November 29, 2019
By Lizzie Weakley
As you get older, your metabolism slows down and your circulation decreases. Common aging-related diseases like diabetes and hypothyroidism can also decrease your cold tolerance. This means that seniors are especially vulnerable to winter dangers like hypothermia, frostbite and pneumonia. Read on to learn how you can stay warm and safe during the coldest months of the year.
Dress in Layers
Bundling up in layers is a great way to stay warm in any temperature because you easily remove outer layers indoors or if the weather changes. Try a long-sleeved shirt under a cardigan with a jacket on top or a hooded sweatshirt with a cotton tee underneath. Accessories like scarves and gloves add extra warmth.
Drink Hot Beverages
A mug of hot cocoa, a cup of hot tea or some java from the corner coffee shop can warm you up from the inside. Holding the hot container can also keep your hands warm. If drinks aren’t your thing, try a steaming bowl of soup or a hot slice of apple pie.
Adjust the Thermostat
Turning the heat up is an obvious way to keep warm, but high heating bills and malfunctioning HVAC systems can be an obstacle for many seniors. If you or someone you love can’t afford to stay warm, look into special programs that help seniors cover energy bills in the winter or pay for heating repair services.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
Your ceiling fan provides a nice cooling breeze in the summer, but did you know that it can also help you stay warm in the winter? Reversing the blades on your fans pushes warm air down into the room to keep you cozy instead of wasting it at ceiling-level. Most new fans have a small switch you can flip to change their direction.
Take Warm Baths
There’s nothing like a warm bath to take off the chill, but remember to be safe in the tub. Install grab bars to help you get in and out, use non-slip bathmats and a bath chair if needed. Check the temperature of your bath with a thermometer to prevent burns. Water that seems fine to the touch may be too hot for soaking. You can get help from a loved one or an assistant if you have trouble getting in the bath.
Although it’s normal to need the thermostat turned up as you grow older, being cold constantly even when the temperature is very warm can be a sign of something serious. If you suddenly get cold more easily than usual or find it difficult to keep warm, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
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November 26, 2019
By Meghan Belnap
The choice of when and where to retire is a deeply personal choice. You can live on your own or with others. Community housing for retirees offers amenities that may not be offered elsewhere. Do some research on them before you commit.
No More “Parenting the Parent”
Adult children may find themselves in the role of primary caregiver as their parents age. That could be stressful for all parties involved. It can create a sentiment of unequal responsibility. Community housing provides greater freedom to the parents as they are once again homeowners in a community of individuals going through the same period of life together. In retirement communities, there is no fear of not measuring up to the younger generation, and it is specifically set up to be empowering to those in their retirement years.
Safety at Hand
Senior living communities are built close to hospitals. If the worst happens then residents won’t have to wait as long to receive care. Immediate intervention is especially critical for seniors to recover quickly. Other services, such as in-home assistants and lifeline companies, also often set up their practice near these communities specifically to cater to the older generation. When looking at active adult community home listings, make sure to examine the amenities available in the area to find the community best catered to your needs.
A New Kind of Social Network
Not all seniors still can (or want to) drive. A senior living community brings everyone together. The longest trip to see friends is just a walk away. Fellow residents are all within the same age range, as mentioned, going through the same stages of life. This means that activities available are catered directly to the interests of your demographic. Community housing organizes field trips, classes, movie nights, and group dinners. There’s a wide range of options without the stress of having to make events a big outing.
Shifting Priorities for the Better
Owning a home is a lot of work. You have to think about yard work and neighborhood safety. Upkeep within the home can also feel like a to-do list that never ends. A senior home takes all that work away. There is often a dedicated housekeeping staff that does laundry and room cleaning. If the senior home is in a suburb or the countryside there may also be landscaping services. You can enjoy the grounds on your own terms without mentally cataloging each untrimmed shrub and stray leaf.
Your children may also want to have a say in where you end up living. They might want you to live closer to them or in a warmer climate. Make a list of the facilities that look most appealing to you. Then bring that list to the table so you can have a family conversation about next steps.
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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November 21, 2019
By Anica Oaks
Whether you’re giving care to a loved one or your job is to take care of others, it can get overwhelming by the end of the week. By having a plan of ways to refresh your body and mind, you can return to your loved one or patients ready to tackle anything. Here are four suggestions for how to spend your time away at the end of the week to ensure you’re refreshed to start another week.
Spend Some Time Getting Self-Care at the Massage Parlor
Taking care of a disabled person is both mentally and physically exhausting. At the end of the week, you’re going to need to set aside some time for self-care. A great way to help reduce your stress levels and quiet your mind is to get a massage. The physical touch from the masseur along with the release of tension in the body can be just what you need to refresh yourself to start another week of caring for someone else.
Visit with Friends or Family
Just spending some time with loved ones can be a great way to relax after a long week as a caregiver. Whether you plan to meet friends or family at their home or out for dinner, you should opt for picking a place that you would like. It’s best to always schedule some time at the end of the week to share with others who can take your mind off of matters that you are mentally dealing with through your role as a caregiver.
Spend Time Exercising
One of the best ways to reduce your stress levels and feel good about your body is to workout. You don’t have to schedule a harsh workout that you are dreading. Rather, pick a workout type that you enjoy. For example, you can try weightlifting, crossfit, yoga, or Pilates. Just pick an activity that really interests you so that you have something physical to look forward too at the end of the week.
Take a Day Trip Somewhere Fun
The weekend is a great time to adventure into new territory. Decide to take a day trip to somewhere that interests you. This could be a nature park or a casino. The possibilities are really endless. Just pick something that seems interesting to you and go do it. Just planning a day around what you like is a great way to refresh your mind and soul after a hard week.
Hire Extra Help
Taking care of a loved one throughout the week, while rewarding, is also physically and mentally exhausting. When the end of the week comes a caregiver may be looking for relief that doesn’t come that easily. The weekend can even mean extra work, in some instances with additional activities and errands to do. Hiring extra senior care help can lighten the load a few days a week and give you a chance to regroup before the next week starts.
A caregiver has a lot on their plate. Each day can be both physically and mentally taxing. If you find that you’re in need of a refresh at the end of the week, the above four options are great activities to do.
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November 8, 2019
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.
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.
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.
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
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