According to the U.S. 2010 Census, 28.3 percent of Americans older than age 65 lived alone. If you break that down just by ages 65 to 74, the number drops to 21.6 percent (because many spouses are still alive at this age) but increases to 32.2 percent for the 75-to-84 age group and 48.2 percent for seniors over age 85.
Surprised at those numbers? As Americans’ life expectancy has increased so has their preference toward independence, even if that means living alone. Many seniors do fine on their own, requiring and accepting some help from family and friends (not many 90-year-old grandmothers will change a car tire on their own, for example) but mostly living their lives as they did when their spouses were still alive.
Everyone handles aging a bit differently. While we all may hope to age gracefully, complex medical conditions, pain, cognitive trouble and other unique challenges can sometimes make aging incredibly difficult. If you are finding that your aging parents are becoming a bit more—ahem—difficult in their older years, you are not alone. Even the most kind adults can become angry, stubborn or downright rude due to the litany of obstacles that aging can sometimes bring.
Outstanding assisted living is also a priority for today’s seniors, and the two goals appear as if they should run parallel to each other. Although dementia care does incorporate many principles of assisted living, the two are not the same. Yet both are incredibly important to seniors and their families.
What comes to mind when you smell freshly cut grass or chocolate chip cookies cooling on the counter? If you are like many people, these smells can bring up memories even when we aren’t expecting it. Perhaps you remember playing with your children or grandchildren when you smell Play-Doh or think of your wedding day when you smell a certain perfume. While you may have anecdotal stories of how smell conjured a memory for you, there is also scientific research that shows us that smell is a powerful tool when it comes to memory and positive experience.
One reason why Alzheimer’s is so insidious is that it has no cure nor practical effective treatment. Every patient eventually succumbs to the disease. Progress toward learning more about the nuts and bolts of the disease has been slow, even asmore Americans are diagnosed with the condition.
Talking about Alzheimer’s disease purely in terms of facts and statistics may seem a bit impersonal on one level. After all, this terrible condition affects families, and boiling it down to a series of numbers diminishes, at least on the surface, the struggles these families endure daily.
Caring for aging loved ones isn’t easy. Although you may or may not be physically caring for your loved one, coordinating doctor visits and medication pick-ups, as well as being an active part of choosing a long-term care community are important tasks that contribute to the health of your loved one. If you are searching for a long-term care community, you may feel extra pressure to find the perfect fit. Most importantly, you want to find a senior living option that provides your loved one with a safe and comfortable community.
As you research the available options, make sure to look beyond the typical checklists you may find online. While staff ratio and nurse qualifications are certainly important, also consider these two key criteria to identify the ideal community for your loved one.
Is there anything better than the spring season? There is certainly much to be said about a season that beckons us all outside to enjoy warmer temperatures and take big breaths of fresh air that smells like rain. Colorful flowers push up from the dirt, and everyone has an innate desire to throw open the windows to clear out any stale air left over from winter.
Since spring does encourage more outdoor activity, in temperatures that are reminiscent of Goldilocks—not too hot, not too cold—most people dust off their jackets and tennis shoes to head outside. This year, consider grabbing your gardening gloves and tools. Not only will you enjoy the time gardening, you will be able to reap some mental and emotional benefits as well.
Getting older comes with new responsibilities, including issues that may have not been at the front of your mind a few decades before. Exercise, for example, may have been a normal part of your active workday before you retired. However, now you may find yourself with a chronic medical condition that leaves you with no energy to take a stroll around the block. Beyond exercise, choosing the right foods and maintaining a healthy diet can keep your body and mind strong. Senior nutrition can sometimes feel overwhelming, but with the right information and support systems in place, you can feed your body the fuel that will keep it running well.