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.

 

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.

How Senior Care Is Changing-For the Better

senior_care_changed_550

You may have preconceived notions of what senior care looks like, whether you are pondering it for yourself or a loved one. However, with a growing population of people using these type of facilities, the facilities themselves need to be able to adapt their changing needs and desires. This includes keeping in mind what the seniors themselves and adult children want.

One way that the old stereotypes are getting challenged is the idea of location. The classic concept would be somewhere peaceful and out of the way. There will always be a use for these, but some senior care facilities are beginning to look for space in urban areas and someplace that may be a cultural hotspot rather than a quiet place to live.

There are some different reasons for this: children want proximity to their parents, seniors demand cultural connection and a chance to enjoy the benefits of a community while still feeling like part of a larger community. Some recent requirements are access to arts and cultural attractions, social surroundings outside of the housing, stores, transportation options, as well as partnership with community programs. Being safe and secure is important, but now, senior care housing has become fun.  Even the layout of certain units is reflecting this concept. Some facilities are trying to move towards looks that emulate a traditional apartment.

In addition, we’re seeing more investment in recreational programs, whether it’s about entertainment, exercise, or even continued learning. As the opportunities for seniors grow across the world, this potential is reflected in care facilities.

Another thing to consider is that as the demand grows, there is going to be a greater need for skilled healthcare professionals, just like there would be in any other industry. To give you an idea of all the different people who make your memory care in San Diego experience great, check out the following list:

  • Certified Nurse Aides
  • Resident Caregivers
  • Medication Aides
  • Registered Nurses
  • Resident Services
  • LPNs
  • Other Nursing Staff

This isn’t including a variety of other people you may encounter over the course of your senior care journey, like at-home caregivers or people who come to these facilities for entertainment or events. As demand grows, you’re going to have more professionals who see all the different opportunities at hand. This means an influx of skilled medical professionals who are ready to make your experience the best possible for years to come. Overall, if you’re on the fence about facilities, now’s the time to leave your preconceived notions at the door.

How Supplements Keep People Happy and Healthy

suppliments_550

When it comes to nutrition, there are plenty of reasons to try and get exactly what you need. One thing that gets lost is the fact that it just makes you feel good! Not only do proper nutrient levels play an important part in ensuring that all our bodily systems are functional, but they also help with mental health as well. Chances are that even something as simple as a multivitamin will help, with 30% of women needing help getting one or more vitamins and minerals. Here are some standouts you may want to add.

Iron: As people get older, they may need a little help with their iron levels, especially if they start feeling fatigue without any exertion. Iron plays a key role in producing red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. It’s not a bad idea to swap around some of your dietary choices as well to get some more iron in your diet. The top choices are dark green leafy vegetables like kale or lean red meats.

Magnesium: You probably don’t hear a lot about magnesium (as opposed to calcium), which is selling it short. Magnesium has a key role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Some of these include general energy, heart support, immune support, and muscle function.

Calcium: Speaking of calcium, it is good for maintaining bone strength and healthy teeth, as you probably already know. What you may not know is that along with dairy products, green vegetables like spinach are some of your best sources of calcium around.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is something we get from sunlight, but depending on the weather where you live, it may be tough to get your daily dose. This helps with both skeletal health as well as hormonal balance. In addition, it also plays a role in mood, meaning a little vitamin D can make a good day that much better.

Omega-3s: The brain is just like any organ, and it needs certain nutrients to work, including maintaining your mood. One winner here is the omega-3 fatty acids. Not only do these help with brain function and mood in general, but they also help with cognitive performance and lowering inflammation.

One thing to keep in mind is that everyone has different needs when it comes to supplements. This means that you want to make sure that you have proper guidance on what your nutritional needs are and what dosages make sense. Your doctor or other medical professionals, like at memory care in National City, are best suited to give you this guidance.

 

Finding Fun Senior Hobbies

Senior_hobbies_550

When you get older, there’s a lot of wisdom saying that you should take it slow, but not necessarily for bad reasons. Taking it slower could mean spending more time with your family if you live further from them, or simply relaxing and focusing on the things you enjoy after many years of hard work. For some people who thrive on working hard, though, sometimes, relaxing can be a bit difficult to do. One great way to achieve the balance of being active without putting any undue pressure on yourself is to take up a hobby, and there are plenty of senior-friendly options out there.

Debating exactly how to go about choosing your hobby? In some cases, it’s obvious, like that skill or creative talent that you’ve had for years but didn’t parlay into a career for whatever reason. Now is the perfect time to try and indulge that skill. It can be crafts, or writing, or painting, or cooking, or even acting. It doesn’t matter what the skill is, so long as you can enjoy it. Now’s the time to take advantage.

For some people, though, it may be a bit more difficult to make a hobby choice. In some cases, places like senior care services in National City can offer events and workshops that give you the chance to try out various things until you stumble onto something you like. Another thing worth doing is taking a closer look at yourself and think about certain activities that you enjoy, then find some non-conventional ways to do them. For example, those with a nurturing soul may enjoy volunteering at an animal shelter.

There are other options as well. For example, if there’s a sports team you’re a fan of or a piece of pop culture you like, it might be fun to build up a collection. Put that extensive knowledge you have to work to find some interesting pieces. Some may want to pick an activity with a more active component, like hiking or the performing arts. There are many options out there that match a senior pace and are a great way to get exercise as well as fill the checkbox of a hobby.

It’s worth considering enjoying your hobby with others. Depending on the nature of your hobby, you may have regular nearby meet-ups or events that you can take part in with other people with similar tastes. If not at these, there are online communities for just about any hobby or subculture you can think of. This makes for a great way to meet new people and share stories with those who have at least one piece of common ground with you. In time, your hobby may become secondary to the friends that you make.