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.

 

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.

 

The Seniors Club – What does it Mean?

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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!

What’s Life Like After Retirement?

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For most of your life, you followed a routine, more or less. From age five to 21, you most likely went to school. From 21 to 60 you went to work regularly.  But now that you are retired, what will you do with all the free time that you now have on your hands?

Keep Doing Your Job

Maybe you are one of those lucky ones who truly loved their job. Who says you need to stop doing it then, once you are retired? You can still do your job after retirement but in another capacity. You can do consultant work in National City where you can get senior care services. You can offer your expertise to your previous company or even your previous competitors. Another option is to create a course and teach others who want do the same job that you did.  You can find someone who is just starting in the same job that you had, and you can offer to mentor that person and show that person the ropes.

Continue Learning

At one time or another, we have all thought: “I wish I had time to learn ….”  Maybe it’s a foreign language, or a musical instrument, or cooking your favorite type of cuisine. Whatever it is that you wanted to learn, now is the perfect time to do it, thanks to the senior care services available to you in National City. You might choose to enroll in a course, or you might want to ask someone you know to teach you. You can even learn the new skill on your own by reading books, surfing online and then, practicing the skill daily.  Learning doesn’t stop once you’ve graduated from the university, nor when you are retired from work. It is a lifelong process.  Now that you have more time on your hands, why not add another new skill to the already impressive list of skills that you possess?

Go On An Extended Vacation

There’s a popular saying that goes, “Work Hard, Play Hard.”  You have been working since you graduated from college. You did your job and you did it well. You have certainly paid your dues. But it seemed you never had enough time to stop and just relax, without a worry in your mind. Even when you took those short vacations from work, you were still thinking of your job waiting for you back at the office. But now that you have retired from work, you can finally free your mind and discover the joy of simply doing nothing. So, go on, take that extended vacation you’ve been dreaming of all these years! You deserve it!

What Should You Look For In A Doctor?

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Doctors aren’t the same for everyone, but for seniors, they are an important part of making sure you’re doing all you can to make sure that you stay happy and healthy. So, it’s a good idea to treat your doctor search like your search for senior care services in San Diego and keep the following traits in mind.

A True Professional

Studies show that when it comes to doctors, competence isn’t the biggest thing people are concerned about. Sounds, odd, doesn’t it? The reasoning is that competence is already assumed, especially in this age of online reviews and impressions. The biggest concern here is finding a doctor that is professional.

How does this manifest? Well, see if your potential doctor has the basics down, like being on time for appointments and respecting your questions, even if they need to be corrected or clarified. Another thing you want to see is if your advice given at first is generic and then catered to your medical history or the other way around. Ideally, you want someone who looks at your files prior to a visit.

Details can apply to the office and reception staff as well. Take a note of your initial impressions of a doctor’s practice, as generally, they’re going to be accurate.

Transparency

There’s nothing wrong with getting as much knowledge as possible about what goes into your health routine. When talking to potential doctors, take the time to break down the costs of medical procedures and what exactly causes them.  Transparency takes a variety of different forms, but ideally, you just want a doctor who is open with you when it comes to what they do and why.

A Good Listener

This may be a bit a cliché, but there is truly an art to being a good listener. Ideally, you want a doctor who not only hears your concerns through but is also willing to take what you’re saying and respond with actionable advice. This means not only being empathetic but also being able to break through the jargon and give proper explanations.

Is Supportive

In the same vein, you want a doctor who is sensitive to issues around medical needs. Some conditions may be difficult to talk about, but a good doctor should be able to offer support and some kind words, along with their knowledge and advice. Another sign to look for is if you’re allowed to bring help or a loved one to your appointment. Even if a doctor won’t be that shoulder to lean on, they should allow you to bring your own.

 

How Supplements Keep People Happy and Healthy

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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.

 

Heart-Healthy Foods for Older Adults

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The things people eat are closely tied to overall health. To keep the heart healthy, especially for older adults, it is important to choose foods that are good for it. Although there are foods that can cause heart problems, there are certain foods that protect it and keep it far from any heart-related illness. Thus, it is beneficial if senior care services in San Diego provide these food choices for a healthier well-being among the residents.

Here are some of the best heart-healthy foods for older adults.

1. Oats

Oats are packed with protein and fiber, which makes them a popular breakfast food. In a way, eating oats gives a feeling of being full, which helps avoid overeating. Moreover, the soluble fiber in oats effectively helps in managing cholesterol. Due to this, the chances of any heart disease is further reduced.

2. Green tea

It has been proven that the antioxidants in green tea aid in keeping the arteries flexible. With flexible arteries, blockages are less likely to build up. Moreover, there have been studies that show how antioxidants help improve blood vessel function quickly. Apparently, drinking green tea can show promising results as quickly as 30 minutes after doing so.

3. Berries

Similar to green tea, berries are packed with antioxidants. They are also full of fiber. Thus, berries are great heart-smart snacks. Different kinds of berries such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are great choices as heart-smart snacks.

4. Salmon

This fish is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, which aid in reducing triglycerides, which, in turn,  reduces the rate of the hardening of the heart. Overall, eating salmon is one of the best foods to have a healthy heart.

5. Walnuts

Walnuts are also packed with omega 3 fatty acids. Hence, they are a great snack. A handful every now and then gives a great serving of fiber and omega 3. Walnuts also help lower cholesterol.

6. Avocado

This fruit is packed with healthy fats. It is high in monounsaturated fat that lowers LDL, which is the less desirable kind of cholesterol.

7. Almond milk

Milk is good for the bones, but this kind of milk is also good for the heart. Almond milk is loaded with magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin E. Drinking almond milk regularly can help lower cholesterol and keep the heart healthy.

These are some of the best foods that are good for the heart. Consuming these foods regularly can help protect especially the elderly from any heart-related diseases. When in search of senior care services in San Diego, it is highly recommended to look for one that has most, if not all, of these on the menu.