There are so many reasons for retirees to visit or relocate to the Ooltewah area, but one key to the quality of life here is the rich abundance of things for seniors to see and do in Chattanooga, TN – many of the activities are free or at a reduced price for seniors.
Here in Ooltewah, veteran residents will love exploring the Veterans Memorial Park of Collegedale, a 2-acre park across the street from the Collegedale Public Library. A quiet afternoon stroll through the greenway allows time for reflection and gratitude for the service men and women, while also reconnecting with nature. The world class park offers wayside plaques, monuments, military hardware, several educational components, as well as an M48 Patton tank and a Cobra attack helicopter. Throughout the grounds, there is ample bench seating, however it is only accessible by foot.
If you enjoy being out on the green, there is Ooltewah’s Honors Golf Course. Rated the number one place to visit in Ooltewah, this prestigious private golf club, designed by Pete Dye, has hosted many state, regional, national, and international amateur championships. While membership and play is by invitation only, visitors can enjoy watching a game, taking in the breathtaking scenic views, and soaking in the Southern cottage charm.
Just 13 miles from our Regency facility, BendAbout Farms of McDonald, TN offers a fun and unique activity for the whole family. This quail hunting preservation property and working horse farm offers seasonal polo matches for spectators of every age to enjoy. Watching the horses puts you in contact with nature, and if you’re up for it, allows you to get up close with nature. During half-time, guests are welcome to take the field for the traditional “divot stomping.” Visitors make an unforgettable experience out of “stomping” the divots back in place to help keep ponies and players safe.
We’re located about 20 miles from Downtown Chattanooga, which offers a wide variety of activities. Attractions include:
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum – All aboard! Seniors and their families can enjoy train rides that offer an interactive, historical experience reminiscent to when everyone traveled by railway as primary transportation. Prices may vary according on the selected train and special events.
Chattanooga Choo Choo – An international icon and staple to the Chattanooga community, the grand Terminal continues to welcome visitors to Chattanooga, although no longer by rail. New and vibrant restaurants, exciting music venues, and on-site accommodations fill the beautifully restored station. Famous in history and song, The Chattanooga Choo Choo train engine on display at Terminal Station is the same kind of wood-burner used on the first run from Cincinnati to Chattanooga in 1880.
Southern Belle – Board The Southern Belle Riverboat to experience the river in true southern-style. Carving through the banks of the Tennessee River, this luxury riverboat is reminiscent of the 1800s, offers daily sightseeing, lunch and dinner cruises with a live band. Call to book seasonal cruises, including a special senior lunch cruise for senior citizens to enjoy the sights, live entertainment, and games.
Incline Railway – Enjoy panoramic scenic views of the mountains, Chattanooga, and North Georgia valley from a trolley-style car, as you ascend to the top of historic Lookout Mountain. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children under 12. Atop Lookout Mountain, Point Park and the Battles for Chattanooga Museum is just a short walk away (it’s less than half-a-mile and virtually flat). The museum is a great starting point for learning the area’s Civil War history with a three-dimensional electronic battle map. Afterwards walk across the street to Point Park. Entry is only $5 and offers breathtaking views of downtown and the river.
Coker Tire Museum – Calling all car lovers! Zip your way through time to enjoy a free tour of Chattanooga's beloved private car and vintage motorcycle collection. During your guided tour, you will spot beautifully restored antique automobiles, classic American muscle cars, sporty European models, and one of the largest displays of vintage Indian motorcycles.
Rock City Gardens – For those able to walk well through nature areas, Rock City is one of Chattanooga’s banner attractions. You can “see Seven States” from the mountain brow next to a 100-foot waterfall. Pricing varies according to whether special events are underway or tickets are purchased as part of the multi-attraction bundle.
Ruby Falls Cavern – Claiming to be America’s deepest commercial cave, you’ll be awestruck by the natural rock formations and the 145-foot underground waterfall. The tour to Ruby Falls lasts on average 1 hour and 15 minutes. Watch your step! Comfortable shoes are suggested as the total walk is a little under a miles and the pathways, although paved, are uneven in some places. Tickets are available, $20 for adults and $12 for children.
Coolidge Park – This popular Chattanooga park is the ideal spot for entertaining grandchildren. There is an antique carousel with $1 rides, a free interactive water fountain for kids of all ages to splash and play, and picnic areas throughout.
Walnut Street Bridge – This pedestrian bridge was erected in 1891 to connect downtown to the North Shore. Tennessee’s oldest non-military highway bridge was restored and revitalized in 1993. There are benches along the way for those who need to stop and rest while enjoying the view of the riverfront and the people enjoying their day. There’s no charge to visit.
Senior discounts are available at select hotels, retail stores, restaurants, and grocery stores near these attractions. At Regency Senior Living, we arrange for our residents to participate in group outings to local attractions. Being part of a group of peers living together in Chattanooga Assisted Living makes for a great way to experience these sights and sounds.
To learn more about things for seniors to do in Chattanooga TN, visit http://www.chattanoogafun.com/
Written by Katie Hanley
When the time comes to make senior care arrangements, many difficulties can derive as a result from families facing the harsh realities of change. There are numerous explanations as to why the discussion of assisted living is the cause of confrontation; some of these may include senior loved ones who are misinformed or have antiquated information regarding what retirement communities used to be like, others may lack the effort to communicate effectively to loved ones, many times there are either too many conflicting opinions when planning, or all of the above. Listed below are the most common conflicts families face while discussing senior care planning for loved ones whom have expressed an objection to assisted living and the possible solutions you can take to address and overcome these obstacles.
Are your parents denying the need for senior care? For instance, do your aging parents have a worsening disability? Perhaps they are experiencing a harder time maneuvering around the house, but deny it? We often consult with families who question, “How soon is too soon?” The answer is never! The best thing you can do for your loved ones is to research your options first. Find what works best for you and your family financially, geographically, and the provided senior care services. Research can also be extended to consulting with your senior’s primary health care professional, as they know their patient well. Likewise, our trusted Regency community consultants are available to provide you and your loved ones with the knowledge and understanding to make an informed decision regarding senior care planning.
Are your parents opposed to the possibility of senior care? This behavior is completely normal when seniors reach a season of life where living alone becomes almost impossible without some level of assisted care. If not communicated effectively, the conversation between an aging parent, child, or loved one can end in an argument, resulting in hurt feelings. A tip to communicate effectively: be brief and to the point. Express the areas of concern, let them know that their wellness is of most importance and provide information on possible ways to address the issues. While it is necessary to express your concerns thoughtfully, it is also just as necessary to listen to their concerns carefully. Once these have been addressed, create a list of pros and cons to assisted living and living at home with a caretaker. Debra Feldman, a senior care specialist, emphasizes to practice sensitivity and patience during this vulnerable time. Take things slow, as it may take some time for everyone to agree on the matter.
Does your family disagree on senior care? With more people involved, there is a greater chance that not everyone will see eye-to-eye. While avoiding conflict may be the easier path to keeping the peace, it may not be in the best interest of your loved ones. The path of least resistance is not always the best path to resolving senior care needs. If confronted with struggle of conflicting opinions, we strongly suggest you seek a family mediator to help execute non-biased decisions with senior care, estate planning, and inheritances if a will is not set in place. When the time comes to deal with these issues after your parents have passed, it will only become more complex as time goes on and resentment grows. Aside from the difficulties that often accompany the topic of senior living, we encourage you to consider the best options for your aging loved ones early, no matter the age. If you wish to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, we are here to answer any of your questions. We would be overjoyed to have you visit our community for a no obligation consultation and to welcome you and your loved ones into our Regency family.
Written by: Katie Hanley
It’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:
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
It’s never too early to plan holiday celebrations that take the needs of your senior loved ones into consideration. The holidays can be a tough time for many seniors as they may feel lonely, isolated, or extra aware of health issues that they didn’t have in years past. With a little preparedness, you can help them beat the winter blues and create a wonderful holiday season.
Make sure that you senior loved one has plenty to look forward to, even when you’re busy handling other aspects of holiday planning. Perhaps they can be in charge of special outings or activities with the grandkids, or can handle some meal prep or shopping. Elderly people, especially those with memory care issues, need to have plenty to anticipate and focus on. You may not be able to share quality time constantly during the hectic holidays, by try to schedule a little something as often as possible. One on one conversation might be less stressful, and there’s no better gift than your undivided attention.
You can also use this time together to ensure your loved one is doing well and that his or her needs are being met. Just as the comparing this holiday to previous years’ might be a point of sadness for seniors, it can also be a point of comparison for you to see how their health and mental wellness really are. If you see your loved one struggling with mobility or find you are having to make adjustments for him or her so they can get around, manage basic tasks, or remember things, you might want to consider a retirement community.
Senior housing and assisted living are great options for seniors who need a little extra help but don’t want to lose their independence. They can also help seniors avoid stress and depression by providing plenty to see, do and look forward to and plenty of social interaction. Retirement facilities also help residents stay healthy by providing well prepared, nutritious meals, exercise classes, and opportunities to garden, walk, and more.
This holiday season, celebrate the seniors in your life, and check in to ensure their quality of life is the best it can be as we say farewell to 2013 and begin a new year. By planning ahead for the holidays, you’ll better be able to anticipate your loved one’s needs both at family celebrations and in the months to come.
You might have, like many people, started planning for retirement a long time before you actually got to the finish line. There were accounts to open, financial planners to chat with, paperwork to navigate, and dreams to dream about hitting the golf course, traveling, and spoiling the grand kids. Just as you began planning retirement well in advance, you should also get a head start on the conversation with both yourself and loved ones about when you will be ready for a retirement community.
Many hear the words “retirement community” and assume they might be like the nursing homes from decades ago. It’s important, first, to recognize that retirement communities today are for all ages of retirees and many offer different levels of care tailored to your needs. Planning for when you might want to join a senior home isn’t a depressing bet on when you will fall ill or become frail, but instead a proactive process to decide when you will be ready to join a caring community of new friends, more opportunities to explore and enjoy yourself, and receive a little extra assistance as needed.
Just as you planned the first phase of your retirement and when you could stop working, go ahead and consider when in the future you might be ready for the retirement community phase. If you are already asking yourself if you’re ready for senior housing, that could be a sign you’re almost ready. Perhaps you’ve realized a big house is harder to maintain as an empty nest, and that you don’t need all the extra bedrooms. Perhaps you are wondering if you’d prefer to live in another city not that you aren’t tied there by your career. Perhaps you simply like the idea of being surrounded by peers who are in a similar place and enjoy similar pastimes, much as you might have in college.
Starting the conversation now can also make the emotional side of this decision easier. Both you and your friends and family might have feelings to take into account and navigate. It will be easier to do this slowly over time when everyone can be more objective and logical than in the emotionally heightened rush after a crisis like hospitalization. Especially if you are currently living with family, the emotions surrounding caretaking can be complicated for everyone involved. Time and open dialogue can make the transition easier.
Even if you don’t intend to move into a retirement community for some time, go ahead and talk to your family, loved ones, doctor, and financial planners now so you can strategize the best possible way to make your move when you are ready. Just as you learned with the first phase of retirement, it’s always best to plan ahead!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
About 12% of Tennessee seniors suffer from Alzheimer's disease, which took 2,440 lives in the state in 2010. That represents the fifth highest Alzheimer's death rate in America and a 138% increase in Alzheimer's deaths since 2000.
Nationally, one in every 3 seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer's or another dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
Coming to grips with an Alzheimer's diagnosis from a doctor can be pretty terrifying. Some may be in denial or fail to recognize the early stages of the disease. But the sooner reality is accepted, the sooner the senior can share his or her wishes for future decisions and put legal, financial and care plans in place while still able to participate in dialogue with loved ones.
At Regency Senior Living, we let families know they are not along in their struggle, offering memory care services. Our memory care residents enjoy all of the benefits of assisted living at Regency to receive help they need with daily activities, but the caregiver-to-resident ratio is greater to give the senior a more personalized level of care.
We form the care strategy after talking with the resident's family to learn what is important to them. We believe that guided independence helps a person in memory care treatment maintain their dignity. We focus on helping them retain their skills through personalized activities and respect their privacy.
Regency works hand-in-hand with the local Alzheimer's Association to assist in continued education of our staff, hosting support groups for our families, and educating people in the Chattanooga area.
The association is organizing the 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer's in Chattanooga on Sept. 20th at the Tennessee RiverPark. A walk event in Cleveland will be Sept. 27th at the Cleveland Greenway. The event raises money to help advance Alzheimer's support, care and research. To donate and/or participate, visit http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2014/TN-MidSouth?fr_id=5421&pg=entry or volunteer with Cindy Lowery at (423) 265-3600.
To learn more about Memory Care at Regency Senior Living, visit http://regencyseniorliving.com/chattanooga-senior-living-options or call (615) 598-0245.
Alzheimer's Association: http://www.alz.org/
The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center: http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers
Alzheimer's Reading Room: http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/
The New York Times "New Old Age" Blog: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/
You don’t have to be Jack LaLanne to be in great shape. But just like the famous bodybuilder, you can transform your physique while reducing the symptoms and slowing the progress of several chronic diseases. In fact, focusing on fitness can be a simple matter of doing some things differently.
It does a body good to keep moving, whether it is in a gym, in a pool, at Hamilton Place Mall, in a garden, on a ballroom dance floor, or even in the hallways of Regency Senior Living. Fitness helps with arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, blood pressure, depression, and more!
Of course, you never want to start a workout without first consulting your doctor to make sure you won’t strain anything or otherwise injure yourself.
Small changes in daily routine can make a big difference. For example, walking instead of riding in a car when going a short distance, walking while socializing rather than sitting with a friend to chat, using time in a swimming pool to tread water rather than merely floating restfully, stretching in your chair, squatting to pick something up, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, etc.
The stretching part is very important to avoid injury and improve your flexibility. Remember to drink plenty of fluids so you do not become dehydrated.
Talk to us at Regency Senior Living about initiatives to help keep seniors healthy and active.
Even in a place like Tennessee where people seem to be a little nicer, seniors can easily fall prey to scam artists who might attempt to steal their retirement savings and can often do so without any face-to-face interaction and no paper trail, making them incredibly hard to trace.
The best defense against scams targeting Ooltewah seniors is information. These crimes happen because people have their kindness and lack of street/tech savvy exploited.
Some potential scams to watch for:
Cons Under Pressure: When faced with emergency situations, we seek to move with urgency to help loved ones, which can taint our critical thinking. And if a senior feels distraught over losing a spouse, he or she may be at particular risk. Watch out for unnecessary charges added to a funeral home bill and be skeptical of strangers who claim you are responsible for a nonexistent debt. In one particularly insidious scam, the con artist may claim to be or speak on behalf of a grandchild needing help with some unexpected financial problem such as overdue rent or payment for car repairs to be paid via Western Union or MoneyGram. The scam artist will beg the grandparent “please don’t tell my parents, they would kill me.”
Fake Products: This ranges from cheaper prescription medicines sold online to treatments promising to restore a youthful appearance. It could include financial scams such as pyramid schemes, unsecured reverse mortgages or makeshift clinics that exist only to get your private information to exploit by opening lines of credit in your name or fraudulently bill Medicare.
Computer Scams: Don’t click on pop-up browser windows that simulate virus-scanning software or unsolicited emails that seem to be from legitimate organizations you know and trust. Oftentimes, being too trusting can lead to downloading a virus giving control of your PC to a stranger.
These scams prey on our desire to save money, expand our retirement savings or protect a loved one in a time of need. Equipped with the knowledge they exist, Ooltewah seniors can better defend themselves against the lowest of the low.
There’s no denying that tastes in housing have changed in the past decade. The same young professionals who bought rambling suburban homes when they started families in the 80s are contemplating retirement, and often want something totally different for their next place to live. Forbes explains that “Boomers buying for the long haul are looking for good access to transit, medical care and recreation; for high-speed Internet access and security systems; and for energy-efficient appliances.”
That’s often very different, and more urban-oriented, than their needs to be near work, in a good school district, or to have plenty of room for the family during their professional years. This is part of the reason so many retirees contemplate downsizing. It gives them some financial gains, fewer maintenance demands, and the opportunity to live somewhere in line with their new lifestyle needs.
If you are considering downsizing as part of your retirement plan, there’s a few things you can do to make it an easy process. For one, it helps to know where you will be downsizing to. Talk to your financial planners and take a look at your accounts—you might be surprised at what options net the biggest gains. Retirement communities can actually be less expensive when you look at the overall cost of your current home, including utilities, gas to commute to the things you like to do, groceries, and more. By deciding first where you will be living, you can then see how much space you will have to work with and what your actual needs will be. For example, if you’re moving to an apartment, townhome, or condo, you may not need the extra large gas grill or the leaf blower in your garage.
In fact, rooms like the garage can be a great place to begin downsizing. Attics, basements, and garages can accumulate a lot of junk over the years that you simply won’t need at your new home. Take old paint cans, oil, light bulbs, and other maintenance leftovers to hazardous materials recycling—your city website can tell you where the drop off for these items is. Then you can move on to things you rarely use—untouched clothes that no longer fit in the back of your closet, children’s games and clothes you no longer need, or extra dishes and kitchen things.
When you’re left with the things you use frequently or are deeply sentimental, you know you are well prepared to downsize! Think of how pleasant life will be when you are surrounded only with your favorite things in a home that’s perfectly suited to your new lifestyle and day to day activities! Get closer to friends, family, and all the fun outings you enjoy while shedding the stress and cost of so many belongings.