Friday, 31 March 2017 17:03

Seniors and Spirituality

senior living bible studySeniors who focus on spiritual issues often:

  • Reflect deeper on signs and meanings through prayer
  • Come to rejoice death, not fear it
  • Seek solace in solitude and silence
  • Understand the value of community
  • Question beliefs for a better understanding

In a case study of seniors, it was reported that that: 

Sixty-five percent of adults 50 and over established that their religious beliefs are extremely important in daily life. This is likely a result of baby boomers being raised at a time when church was absolutely central to American life.

Sixty-seven percent of participants said that having a richly profound life immensely contributes to their daily life. It is not only vital to pay attention to physical wellbeing, but also how well it meets the social needs of the population.

The Pew Forum survey of religion finds that 74% of adults living in the Southern U.S. attend religious services at least one to two times every month, 41% weekly, and 71% of surveyors depicted themselves as "true believers" that God really exists.

While religion is simply a path to spirituality, this journey to spiritual freedom offers meaning and significance to one’s life. This is especially true while maturing into adulthood, and into the golden years of retirement.

Not only is religion beneficial to spiritual freedom, but it also offers physical, mental, and social wellness. As we age, it can become increasingly difficult to find the time to create meaningful social interactions with others. Despite the occasion, a number of our senior residents just enjoy the congregation.

As a role model Christian community, Regency Senior Living understands the need for individuals to exude their values and beliefs. Jeff Clay, Regency Senior Living's Vice President of Business Development says, “We do everything we can to provide them opportunities to worship and carry out their customs and practices.”

When reviewing our events calendar, you will promptly see that Regency regularly connects with nearby institutions of varying faiths to act as volunteers, and sometimes entertainment! This often includes ministry, worship, seminars, comedians, and other fun activities.

As a faith-based facility, we proudly welcome everyone, despite their cultural backgrounds or religious beliefs. We urge every person to feel open to communicating their own religious convictions. At Regency, we cherish our residents and provide them with a safe and secure home that they can feel comfortable in. We empower seniors and staff to pursue religion and spirituality for peace and prosperity.

In the event that you or a loved one are thinking about relocating into a senior living community, visit us today to get some information about our group, religious occasions, and spiritual standards. 

Written by: Katie Hanley

Published in Retirement Communities

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

happy retired couple at Regency Senior LivingHow many hours did you spend daydreaming when you were younger and busy earning a living while raising a family, imagining all of the things you’d see and do if only you had more time?

For seniors, the time to “slow down and smell the roses” is now. Yet some look at their life and wonder ‘what next?’ after retiring from a career or experiencing an empty nest. It is fun to imagine “if money were no object” scenarios, even though this is rarely a luxury for most as life expectancies grow longer and longer.

Whatever the pie-in-the-sky fantasy, it is important to live within one’s means after leaving any job and spread savings over the long haul. Eventually, long-term care in a retirement community like Regency should be included in plans, with the cost covered by some combination of personal savings, long-term care insurance, veteran’s benefits, home equity, selling a life insurance policy, using a reverse mortgage, renting the home, and/or Medicaid.

US News offers a retirement readiness calculator to provide a rough idea of how long retirement savings and income will last. It can be viewed at http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/features/calculator

Of course, money isn’t the only consideration in creating an enriched retirement life. Here are some ideas for adding some fun and purpose to our golden years:

Volunteer
It can be very rewarding to give back in ways that just weren’t possible while employed full-time. Your church or another charitable organization will no doubt appreciate being asked what their needs are and how you can contribute. There may be a need within one’s own family for someone to step up and help care for a loved one.

Get a Part Time Job
For those physically able, working after retirement can be a great way to spread out savings and earn extra money for things, plus it can make things easier for the senior who has spent his or her whole life working and doesn’t know what to do with idle hands. A lot of companies can appreciate someone with a friendly personality who is eager to help out a bit. A part-time job with benefits can be a great lifeline for a senior without insurance.

Remodel
Pouring surplus time into improving a home can increase the value if it is put up for sale as part of a larger plan to downsize and possibly finance some of the cost of a move to a senior living community, where an older adult can maintain his or her independence while getting help with the tasks of daily life.

Go into Public Service
Serve your community by stepping up to speak for others, whether it is taking on a responsibility in a civic club or running for an elected office. This is an especially great option for a senior with many connections who is well admired by others. Simply writing letters to city council members or representatives in Congress on matters of importance can give seniors an advocacy role that eludes most people too busy during the career years.

Teach/Mentor
Seniors are walking treasures when it comes to life experience, but it’s a waste if knowledge and wisdom are lost rather than shared with someone younger who can benefit from such insight. Writing a blog is as easy as going to Wordpress.com and starting to type. The Internet is generally a great way to connect with others who share a specific interest. Mentoring a young person who needs a role model is one way for a senior to leave the world a little better place than it otherwise would be, touching the life of another human being.

Learn a New Skill
Who says that an education has to end when we get a diploma or put workplace training out of commission? Learning to dance, cook, sew, speak in a foreign tongue – all of these and more are possibilities for the mind willing to grasp new things.

Travel
For those who can afford it, seeing more of the world is a great way to enhance retirement life. When we are working in full-time jobs, most people can only see as much of the planet as their vacation time allows, but retirees can seek out bus trips to take as groups, cruises to enjoy and attractions to experience. Traveling can include visiting family and exploring one’s roots. What adventure awaits you?

Be Creative
Liberal arts majors might get teased about their prospects finding good-paying jobs out of college because it is a struggle for most artists, but retirees have the freedom to spend their days expressing their creativity. Whether this takes the form of painting, playing a musical instrument, creating jewelry, or planting a garden, it’s more about getting enjoyment than struggling to make a living. There can be great joy in picking up a pursuit that was set aside as we reached adulthood and had more practical concerns to dominate our focus.

Enjoy Recreation
While most seniors aren’t physically able to get out and play tackle football, they can find ways to stay active, perhaps going to a local gym or getting in the habit of walking daily. For some, recreation might be more along the lines of playing cards.

Consume the Classics
If someone hasn’t had time to read many novels since finishing college – or ever – the retirement years can be populated with regular reading of short stories and epic tales. The local library is filled with titles that can stimulate the imagination and take the reader to exciting new places without ever leaving his or her bedroom. Not much of a reader? Services such as Netflix allow viewers to enjoy hours and hours of binge viewing great TV shows and movies, including some familiar titles from decades past. Who says you have to spend a fortune to be entertained?

Seniors should take the time, now that they have it, to do anything they want, putting their energy into things they’ve long wished to do but previously lacked the time. They’ve earned it.

Written by Steven Stiefel

Copyright: pressmaster / 123RF Stock Photo

Published in Active Senior Living

You'll love Chattanooga TN retirement livingSome seniors may initially be apprehensive about moving from their home to an assisted living facility such as Regency Senior Living, but there are a lot of perks to it once you move beyond the fear of change and think about it.

Living alone, especially when you have mobility or memory issues, can not only be dangerous but also stressful and boring.

Being in a home means having to take care of a house and a yard. Why mow the grass, shovel snow or vacuum the carpet when you don’t have to and can have someone else do it? If a senior enjoys playing in the dirt, there are still opportunities at Regency Senior Living to tend to a community garden. Trying to take on home maintenance when affected by physical ailments can increase the risk of falls.

When a senior’s only regular companion is a television set, this leads to feelings of loneliness as well as guilt from family and friends whose busy schedules do not permit daily check-ins. In contrast, someone living in Assisted Living is never truly alone, although their privacy is respected.

Someone living at Regency has opportunities to form new friendships with other residents and staff, which includes an activity director tasked with providing activities for stimulation. Doesn’t that sound better than sitting alone in front of a glowing box?

Beyond the safety considerations of avoiding hazardous physical labor, once someone lives in a community like Regency, there are safeguards in place to not only protect them from hurting themselves but also from being exploited by con-artists and criminals off the street – those who might prey on a vulnerable senior forced to answer his or her own door and cope with aggressive or persuasive approaches.

Moving from the home that is perhaps larger than the senior needs (with children now grown and perhaps a spouse deceased) also makes sense from the family perspective. No longer do they have to feel resentment as full time caregivers or guilty because they haven’t visited enough; instead, they can rest easy knowing that the elderly individual is surrounded by people focused on their well-being.

Life at Regency also means no longer having to go grocery shopping or clean dirty dishes. There’s always a risk that a senior might suffer nutritionally as memory fails or performing these chores becomes too labor-intensive, but in assisted living they can be assured of three delicious meals a day. Regency also offers transportation without the risk of a senior attempting to drive in traffic.

From housekeeping to assistance with food and medications, a move to assisted living can be the key to a happier, more secure life going forward.

Written by Steven Stiefel

Published in Retirement Communities

Chattanooga seniors stay hydratedIt’s already been a scorching hot summer and the season has only just begun. With that in mind, here are some tips for making sure you and the ones you love stay cool. Infants and anyone with a chronic illness need special attention, as do outdoor pets.

Dehydration from being in the heat and not getting adequate liquids can lead to hospitalization. Older adults are particularly at risk due to changes in renal function and body water composition.

Signs include confusion, problems with walking or falling, dizziness or headaches, dry or sticky mouth and tongue, sunken eyes, inability to sweat or produce tears, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure or blood pressure that drops when changing from lying to standing, constipation and decreased urine.

A caregiver like the ones at Regency work to keep our seniors healthy and hydrated, but what about friends and family who may live alone and struggle to keep cool in the oppressive heat?

Some tips to remember:

  • If going outdoors is necessary, it is best done in the early morning or late evening when tempera-tures will be cooler.
  • Fill a plastic bottle with water and put it in the freezer; grab it when ready to go outside and enjoy cold water longer as it melts.
  • Use fans to help circulate air because even a home with air-conditioning can feel warm if the air is not getting to you.
  • Wearing loose-fitting, light colored clothes will keep us cooler. Cotton clothing is cooler than syn-thetics.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which promote dehydration. Sugary drinks can also have a negative effect.
  • If someone lacks air-conditioning, they can spend time during the day in climate-controlled public places such as a shopping mall, public library, movie theater, or other space. Some cities also dedicate space for cooling centers open to the public.
  • Avoid activities in direct sunlight.
  • Try eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content (cucumber, celery, watermelon, toma-toes, lettuce/spinach). Avoid cooking foods that require using a stove.
  • Plan indoor activities such as organizing scrapbooks, reading books, listening to music, getting organized, etc.
  • With a little caution and following these steps, you can stay cooler this summer and help your loved ones remain safe in the shade. 

 

Written by Meghan O'Dea

Published in Active Senior Living

Ooltewah seniors celebrate the holidaysWe've all experienced it: A family Christmas gathering, with familiar scents drifting from a kitchen and wrapped presents sitting under a decorated tree. It's a scene most Chattanooga-area seniors look forward to each year. With so much hype and commercialism, it's easy to forget sometimes that the holidays are about preserving traditions and bonding with family.

Here are 6 tips to have a great family Christmas this year:

Give It Some Thought: Note a loved one's interests, hobbies, and collectibles. A handmade gift that appeals to someone's favorite things is beloved more than an expensive present that feels like a shot in the dark from out of left field.

Be Gracious: Imagine how you'd feel if a grandchild acted unappreciative of a gift. According to the etiquette experts at Debretts, we "must never, ever look anything but delighted with a present. Lack of taste is regrettable, but not a criminal offense."

Stick to a Budget: We can feel obligated to spend beyond our means, but generosity can actually create problems rather than happiness. Says Debretts: "Costly presents may detonate waves of guilt, obligation and social embarrassment; not everyone will be able to match your generosity, nor should they be expected to... If someone showers you with extravagant presents you are not under a moral obligation to reciprocate, or outdo them."

Give Yourself Time to Shop: You won't get the best deals or find that toy that a grandchild said he wanted if you wait until it is sold out.

Be Appropriate in Gift-Giving: Ask your children before you buy their son a drum kit or their daughter a puppy. Don't play favorites when it comes to grandchildren. Although it may seem impersonal, teenagers will prefer a gift card to clothes.

Give Experiences: A trip to the Tennessee Aquarium, the Creative Discovery Museum or other Chattanooga area attractions can inspire and entertain a family member more than a toy.

Make Experiences: Take time to share stories about past family holiday gatherings, cook traditional meals, play games, watch favorite Christmas movies, sing Christmas Carols, etc. Rituals become the things that grandchildren carry on into their own families.

With just a little effort, this holiday season can be a great one for Ooltewah seniors.

Published in Active Senior Living

With the holidays ahead, Chattanooga area families are going to be gathering for meals and chatter. Around at least some of those dinner tables, there are going to be inevitable talks with an aging relative about whether they need a helping hand with the tasks of daily life.

If you have a parent who needs assistance with housekeeping, meals, transportation, medication administration, or personal care, they may find Regency Senior Living to be a great option for taking the next step. The same is true if you are a senior who wants to explore new opportunities for staying socially and physically active in a place where help is available when you need it.

Some families anguish over such a transition because of concerns about uprooting a loved one from their home of many decades into unknown situations that may be cloaked in misconceptions of what to expect. We all want the comfort of knowing the next chapter in our story is one of happiness rather than misery.

The freedom to come and go is part of the Assisted Living experience at Regency in Ooltewah, as is forming new friendships. Until one researches the options and understands what they are dealing with (typical costs, living arrangements, etc.), they may have misconceptions about what lay ahead and assume the worst.

Elder Advisor Gail Samaha says it is best to broach the topic with an open mind and a focus on the positives. Grown children should tell their parents that they are bringing it up out of a desire to know what their wishes are going to be in case their health starts to fail or they need more help than family caregivers alone can provide. Samaha advises people to tell their aging mom or dad that "in order for us to provide your wishes and your needs, we need to have an idea of what you can afford."

This provides an opening for the conversation. Once the senior sees what they can expect at Regency, they may transform their outlook from fear of uncertainty to eagerness to begin a new living arrangement that offers abundant opportunities to stay active and enjoy new friendships.

Some families may want to consult a doctor for his or her opinion, especially if there are indications the senior may be suffering for early stage dementia. In the mind of a senior, the recommendations of an objective professional can carry more weight in reaching a tough decision than the opinions of relatives. A son or daughter sharing their worries about an elder falling without anyone around to help can show the right motivations are at heart.

Moving is stressful for anyone, but particularly a frail senior. One advantage to living at Regency in Ooltewah is the range of services we offer, from Independent Living to Memory Care. Finding the facility that can meet their present and future healthcare needs, such as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) will ensure the elder's life doesn't have to be disrupted a second time down the road due to declining health.

The next step is to arrange a tour at a time when the parent and other family can visit and ask questions. Speaking with residents about their experience living at Regency goes a long way toward helping because most will say they wish they'd made the move sooner.

To arrange a visit, call (615) 598-0245 or fill out the form at http://regencyseniorliving.com/chattanooga-retirement-community . After meeting with you, we can advise you on the services you may need and tell you more about the lifestyle Regency offers.

Published in Retirement Communities

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