Top 7 Activities to Start Off the New Year

Looking for some new activities to kick off the new year? Here’s a list of our favorites for you to try.

Daily Exercise

Exercise can be one of the most important activities that we can do to stay healthy. You can start off the new year by joining a local gym or you could just go for a stroll around the block. Moving your body just 30 minutes a day can be enough to improve your health. An effective workout routine, whatever that may be, helps you be consistent in reaching your end goal of staying more healthy. If you are worried about the extent to which you can work out, contact your healthcare physician. They can recommend a program for you to put you on the right track.

Enjoy Time With Visitors

Seeing family, friends and engaging with grandchildren can be a great activity to enjoy. Nothing brings greater joy to an older adult than seeing family and friends. Holidays and birthdays are always great times to visit your loved one, but the occasional surprise visit may mean more to them then you think.

Learn a New Skill

It’s never too late to learn a new skill, whether it be music, dancing or art! Get your creative juices flowing and try new things you never thought you could do. Creative activities decrease negative emotions, such as stress and anxiety. This can be an opportunity to improve your health drastically. Engaging in new skills also can help improve memory. One out of eight people over the age of 70 will struggle with memory loss. It is very important to get involved, this can help stimulate you mentally and socially and improve the quality of your life.

Join a Book Club

Connecting with people and making new friends can be great at any age. Creating or joining a book club can be the best way to meet new people. Reading improves sleep and delays cognitive time as well. This not only gives you something to do, but also helps you connect and socialize with people in new ways. Being around like-minded individuals will keep you entertained and can bring you much satisfaction Step out of your comfort zone and get in touch with people like never before.

Start a New Show or Movie

Watching an episode of your favorite tv show a day or a movie a week can help you relax and enjoy life. At first you may start watching television for entertainment but after a while it could turn into a hobby. A few hobbies that could come out watching television could be cooking, painting, or travel! You also might connect with other fans of the show, which can be a conversation starter.

Create Recipes

Cooking and coming up with delicious recipes can be a fun activity that not only you enjoy, but also the people around you. Cooking can be a stress reliever and a time to relax for most people. Creating your own recipes also gives you the ability to try new things and share them with others.

Play Some Games

Many people enjoy the joy and competitiveness that comes from games whether that be board games or sporting activities. There are a plethora of games to choose from based upon your preference. Make the most out of your day by engaging in one on one gaming our in groups.


Over your lifetime you may have collected hundreds of photos and shared moments. Rather than just having them sit in a box, put together a scrapbook for yourself. Scrapbooks allow you to capture and preserve these wonderful moments of your life to your family and friends. Scrapbooking does not have to be limited to pictures but can also include poems and letters.

If you or a loved one are ready to join one of our communities, get connected to a senior care specialist by subscribing to our email listing.


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The Top Gifts for Seniors 2018

Not sure what to get for your aging parents, grandparents or loved one? Here are some useful and cool gift ideas for seniors!

Stay Warm!

All the rage, these extra snuggly blankets keep you warm – but not too warm. And not matter how many throw blankets someone has, they always can use one more!

Stylish and space saving, these single serve coffee makers are a lot less hassle than the traditional coffee pot. Plus you can get a variety of coffee pods to add some variety to your loved one’s daily cup of Joe. Make sure to give a nice pod variety pack, so your loved one can unwrap and use this right away!

Let there be light!

Don’t waste an outlet! These outlet covers have a built-in night light that points down to the floor where your loved one needs to see anyway.

Avoid turning on any harsh light to use the restroom at night with this convenient motion sensing toilet light.

Get a light and a closer look with this handy combination LED light and magnifying glass.

Get around easier

Help your loved one pick up items that are just out of reach with this grip and grab tool. It will help them avoid falls and frustration.

Getting in a high cabinet or shelf can be difficult. This discreet collapsible step ladder can help assist you grasp those out of reach areas. 

This portable and adjustable handle grip can give light assistance for those who have difficulty getting in and out of the car. It also can be removed when not needed.

Helpful tools

Never tie shoelaces again! These handy elastic no-tie shoelaces convert any shoe with traditional laces into a slip-on shoe, helping alleviate the tedious tying of shoelaces when our fine motor skills start to fail us. Since there are no shoelaces, this gift has the added benefit of removing a potential tripping hazard!

This handy jar and bottle opener can give a little extra torque to get that stubbornly sealed container open. This makes a great gift for a loved one and a handy tool to keep in the kitchen drawer.

This stylish and practical reading rest also has collapsible rubber pegs to keep the pages in place as you need to view them. The rest also folds flat for easy storage and transportation. Great for the kitchen or desk!

Never lose anything again… ever! Once you put a Tile locator device on your keys, bicycle, purse or phone, you can locate it anywhere!

Who wants to lug around a heavy vacuum anymore? Give your loved ones the gift of clean floors without the hassle of a traditional vacuum system.

No matter what gift you wrap this year, the most valuable gift to your loved one may be the most precious – your time. Spend time with those you love and make sure they know how much you love them. In the end, that’s the best gift of all. <3

Editor’s Note: Senior Care Centers received no financial consideration for the promotion of the products offered in this article. We just included them because they seemed like good ideas and would be fun! 😊


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How to Bring up “The Talk” With Aging Parents

Talking with your parents or elderly loved one about moving to an assisted living or a nursing home can be one of the toughest conversations you will have. The following steps can help you plan for this important conversation and start getting a plan in place.

Assess the situation

  • Living Situation – What is your loved one’s current living situation? Are they at home alone or do they live with family? Are they alone or with their partner? If they are living alone, this could raise concerns if they are unable to get help when they need it. If they are living with another aging partner, that person may not be able to provide the care they need either.
  • Personality and social preferences – You also will want to consider their personality and social tendencies. Are they an extrovert or introvert? Do they take pride in their independence and achievements? Knowing their personality and their social preferences also will help guide the conversation, so you will know that points to highlight.
  • Health condition and prognosis – Take their current and future health condition into consideration as well. Can they move independently? Are they battling a chronic health condition? Do they take multiple medications and need help managing them? Having a good idea of their current and potential future health needs will help you determine which options would be best to explore.

Do your homework

  • Get smart about senior living options – There are many different options for senior living including staying at home and having a home health provider come and provide assistance, an independent senior living community, assisted living and full skilled nursing for those that need 24/7 nursing care. You also may only want to move your loved one once, so looking at communities that provide gradually increasing levels of care could be a good option to explore too. This Senior Living Guide offers some insight into the different options available.
  • Paying for care – While you may not have any insight into your loved one’s financial situation, it will be good to gather some facts about the different ways to pay for care. Most independent and assisted living communities are private pay only but usually are all inclusive of utilities, food and some transportation. Once you crunch the numbers on a specific community, you may find that the cost is comparable to what they currently spend on their current home. Visit our Financial Considerations page for more information.

Put yourself in their shoes

How would you want your children or loved ones to approach you about moving into a setting with more assistance? Probably very gingerly and respectfully. While most people are proud and like to maintain their independence, we all know we are mortal and eventually need more help at some point. Take into consideration how you would want to approach about this subject. It could be good to role play with another loved one who knows the person you are approaching about this to toss around the best approach. Helping maintain your loved one’s dignity and pride will be of utmost importance and can determine how well or how poorly this conversation will go.

Consider the messenger

As a child or younger loved one, you may not be the best messenger to guide this conversation. If your loved one has friends, cousins or siblings who have walked this journey too, they might be the best people to bring up the topic. They might live in an assisted living or skilled nursing community where they would enjoy being around your loved one more too.

A third party also could be a great messenger. The older generation typically responds better to people who have some position of authority versus a “youngin” like you, so talk with your loved one’s pastor, physician or another person who they respect to see how best they might recommend the loved one is approached. They even may be willing to help broach the topic with them, which would alleviate the pressure and lead to a more amicable outcome too.

Test the waters

At the next family gathering or in your next phone conversation, casually bring up the topic of their living situation. You can begin with a, “How are things going here at the house?” or “I see you might be having a little difficulty getting around?” Let it be an open-ended question, so they can share what’s going on with you in a non-threatening manner. Bringing the topic up in a direct manner likely will cause them to get defensive or not be as honest about their situation as you need them to be, so proceed with caution.

If you can ask questions that are open, they can share more freely. If you can guide them to make this their decision versus yours, that will help you get better cooperation. They will feel like part of the decision-making process and maintain their pride and dignity through the process.

Lead with respect

Your loved one has lived a life likely full of a lot of accomplishments. They’ve had a career and likely raised a family. Their life has been full, and coming to the realization that it is entering the twilight phase can be a sober reality they are not willing to face. Most of us would not be, and that is okay.

Beginning the conversation looking with pride together at all they have done can help provide a foundation of respect for what will be next on their journey. The path likely will not get easier, so the more you can celebrate all they’ve seen, done and accomplished, the better.

Explore options together

Because you already have done your homework on the different options, once they are open and willing to have this conversation, you can talk about what might be the best way to approach this. They already may have considered what to do, or they could be totally unprepared. Knowing where they are and which options would best suit their possible financial, social and health condition needs will help guide the next part of the conversation, so be ready and informed.

Agree on a timeline

Depending on their health condition, mobility or other factors, you can talk through the timeline together. If their health requires more immediate assistance, that could speed the timeline up significantly. If they only need moderate assistance today, you can consider that in the potential timeline and follow up on an agreed upon timeline to touch base and make sure the different benchmarks for when you both need to consider more assistance together.

Making the move to a new living situation already can be a disruptive event for young, health people, so recognizing that a lot of other emotions and factors will play into this big decision will help you be sensitive, thoughtful and have the best opportunity for a productive conversation about assisted living or skilled nursing with your loved one.

Above all, know that you are not alone in this decision. There are many resources available to help guide both you and your loved one. Remember – it’s okay to ask for help.


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Biggest Myths Surrounding Long-Term Care

While there are plenty of myths about long-term care communities, here are the top five we hope we can debunk for you.

Myth #1 – Long-term care is just for elderly people

Skilled nursing communities carry a license that allows them to provide much more than just geriatric care. After a surgery, stroke or other health incident, many people do not need the hyper skilled care offered at a hospital but also aren’t ready to care for themselves at home. A skilled nursing community offers a bridge where there are caregivers in the facility around the clock who can provide assistance and also provide therapeutic teams in the community who provide rehabilitation services to get us strong enough to go back home. Skilled communities provide an invaluable bridge to help get people well and get back home. As a result, they can be filled with people of all ages who just need the extra support to reach their health goals.

Myth #2 – My family will take care of me

While many people believe their children or others will take care of them when they grow old, the reality is out health conditions may become much more complex that they can manage. If we need ventilator care or more full-time assistance, it could be beyond what our family can do without professional training. In addition, if we need full time support around the clock, that can put a strain on our relationships with our family members. Not only will they juggle their own priorities, but they also will be concerned they can provide the adequate care we need.

A long-term care facility allows us to maintain our own world and our family to maintain theirs. In addition, we can keep our daughter and not our round-the-clock caregiver. Family still will be a vital part of the care planning process, but the duties of administering that care can be in the hands of people who are trained and skilled to do this every day.

Myth #3 – People go to nursing homes to waste away

Most people will tell you they want to live out their lives at home. However, the reality of that actually could be much darker than we realize. At home alone, many seniors begin to skip meals or forget to take medications. Without social interaction, we can become more isolated and lonely. Long-term care communities give an older adult a place to belong. They have planned activities, and meals and medications are monitored and offered at the appropriate times of day. In addition, there are others who will be in the same stage of life we are, which can help us navigate life’s challenges together at this point.

Myth #4 – Someone else will help pay for long-term care when I need it.

Long-term care in a skilled nursing community costs can vary widely – typically from $5,000 to $10,000 per month depending on the services we will need. Medicare actually only covers skilled care for up to 100 days as the goal of that program is to get us rehabilitated and back home. You may be able to qualify for Medicaid funding, but the financial restrictions are pretty stringent as all other resources must have been exhausted before you can qualify for Medicaid. Skilled communities have a more restricted number of beds they can offer to Medicaid patients. Selection will be limited.  The best option would be to plan financially for long-term care to help ensure you have the resources needed to fund this.

Myth #5 – All nursing homes are alike and are depressing.

While all skilled communities have the same stringent guidelines and oversight, each one has its own personality. Even within the same community, there could be different halls or sections that care for people with similar health challenges, which can add to the sense of belonging for both the patient and the family members who are walking the same journey. Producing fun and engaging activities will be a core priority for most skilled communities as they also strive to provide the highest quality of life, and making sure patients and residents are engaged in activities of interest serves as a key pillar of their service. If you still are skeptical, tour several different communities at different times of day to see how they match your own personality and needs.


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