It’s extremely common in seniors to not feel the Christmas cheer that follows this time of year, particularly in those who are adapting to a major life change, loss of loved ones or friends, and seasonal depression. In these cases, seniors may feel lacking the seasonal spark, but don’t be discouraged. You can help lift their spirits. Do away with the winter blues by following these simple strategies so everyone in the family can have a cheerful Christmas.
Let’s break these down a bit further.
The key to getting through the Christmas season is finding peace. During the holidays, remain calm and keep a positive attitude. Simply remind yourself the true meaning of Christmas to you. This will offer solitude to all around you. To stay positive, suggest fun activities to do together - like stringing the popcorn on the tree. This will offer a task for everyone to keep busy and happy.
Families who wish to exchange presents with their loved ones, but cannot afford to do so, often feel grief. Many seniors often find themselves wanting to do more than is possible within their means. At Regency, we suggest spending more time than money towards your loved ones this holiday season. Also, if you have extra time this Christmas, volunteer at the community kitchen to feed the hungry or donate coats to help those in need.
Making new memories, whether volunteering or stringing popcorn, is what Christmas is all about. It’s a time to get together with family and reminisce. Our senior residents love to share their stories and memories with those who will listen. Take the time this holiday season to share old memories and make new ones with the seniors in your life.
Seasonal depression is common in adults, and it is rapidly increasing within the senior community. This could be from a lack of sunlight or the harsh reminders of previous holidays, coping with life changes, or the loss of loved ones. Be mindful for the symptoms of depression, displaying low spirits.
Low spirits can also come from inability to meet expectations. In seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s, holidays just are not the same as they were before. The family dynamic at some level has changed. For many seniors suffering from memory loss, the holidays can be a confusing time. Be thoughtful and use caution to not make them feel anxious or elevate confusion when they are struggling.
Our holiday mission at MorningSide of College Park is to remind everyone why we celebrate Christmas. In our senior living community, we offer a multitude of on-campus activities to spark the seasonal spirit. These holiday activities may include:
The holidays are the time to be surrounded by family – that is the greatest gift, after all. Help us make this Christmas season special for the senior in your life. Whatever the season holds for you, MorningSide is honored to celebrate these special times with you and your family. Happy Holidays!
Written by: Katie Hanley
It’s normal to collect too many assets, some of which may be junk, through the years. But there often comes a time to cut the clutter and to downsize. For most senior empty nesters, their adult children have long out with families of their own. Sometimes due to health reasons, the senior may not capable living at their current home any longer.
When downsizing, paring down items comes with the territory. While some of us are excellent "dejunkers", others have a harder time. Lifehack.org says the best way to downsize is to start small. For example, begin by starting with a simple space to make significant progress. If not, it can start to feel overpowering if approached wholly– so work in moderation. Remind yourself that it has likely taken years to get everything, so you likely won’t finish in the first day, especially if you are suffering from issues with mobility.
The Top Dos and Don'ts for Downsizing
• Do Prioritize
• Don't Wait/Avoid Procrastination
• Do Be Aware of Hoarding Behavior
• Don't Be Too Sensitive
• Do Transform
• Don't Just Throw It Away
Before you assess your belongings, plan out your next move. Set manageable goals weekly for yourself. Start by sorting belongings into one of three boxes – give, keep, and discard. Begin sorting things to discard, as these items should be obvious, such as: old garments, dusty books, etc.
Try not to Wait
Whatever you do, avoid procrastination. Regardless if you think you have enough time. It will be a long, enduring process that requires several weeks and even months to complete – even with the assistance of family and friends. Tip: To avoid delaying, mark your calendar with each weekly goal to accomplish. This can help tremendously when in planning for the big move.
Do Be Aware of Hoarding Behavior
This often times unsanitary and unsafe lifestyle can be risky in seniors who are experiencing issues in mobility, as the possibility for falling is increased. While hoarding items is sometimes harmless, it can be an indication for underlying health issues, most commonly dementia or Alzheimer's in seniors.
Try not to Be Too Sensitive
Naturally, we become be attached to things that we find meaningful. So, discarding these items that are special to us can be incredibly challenging. With most difficult choices, do your best to take it moderation and carefully assess everything and it's level of significance. For questionable items, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Slanting questions with a closed-ended, yes-no answer will help make difficult decisions a bit easier.
To family and companions of seniors, understand the hard decisions ahead during this transition. Have patience, support, and encourage positive change amid this difficult time.
Transitioning into a downsized space means every inch counts! To adapt to your new, smaller home, transform each space with personal items. For example, photographs of family, work of art from the grandkids, and remembrances from your sweetie pie. At Regency Senior Living people group with Memory Care administrations, occupants are urged to keep their unique things in a memory box for safekeeping. Speaking of putting away, rather than tossing out your cherished things, save them in a new way, so you can keep them free from mess or harm. This technique works incredible for free photographs, music, and movies.
Don't Throw It Away
If you have things you wish to throw away, be aware of waste disposal options. Ask yourself, can this thing be reused, repurposed, or recycled? Don’t simply junk it! Recollect that one man's junk is another man's fortune.
It's critical to begin decluttering sooner than later to allow the move to Assisted Living to be a consistent and pleasant process. For more tips on scaling down seniors, visit: http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/15-9-5-senior-cutting back tips/
Written by: Katie Hanley
Many seniors feel apprehensive about getting online, worrying that they won’t have the tech skills to successfully take advantage of computer resources. According to FastCompany, a neuroscientist at UCLA found that when he observed “12 tech-savvy and 12 tech-ignorant people use search engines while inside an MRI machine”the result was“more neural activity in the noggins of tech-savvy users.”Not only does the Internet open you up to a host of new possibilities, the process of learning something new can have a positive effect on your brain—great news for those who are interested in staying in tip top mental shape.
There are host of other benefits to making use of the Internet. It’s easier than ever to connect with others around the world in just a few clicks or a few keystrokes, from family a few states away to new pen pals as far away as Japan or Norway. Even ten or fifteen years ago, the majority of adults weren’t online. Now 87% of American adults regularly use the Internet, logging on to converse over email and social networking sites, look up information using search engines like Google and Yahoo, keep up with the news and their favorite TV programs, or connect with other people who have common interests, like NASCAR, baseball, sewing, chess, and more.
Of course, the flip side to how much the internet brings us together is that it can also connect you to bad people who might want to take advantage of you. While it’s easier than ever to reach out to friends and family, it’s just as easy for criminals to reach out to you in hopes of getting money, your personal information, or even steal your identity. However, there are some simple steps you can take to keep cyber criminals at bay.
Email With Care
First and foremost, you should treat your email with the same care you would your mail or postoffice box. Just as you get unwanted junk letters in real life, you may get spam messages in your email box from strangers. Some scams that online criminals run online are similar to those run through the mail or on the phone—telling you that you’ve won a lottery prize, for example, or posing as a fake charity. Just as you’d be cautious under other circumstances about sending money to strangers or unverified causes or potentially illegitimate businesses, you should be even more so online.
Pick an email program with a strong spam filter like Microsoft Outlook or Google Mail—this will protect you from many inappropriate messages and reduce the number you need to deal with yourself. When you set up your email account, create a strong password that will be hard for anyone else to guess or crack. For example, “123456”is a common password that would be easy for a hacker to figure out because so many people use it. The same for things like your children or grandchildren’s names, “password”or “PW”or even “letmein.”You should use a mixture of symbols, numbers, and both upper and lower case numbers to ensure you have a strong password.
Trust Your Inner Skeptic
Criminals often create stories that seem so wild you couldn’t possibly make them up. People have fallen for all sorts of tall tales, from Nigerian princes trying to find their way home to messages from the supposed Sheriff’s office telling them a missing person’s report has been filed on the recipient’s behalf. Other common tricks include seemingly innocent, minor requests, like trying to find a good time to call you, or simply asking if you’re ok. If you don’t know who sent the email, simply give them a call or check in personally to find out if they originated the conversation. It takes some of the convenience out of staying in touch, but it’s totally worth it to avoid giving scam artists even the slightest details to go on. Never download a file attached to an email if you don’t know who it’s from. The file could be a computer virus that will make your device run slower or will find personal information like credit card or insurance account numbers and send it to the scammer.
A Little Common Sense Goes a Long Way
You never know who’s looking when you post online, and what you say can stick around a lot longer than you think. Friends of friends might see what you post on social media, private details linger on message boards, and you can’t take back what you write. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. So be especially guarded about sharing anything you wouldn’t write down and hand to stranger, or the kind of information you run through a shredder at the end of the month.
Enjoy a Wider World
Despite digital dangers, the Internet has a wealth of opportunities to stay connected and involved in your community and interests no matter your age. Don’t feel intimidated by the possibility of living an online life, instead embrace a new skill, and take proper precautions so you can surf the web with confidence. As with any new skill, it may take time to feel as comfortable and confident as you do in real life, but soon you’ll have street smarts for the World Wide Web!
Indy seniors are looking forward to another holiday season. It’s a time when we reflect on family ties and the sentimental attachments we have to gifts from long ago. When we break out the camera and record the moment because memories are being made. We marvel at how much the grandchildren have grown since the last time we saw them.
People get more enjoyment out of Christmas by focusing on relationships rather than things. Particularly when visiting with grandchildren, interactions strengthen our bonds. Seniors should take this time to share family stories about unique traditions so they can be fondly remembered and passed along to the next generation.
Experiences make great holiday gifts. There are so many attractions in Indianapolis to entertain, educate and delight a loved one. Some of these include visiting the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, or taking someone to a Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Sometimes the experience gifted is something a grandchild cannot afford to do on their own, like a class trip.
Something as modest baking homemade cookies for (or with) a grandchild can be warmly received. Perhaps share a book that has brought you years of enjoyment so you can talk about it later.
The holiday season is also a good time to pass along values to young ones, perhaps encouraging them to visit homebound seniors who may feel lonely at Christmastime because their own families live too far away or do not visit as often as they’d like. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be a part of a community of friends like ours at Regency.
Experts say you should talk with parents before buying their children gifts that will burden them. This brings to mind a drum kit that will keep them up at night or a puppy they’ll end up having the feed and clean up after. That goes for buying a huge number of gifts or expensive things as well. You also want to treat everyone the same rather than favoring one grandchild more than another.
When it comes to older grandchildren, unless you are hip to the latest style trends, clothing may be less well received than a Gift Card they can use at the stores they prefer. If a senior is unable to afford a gift in the present, they can often promise to pass along a piece of furniture in the future. Perhaps relocating to a retirement community means not having room for antiques or we simply want to let someone know that a piece they are fond of will someday be theirs. While it may lack the immediate impact of a pricey gadget, such a gift can grow more valuable with the passing of time and become a keepsake.
It’s also important to remember that it’s the thought that matters. Most people do not react well when a loved one seems unappreciative of a gift, so we need to accept whatever we are given with gratitude even when it is less than spectacular.
By putting some thought into a loved one’s interests, hobbies and what they want/need, it can be a great holiday season.
Life these days is pretty hectic for most people, making it more challenging for us to spend time with loved ones, but technology is helping grandparents get in front of family they don’t see nearly as much as they’d like to in person.
According to a CNN.com article, video chat in particular is revolutionizing how seniors interact with their precious family.
“For grandparents who are online -- and a recent Pew study suggests 53% of American adults over 65 are, with one in three of those seniors using social networks -- living apart from grandkids doesn't mean never seeing them,” author Shannon Cook writes.
In the article, Cook interviews several seniors who use the videoconferencing software Skype and Google+ Hangouts to chat with grandchildren over the Internet.
“Video chats have become routine when my parents are at their home in Maryland,” Cook writes. “Dad will pick up colorful objects -- a Buzz Lightyear figurine, a sombrero, a bird feeder -- and move them toward his laptop's tiny camera lens, making (his granddaughter Kylie) squeal or say, ‘What's that funny thing, Granddad?’ And mom will hold up an outfit she bought for her granddaughter to see if it meets our approval (it usually does)… Unable to attend Kylie's first birthday party, they watched us from laptops we set up on top of bookshelves. They watched Kylie slap her teeny hand into her cake's white frosting as everyone sang happy birthday. Every now and then, we'd look up and wave or raise a glass of champagne.”
Even very small children are usually proficient at using new technology such as iPhones or tablet computers. The CNN article notes how the kids are typically not that impressed with tech-savvy retirees, simply expecting everyone to know how to use the gadgets they’ve always had available to them.
Aside from video conferencing, seniors can also reach out via email messages, text messages (which are especially popular with teens), social media websites, and sharing photos in the “cloud”. There’s no “too old” for being active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or blogging on one’s own website. Indeed, many people consider these to be great ways of staying connected to friends and family, as well as fun ways to pass the time.
For Indianapolis seniors who are willing to try new things, technology can be a great way to tap into a much larger world and put the faces of loved ones at their virtual fingertips.
We rely on all sorts of medicines to relieve pain, lower blood sugar, improve circulation, and boost our immunity, but life gives us a natural way to help achieve all of these – and best of all, it’s free!
I’m talking about laughter.
It’s not just something most of us don’t do nearly enough – it’s strong medicine!
Here’s just a few ways a good chuckle affects our mind and body:
These are just a few of the ways that watching a funny movie or TV show may be just what the doctor ordered for Indiana seniors.
While some US cities have been having economic woes and downsizing, Indianapolis has only been growing, both in size and vibrancy. It has seen a great deal of business and cultural development, but remains an affordable city in which to settle down. Anyone can find something they enjoy in Indianapolis, from sports and the outdoors to the arts.
Try golfing at Brickyard Crossing, a public course designed by famed golf course architect Pete Dye, or at one of his earlier designs at Eagle Creek. Take in an Indianapolis Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium, or the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The city is also home to the NCAA Hall of champions, which is great fun for any college sports fans. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway ist he heart of NASCAR and Formula 1, and can’t be missed.
Catch a performance at the Indianapolis Symphony or a dance at the Ballet. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, has over 50,000 works of art, including pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper, and admission is currently free. For fans of big band music, the Jazz Orchestra can’t be beat. Dine at Café Patachou, picked as one of Indianapolis’ best restaurants by the Travel Channel, or the St. Elmo Steak House, which has been around since 1902. On the inexpensive end, Yats is lauded for unbeatable Cajun and creole dishes, and Goose the Market is a local favorite for meats, cheeses, sandwiches, and beer.
Stroll through Canal and White River State Park near downtown. Take the grandkids to the Indianapolis Zoo, Connor Prairie living history museum of life on the plains, or Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park. Go shopping at Circle Center Mall, where there is an array of tempting stores. Andrews Jewelers, Coach, Carson Pirie Scott, Clarks, Johnston & Murphy, The Walking Company, Talbots, and more. Outlet shopping at Edinburgh Premium Outlets including Coldwater Creek, Polo Ralph Lauren, G.H. Bass & CO, Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer, and more.
With so much culture and an exciting blend of history and innovation, Indianapolis is a fun place to retire. Morningside senior living is the ideal residential situation, combining independence and convenience for the ultimate lifestyle in the heart of one of America’s best cities.
Indianapolis has been getting great press in recent years for its strong economy and booming cultural offerings. It’s no wonder that it’s popular with retirees, who are increasingly looking for a more urban experience, as well as to return to the kind of college towns they enjoyed before beginning their careers.
With lectures to enjoy, arts programing, sports events, diverse age ranges, and a low cost of living, there’s a lot to love about this trend.
There's wonderful access to continuing learning, such as auditing college and graduate courses, opportunities for some to even contribute to some subjects in terms of teaching as a guest speaker, great opportunities for volunteering, lots of access to the arts, and a chance to mingle with people of all ages," says Andrew Blechman, author of Leisureville: Adventures in America's Retirement Utopias.
Indiana University-Purdue Universityoffers a wonderful continuing education program with special deals for retirees, in a variety of topics including sketchbook drawing, blues harmonica, Italian, Spanish, ballroom dance, golf, t’ai chi, salsa, belly dance, Gaelic language, and photography. In addition to continuing education programs like these, retirees can also audit classes or even pursue a degree as a fully-enrolled non-traditional student at most colleges and universities.
The University of Indianapolis has a lot to offer sports fans, with 21 NCAA Division II teams. Best of all, tickets to Hounds events are very inexpensive, typically $5-8 dollars for football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball, wrestling, swimming, and track. In any season there are fun rivalries and fin performances to catch.
For those interested in the arts, Indiana University-Purdue University has many fine exhibitions by contemporary artists, including William Crutchfield, Maep Kristinia Estell and Allen Brewer. Theater fans will delight in the amazing productions by Hoosier Bard, “a unique theatre company linking the New Oxford Shakespeare editors, the Indianapolis performing arts community, and students and faculty at IUPUI.” They recently made a splash with a production of an uncensored original version of Measure for Measure and a different take on Hamlet based on a rare 1603 version of the play that they called Young Hamlet.
Indianapolis’s strong university culture isn’t a plus just for college students; it’s a huge asset to the community, and highly attractive to retirees who aren’t ready to slow down!
How awesome is it to be rewarded with savings big and small simply for your years and experience? And even better to live in a city filled with businesses who love to offer retirees with special deals! One of the reasons Indianapolis is such a perfect place to retire to is its many great activities, and so many of them come with senior discounts.
The famous Indiana State Fair’s many events sometimes come with discounts, and certain days are designated Golden Hoosiers Day, when Seniors 55+ can ride shuttles about the Fairground for free! The Indianapolis Childrens’ Museum is an awesome grandkid destination and gives seniors 60 and over a dollar discount, as does the Indianapolis Zoo if you are 62 or better. The YMCA has special membership rates, too. Sahm, Pleasant Run, Sarah Shank, Smock, and Winding River golf courses all give seniors a break.
When you’re eating out, the Indy’s Incredible Buffet and Fun Center has a senior special for $5 per person Monday through Friday, when seniors can enjoy early bird specials from 11AM – 12PM and 3PM – 4PM. Kroger grocery stores also have special senior days. Many fast food joints and franchises offer 10% discounts, free small beverages, and other perks. Carls, Ponderosa Steak House, Wendy’s, Chilis, and Popeye’s are just a few of the restaurants that offer a discount.
Shopping is also a snap, with stores like Meijer, Marsh, Banana Republic, Steinmart, Ross, and more offering weekly or monthly discount days when seniors can save big.The important thing is to always ask wherever you are, as most senior discounts require you to claim them for yourself rather than being broadly promoted. Once you are in the know, you can get so much more out of your time for relaxation, fun, and independence.
After years of taking care of a sprawling home top to bottom, wouldn’t it be a relief to spend your time on something more fun than housework? After years of working hard to pay off your mortgage, get the latest lawn mower to keep up your yard, and repaint the place every few years, wouldn’t it be a relief to into retirement without the extra effort and expense? These are just some of the reasons than many people decide to downsize at some point during retirement. Without work and kids in the house, it can be the perfect time to create a new living situation to suit your new lifestyle!
This is the time in your life that is all about you, and how you want to spend your time. Many people pick up new hobbies and a new sense of adventure during retirement, and love the extra freedom and time on their hands. Many retirees also choose to join a retirement community so they can even further reduce the daily burden of housekeeping in exchange for more social opportunities and fun. Downsizing is a great way to save money and time for all these things.
It can be simple to start—just open a closet door. Pick a room that’s used primarily for storage of things you don’t use often—old sports equipment, guest sheets and towels, old VHS tapes, or whatever you might have piled up. Decide what you absolutely need to keep or would genuinely miss and what can go. As you go through your things room by room, keep separate boxes or bins available for each category to help you visualize your downsizing project. It would be very frustrating to move and realize you’d brought too much and have to further sort while trying to get settled!
It doesn’t need to be a stressful process. By going room to room and sticking to just a few categories to sort, you can quickly clear out your home without much hassle. As you finish sorting a room, drop the things you aren’t keeping off at charity shops, consignment stores, friends’ houses or wherever its final destination might be. Pack the rest into boxes to move. That first closet you started with can be the place you keep your boxes leading up to the move so they don’t get in your way day to day. Save the rooms with major essentials for last—rooms like the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.
Be sure to set the essentials you’ll need right away in your new home aside to pack into a special box to come with you on moving day. That will be things like your pillow, toothbrush, toilet paper, sheets, a few changes of clothes, light bulbs, scissors, your medications, and anything else you can’t go a day without or will need to make moving easier. That way you won’t be regretting packing something important up or hunting through boxes as you downsize.
With a little organization a big life change can become a huge life benefit. Downsizing is exciting and can set you up to do all the things you want, and spend less time on the things you don’t. So go ahead—free yourself from the burden of the house and open yourself up to new adventures!
Did you know that September 22nd to the 28th is Active Aging Week? It’s a time to celebrate the valuable role seniors play in their community, whether it’s a retirement community, a civic community, a cultural community, or a spiritual community. No matter what kind of community you’re a part of, it’s sure to keep you young. There nothing better for aging well than living well, and fully participating in the diversity of life.
Being an active participant in your communities isn’t something new—after all, you may have had a career, or been a parent, or gone to church for years before retirement. One of the challenges and rewards of growing older is to both maintain the communities you’ve been a part of and seek new ones out.
Your retirement community, for example, is a new one you might join, or you may finally have time to get involved in a new club or volunteering for an organization or joining in an activity you’ve always wanted to try. It could be as simple as forming a weekly bridge group or a group that enjoys walking for fitness together.
Active aging isn’t only about the exercise that can benefit you physically and help you stay more comfortable and healthy as you grow older. It’s also about being an active participant in the world around you. Stay positive and excited about everything you get to see and do and you just might find yourself feeling like a little kid again—wide eyed at the possibilities!
It can be one of the biggest choices in your life to decide you are ready to move to a retirement community. It’s right up there with other big moments like choosing a university or buying a home or choosing a school for your child. After all, when you make the decision to move into senior housing, you’re making a proactive choice to ensure your medical, financial, and emotional health will be taken care of in your golden years. All too often seniors are robbed of that proactive moment by waiting until there is an emergency for them to pick a retirement community or seek out assisted living. However, by planning ahead now, you can make the decision easier whenever you are ready to make your move.
No matter how good your health might be right now, it’s always important to plan ahead for the unexpected. Unlike in years past, when nursing homes were only for those who were very ill and frail, retirement communities are suitable for all stages of aging and provide services that you can enjoy from early retirement throughout your golden years. If you are considering a retirement community now and are still quite mobile and independent, it still doesn’t hurt to look at facilities that can age with you should you need a greater level of care in the future.
It’s also important to plan ahead wisely so that you won’t have to “downgrade” later to a less desirable community should your health or finances change. Just as you talked to an accountant or investment strategist prior to retirement to ensure you had a financial plan for after you stopped working, you might want to check in before this next big step. You may need to sell your house, rearrange some investments to suit changes in the market, and otherwise fine tune your accounts to accommodate your new lifestyle.
By educating yourself now about the options, you’ll be able to make the best possible decision for yourself when you’re ready. Whether you arrive at that moment at your own pace or after a bout of illness, you won’t have to make a rushed decision when everything feels up in the air. Going over all the factors now also gives you the opportunity to talk to friends and family about it, prepare yourself both financially and emotionally, and truly meet this new phase of your life on your own terms. Choosing a retirement community is at its best about choosing what is best for yourself. By preparing ahead of time, you can be sure that you are greeting that choice with open arms.