36 Barkley Cir, Fort Myers, Florida, 33907Independent Living
Theres a lot of literature out there about the benefits that pets can have on seniors' mental and physical health. Pets can encourage exercise and activity, leading to better overall health. Theres a lot to think about, and its important to weigh the situation thoroughly before making a decision.Once a decision to get a pet has been made, thats just the beginning. There are further questions to consider when getting a new pet: Whats the right pet for me? Can I take care of a dog or cat? Wheres the best place to get one? (just to follow the layout of the blog) Consider these options. What if youre not a cat or a dog person?Youve heard the statements before: Im a cat person, or Im a dog person. But what if youre neither? Dogs and cats can be a lot of work, especially when theyre young. And depending on your living situation, they may not even be options available to you (although all Merrill communities are pet friendly ). Some pets are capable of carrying illnesses that can put people with compromised immune systems at risk, some are expensive. The CDC recommends asking yourself several questions before choosing a pet, for example: What do they eat? How long will they live? What kind of activity do they require? How much does it cost to take care of them? Etc.These questions will help you determine the right pet for you. It could be that a ferret, rabbit, lizard, or hamster is more your speed, or possibly a bird, snake or a fish. Each pet will come with their own set of challenges and needs, so be sure you research what these might be and whether or not they fit in with your needs, circumstances, and lifestyle. Adopting middle-aged petsPerhaps you are a dog or a cat person, but the idea of training and raising a puppy or a kitten seems like too to deal with. A great option to consider is adopting a middle-aged pet. Apart from the fact that older pets have a much lower adoption rate (in the case of dogs: 25% for older dogs compared to 60% for younger dogs), there are a lot of benefits to middle-aged pets. They usually dont require potty training, they tend to be calmer and dont need quite as much exercise, and they can cost significantly less. Chasing around a puppy and cleaning up after their messes can be exhausting, and the thought of it might put you off getting a pet entirely, so why not skip that whole part? Shelters and adoptionOnce youve decided to get a pet, the question becomes, where should you get it? You want to make sure youre getting your pet from a reputable and responsible source. According to the Humane Society, there are up to as many as 10,000 puppy mills around the country, which force puppies and their mothers to live in cruel conditions. Most pet stores source their puppies from these mills, so theyre best avoided as buying from them perpetuates the cycle of demand for these puppy mills. Do a search for your local shelter and pet adoption center. There is often no shortage of pets that need rescuing. If you choose to use a breeder, make sure theyre reputable. Per the Humane Society, Beware: AKC [American Kennel Club] and other types of registration papers only tell you who a puppy's parents were, not how they were treated. Be sure to see where the pets were raised for yourself and dont rely purely on paperwork. Regardless of the type of pet, or where you choose to get them from, do your research.Pets can be a great way to add joy in your life. No matter what kind of pet you get, it is important to make sure youre getting them from the right source. The right pet can offer a loving bond and valued companion on a day-to-day basis. Having a pet you are responsible for can also help offer a sense of purpose, capability, and independence. Certain pets will help get you out and about into the fresh air, while others are a steady source of companionship that dont demand too much of you. All our needs vary, so be honest and open minded. It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship
Physical therapy (PT) is a form of healthcare that focuses on helping people recover from physical injuries, illnesses, or disabilities. It involves using exercises, manual techniques, and other modalities to improve physical function and mobility.While physical therapy is often prescribed after an injury or surgery, it can also provide a wide range of benefits for people looking to improve their overall health and well-being. In this blog, we will discuss three key benefits of physical therapy.1. Improved mobility and flexibilityAccording to the Arthritis Foundation, PT can enhance mobility and aid in the recovery of affected joints, promote strength to support joints, and preserve fitness levels.Here are some examples of how physical therapy achieves this:Targeted exercises: Physical therapists are experts in designing exercises that target specific muscles and joints in the body. Focusing on these areas can help improve range of motion, reduce pain, and increase overall strength and flexibility.Stretching: Stretching is a key component of many physical therapy programs. By gently stretching tight muscles and joints, physical therapists can help to improve flexibility and range of motion. This can be especially important for people who have experienced injuries or surgery, as it can help to prevent scar tissue from forming and limit the development of stiffness and tightness in the affected area.Manual therapy: Manual therapy techniques, such as massage, and joint mobilization and manipulation, can help to improve mobility and flexibility by loosening tight muscles and joints and increasing blood flow to the affected area. These techniques can also help to reduce pain and inflammation.2. Pain managementResearchers have been investigating how physical therapy can help patients who suffer from chronic pain reduce their reliance on opioid medications.A study focused on individuals with chronic low back pain found that receiving physical therapy early resulted in reduced opioid use over both the short and long term. In another study, which looked at physical therapy's effects on chronic low back pain, patients who participated in physical therapy were prescribed opioids less frequently during their subsequent healthcare appointments.Examples of physical therapy techniques in pain management include therapeutic exercises, electrical stimulation, stretching, taping, cold and heat therapy, and massage.3. Improved balance and coordinationOur balance and coordination can decline as we age, increasing the risk of falls and other accidents. Physical therapy can help to improve balance and coordination, reducing the risk of injury and improving the overall quality of life.Your physical therapist may prescribe exercises that focus on improving balance and stability, such as standing on one leg or walking on a balance beam. They may also work with you on activities that will enhance coordination, such as throwing and catching a ball or navigating an obstacle course.Getting the most out of physical therapy:Physical therapy requires the patient and therapist to work together for maximum benefits. Below are a few tips to help you get the most out of your therapy sessions.Set specific goals: Work with your physical therapist to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals aligned with your desired outcomes.Communicate openly: Be open and honest with your physical therapist about your pain levels, limitations, and concerns. This will help them tailor your therapy program to your unique needs.Attend all sessions: Consistency is key when it comes to physical therapy. Attend all scheduled appointments and complete any recommended exercises or activities between sessions.Follow instructions: Your physical therapist will likely provide you with exercises or stretches to perform at home. Make sure to follow their instructions carefully and don't skip any steps.Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body feels during and after physical therapy. If you experience pain or discomfort, let your physical therapist know immediately, so they can adjust your program as needed.Practice self-care: Besides your physical therapy sessions, take care of yourself by getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and staying hydrated.Stay positive and motivated: Physical therapy can be challenging, but staying positive and motivated can help you progress toward your goals. Celebrate your successes along the way, regardless of how small they may seem.Ready to feel your best?Physical therapy is a powerful tool that can help people of all ages and abilities improve their overall quality of life. With the right treatment plan and guidance, physical therapy can help you achieve your health and fitness goals and live a happier, healthier life.
As you go through life, it is very common to collect a lot of stuff! From childhood mementos, to keepsakes from your travels, or things from when your kids were growing up. Sometimes it can get to a point where it starts to feel overwhelming, especially when you are downsizing.If you're thinking about downsizing before you begin a transition to senior living, we hope these tips will help you declutter and provide peace of mind . GO THROUGH ALL OF YOUR THINGS, YES, ALL OF THEMMarie Kondo, a famed organization expert, recommends going through every single thing that you have. Then, you must hold it up and ask yourself, Does this spark joy?. If the item does not give you joy, then its not something that you should keep for yourself. But if it does, then its likely something you should hold onto. Click here to learn more about this method of decluttering.You can start by category. For instance, you can start with your wardrobe, then move on to your books, then collectibles, and so on. It's recommend that you continue this until youve gone through all of your possessions.BREAK IT DOWN INTO GROUPSAfter going through each item, youll most likely end up with two or three groups.1. The first group is what you keep2. The second is what you give away3. The third is what you sellA great way to expedite this process is to make it a family activity. Have your children and grandchildren come over for the day and help you go through everything. Your grandkids might even find treasures and memories in the items you'd otherwise discard!EVERYTHING HAS A HOMENow that youre left with only the things that give you joy, you can designate spaces for them in your new home! Make sure to keep items organized, and similar items together. For instance, all your books can go in one part of your home, and all your socks could go in one drawer, not several drawers.ON TO THE NEXT CHAPTER!It can be hard to let go of things, especially possessions that may have been in your life for years. However, its beneficial both physically and mentally to remove things in your life that arent giving you joy. You can clear space for the things that matter most to you while letting go of the things that could be hindering.As you move on to your next chapter in life, having an organized living environment will help keep you happy and free of stress!
he day in the life of a senior living resident can be filled with a range of activities that help them stay engaged, stay active, and stay connected with others. Heres what a typical day at a senior living community could look like with Jane, an 80-year-old retired teacher.MORNING: A HEALTHY STARTJane wakes up early in the morning, feeling refreshed after a good night's sleep in her cozy apartment. She gets dressed and heads down to the dining room for breakfast. Here, she is greeted by a friendly server who takes her order for coffee, eggs, and toast. Jane enjoys chatting with her friends in the dining room, who are also residents of the community.After breakfast, Jane heads to the activity room for her morning exercise class. Today, she is participating in chair yoga, which is perfect for her because it is low impact and gentle on her joints, but also provides a good stretch and challenge. She finds the class both invigorating and relaxing, and it helps her start her day off right.Next, Jane stops by the bistro and grabs a cup of coffee, followed by a visit to the game room for a friendly game of Scrabble. She enjoys the mental stimulation of the game and the chance to catch up with her friends. Jane has been an avid Scrabble player for years and is always happy to find someone to play with.AN AFTERNOON TO ENJOYAround midday, Jane heads back to the dining room for lunch. She orders a salad and sandwich and enjoys the chef's homemade soup of the day (chicken tortilla, her favorite). She finds that the dining room is a great place to meet new people and make new friends. She enjoys chatting with other residents.After lunch, Jane spends some time in the library, browsing through the shelves and selecting a few books to read. She enjoys the quiet atmosphere of the library and the chance to lose herself in a good book.In the afternoon, Jane hops on the community bus to take a ride to Target. Once she gets back, she attends a lecture about state history. She then joins some of her friends for a cup of tea in the community lounge, where they chat and catch up on the day's events.DINNER AND EVENING ACTIVITIESAs the day winds down, Jane visits the dining room for dinner. There are plenty of comfort foods, such as lasagna and chicken pot pie, alongside nutritious fruits and veggies. She chats with her friends before returning to her apartment to rest and relax.Jane enjoys the peacefulness of her surroundings and the sense of security that comes from living in a senior living community. She spends some time reading on her apartment balcony and then heads to bed, knowing she has had a fulfilling and enjoyable day.NO TWO DAYS ARE THE SAME FOR SENIOR LIVING RESIDENTSA day in the life of a senior living resident, as you have seen from Jane's routine, can be filled with a wide range of activities. From exercise and classes, to game nights, lectures, and meals with friends, theres so much to do. Every day, the residents have a chance to join as few or as manydaily activities as they choose. These activities help them stay active, engaged, and connected with others, making life in a senior living community a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
With hot weather in full swing, its an important time of year to remember sun safety tips. Keep reading to learn our top four tips for staying safe while you enjoy time outside:1. Try to stay in the shadeThe most common cause of sun damage to skin cells is too much exposure to ultraviolet rays. A simple way to practice sun safety is to avoid the sun but this doesnt mean you cant go outside! You can avoid the sun simply by staying in the shade whenever possible. Walk under tree-lined paths or cross over to the shaded side of the street. This can protect you, not only from sun damage, but heat exhaustion as well. 2. Use sunscreenSunscreen is a necessary tool for skin protection at any age. There are so many different types of sunscreen out there, which do you choose? Ultimately, your needs will be personal, depending on your lifestyle and what kind of activities you prefer enjoying out in the sun. The most important thing to consider will be the sun protection factor (or SPF). Generally, dermatologists recommended an SPF of 50 or higher for the best skin protection. It also offers additional nutrients that are healthy for your skin, such as vitamin C and vitamin E. If youre especially active, you will also want to consider a water-resistant sunscreen. Regardless of what kind of sunscreen you choose, remember to apply generous applications on all exposed areas (dont forget your ears!) and reapply regularly (every couple hours or so). 3. Cover UpShade is great, but what if there is none? Take the shade with you! Another easy way to protect yourself from the sun is to cover up as much as possible. This means wearing hats with a visor or brim, wearing long-sleeved shirts, and wearing long pants that cover you down to your shoes. Natural fibers tend to work best in the heat, clothing made from cotton, linen, even merino wool can help you cover up while keeping you cool and offering breathability. Its best to avoid synthetic fibers, like polyester, nylon, etc. These materials dont breathe well and can trap in heat and become abrasive against your skin. Alsoand this probably seems obviousstay away from leather.The best form of protection is using a combination of these tips, or all three whenever possible. According to the CDC, only about 15% of older adults use all three forms of protection, which has led to rates of skin cancer being highest among those aged 65 years and above. Practicing active and sensible sun protection measures can help keep your skin healthy in your later years. Be sure to use the shade, layer up, and cover up and get out there and enjoy the summer!4. Stay HydratedAdequate hydration is crucial for maintaining optimal health and well-being, particularly in hot weather. Water is an essential component of our bodies, playing a vital role in various functions. It helps regulate body temperature, aids in digestion, supports nutrient absorption, flushes out toxins, and keeps our joints lubricated.Staying hydrated during summer helps prevent dehydration, which can lead to fatigue, dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps, and even more severe health complications. It is essential to make hydration a top priority and ensure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially water, to replenish what your body loses through sweating. Remember, staying hydrated not only keeps you refreshed and energized but also supports your overall well-being during the sizzling summer season. Check out this helpful graphic to learn more!
Maintaining your health is a daily practice. It takes time and effort to create good routines and habits, thats part of what makes the whole process challenging. Fortunately there are, quite literally, a host of resources at our fingertips to help. There are hundreds of wonderful apps that can help you in countless ways from finance to fitness, spark your creativity, help you catch the bus on time, and even keep your health goals. Theres an app for just about everything these days! Here are five of our favorites for you to consider.MediSafe (Free)It can be easy to lose track of our medications and forget when were supposed to take them. In fact 30%50% of Americans dont adhere to their medication prescriptions correctly.MediSafe is a digital, medical engagement platform that reminds you about your pills and helps you keep track of health statistics and regimens. This app can help you track how many pills youve taken, when to take them, how many you have left, when you should reorder, as well as your blood pressure, weight, and other vitals. And you can sync this app with a smartwatch for even more features. This app can help you stay on top of your medication and simplify the overall process from one day to the next. Luminosity (Free), Brain HQ (Free), Words with Friends (Free)Brain health is a crucial aspect of ones overall health and wellbeing. And although the brain isnt a muscle, like people used to believe or at least say, it does need to be worked out like one. Some cursory studies suggest that keeping an active mind may lower the risk of Alzheimers and other forms of dementia. These activities can help retain and even improve memory health. Apps like Brain HQ and Luminosity, and games like Words with Friends, offer a fun way to keep your brain active. Ranging from brief, five-minute exercises to hour-long sessions, these apps offer workouts for your mind designed to increase memory and mindfulness, as well as cognitive ability. Games like Words with Friends have the added benefit of including a social element, as youre playing with others, which is also great for mental and emotional health. Luminosity is used by over 100 million people and includes over 50 different games. MyFitnessPal (Free)Games arent just for brain exercises, but the body as well. We all know how vital physical exercise is, not just for your body, but for your mental health as well. We also understand how difficult it can be to begin and keep an exercise routine going. This app can help you along that path by keeping track of your workouts, diet, caloric intake, and goals. MyFitnessPal can be linked with over 50 other health apps to keep everything synced, like a smartwatch, running map, and more. It offers tips and advice on achieving your goals, and offers customizability to fit your personalized needs and desired outcomes. The app is designed to tie everything together and offers a community from which to draw inspiration and guidance. It even offers recipes from diet experts that can help you achieve the level of fitness you most desire. Calm (Subscription), Insight Timer (Free)Once youve exercised your mind and body, its important to rest and slow things down. Quieting our minds and practicing mindfulness can be tricky, especially with everything that goes on with our lives. About a third of Americans say they dont get enough sleep each night. Poor sleep can not only affect your day-to-day life, but can also lead to health problems down the road. The Calm app provides its users with mindfulness exercises, sleep aids (from stories to music to background noises), meditation guides, and other tools to help you reduce stress and anxiety. Its easy to use and full of great features that are regularly updated. You can take classes via the Calm app and track your mood and your stats. Magnifying Glass + Flashlight (Free)Its easy to forget your glasses somewhere. That makes this magnifying glass convenient and handy. It also includes a restaurant menu reader and prescription bottle reader, which comes in handy often. These features can make sure youre getting the order you want and taking the right medicine. We live in an ever-changing, technology-filled landscape. And while that can be intimidating at times, it comes with many conveniences and offers a new platform of resources that can help you maintain wellness practices and a healthy lifestyle. Check out these helpful apps, and dont be afraid to explore others.https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/08/28/8-great-apps-for-our-elders/?sh=1975bb4d3685https://www.seniorlifestyle.com/resources/blog/top-8-mobile-apps-active-seniors/https://www.mobileappdaily.com/apps-for-senior-peoplehttps://www.oversixty.com.au/health/body/health-fitness-apps-for-over-60s
We all know that a regular and robust exercise routine is a key factor in maintaining and improving our overall health and wellbeing. Exercise can improve our mood, sleep, appetite, quality of life, and much more. Creating a steady exercise routine, on the other hand, can be a difficult endeavor. Finding the motivation to go for a walk or attending classes can be challenging!An AARP study has shown that fitness trackers can have a significant and positive effect on exercise practices. As they say, knowing is half the battle, and 71% of the studys participants said, the devices made them aware of their activity and sleep patterns in general as well as their activity levels at a given moment. Additionally 45% reported increased motivation for healthier living, while 46% reported actually being more active, sleeping better or eating healthier. Fitness trackers can be a highly useful tool for seniors looking to improve their workout habits. They also run the gamut, as far as functionality and features. Here are four health and fitness trackers that we find particularly useful.Step by Step OZO Fitness CS1If youre mobile, walking is one of the best exercises you can do. Its low impact and great for you. With that in mind, this pedometer from OZO is perfect for seniors. Its accurate (to within 5%), easy to read, reasonably priced (you can sometimes find it for as low as $22), and simple to use. Theres nothing fancy, but thats the beauty of it. Theres no setup, and you can clip it on clothing or keep it in your pocket. Amazing Features at a Manageable Price Amazfit Bip U ProThis offering from Amazfit comes with a ton of features, but wont break the bank. It comes with a decently sized screen (1.43) for easier reading and is even built in with Amazon Alexa. It can measure your blood-oxygen levels, has over 60 activity-specific measurement modes, is 5 ATM water resistant (can withstand water pressure up to 50 meters, so you can take it into the pool), includes a heart and sleep monitor, offers a health assessment system, and even has GPS. You can also sync this device with a phone or tablet. One Watch to Rule Them All Apple Watch SEApple has made a reputation out of creating intuitive, well-designed, and easy-to-use technology, and the Apple Watch is no different. In spite of the higher cost, these watches are wildly popular, and with good reason. Theyre stylish, fast, effortless, and contain just about every wellness feature you could possibly ask for in a watch. While the SE version is a slightly pared down model, it retains enough features to make a Swiss Army knife blush. With this watch, you can access your favorite fitness apps, listen to music, track and map your fitness routines, keep track of your medications, measure your metrics, and much more. In cases of emergency, the watch is able to detect when youve been in an accident, alert you in case of heart-rate irregularities, and send an emergency SOS (including international emergency calls). Theres also a family link function that can keep your family connected via your watch. The Android Option Samsung Galaxy Watch5In spite of their popularity, Apple products arent for everyone they can be expensive to buy and costly to fix. For those who prefer Android products, the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 is a great option. Although this watch is a bit more than some of the more budget-friendly options, it is notably less than an Apple Watch. It has a classic design, while maintaining a clean, minimalistic air and matching the Apple Watch in terms of features. The watch also includes state-of-the-art sensors and a Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA) Sensor capable of reading your body fat, skeletal muscle, body water, basal metabolic rate and more. The type of fitness tracker you want will vary widely depending on your needs. Do you want it to measure your vitals? Do you want it to sync with other devices? Do you need access to apps? Or do you just need a simple pedometer? It might be helpful to make a list of the type of capability youre looking for, figure out your budget and proceed from there. There are a number of options available to you that can help you on your way to better health, and we encourage you to explore them!
epending on where you live, winter can be tough. Colder weather, an increase in decadent foods, and a tendency towards less activity can leave us feeling a little bland. But with winter in the rearview mirror and the weather warming up, there are many fun activities to look forward to!Here are some ideas for spring activities designed to get you up and about and engaged with your loved ones. GardeningGardening is a great way to spend time outdoors, either with friends or family members or by yourself. Its meditative, therapeutic, reduces stress, and is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors. Theres a sense of fulfillment and responsibility in caring for plants and watching them grow and if youre growing fruits or vegetables, you can enjoy the results on your dining table, sharing them with the people you care about. You can also include a social aspect, by creating a club with your friends or starting a garden with grandkids or other family members. If you have difficulties with mobility, you can use potted plants and still get great benefits. A lot of herbs love to be planted in pots. VolunteeringVolunteering is a great way to give back to your community, socialize, and experience new things. It can get you outdoors, it can help you exercise, and it can even introduce you to new friends. Volunteering can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience that does good for the world and the people around you. There are a variety of different ways you can volunteer: picking up litter, sharing your skills and talents with others, bake sales, food drives, soup kitchens, pet shelters, and more. Outdoor Exercise With the weather improving and plants blooming, theres no better time to get outdoors than during the spring. Take your exercise routine outdoors, go for walks, bike rides, jogs, play golf, pickleball, badminton, or whatever it is you enjoy. You can practice tai chi in the park, meditate under a tree, or do yoga with a group of friends. Need some ideas? Call your family up and schedule a picnic, or plan a reunion barbeque with some old friends you havent seen in a while. There are so many activities and sports you can engage in outside that will heighten your mood and wellbeing.Crafts and BakingAfter spending several days outside, maybe youre ready for a relaxing indoor spring activity. With the return of natures bounty, spring is a great time for crafts. You can make a birdhouse, spring-themed wreaths, or crochet a spring shawl for a friend or family member. Baking is also a popular springtime activity. If youre not sure where to begin, consider taking a class or setting up a craft hour with some friends. Its a great way to socialize and spend an afternoon. Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. It brings with it warmer weather and new opportunities. Make it a point to take advantage of this time. Your mind and body will thank you.
As the weather warms up, it's time to start planning some fun spring activities to enjoy with your grandchildren. Spending time with your grandkids and loved ones is an excellent way to bond, create cherished memories, and stay active and engaged. Here are eight ideas for fun indoor spring activities.Board GamesBoard games are timeless. There are so many games to choose from, including classics like Monopoly and Scrabble or newer games like Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan. Gather around the table and enjoy some friendly competition.Art ProjectsGet creative and do some art projects together. You can paint, draw, or try new crafts, like flower art or Easter egg decorating. Not only will you have fun, but you'll also create something beautiful to display in your home.Indoor PicnicSet up an indoor picnic by spreading out a blanket and serving your grandkids' favorite snacks, meals and/or drinks. You can even make it a potluck and have each grandchild bring their favorite dish to share. Create an outdoor ambiance by playing music, bringing in some plants or flowers, or decorating the area with balloons or streamers.Movie TimePick a movie you and your grandkids will enjoy and create a cozy seating area with pillows and blankets. Dim the lights, close the curtains, and enjoy some popcorn and snacks. After the movie, engage your grandkids in conversation by asking them what they liked about it, and what they learned.BakingBake some delicious treats, like cupcakes or cookies, and decorate them with spring colors and designs. Baking together is a fun activity and an opportunity to teach your grandkids how to do it themselves.Story TimeRead spring-themed books together, such as those about flowers, birds, or Easter bunnies. Reading together is a great way to bond and improve language and literacy skills for the younger grandkids.ExerciseGet some exercise with your grandkids. Do yoga together, take a dance class, or play active games like Simon Says. Exercise is essential for physical and mental health, and it's also a great way to bond.Virtual Museum ToursTake a virtual tour of a museum or zoo together. Many museums and zoos offer virtual tours that use 360-degree panoramic images, and videos, and audio recordings to provide an immersive experience. It's an excellent opportunity to learn something new and experience something different together. Not to mention, you arent limited by only the zoos in your area!Spending time with your grandchildren and loved ones is a rewarding experience that provides opportunities to create cherished memories. From playing board games to taking virtual museum tours, there are plenty of fun indoor spring activities that you can do together. So, invite your grandkids, get creative, and make memories that you'll all treasure for years to come.
It can be hard to step outside of your comfort zone, especially when we've been set in our ways for so many years. But good things come to those who are open to new experiences! Here are ten things to keep in mind when trying something new, as well as a few suggestions for potentially new activities this summer.1. Make a list of things youve always wanted to tryMany of us have things weve wanted to try for years, but just havent gotten around to them yet. Well, theres no time like the present, and its never too late! Think about activities youre interested in, hobbies youve dipped your toes in before, or even brand-new things you never considered but sound fun now.2. Find something youre interested inDont just choose the first thing you find do some research and figure out what sounds like the most fun! Make sure it's something that you can look forward to.3. Try it with a friendFriends make everything better, and sometimes a little moral support goes a long way. Venturing into the unknown can be intimidating, but testing the waters with a friend brings comfort, camaraderie, and strength in numbers! The saying better together than apart rings true, especially when you need a little nudge.4. Keep an open mindIts important to try new experiences with an open mind and your best foot forward. If you go in with the mentality that something wont be fun, or you wont like it, odds are you wont! Be optimistic and try not to allow yourself to create a preconceived notion without having given it a fair shot.5. Seek opportunities to learnLearning keeps our bodies and brains engaged. Its just as important to exercise our minds as it is our bodies, and learning new things can offer more than just fun facts! Go out and try something new, then bring it back and tell everyone about it at dinner or share your new fun facts with your grandkids and friends; you might be able to teach someone else what youve learned and pass on the gift of knowledge!6. Seek opportunities to reminisce and look at how things have changed Age brings wisdom and experience, two gifts most of us didnt have much of as youngsters. It can be fun to go back to places we knew earlier in our lives or analyze things we used to know from our current perspectives. Seeking opportunities to reminisce on old times and compare things to what they used to be versus how theyve changed can be great fun, especially when we take the advice of tip number three and do this with a friend!7. Be proactiveBeing proactive is so important. Dont let circumstances or perceived obstacles hold you back. If you want to do something, take the steps or make the changes to do it! And dont be afraid to ask for help! Your community is here to help ensure that you are getting exactly what you want out of your retired life.8. Get outsideThe great outdoors is such a gift, so take advantage of it! Studies have shown that spending time outside and getting fresh air and sunshine can boost serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that improves mood and helps with positive emotions, which can motivate us to do things and feel better overall.9. Seek opportunities to get involved in your communityCommunity involvement is great for both socialization and giving us a sense of purpose. Giving back to our communities can make us feel like we are contributing, as well as have a positive impact on those around us.10. If youre in a senior living community submit your outing and activity ideas!Your community exists to serve YOU. If you have ideas about fun outings or activities to host in house, let your Activities Director know. Any excuse to bring people together and create fun for all is a great opportunity, and your friends and residents might have the same idea!Below are just a few new things to consider trying this summer season. Let these tools help guide you and get after it! The world is your oyster!- Start a walking group- Seek volunteer opportunities in your communities- Look for game groups like bridge, bunco, or poker- Propose museum trips or town tours to learn about local history or reminisce on old times- Meet new friends by asking residents you may not have met yet to join you for mealtime- Start a book club
We all understand the importance of a good nights rest. While were all a little different in our sleep patterns, normal sleep is typically considered to be 79 hours of continuous sleep a night. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to increase the quality and ease of sleep. Here are six simple steps to help you through the night.Good light, bad lightGetting out and enjoying the natural light helps your body understand when its time to be awake and when its time to sleep. For instance spending time outdoors is known to help you relax. This is the good kind of light. The bad kind of light comes from things like alarm clocks and other artificial sources in your bedroom that can disrupt your sleeping patterns. Even a small dot of light can disrupt your sleep or ability to fall asleep. A visible clock can lead to clock-watching, which can increase anxiety as you watch the minutes (or even hours) tick by. Try a mocktail insteadContrary to what we might think, alcohol does not help us sleep. Because while it can make you temporarily drowsy, it makes it much more difficult for your body to stay asleep. This leads to a poor and unsatisfying slumber that leaves you tired and groggy when you get up, which can lead to vicious nap cycles and late nights. Its also a good practice to avoid eating large meals before bed or drinking too much water as well as caffeine and sugar as these can keep you up or running to the bathroom in the middle of the night.Routine and consistencyOne of the best ways to enhance your sleep is to maintain a consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine. A regular routine and sleep time helps you prepare for sleep and signal to your body that its time to sleep. This can help you fall asleep faster and easier. Sleep routines can include reading, music, a weighted blanket, meditation, and more. Some people find that taking a warm bath also helps them get ready for sleep. Sleep only zoneIf at all possible, try to keep your bedroom reserved for sleeping. The more you make your bed exclusively a place for sleeping, the more your body will associate your bed with sleep and bedtime practices. This ties in with avoiding screens and watching TV in bed. Your bed should be a sanctuary of sleep, and its difficult to maintain that, and for your body to understand that, if you do other things in that space. So avoid those screens, and definitely avoid working in bed. Turn off the screens an hour before bedSpeaking of lights, this includes screens of all kinds, whether thats your phone, tablet, laptop, or television. These unnatural light sources not only keep you up via disruptive light, but artificial light has also been known to lower melatonin, which is the naturally-occurring hormone that helps you sleep. If you need time to decompress before bedtime, or just a little something to take your mind off the day, try reading a book or listening to some soothing music. You may also want to consider sleep or meditation apps that offer soothing sounds to fall asleep to (just make sure your screen is off while youre listening). ExerciseRegular exercise at similar times each day is a great way to prepare your body for sleep. Not only does this reduce stress and anxiety, it also helps wear out your body and get you tired enough for sleep. Aerobic exercise is especially helpful in enhancing your sleep (walking, swimming, and dancing are some great options).As with trying to create any kind of good habit, take it step-by-step and dont be too hard on yourself. A good routine takes time and practice to cement, but a healthy sleep regimen will give you more energy throughout the day and help keep your mind and body healthy.Sources:https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/aging-affects-sleephttps://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/how-to-sleep-well-as-you-age.htmhttps://www.nia.nih.gov/health/good-nights-sleephttps://www.sleepfoundation.org/aging-and-sleep
Springtime is a beautiful season filled with blooming flowers, warmer weather, and longer days. Unfortunately for many of us, it also brings along seasonal allergies. Sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, and a runny nose are just a few of the symptoms that can make life miserable. But fear not! You can use some easy tricks to keep spring allergies at bay and enjoy the season to its fullest. CHECK THE POLLEN COUNT IN YOUR AREABefore heading outside for work or any other activity, check the pollen count in your neighborhood. Many weather websites and apps provide this information. When the pollen count is high, try to stay indoors as much as possible, especially during the morning hours when pollen levels tend to be at their peak. If you must go outside, wear a mask to reduce the amount of pollen you inhale. KEEP YOUR WINDOWS CLOSEDAs much as you might love the fresh air, keeping your windows closed during allergy season can help keep pollen out of your home. Use an air conditioner or fans to cool your house instead of opening windows. Be sure to change the filter in your air conditioner regularly to help trap allergens optimally. SHOWER BEFORE BEDPollen can cling to your hair and skin, so take a shower before bed to remove any pollen that may have accumulated throughout the day. This can help prevent allergens from settling in your bedding which could trigger allergy symptoms while you sleep.CLEAN YOUR HOME REGULARLYRegular cleaning can help reduce the amount of pollen in your home. Dust and vacuum frequently, and use a HEPA filer in your vacuum to trap allergens. Wash your bedding and curtains in hot water regularly. If possible, use allergen-proof covers for your pillows and mattress. USE NATURAL REMEDIES TO KEEP ALLERGIES AT BAYMany natural remedies can help alleviate allergy symptoms. One of the most effective is honey. Eating local honey can help desensitize your body to pollen over time, reducing your allergy symptoms. Other natural remedies include include saline nasal sprays, which can help flush out pollen from your nasal passages, and nettle tea, which has natural antihistamine properties. ALWAYS STAY HYDRATED Drinking plenty of clean water can help thin mucus. It can also help to prevent dehydration, which can worsen allergy symptoms. Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water daily, and try to avoid dehydrating beverages like coffee and alcohol. TAKE MEDICATIONOver-the-counter allergy medications can effectively reduce symptoms if natural remedies don't provide enough relief. Antihistamines like Claritin and Zyrtec can help relieve sneezing, itching, and runny nose. Nasal sprays like Flonase and Nasonex can help reduce inflammation in your nasal passages, making breathing easier. But remember to talk to your doctor before starting any new medication.If your allergies are severe, you may want to consider visiting an allergist. An allergist can perform tests to determine precisely what you are allergic to and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.EXERCISE INDOORSExercise is vital for overall health, but it's best to exercise indoors during allergy season. If you head outside, pollen levels are typically highest in the morning, so try to exercise later in the day when pollen counts are lower. If you exercise outdoors, remember that pollen levels are lower after it rains as well.CONCLUSIONSpring allergies can be a nuisance, but there are many ways to keep them at bay. By following these tips, you can enjoy all the wonders of spring without the bothersome allergy symptoms. Happy spring!
Making new friends can be challenging, especially as we get older. Unlike when we were younger, we no longer have school or extracurricular activities to meet new people.As adults we often have to take the initiative to start conversations and put ourselves out there. However, starting a conversation with a stranger can be daunting, and it's not always easy to know what to say.Here are five conversation starters that are perfect for people looking to make new friends.1. "What brought you here today?"This conversation starter is a great way to break the ice and get to know someone new when youre out and about. Whether at a social event, a community gathering, or a business function, asking someone what brought them there can give you insight into their interests and motivations. It also demonstrates your interest in them. This can be a great starting point for a conversation that leads to a new friendship.2. "What do you enjoy doing in your free time?"Asking someone about their hobbies or interests can be a great way to get to know them on a more personal level. It's also an easy conversation starter because most people enjoy talking about the things they're passionate about.If you discover that you share a common interest, you can ask follow-up questions or suggest getting together to do that activity. For example, if someone tells you that they enjoy hiking, you could suggest going for a walk together sometime. Or if someone says they enjoy trying new restaurants, you could ask them for recommendations, or suggest trying a new place together.3. "Have you read any good books or seen any good movies lately?"This conversation starter is a classic for a reason. Most people enjoy reading books or watching movies, and it's an easy topic to chat about. You can ask for recommendations, share your own favorites, and discuss your opinions about different books and movies. This can be a great way to get to know someone's tastes and preferences, and it might even lead to a new book club or movie-watching group. You could also dive into a conversation about a new movie that might be coming out that youre both interested in seeing!4. "What's your opinion on this?"Asking someone for their opinion on a topic can be a great way to start a conversation. It shows that you value their thoughts and are interested in hearing what they have to say. You could ask for their opinion on a current event, a restaurant, or music a book. This can lead to a deeper conversation, and you may even learn something new.5. Give a compliment - "Thats a beautiful jacket."Complimenting someone is another great way to start a conversation. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and a sincere compliment can make someone's day.If you want to use a compliment as a conversation starter, consider the following tips:Be specific: Rather than giving a generic compliment, be specific about what you admire about the person. For example, instead of saying, "You look nice today," you could say, "I love your outfit; that color looks great on you."Be genuine and avoid flattery: People can usually tell when a compliment is insincere, so make sure you mean what you say. Follow up: After giving a compliment, follow up with a question or comment to keep the conversation going. For example, if you compliment someone's painting, you could ask them about their creative process or what inspires them.Always try to keep the conversation going!By using these conversation starters, you can break the ice and get to know someone new. Remember to be yourself, be friendly and open-minded, and most importantly, have fun. With a little effort, you might make a new friend who enriches your life in unexpected ways.
As we age, our health becomes more of a priority. There are many ways to improve our quality of life, but one thats not talked about enough is music therapy. Music therapy can help seniors connect with others, improve cognitive function, and promote emotional well-being.What is Music Therapy?Music therapy is based on the idea that music has therapeutic properties that can be harnessed to promote healing and improve quality of life. In music therapy, a trained music therapist works with clients to create music-based interventions tailored to individual needs, goals, and musical preferences. These interventions can include group singing, playing instruments, listening to music, music reminiscence, music and movement, and song selection. Music therapy has been shown to have a wide range of benefits for seniors. Some of the most notable ones include:Promotes Social ConnectionOne of the key benefits of music therapy in senior living communities is its ability to promote social connections. Music therapy provides us with a shared experience that can bring people together and create a sense of community. Group singing, for example, can help people feel more connected to each other and to the music they are making together.Improves Cognitive SkillsMusic therapy has been shown to improve cognitive function in seniors. Research has found that music therapy can be a valuable tool in managing agitation and other behavioral symptoms in seniors with dementia. Another study found that a music-based intervention improved cognitive function and quality of life in seniors with dementia. Evokes Positive EmotionsMusic therapy can also have a positive impact on seniors' emotional well-being. Music can evoke strong emotions, and therapists can use this to help seniors process their feelings. For example, listening to calming music can help seniors relax and reduce feelings of anxiety or depression. Playing instruments or singing can also boost their self-esteem.Provides a Sense of Purpose and MeaningMusic therapy can help seniors rediscover their passion for music and provide them with an outlet for self expression. Playing an instrument, singing, or even listening to music can give seniors a sense of purpose and help them feel more fulfilled.Good For Those Who Work in Senior Living CommunitiesIn addition to the benefits for seniors themselves, music therapy can also have a positive impact on the team members and caregivers who work at senior living communities. Caregivers who participate in music therapy sessions with seniors may feel more connected to their patients and experience increased job satisfaction. Music therapy can also help reduce the stress and burnout that caregivers may experience, as it provides a positive and enjoyable activity for them.Music therapy can be a valuable tool in improving the quality of life of those who live at a senior living community. It can help with memory loss, physical limitations, depression, anxiety, and social isolation. Music therapy can also provide a sense of community and connection, promoting overall well-being. If your loved one is in a senior living community, consider exploring the benefits of music therapy as part of their care plan.
When it comes to your brain health, its never just one thing that can have a positive or negative impact. There are a lot of different factors that can play into brain function and cognitive ability. Genetics, physical health, lifestyle, stress, and even diet all play vital parts in our overall brain health. As such, its important to educate yourself on how to maintain brain health. Being aware of early warning signs can help you catch and address issues before they arise or get too serious, helping you keep your mind sharp and functioning well. Here are a few valuable things to remember. Lets get physicalWe all know how important physical activity is for our bodies and general health. It keeps our muscles, bones, and ligaments in the best possible condition, helping us stay fit and mobile. It also helps prevent injuries and disease. But did you know that physical activity is also good for your brain? More and more studies show that physical exercise can have several positive impacts on the brain. From increasing metabolism within the brain itself (which may reduce chances of Alzheimers), to engaging brain networks that maintain old connections while helping create new ones, as well as enhancing the regions of the brain vital to learning and memory. Current guidelines recommend a minimum of two and a half hours of exercise per week (though about 45 minutes/day is ideal), which of course can vary depending on your capacities. Talk with your healthcare professional and decide what works best for you. Walks with friends, family, or a pet are a great option or swimming at the local pool, yoga, pickleball, whatever it is you enjoy, are all great ways to keep your mind and body fit. Dont forget to start slow and take safety precautions so you can avoid any injuries. Reduce stressTheres no avoiding stress. Its a part of all our lives and comes from a variety of sources. While you may not be able to avoid stress completely there are ways of managing it. Chronic stress can lead to adverse effects on your brain health. It can lead to anxiety, which can have a severe negative impact on your day-to-day life. Stress and anxiety can affect sleep, appetite, the immune system, and more. It is also known to have adverse repercussions on memory and cognitive function, as well as escalating the risk for Alzheimers, other forms of dementia, and mental health disorders like depression. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage stress. Journaling is a popular one, as is exercise, meditation and mindfulness exercises, or enjoying simple comforts like reading a book, catching up with a friend or a cup of tea. Find the stress relievers that work best for you, and make them a daily part of your life. Brain foodYouve likely heard the old saying, ...you are what you eat. Well, its an old saying for a reason. The healthier your diet, the better your chances are of leading a long and healthy life, both physically and mentally. Not only will a healthy and nutritious diet make your body feel good, its good for your brain. A balanced diet can help keep your blood pressure level down as well.Studies have shown that a healthy diet can help resist the onset of Alzheimers, and the Mediterranean diet has also shown evidence of lowering your chances of getting dementia. A healthy diet can also maintain cognition, so it works double time. Exercise your brainThe brain is a muscle, and, like any other muscle, it must be exercised. Okay, well, half of this is true. Your brain is not, in fact, a muscle. Its an organ. It does, however, need to be exercised like a muscle. Brain teasers, exercises, and games have shown evidence of keeping your mind in tip-top shape. Doing so can not only help you maintain cognitive ability, it can help resist and avoid loss in function and capability. They can also help offset the potential for Alzheimers and other dementias. Have you tried Wordle? Check it out! It's a quick and fun word game that you can place once per day. If games arent your thing, dont worry! There are a lot of ways to engage your mind in healthy and fun ways: reading, listening to music, crafts, creating art (playing music, painting, writing, etc.), socializing, doing puzzles, and much more. Whatever your favorite way is to exercise your mind, do it regularly and often. Your mind is one of the most important things you possess. Its a vital part of your overall health and wellbeing. Taking care of it is a great way to take preventative measures against brain and mental health illnesses and disorders. And as with most healthy habits, a multi-faceted approach is the best way to manage your brain health. There isnt any one thing that will keep your brain healthy and thriving, but like your brain, its health is dependent upon a lot of little things working in concert that create a robust and capable mind as we age. Further Resources: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/cognitive-health-and-older-adults https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/dementia-not-normal-aging.html https://www.cdc.gov/aging/healthybrain/ten-warning-signs.html