November is National Family Caregiver Month

Recognized by President Clinton when he signed the first proclamation in 1997, National Family Caregiver’s Month has been proclaimed by an American President annually ever since. Many states and dozens of local municipalities have also proclaimed November, NFC Month.
Day in and day out, more than 75 million family caregivers in this country fulfill a vital role in caring for elderly, aging parents. Click the link above to learn more about the role that caregivers play and why this month especially, we should join together to celebrate and recognize them.
 
 


The Unexpected Costs of Caring for an Aging Parent

According to data collected by the National Alliance for Caregiving, there are over 66 million family caregivers in the United States. That translates to nearly 40 percent of the U.S. adult population…a stunning statistic. This number includes people who are caring for the sick or disabled, but the majority of these caregivers are assisting an elderly family member.
Other than a spouse, the most common people to be tasked with caring for an elderly loved one are adult children. In fact, a study conducted by MetLife showed that 10 million adult children over age 50 were acting as a caregiver for their aging parent(s), a number that equals approximately a quarter of all Baby Boomers. Click the link above to learn more about the realities of caregiving for an aging parent and the unexpected costs that come with it.
 
 


Tip #19 of 50 – What About the Dog?

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 # 19 of 50 –  What about my pet?
If you are a senior living on your own, or if you are the adult child of a senior living on their own, and moving to a retirement community is under consideration one very important question may be: but what about the dog? Or, what about the cat? Oftentimes, this beloved pet has been part of the family for many years, and seems like a real obstacle when it comes to making a move.
The good news is this: many retirement communities not only allow pets, they encourage them! One of the most important factors in quality of life and longevity of life is socialization. A beloved pet can feel like a member of the family. And, they provide structure to daily life – they must be fed, exercised, and cared for, all of which can sometimes be a very good reason for getting out of bed in the morning and starting the day.
At all three of The Wesley Communities (Wesley Glen, Wesley Ridge, and Wesley Woods at New Albany), pets of all varieties and sizes are welcome, especially in independent living where the responsibility of care stays solely with the resident. Typically, some adjustments may be required, and pets are screened for personality. Living in community means getting along with your neighbors, of course. Also, if the resident requires a move to a higher level of care, the pet is welcome to travel right along if the resident can continue to provide for its needs.
At The Wesley Communities, we have also offered real assistance when a resident can no longer care for their pet if the family cannot take over. We have become a sort of matching service for pets so they are well cared for – sometimes our staff steps in and adopts, and sometimes we find another resident who needs and wants another pet to adopt. It’s a beautiful thing when a pet continues to be loved and cared for, and we do our best to make it happen, always.
The decision to move to a retirement community can be a difficult one, but having peace of mind in knowing that your beloved pet can and will be able to move with you may be an additional factor in making your final choice. There are many obstacles when considering a move, but a pet needn’t be one of them.
 
 


Boomers Can Achieve Better Health with Super Foods

Super foods. The name alone evokes images of capped heroes, swooping in to save the day. But are these foods really worthy of such superlative nomenclature? And are the health benefits to seniors all they are cracked up to be? For some of these foods, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” But for others, recent studies have given mixed reviews.
What makes a food “super”?
The trademark of most of the super foods is that they are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, “good” fats, and/or lean protein. On top of that, many are loaded with antioxidants. Diets rich in antioxidants are frequently associated with the prevention of cancer, inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular disease–all issues of concern as we age. Click the link above to learn more about the types of super foods that can help boomers achieve better health.
 
 


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.
 
 


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!

 
 


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
 
 


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.