As we round out the springtime months, the imminent arrival of summer brings with it a vibrant atmosphere and a multitude of opportunities for people of all ages to engage in enjoyable activities. For seniors, it’s a particularly ideal time to get out of the indoors and engage in delightful summer pastimes with a host of physical, mental, and emotional benefits. From vitamin D absorption to enhanced mood and social interaction, the summer presents plenty of options for basking in the sweet joys of the outdoors. Let’s take a dive into the world of summer fun with the following senior-friendly activities perfect for generating joy and creating worthwhile memories.
As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, the concept of senior living communities has evolved significantly. In many cases, communities are no longer simply residences for older adults to receive care and assistance; they have transformed into vibrant, engaging environments that offer a multitude of benefits.
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Women are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s disease, as nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are female. And although the majority of caregivers for this population is made up of women, an increasing number of men find themselves caring for spouses living with the disease. While men are equally capable of providing compassionate care to a spouse experiencing cognitive decline, they do face some unique societal challenges. Often, male caregivers may be less inclined to seek the resources and support needed to navigate this journey in a physically and mentally healthy way. They may try to shoulder the burden alone, which can impact both their own well-being and that of their loved one. To support male caregivers of spouses facing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, following are some helpful insights and information.
The possibility of moving out of one’s home is not always a welcome idea for seniors, but planning for the future or considering the best alternatives for current day-to-day challenges is incredibly important for older adults. While there are plenty of fears and assumptions that may have some seniors overlooking the concept of a senior living community, the truth is there is a host of research that underscores the benefits of this option. According to the National Institute on Aging, there are a number of factors that influence healthy aging—and while not all of them are within our control (like genetics), many of them can be impacted by the decisions we make. Join us as we explore some of the interesting research supported by NIA and others, which identifies these crucial points of healthy aging. In addition, learn how these elements are well-supported by the benefits of senior living communities.
The number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise from 16 percent to 23 percent. The current growth of this population, driven largely by the baby boom generation, is unprecedented in U.S. history. What does this mean for the increasing numbers of seniors who require caregiving? For one, it means that the gender stereotypes once dominating caregiving responsibilities have begun to shift. More men are needed to embrace the role of caregiver for aging loved ones than ever before, and the latest research shows that male caregiving numbers are rising. 40 percent of family caregivers, amounting to roughly 16 million people in the United States, are men. Out of these 16 million male caregivers, about half are doing so by choice, 63% identify as primary caregivers, 49% are assisting an aging parent or in-law, and 13% are supporting a spouse.
Also referred to as a continuing care retirement community or life plan community, a continuum community for seniors has been described as “a long-term care option for older people who want to stay in the same place through different phases of the aging process… They offer different types of housing and care levels based on an older adult’s needs and how they change.” Continuum communities for seniors provide opportunities for residents to embrace a healthier, more vibrant and less worrisome quality of life. This might look like a resident starting out living independently in an apartment, then transitioning to assisted living when additional help with daily activities is needed, to skilled nursing when more medical care is a requirement or to specialized memory care when Alzheimer’s or dementia symptoms emerge. All of these changes in care occur while the resident remains within the same community.
When people hear the term “senior living,” many quickly lump it into the same category as “nursing home.” In fact, these phrases are sometimes used interchangeably, further promoting the misconception that the two very distinct options are basically the same. The truth, however, is that the array of living choices available for seniors today is both wide and varied, and there are some fundamental differences between senior living communities and nursing homes.
No matter your gender, caring for an aging spouse, parent, family member or friend is no small or easy task. It presents a variety of demands that can impact a caregiver’s physical, mental, and emotional health. All of these can make it easy to get caught up in self-defeating habits. For the rising population of male caregivers, in particular, there are some unique challenges that can quickly erode overall well-being. Therefore, it’s crucial for men who find themselves taking on such a role to understand and manage the responsibility in a healthy way.
As the winter months can have a dramatic effect on a senior’s well-being, it’s important to ensure that elderly loved ones are staying engaged and active in their everyday lives. And even though this particular time of year has a way of limiting a senior’s activities, there’s no threshold on creativity. So if the weather or other circumstances are putting a pin in your loved one’s usual outlets for engagement, consider turning their attention to the arts.
It’s true: The role of family caregiver has traditionally been a female one, and the majority of today’s caregivers are, in fact, women. However, data has shown a significant upward trend in the number of men that exist among today’s family caregiving population. Although husbands, brothers, sons, and other male loved ones may not typically be recognized for their emerging presence within this dynamic, they are increasingly challenged to perform ongoing caregiving tasks—whether by choice or out of sheer necessity. In this article, we’re highlighting some of the current data on caregiving as it pertains to gender, and spotlighting the issues male caregivers may face as they take on this role in their loved one’s life.
As a society, we have adopted the belief that moving an older person into an independent or assisted living community (or especially a nursing home), is just about the worst thing a loved one could ever do. This type of decision has been known to bring on overwhelming feelings of guilt and uncertainty about what’s really best for the person we love. If you’ve ever felt this way, know that you are NOT a bad child, caregiver, or person. You’re actually just like thousands of other individuals in the same situation, who are exhausted, frustrated, and worried about how to best care for the senior in their life.