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Some things never change as we get older. Take dating, for instance. Whether it was asking your crush to the homecoming dance in high school or inviting a new neighbor to dinner as an older adult, igniting that romantic spark is intimidating, no matter your age. It can also feel later in life like dating is a young person’s game and you’re past the point of starting a new relationship.
The truth is romance doesn’t have an age limit. Just ask these four couples who met as seniors—Henry and Joyce, Mary and Dick, Mary and Tom, and Jodi and Myrna—who found joy, love and a new beginning with their partners. There’s no better time than the present to tell that special someone in your life how much they mean to you, and maybe start a new romantic adventure of your own. That’s why we asked our featured senior couples for their best senior dating advice. Here you’ll find their four top senior dating tips to remember that can help you take that first step and build a loving bond that endures.
Few things are as key to forming a romantic connection as being in the right place, at the right time. Take it from Henry, 86, and Joyce, 85, residents of The Forum at the Woodlands, who met on the bus on the way to go walking at the mall. The pair struck up a conversation that quickly evolved into sitting together at Woodlands concerts, dancing together every Friday and eventually moving in together. The most important thing, they said, was putting themselves out there and participating in the many activities available to them.
“It’s much easier than dating as a young person because we had activities that brought us together; we didn’t have to create something,” says Joyce. “The best thing to do is to get involved, go to the socials and be open to meeting other people.”
A sad truth of dating as an older adult is that many single seniors may be widows who have lost a wife/husband dear to them. When Mary Lee, 90, met Tom, 90, after he moved into Calusa Harbour, she was interested in him romantically but could see that he was still mourning his wife whom he’d recently lost. She knew the feeling all too well after losing three husbands of her own. Yet, once the two shared a hamburger, started attending church together and shared a first kiss—“I was walking on clouds and bumping into everything after,” says Tom—they realized that they could care for each other in their grief while also starting a beautiful new life together.
“Most everyone has lost someone,” says Mary Lee. “You can’t try to replace somebody; you just look for someone you fall in love with. You’ll find somebody but not necessarily like someone you had.”
Both Mary, 85, and Dick, 80, weren’t exactly looking for a mate when they moved into The Forum at Brookside. Mary just wanted a companion to join her on morning walks. Their first walk together was on Dick’s birthday after he became a Brookside resident, and “we’ve been together ever since,” says Mary. Now, the pair are practically inseparable and when not together people often ask where the other is. Yet there’s one thing they don’t budge on: separate apartments. That’s because, both agree, one of the secrets to healthy senior relationship is letting the other have their own space and independence.
“It’s nice that we have our own villa so we can spend some time away to take care of personal tasks,” says Dick. “I’m the king of my castle and she’s the queen of her castle!”
Jodi and Myrna, both 77-year-old residents of The Forum at Town Center, have shared experiences in their 25 years together many of us simply dream of. They’ve been hiking in New Zealand, taken a Niagara Falls boat tour and even lived in an RV traveling across the U.S. for 14 years. That’s because ever since Jodi, a former minister, took a chance to ask Myrna, a new congregant at her church, out to dinner, the pair have shared the same philosophy of making every moment together an adventure. Both also have an understanding that at their age, you don’t grow together to start a family, leaving more time to concentrate on each other. The first step into the unknown of senior dating is the hardest part, they say, but the “wonderful road ahead” awaits for those who take the risk.
“As seniors, we don’t know how much time we have left,” says Jodi. “Don’t waste it being unhappy not having someone in your life. We all need human companionship. If there is someone in your life you think would make a great companion, go for it!”
There’s certainly no shortage of stories of new couples and friends that met in a Five Star Senior Living community. Every day at one of our communities across the U.S. brings more opportunities for connection from fun and diverse activities to a stress-free, independent lifestyle that allows more time for the things—and people—that matter most. Take it from Henry and Joyce: “Life isn’t over after 90, you can live and love.” Contact one of our senior living experts or find a Five Star community near you to learn more and start your next chapter of life—and possibly love—with us.
GOOD NUTRITION IS THE FOUNDATION FOR GOOD HEALTH.A combination of proper nutrients and exercise can help prevent a variety of chronic diseases. Throughout the aging process, bone and muscle mass is lost as metabolisms change. Due to the unique nutritional needs of seniors, taking the proper measures to provide wholesome, healthy foods is key to avoiding malnutrition and disease.NUTRITION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SENIORS Though seniors often have lower calorie requirements, they may need more nutrients than younger people. As we age, our ability to absorb nutrients from our food becomes less efficient. Creating a plan with a health professional, such as a dietician, can help seniors age with optimal nourishment.Nutrient-Dense Meals and SnacksUnderstanding the key nutrients for seniors, such as lean protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D can result in healthier plates. Whole grains and dairy products both provide a boost to a seniors daily nutrition goal. Hearty soups are popular, as they are easily chewed and can provide vegetables, protein, and grains in a single bowl.Hydration, Hydration, HydrationSome seniors begin to lose the sensation of thirst, which may lead to dehydration and difficulty digesting meals. Sugary drinks, such as soda and fruit juice with added sweeteners should be enjoyed in moderation. Low-fat milk helps to hydrate and also provides key nutrients, such as protein, potassium, and calcium. Calorie Intake Seniors who find themselves struggling to consume enough calories each day should consider switching to full-fat milk and adding healthy fats and oils to boost calories. Nut butter and avocados are ideal and spread easily on toast or as a standalone snack. Dietary Supplements When NeededDepending on the seniors health, supplements may be recommended. One example is many seniors are prone to calcium and Vitamin D deficiency, which affects bone health. Supplements may help with deficiencies and can in the form of a daily meal-replacement shake or chewable vitamins and minerals. Focus On VarietyHealth experts encourage people of all ages to eat the rainbow. By filling a plate with diverse, colorful options, appetites increase and mealtime becomes more stimulating. Encourage variety to avoid the boredom associated with repetition.WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELPAt Celebration Villa of South Hills, we believe in providing practical tips to help ensure that our senior residents obtain proper nutrition. If unintentional weight loss has occurred, its important to visit a doctor to ensure there are no underlying medical causes. A doctor can provide a referral to a dietician, who is best equipped to build a personalized plan to promote a nourishing eating regimen tailored specifically for our residents.We understand that seniors who have recently experienced the loss of a spouse or a close friend are prone to loneliness, which can escalate to a depressive state. This makes it difficult for our seniors to cook or feed themselves, even if theyre otherwise independent. Thats why, at Celebration Villa of Teays Valley, we encourage all families to check on their loved ones. You can support them by providing healthy meals or accompanying them out to eat to encourage conversation and enjoy a hearty plate together.Within our senior living community, we provide nutritious meals each day, and there is a strong sense of social belonging built around eating together. We take great care to ensure that each resident is meeting their personal nutrition goals. Our dedicated team works closely with licensed nutritionists to create a menu of wholesome, healthy, and delicious meals that cater to the unique needs of our seniors.
THE ALONG THE JOURNEY PROGRAM WAS CREATED BY PRIORITY LIFE CARE WITH RESIDENTS, THEIR FAMILIES, AND CAREGIVERS IN MIND.The services provided are adjusted to fit each individuals abilities and specific needs. The program has been designed to benefit all stages of memory loss while remaining flexible enough to be adapted daily.The overarching goal is to ensure that each resident, as well as their families, feel connected, respected, and comfortable during periods of difficult transition. The program primarily targets those suffering from memory impairments, whether it be early-stage dementia or late-stage Alzheimers.WHAT IS THE ALONG THE JOURNEY PROGRAM?Along the Journey (ATJ) is a memory care program that launched in 2019 in Priority Life Cares memory care neighborhoods. Fundamentally, it prioritizes strengths over limitations. Activities are purpose-driven and not based on achievement, thus allowing those with memory loss to participate without feeling lost, confused, and agitated.This innovative program begins with a holistic assessment of the residents abilities, both cognitive and physical. Based on the assessment, a care plan is formulated and includes input from the resident and their family, as well as their physicians and caregivers.The plan includes information on the likes, dislikes, and cultural preferences of the resident. To keep the seniors as comfortable as possible, the staff makes every effort to provide a largely predictable routine.FOSTERING A SENSE OF BELONGING WITHIN THE COMMUNITYThose suffering from diseases that affect memory may feel left behind or forgotten. At Priority Life Care, caregivers work in conjunction with the ATJ program to encourage physical motion, stimulate mental engagement, and offer opportunities for spiritual and social connection.Life stations provide a sense of familiarity for the resident through tasks such as folding clothes and operating a computer. This allows the senior to focus on a specific, low-stress task with an attainable outcome.Social engagements such as trivia games and ice cream parties are scheduled, which allow residents the opportunity to become acquainted with other residents. The program celebrates small wins as significant achievements, allowing everyone the chance to be represented.Activities are thoughtfully designed around reducing any agitation and improving the mood of the residents. Social interaction is encouraged to ward off isolation, which can further impair a residents wellness journey.SUPPORTING THOSE WITH MEMORY IMPAIRMENTSMemory loss comes in stages and Priority Life Care recognizes the importance of providing a program suitable for each stage of this difficult journey. Through the integration of senior-friendly tech, residents across a spectrum of cognitive abilities are encouraged to participate in their care by engaging daily.To ensure a successful transition into the residential community, our staff invites residents to bring familiar furnishings of home such as furniture, cherished items, and other domestic objects. This creates an inviting environment for the resident, which eases the initial discomfort of being in a new place.Residents will enjoy a structured daily plan that focuses on wellness and supporting independence, all while ensuring dignity and respect. This environment allows those with memory impairments to maintain functional abilities for as long as possible while remaining comfortable along their journey.Staff with specific dementia-centered training and experience support our residents with memory loss, including accommodations such as dietary oversight, assistance with medication, and general hygiene.
What Role Does Technology Play in Alzheimer's Care? Technology is increasingly becoming an important part of Alzheimers care, providing families and caregivers with an additional layer of support in managing the challenges that come with the disease. From sophisticated tracking systems that monitor patient movements and activities to artificial intelligence-based assistance, technology offers a range of solutions to help ease the burden of caring for an Alzheimers patient. In this blog post, well explore the various roles that technology can play in providing individuals with Alzheimers and their families with improved care and assistance. Technological Innovations in Alzheimer's Care Assistive devices for daily activities: Smart home technology: Smart home devices can be programmed to assist with daily tasks such as medication reminders, turning off appliances, and adjusting lighting. Reminder systems: These devices use visual and auditory cues to remind patients about important tasks, appointments, and medication schedules. Monitoring and safety devices: GPS tracking devices: These devices can help locate individuals with Alzheimer's who may wander and become disoriented, ensuring their safety and providing peace of mind for caregivers. Fall detection systems: Fall detection technology can automatically alert caregivers or emergency services in the event of a fall, enabling quick response and timely medical assistance. Cognitive stimulation and memory support: Digital memory aids: Mobile applications and devices can help individuals with Alzheimer's improve their memory and cognitive function through interactive exercises, reminders, and brain-training games. Virtual reality therapy: Virtual reality technology can create immersive experiences that stimulate the senses and provide therapeutic benefits for Alzheimer's patients, such as reducing anxiety and improving mood.Benefits of Technology in Alzheimer's Care Enhanced safety and security: Technology offers various safety features, such as tracking devices and fall detection systems, that help prevent accidents and provide immediate assistance when needed. Improved quality of life for patients and caregivers: Assistive devices and cognitive stimulation tools can enhance the daily lives of Alzheimer's patients, promote independence, and alleviate the burden on caregivers. Increased independence and autonomy for patients: Technology allows individuals with Alzheimer's to perform daily tasks more independently, boosting their confidence and preserving their sense of self. Potential for early detection and intervention: Technological advancements, such as wearable devices and digital assessments, have the potential to detect early signs of Alzheimer's, enabling early intervention and better disease management. Challenges and Limitations of Technology in Alzheimer's Care Cost and accessibility issues: Some advanced technologies may be expensive or inaccessible to certain individuals, limiting their widespread adoption. Privacy and ethical concerns: The use of technology in Alzheimer's care raises concerns about data privacy and the ethical implications of monitoring and tracking individuals with cognitive impairments. Learning curve for patients and caregivers: Technology implementation may require a learning curve for both patients and caregivers, especially for older adults who may be less familiar with digital devices. Limitations of technology in addressing emotional and social needs: While technology can provide practical support, it may not fully address the emotional and social needs of individuals with Alzheimer's, which require human interaction and empathy. Future Trends and Possibilities Advances in wearable technology: Wearable devices, such as smartwatches and biosensors, hold promise in monitoring and predicting changes in cognitive function, allowing for personalized care and early intervention.Artificial intelligence and machine learning in Alzheimer's care: AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to provide personalized treatment plans, predict disease progression, and assist in decision-making for caregivers and healthcare professionals. Integration of technology with traditional care approaches: The integration of technology with traditional care approaches, such as therapy and medication management, can optimize Alzheimer's care by providing comprehensive and tailored solutions. Conclusion Technology plays a crucial role in Alzheimer's care, offering innovative solutions to enhance safety, improve quality of life, and promote independence for patients and caregivers. While there are challenges and limitations to consider, ongoing research and development hold the promise of further advancements in technology-enabled care. By embracing these advancements and continuing to explore new possibilities, we can hope for a future where technology greatly improves the lives of Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Alzheimer's care and the role of technology, feel free to contact us. We are here to support you on this journey.