Growing our Wit


Lely Palms Retirement Community

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Posted on

Jul 21, 2023


Florida - Southwest

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My father was a stern man who worked his entire life in the family business or for himself. His soft side was not often evident while raising five children. As he grew older, and we left the nest, his disposition was more relaxed. He hugged often and grinned more. His jokes became funny with less edge and more wit. His keen observations were known to knock us off our keel and keep us laughing for hours.

Is life funnier as we age, or it is our perspective that changes, and therefore offers us the opportunity to see more of the comedic side of things?

Good Timing

If anyone’s going to tell a joke about getting older, it might as well be someone older telling it. That was the premise when comedian Jo Firestone decided to help a community of aging adults stand up and laugh out loud at their lives, their outlooks, and their journeys.

It was three weeks before the pandemic shut down life in New York City. Jo was evaluating her career. She had extra time on her hands and wondered what would come next. She offered to teach a comedy workshop at a senior center near where she lived.

Once COVID struck, Jo met every week with her group of seniors over Zoom, instructing them on the nuances of timing and storytelling. It became obvious the next step for the group was to perform in front of family and friends as soon as it was safe to practice in person. Next followed the filming of the documentary, Good Timing, about their experiences and their performance which was filled with many unexpected moments.

“I’ve always really enjoyed how a lot of senior citizens are less self-conscious than people my age or younger,” thirty-five-year-old Firestone says, in an interview with the Daily Beast, about her “free-wheeling students,” who shared many intimate details in their material.

As we get older, we let go of embarrassment over proclaiming the truth in our lives. This freedom is what builds our funny bone as we age. 

Age-Appropriate Joking

My 60-year-old husband follows a social media account called Dad Jokes. He shares them with his father-in-law and a few older uncles and aunts.  What do you call two monkeys who share an Amazon account? Prime mates.

Does age matter in determining what is funny? A study published by Psychology and Aging

consisted of fourteen video clips shown to 84 adults. Each adults ranked the level of appropriateness and humor in all the videos. Researchers found older adults do not like “aggressive humor,” anything deemed as mean. They tend to reach toward jokes which demonstrate a certain wisdom from a life long-lived. The lead scientist, Jennifer Tehan Stanley, assistant professor at the University of Akron, said, “Humor preferences may reflect coping mechanisms that older adults need to face the challenges that come with aging, such as loss.”

While age might determine various levels of appreciation for humor, what role does gender play in stereotyping who gets to be called funny?

Who is Funnier, Women or Men?

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology evaluated a myriad of studies performed on asking just this question. A group of three researchers at the University of North Carolina Greensboro systematically reviewed a collection of studies to assess the differences. Most findings were sex-blind and included 28 analyses in multiple countries. The key to inclusion was whether participants knew the origin of comedy, whether it was from a cartoon or in writing. “Such procedures raised our confidence that we were measuring true humor ability with little influence of the stereotype.”

What did they find? Overall, men’s humor was rated higher than women. The supposed whys of their findings were insightful. Women at a young age are more likely to suppress their humor, given the more pervasive view of men as funny. They also looked at how humor attracts mates. Women tend to look for humor as a sign of intelligence in their mate. And over the long history, men tend to perform in competition with other men and therefore have not only honed their comedic timing but are viewed as dominant in the field.

While the average outcomes in their study demonstrate men are funnier, we all know women who have taken the comedy world by storm: from Lucille Ball to Whoopi Goldberg to Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph. Mae West, the actress and entertainer well-known for her one-liners, once said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

The same goes for telling Dad jokes.

Annette Januzzi Wick is a writer, speaker, and author of I’ll Have Some of Yours, a journey of cookies and caregiving. (Three Arch Press) and is a recipient of a 2020 NSNC award. A frequent contributor to, her work has appeared in Cincinnati Magazine,, Still Point Arts, 3rd Act Magazine, and others. Visit to learn more.

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Winter Wellness for Seniors

Winter Wellness for SeniorsBy Patrick Troumbley, MS, CSCSBalancing the 8 Pillars of Wellness for Seniors in Winter: Evidence-Based Insights Introduction As winter descends, the well-being of seniors becomes a paramount concern. Aging individuals must navigate the unique challenges that colder temperatures and reduced daylight hours bring. This article delves into the intricacies of balancing the 8 pillars of wellness for seniors during the winter season, substantiating insights with scholarly references. Physical Wellness Physical wellness, a cornerstone of senior health, demands careful attention during winter. Maintaining physical activity is essential for avoiding the adverse effects of inactivity and cold weather. A study by de Rezende et al. (2014) emphasizes the importance of regular physical activity for seniors, citing its role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Indoor exercises like yoga and chair exercises, as recommended by the American Heart Association (2021), offer viable options to stay active during winter. Mental Wellness The winter months often usher in feelings of isolation and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A study by Melrose (2015) underscores the prevalence of SAD among older adults. Engaging in cognitive stimulation activities can alleviate symptoms. Seniors can find solace in local clubs, virtual classes, and community events, as advocated by Forrester (2017), who highlights the significance of social engagement in mitigating SAD symptoms. Emotional WellnessEmotional wellness hinges on effective emotional regulation. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques are integral components of emotional wellness. A systematic review by Rusch et al. (2019) supports the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing stress and anxiety. Seniors can access mindfulness resources and guidance on emotional wellness through organizations such as Seniors Blue Book Utah. Social WellnessMaintaining an active social life is pivotal for seniors. The adverse effects of social isolation on senior well-being have been extensively documented (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2015). Seniors are encouraged to participate in local clubs and community events, as promoted by Senior Expos, to foster social connections. Intellectual Wellness Intellectual wellness necessitates ongoing learning and mental stimulation. Seniors can embrace hobbies like reading and learning new languages to foster intellectual growth. A study by Verghese et al. (2003) associates intellectual engagement with a reduced risk of cognitive decline in aging individuals. Occupational Wellness Occupational wellness transcends traditional work and relates to engaging in purposeful activities. Volunteering, as explored in a study by Okun et al. (2016), offers seniors a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Seniors can explore volunteer opportunities through organizations like Seniors Blue Book Utah. Environmental Wellness Winter introduces environmental challenges, such as slippery sidewalks and heating concerns. Seniors must ensure their living environments are safe and comfortable. The National Institute on Aging (2021) provides valuable tips for creating senior-friendly environments. Spiritual Wellness Spiritual wellness revolves around finding meaning and purpose in life. Engaging in spiritual practices, such as meditation and prayer, can provide solace and inner peace. A study by Carlson et al. (2016) explores the positive effects of mindfulness-based spiritual practices on well-being. Conclusion Balancing the 8 pillars of wellness is paramount for senior well-being, especially during the winter months. Evidence-based insights emphasize the need for regular physical activity, cognitive stimulation, social engagement, and emotional regulation. Seniors can access resources and information from reputable organizations like Seniors Blue Book Utah and Senior Expos to aid in their pursuit of wellness. By integrating these scholarly insights into their winter routines, seniors can not only survive but thrive during this season, enjoying a life marked by health, happiness, and purpose. References: American Heart Association. (2021). Recommendations for Physical Activity in Older Adults. Carlson, L. E., et al. (2016). Mindfulness-based interventions for coping with cancer. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1373(1), Rezende, L. F. M., et al. (2014). Physical activity and preventable premature deaths from non-communicable diseases in Brazil. Journal of Public Health, 36(3), 514-522. Forrester, A. (2017). Seasonal affective disorder in older adults: improving mood and well-being through leisure interventions. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 41(1), 39-53. Holt-Lunstad, J., et al. (2015). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: A meta-analytic review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(2), 227-237.Melrose, S. (2015). Seasonal affective disorder: An overview of assessment and treatment approaches. Depression Research and Treatment, 2015, 1-6.National Institute on Aging. (2021). Winter Safety Tips for Older Adults. Okun, M. A., et al. (2016). Volunteering by older adults and risk of mortality: A meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 31(6), 634-645. Rusch, H. L., et al. (2019). A randomized controlled trial of the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on posttraumatic growth among survivors of interpersonal violence. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 32(6), 936-946. Verghese, J., et al. (2003). Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly. New England Journal of Medicine, 348(25), 2508-2516.Patrick Troumbley, MS, CSCS

What is Adult Day Care and Is It Right for Me?

Adult day care is a wonderful opportunity for seniors to get the care and socialization they need without making a full move to a senior living community. Its also a great option for caregivers to have a well-deserved break from their caregiving duties during the day.There are over 7,500 adult day care centers in the U.S., 430 of which are in Florida. Over half of these centers are nonprofit, being operated by local governments, hospitals, universities, national groups, religious organizations, and more. Some are affiliated with or located within senior living communities or senior centers.A 2017 study published in the journal The Gerontologist showed that adult day care centers had health-related, social, behavioral, and psychological benefits for seniors, especially those with dementia or other cognitive impairments. Lets explore all the benefits of adult day care further and see if it could be a good option for you or a loved one! What is Adult Day Care?Adult day care is a professional, non-residential care setting for seniors in need of supervised care and companionship during the day. Most adult day care centers operate on weekdays during regular business hours, though some offer extended hours on weekdays or evenings. At adult day care centers, seniors can participate in various activities and social opportunities while receiving assistance with activities of daily living. Adult day care centers can also provide respite care so caregivers can have relief from their caregiving duties during the work week. This break can be instrumental in preventing caregiver burnout. In fact, a 2021 study published in the journal Aging & Mental Health showed that both seniors with dementia and their caregivers got a better sleep with fewer disturbances on nights before the senior attended adult day care. What are the 3 types of Adult Day Care Centers?There are 3 main types of adult day care centers: 1.  Social Adult Day Care: Based around socialization, companionship and recreation2. Adult Day Health Care: Focused on health and various therapeutic services; often has trained nurses on staff3. Specialized Adult Day Care: Intended specifically for seniors with conditions such as dementia, Alzheimers or certain disabilitiesWhat services are offered at Adult Day Care Centers?Adult day care services can vary based on the specific center. However, they are all focused on improving seniors quality of life and offering many social opportunities and engaging activities.  Most even provide coffee, snacks, and a healthy lunch for attendees.Some frequent activities and services offered at adult day care centers include:Social and recreational activities such as music, art, bingo, cards, holiday celebrations, discussion groups, book clubs, and moreCounselingFitness classesPersonal care, or help with activities of daily living such as grooming, dressing, eating, and toiletingEducational opportunities and workshopsHealth screeningsPhysical and occupational therapy Medication managementTransportationRespite careHealth servicesNutritionPet, art, and music therapyCommunity service opportunitiesAnd more!What are the benefits of adult day care?There are many benefits of seniors attending adult day care. Some of the major benefits for seniors are as follows:They can spend time in a safe, secure environment, giving peace of mind to families and caregivers.They can have meaningful social interactions to prevent isolation and cognitive decline. They can participate in enjoyable activities that reduce stress and improve their mood and sense of purpose.They can engage in brain-boosting activities like lectures, classes, card games, book groups, and more.They can improve their physical health through fitness classes and other activities.They can receive needed senior care without making a full move to an assisted living community.Caregivers can have a much-needed break from caregiving duties, helping to prevent caregiver burnout. When should seniors consider adult day care?Seniors may want to consider adult day care when they:Do not need full-time supervision or assisted living care, but could use some help with activities of daily livingNeed assistance structuring their day-to-day routineCould benefit from supervision in a safe environment during the dayAre beginning to feel isolated or lonely and could use regular social interaction and emotional supportNeed more stimulation and engagementHave a caregiver who works outside of the home, is away from home frequently, or needs a break from caregiving duties during the daytimeHow much does adult day care cost?The prices of adult day care can vary based on the location, services offered, and duration of stay. Most centers are billed on a daily or hourly basis.Generally, adult day care can range from $25 to over $100 per day, or about $500 to $2,000 per month. According to Genworth, the 2023 median cost of adult day care in Florida is $1,609 per month, or about $80 per day. Medicare does not usually cover adult day care attendance. However, some financial assistance may be available through federal or state programs including Medicaid, Older Americans Act, and Veterans Health Administration (read more about using Florida Veterans Benefits here).Other ways to pay for adult day care include long-term care insurance, private pay insurance, and out of pocket.How do I find adult day care?One great resource for finding adult day care centers in your area is through the National Adult Day Services Association (NASDA). Click here to find a center from their website.Another excellent resource is the Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging. Click here to access the locator tool, or call 1-800-677-1116 for assistance.Next stepsAdult day care is a wonderful option for seniors who need more engagement, interaction, supervision, or assistance. It is also a great solution for caregivers to have a break from their duties during the day. Not only that, but adult day care is also a great first step to transitioning to assisted living. Going from living at home directly to a senior living community full time can be a big and often difficult transition for older adults. Adult day care is a great middle ground option that can help seniors transition more smoothly to assisted living if it becomes necessary.Florida Senior Consulting is another great resource for ensuring a smooth transition to assisted living. We guide you every step of the way and help find your dream community, all at no cost to you!Enjoy a maintenance-free, resort lifestyle with peace of mind, safety, and well-being.When youre ready to take the next step to live your best life in your golden years, give us a call at (800) 969-7176, or visit! Senior Living on Your Terms. The Choice Should Be Yours.

Are There Herbs That Help with Memory?

re you worried about memory loss or forgetfulness? Youre not alone. Memory problems are common, especially as we age. While mild forgetfulness is a normal part of aging, memory problems that affect daily life can be more serious. Memory care in senior living communities can help loved ones with memory or cognitive impairment by providing the personalized support and care they need. Apart from a pharmaceutical approach to memory care, there are alternatives, such as medicinal plants or herbs that can help support memory. Ginseng, peppermint, and gotu kola are some herbs that can help boost or improve memory. SIGNS OF MEMORY LOSS & COGNITIVE PROBLEMSMemory loss and cognitive decline can indicate Alzheimers or other forms of dementia. When a loved one starts showing the following signs or symptoms, speak to their doctor about what you can do to safeguard their memory:Memory loss for recently learned informationForgetting important dates or eventsAsking the same questions over and overRelying more on memory aids or family members to remember thingsHERBS THAT HELP WITH MEMORYWhile some techniques help with memory, such as learning a new skill, following a routine, eating healthy, exercising, and volunteering, some herbs can boost cognitive health and enhance memory. Its important to note that some herbs can interact with medications, so speak to your doctor before taking any herbs. ASHWAGANDHA (WITHANIA SOMNIFERA)Also called Indian ginseng or winter cherry, ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic remedy used as a brain rejuvenator. One study showed enhanced memory and improved executive function. Some benefits of ashwagandha include:AntioxidantAnti-inflammatoryInhibits neural cell deathRestores synaptic functionNeural regenerationImproves auditoryverbal working memory, processing speed, and social cognitionGOTU KOLA Gotu kola is a familiar herb used in Chinese, Indonesian, and Ayurvedic medicine. It is believed to promote intelligence and improve memory. In one study, taking a daily higher dose of the extract improved working memory. Gotu kola contains compounds that can improve blood flow to the brain, protect brain cells from damage, and reduce inflammation.Properties of gotu kola include:Inhibiting cell deathReduces oxidative stressPromotes dendritic growth and mitochondrial healthImproves mood and memoryBRAHMIBrahmi, or Bacopa monnieri, is an Ayurvedic herb that grows in South Asia and helps with mental stress, memory loss, epilepsy, and insomnia. Studies showed brain function improvement, including the speed of information processing and reaction time.Its properties include:AntioxidantAnti-inflammatoryImproves memory, attention, and executive functionInhibits neural cell deathDelays brain agingROSEMARYRosemary essential oil has compounds called terpenes that enter your bloodstream and can directly affect your brain. It may help improve cognitive performance, including speed and accuracy. SAGE (SALVIA)Sage contains compounds that improve mood, alertness, attention, and memory. Medicinal properties include luteolin, rosmarinic acid, camphor, quercetin, and apigenin. Sage helps inhibit the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays an integral role in brain function. PEPPERMINTStudies show that inhaling peppermint essential oil, a mixture of spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica), can boost alertness, memory, mood, athletic performance, and energy. RHODIOLA ROSEA Rhodiola rosea is a herb used for centuries in traditional medicine to improve memory, alertness, and endurance. It can also reduce mental fatigue, boost brain function and mood. One study shows supplementing with Rhodiola rosea improves feelings of exhaustion, impaired concentration, and lack of joy. GUARANA  Guarana contains caffeine, saponins, and tannins. It is believed to be beneficial for energy and brain function. Because of its stimulating effects, you can find it in energy drinks and supplements.Some studies show that supplementing with guarana alone or combined with other nutrients may help boost attention, alertness, and memory performance. CATS CLAW (UNCARIA TOMENTOSA)Cats claw is a tropical vine in the Amazon rainforest and other parts of South and Central America. It contains oxindole alkaloids, polyphenols, glycosides, pentacyclic alkaloids, and sterols. Pre-clinical studies suggest cats claw may be effective for memory loss and cognitive decline in Alzheimers disease. However, there is a need for human studies to confirm findings. BENEFITS OF MEMORY CARE AT THE FAIRWAYS AT NAPLESWhile there is no cure or specific medication to prevent Alzheimers disease and memory loss, there are things you can do to help protect your memory as you age. To see what The Fairways at Naples offers a loved one with Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, and dementia, schedule a tour or call to speak to one of our specially-trained memory care advisors. 

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