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 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.

 

 

 

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.

 

Fun Activities for Active Seniors

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Contrary to what most people think, the aging population in senior care services in National City and elsewhere is still very active. This means that a lot of seniors are still engaging in fun activities that keep them on their feet. Gone are days when they only spent most of their days playing bingo, doing some Bible studies, and celebrating birthdays. Today, they are busier than ever because of all the fun activities lined up for them. Some of these include classes, physical fitness activities, and socializing with other people. Here are some of the fun activities that they enjoy.

1. Tai Chi

Health and wellness is important for the young and the young at heart. One of the best ways to stay healthy is by exercising. Working out does not only mean doing strenuous physical activities like boxing or lifting weights. It can also be regularly doing any physical activity, no matter how light it is. Walking and jogging are great cardiovascular workouts. Additionally, a relaxing workout that most seniors enjoy is the art of Tai Chi. This not only promotes good health and helps relax the body; it also aids in making the body more flexible. It is also a great stress reliever for many. Tai Chi, when done in the garden in National City with the view of the great outdoors, is a great way to sweat it out and to promote a sense of well-being.

2. Wii Bowling

A sport enjoyed by many is bowling. However, since not everyone can still lift the heavy bowling ball, there is a way for seniors to enjoy this sport, and that is through Wii bowling. Wii bowling tournaments are fun and exciting, as they closely copy how real bowling tournaments are done. It is also a great way to socialize with other people since Wii bowling tournaments are played by two opposing teams. If bowling is not their thing, another revolutionary game is Wii golf.

3. Karaoke

Dust off the golden microphones and belt out those high notes with karaoke. Karaoke is something people can enjoy, no matter what their age. Just pop up the right song and anyone can sing their heart out. Doing karaoke gives everyone a chance to be in the spotlight like a real singing superstar.

4. Creative Workshops

Participating in creative workshops may not be as “physical” as the other activities mentioned above, but it can be very fulfilling.  A person’s sense of well-being can be greatly increased when a person uses their creativity.  Most seniors enjoy sharing their life and documenting it for the future. With the right coloring material and paper, their life story can become a work of art!

When Memories Fade

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Aging adults face a wide range of challenges as they age. One of the most difficult and troublesome for any person occurs when memories begin to fade. The sense of losing control or watching the world go on without them can be scary for some older adults who deal with memory loss. As people age, other health problems may be treated more effectively and easily, but memory care is still an emerging aspect of total care services in San Diego.

Many caregivers and patients fear Alzheimer’s Disease. However, a variety of other health issues can affect memory loss and senior care. The most commonly discussed form of dementia comes with Alzheimer’s. Often a misunderstood and frustrating disease, Alzheimer’s can take a toll on a senior’s health, family, and caregivers.

Alzheimer’s Disease

A progressive and irreversible disease, Alzheimer’s is disabling and can have side effects that reach family and friends. Watching the decline of a loved one is difficult and makes people feel powerless. Senior care services can help an entire family face the disease together.

Forms of Dementia

Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases can cause a decline in memory function. Both diseases manifest in confusion and a lack of cognitive functioning as well as motor skills impairment. After Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s is the leading cause of disabling dementia among seniors. These diseases can begin as early as a person’s 30s and progress as adults age. By the time they reach their senior years, some adults with Parkinson’s or Huntington’s may have difficulty understanding language, completing daily tasks, or remembering familiar faces of loved ones.

Substance Abuse

A history of substance abuse can take a toll on an aging mind. Seniors with a history of alcoholism or drug use face an increased risk of some form of memory impairment — from simple forgetfulness to disabled cognitive reasoning. Drugs and alcohol alter how the brain functions and can lead to increased problems later in life.

Depression

A person’s mood may have a chemical impact on the brain and cause memory problems to develop as they age. The side effects of depression can lead to dementia, loneliness, and loss of interest in physical activity that generates further decline.

Medications

Some common medications can affect brain function.  Sometimes the combination of drugs and supplements can also cause memory issues.

More than 5 million seniors in the United States live with Alzheimer’s and related memory loss. Millions more have some other kind of medical condition that leads to dementia, disability, and loss of cognitive function. For them, daily life is a struggle, but senior care services in San Diego can keep patients safe and healthy.

How to Keep Fit in The Golden Years

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There are countless benefits to exercise and physical activity at any age.  However, what many don’t know is that the more we age, the more important it is to maintain a regular exercise program.

Why? Because regular physical activity is a vital factor in preventing heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, depression, and a host of other illnesses that people tend to become more susceptible to as they get older.

San Diego senior care facilities often offer specialized exercise programs tailored to those who want to keep fit well into their golden years, and can serve as a great place to find out more information. As a general rule, it is best to look for gentle, low impact activities, particularly when just getting started. This will help reduce the risk of injury and ensure that the workout is safe and accessible.

It is a good idea to make a weekly exercise calendar and shoot for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. It is also recommended to try practicing different activities on different days of the week to ensure that all four elements listed below are always being covered.

An ideal exercise program will balance the following four elements:

  1. Balance:

    Balance is crucial at any age, but becomes increasingly important with age as people tend to become more susceptible to falls.

    A regular yoga practice is great way to maintain balance and keep the spine healthy and strong.

  1. Flexibility:

    Muscles naturally tighten and shorten with age, and that is why it is all the more important to maintain flexibility.

    While it is easy to practice simple stretching exercises in the comfort of one’s home, a yoga class is fantastic way to get out of the house and get social.

  1. Cardio:

    Cardio is essential for building up aerobic endurance and thus is an important component of any well-balanced exercise routine.  Any kind of activity is cardio if it raises the heart rate, so don’t be afraid to sweat.

    Walking on a treadmill or joining a gentle aqua aerobics, tai chi, or even a ballroom dancing class are great ways to sneak in some cardio every week, but even walking to the store to get the groceries counts. It is easy to get frustrated when beginning to practice cardio, but it is important to remember that improvements happen quickly and a person will begin to feel more fit and healthy in just weeks.

  1. Strength:

    Muscular strength is one of the most difficult things to maintain as people get older. The good news is that many gyms and senior care facilities offer gentle programs to keep the iron pumping well into the golden years

Learn How to Detect the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

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There are many benefits to diagnosing dementia early, including better access to care and support. In addition, the drugs available to treat and slow the progress of the disease tend to be much more effective when the disease is detected early.  For these reasons, anybody who feels they might be experiencing some of the following symptoms should not hesitate to get in touch with a professional San Diego area memory care expert as soon as possible.

Even if the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s, many who detect the symptoms early are pleased to find out that their condition is treatable and manageable well into the foreseeable future.

It is often difficult to tell the difference between the more serious symptoms of dementia and the basic forgetfulness that is a normal part of the process of aging.

As such, here are 4 early symptoms of dementia that everyone should be aware of:

  1. Everyday activities take longer to accomplish:

    Whether paying bills or taking out the garbage, it is common for those experiencing the early stages of dementia to notice that things that once seemed easy now take more time and effort to accomplish. However, it is common for everyday tasks to take longer as a person ages. It is important to be aware if one is feeling distracted frequently or unable to focus. Difficulty counting or doing basic math can be an indicator that it might be time for an assessment.

  1. Memory loss occurs frequently:

    Occasional memory loss is a normal part of getting older. But, when things become difficult to remember on a regular basis, this might be cause for concern. It is important to be particularly aware of short term memory loss.  Those who can routinely remember things that happened in the past, but have a hard time remembering what happened the day before, might want to be seen by a health care professional.

  1. Mood or personality changes:

    This can be something that can be difficult to monitor in oneself, so it is a good idea to pay attention to input from others. Things like feeling less spontaneous or frequently depressed can be subtle indicators of changes in mood.   Also be aware of losing interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable.

  1. Confusion about locations:

    Spacial relationships frequently become difficult to recognize when one is suffering from dementia. This can include difficulty telling direction or reading a clock. For anyone who finds themself sometimes becoming disoriented or even dizzy, this could be another warning sign.

Remember that experiencing any of these early signs does not mean that dementia is present, and to the contrary, often serve as indications of other easily treatable conditions. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry and see a health care professional if someone starts noticing one or more of the above symptoms.