Some of the first images that come to mind when thinking about the holidays are those so-called sugar plums dancing in our heads. From stuffed turkeys and sweet potato pies to rich side dishes and sweet treats, there’s a seemingly endless array of festive delights to tempt the taste buds. While it’s fine to indulge in seasonal savories from time to time, it’s also important for seniors to keep their health and nutrition in check.
Approximately one third of seniors are lonely, according to the most recent National Poll on Healthy Aging. Notably, this poll was conducted before the onset of a global pandemic that spurred dramatic protocol for social distancing and self-isolation. Spread-prevention measures have brought on an even more severe state of loneliness for people of all ages, but especially for older adults, who are already at high risk of experiencing these types of feelings.
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It’s completely natural for seniors to experience some changes in their sense of taste. In fact, many have lost about two thirds of their overall taste buds by age 70, impacting their sensitivity to tastes like sweet and salty. Certain medications and medical conditions can also diminish a senior’s taste, causing some foods to seem bland. That’s why it’s common for seniors to overcompensate with higher intakes of sugar and salt.
Nutritional needs are finicky things. As we age, our bodies change, our appetites transform and our health requirements evolve. In response to these adjustments, some seniors face unintentional weight loss or experience other dietary realities that put their overall health at risk. Therefore, seniors must be extra vigilant about what and how often they eat.
Autumn is arriving, and with it comes the rush of thoughts about upcoming holidays, changing temperatures and what’s in store for winter this year. There’s no doubt some of this unknown will be faced with anxiety about how to plan for the next several months. In particular, many seniors and their loved ones worry about how to handle any necessary quarantine measures.
As each calendar day ticks by, we’re reminded again and again how deeply the coronavirus has impacted every single one of us. For months, we’ve scrambled to discover new ways of coping, new ways of living and working, new ways of defining “normal” in so many aspects of our lives. Unsurprisingly, these challenges have triggered a range of emotions, from fear and anxiety to sadness, loneliness and stress. If you (or a senior in your life) are struggling with these types of feelings, it’s important to prioritize your mental health and take advantage of opportunities to enhance your personal well-being.
The aging process is an interesting one for sure. And like any other phase of life, one’s golden years are accompanied by unique ups and downs, joys and sorrows, moments of anxiety and moments of peace. There are changes to mind, body and spirit. There are new things to learn and new opportunities to embrace. And while there’s no stopping the aging process, there’s much that can be done to live your senior years with the utmost satisfaction and enjoyment. In most cases, this journey is best supported by a healthy approach to diet and nutrition.
When you’re caring for an aging loved one, it’s easy to get caught up in the self-defeating inner dialogue that’s tied to feelings of guilt.
Many adults who are navigating the nuances of their golden years can experience a sense of loss in terms of engagement with activities that fill their days with purpose. What they may not be considering is that this stage in a person’s life is often the ideal time to take up a new hobby. From physical benefits to mental and emotional health advantages, engaging in an enjoyable hobby can offer seniors immense meaning and value. As you acknowledge this reality and begin to think about what hobbies pique your interest as well as meet your individual needs, you might defer to senior staples like gardening, knitting and painting. And while these are certainly excellent choices if they suit your particular fancy, there are also some lesser-known options you may never have considered before.
As seniors look forward to summertime after the long, dreary months of winter’s chill, the idea of having to continue social distancing may feel incredibly disappointing. In the midst of a global pandemic, safety remains a primary concern for older adults who face increased risk in contracting the virus. But the cancellation of community gatherings and in-person events doesn’t have to be devastating. There is still a host of fun and energizing summertime activities for seniors to enjoy even as they remain safely socially distant. It’s more important than ever for older adults to stay physically and mentally healthy. The change of season is a perfect time to capitalize on the socially distant activities—both indoors and out—that put a swing back in your step, or that of an aging loved one.
Caregivers are called upon to do so much, continually giving of themselves in any number of ways. Many are sandwiched between the needs of their elderly, dependent parents and the responsibilities of tending to their children who haven’t yet left the nest. In the midst of balancing this complex family life with a potential career, there’s often very little time and energy devoted to caring for themselves. But when the caregiver neglects their own needs, they risk some highly detrimental outcomes, not the least of which is physical, mental and emotional burnout. According to the most recent Caregiving in the U.S. study, conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and the AARP Public Policy Institute:
It goes without saying that, on the whole, technology is more readily adopted and easily navigated by younger generations—those who were born into the computer age and grew up with smartphones at their fingertips. But it’s also true that, now more than ever, technology has emerged as essential to people spanning every age group, in one way or another. Thanks to ongoing advancements in mobile technology and user-friendly interfaces, seniors are quickly becoming a much larger demographic of users.
If you’ve been keeping up with our latest series on social isolation, you understand that the senior population faces increased risk to their physical, mental and, emotional well-being during our current global health crisis. Part 1 of this series introduced some of the triggers that can cause an unhealthy level of loneliness for you or the senior in your life, while Part 2 offered specific ideas for prevention and mitigation. In this final installment, we’re delving into the critical role technology plays in fighting the isolation felt by so many seniors throughout this time of social distancing.
In our last post, Social Isolation Series, Part 1: Identifying Triggers for Loneliness in Seniors, we introduced the need to address some of the most pressing challenges facing seniors during the current global health crisis and widespread isolation measures. With acute loneliness endangering both the mental and physical health of older adults, it’s important to focus on getting the information you and your loved ones need to navigate this difficulty effectively.
In this unprecedented time of concern that stems from a global health crisis, the need (and, in many cases, the mandate) to self-isolate and practice strict social distancing has taken a major toll on mental health for people in every category of age, gender, social status and geography. We’ve all been impacted by the pandemic in one way or another, and for many, the most prominent effect has been an overwhelming feeling of loneliness.
July 24, 2020 At UMH, our top priority is the safety and well-being of the residents who live in our communities while finding new and creative ways to keep them active, engaged and connected with each other and their loved ones during these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The requirements of social distancing and PPE do not get in the way of us living our mission and continuing to focus on relationships and encouraging our residents to live lives full of meaning and purpose. Important Changes In order to keep COVID-19 at bay, all UMH communities conduct Infection Control Rounding each day to monitor the goings-on in the community to ensure that staff and residents alike are adhering to proper safety measures. Every person who enters one of our buildings is required to have their temperature taken and complete a Health and Travel Questionnaire. An Executive Order from the office of Governor Lamont mandates weekly COVID-19 testing of all nursing home patients and staff. It is mandated for assisted living staff who have not previously tested positive for COVID-19. All testing will continue until no new onset positives are found for at least 14 days since the most recent positive result. As new information is learned about the virus, we consult our team of clinical experts and adhere to the advice from the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and make adjustments to our protocols as necessary. Resident Life Our communities are offering many programs throughout the day for residents to participate in either virtually or in person with proper social distancing. Residents are enjoying exercise classes, musical entertainment, word & trivia games, themed snack & traveling happy hour carts, fashion shows, and of course, Bingo. Residents are encouraged to visit with each other and take walks around our beautiful property while wearing their face masks and practicing proper social distancing. Families are now enjoying outdoor visits with their loved ones in areas specifically dedicated to this purpose. Maintaining emotional connections with loved ones is critical for good mental health, especially now. We have begun the process of opening the Dining Rooms in some of our communities. Residents continue to have the option of receiving top-notch room service with healthy and delicious entrées and snacks, delivered to their apartment with a smile by our staff. Additionally, some residents have opted to take advantage of our outdoor dining venues. On-site physicians and other care providers such as podiatrists and therapists are now permitted in community spaces that accommodate the need for social distancing. This is a great benefit to our residents who have concerns about going to medical appointments off-site. We have assisted residents with telehealth appointments and will continue to do so as they request this service. We are offering transportation to medical appointments for those requiring an in-person visit. Some communities have also begun offering scenic drives for a change of scenery. We are continuing to work with prospective residents and their families by conducting virtual tours and moving new residents into our communities. Please reach out to a member of our marketing team if you would like to schedule your tour. We appreciate all the kind and supportive words from our residents, families and friends and ask for your continued understanding as we navigate this evolving situation. Wishing you good health, David M. Lawlor President & CEO, United Methodist Homes March 19, 2020 We understand you may be concerned about the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 and how it may impact the UMH communities. Ensuring residents are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our top priority. We are taking all the recommended precautions and appreciate your help and understanding as we manage the risks presented by COVID-19. Please know we receive regular guidance from the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), United States Center for Medicare Services (“CMS”) and the Connecticut Department of Health (“DPH”).
As a primary caregiver for an aging parent or loved one, it’s easy to get so caught up in meeting their needs and managing all of the responsibilities that you neglect your own mental and physical well-being. The demands of being a caregiver can become extremely overwhelming, taking a toll on your mind, body and emotional state. Without proper awareness and a balanced approach to this lifestyle, you may find yourself suffering the effects of caregiver burnout.
Feeling like the senior in your life has slowly slumped into a daily rut? It’s certainly common for elderly adults to develop a routine that eventually dulls their spirit and negatively impacts their physical and mental health. But there’s good news: You can introduce a whole host of stimulating activities to help improve your aging loved one’s quality of life.
People aged 65 and older are much more likely than younger people to suffer a heart attack, have a stroke or develop coronary heart disease and heart failure, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute on Aging (NIH). Heart disease is the number-one cause of death in the United States, and the NIH indicates that it’s a major cause of disability, which can limit activity and erode quality of life for millions of seniors.
It is all too common for seniors to experience feelings of sadness and loneliness during the cold and dark winter months. If you or an aging loved one are finding it difficult to overcome the winter blues this season, you are certainly not alone. With less daylight, declining temperatures and the dangers associated with getting out during periods of snow and ice, it’s no wonder so many seniors undergo the effects of cabin fever and other mood-depleting factors.
It is never too late to help your aging loved one focus on their cognitive health and improve their brain function. While it’s certainly true that age plays a major role in the decline of memory and other cognitive abilities, studies show there are proven ways to work on maintaining and enhancing these capabilities at any age.
As temperatures drop and colder weather settles in for the season, it can be easy to slip into a state of boredom. For seniors, in particular, it’s important to head off the winter blues with an array of enjoyable events and activities. Staying engaged and active is a critical component of maintaining positive health and well-being in the later years of life.
For lots of us, the holidays are a time of immense joy and excitement. From the sounds of spirited carols to the smells and sights of longstanding holiday traditions, there’s much to celebrate during this special season.
The calendar doesn’t need to be turned to December for you to enjoy holiday or winter-themed movies! These feel-good flicks are great to put on any time, especially for seniors in assisted living communities. A movie marathon is one of many great winter activities. Here’s our list of favorite holiday movies for seniors.
Do you or a senior loved one need to find a memory care community? Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia have specific needs that often can’t be met when they live at home. Fortunately, memory care communities are designed specifically for those seniors’ needs in mind.
Are you considering making the move to a senior living community? For seniors who face memory or health challenges, it’s better to move to senior living now rather than putting the transition off. In fact, before you face physical challenges, you should consider making the move. Here are a few reasons it’s a smart decision to move to a senior living community as soon as possible.
As Wesley Village celebrates 50 years of superb senior care, our community reflects on its people. From our courageous patients and residents, their families, our employees, community members and our volunteers. Each person makes a significant difference in continuing a legacy of people caring for people.
The fall season brings changes. Changes in leaves, changes in weather and changes in activity. Many seniors get bogged down by the cooler weather and opt to stay inside during this time. Find out how to get outside with these local and affordable activities:
In the fall, leaves change color, temperatures get cooler, and pumpkins are harvested. The change of season offers new activities like apple and pumpkin picking, visits to local farms, delicious treats, and spending time outdoors with family and loved ones. Here are 5 activities for seniors to enjoy in Hartford County.
Spirituality can be celebrated in many ways. In senior living communities, religious and spiritual services are included in campus calendars and are an important aspect of residents’ daily lives. Communities offer on-site church, prayer and reflection services that encourage many residents to get involved and meet others who share common beliefs. Memorial services honor those who have passed by praying, singing hymns, and offering words of comfort to family and loved ones. Wesley Village honors religious and spiritual wellness by offering on-site prayer and memorial services, rosary prayer groups, prayer shawl ministries, and a special campus Chaplain, Cathy Nickse.
With warm weather and time in the sun, staying hydrated is challenging for everyone, especially seniors but many don’t realize they can become dehydrated at any time during the year. Dehydration is a common cause of hospitalization, especially in the summer months. Although the warm season is a time to be on guard for dehydration, this could be a potential risk at any time of the year. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye out for signs of dehydration in yourself if you’re a senior, or in a parent or senior loved one, if you’re a caregiver.
Are you wondering what type of senior living community is right for your loved one? The choice between memory care and assisted living is one that many families struggle to make. Is your loved one simply forgetful or do they have a greater need for memory care and assistance? There are many signs to look out for and questions to ask yourself to determine if a memory care community is a right decision for your loved one.
Senior living communities thrive on providing residents with positive culinary experiences. Every detail down to the silverware and plating is taken into consideration when creating each dish. The residents in these communities receive three chef-prepared meals in comfortable dining rooms. On average, Wesley Village serves 12,000 meals a year to our resident and patient population.
Summer is a great season to spend time with family and friends, and there are plenty of fun and affordable activities seniors can enjoy. If you’re looking for fun ways to pass the time and make memories this summer, here are a few activities you should put on the calendar.
Summer is the perfect season to spend a little time outdoors. One of the best summer activities is visiting the wonderful local ice cream shops the Newington and Farmington, CT areas have to offer. This is a great option for seniors whose families are visiting or even those who want a nice day out to enjoy the fresh air. Here are some of the must-visit ice cream shops seniors in central Connecticut should try.
Summer is the perfect time to get some sun and have a tasty, frozen treat. Luckily, if you’re a senior living in the Shelton, Connecticut area, you have plenty of delicious ice cream spots to try! Here are five of the best ice cream shops seniors should visit in the Shelton, CT area.
Cost is a major concern families consider when it’s time to move a senior loved one into assisted living. While you might be able to pinpoint upfront costs, like the monthly rent in a community, there are other costs that you may not anticipate. Here are some unexpected expenses your family should plan for before moving your senior loved one into an assisted living community.
Moving your loved one to assisted living is a huge transition that comes with a lot of questions. If this is your first time searching for senior living options, you might not even know where to start. Fortunately, staff members at assisted living communities work with families every single day to ensure their parent or senior loved one is in the right environment for their needs. And, it’s likely that some of the questions you have are pretty common. Here are a few of the most common questions senior living experts are commonly asked, along with the answers we’re happy to share.
If your parent or aging loved one has recently experienced an injury, illness, or major surgery, you suddenly have all these worries about where they will live and how you will care for them. Selecting the best housing option for a parent in this situation can feel complicated or confusing. When you’re starting out your search for senior living, you’ll find that there are a number of options, making your decision even harder.
Moving out of your home and into a senior living community comes with a lot of big changes and adjustments. However this can be an exciting time if you choose a community that’s a good fit for your needs.
As your loved one gets older, the risks and downsides of them living on their own increase. Your first thought may be to ask them to move into your home, but this isn’t always the best senior care option for every family. Before you make any decisions about moving your parent or senior loved one into your home, consider the pros and cons of this option first.
Before your parent or senior loved one is ready to move into an assisted living community, you need to consider the costs associated with this option. Many families have no idea what to expect in terms of the monthly assisted living costs, especially if this is the first time you’re going through the process.
Has a senior loved one struggled to recall the name of an old friend or remember the street that their first house was located on? Little facts like these can be a challenge for seniors to remember as they get older. If someone you love faces memory challenges, don’t worry. There are steps they can take to keep their minds active and improve memory functions. Explore the best activities and cognitive games for seniors that will help their minds stay sharp.
Love is a many-splendored thing… In our UMH senior living communities, Valentine’s Day can never come and go without the sharing of stories – love stories, of course. And who doesn’t love a good love story, right? In this article, residents from our communities share their lifelong love stories and a bit of advice, as well. We hope they will inspire you – and warm your heart this Valentine’s day!
Just to be clear, there is no single definition for “assisted living” when it comes to the services and care a community will provide.
Navigating the senior living process can be a huge challenge for families. With so many options and so many different communities to consider (all at different price points), how can you be sure your family is making the best choice? As you look at different senior housing options in Connecticut, keep in mind that the right option for one senior might not be the right option for another.
Do you have some questions about assisted living before you consider helping your parent make the move? Explore the answers to some frequently asked questions about assisted living in Connecticut.
It’s that time of year. Snow, holidays, baking, and presents. While many people love the winter months, the cold, snowy, icy weather can pose a number of challenges for seniors, especially if they still live in their own homes.
Planned giving is an excellent way to remember those organizations and charities that have meaning or are special to you and your family. Gifts can be made while you are living or after you are deceased, and can be made from wills, trusts, annuities, retirement plans, or life insurance. Gifts can have a tremendous impact on the future of an organization or charity, enabling renovations and updates, expansion, and additional staff and services, just to name a few benefits.
While the holidays are typically associated with good cheer, they can also be stressful -- particularly for older seniors and the people who care for them. Let’s count down four tips designed to help caregivers and their loved ones embrace the spirit of the season and enjoy the true meaning of “Happy Holidays.”
Are you searching for memory care in Connecticut for a senior parent or loved one? Memory care is a highly specialized type of care that, while being perfect for some, isn’t for everyone. There’s a difference between a senior having forgetful moments and needing to be in a memory care facility. To learn a little bit more about what memory care is and what your options for memory care in CT are, let’s look at some of the questions we’re frequently asked.
Farmington, Connecticut has a lot to offer seniors, especially when it comes to dining options. If you’re looking for an assisted living community for yourself or a senior loved one, you want to be sure there’s plenty to do in the area you choose. And, just because you live in a senior living community doesn’t mean you have to eat there every day! You can still go out and enjoy all the exciting dining options a town has to offer.
What is assisted living? If you’re asking yourself this, you’re not alone. While it may seem like a basic question, it’s one that staff members at senior living communities are frequently asked. Between assisted living, nursing homes, retirement communities, and more, there are a lot of terms that are easy to confuse when you’re considering housing for a senior loved one. To find out if assisted living is right for your family member, you need to understand what this type of senior living entails and the level of care it can offer.
Most people use the terms “assisted living” and “nursing home” interchangeably. However, they offer two very different types of care. And depending on the needs of you or a senior parent, one option could be the right choice while the other could fail to meet specific needs. Before deciding between assisted living or a nursing home, you need to really understand how these two options differ. Let's look at what assisted living communities and nursing homes have to offer, and find out how to determine which one is best for you or your loved one.
Did you know smoking cigarettes kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke? It’s true. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States.” It’s no wonder a large number of organizations around the United States have banned tobacco products from their locations. In the healthcare industry specifically, with so much evidence of the negative effects of tobacco use, there has been a huge push to go tobacco free.
Did you know that 14% of Connecticut's population is made up of senior citizens? And, the number of citizens over 65 is expected to increase by 38% over the next 15 years! As more and more Connecticut citizens join the senior population, there’s never been a better time to focus on senior wellness. With a high senior population, there are plenty of opportunities for seniors to stay active. Whether your parent or a senior loved one lives at home or in an assisted living community, it’s really important for them to keep moving.
In today’s age, many seniors are living at home alone. Some may be thriving – they live independently, can cook, clean, drive, socialize and are as sharp as a tack. This is the ultimate goal: to stay in the family home for the rest of their life. However, the reality is that most seniors don’t thrive at home in their later years and although family members chip in and offer their assistance, the quality and consistency may lack. Medication management is something that should not be taken lightly, as it ensures the good health of your loved one. Sadly, without proper education and training, medications are often mismanaged, or dosages are skipped altogether. At assisted living communities, your loved one is guaranteed the care they need to thrive in their golden years. This article will break down the importance of senior medication management and options you have when it comes to care.
As a parent or loved one ages, a bad fall or a crisis may seem inevitable. In fact, every 11 seconds, a senior is admitted to the emergency room due to a fall-related injury, and every 19 minutes a senior dies due to a fall-related injury. And, according to the World Health Organization, “in the United States of America, 20–30% of older people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures, or head trauma.” These are major risks you don’t want your parents to take with their health.
The 27th annual National Mature Media Awards recently honored the nation’s best marketing, communications, educational materials, and programs produced for older adults.
After a parent or loved one has a bad fall or faced a serious illness, they may be required to go through short-term rehabilitation. As part of the recovery process, it is common to consider a move to a more supportive living environment after they leave the rehab facility. This is the best option to keep their physical recovery on track. Transitioning to assisted living is a wise choice, both from a safety and a care perspective. As your parent’s time in a short-term rehab is coming to a close, you can start taking steps now to ensure transitioning to assisted living is an easy process.
A fall is traumatic, both for the senior who experiences the fall and the family who is scared and now faced with decisions about their loved one’s future care. If your parent is recovering in the hospital or a rehab facility, you’re probably eager to get them home and back on the road to the recovery. But, after a fall, transitioning to assisted living could be the best move for your loved one.
You’re overwhelmed and Mom or Dad needs more care than you can provide them as their cognitive health declines. You’re worried for their safety and you’re beginning to think it’s time to get outside help. Does this sound like you? It’s most likely time to start looking into senior care options, especially if your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
After looking at handful of potential homes for an aging loved one, all your options probably start to seem the same. However, each community is unique, with specific features that sets them apart. One difference you should pay attention to is whether a community is nonprofit or for-profit. This could have a huge impact on the experience your loved one has. Before you choose a community for our loved one, you need to learn more about how nonprofit and for-profit communities differ. Once you know more about these distinctions, you able to make the right decision for your loved one and your family.
Salty air, gently rocking boat, warm sunshine and the thrill of catching fish - sounds like life on the ocean! David Kruh, 3 year resident of Middlewoods of Farmington, spent most of his life on the Connecticut shoreline, having grown up in Old Saybrook. From an early age, he developed a love for fishing and the open water. Although David sometimes goes to Old Saybrook to fish with his brother, he admitted to staff members at Middlewoods of Farmington that he hadn’t been on a charter boat in a very long time. After hearing this, the Middlewoods Dream Team, led by Activities Director, Tanya Janeczko and Maintenance Director, Mike LaMere, worked to make David’s dream come true.
Are you dreading having the “assisted living” talk with your parent? Maybe you’ve already talked to them about moving into an assisted living community, and they were resistant to the idea. Leaving your home and moving into a whole new community can be uncomfortable and overwhelming for seniors, but in most cases, it’s the best way to promote their wellbeing.
Let’s face it. Your parent or loved one has been collecting things for a long time. And helping them to get rid of some of it may be a challenge — especially when the clock is ticking on their move to an assisted living community!
If life is truly about entertaining every possibility, Carmella Barone, 94, and Eileen Pastore, 91, are ready for excitement on any given day. These two ladies, both residents of Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center in Shelton, Connecticut, share a vibrant spirit, a young-at-heart attitude, and a love of gaming. Since moving to the award-winning healthcare community, neither of them have stopped talking about their dream to experience the night life at Mohegan Sun. Sure, they’ve taken day trips to the casino and enjoyed themselves, but these ladies are hoping for just a bit more. They both know that to really experience the excitement of Mohegan Sun, they need to stay awake a little later. After all, life is a late night out and an even later morning in, right?
You hear about Medicare and Medicaid a lot, on the news or from your family members or friends. But, if you’ve never had to draw from either program, you might not know how they differ. When people are looking for ways to pay for their senior loved one’s healthcare or assisted living expenses, Medicare and Medicaid could be beneficial sources of funding, depending on your needs. Explore this article to learn a little bit more about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, who qualifies for program eligibility, and whether or not these programs could help cover your loved one’s healthcare expenses.
Happy Fourth of July! As we enjoy Independence Day, it’s important to remember that this day is SO much more than just a day off from work. Since 1776, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence. This national holiday is a symbol of patriotism and pride for all Americans, and while you enjoy your backyard barbecue, beach day, or fireworks, it’s important to remember who helped get us to where we are today – our veterans.
Trying to choose and afford a senior living community for your loved one can make your head spin. There are so many options and levels of care; how are you ever going to choose the right one?
Are you at a point where you’re no longer sure it’s best for your senior loved one to live at home? For many people, it’s a hard decision to relocate a parent or other loved one into a senior living community in Connecticut. But, when this is the best place for their needs to be met, the decision is much easier.
Through the award-winning Journey of Dreams program offered at UMH senior living communities, a committee of staff members have the opportunity to make residents’ lifelong dreams come true. Recently, the committee had the privilege of fulfilling Francis (Frank) Linden’s dream, who is in the unique position of being both an employee and a resident of Wesley Village. Frank comes from a small family, many of whom have passed. His father died was he was around 20 years old and his mother passed away 10 years later. Frank is an only child and he and Claudia never had children. Although his biological family is small, Frank has a close relationship with them and also with the co-workers he refers to fondly as his “work family.”
As an estate planning attorney, I have worked with many clients who do not know what a Power of Attorney is, and why they should execute one as part of their estate planning documents. In this post, I am happy to explain the ins and outs of this important document, and why it’s necessary to any estate plan, for those of all ages. I’ll also explain the difference between a financial Power of Attorney and a medical Power of Attorney.
When a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, their life isn’t the only one that changes; your family members’ lives change, too. Caring for a loved one with these diagnoses is a huge challenge. As their symptoms progress, they become more and more dependent on care, which might be hard to manage if you work full time or live far away.
For Christmas, most families give their loved ones clothes, games, or sweets, but this Christmas, Don Walkley, a 92 year old resident of Crosby Commons Assisted Living Community, received a 5,923 piece LEGO set of the Taj Mahal. Lining the shelves of his apartment are famous buildings Don’s built from intricate LEGO sets, including the White House, Eifel Tower and the Lincoln Memorial, but none have compared in size to his new Taj Mahal display. Don’s family chipped in for Christmas and surprised him with the $300 puzzle and since December, Don has worked hours every day to complete the massive puzzle.
If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease, you know how challenging and delicate this stage of life can be. Although every person with Alzheimer’s has different needs, there are some steps you can take to make caring for them easier, from providing structure in their lives to changing your communication styles.
As you've most likely come to realize, the aging process is inevitable. Whether you're caring for a loved one or going through the process yourself, you've probably experienced some uncertainty and hesitation on how to handle this change.
Are you and your family members searching for the best senior housing option for a loved one? Preparing to make this monumental decision isn’t easy. You want to ensure your loved one is happy and healthy, but you also have other important factors to consider like price and care needs.
Planning for retirement and care for one’s later life can be hard to do. With so many possible costs and unexpected events, budgeting and saving money aren’t easy tasks. You never know how much money will be needed to afford senior living costs.
The slogan “home is always better” is often used by senior home care companies to tout their services and dismiss the benefits of senior living communities. But the truth is, home is not always better for older adults -- despite what savvy marketers want you to think. Let’s take a closer look at four reasons why the family home may not be the better fit for your aging loved one.
Are you or a loved one ready to make the move to assisted living but hesitating because the thought of downsizing is daunting? We understand! No one wants to get rid of their “stuff,” but when a move to assisted living is necessary, decluttering and downsizing is a must. In this resource, we break down helpful ways to downsize so you can successfully transition to your new home in a senior living community.
Marian Taylor, resident of Wesley Village, was born on March 26, 1922. Her father was a Methodist pastor and she moved about quite a bit as a child, living in various parsonages in parishes where her father was assigned. Marian had a happy childhood, though she was constantly changing schools and making new friends. This is the life she knew and it fit seamlessly with the role she would later assume as the wife of a Methodist pastor.
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At UMH senior living communities, our staff members are one of the main reasons why our residents feel so at home! By fostering caring relationships, staff play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging - from the very first visit, to the day they move into our community and every day after that! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to see how Gloria Bachorowski makes our residents' home such a special place....
Is it time for you or a senior loved one in your family to move into an assisted living community? There are a number of reasons it could be time to move, like healthcare needs or just the simple desire to enjoy retirement. While you may be ready to make the transition, you also want to be sure you can afford the type of senior living community you’re comfortable with.
Are you concerned about how you’re going to afford senior living for your loved one? If so, you’re not alone. Many families struggle with how to cover the costs of caring for their loved ones. Explore these five ways you can cover senior care costs for your loved one, while still ensuring they get the highest quality of care and have the most fulfilling life possible.
So you or a loved one has decided to move to a senior living community. Your head may be spinning. You may not know what to do when you get there, how to settle in or what procedures to follow. The process may seem overwhelming, but luckily, it won’t be, especially at Wesley Heights! Donna Brice, Resident Service Coordinator of Wesley Heights Apartments and Cottages, will be there for you.
Are you looking for an assisted living community for your loved one to move into? In your search, you might be overwhelmed by the number of choices. How can you be sure you and your loved one are selecting the best community for their future?
Is love at first sight really possible? Myrtle Caswell, 6 month resident of Middlewoods of Newington, would say “absolutely” and credits her 68 year marriage to true love. When Myrtle was 20 years old, she was seeing a young man named Bob. One night, Bob asked his friend, Everett, to drive him to see Myrtle. When Bob and Everett arrived at Myrtle’s house she wasn’t home, so they asked her mother where she was. Myrtle was next door babysitting, so they called her up and told her they wanted to come see her. Myrtle said no, and that no one was allowed to come over while she was babysitting. Bob and Everett waited at her house.
Winter months can be a dreary and boring season for anyone, especially seniors. Shorter days and poor weather conditions make it hard for seniors in assisted living communities to get out and stay active. Fortunately, there are plenty of winter activities for seniors in assisted living communities to keep them busy, healthy, and in high spirits. Let’s look at a few of the ways seniors can still enjoy an active lifestyle, even when winter weather won’t cooperate!
This month, our Resident Spotlight is a little different. Instead of interviewing a resident myself and writing a spotlight on them, this blog is written from the perspective of a resident. Loren Schave, 2 year resident of Middlewoods of Farmington, has a unique collection of memorabilia and recently hosted an open house for fellow residents to come and see his collection. Middlewood’s resident Susan Schwager met with Loren and interviewed him on the history of his collectables.
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At UMH senior living communities, our staff members are one of the main reasons why our residents feel so at home! Not only do they create a warm family atmosphere, they also understand the challenges faced by families caring for older adults. By fostering caring relationships, staff play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging - from the very first visit, to the day they move into our community and every day after that! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to see how Shawn Lucco makes our residents' home such a special place....
Navigating the world of senior living and care options can be pretty tricky. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a road map? Or maybe just something (or someone) to help guide you along the best path? Whether you are planning ahead to avoid a crisis or you are scrambling to take care of an immediate need, you probably need help finding the most practical solution for your aging loved one’s changing care needs.
Adult children are tasked with many important decisions when it comes to the care and well being of their parents. While easing the transition through the aging process may seem overwhelming, the results can be fulfilling -- both for caregivers and seniors. Read on to learn more about how to promote a fulfilling quality of life for your aging loved ones by enabling their sense of independence.
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. This month, our "Meet the Family" spotlight highlights someone who not only is adored by residents and staff alike, but also the recipient of a 2017 Connecticut Assisted Living Association (CALA) Award. Continue reading to learn more about Jake DeLucia...
Today, we highlight a woman whose perseverance and strength have gotten her so far in life. With a musical background and a love for theater, it’s no surprise Norma Remele, 3 year resident of Wesley Heights, has a particular fondness of Phantom of the Opera. When Activities Director, Linda Fera, heard about Norma’s interest in this esteemed musical, she jumped into action to see what she could do with the UMH Journey of Dreams program.
One of the most asked questions regarding senior care involves "the conversation"...or how to talk with your parents about assisted living. Many caregivers dread having this discussion and with good reason. How will mom or dad respond? Are they going to think you are trying to take away their independence? How can you communicate your concerns to them without making them defensive or angry?
We often talk about the importance of exercising the body, but exercising the brain is equally as critical. And there’s no better time to start giving your brain a daily workout than now. Formerly associated with children, brain teasers are now known to have brain-boosting benefits for adults of all ages, too. Let’s take a closer look at why brain fitness matters and how to get your daily workout started.
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At our senior living communities, our staff members are one of the main reasons why our residents feel so at home! Not only do they create a warm family atmosphere, they also understand the challenges faced by families caring for older adults. By fostering caring relationships, staff play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging - from the very first visit, to the day they move into our community and every day after that! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to see how Danita Alberti makes our residents' home such a special place....
As Jean’s father was in the construction business, the family moved often. Although born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jean lived in a number of states including Maryland, Virginia, Indiana and Washington State. She met her future husband, James Barbour, while attending Ohio State University where she graduated as a Registered Nurse.
Health is undoubtedly every individual’s number one priority. It is essential to pay attention to your health restrictions, eat healthy and exercise. Assisted living communities offer programs to meet dietary restrictions and preferences as well as varied exercise programs and classes that cater to all residents’ wants and needs. As individuals grow older, proper health care and a healthy lifestyle becomes even more important. It's the perfect time to focus on informing yourself of the importance of healthy food choices and lifestyle changes. Forty years ago, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics named March as National Nutrition Month to "focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits."
These days over 50% of seniors are surfing the net, and just over one-third of seniors 65 years and older are actively participating in social media networks. A study, carried out by the Pew Institute shows that the “GI generation”—those 76 years and older—are not so much ‘in the game’ at 34% internet use but this doesn’t take away from the fact that seniors are attempting to stay on the cutting edge of technology and it’s reflected in the numbers, which have been steadily trending upwards over the last few years. Researchers are finding that seniors who readily adapt to technology benefit from improved quality of life on both the social and health fronts.
My name is Marie Pfannkuch. I am 100 years old and I’ve lived at Wesley Village for 10 years. My husband was German, which is where I get my last name from. My mother was Italian and my father was English and Irish. Before we hear the rest of Marie's story, I (Chelsea) just wanted to say a few words about her. I met Marie when I learned she had received a letter from President Trump after turning 100 years old. She was very excited and wanted to show someone her letter. When I met Marie, I instantly liked her. She was funny, kind, beautiful on the inside and out, and I could tell she had an amazing story to tell. We worked around each other's schedules until finally we could meet up and I could learn more about her life. And I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Marie. Her life has been filled with boundless love, family and friends. What more could a girl ask for? Read on to hear Marie's story.
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At our senior living communities, our staff members are one of the main reasons why our residents feel so at home! Not only do they create a warm family atmosphere, they also understand the challenges faced by families caring for older adults. By fostering caring relationships, staff play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging - from the very first visit, to the day they move into our community and every day after that! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to see how Mary Ramsdell makes our residents' home such a special place....
With 10,000 people in this country turning 65 years old every day, and the share of older adults predicted to rise from 14.5 percent in 2014 to 21.7 percent in 2020, one of the largest challenges facing society is senior housing. Where will these older adults live, and are current housing options up to the task? The issue is compounded by the fact that the majority of older adults are pushing back on the idea of conventional nursing homes and leaning more towards assisted living apartments.
For seniors, independent living represents both a structural setting and a physical ability. You may have heard the "structural setting" described by other names such as retirement homes or senior apartments, but they’re one and the same; and residents of independent living communities are healthy enough to live on their own and take care of themselves. Out of all the different senior housing choices out there, what makes this type of senior living the most suitable for certain seniors?
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At our senior living communities in Connecticut, our staff members are one of the main reasons why our residents feel so at home! Not only do they create a warm family atmosphere, they also understand the challenges faced by families caring for older adults. By fostering caring relationships, staff play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging - from the very first visit, to the day they move into our community and every day after that! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to see how Lakisha Mathis makes our residents' home such a special place....
Although he was born in Haugesund, Norway, Arthur K. Hansen, better known as “Chuckken”, grew up in Glendale, Long Island. He attended Newtown High School in New York and was an active cross country runner. Additionally, he played softball and was a very good student. Read on to learn more about Arthur and his time living at the UMH community, Middlewoods of Newington.
It’s a five-letter word no one ever wants to hear. “I’m….BORED!” And it’s not just small children who suffer from boredom; it can happen to all of us -- including seniors. Older adults get bored, too. Counter boredom by engaging in activities with your loved one.
Often senior citizens and their loved ones wrestle with the decision of whether or not to move out of the family home into an assisted living community. While at first glance this move might seem counterintuitive, assisted living communities offer seniors the chance to maintain and even regain some of their independence, while at the same time relieving themselves of the major stresses of trying to take care of their own home.
Born in New York City in 1920, James, better known as Jim, has had a life full of love, excitement and travel. Jim’s upbringing was very unique because both of his parents were deaf, which taught him many lessons and offered him a different perspective on life. Jim lived in the Bronx in a suburb called Riverdale where he was valedictorian of his elementary school. From there, he attended DeWitt Clinton High School, and then Stevens Institute of Technology. Twenty five years later, he received his master’s degree at the University of Bridgeport. Jim became an Eagle Scout, which is the highest achievement attainable in the Boy Scouts of America Program, and was a member of the Air Force, serving from 1943 to 1946.
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At our senior living communities, our staff members are one of the main reasons why our residents feel so at home! Not only do they create a warm family atmosphere, they also understand the challenges faced by families caring for older adults. By fostering caring relationships, staff play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging - from the very first visit, to the day they move into our community and every day after that! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to see how Kelly Coppola makes our residents' home such a special place....
Most senior citizens feel comfortable in their own homes or senior living communities. However, this comfort can also lead to a reduced awareness of hazards that can lead to a painful injury. While safety is important to advocate to everyone, the elderly find themselves more likely to be injured due to falls, fractures or broken bones because of bone loss, bone fragility and osteoporosis. Senior living communities are often equipped with handrails, safe floors that are not too slippery, ramps as opposed to stairs and several other safety precautions. For those seniors who are still living at home, however, it is important to take proper precautions to make sure the home is safe. Here are some simple, affordable ways you can reduce the risk of falls and other injuries in your home or assisted living community:
Caregivers are never short on giving of themselves. Sandwiched between trying to balance family life with children who haven’t yet left the nest and taking care of parents wholly dependent on them, caregivers have quite a lot to manage.
As a native to Long Island, New York, Billy Coulter grew up loving weekend trips to his family’s house in Sag Harbor. From Friday through Sunday, he would head there and spend time with his mom and dad. Billy recalls, “My father purchased a boat for us and we used to go sailing often. I remember the warm summer days and the cool summer nights. My mother used to iron my sheets when it was a chilly night in order to warm them up for me.” Billy also reflects fondly on his weekly dance lessons he took with his mother in New York City.
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At our senior living communities, our staff members are one of the main reasons why our residents feel so at home! Not only do they create a warm family atmosphere, they also understand the challenges faced by families caring for older adults. By fostering caring relationships, staff play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging - from the very first visit, to the day they move into our community and every day after that! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to see how Linda Fera makes our residents' home such a special place....
Family members searching for the best living situation for their aging loved one have quite a job ahead of them. Not only will they spend time researching, comparing, and touring various senior living communities, they will also have to decide what option makes the most sense for their loved one's unique situation. It can be a lot to process all at once, and many caregivers find the information overwhelming. In these cases, it might help to zero in on one option at a time, and learn as much as you can. Among the living options you have to consider are assisted living apartments. Some caregivers are initially confused by the term "apartment," as it seems to imply a certain amount of responsibility on the part of their relative that may be beyond their capabilities. To help clear things up, we are presenting a list of benefits of our Connecticut assisted living apartments, such as our community Wesley Heights, and what both you and your loved one can expect from their new home.
Owen "Buzz" Conway Family and Service Born in the city of brotherly love (Philadelphia), Owen picked up the boyhood nickname “Buzz” that has followed him to this day. As a young man, he was drafted into the US Army in 1945 where he was trained as a medic. He saw frontline action in the pacific and later in Korea. Incredibly, he would go into battle armed only with bandages and medicine.
For an older adult, the choice between assisted living and independent living usually depends on how well an individual can manage daily activities without extra assistance. Examples of daily activities include, but are not limited to: preparing meals, personal hygiene, managing medications, completing household chores, driving/coordinating transportation, and maintaining personal finances. Someone who has difficulty with any of these daily "independent" activities may want to consider the maintenance-free lifestyle of an assisted living community.
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At our senior living communities, our staff members are one of the main reasons why our residents feel so at home! Not only do they create a warm family atmosphere, they also understand the challenges faced by families caring for older adults. By fostering caring relationships, staff play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging - from the very first visit, to the day they move into our community and every day after that! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to see how Bonnie Tormay makes our residents' home such a special place....
When an aging loved one is in need of extra care and support, many families jump to the task themselves. With the absolute best intentions at heart, family members rearrange their work schedules, create space in their homes, and rethink their household budgets so they can give back the kindness and compassion that their relative has shown them. Undoubtedly, this is not only admirable, but it can also be a very important opportunity for further bonding and understanding between the two of you. Often, our aging loved ones are not ready to leave their homes and families, and caregivers do not feel prepared financially or emotionally to press the issue.
When it first becomes apparent that an elderly loved one is no longer able to live on their own, many families try to remain committed to providing the extra assistance and care themselves. Sometimes, this involves moving your loved one into your home, or spending a portion of each day with your aging relative. However, there often comes a time when caregivers realize that they are getting in over their heads. Sometimes this can happen as the result of your loved one’s declining health, added family or career stress on you, or perhaps an incident which has made you realize that your loved one’s current living condition is no longer safe for them.
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Running out of money is a real possibility for some who have made senior living communities their home. The money runs out for a number of reasons and common among them are: longevity (the average length of stay in assisted living is 2.5 years but many live there significantly longer) increasing rental costs, increasing costs in senior health care services and a need for more assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) than before. There are others, but these situations just mentioned place an immediate draw on private funds.
It might be nearing the “right” time to move a parent into an assisted living community when health and safety needs are putting your loved one at risk in their home. If this is your concern then it’s time to have a talk with your loved one. Often there are telltale signs of something “not right” in the home that you can address quickly before things spiral out of control.
Change is inevitable. As your parents age, you often become their strongest support system. But for many adult children, this may be the one challenge you’re not quite ready for! When caring for aging parents, it usually becomes necessary to have a talk with your loved ones regarding matters of change, such as senior living and long-term care options, legal documentation, and financial decisions. Before any adult child can have this talk, it is important to come to terms with the health changes of your loved and evaluate how these changes will affect the rest of the family.
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As people get older in their 70s, 80s and beyond, they begin to become more physically frail. One of the concerns along with becoming frail is that they might slip and fall. While a fall to a younger person might only result in a bruise, the consequences of a fall to an elderly parent can be severely detrimental. Whether your parents are in assisted living or still in their family home, here are some ways that you can help them avoid falls
Veterans are willing to lay down their lives for their country, but many aging seniors are unaware of one aspect of the country’s attempt to give back. If your aging loved one is eligible for a VA pension, he or she may also be entitled to the Aid & Attendance Program, which offers monthly benefits to help cover assisted living care costs to veterans and their surviving spouses. About the Aid & Attendance Benefit
Have you noticed lately that your aging loved one may be in need of a little extra care? If so, you're probably in the process of deciding which option is best. Should you get in-home care or should you consider assisted living? This decision often is a confusing and overwhelming process, especially when money is a factor. It's difficult to see what you have budgeted and what you can afford.
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At our senior living communities, our staff members are one of the main reasons why our residents feel so at home! Not only do they create a warm family atmosphere, they also understand the challenges faced by families caring for older adults. By fostering caring relationships, staff play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging - from the very first visit, to the day they move into our community and every day after that! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to see how Cathy Breslford makes our residents' home such a special place....
An unfortunate reality of caring for aging loved ones is that we are often the ones called upon to deliver bad news and support them as they cope with it. Those that must do so often feel inadequate to the task. There is no easy way to share such information, but there are some guiding principles. When you are the one to talk to an aging loved one about something you know will upset them, even as it upsets you, where do you begin the conversation?
Deciding between home care and assisted living can be a confusing, stressful, and time-consuming process. As a caregiver, you naturally want what is best for your aging relative, but you also know that there are limits to what you can do – both physically, and financially. Many caregivers considering assisted living report that their loved ones are reluctant to leave their home, or to be away from family members. All of these factors are what make this decision so very personal.
Like many topics related to death and dying, families tend to avoid the topic of hospice care until a physician or social worker brings up the subject. This is unfortunate because studies show that people tend to live longer when they receive hospice care in CT. When you and your family know about the services and benefits of hospice, you will feel more comfortable discussing it with your doctor when the time arises.
Cost is among the biggest concerns for families providing eldercare for a loved one. Indeed, cost can sometimes be a roadblock standing in the way of you providing the best possible situation for a relative in need. While there may be some families out there that are able to cover assisted-living costs without too much of a financial impact, for others, figuring out what to do next will require some serious number crunching. One of the questions we hear most frequently is "How can I find the best senior living community for my budget?" To help answer this, we have come up with a step-by-step guide to get you started. Follow the recommendations on this page, and you'll begin to have a clearer picture of what assisted-living will actually cost you.
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At our UMH senior living communities, it’s not only staff that create a warm family atmosphere, but also our devoted and caring volunteers! By fostering caring relationships and connecting with our residents, volunteers play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging. This month, in honor of National Volunteer Week, (April 23rd – April 29th), we are highlighting one of our very special volunteers! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to learn more about Joyce Stobierski's experience volunteering at UMH…
Lois Selnau Mother, Educator, Historian Lois Brigham was born in Burlington, Vermont, where she spent her most of her youth until attending the prestigious Middlebury College to study Nutrition Science. A proud graduate of the class of 1946, she has served as the Class Agent from 1996 to the present, strengthening alumni ties. After an internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Dietetics, she worked at the Veteran’s Administration in Connecticut in 1948, tending to the dietary needs of veterans. It was shortly thereafter she met and married her husband Elmer Selnau in 1953. The couple settled in Farmington and raised their two sons, Paul and Clark. Lois now resides at the UMH award-winning senior living community, Middlewoods of Farmington, enjoying the many activities and opportunities the community has to offer.
Caregivers often report feeling frustrated as they try to determine the true cost of assisted living for their loved one. There may be a price list detailing the different costs of, say a studio, a one bedroom, or two bedroom apartment, but that doesn't always tell the whole story. What about meals? What about cleaning services? Will these added expenses combine to price you out of something you thought was affordable?
Life Still Revolves around the Kitchen Table At UMH communities, we understand how important meals and mealtime are for our residents; often they are the highlight of each day. Meals are a time to meet up and socialize with friends, a time to talk with dining staff, and get caught up on what’s new and exciting, and a time to choose from a variety of menu items that are both nutritional and nurturing. For those on a restricted diet, we offer choices so they don’t get into a food rut. No one wants to eat the same old food each day at every meal.