Aging isn’t a linear journey, and it’s different for everyone. Some people remain healthy until they take their last breath. Others follow a path of slow and steady decline, needing progressively more care as they age. For many, the journey is full of fits and starts. A senior may be mostly healthy, but suffer an injury or short-term illness that requires extra help until they get back on their feet. That’s where transitional care comes in.
There’s a dark side to healthy eating. It includes endless Sunday night meal preparation; scouring recipe books for something new; spending an hour at the grocery store only to get home and realize you forgot the key ingredient. And that’s not even taking into account the exhausting toll driving, shopping, and cooking can take. Even if you love cooking, chances are good you don’t love it all the time — especially if you’re the only one in your house whoever does it.
In Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives, author David Eagleman reminds us that there are three deaths, not one: “The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.” Our lives extend as far into the future as others’ memories of us. Leaving behind a legacy is important because it’s a way for seniors to know that some part of who they were will live on after they die. A legacy is a way to touch the future and to improve the lives of loved ones even long after one’s own death.
Aging is different for everyone, as every adult child of an aging parent learns. Some people find themselves suddenly thrown, unprepared, into the role of caregiver following a catastrophic diagnosis. Others slowly ease into a caregiving role over many years as an aging parent slowly, steadily, almost imperceptibly declines. And some never become caregivers at all, but worry about what the future might hold.
When you think about balance, you might envision the seemingly impossible contortions of a ballet dancer or the high-wire act of a tightrope walker. But balance is more than just a novelty. It’s a key skill you use in just about everything you do. Good balance can reduce your risk of falling and make it easier to walk, go up and down stairs, and perform simple daily tasks such as vacuuming and dusting.
Signing up for Medicare isn’t as simple as checking a box on your 65th birthday. Seniors who want to maximize their health coverage and avoid late enrollment penalties need to do their research before enrolling in Medicare. If you’ve read all the brochures and still feel bewildered by your Medicare options, this guide is for you.
Dementia is frustrating for seniors and caregivers alike. It makes daily activities more challenging and can slowly erode communication skills, relationships and even personalities. Dementia doesn’t mean that a person loses interest in connecting with others, doing simple hobbies or mastering new skills. It just makes these tasks a little more difficult. The good news is that staying mentally active may actually slow the progression of dementia. Activities such as listening to music can also improve quality of life and reduce emotional challenges such as anxiety and depression.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be both frightening and heart-wrenching. A senior who initially struggled with mundane tasks like remembering keys may eventually forget family members’ names and need extensive help with daily tasks such as bathing and getting dressed. Rest assured, your loved one is still in there. They just need some help to identify and assert their needs, occupy their minds and cope with the stress of living with dementia. A memory care community offers dementia care for people who need extensive help.
The new year is a time to turn inward, to reflect on where you have been and where you are going. The changes you make this year can catapult you into better health, protect your future, and help you live a more meaningful life. So ditch bland resolutions about weight loss and eating fewer cookies. Make 2019 a year of transformation and joy with these New Year’s resolutions.