreshments will be served during the presentation followed by a guided community tour.

About Sopris Lodge at Carbondale
Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is a Colorado-based retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory care residences in the Roaring Fork Valley. Set in the picturesque Rocky Mountain town of Carbondale and nestled between the historic destinations of Aspen and Glenwood Springs, Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is managed by WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

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