In addition to the growing amount of concern that can affect families when trying to decide if assisted living may be a needed option for them or their loved one, it can also be worrisome to consider how such care will be paid for. Sadly, this single factor can often become the most important one […]
By: Claire Wentz The key to happiness once you become a senior citizen is much the same as it’s always been. If you’ve always been active and outdoorsy, the best way to stay happy and maintain a healthy quality of life is to keep moving. If you’ve always been more inclined toward intellectual pursuits, you […]
Author: Claire Wentz of Caring From a Far Love knows no boundaries, but sometimes finding ways to ensure a senior loved one is doing well is challenging when you live far away. It can seem as if your hands are tied by the miles between you, but there are some effective methods for keeping tabs, in […]
Authored by: Karen Weeks of elderwellness.net
Regardless of your age, in order to live the most fulfilling life you can, it is important to be healthy in all senses of the word. However, many people taper down their exercise regimens, outside activities or hobbies, and healthy eating as they age. Ironically, those exact practices — exercise, hobbies, community, and nutrition — are key to remaining youthful in one’s attitude and abilities. Here is a variety of information on the best habits seniors can pursue to improve every facet of their health while reducing stress and anxiety.
Pay Attention to Your Medicare Plan
If you experience constant stress, it can be difficult for you to be truly healthy. One of the main causes of stress for seniors is anxiety about their future. Medicare changes every year, and it is important for seniors to stay up to date on the enrollment process and available plans. As you begin your new journey toward a healthier lifestyle, start by learning about Medicare and Medicare Advantage, what they cover, which plans are available in your state, and what supplemental plans you need to cover extra medical needs like prescription drugs.
Start Exercising Regularly
Once you have planned for your future healthcare needs, you can focus on keeping your body healthier overall. Going without exercise is one of the main causes of disease. Exercise has many benefits beyond building strength — it helps support your cardiovascular system, the health of your heart, and cognitive functions. You’ll get the most out of your workout routine if you focus on an aerobic program for 30 minutes to an hour each day. While the most common aerobic exercise is running or jogging, you may find a gentle, low impact aerobic exercise like swimming or biking to be easier on your joints.
Stretch Each Morning to Increase Flexibility
Most seniors will benefit from a daily stretching and balance routine. Before working out at home, stretch for 15 minutes to loosen up your muscles and increase your flexibility. You may want to incorporate yoga poses into your routine that focus on gentle balance and flexibility.
Become Involved in Your Community
Exercise can also be a great way to become involved in your community. By joining an exercise class at your local recreation center or senior center, you will be able to work out each week while getting to know a new group of friends. Social activity is critical for strong mental health — a network of supportive friends prevents loneliness, minimizes stress, and provides encouragement when you need it most.
Eat Nutritious Meals Every Day
Seniors of all abilities often forget to pay attention to what they eat, choosing the convenience of fast food and processed food over the nutritional value of a home-cooked meal. However, in order for you to get the vitamins and nutrients you need to stay physically and mentally fit, it is important that you frequently eat vegetable-centric meals without excessive amounts of sugar, salt, or oil. Soups and stews are a particularly good idea since they are often easy to make, tend to freeze well, and can be kept for months.
Get a Full Night’s Rest
Finally, sleep is a major factor in your mood and overall wellness the next day. While seniors do not require as much sleep as younger adults, you should still try to get six or seven hours of sleep every night. You can make it easier to fall asleep by turning off all the lights, keeping electronics out of your bedroom, and by making your bedroom cool and quiet.
To be a well-rounded, healthy individual, seniors need to make a deliberate effort to support their health. Stretching and exercising can increase flexibility and cardiovascular health, community involvement can support mental health, and eating and sleeping well can boost your overall wellness. It’s short: It’s all about taking proper care of yourself.
Authored by: Karen Weeks of elderwellness.net
Moving into an assisted living facility is a big step, and perhaps the most challenging part is the downsizing involved. Most seniors will be moving from a large family home into a smaller space designed for their needs alone. On both a logistical and emotional level, this can be complicated. In this guide, we will cover the key steps involved in this downsizing process and how to make them as smooth as possible.
Finding The Right Living Facility
You’ve decided that your health and housing needs would be best suited by an assisted living facility – this is a great choice! But how do you go about choosing the perfect one for you?
Start by doing some online research on the communities available in your area, and making a list of criteria that matter to you. Do you want an active social scene? An extra room for guests? High-quality food? Then, you can start arranging tours. Keep your criteria in mind as you visit, and make sure to ask them any questions you have about assisted living. Cost will always be at the forefront of your search, so keep in mind that the average cost for assisted living in Colorado Springs is $4,538 a month.
This detailed guide by Senior Living has some great advice and resources on every step of the process.
Reducing Your Possessions
The sudden change in space means that, for most seniors, moving into an assisted living facility means getting rid of a lot of stuff. Apartment Guide recommends going room by room, sorting everything into gift, sell, donate or trash. Learn to identify the items that you truly treasure, and to separate them from sentimental clutter.
Downsizing your possessions is emotionally difficult, but you’ll be amazed at the positive effect it can have on your mental well-being. If you have downsized all you can but it’s still not quite enough, consider looking into self-storage in the area. This avoids clutter in your new living space while still being able to keep beloved possessions, and it can be surprisingly affordable: the average price of a self-storage unit in Colorado Springs is just $97.32 a month.
Packing Up The House
As you downsize, start packing things that you know you want to keep but you are unlikely to use before the move. This will make it easier to pack up the rest of the house before the big day.
Make sure you check what household items will be available in your assisted living community, so you know what to bring with you. Remember to pack a suitcase with the basics you need for the first few days (clothes, toiletries, entertainment) to make the transition easier until everything is unpacked and put away.
Use book boxes whenever possible, as their small size keeps them from getting too heavy. This reduces the risk of injury and makes the move easier for whomever is going to be carrying the boxes. Sorting things into smaller boxes is also a useful way to stay organized throughout the process.
Make sure to recruit the help of family or moving professionals for the big day – you are going to need it. Other than that, the smoothness and success of your moving day will depend on how well you prepared in the weeks leading up to it.
Moving.com provides a helpful senior moving checklist that can prove quite useful. It starts three months before the move and extends to the last-minute details of moving day, so you can make sure you have covered every single step. It also helps to create a moving inventory, so you can keep track of the belongings you are bringing with you and make sure everything has arrived in great condition.
As long as you do your research, stay organized, and fully commit to downsizing, moving into an assisted living community can be an exciting and relatively painless transition. Of course, it can be scary – big life changes always are – but assisted living is a pleasant, fun, and happy solution for the vast majority of seniors who make the leap. You’ll be glad you did it, and you’ll be glad you managed your move in the most efficient way possible.