Although cancer, heart attacks, and strokes are more common and kill far more people, dementia remains America’s most feared illness. Our memories make us who we are, and losing them is terrifying. But dementia is a slow, progressive illness. Many people live for many years before it affects their ability to function. But even when it does, you are still you. You’ll have good days and bad days, just like always. Building a support network now can help prepare you for what’s ahead. Here’s how to do it.
If you have merely thought of turning on the news or picking up a newspaper lately,
you have undoubtedly seen tons of stories about COVID-19, the viral disease also known as the “novel coronavirus.” If you’re like me, these stories have quickly caused you to think about your family and loved ones and how this coronavirus might impact you.
Do you have a basement full of boxes or bins, stuffed with mementos from the past? You aren’t alone. Adults of all ages struggle with knowing what to keep and what to pitch from their own childhood, as well as from their time as a parent. If you’ve ever wondered whether you can finally toss those books your now-grown child loved when they were a toddler, here are a few tips for discerning what to treasure and what to let go.
Our memories make us who we are. They connect us to the past. They allow us to draw on our history with loved ones to connect to them even after they are gone. This is why dementia is so scary. Seniors with dementia envision a life in which they are progressively robbed of all that matters, all that has defined their lives.
Congratulations! You’ve decided that independent living offers a retirement lifestyle that suits your active days and your wellness goals. As your move draws closer, you may be feeling a mix of emotions. Certainly, you’re excited about what’s to come and the investment you’re making in your health. You may also be feeling a bit nervous, wondering how you will connect with your new neighbors.
When you arrive at your new independent living community, you’ll be greeted with a multitude of opportunities to get to know your peers. After all, making friends is one of the main benefits of living in a senior community. Even if you’re feeling anxious or shy, we’ve got all the tips on how to make yourself at home and find plenty of new friends along the way.
Being diagnosed with dementia can be scary. After all, people with advanced dementia can’t tell us what they’re thinking or feeling, and uncertainty breeds fear. The truth is that dementia care has come a long way. People with dementia are living longer, more meaningful lives. A dementia journey does not have to be one of hopelessness and fear. Instead, consider using this time to think about what you want out of your future and the type of support you hope to have as your cognition changes. Art therapy relieves stress, and may even help with the symptoms of dementia. It can also help people with dementia express themselves when their vocabularies begin to fail them.
Most adult children understand the value of spending time with their senior parents. Finding something to do, however, can be a major barrier. You may be overwhelmed by the responsibilities of professional life and child rearing. Adding in time with your parent may feel like just one more item to cross off a to-do list, particularly if you're doing something you don’t enjoy. But these hobbies for seniors and adult children are fun for everyone, offer valuable quality time, and can help stimulate your loved one’s mind while encouraging them to be more active. This means better health for your loved one and a deeper relationship for you both.
For at least two decades, we’ve heard exciting promises about virtual reality. Until recently, VR technology was the exclusive domain of tech-savvy kids and a few startups making big predictions while offering little. In the past few years, virtual reality has come a long way from its humble roots. It’s not just about video games and immersive experiences anymore. A number of companies are already using virtual reality platforms to improve the lives of seniors.
Assisted living no longer means retiring to a rocking chair to watch TV and occasionally play bingo. Today’s seniors demand adventure, plenty of stimulation, and a chance to learn something new. Indeed, most assisted living residents find that they have many more opportunities for engagement than they ever had at home. Check out these great options, which you may find at your local senior living community.