There’s no shortage of challenges seniors face when it comes to staying connected to the larger community. From diminished mobility and lack of transportation options to the inevitable loss of family and friends in their social circle, it can be difficult to maintain a strong base of human relationships and a wide sense of community. But these aspects of a senior’s life are critical to healthy aging and the capacity to thrive.
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.
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Celebrating Relationships! Celebrated on the first Sunday of October, Intergeneration Day provides a great opportunity to celebrate relationships between seniors and younger generations. When most people think of intergenerational activities, they typically envision children and seniors together in that picture. We invite you to pause for a moment and expand that picture and remember that activities that bridge generational gaps reach out to a wide variety of different age groups. In honor of Intergeneration Day, think about how you can help connect your aging loved one with meaningful intergenerational experiences.
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And The Mountains Echoed is a fascinating and disturbing novel by Khalem Hosseni, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. In heart wrenching detail, he tells the story of a family from Afghanistan over a sixty-year period, each one of who continue to be affected by decisions made in earlier generations. It is a sometimes-grim reminder that, while we are free to alter our responses to the events of our lives, thus changing ourselves in some real way, we are always to some extent the product of our past.
“May You Live to Be 120!” Written by Guest Blogger, Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life (United Methodist Homes) “May you live to be 120!” This traditional Jewish birthday blessing comes from the book of Genesis (6:3). The Lord said, ‘My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’ There was a time when this wish was at best a metaphor and, at worst, trite and meaningless. The likelihood of living that long is still not reality for most of us, but it is increasingly more within the realm of possibility. We now have centenarians as an ever-growing segment of our population. Is this a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Would you want to live that long?
What is National Parents’ Day? Many Americans are still unaware of this commemorative day, signed into law in 1994. Compared with the century’s old Mother’s Day or Father’s Day fanfare, Parents’ Day is but a ”baby” yet its establishment was meant to hold a similar stature of recognition, maybe even more so as it joins the two into a family unit.
For caregivers it’s crunch time. You now realize it is time to hand over your caregiving role to the professionals; so how to you know which senior living community is right for your aging parents? This should be a straightforward process; all you need to do is match your parents’ needs with the community providing the requisite services, right? Yes, however, as this decision will affect all parties as you tread on new emotional and financial grounds, the more prepared you are, the more satisfied you’ll be that you’ve made the right decision.