Traveling With Your Aging Parents

With so many of us living with and caring for our parents, we are constantly searching for ways to incorporate that care into our daily lives…and our vacations.

Remember back when our travel plans required that we consider feedings, strollers, diaper changing, and playgrounds? Now, we are considering walkers, oxygen tanks, hydration, and benches for resting. It can be challenging to assure you have covered all your bases and to assure everyone will have a smooth, enjoying, and relaxing vacation. Click the link above to learn some tips that will help when traveling with your aging parents.

 

 


4 Tips for Talking to Parents About Assisted Living

As your parents age, there may come a time when they are not able to live as independently as before, whether because of a chronic illness, injury, or decline in general health. As an adult-child of an aging parent, it may fall upon you to begin the conversation about a move to a retirement community or even assisted living, depending on the degree of need. Having this conversation can be challenging and emotional, especially because the majority of aging Americans are more attracted to the idea of “aging in place” in their current home.

Here are four tips that will help you approach this fragile subject with empathy and openness that will put you and your loved one on the same page about this transition. To learn more, click the link above.

 

 


Caregiving Is A Marathon

Too often we underestimate the time obligation of caregiving. Adult children step up to be the primary hands-on caregiver having no idea that they may spend as much time caring for their parents as they spent raising their children.

We tend to think that we can burn the candle at both ends – that we can do it all. We think we can manage kids, career, spouse, house, and parents. If caregiving were a sprint, we could probably do it all. Unfortunately, it’s not. Caregiving is a marathon that you could easily spend 15 years focused on the health and well-being of your parents. Click the link above to learn more.

 

 


Tip #18 of 50 – Where Do I Even Begin?

As The Wesley Communities approach 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Peg’s Perspective

Tip # 18 of 50 –   Where do I even begin?

If you are a senior living in your home or condo (or an adult child trying to help your parent or relative in this situation), you may know that living alone, for a variety of reasons, is not working. There may be a variety of obstacles in your world that make living at home either uncomfortable or perhaps impossible. Eyesight or hearing loss is oftentimes a big contributor, along with failing physical strength. Laundry room in the basement, anyone? Driving at night sometimes becomes problematic, and eventually, driving at all is problematic.

So, where to begin? First, take heart. There are many options available to you, and they’re not nearly as overwhelming as you might imagine.

First, there are services that are available to you in your home: housekeeping services, meal delivery, home health assistance. In our geographic area, The Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA) is a wealth of information, and their phone number 614-645-7250 and can be found at www.coaaa.org. They offer a wide variety of referrals that can lead to good options!

Second, another wonderful option to consider is retirement community living. And if you have pre-conceived notions about what that entails, I urge you to reconsider. There are stand-alone independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing options, meaning, facilities that offer one or two levels of care that may meet your immediate needs.

Third, I also urge you to consider a continuing care retirement community, or “CCRC.” CCRCs offer all levels of care in one – higher levels of care are there if you need them. If there is such a community near you, and you want to stay close to your home, all you need to do is call their main number and say, “I’d like to come in and learn more about your community.” It’s that simple. I recommend you visit more than one, and as many as five, although three is a good number to do a real comparison. Take notes. Is it clean? Does the staff greet you? Are there residents who greet you? I always recommend having a meal wherever you visit, the quality of both food and the service varies greatly from place to place.

And what will you find at a CCRC? You will find help, and you will find peace of mind, and you will find security in knowing that whatever your needs are, they will be met. Socialization is a key factor to a long and healthy life, and it’s never too late to make lifelong friends.

And of course, I invite you to visit Wesley Glen, Wesley Ridge, and Wesley Woods at New Albany! At The Wesley Communities, we are welcoming communities of kindness and grace, where residents and staff thrive. We look forward to meeting you!

 

 

 


Caregiver Assistance: Addressing Caregiver Stress

Caring for an aging family member is a labor of love. But study after study also shows the emotional, physical, and even financial stress that the caregiver incurs as a result.

Research conducted by MetLife revealed that approximately 10 million adult children over the age of 50 (that’s roughly a quarter of all Baby Boomers!) have taken on the role of caregiver for their aging parents, helping with a variety of tasks–everything from running errands and cooking to bathing and using the toilet. It’s a lot to take on, especially for caregivers who may also be juggling a career and their own children, which is likely why caregivers over age 50 who work and provide care to a parent are more likely to have fair or poor health as compared to peers who do not provide elder care.

A few other noteworthy stats from the study:

  • Adult daughters are more likely to provide help with daily care, and sons are more likely to provide monetary assistance.
  • The total estimated aggregate lost wages, pension, and Social Security benefits of these adult-child caregivers is nearly $3 trillion.
    • For women, the total individual amount of lost income (wages, Social Security benefits, pension) due to leaving the labor force early and/or reducing hours of work because of caregiving responsibilities averages $324,044. For men, it averages $283,716.*

Yet despite all of these physical and financial drawbacks, the adult-child-as-caregiver trend continues to grow rapidly in the United States. The MetLife study showed that the number of adult children providing personal care and/or financial assistance to an aging parent has more than tripled over the past 15 years.

Caring for the caregiver

It seems that caring for an aging parent is here to stay. So what can caregivers do to help alleviate some of the stress associated with the gig? Click the link above to learn more.

 

 


Tip #17 of 50 – Why Not Just Move Into A Hotel For Your Retirement?

As The Wesley Communities approach 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Tip #17 of 50 –  Why not just move into a hotel for your retirement?

You may have seen the cartoons and ads and articles that suggest (some in all seriousness) that the price of retirement home living is high so, “Why not just move into a hotel?” The article then usually goes on about the price per day, and usually concludes (inaccurately) that hotel living is the better deal financially.

Let me give you many reasons why this is just a horrible idea:

  1. Hotels are not communities, because most people in hotels are there for relatively short stays, and people who are “here and gone” do not make particularly good neighbors.
  2. Hotels generally do not have good (and certainly not healthy) food options, if any.
  3. Hotels in general do not offer group or individual activities. Hotels are not in the people business. They are in the overnight accommodation business.
  4. Hotels do not provide healthcare.
  5. A hotel room. Picture it. Really?

Now, let me give you some really good reasons why retirement communities are far superior to hotels:

  1. Retirement communities are focused on the needs and wants of the people who live there.
  2. It’s never too late to make lifelong friends . . . and people who move into retirement communities are almost always, without exception, there to stay.
  3. People who live in retirement communities are interested and interesting.
  4. The food and activity options are fabulous.
  5. Healthcare is provided at all levels in continuing care retirement communities.

We invite you to visit one of The Wesley Communities to see all that they have to offer! Learn more about our services and amenities by visiting our website at www.thewesleycommunities.com

 

 


An Interview with Janet Herring : A Wesley Ridge Resident With A Truly Special Past

Recently, The Wesley Ridge Retirement Community book club read the historical fiction novel, The Atomic City Girls. The group was lucky to have the author, Janet Beard, visit to discuss the book and meet with the residents who read it.

The novel chronicles the making of the atomic bomb in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where hundreds of young women were hired to work on special tasks, which were never truly explained. The workers at Oak Ridge were instructed that they were helping to win the war, but were told to ask no questions and to reveal nothing to outsiders.

While all of our Wesley Ridge book club members were excited to meet with the author, one resident in particular, Janet Herring, had an even greater enthusiasm, she was one of the young women who worked at Oak Ridge in 1945. Click the above link to learn more about Janet and her interesting past.

 


Physical Fitness and Aging

We all want our parents to remain as active and independent as possible, and we want the same thing for ourselves! Regular exercise is pivotal for seniors. Seniors are at greater risk for disease, lost mobility, and falls than any other age group. Conversely, they often realize the positive effects of exercise more quickly than other age group. If your parent hasn’t been exercising, it can be difficult to get started.

Healthaging.net offers some tips to get over that initial hump. Click the link above to learn more.

 


When to Get On the Wait List at a Retirement Community

If you or a loved one is considering their senior living options, you likely have begun doing research on the retirement communities. Or perhaps you have a loved one in need of long-term care or memory care and staying in the home will not be safe for much longer. With all of the differing communities and facilities available (especially in larger cities), it can be a lot to take in so the decision process can take some time. This varies from one person to another because some senior living decisions are needs-based and move much quicker, while others are more preference-based and can take months or even years. Once you hone in on a few specific places that meet your criteria, you may want to consider getting your name on their waiting lists. Many facilities, particularly assisted living or nursing care facilities, are likely that they have one. Click the link above to learn more.

 


Tip #16 of 50 – “This is Not Your Grandmother’s Retirement Community”

As The Wesley Communities approach 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Tip #16 of 50 – “This is Not Your Grandmother’s Retirement Community”

For those of us “in the industry,” retirement community living makes a great deal of sense. We know that loneliness is a major factor in the mental and physical decline in the senior population. We also know that the residents who live in our communities are glad they’re here . . . and that they often say, “I wish I’d come sooner.”

So why, then, does the myth of “the old folks’ home” persist? You know the myth of which I speak: crowded, smelly hallways, bad food, and lots of sitting around? In fact, you may remember being forced to visit such places in your youth . . . . holiday caroling memories, anyone?

In truth, continuing care retirement communities are exactly the opposite of the myth.

It works like this: vibrant seniors come to the community into independent living apartments, and they have a variety of meaningful activities to attend and interested and interesting people who work and live there along with them.

At The Wesley Communities, residents often mention that they have a hard time choosing – attend a concert, or the balance and fitness class? Sing in the choir, or volunteer in the library? Join the book club or the garden club? Water aerobics or the competitive chair volleyball team? Eat in the formal dining room or grab a salad in the Bistro? And the list goes on and on . . . we try to find engaging and varied activities to meet the needs of an engaging and varied resident population.

Life at The Wesley Communities is meaningful. And everything you need is right here – good friends, good food, and help right here on campus, if and when you ever need it. This is not your grandmother’s retirement community!

 

Learn more about the services and amenities that are provided for the residents at The Wesley Communities in central Ohio by visiting our website at www.thewesleycommunities.com.

 


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