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 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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

Explanation of Senior Housing

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Those thinking of looking for senior care in San Diego may feel overwhelmed with the many options and terms that they’re probably unfamiliar with. In order to avoid getting confused, it’s a good idea to obtain a basic understanding of the different types of housing available. This will make it much more likely that one’s final choice will be a proper one.

Independent Living

Independent living communities come with lots of other names, like congregate care, retirement communities or villages, senior apartments, or 55+ communities. They usually work well for seniors who are independent and have few medical problems, and they offer fully equipped private apartments. There are typically several different types of apartments provided, going from studios to two-bedroom layouts. There may be social events one may be able to attend.

Assisted Living

These communities offer senior care in San Diego for those individuals who can no longer care for themselves in a safe manner, while not being in need of constant attention. As such, these communities offer assistance with things like housekeeping, meals and medications. Usually, residents live in private apartments, and have a range of social activities to choose from. They are also known as personal care homes or assisted care communities.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide senior care in San Diego for elderly who are in need of a high level of assistance and medical care. As such, there are skilled nurses available twenty-four hours every day. In addition, there are short-term rehabilitation services available for those seniors recovering from an injury or surgery. Usually, residents share a room, and receive meals in a central dining area, excepting those who are too ill to take part in them. These services are known also as a long-term care facility, nursing center, skilled nursing or convalescent care.

Memory Care

Memory care is offered especially for patients suffering from dementia. As such, all programs and care are specialized for these individuals, taking special care that residents won’t wander off grounds, which is something very typically seen in those suffering from this illness. Typically, residents live in semi-private apartments and are provided with structured activities to keep them active. This type of housing is also known as Alzheimer’s or dementia care.

 

These are the main types of communities offered for seniors, though there are other services one may be able to use, depending on each specific case. Having a good understanding of the types of housing offered is crucial in choosing the right one for yourself or your loved one.

 

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