November 8, 2019

5 Tips for Dealing with Chronic Pain as a Senior

Filed under: Aging,Healthcare,Seniors Health — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 5:02 am

elderly pain management

By Lizzie Weakley

As we get older, our bodies may begin to require more care and might function less efficiently than when we were younger. After decades of wear and tear, our joints, muscles, and bones begin to ache from years of service. In addition, the older we get, the risk for a chronic illness increases, which may cause chronic pain or discomfort. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with this problem that are both practical and affordable. Check with your doctor before trying any of these tips.

Routine Exercise

Depending on your age and overall health, your doctor may give you approval for starting an exercise program. This can be done at home by watching an exercise program for persons whose circumstances, like age and health, are similar to yours. Alternately, the doctor may suggest joining a local YMCA or recreation center exercise class that meets at least weekly. Exercise can help to strengthen bones while making joints and muscles more limber. Systematic exercise also may stimulate the production of your body’s endorphins, which can ease pain and help you feel better. The immune system may also benefit and contribute to the reduction of inflammation.

Healthy Eating

Avoid inflammatory foods like sugar, and for some, white flour or gluten, may ease physical discomfort. Weight reduction for obese persons can take extra pounds off of the body frame, also reducing physical discomfort. Certain foods or a specific eating plan may be suggested by your doctor or a nutrition specialist to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs to function efficiently, which may in turn lessen physical pain.

Relaxation

If you are a busy person with chronic pain, it may be a good idea to spend some time each day relaxing and escape stress temporarily. Taking a short nap or enjoying nature in the back yard or at the park provides a break from your daily routine, which also have a positive effect on chronic pain levels.

Medical Pain Management

Your GP may provide a referral to pain management doctors who can treat your discomfort from a medical perspective. With many treatment options to choose from, there is a good chance they can find ways to make you feel more comfortable. Pain management experts have the skills and knowledge needed to assist with chronic pain issues.

There is no need to suffer pain in silence. Try tips like these to get your pain under control so you can enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle.

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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November 7, 2019

Finding an Assisted Living Community That’s Right for You

Filed under: Assisted Living,Nursing Homes,Senior Housing — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 5:31 am

Assisted Living Search

By Brooke Chaplan

If you’ve found that, as you’ve aged, you now need assistance with your daily tasks, then an assisted living facility can be a great option for you. It will provide you with the care you need to live a fulfilling life. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that you find a community that’s right for you.

Make a List of Needs

Many seniors start out by looking at the various assisted living communities and end up getting overwhelmed. Instead, start by making a list of needs. Include everything from the type of medical care that you need to the recreational activities you need in your life. When you have a list of what you’re looking for in an assisted living facility, you can better determine what facility is going to fit your needs quickly.

Set a Budget

Your assisted living care should be easily affordable for you. You should take a look at what your budget is and will be in the future. Set yourself a budget for what you can comfortably afford to pay for your cost of living, keeping in mind your retirement fund and savings. By setting your budget ahead of time, you can limit yourself to looking at facilities in your price range. If you look at facilities first, you may find yourself signing a lease for a place that you end up having trouble affording.

Take a Tour

Now, you should have a very good idea of the qualities you’re looking for in a property and what price range you can afford. Next, it’s time to get your list together of potential properties to visit. You want to take the time to tour each facility to get a feel for how it will work for you. Don’t be shy about visiting a place multiple times before you decide whether or not you want to live there.

Speak with the Current Residents

One of the best ways to get a feel for how a community will work out for you is to talk with the existing residents. See how happy they are with the assisted living facility and get some information about the daily activities that are offered for residents. You may be surprised that you can learn more from a 10-minute conversation with a resident than you’ll get from reading all the fliers about the community.

When it becomes time to move into an assisted living facility it’s likely that you’ll have a lot of questions running through your mind. Understand how to slow down and take it to step by step; this can drastically help with your overall decision on where to stay. Be sure to start by utilizing the four tips above to find an assisted living community that’s right for you.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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October 25, 2019

Always on the Go: Maintain Your Mobility as You Age

Filed under: Aging,Mobility,Seniors Health — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 5:04 am

Seniors maintaining mobility

By Anita Ginsburg 

Unfortunately, our bodies tend to become weaker, frailer and less agile as time goes on. As a result, we become slower and our reflexes aren’t as sharp. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be this way. There are plenty of ways to keep your body in top form. Granted, this isn’t something that will magically happen nor will it happen overnight. Keep reading for tips on maintaining mobility as you age.

Eat a Nutritional Diet

Having a nutritional, well-balanced diet is one of the best ways to maintain mobility. In fact, one of the most common reasons why our bodies deteriorate is because of a poor diet. Constantly eating things that are high in fat, sugar and preservatives is not healthy, especially for older people.

In fact, we can start to lose muscle mass as early as the age of 30. Make sure to incorporate a lot of fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts into your diet every day. A good way to stay on track is to fill your plate with at least 70 percent fruits and veggies and 30 percent protein.

Manage Your Weight

Eating a healthy diet is beneficial, however, it won’t mean much if you’re overweight. Being overweight not only makes moving harder, it’s also really detrimental to your health. Being overweight is proven to cause health problems such as diabetes, which requires an ongoing medical supply of insulin. As such, it is important that you do everything in your power to maintain a healthy weight.

Exercising is one of the best ways to maintain your mobility while keeping your body healthy. Exercise is also good for our joints. Our joints become more vulnerable to injuries and damage due to the lack of synovial fluid and the cartilage becoming thinner. If you need equipment to help you stay on your feet longer for walks or errands, visit a local medical supply. While it’s important to move around as much as you can, don’t push your body past its limits by ignoring mobility tools available to you.

Take Vitamins

It is essential that everyone consumes the necessary amount of vitamins every day. However, everyone is different and may not be able to consume certain foods or drinks to do so. This is where vitamins come in. You can get vitamins through your local pharmacy or have them prescribed by your doctor. Vitamins are especially essential for people who have certain deficiencies.

Lacking the proper mobility can affect more than our physical health. It also affects our well-being. We might start to lose interest in hobbies, become depressed and we even start to isolate ourselves. Maintaining your mobility will certainly help prevent any of the above-mentioned issues from happening. Make an effort every day to follow these tips and you just might feel like you’re a teen again.

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.

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October 22, 2019

3 Things to Look for in a New Retirement Community

Filed under: Continuing Care Retirement Community,Retirement Community,Senior Housing — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 9:47 am

what to look for in a retirement community

By Brooke Chaplan

If you’re considering making a move to a retirement community, it’s likely going to be a big change for you. You want to pick a community that you know you’ll enjoy and feel comfortable being part of. Here are three things that you’ll want to include in your checklist to ensure you pick the right retirement community for you.

Medical Care

One of the best benefits that you can gain from some of the newer retirement communities is on-site healthcare. Many communities will offer nursing staff that visit your home or apartment regularly. This saves you the trouble of having to get to your own appointments. Not all retirement communities offer this. While you may not need medical assistance right now, it doesn’t hurt to look for a retirement facility that can provide you with this benefit in the future if your health changes.

Priced Within Your Budget

Since you’re likely not working a full-time job anymore, you’re going to be on a limited budget. You need to take the time to assess your financial situation and determine what the appropriate price range is for you. By determining this from the very start, you can ensure that you only look at adult community homes for sale that will fit in your price range. You don’t want to end up locking yourself into a living arrangement that you end up not being able to afford over the long run.

Recreation

It’s very easy to forget the recreation factor when deciding on what retirement community you want to live in. However, it’s one of the most vital components that you should be utilizing to choose the right community for you. You want a retirement house that allows you the opportunity to enjoy recreational activities that keep you moving in your golden years. A good retirement community will offer recreational activities all year long that you can enjoy participating in. Some include golf, biking, dance lessons, crafts, music shoes, trivia, gardening, cooking, and so forth.

Picking the right retirement community to fit your lifestyle should be a decision that you don’t take too lightly. You want to find a place that promotes your health and provides various benefits that you can utilize in your senior years. The above are three of these important factors that you should be including in your overall decision. Be sure to make a list and visit any potential communities before settling on which one you decide to stay at.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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October 20, 2019

4 Resources You Should Consider if You are a Disabled Senior

Aging in Place

By Lizzie Weakley

If you have special needs due to being an older person with one or more disabilities, don’t hesitate to consult local social service agencies. Many now offer household assistance to help maintain safety and security at home. Here are a few types of services that may be available to eligible disabled seniors.

Housework Assistance

Many agencies provide a wide range of household assistance services that can keep you safe and comfortable at home. Housework assistance may be able to send someone to your residence to help with daily basic chores like cooking, laundry, and housecleaning. This can help to reduce or eliminate the amount of time or effort you will have to spend maintaining a clean, orderly home. Dusting, vacuuming, and other related tasks may also be covered. Find out what you may be eligible for in terms of getting this work done.

Lawn Care

While friendly neighbors may be able to help occasionally with mowing the lawn or weeding the flower beds, you might be able to get someone to assist on a regular basis. It is important to keep the yard well cared for to prevent pests and wildlife from burrowing near your home and possibly causing property damage. If they get into your home through the foundation or other entryways, that could present another problem to be addressed.

Transport

If you need rides for medical appointments or to do errands like grocery shopping, transportation might be available to accommodate people with disabilities. This may involve private transport with a regular driver or public transportation via bus or taxi. When contacting social service agencies that help older people with disabilities, ask if there is help for getting around town as needed.

Respite Services

Disabled persons often have family members or friends helping out with housework, yardwork, or other needs. However, many of those people have their own responsibilities to handle as well, or something might come up in their lives that will keep them away for a while. Social service agencies that work with disabled clients may be able to offer respite services. This provides a temporary substitute person who is qualified to provide necessary help until your regular caregivers or family members can resume their support.

While it is not easy living with a disability especially when getting older, it is good to know that valuable assistance is available for those in need. Find out about the type of services you may qualify for to make life more comfortable and secure.

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October 16, 2019

Winter Blues: How The Season Affects Senior Sleep

Filed under: Aging,Seniors,Seniors Health — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 10:29 am

Sleep for Seniors

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the Winter Blues, affects millions of people every year. A form of depression that occurs at the same time every year, with symptoms diminishing when Spring weather arrives, the likelihood of a SAD diagnosis increases as we age — and seniors who are housebound are especially at risk.

One of the most frustrating aspects of SAD is that it often mimics the symptoms of other illnesses. Seniors exhibiting symptoms of the Winter Blues have been diagnosed with everything from thyroid problems to mononucleosis, often because they don’t make the connection between their symptoms appearing every year and improving with the weather, and because the disruption to their sleep cycles, mood, and behavior is so extreme. For that reason, it’s important for seniors and their caregivers to understand the symptoms of SAD, so they can help ensure a correct diagnosis and the right treatment.

Understanding The Winter Blues

For many people, just the thought of Winter is enough to bring them down. The idea of being stuck inside, with short days, freezing temperatures, and mountains of snow and ice outside, isn’t always appealing. Winter weather can disrupt your usual routine, preventing you from visiting with friends or taking your daily stroll, which can lead to sadness.

It’s not just the disappointment and boredom that can come with Winter weather that causes, SAD, though. Although researchers aren’t certain of the exact cause, it’s believed that the disorder is due to changes in the amount of natural light exposure during the Winter season. The shorter days and longer nights, and in northern climates, the changes in the angle of sunlight, are disruptive to natural circadian rhythms, or the sleep-wake cycle. This disruption disrupts the body’s production of serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood. Without enough natural sunlight each day, serotonin levels fall, causing symptoms of depression — and significant changes to the sleep cycle.

SAD and Sleep

Although SAD causes many of the classic symptoms of depression — withdrawal, changes in appetite, changes in mood, loss of interest in activities — but changes to sleep patterns are some of the most common. The Winter Blues can cause increases in sleep for seniors, especially during the day, but it can also contribute to insomnia.

Many of these sleep changes are attributable to the changes in ambient light during the day. The human body is naturally attuned to the cycle of day and night. When that cycle changes, and there is more darkness than light or vice versa, the sleep-wake cycle is disrupted. This is only exacerbated by the natural tendency for circadian rhythms to chance as we get older. In general, as we age, we become sleepier earlier in the day, and wake up earlier in the day. But when the sun starts going down at 3 p.m., as it does in some northern climates, that could mean a very early bedtime for some people.

One of the most interesting aspects of the effect of SAD and sleep is the fact that many people report symptoms of insomnia during the Winter, when in fact, they don’t have insomnia at all. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that people with SAD often report that they have insomnia, when they are in fact getting just as much sleep as usual. The difference? They typically spend more time in bed, because the seasonal changes cause them to spend up to four hours a day more resting than usual. The perception is that this extra time resting is insomnia — or sleeping to excess — when in fact they’re getting the same amount of actual sleep as usual.

Still, the fact that the Winter Blues can have such an effect on sleep patterns is cause for concern. There are things you can do, though, to support better sleep during the Winter, and reduce the effect of SAD.

Supporting Healthy Sleep 

Encouraging healthy sleep for any age during the Winter months is important for maintaining overall well-being, but it’s especially important for older adults. It’s possible to reduce the symptoms of SAD and improve sleep with a few changes to the daily routine.

    • Consider investing in a “happy light.” Using a special, full-spectrum lamp for a short time every day can help regulate the circadian rhythms and improve mood.
    • Start the day with some exercise. Exercising each day is a key part of healthy sleep. Take a short walk outdoors in the morning if possible, or do a simple indoor workout during bad weather.
    • Practice good sleep hygiene. Create a sleeping area that’s conducive to sleep: Dark, cool, and comfortable. Establish a bedtime routine to encourage sleep; for instance, go to bed at the same time every night, take a warm bath, read, or use specific lotions to indicate it’s time for bed.

 

  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake.

 

  • Avoid long afternoon naps. If you need to rest, only sleep for 20-30 minutes.
  • Talk with your doctor. If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression or trouble sleeping, your doctor can help by recommending lifestyle changes, further testing to rule out other issues, or prescribing medication.

The good news about the Winter Blues is that they are temporary, and when Spring comes, the symptoms will disappear. There’s no need to suffer in the meantime though. Understanding what’s happening and taking steps to get plenty of sleep can help alleviate the effects and keep you healthy all season long.

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October 12, 2019

4 Solutions to Soothe Arthritic Pain

Filed under: Aging,Mobility,Seniors Health — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 8:41 am

Arthritis in Senios

By Anica Oaks

Arthritis is a name given to a large group of degenerative and painful conditions. They’re all similar in the fact that they are marked by inflammation in the joints of the body. This condition results in pain and stiffness for seniors. Here are four solutions that can help to soothe away your arthritic pain at home.

Hot and Cold Therapy

While this may not seem like a big treatment, it’s very effective for arthritic-related pain. Opt for a long, warm bath or shower in the morning. This will reduce stiffness in the joints. Even a heated blanket or heating pad utilized at night can allow your joints to stay loose the next morning. Reserve cold treatments for relieving the joint swelling and inflammation when it gets to its worst.

Compression Sleeves

You can typically find compression sleeves at your local pharmacy. They will likely have all sorts of sleeves including ones for ankle compression, elbow compression, knee compression, and so forth. The concept behind this type of treatment is that it applies a mild compression to the area that regularly receives inflammation. The compression helps to reduce the amount of inflammation that occurs, which translates to less arthritic pain for you.

Low-Impact Exercise

While your first instinct may be not to move the painful joints, you must reconsider. Low-impact movement can help to loosen up the muscles around the joints. This provides less possibility of inflammation around the joints. You’ll notice that the irritated joints will be more flexible and have less pain when you move them. If you have access to a pool, then doing any sort of exercise in the water is considered low-impact for your joints.

Massage Therapy

Regular massaging of the joints that get inflamed can help to reduce the amount of inflammation in the future. This results in less pain and stiffness for you. With regular massage, you’ll get an improved range of motion that can allow you to be more mobile throughout your everyday life. Talk with a physical therapist about self-massage techniques that you can use for your specific arthritic-related pain.

Relieving arthritic pain doesn’t always have to be done with medication. Rather, the above are some very effective treatment solutions that you can utilize at home to alleviate your pain. Be sure to try various treatment solutions to see which ones your body best responds to and stick with those in the future to help manage your arthritic pain.

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October 9, 2019

Adjusting to Assisted Living: A Guide for You or a Loved One

Filed under: Assisted Living,Nursing Homes,Senior Housing — seniorlivingguide @ 4:18 am

Adjusting to Assisted Living

By Lizzie Weakley

As a loved one age, they may find it difficult to care for themselves or maintain their independence without assistance and monitoring. If you or your loved one has made the decision to move to an assisted living home, there are a few ways to maximize comfort throughout the transition and adjustment periods.

Find a Suitable Assisted Living Program

One of the most important steps to take with a loved one who is in need of assistance and care is to take the time to find an assisted living program that is right for your loved one. Take the time to research each individual assisted living program or home you are interested in for your loved one. Read reviews and client testimonials to learn more about individual assisted living homes in your area and to determine which facility is optimal for your loved one’s lifestyle, health conditions, and daily needs.

Help Your Loved One Get Comfortable in Their New Space

Once you have transferred your loved one into an assisted living home, it is important to help make their new space as comfortable and as welcoming as possible. Spend time decorating and adding personal belongings, decor, and various items for your loved one into their bedroom or living space. The more comfortable your loved one feels at their assisted living home, the less likely they are to withdraw socially or become depressed as a result of loneliness.

Visit Regularly

Commit to visiting your loved one regularly once they are living full-time in an assisted living home. Visiting loved ones regularly can help minimize stress and depression in the elderly. Loneliness is serious and can ultimately lead to serious and life-threatening depression and anxiety.

Ensure Your Loved One Remains Active and Social

Always ensure your loved one remains active and social while staying in an assisted living facility. Check-in on your loved one daily to make sure that they are happy and being taken care of by staff. Encourage your loved one to join social gatherings and to partake in hobbies and activities that are hosted by the assisted living facility.

With the right assisted living home, help your loved one to readjust to their new way of living without stripping them of their independence and what it means to care for themselves. By taking the time to help your loved one adjust to their new assisted living home, gain peace of mind knowing that they are in the right place.

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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October 7, 2019

4 Ways for Seniors to Improve Their Sleep at Home

Filed under: Aging in Place,Seniors,Seniors Health — seniorlivingguide @ 4:41 am

Better Sleep for Seniors

By Meghan Belnap

As we age, it becomes harder to be comfortable. Getting a good night’s rest seems impossible. Seniors can be extremely sensitive to things like temperature and light changes. The National Institute of Health says older people get less sleep and the quality of the rest is not as good as for younger individuals. After age 60, nearly half of seniors experience difficulty sleeping. We talk about four ways the elderly can get the most out of a nap or a night’s rest below.

Warm up the feet to stay cozy

Surprisingly, many people find cold extremities keep them awake. If you always have cold feet, then maybe a thick pair of socks, compression hose, or heated stockings can make a difference. Most heat loss comes out of the top of the head, so wearing a cap to sleep may help some people who can tolerate the feeling while slumbering.

Add thermal room darkening curtains to the bedroom

Nothing disrupts a good nap or a night’s sleep than a bright light. When your sleep rhythm is off, it may be necessary to nap during the day. To get the best rest while the sun is up, a set of light-reducing drapes can make a huge difference. Using a brand with thermal linings can reduce any drafts from windows keeping the bedroom temperature more even. Plus, the curtains can help save energy costs by reducing heat transfer.

Splurge for an adjustable mattress

Mattress sales offer the biggest discounts around the holidays and at the end of winter. Early spring works when you need to find a deal on replacing your bed. If your mattress is over eight years old, then it is a good idea to upgrade your bed. Selecting a model with cooling technologies or functions like raising and lowering the head and legs can make getting to sleep easier. Some people say they get a better nights sleep because they can stay asleep longer without achy legs or stiffness in the back and hips.

Use ambient sound makers

Do you have a favorite nighttime noise like crickets or frogs? Maybe the sound of rain on a tin roof or a river babbling over pebbles is soothing. Ambient sound machines are helpful for some seniors who need white noise to drift off to sleep. Sleep apps and playlists on Internet music sites can also help a person drown out the ringing in the ears to get more sleep.

While we lose the refreshing feeling of sleep as we age, there are things we can do to get a better night’s sleep. Making the room and the bed comfortable is an excellent start. Choosing a quiet place and introducing welcome sounds is another way to fall asleep faster. Individuals with dementia and other health issues may not sleep well at night. Creating a comfortable space for napping at any hour may help older individuals get a better quality of rest.


Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.

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October 2, 2019

Helping Seniors Maintain Their Independence

Filed under: Aging in Place,Independent Living,Senior Safety — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 4:21 am

Maintaining Independence for Seniors

By Brooke Chaplan

For seniors, maintaining a level of independence can sometimes mean that changes need to be made in their home. The good thing is that there are lots of ways that you can go about taking care of yourself or a family member who is aging. Here are just a few of the things that can be done around your home so that seniors don’t have to sacrifice their independent lifestyle.

Consider Clothing Selection

What clothes are available affects independence and a feeling of self-identity. For example, a button-down shirt can be easier to manage than something that has to be put on over one’s head. Selecting clothing that’s easy to put on and remove means that seniors can maintain their independence for a longer period of time. Slip-on shoes are another good option so that people don’t have to bend down to tie the laces.

Install Safety Features

Taking precautions around the house will make it easier for seniors to stay in their own home. For example, installing grab bars in the bathroom will allow the elderly to get ready for the day without assistance. They can also prevent seniors from experiencing a fall and not being able to get back up. Improving the quality of lighting around the house can also work to prevent an accident from occurring. Remove rugs or tape them to the floor to eliminate the chances of slipping.

Use Technology Wisely

There are lots of options when it comes to technology that can help seniors around the house. For example, voice activated assistants can be programed to turn on and off electronic devices or the lights around the house as well as control the locks on your doors. Another good feature to have is an emergency call button. This could be something that your loved one wears or even a motion sensor that you have installed. It could call for help if it didn’t detect movement after a certain period of time, which could be a life-saving tool if someone falls or has a stroke.

Employ Assistance Options

In-home assistance can be a lifesaver when you’re struggling with the day-to-day tasks. For example, housekeeping, lawn maintenance, or grocery shopping services can be utilized so that you have one less thing to worry over. There are also other types of services in which an aide can come to your home and help you with personal hygiene or meal preparation. All of these services are designed to help the elderly stay in their homes for as long as possible.

People don’t have to lose their independence when they become older. Use these ideas to help you think of how you can help an elderly friend or loved one maintain their independence, which will improve their mental health and stability.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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