Healthy Aging Through Food

We all know that a low salt, low fat diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber can reduce the risk of age related health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases. However, there are lots of other foods out there. Can you eat those other foods and still experience healthy aging? Yes!


What is the Happiest Age? (You Might Be Surprised by the Answer!)

What age group of adults would you think is the happiest? If most people were to guess, they’d likely assume people in their 20s and 30s are the most content. Why wouldn’t they be, right? They are young and likely healthy, and they have their whole lives ahead of them, full of potential and exciting events.

If you think young adults have it all, you may be surprised to learn the results of a study conducted out of the University of California-San Diego; the research results were published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Happiness comes with maturity…


Tip # 15 of 50 – One of the Hardest Decisions There Is: When (and how) Do You Take the Car Keys Away?

If this title caught your eye, you may very well be on the horns of dilemma. You might be an adult son or daughter, a spouse, or a good friend from church or the neighborhood, and you’re dealing with a very tricky problem – your loved one probably shouldn’t be driving anymore. There have been a few too many “Mr. McGoo” moments, perhaps a damaged garage door or fender with no explanation? Or worse? An accident where someone has been injured? The latter is actually easier to deal with than the former, I’ve found.

You are probably receiving a ton of denial from your loved one, and you are also experiencing a real dilemma: if I insist that Mom (or Dad) no longer drive, how on earth will they . . . (fill in the blank). If they live out of town, the problem is even harder.And, you may be dealing with more than a little anger about the whole situation.

At The Wesley Communities, we see this problem all too frequently, and we’re happy to offer some advice. No one wants to be the bad guy, right? But if you are seeing mailboxes going down and dents in the fender, you already know what the right answer is. So, how to implement?

There are several ways to approach this situation. The best way is to sit down and say, “I’ve noticed some things and I’m really concerned about your ability to drive safely any longer.” In most situations, it won’t be as bad as you think it might be. Your mom/dad/spouse/friend didn’t get to this stage in life without a fairly healthy dose of common sense. What you’re saying may even be a relief to them.

But in the cases where you are met with anger and denial. . . again, try to approach the situation reasonably. It’s not just their life that’s at stake, they could also injure someone else. Their eyesight and reflex time is very likely not what it should be in order to drive.

Still no luck? Be prepared to have practical solutions to their objections. There are taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, community center buses, and paid helpers. In many cases, a college student home for the summer would be delighted to have flexible hours and some extra cash.

And then here’s the last resort, and it’s pretty effective. If you know someone is getting behind the wheel of a car and they can’t see or hear well, and there is some fairly objective evidence of that, when you know they’re out and about, see if your local law enforcement team can help. They oftentimes are very willing to observe, and if a traffic violation is made, they will most likely pull the individual over. And then? Almost inevitably, a revocation of license (they can’t pass the driving test) will result.

These are hard situations to deal with, but just remember, they most likely need (and probably want) your help. You’re doing the right thing, keep after it.

At The Wesley Communities, we are welcoming communities of kindness and grace where residents and staff thrive.Please visit our website at www.thewesleycommunities.org for more information.


Lifelong Learning: Good for Seniors’ Minds & Bodies

Summertime means graduation season and there is a recent and growing trend among college graduates that is garnering a lot of attention. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, by 2020, 43 percent of college students are expected to be age 25 and older. And among these older grads are more and more seniors. Click above to learn more about how lifelong learning is beneficial for seniors’ minds and bodies.



Tip # 14 of 50 –The Case Against Staying at Home as You Age

“Fifty Tips on Aging Well to Celebrate 50 Years of Excellent Service”

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 # 14 of 50 –The Case Against Staying at Home as You Age

There has been a media blitzkrieg (and resulting changes in state and federal regulations regarding nursing home care) about the benefits of staying at home “as long as possible” as we age. Who wouldn’t, after all, want to stay at home? It’s well, home. And home can be familiar and welcoming, with daily routines, good memories, and familiar surroundings.

But what if staying at home isn’t the best option? What if staying at home ultimately means isolation and increasing danger for folks whose eyesight and hearing isn’t what it used to be? What if “home” lacks the one factor most likely to result in a long, happy life: sociability? And what if “home” means negotiating steep stairs and icy driveways to collect the mail, and a never-ending list of chores that become harder and harder as we age?

Continuing care retirement communities offer many options to more than offset the benefits of home. First and foremost, they are filled with people who are both interested and interesting. And there are a wide variety of activities to fit a wide variety of interests: music, entertainment, book clubs, fitness and art classes – the list goes on and on . . . . including good food that someone else prepares!

If the choice to “stay home” involves home healthcare services when needed, there is so much to consider. Of course, there are good home healthcare agencies, and not so good home healthcare agencies. And even if you find a good one, what if your healthcare needs don’t neatly align with a scheduled visit? What if your needs change, and you need far less than a trip to the ER by squad, but more than you can do yourself?

Continuing care retirement communities have competent help to fit all needs, around the clock, just a call away. And additional healthcare is available as needed, in assisted living, skilled/rehabilitation services, long-term care, memory care, and ultimately, hospice care.

I encourage you to compare “apples to apples” in terms of safety and peace of mind. In my opinion, the scale tips toward making a move to a faith-based, not for profit continuing care retirement community instead of clinging to “staying at home as long as possible.” It’s never too late to make life-long friends.

At The Wesley Communities, we are welcoming communities of kindness and grace where residents and staff thrive. Please visit our website at www.thewesleycommunities.org for more information.



Tip # 13 of 50 – The Longevity Project and a study of catastrophic thinking – “Don’t be a Chicken Little”!

“Fifty Tips on Aging Well to Celebrate 50 Years of Excellent Service”

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 # 13 of 50 – The Longevity Project and a study of catastrophic thinking – “Don’t be a Chicken Little”!

In 1921, Dr. Lewis Terman began a study of 1500 children who were born around 1910.  The lives of these 1500 children were followed and studied in meticulous detail over the course of their lifetimes.   Out of this now famous study, Dr. Howard Friedman and Dr. Leslie Martin began to study a different question:   who lived the longest, and why?     The results are revealed in The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight Decade Study. 

When the Terman subjects were young adults, they were tested for their “Chicken Little” qualities, that is, did they constantly think the sky was falling?  Also called “catastrophizers,” these subjects tended to see impending doom everywhere, and the trend, perhaps not surprisingly, shows that this trait is not good for a long life! In sum, the Chicken Littles died sooner!

The good news is that catastrophic and related negative thought processes can be changed.   The first step is recognizing thoughts for what they are – they are merely thoughts. If you start to think of “worst case” scenarios, you can literally say to yourself, “Stop!” This, followed by thought replacement (replacing the negative thought with a more positive one), can be very useful.

Remember, making changes to persistent patterns of negative thinking takes both patience and determination, but it can lengthen your life, and it can be done!

Source: The Longevity Project, by Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D., and Leslie R. Martin, Ph.D


Active Aging Redefines Health and Wellness

What does it mean to be healthy as we get older? For most of us, it’s simply the opposite of illness. And staying healthy equates to managing diseases and chronic conditions.

But there is a movement to expand the definition of health and wellness in order to accommodate the idea that being healthy is the process of getting the most out of what life has to offer — regardless of physical age.

Click above to learn more about active aging.


Making a Move: Packing Parties and Other Creative Ideas

The below article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.

Recently I had the chance to speak with a couple that lives in a continuing care retirement community (CCRC or “life plan community”) in Virginia. Let’s call them Joe and Becky. They have lived in the CCRC for about three years and said they couldn’t be happier. One thing that has really stood out to them since moving, they explained, was the level of service provided by the staff, which they described as “exceptional.” As we talked more, I asked about their experience in making the move and how they managed to deal with all their “stuff.”

Indeed, dealing with years of accumulated belongings can be daunting. Of course, somebody eventually has to deal with all that stuff, and it doesn’t get any easier as we get older. Click above for some ways that can help make the experience more, dare I say, fun.


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