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.
Just to be clear, there is no single definition for “assisted living” when it comes to the services and care a community will provide.
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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.
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.
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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
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.
How can you tell when your loved one is ready for an assisted living community? If only it were as simple as a big, red flag popping up saying “NOW IS THE TIME!” Well, you may not see the big flag but chances are there are lots of little indicators that may have gone unnoticed. If your parent or loved one is having more and more difficulty with everyday activities, such as getting around the house, running errands, showering and dressing, NOW is the time. Helping mom or dad recognize their changing needs and cope with an impending move is important. If your loved one is opposed to or reluctant to make a move, suggest a short-term, trial stay at an assisted living community. They can take a “test drive” but not commit to a permanent move.