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.

Interesting Trends For Senior Housing

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What’s one of the most important marketing demographics right now? The world may have its eyes on millennials, but often forgets seniors, which is quite a mistake. Not only are seniors one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country, but they also have more money on hand at an average, meaning that senior trends are trends the whole world should pay attention to. The same applies to senior care in San Diego or any other type of facilities. So, when you’re choosing that perfect match for your loved one, here are some things that a lot of facilities are doing to try and create the best experience possible.

An interesting trend follows the advent of technology. Most people may think about this in terms of medical technology, but there are other ways that technology can improve the senior living experience.

For a start, in some senior living communities, you’re seeing a more common use of technology like iPads. These come with preloaded software for seniors who want to check in without having to do things face to face, adding an extra layer of independence. In addition, new advances make things like medication management way easier, so everyone gets what they need at any given time. By adopting new technology, not only do senior care facilities make it easier for the seniors, but it also gives adult children peace of mind.

One trend that’s growing rapidly is home health care. In 2011, over 4.7 million people in the United States received some form of home health care. Note that this can mean a wide range of care, whether it’s getting care around the clock, or just having someone come over a few hours a week to take care of important errands. This makes a lot of sense, seeing as it requires less change for the senior. One thing that is making this more viable is something called remote monitoring.

How does remote monitoring work? Well, medical advances mean that there are more ways that a doctor or nurse can administer services at home, but, since they’re not always there, it needs to be clear when they are needed. In fact, changes mean that you can now remotely track when a senior eats or takes their medication.  Even blood pressure can be checked remotely.

Of course, there are still going to be ways that your traditional senior care facility still stands above, like coming up with recreational programs and being able to provide care around the clock. However, this trend is causing some facilities to change things up, like altering their units to resemble apartments. Home care’s rise is changing the whole industry.

Selecting a Retirement Community for One’s Parents

Chosing-selecting-community-sizedHelping a parent select a retirement community for senior care in San Diego can be challenging due to the options available and the variety of features that are offered by each. Engaging the parent in the decision-making process is critical and getting their input will make the process easier and the end-result much better. Determining the list of features that are required and nice-to-have is a great first step. The second step should be to research available communities and compare what is available against the requirements list. This should help narrow the list down to just a few that the person and their parent can visit and tour. That tour should include a visit to the cafeteria for a meal and a visit with the community administrator to get a full view of the community. Below are a few considerations as to what to look for.

Independence is Key

Independence is one of the most important factors to look for in selecting a retirement community. This is sometimes hard to determine, but a person can look for things like the design of the living area, how common areas and hallways are set up and what the security and safety features are. Transportation options offered can be a great independence supporting aspect, especially in the case of residents who no longer choose to drive. Communities that offer freedom in furnishing, decorating, and customizing their apartment are great to look for. Many offer cleaning and laundry services to free the residents from doing that work.

Focus on Companionship

One great feature of retirement communities is the opportunity to meet friends and companions that share similar interests. Whether as a couple or a single, moving into a retirement community can offer a significant increase in neighbors of a similar age and with similar temperament. Retirement communities can also be great for couples, as if healthcare needs differ, the couple can often stay in the same community simply receiving different levels of care and attention.

Keep Things Stable and Normal

Another feature that is important to residents is stability and normalcy. Look for communities that have set and regular schedules for things like maintenance, check ins, events and the like. Also, investigate the length of service of the administration personnel. A community with frequent turnover can be stressful and unpleasant for residents.

 Healthcare as Needed

Matching the healthcare provided with the resident’s needs is critical to the health and happiness of the resident. It is also important to take into consideration the resident’s health car needs in the future. A community that offers increasing levels of care will be able to support a resident’s changing requirements.

Selecting senior care in San Diego for one’s parents can be  challenging process, but keeping these thoughts in mind can help clarify the process.

 

 

 

Features to Consider When Evaluating Senior Care

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If an individual has a large family, it may make sense for them to choose a location that is closer to their family so that they can easily visit, for example. If they have specific medical needs, it may be wise to select a place that is located close to their doctor or hospital. Or if the individual is interested in going back to school, pursuing a hobby, or doing something else with their spare time, it makes sense to choose a location for senior care services in San Diego that is close to these locations, as well.

As a person considers these services, it makes sense to evaluate the following:

Think About the Living Space

It’s important for one to think carefully about what they may want and need from a retirement community before making a commitment. Some are set up as a series of single family homes, while others are more like townhomes or apartment complexes. This means it’s important for a person to think about what type of building is most comfortable for them to live in. If they don’t like living close to others, or have only ever lived in a single family home, it may make sense to choose a retirement facility that also offers single family buildings. If they are comfortable in apartments, this may be less important.

Access to Fun and Hobbies

It’s also important to think about the hobbies and activities that one enjoys, and choose a location that is located in a way that makes it easy to pursue these things. If one likes to golf, it may make sense to retire near a golf course. If one enjoys fishing, a living area that features a lake on the map may be perfect.

Additional Amenities

It’s also important to consider the finer things in life when settling on a retirement location. If one likes museums, art, cultural events, and fine dining, are these things available in the area? Is there transportation available so that one can get around? If one is still driving, is the community centrally located? If a person is no longer driving, it’s important to ensure that there is public transportation that can be easily accessed from the main location.

Security

One should also take security into account, as this can be a concern for many people. If one isn’t used to living near other individuals, it’s easy to go onto high alert even if it’s not totally necessary. An electric gate or doorman will help an individual feel more secure, and offer total peace of mind by limiting access to the community.

These details are all important to consider when evaluating senior care services in San Diego, and taking the time to look them over before making a final decision may help ensure that an individual is happier with the home that they decide on.

Enjoy Better Quality of Living at a Planned Retirement Community

foru-benifits-sizedMany adults choose planned retirement communities as a safe, comfortable and pleasant option. However, some people also just aren’t aware of the quality of living benefits that a planned retirement community has.

No Noisy Neighbors

When a person makes the choice to move into a planned retirement community, they are often surprised by just how quiet and peaceful they are. These buildings and complexes are designed and built specifically for their residents’ comfort and this includes not just appropriate sound insulation but also arrangement of loud and disruptive services away from the residents. While the grass still needs to get mowed, trash removal, maintenance and other such services are designed to be less impactful to the residents. Also, with minimum age requirements and regulations around noise, noisy and disruptive neighbors just aren’t a concern.

Regular Activities

Planned retirement communities often offer a wide variety of organized and individualized recreational activities to help residents enjoy themselves. Many have pools, gyms, woodworking shops, libraries, media rooms and movie theaters available for residents’ use. Some communities have full time Activity Directors who arrange events such as book clubs, shopping trips and day trips.

Convenient

Planned communities often have convenience as a high priority, which can be great for residents. Whether it is grocery and sundry delivery, in-complex shops and stores, laundry services, or scheduled transportation, the options a planned community offers can make life not just more comfortable but much more convenient.

Extra Safety Features

These communities are designed with the residents’ safety in mind and are built with features to reinforce this. Staff attuned to the needs of residents can help in the case of accidents or emergencies. Safety alert systems allow quick access to nurses and staff. Well maintained walkways and hallways keep those with limited mobility from falls and trips. Security features like video monitoring, visitor check ins and frequent wellness checks and precautions for residents needing memory care in San Diego can add a level of peace of mind that may be impossible anywhere else.

Healthcare Access When Necessary

A planned retirement community often offer nurses on site and can assist not just in the case of emergency or accident, but also in more mundane situations like medication administration or basic check-ups. Communities specializing in memory care in San Diego may have specialized medical options available.

Many new residents are surprised at how much nicer living in a planned retirement community can be than living in their former home. Putting the time into finding a community that focuses on quality of life is important and worth it.  Researching the available options and spending time visiting and touring the facility are critical to finding the best possible fit for a resident.

4 Benefits of Living in a Retirement Community

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As a person gets older, it may not be possible for them to remain in their home or “age in place”. If this is the case with one’s family member, it’s important to know that there are numerous benefits to living in a retirement community. These benefits include things like ongoing activities, additional security at night, and available healthcare on demand. They make it easier for older adults to live on their own and stay as independent and healthy as possible.

These benefits are extensive, but the list includes the following:

Additional Security

Often, as one ages, they become more concerned about being able to protect themselves. This can be especially important to them if they live in a difficult part of town. Individuals who are worried about living alone and their own personal safety may find that they are very comforted by the additional security provided by living in a retirement community. Often these communities have security guards and foot patrols, so the individuals who move in can feel safe and protected.

Planned Activities

If one is used to living alone, it’s easy to feel bored when there isn’t a lot going on. At a place like Memory Care in National City, one can instead enjoy a variety of activities that are planned throughout the week and month. Whether one prefers to have their hair done on a regular basis, to play a low impact sport, or to enjoy a favorite board game, they’re sure to have quite a bit of fun with the numerous activities that are scheduled.

Ongoing Companionship

Companionship is a vital part of life, and of staying happy and healthy. An individual who dislikes being alone may find that they very much enjoy the ongoing friendships that they’re able to develop while living in a retirement community. These locations are designed to foster close relationships and build bonds, and most people find that they very much enjoy living near to so many like-minded people with similar interests.

Healthcare if Necessary

On occasion, healthcare becomes necessary. If this becomes necessary while one is living at Memory Care in National City, the highly qualified staff are more than happy to assist. They can either refer the resident out, or they can help them with some medical care on site. This care will help ensure that the resident is well cared for and that all of their healthcare needs are met.

If it’s time to make the move to retirement care, be sure that the senior involved is aware of the many benefits of these communities, as well. Pondering a move like this can be stressful, and it’s important that everyone involved knows about the positive aspects.


Changing Demographics Affect Care Standards

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Over the next decades, southern California will experience a dramatic change in population. In the coming years, the number of seniors in the region will increase. The rise in older adults — some of whom may be in need of specialized senior care — in San Diego and surrounding communities will require a shift in resources.

Home to a wide range of care facilities and housing, San Diego is quickly adapting to the needs of a changing population. Though they may be aging, many seniors continue to enjoy active lifestyles and demand access to communities with amenities, social activities, and modern conveniences.

Senior care no longer means an old-fashioned nursing home. Instead, it encompasses a range of open communities, housing options, and community-based professionals who stand ready to provide any services that older adults may require. Living independent and fulfilling lives, many seniors remain focused on independence, enjoyment, and quality of life. Helping them achieve those goals is the new standard in senior care.

What Seniors Want

As involved and able consumers, an increasing number of seniors appreciate a lifestyle that allows them the opportunities to be active in their own care decisions and futures. More often, seniors are looking for care and housing that provide affordable and comfortable options to traditional care solutions.

One of the largest obstacles that will face senior care in San Diego is overcoming the negative stereotypes that typically accompany care and housing options. “Senior care” is a term that conjures up images of stark, sterile nursing homes that are outdated. In addition to changing the preconceived ideas about senior care, providers are focused on meeting the new needs of aging adults with stronger expectations that include:

  • The ability to age in place. Seniors no longer want to be moved to different facilities to receive care. They want to remain in their own homes where they can be comfortable, visit with family, and maintain a sense of independence.
  • Unique and distinctive amenities. Staying active longer and enjoying the freedom of aging means that seniors want amenities that they can participate in and appreciate. They want social interaction, outdoor events, pools, spas, and in-home features like Wi-Fi and accessibility.
  • Access to the Community. In addition to being safe and cared for in their homes, seniors expect new levels of care that maintain their involvement in the surrounding community. Transportation services are the new standards that enable every active senior the ability to shop, dine, and enjoy everything that a city like San Diego has to offer.

In San Diego, a changing population demographic is driving how communities and families look at senior care. With an emphasis on independence and activity, more older adults are enjoying their Golden Years in safe and comfortable environments.