Resources for Families with Loved Ones Needing Care

recources-family-with-seniors-sizedCaring for an ailing loved one can be a daunting and overwhelming task, to say the least. Aside from the logistical arrangements of ensuring transportation to doctor’s appointments or rehabilitation activities, there is also the emotional roller coaster of sadness, frustration, tenderness, and nostalgia.

Rest assured, there are resources available to provide support for those caring for an older loved one. Here is a list of just a few of the top resources available to offer guidance, answers, and sometimes just a listening ear.

1) AARP

AARP is an invaluable resource for those entering their Golden Years and for those caring for an elderly loved one. Founded in 1958, AARP now lobbies in Washington on behalf of older Americans and has several affiliate organizations that serve a number of functions. The organization has an entire webpage dedicated to “family caregiving.” There are informational links on health, financial and legal concerns, and how to maintain balance when caring for a loved one, as well as a site with links to local resources, depending on where one is located. The AARP magazine and webpages are also a great resource for information on scams targeting older Americans, as well as up-to-the-minute coverage of political topics and news affecting this demographic.

2) Retirement Communities

Many retirement communities like those in San Diego, California, offer both luxury resort living accommodations and senior care services pertaining to injuries or memory loss. Facility websites include frequently asked questions sections with information not just on that particular facility, but also key things to consider when trying to decide if such a community is the right choice for the loved one in your care. Many facilities have a rich social media presence and are staffed with employees happy to answer questions and provide reassurance in times of uncertainty and decision-making.

3) Eldercare Directory

It’s interesting to note that each state in the U.S. has an Aging Services Division dedicated to providing home and community services to older Americans. These have the goal of allowing for maximum independence. Some offered might include help with household chores, meals delivered to one’s home, health aides, and even transportation to the grocery store and to medical appointments. Some agencies may also provide legal aid or access to mental healthcare and counseling.

4) PBS

It’s not just for Big Bird and Mister Rogers! The Public Broadcasting Service has long been known for national programming that ties in with local community outreach. PBS’s “Caring for Your Parents” programming and subsequent website pages offers a wealth of resources and support systems available, along with information straight from doctors and experts themselves.

 

Keyword: senior care services san diego

 

The Top Ways Retirement Communities Are Making the Golden Years Great Ones

the-top-ways-sizedRetirement communities in today’s society are designed to enhance the lives of their residents through rich community life, opportunities for maintained independence, and sometimes even luxury accommodations that call to mind five-star hotels and exotic resort destinations. Unlike the stigma of the past, these communities aren’t “facilities for the elderly.” They are neighborhoods, vibrant with bustling activity and overflowing with vitality.

Here are some of the top ways that today’s retirement communities are making the Golden Years great years for everyone.

1) Affordability

Yes, senior care facilities and communities in high-cost cities like San Diego can be expensive. But there are always options to defer some of the costs. Some communities offer move-in specials. Others offer access to specialists who are trained in seeking funding, grants, and financial assistance for eligible seniors. Some communities offer discounts for residents living with roommates, making resort-style living in apartments or even penthouse suites a feasible option that is sure to be enjoyable.

2) Food

Long-gone are the days of the stigma of cafeteria-type food. Seniors in resort retirement communities have access to both fine dining and casual dining, in both atmosphere design and in delicious cuisine. Meals are designed with nutritional needs in mind but prepared in a way that is both pleasing to the eye and to the palette. Many chefs will also prepare dishes of nostalgic or cultural significance that residents are sure to appreciate and enjoy. Further abandoning older models of cafeteria-type food, residents can also enjoy gourmet coffee at on-site coffee shops.

3) Recreation

An active lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle! Retirement communities like those in San Diego offer a wealth of options for residents to choose from when it comes to staying active and fit. An on-site golf course might be the perfect choice for getting out and enjoying the California sunshine and a little competitive energy. Water aerobics or swimming laps in the pool might be the best way to relax and burn some calories at the same time. Many facilities offer modified fitness classes and keep groomed walking trails on the property available to everyone.

4) The Arts

What is life without art? Some communities offer their residents access to an on-site art studio as an outlet for creative pursuits. Instrumental or singing musical groups are also formed for songbirds who have a flair for performance. Film buffs can enjoy classic and modern films in an on-site movie theater. Retirement communities also often employ an activities director who plans any number of theme events, parties, and celebrations that residents can enjoy together.

 

The Best Ways to Enhance the Golden Years

best-ways-to-enhance-sizedExperts refer to the ages of 65 to 85 as one’s Golden Years, and they most certainly should be! This is the age where one has earned the right to slow down, relax, and enjoy life and all that it has to offer. Here are some ways one can enhance the Golden Years in order to turn them into the best years experienced yet!

1) Climate

Who wants to deal with dreary rain, snow, and humidity? Drier, temperate climates are often a huge draw for seniors wanting to escape the hassles that come with living in a colder climate. Aside from aching joints (no, that isn’t just an old wive’s tale!), there is wet, heavy snow to shovel, icy sidewalks with the potential for falls, and the isolating loneliness that comes when it’s simply too cold to venture out. Often older folks will head for regions like Arizona or Southern California where the weather is fair and where there are lots of things to do.

2) Community and Friends

Speaking of things to do, the Golden Years should be packed full of wonderful times with friends! Many find fulfillment and rich community life with resort-style retirement communities that have senior care services included, like those in San Diego, for example. Others find community by becoming active in volunteer positions at local museums or art galleries. Still others find fulfillment by taking more of an active role in local religious organizations or in community groups that are designed to help others.

3) Romance

If one’s spouse or partner is no longer a part of their life, new romance can be an exciting addition to one’s Golden Years. Couples often find each other on stage-of-life dating websites. Sometimes they meet in church singles groups. Some people find romance at the planned activities at senior centers or at retirement communities.

4) Health

One of the most important things one can do to enhance their Golden Years is to invest in their physical health. Staying active, eating the right nutritious foods, and getting regular check-ups can be key components to living a happy life. It’s also smart to research holistic approaches to health for both mind and body.

5) Travel

The world is an oyster just waiting to be explored! With freedom from the 9 to 5 workday now a reality, why not visit all of those places dreamed of and have adventures? Whether it’s seeing the country through an RV or boarding a jet to head to Scotland, Italy, or the Mediterranean, this is the time to get out and see the world. Make memories to last a lifetime and make the Golden Years the time in life that’s the best so far.

 

The History of Senior Care around the World

History-world-seniors-sivedSeniors have always been prominent members of societies throughout history. In many ancient cultures, they were considered the wise elders who would contribute to making decisions that affected entire tribes. After all, they had earned their wisdom through years of trial and error and helped to care for their communities now by sharing their experiences.

In the times of the Ancient Greeks, law required that children care for aging parents. Citizens who did not comply were under threat of punishments like loss of citizenship, a harsh consequence second only to execution in the minds of people at the time.

“The Elizabethan Poor Law,” put into effect in the 1600’s, would later serve as the model for “aging services” in the U.S. colonies. Families were expected to help their relatives if they could no longer live independently. Neighbors were expected to pitch in when family couldn’t. If this still wasn’t meeting the needs of those needing help, delegates from private and public sectors were expected to work together. These steps didn’t just apply to aging community members, but to all members of the community who needed assistance, financial or otherwise.

During the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, artwork depicting community elders evoked a sense of wisdom, experience, and beauty of the subject being painted. Elders became so revered that after the French Revolution, some towns and villages in France held festivals designed to specially honor the older residents of the area.

By the 1930’s, America had shifted from families primarily caring for their loved ones to Federal Government involvement. The Social Security Act of 1935 made huge strides in independence for Americans as they grew older. Part of the Act required employers and employees to make contributions for the eventual retirement of the employee.

Today, the world for Americans reaching their Golden Years looks completely different than it did even 50 years ago. For one, better healthcare and advances in medicine have shifted the age range of the older population, along with their quality of life. Those entering retirement often travel the world, work part-time in the field of their choice, or take up volunteering positions at art institutions or museums. The possibilities are truly endless.

Some retirees may move into “mother-in-law” suites in their children’s homes in order to play an active role in their grandchildren’s lives and upbringing. Others dedicate themselves to committees and teaching in religious organizations.

Many older folks find happiness and fulfillment living in retirement communities. Facilities like those found in San Diego offer resort-style luxury living, with senior care services provided as well. In facilities like those, residents enjoy life in apartments or in penthouse suites. They have access to an on-site library, a movie theater, a hair salon, and even a golf course.

How to Care for a Loved One Struggling with Memory Loss

care-for-memoryGrowing older has many upsides: you no longer have to work long hours. You have lived life and learned life lessons, so a certain level of wisdom has been gained. Plus, now that the kids are grown, it’s much easier to sit back and enjoy grandchildren and great grandchildren!

A painful reality of growing older for many, however, is memory loss. For the person experiencing it, it can be confusing, frustrating, and even terrifying. For the families, watching a loved one struggle can be scary and heartbreaking. While it can take on different forms and exist to different extents, those who struggle can find comfort with some simple steps that may make things a little bit easier.

1) Shared Experiences

Experts and family members alike say that one frustrating aspect of trying to help a family member experiencing this is the inability to know what to talk about. Family members who try to re-tell family stories may frustrate and confuse their loved one, which in turn leaves the family member unsure of what to say. Rather than watch communication completely break down, some programs offer a solution. A prominent community art institution, for example, offers a program where caregivers and those struggling with diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s can visit the galleries for free, experience a piece of art together, and then use given prompts to discuss it. Program organizers say this gives a loved one and their caregiver a shared experience to discuss that doesn’t involve long-term memory. This allows the two to interact without frustration.

 2) 24-7 Care

Family members often worry about their loved one becoming confused and wandering away from home. The loved one in turn can find this “hovering” condescending and suffocating. A good solution to meet everyone’s need might be a residential memory care facility in National City. Most such facilities offer specially trained staff and up-to-the-minute technology to ensure that one’s loved one is safe and enjoying life without being hovered over.

3) Underwhelming Environment

Such facilities cite the importance of what might seem to be an underwhelming living environment. Experts say that this is actually crucial, as dementia can make a regular home environment with multiple colors, clutter of memorabilia and artwork, and multiple rooms with varying décor feel completely overwhelming. Simplifying the loved one’s living environment can make moments of confusion a bit more bearable.

4) Patience

It’s very important for family members and caregivers to remember to be patient. Keep in mind that it is just as confusing, overwhelming, and frightening for the one who is experiencing it firsthand. With patient love and support, families can ease these stresses and come out of it all closer than ever.

 

 

The Best Ways to Enjoy Your Golden Years

traveling-seniors-sizedPeople often refer to age 60 and beyond as “The Golden Years,” and for good reason! During the Golden Years, the hard work of raising children is done, years of toiling away at one’s job are over, and many of life’s hardest lessons have been learned. Now it’s time to relax and enjoy all the golden moments life still has to offer!

Here is a list of ideas for spending the Golden Years in comfort and in fulfillment of dreams.

1) Travel

Before, there was always work to be done. There were long hours at the office and soccer games and ballet recitals to attend. Any travel done in younger years usually revolved around family gatherings or things the kids were interested in. Now is the time to enjoy traveling to all the sites on your wish-list that’s been in the back of your mind since childhood. One woman tells the story of how during retirement and beyond, she traveled to all the destinations she’d always wished to visit. These included the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the sacred Beaches of Normandy, and the castles of the British Isles. She also spent her years researching her family’s genealogy, tracing the family roots back to nobility in England and eventually onto the Mayflower.

2) Family

Some people spend their Golden Years living in regret for not enough time spent with family in exchange for long hours at the office. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Why not use these years to make up for lost time with loved ones? This might involve travel to visit relatives around the country. This could mean regularly organizing summer barbecues or family reunions. Or it could simply be instituting Sunday meals at the old homestead to keep everyone gathering regularly and keeping up on each other’s lives.

3) Community

Focusing on community life is a great priority to have during the Golden Years. People can get involved at their local Commission on Aging and enjoy all the activities they have planned. Volunteering at an animal shelter or library is a great way to be more active in the community now that work schedules aren’t a factor.

Many find community with other like-minded individuals at resort-style retirement communities. Communities such as those in National City offer senior care services, along with other perks like planned excursions with other residents, and activities like community gardening, bocce ball tournaments, and frequent movie showings.

Whatever the chosen path, it’s important to remember that the Golden Years are a time where you get to choose what you want to do! It’s a time of celebration and self care that can bring some of the most beautiful moments in life yet.

 

Building A Nest Egg for Retirement

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It doesn’t matter if you began working at 16 or 30 or if your first job was in a fast food chain or at the stock exchange. As soon as you start earning, you need to think of saving for your retirement.  The earlier you are able to build a sizable nest egg, the better.  This will put your mind at ease. You will be financially covered in case of emergencies when you are no longer working due to retirement or needing senior care services in San Diego.

Save Regularly

Set aside a certain percent of your monthly earnings specifically for your retirement fund.  Carefully plotting out a monthly budget will help you live within your means, and still have enough to set aside as savings. Be very strict about not touching this money. If you are determined and disciplined enough, not only will you have saved a certain amount on a regular basis, but starting this habit puts you in a mindset of financially preparing for your future. Starting a savings fund is fundamental in achieving your financial goals. Choose the bank that will give you the best rates. By the time you are at the retirement age and needing senior care services, these savings will have grown exponentially due to interest.

Make Reasonable Investments

Another way to build your retirement nest egg, is by investing. If you are just getting into it, remember to start small. Get your feet wet first, so to speak. There are lots of low risk and medium risk investments that you can get into. Remember to use only your disposable income on these investments. Continue to keep your savings separate from your investments. Of course, if you are bolder, you can make bigger and more risky investments where the returns are bigger.  Ask the advice of investment experts before you do any investing.

Diversify Sources of Income

Traditionally, your main source of income would come from your job.  But you need to think outside of the box and not rely on this method of generating money alone. There are a lot of ways to earn.  You can do part-time remote work. You might want to offer some of your skills on a freelance basis. You can explore ways on how to create passive income. You can sell stuff. The more income you make, the more money you can set aside for the future.  Remember to keep your eye on the prize. Before you know it, you will have built a nest egg that can support you in your retirement years when you would be needing senior care services.

The Perks of a Community Home

benifits

You have been working hard all your life.  You have sacrificed your time for your company to help it grow. You took care of your family as best you could, and you gladly did that.  You have contributed your fair share to society. Now that you are in your 60s, you would like to take it easy and why not? You have definitely earned it. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could spend your days doing only the things you like to do without having to worry about anything else, like cleaning the house, washing dishes after every meal and other such mundane household chores? Why not consider moving into a community home? It would still be like your home, but with hotel-like amenities as a bonus.

Simply Relax

When you live in your own house, there are tons of things you need to take care of. It simply never ends — from the day to day chores, buying groceries and cooking meals, to house repairs and maintenance. Running a household is not an easy task. Moving in a community home that gives senior care in San Diego automatically makes all these tasks disappear.  You can now spend your days simply relaxing and doing things that you want to do, not just things that you need to do.

Professional Help

Sure, you are capable of doing a lot of things by yourself but sometimes you just want things to be done a little bit better than you think you can.  What do you do then? You go to a professional. You want your steak cooked well done? You go to a chef.  You need a haircut? You go to a salon. Your coat needs to be cleaned? You go to a dry cleaner. Assisted living communities offer all these professional services and more, all under one roof.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are additional services at a community home that gives senior care such as the one in San Diego that you can take advantage of as well. Be well-informed, and reap the benefits from living in San Diego where you can get senior care in a community home.

Plethora of Activities

Whatever your interest may be, there is surely something that you can do at the community home of your choice. You can take advantage of the different facilities available. Many have fitness equipment and wellness rooms. Some even have a pool. These centers also plan monthly activities which you can join, such as having guest speakers give talks about a wide range of topics. And if it’s just peace and quiet that you’re after, you can always find a private space in the home which you can claim as your very own.

The Seniors Club – What does it Mean?

seniors_club_550

Everybody wants to be a part of something. It’s human nature. Even if you are the shyest person in the world, there is still a part of you that wants to connect with other people.  When you reach your sixties, you can finally join a very special organization for people like you: the seniors club. Not everyone can be a part of this particular group. It is a privilege to be part of this club. Everyone who is able to join this community should consider themselves very lucky indeed. They get exclusive access to the best care, the best facilities, and they get to join fun activities. It’s an exclusive club and you, the senior, are its VIP.

Shared Interests

One of the best things about being part of a community in San Diego that includes memory care is having a group of people you can talk to. You might find someone with a shared interest, something which you are passionate about. This is great because you can talk with them about it for hours. On the other hand, you might also meet people who like things that you have no idea about. Talking to them is a great way to learn something new.  There is no age limit to acquiring new knowledge and skills. Talking to different people is a good way to acquire both.

Camaraderie

Friends are great to have at any age.  You can never have too many of them. Daily human interaction is essential for both our physical, emotional and mental health. Having someone to talk to and spend time with is one of the best things about living in a shared home with other adults. Who knows, some of these friendships might even develop into something deeper. It would not even be surprising if you find your next partner here. No one is too old to start a relationship, whether it be of the romantic or simply the platonic kind.

Boost of Self-Confidence

Interacting with people at the memory care center in San Diego can give you a much-needed boost to your self-confidence. You are drawn out of your shell and you are led to discover things about yourself. You can express your thoughts and feelings without reservation, or simply listen and be genuinely interested in the other person. You realize you have value in the world. You have something important to contribute.   Your peers can learn something from you, while you in turn can learn from them. No man is an island. Whether young or old, everyone needs to feel that they belong, that they have a place where they can be at home!

Some Tips on How to Age Gracefully

age-gracefully-sizedWe will all grow old.  This is the reality that no one can escape. For many people it’s not exactly something that they look forward to.  You might even be one of these people. But the thought does not have to be so grim. With a little planning and the right attitude, your older years can actually turn out to be some of the best times of your life. Here are a few ideas on how to age gracefully.

Take Control

Ultimately, we are responsible for ourselves.   Sure, there are things that affect our life and our health that we cannot control like heredity, other people, and the environment.  But there are definitely things that we can control such as our diet, how much alcohol we consume, and how we react to stress.  We do have a choice, and it is up to us to make the better choices that will help us live a full and fulfilled life. The time may come when we may need the kind of special care that older people often need, such as memory care in National City. Having a positive attitude will make it easier for us to accept that this special care is necessary.

Stay Active

Doing regular physical activity is important as you grow older.  Moving your body gets your blood flowing and circulating better. Go outdoors as often as you can. Sunshine and fresh air will do you a lot of good.  You will also see new things, and this will stimulate your mind.  Do volunteer work in your community. Now that you aren’t so busy with work, you have time to give back to society in another way. Get involved in your neighborhood. Join a non-profit organization. There is surely a group that can use your expertise.  Teach the younger generation how to do things without relying on technology. Perhaps one day, you may wake up and realize that you need memory care, like that offered in National City. Allow yourself to accept it and save yourself unnecessary grief.

Be Grateful

Everyone needs to change their mindset about growing old. Think of it as a positive experience. It means you have lived life and you continue to be living life. You are much smarter than when you were younger, since you have accumulated a vast wealth of knowledge throughout your life.  Because of your hard work, you now own things that you once could only dream of owning when you were much younger. Most importantly, you have amassed countless memories that you will have forever.   Even while you receive memory care in National City, the good life that you have lived can never be taken away from you. Indeed, growing old is a privilege. It is also a gift.