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Connect With Your Patient Through Quilting: 7 Activities for Seniors

by: Susan Ashby

Arts and crafts have a long tradition of connecting generations. Quilting is no different. For hundreds of years, families have passed down the craft, signature patterns and plenty of stories to boot.

Why quilting is a great activity for seniorsQuilt image

Quilting requires crafters to use their entire brain, both the creative side and the analytical side. It’s one enormous geometry problem that you solve with your hands. But, unlike your 9th-grade math homework, this one problem is fun to figure out.

A quilting project involves choosing patterns, fabrics and colors you like. And because it’s tactile and hands-on, it helps crafters maintain hand-eye coordination, finger strength and dexterity. Additionally, crafting has been proven to reduce depression and chronic pain, as well as to protect the brain from age-related damage.

Another reason to put quilting on the list of activities for seniors: It’s social. Quilting is a fantastic way to strengthen personal relationships, make new friends and positively impact your community—all while bringing purpose and activity to the daily life of your senior patient.

There are dozens of ways to build a quilting hobby for you and your loved one. Get started with our seven favorite quilting activities for seniors:

Take a field trip to a quilt show or exhibit

When it comes to quilting, simple nine-square patchwork is just the beginning. There are techniques and designs out there that create true works of art. And they’re all over the place! If you have a nearby natural history museum, chances are good they have a quilt or two on display.

In addition to museum-quality pieces, there are also numerous local, national and international quilt shows held every year all around the world. Most quilt shows feature displays, quilting competitions, meet-and-greets with artisans and fabric designers and workshops to help you learn new skills.

Give seasonal cleaning a surprising new purpose

It can be difficult to get seniors to toss old things, especially clothes or bedding that are still usable–even if they’re stained, holey or ill-fitting. Repurposing these items into a quilt project can make it easier to let them go. It’s also a wonderful way to transform items of personal significance into an heirloom that can be treasured. Spread the word to family members to see if they have any fabrics to contribute, too.

Want to make a t-shirt quilt out of old tees or sweatshirts? No problem! Have your senior patient choose the ones they want to memorialize in a quilt. Then, visit a craft or fabric supply store to pick up interfacing, which will stabilize the stretchy material and make it easier to work with.

Log on to find fresh inspiration

If you’re looking for senior activities that will help your patient become more comfortable with computers, smartphones and the internet, quilting might be a fly-by-night surprise. Quilt designers and hobbyists use the web every day to connect with each other, ask and answer questions and share their work.

For inspiration, try introducing your loved one to social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. For help getting started, search for quilt-focused DIY blogs, online crafting magazines and forums like Reddit that promote community Q&As.

Sit in on a local quilt guild meeting

If you’re on the hunt for accessible, low-key activities for seniors, activity-centric groups are prime picks. There are local quilt guilds in towns large and small across America. They are relaxed environments that are always welcoming to newcomers. And given the surprisingly broad age range of quilters, they present a good chance to make friends across generations.

You can find out about these groups online as well as in local quilting or fabric stores. Some sponsor trips to exhibits and shows, workshops with popular crafters and other social gatherings, too.

Volunteer to make quilts for sick kids

Children’s hospitals and childhood disease foundations across the United States accept quilt donations from crafters. The gifts make these kids’ hospital rooms more cheerful and personal. And knowing that someone cared enough to make a quilt just for them eases the stress and worry chronic illness brings.

Plus, your senior might not have to volunteer from a distance. Research has shown that interaction between seniors and children is beneficial for both demographics. If your patient is healthy, able and willing to spend time with kids, volunteering to read, talk or play with tots at a nearby children’s hospital is one scientifically proven way to keep them engaged with society.

Support a dementia patient with a tactile gift

Dementia and early-onset Alzheimer’s are devastating diseases, but research shows that sensory quilts can help patients and caregivers cope. These sorts of items are crafted for sensory stimulation. Different textures, like fleece, flannel and corduroy, give fidgeting fingers something to do while also calling to mind familiar thoughts.

Whether you’re caring for a patient with dementia or your loved one has friends who are slowly declining, creating a tactile quilt is an activity that maintains bond among the two of you, and between your patient, their memories and their friends.

Get lost in Goodwill

If you’ve been to a Goodwill or a thrift store lately, you know how much of a treasure trove it is. From ’80s wedding dresses to tropical button-ups reminiscent of beach vacations, they’re plum picks for a walk down memory lane with your senior patient.

A nice bonus: You can find scores of good-quality quilting materials for a song. Keep an eye out for interesting patterns and textures, natural fibers and items that are discounted because of a flaw, like a weird stain.

If you’re looking for activities for seniors, quilting belongs at the top of your list. It’s an excellent pick for introverts and extroverts alike. It’s also incredibly easy to get started. While machine quilting is certainly in vogue, piecing and quilting by hand is a time-honored tradition. And all you need to get started is your favorite senior plus fabric, needles, and thread.

 

Author Bio: Susan Ashby joined the Superior Senior Care team in July of 2014 as Community Relations Manager. With over 27 years of experience in geriatric health, Susan brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to Superior Senior Care and plays an integral part in connecting consumers and communities with resources for independent living.

Caring for a Spouse with Dementia: Coping and Support

Caring for a Spouse with Dementia: Coping and Support

Dementia is a scary word. That word gets even scarier when you Senior husband wife imagehear the news that your spouse is diagnosed with dementia.

However, there are ways to cope with the diagnosis and help yourself and your spouse through this difficult time. It takes some adjustments to both of your lives but providing the proper care and dealing with the news is crucial. Luckily, neither of you are alone.

What Is Dementia?

The first thing you need to do is learn exactly what dementia is. It’s best to read up on it and ask your doctor plenty of questions to make sure you understand completely.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it’s important to clarify that dementia describes a range of symptoms rather than a specific diagnosis. Particularly, these symptoms affect your spouse’s memory and thinking. Dementia is a diagnosis usually pulled in when these symptoms make it hard for a person to complete their daily routine and activities on their own.

If you see that your spouse is showing signs of dementia, it’s imperative that you schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as you can. This is a condition that usually is progressive, so if it is left alone, it will only get worse.

What Are the Treatment Plans?

When your spouse is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, their doctor should give you an idea of what to do and what to expect.

The unfortunate news is that for many types of progressive dementia (such as Alzheimer’s Disease), there is no cure right now. There are some medications that are used to treat the condition by helping to improve some symptoms on a temporary basis.

How to Come to Terms with a Spouse with Dementia

There are many steps you can take to understand a spouse with dementia. Many aren’t simple changes but they are all possible.

Accept Change

The first thing that you need to do when you hear the diagnosis is to reflect on what it means. When a spouse has trouble thinking and remembering like they used to, you are likely to see changes in their personality. This has led many people reacting that they feel like their married to someone they don’t know as well as they once did.

The best way to go about this is to accept that the relationship you and your spouse have will be different than the one you’ve both grown used to. Most suggest that you take the time to grieve what you and your spouse have lost but be ready to change the playbook and redefine your marriage.

This can be challenging but with for many marriages that have lasted almost a lifetime, this challenge is one that can be faced together.

They Might Say Things They Don’t Mean

When you are caring for your spouse and as the disease progresses, you might find yourself on the receiving end of hurtful rhetoric. It’s important to remember that this comes from the disease they are battling and not from any real spite.

You can help yourself and your spouse by trying to bring laughter into your lives. Joking around and keeping each other in light spirits is a good way to battle the angry mood swings they might demonstrate. In addition, it will help you to remember that your spouse still has a bright, loving core through the disease.

Don’t Try to Go It Alone

Just as it’s important that you are there for your spouse, you need people there for you. This is a hard time for both of you and it can go a long way to be able to talk things through with someone else.

It’s also a good idea to use technology to your advantage. For instance, medical alert systems and location devices can go a long way. It’s a harsh truth that no matter how well-cared for your spouse is, you probably won’t have them in your sight every minute of their life. In the case that something happens when you are separated, your spouse can simply press a button for help. Most of these devices immediately reach out to emergency responders when activated and location trackers can help your spouse get help even if they don’t know where they are.

What Can You Do for Your Spouse?

As the diagnosis sinks in, you probably are trying to figure out how you can help your spouse deal with the disease they are now battling. Aside from what we’ve looked at so far, there are some things you can incorporate into your life.

Be Sure to Communicate Clearly

Talking to a spouse with dementia can be hard. They might frequently forget who you are, what your conversation is about, and get distracted by other stimuli.

The first thing to do when you sit down to talk with your spouse is to make sure there isn’t anything that would make a conversation difficult such as a television. Then, when you speak to them, call them by name, and tell them who you are. For instance, “[their name], I’m [your name], your [husband/wife].”

It’s also a good idea to keep things simple. Especially for more severe cases of dementia, it might be hard for your spouse to remember and follow long-winded questions or choose from too many choices. Simple choices such as “Would you like this or this for dinner?” work better than “What do you want to eat?”

Comfort Them

Not being able to remember facts such as where you are or who you’re with can be frightening. As such, it isn’t unlikely that your spouse is feeling scared or anxious as well as confused. When you are working with them, remain calm and comforting to help them stay as at ease as possible.

Don’t Be Afraid to Consult the Professionals

Many spouses try to handle their partner’s symptoms on their own. After all, you love them and want to do what’s best for them. 24/7 care, though, can be difficult and often impossible.

It’s also not a bad idea to recognize when you need to recruit help from a professional caregiver. It isn’t uncommon or bad to call in a caregiver even part-time to help your spouse if you have regular responsibilities that would pull you away from your spouse. It’s also not cruel of you to recognize when you need a few hours to take care of your own needs.

Does Your Community Have a New Resident Orientation Program?

Congrats! You’ve gained another resident. After implementing marketing and sales strategies and great customer service, that potential resident is now your resident. But what’s next? After everything is Community imagecompleted and the resident has moved in, there can still be some uncertainty about moving into a new senior living community as well unanswered questions from not only the senior but their family as well. To combat this, senior living communities should implement new resident orientation when moving in new residents.

New resident orientation should be a program to help seniors become comfortable in your living community. In some cases when a resident moves in to your community this is their first time ever moving into any form of senior living. It is very likely they may have questions about how everything works around your community. Questions can vary from, how to turn the thermostat down, where the cafeteria is or how to get involved in recreational classes. It is your job as the senior living community to provide answers to these questions. A way to help seniors not only feel more comfortable, but their families as well would be to implement the first 100 hours and 100 days rule.

The first 100 hours rule is simple. For the first 100 hours or (3-4 days) of a residents stay, the community will be in constant contact with the resident to make sure that they are settling in comfortably. From making phone calls, or setting up visits to the residents unit, your associates need to be heavily focused on answering any questions or concerns that the resident may have. By making the extra effort to make sure they are adapting to their surroundings, shows your residents that you are care about their well-being.

After the first 100 hours it is still important to be focused on the resident’s needs. Another crucial part of new member orientation is the first 100 days or (3-4 months) of a residents stay. During this time you and your team will still be in contact with the resident once a week to make sure they are still adapting well to the community. During this time you will also need to be in contact with the family of the resident asking them if they have any questions or concerns. By doing this the family of the resident can feel more assured that their loved one is being cared for correctly and will be more likely to tell other friends about the great service their loved one is receiving from your community.

In all implementing the 100 hour and 100 days new resident orientation into your move in process can be beneficial for not only the resident but you as a community. When potential residents learn about this program they might be more susceptible to choosing your community over others leading to more sales. Adding this new resident orientation to your communities move in process could make all the difference.

When is the Right Time to Move to an Assisted Living Community

Assisted Living image

by: Acts Retirement-Life Community

Deciding when — and if — it’s a good time to consider moving into assisted living is a highly personal choice. If you’re a caregiver or if you’re making this decision for yourself, here are some common topics to think about. 

Seniors who are feeling the strain of maintaining a safe, happy lifestyle in their current home do have options. They could move to assisted living, or into a relative’s home, or some other solution. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and only you or your loved ones will know when it’s time for a living arrangement that provides you with more care and companionship. 

While there’s no rulebook to guide you, there are common telltale signs that suggest it might be time for someone to consider moving. Use them as guideposts for making your own decision. Here are the most common signs that it might be time to start thinking about moving. 

Important note: Please be aware that there is a distinct difference between independent living and assisted living.  

Independent Living is typically defined as a community of older adults who live in an active community filled with educational, recreational and social activities. Older adults who choose to move to an independent living community typically do so in search of a healthier, worry-free lifestyle that allows them to embrace their passions, make new friends and enjoy life to the fullest.  

Assisted Living, although designed to provide many of the social, recreational and health benefits mentioned above, is designed to cater to the needs of older adults who require a combination of residential housing and supportive health care services. These residents may need additional help with meals, medication or personal care. 

 If you want to learn more about the difference between independent living and assisted living, read about the types of senior living options 

  1. Signs It’s Time to Make a Change

For some folks, the decision to move is an easy one because circumstances dictate a higher level of care. Here are some examples. 

Safety Becomes an Issue 

When someone faces danger in their own home because of failing health, this is a very large red flag. Memory loss or forgetfulness often causes any or all of the following safety hazards, meaning it’s time to make changes. Some are also considered to be early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease:  

  • Cooking dangers. The stove accidentally gets left on repeatedly. 
  • Kitchen accidents. These begin occurring more frequently: small fires, broken dishes, burns, burnt food, etc. 
  • Food spoilage. It’s a problem when it goes unnoticed. Sometimes, either because of cognitive problems or neurological damage to the senses, seniors end up eating spoiled milk, rotten meat, and other types of spoiled food that puts them in danger of becoming sick. 
  • Frequent falls. People become frailer as they age and they also begin to lose their sense of balance. This often results in frequent falls which, not surprisingly, are the number one cause of trips to the emergency room for older Americans. 
  • Car accidents. Seniors are often apt to feel challenged when driving, whether it’s because of failing eyesight, decreased mobility, or cognitive issues. They are also statistically more prone to suffer more injuries than younger people when they crash. 
  • Medication mix-ups. Medication schedules and routines are hard for anyone of any age to manage, but seniors often feel extra challenged. Forgetting to take pills, taking the wrong dose, or running out can have serious health consequences. 

 Some of the issues above are caused by a lack of mental stimulation. Read how retirement communities work to prevent cognitive decline in seniors. 

Health Becomes an Issue 

  • Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). The early warning signs of dementia and AD include memory loss. Forgetfulness is natural as we age, but if someone is forgetting whether they ate lunch, that’s a clear sign of a possible health problem. Get checked out by a doctor. If dementia or AD are possibilities, moving to assisted living sooner rather than later can make sense on a number of important levels. Many communities have treatment and care plans that can greatly improve quality of life for people at any stage of dementia. 
  • More trips to the ER. When falls are happening more frequently or when a chronic health issue is worsening, there’s a good chance that someone might need round-the-clock care. In many instances, that level of care requires more than a family caregiver can give. In these cases, moving to assisted living can not only improve the health of a senior, but can also help to improve the relationship to their caregiver. 
  • Problems with the tasks of daily living. When a senior can no longer button their shirt, there’s often a workaround for stiff fingers: zippers, pullovers, etc. But when they’re having trouble with everyday tasks like moving about the house, toileting, or brushing their teeth, there can be health concerns (not to mention quality of life concerns). Moving to assisted living means getting help with those tasks in a dignified manner and a caring environment. 
  1. Subtle Signs that Someone Needs More Care

Sometimes the red flags aren’t as obvious as the danger signs listed just above. Subtle signs that someone is struggling to maintain a normal lifestyle can also mean it’s time to have a discussion. Here are a few examples:  

  • Problems managing finances. With banking changing so fast these days, it’s understandable that older Americans can sometimes feel bewildered by modern money management. But if checks are regularly being bounced, bills are left unpaid, and investments are being forgotten about, it’s time to get some help.  

Want tips? Read Financial Planning Advice for Seniors   

  • Nutrition is suffering. We’re all prone to the occasional nutritional shortcut once in a while, but if someone is eating out of cans or takeout every day, that can be signs of something larger going on. Seniors who are depressed or experiencing mobility issues or cognitive decline often give up on cooking. 
  • Socializing is almost nil. Social circles get smaller as we retire; friends move away and families get spread out across the country. Nevertheless, it’s important to stay social. It’s been proven that isolation can affect a senior’s health as much as tobacco use or obesity. 

Making a Decision 

Asking yourself — or your loved one, if you’re a caregiver — these questions can help you with your decision. But these are by no means the only considerations to make. As you explore your options with your family members or spouse, keep in mind that everyone is different and there may be conversations you’ll want to have beyond the common concerns we’ve outlined here.  

If you find that you are unsure of whether you or your loved one should move to an assisted living facility, you should read about the alternatives to nursing homes. It’s likely that today’s modern, active retirement communities are very different than the nursing home you are picturing in your mind. And Continuing Care Retirement Communities may offer the perfect intermediary solution – they are independent retirement communities that offer extra levels of healthcare based on the need, meaning a senior can live in an active, independent community until such time when true assisted living or even deeper healthcare becomes necessary, and that level of care can occur right within the same campus.  

One final word: what you decide will have an impact on your lifestyle as well as everyone who’s close to you. Ideally, you’ll want to talk things over many times with family members. So give yourself plenty of time and allow yourself the space to make a good choice that not only makes sense, but feels right, too.

Seniors & Technology: Why Smart Glasses Are the Future

Smart Glasses image

Science fiction authors have written extensively about bionic body parts. Smart glasses are not bionic but are a very real and current example of advanced technology, and now their creators have seniors in mind. Gone are the days of having several different pairs of glasses depending on what one needs at the time: sunglasses, reading glasses, bifocals, etc. While some people will enjoy them for their augmented reality features, anyone with vision problems will appreciate having all-in-one glasses for everyday use. Here’s how smart glasses are a revolution in eyesight for seniors.

They look like regular glasses

Admittedly, some of them — particularly liquid lenses — need improvement in the “style” area, like any new device. But the average consumer’s demand for better quality of life will motivate researchers and engineers to create a pair with the convenience of aesthetic appeal. NuEyes boasts electronic smart glasses that are lightweight, wireless and voice activated.

They focus on what the wearer sees

As we age, our eyes lose the ability to change focus. Seniors and anyone with vision problems find that smart glasses automatically change their focus depending on the wearer’s needs, such as transitioning from reading a book to looking at the distance. Bluetooth allows the wearer to easily update their prescription or add prescriptions for different purposes. The combination of various corrective features in one pair of glasses gives seniors one less thing to worry about, and more time to enjoy life instead of hunting for the bifocals.

They help with many vision problems

Smart glasses promise a better quality of life for the legally blind as well as people with the following conditions:

  • glaucoma
  • retinitis pigmentosa
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • macular degeneration

They help with daily tasks

Seniors who need to take medication regularly or who have trouble recognizing familiar faces will benefit from smart glasses. The glasses remind them when to take their medication, how to check if they’re taking the right one, and discreetly remind them who people are, among other useful features. Seniors with dementia will likewise be less dependent on caregivers. Since smart glasses help seniors deal with daily tasks and social interactions, they’re a great tool for their independence.

Smart glasses combine the single corrections from multiple prescription glasses into one device. Their helpful features, ease of use and widespread appeal make them the future for seniors. New Lifestyles can help you better care for your senior.

4 Practical Devices Caregivers Might Recommend for Seniors Aging-In-Place

As youngsters, we work hard to gain independence. However, that precious treasure can be threatened as we age due to decreased mobility and other physical limitations. Thankfully, there are many safety products to help seniors and their families with these issues. And with the help of these products, home modifications, and other adjustments, millions of seniors are successfully aging-in-place. Here are 4 items that might be practical for you or your loved one.

  1. Medication dispensing system. Having one pill to be taken daily can be difficult in itself. However, many seniors have a few medications to take, scattered throughout the day. Dispensing systems can help keep track of even the most complex regimens, some even give verbal reminders and keep records.
  2. Motion sensor lighting. Many homeowners have this type of lighting outdoors, to help them see clearly when they approach the home at night or to alert them to visitors. However, it is possible to install motion sensors indoors to automatically turn on the light when a senior enters a room. This eliminates the need to fumble around, potentially getting hurt.
  3. Anti-scald attachments can help prevent many burns from sink faucets or shower heads. It is so easy to increase the water temperature to the point where it is unsafe. Attachments can help seniors avoid this, by creating a specific limit.
  4. Senior-friendly cell phones. A mobile phone would be of no use to its owner if it is too difficult to use. Thankfully, several companies make phones that are senior-friendly, with larger buttons, brighter displays, and other great features.

There are so many products to keep seniors safe. Many of them can also help loved ones maintain their independence as long as possible. But aging-in-place doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. Home care providers can offer assistance.

Medication Management Tips for Seniors and Their Caregivers

Medication imageby: James Fleming

If your aging parent is one of the 80 percent of older adults in the U.S. with a chronic illness, chances are you’re no stranger to a daily medication regimen. Ordering, refilling, organizing, and administering medicine is oftentimes one of the most important jobs a caregiver will do.

The truth is, however, upwards of 50 percent of people with chronic illnesses don’t always take their medications as prescribed by their doctor. A variety of factors contribute to this type of non-adherence including poor patient-doctor communication, medication costs, complicated medicine schedules, health illiteracy, multiple providers writing prescriptions, and similar-looking and similar-sounding drugs.

While the responsibility of medication adherence falls to both the patient and their doctor, there are a few things caregivers can do to help too:

Starting a New Medication?

For the sake of your loved one’s health, when it comes to starting a new medication, make sure to ask their doctor a handful of important questions including:

  • How do you pronounce this medicine’s name as well as its generic name?
  • What exactly does this medicine do and what is it designed to treat?
  • Are there any adverse side effects we can expect?
  • What should we do if we accidentally miss a dose?
  • Are there any drug interactions we should know about?

While diet and physical activity play critical roles in managing chronic conditions, medicine also has its place in keeping people healthy. It’s important to advocate on behalf of your older adult, however, to make sure that new medications won’t result in additional complications.

Organizing and Reminding

Use a pill organizer. One of the best ways to stay on top of a daily medicine schedule is to utilize pill organizers. Easy-to-use pill organizers let you sort medications both by day of the week as well as the time of day. Often color-coded and clearly labeled, pill organizers prevent an older adult from having to open multiple identical pill bottles each day and carefully figure out which pills to take. You can find a variety of fairly inexpensive pill organizers at your local drug store or online.

Similarly, you should also categorize and store other important medical necessities together like first aid items, medical devices (blood pressure monitor, thermometer, etc.) and orthopedic aids like back braces, carpal tunnel braces, etc.

Post the medicine schedule. Clearly printed medicine schedules are super helpful for doctor’s visits and in the event emergency medical personnel need to record what your loved one is taking if they go to the hospital. Printed medicine schedules can also assist you, the in-home caregiver, and serve as a type of checklist by which you can verify the medicine you are handing off to your loved one to take is correct. Medicine schedules should include the name of the drug (that’s printed on the label) as well as the dosage, the shape and color, and the time(s) of day at which it is taken.

Set reminders. Whether it’s a reminder on your smartphone, on your loved one’s alarm clock, on the TV, you name it, a loud and actionable reminder to take medicine is a must. Some smart pill bottles come with digital integrations that feature their own reminder systems too and there are also different mobile apps (like MediSafe and CareZone) available to help your older adult stay on track as well.

Tips for Creating a Backup Supply

Try as hard as you might, there is inevitably the occasional incidence of running out of your parent’s medicine and not being able to refill it in time for their next dose. While this can be scary, it also begs the question “how can you build up a backup supply for emergencies?”.

The first place to start is to find out how soon you can refill their normal prescription. For many insurance companies, including Medicare, you don’t have to wait a full 30 days to refill a monthly prescription. Sometimes you can do it as quickly as 25 or 27 days. If you refill your loved one’s prescription early for even just a few months, you’ll quickly build a small backup supply of medicine for emergencies.

It is also worth asking your loved one’s doctor if there is a way to either simplify the medicine schedule, i.e. reduce dosages from twice a day to once a day, or write any of the prescriptions for longer periods of time, i.e. three months vs. one month. Small modifications like this can make a huge difference when it comes to managing medicine schedules and reducing associated stress.

Hobbies for Seniors: Weighing The Pros and Cons of Pet Ownership

Elderly women with dog

For thousands of years, humans have enjoyed the benefits that come from owning a pet. Not to be forgotten though is the fact that pet ownership can be a heavy responsibility for owners of any age, including seniors. So if you are considering getting a pet, here are a few of the pro’s and cons to weigh before you bring home your new friend.

Pro’s

  • They can help you ward off both boredom and loneliness. While pets cannot completely replace human companionship, their presence in the home can definitely fill a void.
  • Being needed is a great feeling. Caring for a being that depends on you for basically everything can really improve your self-worth and give you something to look forward to each day.
  • If you get a dog that needs you to walk it, this will keep you from living a sedentary lifestyle. The increased activity comes with physical, emotional, and mental benefits.

Cons

  • Caring for a pet comes with a price tag. Even a goldfish requires food. Other animals might require regular visits to the vet as well as potential emergency treatment. This could cause a financial burden and more stress.
  • Your health might prevent you from caring for your pet properly. On the days you aren’t feeling your best, the duties will still await you. Can you push yourself to do the job or will your pet possibly suffer?
  • Cats and dogs create a fall risk for seniors. They walk, run, and sit, in unpredictable places and this will present a new hazard in addition to others you already face.

These pro’s and cons are just a sample of what seniors should consider in deciding whether to get a pet or not. And while the cons merit serious consideration, they don’t necessarily mean a pet is out of the question. Many seniors are able to own pets with the help of family, friends, or caregivers. Why not do some more research and discuss it with a family member or trusted friend?

Debunking the Myths About Senior Living

Seniors Image

by: Eugenia B.

When it comes to senior living and senior activity, it’s a held belief that living in a senior community can have less to offer than other living arrangements. However, for most of the senior communities located in cities and towns across the country, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s take a few moments to demystify some of these misconceptions surrounding these communities, and paint a realistic, clear picture of seniors and senior living.

Myth 1: “Living in a senior community is not affordable.”

While many seniors (although not all) paid off their homes and enjoy being mortgage free, things like property taxes, utility bills, insurance, summer and winter maintenance costs can add up quickly, and never go away as a homeowner. Add on the monthly price tag of regular medical care, and the cost of choosing to live in an independent living community alongside other seniors can be on par with staying in your home. Personalized, around the clock care, living with other of similar age, and having access to activities and community events — depending on a senior’s priorities or health — may even make the option of a senior community more enticing.

Myth 2: “When you say senior care community, you might as well say nursing home.”

Many people think that these two very different establishments are synonymous, but that simply isn’t true. Being part of an independent community means that your lifestyle transforms into one that is more care-free, but not restricted. For example, planning ahead to get assistance for physically intensive tasks, or circumstance that requires a level of premeditation can be taken out of the equation once in a senior community. Senior living communities are places where activities, clubs, fitness classes, and excursions are all organized for you and are in a central location. A level of amenity, independence and social elements are all kept in mind that many “homes” don’t provide. Clear research, a visit to the community and keeping in mind what is best for the senior are all highly recommended, and the best way to dispel this level of thinking.

Myth 3: “Moving to one of these communities will isolate me from family and friends.”

There’s no compelling reason to think you’ll see the people you care about less frequently. Senior communities don’t keep your family and friends from visiting or spending the day with you; in fact, visits are happily encouraged. How? Many communities have a number of different options for hosting your loved ones. Whether it’s a visit in the common area, outdoor picnic events or barbecues, the on-premise cafe, the clubhouse… a chance to meet with the people you care about doesn’t go away. If anything, space may increase for these opportunities to happen more often.

Myth 4: “I won’t like the food.”

Would it surprise you to learn that many senior living communities take great pride in offering sumptuous meals to their residents each and every day? Chefs, culinary professionals and dieticians are only some of the staff these communities employ to ensure every meal eaten is flavourful, varied, and nutritional.

Myth 5: “I’ll be bored.”

Where and when this particular myth was derived is difficult to say. Considering that these communities employ a staff of activity coordinators whose job involves planning frequent events, outings, and classes, you’ll likely find that your social calendar is as full as it ever was — if not more.

If some of these myths sound like things you’ve been thinking or worrying about, you aren’t the only one. Hopefully, you can now count yourself among those who are willing to consider that senior living communities can be amazing and fulfilling places to live. We hope that this article helped dispel some myths — or brought up items you weren’t even thinking about — so you can make an informed, clear and unbiased decision for you, a loved one, or relative or senior you know.

Changes for a Better Living

Discovering the difficulties associated with aging can be tough, and caring for elderly loved ones can be a bit challenging as well. At a certain age, individuals lose their ability to complete activities of daily living, which can be frustrating for the individual and their caretaker.  New LifeStyles can help you understand available senior housing and care options whether you are a caregiver or an individual struggling with the decision to seek assistance.

Deciding to Move

Realizing your, or a loved one’s, home is no longer the best or the safest option can be a painful discovery. Tasks become harder with age and being left alone to deal with the difficulties that arise every day may not be a suitable option. Choosing to relocate is not always an easy decision to make, but seeking advice from professionals can make the transition more manageable.  New LifeStyles can help you understand your situation and give you the guidance needed to make tough decisions. Their resources benefit seniors, their families, caretakers, and community directors.

Refusing to Leave

Most adults become accustomed to their own rules. We do what we want, within boundaries, and ultimately do not have to answer to anyone. As a senior, being told what to do can become irritating, exhausting, and sometimes even degrading. When moving your elderly loved one out of the comforts of their home, it may be necessary to seek outside help. Take the first step by contacting New LifeStyles to gather quality information to present to your loved one.

Core Value

Many senior communities offer independent livingassisted living, skilled nursing services, and so much more.  New LifeStyles can guide you through the process of locating senior living and care options that will provide the best quality of care for your loved one.  Take advantage of New LifeStyles’ resources and help your loved one maintain independence, dignity, and happiness during their golden years.