regency senior christmasIt’s that time of year again – turkey, merriment, gifts, and a new year. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to feel down. If your adult children are grown and live far away or perhaps you recently lost a loved one or spouse, the holidays just aren’t the same. While it may seem impossible, there are a number of ways to add holiday cheer this Christmas, whether you’re living at home, in assisted living, or other retirement home. Here’s some, just to name a few: 

  • Visit with loved ones, if possible
  • Bake festive holiday cookies
  • Take them to see a performance of "The Nutcracker" 
  • Attend a candlelight service at church
  • Sing along to Christmas carols
  • Make a family photo album or scrapbook
  • For distant loved ones, call or FaceTime

With seasonal depression often follows senior isolation during the holidays, which is now at an all-time high and brings mental and physical health risks to seniors who feel cooped up. It is reported that seniors exemplifying behaviors of isolation have an increase in mortality rate and are typically linked to having higher blood pressure and long-term illnesses. To avoid this, it is important to find your holiday cheer and remain active, despite the cold or overcast weather. For our Regency residents, we encourage you to participate in both on and off campus events. These may include dinners with family, Christmas light sightseeing, and nativity scene viewing. 

If you’re feeling blue this Christmas, help spark your holiday joy by following these 3 tips for a more joyful Christmas this year for the entire family.

1. Involve them in your Christmas plans – Attending a candlelight service? Invite everyone to go with you. At Regency Senior Living, we encourage you to spend quality time with loved ones because nothing is better than the gift of family during the holiday season. 

2. Share your memories and make new ones – The holidays are a wonderful time to share some of your life stories to willing listeners. They will likely get a kick out of hearing your traditions when you were a kid. While sharing your old memories, make new ones. For example, make it an annual tradition of stringing popcorn on the Christmas tree with the family or host a lighting of the tree. This will give you something to look forward to in the holidays and years to come.

3. Stay occupied and positive - While stringing the popcorn is a rather tedious task, you might be able to find something else to help with this or other tasks, because it’s a great thing to feel needed. Perhaps you could be in charge of the annual lighting of the tree. If you are unable to contribute due to physical limitations, there’s something that you can do to contribute. If you feel down this Christmas because you believe that you have very little to offer your family, join in on planned activities and crafts, such as putting together a scrapbook, an ornament, or even record a family story.

In circumstances where getting together with family is not possible this holiday season, due to distance, health, or cost, you can still wish your friends and family a happy holiday using your tablet, phone, or computer. For those who aren’t able to be near family, remember you always have your Regency family.

Whatever your plans this Christmas, we wish you and all of your loved ones a very merry holiday season. Happy Holidays from the Regency Retirement Community!

Written by: Katie Hanley

Published in Retirement Communities

The need to scale back for most approaching seniors occurs when the children are fully grown-individuals and no longer living in the house. This frequently leaves empty nesters with the task of decluttering and downsizing into a littler space.

Specialists at Lifehack.org encourage when downsizing, beginning with a smaller, more manageable space to kick off the project. If not, starting out looking at everything in whole can without question become overwhelming. Scaling back is more effective when drawn-out all over weeks or months, not days. It is important to realize that it will require a great deal of time to sort through, since it has taken a great deal to accumulate. With every large project, don’t expect to have everything done in the first day. Simply remember no matter how small, progress is progress.

Decluttering Tips:

•      Be careful of saying, “I’ll do it later.” The uncertainty of an unexpected move to assisted living might come as a surprise, leaving no time to organize belongings.

•      Hold a yearly spring-cleaning to regularly tidy up, so the clutter can be controlled.

•      Plan everything out. Outline a week after week objective to keep on track.

Step 1senior moving day

Sort assets into three particular heaps that are either to be given, kept or disposed of. Steer clear from the indecisive, fourth "maybe" pile, as this prompts to uncertainty, instability, and a decrease in progress. Strategize based on priority to weed out items. Some of those things might be old clothing that no longer fits, dusty, disregarded books lying on the shelf, or multiples of the same item. Learn when to let go. Lifehack believes if it doesn’t "spark joy" let it go. If compelled to dispose of such things, remember that one man's junk could be another man's treasure.

Step 2

When cutting back, it's important to consider the restricted storage space in the new home. Most of the time, space is tight, particularly in assisted living communities. To help pare down, ask about the measurements of your new space, if not given already. This can be used as a physical guideline for the amount kept. For more troublesome decisions on letting go, use the yes-no strategy. To simplify, adapt to certain things that can be redesigned or reformatted into a smaller space. For instance, family photographs can be inserted into a scrapbook. This approach not only preserves the pictures, but also additionally takes less valuable square footage.

Also, if it hasn’t been used in over a year, it probably isn’t worth holding on to. Be cautious with the unnecessarily storing behaviors in seniors, as it may to result in a home that is unsafe or even unsanitary. This should be an obvious sign for more prominent health concerns. For example, bills left unpaid or recommended medications missed, these could all be cautioning indications of a more serious problem, like dementia or Alzheimer's. See a doctor if these issues continue or worsen.

Step 3

Discarded things should be donated, sold, or recycled. The neighborhood library or school may love those bins loaded with unused books. Or perhaps you could use some extra money. Selling items can give a new life to what was once old and unused. Lastly, if all else fails, always recycle when disposing to ensure the health of the environment.

For more tips, visit:http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/15-9-5-senior-scaling back tips/

Is now your opportunity to spend your life free from added home expense and upkeep? Downsize into to a Regency Senior Retirement community today! Call us for more information at (423) 238-8087.

Written by: Katie Hanley

Published in Retirement Communities

If you find yourself wishing you could interact more with your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, you might consider exploring the possibilities offered by modern technology. All across the world, people are using things like Skype and social networking to connect with family and friends from whom they are separated by great distances.

It only makes sense that seniors would tap into the power of such technology to be involved in planning holiday get-togethers and simply having conversations about shared interests to pass the time. There's no reason why you can't watch some of the same TV programs as friends and add your opinion and reactions to plot twists.

Here are 5 ways to stay connected to friends and family using technology:

TEXTING
As great as a phone call is, texting is where it's at these days, especially with teens. Quick and concise, a short message typed on a smartphone may be more enthusiastically received than a voice call that requires us to be in a quiet place and focus all of our attention on listening/speaking. That probably sounds cold and impersonal, but just think of the luxury this gives family to read your text and discreetly respond while they are sitting at work or shopping in a noisy store.

EMAIL
Use Email for times when you have more to say than you can convey in a simple text message. Setting up email is as easy as opening a Yahoo or Google account and finding out what your loved ones' email addresses are so you can send them a message. Very few people take the time to sit down and create a handwritten letter anymore. Email allows us to quickly express what we need to tell others, so bear that in mind when emailing loved ones. Keep it brief if you want to have your message read. The longer, more detailed conversation you want to have can flow from a back-and-forth dialogue this opens in follow-up responses. Email's also great for sending photos or other files. These days, you don't even have to own a computer to send and receive email – just a mobile phone.

SKYPE OR FACETIME
Imagine spending 10 minutes making silly faces with your granddaughter or reading a picture book to your grandson. On the website Grandparent.com, author Barbara Graham writes, "Seeing the kids on a computer screen is not the same as hugging, snuggling, tickling, or kissing them, but it is an enormous improvement over mere phone calls, especially when the little ones can't yet carry on a conversation.

SOCIAL MEDIA
People today love sharing their lives on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and other platforms. Even if you don't talk directly to someone that often, you can typically get a sense of what's going on in their life as the channel broadcasts their written thoughts, their photos, even what music they are listening to. Some social networks include chat components that function similar to texting. Even if you don't have personal accounts, many Regency facilities have Facebook Pages that allow family to see what activities are going on.

CLOUD SHARING
If your grown children are regularly taking photos, they can create online galleries and invite you to view them at any time. You can add your own photos to the shared family gallery, creating a virtual scrapbook. On the website Grandparent.com, author Sharon Lovejoy writes, "When you ask your grandchildren to show you what their lives are like by taking pictures of their friends, pets, schools, or trips, you will surely get a response. The next time the kids visit, you can talk about the pictures together." Photo sharing is a way to passively connect with people even if you aren't directly exchanging back and forth messages that often.

These are 5 of the ways you can use modern technology to have a larger presence in the lives of loved ones when they can't visit you in person as often as you'd like to see them. If you have grown children who accommodate your desire to look into their family life and you aren't too intimidated by technology, there's no reason why your interactions can't extend beyond that all-too-precious time when you get to see them in person. 

Photo Credit: jayneandd via Compfight cc

Published in Active Senior Living

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