Special Days for Seniors – Best Gifts for Seniors In A Care Facility

A well thought-out gift goes far to brighten the day of a senior care home resident.  Facility restrictions or a lack of personal space can make shopping tough, but there are some items that will delight and still be practical in a care home setting.

When buying gifts for seniors, consider the interests and hobbies they had prior to entering the home.  There may be activities they miss and with some imagination can still do in their new residence. 

Here are some ideas to brighten their days and spark those interests again.

  • Time and hope – Seniors have a lot of free time, while the rest of us struggle with busy schedules.  Make a coupon book for your favorite Senior.  Coupons could be for an hour of reading aloud to each other, making a craft together or even a field trip to their favorite coffee house or store.
  • Photo albums – Many residents like to meet up in the lounge or cafeteria and talk often turns to family.  Make an album of favorite photos or memorabilia.  Picture books from online services are nice.  Seniors savvy with technology may appreciate digital photo frames, something especially appropriate for those confined to bed.
  • Reigniting hobbies – Did your loved one enjoy playing cards?  Were they bird watchers? Did they enjoy the stars? A deck of large print cards may help and inspire them to interact with fellow residents.  A small telescope may allow them to look at the stars again.  Most residents have a window either in their room or a lounge.  Ask if a bird feeder could be installed. If there is already a feeder, give a bird watching book or magazine subscription.  Do they enjoy reading their local newspaper?  Buy them a subscription.
  • Practical gifts – Think socks and blankets.  Slip resistant socks are especially useful, because many seniors are a bit unsteady.  Blankets can be simple or have a special design or logo.  Is your loved one a football fan, find a blanket with their favorite team logo.  These things should be easily washable.
  • Hospitality – Some seniors have many family members visiting.  They may appreciate coloring books and crayons or pencils, to help entertain visiting children. Of course, adult coloring books may entertain the resident and adult visitors.
  • Cash – Most facilities have individual resident accounts to use for extras.  If you wish to help, ask to deposit money for a trip to the facility’s salon or some extra shopping or to help pay cable or phone bills.

There are some guidelines to consider before buying gifts for facility residents to avoid some unpleasant results:

  • Security – Facilities do their best to secure residents’ possessions, but with so many people passing through the facility – think residents, staff, visitors – things do disappear.  If you give an expensive or highly sentimental gift, alert the staff and ask how to keep it safe.
  • Fragile items – A porcelain teapot or figurine may be perfect for your aunt, but consider if she has tremors or other shakiness that may cause her to drop it.  If so, perhaps it can be placed on a high shelf or dresser where it can be seen.  This also saves the item from being bumped by staff attending to the resident or cleaning the room
  • Safety – As mentioned above regarding the socks, be sure the gift is safe.  All footwear should be slip resistant.  Take into account any allergies or illnesses when giving food.  A lot of candy for a diabetic could cause issues.

Seniors in care facilities enjoy gifts for holidays, their birthdays or just because.  So, be creative in finding gifts for seniors.  It will make both of you smile.

Celebrate Older Americans Month with Your Residents

Everyone has the need to feel special. Seniors can often feel as if they have been forgotten in the fast pace of the world. Older Americans Month is a great opportunity to meet friends, enjoy special activities and try sensational food. However, a designated holiday doesn’t have to be only one time per year. Create your own special day for giving a senior something to look forward to by celebrating Older Americans Month during the month of May. Here are a few ideas.

4 Seasons and Astrology

Seniors love to learn. There is no lack of learning when it comes to the stars. The seasons are associated with certain star patterns and can be exhilarating to follow. This can be a good past time for men and women alike with the final climax as each season arrives. Binoculars and telescopes can aid in watching the changing skies, learning the patterns and sharing with others. Plan a unique function on each upcoming season, like a trip to a planetarium, hosting a guest speaker, or just sharing the amazing change of each season with a senior.

Antique Shows and Auctions

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming antique shows and auctions that will bring back memories of days gone by. This can be intriguing and stimulating for one or more seniors. Be sure to take a pen and paper to write down the most talked about articles for later discussion. They may even wish to make a purchase or two. This type of activity can be planned during Older Americans Month with other seniors. Finish the occasion with a treat and good discussion.

These are just a couple of examples of how seniors can look forward to special days. Gifts for seniors will be easy to select when new interests are developed. Constellation charts, binoculars and educational guides are great ideas for studying astrology and the changing seasons. Books on antiques and their worth will be fulfilling. Find that one interest that brings a twinkle to the eye of senior citizens. Their calendars will be filled with exciting meetings and journeys to keep their minds cheerful and their bodies active.

Nutrition Tips for Alzheimer’s Communities

There is a saying that suggests that, “You are what you eat.” Food is an important part of our everyday lives and the healthier you eat, the healthier you will be. Oddly, when you are younger, you can eat more of the “bad” foods and remain healthy but for senior citizens, this may not be the case. Research suggests that proper nutrition is vital for individuals who may be suffering from cognitive impairments. As a result,  doctors may attempt to encourage older patients to make healthier food choices. To that point, making a few nutritional adjustments can help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease for your residents.

Foods that Can Be Used to Fight Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder that impacts many individuals over the age of 65, but it can also be a concern for people who are younger. Research has proven that Alzheimer’s is a hereditary disease that can be passed on to family members.  In an effort to lesson the odds, it is important to serve foods that actually decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the most popular food choices include: 

* Walnuts

* Fiber Rich Whole Grains

* Blackcurrants

* Tomatoes

* Olive Oil (rather than vegetable or corn oil)

* Red Wine

Each of these foods offer different health benefits. If you drink more than a single glass of red wine in a day, you may be hurting yourself more than you are helping.

Foods That Improve Cognitive Skills

Everything that we do in our lives is, to some extent, based on our cognitive skills. Cognitive skills are the skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, etc.  For instance, someone with cognitive issues may not be able to swallow properly. Our cognitive ability influences our ability to carry out tasks from the simplest to the most complex. Cherry tomatoes, avocados, chamomile tea, broccoli, and even eggs are additional foods that can improve the brain’s function; salmon and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are also brain healthy foods.  When preparing meals for your residents remember to incorporate these memory boosting super-foods.

Exercise Options for Seniors in Independent Living Communities

Seniors Exercising image

As seniors age, they start to slow down and health deteriorates. However, little low-impact exercise on a daily can make a big difference for health, lifestyle, longevity, mental acuity and much more. That’s why seniors should make a special effort to stay active. There are a few activities which are especially helpful for seniors in independent living communities.



The practice of yoga is becoming more and more popular around the country. It is a great exercise for seniors because they can stretch and move every part of their bodies without expending too much energy. Yoga may even be practiced while sitting on chairs rather than a mat.



Of course, traditional aerobic activity is extremely stressful on the body. It requires pressure, sweat and intense exercise. In contrast, slow moving aquarobics in a pool is virtually stress free. Seniors move their bodies in the pool while an instructor leads them in all the movements.



Of course, slow walking is the traditional exercise that most seniors engage in daily. Walking in a park, around a lake or even down the street is a good way to get outside and keep active. It is low impact and gets most of your joints working. For seniors that don’t have the resources to engage in other forms of exercise, this is always a good option.


Nature Trips

Seniors that still are in Independent Living may like to get out of the home and take a trip through nature. On the trip they may engage in biking, hiking, climbing and swimming. Active seniors still can pursue all of these activities. 



You are never too old to dance! Active seniors have become increasingly engaged in all types of dance dance classes including ballroom, contemporary, tap, cha cha and more.


Best of all, these activities are so much fun they don’t feel like exercise!

5 Signs of Elder Financial Abuse That In-Home Caregivers Can Watch For

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Elder financial abuse is a serious concern for many seniors. While your clients have likely taken care of their own finances all their lives, in those later years, new challenges may arise that lead to them welcoming help from other sources. Unfortunately, not all of those sources are the caring helpers they’d like. If you notice any of these signs of elder financial abuse, it’s important to report it immediately.


Sign #1: Bills are Unpaid

Even though in-home caregivers are not directly involved in a client’s finances, over time, however, you may start to notice that things aren’t being paid that should be: the electricity may go unpaid, the rent not taken care of, and more. 


Sign #2: There’s Someone New in Their Life

While dating isn’t an immediate sign of financial abuse, it is important for a designated individual (e.g. family member or guardian) to keep a closer eye on a client’s finances. Often, a new individual who sweeps in–especially one who is much younger–is doing it for their personal gain. 


Sign #3: You Know Someone is Demanding Money

There’s a grandchild who only shows up to ask for things. A child frequently asks for expensive “gifts” and acts incredibly spoiled when they don’t get them. Regular demands for money from a client can be a sign that there’s more serious financial abuse going on behind the scenes. 


Sign #4: Standard of Living Decreases Significantly

Suddenly, things that your client used to take for granted seem to be out of reach. They aren’t eating out like they used to, or they can’t afford things that were once normal. If there’s a serious shift in standard of living, consider the possibility that elder abuse might be involved. 


Sign #5: Your Client’s Wishes are Ignored

In some cases, an elderly individual will pass power of attorney or financial control over to someone else in those later years. That doesn’t mean, however, that their wishes should be ignored! If there are regular complaints about how someone else is handling their money, it’s important to figure out how the money is being spent and whether or not things are being handled well with it. 

If you feel your client is experiencing financial abuse, it’s important to report it immediately. Financial abuse can turn serious very quickly. By staying alert, you can catch it early and protect your client. Contact the National Center on Elder Abuse for more information on reporting elder financial abuse.

Enriching Seniors’ Lives with Fulfilling Hobbies

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The challenges of aging do not need to include giving up the things you love. In fact, it is important to help seniors remain active as they age.  Arts and crafts, keeping a pet, gardening, and meditation are all fulfilling hobbies that can keep a senior’s mind active, even as their body slows down. Studies have shown that enriching the mind is key to staying healthy, living a longer life, and keeping the mind sharp. The trick is to find activities that complement, not complicate, their lifestyles as they age. 

Arts and crafts are one of the best hobbies for seniors to pick up. Art is easy, can be done by anyone, and can be very fulfilling. From art classes at community and senior centers to specialized dementia art, there are many options for pursuing this passion. Even something as simple as checking out a Bob Ross video from your local library can offer a fulfilling creative outlet. 

Keeping a pet can be a challenge for any age, but arthritis and finding pet friendly assisted living can create particular difficulties. Some of the best dogs for seniors include easy-going small dogs like pugs and corgis. Not only are they smaller and easy to care for, they have gentle and easygoing natures that make them ideal for community living. Elder pet care doesn’t have to be complicated, especially with a well chosen pet companion. 

Gardening for seniors is an extremely popular pass time with good reason. A garden can be as big or little as you want, from a tidy window box full of fragrant flowers to tiered plots of vegetables and ornamental plants. Gardens can be tailored to an individuals particular physical requirements and they can bring lots of joy; they also provide health-giving oxygen mood boosts. 

If physical activity is a particular challenge, meditation for seniors is a wonderful way to keep the mind sharp and engaged, while focused breathing can promote good health even when exercise isn’t an option. Meditation is offered at many community centers, places of worship, and it can be learned and practiced independently, making it a great option for those with limited mobility. 

Tip To Improve Dental Hygiene for Senior Residents and Clients

by: Annabelle Short

When residing in a senior residence or when receiving other senior care services, it is imperative that senior citizens Dental Care imageget the treatment they need and deserve. Where each level of care offer services that meet specific needs, everyone has room for improvement.  One particular area of concern happens to be dental hygiene.  Here are a few suggestions for improving dental hygiene when residing in a nursing home.

Why Is Oral Health So Important?

We all know how important oral health is in our daily lives. Most of us brush and floss twice a day and see the dentist about once a year. Many people also invest larger expenses into their dentistry such as braces and oral surgeries such as the removal of wisdom teeth.

As someone gets older, though, dentistry not only stays important, it becomes more important. For one, many older adults are on medications that have side effects that affect oral health such as hypersalivation, hyposalivation, periodontal disease, and more.

Then, it also comes down to care. When an older person is in a nursing home, they aren’t able to make their own dental appointments anymore. For many of these residents, keeping up with their regular dental routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash becomes harder thanks to both physical and mental handicaps.

Knowing how important oral health is, it’s important to consider how residents in nursing homes can be helped in taking care of oral health.

Help Them Keep Up Their Routines

The most basic thing that can be done for residents in nursing homes is to help them keep up with their oral hygiene routines. This is the bare minimum that can be done. It should also be noted that long term care facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid payments are federally mandated to help with daily oral hygienic care, so doing otherwise leaves that nursing home below federal.

It wouldn’t be difficult to do either. In most nursing homes, there are multiple residents that need help with basic care facets such as bathing, going to the bathroom, eating, and taking their medication. So, it only makes sense that oral hygiene would fall under the category of things that residents are reminded to do and helped with if needed.

Another big part of this is to provide residents with what they need. Nursing homes should make sure that each resident has the essentials. For instance, a toothbrush and toothpaste. Additionally, nursing homes should be aware of and accommodating to additional oral hygiene – such as denture care – for residents who need it.

It should also be noted that professionals that work in nursing homes should have training in how to take care of their residents’ oral health. After all, taking care of the oral health of residents to the best of your ability isn’t exactly the same as taking care of your own oral health. Additionally, a professional cannot provide the best care for a resident if they are uninformed of what the best care is.

Dentist Visits

While the daily oral care that professionals within a nursing home provide is important, it isn’t the only concern to be handled. For instance, an individual could brush their teeth twice a day, every day and still end up with dental problems if they never went to see a professional dentist.

As such, it is important that residents in a nursing home still have access to see a dentist. Just as nursing homes make sure that nursing home patients see doctors as much as needed, they should also make sure that they see a dentist as much as they need it.

Another idea is that each resident should have a dental screening as they enter the nursing home of their choosing. This would entail making sure each resident was healthy and didn’t have any pre-existing dental conditions upon their admittance to the nursing home. This way, if they do have any issues withstanding when they are admitted, the nursing home knows to keep an eye on these issues and take action to help control and in some cases correct any problems.

Emergency Dental Care

Finally, nursing homes need to be prepared for the unexpected. Just like the rest of us, sometimes more often than the rest of us, older individuals can run into dental emergencies. From the sudden toothache to a chipped tooth, the occasional emergency will crop up and nursing homes need to be ready to deal with this.

Luckily, there are plenty of 24-hour dentists that specialize in taking care of dental emergencies. These are dentists that you can go to when you run into an emergency, though.

One way to find the dentist you need is to use Emergency Dentist USA. This service allows you to choose your state and then find the type of dentist you need – from weekend dentists to dental emergency rooms.

A great idea would be for emergency dental services to work in tandem with nursing homes. This way, residents of the nursing home and their families wouldn’t have to worry about what would happen if the resident had a dental emergency late at night, over the weekend, or on a holiday.

7 Tips to Help You Run Your Home Care Business

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When you’re providing home care for seniors, it’s important to match the right people together. A person who provides home care is going to be in the senior’s life for a significant period of time. They might actually stay with the senior or they might go to their home everyday. Plus, it’s possible that the senior might feel a certain degree of embarrassment about having someone help them with everyday things. So it’s important for the caregiver to put them at ease.

Considering the Sex of the Caregiver

First of all, it’s important to consider the sex of the caregiver. Some seniors might feel more comfortable with someone of their own sex while others might feel comfortable with someone of the opposite sex as well. This is just something you will need to consult the senior about before assigning them someone.

Giving the Senior an Adjustment Period

You also need to give both, the senior and the caregiver, some time to adjust to each other. It’s possible that the senior might feel uncomfortable in the beginning but adjust in a short period of time, as long as the caregiver is a good one.

Making Sure the Senior Feels Heard

It’s important to make the senior feel like you are taking what they say seriously. Many times, seniors feel that their complaints are not heard by family or caregivers. So you need to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

Providing Basic Customer Service

This is something that applies in any business. Every customer who is purchasing a product or a service should receive good customer service. You need to listen to their complaints and address them as best you can.

Resolving Issues Along with the Senior

Often, just the process of telling you what they’re having a hard time with can help the senior to feel better. As a result, they might come up with a solution of their own or the two of you can come up with a solution together.

Presenting the Solution in the Right Way

The point is to make the senior feel comfortable in their own home. And as someone who runs a home care business, you may already know the solutions to many problems that seniors face because you may have come across them before. But the way in which you present these solutions is of great import.

Everyone Likes to Be Given a Choice

Just remember that no one wants to feel like they are being forced into anything. Everyone likes to feel that they are being given a choice. And although home care may be a necessity for many seniors, it helps to let them feel that they are being given a choice in how it is conducted.

5 Things to Consider When Trying to Lose Weight At 50 Years and Beyond

by: Emily John Image Feet on Scale

You may realize that your body has started to change when you reached middle age. Your clothes start getting smaller as the numbers on the scale went up. Losing weight over 50 may be quite challenging because there is a huge change in your hormones. Losing and maintaining a healthy weight requires eating a balanced diet and actively engaging in physical activities. This is a very important part of staying healthy & independent as your age.

Consider these 5 things when trying to lose weight at 50 years and beyond:

1. Eat Enough Proteins, Vegetables, and Whole Foods

Eating a diet high in protein helps you feel full longer. A high-protein diet helps you burn more calories, and it can help repair damaged tissues and muscle cells. Whole foods help your body minimize the amount of sugar in the blood. In order to lose weight more effectively, be sure to do away with high sugar foods such as many breakfast cereals, canned fruits, and fruit juices. Instead, stock your home pantry with more high-protein, fiber-rich foods. If eating in a retirement community, make healthier choices from the menu, like grilled & roasted meat, steamed & raw vegetables & salad, and take it easy on the dessert. Just because it’s included, doesn’t mean you should eat it.

2. Do Not Skip Your Meals

Not eating enough or skipping a meal may make you feel hungry or weak, and it causes your brain not to function properly. You will lack the essential nutrients required to nourish your body as you grow older. Contrary to the common opinion, eating a balanced diet will increase your body’s metabolism; a slower metabolism will make you eat more, thus adding more weight.  If you are unable to independently prepare balanced meals, try contacting an in-home meal preparation service, or hire home care to help you shop & prepare your meals.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is an important factor when trying to lose weight. A balanced diet, coupled with regular exercise, may not be sufficient enough to help you lose weight if you do not get enough sleep.  Poor sleeping habits stimulate the hormones that control hunger and appetite. The leptin hormone suppresses your appetite thus causing your body to spend energy. On the other hand, the ghrelin hormone triggers the hunger when you deprive yourself to sleep. Sleep deprivation makes you eat more calories at night which leads to weight gain.

4. Exercise

Consider doing more strength training exercises – also known as resistance training. Strength training exercises help build and maintain muscle, they help you lose weight, and they can lower blood sugar levels. Additionally, strength training exercises are good for joints and bone strength which improves mobility. Also, consider aerobic exercises. Cardiovascular exercises are known to improve your heart’s health. Most senior communities have a gym and many offer a trainer to help you get started and stay safe. If exercising in your home, remember to play it safe to reduce risks of injury. Most importantly, consult with your doctor before you undertake any training.

5. Reduce Eating Out

Independent individuals, age 50 and beyond, tend to eat out more. Dining out increases the likelihood of consuming the processed, fatty foods that result in weight gain. One way to combat potential weight gain would be to prepare balanced meals in your home.  If you plan to eat out for dinner, make sure and eat 2 small healthy meals at home before so you don’t overeat while out. And remember to make healthy choices when you are out.

As you age, your body needs proper care. Eating well and exercising regularly will keep you happy, and your body healthy and fit, which will increase your independence. Ultimately, you may come to realize that losing weight, after 50, is worth the work.

Adjusting the Market for the Senior Clientele

When most seniors think of moving to a senior community, one of the first thoughts that might cross their mind is, “What about my personal belongings?” This might seem irrational at first glance, but when looked into a little deeper, it can be seen that this is not somuch a materialistic thought, as it is a fear of loss.

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Most seniors go from a few thousand square feet, to only a few hundred square feet, if that. Taking away the fear of losing privacy, personal belongings, and personal space, can alleviate some of the anxiety a resident might feel during this process.

The most important thing to remember when marketing specifically to senior patrons, is that this is their life taking a major turn. While that turn may not be for the worse, of course, it is a huge life change. Subtle reassurance within every blog post, commercial, pamphlet, and meeting, not only makes the client feel better, but also the family. Subtle reassurance not just mentioning how wonderful your staff is, or your amazing physical therapy services, but also the types of food served for what kinds of clients, activities, and help in fitting personal items in each room/apartment. It’s always nice to have an example of a “homey” space ready to show visitors.

The patrons want to hear what the staff turnover is like, and why. They would like to be reassured that if they fall asleep to music at home, would they be allowed to do so at the facility? If they used a box fan at home, will they be allowed to have it in their room? These are the important things to consider when marketing to the senior client. Their personal interests and needs have to be shown in any commercials, pamphlets, blogs, etc. for them, as well as their families, to trust that you will support them in all they need.