The Willows - A LifeMinded® Retirement Community
Assisted Living in Bellingham, Washington
The Willows, located in Bellingham, Washington is a senior apartment and retirement community providing outstanding care and our signature LifeMinded approach to engaged retirement living. Come home to a welcoming community, a fir-lined setting, and a Bellingham location convenient to everything.
ENGAGED LIVING IN BELLINGHAM, WA.
Come home to a welcoming retirement living community, a fir-lined setting, and a location convenient to everything. Visit our Apartments & Rates page to view floor plans, rates, and a full list of amenities. Start making plans to join our Bellingham retirement community!
HELPING HANDS IF YOU NEED THEM.
We offer a unique alternative to typical “Bellingham assisted living”: providing access to personal assistant services, tailored to you—as you need them. Being a part of our Bellingham retirement community means help will always be close by!
Change is inevitable. Rent increases don’t have to be. People tend to live at The Willows longer than they expected, so we’ve found a way to help you plan for the future with greater financial certainty and confidence. At The Willows, we understand that you want a Bellingham retirement community where you can feel at home for as long as possible and it is our hope to help you live independently for as long as possible. You are the reason why we started this assisted living program and your needs drive all that we do.
Retirement in style!
Join our senior living community in Bellingham, Washington.
ISN'T LIVING IN MY OWN HOME LESS EXPENSIVE THAN ASSISTED LIVING IN BELLINGHAM, WA?
Not necessarily. Learn more about the ins and outs of retired senior living so you can make the right decision for you.
PEOPLE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.
At The Willows, whether you live here or work here, you're a vital part of engaged senior living. Here’s an introduction to a few of the folks that make our Bellingham, WA retirement community tick.
YOUR SENIOR LIVING QUESTIONS ANSWERED:
No matter where you choose to live, this information can help you make an informed decision.
Our Approach To Assisted Living
Assisted Living has many different meanings depending on who you ask. Although there is no standard definition of assisted living, those who opt for assisted living generally fall into two categories: Independent and Medically supported.
Unlike nursing homes that provide constant medical care for their patients, assisted living facilities cater to more active seniors that do not require significant medical intervention.
Most assisted living facilities tend to lean more toward helping active seniors retain their independence while offering support and services that allow them to not have to worry about the little things, like cooking and cleaning.
We know how important it is to be able to continue living your life on your own terms for as long as you’re able to. That’s why The Willows was created to help make your dreams of retirement a reality.
For active seniors, we offer the ability to have your own apartment with a balcony or patio in addition to being pet-friendly. Your pet is a part of your family, and they shouldn’t have to be rehomed if you don’t want them to be.
- You’ll never have to worry about making lunch or dinner again, and we offer housekeeping services to help you keep your living space clean and comfortable.
- In addition, we offer exercise classes, curated activities, planned outings and trips, and so much more to keep you engaged and entertained during your retirement.
- We also offer available care 24/7 for our residents who need it, personal assistance for those who only need occasional help, and transportation services to accommodate adventures into town as often as our residents need.
The Willows senior apartment community is here to help you at your current needs level, and we’ll help you plan for the future as well.
Does The Willows Senior Living Community offer the right assistance for you?
The Willows strives to bridge the gap between nursing homes and independent living. We know that everyone’s situation is different and unique and that some of our residents may need more or less help than their neighbors.
Most of our residents will be able to do most things on their own, and will only need occasional help with certain tasks.
Because of this, we have partnered with Right at Home, a 24-hour care provider service that helps our residents get the help and assistance that they need in the comfort of their own homes.
This allows our residents to retain their independence and their own living space with the safety and security of knowing that help is available if needed.
For some seniors, this type of care won’t be enough. People who require around-the-clock care and observation for serious health conditions or rapidly declining health may be better suited to the type of care that a skilled nursing facility or nursing home can provide.
Understanding what level of care will work best for you is an important and complex question that will take time to decide.
We are here to help you understand your choices and to help you make the right choice that will give you the best outcome with the most benefits. We want your senior living situation to fit your needs, wants, and life perfectly. Feel free to contact us for any questions you may have about living at the Willows community.
What Is Independent Living And What Makes It Right For You?
There are few things in life that are more important than retaining your independence. From a young age, we strive to strike out on our own so that we can explore the world without limitations and without having to rely on others to do the things that we want to do.
That sense of adventure and freedom doesn’t diminish as we age. If anything, that longing grows as we find ourselves experiencing limited mobility, heightened responsibility, and the pressure that society puts on us to keep up a certain appearance.
There’s a reason that people want to continue living on their own as they age. Unfortunately, sometimes it becomes unfeasible for seniors to stay in their old houses. Rent and mortgage payments become difficult to keep up with, and it can be frustrating to keep up with car maintenance and insurance on a limited budget.
Add to that the never-ending list of household chores that always seem to need doing, and you can quickly start to run out of time and money during your retirement - which is the time that you should be enjoying it most.
So instead of spending your time relaxing, visiting with friends and family, and exploring all of the places that you’ve always dreamed of, you find yourself staying at home, unintentionally isolating yourself from the world.
That’s where The Willows comes in. We offer an all-inclusive, affordable, and worry-free option for your retirement.
Independent Living In A Senior Living Community
People who live in assisted living facilities or Senior apartments like we provide are able to maintain their independence and freedom throughout their lives. While most of our residents freely admit that they originally resisted the idea of moving from their own homes, they also now say that they wish that they had made the move sooner.
We offer lunch and dinner services, house-cleaning services, exercise programs, curated activities, personal assistants, and transportation services to our residents from the day that they move in.
People who have moved into our senior living apartments have fewer barriers to transportation and mobility and often become more active, both socially and physically. It is our goal to ensure that you love your new home as much as, if not more than, your old one.
Similarities & Differences Between Different Communities
An Independent Senior Living Community is just that, a community of healthy, happy, and active seniors that are able to live independently in their own rooms, apartments, or houses. Whether they are living in individual homes, an apartment complex, or in one large building, they form a neighborhood where they can interact with one another safely and at their own pace.
You may have also heard them called retirement homes, senior housing, or senior apartments. The main thing that all of these have in common is that they allow seniors to live on their own terms, without constant supervision, for a reasonable and affordable rent.
Additionally, these communities offer heightened security, social interaction, and several amenities that seniors may not be able to afford if they were in a traditional housing situation. At The Willows, we expand on these benefits and include all of the benefits listed above in addition to a salon, fitness center, and large communal rooms to socialize in.
The best part is that everything is entirely your choice. The options are there whether you want to cook for yourself or have your food prepared, or if you want to spend time alone doing what you enjoy or meet new people and learn new things. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be able to do so in safety and security with the peace of mind that your community is there if you want to engage with them.
Aging in Place
We offer the ability to “age in place” without worrying about changes or challenges. This means that our community is designed with the mobility and comfort of all of our seniors in mind. We are fully equipped with wide hallways, elevators, and access to personal assistance as well as caregivers as necessary.
All of The Willows senior apartments are set up with a voice-activated call system for when our residents need assistance for when accidents or emergencies happen. There is no need to search for a pull cord, worry about locating a phone, or any other traditional method of calling for help. Just call out and our trained staff will respond immediately to ensure your safety and offer whatever aid is needed.
Together, all of these additions work together to ensure that our residents remain safe, comfortable, and happy in their homes for as long as possible which results in healthier emotional and mental states as our residents age.
Why Seniors Choose To Stay At The Willows Bellingham
No one can make that incredibly important and personal decision for you. The best way to decide is to come to see our facility for yourself so that you can see everything that we have to offer.
The Willows is a family-owned and operated community that has been around for 30 years. We hire only the best personal assistants, caregivers, and support staff to ensure that our community remains strong, supportive, and healthy.
We want you to be happy and to thrive in your retirement, so we invite you to come to meet our staff and our other residents. Join us in a few social events, enjoy some of our delicious staff-cooked meals, and stay a few days in one of our guest apartments (where your friends and family can stay when they come to visit you!). Take advantage of our incredible amenities and see for yourself if The Willows Senior Living Community is the right choice for you. We can’t wait to meet you!
Nutrition & Diet - A Priority For Seniors!
It’s no secret that our bodies change as we grow and age. Nutrition is one of the most important things that we should focus on throughout our lives, and that becomes even more important when we get older.
It is not uncommon for malnutrition and poor eating habits to be misdiagnosed as certain health conditions and illnesses. That said, a poor diet can also directly lead to several conditions such as high blood pressure, anemia, diabetes, and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
By watching your diet and making sure that you’re eating enough healthy foods and vitamins, you can live healthier and happier as you age. Unfortunately, for many seniors, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a healthy diet for several reasons.
As we age, numerous natural bodily changes can interfere with how we get adequate nutrition. Dental changes and gastrointestinal disruptions are the most common cause for unwillingly changing diets. When it becomes difficult to chew and digest the foods that you once enjoyed, you may feel like you’re stuck with bland, boring foods.
This can then lead to a lack of interest in cooking, which can then be compounded by a reluctance to eat alone and financial and transportation concerns that hinder your ability to get to the grocery store.
When all of this is combined with a more sedentary lifestyle, it can be extremely difficult to get the adequate nutrition that you need to stay healthy. While vitamin supplements can help bridge the gap in some ways, many nutrients are better absorbed in their natural form. Because of this, we need to be efficient in our diets to get as many of these key nutrients in as possible.
Many seniors are commonly nutrient deficient in Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, Folic acid, and Niacin. This is one of the major areas where assisted living facilities like The Willows can help make seniors’ lives easier. We ensure that all of our residents have access to healthy, delicious, and nutrient-dense foods prepared for them each and every day.
By focusing on nutrient-dense and flavorful whole foods such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, eggs, nuts and seeds, meat, and tofu and avoiding unhealthy preprocessed foods and those high in sugar and fats, we help pack in tons of nutrients into your daily caloric intake.
What’s on the menu at The Willows Senior Living Community?
Nobody wants to eat the same foods over and over again though. That’s why we have our incredible Executive Chef Frank Blanchard and his amazing kitchen staff utilize their culinary expertise to bring variety and spice to our residents' tables. With the considerations and ideas of our residents in mind, he and his team create seasonal meals and menus that change depending on the availability of locally grown produce.
Additionally, Chef Blanchard and his team will individually tailor meals to suit your preference and specific dietary needs. Perhaps the most stand-out feature of our dining room is that there is no invisible corporate entity making all of the menu decisions for us. Instead, our menu is a fluid and changing thing that adapts to the likes and dislikes of our residents.
We believe that meals should not only be nutrient-dense and delicious but that they should also be an opportunity to socialize with your friends and neighbors as well. That’s why we also offer a full salad bar and make sure to help you celebrate special occasions like your birthday with unique meals. If you’re not feeling up for a trip to the dining room, however, we also offer room service for all of our residents to utilize whenever they wish.
While many other retirement apartments do not include their meals as part of a resident's rent, we think that completely misses the point. At The Willows, your meals are all-inclusive and a standard part of the package. We believe that you should be able to have lunch and dinner daily in our beautiful dining room alongside your fellow residents. Sharing meals with others is an integral social experience and helps contribute to a long, healthy, and happy life.
Fitness: Body & Mind
How To Keep Your Mind And Body Fit As A Senior
Taking care of yourself and ensuring that you are exercising enough is important throughout your lifetime. As we age, we naturally begin to slow down and at times may not feel the need or desire to exercise or continue to move and stay limber. This is precisely the reason why we must ensure that we pay special attention to nutrition and physical activity when we get older.
It has been proven that adults who continue to stay physically active as they age live longer, healthier, and happier lives than those who do not. Not only does exercise help improve cognitive function and memory, but it also helps your body fight off cold and flu viruses. It may also help lower your chances of developing chronic health conditions like depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
If you have not regularly exercised throughout your life, it isn’t too late to start! Beginning to exercise at any age can have immediate and lasting benefits on your health and well-being. We know that it can be difficult to know where to start though, which is why we offer exercise classes that our residents can join as part of their monthly rent.
We help make exercise fun, intuitive and exciting so that it doesn’t feel like a chore. Our trainers will work with you to help you find activities that work at your current level of mobility and energy and they will help you create healthy, long-lasting habits that are structured and convenient that will keep you engaged.
Exercise for healthspan, not just lifespan!
Physical exercise not only enhances your physical strength and wellbeing, but it also improves your mental health as well. Exercising releases endorphins and dopamine into your brain which helps to elevate mood and improve cognitive memory as well as your ability to learn new things. By actively engaging in exercise classes and other physical activities, such as learning a new hobby, you will be helping your brain form new connections that will help it feel younger.
Altogether, this helps to make seniors feel younger, more engaged, more active and gives them a sense of well-being in addition to a chance to socialize with their peers. Our senior-focused exercise programs and curated activities are designed to engage our residents and encourage them to stay active, and young-at-heart.
How We At The Willows Bellingham Promote Activity
Many people view growing old as an inevitable thing that must be accepted. They think that as you age you should slow down and rest more, emphasizing relaxation and boredom. For some reason, society seems to think that seniors don’t have the urge to create, explore, or contribute in their daily lives. We know that nothing could be farther from the truth.
We opened our doors in 1986 as a retirement community with the idea that when you finally reach retirement age, life should be lived full of joy, excitement, and learning. You’re finally free of work, societal pressures, and expectations, and it’s time to fully enjoy everything that life has to give!
We call our approach LifeMinded, and firmly believe that every one of our residents should be thriving, satisfied, and enjoying life to the fullest. That’s why we help all of our residents create their own personalized program of activities to help them stay active and engaged, regardless of their age.
“A 2017 report from the International Council on Active Aging found that in Life Plan Communities with a wellness program, 91% of residents say their health and wellness is good, very good or excellent.” We pride ourselves in helping encourage our residents to remain independent, active, and healthy in their retirement. By incorporating the "Seven Dimensions of Wellness" model endorsed by the International Council on Active Aging, we aim to ensure that all of our residents feel fulfilled every day of their lives.
There are four distinct categories to our LifeMinded approach. These include physical fitness, brain fitness, social connections, and making a difference.
The first, physical fitness, maintains that when you remain physically active you will feel better. We offer several fitness classes including yoga, walking, outdoor activities, and dance among others. By offering unlimited access to these programs we encourage our residents to change up their routines and explore new activities which keeps motivation and spirits high. These classes emphasize flexibility, core strength, balance, and heart health.
Secondly, we believe that brain fitness is just as important as physical fitness. This is why we offer our residents a variety of classes, learning opportunities, and curated activities to keep things new, fresh, and exciting. By prioritizing new experiences in combination with staying physically active, our residents stay lucid, limber, and mentally sharp.
Thirdly is the importance of social connections. Isolation and avoidance can cause just as much damage as not engaging in mental or physical activities. Humans are social by nature, and we thrive when we are able to be part of a community of like-minded peers that share our interests. The Willows emphasizes this idea of community and encourages all of our residents to create new friendships and relationships with one another. To achieve this, we offer group discussions and numerous group activities where our residents can meet, connect with, and interact with one another.
Finally, we believe in Making a Difference. Our residents shouldn’t give up the things that they are passionate about just because they’ve moved into a retirement community. Our residents have years of experience, knowledge, and skills that shouldn’t go unnoticed or to waste. We encourage and facilitate donating their time to volunteering and mentoring the community. Our residents can make an impact in their community, and these programs help to encourage a sense of self-esteem, self-confidence, and life satisfaction.