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.

Scrapbooking

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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Our Quick Tips for Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

Did you know that the symptoms associated with caregiver burnout are similar to those of stress and depression? Symptoms may include overwhelming fatigue, loss of appetite, neglecting personal well-being, change in behavior and withdrawal from friends, family and prior interests.

Caregivers often feel guilt for spending time on themselves instead of caring for their aging loved one. However, balancing your own needs will benefit both you and your loved one if your goal is to remain the primary caregiver. Here’s our top tips for getting you back to providing excellent care!

  • Ask for help. If other family members live nearby, see if they are willing to become more involved and take short shifts with your loved one. That brief time away will provide you a mental break.  
  • Give yourself permission to take time off. Schedule some “me time” in your calendar and stick to it. You’ve earned the break. Be sure to make arrangements for your loved one’s care during your absence.
  • Get organized. Get back on track with simple reminders such as calendars and to-do lists that can help you prioritize important tasks. Take inventory of your loved one’s legal documents and financial information.
  • You’re not alone. Join a local caregiver support group and connect with others in your shoes.
  • Consider respite care. Whether it’s for a few days or few weeks, respite care offers 24/7 care support by licensed caregivers, allowing you to take some much needed rest or vacation. As a bonus, your loved one can enjoy daily activities and a social community filled with other seniors. Learn more…
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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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