One subject that is frequently voiced among prospective residents of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs or “life plan communities”) revolves around the stress associated with envisioning and planning for the future, and indeed, it can feel like a daunting task since none of us have the luxury of a crystal ball. The results of a recent survey speak directly to some of these concerns. Click the link above to learn more about the results of the survey and how CCRCs may ease the fears related to retirement.
Help a Caregiver You Know
- Offer to help clean and cook, wrap presents, go shopping, or pick up the kids.
- If your family is caregiving, suggest a potluck holiday meal or secret Santa gift exchange to save time and money.
- The best gift you could give a caregiver is help. Give them the day off!
- Remember to say “thank you” to a caregiver and let them know they are appreciated.
- If a member of your family is caregiving for a relative this holiday season, send a thank you gift.
Click the link above for additional tips for those caring for a loved one during the holidays.
According to AARP’s most recent survey of adults age 50 and over, 76 percent of seniors want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. I’ve seen other surveys that put that figure at upwards of 90 percent. Whichever source you consider, the consensus seems to be that a large majority of retirees would prefer to stay in their current home rather than move to a retirement community such as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC or life plan community).
AARP research identified the most common reasons that people give for not wanting to move to a CCRC or other senior living community. They included: the physical stress in moving, fear of losing independence, anxiety over leaving a community, emotional attachment to a family home, and fear of the unknown. Click the link above to learn more about why seniors delay moving to a CCRC and why they should reconsider.
As The Wesley Communities celebrate 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 #20 of 50 – A problem no one wants to talk about: Loneliness can be an enormous problem for seniors still living in their homes
In the hierarchy of human needs, food, shelter, and safety are at the top of the list. And oftentimes, seniors living alone can meet these basic needs fairly well, especially with services provided in the home, and necessities more readily available through things like Uber and personal shoppers. But once you step beyond these basic human requirements to sustain life, social interaction and connection are of the utmost importance, and oftentimes, can be missing elements for seniors living alone.
Sometimes, there is an adult child or a saintly neighbor (or even a beloved pet) who is able to meet this human need for contentedness, but when the adult children live out of town, or the saintly neighbor moves away, or the beloved pet dies, there is a very real void that directly, and negatively, impacts the quality of life for the senior living on their own.
If you are an adult child (with the very best of intentions!) and you visit or call and find yourself listening to an almost non-stop barrage of words, believe me, you are not alone. In this situation, patience is a must, especially when often, this is a time when that might be in short supply in your life. I invite you to carefully consider a suggestion (often rejected as out of hand, but persevere) to your aging parent that they begin to consider a move to a retirement community.
And if you are a senior living at home alone, and you find yourself truly missing social connectedness, I also invite you to consider either on your own, or perhaps upon the gentle suggestion of someone else, a close look at retirement community living.
Aging is not just about staying alive. Aging at its finest is about finding meaning and making connections that make life worth living. Not everyone is comfortable in a crowd, and leaving the familiarity of a long-time residence can be overwhelming. But remember: you are never too old to make lifelong friends.
At The Wesley Communities, we know that transitions can be difficult. We also know that quality of life is vastly improved for those folks who make the move. Our communities are filled with people who wondered what this next stage of life might be like, and are absolutely delighted they made the decision to move.
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.
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.
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 the Dog?
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, but they also encourage them! One of the most important factors in the 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 a 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.
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.
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.
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.