Blog Category - General Announcements

Taking Care of Our Aging Pets

Categories: Blog, General Announcements, Home & Garden | Posted: October 30, 2013

Our aging pets…

They may not be as fast as they used to be, their eyes may not be as clear as they used to be – but they are still the same little puppy or kitten (or iguana) that they were when we found eachother.

It’s always hard to think time has passed by so much, that they are considered a senior…

We’ve got their Vet on speed dial, so here are some indicators of age, and things to look out for, in our senior companions:

1. Arthritis

Is it Arthritis?  It could be lumbosacral instability.  The bigger the animal, the more likely arthritis will develop.  While symptoms can vary depending on age and breed, it’s important to not rule out other muscle and joint ailments.

Dragging real heals is sometimes a sign of arthritis, but it could also just be lumbosacral instability – when an animal fails to realize their rear feet are not in proportion.  Lumbosacral instability occurs at the point where the vertebral column, the “backbone,” joins the pelvis via a fused set of vertebrae called the sacrum. In dogs, especially older big dogs, this joint can become unstable over time leading to arthritis and the secondary changes associated with it. It is these changes resulting from instability that can partially and even completely, in some cases, block nerve communication from the rear limbs to the brain and back. In cases of complete blockage, paralysis occurs.

For more information –

2. Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, and Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
Alzheimer’s, or Dementia is more common in dogs.  Technically called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, the symptoms are more silent than with people – making it harder to diagnose and see as an immediate problem.

Some possible signs of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction:

  • Dog becomes lost in familiar places in the home or backyard
  • Becoming trapped behind familiar furniture or in room corners
  • Does not respond to name or familiar commands
  • Withdrawn behavior that is out of character
  • Frequently trembles or shakes
  • Seeks less and less of your attention
  • Is hesitant to take treats, drink fresh water, or eat fresh food

Treating cognitive problems in dogs is possible.  Treats that promote “composure”, along with anti-anxiety medication prescribed by your Vet can help improvements be made.

The most important treatment in the fight against aging in your pets is a regular check up at the Vet…and lots of love!

4 Quick & Easy Home Decorating Ideas

Categories: Blog, General Announcements, Home & Garden | Posted: October 16, 2013

From recycling leftover fabrics and materials to accenting rooms with furniture, these easy home decorating tips can quickly add some flair to a room.

The following tips come from HouseBeautiful online:

1. Move Seating Away from Walls

“Float furniture away from the walls: It creates more intimate seating,” designer Betsy Burnham says. She did just that in the living room of this California house.

2. Wallpaper Your Vinyl Window Shades

“I had a roll of wallpaper in my office that was left over, and I was about to put it in the trash when I thought, ‘No, I can do something with this’.”

“Then I thought of the vinyl shades in our guest room. So I wallpapered them. You gotta go for it.” The canopy bed was painted black to show off its silhouette.

3. Cover a Wall with Plates

Whether you have an impressive plate collection already, or have recently started collecting, these can make great accents for any wall.  A great place to start are plates pictured above called, “Hackerware” which can be purchased on eBay or may be found in thrift stores.  Hackerware may be the best place to start for a DIY project because it is cheaper than most decorative plates.  Covering the whole wall with plates has the same effect as one big piece of art.

4.  Curtains…not just for windows

In the kitchen, install a linen curtain on a track spanning the room that can be pulled to conceal the mess of preparation. On most Cornerstone home models, you can even expand the view with your personal exterior courtyard.

Have any of your own ideas?  We’d love to see them!  Email them to Dotti at

Fall Vegetable Gardening

Categories: Blog, General Announcements, Home & Garden | Posted: October 3, 2013

fall vegetable garden

Fall Vegetable Gardening

Autumn’s mild temperatures create perfect growing conditions for cool-season crops such as lettuce and spinach — so enjoy late-season treats by planting a fall vegetable garden.

Summer might be high season in the vegetable garden, but autumn also brings wonderful rewards. Fast-growing salad crops will revive the most bedraggled fall garden, and good care can keep sweet root crops and cabbage cousins growing for several weeks beyond the first frost. The tips below will help you extend your vegetable season long beyond the heat of summer.

The secret to having a great fall vegetable garden is getting the timing right. And that means thinking a little differently because you have to plan backward.

Start with your area’s average first fall frost date. Then look at the number of days to harvest for each vegetable you wish to plant. You should be able to find that number on the seed packet, in the catalog description, or in our Plant Encyclopedia. Use that number to count back from the first frost date. Then add two weeks; many plants grow more slowly as days shorten in fall.

Want an example? If your first fall frost typically occurs around October 31 and you want to grow ‘French Breakfast’ radishes, which mature in about 25 days, you’d plant them around September 22.

(taken from Better Homes & Gardens)

Health Benefits of Traveling

Categories: Blog, General Announcements, Health & Fitness | Posted: October 3, 2013



Stay healthy by traveling…

It’s never too late to go on an adventure! And what’s not to love? Whether you’re visiting family or planning the getaway of your dreams, traveling can bring a spark to your retirement.

Consider this: travel can be good for your health. Getting out of your home promotes physical activity—something your body and you’re mind can’t get enough of as you age.

Maybe you’re visiting a national park or sightseeing with a friend. You’re probably walking more than usual, but with so many things to see, you don’t even notice. You’re strengthening your body by exercising and you’re enjoying it too!

Or maybe you’re staying with your family for the holidays. This is one of the easiest ways to share a good time with people you love, and at the same time you’re improving your mental health and preventing yourself from being lonely.

And of course there’s always the mental picture of you relaxing on a beach in the Caribbean. Even this can be healthy too. Being in fresh air may give you more energy, help your body function properly, and even give you a brain boost.

Just about any kind of travel is good for you, as long as you’re properly prepared. There are endless destinations, so pick one you really think you’ll enjoy. Plan your trip long in advance and run it by both your family and your doctor. They’ll help you work out a safe and reasonable itinerary, as well as guide you on what to pack.

Your health and financial situation may determine the scope of your trip, but they shouldn’t prevent you from getting out every once in a while. If your plan on doing a lot of walking, train in advance by walking in your neighborhood. If you are going abroad, find out from your doctor if there are any disease risks and make sure you receive any necessary vaccines.

And sorry, Medicare does not cover Caribbean vacations, but you may be able to find discounts or reduced fares for seniors. If you’re looking for something more affordable, research sites or attractions that are within driving distance of where you live, or plan a visit with your family.

So what are you waiting for? Keep yourself physically and mentally active through travel, and make the most of your retirement.

Exercise Once a Week

Categories: Blog, General Announcements, Health & Fitness | Posted: September 24, 2013

Once a Week! You only NEED to Exercise Once a Week!

Now, wait a minute that can’t be true! Actually it is – quality over quantity. A recent Canadian study showed that women who engaged in a weekly strength training program are more likely to slow improvement in their physical and mental abilities than those who engaged in a bi-weekly program.

3 Training Groups for the Women

We are talking about strength training with dumbbells, resistance bands, weight machines and free-form exercises. A 12-month study was done with 155 women who were randomly divided into three groups:

1 – weekly
2 – bi-weekly
3 – twice a week without weightlifting

Strength Training Groups showed Cognitive Ability Increase

The strength training groups demonstrated increase in cognitive ability at the end of the 12 month study. This included decision-making and conflict resolution skills. Similar tests a year later identified that members of the weekly strength training group demonstrated long-term mental and physical benefits while those in the bi-weekly group did not.

Training that is Easier to Keep Up Yields better Results

Author Teresa Liu-Ambrose suggests that the reason behind the difference is that weekly participants had an easier time keeping up the exercise program than their bi-weekly counterparts. She notes that it is more important to stick with an exercise routine for a longer period than to exercise more frequently for a shorter period.

How much Exercise will do it for You?

If you are anything like these study participants, you might have a choice here worthy of consideration. Would you be more likely to continue for years if you just went to your gym once a week and enjoyed a lengthy workout? Is it more difficult to get yourself motivated several times a week over the long term? What works for you.

If the goal includes developing your mind along with your muscles, maybe it is worth considering these results. Choose whatever will work for you consistently, and keep it up!

(from Home Care Assistance in Raleigh, NC)

Make Your Golden Years Shine by Staying Active

Categories: Blog, General Announcements, Health & Fitness | Posted: September 20, 2013

As adults advance in years, many will find that they are less active overall than they were in their younger days. Activity level varies considerably, and some may wonder if they are getting enough exercise over the course of a day or week.

The fact is that staying active and getting enough exercise is one of the best steps that you can take to promote longevity and health.

Taking a closer look at your own activity level and making changes if necessary can help you enjoy good health and an independent lifestyle for many years to come.

The Benefits of Exercise

Whether living at home, in an independent living facility or in another setting, it is imperative to stay as active as possible. Enjoy a number of mental and physical health benefits by getting some amount of exercise on a daily basis. Even a moderate amount of light cardio activity that elevates the heart rate slightly can help you to maintain a healthy body weight. Keeping your weight under control can decrease the likelihood of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more.

Staying active can also maintain coordination and sense of balance, which decreases likelihood of mishaps related to falls and other events. In addition, exercise is known to alter and improve your mood, and it can help ward off depression, dementia and other conditions.

A Walk Can Be Better Than a Jog

Even as you consider the health benefits of adequate exercise on a regular basis, don’t forget that the amount and type of exercise that you may have benefited from in your younger adult years is not necessarily the ideal option in your golden years.

Focus your efforts on finding types of exercises that are enjoyable but not overly rigorous. For example, walking at a brisk pace through your neighborhood rather than jogging may be a better option because it is easier on your joints, elevates your heart rate and keeps your muscles toned. Other activities like swimming, water aerobics and even senior yoga classes may be ideal as well.

The key to getting adequate exercise in your senior years is to find one or more activities that you find enjoyable. Many seniors also enjoy exercising with friends.

Enjoying The Results

You may start to think about taking steps to stay healthy and safe in at homes. By getting adequate exercise on a regular basis, you may be able to maintain good health or even improve their condition overall. In addition, exercise can also improve cognitive abilities and focus, and this can also help maintain the ability to live independently for a longer period of time.

If you aren’t getting enough exercise, there’s no better time than right now to make a change and to become more active. Exercise can benefit older adults in a number of ways, and being more active may be as easy as putting on your walking shoes and heading out for a stroll around the block.

Nikki Longo is a Freelance Writer and Safety & Security Expert

Fun at Orchard Villas Roanoke Townhomes 55+ Clubhouse

Categories: Blog, General Announcements, Roanoke, VA | Posted: September 18, 2013

Orchard Villas Roanoke, Roanoke, VA’s best choice in active adult townhomes communitys, always has something going on!  Below are some pictures from recent events at our Clubhouse.

Weekly scheduled events include Game Day, Bridge Club, and other various social events/club meetings.  All are community members are welcome!

To join in on the fun and learn more about life at Orchard Villas Roanoke, fill out this form and we can contact you for more information at your convenience:

(540) 977-0238

Orchard Villas Roanoke
5300 Crumpacker Drive
Roanoke, Virginia 24019


Fun at Orchard Villas Roanoke Townhomes 55+ Clubhouse


Homes For Sale in Virginia & North Carolina | The Canterbury

Categories: Apex, NC, Blog, Buying & Selling Your Home, General Announcements, Local Articles, Roanoke, VA, Wake Forest, NC | Posted: September 13, 2013

Request more about our Canterbury Model for sale in:

Apex, NC

Wake Forest, NC

Roanoke, VA

2 Bedrooms • 2 Baths • Luxurious Master Suite with walk-in Closet • Den/Office or 3rd Bedroom • Great Room w/ Gas Log Fireplace • Dining Area • Gourmet Kitchen w/ Breakfast Bar • Energy Efficient Appliances • Sunny Glass Veranda • Convenient Laundry Room • Large Storage Area • Cathedral Ceilings • Palladium Windows • Patio • Attached 2-Car Garage

Approx. 1866 Sq. Feet

View the pictures below, or take a virtual tour with this quick video:

Top Fitness Gadgets for Active Adults

Categories: Blog, General Announcements, Health & Fitness | Posted: September 9, 2013

Top Fitness Gadgets for Active Adults

fitness gadgets

More Americans are taking a proactive approach to their health and fitness – and it’s adding years to their life and independent living.  By counting calories and steps taken each day along with monitoring heart rate and other dietary intakes, technology is helping us stay healthy.

Companies like FitBit, Samsung, and soon Apple, Sony and Qualcomm are merging simple technology and fashion with diet and health.

Samsung announced their first “Smartwatch” this week called the “Galaxy Gear” which becomes available September 25.  Similar products are expected from Apple – possibly as soon as announced next week during their September 10 event.

The following are fitness gadgets that could be especially useful (and fun) for older adults and seniors:


1. FitBit Zip, $59.99,, Target, Best Buy

The FitBit Zip is a device that clips to a pocket or belt buckle and monitors how many steps you take daily.  The device is the size of a quarter and is waterproof.  Accompanying programs for the computer and apps for your phone help you set goals for weight loss and general cardio health.  By setting up a free fitness profile with FitBit, the FitBit Zip will encourage you to take more steps, and it’s accompanying app will update you when you’ve reached your daily, weekly, and monthly goals.  If you’re counting calories and watching your dietary intake, the Zip (and other FitBit products) sync up fantastically with most of your Fitness Apps.  Double tap the Zip’s screen and it tells you the time, double tap again and you get a smiley face that may brighten up your day.  Comes in different colors to match your general clothing style.  Comes with a long lasting battery (watch battery), needs replacing every 6 months if used daily.

fitness gadgets

2. FitBit Flex, $99.99,, Target, Best Buy

The FitBit Flex is a lot like the zip, but it’s harder to lose.  It fits like a nice wristband and comes in a multitude of colors.  Not only does the Flex track steps (like the Zip), but it also has a “sleep mode” that monitors your sleep cycle(s).  Both steps and sleep data are instantly available on your mobile device, with a slightly faster sync than the Zip.  The Flex doesn’t have a screen, so there is no number of steps available on the device to easily see.  Instead, 5 dots are lit up to let you know how far away from your daily walking goal you are.  Once your daily goal has been met, the device will quietly buzz, letting you know you’ve completed your activity goal.  Also like the Zip, it syncs up with popular Calorie Counting Apps.  “MyFitnessPal” seems to work best.  The device gets power from a charge, and comes with a USB “dongle” charger.  A full charge lasts around 5 days.

fitness gadgets

3. Samsung Galaxy Gear, $299, Available 9/25/13

The first of what will probably be many “Smartwatches” features many components that will help fitness.  It also looks like a generally nifty device.  From what information has been released, it seems that Apps will be what drives the use of this device.  This smart device will be able to monitor heart rate, which neither of the FitBits do.  The device also will count calorie intake, and allow you to take pictures of your food.

Tips for Selling Your Home

Categories: Blog, Buying & Selling Your Home, General Announcements | Posted: September 3, 2013

tips for selling your home

The real estate market has been “bouncing back” and now is a great time to try to sell your home!

The following are tips for selling your home:

1. Clear the clutter: minimize the belongings on counter tops and tables

2. Boost curb appeal by sprucing up the lawn, driveway and entrance

3. Consider removing some furniture to help rooms feel more open

At Cornerstone Homes, we specialize in helping adults ages 55+ in downsizing, and “right sizing” into a comfortable active adult lifestyle.  Are you ready for the good life at a Cornerstone Homes Community but need to sell your current home first? No problem.

We’ve thought of everything that makes the process easy and virtually painless and you’ll save some major dollars on discounted fees and services with our team of experts. In 5 easy steps you’ll be enjoying the freedom you’re dreaming of at this very moment.

To get started, visit or contact one of our communities today:

North Carolina
The Orchard Villas Apex – (919) 267-6701
The Villas of Wake forest – (919) 569-0043

The Orchard Villas Roanoke – (540) 977-0238