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Senior Living Blog

Happily Ever Aging
...a UMH Senior Living Blog

Everything you need to know about caring for your loved one - at home or at a senior living community.

Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

Blog Feature

Aging & Caregiving

Five Ways an Elder Law Attorney Can Help Your Aging Loved One

By: Marissa Salvesen
August 18th, 2016

People in different stages of life have different legal concerns. Older adults, in particular, face a number of legal considerations which differ from the ones they may have faced earlier in their lives. Attorneys who focus their practices on the area of elder law, also referred to as “elder care,” offer specialized expertise and guidance for older individuals and their families. Let’s count down five ways hiring an elder law attorney makes smart sense, along with a few things to keep in mind when finding and hiring an elder law attorney.

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Aging & Caregiving

A “Sandwiched” Summer Movie List

By: Marissa Salvesen
August 11th, 2016

We often talk about the need for caregivers to take a break from the demands of caregiving. One simple way to do so? Watch a movie. And while heading to your local cineplex is one way to escape, you can also relax and recharge while watching a movie at home in the company of your loved ones. Read on for a list of five movies which are likely to delight caregivers, their kids, and aging loved ones alike.

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Aging & Caregiving

The “S” Word in Assisted Living

By: Marissa Salvesen
August 4th, 2016

The number of Americans without any close friends has dramatically escalated over the past two decades, according to a report from the AARP. Unfortunately, older adults are not only particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon, but are also more likely to struggle physically and emotionally due to isolation. Let’s take a closer look at why socialization (the “s” word) is so important for seniors. And find some caregiver tips for helping aging loved ones enjoy all of the benefits of spending time with others.

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Aging & Caregiving

Senior Living Communities: A Threat to Independence?

By: Marissa Salvesen
July 21st, 2016

If you’ve ever broached the subject of moving to a senior living community with an aging loved one, you may have been met with the some variation of the response, “No way. I want my freedom.” You’re hardly alone if you’ve encountered this form of resistance. In fact, the vast majority of seniors claim to want to “age in place.” Guiding this preference? The belief that senior living communities are a threat to independence. Let’s take a closer look at the issue, along with why it may be time to embrace a new perspective when it comes to senior living, freedom, true independence, and something even more vital: quality of life.

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Stories and Spotlights

That Crazy Farm Life – Meet Rita Klingenmeier!

By: Marissa Salvesen
July 19th, 2016

Meet Rita Klingenmeier, a resident at one of our award-winning UMH communities: Middlewoods of Newington. Rita made the move to Middlewoods in the fall of 2015 and since that time, has enjoyed a healthy and active lifestyle in the community.

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Aging & Caregiving

5 Interesting Books About Alzheimer’s

By: Marissa Salvesen
July 14th, 2016

We all need time to relax and recharge. For many, reading precisely fits the bill. For caregivers of loved one’s with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, reading can also provide something else: much-needed empathy and understanding. Check out these five works of fiction, each of which may offer some unique insights into living with Alzheimer's disease.

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Aging & Caregiving

Tips for Helping Seniors Go Social

By: Marissa Salvesen
July 5th, 2016

While seniors are fast growing users of digital technology, there are some obstacles to adoption among the 65 and over set. Social media, in particular, can be imposing territory, and yet it also offers plentiful payoffs for those who persevere. If you’ve thought about introducing your aging loved one to social media but have never done so, now might be the perfect time to make that connection. Let’s take a closer look at older adults and social media, along with tips for helping seniors get social.

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Aging & Caregiving

Our Residents’ Favorite Summer Memories

By: Marissa Salvesen
June 23rd, 2016

Summertime is on our minds! Residents from our UMH senior living communities have been sharing a few of their favorite summer memories with us….we thought they would be fun to share! What are some of YOUR favorite summer memories? Check out their memories below or scroll through our social media pages to reminisce alongside our residents…

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Aging & Caregiving

5 Ways to Take a Vacation from Caregiving

By: Marissa Salvesen
June 20th, 2016

Summer is here - school is out for children, everyone is enjoying the beach, the picnics, and the warmer weather... but for many caregivers, it can be hard to take a break. When an aging loved one needs frequent visits, daily phone calls, and help managing medical appointments, meals, household responsibilities and more, a vacation can seem like a distant dream!

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Aging & Caregiving

3 Ways Assisted Living Helps Promote Independence in Older Adults

By: Marissa Salvesen
June 17th, 2016

One of the leading concerns many seniors have about moving to an assisted living community is losing their independence. After all, many of us first encounter “freedom” around the age of 18 and never plan on looking back. But the truth is that not only can assisted living help promote a sense of freedom in terms of keeping older adults engaged in everyday activities, but it can also lead to a better quality of life during an otherwise precarious time. Let’s count down three ways assisted living can encourage independence.

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Aging & Caregiving

3 Easy Gardening Projects for Aging Loved Ones

By: Marissa Salvesen
June 9th, 2016

Whether seniors have a lifelong love of gardening or have never grown anything green - ever, research increasingly points to the many reasons why tending to a garden is good for older adults. From encouraging physical activity to promoting food security, the benefits of gardening go on and on. Gardening has even been been proven to be therapeutic for people with Alzheimer’s disease! The observation of National Garden Week -- celebrated in 2016 from June 5-11 -- is the perfect opportunity to encourage seniors to start enjoying the benefits of gardening. Not sure where to begin? Consider these three simple gardening projects aimed at helping aging loved ones get up close and personal with nature.

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