You’re never too old to enjoy Independence Day. Indeed, for many people the 4th of July sparks fond memories of childhood barbecues, early parenthood, and joyful celebrations with beloved friends. For seniors who have mobility or cognitive issues or who have transitioned to independent living, a change in how they celebrate the 4th of July can feel demoralizing.
Sunny days and warmer temperatures are here, which signals all summer fun to begin. However, in the midst of the fun family get-togethers and neighborhood barbeques, the dangers of summer for older adults are significant. If you find yourself caring for an elderly loved one, you may already be preoccupied with keeping them safe while at home and while out and about. You may not, however, be aware of a few key safety measures to take during the summer months.
When you’re caring for an ailing family member, it’s easy to feel alone. Yet millions of other people just like you carry a similar load. You’re not alone. The senior population is booming, with 46 million seniors over 65 living in the U.S. today. By 2060, that figure is projected to double. Understanding the needs, lifestyles and views of today’s seniors can help you better understand the needs of the senior you love and care for. Here’s what you need to know.
The arrival of summer means your travel dreams can finally come true. People of all ages are subject to wanderlust, and it is hard to dispute the sense of adventure and relaxation that comes from a trip. Science has recently started to back up those happy feelings that come from vacation, no matter if your trip is a few towns away or across the ocean. In 2013, a study published by the American Psychological Association noted that vacations can combat stress and negative emotions by removing us from our otherwise stressful lives. But the benefits of taking a vacation go beyond stress relief. A study out of the Wisconsin Medical Journal demonstrated that women who vacation twice a year are far less likely to suffer feelings of depression than women who vacation less that once every two years.
No matter how excited you may be to move into your new apartment at a senior living community, there can still be some accompanying anxiety. Transition at any age can be overwhelming, and moving into a senior living community is no different. Fortunately, the transition trauma doesn’t have to last too long or feel too sad. There are many ways to ease into your new home and new routine, including a bit of help from your furry best friend.
You’re never too old to be physically fit. Age accelerates the loss of muscle and bone mass. This can lead to weakness, play a role in osteoporosis and increase the risk of falls. Exercise can reduce this risk. Seniors who remain physically active may live longer, maintain a more independent lifestyle, have less physical pain due to joint health issues and arthritis, have a lower risk of dementia and have better mental health.
Personality types allow us the chance to know more about ourselves and those around us. Generally, there are two broad categories that people fit into: extroverts and introverts. There are benefits and challenges for each of the types, and sometimes people evolve from one type to another as they experience new phases in life. Older adults can often be designated as introverts or extroverts as well, and no matter what type of personality they have, all seniors can find homes and friendships in senior living communities.
Senior living is a broad industry, giving care and options for older adults who live with different challenges and preferences. Today’s seniors are fortunate to have such a variety of solutions to suit their needs, but so many choices can quickly lead to feelings of confusion. For example, if you have done your due diligence to narrow down your senior living choice to assisted living, you may be surprised to find out there are multiple levels of care within your assisted living community. Each of these levels of care features a different cost, as well as a different amount of hands-on care.
Two-thirds of seniors need help performing some of the activities of daily living. Many will eventually need some form of care. Quality care is not cheap. It requires skilled, highly trained caregivers, a safe living environment and plenty of activities to keep the mind and body as active as possible.