Five Fun Out-of-the-Box Experiences to Enjoy with Your Older Parents

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Naborforce - DFW

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Naborforce

Posted on

Jun 24, 2024

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Texas - Dallas, Collin, SE Denton & Rockwall Counties

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Tired of the same familiar activities with your parents? It might be time to try something different. The experts at Naborforce, an on-demand service for seniors, have come up with a list of exciting activities to spend time with older parents:


  1. Glass-Blowing Session 

A glass-blowing session might be the last thing you would expect from a senior outing, but here at Naborforce, we’ve seen this as one of the most exciting experiences we’ve had on our platform! Make sure you research your host, as glass blowing instructions can vary. We partnered with The Glass Spot RVA, which had step-by-step guidance that resulted in a beautiful finished product, prompting our client to call it “A Million Dollar Day”.



  1. Dance Class for Seniors

What can be more fun than dancing in the middle of the day? This could be a great activity to do with Mom- whether it’s salsa or tap, she will have something to talk about for days. Plus, dance classes are a great way to encourage fun and active aging. Research by the National Institute on Aging shows that movement in older age strengthens the mind, which potentially delays the onset of certain debilitating diseases. Here at Naborforce, we’ve had our fair share of dance classes. Just the other day, one of our community members took our client to a line dancing class at Pine Camp Community Center in Richmond, VA. 


  1. An Art Class Outing or At-Home Project 

Art expression is such a great way to calm the mind, hone in on creative skills and create new memories, essential components for independent aging. You might already know of an art class in your area or senior living community, but have you ever tried setting up something at home? Kits sold by Artful Aging are in-home watercolor packages that also come with instructional videos, perfect for senior DIY-ers!


  1. Build-A-Bear Workshop Outing

It might be a while since you’ve stepped foot inside a Build-A-Bear Workshop, where you can customize a stuffed animal with your personal preferences, down to including a note embedded in the toy! We love Build-A-Bear as an activity for older parents, mainly because we saw the impact during one of our Naborforce visits. Our client wanted to customize a teddy bear for his wife. He booked a Naborforce visit to accompany him to Build-A-Bear, where he recorded a heartwarming note in a voice box inside the bear. To this day, our client’s wife cherishes this gift as a reminder of their love and connection.



  1. An Evening at the Museum

After you’ve tried an art class at home (see out-of-the-box idea #2), maybe it’s time to hone your art skills by going to a museum. Check out the events calendar at your local art museum to see if there are any special offerings or exhibitions.  As an example, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts offers many adult classes. If walking too much is a concern for your loved one, know that many places might offer wheelchair assistance. Plus, in the summer the local museum is a great way to cool down!


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Having the Tough Conversation with Your Parents about Senior Living

The relationships you develop with your parents are often some of the deepest and most meaningful in your life. Which makes having a conversation about moving into senior living residences tough for all involved. It might be difficult for you to broach the subject with your parents, but keep in mind that its just as hard for them to hear it.No matter how prepared you or they might be, this is never an easy conversation to have. From your parents perspective, moving into a senior living residence might seem like a significant reduction in independence and freedom. After all, having lived alone for forty or fifty years gets a person used to a certain type of lifestyle. Its for that reason that you have to give them the best advice possible. Dont simply make the decision for them, bring them into the discussion and talk frankly about the situation and the options available. Weve learned a thing or two during our time at Legend Senior Living, and know a few tips for making this conversation a bit easier:Speak honestly and compassionatelyHelp your parents by being sensitive to their needs, wants, and fears, and include them in the conversation about their lives. Give your honest assessment, even if you know it may be difficult for them to hear.Make collaborative choicesPeople are more willing to make choices when they take part in the decision. Structure your conversation in a way that shows you arent trying to run their lives; rather that youre focused on their health, safety, and happiness, and welcome and respect their input in this decision.Set up senior living residence toursEncourage them to schedule tours of residences so they can meet people and see the environments firsthand. As they talk to residents, they can weigh their decisions based on whats important to them. Know the signs to help assess the situationIt can be hard to admit when your parents cant handle living on their own. Its important that you know the signs that determine its time to consider senior living. Here is a list of what to look for:Weight loss due to malnutrition or inability to feed oneselfFrailty of strength or statureWeight gain, potentially due to illness or inactivityChanges in behavior, appearance, or bathing habitsLoss of friendships, activities, or interestsUnopened bills, personal mail, or past-due noticesWhen daily living activities and independent living activities waneChronic, persistent health conditions or conditions that require daily monitoringSlower recovery for minor injuries or illnessesRecent accidents or incidentsSenior living means not worrying about when theyll get a nutritious meal, not having to worry about them forgetting to turn off the stove, a slip or a fall, or forgetting to take their medications. Be open and honest regarding your concerns about them living on their own. Theyll appreciate how much you value their safety, happiness, health, and independence. Senior living also ensures that your parents will have the assistance in the case of an emergency or accident. Its not only a residential situation, its peace of mind for both you and your parents that they will always be looked after.Even though the conversation might be difficult to have, its important that you have it. But make sure you approach it with kindness, compassion and understanding.

How to Reduce Caregiver Stress

As our population ages, providing care for aging parents is becoming more common by the day.Over the past several years, we have seen a dramatic increase in adults providing care for their spouses or aging parents. While providing this service to your family can be rewarding, it can also take a toll on your personal life in the form of financial stress, having drastically less personal time, feeling drained and generally overwhelmed.The holiday season is a particularly stressful time for caregivers. Providing care to your loved one, taking care of your own family and making time for yourself is a delicate balancing act that can all too quickly fall apart. Its easy to dedicate too much time to the others while not enough for yourself, increasing the risk of burnout and fatigue. This type of caregiver stress can lead to a variety of personal complications such as:DepressionSocial isolationFinancial difficultiesStruggling to copeDifficulty providing care due to advancing Alzheimers, reduced physical abilities and other senior related health issues.When Caregiver Stress Becomes an IssueCaregivers are often so focused on their loved ones that they forget to think about themselves and their own lives. This is detrimental in many ways, and can lead to declining health, anger or frustration, fatigue and even drug and alcohol abuse.Over time, the effects of stress or caregiver fatigue have a huge effect on your overall wellbeing and health. On top of stress, fatigue, depression, or exhaustion, many caregivers do not get enough sleep, physical activity or proper nutrition because they are so busy dedicating their time to the care of someone else. This can even lead to a variety of future health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.8 Strategies to Reduce Caregiver StressWhile the emotional strain and physical stress associated with caregiving can be very taxing, simply taking advantage of the resources and tools available to you can help you provide better care for both your loved ones and yourself. Its important to remember that if you arent taking care of yourself, your ability to take care of others suffers too.Stay Connected with OthersSharing and vocalizing experiences can help caregivers manage fatigue and stress. Its important to realize that you can talk about your stressors with fellow caregivers, clergy, friends, and family.Seek and Accept Help from OthersOften, when individuals truly need support or assistance in tough situations they withdraw rather than joining support networks to get the help they need. Dont be afraid to reach out to these groups - they exist for a reason. Support networks come from the community, online support, local groups and other professionals.Understand What the Future Looks Like for You and Your Loved OneTalking to medical staff about the available options during aging, declining health, and disease can make a lot of difference. You can also obtain support from Aging and Disability Resources Centers. Additionally, there are other programs in the residence to talk to about aging adults and their caregivers. This will equip you with the information you need in order to fully understand your situation and caring requirements, and ultimately to provide more effective care.Find Respite and RelaxationGetting a break for a few hours or days is always beneficial - whether it be in a faith-based organization, a social group or health club. Dont feel guilty about spending this time on yourself either. While it might seem that you need to spend all of your time with your loved one, taking time for yourself is absolutely crucial in order to rest and recover. The more time you spend on yourself, the better shape you will be in to care for others.Practice Self-Care RegularlyParticipate in enjoyable and relaxing activities. This could include social outings, hobbies, art or other creative endeavors. Sometimes reading, listening to music, watching a movie, or simply relaxing can drastically improve your state of mind. The activity itself doesnt matter so much as the act of practicing self-care. Make it a habit; even 15 minutes per day will make a huge difference.ExerciseExercise is a miracle drug that can improve your mental and physical health in a big way. Being active improves your mood, reduces stress and minimizes your risk of contracting debilitating diseases. Its a crucial tool for staying in shape and remaining level-headed. Exercise everyday if you can. And remember that anything is better than nothing - even a long walk once a day will do wonders for both your body and your mind.Stay Healthy with a Regular ScheduleStress is the mind-killer. It can cause people to lose sleep, overeat or under eat, drink excessively, smoke and consume drugs. Maintaining a regular schedule is one way to combat this. Ensure that you get enough sleep, get to bed around the same time every night, and eat healthily. Maintaining a regular schedule will give your days a sense of structure and help you to remain grounded and healthy.Keep a Positive Perspective with Meditation and Other TacticsSometimes it can be tough to keep a positive outlook. That being said, there are tools such as meditation, conscious breathing and journaling that can be used to help reduce stress and encourage positivity. These techniques also help to reduce negative and fatalistic thoughts while also fostering feelings of gratefulness.

Types of Alzheimer's Disease

Types of Alzheimer's Disease Different researchers classify Alzheimer's Disease using vastly different stages.  Alzheimer's Disease has a genetic component that becomes active in some people and dormant in others. Alzheimers creates an environment that promotes brain changes in those affected.  Lastly, amyloid plaque is the brains protective response to vastly different lifestyle insults.Alzheimers Disease is an imbalance of multiple systems within the body. People with Alzheimers disease usually have more than one type and present multiple risk factors.One of the things I like most about breaking Alzheimers into types is once you know where you stand, it is easy to begin to resolve. Dr. Bredesens books provide many examples from his patients.   Also, please keep in mind that in the descriptions below, I am cutting and pasting most of the information.  I do not want to risk misinterpreting any of Dr. Bredesens research and misinforming you. Type 1Type 1s primary characteristic is inflammation.  It tends to run in families as it is common in people who carry one or two ApoE4 alleles (ApoE in itself is considered an inflammatory gene). Individuals begin to lose the ability to store new information in the hippocampus for individuals who carry two copies of ApoE4 this tends to start in the late fifties or early sixties. For those with no copies of ApoE4, symptoms present typically in the sixties or seventies. A reduced hippocampal volume chronic inflammation encourages the brain to destroy synapses faster than it creates them.Biochemical Markers of Type 1 An increase in C-reactive protein (CRP), which is made by the liver in response to inflammation. A decrease in the ratio of albumin to globulin. An increase in interleukin-6. An increase in tumor necrosis factor. Additional metabolic and hormonal abnormalities such as insulin resistance  Type 2Type 2s primary characteristic is low levels of nutrients, hormone factors, and/or trophic factors.  Type 2 also occurs more frequently in those who carry one or two copies of the ApoE4 allele, but the symptoms tend to initiate about a decade later than the inflammatory Type 1. Individuals begin to lose the ability to form new memories in the hippocampus. However, there is little to no evidence of inflammation sometimes inflammatory markers may be lower than normal.Biochemical Markers of Type 2Levels of hormones such as thyroid, adrenal, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and pregnenolone tend to be suboptimal. The optimal hormone ranges are: TSH: less than 2.0 mIU/L Free T3: 3.2-4.2 pg/mL Free T4: 1.3-1.8 ng/dL Reverse T3: less than 20 ng/dL AM Cortisol: 10-18 mcg/dL Pregnenolone: 100-250 ng/dL Estradiol: 50 250 pg/ mL (women, age-dependent) Progesterone: 1-20 ng/mL (women, age-dependent) Testosterone: 500-1,000 ng/dL (men) 25-70 ng/dL (women) A decrease in serum Vitamin D levels. Normal Vitamin D levels should be 50-80 ng/mL.An increase in homocysteine levels can occur. Normal homocysteine levels should be less than or equal to 7 mol/ L (homocysteine is also seen to increase in Type 1)Insulin resistance can occur OR insulin levels may be too low.Type 1.5Type 1.5s primary characteristic is insulin resistance (diabetes). Type 1 and Type 2 Alzheimers Disease can occur together often seen with neural inflammation in addition to the reduced support for brain synapses. A commonly seen combination of type 1 and type 2 AD is known as Type 1.5 or glycotoxic Alzheimers Disease.Biochemical Markers of Type 1.5Although characteristics are similar to those found in Type 1 and Type 2 AD, blood glucose levels and hemoglobin A1c are chronically high in Type 1.5 which results in inflammation. Normal fasting blood glucose levels should be between 70-90 mg/dL Normal hemoglobin A1c levels should be 4.0-5.3% High levels of insulin that are secreted in response to this high blood glucose level lead to insulin resistance. This results in a loss of trophic support. Trophic support refers to a variety of chemical signals that neurons need to continue living. Brain cells die and the brain shrinks when you experience a loss of trophic support.Neurons are energetically expensive cells. They use a lot of oxygen and require a large expenditure of energy in the form of ATP to do their normal functions. As part of homeostatic adjustment, the body prefers to minimize extra energy usage. However, since neurons are critically important for healthy functioning, they receive signals in the form of chemicals that tell them to continue working. These chemicals are called trophic factors.Many of these trophic factors are synthesized and released by glial cells of the nervous system, the non-neuronal cells that interact closely with the neurons. Glial cells, particularly the astrocytes and Schwann cells, are well-known producers of trophic support molecules.One of the best-characterized trophic support molecules is called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. BDNF is a large protein. BDNF is normally synthesized and produced by cells of the nervous system and is important for making changes in neurons or for the growth of nerve cells. BDNF signals through the activity of several different receptors, the most well-known being the TrkB receptor. Other neurotrophic factors used by the nervous system that are important as trophic support molecules include nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin-3, glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), and ephrins. Trophic factors, such as NGF and BDNF, control the development and survival of specific groups of neurons. Type 1, Type 1.5 & Type 2 Alzheimers Disease lead to the imbalance between the production and destruction of neural synapses. Type 3Type 3s primary characteristic is exposure to toxins such as mercury, toluene, benzene (candles), or mycotoxins (mold). Type 3 tends to occur in those who have the ApoE3 allele rather than ApoE4 and does not typically run in families.Type 3 hits individuals at younger ages, typically late forties to early sixties. Symptoms do not begin with memory loss but rather with cognitive difficulties involving numbers, speech, or organization. Individuals will start seeing difficulties with: Math, such as calculating tips or bills. Speech, such as finding the right words, or spelling or reading correctly. Rules of games, such as poker or bridge. Depression and attention deficits are common. The brain ultimately loses recent and old memories.Patients with Type 3 are often diagnosed initially with something other than Alzheimers Disease such as depression or frontotemporal dementia. Biochemical Markers of Type 3 Low triglyceride levels as compared to cholesterol levels. MRI scans show shrinkage of the hippocampus. Neuroinflammation and vascular leaks are presented on a specific MRI called FLAIR (Fluid-attenuated inversion recovery) as white spots. Decreased zinc levels. Normal levels are between 90-110 mcg/dL. Elevated copper levels. Normal copper levels are between 90-110 mcg/dL. High blood levels of toxic chemicals such as mercury or mycotoxins (caused by molds). The pituitary gland and adrenal glands become dysfunctional, which can show up in lab tests as hormonal abnormalities. Type 4Type 4s primary characteristic is low blood flow to the brain. Type 4 or Vascular Alzheimers Disease, is caused by a reduction of blood flow to the brain, which ultimately deprives the brain of essential oxygen and nutrients. The brain is an extremely vascularized tissue, meaning it requires large amounts of oxygen. A lack of oxygen to the brain leads to hypoperfusion (low blood flow) and compromises the blood-brain barrier which allows for harmful substances to leak in and damage neurons. Cerebral vasculature is extremely important as it is one way the body clears the accumulation of amyloid-beta.Biochemical Markers of Type 4Leakiness present in vascular tissues.Individuals with cardiovascular disease have a high risk for Type 4 Alzheimers.These individuals do best when they prioritize healing underlying insulin resistance. Type 5Type 5s primary characteristic is brain damage. Type 5 or trauma-induced Alzheimers, results from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) which disrupt normal brain function, including learning and thinking skills. Certain types of TBIs may increase the risk of developing Alzheimers disease years after the injury takes place.One of the most impactful studies showed that those with a history of moderate TBI had a 2.3 times greater risk of developing Alzheimers than older adults with no history of a head injury and those with a history of severe TBI had a 4.5 times greater risk.Biochemical Markers of Type 5There are no biochemical markers for Type 5 as it is triggered by injuries to the brain such as: Blunt force trauma Concussions Physical Abuse Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) Now that we have broken down Alzheimers Disease into 6 different types and identified their characteristics and potential causes we can begin to address what you need to do to prevent and begin to heal the damaging insults to the brain.  We will begin to work on that next week. OR if you want to jump ahead, purchase Dr. Dale Bredesens books.  Here are the links to purchase them on Amazon.The End of Alzheimers 2 Books Collection Set By Dale Bredesen Paperback October 26, 2023LINK: https://amzn.to/462LcY3 The End of Alzheimer's Program: The First Protocol to Enhance Cognition and Reverse Decline at Any Age Paperback September 6, 2022LINK: https://amzn.to/3xNcrct

Local Services By This Author

Naborforce

Aging in Place 3015 West Moore Street, Richmond, Virginia, 23230

Nabors Helping Older Neighbors Naborforce is a new service that is bridging the gap between full independence and home/companion care by providing light support for older adults who just need a friendly hand from time to time. We connect our clients to a network of Nabors for social engagement and on-demand support for errands, transportation and help around the home. Its who to call for help with all those little things that keep your parents or you independent and happy. Whether youre busy balancing your career, raising kids, live out of town or just need a little support, let Naborforce provide a backup son or daughter on-demand. Our goal is to promote productive, connected, and joyous aging and living. We are the perfect solution for active, independent older adults who dont need a caregiver yet. For older adults or families seeking licensed care, companion or home care is the right alternative.A Little Help Can Make a Big Difference Naborforce is on-call for the things that family or neighbors might help with if they were available. We all know that in this frantic, modern world, communities and neighborhoods have become more decentralized. Through our platform, Naborforce makes it simple to connect you or our loved ones to vetted folks right in your community. A short visit from a Nabor can make a world of difference. Our technology platform gives you quick and simple access to our corp of Nabors who are vetted and ready.  Sign up and schedule visits online, or just give us a call. No cumbersome paperwork, no extensive consultations.  And, if one hour is all you need, thats ok with us. Add family members to your profile and we will send them an update or photo from our visit.  It could be sharing notes after a visit or maybe its a photo after a visit to the hair salon!Your Dallas - Fort Worth Naborforce team is ready to assist with of your help at home needs!PLEASE NOTE: Naborforce DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY PERSONAL CARE. We do not assist with bathing, feeding, dressing or toileting. Additionally, we do not provide medication management, wound care, safe transfers, or any other regulated activities. Should you need that level of care, please contact a home care agency.