College Park Retirement Blog
Super User

Super User

Monday, 29 December 2014 10:55

5 Pastimes to Enjoy Indy Senior living

cxnWondering what to do with yourself now that you’ve got all the time in the world? Your golden years are a golden opportunity for new adventures and making your oldest pastimes new again. From travel to learning to letting your creative side shine, we have five recommendations that could make your days even more fun and exciting:

  1.  Many people have a bucket list of all the places they want to see, but as much fun as exploring new places can be, it can also be fun and exciting to revisit places from your past. It might be fun to retrace the steps of your honeymoon, visit your college town, or have a friend reunion at the lake house you stayed in long ago. It could be an great way to jog your memories and relive some of your happiest times.
  2. Serving as a docent at a local museum or volunteering at a library not only gives back to the community, but lets you lean something new and meet plenty of friendly faces. Start with your interests, whether its history, art, or a love for children and seek out local opportunities from there. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Eiitelijorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indiana State Museum, The Childrens Museum, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Indiana Medical History Museum, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum are all great places to start.
  3.  If you havent been in a play since middle school, now might be the time to revisit the dramatic arts. From monologues to full scale plays and musicals, youll have a lot of fun, get up and moving around, and test your memory as you learn your lines. Check out the Footlite Musicals group at the Herdback Theater, the Buck Creek Players, Theater on the Square, and Indianapolis Civic Theater for opportunities to get involved.
  4. As the old line goes, You don't stop playing when you get old, you get old when you stop playing.Get involved with a fun sport in your area, from bowling and golf to cycling, tennis, or volley boll. You can look to whats organized at your retirement community, through a local gym, or with a website like www.meetup.com that makes it easy for people with common interests to get together for an activity or event.
  5. Crossword puzzles, sudoku, solitaire, and jigsaw puzzles are all a great way to keep your mind sharp while having fun. There are more ways than ever to order new puzzles thanks to online stores like www.amazon.com or online puzzle archives at http://www.nytimes.com/crosswords/index.html?page=home&_r=0.

 

Friday, 28 November 2014 10:12

Holidays About Experiences, Not Things

cxnIndy 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. 

talking-about-an-indianapolis-in-senior-living-communityThe conversation about moving to a senior living community like Morningside of College Park should start before the onset of a health crisis. It can be a difficult talk to have, especially if started from scratch during a time of crisis.

A relatively healthy senior’s reluctance may result from fears about losing independence or having to give up their possessions if they downsize and re-locate. Grown children who want their parents to find a positive place to live and receive the care and attention they need should talk honestly but delicately about the topic, determining whether the worries are about a perceived lack of privacy, fears about the costs of care or worries about making new friends.

Preconceived notions of what to expect may be wrong as the parent learns how Morningside of College Park presents a cozy, enriching environment where residents their age can live with some level of independence, meet new friends, and lead fulfilling lives. Sometimes, just talking through these misconceptions isn't as powerful as seeing an elegant apartment with their own eyes. Safe and secure, Morningside offers the best of both worlds for independent seniors who are active but prefer to have someone cook and clean for them.

Highlight the positives and don’t tell a parent what to do. It needs to be a choice.

Talk to them about how worried you are, and how you’ll feel better knowing they’re comfortable and safe. Understand that moving to assisted living is a scary prospect for them. Grown children or other family caregivers simply can’t be at the parent’s side all the time to mitigate risks such as falls, accidents or lapses in memory.

Contact us at 317-872-4567  or schedule a free consultation on our website and join us for a free luncheon and tour. http://morningsideofcollegepark.com/index.php/indianapolis-retirement-home-amenities/indianapolis-independent-retirement-living

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 17:42

Video Chat Great for Indy Grandparents

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. 

Photo Credit: chimothy27 via Compfight cc

Friday, 29 August 2014 12:19

Regency Morningside Offering Respite Care

cxnMorningSide of College Park is proud to offer Respite care among our services. Respite refers to short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home. Respite gives family members a break and support so they can continue to take joy in providing care to their loved ones so they can remain at home.

MorningSide opened our new memory care unit, Reflections, earlier this year. “We offer respite for families who need somewhere for their loved one to be safe and cared for while they take a vacation, go to a business meeting, etc.  Our respite rooms are beautifully furnished and those who participate in our program receive the same love, care and support as our residents,” said Susan Albers, the Executive Director of MorningSide of College Park.

She said families feel comfort knowing they aren’t in their situation alone. “Many families have faced the challenge of seeing a loved one decline due to dementia.  There is a great deal of support, encouragement and care for both the person with dementia and his or her loved one(s) dealing with it,” Albers said.

The first step to providing compassionate care to those needing respite care is understanding what’s happening. It is such a challenge because often the people we love who become forgetful aren’t aware.  The greater opportunity is understanding. 

“The brain is amazing. The one thing it isn’t is a library,” Albers said. “I remember hearing a geriatrician speak one time about this. He offered the following analogy: ‘There is no Dewey Decimal System in our brain.  When our brain hears a piece of information, it stores it anywhere it can find a place.  As we age our brain becomes increasingly filled with all sorts of information, helpful or not. When we try to retrieve that information, it just isn’t there. Later — and it can be even hours or days — that word or name you were trying to remember suddenly pops into your mind. And you didn’t think you were still trying.  It just took longer to find!  All of that time your brain was searching.’

A person’s thinking process changes when they develop dementia. “The way they understand and communicate information becomes foreign to us, so it is hard for us to accept.  They find it hard to make decisions, put the correct combinations together or follow a process.”

She said some ways the staff at MorningSide can help include offering them a choice of two things (“Would you like to wear the green blouse or the yellow one?”). Or helping them make choices or cue them on a process. 

“And all through this transition, we as family members and friends are grieving the person he or she once was. The journey doesn’t have to be dismal. There are wonderful times to be had… especially if you don’t try to go it alone. A lot of stress is placed on a family that is facing a loved one diagnosed with dementia. As the disease progresses it becomes a 24/7 job. However, there are great opportunities for assistance and support.”

For a list of support groups, go to www.alz.org/indiana. For information about MorningSide’s Reflections Memory Care, please call us at (317) 872-4567 or see our website at http://www.morningsideofcollegepark.com.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 16:52

Coping with an Alzheimer's Diagnosis

cxnThey are referred to as “senior moments”, but everyone is forgetful some of the time.

In contrast, Alzheimer’s and dementia cause significant impairment of memory, ability to communicate, ability to focus and pay attention, reason and judgment, and visual perception. People suffering from dementia have problems with their short-term memory, keeping track of their wallet, remembering doctor’s appointments, or taking care of themselves.

Other symptoms include withdrawing from social activities, confusion with time or place, difficulty completing familiar tasks, and changes in mood and personality.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with the Alzheimer’s disease, two-thirds of them female. About 11% of Indiana seniors have Alzheimer’s disease.

By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's may nearly triple, from 5 million to as many as 16 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease.

The diagnosis of dementia is scary and tragic, but there is hope and you aren’t alone.

At Morningside of College Park Senior Living Community, we operate a special unit for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. We call it the Reflections Centre.

The specially trained, compassionate caregivers at Reflections listen to family members and learn as much as possible about their loved one so we can create a program of care and support for them. Research shows that people with memory impairments function better in an environment of simplicity, with less confusion and a structured routine.

The Reflections Centre offers a safe, secure environment, complete with an enclosed outdoor courtyard. Visitors may only enter through our front atrium entrance. All the side doors are locked and secure. The main entrance is open until 10 p.m. each day. Our building is staffed 24-hours a day. This is important because people with Alzheimer’s disease have been known to wander off in a confused state and end up in places they did not plan to go.

Reflections Centre helps the person with dementia keep track of things in the absence of good judgment. Residents enjoy three delicious meals and snacks daily, assistance with dressing, bathing & grooming, medication management, weekly housekeeping and laundry services, and daily activities.

Family members are invited to participate in a thorough evaluation of a resident’s physical needs when we talk with the primary care physician or specialist to learn about any recent or long-standing medical conditions. Some treatable conditions such as depression can occasionally be mistaken for dementia, so a thorough evaluation and the proper care plan are vital.

For more information about our Reflections Centre, call our director, leasing and marketing at 317-872-4567 or visit http://morningsideofcollegepark.com/index.php/indianapolis-retirement-home-amenities/memory-care-retirement-facility-indianapolis for more information.

Further reading:

Alzheimer's Association: http://www.alz.org/

The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center: http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers

Alzheimer's Reading Room: http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/

The New York Times "New Old Age" Blog: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/

Photo Credit: Kyrre Gjerstad via Compfight cc

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:

  • The Brain – Laughter dissolves distressing emotions because it is impossible to feel anxiety at the same time as joy. It restores our sense of balance, gives us perspective, keeps us grounded, increases intimacy with friends, increases creativity, and generally keeps us focused and alert. When the mood is light, we also tend to let go of disagreements and disappointments, which can manifest in physical stress on the rest of the body.
  • Hormones – Those good feelings are the result of the body releasing chemicals called endorphins that temporarily relieve pain.
  • Muscles – Laughing causes muscles to relax for up to 45 minutes after a chuckle ends. The human body normally experiences physical tension, so the release has a big impact.
  • Immune System – Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. This makes the body more resistant to disease.
  • The Heart – When we react with laughter, our blood vessels experience better functioning, which leads to increased blood flow, which can help guard us against cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks.
  • Sleep – With reduced stress, the body is better able to heal and renew while we enjoy a deeper sleep.

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. 

Photo Credit: Isengardt via Compfight cc

Friday, 30 May 2014 13:39

Making Your Next Doctor's Visit Count

Medical students learn the phrase "First, do no harm". As a patient, you can greatly help her Indianapolis physician do a better job of managing your care. 

Health care can be complex and confusing for doctors because they have so many patients with histories to keep straight in their heads and their records. It can even be confusing to the patients from across the state of Indiana to keep track of. 

Multiple prescriptions can mean a larger possibility for drug errors, for example, including drug-to-drug interactions; under- or over-utilization of a drug; duplication of therapies; and incorrect dosages.

Communicating clearly about your medical history with your doctors is essential to your wellbeing. 

Make the most of your time with your physician and leave knowing you have asked all of the right questions and are aware of next steps regarding your follow up treatment.

Keeping your health information all together, perhaps in a notebook or binder, to bring to your next doctor’s visit is critical.  All doctors’ names, phone numbers, copies of insurance cards, a list of current medications, etc. should be included in case these need to be referenced. 

Ask someone to come with you at your next appointment.  A friend or relative can ensure that you know when your appointments are and keep notes regarding doctor’s instructions.  They can also help you keep your medications in order.

Be sure to ask your doctor whether any of the medications that they have prescribed will interact in any way with medications that you’ve previously been prescribed. Failing to ask or share this information can have serious consequences. 

Lastly, don't be intimidated by your doctor. If have questions about anything you discussed during your appointment, don’t be afraid to ask if your doctor will explain it to you again.

Photo Credit: Walt Stoneburner via Compfight cc

Thursday, 01 May 2014 09:56

Fit Fitness into Daily Routines

Wanting to stay fit and healthy, but not sure how to do it?

Staying in motion brings a lot of benefits, particularly reducing the symptoms and slowing the progress of a number of chronic conditions. Fitness doesn’t require a gym membership. In fact, you can find ways to incorporate a basic workout into the things you already do every day.

For example:

Walk instead of Riding in a Car: When you are traveling a short distance, the path of least resistance is moving your car from one parking spot to another closer to your destination. Instead, if you’re physically able, trying walking.  Sure, it’s more effort, but walking helps us lose weight and build muscle, plus you won’t have to burn gas circling a parking lot in search of a vacant space.

Take the Stairs instead of an Elevator: Unless you’re needing to get from the ground to the observation deck of the Empire State Building, it’s not unreasonable to consider climbing the hard way if you don’t have mobility issues.

Turn everyday objects into Weights: As long as you are able to securely grip something you improvise for a dumbbell, you can grow stronger. Don’t overdo it because you don’t want to strain muscles or injure yourself by accidentally dropping something heavy on your feet. Think lighter, but with more repetitive movements.

Take advantage of Settings: If you are visiting family and the grandkids want to swim this summer, the pool can be a great place to do low-impact exercise. Use local walking trails for a leisurely stroll. And walk the halls of MorningSide of College Park, taking the opportunity to exercise while socializing.

Of course, you never want to start an exercise regimen without first consulting your physician to make sure you avoid injury.

 

Talk to us at Morningside of College Park Senior Living Community about ways we help keep seniors healthy and physically active. 

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.

Written by Meghan O'Dea

Page 4 of 5

Request Information