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 Perks of a Community Home

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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.

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.

How Senior Care Is Changing-For the Better

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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.

Keep the Mind Sharp with These Activities for Seniors

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It is essential for senior care facilities to have a variety of enjoyable and engaging activities to help keep the people living there stay healthy, sharp, and focused. Aside from doing activities that exercise the body, it is also crucial to have activities that work the brain. Seniors need as much mental stimulation as possible to stay alert, active, and happy.

In addition to jigsaw puzzles and board games, there are other activities that seniors can do to stay sharp. Adding a variety of games from the usual can help take the boredom away and make things more interesting. Moreover, senior care facilities in San Diego should also consider including a selection of virtual games, as they have been seen to provide significant mental stimulation among players.

1. Crossword puzzles

Crossword puzzles engage the mind of the player. It demands cognitive memory skills, word skills, and vocabulary skills. They are fun to play even when done alone. They are inexpensive to buy and they can be obtained in bulk, which means there is a lot of variety in one package. Crossword puzzles can be challenging, and they can take time to finish. They are a great way to exercise the brain while staying entertained. When done with someone else, they promote social interaction and improve camaraderie.

2. Scrabble

Scrabble is a popular board game. It is the go-to family board game by many. Hence, it is a perfect game for seniors because it promotes interaction among one another while playing the game. Additionally, it exercises the mind, because it requires word and vocabulary skills. Playing scrabble is like doing a little weightlifting in the brain. Moreover, since it is a multiplayer game, it promotes the creation of clubs, which further enhances the seniors’ socialization skills.

3. Trivia

If crossword puzzles are a bit ordinary, then trivia games might be more suitable for them. Trivia games are engaging and fun, and they promote having a healthy mind. They help improve the memory because the games require recalling information from the player’s younger years. Aside from being a brain workout, trivia games with a group make playing them more fun. Players socialize with each other and build rapport and friendship.

4. First-person games

When it comes to digital games, first-person games might be suitable for seniors. Aside from improving the mind, due to the need for playing strategies, they can help give their eyes a workout. Since digital games require hand-eye coordination, they help in improving their motor skills as well. Hence, with regular gaming, one can help keep their eyesight on point while staying focused and engaged with the game.

 

4 Games That Seniors Will Enjoy

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Living in a senior care facility in San Diego does not have to be monotonous. There are a lot of things seniors can do, including fun physical activities. Playing games is not only for the young, because even the young at heart know how to have fun with the right games on hand. Although some may enjoy a little peace and quiet, it doesn’t hurt to play some games every now and then. Playing games does not only promote good health, it also promotes memory care among San Diego seniors. Here are some games that they can enjoy.

1. Wii Games

The Nintendo Wii has revolutionized how people play games. Playing sports can now be done even in the comfort of the living room. Just pop a game into the Wii and anyone can play a round of tennis, golf, or bowling. The amazing thing about Wii is that it promotes good competition. There are options to hold tournaments so players can battle it out against other teams. There are also options for learning new games, usually in Practice Mode. Therefore, those who are not yet experts at the games can take their time learning them until they become the people to beat.

2. Beach Ball

Tossing and catching a beach ball is a fun game for seniors. To make it even more interesting, tape random questions around the ball, and when they catch the ball, they should answer the question that is facing them. Aside from a physical workout, doing this gives the memory a workout as well. Some good questions to include can be about the best trips they have taken in the past, their favorite candy as a kid, their favorites sports, and more. This also allows them to open up to the group and share about themselves.

3. Jigsaw Puzzles

This is already popular among seniors. Adding new puzzles regularly may be something that will add more fun to them. If they have already finished a jigsaw puzzle several times, chances are, they will not want to play with it again. If possible, bring a new puzzle for the gang to play with every now and then.  Also think about some of the newer 3-D puzzles!

4. Video Games

There are lots of video games that require creating different strategies. Moreover, there are video games with interesting storylines for senior players. Try to look for those and let them give them a try. When it is new to them, the learning curve will give them time to master the game. Once they have mastered it, they will be fully immersed as they plan out and strategize how to win each game. To make this more effective, ask them what type of game they would enjoy and try to look for those.