Bellewood - A LifeMinded® Residence
Senior Apartments & Retirement Community near Kent, Washington
Bellewood, located in Issaquah, Washington is a senior apartment and retirement community providing the finest care and community in the Kent area. Come home to a welcoming retirement living and senior housing community, a fir-lined setting, and an Issaquah, Washington location convenient to everything.
Change is inevitable. Rent increases don’t have to be. People tend to live at Bellewood longer than they expected, so we’ve found a way to help you plan for the future with greater financial certainty and confidence.
YOUR SENIOR LIVING QUESTIONS ANSWERED:
No matter where you choose to live, this information can help you make an informed decision.
A diverse and healthy diet for our residents’ physical and mental wellbeing
Aging brings many changes in our bodies, and some of them affect our digestion. As the metabolism slows down, it alters both the physical and mental aspects of our bodies. Production of vitamins gradually slows down, thus contributing to fat storage and energy loss. Luckily, these side effects can be alleviated by just correcting a couple of key components in the diet.
One of the most important aspects of nutrition is diversity. A healthy diet serves to protect us not just from physical, but mental illnesses as well. This is where fruits and vegetables come in. Mediterranean and traditional Japanese cuisine have been studied - and confirmed - to boost immunity and mental wellbeing better than others. What’s their secret, you may ask?
Lots of fruit and vegetables, combined with plenty of seafood. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and amino acids necessary to synthesize vitamins. Furthermore, they promote gut flora, improving digestion, energy absorption and overall immune system regulation.
Seafood, on the other hand, is rich in proteins and healthy fatty acids. Our bodies need proteins to maintain muscle and bone strength, and seafood is the best possible source of these precious components. Also, seafood contains Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Although not so popular in the general public as proteins, fatty acids are vital for both physical and mental health, since they regulate our metabolism and immune system by reducing inflammatory processes. Keeping inflammation in check is very important in the later stages of our lives since it prevents numerous illnesses such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and many others.
Bellewood carefully tailors diet plans for its residents’ needs
Considering the importance of nutrition, especially for seniors, we at Bellewood take diet planning very seriously and strive to meet our residents’ needs. Which is why all menus and meals are included as basic services in all of our facilities.
Mediterranean cuisine makes up the mainstay of our menu, offering a wide variety of salads and vegetables, prepared in many different forms. Seafood and top-notch meat menus provide rich and healthy protein and fatty acids intake.
Socialization and our residents’ wellbeing is our top priority and therefore we take special attention to making our dining experience as pleasant as possible. Furthermore, our residents can tailor their meals to their preferences, and consume them as they please. We also offer room service for those seeking a bit of privacy or celebrating on special occasions.
We can’t stop aging. But we can learn to enjoy it with the right people
As years come and go, there comes a point in life when some things, and especially people, start to look too distant and unattainable. This almost always translates to various health and emotional problems. We, humans, are born and hardwired as social creatures, hungry for contact, attention, and someone to share our thoughts and emotions with. When that gets taken away from us, it opens the door for a whole bunch of troubles.
As medical and psychological studies prove over and over, isolation or loneliness can greatly impact our emotions and mindset. Which, in turn, begins to impact our immune system, our metabolism, and overall health. Add in chronic stress or another form of pressure, and it can become a toxic cocktail and a vicious cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies.
Fortunately, this trap can be avoided, with just a little bit of effort and the right choices. The key to success lies in building and maintaining an active social life. That’s why both doctors and care professionals point out the importance of choosing a senior housing community that helps its residents socialize and keep their minds, and their bodies, in shape.
So what are some good ways to build and maintain an active social life as a senior?
While there’s no denying that most of us like to surround ourselves with friends and loved ones, it should be noted that good old one-on-one time has a quality of its own. Sometimes, the thing we need most is just a simple, relaxed and private talk with our old friends. But, for a variety of reasons, we all tend to be somewhat lazy when it comes to maintaining these contacts. Even though it cannot be simpler.
The first step is to develop a habit of keeping in touch with people in the first place. Whenever you have some free time, give your friends a call and plan your next meeting or at least the next voice call. This way, you will mutually encourage and remind each other to keep in touch and maintain your relationship. Whenever possible, set up a live meeting. A cup of coffee, a shared activity or a simple long walk around the neighborhood. In case you cannot meet up in person, there are always plenty of voice chat services that can serve as substitutes until both of you free up your schedules and set up a meeting.
Close relationships are what keeps our hearts healthy, but group activities are really those that benefit our mind the most. They maintain our social and cognitive skills, and remind us that there is still a whole world out there with lots of interesting things to do and people to meet. There are many types of group activities to choose nowadays, from local elder clubs to community workshops specialized in particular crafts. Book clubs, workshops, board game clubs, community gatherings… all of them offer plenty of opportunities to maintain current, and even more important - forge new friendships.
Resident socialization is our top priority at Bellewood
Moving into a senior housing community can be a big step for some folks. They’re not just changing their habitat, they’re also stepping into a whole new era of their lives. No one understands this better than us, and that’s the reason why helping our residents socialize is the number one priority in our residence.
First of all, we put in an effort to make sure our residents get enough physical activity. And what better way to achieve this than by turning monotone exercises into group activities. Pole walking is available for those with a passion for nature and hiking. For those that prefer a somewhat slower tempo, there’s the Qi Gong class, where they can learn to stay agile and balanced by mastering the ancient art of mindful breathing.
We also encourage and support all forms of creativity. Residents can practice their artistic skills in Visual Arts class. For those more oriented towards music, there’s the Bellepoint Singers club, as well as Music class, where they can try out many musical instruments.
For those preferring to spend their time in a more peaceful manner, we recommend joining the Book club, where they can share their reading experiences. Gardening activities are also an option for those who like to stay in close contact with nature, and you will always have friends who like gardening as well.
Religious activities are also included, with Bible study sessions, Communion, weekly shuttle transport to local religious services, as well as our own group for people not seeking religious activities but interested in sharing their spiritual views and philosophies.
Finally, there’s everyone’s favorite event - the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater. Envisioned as a special kind of activity in which both residents and the staff take part, it features lots of suspense wrapped in comedy and humor. Always engaging and ever-changing, it is the one event every resident eagerly waits for and remembers with a smile.
Making The Transition
Start from the top - at home!
One of the personal things we get very attached to during our careers and lives are our homes. It serves as our center of life, our sanctuary, and our temple where we can be ourselves and do things our way. So it’s no wonder that moving from their own house to a senior community can be a tough choice for many retirees. The first thing they think about is losing their independence and autonomy and diving into a wormhole of loneliness and isolation. Also, there are issues of nostalgia and separation anxiety that arise with the thoughts of being separated from the rest of the family. But all of these issues can be solved with a bit of planning.
In order to minimize the shock and anxiety of this fairly common phenomenon, the first step is to approach the situation together, as a family. By communicating with the person who is aging and being honest and straightforward with all the details and information, it will pave the way for a dialogue which in turn leads to negotiation and compromise, instead of conflict and argument. Have a long, relaxed discussion with them, and let them process the idea, express their feelings and gradually reveal their expectations. This way, it really becomes a family decision, a common project, instead of letting it develop into a debate.
Choosing a local senior care community benefits not just the seniors themselves, but their relatives and friends as well. By deciding to make the move, their relatives can stop worrying about possible risks and injuries. It is also a financial relief, since it eliminates the need and expenses for personal caregivers.
Needless to say, it is vital to gather as much information as possible on the senior living community at hand and explain it to the senior in a manner which they will understand and appreciate.
So what does senior care look like?
While the term “senior communities” is used for a variety of services, it refers to the concept of communities built and organized to house and assist seniors as their residents. These range from retirement communities to senior living apartments, but in their core, they share most features and technicalities.
Providing their residents with everything they could possibly need while guaranteeing their safety and happiness, senior communities make life without worries and problems possible. For instance, Bellewood provides numerous services to its residents, some of them being transportation to local communities, and non-stop assistance from our staff. On top of that, we also offer housekeeping, dining and medical assistance, all just a call away.
What makes Bellewood Senior Apartment Community stand out from the rest?
Along with making sure our residents stay happy and safe, we pay special attention to their health and physical condition. By encouraging them to join group activities, we make sure they get enough physical exercise and maintain an outgoing lifestyle, full of excitement and new experiences.
Our LifeMinded program, which consists of a variety of social activities mixed with several types of exercises, ensures our residents feel young again. And the more they stay with us, the more we appreciate and reward them. Every year we host the Perfect 10s club, which gathers all folks who had been with us for a decade or more. And this includes our staff as well, since we appreciate all members of our community equally.
Transition to senior care living can present a challenge for many folks, but we try to make it as smooth and pleasant as possible. Besides inviting all interested clients to visit us and take a detailed tour, we also enable them to experience the community by themselves and make their own minds.
We encourage and motivate prospective residents to become familiar with the staff and other residents of our community. This is in the hope that by the time residents move in, they will already be familiar with other members of our community. With that in mind, we keep a relocation coordinator on hand to answer any orientation questions a new resident or their relatives may have. We also are proud to offer a select group of residents known as “ambassadors” whose sole objective is to welcome new residents and help them settle in. Moving to senior care is a big step, but at Bellewood, you won’t have to do it alone.
Independence means freedom
As our careers come to an end and we make our way into retirement, some things we’ve been postponing for a long time, begin to pop into our minds. With more free time on our side but fewer activities to do, we begin to feel independent. So much so that some of us forget that our bodies, and our minds, aren’t as capable as they used to be.
Spending retirement in our own home might seem like a good idea in the beginning. But eventually, as work and chores begin to pile up, and our bodies can’t keep up, it becomes clear that independence doesn’t mean much if we can’t do anything ourselves. There’s no point in living in your home if you need to do literally everything by yourself. And it’s even harder if you can’t stay in touch with your friends and loved ones.
This is why most seniors and retirees today choose to leave their homes behind and move to senior living communities. Instead of wasting their time doing housework, driving to the grocery store, risking injuries whenever they leave the house, and wondering whether they turned the stove off before leaving, they let others take care of such things and enjoy the benefits of retirement.
Why an Independent Senior Living Community is the best option for every retiree
Designed as a separate community or neighborhood for the elderly, an Independent Senior Living Community is a complex of housing units organized to make life easier for its residents and provide them with everything they need on the spot. The core idea behind it is to minimize the need for traveling outside of the community and thus minimize the risks of injuries, exhaustion, or unpleasant events - providing immediate care and comfort.
Bellewood offers its residents all of these, with numerous services such as housekeeping, transportation, security, wellness, fitness programs, community events and counseling. All of it located within our housing complex. The space we provide is adjusted to make your stay as pleasant as possible and without any hidden charges and fees.
We encourage socialization, communication and Aging in place
Many Senior Living Communities focus on the concept of “aging in place”. It represents the perfect balance between giving the elders independence while keeping them safe, happy, and healthy. This is achieved by organizing housing units into small but connected clusters, such as apartments, room complexes or bungalows. This way, elders can retain their independence but never feel lonely and isolated again.
It also makes it easier for staff and caregivers to mind them. With all of our rooms and units equipped with voice-activated call systems for help, our residents can get in touch with our staff whenever and wherever they need to. Also, the concept of aging in place benefits their mental and physical wellbeing, by encouraging socialization and activities.
Bellewood Senior Living Community is one big, happy family
While most Senior Living Communities these days have corporate organization and management, Bellewood operates the same way it began 30 years ago - as a family business. People come first, so resident and staff satisfaction are our top priorities. We make sure to make everyone’s stay as pleasant as possible. It all adds up to a strong, healthy and supportive community, which is the secret ingredient for a happy retirement, and a happy work environment.
If you are considering becoming our resident, we would be more than glad to give you a guided tour of our location, answer all your questions and show you in person what living at Bellewood is all about. Our staff will be at your disposal, and as for customer satisfaction - well, just ask any of our residents and they’ll gladly tell you why moving to Bellewood was the best choice they’ve made since they retired.
We all know that exercise is a key component of good health. But some people think that the older we get the more we should slow down to prevent injury and accidents. Sure, watching your tempo while exercising is always important, not just to avoid injuries but to maximize the effects and benefits. But that does not equal to not trying at all.
You may wonder, though, if you can really manage a fitness program at your age. You may be under the impression that you’re too out of shape, too sick, or simply too tired to give it a go. Obviously, your body may have changed over the years, but there’s no question that you can become stronger, more agile, and healthier than you are today.
The good news, though, is that exercise brings all the same benefits to seniors that it does to those earlier in life. These include increased longevity, improved mental clarity, a boost in energy, and greater strength to meet the physical demands of daily living. This is true even if you don’t start exercising until your retirement. And while older people tend to become more sedentary as retirement and the challenges of old age restrict their activities, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a reasonable course of exercise a part of your life or the life of a loved one.
Your body - and your mind - will thank you for it
Physical activity will not just help your body heal and stay strong, it will even improve your memory. One study of 120 older adults without dementia, found that moderate aerobic exercise increased the size of the hippocampus - a part of the brain that plays a role in memory - and improved spatial memory, which allows you to recall where things are located on both a short- and long-term basis.
A fitness program for seniors doesn’t have to be strenuous in order to bring great results. As long as it is done on a daily basis, in fact, it can be fairly moderate. Improvements in physical health lead to better mental health. Which then can lead to some significant benefits in other areas of an older person’s life, especially by prolonging their ability to live independently. In turn, this greater independence helps to maintain physical and mental health.
By following our LifeMinded program, you will regenerate your body and your mind
Obviously, change does not come overnight, and it’s more difficult to change our bodies for the better as we age. This led us to develop a special fitness concept aimed at motivating residents to gradually incorporate exercise into their lives and stay fit for good. The concept combines five key components. Designed to mentally prepare the body and mind for a physical makeover, the first step starts with relaxed dancing classes, yoga lessons, and easy-going walking tours.
The second part is Brain Fitness, where participants are required to use their wits and logic to solve puzzles and compete in various social activities. This component is designed to keep their intellect and reason in check while providing them endless fun and competition.
Social connection is what makes the third category, promoting social interaction and relationships through weekly workshops, parties, events and clubs. These activities encourage participants to be outgoing and active in every possible way.
Lastly, we understand there’s no better reward for any human than to see the end result of their effort and realize the impact they have on the world. On the very top of our LifeMinded program, “Making A Difference” is a course teaching seniors to get involved in various classes in order to improve their skills and develop new ones. It also motivates them to seek new passions and create something on their own, activating their creativity and funneling their energy into positive, long-lasting results and creations.
Spending our retirement days at home is what many seniors today dream of. And while it may sound like a dream come true at first, there are a lot of things we tend to overlook. As our bodies change, housework and everyday worries grow, demanding more effort and time. To make things harder, our budgets eventually begin to shrink, limiting our capabilities.
And while there are some solutions out there, such as hiring financial advisors and restricting budgets, they don’t always guarantee success. Of course, it is possible to come up with a working financial plan on your own. As long as you take all factors into consideration.
Should I stay or should I go?
When deciding whether to spend the rest of your retirement at home, you must take into account your health and personal joy as well. Sure, you might feel great in the beginning but your perspective may change with time, depending on your preferences, priorities, and personal values. So it’s no wonder why assisted living and senior living communities are getting more and more popular among senior folks. Sooner or later, they realize that living on their own in a house brings more problems than it solves.
Living in your own home can become a burden with mortgages and rents piling up. Couple that with housework and everyday worries that never stop, and it quickly becomes overwhelming. On top of that, there are unforeseen costs and hassles that come with aging, such as adjusting your home to meet your needs as your physical abilities get lower while your dependency and need for various modifications increase.
These kinds of problems become a thing of the past for those who make the decision to move into retirement home communities. Specially designed and managed to provide their residents with maximum comfort while giving them independence and autonomy, these facilities come equipped with everything a senior needs in their everyday routine. Housekeeping, meals, entertainment, internet access, transportation, social activities and wellness programs are just some of numerous features Bellewood offers to its residents. And all of these come included in the monthly rent, with further variations available for those with different needs and preferences.
Now, we understand that financial planning is a long-term process and that folks like to get the most out of their deal. This is why we’ve come up with LifeMinded Rewards program designed to show our appreciation for those who intend to stay with us. It prevents any rent increase for senior apartments at Bellewood for those who have lived within our community for a certain period of time.
What Makes Our Program Special?
The program starts after reaching the third year of your stay with us, and prevents any rent increases by more than 2% per year. After 5 years of stay, your rent can never again be increased by more than 1% per year. Finally, after 10 consecutive years with us you will forever be excluded from any rent increases. It’s as simple as that, as there are no other hidden details, just a policy that puts your peace of mind first. LifeMinded Rewards is the biggest and most unique aspect of our take on finances although it should be noted it’s not our only one.
Unlike most retirement communities or independent senior housing communities, Bellewood prides itself in maintaining a transparent and clear set of policies about everything it offers, including finances and fees.
Assisted Living FAQ
Questions you should ask when deciding on your retirement community:
What are the different levels of care available?
Different senior living and retirement communities offer different levels of care, here are the very basic differences.
Housing only: What you’d expect, 55 and above senior housing. Typically with fitness rooms and common lounges but no meals, no maid service and often no transportation.
Independent Senior Housing: You live and cook in your own space but there are many social opportunities to take advantage of.
Assisted living: This is the hardest to compare as the level of assistance offered vary. At a minimum it should include some meals, transportation, maid service and 24/7 on call assistance. From there the level of care increases with need, offering on site nursing and medical care and eventually providing what it typically thought of as nursing home services. Not all assisted living communities are the same, take your time and shop the ones you are interested in.
Do you offer assisted living services?
It’s important to determine if the senior living community is the right fit for you, and for your future. Make sure to ask about their assisted living services, transportation, memory care, and wellness programs to determine if it’s a right fit. Read our posts on assisted living and independent living to learn more.
Bellewood residents have access to personal care services in the comfort of their senior apartments. Even though we are an independent senior living community, there is no need to leave Bellewood if you need assistance with grooming, laundry, medication reminders or other personal matters. Access to assisted living services can be provided on your terms by our partners or anyone of your choosing. Read more about our partners and the assisted living services they provide here.
Do you allow pets?
Many assisted living communities and retirement homes do not allow pets. If your pet is an important part of your family, be sure to keep them in mind when selecting where to live, it will be their home too.
At Bellewood, small pets are welcome. We can even help you find dog-walking services.
Will I have to sign a lease?
In order to make a good decision for your senior housing situation, you need to be able to plan for your future, and the unknown that comes with it. Make sure to find out the monthly and annual expenses that will be required by the independent living facility. Some assisted living or senior living communities require an initial deposit or a substantial joining fee. Make sure you know what you’re signing up for and what happens if you have to change your plans, before making any commitments. At Bellewood, we do not require signing a long-term lease, we rent our senior apartments on a month-to-month basis, even though many of our residents stay here for years.
What is the rent and how often does it increase?
This seems pretty simple, but often it’s not. Make sure you get details so you can plan your finances and ensure your future is secure.
How does your meal plan work?
Meal plans and the quality of the food are important parts of your decision to join an assisted living community. The dining experience is also important, is it a cafeteria environment? Restaurant-style serving? Can you get room service?
The quality and nutrition of the food should not be overlooked. Adequate nutrition is critical for seniors to maintain muscle mass and overall health.
Bellewood’s monthly food service fee is included in your rent, and provides for the equivalent of one meal per day and you can choose to use those meals whenever you’d like, lunch or dinner.
Do you provide transportation?
Coming home to an inviting home is important, but inorder to come home, you must be able to get out and about. If you don’t drive, or plan to eliminate driving in the future, make sure you have access to the transportation you’ll need for social engagements, shopping, banking, and medical visits, on your schedule.
An important part of enjoying life at Bellewood Senior Apartments is your access to the outside world. Bellewood offers regular transportation to their residents, come see our concierge for details.
Is parking available?
Parking is important to the senior apartment residents who drive, and for those who may come to visit. Ensuring adequate parking is critical for your daily convenience, and also has financial implications if you have to find alternate storage for your vehicle.
Bellewood has plenty of surface parking for you and guests at no extra charge. We’ll even valet your car for you if needed.
Where can my family stay when they come for an extended visit?
For many, leaving their family home often means also leaving their extra guest room. It’s important to ensure that your visitors have a comfortable, affordable, and convenient place to stay when they visit. Make sure you aren’t limited in your ability to visit parents just because they’ve moved to assisted living.
At Bellewood we have apartments available for families use when visiting. This means you don’t have to find a hotel, you’re a short walk away from the folks and most importantly, your parents don’t need to pay for and keep up an extra room or two in their home.
What are community fees?
Community fees are charged by many assisted living or senior apartments to cover the administrative fees associated with a new resident move-in. Typically the fee runs from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. At Bellewood, we do not charge a separate community fee and most of our amenities are included in your monthly rent.