As parents and aging loved ones transition into their senior years, there may be health and lifestyle challenges that eventually make living on their own an unsafe or impractical option. This doesn’t mean they can no longer maintain a sense of independence or live life to the fullest. It simply means that having access to a higher level of care is what makes sense at that time.
About one in every four seniors falls at least once a year, and the occurrence is even more common among those with memory and cognitive decline. With Alzheimer’s, for example, impairments in vision, perception, and balance increase as the disease progresses, making the risk of a fall that much more probable.
Get the award-winning guide and subscribe to our blog.
As the weather cools and the warm, brilliant hues of Autumn begin to cover the landscape, our thoughts automatically run to pumpkins, apples, and spice from lattes to donuts we begin to crave, and can't wait to indulge in the abundance of the season. Some people believe that the cooling temperature means it is time for seniors to head indoors and pull out the puzzles, knitting kits, and other forms of indoor entertainment. But not so fast. There is still more fun to be had outside. The fall is an opportune time for seniors to get out and enjoy outdoor recreations. Let explore a few.
In a recent post, we explored The Truth About Play & Why It’s Not Just for Children, detailing how the practice of play impacts the human mind, body, and soul—and why it’s so important for seniors to engage in play regularly. From neurology to physiology and psychology, the benefits of play for seniors are clear and present, which is why this topic has become such a popular one. But as people age, they often lose their sense of play and its priority in their lives. Here, we’re exploring 10 inspiring ways to help seniors reignite their sense of play and find the fun again.
“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment.” This powerful quote comes from the well-known book, Man’s Search for Meaning, by the revered Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. It touches on the human nature of finding purpose and meaning in one’s life—a challenge that can become more elusive as we age. In one of our recent articles, we discussed The Undeniable Link Between Having Purpose & Aging Well, which explored some of the fundamental reasons why it’s important for seniors to stay connected to their sense of purpose.
There’s no shortage of reasons why older adults have a difficult time maintaining a strong connection to their inner purpose. With career goals set squarely in the rearview mirror and an empty nest on the road ahead, it’s no surprise that many seniors begin to lose some sense of purpose in their day-to-day lives. But research has shown that seniors with a sense of purpose are less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, disabilities, heart attacks, and strokes, and are more likely to live longer than people without this kind of underlying motivation.
In childhood, play is practically a way of life. It’s how kids relate to one another, how they spend their free time, how they discover the world around them. As we age, however, play seems to become less and less of a focus in our everyday lives. Work and responsibility begin to take center stage, and play is often relegated to a tiny corner of our minds. The truth is play remains as valuable and important as ever, regardless of age. In fact, learning to reprioritize play can bring about major benefits for seniors in terms of health and wellbeing.
Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about the importance of human connection in seniors’ lives. Socialization seems to be a major gateway to overall health and a longer lifespan, and curating a sense of community can have immense benefits with regard to a senior’s ability to thrive. One interesting byproduct of this human connection piece is the opportunity for laughter.
Heart disease continues to rank as the number-one cause of death in the United States, impacting millions of Americans every year. And if you think you don’t have to be concerned about issues like cholesterol once you hit a certain age, think again. People age 65 and older are much more likely to suffer a heart attack, have a stroke, or develop heart disease and heart failure. Heart disease is also a major cause of disability, meaning it can limit one’s activity and significantly erode a senior’s quality of life.
United Methodist Homes (UMH) was a winner in the 30th Annual National Mature Media Awards Program. The program, presented by the Mature Market Resource Center, a national clearinghouse for the senior market, recognizes the nation’s best marketing, communications, educational materials, and programs designed and produced for older adults.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common degenerative neurological disorder (after Alzheimer’s disease), affecting an estimated one percent of the population over the age of 60. With upwards of one million Americans living with Parkinson’s, it’s become a critical area of research and study and a particularly relevant topic for seniors. Many living with the disease or concerned about a future diagnosis wonder about whether it’s possible to minimize symptoms and/or progression through lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise.